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Dexter Morgan is the titular character and antihero of both Showtime's DEXTER and the Dexter Book Series. Until he faked his own death and resorted to isolation, Dexter was a Serial Killer that went after other killers (to control his "Dark Passenger"), rather than harming innocent people. By day, he was a blood spatter analyst within the Miami Metro Police Department, working closely with the detectives and other forensic specialists, while maintaining a jovial personality. He is the biological son of a stripper and Joe Driscoll and the biological brother of Brian Moser who was also known as the The Ice Truck Killer.
Dexter was the husband of Rita Bennett (who was the mother of his child), the adoptive brother of Lieutenant Debra Morgan, and the adoptive son of Doris and Harry Morgan, the police-detective who taught Dexter a legitimate code to operate under and survive with (however, it was revealed in Season 8 that Dr. Evelyn Vogel partook in this) his urges. Dexter is also the father of Harrison Morgan, and the step-father of Astor and Cody Bennett. Eventually, Dexter had developed a detailed method of killing that allowed him to avoid the justice system itself by getting rid of any potential evidence (including the body itself) with the use of stream currents that head north through the country.
Dexter was the true "Bay Harbor Butcher", though Sergeant James Doakes was framed for the crimes that were committed and the legend had died with him (until Maria LaGuerta reopened the investigation after discovering a mysterious blood slide at Travis Marshall's crime scene). The alias never personally stuck with Dexter, and he hadn't referred to himself by the title since the end of Season Two, except for one instance of inner-monologue in Season Six. Of interest, his brother (The Ice Truck Killer) received far more mention than 'The Bay Harbor Butcher', despite other characters that began comparing the two's similar kill methods. The last characters to even reference "The Bay Harbor Butcher" investigation were Miguel Prado, Maria LaGuerta, and Ryan Chambers (the latter mentioned both 'The Bay Harbor Butcher' and The Trinity Killer in her interest of the cases). It turns out that both cases are actually (now) in the hands of the FBI, so Miami Metro Homicide has little to no information that is still in their hands anyway.
Dexter is estimated to have killed well over 100 people. With his first Blood Slide Box having 46 slides and his other one having 43 slides, while taking into account his victims that he had not taken blood from (along with the slide that got broken in Season 7), as well as his other kills in 7 and 8, the total rounds up to about 134 kills. Due to this, Dexter can be viewed as the most prolific serial killer in the series, both by kill count and by, behind Arthur Mitchell, who was killing for at least 30 years, and had a known kill count of at least 123 victims (4 per year). Dexter's brother had at least 15 confirmed kills, but he had likely killed many more individuals (prior to the series).
His Face And Hair
By the end of the show, Dexter is a white male (with a tan) in his mid 30's with light auburn hair and green eyes. He is known to be an attractive man with a perfected face, with his hair altering based on the passage of time (it was at its very shortest during Seasons 1 and 2, growing longer throughout the course of Seasons 3, 4 & 5 and growing shorter again in the final three seasons). There are also a few beauty marks here and there. In Season 6, when his hair started to become shorter, Dexter appeared to be a bit more "tired" looking than usual... with each episode comparing the current Dexter to how he was in previous seasons. This may be something that the real life Michael C. Hall is having to deal with in his remission. Practically in almost every episode, he has a 5 o'clock shadow beard, though in the title sequence from episode two onward, he's shown shaving - obviously with a drop of blood falling in the washbasin.
Dexter is physically fit. He maintains an exercise routine (it is unknown if he is still doing it now, after the end of the show). Shown periodically through the series, he could be seen jogging on treadmills, using stationary bikes, and performing other activities (i.e. jogging in the streets or swimming). Keeping himself in shape is important for two reasons: he must maintain the facade that everybody around him sees as an everyday guy and enable himself to overpower most of his victims, who could otherwise overpower him. Dexter's murderous tendencies required him to do a lot of dragging and heavy lifting. He needed to have a structured, athletic physique, especially if he needed to chase someone (think Lumen Pierce or Lance Robinson).
Under his arm on his left side is a long scar, which he received as a child. After being shot by Doakes, Dexter receives a scar on his left leg. He also has a scar on his right shoulder.
His Normal Clothes
Dexter, both in the novels and in the television show, is partial to the Cuban style of either Khakis or light-colored linen trousers and either Rayon or linen guayabera. Although in later seasons of the television series, he mostly wore a t-shirt and the same style of pants.
His Hunting Clothes
Dexter wore a military-inspired green (the manufacturer simply calls it "Army Green") 4-button Henley. He also wore brown cargo pants and something similar to WWII paratrooper jump boots. Zach Hamilton wore clothing that looked similar.
Dexter's kill attire consisted of a dark-colored apron, probably made of thick material such as rubber. He usually wore a plastic face shield. He also wore dark gloves and rain boots that matched his apron, suggesting that he had his own PPE (Personal Protective Equipment). Sometimes, it appeared as if he wore his Hunting Clothes beneath his PPE, but may have traded them in for other items. A few times, he had to improvise. He once wore a yellow "Natural Born Griller" apron with yellow dish-gloves (the shirt he had on prior to his kill). Another time, he wore the Mascot Panther Head from his high school during his stalked kill at his high school reunion.
At the start of the series, when he killed Jamie Jaworski, Dexter wrapped his own head in shrink wrap, leaving only his eyes and mouth visible. The television series left the reason for this unclear. It could have been symbolic "bondage", as Jaworski raped his victims brutally. However, the scene is consistent with the same kill in the first Dexter book, Darkly Dreaming Dexter. The book says that, even though the victim was researched and selected as normal for Dexter, the kill itself at the construction site was done on impulse. Dexter experienced an urge to kill that was so strong, it overpowered his otherwise careful and calculating methods. The plastic wrap was on hand and used in place of his visor. Dexter had to leave Jaworski's body behind when the police suddenly arrived on the scene. This suggests a vulnerability on Dexter's part, subjecting him to getting caught that has been stressed more in the books than in the television series.
From Season 5 on, Dexter was rarely shown wearing his visor, although he did wear it for messier kills, such as when he slit Julio Benes' throat. In addition, he had planned to wear it during his attempted killing of Hector Estrada, as he would be using a chainsaw to kill him. Before Season 5, there were occasions when Dexter would not even wear his visor, such as when he killed Roger Hicks or Zoey Kruger.
"My name is Dexter. Dexter Morgan. I don't know what made me the way I am, but whatever it was left a... hollow place inside. People fake a lot of human interactions, but I feel like I've faked them all and I fake them very well. And that's my burden, I guess."
"Tonight is the night"
Dexter suffered from schizoid personality disorder, which was evident throughout the series. Dexter seemed to consider himself emotionally separated from humanity. In his narration, he often referred to "humans" as if he was not one of them. Dexter made frequent references to an internal feeling of emptiness. In his youth, this lead to many attempts to "feel alive" (this was shown much more in the show than in the books). Dexter claimed to have no feelings or conscience. He thought his emotional responses were part of a well-rehearsed act to conceal his true nature (which was later revealed to be incorrect). He had no interest in romance or sex. He often considered his relationship with Rita to be part of his "disguise". In the show, he showed considerably more attachment and fondness for Rita than in the books. For example, in the first season, he was afraid to have sex with her because he might lose her as a result. In the books he seemed to view her more as a pet.
There are chinks in Dexter's emotional armor. He acknowledged loyalty to his family, particularly to his dead adoptive father; "If I were capable of love, how I would have loved Harry." After Harry's death, Dexter's only family was his sister, Debra Morgan, Harry's biological daughter, who was always there to "enlighten" Dexter's human side. When he lost her in The Finale, he became emotionally desolate and he even faked his own death to prevent himself from "harming" others around him. This showed that Dexter may have retained much of his humanity, as he was willing to mercifully kill his sister and expressed empathy, unlike what Dr. Vogel was alleging. Further, he used his remaining vitality to contribute to the world and create a livelihood for himself. At the end of the first novel, Dexter admitted that he couldn't harm Debra (something that was followed in the television series). In one episode, he comically repeated in his head "I will not kill my sister" (as she regularly left his apartment a mess when living with him). Dexter wouldn't allow Brian to harm Debra, as Dexter was "fond of her." He also appeared to care more for Rita than he admitted.
Dexter also enjoyed being around Rita's son, Cody, and daughter, Astor. This also gave him a reason to continue his relationship with Rita, who, as of Dearly Devoted Dexter, he was engaged to due to a misunderstanding. In the beginning of the third book, it was shown that both Cody and Astor had dark impulses, as they pressured Dexter to teach them. Dexter came to accept his role as a stepfather to both children in Dexter in the Dark, although in his typical fashion. For example, while on a stakeout, he began to wonder if Cody had brushed his teeth before bed and if Astor had set out her Easter dress for photo-day at her school. These thoughts distracted him while he was waiting for an intended victim, which annoyed him.
Dexter's personality changed, adopting an uncertain and almost "code-less" style. He left evidence behind, which put him in dangerous situations. Also, Harry began to appear less frequently, almost vanishing completely after Season 5, episode 4. Instead, he spent time thinking to himself and about Lumen, who he was beginning to trust enough to allow her into his life with his son and to kill with him. Even Miguel Prado did not know as much about Dexter as Lumen, suggesting that he fully trusted her. He allowed her to build a kill room with him. Dexter displayed ultimate trust in Lumen by allowing her to kill both Alex Tilden and Jordan Chase.
Religious Points Of View
"If I believed in God; if I believed in Sin, this is the place where I would be sucked straight to Hell. If I believed in Hell..."
Dexter doesn't understand religion. He personally never believed in a higher power, apart from the guidance from his father, Harry Morgan. Throughout the seasons, he hinted at being atheist, although he had no problem with those who followed religion. In Season Six, he clarified that his belief was mainly in science. The season's focus on religion introduced him to various characters, from Brother Sam to Travis Marshall. He sought to pass religious belief on to Harrison (his son).
Dexter's faith was tested on multiple occasions, yet he never called out to a spiritual deity for assistance. He found his own way out of bad situations. When he was faced with something he couldn't fix alone, such as Harrison being in surgery for a ruptured appendix. Twice during this situation, Dexter prayed to God, as he was on the verge of a breakdown, promising that he'd do anything to make sure Harrison would be okay. After news of his son's successful recovery, he said "Thank God," which Brother Sam heard.
Recent events brought spirituality into Dexter's life. Because he needed something structured to pass on to his child, he pursued spirituality and encountered tone who knew little (Joe Walker), one who was so obsessed with it that he was willing to kill for it (Professor Gellar), and one who trapped between his beliefs and his own personality (Travis Marshall), and one who "found" God, but stayed a normal, functional man (Brother Sam).
In the end, Dexter didn't believe in a high power. He claimed that religion was useless for his "dark passenger" after Sam's death. In Season 8, he stated, "I don't believe in miracles."
Relationship With His Son
Perhaps one of Dexter's most important relationships now is with his son, Harrison Morgan. Having grown up within a life of killing people, Dexter has decided that he wishes to not pass this on to his own child and adopts showing him only the "human" side that everyone else is experiencing. Dexter has not convinced himself yet that the human side he still views (as a mask in reality) is closer to what he truly is: the fact of being human. Once a man who faked every emotion down to a simple smile, he has evolved into someone who cares for both his family and friends, while accepting the responsibility of caring for his child and being a single parent. In this light, he hardly ever realizes that a majority of who he is now, is, in fact, a regular guy with just a dark secret, rather than faking to be a regular guy who is actually just a very dark monster.
Prior to Harrison's birth, Dexter gave little thought to children other than taking care of Rita's and being their friend. As time passed and he grew more in other areas, he found himself caring deeply for both Cody and Astor and they looked at him as their new father figure with Paul Bennett, now deceased himself. After fixing his relationship with Rita, he soon finds out about her pregnancy and his reactions throughout the season are mixed. Originally hopeful that something would happen to the baby during a complication with the pregnancy, a new faith in the child formed towards the end of the season and he ultimately accepted that his child would come into the world.
Once Harrison was born, Dexter stepped up to his duty as a father and watched over him in a trade with his wife Rita. While the focus now was how Dexter would survive for the years to come with his new family and sought the answers in Arthur Mitchell, there was some insight into his relationship with baby Harrison. Mostly he fed him bottles, watched over him and played with him, though he mostly remained in the background or as a subtle plot device for humor... until the very end where Rita was found murdered and Harrison sat in her blood, crying his eyes out. Dexter lost the ability to stand and went to the floor, scooping up Harrison as he dealt with the tragedy of Rita's death, as well as finding his own son in exactly the same position that he had been in his childhood.
Following Rita's murder, Dexter was heavily concerned with whether or not Harrison would evolve like he did. In that sense, would the tragedy create a Dark Passenger of Harrison's that would make him kill? and several signs throughout Season Five illustrated this from removing a doll's head, disturbing looks, and even words such as "die die". Dexter, however, proved himself a capable parent in handling his son's life, while also playing father to just Harrison (as Astor and Cody went to stay with their paternal grandparents, caring and loving as opposed to their son Paul) and had the nanny (Sonya) watch over him in times where Dexter had to take care of his "Dark Passenger". So far, it appears that Harrison was far too young for any of this to affect him and rather he'd grow up as a normal healthy boy.
Recently, Dexter's spent a year playing father while also dealing with numerous victims; his previous Nanny has probably returned to Europe and in her place the younger Jamie Batista (sister of Angel, whom Dexter feels probably the person closest to a friend in his own whole life) to watch over him. Dexter now intends to focus passing something structured onto Harrison and seeks to learn about religion, meeting many characters that can help him understand it better. Unfortunately, Harrison's appendix ruptures and his life is put on the line, leaving Dexter the most vulnerable he's ever been. He sits in worry though thanks to his conversation with Brother Sam, he is kept occupied and even asks God for assistance in his child's recovery. Thankfully, Harrison ends up just fine and as happy as a two year old can be. Later, in Season Eight, Harrison has aged quite a bit, and Dexter still plays with him, but not as frequently. However, once Dexter loses the ones close to him (i.e. his sister and earlier, his "spiritual mother", Evelyn Vogel), Dexter finds it in himself that he needs to move on in life, in order to protect Harrison from himself. Despite this being a rather impetuous act, it is crucial that Dexter moves on to further his own life and prevent his "iniquity" from affecting Harrison (while confiding in Hannah - a good-hearted killer like him - to take care of the child).
Relationship With His Sister
Dexter deeply cared about his sister, as she was viewed as the one who enlightened his "human" side, ever since the very beginning of Dexter's childhood. When Debra got her new dog confiscated by her father (Harry), Dexter attempted to leak the truth to her - that he kills animals and has the potential to kill humans, but he was utterly stopped by Harry. In short, Dexter was always wanting to tell her what he is, but, after hearing out her father (who, back then, paid quite a bit more attention to Dexter, due to the latter's dark urges), Dexter realized that she would be deeply impacted by this and so decided to keep this from her for the majority of her lifetime. However, when she walked in on him killing Travis Marshall, Dexter initially has no response, while Debra is completely astonished by what she has seen. Even after Debra discovered Dexter's trophies and kill tools, the latter still cared about her greatly and tried to reason with her, but he soon found himself rejected by her. She eventually seemed to grasp how Dexter is helping the world (when he starts to go after a psychotic serial killer named Ray Speltzer; in order to change Debra's mindset), but, after being forced into a corner (as a result of Dexter) and forced to shoot an innocent woman, she became deeply enraged at Dexter, and she even tried to isolate herself... hoping to forget about her execrable life. However, Debra was able to reconcile with her brother (through the help of Vogel) - and the two make up; Debra even wanted Dexter to move to Argentina with Hannah (a person that Debra initially hated). Dexter's true love for Debra was finally evinced after she is shot in the gut by Oliver Saxon. Not wanting to leave her in an miserable state, Dexter was forced to pull the switch on her life-support, emotionally crushing him.
His Dark Passenger
Perhaps the most important aspect of Dexter was his Dark Passenger, which was a psychological manifestation of his inner-thinking and this is what represented his urge to kill. The need to kill was stemmed from him and his brother watching their own mother, Laura Moser, getting chainsawed to pieces in front of them, when they were young. After that moment, something inside of Dexter "changed"... up until the moment he resorted to isolation, he 'needed' to kill constantly and, if he didn't kill for a duration of time, his life became unstable, the rest of his personality representing what could be similar to "withdrawal syndrome". Dexter's 'Dark Passenger' seemed to have vanished after he killed his sister out of mercy.
Dexter's father, Harry Morgan, discerned his son's dark urges and so decided to channel it (using the guidance of Evelyn Vogel), to both protect Dexter from ever being caught and to forge him into a sort of a weapon for personal justice (targeting bad people). Due to this, The Code of Harry was established, and it allowed Dexter to blend in, choose the right victims, and most importantly... never get caught.
The code's rules are many. However, the number one rule in all situations is "Don't Get Caught" and that's why all the other rules are in place. According to Harry, if he is caught, the chances are he will be executed likely through an electric chair, so the code is required to keep Dexter out of that situation. The other rules of the code include never taking the life of an innocent and being certain of their guilt... Harry intended that Dexter never harm a good person and to focus it simply on the bad people in the world.
To date, Dexter has accepted the Code in one fashion, or the other... he morphed it into his own Code by allowing a few exceptions, but sticking to a principle of never harming an innocent life, due to his moral understanding that they do not deserve it.
The urge itself was strong and needed to be satisfied nearly monthly; that is, if frequent kills were not made in-between. Somewhat like an immense hunger, Dexter craved a hunt... searching for worthy prey to place on his table, and everything was needed to truly satisfy the "passenger".
When Dexter has caught his victim, his personality allows him to flow freely with those who he can truly be honest with: those on his table. He's often energetic in these encounters, smiling and laughing, while questioning his victim's morals and why they do what they do. Dexter originally believes that he cares little for the people around him, but, as he develops as a character, the acts caused by the criminals become very personal to him; he appears to downright hate the evil in killers that target the innocent (especially children) and takes great pride in wiping them clean off the earth.
His Dark Passenger, however, would feel satisfied with an innocent or anyone else, so much that due to Dexter's psychological delusions, he begins to hallucinate his deceased brother, Brian Moser, as a true representation of his more inhumane feelings. Brian doesn't care who it is, he just wants a kill... so much that it forgoes the essentials of the code, such as being certain of his victim and whether or not they are innocent.
According to Brian in this phase, the true reason Dexter kills his victims isn't to wipe clean the evil from humanity, but to watch the light leave from their eyes. Basically, when any person is on the verge of death, their eyes begin to fade in color, and this is often referred to as the "light going out". This truth is evident in multiple victims, where he stares into their eyes as he stabs them and since Brian is a representation at this point of Dexter's internal feelings, he truly does have a love for watching that light vanish. Thanks to Dexter's personality, however, it is only channeled on the guilty people, but the most recent kill that can be attributed to watching the light vanish is Alberto, when he was stabbed with a harpoon. Dexter takes a moment to stare directly into his eyes where the light would vanish and then tosses him over the side of the ship.
Dexter was the only character in the show whose thoughts could be heard by the viewer.
Dexter often spoke in his head, sharing with the audience his point of view as a Serial Killer, while pretending to be normal to the exterior. His comments usually included personal philosophy, dark humor, and killing plans. It should be noted that, unlike the past narration in the books, Dexter narrated in the present tense in the show. This means that he was only telling what he was living in the moment and, thus, predicting what was going to happen next was out of the equation. Also, his narrating did not focus on secondary characters, such as Masuka, Angel or Quinn, as he wasn't aware of the details that came along with their private lives.
On several occasions, Dexter broke the fourth wall and talked directly to the audience. In the first episode, he mentally introduced himself. In the Season Six opening, when a young woman is shown in his apartment, he mentally remarked "It's not what you think".
In the first seasons, Dexter had more of a comical style to the way he referred to various situations.
People Who Knew His Secret;
- Brian Moser: Tracked down his younger brother (the only family member he had left and the only one he felt a connection with) and found out that he is a killer, much like himself.
- James Doakes: Used his detective skills to follow evidence to Dexter being the actual Bay Harbor Butcher. He searched his apartment and discovered his box of blood slides and, when he traveled to another country to have the slides tested, Dexter has the whole blame put onto Doakes and, when Doakes returned, Dexter locks him away in a cabin where Dexter then proceeded to kill a drug dealer and Doakes got all of the proof he needed to confirm that Dexter really is the Bay Harbor Butcher. (He pieces it together all throughout Season 2.)
- Debra Morgan: Finds out in the finale of season 6 (episode 12) when she walks in on Dexter killing the Doomsday Killer on an alter at the church. She finds out the whole truth when she starts piecing together the very last time she was with the Ice Truck Killer - when she was on a kill table. She compares this to what she witnessed in the church and she then searches Dexter's apartment and finds his blood slides and knives. When Dexter walks in to his own apartment, he is astonished and has no choice but to tell Deb the whole truth.
- Lumen Pierce: Watches Dexter kill Boyd Fowler at Boyd's home in Season 5 episode 3 and, throughout the episode, Dexter tells her what he is and he vows to help her eliminate members of the Group.
- Lila West: Figures his secret out when she goes to the cabin were Dexter was keeping Doakes, and Doakes tells her what Dexter does, but Lila is maniacal and kills Doakes so that she can protect Dexter's secret (Season 2 episode 12) .
- Hannah McKay: Dexter had her on his kill table, but he couldn't go through with the kill, and, after he cut the plastic holding her down, they ended up having sex on the kill table instead. After they were done, she asked why he was going to kill her and he tells her that he kills bad people. (Season 7 episode 6 and Season 7 episode 7)
- Isaak Sirko: Figures it out on his own when he traces Kaja Soroka's tracking bracelet's last signal to Dexter's boat, as this was the same bracelet that Viktor had with him before he disappeared. Isaak assumes that Dexter was the one who killed him and he later discovers that he is a killer of many other murderers. This knowledge was passed on to George Novikov, Jurg Yeliashkevych, and Benjamin Caffrey (Season 7 episode 3 and Season 7 episode 8)
- Maria LaGuerta: After Maria starts to investigate the Bay Harbor Butcher again, she begins to suspect Dexter. Dexter eventually realizes that she will get evidence, so he kills Hector Estrada and tranquilizes LaGuerta. He attempts to set up a murder scene that would convince the police that Estrada and LaGuerta shot each other, but Debra interrupts Dexter and she is met with a horrible dilemma: to either kill Dexter or LaGuerta. She cannot go through with killing her brother, so she shoots LaGuerta in the chest and breaks down in tears.
- ADA Miguel Prado: Sees Dexter holding a knife with blood on his hands, right after he killed Fred Bowman. Believing that Dexter may in fact be a killer, he gives him the opportunity to take out a notorious wife-killer, who is named Ethan Turner. When Ethan is reported missing, Miguel knows the truth and the two decide to work together. This ends badly, as Miguel kills an innocent defense attorney named Ellen Wolf and eventually targets another innocent, Maria LaGuerta, who is on to him, resulting in Dexter having no choice but to take him out.
- Evelyn Vogel: She knew Dexter's secret since he was a young child, which is unlike the other characters that have discovered the truth without having any knowledge beforehand. Vogel had known the truth for years. However, Dexter decided against killing her because, not only did Vogel know of Dexter's origin, but she was also associated with his father, Harry Morgan.
- Zach Hamilton: He learned the truth after Dexter spared his life and took him on as a disciple, teaching him the Code of Harry.
- Camilla Figg: She makes reference on her death bed that she knew about Harry working with Dexter, "teaching him right", after she asks him to euthanize her.
Dexter is a highly intelligent man and had mastered a wide array of skills to supplement his forensic expertise. He has been portrayed as an excellent manipulator, practiced liar, cold reader, burglar, assassin, hunter, hand-to-hand combatant, actor, forger and digital tracker, all necessary to maintain his double life and keep one step ahead of the very Department that he worked in. Sergeant Doakes noted that he was in the top of his class in medical school, and he also found it curious that Dexter would settle for a job so far beneath his abilities. He also questioned why a "lab geek" would want to study advanced Jujitsu, as he knew that Dexter still has a black belt that he earned in college. Mike Anderson judged Dexter to be an exceptionally good deductive analyst - and expressed pretty much the same thing.
Throughout the show, Dexter also demonstrated circumstantial knowledge on various topics including history, anthropology, psychology, philosophy, architecture, sociology, economics, religious lore, literature, art, law, and criminology.
He is pretty good with speaking Spanish and possesses a large vocabulary in English, but he never got around to demonstrating fluency in many other languages.
Dexter's physical ability was a very important part of keeping up with his former nightly activities. It was ideal that, due to the sloppy struggle he had with Mary, becoming more physically capable of subduing his victims would be a requirement for his own survival and utmost benefit in following the first rule of the Code - Don't get caught. Dexter was - and still is - a force to be reckoned with...
Dexter's cardio was a major factor in his personal upkeep: he had to be ready to run, endure, and retain energy when taking in his victims. In the event that he had to chase a target down, he had to be able to keep up with them without tiring. If in a fight, he had to be able to endure hits and return with ease. His energy is the most important part here; to ensure that he could last a long period of time doing various things from chasing, subduing, transferring, disposing of body parts; the list keeps going.
He often commented on his cardio that "the voices in my head get quieter until it's just me, my breath and my feet on the sand". He was rather relaxed when running, using a treadmill in his house that was located in what looked to be his bedroom. Considering his muscle size and abdominal shape, he likely incorporated crunches and weight lifting, along with push-ups, to guarantee a rounded out exercise that would keep his body in tip-top condition.
This skill became necessary following a difficult struggle with Mary, as, if he couldn't easily subdue someone like her, he would find it extremely difficult or nearly impossible to take on the likes of Little Chino, Brian Moser, James Doakes, George King or Travis Marshall. For Dexter to succeed in becoming a successful Serial Killer and to avoid putting his own life on the line, he needed to learn how to fight opponents above his level.
In his college years, he studied advanced Jujitsu techniques to aid in learning how to fight opponents. Through years of experience (and likely a few close calls), he became a master at hand-to-hand CQC (close-quarters-combat) and, on more than one occasion, he was able to out-maneuver and defeat other experienced combatants.
For the most part, his training in Jujitsu allows him to quickly subdue targets with just a few simple movements, which mostly culminate in a rear naked choke hold (this technique cuts off blood flow to the brain via the carotid arteries, causing temporary unconsciousness in just a few seconds). While not often, he has also broken bones and has snapped necks, particularly if the situation called for a quick execution.
If his opponent was using a weapon of some sort, he was able to disarm them before they can do any real damage. He was even capable of fighting and outwitting an ex-United States Army Special Forces soldier (Sergeant James Doakes) who held him at gunpoint on a pier, while Dexter was forced to put on handcuffs. The two ended up falling into the water and fought in it waist-deep, with Dexter placing Doakes in a chokehold. (Doakes, however, managed to fire a bullet from his gun that pierced Dexter's thigh.)
Only two people have actually been able to beat Dexter in a fight (in the show). The first was Travis Marshall, who took advantage of Dexter's poison-induced disorientation and injected him with his own animal tranquilizer. The second was Ray Speltzer; Dexter was knocked out cold by a nearby object and awoke in a maze designed by Speltzer in order to chase his victims around before killing them. Dexter was narrowly able to escape in both instances, however, and he later killed both Travis and Speltzer.
While being capable of taking on opponents, he never rushed a battle to leave room for his own mistakes - unless he really needed to do so out of desperation. For instance, Dexter did decide to start fighting Doakes right away when the latter held him at gunpoint, while Dexter was in handcuffs. Another example would be when a hitman held Dexter at gunpoint in exactly the same fashion.
Dexter's style often relied on counter-offense and he allowed his opponents to strike first, but he then exposed a weak or blind spot to take advantage of them pretty quickly (as with Joe Walker or Travis Marshall). Usually, he never allowed a fight to last longer than thirty seconds or so. This was to ensure that his victim had little to no chance of turning the tide of battle in their favor.
Dexter was usually fond of his own animal tranquilizer (also known as M99) to disable his opponent so that he could strap them onto his table. However, when he didn't have his M99 or if he was challenged while carrying it (as shown with Zoey Kruger in Season 4), he had to rely on his strategic thinking, which resulted in him putting the M99 in his mouth and fighting Zoey until he had her in a position where he could inject the M99.
In most instances, he would adopt stealth and sneak attacks, as opposed to direct confrontation. He often stalked his victims from the shadows and disposed of them with minimal effort due to quiet steps and quick movements. He would take advantage of any opportunity that was laying around for him, including the use of the environment he's surrounded by. An excellent example of Dexter's strategic thinking would be when Jordan Chase was able to hold both him and Lumen captive Dexter to stab Jordan in the right foot with the 'missing knife', held in his pocket. This is a definite indication that Dexter was constantly preparing himself for any situation that could have the potential to escalate. It can safely be presumed that Dexter knew Jordan would have the potential to be cocky and, thus, Jordan's behavior would cause himself to ignore the possibility that he could get harmed. Another good example of Dexter's intelligence would be when he confronted Oliver Saxon in a jail cell. Dexter and Oliver both sat across from each other on a table, which Dexter placed a pen on. Oliver quickly used the pen to stab it into Dexter's arm, but Dexter slew his opponent by stabbing him in the throat. Miami Metro Police then replayed security footage of the incident, but they let Dexter off easy, as the murder appeared to be a self-defense with no forethought from Dexter. This is an example of Dexter being able to look innocent to the people around him, but at the cost of an injury to his arm.
Dexter was also very good at manipulating situations to hurt people, but not physically (i.e. setting them up). When Doakes really started going after him, Dexter's initial response was to make Doakes look inept. Firstly, Dexter gave him incorrect information regarding the homicide of a young woman, which caused Doakes to arrest and interrogate a completely innocent man. Dexter then put a lab report on Doakes' desk, telling LaGuerta that he had delivered it to him the previous day (which he did not), making it look as though Doakes was deliberately criticizing an innocent person. This caused LaGuerta to begin harshly questioning Doakes' judgement. Dexter then headbutted Doakes in the privacy of his lab and then quickly walked out to the main office area in front of everyone. Enraged, Doakes followed him and started to attack him publicly, while Dexter feigned helplessness and fear, causing LaGuerta to suspend Doakes on the spot. Years later, when Louis Greene started to harass Dexter by sending him Brian's Prosthetic Arm and cancelling all of his credit cards, the latter arranged for Louis to get fired as well, while appearing to be innocent to everybody else. Dexter also set LaGuerta up by successfully making it appear as though she tried to frame him for the murder of Hector Estrada.
Dexter, while very fond of tranquilizer in the TV Series, used a different method of capture in the books. Dexter liked to buy 50-pound-test-nylon-fishing line, which he could use to strangle his victims into unconsciousness. He was fond of a fashion known as garroting. Usually, he either casually walked up to his victim and strangled them quickly or he hid in their car and waited for them to sit down in the front seat, at which point he would strike. He would then tell them to drive him to the site where he planned to kill them. Dexter had been seen doing this on a few occasions in the TV Series.
MarksmanshipIn Dexter's early days, he endured lots of gun-training from his father, Harry. In flashbacks, Dexter can be seen at a gun range making many accurate shots with various weapons. In addition, he used to hunt with rifles and was capable of hitting deer fairly easily. While Dexter prefers not to use firearms in his adult years, he is still a proficient marksman that can fire a handgun with precision. One of his witnessed uses of a gun in his adult life was when Esteban and Teo Famosa had Sergeant James Doakes as a hostage and, after killing Esteban, he worked with Doakes to fire a pinpoint shot that pierced Teo's heart, killing him instantly. Another instance (when the skill is most notable) was when he is driving to the state of Nebraska with Brian and fired a bullet right between the eyes of a cartoon figure on a billboard. This was done while traveling in the automobile at about 100 miles per hour.
List of Close-Combat Confrontations;
The following is a list of situations where Dexter was forced to subdue a victim or opponent outside of his regular stealthy approach;
- Dexter uses a quick sleeper hold on Emmett Meridian as he attempts to walk away, putting him to sleep in a matter of seconds.
- The first real sign of Dexter's Jujitsu training is in a small confrontation with Sergeant James Doakes at the Shipping Yard, where he is tracking a theory on where Rudy Cooper could've taken his sister Debra Morgan. After Dexter tries to spin a lie on him about being in the shipping yard, Doakes punches him squarely in the gut and readies himself to throw another right hand punch, only to have Dexter dodge out of the way, grabbing Doakes' wrist. He aligns himself so that Doakes' arm is planted and outstretched across his own chest, while Dexter positions his free hand in a chokehold around Doakes' neck. Doakes tries to use his other hand to pull off Dexter's grip, but is not very successful. The two go flying back into the shipping container, while Dexter begins to tighten his hold... rendering Doakes completely immobile. The two become more violent, but a nearby worker forces the two to break up the fight.
- This is the first clear sign that Dexter is capable of handling someone who is rather physically strong by using his quick reflexes and agility to turn their offense into a weakness, manipulating their body into where they are unable to move and putting them in a compromising position.
- Brian Moser, Dexter's older brother, attempts to separate his younger sibling from his bonds to his foster family by killing Debra Morgan. He gives a scalpel to Dexter and tries to make him do it willingly at first, but he then takes the blade back from Dexter and thrusts it down in Debra's direction. Dexter quickly brings his arm out in order to grab onto Brian's wrist, stopping his arm in motion. Dexter then proceeds to push Brian back against the wall using his right arm (via Brian's chest), and then slams Brian's hand against the wall to force the knife out of his grip. Brian, however, turns the tables on Dexter in this struggle, putting his brother into an elbow lock, as the two spin around the room and slam into walls. As Dexter breaks out of the lock, Brian knees his brother in the face and throws him to the ground before making an escape.
- This is an example of Dexter using his momentum to force his opponent against a wall and then proceeds to disarm him immediately afterwards. However, likely due to being emotionally indebted in this situation, he loses his advantage and Brian takes the upper hand, first elbow locking his brother's head and then kneeing him in the face. This is quite a rare occasion for Dexter.
- Oscar Prado attacks Dexter with a knife for attempting to intervene when he was attacking Freebo with it. Dexter proves to be superior in combat when he shoves Oscar's own knife into his heart in self-defense, killing the latter.
- George Washington King knocks out and kidnaps Dexter, who manages to escape, breaking his own hand in the process. Despite his broken hand, however, Dexter overpowers King when the latter attacks him and King's neck is snapped, which kills him.
- Zoey Kruger is a murderer that learns Dexter is on her case and goes to his house with the intention of killing him. He tries to sneak up on her and knock her out from behind, but she sees his reflection and is able to defend herself. She puts up a good fight, but is no match for him and is rendered unconscious.
- Lance Robinson wakes up after being knocked out and placed in the trunk of Dexter's car. He tries to run away, forcing Dexter to run after him, eventually catching up with him and suffocating him to death with plastic wrap.
- Stan Liddy tries to attack Dexter with a knife, but Dexter proves to be superior in combat as he gets on top of Liddy, thrusting the knife into his heart.
- Joe Walkerwas a professional athlete and consequently had impressive reflexes and instinct, which enabled him to defend himself the second that Dexter tried to attack him, even though Dexter had been successful in sneaking up on him. Joe then took a swing at Dexter, who caught his fist and choked him until he was unconscious.
- Nick is no match for Dexter when the latter uses a rod to impale him, throwing him into the ocean.
- Andrew Briggs gets into a fight with Dexter and tries to grab hold of a knife on a counter, but Dexter is quicker and grabs it first, before killing his opponent with it.
The following are not necessarily impressive displays of his fighting abilities, though they still show him overpowering a character in one way or another;
- When he first intends to kill Jeremy Downs, he is able to sneak up on him relatively quickly and force him against a wall with his strength. He then holds him by the throat, claiming that he could snap his neck with ease.
- After constantly dealing with Paul Bennett's bothersome meddling in his and Rita's lives, Dexter becomes 'emotionally involved' as Paul continues to persist in irritating Dexter. This results in the man being knocked out by a frying pan.
See Main Article: Dexter Morgan Early Life
Childhood as Dexter Moser
Dexter was born Dexter Moser on February 1, 1971, only a couple years after Brian Moser by parents Laura Moser and Joseph Driscoll. He lived most of his infantile life with his elder brother at the address 1235 Mangrove Drive in Miami, Florida, confirmed via two arrest records for his mother in 1969 and then in 1971 for drug possession. Dexter lived primarily at this address, however he did spend some of his time with his father, Joe Driscoll, at the address 5570 (unknown street) in Dade City, Florida. It's unknown the exact relationship between Joe and his other son Brian, but considering the turnout over 30 years later, it would be suggested that it was strained.
Unfortunately, Dexter's mother was a drug addict (likely entering the trade when her boyfriend at the time, Joe Driscoll, returned from the Vietnam War and started becoming an addict himself), this never affected her love for her boys but it put her at high risk with certain parties. She met Detective Harry Morgan and began acting as his informant in the Estrada cartel, trying to provide intel that would help bring down the drug kingpin.
On Wednesday October 3, 1973 Laura Moser, her two sons Dexter and Brian, as well as three other drug users were hurdled into the shipping container CBAN 348 9 by Estrada's henchmen: Santos Jimenez, Lipsey and Welsh. It is believed that just Santos wielded the chainsaw, as the other two are often seen likely standing there to prevent anyone from escaping.
The three unnamed victims were all slain by the chainsaw, leaving Laura Moser for last begging them not to do this in front of her baby. She screamed and cried as they revved the chainsaw, turning then to give a final smile to Dexter. She said to close his eyes, not to look and that she loved him before Santos finally cut into her, killing Laura in front of both of her sons with no remorse.
Santos and his comrades fled the area while Dexter and Brian sat there, for two entire days sitting in blood that would forever change both boys. Brian, who was older, would always remember this experience, but Dexter was shut down emotionally. For the next 30 years, he wouldn't know how to be human anymore. A happy childhood ended in tragedy, to create two boys who would grow up to be serial killers. Only one of them, however, was given the means to control and focus these urges thanks to the first man on scene, Harry Morgan.
Detective Morgan opened the shipping container door, startled by the absolute carnage inside. However, he spotted the two children and moved in to pick up the younger, Dexter. As Harry was picking up Dexter, he held on tightly to his brother's hand before it slipped from his grasp and both boys called out to one another. Harry looked Brian in the eyes and saw (what Brian later claimed in his adult years) "a fucked up kid"; rather than taking him as well, he left the container while Brian screamed "please don't leave me Dexter!".
While Dexter was taken in at the age of 3, apparently he wasn't officially adopted until roughly the age of 7. His foster father Harry Morgan arrived one day while he was playing with his younger foster sister Debra Morgan to present him with a birth certificate that declared him a Morgan. Dexter looked at it with an expression of confusion, saying that he thought he was already a Morgan. Harry smiled and assured him that to them, Dexter was always a Morgan, but now it's finally official.
Dexter injures himself later on when trying to go after Debra's ball that she lost. As Dexter climbed a fence to get the ball, a dog chased after him and forced Dexter to fall on a rod-iron post, thus causing a large cut in on the side of his abdomen (which can be seen as a scar on the adult Dexter Morgan, something that Cody Bennett asks about). He's rushed to the emergency room where his pressure is dropping fast from 80 and is in a serious condition. Debra stands on distraught and worried for her brother, while Harry goes to talk with the doctor on how they can fix this. The doctor says there is a problem with the blood type, as he has internal bleeding they need donation from his very rare type in order to help save his life and this leads Doris to arguing with Harry on a way to help his son. Harry seems evasive at first, because that means tracking down Joe Driscoll but for the sake of his boy, he ultimately decides to track him down. Dexter watches on, remembering this moment as it would become important later in life for a realization his true biological parents.
Harry successfully tracks down Joe and in hearing of his son's life-threatening situation, offers his blood so that Dexter may survive. A successful transfusion shows Dexter recovering from surgery, confused on where he was only to hear a doctor say that someone was generous enough to provide what he needed. Harry stands on and asks to speak with his son, saying that he'll be just fine. Dexter asks if he will be and Harry says (which is ironic in the end) "Would I lie to you?".
First sign of a killer
Dexter's murderous urges began taking shape when he was ten and it was Debra who saw it first, but didn't realize it. Dexter had taken apart each of Deb's dolls and tried to tell her mother and father. Dexter begged her not to and promised to put them back together. She however added that he had to play with her in order to keep the secret, which Dexter did. One day while on the family boat, Harry Morgan asks his son if he's different. Dexter doesn't know what that means at first, but learns soon that Harry found out about the neighbor's dog Buddy, who Dexter had buried along with several other small animals. Dexter tells his father that he was a "noisy little creep" who barked so much that it kept his ill mother Doris Morgan up all night. Harry looked at him and said there were a lot more bones there instead of just Buddy's, something that Dexter looks down at the boat's floor feeling ashamed. Harry then asks him if he ever wanted to kill something bigger than a dog, like a person and Dexter agrees that he has, just no one in particular. When asked why he hasn't tried, Dexter says that he thought his father and mother wouldn't like it. Harry becomes a little teary-eyed and hugs his son, likely at this point in time wanting to shield him from ever needing to kill someone. This would of course change later in his life as he witnessed the loss of so much life and the freedom of murderers...
Dexter unfortunately misinterprets the full meaning of blending in and focuses more on "fitting in", even if that means becoming a bully to a poor boy named Simon. During a soccer game, Dexter as well as several other boys steal the shirt Simon is wearing and plays a game of "Keep Away" from him by tossing it between themselves while Simon attempts to grab it. Eventually when the shirt is in Dexter's possession, Harry grabs Dexter's arm and asks what's going on. He tosses the shirt back to Simon so they can continue their game and he asks Dexter what he was doing, Dexter replies by saying he was "fitting in". Harry sighs and says that he shouldn't be a bully, that it's wrong and that people like himself remember bullies... a first step to felony in his future. He then asks Dexter what he should do and he replies by saying "blend in", which means to be a team member not a bully, not a hero. He lets Dexter return to the game after this, smiling as he's proud that his son understood him this time.
When Dexter was 21, Harry fell ill of coronary artery disease and was confined to a hospital in which Harry spots a nurse, named Mary, who kills people by overdosing them on morphine, whereby Harry gives Dexter his "permission" to kill her which would turn out to be his first kill. Here, he embedded several ritualistic qualities to his kills which he would come to do again and again, such as the strapping of the victim to some sort of long and flat object, and the covering of everything in sheets of plastic, but his trademark blood-slide collection would not begin here; only later would he start that particular ritual.
Lawyer: "Please state your name and occupation."
Dexter: "My name is Dexter Morgan and I'm a forensics specialist in blood-spatter analysis for the Miami Metro Police Department."
Lawyer: "And how long have you been doing blood-spatter analysis, Mr. Morgan?"
Dexter: "Almost 12 years."
Lawyer: "You've been involved in quite a few cases then?"
Dexter: "Two Thousand One Hundred and Three".
Lawyer: *Chuckle* "Give or take..."
Dexter: "No. Two Thousand One Hundred and Three."
Lawyer: "Then it's safe to say that blood is your life?"
Dexter: "Safe to say."
Dexter Morgan has over 17 years (12 prior to 2006, 17 as of 2011) involved in blood-spatter analysis with Miami Metro Homicide. Unlike a majority of his coworkers within Miami Metro Homicide, Dexter hasn't seen much advancement in his field. Granted, he is the only known blood-spatter analyst in the department while the people he works closest with, such as Vince Masuka, cover the remainder of forensics (although Dexter does often help him in non-blood related forensics whenever he can). However, Dexter has a precise knowledge of his work field and thanks to his interest in blood, this makes him that more efficient in always making sure he solves the case correctly. To Dexter, "the blood doesn't lie".
That is, unless, people involved in the case fly into his radar and match the code. If any such suspect fits, he may tamper with evidence to insure they go free for the sake of him claiming their life. In one such instance, to help his sister Debra Morgan, Dexter tampered with evidence to insure that Joey Quinn didn't take the fall for Stan Liddy's death.
In addition to his many years in service, he has gained popularity from both the unfortunate tragedy of his wife's death and the line of work he's invested in. Particularly, characters such as Jordan Chase even knew about him and became interested almost immediately while most of Dexter's classmates from 1991 were amazed by his "cool job". Unfortunately this made "Sports Store owner" Joe Walker a bit jealous, due to all the attention Dexter was soaking up and began enjoying.
Information within this plot section is the general, main events occurring within each season. For a more detailed look at each Season, refer to the tabs at the top of the page
In Season One
At the start of Season 1, it is obvious that Dexter has settled into a steady life of ritualistic killing doubled with his life as a forensics blood spatter analyst. He is seen by his colleagues as a quirky lab geek and only one man, Sgt. James Doakes suspects him of being anything other than this. He maintains emotionless relationships in order to fit in with society, and is constantly hunting for serial killers to satisfy his barbarous need to kill. At the start of the season, Brian, his long-forgotten brother starts to send him friendly clues in the guise of messages as a form of friendly competition between them. He leaves puzzles in order to trigger Dexter's memory of his past, such as prostitutes with painted fingernails in homage to Laura Moser's habit and a room filled with blood, to remind him of his "birthplace". Amidst all of this, Brian befriends Debra Morgan in order to get close to Dexter, under the alias of 'Rudy Cooper'.
Meanwhile, Dexter struggles to keep his relationship with Rita Bennett sex-free, because he believes that if he has sex with her, she will feel his emotional dysfunctions and he starts to grow fond of her and doesn't want to blow it. Later, during a therapy session with Emmett Meridian (a potential victim), he is put into a state of calm, wherein he remembers a small part of his past, seeing an image of a boy in blood. He becomes emotional and is able to sleep with Rita because of this, which makes their relationship more intimate. Towards the end of the season, their relationship is very near normal.Later on, Brian leaves a room filled with the blood of prostitutes in order to remind him of his dark past, and it opens up several memories of him in blood and later, he researches it and discovers that it was his mother whose blood he was in and that he not only has a brother, but that his brother was with him during the massacre. However, after Brian abducts Dexter's sister and tries to murder her, Dexter is forced to kill him for "the safety of his sister". He is nearly heartbroken by this because he has killed the one person who truly saw him for what he is and didn't turn away from him.
In Season Two
38 days have passed since the death of his brother, and he cannot kill because Doakes has been stalking him.
Dexter becomes distracted after the death of his brother and loses his ability to kill momentarily at the start of the season. He realizes that this is because he needs to say goodbye to his brother and move on. From this point, Dexter starts to become more in contact with his emotions, but still, by no means, emotionally adept. Debra, traumatized by her ordeal with the Ice Truck Killer, moves in with Dexter, much to his annoyance and hinders his killing even further. Also, his victims' bodies are found and every person in the department starts searching for the elusive "Bay Harbor Butcher", which is Dexter.
His relationship with Rita starts to become very shaky and he is forced to admit (falsely) that he is a heroin addict in order to cover for his being a serial killer, and begins going to Narcotics Anonymous programs as part of his cover. When he starts dating his sponsor, Lila West, his relationship with Rita temporarily ends and from Lila, he learns how to pleasure a woman and interact with them. However, he eventually ends up killing her for her murder of James Doakes and other murders caused by arson. Dexter frames Doakes for his own crimes, escapes the justice system, and gets back with Rita at the end of the season.
At the very end of the season, he decides to begin his own code and to try new methods, different than Harry's original idea.
Inability to Kill
At the start of Season 2, Dexter still hasn't fully recovered from his brother's death and shares his apartment with his sister Debra. Dexter is being stalked by Doakes, who believes that Dexter is somehow connected to the Ice Truck Killer. That's why Dexter is unable to kill someone and spends his time doing various other activities, like going bowling with Masuka and Batista, which he is seen doing during first few minutes of the season. Dexter really wishes to kill somebody and when he sees that Doakes (who has been stalking him) has left, he uses this opportunity. Dexter goes to a blind voodoo priest named Jimmy and attempts to kill him, but finds he is unable to do so and simply lets him go. Dexter then returns to his home. Dexter begins to feel cursed... thinking that he can't do anything right anymore.
The next morning, Dexter arrives at a crime scene... still frustrated about the previous night. There he sees that apparently a young gang member has been killed. His mother, who is also present at the crime scene, runs to her dead son and says a few words in Spanish to Dexter. Batista says that she said that her son was killed by someone named Little Chino, and that she wants Dexter to kill him like a dog. Dexter sees this as a challenge, "a mountain to climb," to get over his performance issues. After Chino comes to the police station, Dexter is sure that he will be his next victim. Dexter manages to convince Doakes that he will be playing bowling all night and makes him leave while, in reality, he plans to kill Little Chino. Dexter stalks Chino to a tattoo parlor where he kidnaps him and takes him to Jimmy's shop. Dexter then ties him to the same table where he had tied Jimmy and takes a blood sample from him, but Chino suddenly awakes and manages to break the plastic wrap (due to his strength) and escape, leaving Dexter frustrated.
In Season Three
Rita discovers that she is pregnant, informing Dexter that she will keep the baby and raise him with or without his help. He ends up proposing marriage to Rita, which she accepts.
While stalking a murderous drug dealer, "Freebo", Dexter stumbles upon a fight between Freebo and another man, whom he is forced to kill in self-defense. This victim turns out to be Oscar Prado, brother of Miguel Prado (Jimmy Smits), a prominent assistant district attorney and old flame of Lieutenant LaGuerta. Miguel comes to confide in and trust Dexter after he helps assist with the case.
Eventually, Dexter tracks down Freebo and kills him, but as he leaves, he encounters Miguel, who has followed a lead to Freebo's location. Dexter tells Miguel that he discovered Freebo and killed him in self-defense, but instead of reprimanding him, Miguel thanks him and offers to help him cover up the crime. As Dexter and Miguel cooperate to conceal Freebo's true demise from everyone else, the duo end up becoming close friends, as do Rita and Miguel's wife, Sylvia.
Dexter later kills a murderer that Miguel had complained about before. Miguel admitted mentioning the man on purpose to test if Dexter would go after him, but instead of arresting him, he praises Dexter for killing another criminal and offers his aid in the future. Trying to discourage Miguel, Dexter proposes a risky operation to free an infamous Aryan Brotherhood leader from prison in order to kill him. Miguel agrees with the idea and the plan succeeds, but Dexter still performs the kill on his own. Dexter starts to recognize Miguel as his first and only true friend, even to the point of inviting him to his and Rita's wedding.
While the MPD investigate a serial killer, "The Skinner", who skins his victims alive, Miguel and Dexter's partnership takes a new step when Miguel offers to be the one to kill their next target. With some reluctance, Dexter agrees, only watching as Miguel kills without hesitation. The next day, Ellen Wolf, a ruthless defense attorney and old courtroom adversary of Miguel's, goes missing, and Dexter discovers that Miguel has killed her alone... using the code that Dexter had taught him. Dexter also learns that Miguel has been manipulating him since the beginning, having never trusted him at all.
The police investigate the death of Ellen Wolf and capture The Skinner. Meanwhile, Dexter and Miguel race to have leverage over one another. Dexter realizes that Miguel cannot be allowed to run loose any longer (after Miguel's halted attempt to kill LaGuerta, who was investigating him), at which point, Dexter decides to strangle him and make it look like The Skinner did it. However, before killing Miguel, Dexter confesses that he was the one who murdered Oscar. Before he died, however, Miguel was able to enlist the help of The Skinner to target Dexter.
Dexter successfully frames the Skinner for Miguel's murder, but Miguel's other brother, Ramon, becomes increasingly suspicious of Dexter. After pointing a gun at Dexter during a dinner with Rita, Ramon is taken into custody. During a visit to him in jail, Dexter helps Ramon put his demons to rest without revealing what he or Miguel really did together.
On the night before his wedding, Dexter is captured by The Skinner, but breaks free by taking advantage of a moment when the Skinner is distracted. Dexter fractures his hand in the process. After a short but vicious fight, Dexter snaps The Skinner's neck and makes it look like suicide by throwing his body beneath a moving police car. Dexter gets his broken hand put in a cast and attends his wedding.
In Season FourIn season four, Dexter and Rita are married and have a child together, Harrison. The season follows Dexter's attempt to adapt to married life in suburbia while searching for a serial killer dubbed "The Trinity Killer," who has been killing in cycles of three for nearly 30 years. After he predicted Trinity's third kill, Dexter attempted to crash Trinity's murder. Even though Dexter was unsuccessful in his attempted kill, due to Debra calling him to the scene where Lundy died and Rita holding him up in his apartment, he identifies Arthur Mitchell as Trinity by following him home, where he discovers that has a wife and two children. Intrigued by Trinity's ability to blend into society while continuing to kill for so long, Dexter puts off his decision to kill him and instead tries to befriend him for the moment, in order to figure out how he balances his normal life with his secret life (as a serial killer).
They later meet at a Church where Arthur preaches, with Dexter under the alias 'Kyle Butler'. Dexter slowly gains Arthur's trust while hoping to learn some of his secrets for maintaining his dual-life.
When Dexter goes home to get his bag for his honeymoon with Rita, he finds her dead in the bathtub, the last victim of Trinity. Season 4 ends with Dexter carrying a blood-soaked Harrison out of the bathroom (the same position that Dexter was in many years ago) with a distraught expression on his face.
In Season Five
In Season 5, Dexter is still in shock from Rita's death. He continues to kill people and struggles to accept the fact that professionals have told him that his son, Harrison is going to be perfectly normal.
Dexter begins to hunt Boyd Fowler (a man who responds to reports of roadkill and cleans up after it). Dexter befriends Boyd and, after a short while, kills him. Unbeknownst to Dexter, Boyd had been holding a young woman (Lumen) prisoner and she witnessed the murder of Boyd. Dexter tries to persuade her that he would not hurt her, but she refuses to believe him and breaks free. Dexter chases her through the woods, and she comes out onto a road while trying to get someone to pick her up. A car stopped but it was occupied by a few teenage boys. Remembering her imprisonment, she turns down the offer of a ride... thus allowing Dexter to re-capture her.
Dexter brings her to the site of where Boyd had been disposing of his victims and shows her exactly what he saved her from. Insisting for her to trust him, he even handed her a knife (which she promptly cut his arm with, but patched up afterwards) and she allowed herself to confide in him with her troubles. Lumen had been raped by a group of men, unsure of the exact number and was bent on revenge for what they did to her. Throughout the following days, Dexter tries to convince her that going down this path will not end well for her. However, she insists on following it, going so far as to nearly kill an innocent man named Robert Brunner because he happened to be a rapist that associated himself with Boyd Fowler (it's uncertain whether or not Brunner actually took part in any of the incidences of rape).
After this mishap, Dexter believes that he convinced her to head back home from where she originally lived and leaves her at the airport trusting in this. Little does he know that during his next attempted kill on Lance Robinson that Lumen is still in town... and has gone after another man she believes to have attacked her. Now dealing with his potential next kill trapped in his van and Lumen's mess, he races to the scene to help her deal with the man she apparently killed... only to find him missing. The two search the area, bickering over why she did this again, but she claims up and down that he is in fact one of the men due to a distinct smell that he carries. Little does Dexter know that his sister Debra Morgan is on the way with the police to investigate the possible homicide that took place and that means he has less time to operate. They eventually find the man, named Dan Mendell, and as Dexter battles to control Lumen's intense hatred for the man... he learns the truth that Dan is in fact one of the rapists due to a phone call he makes to possibly Cole Harmon. Dexter, having heard enough, snaps Dan's neck and helps her clean the area of blood and prints... now ready to get his van so they can move the body. As he does this, Lance Robinson (the man he had trapped in the back of his van shrink-wrapped) bursts out and makes a run for it. Dexter gives a quick pursuit, unknowingly heading straight for his sister and the other officers. He manages to catch and choke the life out of Lance just before he reaches the corner that they're at, quickly disposing of his body in a unique fashion. Switching fast to his work attire, he comes out of the building where Dan was killed to show them what he managed to find... Dexter had set it up that Lance and Dan killed themselves, which thanks to Vince Masuka's "auto erotic mummification" theory... secures Dexter from being caught yet again.
It does not take long for the rest of The Group to arise... one of their top members, Cole Harmon, heads to the swamp to secure the remaining bodies of the women and dispose of them properly... only to end up in an accident by a drunk driver. Quickly fleeing the scene, the bodies are discovered and Dexter is brought to the scene to investigate... wanting to find these men before his forensic team does. When the truck is associated to inspirational speaker Jordan Chase, both he and Cole arrive at the Miami Metro Police Department to answer questions. Dexter gets a chance to meet and snap a photograph of each man, only one of them is recognized by Lumen (that being Cole) and Dexter prepares his next kill. Both he and Lumen arrive at one of Chase's conventions, with Dexter sitting in and watching Cole during a seminar it is not long before Chase notices him and has Cole retrieve him. Dexter meets Chase once more and learns of his interest in the Trinity Case (which lead to his wife's murder), somewhat blindsiding Dexter in their brief re-encounter. Dexter later prepares to kill Cole that night, but fails to do so when he discovers a lady friend enjoying an sexual encounter with him... so he postpones the kill for the next day. Preparing a plan to grab Cole at an elevator, he waits in at a seminar once again as Cole departs for his rounds. As he is about to leave, Chase calls him up to the stage, shocking Dexter and pulls him into the spotlight... to discuss his grief over his wife's murder.
Dexter, now for the first time put in the open about his emotions and despair, stands on the stage expressing how he felt losing her... and Chase watches on, with a smile and intense interest in his story. While this is going on, Cole manages to spot Lumen and chases her through the hotel, eventually getting to their conjoining rooms. As she locks the door, feeling as if she's safe once again... he bursts through from his own room and tackles her to the floor. Dexter, who took the first opportunity to get off stage, makes his way after Cole and manages to save Lumen's life before the life is choked out of her. He prepares the kill, attempting to discover the identities of the remaining members but receives nothing... allowing Lumen to watch on as he snuffs the life out of Cole with his blade. Just before leaving the seminar with body parts in tow, Dexter encounters Chase one last time and hears a signature line that pinpoints his interest on the man... "tick tick tick, that's the sound of your life running out", though in this case it has to do with finding opportunity... in Lumen's case, it actually meant her time was drastically short before they intended to kill her.
Now with Chase in his sights, Dexter begins meeting him regularly to find some sort of evidence of how he's connected to the rape of Lumen and the other girls. He finds an interesting angle in a blood vial that Chase wears around his neck and only removes when he goes to shower after a workout, intending to get a sample upon their next meeting. Meanwhile his stepdaughter Astor Bennett suddenly returns to Miami at her mother's old house, meeting Lumen in a surprising turn of events. Dexter arrives on scene and questions what's going on, to learn that his daughter has pretty much turned into a rebellious teen, drinking and cussing. Acting as a stern father would, he scolds her to a degree but nevertheless cares for her now... it becomes very complicated with Lumen in Dexter's life, as Astor views this as a terrible thing to have a woman like her around (especially after little Harrison says "Mama" when in reality he meant the toy he was holding). It's not long before Astor's friends' father, Barry Kurt arrives on scene, resulting in a conflict first because Dexter thinks he kidnapped them... and then later after Dexter learns that Barry is in fact an abusive father that hurt his daughter's friend multiple times. Enraged, Dexter arranges a meeting in an ally to discuss something... but showing just how human he is, Dexter beats up Barry in a way that only Dexter can - by going after someone's kidneys and liver, winning the fight in less than 10 concentrated hits that made Barry absolutely helpless and in a way, probably in some of the worst pain he's ever felt. Dexter then demands that he leaves his girlfriend (being the friend's mother) and disappear from their lives forever, otherwise things won't turn out so pretty their next encounter (likely resulting in Dexter killing him, he's already killed a pedophile who was stalking Astor... so a dangerous man like Barry would be no problem for him).
He then drives his daughter home, finally telling her that he loves her... where she finally understands his true feelings and comes more to accept him as her father. He comes inside to meet up with Cody again and lets them be as he returns to Miami, where the other events start taking their toll (during the Barry incident, he also received the blood sample from the vile that Jordan had... and found out it relates to Emily Birch, but Jordan now knew of Dexter's involvement... and calls Lumen up, leaving her terrified). They investigate this angle in Emily Birch, finding out about Eugene Greer (his real name) in the process and relation to their next target... Alex Tilden. Dexter allows Lumen to kill this man, showing that she is capable of assisting him in his murders... and Dexter starts to believe in having a partner again (since Miguel). But things are becoming heated... Stan Liddy has been following Dexter and has witnessed a few things that finally make him act, kidnapping Dexter while Lumen visits Emily as part of Jordan Chase's trap. The confrontation with Liddy ends in his death, as per self-defense and he is nearly discovered by Joey Quinn who Dexter at this point really doesn't want to have to kill as well to protect himself (likely for his sister's sake). Quinn leaves (not before having a drop of Liddy's blood hit his shoe) and Dexter runs to where Lumen was at, only to discover a now dead Emily Birch (who Jordan killed out of frustration) and a missing Lumen, is giving up a fight. Dexter, now fueled with an intense rage, readies himself for a final conflict to save Lumen and kill Chase.
Dexter races home, calling Chase who is also on the road heading to his camp ground. The two discuss what he wants and tries to bargain some way to set her free, but Jordan simply laughs and tells him there's nothing he can do... he ends the call and Dexter reaches home, grabbing up his kill tools only to be caught by his family arriving for Harrison's birthday. The toll of everything that's happening is clear in Dexter's expression, he's exhausted... worried, truly fearing what might happen to Lumen... but he spends his time for a short while with his family only to be called away once more to the scene of Stan Liddy. This distraction, while frustrating, has to be investigated to insure that nothing happens to him. Unfortunately Quinn is suddenly the prime suspect, something that Dexter doesn't have time to deal with at the moment and makes his way to Jordan's camp, only to fall into a trap where he's caught, held at gunpoint and thrown down the stairs.
Preparing to kill them both, he lectures them... observing the kill tools in fascination only to see that one is missing. Dexter who has freed himself uses one of his weapons to stab Chase in the foot, makes him unconscious with a sleeper hold and straps him to the table where Lumen gets the final kill after Jordan's smug confession. Debra, who has been following the vigilante killings, arrives on scene and while conflicting with herself... holds her own brother at gunpoint through a plastic sheet (thus unable to see him). She tells them how beautiful it is, what they have together... and while crying, she decides to let them both go... providing them both enough time to escape with Jordan's body. Some time after, she and her brother discuss what might happen to Quinn and feeling that he has to do this for his sister, he tampers with the evidence thus clearing Quinn's name. Finally, after disposing of Chase, Dexter learns from Lumen that her urge to kill and virtually, her Dark Passenger, has vanished forever... and they promptly break up... with Dexter truly upset as she decides to go her separate way from him. Near the end, a party for Harrison is held and he meets with Astor again, with her asking if helping Lumen was a way to cope with her mother's death and he agreed, feeling he did help her in the end... and Quinn thanks him for helping clear his name. As the season closes out, Dexter looks towards the camera... now vowing to move on from both Rita and Lumen forever, he blows out the candle... saying that "Wishes are for children".
In Season Six
About a year later, Harrison is old enough to walk and Dexter has begun searching for a preschool, though his atheism conflicts with the largely-religious preschools that he applies for. Receiving less-than-insightful interpretations from either Batista and one of his victims (Joe Walker, a wife killer), he finds a greater understanding through Brother Sam (Mos Def), an ex-con and murderer whom Dexter once considered killing, who has since become a born-again Christian who counsels other ex-cons. Dexter initially sees Brother Sam's religious conversion as a scam, but Brother Sam proves himself a truly changed man, even helping Dexter through a crisis when Harrison undergoes an appendectomy.
However, things go awry when Brother Sam is shot dead in his garage. Dexter realizes that a friend of Sam's, Nick, is responsible, and swears revenge. Sam forgives Nick on his deathbed and implores Dexter to also forgive him; in the name of his friend. Dexter considers this path of forgiveness over retribution. Nick initially appears remorseful over the shooting, but that proves to be an act; after Sam refuses to press charges on his deathbed, Nick brags about what he did. An enraged Dexter drowns Nick in the surf, reawakening in him the presence of his dead brother, Brian, who begins to guide him in much the same way that Harry's presence once had.
Brian becomes Dexter's new "conscience" in contrast to Harry, for a short period of time. He convinces him to go after Arthur Mitchell's son, Jonah, who appears to have also become a killer. Dexter adheres to his father's code, however, this causes a schism between his personalities. Dexter finally catches Jonah with the intent of killing him, but relents when he sees that Jonah feels guilty about failing to protect his sister, who committed suicide by killing herself in a blood bath, similar to how her father killed his victims. When Jonah and his mother discovered his sister, the mother blamed the children for their fathers short comings. Jonah became enraged and killed his mother. Learning this new information, Dexter then rejects his brother, and reaffirms himself to the "Code of Harry", leaving Jonah alive to 'Forgive himself'.
In the meantime, Dexter begins investigating "The Doomsday Killer", a serial killer who models his crimes after the Book of Revelation. He soon finds that the murders are being committed by two people: a fanatically religious college professor named Professor James Gellar (Edward James Olmos) and his protegé, Travis Marshall (Colin Hanks). Dexter tracks Marshall down, but balks at killing him, believing that Marshall has a conscience and is simply being led down the wrong path; Dexter then resolves to save Marshall from his dark passenger.After the death of Travis' sister, Dexter follows Travis to the old church and discovers Gellar's body in a freezer, concluding that Travis was acting alone all that time, with Gellar acting out a dissociative identity. Being forced to accept Gellar's death, Travis begins to target Dexter, managing to capture him and enact The Lake of Fire. Dexter manages to escape and is rescued by a fishing boat carrying illegal immigrants bound for Florida. Travis kidnaps Harrison to sacrifice him as the "lamb of God" during the eclipse, but Dexter manages to rescue Harrison, knock Travis unconscious, and take him to the old church. Debra walks into the church to tell Dexter how she really feels about him, only to see Dexter plunge the knife into Travis' chest, and the two look at each other in absolute horror.
In Season SevenDebra sees Dexter for who he really is, but, instead of arresting him, she decides to help him cover up the murder of Travis by setting the church ablaze (which would come back to bite both of them). After this event, Miami Metro Homicide investigates the crime scene and they falsely believe that Travis committed suicide, after the world didn't come to an end as he planned. It is here that Captain Maria LaGuerta finds a blood-slide, which was accidentally dropped by Dexter as he was getting ready to incinerate the Church. After finding out that the Miami Metro Forensics team never takes blood slides and that the only person to take slides was the Bay Harbor Butcher, LaGuerta steals the slide from evidence. After confirming from a private lab that the blood on the slide belonged to Travis, LaGuerta uses her position as Captain to obtain the Bay Harbor Butcher evidence from the FBI. Upon seeing the striking similarity between Travis' blood slide and the Butcher trophies, she strongly believes in Doakes' innocence and believes that the real Butcher killed Travis Marshall and may still be active, so begins to pursue the case by herself. Debra begins questioning Dexter as to how he was so perfectly prepared to kill Travis, and how he was able to wrap him up in plastic in the exact same way she herself was wrapped up by the Ice Truck Killer. She continues to sense something off about Dexter and after going through his apartment, she finds his blood slides and kill tools, thus finally finding out the truth that he is a serial killer and the real Bay Harbor Butcher. After explaining that Harry was in fact the one who taught him the Code of how to restrict his kills to people who deserve it (i.e. murderers, especially those who plan to kill again), Debra takes time to consider her next move. She decides not to arrest Dexter and plans to help him get better. This does not work out as Dexter's alienation from his extracurricular activities causes him to be severely unstable.
Later on, Dexter pursues a very dangerous killer named Ray Speltzer, who managed to slip away from the justice system twice. He tries to convince Debra to let him kill Speltzer before he can murder another innocent, but Debra strongly refuses and says that she'll get Speltzer the right way. This fails as Speltzer manages to kill an innocent woman and escape, only to be found by the police and later, get off the hook by a judge. Debra then begins to understand how Dexter's actions are a 'necessary evil', since he could've killed Speltzer before and prevented the death of an innocent. Dexter does eventually kill Speltzer (this does prove to be difficult, however, as Speltzer is a powerful adversary, able to capture Dexter at one point, though Dexter escapes) and after showing Debra his ashes, Debra feels 'glad' that Speltzer's dead.
Earlier on, Detective Mike Anderson of Miami Metro Homicide is murdered by Viktor Baskov, a member of the Koshka Brotherhood, a Ukranian Mafia organization. Dexter finds Viktor's fingerprint on the vehicle (on the turn signal, which Viktor forgot to wipe clean along with the rest of the car) and pursues him. After killing Viktor, he dumps him in the ocean, but unbeknownst to him, Viktor had a tracking device on his wrist (a bracelet), which he took from a victim. This allows Isaak Sirko (the boss of the brotherhood), to find out that Viktor is dead. In pursuit of Viktor's killer, Isaak finds the exact location of the marina where Viktor was taken to be dumped and sees Louis Greene on Dexter's boat. After a conversation with Louis, he finds out that the boat in fact belongs to Dexter Morgan, and shoots Louis.
He begins hunting Dexter to avenge the loss of his comrade, but seeks first, to understand Dexter's motive for killing Viktor. Dexter soon finds out what Isaak is up to, after he notices that someone has broke into his apartment. The two have a brief chat on the phone and after Isaak threatens Dexter, along with any other member of the police department involved in Viktor's murder (including his sister Debra), Dexter tells Isaak that only he was responsible for Viktor's murder and that Debra had nothing to do with it. He and Debra stay in a motel for safety, until Dexter can deal with Isaak. He decides to lure Isaak to a bar owned by rival drug dealers (Colombians), to have him killed. This doesn't work out, as Isaak is supremely well trained and is able to kill all 3 of them and escape (with a cut on his forearm). Isaak's blood is at the crime scene, however, and incriminates him in the murder and he is put in jail. However, through blackmailing Detective Joey Quinn whose girlfriend works as a stripper for the brotherhood, Isaak's subordinate, George Novikov, is able to get him off the hook.
For Dexter's sake, Debra puts Isaak under 24-hour surveillance, but he is able to briefly evade the police, in the hope of finally taking Dexter out. Isaak attempts to kill Dexter, but misses due to a lucky phone call Dexter got from his stepdaughter Astor. Knowing that he cannot rely on the police to keep Isaak under surveillance, Dexter seeks Isaak for himself. He breaks into Isaak's apartment, waiting for him to come in so that he can take him out himself, but comes across a hitman, whom he is forced to kill in self-defense (in doing so, he ironically saves Isaak's life). Isaak is now aware that the hitman was sent by his former subordinate, George, to kill him and knowing that George would not have acted without the approval of the brotherhood, he realizes that the brotherhood may have betrayed him and put a price on his head (due to his constant attempts at killing Dexter (a police employee), which would threaten their gang.
After Isaak's trustworthy assistant Jurg Yeliashkevych informs him that two extremely dangerous hitmen, Oleg Mickic and Benjamin Caffrey, are after him, Isaak knows he is a dead man without the help of Dexter. After having kidnapped Dexter's new girlfriend, Hannah McKay, through Jurg, Isaak offers to free her and let go of his feud with Dexter, only if the latter agrees to help take care of the two hitmen. Dexter reluctantly agrees, having a strong affection for Hannah, which he's never felt for anyone before. After the two men are taken care of, George himself surprises and shoots Isaak. Dexter tries to come to his rescue, after hearing the gunshot, but is too late. He offers to take Isaak to the hospital, but the latter knows that there is no hope left and so requests Dexter to take him on his boat to the same spot where he dumped Viktor.
On the boat, Isaak tells Dexter how Viktor was the only person that he never had to hide anything from, just like Hannah for Dexter. Isaak tells Dexter to express to Hannah, how he really feels about her, but Dexter says that he finds that difficult. He tells Dexter that he was once like him, empty and isolated without any regard for life, but that this changed when he met Viktor. Once bitter enemies, the two end it all on good terms and Isaak takes his final breath on Dexter's boat. Dexter then closes Isaak's eyes and dumps his body in the ocean, feeling genuinely sad about his death.
After Hannah kills Jurg in self-defense, she is critically injured, as Jurg stabbed her, but Debra saves her life and she ends up in the Here, Dexter tells Hannah how he truly feels about her, that he feels safe when he's with her and that the only time he ever felt afraid, other than when his mother was murdered in front of him, was when he thought he might lose her.
A new killer also emerges in Miami, The Phantom Arsonist (Joe Jensen), who incinerates people to death, including a mother and her 6 year old daughter. Dexter eventually tracks him down but decides not to kill him, as he promised Debra that he would not take another case from the police department. Instead, Dexter leaves an anonymous tip, which leads the police to Joe and he is eventually arrested.Meanwhile, in her pursuit to find the real Bay Harbor Butcher, LaGuerta gets on Dexter's trail, after realizing that he moved his boat to a different marina right around the same time of The Bay Harbor Butcher Investigation. Seeking the intel of the former Deputy Chief Thomas Matthews (whom she previously backstabbed), she agrees to help him get his job back, if he aids her in clearing Doakes' name and tracking down the real Butcher. The two find out that the cabin where Doakes was killed, was at the time, rented to a drug dealer named Jimenez [[Matthews tells LaGuerta the truth, that Jimenez was responsible for murdering Dexter's biological mother, Laura Moser, right in front of Dexter and his older brother Brian Moser, The Ice Truck Killer. LaGuerta's suspicions suddenly rise to an all-time high and she seeks to question Dexter, but is stopped by Matthews, who says that it's best for her to stay away and that he question Dexter, since he is a close family friend that Dexter can trust.
Matthews surprises Dexter, by telling him that LaGuerta suspects him to be the Butcher, giving his reasons, but Dexter tells him that the reason he moved his boat to a different marina was to avoid Doakes, whom he alleged kept a boat in the same marina and may have used it to dump his victims. Dexter says that he did not voice his suspicions about Doakes, because he was afraid of what he may have done to him or Debra (thus playing the innocent victim). Matthews then tries to convince LaGuerta to look for Doakes' boat, but she dismisses the claim immediately, although she eventually does agree to investigate the possibility. For Dexter's sake, Debra plants evidence in the cabin (a tacklebox with an ignition key in it), leading Matthews and LaGuerta to a salvage yard where they find Doakes' supposed boat. In the yard, they also finds plastic sheets, garbage bags and kill tools, which convinces Matthews that Doakes was the real Butcher, but LaGuerta is still unconvinced, believing that Dexter planted the evidence.
Meanwhile, Debra pursues Hannah, seeking to arrest her. With the help of Hannah's father, Clint McKay, she finds out that a woman named Arlene Shram saw Hannah spike the coffee of a counselor at a halfway house with rat poison (although it is established that the counselor was sexually harassing both her and Arlene). Knowing that Debra is a threat to her, Hannah attempts to kill her by mixing a large powdered dose of Xanax into her water bottle (a drug she takes), causing her to faint while driving. Debra ends up in the hospital, but survives (she suffers a broken wrist). After Dexter discovers what Hannah did, he is deeply hurt and turns her in to the police for the murder of Sal Price (a crime-writer who was planning to publish a book on her, detailing a number of murders she committed, since her killing spree with Wayne Randall). Dexter later visits Hannah in prison, telling her that he still loves her, but had no choice but to turn her in to protect Debra.
A little earlier, LaGuerta uses her position as Captain to authorize the release of Hector Estrada from prison. Believing Dexter to be the Butcher, she hopes that he will go after Estrada and try to kill him and in doing so, she can catch him in the act and so incriminate him as the real Butcher and clear Doakes' name. Her plan plays out perfectly, that is, until the last minute, where Estrada accuses Dexter of working with 'the Captain of Miami Metro' in taking him down, whereby Dexter realizes that he is being set up. This gives him the chance to escape the area while holding Estrada hostage. However, the latter manages to break free and escape.Knowing that LaGuerta will never cease her investigation, Dexter decides to put an end to it, by setting her up. He steals Estrada's shirt from evidence with blood on it (which he was wearing when arrested in 1973) and his wallet, putting both of them in a garbage bag. Just as he plans, LaGuerta takes photos of him carrying the bags and after discovering what's inside and matching the blood on the shirt with Estrada's, she arrests him for his murder. In the interview room, she bluntly accuses Dexter of murdering Estrada and framing Doakes for his own crimes. However, Vince Masuka, who goes over the evidence, finds out that the blood on Estrada's shirt is from the time of his arrest and that his wallet has LaGuerta's fingerprint on it, thus making it seem as though LaGuerta is trying to frame Dexter. This puts her in hot water, but both her and Debra know the truth... that Dexter has set her up. LaGuerta later receives a DVD in the mail from Mike Anderson's widow, which shows footage of Debra filling a gas can at a gas station, only a few blocks from the church where Travis was murdered. The time-stamp on the DVD shows that this was done exactly 22 minutes before the fire-department received the call of the burning church. LaGuerta asks Debra to explain this and she begins showing signs of fear and is unable to explain this to LaGuerta in convincing fashion. Knowing that Debra has lied, LaGuerta obtains warrants with a judge's signature on it, allowing her to track the GPS on Dexter's and Debra's phones on the night of Travis' murder. Upon becoming aware of LaGuerta's persistence, Dexter knows that he can either get caught, flee Miami with Debra and Harrison, or kill LaGuerta. He does not wish to flee, since his cover life in Miami is no longer fake, but real to him and hewishes to keep it, at all costs. After finding Estrada and putting him on his table, he tells him that he'll release him on the condition that he help him lure LaGuerta to the shipping container (by making it seem like he's in trouble), which he does. However, he does not release him, instead killing him and attempting to kill LaGuerta in The Shipping Yard. Debra intercedes, however, and tells Dexter to halt. LaGuerta (whom Dexter has injected with a small dose of M99), barely manages to stay awake and faintly tells Debra to shoot Dexter, saying that she's a good person and not a killer, unlike him, and that she can still do the right thing. Dexter agrees with her, telling Debra to go ahead with it. However, Debra shoots LaGuerta instead, immediately killing her, and upon realizing what she has done, bursts into tears and embraces her dead body. Dexter soon alters the crime scene to make it look as though Estrada and LaGuerta killed each other (though this is not shown).
In Season EightSix months after LaGuerta's death, Dexter feels no repent, as her death solved all of his problems and allowed him to continue enjoying his life (i.e. coaching Harrison's soccer team and bringing together the Miami Metro Bowling team). However, Debra is an absolute mess, after having left Miami Metro and working as a private investigator for Jacob Elway. At this point in her life, she feels nothing but hatred for Dexter, as he was the reason why she compromised everything she believed in and killed a blameless woman (LaGuerta). To ignore her miserable life and her abhorrent doing, she is sleeping with a crook named Andrew Briggs, who is in the possession of $500,000 worth of stolen jewelry, seeking to sell the stolen goods and, in the process, make a 20% profit on them. Briggs seeks to sell the stolen goods to a supposed fence going under the alias of 'El Sapo'. While searching for an absent Debra, Dexter finds out that 'El Sapo' is actually a hitman and his real name is Javier Guzman, and so figures that Guzman intends to kill Briggs and take the jewels for himself. Dexter tries to rescue Debra before she becomes Guzman's collateral damage. However, Debra gets deeply enraged the moment she sees him outside the door of the hotel where she and Briggs are staying, and tells him to go away... Briggs opens the door and comes outside. Dexter is simply fed up with everything and tries to forcibly take Debra with him, but Briggs shoves him away from her. Dexter, deeply infuriated, pushes Briggs through the door, punches him in the face, and stabs him in the heart... as Debra watches on in horror. Debra calls the police and tells Dexter to go. Guzman now knows that Briggs is dead and his only way of retrieving the jewels is through Debra. Meanwhile, a new serial killer makes his way into Miami: The Brain Surgeon, a highly skilled, highly intelligent individual, who held his victim captive for days, before killing him with a pistol at close-range. He then sawed into his head, cutting off a large chunk of it and scooping out a piece of the brain (the anterior insular cortex; the portion that processes empathy). He then dumped the body in a public area, with the sawed-out head attached, as though it's a whole body (along with the murder weapon), leaving behind no evidence whatsoever. A well-reputed neuropsychiatrist and author on psychopaths, Dr. Evelyn Vogel, offers her assistance to the police. Dexter is instantly suspicious of her presence, since she randomly offered help. He has a feeling that she may be there because of him. Vogel seeks to talk with Dexter, stating that she is very curious to hear his thoughts about the case, and proceeds to ask him about the Bay Harbor Butcher (whom she refers to as James Doakes) and what he was like. Dexter's description of a short-fused, bad-tempered and angry individual conflicts Vogel's understanding of a true psychopath, i.e., someone who has a devoid of emotional connection. Dexter seems disturbed and increasingly suspicious of Vogel after their conversation ends. At the end of the episode, Vogel leaves Dexter some of his childhood photos, which baffles him and he demands her to explain herself. Vogel simply tells him that he cannot kill her - because she does not fit Harry's Code. Dexter finds out that Vogel is in fact, the one who guided Harry towards teaching Dexter to channel his murderous urges on people who deserved it. She created the Code and, in a sense, created Dexter. He does not look too kindly upon her, most likely because he hates his urges at their stage, because of the effect they've had on Debra. Vogel tells Dexter that the new serial killer in town may be one of her former patients, as he's been putting his victims' excised brain pieces in a jar, and leaving them on her doorstep. She feels threatened by this and asks Dexter to take care of him for her. Dexter bluntly refuses, however. The Brain Surgeon later kills another victim via a patsy (Lyle Sussman), and leaves his body in a skatepark. This time, a fingerprint is left at the crime scene. However, this only belongs to Sussman, who was killed by the Brain Surgeon and later framed for his crimes. The Brain Surgeon breaks into Vogel's house and leaves a DVD containing footage of his murder of Welks and Sussman. Dexter and Vogel both watch the footage and realize what has truly happened, though they hide it from the police department.
The Brain Surgeon re-stages the crime scene where he killed Sussman (initially placing Sussman's corpse on a meat hook), so that it appears as though Sussman blew his own brains out with a shotgun. This convinces the police that Sussman was the Brain Surgeon and committed suicide out of remorse. The killer later sends pieces of Sussman's brain (the occipital lobe; responsible for vision) to Vogel, labelled "his" and "hers", inside small gift containers. Dexter believes that this indicates that the killer is watching them. Going through Vogel's list of patients, Dexter vets Ron Galuzzo, a man who killed his best friend as a child, but initially had Vogel convinced that it was actually a bully who committed the act. This also turns out to be a dead end, as Galuzzo is revealed to be a cannibal.
Meanwhile, Debra nearly gets a DUI (but Quinn helps her get off the hook). She and Dexter later have dinner and Dexter shows her the video recorded in the past (where she saved numerous innocent people during a restaurant shoot-out), in order to convince her that she is a good person. A little earlier, she and Elway hired a woman who suspects her husband of cheating on her. After being shown some pictures of her husband putting his face into the breasts of another woman, the wife is totally in denial... refusing to believe what she sees before her and ceases her quest to find out about her husband's lewd behavior. This influences Debra to stop being in denial by going to the police station (while in an intoxicated state) with the intention of confessing to LaGuerta's murder. She tells Quinn what she's done, but the latter simply thinks she's talking nonsense due to being drunk. He thinks that Debra simply feels guilty for LaGuerta's death, because she knew that LaGuerta was heading to the shipping yard, where she met her final end (apparently at the hands of Estrada). Quinn calls Dexter, telling him what's happening and he and Vogel quickly go to the station to stop Debra from taking it any further. Vogel tells Quinn that Debra is suffering from 'survivor's guilt', a constituent of post-traumatic stress disorder. Dexter finds Debra in the interrogation room and, after she tries to leave and publicly confess, he injects her with a small dose of M99. When Quinn comes inside, he tells him that Debra passed out. Dexter and Vogel take her home and Dexter asks Vogel to help Debra deal with her problems. He still feels guilty for the state Debra is in. At the end of the episode, Dexter kills Galuzzo, calling him 'disgusting' for being a cannibal, though admits that both of them are alike.Dexter comes across another potential Brain Surgeon suspect, A.J. Yates, labeled 'Chapter 7' in Vogel's list of patients. Upon vetting A.J., Dexter finds out that he works for Solray Communications (a cable company). Dexter then glances at Yates and notes an oddity - a cicatrix on the back of his head. Looking in Vogel's book for information about the strange scar, Dexter finds none and so goes to ask Vogel how Yates got this marking. After questioning her, she explains that A.J. possessed highly violent behavior (notably, attacking a classmate at a young age) and so she requested surgery be done to his brain (after concluding that there was a lesion on it). Vogel knows that Dexter could've only called her about the scar, and so asks why he's really here (only to figure out that it's because of his guilt-ridden sister). Vogel questions Dexter's attitude, stating that psychopaths don't have emotional responses, but Dexter only says that she's underestimating him. Meanwhile, Vogel has begun to psychiatrically treat Debra, even taking her to the shipping yard where the latter murdered LaGuerta. Dexter goes to Yates' house, only to find him 'gone'. As Dexter opens the door and walks deeper into the house, it's revealed that multiple security cameras are focused on Dexter, with A.J. behind the controls and observing. Yates readies himself with a tazer, quietly exits his "lair", and begins to advance through the hallways. He overhears Dexter (who has found womens' shoes in a closet) talking to Vogel about "The Brain Surgeon". After they finish, Dexter hears movement coming from the hall, but finds nobody there. Yates retreats to his "lair", confirming that Dexter must be Vogel's "hero". He sits back down, and a seemingly captive woman can be seen in the background. Later, Dexter returns to Yates' house, only to find him gone and the house completely vacant. Upon thoroughly searching the house, he discovers brain surgery diagrams and, even more so, the jars sent to Vogel that contain brain pieces. After finding and rescuing the captive woman (who was held in a cabinet by A.J.), Dexter calls Vogel over to the house, only to discover files on that Yates kept on his computer. He opens a file, only to reveal Vogel's true intent - she was using Dexter to write another one of her stories. Dexter then tells her to leave his life once "The Brain Surgeon" threat passes. Later, Dexter manages to corner A.J. in the nursing home where the latter's father is camatose, but A.J. instinctively pulls his own father's oxygen tube, triggering an alarm that alerts the nurses; while risking his father's life, he was able to save his own. While driving home, Dexter's voiceover reveals that Vogel doesn't deserve to be in his life and can go to hell (as demonstrated when he rejects her phone-call). When Dexter goes to the police station, he is greeted by a seemingly normal Debra, who desires to take a ride with him to get past their squabbles. While driving, they converse about Dexter's situation with Vogel, and how she is clueless of Dexter and Deb's relationship. Debra eventually asks out of curiosity if Harry killed himself, only for Dexter to respond that he did, though acts like Harry overdosed on his heart medication (not wanting Debra to know that it was himself who lead to Harry's suicide). However, Debra had already learned the truth after watching Harry's sessions with Vogel, and asks if it was because of him. After confirming the truth, Debra grabs the wheel from Dexter's hands and drives it into a lake, where it crashes and begins to sink. Miraculously, a bystander witnesses this and saves Debra, who, in turn, sees that Dexter is drowning and saves him... In a therapy session lead by Vogel, Dexter is obviously dissatisfied with Debra's thought to kill him and herself. He reasons that Harrison would be an orphan if he was to die. Debra comes to and admits that she was mentally "fogged" and barely put any thought into it. However, Dexter has trouble believing this and tells both her and Vogel to go to hell. After some time passes and as Dexter searches for Yates, Yates reaches Vogel and kidnaps her in her own house, threatening to kill her if she continues to struggle. He brings her to his house, where Yates begins a conversation by accusing her of sending Dexter to his house. Vogel begs for her life and tries to find a way out of this, even attempting to calm Yates by saying that his brain surgery is the cause of his violence. However, her efforts do not work, as Yates just puts a bag over her head and dismisses the scar. Later, their conversation begins to intensify, with Vogel mentioning Yates' crazed mother as being an inspiration for his violence, though this only leads to him threatening to sever one of her toes (as per his usual ritual). However, Vogel defends herself and even mimics the personality of his mother (in order to scare Yates into obeying her). Meanwhile, Dexter and Debra are able to reconcile through searching for Vogel together... lead by a list of vacant houses that Yates has worked in. Dexter and Debra are able to pinpoint the address with the assistance of Elway, and end up saving Vogel (who has been tied up in a closet). While the others wonder where Yates could've gotten to, Dexter realizes that Yates is hiding under the bed (remembering how Vogel had set her phone on speaker, and this allowed Dexter to hear Yates and Vogel's earlier conversation). When Yates is just about to slash at Debra with a knife, Dexter locates a long curtain rod shaped like a spear and smashes it through the bed, which impales A.J. and he dies in a matter of seconds. Vogel states that she is glad that Dexter and Debra were able to find their way back to each other, and that Debra has been very resilient. Under a unique set of circumstances, the three are present on The Slice of Life when Dexter disposes of Yates' body. As the episode concludes, Dexter reveals that he now views Vogel as a family member.
In the next episode, Dexter trails a young psychopath (Zach Hamilton), who apparently killed a woman named Norma Rivera in cold-blood. Dexter notes how Zach is attracted to the sight of blood at crime scenes. Upon trailing Zach, he finds him visiting Vogel!! Dexter waits outside for Zach to leave, before going into Vogel's house to question her. Upon questioning her, she explains how Zach's father informed her of his son's violent tendencies, and asked her to treat him. She reminds him that working with psychopaths is her only agenda and specialty. Despite repeating the mistake of trying to pacify a psychopath (what she did with Yates), she dismisses Dexter's concerns and the fact that Zach is even guilty. Later, Dexter and Quinn, who is also on the verge of incriminating Zach for a different reason, observe Zach staking out a dance rehearsal. While Quinn starts talking about Debra's confession a few weeks earlier, Dexter manages to specify the woman that Zach appears to be stalking, and finds her license plate. Dexter later uses this when ransacking Zach's apartment, where he also finds a discarded photo of Norma and pictures of Zach bludgeoning the girl on his computer. After proving his guilt, Dexter follows him to the club where Zach's father works. Quinn is also there, but Dexter is able to throw him off quite easily. When Zach's dad and the girl exit the club and make their way through the parking lot, Zach exits his car and proceeds to follow them to a corner. Dexter also proceeds to follow Zach. When Zach is about to pull out a knife and kill his father, Dexter intercedes and tranquilizes Zach in the neck and Ed is oblivious to his son's attempt to kill him. Upon putting Zach on his kill table and hearing him out, Dexter comes to see the many similarities between Zach and himself, and so decides to release Zach and take him on as a disciple, teaching him The Code of Harry. After Dexter and Debra sit down to talk for a while, Debra begins to feel a little a woozy, and begins to faint. When Dexter comes to her aid, he too begins to collapse....only for Hannah McKay to enter. She greets a fainting Dexter, asking if he remembers her.During the second half of the season, Dexter realizes that Hannah has returned to Miami for love (not revenge), and even admits that she wanted Dexter to kill her brand new husband (though Hannah ends up killing him herself instead). After some time passes, the two then plan on moving to Argentina together with Harrison (with the intent of starting a new, tranquil life). Debra doesn't take this news very lightly, but, overtime, she comes to accept their relationship. Meanwhile, Jacob Elway is notified by Debra that Hannah may indeed be back in Miami, and he sends A Deputy Marshal to try and follow her trail. The Marshal becomes suspicious of The Morgans and, when he hears the news that Dexter is leaving, he comes to suspect that Dexter is harboring Hannah's presence. When he voices his suspicions to Debra, she utterly dismisses them...However, after a bystander recognizes a publicized Hannah coming into the doctor's office with her "son", and with the name 'Debra Morgan' written down, he realizes that Debra was lying. Meanwhile, Zach is brutally murdered by the real Brain Surgeon, who leaves Zach's lifeless corpse sitting on a chair in Dexter's apartment. Dexter manages to find one of the killer's hairs in Zach's apartment, which he tests, only to reveal that the killer is a relative of Vogel's!! Vogel tells Dexter that she had two sons; Daniel and Richard. She explains how Richard died at the hands of his brother, whom she sent away to a mental facility to be psychiatrically treated. However, a disastrous fire broke out there that killed all of the child inhabitants. Dexter believes that Daniel did survive and could have been the cause of the fire himself. Despite Vogel's disbelief, she gives Dexter a picture of Daniel, which Dexter takes to do some facial tests upon. He soon discovers that Oliver Saxon (the former boyfriend of Cassie Jollenston) is actually the Brain Surgeon and Vogel's eldest son. However, she secretly meets up with her estranged son and, in the presence of her long lost relative, convinces him that she will help him to freely exist. However, this proves to be not true...Her devotion to Dexter leads to her own fate at the hands of her son, who cuts her throat right in front of a stunned Dexter, but not before calling Dexter and telling him, "Mother chose the wrong son, again." Dexter breaks open the door and finds Vogel bleeding out on the floor, and he embraces her in deep sorrow (Saxon uses this time to escape). Her death deeply impacts Dexter, who calls the police in, but not before clearing out her house of all the information, files and videos therein relating to him.
When Saxon discovers that the police are now suspecting him of murdering Cassie, he brings himself in to clear his name, and it is here that Dexter is told to take a DNA sample from him, whereby the police learn that he is related to Vogel and so Detective Quinn has a feeling that Saxon might be responsible for the murder of his own mother. Saxon meets up with Dexter in his apartment, telling him that he's offering him a truce - Both of them forget about each other and go on their own separate paths in life. Dexter bluntly refuses, but Saxon reminds him that he has a lot more to lose than himself - A son, two step children, a sister and a girlfriend (Hannah). Dexter then agrees to the truce, but, in secret, he plans to kill Saxon to protect his family from harm (similarly to how he made a truce with Trinity years earlier, but was planning to kill him in secret). On the search for Saxon once again, Dexter finds The Treatment Room and he also finds Saxon's computer, containing footage of him murdering several of his previous victims. Dexter brings this footage to a local media outlet, via internet, presenting himself as a 'concerned citizen'. This immediately gets Saxon's attention, who gets enraged at Dexter for putting him in the spotlight and giving him obloquy. He breaks into Dexter's apartment and sneeks into his bedroom to kill him. However, Dexter injects him with M99 while Debra is holding a gun to the back of Saxon's head.
Dexter straps him to his very own table in the Treatment Room. However, Saxon shows no signs of fear or anger, but he just lies there in amusement and awaits his demise. However, as Dexter speaks with Saxon, Dexter comes to realize that he no longer feels an urge to kill and just wants to be with Hannah and Harrison at best. Saxon then tells him to walk away and forget about everything, but Dexter stuffs a rag into his mouth and tells him that he's still going to die, but by an electric chair (not by Dexter's hand). He then calls Debra over and tells her to arrest Saxon, and the two share a 'goodbye' with one another. However, unbeknownst to Debra, Clayton was following her the whole time...suspecting her of harboring Hannah, who is now a wanted fugitive. Clayton goes inside the hospital where Saxon is being held and, in the presence of an "innocent victim" (Saxon is in fact, using a pretense), Clayton frees him. Saxon proceeds to immediately stab Clayton in the chest with one of Dexter's knives that were unfortunately set down right beside him. He then takes Clayton's gun and, as Debra comes inside, he immediately shoots her in the gut. As she's falling down, however, she manages to get in a shot on Saxon's arm as he is escaping.
Elway follows Hannah to the airport where she and Dexter are leaving from. However, Dexter is able to remove his threat by planting a backpack near the seats, claiming that there may be something lethal inside of it. This results in Elway being falsely detained by airport security. However, the flights are still ultimately cancelled due to the oncoming Hurricane Laura, and Hannah and Dexter are forced to divert to another airport. Dexter soon finds out that Debra has been shot by Oliver Saxon, who proceeds to knock out a man and hijack his car. Thus, Dexter arrives to speak with his bedridden sister, who the doctor claims to be in fabulous condition. They converse about their past (including Dexter having some memories about Harrison's birth) and Dexter claims that he was responsible for Debra's gunshot injury, due to the fact that she witnessed him kill Travis Marshall, which led into a whole lot of other chaos. Debra appreciates his concern, but only sees what's best for him and so forces him to leave and enjoy the remainder of his life with Hannah. Elway confronts Dexter here, first asking about Debra's injury...which Dexter does not have time to explain. When Elway accuses Dexter of being with Hannah, Dexter pins him against a wall, just telling him to stay away. Elway only says that a "storm" is coming and that there will be little escape on his part. As Dexter is leaving, Elway instructs him to not side with Hannah.
Saxon finds a local vveterinarian, whom he coerces into stitching up his lacerated arm. After the vet is done, Saxon sees a broadcast about the "injured detective", and so demands the vet drive him to The Miami Central Hospital (where Debra is being held). Saxon manages to create a scene by removing the vet's tongue and letting him loose in the hospital, which distracts the doctors long enough so that Saxon can roam freely in the back, whilst searching for Debra. Dexter, however, had prepared for Saxon's arrival and attempts to kill him, though is intercepted by Angel Batista, who puts a gun to Saxon's neck and has him arrested on the spot. Dexter, however, finds that Debra has been moved from her room, and finds Quinn weeping. Upon questioning him, Quinn explains that Debra has been moved into a much higher care. The nurse then shows the two a comatose Debra, who she explains had a stroke due a blood clot caused from earlier surgery. She tells them that Debra is unconscious...and potentially brain-dead. Explaining that it would be a miracle for her to survive, Dexter exits the room in pure rage, believing that there simply are no miracles.In the Miami Metro interrogation room, Angel promises to nail Saxon to the wall for his crimes, and they enter the room to cuff Saxon and incarcerate him. While Saxon is incarcerated, Dexter asks to perform a GSR test on him. Upon entering the cell, Dexter interprets his feelings about Debra's wound...explaining that it was his very own fault, though still blames Saxon for his other crimes. He takes out a pen...explaining that this will end Saxon's life. Instead, Saxon grabs the pen and lunges towards Dexter, who uses his reflexes to dodge out of the way so that the pen only pierces his left shoulder. Dexter yanks the pen out and stabs Saxon's left carotid artery...which causes Saxon to bleed out and fall dead in a matter of seconds. Dexter is able to convince both Angel and Quinn that it was a self-defense. The police footage does not lie, and Dexter is not charged for the crime. Meanwhile, Hannah and Harrison make it onto a bus heading to a different airport. Elway catches up with Hannah, and jokingly mocks the fact that she is good with kids. Elway doesn't thoroughly explain how he found her, but tells her that he is going to turn her into the Marshals. When Hannah then offers him some tea, he turns this down, believing that it's poisoned...However, Hannah injects Elway with a dose of M99...,which takes a moment to complete it's effect. It is presumed that Elway is left on the bus until he wakes up at a random location, and his hunt for Hannah ends in failure.
With Hurricane Laura swiftly approaching, Miami continues to evacuate it's population, including the Miami Central Hospital patients. Dexter boards his boat and arrives at the dock just outside of the hospital. Various patients can be seen leaving the hospital on stretchers, and boarding various life rafts and emergency vehicles within the vicinity. Dexter uses this chaos to walk into the hospital, where a nurse tries to inform him that all of the patients are being evacuated.He ignores this and enters the room where his sister Debra is being kept on life-support. Struck with intense emotional grief and not wanting to leave her in a vegetative state...he struggles with himself to turn off her life support, and he ultimately hits the switch. Much like Camilla Figg years ago, Dexter delivers a merciful death to his sister...Dexter takes Debra from her room, moving her outside of the building, where he picks her up from her bed and carries her to his boat. After undocking, he makes his way far out to sea, where the hurricane can be seen approaching in the distance. As he leaves Miami behind him, he parks his boat, and then calls Hannah (who is now boarding the plane with Harrison) one last time. After falsely assuring her that he'll see her in Argentina, Hannah passes the phone to Harrison, whom Dexter tells that he loves and for him to always remember that. He closes the phone and tosses it into the water, turning to his dearly expired sister, whom he picks up gently and walks to the edge of his boat. Here he lets her go into the waters of The Gulf Stream and he then collapses on the side...struck with his loss. Dexter then steels himself, believing that all of what he does brings death to those close to him; his father, his brother, his best friend, Miguel Prado, his wife, Rita, his spiritual mother, Evelyn Vogel, and finally his sister, Debra. Not wishing this fate on Hannah or his son, he drives his boat straight into Hurricane Laura...where it disappears amongst all of the streams.
The storm clears out and the wreckage of the Slice of Life can be found far off in the sea by patrol units, who report this to Angel Batista. An article is posted in reference to his death, which Hannah discovers as she's sitting at a restaurant with Harrison. Upon realizing that he's deceased, she holds her emotions in to not worry her "son" and takes him under her care...
The article reads:
- Forensic Tech's Wreckage Found - No Sign of Life
- The search has been called off for missing Miami Police Forensics Specialist Dexter Morgan, who is now considered a drowning victim by Miami Metro Police officials.
- The U.S. Coast Guard and Miami Police Dive Team have been searching for Morgan since not long after the man went missing in Biscayne Bay during last week's hurricane. According to police officials, Morgan's boat called Slice of Life broke up in the storm and was found adrift just off Virginia Key. There was no trace of Morgan on board.
- It is still unclear why Morgan was piloting the 24-foot Century boat during such severe weather. "The boat was found in open water. Morgan's destination and purpose for being at sea is a mystery", officials said.
- The boat was found in two pieces drifting away from Virginia Key. "We're not sure what destroyed the boat - but, in a storm like Hurricane Laura, it is not surprising a boat of that size was turned to kindling." Letch said.
- U.S. Coast Guard said no mayday call was made to Coast Guard from the boat. The Coast Guard did, however, report having responded to over 15 distress calls during the storm. Morgan was not one of them.
- The boat was three-quarters of a mile to one mile off shore and the water was about 45 feet deep with a water temperature of about 89 degrees at the surface.
- Dexter Morgan worked as a Forensic Technician with the Miami Metro Police Department. He was a blood spatter specialist and helped solve many high profile cases in Miami dade. (illegible) cases including the Bay Harbor Butcher case. (remaining is illegible and obscured).
Somewhere, a series of tree logs can be seen being hoarded onto large trucks, with lumberjacks and other workers in the area. One of these lumberjacks is the focus, finishing up his work and he then returns to his cabin. As he closes the door behind him and sits down, he stares out the window, before facing forward. Behind his grown out beard and flannel jacket is the face of the former Bay Harbor Butcher, who closes his eyes for a moment and then opens them, looking at the camera. It's Dexter Morgan, alive and undisclosed.
Despite how Stan Liddy describes him as "squeaky clean on paper," Dexter has committed many crimes, besides murder. All of them have something to do with his status as a serial killer. Some of the crimes are:
- Breaking and Entering/Trespassing - normally committed as part of his ritual
- Stalking/Unlawful use of his Police database access - normally committed as part of his ritual
- Arson - Burnt everything in his storage unit/Shipping container
- Destruction of private property - breaks things that annoy him/cause problems with his kill ritual
- Abduction/Unlawful Imprisonment/Detainment - normally committed on victims/threats to his disguise
- Assault and Battery - normally committed on to-be victims
- Unlawful possession of tranquilizers and other 'knock-out' drugs - used for victims
- Interfering with police investigations/Tampering with evidence - normally done to cover his/someone close to him's footsteps; uses aliases regularly
- Burglary/Grand Theft Auto - occasionally steals possessions of victims; stole a car to pursue Jordan Chase
- Numerous counts of moving/stationary traffic violations/Hit-and-Run accidents - normally committed when in pursuit of victims/people of interest
See Category:Characters Killed By Dexter
See Page:Dexter's Kill List
Dexter has appeared in every episode in the series thus far, as he is the title (as well as main) character, and it is unlikely for him to not have a physical appearance.
- Popping Cherry
- Let's Give the Boy a Hand
- Love American Style
- Return to Sender
- Circle of Friends
- Shrink Wrap
- Father Knows Best
- Seeing Red
- Truth Be Told
- Born Free
- It's Alive!
- Waiting to Exhale
- An Inconvenient Lie
- The Dark Defender
- Dex, Lies & Videotape
- That Night, a Forest Grew
- Morning Comes
- Resistance is Futile
- There's Something About Harry
- Left Turn Ahead
- The British Invasion
In the novels
- Main article: Dexter Morgan (Novels)
Much of Dexter's character is similar in the novels. However there are differences between the events that occur in the novels and in the TV series.
- Dexter’s has or had (after Louis Greene canceled it) a Vista Silver credit card, with the credit card number 8795-6330-1124-5641.
- Dexter's vehicle license plate in Dexter: The Game is TQ5-HKX.
- Dexter's phone number as of Season 8 is (305)-744-3078, which was also used for Zoey Kruger and Dexter's realtor. Calling the number results in a voice saying "I'm sorry, but this number's not programmed to take messages".
- Overall, Dexter is a villain protagonist as opposed to traditionally 'good' ones. While he does have an anti-hero attitude on killing only criminals who are likely to kill again, it's not out of the goodness of his heart nor is it to make the world a better place. Dexter simply thinks that it's better as well as safer, according to the codes, to kill criminals than innocents to keep his urges in check.
- Author Jeff Lindsay has stated that he chose the name “Dexter” because it is the opposite of “sinister” (as, in Latin, “Dexter” translates to “right handed”, and it’s complement is Latin for “left handed” or “sinister”), referring to how he appears normal on the surface.
- Dexter’s exact age is speculative. In Season 1, it is stated that he was three years old in 1973, which sets his birthday between late 1969 and early 1970. However, in Season 6, Dexter attends his high school reunion, and it is stated that he graduated in 1991. Assuming he was born between 1969 and 1971, Dexter would have been between 20 and 22 years of age when he graduated. It is very unlikely that Dexter failed 2–4 years of high school due to his intelligence. One explanation is that he started school very late due to family circumstances.
- On a side-note, it has been stated that Dexter’s birthday is February 1, 1971. This would indicate he graduated high school when he was 20.
- Dexter’s father’s surname is Driscoll, and his mother’s is Moser. This could possibly indicate that he is of Irish and German descent.
- Dexter is extremely skilled in jiu jitsu (which he studied in college) and kung fu, and other fighting and grappling techniques. He can easily subdue victims or attackers, even under duress. For instance, he was able to overpower James Doakes with a gunshot wound to the leg, Jorge Orozco with a broken hand and Oliver Saxon with a pen stabbed into his shoulder (which he took out and killed Saxon with).
- Dexter is an organ donor.
- Dexter’s blood type is AB negative.
- Dexter has books titled “PowerBuilder 6”, “Internet Information Server 4”, “HTML 4”, and “Outlook 98” on his bookshelf.
- Dexter was top of his class in medical school before quitting and becoming a blood spatter analyst.
- Dexter is right-handed, as shown by how he holds pens, handles knives, holds syringes, and the wrist he wears his watch on. However, in Easy as Pie, when he golfs with Miguel Prado, his stance and swing suggests that he is left-handed. There are two possible explanations for this: either his left hand just happens to be more dominant in this activity (it should be noted that there are many athletes in golf, baseball and hockey who swing left despite being right-handed in all other activities), or he is ambidextrous (although this is uncommon).
- Dexter amuses himself with puns concerning his serial killing, despite the significant risk of someone figuring out that he is a serial killer. For instance:
- He frequently uses pseudonyms that refer to the works of Bret Easton Ellis. For instance, he buys M99 (the animal tranquilizer he uses to subdue his victims) using the name Dr. Patrick Bateman, a serial killer from “American Psycho”, and goes to a psychiatrist using the name Sean Ellis, a combination of Ellis and Sean Bateman from “The Rules of Attraction”.
- He named his boat “Slice of Life” (in reference to him using knives to kill).
- He also jokingly mentioned Rita on his first date that he is an axe murderer
- Dexter's fake DEA license to obtain the M-99 Etorphine Hydrochloride animal tranquilizer is registered to: Bateman, Patrick M.D. 2203 Blanchard Ave, Ft. Lauderdale, FL 33301 State License #: F334156 CDS#: E-669-BL-66 DEA#: AB664955-6613-1106.
- Dexter takes no counter-measures against leaving digital (both paper and audit) trails, or any other electronic evidence, and does not usually use technology (aside from his computer) to aid in his research on potential victims (or, if he does either, it has never been shown or mentioned). For instance:
- Dexter frequently answers phone calls at, or near, his kill sites (which could be used to pinpoint his location)
- He researches his potential victims on his work computer, both at work and home.
- In Season 2, he borrowed a tranquilizer gun from the Miami Metro Police Department’s armoury (under the pretense that he was having an alligator problem) and lost it to Little Chino's lackeys.
- In Season 2, he did not delete his travel history from Rita Bennett’s GPS tracking device in her minivan after driving it, which resulted in Lila West being able to track him down and figure out he is the Bay Harbor Butcher.
- In Season 5, Dan Mendell, a member of the Group (of men who raped and tortured Lumen Pierce), called another member of the Group, Cole Harmon, whose identity is unknown to Dexter at the time. After killing Mendell, Dexter does not check the phone for the number Mendell called (and for other possible Group members’ numbers). This would definitely have aided him in identifying Harmon.
- At the end of each season, Dexter kills someone important or personal to him, usually with alternating methods that deviate from his normal modus operandi.
- Season 1: Brian Moser, his brother, whom he killed by slashing his throat and hanging him upside down, causing Moser to die from exsanguination. On a site note, this was the method that Moser used to kill his victims.
- Season 2: Lila West, his lover whom he had left, and whom he killed by administering a spinal epidural (to ensure her death would be painless), and stabbing her in the chest.
- Season 3: Miguel Prado, his 'best' friend with whom he bonded with over killing, and whom he killed by strangulation with a wire, to emulate the modus operandi of The Skinner.
- Season 4: Arthur Mitchell, initially his friend and fellow serial killer, then the murderer of Dexter’s wife, whom he kills with a hammer whilst playing his favorite song. On a side note, the hammer was part of Mitchell’s sequenced killings.
- Season 5: Jordan Chase, the founder of the Group (of men who raped and tortured Lumen Pierce), who was killed by Lumen, with Dexter’s assistance, using his usual modus operandi. However, the killing deviates slightly from Dexter’s method at the time, as Chase is completed clothed, and belted to the table.
- Season 6: Travis Marshall, a fellow serial killer who tried to help Dexter find Professor Gellar, whom he had actually killed years prior by stabbing.
- Season 7: Maria LaGuerta was to be killed by gunshot, in order to frame her for cross-killing with Hector Estrada before being interrupted by Deb, who shot Maria instead.
- Season 8: Oliver Saxon was killed in view of a camera with a pen to the carotid artery. However, Dexter managed to make it look like self defense and avoided being incarcerated. On a side note, this is the only kill to be witnessed by both Angel Batista and Joey Quinn.
- While Dexter is usually more physically capable than his opponents, there have been a few instances where he has been at ends with capturing his victim:
- Little Chino - A mountain of a man, tall and more muscular than Sergeant James Doakes or anyone else in the series, proved to be stronger than what Dexter had anticipated and broke free from his shrink wrap, while supposedly still on tranquilizer. If he had stuck around to fight, he could have possibly killed Dexter, who was in distress (although Dexter would most likely kill him using one of his many knives).
- Ray Speltzer - A bodybuilder on steroid with a psychotic attitude, he escaped from Dexter's armlock and used a nearby object to knock him out. Even more unusual is that Ray brings Dexter to his own version of a kill room, though built like a maze where he becomes a Minotaur. Dexter, for once, had to escape for his life, to repay favor with an ambush later.
- Dexter killed Miguel Prado for his intention on eliminating LaGuerta back in Season Three, however in Season Seven, Dexter plans to do exactly the same thing (though Deb ends up shooting LaGuerta instead). Both characters wanted to kill LaGuerta to protect themselves, with Miguel believing that LaGuerta had knowledge on what happened to Ellen Wolf and Dexter, realizing that LaGuerta was becoming far too close in her investigation on The Bay Harbor Butcher.
- Dexter's character was possibly inspired by real vigilante serial killer Manuel Pardo. Pardo was an ex-Miami police officer who in 1986 killed at least nine people. His victims were drug dealers. As trophies he had photos instead of blood slides. Pardo was executed in 2012 by a lethal injection.
- By the series finale, Dexter is the fourth person to have killed a main character (Debra Morgan, who herself had killed one prior). The first three were Lila West, who killed James Doakes in the second season finale, Arthur Mitchell, who killed Rita Morgan in the fourth season finale, and Debra Morgan, who killed Maria LaGuerta in the seventh season finale.
- "Tonight's the Night" - the very first line spoken by Dexter.
- While thinking of Rita's mother:
- "You have fibers and threads unknown to us."
- "Your ancient customs intrigue me."
- "You have made me your sworn enemy, evil woman."
- "Perhaps I have misjudged you, oh wise one."
- In regards to his love triangle with Rita and Lila: "Apparently, my new life involves a love triangle. I'm that guy. The voices are back, excellent."
- "I don't run, I make people run."
- Then later after seeing Ray approach wearing bull horns and carrying an axe..."However I do run if there's a bull coming at me with an axe".
- Regarding Hannah McKay: "She isn't drawn to my darkness like Lila or blind to it like Rita and she doesn't need it like Lumen. She accepts both sides of me; the whole Dexter."
- "Another day, another body. Miami makes more corpses than sunburns, and I'm thankful."
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