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"Sometimes, I wonder what it would be like for everything inside me that's denied and unknown to be revealed. But I'll never know. I live my life in hiding. My survival depends on it." ~Dexter
Unbeknownst to all but his victims, Dexter is the Bay Harbor Butcher, an elusive Miami serial killer who targets and kills other murderers. His detailed method of killing allows him to avoid the justice system by getting rid of any potential evidence (including the body itself) with the use of stream currents that flow north into the Atlantic Ocean.
The irony of Dexter's life is that he works closely and affably with homicide detectives and a forensic specialist. Dexter, himself a blood spatter analyst, collects, processes, and interprets evidence for the Miami Metro Police Department. He often uses his ability to access police databases and tamper with evidence to his personal advantage.
The Bay Harbor Butcher
"I lie to everyone I know...except my victims, right before I kill them." ~Dexter
From an early age, Dexter showed signs of psychopathic tendencies (killing and dismembering animals) and his adoptive father, Harry, (a homicide detective) realized that Dexter was a potential serial killer. After attempts to curb Dexter's violent behavior failed, Harry concluded that Dexter's need to kill could not be suppressed--only focused. Making the best out of a bad situation, Harry decided to train Dexter as a vigilante, to solely hunt and kill other murderers (arguably making society safer). To avoid arrest, Dexter follows a set of guidelines, The Code of Harry.
Dexter generally disposes of his victims by dismembering them, putting the parts into black trash bags, and dropping the bags off his fishing boat. During Season Two, scuba divers discover the bodies of eighteen of his victims. Due to the location where the bodies are found and because they were cut into pieces, the media labeled the unknown killer the Bay Harbor Butcher - a moniker hated by Dexter.
Although Dexter is the true Bay Harbor Butcher, Sergeant James Doakes is successfully framed for the murders. The legend dies along with Doakes until Captain Maria LaGuerta reopens the investigation several years later when she discovers a mysterious blood slide at Travis Marshall''s crime scene. She suspects that Dexter is the actual killer but is unable to prove him guilty.
By the end of the series, Dexter is known to have killed over 130 people. Arthur Mitchell, who killed in cycles for at least 30 years, is the most prolific serial killer by kill count (probably well over 200). However, by survival, Dexter Morgan is the most successful killer.
Face and Hair
In Season One, Dexter is presented as a handsome, white male in his mid-30's with auburn hair, hazel eyes, and a few beauty marks. His hair length varies slightly during the series. It is the shortest in Season One and the longest in Seasons Two, Three, and Four. (During Season Five, Dexter wears a hairpiece because the real-life Michael C. Hall had undergone treatment for cancer.) Dexter has a "5-o'clock shadow" beard, although in the title sequence ("Morning Routine") from Episode Two onward, he's shown shaving his neck - with a drop of blood falling into the washbasin.
Build and Fitness
Dexter is 5'11", approximately 175 pounds, physically fit, and maintains an exercise routine. He is shown, periodically, running on a treadmill, using a stationary bike, jogging in the streets, swimming, and working out in a gym. Keeping himself in shape is important for two reasons. He must maintain the facade that he is an everyday guy, and he must be able to overpower his victims. Furthermore, Dexter's death-dealing activities require a lot of dragging, heavy lifting, and occasionally the chasing of someone (e.g. Lumen Pierce, Lance Robinson).
Dexter has four scars. Under his arm on his left side is a long scar, which he received in childhood. From being shot by Doakes, Dexter has a scar on his left leg. Jimenez gave Dexter a scar on his upper right arm when he slashed it outside the bowling alley. He also has a scar caused by Lumen near his left shoulder.
Dexter, both in the novels and in the television show, is partial to the Cuban style of khakis or light-colored linen trousers, and rayon or linen guayabera-style shirts. At times, Dexter is seen to wear polo shirts, t-shirts, jeans, athletic pants, or shorts. For work, he usually wears a collared, button-down shirt. Boat shoes are his preferred footwear.
When stalking a target, Dexter wears a military-inspired green (the manufacturer calls it "Army Green") 4-button Henley. He also wears brown cargo pants and boots that resemble WWII paratrooper jump boots. To avoid leaving fingerprints, Dexter uses latex gloves or black leather tactical gloves.
Kill AttireDexter's kill attire consists of coveralls and a dark-colored bib apron, probably made of thick vinyl. He usually wears a plastic face shield when using a power tool. He also wears sleeve guards, shoe covers, disposable gloves, and waterproof boots that match his apron. This suggests that he has his own PPE (Personal Protective Equipment). Often, it appears as if he wears his Hunting Outfit beneath his PPE. At times, he has to improvise.
When creating crime scenes in his lab or working at bloody murder scenes (Seeing Red), Dexter wears disposable clothing. This includes coveralls with a hood, gloves, shoe covers (sometimes, boots), face shields, masks, and goggles. It should be noted that some of these items are the same or similar to his Kill Attire.
- Florida Class C
- DOB: 02-01-1971
- HGT: 5'-11"
- 8240 Palm Terrace, #10B, Miami, FL 33142
"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 fake them all and I fake them very well. And that's my burden, I guess." ~Dexter"A wolf would chew off its own paw; its survival instinct is that fierce. So is mine." ~Dexter
One of Dexter's most important traits is his need for control - of himself and others. In order to survive, it is vital that he restrain his dark urges and follow the rules of Code. Also, he is very organized in all areas of his life. He keeps his home clean and neat, writes meticulous lab reports, and carefully plans most of his kills. Dexter admittedly calls himself a "control freak."
Another trait of Dexter is his sense of superiority. Because he follows a code, he believes that he has higher moral values than the killers that he kills. He justifies his actions as "taking out the trash."
Dexter can be charming but he is a practiced liar and, in most cases, viewers should place more trust in his thoughts than in his words. Even Hannah called Dexter a "master manipulator."
Often, he engages in pre-murder conversations with his victims. With them, he can share the truth about who he is and know that they'll take his secret to their watery graves.
Except for anger, Dexter's emotional responses are usually part of a well-rehearsed act. In Season Two, he tells Doakes that he only has a "small conscience" and that his feelings can't be played on because he doesn't have any (There's Something About Harry).
Dexter frequently references his internal feeling of emptiness. In his youth, this lead to attempts to "feel alive." (This is shown more in the show than in the books). As an adult, he enjoys the rush he feels when stalking, killing, and evading capture.
For many years, Dexter lived alone, had no interest in romance, and thought it best to avoid sex. He had learned to be wary of intimacy because usually when a woman gets that close to him, she is scared off. But he knew that he needs a relationship to help blend into society. So, for that reason, he starts to date Rita (an abused woman). At first, he considers his relationship with Rita to be part of his "disguise." Later, it appears that he cares more for Rita than he admits.
In his narration, Dexter often refers to "humans" as if he is not one of them. But there are a chinks in Dexter's emotional armor. He acknowledges loyalty to his family, particularly to his dead, adoptive father. Regarding him, Dexter stated, "If I were capable of love, how I would have loved Harry." After Harry's death, Dexter's only family (until he marries) is his adoptive sister, Debra Morgan. In one episode, Dexter comically repeats in his head "I will not kill my sister" (as she regularly left his apartment a mess when living with him). However, Dexter wouldn't allow his own brother, Brian, to harm Debra, as Dexter was "fond of her."
“I don't normally seek human contact in times of failure. But then, I don't normally experience failure.” ~Dexter
Dexter is portrayed as highly intelligent, introspective, pragmatic, calculating, relentless, generally fearless, and a "master of compartmentalization." He enjoys challenges, displays a dry sense of humor, and is aware of his human defects.
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
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. After pressure from Angel and Debra, he decided 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. The exception was when he was faced with a predicament that he couldn't fix alone--Harrison in surgery for a ruptured appendix. Twice during this situation, Dexter prayed to God. Deeply worried, he promised that he'd do anything if Harrison would be okay. He wasn't sure if he really believed in a higher being but, for the moment, he just wanted his son to survive. After news of his son's successful recovery, he said "Thank God," which Brother Sam heard.
Season Six events brought spirituality into Dexter's life. Deciding that his son would benefit from a structured lifestyle, he enrolled Harrison in Catholic school. As Dexter sought to understand religious values, he encountered one who knew little (Joe Walker); one who was an obsessed End Times expert (Professor Gellar); one, a killer, who was trapped between his beliefs and his own personality (Travis Marshall); and one who "found" God but was a normal, functional man (Brother Sam). In the end, Dexter didn't believe in a high power. After Brother Sam's death, he claimed that religion was useless for his "dark passenger." In Season 8, he stated, "I don't believe in miracles."
"To be a brother. To have a friend. To have a wife, a family...if you play a role long enough, really commit, does it ever become real? Could I become real?" ~Dexter
Background InfoIt is gradually revealed to Dexter that he is the biological son of Laura Moser (a police informant) and Joe Driscoll (a recovered drug addict) and the biological brother of Brian Moser (also known as The Ice Truck Killer.) When he was three-years-old, Dexter's mother was brutally murdered by chainsaw in front of him.
After his mother's murder, Dexter was taken in by the Morgan family and, at about age seven, legally adopted. His adoptive family members are Debra (sister), Doris (mother) and Harry (father - the homicide detective who found him sitting in blood). When Harry discovered that young Dexter was killing animals and would likely become a serial killer, he (with guidance from Dr. Evelyn Vogel) taught Dexter a "code" to operate under.
Dexter became the husband of Rita Morgan (the mother of his son, Harrison Morgan) and the step-father of Astor and Cody Bennett. (In the novels, Dexter had a biological daughter, Lily, instead of a son)
"My sister puts up a front so the world won't see how vulnerable she is. Me, I put up a front so the world won't see how vulnerable I'm not." ~Dexter
Next to Harry, the most influential person in Dexter's life was his adoptive sister, Debra. According to Dr. Evelyn Vogel, Debra "became a mirror, reflecting a positive image" of Dexter that he used to "balance out the notion of himself as a monster" (Scar Tissue).
In childhood, when Debra had her new dog confiscated by her father (Harry), Dexter attempted to tell her the reason why - that he kills animals. Harry, however, stopped him from doing so. After listening to Harry explain the repercussions if she knew, Dexter realized that he must keep his kills (animals, later humans) a secret from her. For the majority of Debra's lifetime, he was able to do so.
Dexter was always the most important person in Debra's life, but she didn't have access to his feelings. Debra only noticed Dexter's good qualities and loved the man that she thought he was. So when she walked in on him killing Travis, Debra was completely astonished. Thinking quickly, Dexter manipulated Debra into thinking that it was an impulsive act on his part. He even persuaded her to help him burn down the abandoned church to destroy evidence of the crime. Later, Debra discovered his trophies and kill tools in his apartment and, although Dexter tried to reason with her, he found himself rejected by her.
Eventually, Debra's mindset changed when Dexter targeted a dangerous serial killer (Ray Speltzer). She begrudgingly admitted that Dexter does prevent killers from committing further murders. But, after she felt forced by Dexter's actions to shoot an innocent woman, she became deeply enraged at him. She quit her police job, began to drink heavily, and isolated herself from her former life. However, Debra and Dexter later reconciled (through the help of Dr. Vogel ) - and their bond was reestablished.
Dexter displayed his feelings for Debra after she was shot by Oliver Saxon.and ended up in a coma - from a blood clot. Recognizing a future in which Debra would never eat on her own, speak, or have normal brain activity, Dexter turned off the life-support and professed his love for her. Those would be his final words to Debra-- the ones that she had wanted to hear.
His Son"I want to believe that smile, that watching your mother die hasn't changed you the way that watching mine changed me." ~Dexter
Dexter, having grown up with lessons from Harry on how he could secretly kill people, decided that he did not wish to pass that kind of life onto his own son, Harrison. Therefore, Dexter hid his deadly activities and only showed Harrison his "human" side, along with letting him experience a mostly normal childhood.
Dexter's original feelings about Rita's pregnancy were mixed but he ultimately accepted that his child would come into the world. After his son was born, Dexter began to evolve into someone who could actually care about someone. He enjoyed time with his son, fed him bottles, and played with him. However, Dexter was a serial killer and he was unsure how to survive in the years to come with his new family.
Because of his interactions with another serial killer, Dexter found Rita murdered with a crying Harrison sitting in her blood. Because this was the exact same position he had been in as a child, Dexter became heavily concerned with whether Harrison would be affected like he was. Would the tragedy create a Dark Passenger in Harrison that would make him a killer?
Following his wife's death, Dexter thought that he would not be a suitable single parent and almost deserted his son. However, he accepted the responsibility and did whatever it took to provide for and protect Harrison. To all appearances, Dexter was just a regular guy. Because he was a busy single parent, Dexter hired a nanny to watch over Harrison in times when he had to work or take care of his dark urges. The first nanny was Sonya and, later, Jamie Batista (sister of Angel).
People in Dexter's life kept dying, usually for reasons related to his deadly activities. In the end, to protect the ones that he cared about, he abandoned Harrison to the care of Hannah, faked his death, and moved to an undisclosed location. It is unknown whether Dexter ever saw his son again.
The Dark Passenger"I just know there's something dark in me. I hide it. I certainly don't talk about it. But it's there. Always. This ‘Dark Passenger.’ And when he's driving, I feel...alive. Half sick with the thrill of complete wrongness. I don't fight him. I don't want to." ~Dexter
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. It was a level of 'darkness' that he could only keep at bay with a high degree of control. For many years, Dexter felt that the ‘Dark Passenger’ was an 'entity' that urged him to kill. Eventually (after comments from Hannah), he began to view the ‘Dark Passenger’ as a scapegoat that he blamed for his actions. (Dexter sometimes thought that other murderers also had ‘Dark Passengers.’)
The need to kill stemmed from an early life incident. At age three, Dexter (and his brother) witnessed four brutal murders inside a cargo container. His mother (Laura Moser) was one of those killed. After they watched her getting chainsawed into pieces, they sat in blood for two days before they were found by police. This is when Dexter was reborn as a killer and why his life revolves around blood. (Dexter did not remember this traumatic event until over 30 years later.) After that incident, something inside of Dexter "changed" and, up until the moment he resorted to isolation, he 'needed' to kill constantly. If he didn't kill for a duration of time, his life became unstable, with his personality representing what could be similar to "withdrawal syndrome." It's under debate whether Dexter's 'Dark Passenger' vanished after he killed his sister out of mercy.
The Code of Harry
“Without the ‘Code of Harry,’ I’m sure I would’ve committed a senseless murder in my youth just to watch the blood flow.” ~Dexter“My code requires a higher standard of proof than your city’s laws, at zero cost to the taxpayer. If you ask me, I’m a bargain.” ~Dexter
Dexter's adoptive father, Harry Morgan, discerned his son's dark urges and (with the guidance of Evelyn Vogel) trained Dexter to channel them away from innocent people using the The Code of Harry. The Code allows Dexter to blend in, choose the right victims, and most importantly... never get caught. Intentionally or not, Harry forged Dexter into a weapon of personal justice.
The unwritten Code's rules are many, however, the number one rule in all situations is "Don't Get Caught." That's why all the other rules are in place. Harry knew that, if Dexter is arrested, he will likely be executed, so the code is required to keep Dexter out of that situation.
To date, Dexter has accepted the Code in one fashion, or the other. He has allowed a few exceptions but generally sticks to a principle of never harming someone who does not deserve it. Still, for various reasons, he has killed a few people that do not fit the Code.
- Don't get caught!
- Never kill an innocent. Be certain that the target is a killer.
- Victims must be killers who have evaded the justice system.
- Killing must serve a purpose, otherwise it's just plain murder.
- Blend in socially. Maintain appearances.
- Fake emotions and normality
- Control urges to kill and channel them.
- Be prepared. Leave no traces or evidence.
- Never make a scene. Stay calm and collected.
- Don't make things personal because it clouds judgment.
The Urge to Kill“Tonight's the night. And it's going to happen again, and again. It has to happen. Nice night.” ~Dexter
Dexter's urge to kill is strong and it needs to be satisfied nearly monthly. Like an immense hunger, Dexter craves a hunt and searches for worthy prey to capture and place on his table. He then takes his time to thoroughly enjoy his ritual. Only the act of killing will satisfy the "Dark Passenger." And while the killing of anyone - innocent or not - will gratify the Passenger, Dexter (because of the Code) primarily targets killers and takes pride in wiping them off the face of the earth.
Unlike in his cover life, Dexter feels free to be himself in a Kill Room. He is at ease with those who he can truly be honest with - the killers on his table. In these encounters, he often smiles or laughs while he questions his victims' morals and asks them why they do what they do. Sometimes, he talks about himself. Even so, his kill method is sadistic - restraint, dominance, and intimation.
After Dexter breaks a promise to Brother Sam and spontaneously kills Nick, he begins to visualize his deceased brother, Brian Moser, as a representation of his inhumane urges. Brian doesn't care who is killed...he just wants a kill. Brian pressures Dexter to forgo the essentials of the Code, such as being certain of his victim and whether or not they are innocent. (Nebraska) Dexter begins to imagine a life of killing without constraints, but concedes that the Code is what protects him. Dexter finally resolves his inner conflict by running a car into the illusion of Brian.
”I prefer a stalk-and-ambush approach. My instincts are impeccable, but I have to be sure of my prey." ~Dexter
This is Dexter's preferred modus operandi but, for various reasons, he does not always follow it.
- Select a Victim.
- Stalk to learn routine, gather evidence.
- Confirm that the victim meets the Code.
- Prepare a Kill Room.
- Capture the victim.
- Collect a blood trophy.
- Conduct his Kill Ritual.
- Dismember the body.
- Leave no evidence.
- Dispose of remains from his boat.
Blood Trophies”Some gangs earn teardrops of blood by killing. I understand, we all need our keepsakes. One man’s tattoos are another man’s blood slides.” ~Dexter
Dexter would usually collect a blood slide as a trophy during a planned kill. His procedure was to slice a victim’s cheek with a surgical scalpel and place a drop of blood between two microscope slides. He kept his blood slides inside a specialized Blood Slide Box. After his first box (with 46 slides) was stolen by James Doakes, he started a second box.
At all times, he kept his box hidden inside his thru-the-wall air conditioner and became apprehensive if someone went near it. Dexter was proud of and frequently admired his trophies. He would open the box, run his fingers gently across the slides, sometimes referring to them as “friends.” Dexter didn’t collect blood slides in his early years of killing--Alex Timmons was the first. And, in Season Seven, he decided to stop collecting them and he destroyed his second box (with 43 slides) in a crematory.
- Dexter didn't collect blood trophies from, at least, 39 people that he killed.
- The blood on Valerie Castillo's smiling blood slide was scraped off by Dexter and used to frame her husband for her murder.
- Jonathan Farrow's blood slide was broken by Dexter after he realized that he had killed the wrong person.
- Cole Harmon's blood slide was given to Lumen by Dexter after she witnessed the kill.
- As Dexter tried to fit Walter Kenney's blood slide into the box, it broke when all the slides fell onto the floor. Trying to regain his sense of control, he gathered them back up.
- Dexter took his last blood slide from Travis Marshall, but he lost it at the crime scene and it was later found by Captain Maria LaGuerta.
- When he was ten-years-old, Dexter went to a crime scene with Harry and took away a bloody piece of glass--a harbinger of his blood slides.
Most Important Lovers"Lucky to have me? I wouldn’t say so.” ~Dexter
"[Hannah] 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." ~Dexter
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 outwardly pretending to be normal. His comments usually included personal philosophy, dark humor, and killing plans., Unlike the narration in the books, Dexter narrated in the present tense in the show. This means that he only revealed what he was thinking about in the moment, and not predicting what was going to happen. 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 Dexter, 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. Like Dexter he can easily hide his true self by putting on a mask of deceptiveness.
- Sgt. James Doakes: Throughout Season Two, he used his detective skills to follow evidence to Dexter being the actual Bay Harbor Butcher. He searched his apartment, discovered - and stole - his box of blood slides, but when Doakes traveled to another country and the FBI found the slides in his car, Doakes became a suspect. After Doakes returned, Dexter locked him away in a cabin where Dexter then proceeded to kill and dismember a drug dealer. It was the proof that Doakes needed to confirm that Dexter really was the Bay Harbor Butcher.
- 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 learns 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 enters 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. Throughout the season, Dexter tells her what he is and he vows to help her hunt down and eliminate members of the Group aka the Barrel Girl Gang. These were the men who raped and tortured her, as well as other women, all of whom they also murdered. Dexter officially considered her his partner prior to the end of the season..
- Lila West: Develops an obsession with Dexter while she "helps" him get in touch with his feelings and deal with his non-existent heroin addiction. She finds out his secret when she follows Dexter's GPS to the cabin where Dexter is keeping Doakes prisoner. Doakes tells her that Dexter is the Bay Harbor Butcher, while begging her to free him. However, Lila becomes maniacal and kills Doakes in order to 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 Dexter 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 finds a blood slide and starts to investigate the Bay Harbor Butcher killings again, she begins to suspect Dexter. Eventually, Dexter realizes that she will not be dissuaded in her efforts to gather evidence against him. To eliminate the problem, he decides to kill both Hector Estrada and LaGuerta. He attempts to set up a murder scene that would convince the police that Estrada and LaGuerta shot each other. To Dexter's dismay, Debra interrupts him in the process and she is met with a horrible dilemma: to either kill Dexter or LaGuerta. Debra 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. (While Miguel learned that Dexter was a serial killer, he may not have realized that Dexter was the Bay Harbor Butcher. After all, Dexter never cut up any bodies in front of Miguel, and Miguel believed that (except for Ethan) Dexter got rid of his victims in graveyards.)
- Dr. Evelyn Vogel: She knew of Dexter's secret since he was a young child, which is unlike the other characters that discovered the truth without having any knowledge beforehand. Vogel's profession was to study psychopaths and she had known for years that Dexter was a serial killer. However, Dexter decided against killing her because, not only did Vogel know of Dexter's origin, but she also helped his adoptive father, Harry Morgan, create the code.
- Zach Hamilton: To try and stop his rich father's affairs, which were hurting his mother, Zach killed one of the women his father was involved with. He learned the truth after Dexter saw the similarities between Zach and himself, spared his life, and took him on as a protege, teaching him the Code of Harry.
- Camilla Fig: She and her husband, Gene, were good friends with Harry and his wife and so she knew Dexter since his childhood. Dexter often brought donuts to her at work in the records room. She realized that the Ice Truck Killer was Brian Moser, Dexter's brother, when she saw the news in the papers but didn't tell him. Camilla makes reference on her death bed that she knew about Harry working with Dexter, "teaching him right," when she asks him to euthanize her. He grants her request and he injects an euthanizing agent into a piece of key lime pie. Before she dies, Dexter tells her that he is the one who killed his brother, and her last words are, "It's good... you did." (By the end of the series, only two of the twelve who knew Dexter's secret were still alive.)
Dexter was in the top of his class in medical school and, subsequently, earned a degree in forensic science. His formal education included courses in biology, anatomy, chemistry, and mathematics. He also demonstrates knowledge on various topics, including history, anthropology, psychology, philosophy, architecture, sociology, economics, religious lore, art, literature, law, and criminology. Dexter possesses a large English vocabulary and speaks some Spanish, but he never exhibits fluency in other languages.
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."
Prior to Season One, Dexter Morgan spent almost 12 years employed as the only known blood-spatter analyst in the Miami Metro Homicide Dept. He's a well-respected and model co-worker (reliable, efficient, friendly). The person that he works the closest with, Vince Masuka, covers the remainder of forensics although Dexter does often help him with non-blood related forensics (fingerprints, fiber, hair, and bullets). Dexter also serves as an expert witness in court proceedings and is certified to photograph crime scenes.
Dexter has a precise knowledge of his work field and, thanks to his interest in blood, he proficiently solves criminal cases. To Dexter, "the blood doesn't lie."
At times, suspects involved in cases fly into his radar and match the Code. Then he will tamper with evidence to ensure that they go free so that he can claim their lives. Also, he tampers with evidence for other reasons. In one such instance, he altered evidence to ensure that Detective Joey Quinn didn't take the fall for Stan Liddy's death.
Because of his many years in his line of work and the tragedy of his wife's murder, Dexter became well known locally. Even Jordan Chase, a motivational speaker, had heard of and (unfortunately) became interested in him. When Dexter attended his high school reunion, most of his classmates admired his "cool job." The exception was sports-store-owner, Joe Walker, who became a bit jealous, due to the attention that Dexter received and began to enjoy.
Sergeant Doakes found it curious that Dexter would "settle" for blood spatter work, a job he considered beneath Dexter's abilities. He also questioned why a "lab geek" had studied advanced jujitsu in college. Detective Mike Anderson judged Dexter to be an exceptionally good deductive analyst and wondered how a "pro" like him could stand working with "Miami Homicide chuckleheads."
Skills And AbilitiesTo supplement his forensic expertise, Dexter has mastered a wide array of skills. He's portrayed as a master manipulator, practiced liar, lock picker, burglar, marksman, hunter and tracker, hand-to-hand combatant, actor, computer hacker, and impostor, all necessary to maintain his double life and keep one step ahead of the very Department that he works in.
Dexter's physical abilities enable him to carry out his nightly activities. His high level of fitness is a requirement for his own survival and of 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 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 that was located in 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 regimen that would keep his body in tip-top condition.
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.George King, in Episode 312: Do You Take Dexter Morgan? 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 choke hold. (Doakes, however, managed to fire a bullet from his gun that grazed Dexter's thigh.) Episode 209: Resistance Is Futile
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 was able 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 killed his opponent by stabbing him in the throat with it. 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 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.
Methods of CaptureDexter, while very fond of tranquilizer in the TV Series, used a different method of capture in the books. Dexter would buy 50-pound-test-nylon-fishing line, which he could use to strangle his victims into unconsciousness. He was fond of a tactic known as garroting. Usually, he either casually walked up to his victims and strangled them quickly, or he hid in their cars 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 was seen doing this on a few occasions in the TV Series.
MarksmanshipDexter Morgan, who is rarely seen handling guns, uses a two-tone Heckler & Koch USP (Left Turn Ahead) taken from the corpse of cocaine dealer Esteban Famosa to shoot and kill Esteban's brother, Teo, in the only shooting death caused by Dexter.
In Dexter's early days, he underwent extensive gun-training from his father, Harry. In flashbacks, Dexter can be seen at a gun range making accurate shots with various weapons. In addition, he hunted with rifles and was capable of hitting a deer quite 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 handgun in his adult life was the time that Esteban and Teo Famosa held Sergeant James Doakes as a hostage at the cabin.
After Dexter snapped Esteban's neck, he worked with Doakes and, using Esteban's gun, he fired a shot that pierced Teo's heart. Another notable instance of Dexter's marksmanship was during his road trip to Nebraska with Brian. Using his left hand, Dexter fired a bullet between the eyes of a cartoon figure on a billboard, while he drove the automobile at about 100 miles per hour.
This skill became necessary following a difficult struggle with Mary. If he couldn't easily subdue someone like her, he would find it extremely difficult 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.
Dexter is extremely skilled in jujitsu (which he studied in college) 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 aka George King with a broken hand and Oliver Saxon with a pen stabbed into his shoulder (which he took out and killed Saxon with). 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, causing him to lose consciousness in a matter of seconds. Episode 108: Shrink Wrap
- 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 have taken his sister, Debra Morgan. After Dexter sarcastically lies to him about why he is 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 choke hold 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 against 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. (Born Free) **This is the first clear sign that Dexter is capable of handling others who are rather physically strong by using his quick reflexes and agility to turn an offense into a weakness. It demonstrates that Dexter is able to manipulate the bodies of others so that they are unable to move, putting them in a compromising position.
- Brian Moser, Dexter's older brother, attempts to separate his younger sibling from his bonds to his adoptive family by killing Debra Morgan. He gives a knife 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. (Born Free) **This is an example of Dexter using his momentum as he forces his opponent against a wall and proceeds to immediately disarm him. However, likely due to having been tranquilized earlier and feeling emotionally torn in this situation, Dexter loses his advantage. 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 him.
- 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 who learns that 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 tranquilized and placed in the trunk of Dexter's car. He tries to run away, forcing Dexter to run after him. Dexter eventually catches up with him and suffocates 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 Walker was a professional athlete and, consequently, had impressive reflexes, 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.
- Alberto is no match for Dexter when the latter uses a harpoon to impale him, throwing him into the ocean.
- Andrew Briggs gets into a fight with Dexter and tries to grab hold of a knife that was laying on a desk, but Dexter is quicker and grabs it first. Dexter then quickly kills 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 Jeremy by the throat, claiming that he could snap his neck with ease. (Let's Give the Boy a Hand)
- While constantly dealing with Paul Bennett's bothersome meddling in his and Rita's lives, Dexter grows increasingly annoyed. When Paul continues to persist in irritating Dexter, it results in Paul being knocked out by a frying pan. (Seeing Red)
While Dexter is usually more physically capable than his opponents, there are a few instances where he has been at ends with capturing his victim:
- Little Chino - A mountain of a man, Little Chino is taller and more muscular than anyone else in the series. He proved to be stronger than what Dexter had anticipated and broke free from his shrink wrap, while supposedly still tranquilized. If Little Chino had stayed to fight, he could have possibly killed Dexter (although Dexter would likely have used one of his many knives).
- Ray Speltzer - Ray, a bodybuilder on steroids with a psychotic attitude, escaped from Dexter's arm lock and used a nearby object to knock Dexter out. Even more unusual, Ray brought Dexter to his own version of a kill room (built like a maze where Ray becomes a Minotaur). Dexter, for once, had to escape for his life. He later repaid Ray with an ambush in a cemetery.
"If the legal system worked as well as you say it does, I wouldn’t be so busy." ~DexterDespite 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. :
- Unlawful Disposal of Human Bodies - usually buries his victims at sea; also, has dumped bodies in the Everglades, and burned one in a crematory.
- Breaking and Entering/Burglary - normally committed while vetting a target.
- Trespassing - normally committed while stalking a target..
- Stalking - online and offline.
- Unlawful Use of Police Database - normally committed while vetting a target.
- Arson - Burned everything in his storage unit/shipping container; set a church on fire.
- Destruction of Private Property - breaks things that annoy him or cause problems with his kill ritual.
- Abduction/Unlawful Imprisonment/Detainment - normally committed on victims.
- Intimidation - displays threatening behavior toward victims and problematic people (e.g. Mike Donovan, Louis Greene).
- Assault and Battery - normally committed on his targets.
- Unlawful Possession of Tranquilizers/Drugs - used for victims.
- Interfering with Police Investigations/Tampering with Evidence - to cover-up his crimes or to clear someone else
- Impersonation and Identity Fraud - uses aliases regularly, often illegally; possesses fake IDs.
- Theft/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.
- Falsely Pulling Fire and Security Alarms - to distract or remove people from an area.
Risks and Mistakes
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).
- 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 Two, he borrowed a tranquilizer gun from the Miami Metro Police Department’s armory (under the pretense that he was having an alligator problem) and lost it to Little Chino's lackeys.
- In Season Two, he did not delete his travel history from his GPS tracking device in Rita's minivan after driving it, which resulted in Lila West being able to track him down and learn that he is the Bay Harbor Butcher.
- In Season Five, 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 was unknown to Dexter at the time. After killing Mendell, Dexter did 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.
SEE CATEGORY: Characters Killed By Dexter
SEE PAGE: Dexter's Kill List
SEE MAIN ARTICLE: Dexter Morgan / Early Life
Moser ChildhoodDexter was born Dexter Moser on February 1, 1971 (via driver's license) only a couple of years after Brian Moser to 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. However, he did spend some of his time with his father, Joe Driscoll, at the address 5570 (unknown street) in Dade City, Florida.
Shipping YardLaura (a drug addict) met Detective Harry Morgan and began acting as his informant in the Estrada cartel. On Wednesday October 3, 1973, Laura Moser, her two sons Dexter and Brian, as well as three other drug users were herded into the shipping container CBAN 348 9 by Estrada's henchmen. It is believed that Santos Jimenez wielded the chainsaw that killed them. As he revved the chainsaw, she cried and begged them not to do this in front of her children. She gave a final smile to Dexter, told him to close his eyes and that she loved him. Santos then cut into her, brutally killing Laura in front of both of her sons. Santos and his helpers fled the area while Dexter and Brian sat in blood for two entire days.This traumatic event forever changed both of them. A happy childhood ended in a tragedy that created 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 the scene, Harry Morgan. Detective Morgan opened the shipping container door, startled by the carnage inside. However, he spotted the two children and moved in to pick up the younger one, Dexter. As Harry lifted Dexter from the blood, Dexter held on tightly to his brother's hand before it slipped from his grasp. 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!".
AdoptionWhile Dexter was taken in at the age of three, he wasn't officially adopted until roughly the age of seven. His foster father Harry Morgan arrived home one day while Dexter was playing with his younger foster sister, Debra, and presented him with a birth certificate that declared him a Morgan. Dexter looked at it with an expression of confusion and said that he thought he was already a Morgan. Harry smiled and assured him that to them, Dexter was always a Morgan, but now it was finally official.
At a young age, Dexter injured himself when he tried to retrieve a ball that Debra had lost. As Dexter climbed a fence, a dog chased after him and forced him to fall on a wrought iron fence post. This caused a long cut on his abdomen (which can be seen as a scar on the adult Dexter Morgan.
Dexter was immediately rushed to the emergency room. His blood pressure had dropped and he was in serious condition. The doctor told Harry that Dexter needed a blood transfusion, but it was near impossible because Dexter had a very rare blood type.With no other option available, Harry successfully tracked down Dexter's biological father, Joe Driscoll, who offered his own blood so that Dexter could survive. Harry reassured Dexter that he would be "as good as new." He then added, (which is ironic in the end) "Would I lie to you?".
- Dexter's murderous urges took shape well before adolescence and it was Debra who saw the signs first, but she didn't realize what it meant. Dexter had taken apart each of her dolls - a harbinger of human dismemberment. Debra tried to tell her mother and father what he had done, but Dexter begged her not to and promised to put them back together. Debra told him that, for her to keep the secret, he had to play with her, which Dexter did. (per Early Cuts)
- One day, while on the family boat, Harry asked Dexter if he's "different." When Dexter asked what he meant, Harry replied that he had found the grave of the neighbor's missing dog, Buddy. Somewhat defiantly, Dexter said that Buddy was a "noisy little creep" who barked so much that it kept his sick mother awake all night. Harry told him there were a lot of bones in the grave - not just Buddy's. Dexter fell quiet, looked down at the boat's floor, and seemed to be ashamed. (Episode 101: Dexter) Harry then asked Dexter if he ever wanted to kill something bigger than a dog, like a person. Dexter admitted that he had, but no one in particular. Harry then asked, "Why didn't you?" Dexter said that he thought his father and mother "wouldn't like it."
- Dexter misinterpreted the meanings of "blending in" and "fitting in." During a soccer game, Dexter, as well as several other boys stole the shirt of a boy, Simon, and played a game of "Keep Away" by tossing it between themselves while Simon attempted to grab it. Eventually, when the shirt was in Dexter's possession, Harry grabbed Dexter's arm, tossed the shirt back to Simon, and asked Dexter what the hell was going on. Dexter replied by saying that he was having "fun" and just "fitting in." Harry sighed and said that he can't be a bully, that it's wrong, and that people like himself (cops) remember bullies... a first step to a felony. Harry was assured by Dexter that he understood that to "blend in" meant to be a team member - not a bully, not a hero.
When Dexter was 20-years-old, Harry fell ill of coronary heart disease and was confined to a hospital. Harry soon realized that a nurse, Mary, was purposefully overdosing people. On the verge of death from Mary's actions, Harry gave Dexter his "permission" to kill her. This would be Dexter's first human kill. Dexter embedded several ritualistic qualities to his first kill which he would come to do again and again, such as the strapping of the victim to a flat object and the covering of everything in sheets of plastic. But his blood-slide collection did not begin then; only later would he start that particular ritual.
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.
At the start of Season One, 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 lab geek and only one man, Sgt. James Doakes, suspects him of being anything other than this. Dexter maintains platonic relationships in order to fit in with society, while he relentlessly hunts for murderers to satisfy his deep-seated need to kill.
To appear normal, he dates Rita, a mother with two children (Astor and Cody) whose abusive husband is in jail. Dexter chooses Rita because she is not (initially) interested in sex and he can keep her at a distance. Dexter believes that if he has sex with her, she will feel his emotional dysfunctions and he doesn't want to blow it.
Brian, his long-forgotten brother starts to send Dexter clues in the guise of a form of friendly competition between them. These puzzles are an attempt to trigger Dexter's memory of his past. They include dismembered prostitutes, multi-colored fingernails (in homage to Laura Moser's habit), and a hotel room filled with blood. Dexter is intrigued by the unknown killer and eager to participate in his game. Amidst all of this, Brian befriends Debra Morgan in order to get close to Dexter, under the alias of 'Rudy Cooper'.During a therapy session with Emmett Meridian (a potential victim), Dexter remembers small parts of his past - including a brief image of a boy in blood. This causes Dexter to experience feelings of terror and he abruptly leaves the session. Soon after, Dexter is able to let go of his self-control and finally sleep with Rita. Despite his concerns, Rita remains unaware that he is secretly a serial killer.
Later, Dexter discovers that it was his mother's blood that he remembered sitting in and that he has a brother, Brian, who was with him during the massacre. At first, Dexter looks forward to a life with his brother (also a serial killer) as Brian is the one person who accepts him for what he is. However, after Brian abducts Dexter's sister and tries to murder her, Dexter is forced to kill him for "the safety of his sister."
At the start of Season Two, thirty-eight days have passed since Dexter killed his brother. He has not killed anyone since then because Sgt. Doakes has been stalking him as he believes that Dexter is somehow connected to the Ice Truck Killer. Also, Debra, traumatized by her ordeal with the Ice Truck Killer, moved in with Dexter, much to his annoyance as it hinders his freedom to kill. Meanwhile, Dexter spends his spare time engaging in more normal activities, such as going bowling with Masuka and Batista.
Unexpectedly, the bodies of eighteen of Dexter's victims are found in Bay Harbor. Soon every person in the department is searching for the elusive "Bay Harbor Butcher." An FBI Task Force arrives to help with the investigation and Dexter takes steps to divert suspicion away from himself. Special Agent Frank Lundy becomes involved with Debra.
When Dexter finally eludes Doakes, he attempts to kill a blind voodoo priest named Jimmy Sensio but finds that he is unable to do so and he lets him go. To overcome his performance issues, he targets a murderer named Little Chino. Dexter sees this as a challenge - "a mountain to climb." Dexter stalks Chino to a tattoo parlor where he kidnaps him and takes him to Jimmy's shop. Dexter ties him to the same table where he had tied Jimmy and takes a blood sample, but Chino suddenly awakens and breaks the plastic wrap (due to his strength). Although Little Chino escapes this time, Dexter later recaptures and kills him.
His relationship with Rita starts to become shaky. To conceal that he is a serial killer, Dexter tells Rita that he has an "addiction." She assumes that it is heroin and forces him to attend a Narcotics Anonymous program which he then uses as part of his cover life. When he starts having sex with his sponsor, Lila West, his relationship with Rita temporarily ends. Lila thinks that Dexter is emotionally shut down and attempts to help him "get in touch with his feelings." However, she soon becomes obsessed with him and jealous of Rita. Eventually, Dexter ends up killing her because she is a murderer and an arsonist.
When Sgt. Doakes discovers that Dexter is the Bay Harbor Butcher, Dexter captures him and keeps him locked in a cage for nearly a week. Unfortunately for Doakes, he doesn't make it out alive.
By the end of the season, Dexter is in a good place. He said a final goodbye to his brother, rekindled his relationship with Rita, framed the deceased Doakes for his own crimes, and escaped the justice system. Dexter begins to think that the people in his life aren't just disguises and that he needs them. He also decides to follow his own new path and explore new rituals.
In Season Three, Dexter continues his double life as a serial killer and blood spatter analyst. His sister, Debra, aims to earn her detective shield, and starts working with a new partner, Joey Quinn. Rita discovers that she is pregnant and informs Dexter that she will keep the baby and raise him - with or without his help. Later, Dexter 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, who he kills in self-defense. This victim turns out to be Oscar Prado, brother of Miguel Prado, a prominent Senior Assistant District Attorney. Eventually, Dexter tracks down Freebo and kills him, but he encounters Miguel at the scene. Dexter convinces Miguel that he killed Freebo in self-defense. Miguel is grateful to Dexter for killing Freebo and agrees to help conceal his death. Dexter begins to view Miguel as a friend and, later, asks him to be the best man at his wedding.
Suspecting that Dexter may be a killer, Miguel mentions a murderer, Ethan Turner, to test if Dexter will go after him. After Turner goes missing, Miguel praises Dexter for killing another criminal and offers his aid in the future. When Dexter can't discourage Miguel, they engage in a risky operation to free an Aryan Brotherhood leader from prison in order to kill him. The plan succeeds, but Dexter performs the kill on his own.
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. He only watches as Miguel kills without hesitation. The next day, Ellen Wolf, a defense attorney and courtroom adversary of Miguel's, goes missing and Dexter discovers that Miguel has killed her alone. Dexter also learns that Miguel has been manipulating him since the beginning, which infuriates him.
As Dexter and Miguel race to have leverage over one another, Dexter realizes that Miguel cannot be allowed to run loose any longer. After an intense confrontation, Dexter decides to kill him. When Miguel attempts to kill Maria, Dexter captures and strangles him. He then successfully frames The Skinner for Miguel's murder.
On the night before his wedding, Dexter is captured by The Skinner. However, he is able to break free by fracturing his hand. After a short vicious fight, Dexter snaps The Skinner's neck and stages a suicide by throwing his body beneath a moving police car. Dexter then has a cast applied to his broken hand before he marries Rita. While they are dancing at the reception, blood from Dexter's cast drips onto Rita's wedding dress.
Season FourIn Season Four, Dexter and Rita are married and have a child together, Harrison. Dexter has officially moved in with Rita and her children, Astor and Cody. He attempts to adapt to married life in suburbia but finds it difficult to maintain his double life now that he is a husband and father.
While Dexter tries to figure out how he can survive in the years to come, he targets serial killer, Arthur Mitchell (The Trinity Killer). Arthur has been killing for thirty years even though he has a family. Intrigued by his ability to blend into society, Dexter puts off his decision to kill him and instead befriends him for the moment. They meet at the church where Arthur preaches, with Dexter under an alias as Kyle Butler. Dexter slowly gains Arthur's trust while hoping to learn some of his secrets for maintaining his dual-life.As time passes, Dexter learns that Trinity's "normal" home life is not as perfect as it appears on the outside, with his wife and children emotionally and physically abused into obedience. Dexter ignores several chances to kill Arthur, while he prods him for information which causes their relationship to become highly unstable. In a heated moment, Dexter reveals his intent to kill Arthur. After that, Mitchell discovers Dexter's real identity and confronts him at the police station. Arthur threatens to destroy Dexter's life if he doesn't leave him alone and then attempts to flee the city. However, Dexter catches up with Trinity and puts him on his table. Trinity testifies that he accepts his final fate as part of God's plan and that he never wanted to murder, but was just unable to control the demon inside of him.
After he kills Trinity, Dexter goes home expecting to depart for his honeymoon with Rita. However he finds her dead in the bathtub - the last victim of Trinity. Season Four ends with Dexter carrying a blood-soaked Harrison out of the bathroom with a distraught expression on his face.
Season Five picks up directly after the events of Season Four. Trinity's murder of his wife, Rita, shocks Dexter. Moreover, his son, Harrison, is found sitting in a pool of blood, much like himself with the murder of his own mother. When Dexter is asked by the police what happened, his response puzzles everyone. He says "It was me," which causes the FBI to further question him. Also, Detective Joey Quinn becomes suspicious of Dexter. He begins to investigate Dexter on his own, later enlisting the help of Stan Liddy.
Thinking that he would be an unsuitable single parent, Dexter abandons Harrison and takes off on his boat. When he encounters an obnoxious man, he beats him to death. Having released his pent up anger, Dexter returns to attend Rita's funeral and resume his parental responsibilities. So that he will still have free time to stalk killers, Dexter hires a nanny for Harrison.After Dexter finds human blood in a truck that he rented, he hunts down Boyd Fowler (a man who responds to reports of roadkill). Dexter befriends Boyd but, due an unexpected mishap, he ends up in Boyd's home where he kills Boyd instead of in a kill room. Unbeknownst to Dexter, Boyd was holding a young woman (Lumen) prisoner. When Dexter notices that she witnessed the murder of Boyd, he is forced to capture her and imprison her.
Dexter tries to persuade Lumen that he will not hurt her, but she refuses to believe him until he takes her to the site where Boyd had been disposing of his victims. Slowly, Lumen begins to trust Dexter and she tells him about the group of men who had beaten and raped her. Later, bent on revenge for what they did to her, Lumen nearly kills an innocent man named Robert Brunner.
Lumen continues the hunt for her attackers. She shoots another man (Dan Mendell) that she believes had raped her. Confused about what to do next, she calls Dexter for his assistance. Although Dexter has his next victim (Lance Robinson) trapped in his van, he rushes to the scene - only to find the man missing. Dexter tracks a blood trail and they find Dan hiding under a grate. When Dexter learns that he is, in fact, one of the rapists, Dexter snaps his neck. Meanwhile, Lance manages to free himself and try to escape. However, Dexter chases him down and chokes him to death with shrink wrap. Then Dexter sets it up to look like 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 attempts to relocate the dead barrel girls, only to end up in an accident. When the truck is found to be associated with inspirational speaker, Jordan Chase, both he and Cole arrive at the Miami Metro Police Department to answer questions and Dexter snaps photos of them.
Dexter and Lumen then plan to grab Cole at one of Jordan's seminars. Cole spots Lumen and chases her through the hotel. She locks her room door but he bursts through from his own room and tackles her. Dexter, however, manages to save Lumen's life. He then lets Lumen watch as he uses his blade on Cole. Just before leaving the seminar, Dexter encounters Chase who imparts a familiar line, "Tick tick tick...that's the sound of your life running out."
Meanwhile, Dexter's stepdaughter, Astor, and her friend, Olivia, return unexpectedly to Miami. Dexter observes that they have been drinking. It's not long before Barry Kurt (boyfriend of Olivia's mother) arrives on the scene and Dexter learns that Barry is abusive to Olivia. Dexter arranges a meeting with Barry in an alley where Dexter beats Barry to a pulp. (Teenage Wasteland)
Dexter steals a drop of blood from a vial that belongs to Jordan Chase and has it tested. It turns out to be the blood of a local woman, Emily Birch. When Lumen and Dexter investigate Emily, they learn that she is the first rape victim of the Group and she identifies all of the members. They track down their next target, Alex Tilden, and Dexter allows Lumen to perform her first kill. After this kill, their partnership turns into an intimate relationship.
Jordan kills Emily. He then kidnaps Lumen and takes her to his camp. Despite knowing that he's being baited into a trap, Dexter readies himself for a final conflict to save Lumen. He finds the camp, only to be held at gunpoint by Jordan. However, while Jordan is admiring Dexter's kill tools, he notices that one knife is missing. Dexter promptly stabs him in his foot with it, anchoring him to the floor. Dexter straps Jordan to the table where Lumen gets the final kill after Jordan's smug confession. As they are cleaning up, Debra finds the camp and holds Lumen and Dexter at gunpoint through a plastic sheet (thus unable to see them). In the end, Debra lets them escape with Jordan's body. After disposing of Chase, Dexter learns from Lumen that her urge to kill has vanished and she will now go her separate way from him.
As the season closes out, a birthday party is held for Harrison. Dexter looks towards the camera and reflects on his wish to be human. As he blows out the candle, his last thought is, "But wishes, of course, are for children."
By the start of Season Six, over a year has passed since Lumen departed and Harrison is old enough to walk. Two ambulance drivers are ambushed and killed by Dexter. He then attends his high school reunion, hunting his next victim. After that kill, Dexter begins to stalk an elderly serial killer, The Tooth Fairy Killer, who was active in the 1980s.
Meanwhile, Dexter's atheism conflicts with Harrison's religious preschool. As he contemplates the value of religion, he finds some understanding through Brother Sam, an ex-con and murderer. Brother Sam is now 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 changed man. He even helps 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, Nick, is responsible for the shooting and swears revenge. Sam forgives Nick on his deathbed and implores Dexter to also forgive him. When Nick initially appears remorseful, Dexter considers this path of forgiveness over retribution. But Nick's remorse proves to be an act. When Nick begins to laugh and brag about what he did, it enrages Dexter and he drowns Nick in the surf.
After Dexter breaks his promise to Sam and kills Nick, Dexter's darkness appears as an illusion of Brian. He convinces Dexter to go after Arthur Mitchell's son, Jonah, who appears to have become a killer. Dexter tracks Jonah to Nebraska with the intent of killing him, but relents when Jonah explains what happened. When Jonah's sister (due to abuse from their mother) committed suicide in a bathtub, he became so enraged at his mother that he killed her. Jonah, guilt-ridden, then begs Dexter to kill him. After learning this new information, Dexter rejects Brian's influence and reaffirms himself to the "Code of Harry." Dexter returns to Miami, leaving Jonah alive to "forgive" himself.Back in Miami, Dexter continues investigating "The Doomsday Killer," a serial killer who models his crimes after the Book of Revelation. At first, he thinks that the murders are being committed by two people - a fanatically religious college professor named Professor James Gellar and his protegé, Travis Marshall. Dexter tracks Marshall down, but balks at killing him, believing that Marshall has a conscience and is simply being led down the wrong path.
But when Dexter follows Travis to an old church and discovers Gellar's body in a freezer, he concludes that Travis has always acted alone. Travis is forced to accept Gellar's death and no longer visualizes Gellar. Travis begins to think that Dexter is the "False Prophet." He then captures Dexter and enacts The Lake of Fire, although Dexter manages to escape. After swimming for hours, he is rescued by a fishing boat carrying immigrants bound for Florida. While on the boat, he kills Alberto because he is threatening the others with a gun.
Travis kidnaps Harrison to sacrifice 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 feels about him, only to see Dexter plunge the knife into Travis' chest. The two look at each other in horror and Dexter exclaims, "Oh God."
Season SevenSeason Seven picks up directly after Season Six with no time skip. Debra has just witnessed Dexter killing Travis Marshall and she pulls her gun on him. Thinking quickly, Dexter uses his acting skills to persuade her that it was an impulsive act on his part. He then manipulates her to help him burn down the abandoned church to destroy evidence. Miami Metro Homicide investigates the crime scene and they falsely conclude that Travis committed suicide because the world didn't come to an end. In the church, Captain Maria LaGuerta finds a blood-slide which was accidentally dropped by Dexter. She begins to further pursue the case after Vince Masuka tells her that only person to take blood slides was the Bay Harbor Butcher.
Debra questions Dexter as to how he was so perfectly prepared to kill Travis, and why he was wrapped in plastic in the same way she herself was wrapped in plastic by the Ice Truck Killer. Sensing that Dexter is being untruthful, Debra searches his apartment where she discovers his blood slides and kill tools. When Dexter arrives home, she confronts him and learns that he is the real Bay Harbor Butcher. After some thought, Debra decides not to arrest Dexter and, instead, help him stop killing. However, Dexter is unable to suppress his dark urges. He tries to convince Debra to let him kill a dangerous murderer named Ray Speltzer, but Debra strongly refuses and says that she'll get Speltzer the right way. However, her efforts fail and Speltzer kills an innocent woman. Debra realizes that Dexter could have prevented her death if he had killed Speltzer.
Dexter plans to kill an attractive woman, Hannah McKay, who murdered several people. He takes her on a date to Christmas Village where he injects her with M99. When Hannah wakes up on a table, she is naked, bound, and gagged. Dexter removes the tape to hear her beg for her life, which she does not do. Dexter raises his knife to kill her but, instead, strikes it into the table. He cuts her free and the two then have sex on the kill table. Dexter finds that he cannot kill her, nor can he stay away from her. He wonders if the feelings he has toward Hannah are the beginnings of love. Meanwhile, Debra seeks to arrest Hannah. Knowing that Debra is a threat to her, Hannah attempts to kill her by mixing an anti-anxiety drug into her water bottle, which causes Debra to faint while driving. Debra ends up in the hospital, but survives. After Dexter discovers what Hannah did, he turns her in to the police for the murder of Sal Price. However, Hannah manages to escape.
Earlier on, Detective Mike Anderson of Miami Metro Homicide is murdered by Viktor Baskov, a member of the Koshka Brotherhood, a Ukranian Mafia organization. Isaak Sirko (the boss of the brotherhood) begins to hunt Dexter to avenge the loss of Viktor. Dexter soon finds out what Isaak is up to and lures him to a bar owned by rival drug dealers (Colombians) to have him killed. This doesn't work out as Isaak is well trained and kills all of them. When Dexter breaks into Isaak's apartment, he comes across a hitman who is there to also kill Isaak. Although the hit man is armed with a gun, Dexter is able to slash his throat with a knife.
Later, Isaak's subordinate, George, surprises and shoots Isaak. Realizing that he will soon die, Isaak requests Dexter to bury him at sea at the same spot where he dumped Viktor.
A new killer emerges in Miami, The Phantom Arsonist (Joe Jensen), who incinerates people. Dexter 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 arrested.
In her pursuit to find the real Bay Harbor Butcher, LaGuerta enlists the help of the former Deputy Chief Thomas Matthews. Matthews questions Dexter and informs him that LaGuerta suspects him to be the Butcher. For Dexter's sake, Debra plants a tackle box which leads Matthews and LaGuerta to a boat house where they find plastic sheets and Doakes' fingerprint. This convinces Matthews that Doakes was the real Butcher, but LaGuerta is still unconvinced, believing that Dexter planted the evidence.
LaGuerta uses her position as Captain to authorize the release of Hector Estrada from prison. When Estrada goes missing, she assumes that Dexter killed him. LaGuerta arrests Dexter and accuses him of murdering Estrada and framing Doakes as the Bay Harbor Butcher. LaGuerta presents evidence to prove her case, however, Vince Masuka discredits it, thus making it seem as though she is trying to frame Dexter. This puts LaGuerta in hot water, but both she and Debra know the truth... that Dexter has set her up.
When LaGuerta continues to persist, Dexter feels that his only option is to kill LaGuerta. After he captures and puts Estrada on his table, Dexter tells him to lure LaGuerta to the shipping container. When LaGuerta arrives, Dexter injects her with M99. Debra locates the shipping container and attempts to intercede. LaGuerta awakes and tells Debra to shoot Dexter because she's a good person. However, Debra shoots LaGuerta instead, immediately killing her. Upon realizing what she has done, Debra bursts into tears and embraces LaGuerta's dead body. Dexter alters the crime scene to make it look as though Estrada and LaGuerta killed each other.
Season Eight begins six months after LaGuerta's death. Dexter has no regrets as her death solved his problems. However, Debra is guilt-ridden. She has quit her job as Lieutenant at Miami Metro and now works as a private investigator for Jacob Elway. At this point in her life, she feels nothing but hatred for Dexter. Not caring much whether she lives or dies, Debra drinks heavily, takes various drugs, and sleeps with a criminal named Andrew Briggs. After Dexter learns that Briggs is targeted by a hit man, he tries to rescue Debra. However, Dexter gets into a struggle with Briggs and ends up killing him in front of her.Meanwhile, a new serial killer makes his way into Miami. He's soon dubbed The Brain Surgeon because of the way that he saws into his victims' heads, cuts off a chunk of skull, and scoops out a piece of the brain (the anterior insular cortex; the portion that processes empathy). Out of the blue, a neuropsychiatrist and expert on psychopaths, Dr. Evelyn Vogel, shows up to offer her assistance on the case. Dexter is instantly suspicious of her presence and feels that she may be there because of him and, more so, when she asks his thoughts on the Bay Harbor Butcher. Later, when Dexter is sitting outside, deep in thought, Dr. Vogel gives Dexter a few of his gruesome childhood drawings, which baffle him. He angrily demands an explanation, but Vogel simply tells him that he cannot kill her - because she does not fit Harry's Code. After this, Dexter pays a visit to Dr. Vogel's home and she reveals to him that she knew Harry and helped create The Code. She also tells him that the Brain Surgeon has been leaving brain parts on her doorstep and she thinks he may be one of her former patients. She feels threatened and asks Dexter to "take care of him." As Dexter vets Vogel's list of ex-patients, he does find some killers (including a cannibal), but not the "Brain Surgeon."
Meanwhile, Debra agrees to have dinner with Dexter and he shows her the video where she saved the lives of innocent people during a restaurant shoot-out. However, it only influences Debra into going to the police station (in an intoxicated state) with the intention of confessing to LaGuerta's murder. Quinn calls Dexter to tell him what's happening and he and Vogel quickly drive to the station. Dexter, in the interrogation room, quickly injects Debra with a small dose of M99. When Quinn enters the room, Dexter tells him that Debra passed out. Then Dexter carries her out and he and Vogel take her home. Dexter asks Vogel to help Debra deal with her problems.
Dexter comes across a potential Brain Surgeon suspect, A.J. Yates. Upon vetting A.J., Dexter finds out that he has a strange scar on the back of his head. After questioning Vogel about it, she explains that A.J. was highly violent and so she requested surgery to remove a lesion on his brain.
Vogel questions Dexter about his feelings toward Debra and states that psychopaths don't have emotional responses, but Dexter says that she is underestimating him. Meanwhile, Vogel treats Debra for PTSD, even taking her to the shipping yard where the latter murdered LaGuerta.
When Dexter returns to Yates' house, he finds the place apparently vacant. Upon searching the house, he rescues a half-dead captive woman. Then Dexter calls Vogel over to A.J.'s house and they discover Vogel's patient files on Yate's computer. When Dexter opens a file, it reveals that Vogel is using him to write another book. In anger, Dexter tells her to stay out of his life after he deals with the "The Brain Surgeon."
A seemingly normal Debra shows up at the police station and asks Dexter to go for a ride so they can talk. While Dexter is driving, Debra asks out of curiosity if Harry had committed suicide and, if so, was it because Dexter is a killer. When Dexter affirms that is the truth, Debra grabs the wheel, which sends the car into a lake. A bystander witnesses the car sinking and he saves Debra. When Debra sees that Dexter is drowning, she dives back in to save him. Afterward, in a therapy session lead by Vogel, Dexter is obviously upset with Debra's attempt to kill both of them.Soon after, A.J. Yates kidnaps Dr. Vogel and Dexter and Debra reconcile while searching for her. They find Vogel tied up in a closet and Yates hiding under a bed. Dexter promptly thrusts a curtain rod through the mattress and it impales A.J. Debra and Dr. Vogel are present on the Slice of Life when Dexter disposes of Yates' body. Evelyn Vogel is now viewed by Dexter as a member of his family.
Dexter trails a young psychopath (Zach Hamilton) who bludgeoned a woman to death. Dexter notes how Zach is attracted to the sight of blood at crime scenes. After definitely proving Zach's guilt, Dexter tranquilizes and captures him. However, after he puts Zach on his kill table and hears him out, Dexter decides to release Zach and take him on as an apprentice.
As Debra and Dexter are having a discussion at her beach house, Debra suddenly feels woozy and she passes out. As Dexter goes to her aid, he too begins to collapse. He looks up to see Hannah McKay at the door. Hannah greets a fainting Dexter and asks him if he remembers her. Dexter wakes up on the side of the road and phones Debra to pick him up.
Later, when Dexter meets with Hannah, he learns that she has returned to Miami to ask Dexter to kill her new husband. They begin to rekindle their relationship. When Jacob Elway suspects that Hannah is in Miami, he sends a Deputy Marshall to find her. In order to keep Hannah safe, Dexter makes plans to move to Argentina.with her and Harrison.
Meanwhile, Zach is brutally murdered by the real Brain Surgeon. Dexter manages to find one of the killer's hairs in Zach's apartment and he tests it. To his surprise, it reveals that the Brain Surgeon is related to Evelyn Vogel.
When Dexter questions Vogel about her family, she admits that she did have two sons, Daniel and Richard, but both are deceased. She explains how Richard drowned at the hands of his brother, and Daniel perished in a fire at a mental facility. But Dexter believes that Daniel must have survived and probably set the fire himself.
Using age progression facial tests on an old photo of Daniel Vogel, Dexter recognizes Oliver Saxon (the former boyfriend of Cassie Jollenston). After Dexter informs Vogel that her eldest son is the Brain Surgeon, she secretly meets up with Daniel. However, her devotion to Dexter leads to her own fate. Standing at a window, Daniel cuts her throat in front of a stunned Dexter. Before he calls the police to report Vogel's death, Dexter clears her house of all files and videos relating to him.When Saxon breaks into Dexter's apartment to kill him, Dexter injects him with M99. Dexter takes Saxon to the Treatment Room and straps him to his own kill table. Showing no signs of fear, Saxon lies there in amusement to await his demise. Dexter begins to realize that he no longer needs to kill Saxon and only wants to be with Hannah and Harrison. After he tells Saxon that he's still going to die but by an electric chair. Dexter phones Debra to come and arrest Saxon. When she arrives, the two share a 'goodbye' outside the hospital. Unfortunately, Deputy Marshal Max Clayton is following Debra and he goes inside the hospital where he finds Saxon being held. Not realizing who Saxon is, Clayton frees him and Saxon immediately kills Clayton with one of Dexter's knives. Saxon then takes Clayton's gun and shoots Debra as she enters the room. Before Saxon escapes, Debra manages to fire a shot into his arm.
Hannah and Dexter are forced to divert to another airport. However, Dexter learns that Debra has been shot by Oliver Saxon and he rushes to the hospital. It appears that Debra will recover and they converse about times past. When Saxon creates a distraction in the hospital so that he can search for Debra, he is arrested by Angel Batista. Meanwhile, Debra suffers a stroke due a blood clot caused from her earlier surgery. The nurse informs Dexter that Debra is comatose and that it would be a miracle for her to survive. Dexter exits the room in pure rage, believing,that there simply are no miracles.
Meanwhile, Hannah and Harrison make it onto a bus heading to a different airport. Elway catches up with them and tells Hannah that he is going to turn her in. When Hannah offers him some tea, he turns it down, believing that it's poisoned. However, Hannah quickly injects Elway with a dose of M99.
While Saxon is incarcerated, Dexter enters his cell to perform a GSR test on him. As he prepares the kit, Dexter interprets his feelings of blame regarding Debra's wound. Taking out a pen, Dexter tells Saxon that he is going to kill him with it. 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, causing him to fall to the floor and bleed to death. As Dexter presses the alarm button, he feigns distress. Using camera footage, Dexter is able to convince both Angel and Quinn that it was in self-defense. Dexter then returns home to change into his hunting outfit and retrieve some needed items.
With Hurricane Laura approaching Miami, Dexter docks his boat outside of the hospital where Debra is being kept on life-support. Not wanting to leave her in a vegetative state, Dexter turns off her life support, after telling her that he loves her. Dexter uses the chaos of the evacuation to take Debra's body to his boat. As he leaves Miami behind, he makes a phone call to Hannah and Harrison and then tosses the phone into the water. Dexter turns to Debra, gently picks her up, and walks to the edge of his boat. Here, he lets her go into the waters of The Gulf Stream. Feeling that he must protect the ones that he cares about, Dexter drives his boat straight towards Hurricane Laura,
The storm clears out and the wreckage of the Slice of Life is found 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 cafe with Harrison. Upon reading that he's deceased, she hides her emotions so as not to worry Harrison.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 over the course of several years, including the Bay Harbor Butcher case. This is (rest is obscured).Careful reading by an editor of the Wiki, some words were too blurred by the scene to read
Fate of DexterDuring the final scenes, several large logging trucks, loaded with felled trees, arrive at a lumber mill. One of the loggers is the focus as he finishes up his work and returns to his cabin. The man closes the door behind him, takes off a cold-weather vest, and sits down at a wooden table. He looks out the window at his left before he faces forward. Behind his grown-out beard and flannel jacket is the face of the Bay Harbor Butcher, who closes his eyes for a moment and then opens them, staring straight into the camera. It's Dexter Morgan, alive and alone, in an undisclosed location.
Dexter has appeared in every episode in the series as he is the title (as well as main) character.
- 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
- Our Father
- Finding Freebo
- The Lion Sleeps Tonight
- All in the Family
- Turning Biminese
- Sì Se Puede
- Easy as Pie
- The Damage A Man Can Do
- About Last Night
- Go Your Own Way
- I Had a Dream
- Do You Take Dexter Morgan?
- Living the Dream
- Remains to Be Seen
- Blinded by the Light
- Dex Takes a Holiday
- Dirty Harry
- If I Had a Hammer
- Slack Tide
- Road Kill
- Hungry Man
- Lost Boys
- Hello, Dexter Morgan
- The Getaway
- My Bad
- Hello Bandit
- Practically Perfect
- Beauty and the Beast
- First Blood
- Everything is Illumenated
- Circle Us
- Take It!
- Teenage Wasteland
- In the Beginning
- Hop a Freighter
- The Big One
- Those Kinds of Things
- Once Upon a Time...
- Smokey and the Bandit
- A Horse of a Different Color
- The Angel of Death
- Just Let Go
- Sin of Omission
- Get Gellar
- Ricochet Rabbit
- Talk to the Hand
- This is the Way the World Ends
- Are You...?
- Sunshine and Frosty Swirl
- Buck the System
- Swim Deep
- Do the Wrong Thing
- Helter Skelter
- The Dark... Whatever
- Do You See What I See?
- Surprise, Motherfucker!
- A Beautiful Day
- Every Silver Lining
- What's Eating Dexter Morgan?
- Scar Tissue
- This Little Piggy
- A Little Reflection
- Dress Code
- Are We There Yet?
- Make Your Own Kind of Music
- Goodbye Miami
- Monkey In a Box
- Remember the Monsters?
SEE MAIN ARTICLE: Dexter Morgan (Novels)
In the Novels
At the end of the first novel, Dexter admitted that he couldn't harm Deborah (something that was followed in the television series). In the books, he seems to view Rita more as a pet. Dexter 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.
- Darkly Dreaming Dexter (2004)
- Dearly Devoted Dexter (2005)
- Dexter in the Dark (2006)
- Dexter by Design (2008)
- Dexter is Delicious (2010)
- Double Dexter (2011)
- Dexter's Final Cut (2012)
- Dexter is Dead (2015)
- Dexter re-named his fishing boat from Slice of Heaven to Slice of Life in reference to him using knives.
- Victims that Dexter buries at sea are often reported as missing persons.
- Before he bought his boat, Dexter usually dumped his victims’ bodies in the Everglades.
- When Dexter was 20-yrs-old, he killed his first human -- Mary, a female nurse.
- Dexter jokingly mentioned to Rita on their first date that he is an axe murderer
- Both Dexter's first and last (known) victims are female (Mary and Debra).
- Rebecca Mitchell, her grandmother, and her half-sister (Christine Hill) all committed suicide.
- Dexter’s blood type is AB negative.
- Animals don't like Dexter, especially dogs.
- Dexter inherited his watch from Harry.
- Harry set up college funds for Dexter and Debra.
- While Dexter attended medical school, he killed a professor. (per ‘Early Cuts)
- Dexter prefers to kill with knives instead of guns because it is more “intimate.”
- Hurricane Laura shares its' name with Dexter's biological mother, Laura.
- Dexter’s original marina, Coral Cove, was the same one where Harry had a slip.
- Debra Morgan says the word "fuck" 996 times throughout the series.
- Dexter is the only character in the show whose thoughts can be heard by the viewer.
- Dexter hides a getaway pack inside his bedroom wall (cash, burner phones, passports w/aliases).
- The killing of a mosquito in the opening theme song symbolizes Dexter’s killing of a bad person.
- The Dexter TV series and the Dexter novels have quite a few differences.
- Dexter's role was possibly inspired by Miami’s 1986 vigilante serial killer, Manuel Pardo. Pardo was an ex-Miami police officer who in 1986 killed at least nine drug dealers. As trophies, he had photos instead of blood slides. Pardo was executed in 2012 by lethal injection.
- ‘The Trinity Killer was loosely based on the BTK killer, Dennis Rader.
- The first letter of the names of the “Barrel Girl Gang” form ABCDE (Alex, Boyd, Cole, Dan and Eugene).
- 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".
- While Dexter does kill murderers 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, to kill criminals instead of innocents.