Jonah Mitchell is a character in DEXTER. Jonah is a top-notch, high school student with a football career and a charming personality. At least, that's what he and the rest of the family have learned to show the rest of the world...when in fact he was tormented day in and day out by his abusive father, becoming the unfortunate target for his father's rage passed on from his own father (and Jonah's grandfather), Henry Mitchell.
He the oldest son of Arthur Mitchell and his wife Sally, with a younger sister Rebecca Mitchell. He has a half-sister named Christine Hill, who was born from a previous relationship by his father Arthur but Jonah never met her and likely didn't know of her existence.
Jonah was the prime contact, aside from Arthur himself, with "Kyle Butler" (Dexter Morgan) and Dexter attempted to work with him in bringing down his father, who happened to be the Trinity Killer. Following Trinity's "escape", Jonah and his family were put under FBI Protection under the watch of Agent Ray Walker, sometime within two years after Trinity's disappearance Jonah and his family move to Nebraska where a "recent event" has marked the "Return of the Trinity Killer" but in reality Jonah found his sister who had committed suicide and his rage towards his controlling, imposing and in complete denial mother resulted in Sally's death. Dexter initially goes to Nebraska intent on killing Jonah for his crimes, but when he realizes Jonah is swamped with remorse and only killed his mother out of revenge for driving Becca to suicide, he spares the last surviving Mitchell and tells him he must forgive himself.
Later on in the series, we see him in a list of folders on Dr. Vogel's laptop, pointing out that he was once a patient of Dr. Vogel.
Jonah is a young, attractive Caucasian male with a dark, tan complexion. He has short, spiked up in the front hair and is usually seen with a bright, wide smile. Physically he is very fit, as a football player he works out often and has developed a strong physique.
Jonah has grown up in a family that many would say is perfect... from the outside. As such, he's developed a "mask" to show the rest of the world when his reality is far different.
In public, Jonah is the symbolism of a football star in a perfect family. Mother, father, sister... always happy and smiling, a part of their community and they never ever fight. Jonah is pretty good about keeping up this mask whenever he's asked about his father, specifically by "Kyle Butler". He tells people outside the family that there are no problems and that his father is the best cool dad anyone could ask for especially after getting his new car. He says it all with a bright smile and believable attitude that has very few cracks.
Behind the Mask
Jonah is suffering physical and mental abuse from his father as well as the emotional abuse of watching his family tormented under Arthur's reign. He hides it well in public but in reality he deeply hates his father, though fearing the pain that comes from him harming him Jonah never stands up to Arthur. He chooses not to argue because of what might happen to him, but he bottles a lot of his anger up, even so much as after having each of his baseball trophies broken in front of him he has to drive off and vent his frustration first by hitting baseballs with anger and then bashing his dad's car with baseball bat. Following this incident, he tries to lie about the situation regarding the broken windshield but Arthur sees through it punishing him by breaking one of his fingers. This begins to open up the anger that Jonah tries to control for his father and isn't fully displayed until Arthur's actions at the dinner table on thanksgiving.
Having enough of listening to Arthur patronize the family, he finally stands up to Arthur and begins to destroy Arthur's trophies while declaring him a "killer" (in a figurative sense, i.e. the way he is keeping his family under his foot) and even breaks the vase that holds Vera Mitchell's ashes. Arthur tries to kill Jonah, while all Jonah can say at this point is "fuck you!". Thankfully Dexter saves his life and pulls Arthur into the kitchen with the intent of killing him though fails when Rebecca and Sally protect him. Jonah arrives, probably hopeful that Arthur was finally getting what he deserved but not just yet.
Jonah seems to hold onto this attitude however, agreeing to aid Dexter any way he can and does so by going through a list of vacant houses Arthur had been searching on the internet, which would help Dexter in locating the area where Scott Smith was being held captive (a ten year old child, the first victim in Arthur's kill cycle). Later on Arthur returns home and he shows that he's not taking Arthur's attitude anymore, he stands up to him as he bursts in demanding money but is overpowered once more. After Arthur leaves, he pleads to his family for them to leave but they don't listen.
Following Arthur's "escape" and the death of Rita Morgan, Detective Joey Quinn begins tracking Jonah in an attempt to find out who Kyle Butler really is (believing him to be Dexter Morgan). Jonah seems to be adjusting well to his life without his father around and is seen laughing with a smile in the safe house, later heading out to the store to get some things. When asked about Kyle Butler he however remains smart and doesn't reveal any info to Quinn, just saying "what do you want to know?" despite seeing a picure of the man he knows as Kyle, possibly in an attempt to protect the man who saved him and his family from Arthur's brutality.
FBI Agent Frank Lundy returns to Miami in search of what he calls The Trinity Killer, a man who has killed for over 30 years and has left a string of bodies across the country in a three-victim (technically four but Lundy never found that out) cycle every year or so. Unfortunately, Lundy loses his life when an assailant guns him down and wounds Detective Debra Morgan, which causes Dexter Morgan to pick up where Lundy left off. He's able to figure that perhaps Trinity was the one who killed him and with Lundy's research in hand, he finally tracks him down. After witnessing a killing, he intends to go after Trinity and end this immediately. He follows him all the way to a house, where he gets out and is greeted by a wife, then a pair of children (one of which is Jonah Mitchell). This surprises Dexter, to see that this man who has killed for over 30 years has a family grown and well...and in relation to trying to figure out how he himself is going to survive for the years to come with his own family, begins to track Trinity.
Dexter learns that Trinity's known as Arthur Mitchell, a Deacon-practitioner who gives study sessions to young minds at high school. He meets with Arthur at his church and introduces himself as Kyle Butler, a man who was separated from his wife and she took the kids...new in town. Arthur tells him about the Four Walls One Heart, a community program that builds homes for the homeless (which happens to travel around the country) and invites him to come along. Dexter arrives as planned and meets with Arthur, looking over the family as he's still surprised how happy they all seem. When he spots Jonah heading to the cooler for a drink, he decides to take this opportunity to meet with Arthur's son.
Dexter approaches Jonah, shaking his hand as he asking if he's Arthur's son and learns his name for the first time. He states that he seems polite and well adjusted, then shares casual conversation with him learning about how he enjoys spending time with the family and doesn't get any hint that something's wrong in the household. Dexter even inquires about fighting (by mentioning his own "family", as Kyle Butler) and Jonah states that they never fought, nothing to fight about. He then says that his Dad's a pretty cool guy and references the G.T.500 that Arthur passed down to his son. Jonah says it was his "baby for years" and he's now given the keys to it, then continues to say how his father's the best ever (at this stage, it's likely he's perfected a mask of being in a happy family so that no one else notices the truth behind Arthur's darkness). He notices his Dad's stare and acts a bit nervous, though plays it off so that even Dexter can't notice it and says that his Dad's "not a fan of idle hands", before returning to work.
Jonah is mostly referenced for a little while, often in conversation with Arthur Mitchell where Dexter learns that Jonah spends his mornings in ROTC then has football practice in the afternoon. Arthur states that he wants to push his children out into the world so they can become self-sufficient and learn how to survive. He says he's proud that he doesn't get a whole lot of time with him, though Dexter sees this as meaning that his family doesn't get to see a whole lot of "Trinity". When Jonah does make a reappearance, he's shown washing the car his father gave him and Dexter gets somewhat of a glimpse into their relationship when Arthur scolds him for the way Jonah wipes the car. He dismisses it as nothing major and considers it small cracks in a perfect family that makes them perfectly normal. Dexter takes a trip with Arthur with the intent of dealing with his own grief after the mistaken killing of Jonathan Farrow and with the intent of putting an end to Arthur's life finally, in this he learns Arthur's true back story and prepares himself to kill his nemesis only to see that he's reached a point where suicide seems to be the only option. Arthur attempts to jump from the top of a building onto some spikes but Dexter catches him, not wanting him to die any other way than by his own hand. He starts to realize letting go of him could also be considered death by his own hand but two workers rush to help Arthur up just as Dexter's about to let him go. Dexter is hailed as a hero by the workers and Arthur himself, who now seems to be filled with a new breathe of life.
The day before Thanksgiving, Dexter is seen spying on the Mitchell family with the mother and daughter happily working on decorations while Arthur talks with his son. Apparently Coach Davies told Arthur about Jonah's decision not to play baseball anymore (apparently he's both a baseball and football player), so Arthur decides to take each of Jonah's trophies for his time in baseball and break them one by one. Jonah pleads with his father not do this but Arthur continues regardless, forcing Jonah to leave the house in anger. He drives off while saying "fuck you Dad" and Dexter feeling obligated to see where this goes follows Jonah.
When he arrives, it seems that Jonah is just blowing off steam by hitting baseballs off in the distance until the anger gets the best of him and he turns to smash in the windshield of his Dad's car. Dexter approaches to stop him and Jonah's surprised by "Mr. Butler", asking what he's doing out here. Dexter says that he saw them fighting but Jonah says he never fights.
Jonah: "Man you have no idea how he's like. How he treats my mother and Rebecca. You don't know what he's capable of!"
Dexter: "Well actually..."
Jonah: "He hits me..."
Dexter: "Well that's not right."
Jonah: "Y'know I'm running out of cliches to tell the coaches. 'I fell down some stairs, I walked into a door'...I know it looks like we have the perfect fucking' family but in that house, when he's there it's not a life; it's a tour of duty. Shit...he'd kill me if he knew I told you this stuff...
Dexter: "I won't say a word..."
Jonah: "...you should have just let him die".
Jonah gets in his car and says that he needs to go anywhere but home with the car like it is. Dexter suggests he can be there when Jonah tells him about the car and is invited to thanksgiving dinner at 1 tomorrow afternoon while Jonah intends to stay at his friend Luke's house.
Dexter arrives the next day, surprising the Mitchell's (as Jonah didn't mention his invitation and likely hadn't been home since yesterday) but is included regardless. He helps somewhat with the food preparation until Arthur says that it's almost time for the game, a tradition shared in the family but does mention his frustration in Jonah not being present. Sally asks if their daughter can be let out now and Arthur (with an irritated tone) agrees, moving to her bedroom. Dexter inquires about this, whether or not she's grounded but Sally says it's "nothing like that". Dexter sees Rebecca next and Arthur cheery, with Arthur saying he at least has "one perfect child". The two then dig through the garage for a football and discovers the coffin that Arthur had built for himself. Arthur says he built it in preparation for the suicide he had attempted but states that he doesn't need it anymore, thanks to "Kyle". They finally find the football but the condition of it is less than favorable (completely deflated), something that puts more frustration into Arthur's mood. He opens the garage and walks outside, with Jonah driving up with a demolished car. Arthur's facial expression is no short of pissed off but stands there quietly as Jonah lies about the car's condition saying that it was parked at Luke's and he found it like that. Arthur turns around to get a crowbar, something that makes Jonah very nervous only to see him work on giving a temporary fix so the car is drive-able. Arthur then seems to alter his mood to happy once more and tells them it's time for the game, while Dexter tells Jonah that things are going to work out.
They sit on watching the game in the house, everything seems fine and Jonah sits there next to Dexter while Arthur quips about the game. When Dexter says that he's not much of a football fan, he says he'll go help out Sally which leaves Jonah alone with his father (and quite worried). In reality Dexter went to investigate Rebecca's room, to find it rather "young" for a teenager while also taking notice of how the windows are locked from the inside as well as a latch being present on the door. He goes to speak with Rebecca while Arthur and his son continue watching the game, only to have a successful touchdown which causes both men to rejoice over the event, giving each other a high-five only for Arthur to grab hold roughly of Jonah's hand. He glares at him, bringing his other hand to take one of Jonah's fingers and breaks it on the spot, saying that was for the windshield. He then stands up to admire his own trophies on the wall while Jonah's anger begins to boil heavily, taking note of those things that Arthur cherishes so much more than his own family.
The dinner commences and each family member says what they are thankful for. Though none mention Arthur in the middle of it, which causes him to become even more frustrated than he was before. He looks at Jonah asking why he didn't say he was thankful, while both Sally and Rebecca attempt to say their thanks he tells one to "shut up cunt" and calls his daughter by the name of his dead sister, Vera Mitchell. Jonah begins to stand up to Arthur finally, telling him that he's not thankful for Arthur and tells him to stop calling Rebecca by his dead sister's name.
Jonah begins to destroy each of Arthur's trophies, with Arthur standing on having his own temper tested. He says that Arthur's a killer, a man who is leeching the life out of his own family and picks up the vase for Vera. Arthur begs him not to do anything with it but Jonah doesn't care, he throws the vase and shatters it against a nearby cupboard. Arthur, infuriated now, grabs Jonah and begins to choke him out on the chair trying to kill him. Dexter takes off his belt and comes up behind Arthur, stringing it around his neck as he says "Get the FUCK off him!" before pulling him into the kitchen and finally confessing his need to kill Arthur. Before he can exact his vengeance, Sally and Rebecca storm in and huddle around Arthur (both victims of Battered Person Syndrome), while Jonah rushes in to see what happened (likely hopeful for his father's death). Dexter chooses to escape, running out of the house and with intense anger yells his frustrations for not taking care of Arthur sooner.
Following the Thanksgiving incident, Arthur Mitchell begins stalking a boy by the name of Scott Smith for yet unknown reasons to Dexter. He actually ends up abducting the boy and Dexter struggles to figure out how to track him down, so he heads back to the Mitchell house. He finds Jonah there, saying that his mother and sister are out which gives Dexter a chance to talk to him. He asks Jonah to help him find out where Arthur went and notices that everything at the trophy area (including Vera's vase) is exactly back where it was, as if thanksgiving never happened. He turns to look at Jonah and begs for his help in finding Arthur, because he might hurt someone again and Jonah reluctantly agrees to go through files and other documents to find more info on him. He does mention that Arthur is said to be in Naples for a few days, which should help him out somewhat.
Dexter manages to discover the pattern of killings begins with a 10 year old boy that goes missing. Jonah calls Dexter to inform him of a realty company with some open houses and Dexter thinks this may be the perfect area for Arthur to keep the child. Before hanging up, Jonah asks how he knows just who Arthur really is and Dexter says they just have a lot in common (referring to being a serial killer). Through some legwork manages to find Arthur attempting to bury Scott in cement beneath the foundation of one of the houses he's about to build. In reality this is what he has done for the past 30 years, always starting the cycle with a boy. Dexter saves the child but loses Arthur in the process unfortunately. In the events after, Christine Hill is identified as Trinity's daughter and confesses to shooting Frank Lundy and Debra Morgan before killing herself while Arthur Mitchell continues to investigate the name "Kyle Butler", killing one man with that name and visiting another's home only to find no such Kyle lives in Miami (or is at least listed). Dexter tails Trinity to a location but is forced to go back to the police station, while Arthur instead begins to follow him back and finally discovers Kyle's real name: Dexter Morgan, meeting him face to face in the police station. Arthur warns him to stay away and he'll leave Dexter alone (a warning that perhaps should have been heeded..), but as Trinity leaves Dexter follows with a sort of impulsive plan to somehow catch him and take him down, very unlike his normally controlled behavior. Because of this he actually loses Trinity even though he's right in his grasp due to a partial accident he has during the pursuit and is locked up for fighting with a sheriff.
Arthur sees now this his only way of getting through this now is escape, so he returns home while Jonah and family are eating only to demand all of their money and valuables. Jonah once again stands up to Arthur and is forced against the wall, threatened and told that everything he has in life was because of Arthur and now he's going to take all of that away. Jonah realizes that Arthur's done something bad again and is told that someone stole something from him. While his father goes through the house searching for money, Jonah begs his mother for this chance to escape from him for good. She says that they'll live in fear of him for the rest of their lives but he tells her that they already do. She shakes her head and walks away, Jonah being left with trying to convince his family it's time to be rid of Arthur.
Police are finally closing in on the true Trinity Killer and Dexter is running out of time, he needs to find Arthur and put an end to his Legacy once and for all. He arrives at the Mitchell residence, learning of Arthur's disappearance and desire to escape but arrived at a horrible time. He looks out the window to see that SWAT Team members are on scene and ready to capture Mitchell. Dexter panics and runs through to the garage while the team busts down the door and forces the family to the ground. Dexter hides in the coffin for a moment, before exiting and pulling out his badge just in time to tell a SWAT team member that he's with forensics (of note, he saves himself a second time in Season Five with a similar excuse). Dexter asks how they figured out Arthur was Trinity and Debra runs through the Four Walls One Heart lead, then the fact that Arthur's bank account had been completely emptied out. Dexter heads outside and sees the Mitchell family being put into a police car for protection and questioning, something he envisions may happen to his own family if he's ever caught.
Much to Jonah's original wish, Dexter finally tracks down and kills Arthur Mitchell shortly thereafter, although as far as the FBI and the Miami Metro Homicide Department know, Arthur has escaped. The family is quickly placed into protective custody of the FBI and are watched constantly while a nationwide manhunt commences for Trinity.
Arthur Mitchell claimed one final victim before his "escape" (or rather, death), the unfortunate wife of Dexter Morgan himself, Rita. Both the police and FBI arrive on scene to find Dexter, with initial questioning of the husband as the prime suspect (after saying "It was me" especially) at first but the signs of Rita's death all point to Trinity. At first Detective Joey Quinn suspects Dexter as having a hand in her death, but later starts to follow the assumption that he knew more about Trinity than he was willing to share.
This leads him to contacting Agent Ray Walker, the man in charge of the witness protection for the Mitchell's to get in touch with Jonah Mitchell, who was the prime contact with "Kyle Butler" who is on the FBI's track-list. Quinn ends up with some composite sketches that resemble Dexter and he tracks down Jonah to a grocery store where he attempts to show him a picture of Dexter and ask if he is Kyle Butler. Before Jonah can answer, two FBI agents race in and cuff Quinn, preventing him from finding out anymore info. Jonah is told to head back into the car and this is the last he's seen, along with his family for more than over a year.
Jonah Mitchell has been living in Kearney, Nebraska with his mother Sally Mitchell and sister Rebecca Mitchell. Brother and sister were forced to live with the constant preaching of Sally's love and admiration for the man who abused her family. Despite the fear she had of him, she was still strongly reliant on Arthur Mitchell, even going so far as to blame both of her kids over and over for the way their father was, why he left and why he hadn't been around. Rebecca, having dealt with too much emotional abuse from first her father and now her mother, committed suicide in her bathtub (incidentally, in the same fashion as her father killed the bathtub victims) where she bled out to death. Jonah found his little sister like this and the rage he showed when facing his father grew to such a peak that he couldn't hold anything back. He confronted his mother and smashed her skull with a hockey stick, over and over until she had fallen down to lie dead on the floor.
Jonah felt guilt and remorse almost instantly, but felt it best for his own interests to cover up the killing as the work of his father, the Trinity Killer. He reappears in the episode "Nebraska" as the sole survivor of his family who has been murdered. A small town with limited resources, even the FBI that worked with them assumed yet again that it was Trinity. Jonah continued with his life, working at a local hardware store while this news reached Miami and more importantly, Dexter Morgan (the man who had killed Trinity).
Dexter was currently dealing with the recent choice of darkness over light in dealing with Brother Sam's death and then his killer, Nick (who he was given the choice of forgiving and while he first chose this, ultimately drowned the man after the clear lack of remorse and respect for a great man). Because of this, his brother Brian Moser returned to him as a psychological apparition to represent the "dark-side" of his conscience, specifically a physical representation of his Dark Passenger while Harry Morgan always represented the "light-side" of his conscience, specifically a physical representation of the humanity in Dexter. Dexter meets his sister Lieutenant Debra Morgan who informs him of Trinity's return and this causes Brian to quip that Jonah is the one responsible for the killing, because Dexter clearly killed Arthur Mitchell a couple years before. With some convincing from his brother, Dexter actually decides to head for Nebraska in search of Jonah but along the way he starts to lose control of himself bit by bit, becoming more and more "dark" as his brother convinces further actions into him (such as spontaneous sex with a random girl, though Brian intended for her to be killed Dexter simply wanted her gun).
Dexter finally meets Jonah face to face and is greeted the same way that Arthur greeted him when learning of his true identity. "Hello, Dexter Morgan". During Jonah's lunch break, he tells Dexter that because of Rita Morgan's death being placed well on the news as well as Dexter's face that the family figured it out on who he was but decided to keep this information sacred, since they felt that "Kyle Butler" was just trying to help them out. Dexter admits that he knew Arthur was the Trinity killer but makes up a lie that he pursued him as a way to become a "hero" by bringing him into justice. Brian stands on watching as Jonah explains his side of the story with what happened at their household, feeling that the kid has already developed a good sense of how to lie to people but Dexter's light-side actually still wants to make sure that Jonah is innocent before making the choice to kill him.
Later on Dexter visits the new Mitchell household, absent his kill tools and forensic equipment (thanks to a pot-growing motel owner named Norm). Using homemade methods of determining the events, he's able to deduce that Jonah's story to the public is a falsity and as he investigates further is confronted by Jonah, telling him to get out. Dexter says that it's not possible for Trinity to have committed the murder and it doesn't take long for Jonah to figure out the truth from Dexter's eyes, his serious nature...he asks if Dexter had killed his father and Dexter admits it to him openly, while Jonah shows an expression of a man angry at losing his chance to kill his own father (which he has long since desired) and decides to flee.
After getting his tools back (while killing off Norm, which could be seen as self-defense because a gun was pointed at him ready to shoot), Jonah calls Dexter for a meeting at his store and the two confront each other. Jonah tells him he never should have came to Nebraska and Dexter talks about having tried to set their family free, then questions about killing Rebecca and Sally. Jonah charges forward with an attempt to kill Dexter with a hook, only to be forced against a wall and then have the hook to his throat ready to be killed. Jonah tells Dexter to kill him, while Brian beckons on and Dexter starts to realize something isn't right. Jonah tells him the truth of what really happened. Brother and sister were forced to live with the constant preaching of Sally's love and admiration for the man who abused her family. Despite the fear she had of him, she was still strongly reliant on Arthur Mitchell, even going so far as to blame both of her kids over and over for the way their father was, why he left and why he hadn't been around. Rebecca, having dealt with too much emotional abuse from first her father and now her mother, committed suicide in her bathtub (incidentally, in the same fashion as her father killed the bathtub victims) where she bled out to death. Jonah found his little sister like this and the rage he showed when facing his father grew to such a peak that he couldn't hold anything back. He confronted his mother and smashed her skull with a hockey stick, over and over until she had fallen down to lie dead on the floor. Jonah felt guilt and remorse almost instantly, but felt it best for his own interests to cover up the killing as the work of his father, the Trinity Killer.
Dexter steps back while Brian becomes angrier and in remembering his own son, Harrison he makes the choice to let Jonah go free because of the remorse and guilt he experienced, showing that he has a conscience. Jonah wasn't trying to be like Trinity, he just had an angry burst of rage and emotion that Dexter can forgive in his own way...and he heads out of the store as fast as he can.
Getting into his car, Jonah runs out of the store asking how he's supposed to live with himself knowing what he did. Dexter tells him that he should forgive himself and drives off, leaving Jonah to recollect with these thoughts. Dexter leaves Nebraska and his past with Trinity and the Mitchell Family behind. What happens to Jonah now is entirely up to him, if he is able to forgive himself he may be able to go on living a normal life or if the guilt is too much and he still feels the need to be punished he may turn himself in. The worst outcome is suicide, though unlikely considering his willingness to try and continue life beforehand while blaming the situation on his father.
- Dexter Morgan - attempted to kill him with a hook but was overpowered.
- Rebecca Mitchell - was suspected by Dexter as being his victim but he later finds out that this was a suicide.
- Jonah is the sixth character known to be spared by Dexter, the first being Jeremy Downs, the second being Jimmy Sensio, the third being Santos Jimenez, the fourth being Robert Brunner and the fifth being his father Arthur Mitchell (whom he could've killed on several instances, but chose to spare in order to learn how he balanced his cover life with his secret life). The seventh was Travis Marshall (although Travis was later killed by Dexter after he discovers he's the true Doomsday Killer), the eighth was Louis Greene, the ninth was Hannah McKay, the tenth was Joe Jensen and the eleventh was Zach Hamilton.
- In season 8 when Dexter broke in Oliver Saxon's computer, there is a file J. Mitchell. It is unknown whether it is Jonah Mitchell or someone else but it possible that the person was killed by Saxon or treated by Vogel.