Miguel Prado: Assistant District Attorney, Budding Murderer...and Best Friend
Miguel Luis Prado was a Character in DEXTER. Miguel was the Assistant District Attorney (also known as the ADA) for the City of Miami. An accomplished lawyer, he felt that many cases slipped from his grasp and "cold-blooded killers" are set free, thanks to opposing attorneys such as Ellen Wolf. He was a complex character with varying emotions and upon meeting Dexter Morgan, he worked his way into "breaking through" the "walls" Dexter sets up around himself. Essentially, he becomes Dexter's "best friend" and was perhaps one of the only people to embrace Dexter for what he truly is, together with Dexter's deceased brother Brian Moser and later, Lumen Pierce (however her "Dark Passenger" disappears, thus she felt it best to leave).
Miguel was notorious for his harsh enforcement of the law, making him powerful, influential, and popular with the regular police and citizens of Miami. One of his most popular referenced cases is his sentencing of Chicky Hines, a man considered innocent, despite the evidence mounted in his favor and witness testimonies. Rather than allow this "victory" to pass, Miguel held onto it... unwilling to admit that he was wrong and this led to multiple conflicts between Lieutenant Maria LaGuerta (whom he had a former romantic history with) and Ellen Wolf, the attorney chosen to represent Chicky (whom believes in his innocence).
An interesting fact is that Miguel Prado was officially Dexter Morgan's first apprentice and one of few that knew the truth about his Dark Passenger. After Miguel's brother Oscar Prado was found dead, Miguel attempted to deal "personal justice" to the supposed killer, Fred Bowman (also known as Freebo), however discovered Dexter at Freebo's hideout holding a bloody knife (that belonged to Miguel's father). Dexter makes it at first seem like this was an accidental kill, however Miguel embraces the step that Dexter took and began to develop an immense friendship with him. However, sitting by idle is not a strong-suit for him and he pushes further, until he convinced Dexter to start pursuing other killers such as Ethan Turner and Clemson Galt before finally being allowed to take a life of his own, in Billy Fleeter. This creates an uncontrollable monster in Miguel that Dexter did not anticipate, who kills the "mostly innocent" Ellen Wolf and later attempts to target Maria LaGuerta, before Dexter intervenes and permanently "ends" their friendship. Because of this event, Dexter is very wary about "partners", having only accepted a second apprentice two years later in Lumen Pierce and later a third apprentice five years later in Zach Hamilton.
Effectively, Miguel Prado was the Third Main Antagonist along with a man named George King, who was popularly referred to as The Skinner. For Dexter, Miguel was a personal antagonist...he became close early on, and due to this, made Dexter more vulnerable than he'd ever been before in his life. He was made to think he could finally have a friend in this world and ultimately, was betrayed by Miguel's selfish ambition to simply "find" the right "method" to dealing his own personal justice.
Miguel Prado is played by actor Jimmy Smits, who has starred in multiple roles that usually assign him the position as a lawyer or district attorney thus he fell naturally into the role as Assistant District Attorney in DEXTER. Jimmy is a talented actor who is able to convey a "best friend" attitude to a tee, but also the cold harshness of the betrayer, then the defensive nature brought on upon by his power hungry campaign for personal justice.
Miguel is of Cuban descent, being the tallest of his three brothers and he even towers over Dexter. Miguel has fine, dark black hair matched with a mustache above his lip and darkened tan skin to represent his culture. He has a slight gut and some weight in his face, but otherwise he can be seen as an attractive man who has a smooth speaking voice.
His typical attire consists of dress pants and an expensive button up shirt with a tie. Underneath this he wears a sleeveless white t-shirt. On occasion, he may also wear a suit jacket along with the rest of his attire...topped off by designer dress shoes.
His kill attire is that of a pitch-black outfit, long-sleeved complete with black leather gloves and boots. Miguel's shirt also covers much of his neck, however underneath this he wears a black sleeveless undershirt.
Miguel comes from a well-connected family whom he cares for deeply. He has two brothers, Ramon and Oscar, and a wife, Sylvia. He revealed that his father is a Vietnam veteran when Dexter appeared with the knife he used to kill a drug-dealer named "Freebo" and, by accident, Miguel's younger brother, Oscar. He also revealed that his father was abusive and said that he felt great when he "kicked the shit out of him and threw him down the stairs." Prado takes it hard when his younger brother, Oscar, is found dead in the house of Freebo. After that, Miguel calls Dexter, meets him at the crime scene, and questions him about the murder scene. After Dexter describes what he believes happened to Oscar, Miguel confronts him about investigating Oscar. Dexter tells him that he was interested in the case due to Miguel's relationship to the victim. This leads Miguel to apologize and invite Dexter to his brother's funeral.
Miguel kept inquiring about his brothers case and, with help of Ramon, managed to get Freebo's mother's cellphone. While Miguel was talking to Ramon, LaGuerta came to him and informed him that Batista and Quinn had obtained a witness that could prove Chicky Hines' innocence. Miguel told Laguerta that he appreciates that she had informed him. He invited Dexter and Rita to his house.
Afterward Miguel tracked Freebo using his mother's cellphone to his girlfriend's house and had intentions to kill him. But Dexter had beat him to it and killed Freebo first. Miguel caught Dexter leaving the garage, where Freebo's body was with a murder weapon in his hand (his father's combat knife he kept from Vietnam), but Dexter convinced him that he had killed Freebo in self-defense and kept Miguel from entering in kill room. Before Miguel left, some of Freebo's blood spilled onto his shirt. This event bonded Miguel with Dexter and they started hanging out together, making Dexter believe that Miguel could actually become his friend. Despite what Maria had told him, Miguel ignored the witness and helped sentence Chicky Hines, telling her that the evidence was a bluff. After Freebo's death, he became worried that police were wasting their time looking for him, especially when Freebo became suspect in Javier Garza's murder case, although he was actually dead. Dexter managed to put investigation on the right track and Miguel gave him his bloody shirt with Freebo's blood, telling Dexter that he trusts him.
Miguel insists that Ramon should also know that Freebo is dead, but Dexter is unsure and decides to show Miguel that he can't trust Ramon by pretending to tip off Freebo's whereabouts and setting up a meeting at a bar. At the bar, Miguel and Dexter show up, and while Miguel and Ramon are talking, Dexter sics a security guard on Ramon, who hits him. Miguel then believes that Ramon should be kept out from Freebo's situation. When he is playing golf with Dexter, he tells him about a man named Ethan Turner, who has killed at least 2 of his wives and gotten away with it. After Dexter goes after Ethan, Miguel and Sylvia escort Rita to hospital as she has complications. Miguel also calls Debra and the Coast Guard to find Dexter, but soon realizes what Dexter had done. Although Dexter denied it, Miguel convinces him that he is happy that he took care of Ethan. Miguel wanted to get more involved, leading Dexter to offer him to break out a Nazi named Clemson Galt from prison, because he had authorized some murders hoping that Miguel would back down. Instead, Miguel agreed to help Dexter and ordered Galt to be brought for questioning as a possible witness in one of his cases. Miguel then gave Galt a key and allowed him to escape, claiming that his Nazi pals had set the escape up. But in reality it was Dexter who was waiting for Galt, managing to escape with Miguel's help when security locked all entrances. Miguel wanted to be with Dexter when he would kill Galt, but was instead led to an empty house, because Dexter wanted his kill to be private. Although Miguel's and Dexter's friendship wasn't affected by this, Miguel's rival Ellen Wolf soon endangered it. A man named Albert Chung had killed a college student, and Miguel claimed Ellen was responsible for his escape when he killed an old lady by pushing her down the stairs. Miguel urges Dexter to kill her because she lets criminals go. Though Dexter said that she only did her job, Miguel told Dexter to "keep an open mind" about her. Later, Miguel was present at the police station with LaGuerta, Dexter and Wolf, arguing about Chung's surrender terms. There, Miguel got into a serious fight with Ellen. Later at Miguel's house, Dexter told Miguel that he wouldn't kill Ellen, prompting Dexter and Rita to leave early. When Dexter and Miguel later meet at the bar, Miguel revealed that Chung was captured with Wolf's help and admitted to Dexter that he was wrong about killing her. Dexter then asked Miguel if he would become his best man.When Miguel introduced to Dexter Billy Fleeter, an ex-football player who kills people to pay off his gambling debts he surprises him by telling that he wants to kill Billy himself. Dexter unwillingly accepts it, tells him about his methods and they both stalk Fleeter. But when they are ready to make a move on him a man at the casino where Billy, Dexter and Miguel are recognizes Miguel and Dexter calls of the hit. Miguel confronts Dexter telling him that he is only making excuses why to stop him from killing Billy. Miguel tells Dexter that he once pushed his father down the stairs and that he like Dexter has darkness in his soul and he wants to release it. Dexter is convinced by Miguel and together they capture Billy and take him to the designated kill room. With Dexter's guidance Miguel stabs Billy, but wants to take his ring with him as souvenir, but Dexter stops him from doing that and tells him to go home and that he will take care of the body. Miguel thanks Dexter but instead of going home he visits Ellen Wolf at her home.
In the morning Sylvia comes to Rita's house and tells Rita and Dexter that Miguel hasn't been home all night and that he is probably cheating her. When Dexter meets Miguel he lies to Dexter, who soon finds out that Miguel killed Wolf and buried her body in cemetery. Meanwhile Miguel is still excited about last night and goes to see his wife and brings her flowers, but instead of Sylvia he meets Rita at his home. Miguel gives flowers to Rita instead, but she says that he should give them to Sylvia instead. Rita also confronts Miguel about his indiscretions. Miguel admits that Rita is right. Dexter then confronts Miguel about Ellen Wolf, who admits that he was wrong about killing her and that he is sorry for betraying Dexter's trust. However this turns out to be a bluff, because after Wolf's body is found at the cemetery (Dexter had dug her body up to teach Miguel a lesson) he gives Dexter the same speech he gave Rita. Miguel comes to the police station, where he gets involved in the Skinner Case as Debra, Quinn and Batista ask for his help to get Anton's location out of George Washington King who is believed to be (and actually is) the Skinner and is about to be released. Miguel first declines, but upon hearing that the surveillance in the interrogation room would be shut down, he goes to talk to George and convince him to cut a deal. However Miguel comes out shortly to tell everyone that he was unsuccessful. After that Miguel visits LaGuerta and comforts her. Meanwhile Dexter who is beginning to distrust Miguel runs a blood test on the shirt that Miguel gave only to find out that the shirt is covered with cow's blood and that Miguel had been lying to him the entire time.
Miguel and Sylvia had organized catering for Dexter's and Rita's wedding as a wedding gift. Dexter started considering putting Miguel under his control in order to make sure that he would never kill another innocent human again. This resulted in a struggle between both Miguel and Dexter to see who has upper hand. Miguel managed to get evidence that Debra was having romantic relationship with Anton, who was her witness in Skinner case and threatened to use this information if Dexter doesn't give in. However, Dexter managed to turn the tide, because he found Wolf's wedding ring which Miguel had taken from the crime scene as a trophy and hidden in his box of cigars. Eventually Miguel and Dexter met on the roof of the police station where Miguel told Dexter that there is nothing he can do to stop him. After their conversation, Miguel contacted George Washington King who had been watching them the entire time and told him that Dexter knew how to find Freebo. Eventually, LaGuerta began to suspect Miguel of the Ellen Wolf murder and he decided to kill her in order to cover his tracks. Dexter managed to ambush Miguel at LaGuerta's house and killed him, making it look like the King's handiwork. Before he killed Miguel, Dexter told him the truth about Oscar's death and Miguel hinted that George Washington King would eventually kill Dexter, due to him setting Dexter up.
DeathKnowing that Miguel is a threat to him and Debra, Dexter decides to kill him. When Miguel is about to exit Maria LaGuerta's house to find and kill her, Miguel quickly finds himself injected with a tranquilizer by Dexter Morgan (who has already learned of Miguel's nefarious plans). Miguel awakens strapped to a table in the middle of a plastic-covered room with pictures of Ellen Wolf and Miguel's attempted victim, Maria LaGuerta, situated on the side of a wall. After noticing the knives, Miguel proclaims that it doesn't have to come to this, to which Dexter responds that it always does. Miguel pleads to be released, under the false impression much different from Dexter's other victims, though Dexter knows that Miguel is untrustworthy after the betrayal that he faced. Miguel tells Dexter that he views him as a brother, to which Dexter responds that he killed his own brother as well as Miguel's. This revelation enrages Miguel, but he begs for forgiveness once more. Dexter refuses to accept his apology, and they converse one last time before Dexter wraps a wire around his neck and strangles him to death. Dexter fra mes The Skinner for the murder and leaves Miguel's body out in the middle of a public space. Despite his actions, Miguel was still remembered as a hero, with many memorial honors (namely a highway named after him) bestowed upon him in his memory.
- 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 (killed)
- Do You Take Dexter Morgan? (corpse)
- Miguel, as many other serial killers (including Dexter himself) had a certain fascination in keeping the trophies. In Miguel's case his trophy of choice were rings worn by his victims. He intended to take a varsity ring from Billy Fleeter, and took one of Ellen Wolf's two wedding rings, storing it in his humidor.
- It's interesting how Miguel's modus operandi progresses to less legislative and violent through the developing season. He originally intends to shoot Freebo, as well as Billy Fleeter, but with all his subsequent attempt and kills his MO changes to a mix of his original attempt on his father (brutal beating), Dexter's method (use of knife and not leaving clues) and wrong facts given by Dexter (method of disposal).
- Strangely enough, after Season 3, Miguel is not mentioned for an entire season until the fifth Season, where Dexter simply mentions his name when referring to whether or not Lumen Pierce could accept who he was.
- Miguel is the first main antagonist (Of Dexter's plot) to not be killed in the final episode of a season.
- According to his conversations to Dexter he also sentenced a few people to death sentence.
- Ethan Turner - Suggested to Dexter to test him.
- Clemson Galt - Helped Dexter capture and transport him.
- Billy Fleeter (40) - Stabbed in the chest under Dexter's supervision.
- Ellen Wolf (38) - Beaten, strangled, and stabbed in the chest.
- His Unnamed Father - Miguel tells Dexter that he beat his father hard and threw him down the stairs at some point in his life and that he enjoyed "the Darkness" this act involved. However it was later revealed that the act was performed by Ramon Prado, so Miguel's exact involvement is in doubt.
- Fred Bowman - Visited his hideout ready to shoot him, only to find that Dexter already killed him.
- Maria LaGuerta - Went to her house intending to kill her.
- Dexter Morgan - Lead George King to believe that Dexter knew Freebo's whereabouts in hopes that King would kill him.
- Miguel derived pleasure in killing, disemboweling, and cooking the fish caught by Dexter (foreshadowing the murder of Billy Fleeter).