Dexter’s sixth season had its ups and (almost laughable) downs, which many fans will tell you they either saw coming or frequented a website full of fans that did (r/dexter was my preferred discussion spot).
True, this season wasn’t the strongest, but we know it kicked off (what may be) the last two seasons of the series. So instead of bashing and nitpicking what we loved/hated, let’s start obsessing early and guess what all this means for the future.
Harry’s Code vs. Religion
The two share a thread of morality (yes, being a serial killer can be moral) and Dexter’s belief in both was tested this season. Brother Sam played a major role in pushing Dexter from strong religious ambivalence to a tentative belief in the possibility of a higher power. While Brian popped up for one episode and (literally) pushed any thought of Harry and his code out of Dexter’s mind. The end result of all of this internal confusion was Dexter making a kill (Travis) that Brother Sam and Harry would have undoubtedly advised against.
What this could mean for next season: It was interesting watching someone who generally doesn’t believe in religion have it thrown in his personal and professional life pretty much all season, but there’s no need to rehash this again. Unless Brother Sam takes on the Harry-role for an episode or two, it’s highly unlike anyone else will re-spark Dexter’s interest in God or any other higher being in the seventh season.
Louis the Intern
Masuka originally selected Ryan Chambers for his intern, but after a little flirting and thievery, Louis replaced her. He flew under the radar and for a brief moment in time, I thought he’d be harmless character who was only introduced to give the homicide department some new blood.
Sure, his obsession with Dexter could have been written off as cute, but then we found out that he was in possession of the hand from the ITK case that Ryan originally stole. A red flag, especially when coupled with the palm reading he drew on the hand before mailing it to Dexter. All signs point to something nefarious, but there’s still a sliver of possibility that he’s a fan boy obsessed with Dexter’s work as a blood-splatter expert and not his side job as a serial killer.
What this could mean for next season: The popular opinion is that Louis is Dexter’s nephew. Perfectly acceptable, but if the writers go that route, I truly hope they make him Dexter’s nephew/mentee instead of Dexter’s nephew/opponent. Travis used up all of my patience for mediocre villains and Louis would be much more fun as a Lumen-style character who provides a support system for Dexter’s kills.
Deb’s Loving Feeling
With her new role as lieutenant, Deb spent most of the season in a perpetual state of adjustment. She broke up with Quinn early on and when she wasn’t figuring out how to fit into her new role, she was holed up in a dark office with her psychiatrist. Her sessions helped her realize how much she wanted Dexter to be someone he wasn’t (“You wouldn’t ask a chair to become a table“), her reliance on Dexter as a brother and finally, her feelings. Yes, Deb loves Dexter…romantically.
Her psychiatrist, who she may need more than ever next season, normalized these emotions because the two aren’t blood siblings. In turn, Deb decided it would be a good idea to tell Dexter that she is in love with him. This could be the most significant takeaway from this season.
What this could mean for next season: Whether or not Deb actually tells Dexter how she feels, the emotions will still be there. They will shape how she treats him as a brother and her subordinate at work, as well as how she interacts with any other romantic interests they may give her in the seventh season. Her psychiatrist could decide to tell someone, perhaps LaGuerta, which means everyone finds out she’s in love with Dexter. Although super unlikely, Deb being pregnant was mentioned as a possibility in Ricochet Rabbit. Does Harrison get a little cousin that could one day become his little stepbrother?
Dexter Got Caught
In one of Dexter’s sloppiest moments of the season, he decides to kill Travis at the abandoned church. Under normal circumstances, this would fit Dexter’s usual modus operandi just fine. However, he did the kill in the most visible place in the building on the same day/time Deb asked him to be there. Had he not already doubled his chances of getting caught, it was the end of the season finale, so it was expected that something big would happen….and he got caught….by Deb…his sister….that just realized she’s in love with him. Wow.
What this could mean for next season: If he were caught by pretty much anybody else, I’d theorize that this cliffhanger concludes with that person ending up as dead as Travis. Since it was Deb this can go a few ways, here are the ones that immediately came to mind:
• Dexter tells Deb it’s his first time killing someone and she buys it: Highly unlikely since Travis is killed in a very “I’ve done this a few times before” manner. She can’t be that blinded by love.
• Dexter tells Deb everything and she runs away in disgust, spending the whole season avoiding him and pretending she didn’t see what she so obviously did: Also highly unlikely since Deb tends to confront her issues/problems/etc. full force.
• Deb realizes Dexter’s killing style is similar to that of the Bay Harbor Butcher and he tells her he picked up where Doakes left off: More likely, since Deb is super observant when it comes to her police work and will probably notice the connection, but less likely that Dexter will only partially admit to what he’s been doing.
• Dexter accepts that Dexter is a serial killer and works with him to clean up the mean streets of Miami: Not likely, but it would be so enjoyable to watch.
The great thing about it being Deb is that she’s already let Dexter (and Lumen) go once before. She may not have known she was doing that, but she proved to Dexter that she doesn’t always see things as black and white, which means she might just understand why he’s been killing all these years. If he panders to that side of Deb, as well as lets her know that Harry essentially trained him, it could mean he continues to kill and share who he really is.
Season seven can’t come soon enough.
“Most people believe we have free will, that we all choose our path. Sometimes the path is clear, sometimes not so much. Every twist, every turn can challenge our sense of direction. But it’s the choices we make when we reach a fork in the road that define who we are.” – Dexter
I was wrong. Just Let Go did not prove to be the episode where we finally learn the “secret” behind Travis and Gellar’s relationship. There were clues…but nothing concrete. That disappointment aside, there seemed to be a greater focus on the other dynamics, like Dexter and his Dark Passenger, Quinn’s downward spiral and the increasing redundancy of LaGuerta in every episode. Not everyone is in love with the major religious theme of the season, but without it, we might not have seen the return of one of Dexter’s more significant characters, as well as the loss of another.
- Clues that Gellar is nothing but a figment: (1) Gellar picked out the ‘tawdry’ outfit for their victim, but didn’t pay. Maybe he’s cheap, but I doubt it. (2) Gellar asks questions he would know the answer to if he were involved in the process (i.e., did Travis brand the woman yet). He sounds like he’s speaking as a conscious and not a partner. (3) Lisa, Travis’ sister, mentions that he’s a great artist. Gellar’s painting is really good. They could have bonded over their expertise with a paintbrush…or…Travis is doing the paintings. (4) Travis makes no mention of what happened with Dexter.
- “You and Sam are friends.” This may be the first time Dexter has ever been called anyone’s friend and it was genuinely true. I don’t count Batista, because their ”friendship” is a convenience from working together, if that.
- It was pretty sloppy for Dexter to call Leo Hernandez’s baby mama and say he was from the Department of Child Services. Maybe there’s a block on the caller ID for calls made from the police department. Or perhaps, and more likely, I was just overanalyzing a really insignificant scene.
- What was the point of the writer’s making Quinn and Batista form that quick and corny buddy cop thing just to bring it back full-circle in this episode? Sure, Quinn played the ‘partner card’ and Batista had his back, but by the time the credits were rolling, Quinn was back to being a douche (sort of understandably) while Batista and Deb were BFFs again.
- Dexter seemed to care more about Brother Sam being shot than when Rita was killed. Usually Dexter has to pretend he’s feeling normal human reactions, like at Rita’s funeral, yet when Jamie asks him about Sam, he has to pretend he’s not. And speaking of Dexter’s internal conflict…
- Harry sends mixed messages. Sometimes it’s fine for Dexter to be detached and other times he shoves Dexter in the “light” direction. But since he’s not real, it speaks to how Dexter’s own conflicting emotions play out when Michael C. Hall isn’t giving us a play-by-play in the voiceovers.
- Deb finds it hard to talk to Dexter since she’s his boss now. If only she knew that big brother probably didn’t give that whole thing a second thought, except for being genuinely proud of her.
- Please don’t make Anderson into another Doakes. I didn’t like Doakes, at all.
- Louis, Masuka’s intern, is played by Josh Cooke. I Love You, Man….I couldn’t place him last week, which was bugging me.
- Raise your hand if you knew Nick was Brother Sam’s shooter after the fifth time they beat us over the head with the dog as a clue. Way to slap us with the obvious, although I was oblivious.
- Why is Travis keeping a fridge with his own transfused blood?
- Deb was jealous. “I could give a fuck who you fuck.” Classic Deb avoidance. Regardless, Quinn was still completely asinine for sleeping with a potential witness. I forsee them drawing a connection between her and Travis btw.
- Brother Sam thought Dexter’s darkness was fueled by hate. His speech was a little trite, but moving nonetheless. Although I appreciate that he sees Dexter’s light, I just don’t think his Dark Passenger is driven by a hatred for his “victims”. Sorry Brother Sam.
- Louis, stay the hell away from Jamie. I NEVER like anyone with smarts getting close to anyone with access to Dexter, it makes me uneasy, like they might start snooping around…finding stuff.
- Light vs. Dark. I really thought Dexter was going to let Nick go and was all prepared to hear the many Dexter fans shout how pissed they were that Dexter got to the fork and went the “good” route. Unfortunately or fortunately, Nick’s darkness beat out any light Dexter may have had in that moment. Dexter’s not usually so public with his murders, but then again, Dexter never been one to turn down the opportunity for a justly killing.
- Travis let the girl go.
DaddyGellar is going to be pissed.
Next on Dexter …
Of course with arguably one of the purest people Dexter has ever encountered ripped form his life, there was room for the darkest to return. One Brother (Sam) is gone and another brother (Brian Moser) comes back. Thank you for the symbolism Dexter writers. Judging from the promo, the Trinity Killer is back. And yes, we all know that’s not literal.
Originally I wanted to call this post ‘The Bad Guys of Dexter’, but I realized that there are way too many, since all he does is kill them. But every season there has been one character who has caused trouble for Dexter. One character who has shaken his world and made his life difficult. Now that we know a bit more about this season’s antagonist, I want to look back at all the others. If you do not watch Dexter but plan to, GO BACK NOW!!! This post holds nothing but spoilers and big spoiler so get out while you still can!
When Dexter started I don’t think anyone knew what to expect. Was this just gonna be a show about a serial killer with a conscious and the complications of keeping his secret hobby covered up? Or would there be something more? I assumed the latter when my brother told me I had to watch it, giving me seasons 1-3. I quickly began a marathon and for a month and a half I pretty much did nothing but watch Dexter. And now I’m addicted.
Season One- The Sibling Rivalry
By the end of the first episode it was clear that the Ice Truck Killer was going to be a recurring antagonist for Dexter and the Miami Metro Police. The games he played with Dexter seemed harmless at first and Dexter was intrigued, but not worried. He hunts the Ice Truck Killer, with the intentions of killing him, but he’s also interested in learning why he’s playing this game. Dexter remains in control and unconcerned until the last couple of episodes when the crime scene is a room filled with blood. Dexter’s suppressed memories return to him. And now, more than ever, he wants to know why the Ice Truck Killer is playing this game. In the last episode he makes all the connections and learns that the Ice Truck Killer/Rudy is actually Brian Moser, his real brother. It was the first time the show astounded us with a twist in plot, but definitely not the last. The beauty of the Ice Truck Killer as an antagonist is that it all seemed so harmless at first. It was inevitable that Dexter would eventually find and kill him, but I don’t think anyone expected the plot to go much deeper than a cat and mouse game. It’s the unsuspecting quiet way the antagonistic relationship begins that makes this one of my favorite seasons. And Dexter, as well as the audience, learn the truth of why Dexter is the way he is.
Season Two- The Suspecting Cop
The antagonist in this season is, arguably, all of Miami Metro Police Department since they’re hunting Dexter down, but I’d like to focus on Doakes. For me this was a challenging relationship to comprehend because ultimately, Doakes is right. Dexter is a murderer, regardless of his code and the past experiences which made him the way he is, and that makes him the bad guy. Doakes’ suspicions and pursuit of Dexter make this really complicated. At not one point did I want Dexter to get caught or hurt, but I also understood Doakes. The whole season is a bit of a moral struggle for Dexter, more so than the others. He contemplates turning himself in a few times over the course of the season, and even more so when it comes down to breaking the code and killing Doakes or giving himself up. Lucky for Dexter he doesn’t have to make that decision because that British Bitch did it for him. She killed Doakes and Dexter killed her (good riddance!). Dexter, not wanting to endure this kind of struggle again picks a better place to dispose of the bodies.
Season Three- The Willing Partner
This season was the most unexciting for me. Miguel Prado as an antagonist was annoying more than anything. But for Dexter it was a chance to see that maybe he could trust someone to know what he was without being repulsed. Eventually he finds out that Miguel is out of control, thirsty for blood and incredibly sloppy. He doesn’t follow the code as stringently as Dexter does and this is, of course, unacceptable to Dexter, especially when he finds out Miguel has killed a defense attorney and plans to kill LaGuerta. He has no choice, Miguel has to be killed, just like all the other antagonists he faces. Dexter’s initial trust is broken and he learns that what he does has to be done alone. He can only trust the people how don’t know what he really is.
Season Four- The Family Man
In my mind, this is the only season that compares to season one. With its epic twist, Dexter’s struggle and the intricate Trinity storyline this season is TV gold. In the beginning of the season Dexter, just like any new father, is doing his best to juggle work, family and killing. He’s worried that he can’t do it. He’s worried that he won’t be able to be a family man and continue his night time hobby, until he finds out who Trinity is and following him home one night discovers that he is a family man too. Dexter decides to try and learn from Trinity before killing him, big mistake. What he learns is that he doesn’t ever want to be anything like Trinity, whose abusive relationship with his family keeps them all shaking in fear. Before Dexter can perform the killing Trinity finds him out. Dexter fears for his family and sends them to Disneyworld. Finally he gets the chance to kill Trinity. He feels satisfied that Trinity’s cycle has finally ended, until he comes home to Rita as the first victim in another Trinity cycle, which will never be completed. Trinity’s role as an antagonist forced Dexter to look at his family. Unlike Trinity, Dexter has strict lines that bound his dark passenger and he would never do anything to hurt his family, which he discovered through their relationship.
Season Five- The Inspirational Speaker
This season represents the first time Dexter has a partner that doesn’t screw him over. It’s also the first time he tries to help someone else with their own darkness. The antagonist isn’t as clear in this one, but for the sake of this blog I’m going to claim, it’s Jordan Chase. Though it’s a bit of a struggle for Dexter to allow someone to be there during the kills, especially after what happened with Miguel, this is different. The relief Lumen feels during the first kill, tells him she is not the same as Miguel who became kill-hungry. He helps her track down all the men responsible and eventually ends with Jordan, who, unlike the others, is a bit of a challenge. I think I’d venture to say that his quest for Jordan and the four other men involved in violating Lumen is the real antagonist here. Though Chase fuels it the most, by catching on and kidnapping Lumen, it’s the hunt for all five that fuels Dexter’s thought process. Dexter is able to put aside his need for retribution against the Trinity Killer (which he can’t achieve because he’s already killed him), to help Lumen in the quest for hers. In the end when Lumen no longer feels her dark passenger, Dexter can only hope that one day he’ll no longer feel his.
Season Six- The Messengers
We’re still in the midst of discovering more about this season’s antagonist, but we know they’re fueled by religion. One man, does the killing, while the other, cannot shake the feeling that what he is doing is wrong, despite it being a message from God. After one discussion with the side-kick, Dexter let him go, which may come back to haunt him. I wonder how the paths of these two will cross with Dexter. We already know he is looking at the whole religion thing because of Brother Sam and the school he wants Harrison to go to, but ultimately I’m not sure what this antagonist will give Dexter, besides maybe a new-found disrespect for religion given the way the duo’s literal (and bloody) interpretation of the bible.
The antagonists of this show have served their role well. Teaching Dexter, forcing him to discover things and giving him a purpose. They’re very important to the show, more so then the average kill, though they have their affect too. But most importantly the antagonists give the audience something to stress out over while waiting for the next episode.