Dexter Morgan is a blood splatter analyst for the Miami Police Department who helps keep the city safe from murderers with his incredible forensics expertise. To most of the world, he is a great friend, brother and even father. Dexter is always willing to help others who need it, even if coworkers like James Doakes label him a “weirdo.” What many people do not realize is that Dexter is actually a vigilante serial killer who operates under a strict code that his adoptive father Harry taught him.
Who Is Dexter Morgan?
When Dexter was just a toddler, he witnessed the horrific sight of his own mother being brutally murdered in front of him. When the police responded to the incident, Officer Harry Morgan found Dexter crying and sitting in the pool of his mother’s blood. Harry couldn’t let Dexter go through the foster care system and decided to take him in as his own and raise him with his biological daughter Debra.
Throughout Dexter’s childhood, he felt different and didn’t quite know what was wrong with him. When Harry discovered that Dexter was killing small animals, he realized that the traumatic events that Dexter experienced with his mother might have turned him into a killer. Harry loved Dexter as if he were his own son, so he didn’t want Dexter to turn into a monster and possibly go to prison for life because of his urge to kill.
As a police officer, Harry’s job is to protect the citizens of Miami from criminals, and he used this foundation to instill a code in Dexter. Harry explains to Dexter that he is going to have these urges and cravings to kill, but he needs to use this for good. Although Harry is a great policeman, he knows that sometimes killers slip through the legal system and get away with murder, so he decides that turning Dexter into a sort of vigilante is the best way to protect his son and clean up Miami. With his veteran knowledge of how the police department works, Harry teaches Dexter how to hunt down and kill the people who were not convicted for their crimes.
Dexter grows up with the appearance of a normal young adult who does great in school, goes to college and pursues a career in police work just like his father. However, he has another side of him that nobody knows. Dexter decides that getting into Miami Homicide will be the best career path for him to stay in the loop about current cases and unsolved murders; Deb ends up joining Miami PD as well but as a police officer.
After Harry’s death, Dexter and Deb’s bond is stronger than ever because they are all each other has. Dexter experiences a lot of conflict throughout the series, trying to protect Deb from the truth that he is a serial killer and that their father is the one who trained him. Although Harry has passed away, he manifests as Dexter’s conscience throughout the show trying to enforce his code when Dexter gets the urge to kill.
Dexter on the Hunt
Each season of Dexter has a different major conflict, and the show keeps viewers on their edge of their seats during each episode. Most of the seasons revolve around a primary serial killer terrorizing Miami, but there are also some seasons where Dexter’s main goal is to protect his secret.
Most of Dexter’s internal struggle comes from debating whether he should find the killer himself or do his job and let Miami PD handle the situation. His “dark passenger” is the nickname that he has given his urge to kill, and sometimes it is far too strong for him to resist. This craving to kill the bad guys puts Dexter in many situations that can get him caught or even border on the line of breaking Harry’s strict code. No matter what the situation is, audiences are constantly in a state of delightful suspense while watching Dexter get himself out of tough situations with his quick thinking. You can’t help but root for Dexter, even if he may make questionable decisions at times.
Throughout the seasons, there are different killers who usually have a theme to their murders, and although Dexter wants to stop them, he sometimes can’t help but get close to them and try to understand more about why they kill. Dexter’s constant self-analyzing makes him want to get to know some of these killers to better understand why he feels the urge to kill. This can create a very dangerous situation when the person Dexter is hunting learns who he is and potentially puts Dexter’s friends and family at risk.
The Widower and Father
Dexter has different love interests throughout the show, but no one can compare to his love for Rita. Rita and Dexter end up getting married and having a child together, and Dexter becomes a father figure to Rita’s two children from a previous marriage. Unfortunately, during the fourth season, Dexter’s involvement with the notorious “Trinity Killer” results in Rita’s murder. Dexter comes home to discover that after he finally ended the life of Trinity, it’s too late. He sees the scene of Rita murdered and his son Harrison crying, sitting in a pool of blood.
For the remainder of the series, Dexter now has an added responsibility of trying to manage being a single parent while still satisfying his urge to kill. He also has new struggles with whom he should kill and always remembers that if he waits too long, someone he loves might be hurt if his secret is ever discovered. To find out exactly how Dexter manages life as a secret serial killer, watch Dexter online.