Rewind & Mainline – Dexter Season 1


This weekend I revisited an old friend in Dexter Morgan. I do enjoy a show where the main character is the most unlikely of people to whom you should form an emotional attachment. Our beloved serial killer Dexter is certainly an unlikely hero.  That is, if you can call him a hero, which you shouldn’t.  He’s not even really an anti-hero.  He does have his (or Harry’s) “code”, of course, whereby he only targets other really bad people to slice up on his table – that doesn’t make it right.  He keeps trophies after all, if he were altruistic, he wouldn’t need to do that..

Dexter Opening Credits: the morning routine.

So why do I still like him so much?  Hopefully that doesn’t say too much about my own personality (*not* a serial killer, honest!), but I do really enjoy horror shows and movies.  Even bad horror, so bad it’s good horror – Sharknado, I’m looking at you.

It’s not just because it’s a crime drama from the perspective of (one of the) bad guys, but it’s also a really complex, twisty, turny, risqué and very sweary crime drama.  It ticks all the “Adult” boxes.

Dexter’s internal monologue tends to drive most of each episode, and reveals that he’s constantly battling with his “dark passenger”.  There’s definitely more to this guy than either the mild-mannered blood spatter analyst, or the fierce stalker in the shadows of the Miami night.  The main big bad of the season – the Ice Truck Killer – ties together many of the smaller plots, and when you finally figure out who he is, the flashbacks to Dexter’s past and the little clues that had been left throughout the season begin to fall into place.

Shiny! - Dexter might just approve of these utensils.
Shiny! – Dexter might just approve of these utensils.

As for the other characters in Dexter’s life; I adore his adoptive sister Deb, the foul-mouthed opinionated cop, newly assigned to the homicide division and keen to prove her worth.  The poor thing gets tangled up with the ice truck killer in more ways than one!  Rita and her kids, Dexter’s unsuspecting girlfriend.  Angel, the detective with a great big heart, but keeps getting himself into personal troubles.  Doakes, the only cop who detects that there is something “off” about Dexter, and yet because you’re rooting for our favourite serial killer, you hope he never finds out the truth – SPOILER (it’s been a few years since this has been broadcast, but just in case…) he will in a later season, and it doesn’t end well for the guy!  Lastly, the Lieutenant LaGuerta, the woman battling the glass ceiling of the homicide division, and having to play a game of her own just to keep her job.

Even though this was my second viewing of the season, I was still gripped by the fast pace and energy of the show.  It’s a multi-layered story and I couldn’t remember everything from the first time round (and I usually remember a fair bit!), so it’s well worth revisiting again, or watching for the first time if you previously missed it.  It’s dark, it’s brooding, gory, sexy, and seductive.  What’s not to like!?

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