Just finished watching Dexter: Season One on DVD. I never saw a series where a serial killer, of all people, and the main character to boot, can be so likable and charming. Dexter is essentially about Dexter Morgan, a blood splatter expert who works for the Miami police. Dexter also moonlights as a serial killer. The thing is Dexter is not your ordinary serial killer, but someone who has a conscious, of sorts. He follows a code: he doesn’t harm the innocent, only the wicked, who are walking freed, often unpunished: rapists, child molesters, murderers are all high on Dexter’s list.
There series is more a mini-series than episodic television. The story arc’s is spread over 12 tightly-knit episodes, and you really have to watch from the beginning to follow the rather twisted storyline. Not surprisingly, Dexter is based on a series of novels by Jeff Lindsay. Trust me, it’s well worth it. It’s a well-written show and contains some fine performances. Michael C. Hall, who plays Dexter, has – no offence - the face of a serial killer: the vacant, serene eyes, the serious demeanor.
No one knows Dexter is a serial killer, but Dexter emits a vibe,which is readily picked up by Sgt. Drakes, a tough detective. Doakes doesn’t like Dexter, and thinks there is something creepy about Dexter and the way he carries himself. Doakes doesn’t know how right he is. Doakes suspicions are piqued with the arrival of the Ice Truck Killer, a serial killer who dismembers prostitutes and uses their body parts to create morbid sculptures. The Ice Truck Killer is doing this for a reason: he wants to impress Dexter, who the Ice Truck Killer knows is someone like him. A natural born killer. The Ice Truck killer is doing it all for him. And suffice it to say, Dexter is quite impressed by the Ice Truck Killer’s intricate handiwork, a type of envy seen only in fellow professionals. The answer why is revealed later in the series. You’ll all just have to watch it to find out.
Though Dexter is a crime series, its central theme lies in the relationship of its characters. And relationship is dangerous ground for Dexter who cannot feel sadness, love, and sympathy. Dexter, as he admits, is an empty shell. Yet Dexter pursues them by pretending, knowing full well that they keep his homicidal tendencies in check. Dexter comes from a loving home, where his father, who realized his adoptive son’s true nature, taught Dexter how to deal with his nature by teaching him a code; it’s the only way Dexter feels human. Because of his aloofness, Dexter has a rocky relationship with his sister and his girlfriend. The reason for Dexter’s trouble is simple: he just doesn’t open up to them. They don’t realize is that Dexter can’t open up to them because Dexter is afraid they will find nothing there, and if they do fine something, they won’t like what they see. Dexter walks an emotional tightrope, but he has to lest he wants to survive. As Dexter reminds us, almost all serial killers get caught.