It’s the 10th anniversary of Dexter today, so I thought it’d be fun to pay tribute to a show that lasted eight series, and introduced us to one of modern television’s greatest, most morally ambiguous characters – Dexter Morgan (supremely played by Michael C Hall). Over the course of this long story, the vigilante serial killers battled monster-sized demons thanks to a seriously messed-up childhood, killed people in line with his father’s ‘code’ and enjoyed relationships with some memorable characters. I’ve put together a list (who doesn’t love a list, right?) of some of my favourite moments, which you can read after the jump.
1 Rita in the bath (S4 E12)
Just when Dexter had engineered a family scenario – a wife, a child – it was cruelly taken away from him. I say cruelly, but you could make an argument that says a man in the ‘line of work’ Dexter Morgan is in doesn’t deserve good things. This is a ’10 best moments’ type of list, but you argue this was the most leap-out-of-your-seat moment – when Dexter returned home, thinking himself rid of the Trinity Killer, he found his wife, Rita, dead in the bath, murdered. Just prior to that, he entered th house to find baby Harrison – his son – sitting in a pool of blood, mirroring his own childhood.
2 The Trinity Killer (S4 E11)
Arthur Mitchell – John Lithgow’s chilling Trinity Killer – has been locked in an obsessive cat-and-mouse game with Dexter, who’s done all he can to keep the kill and the administering of justice to himself. Dexter, thinking he’s got the upper hand, botches his plan to trap Mitchell, which means Mitchell is now onto him. This leads to a visit to Dexter’s office. “Hello, Dexter Morgan.”
3 Travis Marshall (S6 E12)
Dexter has been tracking Professor Geller (Edward James Olmos) and his protege Travis Marshall (Colin Hanks), but finds it’s actually the apprentice that is the real killer. As he’s about to take his very Dexter-like revenge on Marshall, his sister Debs walks in to see him plunge the knife into the serial killer as he lies wrapped up in clingfilm. Dexter’s secret is out.
4 Debs’s death (S8 E12)
Say what you want about the final finale, but there were moments that really got his. Not least the end of Debs, one of the show’s best characters. She had been shot and seemed to be recovering, but complications from surgery caused to have a stroke and be placed on life support. Dexter, his final killing an act of mercy (were they all acts of mercy), snuck in and turned her life support machine off.
5 LaGuerta (S7 E12)
Ever since Debs found out that her brother was a vigilante serial killer, her moral compass has been all over the shop. While she’s been wrestling with her conscience and figuring what her next move is, LaGuerta has also been doing some detective work of her own. She finally finds out what happened to her friend Doakes, and confronts Debs. Debs shoots her dead.
6 Doakes and the air vent (S2 E8)
Doakes, one of our favourite characters in Dexter, was always suspicious of his colleague, and when Lila started a fire to make sure he comes back into her life, the potty-mouthed detective breaks into Dexter’s apartment and finds all the evidence he needs in that air vent. Shame he didn’t last to use his findings. Which leads us neatly on to…
7 The end of Doakes (S2 E12)
The end of the second series – the best in our opinion – saw Lila find out from Doakes, who had been locked up in a cage by Dexter, that he is the Bay Harbour Butcher. Instead of being appalled, demented firestarter Lila is full of love and sympathy (and perhaps a little empathy) for the man, so she does what she does best – sets fire to his cage and gets rid of Doakes.
8 Lundy (S4 E4)
FBI Special Agent Frank Lundy (Keith Carradine) formed an unlikely but touching bond with Debs. While they were investigating the Trinity Killer, reporter Christina Cox – who was later to revealed to be Arthur Mitchell’s biological daughter – shot both Debs and Lundy in a car park. Only Debs survived, and we were sorry to see Lundy go.
9 The Ice Truck Killer (S1 E12)
Over the course of a series where we were introduced to Dexter and told why he did what he did, the finale edged into view with the Ice Truck Killer revealed to be Dexter and Debs’s biological brother, Brian. He was after them and planned a bloody family reunion. As ever, Dexter was one step ahead, slit his throat and stage a suicide.
10 The wedding (S3 E12)
Dexter and Rita’s relationship was a rollercoaster affair, but in series three they finally tied the knot, which proved the series could do happy moments. But, as ever, there was a dark edge to the wedding – Dexter turned up with an injured hand, because he had just taken out his latest victim and had to rush to the wedding.