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Headscratchers: Dexter
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  • How is it that Dexter -never- runs into a locked deadbolt or a security system whenever hes breaking into places?
    • People in Miami are lazy about home security.
  • How does Dexter explain all of the cars he wrecks?
    • Some people are accident prone. Some people are car accident prone. He probably explains it with "I had another car accident."
  • In episode 1 Dexter seems to be emoting. He is yelling at his kill, seeming to be genuinely mad, yet moments later he tells us he a sociopath and can't feel emotions. This is unlike any other kill, not simply because he found the bodies of his victim, but because he felt so vindicated with this kill for some reason.
    • Early-Installment Weirdness
    • There's also the fact that sociopaths actually do feel and express emotions like anger, happiness, and even sadness. They just don't feel them on behalf of others due not having empathy. When a sociopath gets mad, it tends to be a violently explosive burst of anger that ends almost as soon as it begins. Plus, it's pretty obvious that Dexter isn't a sociopath, or at the very least an extremely poor representation of one. He feels love for his family, something no sociopath can really feel on anything more than the most shallow, physical level if that. For another, he has standards, which requires a conscience and a degree of self-control beyond "if I do this I will get caught and I don't want to be punished", which actual sociopaths often lack. If Dexter were actually a sociopath, he wouldn't care about Rita, Astor or Cody one bit. They would be a means to an end, and he would discard them as soon as they were no longer useful to him, got in the way of what he wanted to do, or became a liability. Real-life sociopaths are a LOT more unstable than they appear in the movies, but even Hollywood Sociopaths aren't as ethical as Dexter. Dexter is something else entirely.
  • Dexter has psychoses? But he's not a psychopath, I thought he was a sociopath? I've been googing the difference and the implication seems to be the sociopathic tendencies are "conditioned" through environmental factors. Was Dexter then completely capable of then overcoming the urges before season 1?
    • They say "sociopath" in the show from time to time but it's clear that whatever illness he has is more complicated than that. FWIW, it's not unheard of for one person to have two or more mental illnesses at once, so the show might be using "sociopath" as a convenient shorthand.
      • What's bugging me, is that he has the tendencies of both a psychopath and a sociopath. And though the overlap between them is fairly huge there are generally identifiable distinctions. The typical profile for a psychopathic homicide involves impulse and emotion (for dexter ie: the dark passenger, his obsession with his "trophies") which generally leads to unplanned murders and a higher catch rate for psychopathic crimes. Where as sociopaths have a difference in temperament, they are not readily driven by impulse and thus plan their crimes down to every last detail, and can often wait for long periods of time to ensure they go smoothly (ie: most "normal" episodes in the series). So despite their overlap, the two tend to have separate criminal and psychological profiles. However, it seems like Dexter switches between these whenever the plot feels like he needs to, something that originally annoyed me. I've thought about it and maybe this might be Fridge Brilliance unintended or no, maybe a good deal of Dexter's afflictions are constructed and are not things that would have organically manifested if Harry hadn't of reinforced his urge to kill.
    • From a medical standpoint, he's neither. His mental disorder calls for killing and dismemebering, but that doesn't mean he's a socio/pschopath. There are several serial killers in real life that are not- Jeff Dahmer, Aileen Wudos, Son of Sam- so this is truth in television. Honestly the show seems to teeter back and forth on what exactly the Dark Passenger urges him to do...early seasons said that it was the only way that he could "actaully feel anything", then it was implied that it was equivalent to sexual release now it is apprantly some sort of anxiety relax.
    • Actually, I believe Dexter qualifies for Antisocial Personality Disorder. He is constantly lying, obeying social norms for selfish reasons, behaving irresponsibly, and rationalizing what he does. He is normally careful and not impulsive, but he becomes quite reckless when he loses control of his emotions. Indeed, he is extremely loathe to relinquish control, even to the end. (He clearly has emotions, as sociopaths typically do; what he lacks is empathy... the ability to feel what others feels and more importantly, to imagine himself in their shoes.) Sociopaths can love. It's just that it's an immature form of love that is much more self-centered than empathic. There are people Dexter cares about, who he would do anything to protect, but rarely does he think about what's truly best for them. There are times when he comes close to this kind of thinking (e.g. at the end of Season 2 when he thinks about what's best for Deb and Rita in the long run), but ends up falling back on things centered around himself ("Harry may have rejected me, but Deb clearly believes in me, so why shouldn't I?" ... despite Deb being ignorant of some very important facts about him. Also note how he characterizes Harry as having "rejected" him.) Thus the comment he gets in Season 8 about lacking the ability to love selflessly. (Personally, I don't think that is 100% true, but he does come up short in the ability to see/feel from another person's point of view.) He does undergo an unusual amount of growth during the series, perhaps because of his strong desire both for insight and belonging (and Rule of Drama)... but I don't think that means he's not a sociopath.
  • Blood. There's a fairly large amount of blood in the average human (1.25 gallons) and Dexter doesn't drain his victims (his inner monologue mentions it when he sees the Ice Truck Killer does). Even if he wrapped them head to toe in plastic wrap, there would still be alot of blood to deal with while he's cutting them up. Even without the heart pumping, blood flows freely for quite a while after death if there's any kind of hole in you. You don't see anything sloshing around the garbage bags, and he doesn't seal them up completely before leaving the kill room (he takes rocks when he gets to the marina, and in one episode near the end of the Trinity arc you can see an exposed arm while he's dumping), so why doesn't blood leak out? And if he doesn't drain them, how does he make sure none runs out when he's cleaning up the plastic?
    • Very, very carefully.
    • On a related note, Dex admires the Ice Truck Killer's method, which avoids all that mess. So why doesn't he adopt something similar? He's a practical guy — the associations with ITK would be less important to him than convenience and elegance.
      • He may have come up with something similar, it's just that we don't see it. The Ice Truck Killer brought all his victims to a place with a convenient tilting table... Dexter tries to never use the same place twice, as part of his training to avoid the mistakes other serial killers make. Setting up a tilting table in these places would take a long time and be a lot of effort, which are two things that would extremely increase Dexter's chances of getting caught. Since we don't usually see him actually doing the dismembering, he may have come up with some method that minimizes mess when dismembering... I don't know, I'm not a forensic scientist (or scientist of any kind), maybe he dumps a bunch of dry ice on the body to make the blood freeze and the flesh turn more solid before he cuts it up. That way when it thawed, the pieces would already be in the bags and any blood would flow into them, at which point they're probably already in the ocean.
  • Why doesn't Dexter discreetly break into a crematorium and cremate his victims after cutting them into chump—that way he could then dump the ashes at sea, a lot less risky then pitching black bags of body parts. I guess the Doylian answer is probably that there wouldn't have been the Bay Harbor Butcher plot then, so Season 2 would've been a lot less awesome.
    • Also, how does Dexter dispose of the bloody plastic wrap and tape afterward?
      • He either throws it overboard with the body parts or (more likely) takes them to a secluded place in the middle of nowhere, builds a bonfire and burns them. If anyone asks he can just say he was camping or something.
      • But plastic doesn't burn, it melts. Plus a fire draws attention and getting to a remote burning ground takes even more time in his already packed hunting nights.
      • All plastic burn, but at different temperatures, so a regular bonfire may or may not do the trick. Plastic is a form of fossil fuel after all.
      • Whether burned or melted, the evidence is still destroyed and that's all that matters. If anyone finds it later they'd just assume someone was burning some trash. South Florida has plenty of no man's land-type places to choose from that aren't too far out of the way and are remote enough that Dexter won't be disturbed. How do you think drug dealers and the like can operate so freely in Florida in the first place?

        Look, the point is, Dexter somehow figures out a way to destroy all the evidence of his killings. Doesn't matter how he does it, just that it gets done.
    • Thanks. I actually read on The Other Wiki that Dexter dumps the plastic in the ocean along with the dismembered bodies, so there you go.
    • How does he wash his shirt without leaving evidence, which clearly gets very bloody after he saws his victims' bodies up?
      • He has a special shirt that he only wears when he's stalking and killing a victim. And he always (or almost always) wears a full-body plastic covering when he's cutting up the bodies. Also, since the victim's heart is no longer pumping blood there wouldn't be a lot of spray when Dexter cuts them apart unless he uses something really messy like a chainsaw.
      • But his shirt clearly looks bloody. Washing it in his own machine might be dangerous and the stain might not even come out (like with Prado).
      • If you look closely you can see that it's actually some kind of overshirt or smock. I'm not sure what it is exactly (something slaughterhouse workers wear? I dunno) but the edge of Dexter's regular hunting shirt is visible around the collar. Also, I'm pretty sure that image is from when Dexter killed the guy who murdered his mom. IIRC he used a chainsaw to do it as a bit of poetic justice, which would account for the blood in that scene. As for what he does with it afterward, presumably Dexter takes the bloodstained smock and destroys it along with the rest of the evidence.
      • I always assumed that he just buys a bunch of those shirts and disposes of them (along with all the rest of the clothes and gear he's wearing) when he disposes of the body. It's not one shirt, just a certain type of shirt that's become part of the ritual.
      • That was always my thinking. The idea is its a cheap henley undershirt from a big bulk pack that he can throw out each time. That's why I find it a little sickening that IRL they sell the exact "Dexter kill shirt" for 30 bucks a pop >:(
      • That's why you find it sickening?
    • Actually it's more risky since breaking into a crematorium (discreetly or otherwise) runs a much greater risk of contact with the outside world. All it would take is one late-working janitor or file clerk stumbling on Dex and he's instantly exposed. (Dexter even says as much during the Bay Harbor Butcher investigation when Masuka asks why the Butcher didn't just destroy the bodies.) On the other hand, the chances of a couple of divers stumbling on Dexter's ocean dump site was a million-to-one. And now Dexter's eliminated even that remote chance by dumping his victims into the Gulf Stream where they'll be carried out to sea. From a million-to-one chance to a billion-to-one chance.
    • Cremation doesn't burn the bones. The reason there's no skeleton in cremated remains is that they're ground up afterwards. Plus cremation takes quite a while, and Dexter would need regular access to a crematorium, sometimes on fairly short notice, for hours.
      • Also funeral homes with crematoriums run 24 hours a day. They don't hold services and do not do actual cremation at all hours, but someone is always working at any given time and on call. There is always someone dying somewhere of natural causes. Trying to use a funeral home with crematorium would require Dexter to own it or else be paying off a lot of witnesses. It just isn't practical.
  • Why don't the police ever question how oddly attracted serial killers are to the Morgans?
    • Season 1 the police find Dexter fighting the Ice Truck Killer, Deb's boyfriend, who is trying to kill Deb, weird coincidence but okay.
    • Season 2 the police believe Dexter is being personally threatened by Doakes the Bay Harbor Butcher, that is kind of really weird with history considered.
    • Season 3 Deb's boyfriend is skinned by the -well...Skinner, I guess. Alright, Deb maybe you should stop dating for awhile.
    • Season 4 Dexter's wife and Lundy, Deb's creepy boyfriend are both killed by, in relation to, Trinity.
      • The Morgan's are apparently serial killer magnets, and no one mentions it or seems to notice.
      • It is a bit odd, granted. The season 3 example doesn't really count, as Deb started seeing Anton after he was already involved in the Skinner case as a CI.
      • Dexter wasn't "fighting" the ITK. According to his story, he simply saw an ice cream truck and checked it out on a hunch and got the head thrown at his windshield. One could assume that the ITK decided to follow Dex and get in a relationship with Deb as some sort of revenge or something. As mentioned, Deb's involvement with Anton had nothing to do with the Morgans, really. As for Doakes, he was always seen as bullying Dex and made it no secret that he didn't like him. While it was a surprise for them to learn that he was the Bay Harbor Butcher (which he wasn't obviously) it was not so odd to see that Dex was being targeted. A lot of this could be hand waved as pure dumb luck, although I do see how it could be a bit of a wall banger that no one says anything.
      • I think the OP was referring to Dexter's struggle with the Ice Truck Killer at the end of season one, which is interrupted by the police. As for that, I found Dexter's story to the police to be pretty believable, that Brian was unstable and having second thoughts about killing Deb, and had called Dexter, who he'd met and seemed to bond with, and had asked him to come alone. Dexter would have had no choice but to comply for fear for his sister's life.
    • What's so strange about people whose job involves investigating murderers being targeted by said murderers?
  • Though the moment was hilarious, I have trouble believing that a cop who grew up in Miami doesn't know the Spanish words for bitch or shit ("Santa Mierda" anyone?)
    • It's been noted several times that Deb has a problem with Spanish, especially during season 5. It's likely that she just forgot the word, I have forgotten almost everything from high school Spanish.
    • In the books it's specifically stated that Deb (who grew up in Miami) oddly took French in school instead of Spanish. Which stills makes her "mierda/muerte confusion, as mierda translates in French as "merde" and "muerte" as "mort"; but then, Deb would always have remember swear words better, and tv!Deb has gotten no mention of French lessons.
    • Santa Mierda is actually Fridge Brilliance for me. The fact that is the first place Deb went was Mierda, which indicates that it's probably one of the few words that she's even vaguely familiar with (which makes sense, given her... vocabulary). She probably heard "muerte" and in her mind got it confused with the more familiar word "mierda."
  • In the season 1 finale, Dexter takes Rudy back to his apartment to kill him. Rudy is a serial killer who just narrowly escaped the police. Why, pray tell, would his apartment be left completely unattended overnight? Wouldn't there be at least one security guard or rent-a-cop or something, in case he comes back to his apartment? It just seems like a huge plot hole to me.
    • It probably falls under Rule of Drama, but a possible explanation is that Deb is pretty independent and didn't want to seem "weak", and Dexter, knowing he'd show up, spun some story telling the cops not to worry he'd be miles away, but he'd look after Deb himself just in case. Considering he's both Deb's brother and part of the cop "family" that might have been enough.
      • I think the initial problem was with Rudy's apartment being left with no surveillance, not Dexter's apartment. The latter you've explained away pretty well; the former has no real explanation: out of universe, the Rule of Drama and maybe some sort of Karmic Death makes it more interesting and it helps Dex covers it as suicide, but in-universe, it's a bit weird.
  • Why doesn't Dexter store his blood slides someplace more secure? They're damning evidence (just ask Doakes) and behind an easily removed air conditioner cover doesn't seem like the best place. He doesn't need regular, or even particularly quick access to it, so why not hide it somewhere more obscure. Even when he builds his own shed at Rita's, he doesn't build in any hidden compartments, or nice little spot to hide it, he leaves it in the same air conditioner spot. He's got to get together with Michael Westen and pick up some of those spy tactics (imagine that crossover!).
    • Honestly, those Burn Notice tricks are more paranoid than useful. Well, I guess they would be useful for someone with Michael Westen's lifestyle, but Dexter doesn't have assassins, terrorists, or mercenaries coming after him. Better for Dexter to put his blood slides in a place where no one who isn't a shady cop with a grudge against him would think to look.
    • I think he likes keeping them close and easily accessible. The blood slides have meaning for him, so it makes sense that he keep them somewhere that's semi out in the open where he would always be able to know they were there. They're very much a part of his psychosis. He seems to need to get them out every once in a while just to look at them and touch them to appease his Dark Passenger.
      • He's a blood spatter analyst for the police, the best, their go-to guy. The safest place he could have kept his blood slides would be in the open, on a workbench/shelf, next to a microscope. He's considered weird enough at work that no-one would question him doing it as a hobby too. The only suspicious thing about him having them is that they are hidden.
      • Dexter isn't considered "weird" at work. Only Doakes suspected something was wrong with him. The rest of the station thinks he's an exceedingly normal, slightly soft-spoken young man. Keeping a box full of blood slides right out in the open where anyone can see them strongly contradicts Dexter's "I'm a perfectly normal guy" act. Also, the only place Dexter could be collecting blood as a "hobby" would be from the cases he handles. I'm not a legal expert, but I'm pretty sure keeping criminal evidence for personal use is very illegal.
  • Towards the end of season 1, Dexter reflects that Harry always warned him not to get emotionally involved. I was too busy giggling at his facial expression to realise until later that, since Dexter is a sociopath, his getting emotionally involved with something should have been the last thing Harry was worried about.
    • The concept of sociopathy is re-interpreted over and over again throughout the whole series.
      • Besides, Harry is definitely not infallible. It's possible he was just covering his bases, as well. Also, Dexter is a written by a bunch of people who likely are not. It's also possible they just made a mistake. Speaking of mistakes...
      • There's also the strong implication throughout the series that Dexter is not a sociopath, but rather someone with a host of repressed issues who has been trained not to trust his emotions.
      • Except that sociopaths *are* usually people with a host of repressed issues and who have not been trained to deal properly with their emotions. It's just that Dexter has an unusually strong desire to be part of society.
  • I'm not sure how the police work (I tend to avoid them like the goddamn plague,) but why is it that Deb responded to the domestic dispute call involving Rita? I thought she was working Vice, and I was under the impression that they dealt with hookers and such? Is that kind of call a "whoever gets there first" sort of deal, or what?
    • Deb might have been on patrol at the time, since there's a time gap between that introduction and the start of the first season (or book), which allows opportunity for her to be moved from one assignment to another.
      • Thank you kindly.
  • There is a thing that bugs me in Season 3. In the last few episodes, we learn that Miguel Prado knows the Skinner from the very beginning and is even able to set him on to Dexter by telling him that Dexter knows something about Freebo. If he can do this, why does he have to kill Ellen Wolf by himself instead of just setting the Skinner on to her as well? Is it a personal matter or what?
    • He doesn't know George King is the Skinner until the police bring him in for questioning later in the season. He didn't know who he was from the beginning.
      • Well, I think I have to watch that season again...
      • And yes, it clearly is a very personal matter. I mean, realistically speaking, there are a lot of lowlifes in Miami. He could have just contracted one of them to do the deed. Maybe promise that he'll keep them out of prison for it.
    • Also, he is shown intensely enjoying his first kill as observed by Dexter. Maybe he wanted to feel that rush again when killing Ellen Wolf rather than leaving it to someone else.
      • That's exactly what happened. Remember, he drives over and kills Ellen Wolf directly after killing the casino enforcer. He was still on his high from the kill and tried to drag it out.
  • In Season 4, I find it really hard to believe that no one believed Lundy about the Trinity killer. Sure, maybe jumpers and bludgeoning victims are fairly common, but a young girl killed in a bathtub by a razor blade cut through the femoral artery? That alone sounds like a rather uncommon and distinctive MO, you would think that might raise somebody's suspicions...
    • The fact that the bathtub killings are separated by so many years is what keeps most people from making the connection. If they noticed it at all, they'd probably assume it was a copy-cat killer who was inspired by the first bathtub murder. Also a big part of Trinity's character is that he's unlike any other killer ever featured on the show, perhaps unlike any other killer in history. A killer with a totally unique pathology would be a lot harder to profile.
      • If they were solely investigated by local police, and never repeated in the same places, it would take quite a while before someone put it together. The bathtub girl and jumper would probably be ruled suicide more often than not, and beating someone to death one-on-one would point towards someone with personal rage against the victim, not a stranger passing through town. I'd be willing to bet that Lundy only happened across it after being in two different cities where the same sequence happened recently enough to hear about and having personal knowledge of another and it "clicked." It probably wouldn't even set off alarms as most serial killer get noticed because they operate in the same location and are investigated by the same departments.
    • You underestimate the resistant inertia of both bureaucracy and academia, of which criminal profiling for the government is arguably both and thus twice as terrible. People fall in love with their ideas of what makes sense to them and have to be dragged kicking and screaming into a new concept... at which point that concept becomes their new infallible idea. Throw all the facts and rationality at the problem you want, without numbers or authority you're unlikely to get anyone to listen to you, and Lundy had neither.
  • How long does Season 1 span? It was starting to strain credibility IMO that the Ice Truck Killer was able to work a full-time job, commit his own murders, maintain a relationship with Deb, * and* keep perfect surveillance on Dexter and still somehow sleep and eat. Some of the things the Ice Truck Killer knew seemed to flow naturally from breaking into Dexter's house and being his brother, but there were others (like Dexter's offshore dump site, his preferred method of killing victims, etc) that he could only know from following Dexter and personally observing him.
    • Brian mentions at one point that he "spent years" planning all this. He's had a long time to really become familiar with Dexter, find his dump site, etc.
    • We know that episode 5/6 is around Holloween due to the decorations and trick/treat bits mentioned there. We also know that episode 10-12 are around Christmas time. We don't know exactly when the season starts, but I would presume August/September. If only because Astor and Cody are in school. While time is awfully short, it does give him 2 months of interactions. And there's nothing to dismiss that he didn't do surveillance prior to the first murder.
  • Season 2, Episode 2. Rita asks Dexter how he knew how much heroin to give and how to prepare it during the 'Paul's shoe confrontation'. Couldn't he just answer 'I work in forensics'? Yes, I know he deals with blood specifically, but surely he'd be trained in this kind of stuff in general?
    • Dexter could have explained it away in tons of different ways ("I googled it" even), he just chose not to. It was a pretty good cover for his behavior.
    • Well yeah, though it was far from a convenient excuse at a time and only turned out beneficial later on.
    • Maybe he thought Rita wouldn't believe it if he tried to deny it after the fact.
    • Dexter obviously had so many ways to get out of this but i think the writers needed a way to get Doakes off his back so more choppy choppy action could be done in discretion, enter the rehab storyline. The whole business with the shoe pissed this troper off too. Oh wow, your shoe was at the scene. Couldn't Rita, like so many people who watched this episode, have assumed that douchebag lawyer who turned up protesting Paul's innocence planted it?
    • Why couldn't he have just told Rita that the heroin was PAUL's? (It even actually was, wasn't it?) That never made any sense for Dexter to tell the lie he did when there's a much better explanation just sitting there.
      • Rita's exact question was "How did you know how much to give a big guy like Paul?" as in how did Dexter know how big a dose to give him. It would've had to be big enough to knock him out but small enough not to kill him. While I'm not a heroin user and can only speculate on the habits of heroin users, I assume that they measure out the heroin and then put in in the syringe.
      • On the subject of Dexter lying about where he got the drugs, he probably thought it would look more suspicious if he admitted to Rita that he had broken into Paul's house and stolen the drugs. It would have gotten her closer to the real truth, which is not where Dexter wants her to be, so he thought up a lie on the spot which he thought would be more innocuous.
    • On the same note, since Rita's having sex with Dexter on a seemingly regular basis after Season 1, how in the world does she not notice that Dexter, who is apparently an intravenous drug user, doesn't have any tract marks?
      • Maybe she thought he was smoking it rather than mainlining it.
      • She could also have assumed he didn't use his arms. I'm no experct, but don't some addicts shoot between their toes?
    • That's a really good point, but I don't know if he'd know how much to inject Paul with if he were smoking instead - different potency and whatnot. Admittedly, though, Rita may have just taken that at face value without thinking too much about it.
    • So how did Dexter know how to cook the heroin?
      • Ironically, he probably DID google it.
  • Very first episode - Dexter actually digs up a bevy of boy's bodies that were buried by the guy he's going to kill. This is completely at odds with what we see throughout the rest of the series. Possibly Rule of Drama for the first episode, but it always got me.
    • This is explained by the fact that the guy was a child rapist/murderer. Dexter is shown to be particularly merciless towards people who harm children.
    • It's not so out of character. Showing his victim the bodies of the children he killed is just a slight variation on his usual method of showing his victims pictures of the people they killed. In both cases the purpose is to confront the killers with their sins. Physically digging up the bodies is the same thing, just taken to an extreme degree. It's also worth noting that for most of his other victims he didn't have any way to get a hold of the bodies of the people they killed. Those bodies were either destroyed, lost, or their burials were publicly witnessed. The children killed by the child molester in the first episode were presumably killed and buried in secret by the perpetrator. That allowed Dexter to go the extra mile this time.
    • Also remember that the bodies were quite small, it may have taken more time to arrange the normal setup, but simply picking them up from their burial sites rather than photographing them or looking for specific missing child reports...There is also the possibility they were too 'far gone' to make truly positive IDs.
    • Early-Installment Weirdness. Like Dexter wearing a mask made of plastic wrap when he killed the guy who stole copper pipes. Although there is some Fridge Brilliance, as Dexter had more time at this point (no nemesis to deal with, relationship with Rita is much less taxing), so maybe he would do it more often if he had the time.
    • Early-Installment Weirdness, indeed. I read the first book, and I believe that like Laguerta's 'thing' for Dexter, this was all just part of the Pilot episode, which was made whilst they were still planning on making the series closer to the book than it ended up being. Perhaps the high ranking executives said "MAKE IT LESS GRAPHIC!!" or the writing team thought "Fuck the book, let's just do something creative so we can't be accused of not being good at making books TV shows." Blame the Pilot, is what I say.
  • In Season 2 it is implied that Dexter sabotaged his own bloodwork so that he could kill someone. Isn't it part of Harry's code that he only kill people that the police can't convict? The murder of the car salesman earlier in the season bugs me for the same reason, because he should have at least looked for a way to lead the police to him first.
    • He might have thought the case would've been overturned on appeal or the killer would've received a reduced sentence, which could technically be considered "escaping justice".
    • The code says to kill only those who deserve to be killed. It is meant to filter out potential victims for Dexter. Remember, the code isn't about justice. It's about keeping him and his "addiction" in check and off the radar.
  • In the first season, the Ice Truck Killer pulls up one of Dexter's victims from his dumping spot and puts her on display. When the spot is found by divers at the start of season 2, how do the police not connect that victim with Dexter's other victims? Presumably, they'd all have the cut on the cheek and the same wounds.
    • They never found all the bodies of Dexter's kills. They only found 18. Dexter did DNA tests on his trophies when they were brought in from Doakes' trunk, but I would assume he either didn't get a hit in the database when it was brought in, or purposefully deleted the fact he got a hit to prevent such question from being asked.
      • I never brought up the DNA evidence. He presumably kills in the same way every time, and even the worst detective should have been able to notice the cuts to the throat and on either side of the neck, plus his signature cut on the cheek. Hell, even if Dex did manage to bury the report about the woman Rudy pulled up from the dump site, Masuka was so excited about being right about injection spot on the neck that I wouldn't put it past him to keep a copy of the report for himself.
      • Masuka wouldn't have kept the report because he agreed with Dexter that it was probably a bug bite. They never did a toxicology test on the body because it was assumed, and never dismissed, that the husband did it (the same husband Dexter killed). Two cuts on the throat are not the same thing as getting one's head cut off, and body chopped up (like all the bay harbor butcher victims). And a superficial cut on the cheek of a woman killed by her husband is a tad too minor to remember after 6 months. The only thing that would have connected Dexter to her death would have been his trophy of her husband. And that's why I brought up DNA. But it's explained away since Dexter did the DNA testing and likely fudged that report. Although, if one thinks about it, Doakes worked that case. So if it came back the husband was in the ocean, it would further the suspicion of Doakes being the Butcher...
      • Watch that episode again. Masuka didn't give up on the "bug bite" - he came back to it later and ran a toxicology screening that revealed the tranquilizer Dexter uses to immobilize his victims. They never mentioned running one on the Butcher victims, though; it's possible they were too far gone for one to turn up useful results.
    • Additionally, part of the reason they never connect that body with the Butcher's is that it wasn't Dexter's usual MO. Dexter was so rushed that he didn't even chop her up. So we have a seemingly non-criminal woman, her body left in a completely different way (not dismembered, not dumped but displayed), and it was a murder that they considered solved. If it had been the husband that Rudy pulled up it would have been different (He was connected to murders, he was dismembered in the same fashion, etc.).
  • How is Dexter able to function normally? While there have been some serial killers that have been able to "pass" as normal, most are creepy weirdos that when they are caught it isn't they were/are a killer to most who have encountered them. W/O living w/ a female relative (who would be nurturing to him and take of his messes), w/o taking any anti-psychotics and having a stressful job around people who could detect and catch him at any moment,how is he able to function?
    • When Ted Bundy was arrested, his republican party friends raised money for his defense. They simply could not believe that he would be capable of killing. He was a very charming, organized psychopath. Only some killers are disorganized (Richard Chase being the stereotypical example) but many are considered organized, and are fully capable of living a normal life alongside their killing.
    • Because it's not medical/brain, it's purely psychological with external reinforcing factors. He literally could turn it off, if he realised it, but since he's also hooked on the vigilante aspect it's that much harder. Not everything can be answered with pillpopping you loopy yanks!
    • Dexter isn't just a serial killer, he's a serial killer with psychopathy (contrary to popular belief they aren't always the same thing). Psychopaths often appear normal or even charming to outsiders. Dexter's case is special because not only is he a stereotypical charming psychopath, he's also trained himself to act extra normal in public and goes to great lengths to ensure that he doesn't stand out. He's an unusual example of a psychopathic killer but arguably not an implausible one.
      • Do you mean "psychopathic?" Psychosis is defined as a disconnect from reality, such as hallucinations or delusions, and makes it very difficult to function normally. Psychopathy, however, more closely fits your description.
      • You're right, that was my mistake. Corrected.
    • Dexter's also been specifically trained by a police officer on how to act to avoid suspicion.
    • He's a psychopath. A part of the concept of being a psychopath is that they imitate what they lack, manipulating people because in a lot of respects they don't know why or even how not to. After all, how can they be themselves if they don't have any real sense of self? So they put on an act to blend in because most of the time, life's easier and better when you seem normal.
    • In the books the Dark Passenger is treated more like a completely separate entity that coexists with Dexter in his mind and it's the part with the drive to kill, with The Code operating as a counterpoint to keep it balanced. In the show it's treated more like a compulsion to kill with The Code providing a framework to operate in. The fact that he's extremely intelligent, with an Inspector Gadget skill set, Harry training, highly educated (Doakes states that Dexter attended medical school when he does a background check while he's stalking Dexter and say "left medical school to be a blood spatter analyst", but nobody calls him "Doctor").
  • Forgive me if this is a dumb question, I haven't seen the show very much. But Dexter only kills other killers, right? So, what did the couple that he asked relationship advice do? Because as far as I can recall they were just normal people.
    • You have to be a little more specific
    • The two who were involved bringing Cubans to Florida? They were killing Cubans who couldn't come up with the "release" fee. That's the only couple I know of that he killed...
      • Yep...them.
  • After re-watching Season 3 I realized I don't understand why Miguel gave Dexter that shirt with the cow's blood on it. Obviously he was trying to con Dexter into trusting him, but I don't understand why Miguel wanted Dexter's trust in the first place. Remember, this is before Dexter let Miguel in on his "hobby". As far as Miguel knew at that point, Dexter had only killed one person (Freebo) and it was in self-defense. So why would he bother going through with this elaborate charade with the shirt stained with cow's blood?
    • Dexter is thought to be smart enough to think ahead in situations. At least, this is what he likes to portray to others. Is it possible that Miguel saw the blood on his shirt, realized that Dexter transferred the blood from the Freebo crime-scene, and thought that it was Dexter who was testing Miguel to see if he could be trusted?
    • More likely that Miguel is suspicions of Dexter from the very beginning. He doesn't know what Dexter is but, like Doakes, can tell there's something "off" about him. So he decides, rather than making an enemy of Dexter, to gain his trust. After all, he believes that Dexter has just killed the man who killed his brother, and so wants to help and protect him. We find out by "About Last Night" that Miguel has been "using" Dexter from the start.
      • Pretty much this. He doesn't want to make an enemy and may even feel genuinely grateful but he doesn't want to risk himself either, should things go wrong. He is repeatedly shown to have a mind that avoids loose ends. So, he saw giving the shirt with cow's blood on it as a win-win.
  • So, whatever happened to that hanging thread in season 3 about Rita lying to Dexter about how many times she's been married? Is that ever going to come up again?
    • With the decision to kill Rita, several threads were left hanging, never to be returned to. That's why it came as such a shock. Perhaps it was deliberate.
    • Was it really a hanging thread? To me it that marriage-thing appeared as a random MacGuffin for Dexter experiencing him being the one Rita deliberately lies to. For a change. The point was him accepting her secrets and not confronting her because of all the lies he tells her.
  • Not once throughout the the entire relation between Dexter and Miguel is the Bay Harbour Butcher mentioned. Miguel notes that Dexter has done this before, but does not ask if Dexter really was the BHB or at least inspired by the BHB. You'd think it would be mentioned in passing at least.
    • Dexter never killed anyone in front of Miguel, never cut up their bodies in front of Miguel, and as far as Miguel knew, Dexter got rid of his bodies in graveyards. Miguel would have no reason to think Dexter got any inspiration from BHB without knowing how Dexter kills, and would have no reason to suspect because their methods of disposal are entirely different.
  • No one at the police station is ever bothered by how much time Dexter spends not at work.
    • I'm not sure how much time a blood spatter expert normally spends at work, but he does seem to come and go at his convenience an awful lot, which Quinn actually did seem to notice at least once. That time when he confronted Dexter in the parking lot, if I recall he said something like "where are you going, half-day?" Still, it doesn't happen enough, and it does seem like it would have to beg the question of what exactly Dexter does in his off hours that demands his time, since he seems to have no other interests or hobbies.
    • Having performed some of these tests myself, many of them take hours to run even before the results can be analyzed, and since he doesn't seem to mind working at odd hours it stands to reason that he comes and goes when there's work to do. Also, given the level of his expertise in the field, it seems that no one really cares since he does good work and is pretty dependable.
  • Season 3. So, Camilla asks for Dexter to euthanise her because she's Catholic and therefore is afraid of the mortal sin of suicide. So far, so good, I suppose. Though I'm of the opinion that by asking someone to do that, you're committing suicide anyway - it's just that instead of a gun or pills, you use another person... But anyway...
    So, Dexter brings her a pie that's poisoned. She knows that it's poisoned. And she eats it. Therefore, by any reasonable definition, she kills herself. It doesn't make any difference that Dexter brought her the pie. It's the same as if he brought her sleeping pills and she swallowed the whole bottle. No matter how you slice it, she committed suicide by knowingly eating a poisoned pie.
    This bugs me. A lot. Can someone explain this to me?
    • It's been a while since I watched that episode, but I don't think Camilla realized the pie was poisoned until after she took the first bite. And that first bite might very well have contained a lethal dose, so there's no harm in eating the rest. That said, this one really depends on your personal definition of what constitutes a suicide. Suffice it to say, it was enough to satisfy Camilla's personal aversion to killing herself. Would it be enough to satisfy God? Well, that's up to the viewer to decide...
    • If you are talking about religion, there really isn't much point in an explanation. You can just assume that Camilla subscribed to whatever variant of Catholicism there is that allows what she did. Or, failing that, she adheres to the old and proud tradition of Cafeteria Christianity.
  • Above, someone mentioned the "Paul's Shoe Confrontation" as being something that could be easily avoided. Beyond that, the entire rehab subplot went nowhere and is practically an Aborted Arc. The story is just a setup for Dex to meet Lila, which ended up having little to do with the rehab story by its conclusion (and was much more interesting). There are many ways in which they could've met. Beyond that, what else did we get? Doakes left Dex alone for what, three episodes? Rita seemed to forget about everything once they got back together and she was quickly more concerned with Lila than she was with any percieved drug problem. There was a throwaway line in season three, otherwise, nada.
    • The rehab plot was basically a clever way for the writers to explore the "addiction" side of Dexter's Dark Passenger while simultaneously giving him a way to partially reveal himself (to the NA meeting, to Lila). What bugged me about it was that Rita would buy that he was an addict in the first place, but I guess we are supposed to assume that she wanted to believe that because that way she didn't have to think about whether he was hiding something even worse, and she could then blame his erratic behavior, including cheating on her with Lila, on his addiction.
      • "When you hear hoofbeats, think horses, not zebras." I'm not surprised Rita believed he was an addict because, after all, it's way more common than an exotic explanation like serial killer. Just because the exotic explanation happened to be right doesn't mean it was the most reasonable thing to believe.
  • In season 5, it bugged me whenever Dexter referred to Lumen as having a "Dark Passenger". What Dexter refers to as the Dark Passenger is clearly a psychosis, whereas Lumen's bloodlust was based on her desire for revenge and was focused solely on her rapists. No matter how damaged she was by what happened to her, I never got the sense that her darkness was a permanent thing or that it was all that similar to Dexter's, so I wasn't really surprised when she left. I guess you could say that Dexter only thought they were the same because he wanted to think that, the same way he does with everyone on the show who he thinks is "like him", so he could think that he'd finally found a friend who could understand him, but you'd think he would learn by now.
    • Dex's not a psychologist, nor psychiatrist, so he may just be referring to the "Dark Passenger" as an erroneous assumption brought on by his observing her situation and comparing it his.
  • What was Doakes planning on doing with the blood slides? It seems unlikely that he would have found them and immediately come to the conclusion that they were a serial killer's trophies, when an easier explanation would have been that Dexter was just a weirdo who liked to keep mementos from crime scenes he'd worked.
    • He already suspected Dexter was mentally deranged, and he was certain (but had no proof) that Dexter had a connection to the Ice Truck Killer. It's not such a huge leap for him to conclude the slides were trophies. As for what he was doing with them, he was obviously planning to run tests on them to prove they were blood samples from the BHB victims, which would be nigh-incontrovertible proof that Dexter was the BHB.
  • Did Lumen watch Dexter chop up the bodies? This seems like something season five failed to address. While stabbing rapists is fine and dandy, it seems like she might have been less enthusiastic about hanging around with a guy who she saw dismember corpses in such a ritual, methodical way in order to satisfy a compulsion, much less do the horizontal tango with him. Remember when Dexter wouldn't let Miguel watch that part of the ritual, even after he'd done his own kill? On the other hand, Lumen might have wanted to watch the people who tortured her get turned into mincemeat. She was obviously aware of his method of disposal, but I keep wondering if she ever actually saw him do it.
    • She may not have actually watched him do it but she was definitely aware that he had done it since she was there on the boat when they dumped the pieces into the ocean. And if she did watch him chop them up she could have easily rationalized it as a practical necessity. They need to get rid of the body and that's easier to do if the body is in pieces. She'd already come to terms with the idea of hunting people down and murdering them. Coming to terms with dismembering the bodies afterward isn't that much of a stretch.
  • A few things from the end of The Big One:
    • The car Deb gives Dex and Lumen an hour head-start. Presumably they used it to get the body manageable and get it out of there (using Chase's car). Even though the car was stolen, it was stolen from a crime scene they were at right before Deb found them, which would raise questions. Plus Dexter's blood was in the car (he had at least one injury to his head). Did he have to fudge that report too?
    • Closing the case Deb can't say she knows Chase is dead and admit she let Dex and Lumen go. All they'd have is his DNA there, but he owned that property, and he just disappears from the police POV. There's nothing concrete tying him to the murders.
    • What about Emily's murder? Lumen and Chase were both injured and bleeding, and neither Lumen or Dexter wore gloves during their visits. Wouldn't the presence of Dexter's, Lumen's, and Chase's fingerprints/blood at the scene of a murder of a woman with connections to Chase (from the same summer camp as the other members of Chase's circle) point fingers at them?
    • Quinn's innocence It was Liddy's blood on his shoe. Yet another "fudged" report? And wouldn't that make Quinn even more suspicious of Dexter, he must have known Dexter lied.
      • Why would it make Quinn more suspicious? He didn't even know he had blood on his shoe until La Guerta pointed it out. He probably just assumed the blood was from someone else. For instance, if Dexter doctored the report to say it was Quinn's own blood on the shoe Quinn would naturally assume he had cut himself and dripped blood on his shoe without realizing it.
      • Quinn thanked Dexter and said he owed him so presumably he knew that Dexter fudged the report to save him. Although the idea that Quinn owes Dexter is ridiculous, since Quinn was prepared to go to jail for Liddy's murder instead of implicate Dexter. Fudging the report was the least Dexter could do, because Quinn didn't kill Liddy and they both know it. Quinn should still be suspicious, but he might back off anyway if he thinks they're even.
      • The whole thing started because Quinn wanted dirt on Dexter after Dexter wouldn't take anything for his silence on Quinn's shady dealings, and Quinn wanted something on Dexter in case he ever changed his mind. Oddly enough, Quinn now has dirt. Dexter edited a report to say that Liddy's blood wasn't on his shoe, when they both know it was. Quinn will likely not press the matter, more for Deb's sake, than anything else.
      • Quinn doesn't have any usable dirt on Dexter! He can't use that he fudged up the report because it was done to prove HIS innocence. What's he gonna say "Hey you remember when you all suspected me of murder? Well DEXTER changes the report so you'd let me go!!!" ... Yeah, I don't see that working.
      • Actually no, Quinn doesn't know it was Liddy's blood on his shoe. He knew it was someone's blood but he had no way of knowing it was Liddy's blood. Dexter could have fudged the report to say it was Quinn's own blood and Quinn would have assumed he cut himself and dripped blood on his own shoe without realizing it.
  • That one episode where Dexter has a flashback to a psychiatric interview as a teenager, where Harry tells him to lie on every question. A real psychologist would easily detect that - they have scales for things almost everyone would answer one thing but someone faking good would answer differently, such as 'I lie on occasion.' Dexter would totally fail that part of the test, and the psychologist would realize he was lying through his teeth the whole time. It would have been more convincing if Harry had researched the test the psychologist was planning to use and taught Dexter how to fool it, rather than the show acting like psychologists are idiots.
    • Or not. It depends on what you think Dexter's honest response to that question would be. Dexter doesn't lie "on occasion" he lies all the time. Answering "no" would technically be an honest answer for Dexter, which means he would answer "yes" to that question.
      • That was just an example. There are many other such questions, and even if he was being very Exact Words about lying, he'd give the wrong answer to several of them.
    • He also answers "no" way too quickly when the therapist asks him if he's ever hurt an animal.
    • No, you just don't get it. Dexter is THAT good, even at that age.
  • Just finished watching Season 2 and one thing really bugged me. So Masuka has called in the biochemist buddy to look at the rock algae to work out which dock the BHB was using, and then they work out later that the BHB must've been in the police force. What bugs me was that Dexter fits both of these, and I'm amazed no-one (especially Maria) made the connection.
    • Once they figured out that the BHB was on the police force, the dock clue became redundant; as they mentioned when it first came up, most police officers with boats use that dock because it's the most affordable.
    • Dexter's in forensics, and a niche part too. Maybe they don't consider him a real cop.
  • How many years apart are Dexter and Deb? The characters seem like they're only about 2-5 years apart, and in the flashbacks of them as children they look like they're fairly close in age, yet Micheal C Hall is almost ten years older than Jennifer Carpenter. Do the books say anything about the characters' ages? This isn't something that really bugs me, I've just always wondered.
    • I've read the books, but somehow I can't remember if it ever got specific about their age difference. Deb's Wikipedia page mentions her being 16 when her mother died, but Dexter's article mentions him being 16 at the time as well. So if Wikipedia is to be believed, they're less than a year apart. Doesn't say anything about who's older, though.
      • In the show, at least, Dexter is stated to be older, although they don't say by how much.
      • One flashback in the books puts Dexter at 19 when Deb is 17.
  • Why did Dexter never upgrade his front door lock? after the Ice truck killer breaks into his house several times this seems the most sensible thing to do.
    • Well, he wasn't exactly interested in keeping the ITK out. On the contrary, when the guy broke into his apartment, he treated it like it was a game they were playing, and great fun, so why bother changing the lock? Or are you asking why he didn't change the lock after the whole thing boiled over? He could have done so after season one, off-screen, just to make sure no one else breaks in and stumbles onto his secrets.
  • Trinity lifts a visitor badge from an elderly woman and gets complete free reign of the police station, including access to the big board of the Trinity killer case filled with sensitive information and private photographs?
    • You'd be surprised how freely you can move inside a police station or other supposedly "secure" location if you just act like you know what you're doing and where you're going. And if anyone had gotten on his case he could have just acted confused and pretended he wandered in there by accident.
  • The Cell phone displays, at least in season 4. "CALL FROM ANTOINE" *Deb hits button* "IGNORE." I mean, they couldn't just show her putting the phone away instead of flashing an inexplicable giant IGNORE when she hits the button?
    • I guess they could have done that, but they wanted it to be absolutely clear to viewers that she was ignoring his call. Otherwise they might have assumed it was a missed call message.
    • In season 5 they get a bit better... still the uncomfortably conspicuous "CALL FROM SOMEONE" screen, but at least when they hit a button and didn't answer they didn't flash a giant IGNORE on the screen. So... yay.
    • Viewer-Friendly Interface.
  • So, season 3. Rita's pregnant, suffering morning sickness and stressed out at her job at the hotel because she's...hiding her pregnancy from her manager or something? So she talks back to a guest who's being a bitch and the manager chews her out for it and then comps the guest. Thing is, the manager brings up the fact that Rita's been taking a lot of bathroom breaks (which, understandable with the pregnancy) and Rita says nothing, even though it's pretty clear the manager is prepared to fire her. And afterwards, Rita says to Dexter that she's going to have trouble finding a new job because no one will hire someone who'll have to go on maternity leave so soon. The whole thing implies that Rita never told her manager that she'd gotten pregnant (and this is after she decided to keep the baby, remember) but it's never explained why - because she's afraid of getting fired for asking for maternity leave? Her manager isn't stupid - firing Rita for being pregnant would open the hotel to a lawsuit that Rita could win.
    • Yeah, that bugged me to. I mean, I guess it's possible that her job didn't allow for maternity leave, but she probably could have saved herself a lot of grief by just telling her boss she was pregnant. I'm sure her boss would have put her on a lighter shift or something.
      • Maybe she couldn't afford to be put on a lighter shift. She's a single mother with two kids to support, so she probably needs all the money she can get.
      • Well she could at least give Rita some less strenuous duties. Something where she could sit down for God's sake.
      • The boss didn't seem to know she was pregnant, though. As speculated above, I think what happened was that Rita did not tell her boss she was pregnant because the job didn't offer maternity leave and she didn't want to be put on a lighter shift because it would mean less money, so she just tried to pretend that everything was totally normal. As we saw, it wasn't the best idea.
      • I don't know about that. There have to be some sort of duties at the hotel that pay the same amount but aren't as stressful as what Rita was already doing. Maybe some kind of a backroom desk job or something. Also, judging by the few seconds of screentime she had, Rita's manager seemed pretty understanding (she said she put up with Rita's frequent sick days and bathroom breaks without complaint). She probably would have been willing to make some temporary accommodations if Rita had told her about the pregnancy. Which brings us back to the original troper's question of why Rita chose to hide the pregnancy from her manager.
      • I'm pretty sure it's illegal to pay a woman less because she's pregnant. They don't have to pay her maternity leave, but they would be required to give her duties that were more in keeping with her "disability" level, but they can't demote her because of a pregnancy. Also, they would have to keep her position open for her to return to at the same pay level for 12 weeks according to the Family and Medical Leave Act. Which is just more reason to wonder why she didn't tell her boss.
      • 1) Just because it's illegal doesn't mean it doesn't happen. It's illegal to murder people but Dexter manages that just fine. 2) There are lots of ways to get around laws about it being illegal to fire or demote someone. You can cut back their hours severely, thus saying you're giving them less strenuous duties but you're actually denying them the money they need to make. Or you can give them the worst shifts but say those are less busy and thus less strenuous (like putting Rita, said mother of two, on the graveyard shift where she'd never see her kids). Or you can announce that due to budgetary constraints you're reducing the size of the workforce, and it just so happens that she's the one who gets laid off. And sure, she could probably try and get a lawyer to fight any or all of these, but considering she'd be an out of job single mother fighting for a low-level hotel job, good luck finding a lawyer to take that one. 3) Sometimes people make irrational decisions because they have worries or foibles. Reality Is Unrealistic.
  • In season one at the shipping yard, Dexter shows he is more than capable of beating Doakes in hand to hand combat- this is Doakes who has a massive weight advantage and special forces training. However, in season five when Dexter discovers the identity of the vandal in his neighbourhood, he actually struggles to subdue him, and this is just a guy of average build and no previous martial arts training. Surely Dex should have put him down in a second?
    • Chalk it up to plain 'ole Rule of Drama.
    • Alternatively, chalk it up to the concussion and other injuries Dexter got after he fell asleep at the wheel and flipped his car. Not to mention how tired he is from raising a child.
    • It's also possible he was holding back. After all, he wouldn't want to accidentally do serious harm to one of his neighbours and make people suspicious.
    • Doakes' training may have worked to Dexter's advantage. Experienced fighters can sometimes be more predictable than panicked, flailing amateurs.
  • The ending to Get Geller massive spoilers away:
    • So Travis and Geller are the same person let's talk about the timeline needed for this to happen shall we?
      • After they split Travis takes all of the things that remind him of Geller and drops them off at the church before going to bed back at his sister's place.
      • [Switch to Geller]
      • Geller then wakes up in the middle of the night, doesn't question why he woke up in Travis sister's house, dives to the church, completes a new panting, grabs all of the items left by Travis and plays a game of scavenger hunt around Travis's new home. Then Geller, for whatever reason, decides not to drive back to the church to sleep but crashes at Travis sister's place.
      • [Switch to Travis]
      • Travis wakes up and discovers the items without wondering how he's functioning on four hours of sleep. It's a good thing his sister didn't wake up in the middle of the night to ask what he was doing and that she's completely in the dark about her brother's mental breakdown. Travis is then knocked unconscious by Geller but not really so I guess Geller takes over Travis' body but whacks himself in the head with a shovel for completions sake or something.
      • [Switch to Geller]
      • While Travis is unconscious Geller chains Travis (and himself?) to the floor while heating up an iron thing and painting a gigantic room sized painting. Travis then wakes up and burns himself as Geller. It is of note that the iron pot is too far way for Travis to reach while still being chained so I guess he isn't really chained at this point which begs the question as to why he is when Dexter arrives an hour later
      • [Switch to Travis]
      • Dexter rescues Travis and deposits him off at a hotel.
      • [Switch to Geller]
      • Geller continues planning out the murders while updating his blog (It's a good thing Geller has the foresight to clear his browser history on the computer they share) and driving around Miami in the car he doesn't have. At the very least, Geller spends this time to go to the university and set up a needlessly complicated trap for his next victim before going back to Travis' hotel room to sleep instead of the church he lives at.
      • [Switch to Travis]
      • Travis doesn't bother to wonder why he blacked out the last 8 or so hours an 8 hours in which Dexter apparently never checked up on him and the police, who are out in full force, never spot him. Dexter finds out who Geller's next victim is and takes Travis to stop his murder.
      • [Switch to Geller]
      • The second Dexter leaves him Travis becomes Geller (how convenient) and in the less than two minutes that Dexter is trapped Geller manages to Grab an axe, run up the stairs, kill the next victim and drop the body in the lecture hall.
      • [Switch to Travis]
      • Travis doesn't question how he moved up three flights of stairs and why he's holding an axe but doubles back around to save Dexter. None of which works if Dexter takes the stairs and zero explanation is given as to how Geller rigged the elevators to fail. Anyway Dexter drops Travis off at the hotel.
      • [Switch to Geller]
      • Geller promptly goes to the church to pick up the equipment needed for the next killing, heads back to the lecture hall and spends who knows how long setting the murder scene. Several hours later Geller heads back to the hotel and leaves his messages on Travis' wall after which he goes to bed not in the church he lives at (again!) but in the hotel Travis stays
      • [Switch to Travis]
      • After waking up Travis doesn't bother to wonder what happened to the several hours needed to drive around Miami and kill a man during his most recent blackout. Dexter arrives later, Picks Travis up and takes him to the church where Travis, again, becomes Geller and, again, knocks himself out. Travis then wakes up as Geller
      • Meanwhile none of the people that interact with either of them suspect anything. The girl Travis lets go says there were two of them so apparently when Geller takes over he gets a new voice box which is used every time Geller talks or the kidnapped girl's explanation about an older and younger man makes no sense. Travis also never questions why no one ever talks to or acknowledges Geller which brings up questions as to how they even eat out. Does Travis order drinks and food, change his voice, and then order a second set? Meanwhile he places the food where his invisible friend sits but makes sure to eat and drink both of their meals simultaneously to which no bar tender or waitress says anything, ever. This entire plot falls apart the second Dexter catches Travis as Geller which never happens because every time Dexter checks up on Travis he's back at the hotel.
      • Most likely, Travis' case is some kind of schizofrenia. Gellar isn't his alternate personality, because this disease doesn't work that way. Instead, the brain just makes neural connections where it really shouldn't. Travis does all of this as himself, but he still associates the ritual with his professor, so he creates false memories and hallucinations with him inserted in a meaningful way. After confrontation with Dexter, his mind at last takes the hint and corrects the error, but this only worsens the situation - the murderer still is determined to cause the end of the world, after all.
  • In season 2, Deb's boyfriend Gabe is writing a children's book called the Ice Princess... Deb is shocked because she thinks from the title that the book is about her. They hadn't been together long, admittedly, but did they REALLY never even discuss his job at any point in the relationship up to then?
    • Maybe writing children's books wasn't his actual job, but something he did on the side.
    • Or maybe she asked him what he did for a living, he said "I'm a writer", and she thought "That sounds boring. Better change the subject."
      • As that is the most Deb-like answer, I am going to make it my personal canon. "Ew, he doesn't just read books he writes them? Icky icky nerd! Good thing he's hot!"
  • So what was the deal with Emily? Was she Jordan's lover or something? She sounded suprised that he was ready to kill Lumen- did she forget the fact that he tortured a dozen other women?
    • She was Jordan's first victim (or the first victim of the Rape Gang of Jordan's friends to be exact). And it's pretty clear she has major issues. Some bizarre combination of stockholm syndrome and battered wife syndrome. Jordan is such a Manipulative Bastard he somehow convinced her that he could do no wrong, but there's only so far that kind of manipulation can go. Jordan told Emily he wasn't going to hurt Lumen, then he said right in front of her that he had to kill Lumen to protect himself. Hence her surprise.
  • Dexter: Lawful Evil or Chaotic Good? Go!
    • I'd say he's somewhere between Lawful Evil and Chaotic Evil, but one that prefers to keep its evilness secret from the world at large so its evil can continue unopposed. Really though I think this is an example of why Dungeons & Dragons alignments don't really work in the real world.
    • Well that would be neutral evil (in between) which could fit season 2 onward (I just finished it) because he said he was going to leave the "Code of Harry" (the reason I considered him lawful evil) behind and evolve. If he just kills people how he wants, because he wants to, he is neutral evil.
    • The thing is though, Dexter doesn't want to be evil. It's clear, especially in the flashbacks to his childhood, that Dex hates what he is, wishes he could change, and hates himself even more because he knows he can't. Hell, the whole reason Rita made him so happy is he thought she was starting to change him into a normal person. From the Neutral Evil trope description, it seems to me that one has to want to be evil and revel in one's evilness in order to qualify. A normal serial killer would qualify, but not Dexter IMO.
      • I dunno, I'm just not seeing the remorse. Dexter really does seem to like what he does: torturing and killing people. He was thrilled by the Ice Truck Killer's crimes and the prospect of working with him ("yes, I do want to play.") among other things. Are we discussing Dexter from the novels or Dexter from the TV show?
      • TV!Dexter. And TV!Dexter does show on numerous occasions that he doesn't like being what he is. He doesn't feel remorse for the people he kills any more than a soldier would feel remorse for the enemies he kills, but it's made clear at several points that if he could snap his fingers and make himself normal he would. See for instance the flashback to his teen years when he comes within a gnat's wing of killing himself just so he can "feel alive" for a few moments. He's described his condition as feeling "empty" inside and he feigns normality so it won't feel so "bottomless". During the Lyla arc his urges were even likened to an addiction, and addictions are pretty much bad by definition. No one wants to be addicted to anything. We also saw when he was with Rita how surprised he was that he actually cared about another human being. The fact that he felt an emotional connection with someone for the first time in his life overjoyed him because he thought maybe he was turning normal. Regarding the Ice Truck Killer, I think the thing he was "thrilled" by wasn't the thought of working with him but more the cat and mouse game of trying to catch the ITK and add him to his kill list. Also I think he was eager to meet someone who understands what it's like to be a sociopathic serial killer.
      • Then I agree, TV Dexter has emotions unlike the Dexter from the novels. The suicide attempt was to try and feel fear (and have his heart race), which he did later when the bodies were discovered on the news, he felt rage at Paul and sadness when he discovered his father's suicide. So yeah, he is a far cry from the total sociopath in the books. I disliked the addiction arc, it didn't really go anywhere, wasn't explained enough (you needed fridge brilliance to make sense of it) and detracted from the Dark Passenger as an alter ego. I hadn't considered that Dexter immediately wanted the pleasure of killing ITK, I thought he wanted to learn the ITK's techniques because they satisfied his needs better than his own ritual ("No blood!").
      • He figured out what techniques the ITK used on his own (he's a forensic scientist, remember?) it just never occurred to him to drain the blood from the bodies in that specific way. And the cat-and-mouse thing was pretty obvious. The game Dexter wanted to "play" with the ITK was the game of finding him and catching him as the ITK tries to dodge him at every turn. The addiction arc is YMMV I suppose, since I rather enjoyed it. Regardless, the Dark Passenger has never been as much of an alter-ego in the tv show. I'm told that in the book the DP even talks to Dex at some points.
      • Lawful can be ruled out straight away. He's a serial killer. Chaotic can be ruled out too, because he aims to blend in to society as much as possible, and lives by his own (quite specific) Code. So that leaves either Neutral Good, Neutral or Neutral Evil - depending on how you see the morality of a Serial-Killer Killer. Personally I'd stick him in the odd sock draw that is True Neutral.
      • I say Lawful Neutral. Lawful because, while he is a serial killer and thus shuns societies laws, he operates by Harry's Code pretty strictly and it defines almost everything he does. Neutral because he shows genuine love for Lumen and his family, but is pretty uncaring about most people. Plus he kills a couple guys for some pretty flimsy reasons.
    • He's lawful evil. One thing that is often forgotten or overlooked (partially because TSR and later Wizards of the Coast phrased it poorly) is that law vs chaos is more accurate order vs chaos. Batman isn't chaotic but he breaks several laws every night. Dexter is the same way. He has a very specific code with very specific rules to be followed in all situations. As opposed to chaotic which doesn't describe him at all. He's also evil. Good and evil in Dungeons & Dragons terms are generally better described as either selfless vs selfish or constructive vs destructive but either way Dex is both selfish and destructive.
  • I realize this is super nit-picky, but how did the Ice Truck Killer get the fingertips so perfectly placed in such a clear block of ice? I'm not questioning if it's possible, I'd just like to know how it's done.
    • Freeze tips of fingers while still attached to hand, cut fingers off, dispose of hand, freeze the rest of it in a big cube.
      • It's the "freeze the rest of it in a big cube" that I'd like explained, actually.
    • I suppose he could have put the hand down on top of a half-cube of ice, marked off where the fingertips would go (maybe dug out a little divot for each one), then cut off the tips, placed them in the proper place, and poured in the rest of the water to freeze over it.
      • I thought about that, but wouldn't that leaves lines or marks in the ice?
      • Probably. The camera may have just never been at an angle to see them.
    • Ice can be frozen crystal clear if you boil the impurities out of it and freeze it slowly so as to push all the oxygen out of it. You get the fingers in there by suspending them in the water with fishing wire while it's freezing. You can do it in layers as well, if you take enough time there will be no lines (this is how icicles are formed after all).
  • Why the heck did Dexter decide to interfere with the DDK investigation? Always before, he's had a reason to interfere. The Bay Harbor Butcher was him, he thought he could learn something important from Trinity, he was already involved with Lumen and her kidnappers when the police investigation started, but DDK? Apparently, "I want to kill this guy myself" is enough to take major risks. His entire shtick is to go after people who have slipped through the system. DDK would already be caught if not for Dexter's interference.
    • Because killing is how he gets his high. Killing someone of DDK's calibre is just too satisfying to pass up.
      • This is correct, but this troper was disappointed at how weakly that was emphasized this season. After drawing out the Trinity case long enough to get Rita killed, you'd think he'd have learned his lesson. But no - he keeps Travis uncaught longer and longer while the body count piles up and nearly ends up including Debra, himself and everybody in the police station. His "drive to kill" hasn't been emphasized enough in the last few seasons for this to feel normal, and either way, takes a lot of the fun and satisfaction out of the "killer who kills those who went unpunished" concept, especially since he wasn't after anybody else after the first couple episodes of the season.
      • He's mentally ill on quite a few levels including being a form of addict. Learning from past behavior is not done without help when your in as bad of a condition as he is. Also even with help people relapse. If you could always control your stresses, mental state and preferred addiction no one would ever need mental institutions or rehab. Until he hits rock bottom (and considering Rita's death wasn't rock bottom who knows what will be) he will do what he does until stopped by death.
    • I also got the impression that he felt sympathy for Travis and wanted to save him by finding Geller first.
      • Exactly. You have to remember that it's not until very late into S6 that we find out Geller has been dead for years and Travis has been working alone the whole time. Until that point both Dexter (and the audience) assumed Geller was the real maniac and Travis was essentially a brainwashed innocent. In fact the first episode of the new season confirms it. Dexter remarks that it was stupid of him to try to "save" Travis instead of killing him right away.
  • In season 6, how the hell did the DDK get the four horses from the church to the intersection without being spotted? He couldn't have just walked them there, they would have been seen, and using a trailer (do they even have ones for 4 horses?) would have meant a license plate.
    • I made the assumption that he just opened the church door and spurred them somehow. I didn't think he actually released them on the street.
    • Yes, this equestrian troper can affirm that they do have 4-horse trailers. They also make trailers that you can fit 6 or 8 or even more horses onto. Your trailer's size typically depends upon the tow capacity of your truck.
  • In the sixth season finale, just how Dexter managed to get an unconcious Travis out of a building like that one and put him in his trunk without nobody spotting him? There must be cameras and police and people who would recognize Travis from tv. And if there were cameras, how come nobody remember to check them?
  • Why did not Gael attend Rita's funeral? Her absence at Rita and Dexter's wedding was somewhat explained: she's become a devoted teacher again and couldn't miss a day of school, plus someone's third wedding is not really that special. But missing your child's funeral? Having considered her involvement in their family, Gael might also want to have the custody of Astor and Cody. Why is Gael never even mentioned again?
    • She probably does have custody of Astor and Cody. They're certainly not living with Dexter anymore.
      • Does she? As of season 5, Astor and Cody were living at their paternal grandparents. Rita said that Paul's folks were wonderful and nothing like him, which was shown to be true. But would that be enough for the overprotective Gael?
  • So this Sal Price dude is planning to release a book exposing the killings of the never convicted Hannah McKay... cool story, but are there no laws against libel and difamation to prevent these kind of things?
    • There are, but the most iron-clad defense against a libel or defamation of character lawsuit is "This story is the truth, and I can prove it." If this Sal Price dude has proof that his claims are true, then dragging him into court would only serve as further proof, which may be why they haven't done it. Or, they may be hoping he simply fades away after his 15 minutes of fame are up. There's a reason why most celebrities don't bother suing tabloid magazines for libel anymore.
  • As was noted above, in the early seasons, Dexter pretends that he's a friendly and cheerful guy, he is everybody's buddy, he never fights with anyone, never argues, and brings doughnuts to everyone. The only one who sees through this was Doakes, and Dexter never confronted him at the station — he never even gave him an unfriendly look. Headscrather: Why does he act so hostile towards Quinn when he joins homicide, and more importantly, to Luis Greene the intern? Surely there are more polite ways to hint them to back off. There might be a Fridge Logic moment because nobody likes and gets on well with everybody, so having some less enthusiastic acquaintances might be useful for Dexter's mask. But still, their early interactions didn't make that much sense.
    • He got along with both of them initially but they both wound up getting on his nerves for different reasons. Lewis was "intern puppy dog" always trying to be his buddy and get his approval and other irritating fan boy mannerisms. Quinn tired to butter him up because of the crime scene money Quinn stole, and things just kinda went to shit from there.
  • In S 7 E 10 Dexter claims he came up with the idea of the Dark Passenger when he was a kid. I seem to remember that he got the idea, or at least the name, from Crazy Arsonist British Girlfriend in Season 2. Is this incorrect?
    • Yes, you're incorrect. He was talking to Lila about the idea of addiction at the coffee shop, comparing their needs. She seems at loss for how to describe it and he supplies "the Dark Passenger", a term that he had already been using, and she agrees with the term.
  • At the end of season seven's finale...why didn't Laguerta call for back up? And why did Dexter assume she wouldn't call for backup?
    • After her last gaffe she is a toxic / crumbling asset without real friends or leverage inside the department. She has authority in name only and is on a personal / unsanctioned errand. She did bring some unis for Hector Estrada, so Idiot Ball aside, it's likely no one would want to help her at that point, on New Year's eve to compound things further.
      • But when she got the phone call she knew it had to be either: Estrada was being honest and Dexter was hunting him (in which case she would also want more people with her as witnesses), Estrada was setting a trap for her, or Dexter was setting a trap for her - in any of those cases she was in extreme life-threatening danger, and she hadn't been fired so whether patrol wanted to or not they would have had to follow her orders. Just having literally 1 or 2 other people with her would have foiled Dexter's plans. And having someone call you saying that they are in imminent danger and need help would be a valid reason to call the police, and for a police captain a valid reason to call for backup.
  • Laguerta had a warrant for Debra's cell phone GPS, signed by a judge. We're led to believe that she got it after she saw the video of Deb getting fuel...AFTER the debacle where it is made to seem like she set Dexter up to clear Doakes' name. What judge in his right mind would let a pen come ANYWHERE near that paper? Even if she tried to exercise her connections, it was made clear that the clusterfuck was known by all. Even if they might have been able to sway emotionally, she is already known to have tampered with evidence.
    • It would be really difficult to fake a recording with a timestamp (and mike got the recordings not her)and it was a genuinely suspicious piece of evidence. Also I don't know how these things work but I'm guessing it takes less proof to get someone's past cell phone GPS then to...say get a warrant to search an apartment, since assuming Deborah wasn't lieing or doing anything wrong then she wouldn't have been put out by it in any way.
  • I may be missing something, but did Quinn get suspicious of Dexter because Dexter didn't want to be his new BFF, but wasn't going to report him for taking cash from a crime scene of a murder victim?
    • He became really suspicious when Rita was murdered, and it worried him that nobody at homicide considered that Dexter might have done it, even though everybody knows that it's always the husband. Plus he took the artist's sketches and thought that the mysterious Kyle Butler looked like Dexter, and was thus connected to The Trinity killer.
    • After rewatching season 5's first episode, it sounded more like Quinn was suspicious because Dexter didn't seem like he was upset and that the guy who kissed Rita was more upset about it. Did it never occur to Quinn, whose supposedly really good with people that Dexter may not express grief by breaking down about it?
  • Couldn't Rita have taken more legal action against Paul in the first season? She still has a standing restraining order. Plus, I can't imagine that it's not a parole violation for a man arrested for a domestic disturbance to go back to his wife's place repeatedly and against her will. Even if it wasn't, for some reason, there is the fact he did kipnap their kids (leaving a message saying he's going to do it doesn't make it not kidnapping). All this sort of seems to trump his logic that "they're my kids, therefore I have the right to see them whenever I want." She spends two episodes doing nothing but saying "he can't do that!" before compromising when she should hold more of the chips than she seems to.
    • She could have legally, but she couldn't character-wise. Rita was way to scared of him and always on the edge of falling back into the old pattern of their relationship. It took her a while to break out of it.
    • Building on the original post: The not taking more legal action is one thing. I even get her not resisting him much at first, because she was an Extreme Doormat. The thing that bugged me is that, according to her lawyer, Paul's case against her is apparently very good. In his favor, even. As OP mentioned, this is a man who was sent to jail for beating and raping her, kidnapped her children when she had a restraining order against him, and showed up at her home, drunk out of his mind, whereupon she hit him, called the police, and took the children to stay with a friend for the night. Then there's all the other things he did which are not all on record, but there are all things that the police absolutely have evidence of (Rita called the cops when he kidnapped the kids, and there's no way they wouldn't check his BAC when he went to the hospital). On Paul's side, he has his own word (the word of a former junkie who, as previously mentioned has kidnapped his children in the past six months) and his sponsor (great job, by the way. I doubt the marijuana was medicinal), as well as the wound on his head. The Wounded Gazelle Gambit only goes so far, especially since judges and juries tend to side with the battered wife (especially when Rita is, for lack of a better word, adorable). Seriously, worst lawyer ever.
  • How did Rudy know that the cops found his cough drop wrappers? He didn't have access to police files, and it's clear that Deb never told him (given that her response to him mentioning it was akin to an I Never Said It Was Poison response). The only thing I can think of is Tony Tucci, but given that getting that information from him in the first place was like pulling teeth, it's not like he would mention it again.
    • Perhaps it was released in the press that they have got his partial finger print?
    • He knew because they were deliberately the only forensic evidence he left behind. Of course the police would find them. The fact that they're NOT mentioned to the press or to boyfriends of cops only confirms to Rudy that the cops are holding his fake evidence as an ace.
  • In 8x02 ("Every Silver Lining"), when El Sapo gets to the car, he has both his own gun and Deb's (she confirms it's the one in the glove box). So what the hell did Deb shoot him with?
    • Back-up gun?
  • Hannah Mc Kay is a fugitive. So why on earth didn't she think about something as simple as dying her hair or wearing a wig or wearing contact lenses or glasses or do something to alter her looks? I mean, that's like Fugitive 101... and don't even get me started on taking Harrison to the ER and then giving his real name and Debra's real contact information...
    • My logic for the ER incident: she knew she might be recognised so she couldn't stick around in the ER. But she had to make sure Harrison made it back to his dad and that child services didn't inquire into the incident. So she pretends to be a concerned parent. As for not changing her appearance, maybe she thought they would expect her to change her appearance so she didn't? I have no idea.
  • So at the end of 8x11, Saxon shoots Debra. Where the hell did the gun come from?
    • He grabbed it off Cooper.
  • What happens to Hannah and Harrison? We know they managed to make it to Argentina but Elway knows where they went and even if he can't collect on the bounty once she's out of the country he doesn't seem like the kind of guy who'd just walk away at that point. Not only is she a murderer, without Morgan to back up her story she's also a kidnapper at this point. There doesn't even seem to be a mention of the fact that Harrison is missing and he wasn't a secret from the department. Someone, like say Angel's sister should have put Dexter's dead together with where's Harrison pretty quickly. While we don't get much of how the department's final feelings for Dexter were I think if their final thoughts of him had been of him killing himself and his son by committing suicide in the storm. . .instead of in a moment of grief taking his fatally wounded sister out to sea and dying that we would have gotten that impression.
  • In the series finale, Dexter sails into an active hurricane, at least a mile offshore from the looks of it, abandons his boat with at best a life vest to help him to shore. Yes it's implied in early episodes that he's a decent swimmer, but with the waves already deeply affected by the hurricane, just about anything could go wrong trying to swim back to shore within. People have chided the ending for being a non-sequitor but I can't suspend my disbelief enough to even accept that, let alone the contrast with Dexter's character development over the years.
  • Just the 8th Season in general...what the fuck happened?

     The books 
  • In Dearly Devoted Dexter, the whole Rita-finding-the-ring-and-assuming-it's-an-engagement-one. This troper is somewhat fond of sitcoms (expect for laugh tracks, ugh) but Dexter is fairly realistic in tone, possession by ancient evil aside. How exactly is Deb going to react when she sees Rita wearing Chutsky's ring? 'Yeah, sis, I decided to give my girlfriend the ring belonging to your boyfriend, even though he wasn't dead at the time and it certainly wasn't mine to give away.' This troper isn't sure if Rita and Chutsky have ever met, but how exactly would Chutsky react if he found out his girlfriend's brother gave his ring away? How exactly would Rita react if she found out the ring was sent to Dexter/Deb on Deb's boyfriend's severed finger? I mean, maybe Chutsky never has to meet Rita, but if Rita and Debs never meet again in the books and the whole ring thing is never discussed, that's just sloppy.
    • I haven't read all the books (the whole Moloch thing turned me off,) but is it a really distinctive ring? If it's not specifically mentioned as being super-unique, Dexter could just say he really liked it and bought one just like it. If not, then ignore me, I guess.
      • Rita doesn't really interact with Deborah that much and she has never even met Chutsky. Plus you have to remember that the ring went missing after Chutsky had been kidnapped. It would make sense for somebody going through that kind of grief to forget something like a pinky ring (or at least what the pinky ring looked like).
      • Dexter mentions that Chutsky gave Rita some reassurance when he and Dexter were getting ready to head out-of-country (Dexter lied and said that it was a forensics emergency, and Chutsky backed him and assured her that the on-duty cop would protect her and the kids.) It's possible that Dexter explained the ring situation to Debra, and she thought of something to explain it to Chutsky. Of course, it would have been nice if Dexter had had so much as a line mentioning that.
  • In Dexter By Design the video of Dexter chopping somebody up is still on YouTube, as well as Rita tied up by Brandon Weiss. Sure, Brandon died but the video is still there online for anyone to see. Dexter isn't worried about this all of a sudden?
    • There are ways to make a video private, so only one preson can see. It may be that's what he did.
  • It bugs me that - at least in the books - everybody and their brother become a serial killer from some traumatic event. Yes, most serial killers have had bad childhood, but not everybody with a bad childhood becomes a serial killer. It's already kind of a stretch that Dexter and his brother would both independently become killers. Then you have Astor and Cody in the books, who seem to be on their best way to becoming Dexter's apprentices.
    • Out of all of them, Brian seems to be the mostly likely to be a killer since he meets all the criteria: traumatic/desensitizing event, (implied) emotionally abusive childhood, Anti-Personality Disorder...Dexter is a little more hard to buy (his urge to kill seems to be some form of anxiety that is calmed and killing and dismembering) but I can swallow it...Astor and Cody make no sense though. Honestly, the books are pretty badly written (though this might be justified since they're narrated from an emotionally dead sociopath's perspective) and the series made the right call to go its own course.
    • This is lampshaded in season two of the show when Lila points out to Dexter that plenty of people go through trauma and don't become drug addicts (drug addiction being a metaphor for serial killing here).
  • Why doesn't Dexter go to Human Resources (or police equivalent) and have them make Doakes back the hell off? All Doakes has to go on is his own Dark Passenger, and following Dexter all over creation and making thinly veiled threats does not seem at all conducive to a harmonious workplace.
    • Doakes is good buddies with Dexter's sleazy, corrupt boss. It's pretty heavily implied that she makes a lot of Doakes' problems with the regulatory bodies of the department go away.

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