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Beware of spoilers, only spoilers from the seventh and eighth seasons are meant to be blacked out. All character sheets contain major spoilers. Proceed reading at your own risk.note 

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    Rudy Cooper / Brian Moser, a.k.a. Ice Truck Killer 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/rudycooper1_109.jpg
"You can't be a killer and a hero. It doesn't work that way!"
Played by: Christian Camargo

The Big Bad and Dexter's main nemesis of the first season. The Ice Truck Killer murders prostitutes before placing their bodies in a freezer (he initially fooled the police into thinking he stored them in an ice truck, hence the name), draining their blood, and chopping them into pieces before displaying them for all to see. For the entirety of the first season he leaves clues and hidden messages that he knows only Dexter will find at his crime scenes. He's eventually revealed to be Dexter's older brother, Brian Moser, who seeks to coerce Dexter into discarding all semblance of morality to embrace a life of bloodshed and depravity.


  • Alas, Poor Villain: The Single Tear that slides down his cheek as he realizes that Dexter will kill him might elicit this reaction from some viewers. And even the fact that he was forcibly separated from his only remaining family (Dexter) at a young age.
  • An Arm and a Leg: Slowly removes Tony Tucci's limbs while he's still alive.
  • An Ice Person: He's the Ice Truck Killer, so naturally he relies on refrigeration to keep victims bloodless and dry.
  • Ax-Crazy: The scarier part is that he represents what Dexter would be without the Code of Harry.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: He's too nice. Really.
  • Be Yourself: His main goal is to convince Dexter to do this. He also seems quite pleased to be a homicidal psychopath himself.
  • Black and White Insanity: See the quote under his picture. Brian is insistent that Dexter's only options are to embrace his life as a killer or continue living a fake double-life.
  • Big Bad: He's the main antagonist of season one, which revolves around the hunt for the Ice Truck Killer.
  • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: He poses as Rudy Cooper, compassionate doctor and ardent boyfriend. In reality, he's a homicidal psychopath who doesn't give a shit about anyone but himself and Dexter, manipulating everyone—including Dexter—in order to bring his plan into fruition.
  • The Bus Came Back: For one episode, as Dexter's temporary Dark Passenger.
  • Cain and Abel: It isn't difficult to figure out which brother is which.
  • Chekhov's Gunman: For a while there, it seemed like he was just Debra's innocent prosthetist boyfriend.
  • Chekhov's Skill: By day, he makes prosthetic limbs. By night, he severs real limbs. His implicit basic medical training must help him cut so cleanly.
  • Classic Villain: Fulfills the majority of the requirements. His sins are Envy and Greed.
  • The Corrupter: Attempts to get Dexter to kill Deb and shirk Harry's Code. Later when he comes back as a Spirit Advisor for one episode he serves as Dexter's conscience telling him to embrace his Dark Passenger. In both cases, he nearly succeeds.
  • Consummate Liar: How else could he convince Debra that he was in love with her?
  • Criminal Mind Games: Plays these with Dexter for the entire season.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: From the murder of his mother, to the separation from his brother, to his eventual institutionalization, Brian Moser had it rough. This is mostly revealed in Dexter's Troubled Backstory Flashback triggered by Brian in "Born Free" and the events following.
  • Dark Is Evil: Has starkly black hair to contrast with Dexter's light brown.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Somewhat when he was alive, but he takes it Up to Eleven as Dexter's Dark Passenger.
  • Dead Person Impersonation: Stole the identity of Rudy Cooper, a plumber he killed in the late '90s.
  • Death by Adaptation: He survives until the end of Dexter Is Dead in the books, but is killed by Dexter in the season one finale.
  • Devil in Plain Sight: Dexter only realizes that "Rudy" was the Ice Truck Killer all along after he's already kidnapped Deb.
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones: His impetus the entire season is to win over his long lost little brother.
  • Evil Cannot Comprehend Good: Brian can't understand Dexter's fondness for Debra, claiming that "she's not [Dexter's] real sister" despite the fact that they were raised as siblings.
  • Evil Counterpart:
    • To Dexter Morgan more so than most characters. It comes with being brothers. He represents a version of Dexter who fully embraced his inner killing urges without any regard for others.
    • To Harry in season 6, when he comes back as Dexter's Spirit Advisor for one episode. While Harry tries to keep Dexter's impulses in check, Brian serves as Dexter's Dark Passenger and Evil Mentor.
  • Evil Mentor: As Dexter's Dark Passenger in the episode "Nebraska".
  • Fan Disservice: When he knocks out and later kills a hooker clad in nothing but his underwear.
  • Faux Affably Evil: The fact that he was so convincingly kind to even the most perceptive and naturally suspicious of individuals (i.e. Dexter, a Serial-Killer Killer) is a testament to his villainy. He even treats Debra with false concern for her comfort while he has her captive.
  • Fetish: He has an amputee fetish as a result of watching his mother get dismembered by drug lords. Including his amputee fetish, many of his compulsions and personality traits indicate an underlying Oedipus Complex. His M.O. essentially recreates his mother's murder without the messiness and gore, and he usually fucks his victims before he kills them…
  • Foil:
    • Dexter is by day a blood-spatter analyst, so naturally his first major antagonist is a killer who drains the blood of his victims.
    • As Dexter's biological sibling, he's a natural one to Debra. Brian cares about Dexter as much as Debra does, but also knows his true nature as a killer which naturally makes it tempting to join him. At one point a conflicted Dexter contemplates why he chose his sister over joining Brian.
  • Freudian Excuse: Witnessing the dismemberment of his mother in a shipping container and being left in the ensuing blood pool for two days. And then being forcibly separated from his brother by Harry Morgan. And THEN being committed to a mental institution until he was twenty-one.
  • Genre Motif: Brian calmly listens to classical music with a bound Debra and the dead body of the car's original owner in the trunk.
  • Hidden Villain: The first of the series. In fact, the entire plot of the first season revolves around learning who he is, and the audience learns (before any character in the show) over halfway through the season.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: Dexter slashes Brian's throat on the same inversion table Brian uses to drain his victims' blood. Additionally, Dexter fools Brian into believing that a set of prosthetic limbs Brian made himself are really a sleeping Debra when he tries to kill her a second time. This allows Dexter to choke him from behind, leading to his death as described above.
  • Hope Spot: To Debra. Worst thing is, he's not even trying to pretend anymore. He's just fucking with her.
  • I Have You Now, My Pretty: His M.O. in general, but especially when he reveals his true nature to Debra and subsequently strangles her.
  • Internal Reveal: At the end of "Shrink Wrap," the audience learns that "Rudy" is the Ice Truck Killer.
  • Jack the Ripoff: Neil Perry, who falsely confesses to the Ice Truck Killer's crimes.
  • Killed Mid-Sentence: Dexter slices his throat while he's halfway through a small speech.
  • Kill the Ones You Love: Or pseudo-love. As far as the viewer knows, this is the first and only kill Dexter has ever cried over, as he killed the only person who fully embraced who he is.
  • Lack of Empathy: Dexter notes that he's "a killer without reason or regret."
  • Lean and Mean: He's the skinniest male adversary Dexter has ever faced, but he still beats him in a fight. Admittedly, Brian does fight dirty and then flee once Dexter is down.
  • Luke, I Am Your Father: "Rudy Cooper" reveals himself as Brian Moser, Dexter's biological older brother.
  • Mad Artist: In Dexter's words, "The killer is an artist." Right before Brian strangles a hooker named Monique in bed, he also refers to his kills as his artwork.
  • Manipulative Bastard: He plays everyone, even Dexter, to fit into his plans. This includes being the doctor for one of his own victims and successfully getting Debra to fall in love with him.
  • Monster Misogyny: His formal kills are all women. He seems to resort to killing men for convenience only, and with the exception of Tony Tucci (who he didn't even kill), he doesn't treat his male victims with the same amount of time and "care" as his female victims.
  • Mr. Fanservice: He's half-naked in almost all of his scenes with Debra.
  • No Celebrities Were Harmed: His modus operandi is primarily based off of Jack the Ripper, a serial killer in Britain near the dawn of the 20th century who brutally murdered female prostitutes and left their mutilated bodies on display for the public.
  • Rape Is a Special Kind of Evil: When the aforementioned Monique recalls her first sexual encounter with Brian, she mentions that he was very violent in bed. This might make him an anger-excitation (sadistic) rapist.
  • Red and Black and Evil All Over: He wears black pants and a red shirt in "Born Free." In the episode prior, he wears the same black pants and red shirt with a black blazer while he proposes to Debra and subsequently strangles her.
  • The Reveal: Brian has two:
    • The end of episode 8 reveals (to the audience) that "Rudy" is the Ice Truck Killer by showing him respond to Dexter's Craigslist message, then walk into his refrigerated room and resume work on a dismembered limb.
    • The finale, "Born Free," reveals to both Dexter and the audience that "Rudy" is really named Brian Moser, and he's Dexter's biological older brother. The reason why he kills is because he, too, was in the shipping container in which their mother was murdered.
  • Self-Made Orphan: Killed his own father to expose one of Harry's lies to Dexter (and meet Dexter face-to-face for the first time in over thirty years).
  • Shadow Archetype: He represents what Dexter would be without Harry's Code.
  • Slashed Throat: How Dexter dispatches him.
  • Slasher Smile: Only once or twice, but when it happens, you know.
  • Stalker Without a Crush: He leaves hidden messages to Dexter putting doll parts related to his crime scenes in Dexter's apartment. He was clearly stalking Dexter since he knows everything about Dexter's secret life. Dexter is aware of it and finds it intriguing.
  • Stepford Smiler: Type C. Underneath all that deliberate sweetness and dorkiness is a psychopathic monster.
  • The Sociopath: Kills without remorse and without a code.
  • Too Powerful to Live: Clearly one of the most threatening serial killers and antagonists in the series. From his mindgames, we can tell that he had been stalking and watching Dexter for a long time. He even has the upper hand in most of their physical encounters. Dexter has to catch him from behind in order to put him down for good. It is only because of his love for Dexter that he didn't seriously harm him.
  • Two First Names: Either "Rudy" or "Cooper" can be used as a first name.
  • Villain Has a Point: Brian tells Dexter shortly before his death that his life is a lie and that he won't be able to get what he wants. By the end of the series, Dexter becomes isolated from everyone due to the consequences of his double life.
  • Villainous Cheekbones: This is pretty apparent throughout, but especially when he's doing something particularly disturbing.
  • Would Hit a Girl: Debra learned the hard way. Others of his victims were also women.

Content exclusive to the books

In the books Dexter spares him and even gives him a head start after being shot by LaGuerta.


  • The Bus Came Back: In Dexter is Delicious, he returns to Miami for a job and to be with his family again.
  • Criminal Mind Games: The fifth book. It turns out it was just his way of showing affection and having fun with Dexter and the kids.
  • Explosion Propulsion: Averted. In the final book of the series, Brian detonates a bomb too close to himself and the force of the blast kills him instantly, throwing his dead body into Dexter and possibly saving Dexter's life.
  • Family Values Villain: He constantly reminds Dexter about the importance of family.
  • Go Out with a Smile: He dies with his characteristic fake smile plastered on his face and his eyes wide open.
  • Honorary Uncle: To Astor and Cody, being their stepfather's biological brother.
  • I Just Want to Be Normal: Dexter was suspicious of Brian's motives when he inserted himself into the Morgan family, but it became clear after a while that Brian just wanted to have a family.
  • Mercy Lead: Dexter permits him this after he's shot by LaGuerta.
  • Unexplained Recovery: He's back in the fifth book, after having been shot, with no obvious aches or pains regarding that.
  • Villainous Rescue: Yes, him. He saves Dexter, Deborah, and Chutsky from vampiric cannibals in the fifth book.

    Lila West / Lila Tourney 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/WestLila_4101.jpg
"Dexter, meet Dexter. I'm gonna help the two of you get to know each other."
Played by: Jaime Murray

"You're going to tell me all your deepest, darkest secrets."

Dexter's temporary Love Interest in Season 2 who eventually joins Frank Lundy as one of the story arc's main antagonists. Lila becomes Dexter's sponsor when he enrolls in NA meetings as his alibi. She learns of his "addiction" early on, finds a connection between herself and Dexter and later professes to be his soulmate. Dexter finally kills her after she murders Doakes "for him", believing that Dexter will run away with her, and tried to kill Astor and Cody when he goes back to Rita.


  • All Girls Want Bad Boys: She's attracted to Dexter because of his dark side. A variant of the trope is that she's also a bad girl herself.
  • Ax-Crazy: She's an arsonist who killed an ex-boyfriend by burning him alive and then tries to kill Dexter, Astor and Cody by burning her place to the ground.
  • Betty and Veronica: In season 2, she serves as the mysterious Femme Fatale (Veronica) in contrast to wholesome Girl Next Door Rita (Betty). They even have the same hair colors.
  • Big Bad Friend: In Season 2. After befriending Dexter, she acts as a corrupting influence towards him before ultimately posing a direct threat to his loved ones.
  • Big Damn Villains: She kills Doakes and solves a major problem for Dexter.
  • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: She seems like a caring Narcotics Anonymous sponsor, right? Well, she might be, but she's also a psychotic pyromaniac.
  • Eerie Pale-Skinned Brunette: She's an attractive woman, but her pale skin is a weird sight in sun-kissed Miami. Deb refers to her as Elvira or vampire, and lastly describes her as "pale as a fucking corpse". She really is a dangerous woman.
  • Evil Brit: Deb even comments on her being an 'English titty vampire', which is... not an inaccurate description.
  • Femme Fatale: She knows how much she's attractive and uses this to seduce and manipulate the others.
  • Foil: In terms of role, she's this to Brian as someone who accepts Dexter for his inner self and encourages him to embrace it. She also tries to eliminate those Dexter cares about to "free him". However, she contrasts the previous antagonist Brian in terms of approach in some ways. Unlike Brian's subtle manipulation and organized "displays" of his victims, Lila is considerably more destructive. While Brian uses refrigeration, she uses fire. She's also a frequently lampshaded one to Rita.
  • Kill the Ones You Love: Killed by Dexter when she spirals out of control.
  • Light Feminine and Dark Feminine: Rita and her are this.
  • Manic Pixie Dream Girl: A deliberate deconstruction of this trope. She has all the hallmarks of the crazy girl who encourages the buttoned-up hero to let his wild side out, but she's seriously and dangerously mentally disturbed and Dexter's wild side shouldn't be let any further off the hook than it usually is.
  • Manipulative Bitch: She's pretty good at manipulating everyone, including Dexter.
  • Monster Fangirl: She's still madly in love with Dexter when she finds out that he's secretly a Serial Killer, and even calls him a "poor creature" who just needs someone to understand him.
  • Ms. Fanservice: Besides being played by the very attractive Jaime Murray, she's frequently shown in sexy and nude scenes.
  • Not Evil, Just Misunderstood: Her opinion of Dexter's secret hobby.
  • Pyro Maniac: Fire is her weapon of choice, which she uses to burn her apartment, kill her ex-boyfriend and kill Doakes. It also works as an allusion to her wild, uncontrollable and destructive personality.
  • Raven Hair, Ivory Skin: She's a great beauty with pale skin and black hair. Angel absolutely admires her looks and calls her a pretty porcelain doll.
  • Shameless Fanservice Girl: And how! When she and Dexter share a hotel room (before they've slept together), she leaves the bathroom door open when she showers, giving him a good view. Some time later when Debra comes home and finds her naked in Dexter's kitchen, she just smiles and says, "Pardon my tits!" only covering up reluctantly when she sees Deb is obviously uncomfortable.
  • Would Hurt a Child: She set her loft on fire with Astor and Cody (and Dexter) inside, in an attempt to kill them all.
  • Yandere: She quickly becomes obsessed with Dexter, to the point of adoring him even after she finds out he's a notorious Serial Killer.

    Miguel Prado 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/PradoMiguel_8007.jpg
" I am the last person you wanna fuck with because I will fuck you BACK in ways you never even imagined!"
Played by: Jimmy Smits

"I'll do what I want to whom I want, to whoever I want! Count on it!"

Assistant District Attorney who befriends Dexter in season 3 after Dexter accidentally kills his brother in self defense, and Miguel later catches Dexter with blood on his hands after Dexter kills the man who Miguel believes is responsible for his brother's death. This leads to an odd partnership; however Miguel becomes increasingly unstable and eventually murders an innocent defense attorney, and Dexter is forced to kill him after realizing that Miguel has been manipulating him all along.


  • Abusive Parents: His father really messed up him and his brothers.
  • Amoral Attorney: Apparently he often tampered with evidence and did other shady things to get the results he wanted in court. Also he becomes a serial killer, which, while not technically having to do with his duties as an attorney, is still a fairly amoral thing to do.
  • Big Bad Friend: In Season 3, he turns out to be manipulating Dexter throughout pretending to be his friend. When his facade crumbles, he stops pretending.
  • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: He cultivates the perception that he is the most level-headed and upstanding of his siblings in stark contrast to his hot-headed younger brother, Ramon. However, he is ultimately revealed to be a corrupt narcissist whose destructive wake is the primary cause of Ramon's Hair-Trigger Temper.
  • The Charmer: He's done so well politically as a result.
  • Consummate Liar: He is a wonderful monument of bullcrap.
  • Creepy Souvenir: He begins to show an affinity for taking rings off of his victims. Dexter has to shoo him away from taking the ring from his first kill, and he later takes one of Ellen Wolf's wedding rings as a trophy. Dexter uses this against him.
  • Deceptive Disciple: Dexter teaches him the ways of murder, and he acts like a disciple of his. As it turns out, he planned to use Dexter's teachings for his own selfish purposes, behind Dexter's back.
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones: He seems to genuinely care for his brothers and also values Dexter's friendship in his own narcissistic way. This is made apparent at the moment of his death when he expresses sincere anguish after Dexter admits to killing his younger brother, Oscar.
  • Evil All Along: Initially appears to be a law enforcement official who is suspicious of Dexter out of a desire for justice. Gradually it is revealed that he has had his own manipulative intentions the entire time.
  • Expy: He bears more than a few similarities with another fictional handsome, seemingly idealistic law enforcement official of Latino ethnicity who grows increasingly corrupted by his lust for power.
  • Faux Affably Evil: Acts polite to a fault, but it's eventually revealed that it's all a facade, and he does it purely to manipulate people more easily.
  • Foil: Can be seen as one to Brian; both characters are among the first people to be privy to Dexter's secret. While Brian is Dexter's older brother and original protector, Miguel is Dexter's disciple. Miguel even claims to consider Dexter a brother. But while Brian's death filled Dexter with anguish, Dexter reacts with disgust when killing Miguel as he realizes how he was manipulated.
  • He Who Fights Monsters: Starts out genuinely interested in killing criminals who escaped justice to give them what they deserve, but soon develops his own personal agenda and becomes no better than some of them...
  • Knight Templar: He is genuinely committed to cleaning up crime and corruption in Miami....even if it means subverting the legal process to those whom he believes to be guilty.
  • Manipulative Bastard: Gave Dexter his blood-stained shirt to gain his trust; this fools Dexter for almost an entire season before he discovers the stain is just animal blood.
  • Narcissist: He's a very self absorbed guy who used his brother's actions to make himself look better.

    Arthur Mitchell, a.k.a. Trinity Killer 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/467327-arthur_mitchell_02_6123.jpg
"It's already over....."
Played by: John Lithgow

"This is God's plan. I accept that now. You have to do the same."

The Big Bad of season 4, a mysterious, malevolent figure who kills in threes, referred to by Dexter as "the most successful serial killer to ever get away with it." Dexter tracks down Trinity only to find that Arthur has a family and hides within his community, just like Dexter himself and realizes that he may be able to learn a thing or two from him.


  • Abusive Parents: His father was physically abusive to him. As a parent himself, Arthur beats his son, Jonah and later almost kills him. To Rebecca, he locks her in her room and controls every aspect of her life.
  • Ax-Crazy: Just as insane as he's murderous. Probably one of the most frightening villains.
  • Bait the Dog: Despite being revealed as a serial killer early on in Season 4, he initially appears to be a loving husband and father who is otherwise tortured by a tragic past and a compulsive need to kill. At one point, Dexter even views him as a possible role model and decides to delay killing him long enough to learn how he has successfully led a double life for so long. However, as the season progresses, he is ultimately revealed to be a self-absorbed and unrepentantly cruel Straw Hypocrite who dominates every aspect of his family's lives through fear and brutality while viewing them little more than a cover for his true nature.
  • Berserker Tears: During the fourth kill in his cycle, beating a father of two to death.
  • Big Bad: Of Season 4 which revolves around the hunt for the Trinity Killer.
  • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: See Bait the Dog above.
  • Broken Pedestal: Dexter initially views him as a role model for liking a dual life. However, in the latter half of the season, he comes to realize that Arthur is no different (if not worse) than the serial killer he has previously encountered and ultimately pays a heavy price for wasting several opportunities in the past to put him out of commission permanently.
  • Consummate Liar: An uncannily adept one whose skills surpass even Dexter. He reveals himself to be capable of effortlessly cultivating an affable and kindly public persona, lulling potential victims into a false sense of security, as well as feigning affection for his family whom he has little regard for (if any).
  • Control Freak: He has small rituals for literally every occasion, and he tends to get very unpleasant if they aren't followed to the letter.
  • Creature of Habit: To a much, much higher degree than Dexter. He is obsessed to a psychotic degree that all his habits and rituals are carried out the "right" way every time.
  • Death Seeker: Tries to kill himself, and minutes before being killed by Dexter, says that he had prayed to be stopped and sees his impending death as getting what he prayed for.
  • Domestic Abuser: Horribly abuses his family, both psychologically and physically.
  • Driven to Suicide: He tries to kill himself, but Dexter saves him.
  • The Dreaded: The reason why his family puts up with him is because they are all terrified of him.
  • Drop the Hammer: One of his kills is to murder a man with a hammer. Dexter kills him with a hammer as well.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Don't call him a pedophile.
  • Evil Counterpart: To Dexter Morgan insofar as he represents everything Dexter fears becoming by leading a double life as a serial killer and family man.
  • Evil Mentor: At first, Dexter sees him as this when grappling how to apportion his time between tending to his family and satisfying his bloodlust. This changes when he finds out that Arthur keeps his family in line through fear.
  • Evil Old Folks: He's at least 60 years old.
  • Family Values Villain: In his public life, as a teacher, charity worker and church deacon. In actuality, a terrifying Domestic Abuser.
  • Faux Affably Evil: Loving and religious family man on the outside, but actually a horrible Serial Killer and Domestic Abuser.
  • Freudian Excuse: He scared his sister in the shower as a child, causing her to fall and slice open an artery which kills her. His mother kills herself, and he's left alone with a drunken, abusive father who blames him for everything.
  • Graceful Loser: Despite trying to flee Florida, when he's caught by Dexter he's ultimately accepting of his fate, thinking Dexter is sent by God to put an end to him.
  • Interrupted Suicide: Tries to commit suicide but is saved by Dexter who wants to kill him instead.
  • It's All About Me: While his enduring guilt over causing his sister's death and his indignation over being called a pedophile indicate he has some standards, it is made clear toward the end of the season that he cares about no one but himself after abandoning his family to bear the fallout from his crimes.
    Arthur: (at Thanksgiving dinner, after everyone says what they're thankful for) Well, nobody said they were thankful for me.
  • Knight of Cerebus: While the storyline was always dark, it was always counterbalanced by a darkly comic tone for the first three seasons as Dexter tried with mixed success to appear "normal" while moonlighting as a serial killer. However, with the onset of the Trinity Killer story arc, the dark comedy that characterized earlier seasons is increasingly diminished after Trinity destroys one of the biggest sources of emotional stability in Dexter's life and ultimately forces him to question whether someone with his bloodlust can ever live a happy life with others.
  • Lack of Empathy: Aside from grieving over his long-dead sister, he exhibits little (if any) genuine concern for the well-being of others including his own family whom he routinely abuses when they displease him and ultimately abandons.
  • Leitmotif: He's given "Introducing Trinity" and "Trinity Suite", both eerie, haunting pieces of music used to underscore Trinity's dark nature. It reappears in season 6 when the cops think they may have found him (in reality, Dexter killed him), but it is instead his son who did the murder.
  • Madness Mantra: "It's already over... it's already over..."
  • Manipulative Bastard: Due to decades of experience, he's become an expert at lulling his victims into a false sense of security before killing them. Similarly, he deludes his wife (and to a lesser extent) his daughter, Rebecca, into believing that he loves them when in fact he views them as little more than camouflauge for his true nature.
  • Mood-Swinger: He can go from a Faux Affably Evil friendly guy to slightly angry to an Ax-Crazy psychopath in the same scene. And he later goes back to being "friendly" in matter of seconds.
  • Narcissist: A "malignant" example (i.e: one who displays both sociopathic and sadistic characteristics). While cold and abusive to his family, he secretly wallows in self-pity over memories of his unhappy childhood and actively seeks to cancel them out by fostering a respectable public image as an upstanding family man and "community hero". Additionally, he is extremely conceited given that he treats all those who don't meet his excessively high standards of meticulousness with contempt and derives sadistic from his "success" as a serial killer (as evidenced when he smirks and chuckles over photos of his victims at Miami Metro). By the end of the "Trinity Killer" story arc, the sheer extent of his self-centeredness and Lackof Empathy is made glaringly apparent when he robs his wife and children and leaves them at the mercy of federal authorities while he makes his getaway.
  • No Celebrities Were Harmed: His character is heavily inspired by [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dennis_Rader Dennis Rader]], the BTK Killer, a prominent member of his church and family man who got away with a string of murders for decades.
  • Non-Indicative Name: Is called the Trinity Killer for his apparent pattern of killing in threes. It's revealed that he actually kills in fours, but the first kill takes place months before the other three, so it was never connected to him.
  • Not So Different: Played with. Much of season 4 is Dexter wondering how different he really is from Arthur, and if he'll end up like him in his old age.
  • Pet the Dog: He buys a dog to get a victim's attention and find her house. At first, he looks like he actually cares for the dog, until he lets him go to wander the streets.
  • Sanity Slippage: After successfully getting away with hundreds of murders over many decades, it seems he's finally starting to crack under the strain of covering his tracks while simultaneously maintaining his public persona as a "community hero". When Dexter meets up, he's suicidal and begins blurting out his horrible past to complete strangers.
  • Self-Made Orphan: At some point after his mother's suicide, he killed his father with a hammer.
  • Shadow Archetype: Of Dexter. He is a very good picture of what Dexter can become if he allows himself to be completely overtaken by his habits and obsession with rituals.
  • Stepford Smiler: Obviously the unstable type. He often pretends to be a cheerful, pleasant Cool Old Guy but only to hide his true Ax-Crazy sociopathic nature. Interestingly his family is also Stepford Smiler but of the depressed type, because of him.
  • Theme Serial Killer: He kills in fours, choosing victims who represent his family members in the order they died: a young boy, symbolizing the death of his own innocence; his sister, killed in the shower; his mother, throwing herself from a great height; his father, bludgeoned to death.
  • Two First Names: Either "Arthur" or "Mitchell" can be used as a first name.
  • Villain with Good Publicity: He's seen as a beloved teacher and man of faith who regularly volunteers his time to help the less fortunate within his community.
  • Would Hit a Girl: Many of his victims are women.
  • Would Hurt a Child: He has no qualms about kidnapping ten-year-old boys, holding them prisoner, drugging them and then killing them by burying them in wet cement.
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    "The Brain Surgeon" 
Click here to see "The Brain Surgeon" 
Oliver Saxon(AKA Daniel Vogel)
Played by: Darri Ingolfsson

"You have a lot more to lose than I do. Cute little son, your sister....a girlfriend.....All very lovely and all very easy to remove from your life."

The main villain and serial killer of the final season.


  • Big Bad: Of the final season. His targeting of Dr. Evelyn Vogel and Dexter's loved ones serves as the story arc's primary source of conflict.
  • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: His image is that of a handsome, charming young bachelor who is a productive and upstanding member of society. In reality, he is a remorselessly brutal, sadistic Serial Killer with no regard for anyone or anything but himself. In addition to being vain and egotistical, he displays an extremely twisted sense of humor as can be seen when he jokes about how he killed his mother.
  • Cain and Abel: Killed his younger brother Richard at the age of 14.
  • Chekhov's Gunman: Turns out that the boyfriend to Dexter's next door neighbor is actually the final season's Big Bad.
  • Consummate Liar: One of the traits inherent to being a clinically diagnosed psychopath. Due to his lack of a conscience and utter contempt of those around him, he can lie and fake emotions with far more ease than the increasingly empathetic and emotional Dexter.
  • Creature of Habit: He plays Mama Cass's "Make Your Own Kind of Music" during all of his kills. It is later revealed that he played the same song whenever he visited the King's Bay Cafe while he was a child..
  • Dead Person Impersonation: Uses the identity of one of the children he killed.
  • Dogged Nice Guy: Based on the times she met him, Jamie considered him to be this due to his repeated attempts to persuade her friend, Cassie, into going to the Bahamas with him after dating for only a few weeks. Subverted when he is confirmed to be the Brain Surgeon as well as Cassie's murderer.
  • Enfant Terrible: He murdered his first victim at the age of 12.
  • Evil Counterpart: To Dexter Morgan more so than any other character encountered in the series. Both characters are serial killers who are at their peak in terms of physical prowess and sensory acuity (unlike the experienced but aged Trinity). Additionally, unlike most of the series' antagonists, the "Brain Surgeon" is just as skilled at hunting victims and evading traps as Dexter as evidenced by how he outmaneuvers the latter on several occasions. Moreover, unlike the Ice Truck Killer, he (like Dexter) aspires to settle down and lead a "normal" existence on his own terms as evidenced by his long line of fatal attempts to establish long-term intimate relationships . Thus, he represents what Dexter could be without being held back by a Code or emotional attachments.
  • Final Boss: The final serial killer Dexter plans on killing in the series so he can retire and start a new life with Hannah and Harrison in Argentina.
  • Go Out with a Smile: If this image serves as any indication, then he was happy about it.
  • Green-Eyed Monster: Of all the Seven Deadly Sins, envy is his most defining personality trait.
  • Hero Killer: Of all the series' major antagonists, the Brain Surgeon is ultimately responsible for the deaths of more people close to Dexter than any other adversary. During the latter half of the season, he murders Dexter's protégé, Zach Hamilton, as well as his "spiritual mother", Evelyn Vogel. Finally, towards the end of the series, he grievously wounds Deborah thereby triggering a series of events that result in her being placed in a vegetative state and ultimately being euthanized by Dexter.)
  • Hidden Villain: The Brain Surgeon's identity is kept secret until the ninth episode of the season.
  • Hope Spot: After being presumed dead for two episodes, the Surgeon returns at the end of "Are We There Yet?"
  • "I Am" Song: He adopts Mama Cass's " Make Your Own Kind of Music" as this. Initially, it appears that he is fond of the song because it reminds him of happier times he spent with his mother, Dr. Evelyn Vogel. However, considering that he later brutally murders Dr. Vogel without hesitation or remorse, it is more likely that the lyrics appeal to his own grandiosity and nihilistic worldview.
    Nobody can tell ya/ there's only one song worth singing.
    They may try and sell ya/because it hangs them up to see someone like you.
    But you've gotta make your own kind of music/ Sing your own special song.
    Make your own kind of music / even if nobody else sings along.
  • Lack of Empathy:He shows no remorse for murdering his victims including his own brother, Richard. Likewise, he reveals that his sole reason for reconnecting with Dr. Vogel, his estranged yet unconditionally loving mother, is to merely learn how to better assimilate into society while remaining a serial killer. Upon realizing that Dr. Vogel intends to hand him over to Dexter, he brutally murders her without hesitation. After the fact, he shows sadistic amusement over her death and smugly admits he found killing her to be a highly refreshing experience.
  • Leitmotif: After his identity is revealed, the Brain Surgeon's subsequent appearances are often accompanied by music rendered most distinguishable by an eerie, hollow ringing that reflect his complete lack of normal human emotions such as empathy and remorse as well as the whirring of a buzzsaw, his preferred murder weapon.
  • Matricide: He kills his mother, Dr Vogel.
  • Never My Fault: When confronting his mother about having him institutionalized, she explains that he left her with no other choice after he murdered his younger brother, Richard. Without skipping a beat, he pins Richard's death squarely on her.
    Saxon: "THAT WAS YOUR FAULT!! You ignored me! All you ever cared about was Richard!
  • A Pupil of Mine, Until He Turned to Evil: Dr. Vogel believes the Brain Surgeon to be an old patient of hers. Ultimately it turns out to be her son.
  • Pretty Boy: Unlike most of Dexter's adversaries, nothing about his polished, handsome appearance marks him out as a psychopathic serial killer (See image). As mentioned above, many fans of the series have half-jokingly referred to him as a doppelganger of popular sex symbol, Ryan Gosling.
  • Psychopathic Manchild: Type C. Despite appearing to be a well-adjusted young man on the surface, his emotional maturity remains stunted at a very childlike level given that he clings to the same petty grudges and possessive attitudes that drove him to murder his brother, Richard, when he was only 14. In "Goodbye Miami", he angrily confront his mother, Dr. Vogel, for providing Dexter with maternal attention and affection that is "owed" to him alone.
    Saxon: Don't make the same mistake you did with Richard. Choose right this time. Choose me.
  • The Sociopath: The Reconstructed counterpart to Dexter's Deconstruction. The final season revolves around Dexter pondering whether he is genuinely a psychopath incapable of experiencing love and forming meaningful relationships with those around him. As a clinically diagnosed psychopath, the Brain Surgeon's lack of conscience and unbridled sadism are manifested by acts of depravity (sawing Zach's skull in half while still alive, cutting his mother's throat and gloating about it afterwards, etc.) that utterly disgust Dexter thereby leading him to realize he is NOT one.
  • Stepford Smiler: Type C. Case-in-point.
  • Theme Serial Killer: As the name suggests, the Brain Surgeon cuts into victims' skulls and takes out the part of the brain that produces empathy.
  • Tongue Trauma: In the series finale, he forces a man to take him to the hospital where Debra is at gunpoint, then cuts off his tongue to make sure he doesn't talk. Since his victim can still write, this seems to be an act of mere horrific sadism.
  • The Unfavorite: Resentful towards his brother and mother for what he perceived as a lack of attention.

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