“Dexter” remains one of the most confusing shows I ever have watched.
I think I’ve made a point to say I like psychologically thrilling shows and movies, but even so, “Dexter” leaves me with unresolved, complex emotions.
The main character, Dexter Morgan, is a crime scene investigator who specializes in blood splatter.
He also kills serial killers. But not just any serial killers — there is a set of rules by which Dexter lives his life.
This set of rules was created by his foster father, Harry Morgan, who was a cop who saw in Dexter the potential to become a killer.
The rules also are known as the “code of Harry.” They include “don’t get caught” and “never kill an innocent.”
This show aired on Showtime and it did not pull any punches. The very first episode starts with Dexter killing a man.
He is meticulous. Everything has a place and there never are any clues left when he is done — apart from the slides of blood he keeps in his window air conditioner.
And the show doesn’t let up from there, either.
Dexter works for the same police department his father worked for, as does his foster sister, Debra.
Debra is extremely foul-mouthed. Every other word that comes out of her mouth is a curse word — her favorite rhymes with “duck.”
But the best part of the show has more to do with the struggle of Dexter to reconcile what he calls his “evil passenger” with the trials of trying to fit in.
His character is not a hero or even an anti-hero. Dexter is … perhaps an honest character, if ever there was one.
Viewers have the benefit of his inner dialogue, which helps to explain why he is the way he is and why he acts the way he does.
Each season, he is faced with a new foe, which always comes with a different set of circumstances. It could be someone he has found on his own, someone who falls through the cracks in the department where he works or someone he meets as a part of his job.
It’s never the same, the death toll is always high and the moral ambiguity is always confusing.
By the end of the first season, I found myself cheering Dexter on — not because he was a killer, but because of who he killed.
But as time went on and I consciously realized I was rooting for the man who conceivably is the “bad guy,” I was surprised.
It was jolting to realize the lines in my mind were blurred, but that’s where this show becomes interesting.
The writers slowly turn the audience on its head. At the same time, the story lines make Dexter a little less stable.
Be prepared — if you choose to watch “Dexter,” nothing is as simple as it seems.