Dexter, the twisted tale of a serial killer with a moral code, was a massive ratings hit for Showtime. It was also an influential series that prompted a slew of similarly lethal anti-heroes on TV. Now it's time to conduct an autopsy on the show's conclusion.
When Dexter was just two years old, his mother was brutally killed at the hands of a cartel boss, and he and his brother were left sitting in her blood. At first, the audience is encouraged to believe that this foundational trauma is what put Dexter down the path to being a serial miller. When Dexter's adopted father, Harry, realizes his son lacks emotional empathy and might possibly be a sociopath like when he finds Dexter petting neighborhood pets he teaches Dexter a code so the child won't get caught.
But by the end of Dexter, his story is far more complicated. As it turns out, it was a criminal psychiatrist who had come up with the code. Harry was only responsible for teaching it to Dexter, and it wasn't until Dexter's first move that he finally understood the monster he'd helped create. It would be years before Dexter learned that his father's death had been at his own hands, once he'd realized what his adopted son was capable of.
One of the most compelling things about Dexter is his incredible level of self-awareness. According to professionals, it's this introspection that makes him an unrealistic psychopath, in spite of being so relatable to viewers. He struggles in society, just as we all do. But in Dexter's case, he struggles with feeling empathy and love, even though he understands what it looks like. Keep watching the video because we now understand the ending of Dexter.
Nature versus nurture | 0:17
Self-aware psychopath | 1:13
Justice system limits | 2:18
Collateral damage | 3:24
The Bay Harbor Butcher | 5:20
Rooting for a serial killer | 6:26
A monster and his loves | 7:13
Family tragedy | 8:32
Argentina dream | 9:56
Code of solitude | 10:47