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Dexter Morgan's greatest foes: seasons 4-8
**Warning: hub contains spoilers**
Continuation of part one of this series, here is a look at some of the greatest foes in seasons 4-8 to go head-to-head with our favorite serial killer, Dexter Morgan.
Arthur Mitchell / Trinity
Arthur Mitchell / Trinity
In season 4, we learned of a new serial killer whose work spanned not only the nation but decades. Trinity (beautifully played by John Lithgow) killed in fours, but FBI agent Frank Lundy was only aware of three, so he was nicknamed Trinity. First, he kidnaps a young boy around age 10 and disposes of his body so well that they aren’t found. Second comes the naked girl in the bathtub, where Trinity climbs in the bathtub behind her, slits the artery in her thigh, and watches her face with a mirror while she dies. Third is the suicide, where he forces a mother to jump to her death. His fourth kill is the brutal bludgeoning of a man.
Dexter discovers Trinity is really a seemingly perfect family man named Arthur Mitchell. Dexter had planned on killing Trinity, but Dexter is having difficulties balancing his own family life with his serial killer needs, so he gets close to Trinity to learn from him. Dexter uses the alias Kyle Butler, and discovers that Arthur has a lot of problems keeping his dark side out of family life. Arthur terrorizes and abuses his family. Dexter finally decides to take out Trinity, and though he was successful, it’s a little too late.
Trinity helped carry out one of the biggest surprises in television history: the murder of Dexter’s wife, Rita. He killed her in a bathtub, and her blood spilled out over the edges of the tub. Dexter came home to find his precious baby boy, Harrison, sitting in her blood, much as Dexter was found in the shipping container sitting in his own mother’s blood.
Motivational speaker Jordan Chase (Jonny Lee Miller) seems to have it all, but his dark side is something that makes most serial killers before him seem like kittens and puppy dogs. With a group of four childhood friends, he kidnaps blonde girls and keeps them imprisoned for some time during which they are raped and tortured, both physically and psychologically. The unusual part is that Jordan never touches the victims; he gets off by commanding others to do the dirty work. The girls meet their end in a barrel of water, which they use to electrocute the girls when they are wary of them. This earns their victims the unfortunate nickname of “Barrel Girls.” There are thirteen victims, but at first the police only know of twelve.
Dexter accidentally stumbles onto one of the girls when he tracks down Boyd Fowler and kills him. The thirteenth victim is still locked up, and sees everything. Lumen Pierce (Julia Stiles) gives Dexter purpose after he has lost Rita. With Lumen, Dexter tracks down the other members of the vile group, and finally offs Jordan Chase himself.
Travis Marshall / Doomsday Killer (DDK)
Played by Colin Hanks, Travis Marshall certainly had the most unique, creative and imaginative kills of the lot. He attempts to bring about the end of the world as the Doomsday Killer by recreating scenes from the Book of Revelation. He works with his mentor, Professor James Gellar (Edward James Olmos), but in the end we learn that Professor Gellar was literally just in Travis’s head. The most notable thing about DDK’s run is that when Dexter takes him out, he is seen by sister Deb, and it launches a whole new set of problems for Dexter.
A high-ranking member of the Koshka Brotherhood, Isaak Sirko starts causing problems for Dexter when Dexter kills his lover and head of operations in America, Viktor Baskov. Viktor earned the right to be on Dexter’s table when he killed a stripper, who worked in Isaak’s strip club. Supercop Mike Anderson discovered the stripper in Viktor’s trunk when helping him with a flat tire, and Viktor shot Mike. What other choice did Dexter have but to kill Viktor?
Isaak is very serious about finding Viktor’s killer, and that leads him straight to Dexter. After a long game of cat and mouse, Isaak and Dexter realize they have more in common than they originally thought. While working together on a kill, the head of Isaak’s strip club, George Novikov (Jason Gedrick), shoots Isaak in the gut. Isaak asks Dexter to dispose of him where he disposed of Viktor so they could be together forever.
Hannah McKay (Yvonne Strahovski) gives new meaning to the phrase “beautiful but deadly.” As a teenager, Hannah went on a crime spree with Wayne Randall that ended in murder and Wayne getting locked up. Hannah testified against Wayne in exchange for immunity. But Hannah just can’t seem to stop killing, with poison as her primary weapon.
At first, Dexter goes after Hannah to kill her for getting away with murder, but Dexter falls in love with Hannah. An emotion that he first started feeling a little with Rita and explored more with Lumen, he didn’t know how to really feel love until he met Hannah. She kills out of necessity, and unfortunately sister Deb ends up on the list of people she needs to kill. She poisons Deb’s water, and Deb ends up in a car accident. Dexter has no choice but to give Deb evidence against Hannah to lock her away. Hannah has her old buddy, Arlene, give her poison during a court appearance, and Hannah goes to the hospital and escapes. She finds her way back to Dexter, who takes her in again and helps Deb and Hannah mend their rift, as much as one can with the person that tried to kill them.
Daniel Vogel / Oliver Saxon / The Brain Surgeon
Dr. Evelyn Vogel emerged in season 8 as the writer of Harry’s code. As one of the foremost minds on child psychopathy and serial killers, Dr. Vogel got her start with her oldest son, Daniel (Darri Ingolfsson), who exhibited the signs of a serial killer at a very early age. At first, Dr. Vogel believes The Brain Surgeon is one of her former patients, and Dexter follows that route by running into some interesting killers, including a cannibal with a brain in his fridge. They soon learn that Daniel is The Brain Surgeon, a killer who cuts open his victims’ heads to remove part of their brain and send them home to dear old Mum.
The Brain Surgeon knows about Dexter, as he was dating Dexter’s next-door neighbor under the alias Oliver Saxon. He is jealous of Dexter’s relationship with his mother. Daniel threatens Dexter’s family, including his youngest son Harrison. And when Mum can't deliver on picking him over Dexter, he does what a serial killer does best and slits her throat. In the end, Dexter proved that the pen is definitely mightier than the sword, when he stabs Daniel / Oliver in the jugular. Unfortunately, it was much too late to save sister Deb.
From The Ice Truck Killer all the way to The Brain Surgeon, Dexter has faced his fair share of foes. For eight seasons, we watched our favorite serial killer butcher his way through many bad guys, and almost get caught every time he turned around.
For those of us dearly miss our favorite serial killer after the season 8 finale, Dexter lives on in a new comic book series by the same name. You can also catch him in Jeff Lindsay's series of Dexter books, starting with Darkly Dreaming Dexter.
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