Dexter-The Books-The Series-The Story- A Review Part 2
Again, I will be revealing major plot points from the series and the book. Proceed with caution if you have not read the book or watched this season of the television series!!! This is part 2 in my series of The Story Match-up with the books to the television show. If you have not read part one covering season 1 and the first book read it.... here.
Dearly Devoted Dexter-Season 2
The second installment of the Dexter series goes by the title of Dearly Devoted Dexter . Here we find Dexter back at his job as a blood spatter analyst. His sister, Deborah, recovering from her encounter with the Ice Truck Killer as well as a new position in Miami Metro's Homicide Division. In the book... she is keeping Dexter's secret which appears to be making her angry... In the television series... the encounter as left her a little more on the weakened side, fighting for her dignity.
The Main Plot
In the book... At the loss of Lt. LaGuerta in the previous novel, Deb is brought into Homicide in a Sgt. role. The story follows Deborah as a lead on a case involving a person who dismembers their victims limb by limb, but leaving them alive. With very little clues to go on and victims unable to talk, special forces are brought in. The book follows along Sgt. Doakes' past as US Army Ops. special forces. The victims are found to be people who worked closely with Doakes that served in the Salvadoran Civil War. Referred to only as Dr. Danco, he captured his victims, pumped them full of sedatives and over the course of a few days removed their limbs, disfiguring them while playing a game similar to Hangman.
Doakes, having always found something "off" about Dexter, is on a hunt to find out what his game really is. After the death of his old partner, turned best friend, he starts to stalk Dexter. Dexter being followed forces him into a more domestic relationship with his "disguise girlfriend" turned accidental fiancée Rita, who knows nothing of what Dexter really is. Playing kick the can and hangman with Rita's two children, Astor and Cody, and drinking beer becomes his way of life; as a means of boring Doakes out of following him constantly. While spending time with the children, Dexter learns Cody has a dark side as well. With sociopathic tendencies as well, very similar to Dexter he decides to take Cody and Astor under his wing and teach them The Code Of Harry.
Deborah becomes involved with one of the Special Agents, Kyle Chutsky. When Kyle is taken by Dr. Danco, Doakes and Dexter team up to take him down. Doakes ends up becoming the next victim of Dr. Danco's twisted game of Hangman.
In the television series...Dexter finds himself and his body of work under major scrutiny when divers find his dumping ground. With 18 bodies found, The press title him The Bay Harbor Butcher. The manhunt is on for the Bay Harbor Butcher, as Dexter tries to make sure he isn't uncovered as the real source of the killings. FBI Special Agent Frank Lundy (played by Keith Carradine) is brought in to find clues that tie the murders together, and help bring down a serial killer. After putting together the pieces of the puzzle, it is revealed that the murderer is one of their own. As time runs out Dexter must get creative in order to save himself.
At the end of season 1, Doakes (played by Erik King) is suspicious of Dexter and follows him as in the book. A lot of his past comes back to haunt him after an on the job shooting involving someone from his past in the Black Ops Special forces. Internal Affairs investigates Doakes after a second shooting involving one of his ranger buddies who was a suspect in a murder. Doakes, being suspicious of Dexter, finds himself as a main suspect for the Bay Harbor Butcher, when he finds Dexter's trophy blood slides and goes missing. Trying to pin Dexter as a bad guy puts Doakes in the line of fire and under suspicion from the FBI for the Bay Harbor Butcher killings.
Deborah( played by Jennifer Carpenter), trying to bounce back from her encounter with the Ice Truck Killer has left her more vulnerable. After moving in with Dexter, she works out constantly to ease some of her stress. Brought into homicide in the previous season, Detective Deborah Morgan is paired with Special Agent Lundy as his "right hand man" in the Bay Harbor Butcher case, and becomes a love interest in the process.
Lt. LaGuerta (played by Lauren Vélez), makes it to season 2, unlike in the second book. Racing to proves her friends innocence and take down the REAL Bay Harbor Butcher, Lt. LaGuerta's character really flourishes in season 2. Breaking down the stigma of being tough as nails, Lt. LaGuerta really breaks down in search of clues to help absolve Doakes.
Rita (played by Julie Benz), is forced to take a stand when her abusive ex husband Paul Bennett (played by Mark Pellegrino) is released from jail. Wanting to prove he has changed and wants to see his kids, he forces Rita into a position where she must take control and no longer play the victim. Doakes' surveillance of Dexter causes him to be in the middle of Rita and Paul's problems. After finding a way to take Paul out, Rita assumes Dexter has a drug problem and prompts him into NA (Narcotics Anonymous). There he meets his sponser Lila Tournay (played by Jamie Murray), an unhinged British artist. Lila sees Dexter for the monster he really is, and wants him all for herself. Lila's presence causes Dexter to be stuck in a love triangle that causes more problems in his attempt to successfully get away with the Bay Harbor Butcher murders.
The Major Plot Differences
The plot differences are quite obvious from the book to the television series. Both have a running theme of the dynamic between Sgt. Doakes and Dexter. With a few character changes between the two, it has a parallel plot but are two completely different stories. The obvious common plots aside, the character development really goes a different direction here.
In The Book... Deborah's personality is changed. She comes across as more angry towards her brother, still somehow from book one to book two, the idea seems almost lost that she witnessed Dexter's monster. They are still a great brother-sister team and the problem of Dexter almost killing her, doesn't seem to be an issue for some reason. The romantic aspect of her relationship with Kyle Chutsky evolves into a co-dependent relationship and works well with her character, but leaves a little to be desired that she is always either working or with Kyle, and there really seems to be no in between for them.
Doakes comes across as angry and slightly more off kilter in this book. Spawning almost over night a problem with Dexter that went from being generally creeped out to a total loathing of him without any warning after the death of his partner. In the T.V. series this transition was done perhaps a little better, without the death of Lt. LaGuerta in the series it leaves it up to the series writers to have come up with hints and clues Doakes picked up in order to get there.
Rita became a main character in the book, but Dexter is portrayed as not really caring about her at all. Sociopath or not, he can't seem to grasp why Rita is important and with an impending marriage after an accidental proposal, he spends most of the book trying to find a way out of it. The main carry through for the marriage is that her children, Astor and Cody, are showing sociopathic tendencies. This removes all innocence from the children and takes the plot into darker territory.
In The Series... The focus is more on Dexter. His relationship with Rita is on the rocks. He is given a chance to see what life would be like with someone who sees him for what he is, a monster. Lila forces him to confront his past and his mother's murderers, and in the process tries to take Dexter away from Rita. Dexter realizes that not only has he grown fond of Rita, but he is also fond of Rita's kids. He has to choose between living a lie and being with Rita, or being himself, and staying with Lila. Lila's crazy turns out to be a little too much for him and realizes that Rita is a part of his life and not just a cover story anymore.
Doakes' frantic search for clues to take out Dexter really becomes his downfall when the Bay Harbor Butcher title is pinned on him. After being in the run he catches Dexter in the act. In the process of trying to arrest him, Dexter manages to hold him captive in a cocaine dealer's cabin.
A Quick Review
The book Dearly Devoted Dexter I would rate a 4 out of five. The plot as a stand alone is strong but the carry through from book one seems a tad off. Losing the children's innocence in the book takes it from a book about a charming serial killer to a dark place. I think that leaving that in place takes the book down slightly a notch. As for the Deborah/Dexter dynamic; her knowing, and almost being killed by Dexter, seems out of place. Her allowing him to continue being a member of society seems like it wouldn't be something the daughter of a cop would do. She was jealous of Dexter getting all her father's attention growing up, and although they became close that was still an underlying theme. She wanted to be a good cop, to prove to her father she was worth his love. So many people knowing Dexter's secret seems to distract and take away from the story a little.
The series I would rate a 5 out of 5. The fast paced, in your face issues Dexter faces in trying to escape the clutches of the FBI and his own sister make this season a thrill to watch. The characters become lovable, and new ones are introduced in the mix, making season 2 a must watch. You really get to see another side of Dexter as his character grows more and finds ways to deal with what is handed to him.