Dexter – Critique ( season one)

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Photo by Halil Gokdal

Dexter (2006-2013) is an American television series with its core genre as crime and its story revolves around a blood splatter expert that both commits and solves crimes. Ironically enough, the way the crimes are tied to Dexter are rather a form of pop art,  where the images are grotesque and perfectly designed.

This series illustrates a serial killer who kills other villains, killers, as if following a fetish.  Dexter Morgan’s character is engaging the audience in an emotional bond towards the developing story through the constant use of symbols and visual key elements, such as: setting, murder tools and the double-life. The uniqueness of this character is defined by its principles of gathering clues and facts before committing an act. He follows the “Code of Harry”, his adoptive father’s code, which was implemented mainly to channel his urge to kill.  Dexter is an out of ordinary adult, whose life had been altered by the traumatic experience he went through as a child: watching his mother murdered in a gruesome way.

The action is being told omnisciently through the eyes of Dexter Morgan,  as he carries out his day to day life in Miami. The first episodes are full of self-analyzing narration and reliable development added by Dexter, making the watcher almost take part in the action. However, this is not the common type of television series and its graphic and explanatory action captivates every crime, horror and investigation fan. On the other hand, the mere setting of the action in Miami represents a bridge between the murders that are committed: Miami is a very warm and humid place where unexpected things can happen.  The things that make the story work are the psychological elements that are added: Dexter’s thoughts, his relationship with his sister Debra and his intent of living a normal life with his girlfriend, Rita, and all together represent symbols of the disturbed life that protagonist tries to sort out. The series describe a performance that takes the audience’s breath away, with a haunting narration that puts to questions the validity of the story but sustains it with clear arguments and facts.   The element of surprise that this story possesses are the unexpected but calculated ways the protagonist will make his next moves towards the natural flow of the double life he’s having, but also his psychological interventions in the development of each episode.

Finally, as the episodes continue and the story evolves, the audience can see an existence of more than just a cold blooded killer: the relationship between the Morgan brothers is what makes Dexter be with his feet on the ground at all times and it represents a key element for the recognition of his true face:  is he truly feeling alive only when he’s taking someone’s last breath?  Personally, the series captivated me from the first episode and had me breath taken slowly after Dexter’s introduction had been made.

It is a fascinating story, brilliantly depicted and almost dramatically envisaged, a perfect reason for a getaway from the day to day routine and watch something different.

Also, my favourite quotes from season one:

This is what it must feel like to walk in full sunlight, my darkness revealed, my shadow self embraced. Yeah, they see me. I’m one of them… In their darkest dreams. ( Dexter Morgan)

The trifecta, weapon, ammo, and impaired judgement. Throw in a little domestic violence, and you have the perfect recipe for a family slaughter. ( Dexter Morgan)

Keeping the truth from the people closest to you is how you’ll survive, and how you’ll protect them if anything ever goes wrong. ( Harry Morgan)

People think it’s fun to pretend your a monster. Me I spend my life pretending I’m not. (Dexter Morgan)

People fake a lot of human interactions, but I feel like I fake them all, and I fake them very well, that’s my burden, I guess. ( Dexter Morgan)

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