The Dexter that Could Have Been

It’s no secret that I think this season of Dexter has been pretty awful this year, which has been a big disappointment as I’ve loved to see the show topping itself year after year. Doomsday, the clanging religious overtones and Dexter himself have just seemed a bit…off.

I have my own theories on how the show could get back on track, but I’ll save those for another day. Today , I’d rather dive into something I recently chose to investigate, the original book series that the show is based off of by Jeff Lindsey.

Some of you might not actually know this is the case, and if you do but haven’t read them, you might be wondering why there aren’t people chiming in with upcoming plot spoilers every week like they do with Game of Thrones. Well, that’s because the books are a little…different than the adventures we’ve seen on screen.

Below I’ve compiled the plots of all the Dexter books, and you can see for yourself what I’m talking about. Behold, the Dexter that could have been.

Darkly Dreaming Dexter

“Doris Morgan, his adoptive mother, died of cancer when he was 16. When Dexter reaches puberty, he realizes that he is uninterested in sex and needs instruction by his father on how to behave with women.
When Dexter was 18, Harry fell ill of coronary artery disease and was confined to a hospital where Harry spots a nurse who kills people by overdosing them on morphine. Harry gives Dexter his “permission” to kill her; she is Dexter’s first victim.

Near the end of the first book Brian and Dexter meet in a storage container similar to the one they were held in as children, and Brian recounts what happened. He says that one of the bodies they were surrounded by could have been their father for all they knew.

At the end of the novel, Deborah learns of Dexter’s secret life after he saves her from Brian. She appears to accept it, but in subsequent books feels torn between her duties as a police officer and her loyalty to Dexter, whom she loves like a brother.”

So as you can see, this first book follows the first season almost to the letter, from Dexter’s past to his brother the killer. The big difference here is that Deb learns Dexter’s secret, which in six seasons now, still hasn’t happened on the show as it would hugely change the entire dynamic. I’ve been waiting for them to get to this for years now, but I’m not sure they ever will.

Dearly Devoted Dexter

“Doakes suspects Dexter being involved in LaGuerta’s murder, and starts following Dexter around. However a string of murders forces Doakes, Deborah and Dexter to co-operate, while uncovering parts of Doakes’s past.
Doakes’ pursuit forces Dexter to spend more time with Rita and her children. After finding FBI agent Kyle Chutsky’s ring in Dexter’s pocket, Rita believes Dexter intended to propose to her, and happily accepts before Dexter can explain.

Deborah’s developing relationship with Chutsky is interrupted when he is kidnapped by “Dr. Danco”, a psychopathic surgeon who removes his victims’ limbs and sensory organs, leaving them in a state of living death. Dexter rescues him, but not before Danco has removed Chutsky’s right arm and leg.”

Well good to see Doakes and Rita are around, but I can’t place who this Chutsky is supposed to be. I’m not sure he has an equivalent on the show.

Dexter in the Dark

“In Dexter in the Dark, the third novel of the series, it is revealed through third person narrative of an entity referred to as “IT” that the Dark Passenger is an independent agent inhabiting Dexter, rather than a deviant psychological construction. Later, Dexter realizes the Dark Passenger is related toMoloch, a Middle Eastern deity worshiped in Biblical times. The Dark Passenger is one of Moloch’s many offspring; Moloch had many children (formed through human sacrifice), and learned to share its knowledge with them.

Eventually, there were too many, and Moloch killed the majority; however, some of them escaped into the world. In the novel, Dexter learns of the Dark Passenger’s true nature when it briefly “leaves” him, frightening him into researching possible reasons for its existence. Dexter comes to accept his role as stepfather to both children very seriously in Dexter in the Dark, albeit in his typical fashion. For example, while on a stakeout, he begins to wonder if Cody had brushed his teeth before bed and if Astor had set out her Easter dress for picture day at her school. These thoughts distract him from hunting an intended victim, which thoroughly annoys him.”

Alright, now things are getting really freaking weird. Dexter’s Dark passenger is literally an ancient deity? We’re jumped into X-Files territory here, and this is way, way outside the constructs of the Dexter we know. I guess it’s his series, and the author can do what he wants, but this seems extremely strange and it’s good this insanity never made it to the screen.


  1. James November 30, 2011
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