April 25, 2019

Dexter Episode 1 Recap “Dexter”

Dexter Morgan
Image via Wikipedia

I promised Dexter recaps and here they are!  Don’t forget to vote on your fave quote from the episode at the end!

Episode Title: Dexter (Pilot)

Opening Line:  “Tonight’s the night.  And it’s going to happen again and again.  Has to happen.  Nice night.”

Episode Summary:  We see Michael C. Hall in his debut as the title character, Dexter Morgan, a serial killer turned vigilante who lives his life by a very important code: the Code of Harry.  Tonight, he rids the world of Mike Donovan and Jaime Jaworski.  He also manages to piss off Sergeant Doakes at every turn. (And it’s oh-so fun to watch!)

Victims:  Mike Donovan: Child Murder.  Jaime Jaworski: Rape, Murder, Snuff Films.

Main Plot Development:  The plot begins with the revelation that a serial killer is chopping hookers up into precise, bloodless bits.  The plot thickens when we meet Doris, a woman working in the records department, gives him a file on an unsolved case – something for his spare time – that puts him on the trail of Jaime Jaworski.  While on a date with Rita, he stumbles upon a second dismembered hooker body, this one frozen.  He later theorizes to his foster sister, Debra (Jennifer Carpenter) that the killer is using a freezer truck as his base of operation.

On his way to Rita’s house, an ice truck catches his eyes and he follows it down the winding Miami streets into what appears to be a restricted area.  The truck comes to a stop.  It turns back as though to play chicken, blinding him with high beams so he can’t see anything…

Except the decapitated head of the last victim hitting his windshield.

The episode closes with Dexter returning home from Rita’s house to find a severed doll head on his freezer.  When he opens the fridge?  You guessed it…the rest of the doll, severed and laid out to look like the victims.

Closing Line:  “In fact, I think this is a friendly message.  Like, hey wanna play?  And yes, I wanna play.  I really, really do.”

Romantic Plot Development:  We meet Dexter’s girlfriend, Rita (played by Julie Benz from Angel and Jawbreaker) and her two kids: Astor and Cody.  Rita is the former victim of spousal abuse: mental, physical and sexual.  While describing the way the body was cut to her, he inadvertently touches her leg in a way she views as frisky, causing her to go into full-scale freak-out mode.

Rita calls to apologize to him a few days later while he’s in the middle of disposing of his…work.  He doesn’t get to her house until dawn because of the head flying at his car and Rita is acting really beyond strange when he gets there, saying she doesn’t want to lose him.

She reveals the negligee under her robe and Dexter’s response is: “Oh.  Okay.  Thanks.”  Dexter looks thoroughly lost when she straddles him on the couch, but, luckily for him, Rita gets a call that Cody just threw up on the neighbor’s couch so “being a good mom” breaks up that awkward sexual encounter.

How many times he wears the ritual clothes:  3  (Yet no one thinks it’s odd for him to be in Miami wearing the same long-sleeved dark shirt and pants.  Seriously?)

Character Spotlight:  Harry Morgan (James Remar):  Not only does Harry, along with his wife Doris, take in an orphaned Dexter as a small child, but he also recognizes his son’s impulses at an early age.  Once he finds the grave of the neighbor’s dog, along with other small animal bones, he confronts Dexter about his motives.  Over the years, Harry encourages a now teenage Dexter to come to him whenever the urge strikes rather than acting upon them on his own.

Then he comes up with a stroke of genius: What if Dexter’s murderous impulses could be channelled into something productive?  What if he could learn to only hunt and kill those who were outside the law; those who escaped justice?  Thus, the Code of Harry is born.

My Thoughts:  There is so much I could say about this one because I found I was hooked right from the opening moments, but I’ll keep it brief.

I especially liked the use of the “Blood Theme” throughout the episode whenever Dexter was finding something out that would be important later on.  Don’t forget about that in future episodes, y’all.  I think one of my favorite parts is the way Deb starts out with “I’m gonna shame this bitch” and then can barely form a coherent thought when talking to her Lieutenant.

The fact that Dexter has his face wrapped up in plastic wrap with holes cut for talking and breathing is seriously cracking me up!  I mean, in the first killing they showed, he was using a glass welding-type mask, probably typical of something one would find during an autopsy.  So why wrap yourself in plastic?  Too freakin’ funny!

And how much do I love his apparent sexual awkwardness with Rita?  Boat loads.

On a side note, this is perhaps one of the more graphic and bloody episodes in the series.  If you’re not a fan of blood, take heart in the fact that it’s not always like this…

If it’s been a while since you’ve seen it, or you’ve never seen it, check out the opening of the pilot episode below.

Vote For This Episode’s Best Lines:

  1. “Tonight’s the night.  And it’s going to happen again and again.  Has to happen.  Nice night.”
  2. “In fact, I think this is a friendly message.  Like, hey wanna play?  And yes, I wanna play.  I really, really do.”
  3. “Trust me, I definitely understand.  You see, I can’t help myself either.  Children.  I could never do that, not like you.  Never. Ever.  Kids….I have standards.”
  4. “But they’re both dead now.  I didn’t kill them.  Honest.”
  5. “Blood.  Sometimes it sets my teeth on edge.  Other times it helps me control the chaos.”
  6. “Why hadn’t I thought of that?  No blood.”
  7. “No blood.  I can’t think.  I have to get out of here.”
  8. “Just like me.  Empty inside.”
  9. “I don’t understand sex…When it comes to the actual act of sex, it’s always seemed so…undignified.”
  10. Doakes to Dexter: “I’m watching you, motherfucker.”
  11. Dexter to Maria: “Just high beams and a flying head…”
  12. Maria to Dexter: “I’ll catch you later.”
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About Jen Whitten

Jen Whitten is a paranormal researcher and writer, specializing in psychic development, Empaths, modern day vampirism and dealing with entities. She regularly discusses the paranormal realm, as well as the dark inner workings of the mind.