Dexter Season 2: Flawed Brain, Deadly Daddy

By Elaine B

Dexter coming to grips with fatherhood, as well as the shortcomings of his own father, created a killer episode. Any who worried that thoughts of a bouncing baby Morgan would soften Dexter were happily disappointed. Because, of course, impending fatherhood is stressful, and Dexter has such a unique way of dealing with stress.

And if imminent daddyhood didn’t have Dex sharpening his scalpels, there’s his new best friend, Miguel Prado. Prado is clearly the head of his own family, confessing to Dexter over shots of rum that his father was narcissistic drunk with such a high opinion of himself that his sons never measured up. Dexter confesses, “My father was disgusted by me,” and later wonders if he has finally found a friend with whom he can share his dark secrets.

Would Prado understand? That’s debatable. He’s certainly honorable. So much so, that he even gives Dexter the shirt he was wearing when Dexter met him in the rain-soaked yard after killing Freebo in self-defense. It has Freebo’s blood on it, ensuring that Prado will not reveal anything about the killing because he would implicate himself. But Prado is also power-hungry, enough that he would let a man go to prison for decades rather than reopen a case. What does that say about him? Florida has a death penalty. Did he ever let an innocent man die? Prado could be guilty of more than that. Is it possible that his “thank you” when Dexter confesses to killing Freebo was a cover? Might he have done it himself had he gotten there first? Perhaps he has in the past. By Dexter’s quickly falling standards, this puts him well within the Code of Harry — assuming the Code exists any longer.

This becomes clear when, realizing that Cody and Aster are being stalked by a child molester, Dexter dispatches the man. He argues that, it’s only a matter of time and “I’m not flawed like you.”

But there is something else Dexter is doing. He’s beginning to realize that he was, in part, born to be what he is. Assuming that the scene in which his father compares Dex’s brain MRI with a serial killer’s brain is somewhat accurate, it proves nothing. Dexter could have become a sky diver, one of those human spiders that goes up the side of buildings, a NASCAR driver, a commodities trader. There are a lot of adrenaline-charged professions and hobbies that would light up the dead part of his brain. Instead, Harry nurtured the deadly part of his foster son’s inclinations. So yes, he made Dexter the man he became, but because Dexter is aware of the process, he can change it. It would ruin the series, but what a fitting finale it would be.