It’s been exactly one year since the series finale of Dexter aired on Showtime, and fans continue to bitch about the way it ended on message boards, posts on the Dexter Facebook page, etc. Frankly, it’s getting quite old. I may not have been thrilled with the way it ended initially, but I certainly got over it and learned to accept it and understand why the writers chose to go that route. A far more interesting topic to discuss is the most shocking deaths of characters throughout the entire series. Of course it is a dark show where the viewers would naturally expect to see characters die, but some characters’ deaths undoubtedly took even the most avid Dexter fans by surprise. I chose seven characters whose deaths were the most shocking and explained why no one saw it coming, and, if applicable, why I missed him or her for the rest of the series. I chose seven because it’s ironic that it’s a “lucky number.” None of the murderers who Dex killed qualify because even if a murderer initially got away, he always trapped them again. If anything, it was more shocking when he would suddenly let them go. But that would be an entirely different article. Please do not be an idiot and continue reading before you have watched the show. It may seem obvious, but you would be surprised how many people would need to read that.
7. James Doakes
His death was not itself unexpected, so much as who killed him, which turned out to be Lila, the British unhinged “artist” who becomes obsessed with Dexter during Season 2. At first it seemed that Doakes, who was kept in captivity after discovering that Dexter is the Bay Harbor Butcher, might finally cause Dex to break his code, which he had not done yet at that point. He was also the first regular cast member to die. Some fans have said that they feel Doakes should have lived longer so that his conflict with Dexter could continue and evolve throughout the following seasons. While I agree with that on some level, Season 2 was an important turning point for the series because it proved that murderers were not the only characters who could be killed off. Surprise, motherfucker.
6. Dr. Evelyn Vogel
She was an integral part of the final season, and although it was clear that her psycho son Daniel Vogel (a.k.a. Oliver Saxon/The Brain Surgeon) was after her, most viewers were still shocked to see him slit her throat, as Dexter watched helplessly as he was trying to get inside her house. She was one of the reasons Dexter was able to survive for so long, because she developed the code along with Harry, so in some ways it was like Dexter was losing another parent, despite the fact that he had just met her. Dex had rarely shown that much emotion when a character was killed, so that says a lot about the connection he had developed so quickly with Dr. Vogel after having known her for such a short amount of time. He most likely felt that he owed his life to her just as much to her as he did to Harry.
5. Zach Hamilton
His death seemed very sudden and random because it happened just as Dexter was starting to get to know him. He was Dexter’s first real protégé, since Lumen was more of a temporary sidekick and Miguel was more of an accomplice who Dexter reluctantly dragged along. Zach was the first character whom Dexter could really relate to. Dex found his body not too long after Zach had his first successful kill and right after he had dinner with Vogel. It looked like he was going to become a very important character for the duration of the final season, and it’s a shame that the fans didn’t get to see Zach evolve into a more experienced killer, and possibly carry on Dexter’s legacy. It felt like the writers only killed him off because they were desperate for something shocking to happen, not because it was really necessary for where they wanted the season to go.
4. Mike Anderson
He was a newer character when he died, so like Zach’s death, it seemed very sudden and random. Anderson was a good cop, and right before he was shot he was talking to Deb and pointed something out about their current case and said he’d get on it the next day. Little did he know that the next day would never come for him. I thought he would become a regular like Quinn did during Season 4 because with his somewhat mysterious demeanor, he seemed like he had the potential to develop into a more complex character than he was ever given a chance to become.
3. Rita Morgan
Trinity was already dead when Dexter found her bled out body in the bathtub, so it was truly unexpected. Dexter had plenty of opportunities to kill Trinity sooner, which is why he blames himself for her death. Not only was she nice to look at, but I also liked her character. She was a very strong woman who stood up to her abusive ex-husband and nasty neighbor who would not bring her barking dog inside, keeping her kids up at night. That proves that she was also a great mother. Unfortunately for Rita and the beautiful Julie Benz who portrayed her for four seasons, Dexter’s character needed to evolve through the second half of the series. Lumen and Hannah never would have come about. Hannah is Dexter’s soul mate because she loves him for who he is, because she is also a killer. It’s also inevitable that Rita would have become suspicious after being married to him for so long and discovered Dexter’s secret, just like Debra eventually did.
2. Maria LaGuerta
Most fans knew there was no way Debra would shoot Dexter, but it was still shocking to see her shoot LaGuerta. Credit must be given to Jennifer Carpenter’s performance in that scene. Debra loves her brother so much that she shot an innocent person so she would not have to shoot Dex, or at the very least arrest him, but she hates him at the same time for being who he is and putting her in that position. Jennifer conveyed Debra’s anguish perfectly as she screamed right after she got LaGuerta, rushed to her side, and said “I hate you!” to Dexter. The audience really feels her pain, and it is one of the most, if not the most powerful scene in the entire series. Maria LaGuerta may have been manipulative and cantankerous at times, but Miami Metro didn’t seem the same without the beautiful Cuban for the final season.
1. Debra Morgan
If anything, I thought Dexter would die and Debra would take care of Harrison. It seemed much more appropriate for it to be Harrison’s aunt instead of Hannah, who Dex had just met that previous season. Debra was such a strong, feisty, resilient character that I honestly never thought it was a possibility. She had come close to death before, so it was easy to assume that if she wasn’t killed off yet, it probably wasn’t going to happen before the show ended for good. While I give the writers credit for having the balls to pull this off, it irked me that they had Dexter dump his beloved sister’s body in the water, just like he did to his “victims” so many times. I understand that he didn’t want to see her become a vegetable, but it still felt wrong that he went about it in that way. He may as well have cut her up and put her pieces into black garbage bags.
Sound off in the comments if you agree with the list or if you feel there are any characters that should’ve been on there!