When Netflix finally started streaming Seasons 4 thru 8 of Dexter earlier this month, I became a serious binge-watcher. While the series definitely peaked in Season 3 (and the writing towards the end became downright perplexing), Dexter Morgan has become America’s most mainstream Serial Killer. As I process the show’s major reoccurring themes and messages, I wanted to pay tribute to a few special psychos who passed over Dexter’s table. Thanks for the memories!
See my list of the Top 10 Villains of Dexter after the jump.
10. The Minotaur Killer (Ray Speltzer): His character was pretty underdeveloped but what we saw really raised our eyebrows. A killer obsessed with the legend of The Labyrinth, Ray Speltzer created a nightmare attic-maze where he stalked his victims as The Minotaur Killer—complete with horns. Speltzer’s lair looks like it came straight from the mind of Saw’s titular “Jigsaw Killer”.
9. The Skinner (George King): Killers who skin their victims are nothing new, but those who flay their victims alive are different beasts all together. King’s cool demeanor, even during interrogation, stands in striking juxtaposition to the depravity of his actions. Truly a psycho who savors the pain he inflicts.
8. The Brain Surgeon (Daniel Vogel aka Oliver Saxon): It isn’t just the fact that Oliver Saxon removes and dissects the brains of his victims that makes us squirm, it’s his crazy eyes: always on the verge of bursting free from his ultra-controlled exterior. While no one ever bested Mr. Morgan, Saxon is one of the few who pushed our antihero to his limits—and took something he truly loved.
7. Hector Estrada: While Harry Morgan and Dr. Vogel take credit for “creating” Dexter, Hector Estrada is actually the man who made it all possible. As a high ranking drug cartel leader in the 70’s, it was Estrada who ordered the violent chainsaw dismemberment of Dexter’s mother before his young eyes. This was the birth of the “Dark Passenger”.
6. The Fiendish Florist (Hannah Mckay): Part of a small subset of people who found themselves on Dexter’s table—and lived. Hannah was more than an ethical dilemma in Dexter’s life, she was the one who truly understood him (in all of his contradictory complexities). Along with Rita and Lumen, proof that Dexter prefers blonds. The most sever hiccup in their bloody love story was when Hannah tried to come between Dex and Deb. Big mistake, Hannah.
5. Jordan Chase (Eugene Greer)/The Gang: A killer who basks in the limelight of fortune and fame, Jordan Chase remained largely untouchable for one reason: He convinced others to perform his murderous misdeeds on his behalf. In this sense, Chase is a Manson-esque ringleader leaving a trail of embalmed blond bodies in his wake.
4. Isaak Sirko: This high ranking member of the Koshka Brotherhood (a notorious crew of Ukrainian gangsters) is a villain both chilling and tragic. While his relentless pursuit of vengeance made Isaak one of Dexter’s greatest opponents, it’s the depth of his motivation that’s perhaps most shocking. Isaak’s vendetta stems from a very soft sources: The loss of his secret lover.
3. The Doomsday Killer (Travis Marshall & James Gellar): The case of a derange theology professor and his conflicted protégé made for one of the most shocking reveals of the entire series. Doomsday is also perhaps Dexter’s most ambitious enemy when you consider his ultimate goal: Armageddon.
2. The Ice Truck Killer (Brian Moser aka Rudy Cooper): Dexter’s nemesis, his tormentor, his peer (and eventually revealed to be his brother), Brian Moser gave our antihero a unique window into his own soul. An MD by day, Moser’s true passion is dismemberment.
1. The Trinity Killer (Arthur Mitchell): Trinity is the Beast Who Walks among Us, a serial killer who’s longevity is tied to his standing as a respected businessman and father. In him, Dexter sees (at first) a man who effortlessly glides between worlds, between Man and Monster. But it’s not just his habit of killing innocents that put him at odds with Dex, as we discover Arthur Mitchell is a man fraying at the seams. Trinity’s saddest victims are his family who he tortures with his psychosis and dooms to carry his twisted legacy. Jonathan Lithgow’s epic portrayal, and Trinity’s unbelievable final act of evil, makes him Dexter’s #1 adversary.