- 8 Seasons
Dexter is a Showtime original drama series that tracks the life of Dexter Morgan, a character adapted from the 2004 Jeff Lindsay novel Dexter Dreaming Darkly. Lindsay has continued the book series, while the Dexter portrayed on television has evolved in a separate timeline. Running for eight seasons, Dexter deals with a strange and uncomfortable scenario; the titular character is a serial killer. Rather than tracking down innocent victims, Dexter Morgan uses his job as a blood spatter analyst with the fictional Miami Metro Police Department to track and kill criminals that the justice system has failed to capture or punish. Over the course of the series, he hunts other serial killers as well as gang members and drug dealers responsible for innocent deaths. However, he is not portrayed as a superhero. Morgan's own emotions and twisted interpersonal relationships cause him to make interesting decisions at many junctures in the show. Dexter was adopted by a police officer named Harry after he was found crying in a pool of his own mother's blood when he was just a toddler. This experience led Dexter to develop what he refers to throughout the series as a Dark Passenger, otherwise described as a deep-seated need to kill. Should he try not to hunt or kill for a period of time, his sleep becomes disrupted and his temper becomes quite short. On the other side of Dexter lies his softer emotions. In the beginning of the series, Dexter narrates that he has always felt cold and doesn't think he is capable of love. This is challenged when he becomes attached to a woman named Rita, accidentally starts a family with her and then goes on to marry her. Dexter also feels great affection for his sister, Deb, who is a police office for Miami Metro. Although she is the biological child of Harry and is not related to Dexter through blood, his loyalty to her is obvious and prolonged throughout the series. As the story progresses, Deb finds out about Dexter's activities. Rather than chasing down criminals on a whim, Dexter selects his victims using a code taught to him by Harry. Harry, as a police officer, knew Dexter had murderous tendencies as a child and taught him the code to both keep Dexter out of prison and to teach Dexter an acceptable way to select victims. Even after Harry died, Dexter kept to the code. Dexter's code is comprised of two simple rules. The first rule is to never get caught, as this would lead to imprisonment and, possibly, the death penalty. The second rule is to never kill an innocent. Dexter frequently references his code while making decisions about whom to kill and when. If he is conflicted about specific circumstances, Harry will sometimes appear to him in spirit form or flashbacks and help guide him through his thought process.