Dexter—Season 1

dexter season 1 poster review episode guide
9.0 Overall Score
Story: 9/10
Acting: 9/10
Visuals: 9/10

Great cat-and-mouse show

Knowing it leads to a poor end

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You’ll never see him coming…

Dexter Morgan (Michael C. Hall) studies blood spatters…when he isn’t making them himself.  Dexter is also a serial killer and an employ of the Miami police department, he is able to pick out people who deserve his “special” attention.  Dexter is the son of admired detective Harry Morgan (James Remar) who taught Dexter a code…and with orders to protect his sister Deb (Jennifer Carpenter).  Dexter tries to live like a normal man with a girlfriend named Rita (Julie Benz), but his actions do continue to catch the attention of his coworker James Doekes (Erik King) who seems to see through Dexter’s facade.  When the Ice Box Killer seems to be zero in on Dexter, Dexter realizes he might have found a kindred spirit.

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Is Dexter a gift to viewers?

Dexter—Season 1 is a crime thriller series.  The series is based on the novels by Jeff Lindsay beginning with Darkly Dreaming Dexter in 2004.  The show aired from October 1, 2006 to December 17, 2006 on Showtime and received positive reviews.  It won Primetime Emmy awards for Outstanding Single Camera Picture Editing for a Drama Series (“Dexter”) and Outstanding Main Title Design with nominations with Outstanding Original Main Title Theme Music.

I was on the Dexter boat from the start.  Without Showtime, I didn’t have access until the first season came to DVD…which I watched immediately.  Now years after its release, going back to Dexter feels like putting on a nice comfortable glove…it is easy to forget with the groan-able ending how good Dexter was when it began.

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Two peas in a pod?

Though you didn’t know it at the beginning of the series, the show primarily focuses on one of Dexter’s contemporaries who crosses the boundaries that Dexter has set for himself.  This season goes for the mystery of Dexter Morgan by diving into his past as he tries to keep his dark side secret from everyone around him.  The character is alone but finds a kinship…but sociopaths don’t have emotions and Dexter is questioning his identity as a whole.

The series is bolstered by a good cast.  Michael C. Hall proved himself in Six Feet Under and turns his character around by playing someone who is truly ruthless…but manages the difficult task of making Dexter honorable and oddly someone the audience can get behind.  You want Dexter to go free, but you also don’t want the people like Doakes and Tom who have suspicions about him to also look like fools to everyone…even if they are unlikable.  The supporting cast in general is strong and relatable immediate.  They are characters that you feel you’d known all along.

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We love Dexter!!!

The show is set in Miami but used a mix of Miami and Long Beach.  It is stylish and slick which helps the storytelling.  Miami provides a nightlife, the ocean, and high crime.  Miami is almost another character, and it just adds to the world of Dexter.

Dexter—Season 1 is the start of a great series that arguably peaked with Season 4.  If you haven’t seen it, you should check out the series.  It is pretty ruthless and bloody, but the characters and story like other thrillers.  It is a fun ride that is worth rewatching if you’ve seen it before.  Dexter—Season 1 presents a great character on screen for the first time…check it out!

Dexter—Season 1 Complete Episode Guide:

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1.1       Dexter Airdate:  10/01/06

Dexter Morgan (Michael C. Hall) tries to live a normal life.  He works for the Miami Police Department as a blood-spatter expert, has a girlfriend named Rita (Julie Benz), a cop-sister named Debra (Jennifer Carpenter), and friends in the police force…Dexter is also a serial killer.  Dexter discovers that a new killer has invaded his territory, and the killer has dismemberment skills that Dexter’s never even considered.  As Dexter continues his hunts by going after a pedophile and a murderer, the killer is making moves…and Dexter could be part of them.

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1.2       Crocodile Airdate:  10/08/06

The Ice Truck Killer knows who Dexter is, but for Dexter, finding the Ice Truck Killer is a new game.  When Deb finds the truck and a clue, Dexter must find the Ice Truck Killer’s most recent victim.  James Doakes (Erik King) finds a former associate police officer and his family have been targeted by criminals leading to a revelation by Doakes to Maria LaGuerta (Lauren Vélez).  Dexter tries to deal with sexual problems with Rita.

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“Popping Cherry”

1.3       Popping Cherry Airdate:  10/15/06

The Ice Truck Killer has been identified after a body shows up at the hockey arena, but Debra and Dexter realize that it is a frame-up.  Rita finds her ex-husband’s old associate (Tom Schanley) has come back which causes new problems.  Doakes learns his affair might have him trapped between a rock and a hard place.  Dexter remembers the training he received from his father Harry (James Remar) and his first kill (Denise Crosby) as he hunts a young killer Jeremy Downs (Mark L. Young) who is starting to hunt again.

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“Let’s Give the Boy a Hand”

1.4       Let’s Give the Boy a Hand Airdate:  10/22/06

LaGuarta’s suspect is cleared by pieces of his body showing up all over Miami…in locations that are familiar to Dexter.  Rita deals with her neighbor’s barking dog.  Angel Batista (David Zayas) prepares for his tenth anniversary, but Angel’s home life is revealed not to be perfect.  Set up, Doakes is targeted by Carlos Guerrero (Rudolf Martin) who killed the officer and Doakes’ lover.  Dexter decodes the Ice Truck Killer’s message to locate his base of operation.

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“Love American Style”

1.5       Love American Style Airdate:  10/29/06

Dexter finds the Ice Truck Killer is playing games with him as Deb waits for the security guard to wake up.  Rita asks Dexter to look into a Cuban maid’s missing husband who disappeared while being transported by a coyote leading Dexter to a junkyard of horror.  As Dexter moves in on the coyote Jorge Castillo (José Zúñiga), Dexter’s admirer is getting closer to him.

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“Return to Sender”

1.6       Return to Sender Airdate:  11/05/06

Astor (Christina Robinson) is celebrating a birthday, but the potential return of Rita’s husband has her upset.  The return of the body of Valerie Castillo (Valerie Dillman) to the junkyard has put Dexter in the crosshairs as he question if a boy might have seen him.  The Ice Truck Killer has Dexter on the ropes, and Dexter can’t go down without a fight…even if it means cutting off Deb and her line of questioning.

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“Circle of Friends”

1.7       Circle of Friends Airdate:  11/12/06

Deb and Angel get a lead on the ice truck killer, and Neil Perry (Sam Witwer) has been seen at crime scenes before.  The death of a kid has Dexter regretting his decision to let Jeremy go…but it almost leads to a dangerous takedown with Dexter caught in the middle.  Rita deals with the return of her husband Paul (Mark Pellegrino), and he isn’t a fan of Dexter.  With the Ice Truck Killer in potential custody and Jeremy threatening to talk, Dexter’s time could be running out.

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“Shrink Wrap”

1.8       Shrink Wrap Airdate:  11/19/06

The injection of Paul in Rita’s life is causing problems for Dexter.  The arrest and confession of Perry has Dexter questioning if the Ice Truck Killer might disappear.  LaGuerta is out to take the credit of capturing Perry away from Captain Tom Matthews (Geoff Pierson), and this means getting Perry to confess he’s not the Ice Box Killer.  The apparent suicide of a number of high profile women has Dexter seeking out a serial killer…in the form of their psychiatrist Dr. Emmett (Tony Goldwyn).  Deb’s got a new man in her life with Rudy Cooper (Christian Camargo), but the “hook-man” might have his own secrets.

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“Father Knows Best”

1.9       Father Knows Best Airdate: 11/26/06

Doakes is involved in a police shooting under investigation by internal affairs…and Angel is the only one who might know the truth.  A man dies claiming Dexter is his son in his will.  Dexter goes to clean up the property with Rita, and finds Deb and Rudy have decided to tag along.  When Dexter decides to investigation Joe Driscoll closer, he learns Harry might not have told the truth about his past.

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“Seeing Red”

1.10     Seeing Red Airdate:  12/03/06

The Ice Box Killer has resurfaced and left a hotel room splattered with the blood of his victims.  Dexter’s investigation into the room hits a snag when Dexter experiences repressed memories…something that Rudy is eager to talk about.  Paul’s unscheduled visit to Rita lands Rita’s custody of the children in jeopardy.  LaGuerta butts heads with Matthews which could threaten her job.  A surprising connection and a questioning of Rudy puts Angel in danger.

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“Truth Be Told”

1.11     Truth Be Told Airdate:  12/10/06

Dexter is haunted by images of his past and seeks out answers about the death of her mother from Camilla (Margo Martindale).  Rudy reveals his intentions to marry Deb to Dexter.  With the search for the Ice Truck Killer back in the headlines, Matthews makes a decision about LaGuerta.  Rita deals with Tom’s return to prison and questions how to tell her kids.  The search for Angel’s attacker has left the team searching for answers, but a spot of blood could give Dexter the clue he needs.

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“Born Free”

1.12     Born Free Airdate:  12/17/06

Rudy has been exposed as the Ice Box Killer and has Deb as his hostage.  As LaGuerta makes room for Lt. Esme Pascal (Judith Scott), Doekes’ suspicions about Dexter are rising.  Tom continues to deny he slipped up with his addiction and tells Rita to watch out for Dexter.  A look into his own past forces Dexter into a realization…and a confrontation with “Rudy” that could prove deadly.

Related Links:

Dexter—Season 5 Review and Complete Episode Guide

Dexter—Season 6 Review and Complete Episode Guide

Dexter—Season 7 Review and Complete Episode Guide

Dexter—Season 8 Review and Complete Episode Guide

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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