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Have you watched the ShowTime series, "Dexter"? Friends of mine & I have debated if Dexter qualifies as a true "psychopath". (more)

A new season of Dexter starts in October. I see Dexter as in some gray area between true psychopathy and severe mental trauma. Dexter keeps a low profile: psychopaths are loud and self-aggrsndizing; Dexter is highly protective of his sister, Deb, his kids, and Rita - psychopaths see others to be used through charm and manipulation and have no compassion nor empathy; Dexter became unglued when he accidentally killed the wrong person - a photographer instead of the murderous assistant; Dexter doesn't appear to be easily bored as do most psychopaths; Dexter's "Code of Harry" (his father) has deep meaning for him - a psychopath's only code is to advance their desires - at any cost; Dexter bonded with a multiple rape victim - and tracked down her assailants - a psychopath would have been one of the assailants... that's just some of my reasons why I don't believe he's a psychopath - although he's most definitely a serial killer. What's your take on Dexter's true nature?

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I, not only watch this show, but read the books! I adore Dexter! And ironically this is the book that I am reading. I'm behind on the television series, though. In the book, though, Debs has just been stabbed by the photographer and Dexter retaliated & yes killed the wrong guy. He is torn. The part I'm at, tho, he's kinda back n forth, kinda telling himself that it's ok that he did the wrong guy. Even if it goes against the Hairy code, and gives him an unsettled feeling. But I don't feel that he's a "true-to-the-definition-psychopath" or sociopath according to the definition. Especially, since I asked on here what the diff was b/n the 2 & I think u were even 1 of the 1's 2 answer. And either way- whether it's a product of his environment or since birth- i (my opinion- choice words now) believe that he does feel some love towards Rita (esp -we discover after she dies)& very much so Debs. Then, theres the kindred spirit he feels with Astor & kody. And let's not even get into how nutty he gets when his kid is born. But I have a few questions for you... Like I said, I am a little mixed up w/ the show do tell: in the books debs has known since bk1 about the dark passenger, does she know in the in the series? And I know Rita has died in the series, but what happened to a & k?

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Oh n if u like this show, have u checked out Copper on BBC? It's a must see!! Love it! Think u'd like it!
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Hi Sarah: I finished "Survivors" on the BBC - unfortunately they only made 3 seasons - Now I'm onto "Luther" by the BBC - great scripts with a flawed lead character. Let me see if I can remember: In season 1, Deb falls for the prosthetics technician who also happens to be the Ice Truck Killer - and Dexter's brother - left behind by Harry since Dexter was actually Harry and his informant's child - both children were traumatized into becoming killers - a bit of a stretch - but it still is entertaining. Dexter is unaware he has a brother, but the brother is aware of him - trying to evoke psychopathic murderous drives out of Dexter to join him on his own serial kills. Harry has an eye for serial killers that have psychopathy tendencies - and molds Dexter into a kind of vigilante - exactly like the movie, "The Star Chamber" - criminals that get off on courtroom technicalities have their cases reviewed by a bunch of judges who vote to assassinate the freed criminal - similar to Harry's Code - which gives Dexter his murderous relief but only within acceptable guidelines. I don't believe Deb knew anything about Dexter's "Dark Passenger" (the trauma that drives him to kill). Next month - it looks like this will all be exposed in the new season. I liked Rita from two angles - she was a great character to showcase Dexter's awkwardness in trying to act "naturally" - and she was one beautiful actress. For me, the Trinity Killer was to most frightening - Lithgow nailed the role - what he did to his son's fingers was priceless horror, right in the middle of perfect suburbia. He was also truly insane - moreso than even Dexter: "Hello, Dexter Morgan" - a truly creepy and suspenseful reveal. I believe Cody and Astor are living with Rita's parents - Dexter has custody of his and Rita's boy. I want tell you any spoilers - but the last season's last episode was a true cliff-hanger on a number of fronts between Dexter and Deb. I hope the writers pulled this off.
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Ok, cool, one other thing, does deb know about Dexters dark passenger on the show, like she does in the books? She actually goes do far as to make requests of him (once she comes to terms with it) to kill someone....
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No - Deb knows nothing of Dexter's other identity - but she knows her brother is a "square" - but often speaks with such directness - she gets upset with him. She knows that he loves her so much he'd take a bullet for her - which causes him to show signs of "shame" when he sees how just she naturally is. I honestly have no idea how the writers are going to resolve all of these character and plot points over the high narrative.
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i love that show and can't wait untill the new season. the last season ended crazy with deb walking in on him while he was killing someone.I have no idea what to call his personality, and it might make me sound crazy but i love his whole persona

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Agreed, Amber. My favorite seasons were the 1st - the Ice Truck Killer, - Jimmy Smits as the crazy murderous DA (forgot the season number), and my favorite - the Trinity Killer - John Lithgow as Arthur Mitchell - the saintly family man that runs his family like a dictator - combined with some really frightening scenes of his psychopathy and weird relationship to his sister, when he was a kid - where it all began. He was also the end of Rita - who I actually liked - in that she was great for Dexter to play off of - trying to behave as a "normal" guy. I also liked crazy Sgt. Doakes - who knew Dexter was deviant somehow - and let him know it - he had some of the funniest lines insulting Dexter in the series. Deb became the moral centerpiece of Dexter's world - and her (Jennifer Carpenter) performance gets better every season - her grief over the death of Lundy was fantastic acting - the cliff-hanger from last season has Dexter fans speculating on blogs across the net as to how will that last scene be resolved.
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there was talk that the next season might be the last because dexter ( i dont know his real name) is no longer under contract and he was wanting more money. I hope they can come to an agreement i could watch the show for another 10 years. Did you know that dexter and deb was married in real life? they divorced a few years ago.
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True that, Amber. Dexter is played by Michael C. Hall. I thought he became an executive producer on the series as well? I just saw the episode list - complete with each episode's title - posted - on ShowTime's site. The question I have - well - there's a lot of them - but one that I've tried to resolve from a screenwriter's perspective - would I kill Dexter in the very last episode of the last season? It seems like that would be the morally just thing to do - but you don't want to end the series on a down-note - too many fans would be disappointed. So the question is - what do you do with him?
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i dont know what to do with him... but killing him is not the answer!!!
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I have thought this same thing many times. There was a lot of things that didn't make much sense to me. The fact that even call him a psychopath with a conscience. That doesn't even make sense. That defies the whole definition of what a psychopath is. I think the show was okay at times and other times I felt it was ridiculous. I loved season one. I liked hearing the thoughts in his head and the ice truck killer was great. I also like the season with Trinity. That was the best season of all the seasons. Other than those two seasons being great the rest of the show was just mediocre to me. I find a lot of pretty cheesy and completely out of character for a psychopath. The last two seasons have been the worst ones. Teaming up with Julia Styles was ridiculous. Just like the last season, where this man who typically felt uncomfortable with anything sexual was all of a sudden receiving oral sex in a classroom from some blond. I feel the show is now just desperately trying to get ratings using sex.

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Understood Sausage: I agree it's got uneven writing - sometimes superb - other times incredulous. Dexter is empirically a serial killer - but is he a psychopath? I don't think so - if you know anything about psychopaths. He's definitely damaged - but the writers have yet to make clear how his witnessing his mother's butchery as a baby - made ritualistic murder a personality distortion outcome for him. I think the writers should be more versed on psychopathy and make it clear that although Dexter shares some psychopathic behaviors with them - he's definitely not one of them. Psychopaths would never restrict their behaviors to a Code of Harry. I hope they make this distinction clearer this season.
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Your question is a good one, and it goes along with my question about the show, which is: What is the point of this show? Why was it even produced? As you have pointed out, it is not true to reality. It is gratuitous to a degree rarely seen before.
At least movies like Monster and Silence of the Lambs made some attempt to be true to real life.
I watched part of an episode with a friend before I found out what the premise of the series was. I honestly couldn't believe it. Is this where we have sunk to in our insatiable appetite for something provocative?
Ah well, before I rise too high on my moral "high horse", I ought to admit that I am a HUGE fan of 24.
I'll be working on some way to justify that. Back with you later.

{ : ^ )

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Hi Milo: the comedian, Chris Rock, said in one of his comedy shows, "I love rap music. Love it. But. You gotta admit. It's getting harder and harder to defend". I am fascinated too why the show is so addictive (obviously not to everyone) - first I thought it was the vigilantism of "Death Wish" back in Charles Bronson's day - but it's more than that - how do you get an audience to cheer for a pathological serial killer? The writer's came up with a code of his father, Harry, a cop that had seen too many bad guys slip back out onto the street because of some technicality - which is where Dexter kills two birds with one stone - he satiates his "need" to kill and ride the planet of yet another low-life. Although the writers never really explained how the infant Dexter and his brother Rudy, who had witnessed their mother chain-sawed to death by a couple of murderers - came to be serial killers themselves - I think the whole absurdity of Dexter is wrapped around dark humor and not a depiction of an authentic world down in Miami, (it's based on a comic strip). Dexter seems to satisfy some primal need for justice that our system of jurisprudence seems too often to be too incapable of producing true justice: most people believe cases are not won based on justice - but on the better lawyer. Dexter therefore represents a kind of Star Chamber - the writers take great pains to show him vet his targets - when he agonized over killing an innocent man - audiences wondered if it were his violation of his father's code or the gravity of what he had done that was inducing the grief. A big part of the show is Michael C. Hall's performance - which is often comical as he tried to act "human".
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Good analysis, I'd say. There is somewhat the same catharsis in 24. I suppose in both shows, they have to arrange for the plot to justify the behavior of the "protagonists". And sometimes that's overly contrived. Still, movies and shows have been doing that for a long time.
Another thought, using Dexter as a jumping off point: Gays have compared their situation to "other" civil rights issues. Opponents have said that one is based on race or something someone is born with and has no control over, while the other is primarily a behavior issue. Proponents have countered with the speculation that they might be "genetically" predisposed to that behavior.
Now, I'm not bringing this up to bash anyone. I have a gay son and a good friend who is gay. I'm just responding to an argument that I find, well, inadequate. My thought is, if behavior which is genetically based should be protected, then should psychopathic or sociopathic behavior, which is probably just as likely to be genetic, also be protected and accepted?
I do speak tongue in cheek here, but the point is somewhat valid, I think.
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By the way, I'm a bit frustrated that I don't get all of the notifications when my comments are responded to. I didn't get this one, for instance. I just happened to come back to talk about it.
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Milo: I get the same - often missing comments or not in chronological order - I'm sure Ask is aware if this and will update their software - I'd like an app specifically made for my iPad.
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