Dexter and what he does.

Discussion in 'TV & Media' started by SimpleLogic, Oct 31, 2012.

  1. SimpleLogic

    SimpleLogic Guest

    So are we supposed to like Dexter in sort of a Punisher type way or are we supposed to hate him because he's not a good guy, or is he?

    What does D&D call him? Chaotic good, something like that?

    The show is OK but I just don't see it ending well for him and I don't know how I should feel about it. Because really he is no better than the people he kills right?
     
  2. Trekker4747

    Trekker4747 Boldly going... Premium Member

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    D&D (pre 4.0) would likely have him as Lawful Evil. As in he, largely, obeys the law except when it conflicts with his views in which case he does "evil" things.

    As for how it'll end? Hard to say, but I reckon the character isn't heading to a good ending.
     
  3. Guy Gardener

    Guy Gardener Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    have the final season set during a Zombie Apocalypse.

    Now Dexter is perfectly capable of surviving, but would his dark passenger be satisfied with killing the undead?
     
  4. SimpleLogic

    SimpleLogic Guest

    He'll only kill the undead criminals.:rofl:
     
  5. Mister Fandango

    Mister Fandango Fleet Captain

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    Lawful Neutral (with strong Good tendencies as he matures during the season). He is in no way evil; that implies a certain type of intent with one's behavior. A tiger isn't evil when it mauls its stalks and kills its prey, whether its an antelope or a zoo keeper who makes a fatal mistake in his care and handling of the animal.

    No, Dexter is an inherently good person, and he follows a very strong code of ethics to help him advance the cause of good. Sometimes he lapses, sometimes he makes mistake, but his goal is actually a noble one. It's just one that doesn't abide by the laws of the land (which has nothing to do with he Lawful alignment, which is more about discipline and structure, which Dexter has in spades).

    The only reason he isn't actually Lawful Good is because he does enjoy what he does to a certain extent and he does kill innocents when they risk exposing him, ala victims like Doakes. But even enjoying the kill isn't enough to make him evil anymore than it is for a Paladin who enjoys slaughtering of zombie hordes in the name of his god.

    But in the end, how is he really different from the legal system? It finds its evil-doers, it judges them based on their own codes of conduct, and then if deemed unreedemable, they are executed and disposed of. That's exactly what Dexter does; he just has his own code rather than the American legal system.
     
  6. davejames

    davejames Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I don't think we're supposed to like OR hate him. We're just supposed to find him fascinating and compelling to watch, in the same way we find Walter White or Tony Soprano fascinating and compelling to watch.
     
  7. Mr. Laser Beam

    Mr. Laser Beam Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    The inherent barbarism of the death penalty aside, Dexter is different for at least one important reason: he's only one man. In the legal system, a criminal that's to be executed is first given due process, with all the rights accorded to any criminal defendant. There's a trial, legal representation, the whole ball of wax. Dexter doesn't do any of that. It's simply one man deciding who lives and who dies.

    Of course the legal/judicial system makes mistakes as well. There have been innocent people convicted and even executed. But that doesn't make Dexter's actions any more justifiable. At least in the system, there are numerous checks and balances put in place to at least TRY to minimize the possibility that innocent people will be executed. Dexter, on the other hand, may claim that he is good, but in the end he is still killing pretty much whoever he wants to. I don't see how that's more laudable than the legal system. It's chaos and disorder.
     
  8. ToddKent

    ToddKent Captain Captain

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    In the later seasons they seem to have headed toward what Mister Fandago is describing. But I really preferred the earlier take on Dexter in that his choice of victims was not based on any moral judgement whatsoever but solely because they fit within the guidelines of his code. He didn't kill people because they were bad and needed to be punished. He killed people because he got off on it.

    He had that code beaten into his head so much by his father that he never strayed from it. The code made it more difficult for him to be caught (as opposed to just killing random people on the street which would have gotten him caught quicker) and therefore allowed him to continue to kill. He enjoys killing so he stuck to the code.

    But after a while they needed to develop the character so they got away from that and he started to become more like what MF describes. Which is probably for the best but I always thought it was an interesting idea to have an evil, murdering psychopath as a protagonist who just happened to arbitrarily take on the role of a more traditional protagonist.
     
  9. Mister Fandango

    Mister Fandango Fleet Captain

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    When it comes down to it, he's sort of a modern take on the goddess Nemesis.
     
  10. Sci

    Sci Admiral Admiral

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    There's nothing good or moral about a serial killer. What Dexter does is murder, pure and simple.
     
  11. Mr. Laser Beam

    Mr. Laser Beam Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Perhaps the last victim of Dexter will be himself. Let's say he DOES make a mistake and kills an innocent person. By his own logic, then, he must die. But would that make Dexter the M-5, then? :D
     
  12. Trekker4747

    Trekker4747 Boldly going... Premium Member

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    I was following the M-5 logic there too before you mentioned it. You could argue he'll M-5 himself even WITHOUT the mistake by realizing that by killing people -even bad ones- that makes him bad too.
     
  13. Guy Gardener

    Guy Gardener Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    He killed Jimmy Smits brother by accident, and killed some hillbilly on the road at one point in a public toilet... Not exactly the innocent, but he didn't live up to the code either.
     
  14. SimpleLogic

    SimpleLogic Guest

    He also killed the photographer when it was his assistant who murdered the girls. That one he totally messed up.
     
  15. Guy Gardener

    Guy Gardener Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    That was a righteous kill, it was the code that failed Dexter, not Dexter who failed the code.
     
  16. JarodRussell

    JarodRussell Vice Admiral Admiral

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    This.

    And he is already responsible for the death of a lot of innocent people, which didn't stop him.


    I don't think ANY of you would applaud a serial killer psycho vigilante to run around your neighborhood, chopping people into pieces.


    So I never saw any appeal in that show.
     
  17. Mister Fandango

    Mister Fandango Fleet Captain

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    Dexter is little different than the guy who pulls the switch or injects the poison into a death row prisoner. They perform murder on a regular basis and even get paid handsomely for it.

    With a few exceptions, Dexter goes out of his way to make sure his victims deserve what he does to them. Again, it's no different than the legal system. We only deem that acceptable because, honestly, we have no real choice in the matter. Whether there's a judge, a jury, or a random shootout on the streets that kills innocent bystandards, it's all the same in principle. Dexter simply doesn't follow those laws.

    And while he's also a serial killer by definition, he doesn't target random or innocent people. There's a huge difference, which is exactly why he's so much easier to sympathize with as a character.
     
  18. Snowlilly

    Snowlilly Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    Oh I dunno, I suppose if I had a family member killed by someone and they got off scot free on a dang technicality, I might definitely support that.
     
  19. Mr. Laser Beam

    Mr. Laser Beam Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Then you would be no better than the person who killed that family member.

    It's not murder. As much as I hate the death penalty, it is a recognized part of the legal system. It IS the system. It is subject to laws, and due process. Neither of which apply to Dexter. He kills who he WANTS to kill.

    It's not his call to make.

    It's very different, of course. Dexter may follow, or claim to follow, his own personal code, but that is subject to his own whims and desires. He is not beholden to a legal precedent. He is not bound by law. (The only law that matters is the law that society has put in place. His own personal desires are irrelevant. A personal code can change in a second; the law can only change when the people allow it.)

    No one gave him the right not to.

    About that: 1) I don't fucking care WHO he targets. 2) He may not target innocent people NOW, but he could if he felt like it. Do you realize how dangerous that is? Never mind the damn code - Dexter simply kills whoever he wants to. Nothing can be more dangerous to a civilized and ordered society. He may claim to target only criminals now, but one day he may decide to kill the next person he sees just because he doesn't like the way they look at him, or the hat they're wearing, or how revealing their clothes are, or anything like that. Does that sound like a society you want to live in? Where you could be his next target?

    And in the end, everyone - even the most dangerous criminals who ever lived - deserves a fair trial. Dexter will not give them one. He allows no opportunity for self defense or representation. He is simply chaos.
     
    Last edited: Nov 2, 2012
  20. stj

    stj Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Dexter executes criminals who deserve to die. The show didn't worry excessively about Jimmy Smits' brother. It didn't worry at all about the guy in the RR because he was incredibly obnoxious when Dexter was grieving. Kicking Our Hero when he was down? How very satisfying to see the worthless fuck get his!:rolleyes:

    Rita was killed off as a process of turning the show into nothing but vicarious murder of people the viewer is presumed not to like. That's the show's premise, therefore he is always able to find his prey, kill his prey and escape capture. Since that's all that's going on, it doesn't matter how ludicrous the script is.

    It was something else in the beginning, a comedy about a crazy man who was going sane. There was the comedy of a man so clueless he thought he was a monster nevertheless heroically committing to being the best brother and lover he could be. Angel was the moral center of the show. LaGuerta was the center of a sharply observed workplace drama about another pursuit of criminals and "justice" that, ironically, had no code, not even Harry's deranged imposition on Dexter.

    But in one sense criticizing what Dexter does now is foolish. What he does is about a meaningful as a Superman catching bank robbers.
     

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