Content Warning: This article contains mentions of murder, abuse, and suicide
If there is one thing Dexter has plenty of, it is tragic deaths. While most are by the hands of the titular character and are well deserved, there are others that come out of nowhere and cause fans to stare in utter shock.
From characters fans have come to know and love to minor guest stars, there are several examples of shocking and gut-wrenching deaths in the show. With the highly-anticipated revival on the horizon, many fans are rewatching the show, and one question they are asking is which death was the most shocking?
9 Paul Bennett
Even if a character is destined to be killed off, often times the manner of death could come as a shock. As soon as Rita’s abusive ex-husband, Paul, is introduced he seems like a perfect choice to end up on Dexter’s table. When Dexter finally has enough of Paul butting into Rita’s life, he takes it upon himself to ensure his imprisonment.
Even while in prison, Paul is an antagonist to Dexter by trying to convince Rita he was framed. Right when Rita begins to believe him, it is revealed that Paul has died in prison off-screen. While Paul didn’t exactly fit the code, fans were still shocked he died in this matter as opposed to meeting his fate with Dexter.
8 Brother Sam
There are very few people Dexter has encountered he would genuinely consider a friend. One of the few, and arguably most unlikely, is Brother Sam. The criminal turned Christian mechanic took a liking to Dexter and young Harrison, a liking they both returned.
Sam even had Dexter convinced that he wasn’t as evil as he was led to believe. However, like most good things in Dexter’s tragic life, this did not last very long. Brother Sam was suddenly shot down in his shop, which devastated Dexter and the fans as everyone genuinely believed he could have help Dexter for the better in the long run.
7 Frank Lundy
Special Agent Frank Lundy was introduced in the second season, both as a highly qualified FBI agent looking for Dexter and a love interest for his sister Deb. He left the season unscathed, but he was not so lucky in his fourth season appearance. Lundy, now retired, returns to Miami to track down the one missing link of his career, The Trinity Killer.
The Trinity Killer is one of the deadliest killers on the Dexter, and Lundy’s investigation got himself and Deb shot in a parking lot. While Deb recovers from the attack, Frank, however, dies almost instantly. It is not uncommon for guest stars to meet their fate, but this is one nobody saw coming – especially since he was involved in quite a few of the main storylines.
6 James Doakes
From his first appearance in the pilot episode, Sgt. Doakes was a character fans loved to hate. He was a constant thorn in the blood analyst’s side and served as a worthy opponent for Dexter, in intelligence and strength. He was among the first characters to deduce Dexter’s true identity and was subsequently held captive by The Bay Harbor Butcher.
Although James seemed to get the upper hand and escape, he ended up perishing in an explosion at the hands of Lila. This death came out of nowhere and brought an abrupt end to the storyline of Dexter and Doakes. Many fans were upset there was no real resolution, but all were shocked at how quickly the death happened.
5 Evelyn Vogel
Evelyn’s tenure as Morgan siblings’ psychiatrist was one that left an impact on viewers. She could very well be one of the only people to really peel back the layers hidden by the siblings, and have them better themselves.
Her death at the hands of her son was unexpected and tragic. Her work seemed to only just be beginning, and yet it was cut short in a brutal manner. In the brutal and tragic world of Dexter, it seems that innocent go punished, and this is best proven in the case of Evelyn.
4 Rebecca Mitchell
Rebecca Mitchell’s death was certainly one storyline that fans didn’t see coming. After her father, Arthur Mitchell (The Trinity Killer), had been killed by Dexter, fans believed they had seen the last of them as the writers revealed they had moved to Nebraska. However, this wasn’t the case as season 6 provided a tragic update that revealed that Rebecca had died by suicide.
This was quite a shock for fans as the viewers wanted desperately to see the Mitchell family thrive after they had experienced years of abuse at the hands of Arthur. To learn that Arthur still managed to affect the family from beyond the grave (as Rebecca’s mother continuously blamed her for Arthur’s actions, which caused her to take her own life) added even more heartbreak to the storyline.
3 Maria LaGuerta
Police Lieutenant LaGuerta was a mainstay of the series from the first episode through the season 7 finale. As fans of the books know, Maria was stabbed to death in the first book by Brian Moser, so when she survived the first season, it seemed she was there to stay. While Dexter’s brother took her life in the novel, his sister did the deed in the television series.
In the season prior, Deb discovered the truth about her brother, and it was revealed Laguerta wasn’t far behind. In a thrilling showdown, Laguerta tried to convince Deb that Dexter is a criminal and should be taken out. Deb instead decides to spare her brother and shoots Laguerta. This was a death that, while meant to be for readers of the books, was still unexpected and sent a shockwave through the fandom.
2 Debra Morgan
The one constant in Dexter’s life is that he always had his sister to lean on. Even if he was unable to fully open up to her, she would drop everything if it meant helping her brother. Sadly, Deb dies in the season 8 finale.
Seeing Dexter losing one of the people that kept him human is one of the most heartbreaking things he has gone through. What made the scene even more shocking and heartbreaking was the fact that Deb had one of the saddest lives on Dexter; if anyone deserved to have a happy ending, it was her.
1 Rita Morgan
One of the most shocking and heartbreaking scenes in the series came in the fourth season finale. Arthur Mitchell was one of the deadliest and nefarious killers Dexter had ever faced. when Dexter took him out, fans breathed a sigh of relief believing his reign of terror was over. Little did they know, his worst act had yet to be revealed. Dexter returns home, expecting to meet go on vacation with Rita and Harrison. He instead finds Rita in the bathtub, having been killed by Mitchell before Dexter had gotten to him.
Rita was the one person that Dexter felt could humanize him, and seeing her dead in such a way proved that there was no way out for him. This scene remains one of the most tragic deaths in all of television and sent a shockwave that lasted the remainder of the series.
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Dexter: 9 Most Shocking Deaths