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5 things we want to see in a Dexter prequel

Dexter’s well-received continuation series Dexter: New Blood corrected all the wrongs of the original’s abysmal finale. Much to the disappointment of fans, however, Showtime, which recently rebranded as part of Paramount+, just confirmed that the show will not return for a second season. However, there is an idea for expanding the widely popular Dexter universe: exploring a prequel series about a young Dexter discovering his Dark Passenger.

One of the arguably endearing qualities about Dexter Morgan (Michael C. Hall), despite his murderous activities, was the fact that he was a vigilante killer. He learned to control his urges and direct them toward only awful people who escaped the long arm of the law. In his mind, they were deserving of being banished from the world. That directive was all courtesy of his father Harry (James Remar), a homicide detective who, after learning of Dexter’s dark desires, did what he could to protect his son. The process kept Dexter safe and satisfied while allowing Harry to grant justice to his victims by eliminating heinous criminals who would otherwise get away with their crimes. It’s a compelling backstory that could easily play out in several ways should Showtime move forward with the idea of a prequel series. If so, there are a few things die-hard fans want to see in a potential prequel.

More of the father-son relationship from Harry’s perspective

Dexter with his head down, arm on the table looking upset and being comforted by his father in Dexter.
Randy Tepper / Showtime

The father-son dynamic was a huge part of both Dexter and Dexter: New Blood. In the former, Harry constantly appeared as a manifestation of conscience to Dexter. In the latter, fans finally got to meet a teenage version of Dexter’s son, Harrison, and see the fractured relationship between the estranged father and son. A prequel series could explore another angle of the Harry and Dexter father-son relationship, looking at a younger, coming-of-age Dexter and the pivotal moment when Harry discovered Dexter’s dark side.

Dexter’s childhood and relationship with his father was only ever explored through flashbacks in the original series. Details were sparse and only told from Dexter’s perspective. Learning about things from the perspective of Harry would add a whole new element to the story.

Harry’s inner torment

A young Harry from Dexter in his detective uniform, looking sullen.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Dexter revealed in the original series that his father Harry developed The Code for him, which required that he investigated a potential victim to confirm that the person did indeed commit heinous crimes and was going to get away with them. Seeing how Harry wrestled with the truth, his inner turmoil, and how he eventually came up with this idea could make for a fascinating watch.

As a homicide detective, it’s implied that Harry chose certain individuals he knew were guilty, but were never charged before steering Dexter in their direction. This weighed heavily on the father; so much so, in fact, that Harry eventually took his own life because of it. His guilt and struggles with his son could be an emotional potential focus for the show.

Relationship with Debra

Dexter sitting across from Debra at his kitchen table in a scene from Dexter: New Blood.
Seacia Pavao / Showtime

The sibling relationship between Dexter and Debra, along with the puzzling romantic feelings Debra had for her adoptive brother as an adult, was a central theme of the main show. Following her death, Debra reappeared as Dexter’s manifestation of conscience in Dexter: New Blood. She was the one person Dexter had true feelings for and wanted to protect from harm.

Debra often recalled her jealousy over how close Harry was with Dexter, but fans wonder how everything went on under the same roof without Debra knowing. Did she know more than she let on before suppressing the memories as an adult? Seeing how these two interacted with one another growing up could provide some additional interesting perspective to the overall story.

Dexter’s first kill

A frightened younger Dexter covered in blood talking to his father Harry in a flashback scene in Dexter.
Sonja Fleming / Showtime

It’s known that Harry witnessed his son killing animals, which led him to suspect that Dexter was just as disturbed as he recognized his older half-brother, Brian, was. Harry thought developing The Code would control Dexter’s urges while simultaneously doing good for the world. But walking in on Dexter dismembering a dead man’s body troubled Harry so much that he took his own life.

Seeing that moment play out in a prequel would set the stage for the main show. Was that Dexter’s first human kill, or simply the first one Harry witnessed? It would be exciting to see who Dexter’s first victim was, and how he went about capturing, murdering, and disposing of the body.

The ritual and blood slides

Dexter with his finger in the air leaning over a victim on his table who is covered in plastic in a scene from Dexter.
Randy Tepper / Showtime

Dexter’s signature was his ritual of subduing victims with Etorphine, taking them to a room covered in plastic wrap and securing them, naked, to a table. Always wearing his green “kill” shirt, he would show them a photo or item that represented why he chose them. It might be a person they killed, a child they hurt, or something they did. He chastised the victim and drew blood from their cheek to place within a slide for his keepsake box before plunging a knife into their chest. Then, the cleanup process began.

It took a long time for Dexter to perfect this ritual. Seeing how it all came together, and mistakes Dexter made along the way, would be interesting. Did Harry help him more than was ever let on? Granted, a less refined Dexter might not be as compelling to watch. But the journey of coming up with the ritual he had down to a science could be a compelling angle.

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Christine Persaud
Christine has decades of experience in trade and consumer journalism. While she started her career writing exclusively about…
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