Ranking The DEXTER Bad Guys

Ranking The DEXTER Bad Guys

With the new season of Dexter up and running, fans have already been introduced to this season’s primary antagonists played by Colin Hanks and Edward James Olmos. The jury is definitely still out on these two characters as the primary troublemakers that our hero Dexter will have to bring to a brutal end. Personally, I don’t see it. I am prepared to be surprised, but I don’t buy Colin Hanks as a serial killer. I am okay with the Olmos character, but neither of them are on par with some of the Dexter Big Bads of previous seasons.

That thought got me thinking: Who were the best antagonists for Dexter over his first five seasons? How do they compare to each other? After considering a 5-1 countdown, I realized that #1 is no dispute. Therefore, we can begin at the top.

1. Arthur Mitchell AKA The Trinity Killer

It’s tough to top the performance the John Lithgow gave as the Trinity Killer in season 4 of Dexter. He was so outstanding, the Guest Actor Emmy was a foregone conclusion as soon as the season ended. If Jimmy Smits ushered in Dexter as Guest Actor Emmy bait, then John Lithgow cemented its place (literally in some scenes).

Lithgow did an unbelievable job portraying a man with two very different sides to him. On one hand, you had Arthur Mitchell the devoted father and beloved humanitarian. On the other side, there is the brutality and resourcefulness of the Trinity Killer that managed to evade capture and continue killing for over 20 years. Lithgow portrayed both sides of Arthur Mitchell believably and with substance. There is not a long list of actors who could have pulled off that role. That’s why he is the undisputed #1.

2. Miguel Prado

Season 3 featured two bad guys for Dexter to deal with. One was a homicidal psychopath who enjoyed skinning his victims, and Miguel Prado. Prado started out as a seemingly boy scout-ish Assistant District Attorney who came into Dexter’s life after the killing of one of his brothers (coincidentally by Dexter). Though we later find out he was no boy scout after all, it is fun to watch Jimmy Smits take his Miguel Prado character from a lawyer with loose morals to unfeeling killer.

The interesting part of that development was that Dexter was a large part of his transformation. Dexter taught him The Code and showed him how to get away with his crimes. Unfortunately (but expectantly), the situation spiraled out of control, and Dexter was forced to kill the man he thought was going to be his friend. Nonetheless, Jimmy Smits proved during this season that he can still command a screen when you find the proper vehicle for his talents. Unfortunately for Smits, the networks continue to struggle to find that proper vehicle (OUTLAW, anyone?)

3. Brian Moser AKA The Ice Truck Killer

This character was very effective and introduced an interesting storyline as Dexter’s biological brother. Unfortunately, he had to meet the knife after getting Debra to fall in love with him and trying to kill her. I enjoyed the performance by Ice Truck Killer not so much for his killing exploits, but for the difficulty he caused Dexter as he came to grips with who he really was as a person.

The writers crafted the story in such way that you felt bad for Dexter when he had to kill the only person alive who understood, and accepted, the real him. It definitely wasn’t the most brilliant acting performance you will ever see, but it was competent enough and forced Michael C. Hall to do some great things during the season.

4. Jordan Chase

DEXTER (Season 5)
Definitely the least likable of all of the Dexter serial killers. Jordan Chase is a motivational speaker that operates a ring that kidnaps, rapes, tortures, and kills women prior to dumping them in a lake. One of his victims just happened to be Julia Stiles, who arrived on the Dexter scene to capture her own Emmy and Golden Globe nominations.

Unfortunately, making Julia Stiles a “good” guy to run with Dexter left us with a wholly underwhelming Big Bad. He was effective for what he brought to the table, but the bar had been set too high in previous seasons. I became less interested with the chase and became more interested in just wanting the guy to die.

Time for you guys to tell me what you think. What do you think of the rankings? Would have preferred Lila on the list? Feel free to make your case in the comments section below or on Twitter.

See you soon.

The TV Czar