Film & TV

Dexter's Villains: Ranking the Series' "Big Bads"

Ever wonder what it's like inside the mind of a serial killer? Well, without Dexter's brilliant voice-over narration, we really wouldn't know. But take away his story telling, and how can you get to know Dexter Morgan (Michael C. Hall)? One way of finding out is by looking at his fellow serial killers -- or "big bads" -- and finding a connection.

Part of the formula for Dexter is that each season, the blood spatter analyst/vigilante is paired alongside another serial killer, who is meant to make Dexter look good. You see a gang who rapes and kills young women, or a lunatic who wants to bring about the end of the world, and you think to yourself "Dexter isn't that bad!" in order to justify your admiration for an antihero. It's okay, that's the whole point -- until season eight, when the formula gets chopped up into asymmetrical pieces, placed into black Hefty bags, and thrown overboard into the water.

Things are going to change for Dexter Morgan this upcoming season, but until then, let's reminisce on the big bads who have made it onto Dexter's table.

See also:

- Dexter Preview: What Happened to Deb?!

- Ten Dexter Film Locations Shot in Miami

7. The Barrel Girl Gang

Season five spiced things up by having a gang of five friends, rather than just one killer, be the target of Dexter's blood lust. However, if that wasn't enough, adding Lumen Pierce (Julia Stiles) as Dexter's sidekick was that extra pinch of cumin. Dexter didn't kill all these men on his own -- Boyd Fowler was his first solo endeavor, which led him to meet (and team up with) Lumen.

The Barrel Girl Gang, in order of death, is made up of: Boyd Fowler, Dan Mendell, Cole Harmon, Alex Tilden, and Jordan Chase. Five friends who like to rape, torture, and finally kill young blonde women. Fowler would dispose of the bodies in barrels of formaldehyde and dump them in a swamp. Their only code seemed to be secrecy. Aside from dumping their victims in water, the only other similarity the gang shares with Dexter is their trophies. Fowler keeps a lock of hair, Harmon a DVD of the rape, Tilden a piece of jewelry, and Chase wears a vile of blood from their first rape victim as teens.

The most interesting part of this season was Dexter's relationship with Lumen - even though we were still a bit broken up by Rita's death. She was the first person he could really be himself around (Lila doesn't quite count, since she first thought he was a heroin addict) and she even helped him with the kills. Lumen even took the coveted final kill in the season finale when she stabbed Jordan right through the heart, and just like that avenged herself and satisfied the darkness inside her.

Unfortunately for Dexter -- and fortunately for us -- his Dark Passenger cannot be so easily extinguished.

6. Skinner

Season three's big bad was forgettable. The most memorable killer from this season was Dexter's new best friend, Miguel Prado (Jimmy Smits), but he wasn't the main monster. George King, aka Skinner, aka Jorge Orozco (Jesse Borrego) was supposed to be this big, scary guy who spent the entire season looking for Freebo -- who was offed in the second episode -- because he owed him money. Jorge killed anyone he thought knew where Freebo was, and as a trophy, he would take a piece of his/her skin -- majorly gross.

The only thing Skinner has in common with Dexter is that they both keep trophies from their victims. Other than that, Jorge is just a low-life who kills [relatively] innocent people in search for money. But he did bring Dex out of his comfort zone; he had to hustle a quick kill before his wedding, and after breaking his neck, he drops Jorge's body from the second floor onto a moving police car -- much quicker and cleaner than his usual method.

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Miami New Times staff

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