Category: Dexter

2011's most gruesome TV deaths: The good, the blood and the ugly

On TV in 2011, the blood flowed on series such as "Boardwalk Empire" and "Breaking Bad"
The year 2011 may have been a groundbreaker -- as well as a neck-cruncher and arm-smasher -- when it came to showing TV characters being offed in creative, gruesome ways. The blood flowed not only on CBS procedurals such as the "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation" franchise and "Bones," but on prestigious series such as "Boardwalk Empire" and "Breaking Bad." Some of the carnage was so extreme that even viewers who are usually strong of stomach found themselves covering their eyes during several of these horrific scenes.

1. "Breaking Bad," "Face Off": Drug kingpin Gustavo Fring (Giancarlo Esposito) caused a lot of mayhem for enemies -- and friends-- on the AMC drama. But Gus really went out with a bang in the season finale when he was blown up in a bomb explosion in a nursing home. The blast tears half his face off, but he still has enough sense of style to straighten his tie before collapsing.

"Breaking Bad" runner-up -- "Box Cutter": Gus slashes the throat of an accomplice with a box cutter.

2. "Game of Thrones," "A Golden Crown:" A drunken Viserys (Harry Lloyd), who is jealous when his pregnant sister Daenerys (Emila Clarke) becomes popular with the Dothaki tribe, pulls a sword on her and threatens to cut out her child if her husband, Khal Drogo (Jason Momoa), does not conquer the Seven Kingdoms and win him a crown. Khal responds by giving him a true "golden crown," pouring a cauldron of molten gold on his head.

"Game of Thrones" runner-up -- "Cripples, Bastards and Broken Things":  Ser Gregor Clegane (Conan Stevens) pierces the neck of an opponent during a jousting match.

On TV in 2011, the blood flowed on series such as "Boardwalk Empire" and "Breaking Bad"
3. "Boardwalk Empire," "Gimcrack and Bunsum": Gangster Jimmy Darmody (Michael Pitt) holds down a veteran of the American Indian wars who had earlier struck him with a cane, as accomplice Richard Darrow (Jack Huston) scalps him.

"Boardwalk Empire" runner-up "Gimcrack and Bunsum": Sheriff Eli Thompson (Shea Whigham) loses control and kills a man by bashing his head in with a wrench.

4."Dexter" -- "Get Gellar": Dexter and Miami Metro homicide detectives discover the body of a professor who has been killed by a serial murderer staging religious slayings. The body, which is on the stage of a lecture hall, has been drained of blood. When the detectives start to investigate, they trip a booby trap that opens up a huge container above them and rains blood and guts all over them.

5. "Sons of Anarchy"-- "Fruit for the Crows": Outlaw motorcycle gang member Juice (Theo Rossi) shoots an attacker point blank in the face several times, shattering the man's skull.

What were your favorite TV deaths of 2011? Tell us in the comments below.

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-- Greg Braxton 

Upper photo: Gustovo Fring (Giancarlo Esposito) puts on plastic garments before slashing the throat of an accomplice in "Breaking Bad.' Credit: Ursula Coyote / AMC

Lower photo: Michael Pitt, left, and Richard Easton in "Boardwalk Empire." In a scene from the episode, Pitt's character holds Easton's character down as he is being scalped. Credit: Macall B. Polay

'Dexter' recap: the ultimate sacrifice

DebDexterfinale
This post has been corrected. Please see note at bottom for details.

Has there ever been a character more unlucky in love than Deb Morgan? I believe I say this every season of “Dexter,” but the misfortune of Deb’s personal attachments reached a new low tonight. This low happened to coincide with what is possibly the most shocking finale the series has ever featured (depending on how you rank Rita’s death). Big picture, it’s almost funny how the show’s writers pick Deb Morgan up each season just to drag her through the mud. There was a point in tonight’s episode where I was worried that Deb would commit suicide, and after the finale, I wonder if her character wished she had. 

The finale was all Deb and everything else just details that may or may not be addressed in the next season. The Travis Marshall story line ended on a rather predictable note, as the cat-and-mouse game between Dexter and his prey was practically spelled out in the episode’s previews.  Dexter realizes that his love for Harrison is his religion, and uses that to keep himself alive while stranded at sea. Travis later kidnaps Harrison to use as a sacrifice to bring about the end of the world, but agrees to let Dexter switch with his son. Dexter pretends to be drugged only to knock Travis out and eventually get him on his table. I wonder why, however, while Dexter, mocking Travis’ religion, says “I am a father, a son, a serial killer” yet we saw none of Harry tonight. 

Back at Miami Metro, Batista informs Quinn that he’s put in for his partner’s transfer, which Quinn glibly refuses, claiming that he’s an alcoholic, which prevents him from transfer. “You’re not an alcoholic, just a [screw]up,” Batista says, which is how a lot of people feel about a certain governor I know.  Quinn isn’t the only Metro employee who would prefer to hang around: Intern Louis and his cardigan also put in a request to stay around longer, which is met with a noncommittal response from Masuka. Meanwhile, Louis’ Ice Truck Killer hand reaches Dexter’s house but Travis opens it before Dexter sees it.  This just  might spell some trouble for Dexter in the next season.

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'Dexter' recap: Sign of the Beast

DebraDexterHand
When I finished Sunday night’s episode of “Dexter,” I thoughtI liked it better than the last two installments, but when I sat down to write about it, I found a lot of little things to nit-pick or, more troublingly, just laugh at.

To start with, there’s Colin Hanks’ face. Not that his face in and of itself is funny, but Travis Marshall was in full-on evil mode Sunday night (except for when he fed ice cream to a kitty cat.) Colin Hanks has such a sweet, babyish face that when he slaps a fiendish puss on, I just want to giggle. He looks like angry Bert, or even an Angry Bird.

Then, there was the portrait of the devil Travis amended to look like Dexter. Yes, obviously, Dexter is Travis’ version of Lucifer, but Travis taking the time to change the painting while he’s being hunted by the police and trying to catch Dexter seemed like a comic-book villain’s waste of time. Both this conceit and the unflattering painting itself made me think of "Ghostbusters II" (and for the record, I did not care for "Ghostbusters II.")

Also, can Quinn do anything to get in trouble at work? In the episode, Batista gives Quinn credit for saving his life after being held hostage by Travis (which wouldn’t have happened if Quinn was doing his job in the first place), but Angel has finally has had enough of his unreliable partner. But at work, Quinn doesn’t even get written up by Deb for failing his partner and being MIA in general. The worst he gets is the threat of a write-up.

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'Dexter' recap: The false prophet

DexterTravisGellarOh brother (Sam). As I’ve read other recaps over the past several weeks, I’ve sensed that I’ve been more positive than most critics have regarding this season of “Dexter.” But I’m going to have to put down my pompoms right about here. Tonight’s episode just felt messy compared with the best Dexter’s been, slack where it should have been taut and ridiculous when previously I’ve been willing to go along for the ride.  

Picking up from last week, Dexter finds Popsicle Gellar. Then ensues some of the clunkiest, most redundant exposition I’ve ever seen on this show. “Travis! You killed Gellar!” Dexter says unnecessarily. Then, Travis and Gellar have a “conversation” that fills us in with all the subtlety of a jackhammer. “You killed me, Travis,” Gellar says. “Then you stuck me in the freezer.” “I have to stop him,” Dexter says, in case we weren’t sure what exactly he’d plan on doing next.

I liked the angle that Dexter wants to kill Travis as much for personal revenge as to catch a criminal, but his methods of throwing off the police (using a disembodied hand to put prints on Travis’ sword) and trying to trap Travis (by posting on Gellar’s blog) just struck me as tremendous time-wasters. What happened to Dexter the ruthless tracker and killer? These seemed more like Scooby-Doo type traps.

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'Dexter' recap: Gellar’s been got

"Dexter" recap: Gellar's Been Got


If you predicted the twist in tonight’s episode, how did realizing you were right make you feel? Pretty smart or slightly let down? I realized that with (A) Everything being as it seemed, and (B) What actually happened, I would have actually preferred (C) Something entirely different that would have caught me completely off-guard. Being right isn’t always fun.

Maybe because I semi-knew what was coming (thanks to Showtime opting not to release a screener of the episode, I figured there was a huge twist coming), I felt a little let down by tonight’s A story. Although waiting for the shocker in the last 10 minutes was fun, I felt some Dark Passenger fatigue. I prefer it when Dexter’s a happy killer, satisfied in his ability to compartmentalize his lives as a murderer, blood analyst, brother and father. I enjoyed the Brother Sam story earlier in the season, but tonight I felt frustrated by Dexter’s continued interest in other people’s redemption. It seemed so foolish of him to trust Travis. Even if Travis expressed remorse over helping Gellar kill those people, he still helped Gellar kill those people. Didn’t Dexter help Lumen murder the accomplices in her assault last season? His newfound willingness to trust was getting exasperating. There’s a difference between being forgiving and just being dumb.

Anyway, in the episode, Travis promises to help Dexter find Gellar. Dexter thinks he’s discovered Gellar’s next victim, an avowedly atheist professor, so Dexter sets out to find him (by calling the university and playing a student who is at once disgruntled with his grade yet who also claims not to know where his class is). Dexter and Travis try to intercept Gellar before he gets to professor Casey, but wouldn’t you know it, Dexter closes his eyes at the exact moment Travis sees Gellar and then also happens to get trapped in an elevator for about the amount of time it would take for a murder to occur. Casey ends up dead, and eventually Miami Metro gets splattered with buckets of blood, “Carrie”-style.

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'Dexter' recap: We have work to do

David Zayas as Angel Batista, Michael C. Hall as Dexter, Desmond Harrington as Joey Quinn, Billy Brown as Mike Anderson, and Jennifer Carpenter as Debora Morgan. Photo: Randy Tepper / Showtime

I don't know about you, but I’m holding on to the theory that there is no actual Professor until I’m smacked in the face with how wrong I am. I’m choosing to see clues: Dexter muses that Travis’ “dark passenger can be killed,” which sounds like it’s just a setup to prove Dexter wrong; Travis is aware that his sister spoke to the police, which makes it possible that he killed her; and at the end of the episode, while Dexter was chasing the Professor, he never actually saw him, but just noticed that Travis looked up toward the choir loft in the church.

Also, why didn't Dexter seem to notice that Travis had just been brutally branded? Unless that was all in Travis’ mind? I still think Dexter’s going to realize that, while Travis may believe there’s a Professor and has convinced others that he’s operating as two people, the real Professor is in some horrible tableau somewhere. We’ll see.

The main story tonight was Dexter and Debra’s crumbling relationship. Early in the episode Dexter muses about how children blindly trust their parents, and we then see Deb realizing how much less she can trust her brother than she originally thought. “I took advantage of you,” Dexter apologizes early in the episode, but Deb’s disappointed by him all over again when she learns that he ran off to Nebraska during his time off, which she sees as him opting not to confide in her regarding his anguish over the Trinity Killer rearing his head again.

After speaking with her therapist, Deb resolves to be a better listener to her brother, but when she shows up at his place to cook him dinner, Dexter blows her off to go find Travis, telling Deb he’s busy, even though he told her earlier that he was staying in for the night. Well, at least he’s a better brother than Travis, whose sister Lisa ended up dead, riding a poor mutilated crocodile (or alligator? Mystery!) as the Whore of Babylon.

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'Dexter' to make a killing for at least two more seasons

"Dexter" renewed for 2 more seasons

If you were harboring any suspicions that Dexter Morgan would be captured and put on the chopping block this season, you might want to get a new theory: “Dexter” has been renewed for two more seasons, Showtime announced today. After a bit of a scary period wherein it seemed unclear whether star Michael C.  Hall would return to the show, Seasons 7 and 8 are now locked down, with production on Season 7 beginning in 2012 in Los Angeles.  Seasons 7 and 8 will consist of 12 episodes each.  “On behalf of the entire ‘Dexter’ family, we relish the invitation to delve ever deeper into Dexter's world,” said Hall.  

Season 6 of “Dexter” has been doing well, most recently delivering its fifth consecutive week of growth. Season-to-date, the series is averaging 5.12 million weekly viewers on all platforms, making it the highest rated season yet, according to Showtime.

 

No word so far regarding which guest stars will drop by to maintain good ratings for Season 7: Whom would you like to see make an appearance?

— Claire Zulkey

Photo: Michael C. Hall as Dexter. Photo credit: Randy Tepper/Showtime.

Creepy Christmas, horror Hanukkah, killer Kwanzaa: 'Dexter' gifts

Dexter-holiday-gift-Thumb-d
The holidays are fast approaching, so why not pick something up for the “Dexter” fan in your life?

In tandem with this season’s return of the Ice Truck Killer, Showtime is now selling “Dexter” merchandise perfect for those who prefer Brother Brian to Brother Sam.

We’re a fan of the stylish Ty Mattson Season 1 silk screen print, but the “Thumb” drive might be this season’s perfect stocking stuffer for those with dark senses of humor and important files to back up.

— Claire Zulkey

Photo: "Dexter" holiday gift "Thumb" drive. Credit: Showtime

'Dexter' recap: Brother against brother

Dexter

The title of tonight’s episode, “Nebraska,” should have let you know that we wouldn’t be getting our typical Season 6 installment of “Dexter.” In a midseason interlude, the series took a sharp turn tonight that indulged Dexter’s dark passenger (literally, his brother Brian Moser was riding with him in his car) and looked and sounded different from most other episodes to date.

I’m not complaining, however. Christian Camargo chews the scenery as Brian, a seductive, petulant, easily bored monster whom I personally find strangely sexy. Brian showed up at the end of last week’s episode when the worst of Dexter emerged victorious after he killed Nick, despite Brother Sam’s explicit directions to forgive him. Brother Brian triumphs over Brother Sam, encouraging Dexter to admit that he kills because he loves it, not because he’s obeying any particular type of code: “You like to see the light go out in their eyes,” Brian says.

Itching for a kill, Brian goads Dexter into taking a road trip to Nebraska after he learns that Jonah Mitchell, the Trinity Killer’s son, has possibly murdered his sister and mother.

Everything’s different when Brian’s around. Dexter -- normally diligent about being a good father, employee and brother -- leaves Harrison and Deb in the dust as he sets off, even after his sister begs him to come back and help with the Doomsday Killer case. Dexter barely seems like a flesh-and-blood human in typical episodes, except for the occasional beer, but with Brian he scarfs junk food, has random sex with a gas station attendant and impatiently scans the radio. Typically awkwardly polite, Dexter allows Brian to encourage him to become dismissive of Midwest culture once he’s in Nebraska, which backfires when the owner of his motel threatens him with a gun and Dexter/Brian then “have” to kill him with a pitchfork.

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Bringing the pain: Top TV dramas have a blood thing going on

A savage scene in "Breaking Bad"

Many of TV's most popular series, such as "The Walking Dead," "True Blood" and "Dexter," are known for high drama and high body counts. Spatter and gore are essential — and expected — parts of their DNA.

But extreme, sometimes unflinching acts of graphic, stomach-churning violence have also been spilling over into an unexpected arena: TV's elite dramas. "Breaking Bad," "Boardwalk Empire," "Sons of Anarchy" and other shows praised for their complex plots and high production values have lately displayed a new level of savagery.

For more on this trend, read this feature and let us know what you think.

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— Greg Braxton

Photo: Gustavo Fring (GIancarlo Esposito) dons plastic overalls as he prepares to slash the throat of an accomplice with a box cutter on AMC's "Breaking Bad." Credit: Ursula Coyote/AMC.

 

 

 

'Dexter' recap: The ultimate Judas

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I almost -- almost -- felt sorry for Joey Quinn in the latest episode. The dude is imploding, what with possibly botching the Doomsday Killer case to making a fool of himself in front of his ex-fiance/boss to goading his partner into punching him in the face. But as I’ve always said: I hate Quinn. Maybe it’s time for him to go to rehab. Rehab for jerks.

On to more pressing issues. After last week’s shooting, it turns out that Brother Sam is alive, but just barely. Dexter wants to avenge his friend’s death and makes it his mission to track down Leo Hernandez, who is now leading Julio’s gang (Dexter previously killed Julio, the former mentor of Nick, whom Sam baptized.) Before Dexter can track down Leo, Miamo Metro gets to him first, and Dexter’s would-be victim dies in a shootout. Looking at the garage surveillance video afterward, however, Dexter realizes that Nick, Brother Sam’s would-be prodigal son, is actually Sam’s killer. At the hospital, where Sam is on his deathbed, Dexter tells Sam that he knows who shot him, but perhaps unsurprisingly, Sam says: “Give Nick a message -- that I forgive him.” “You don’t know me,” Dexter protests, but Sam says “Yes, I do. I know about the darkness but I also see the light.” Harry appears to advise Dexter to heed his friend’s dying wish and just let go of the grudge.

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Mos Def changes his name -- twice -- on 'Dexter'

Def mos
The artist formerly known as Mos Def may be confusing some fans of Showtime's "Dexter."

When he first appeared this season in a multi-episode arc of the popular series about a police bloodstain analyst moonlighting as a serial killer, Mos Def, who has won acclaim as a rapper, musician and actor, was credited as Mos. The actor plays Brother Sam, an ex-convict who may have mysterious plans even though he says he has reformed and is a man of God.

Network spokespersons said before the season started that Mos Def had dropped the "Def" and wanted to be credited as Mos.

But by the third episode, "Mos" had disappeared from the opening credits while another name, yasiin bey, appeared.

Showtime officials said the actor officially changed  his name to yasiin bey a month ago and asked that the network use that name in the credits.

Bey was unavailable for comment.

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-- Greg Braxton

Photo: yasiin bey in 2004, when he was known as Mos Def. Credit: Newmarket Films

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