Ranking the top 5 villains from “Dexter”

Happy Wednesday TV Fans!  For today, I have returned to one of my old favorites, Dexter, as I recently finished up my complete re-watch of the series.  Even though Dexter Morgan is a serial killer, he is an anti-hero that you root for, but I have to admit it was difficult thinking about who is actually considered a villain or a big bad on the show, as it pretty much comes down to whether or not they are actually Dexter’s nemesis.

While some of these villains are brutal and vicious, others are meticulous and calculating, but they each test Dexter in different ways, bringing out emotions within him that he thought perhaps never existed.  Please note spoilers are ahead if you have not gotten a chance to watch the series yet.  My top 5 villains from Dexter are:


Miguel collage

Miguel Prado

Miguel Prado first appears in season 3 of Dexter and witnesses Dexter killing someone.  Dexter tries to stick by his code, but this becomes more and more difficult when Miguel takes an interest in what Dexter is doing, as he also feels that so many criminals escape the law and deserve to be punished.  Initially, there is a real friendship and bond between Dexter and Miguel, but this becomes more complicated when Miguel decides to deviate from the code, taking justice into his own hands.  As a result, Miguel becomes a major nemesis for Dexter and he is forced to end their friendship…for good.


Doakes collage

James Doakes

So, this one was tricky for me because I don’t really consider James Doakes to be a villain.  He just always sensed that something was “off” about Dexter and it turns out…he was right.  In season 1, Doakes seems to be getting close to discovering Dexter’s secret, but he actually finds out what Dexter has been truly hiding in season 2.  Dexter holds Doakes captive for a while, desperately trying to figure out what to do with him, recognizing that he is essentially innocent.  There are actually some real bonding moments between these two, but it comes down to survival here.  Of course, someone else ends up taking Doakes out for good, but Doakes is a noteworthy nemesis for Dexter and he absolutely deserves a spot on the list.


Lila collage


Lila is absolutely crazy, but that’s why she is just so brilliant as a villain for me.  Appearing in season 2, Lila actually becomes a love interest for Dexter…or maybe more of a lust interest.  However, Dexter starts to realize that Lila is actually very dangerous and tries to cut all ties with her.  Lila is furious to see that Dexter is rejecting her and doesn’t take no for an answer.  She channels some Fatal Attraction for sure, essentially stalking Dexter and targeting his friends.  It is also important to note that Lila is the first one who brings up the “Dark Passenger” that exists within Dexter, which I think is part of what drew him to her.  However, everyone’s passenger is different and Lila has a lot of screws loose throughout season 2, proving to be a dangerous and unstable villain.


Ice truck collage

The Ice Truck Killer

Who could forget the Ice Truck Killer from season 1, aka Dexter’s brother, Brian Moser?  I still think twice whenever I see someone with different colors painted on each nail and that’s because the Ice Truck Killer was a sick and twisted villain.  Even though the Ice Truck Killer is very creative with each kill, he also takes the time to leave little clues behind for Dexter, which sparks his interest.  This game of cat and mouse continues and when it is finally revealed that he is actually Dexter’s biological brother, I was completely shocked.  Brian never had someone like Harry to teach him how to channel his own rage, but he still tries to force some kind of connection with Dexter.  However, when it comes down to Brian or Deb, Dexter chooses his sister, holding on to the values he learned so many years ago.

Some honorable mentions before revealing my number one pick are:

  • Hannah McKay (although I don’t personally classify her as a villain, but she is a fantastic femme fatale)
  • Jordan Chase
  • Ray Speltzer (bull-head guy still gives me nightmares)
  • Travis Marshall
  • Maria LaGuerta (I don’t classify her as a villain either, but she almost took down Dexter so this is to be noted)
  • Christine Hill
  • The Skinner
  • The Brain Surgeon


Trinity collage


Season 4 is such an amazing season and part of that is because the villain, Trinity, aka Arthur Mitchell, is incredible.  He is definitely Dexter’s greatest foe for me and he is responsible for the death of Rita, which still breaks my heart.  Dexter continues to chase after Trinity, intrigued by his own kill cycle, but he gets too close to him, posing as Kyle Butler.  Trinity’s kills are bone-chilling and creepy, giving me my own set of nightmares, but he also tries to play the family man, surprising even Dexter.  However, we quickly discover that he is essentially a monster to his own family as well, causing Dexter to practically throw caution out the window while trying to find a way to stop Trinity.  Dexter even has several opportunities to kill Trinity, but he doesn’t initially take them.

Later on, Trinity actually walks right into the police station and says, “Hello, Dexter Morgan,” now threatening to make things truly personal.  Even though Dexter is able to stop Trinity once and for all after he discovers his identity, there is a huge consequence, as he loses Rita in the process.  Dexter blames himself for her death and begins to question everything about himself and the code as a result, making Trinity’s actions that much more destructive in the end.  He is played brilliantly by John Lithgow and will always be one of the greatest villains on any television series for me!

I hope you enjoyed the list and feel free to share some of your own thoughts and comments on your favorite villains from Dexter. Thanks so much for reading and happy viewing!

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Amy Koto, TV Fanatic Girl

I live in Long Island, NY. I am obsessed with TV, movies, reading and writing! My top TV shows are Lost, Breaking Bad, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Prison Break, Charmed, Veronica Mars, and Beverly Hills 90210. My dog, Honey, loves TV too!

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