Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Dexter and the Secrets of Harry Morgan

To those looking into the Morgan household from the outside, everything seemed perfect. Inside this perfect home was a loving mother, police officer father, daughter and adopted son. For the most part, many believed that Harry Morgan was a great man, father and detective and he was respected long after his death.

Before the end of season one, it became clear that Harry Morgan was not the honest man he seemed and his badge was more than a little tarnished. Viewers of this drama have often wondered if Harry did the right thing in teaching Dexter how to be the perfect killer, and Dexter wondered if the teachings of Harry no longer mattered.

Dexter began to unravel his adopted father’s long list of lies when he received the will of his recently deceased birth father. This news was a shock to Dexter as he was told by Harry Morgan that both of his parents had died before he was adopted.

Those who knew about the case of a dead mother and her two sons thought that Harry was the first person on the scene because he was closest to the docks. Dexter knew this was a lie after he found out that his birth mother and adopted father Harry knew each other before her death.

Dexter Morgan knew that Harry was a great man but his faith in him began to dwindle as he uncovered the lies that Harry had told him since childhood. He pretended not to know a full amount of Dexter’s past but he did. As an honest police officer, Dexter would have sworn on his life that Harry would never delete or vandalize police files but he did. Dexter lives with the unanswered question as to whether or not Harry hid the past to protect his adopted son or himself.

The world of Dexter would be shocked if they knew the truths that Harry hides. No one knew that instead of seeking help for his son, he chose to teach him how to be the perfect killer. One who would kill only those who deserved to die while he tried to prevent the detection of law enforcement.

Was Harry a good man who tried to help his disturbed son? Or someone who was so sick and tired of criminals getting away, that he trained his son to take care of the trash? Did he use Dexter for his own beliefs or did Harry do the best he could to protect the son that was not his by birth?

Rudy Cooper was understandably bitter about Harry as he did nothing to help him. Some fans of the show wonder how great Harry Morgan could be if he helped one child while he systematically ignored the other and tried to forget that he existed. To the ice truck killer, Harry was no hero, he wanted Dexter for himself. He took the chance that Dexter would be normal because he was so young, but seemed to know that Rudy would be damaged from the trauma he suffered the day his mother was killed in front of him.

It appears that Harry Morgan loved his adopted son Dexter but more often than not, it appeared that he spent most of the time teaching him to be a good killer or how to act normal. If Dexter was told that he had to smile and pretend he was normal so that he could blend in, how could Dexter feel that he was actually normal?

Another problem of the code of Harry is that he seemed to say that it was ok to kill. Dexter just had to kill bad people. Did it never occur to Harry that eventually Dexter could grow up to kill anyone regardless of guilt or innocence?

Since he did not get Dexter the professional help he so desperately needed, Harry could be considered an enabler. Harry Morgan was a hero to many but how many people died because of his code and how many more will die through the seasons of Showtime’s Dexter?

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