029 Dissecting Dexter: White Male Exceptionalism in Serial Killer Form; Also, Exploring the AUtistic Experience

Dexter represents white male exceptionalism to the extreme, and while this leads to poorly written female characters and nonsensical plot-lines structured only to preserve Dexter’s freedom and clean reputation; there is an aspect of the show that Nichole only noticed through re-watching – that it is an amazing representation of life on the spectrum – which makes the show both trash and treasure.

Poppin Off

Callie pops off about prison labor being used to fight fires in California while being paid slave wages and being barred from becoming firefighters or any other type of emergency responder after release. Nichole pops off about the economy in World of Warcraft and how it proves that capitalism doesn’t work, even in virtual environments.

Resources

Joke

A racist, a homophobe, a transphobe and an anti-semite walk into a bar…. (from @burgundybitch72 on Twitter)

Why do pirates love nipple rings? (from TikTok)

Main Topic: Dexter – White Male Exceptionalism, Autism, Child Abuse

Callie FINALLY (lol) watched Dexter, Showtimes’ 2006-2013 hit series about a serial killer who works for Miami PD as a blood-splatter analyst and only kills other bad guys. Nichole decided to rewatch it so she could join in on the fun, and soon the two found themselves spending many hours sending video messages back and forth about the show and decided, as we often do, to put a mic in front of our faces and turn our lives into CONTENT FOR THE INTERWEBS.

In watching/rewatching, many interesting themes came up for us. Callie garnered a pure hatred of this show for its blatant misogyny and racism, calling it, and I quote, “pure trash.” She also noticed many instances of bad consent, and that many things in the show would have been more compelling if Dexter had been written as, say, asexual and had communicated that to his partners.

Nichole found a new appreciation for the show (while also making copious notes on the misogyny and racism) as the best representation she has ever seen of the autistic experience. It also teased (but did not deliver on) other interesting themes, particularly child abuse and what happens to people with personality disorders when we as a society and/or their parents decide that they are lost causes.

We dissect (hehe, get it!?) all of this throughout this episode, going deep on the ways the show ultimately failed to deliver on anything except white male exceptionalism.

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Transcript

Nichole [00:00:27] Hey, killers. Do you get it?

Callie [00:00:32] I get it.

Nichole [00:00:36] I’m Nichole.

Callie [00:00:37] And I’m Callie.

Nichole [00:00:39] And today we’ll be bitching about.

Callie [00:00:41] Dexter.

Nichole [00:00:45] Yes!

Callie [00:00:45] Everyone’s favorite psychopath. Except ours, cause fuck that guy.

Nichole [00:00:51] Well, it’s complicated for me.

Callie [00:00:55] Oh, spoke too soon.

Nichole [00:00:56] Yeah. So do you have something you want to talk about?

Callie [00:01:03] I do.

Nichole [00:01:05] I see you’ve prepped a little screen share here.

Callie [00:01:07] I do. I am, I’m strangely in a like, super on top of it mood this weekend. So I was like, I got, I even got a surprise for you for later in the show. I got the Patreons ready and news ready to go. I don’t know. I don’t know what’s going on, but I’m feeling it.

Nichole [00:01:28] I am ready for it.

Callie [00:01:30] So we have probably popped off about this before, but since the state of California is once again just completely on fire, I thought it bears repeating in a relatively short pop top. So the first item I just want to highlight really quickly is this tweet by @WaywardWinifred that says, “California wildfires are raging and the prison labor workforce the state has relied on to work the fire lines are too sick with COVID-19 to show up for the job. Sit with this for a minute.” So, yeah, that’s really fucking gross to be honest.

Callie [00:02:25] And then similarly, I saw this really great Instagram post by @soyouwanttotalkabout, “So you want to talk about inmate firefighters in California.” And it says, “According to the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, about 2,200 inmate firefighters are used to fight wildfires across the state. Overall, there are approximately 3,100 inmates working at fire camps. Approximately 2,200 of those are fire line-qualified inmates. (Cutting firelines, a gap in vegetation that serves as a barrier to slow the spread of fires.)

Callie [00:03:06] “Inmates who participate in fire crews are required to go through the same training as the state’s seasonal firefighter employees and often must work on the frontlines of the fire. California has relied on incarcerated firefighters as its primary “hand crews” since the 1940s, and in the past few years, the number of inmate firefighters has grown to nearly a fourth of the state’s wild firefighters. Inmates have been fighting California’s wildfires since the 1940s when the state first called up prisoners to replace men assisting the war effort. More than 3,100 men and women – and even some juvenile offenders -“, which is so horrifying, “now voluntarily serve on the force. Collectively, they work on an average of 10 million hours each year, responding to fires and other emergencies and handling community service projects like park maintenance, reforestation, and fire and flood protection.

Callie [00:04:06] “Inmate firefighters earn $2.90 – $5.12 per day, plus an additional $1 per hour during active emergency for their potentially life-threatening efforts. The firefighters they work alongside earn an average of $91,000 annually before overtime and bonuses.” Of which are usually extremely significant. That’s me editorializing. “Perhaps the sickest irony of all: When inmate firefighters get out of prison, they are very unlikely to be allowed to continue to fight fires as a career, even though they have the appropriate training.

Callie [00:04:47] “Despite fighting California’s largest fires, inmates are denied licenses they need to become firefighters after they get out. Among the thousands of federal, state and local firefighters on the fire lines, there are also more than 2,500 prisoners who volunteer and trained to serve on fire crews. But while these men and women may work alongside professional firefighters now, once they get out of prison, their criminal record will make it virtually impossible for them to get hired as city and county firefighters. In California, nearly all counties require firefighters to become licensed emergency medical technicians, EMTs, a credential that can be denied to almost anyone with a criminal record.

Callie [00:05:31] Once released from prison, inmate firefighters may apply for entry-level jobs with the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection. However, those jobs tend to be temporary seasonal positions in rural areas, often far from their families and the support necessary for successful reentry. Those types of jobs don’t typically require an EMT certification which is necessary to be hired by most municipal fire departments. According to the American Bar Association, the nation’s occupational and business licensing laws contain over 27,000 restrictions on ex-offenders, including bans on working as barbers or hosting bingo games. Those barriers impose significant costs. Research by the Center for Economic and Policy estimates that in 2014, employment barriers for the incarcerated and those with felony convictions cost the nation’s economy up to $87 billion in annual GDP, equal to the loss of 1.7 to 1.9 million workers.”

Callie [00:06:38] And, “Proposed legislation to make it easier for California inmate firefighters to have their criminal records expunged faced resistance from a coalition of firefighters, police unions and state prosecutors.”

Nichole [00:06:51] How shocking.

Callie [00:06:53] Right? Why on earth? “A bill was proposed this year, “AB 2147″ by Assemblywoman Eloise Gómez Reyes, a Democrat in San Bernardino, would allow inmate firefighters to have an easier path at having their records expunged. The bill is currently going through the system after passing a second read on August 20th, 2020.” So I just… And there’s been all these articles that I saw come out this week about how many inmates were released early, like in the hundreds. Some estimates I saw were in the thousands, but it seemed like mostly it was just in the hundreds, of people that were released because they were trying to prevent the spread of COVID. You know, people that were nonviolent offenders, or close to having their time up, released early so that they wouldn’t, you know, be stuck in prison and then get COVID.

Callie [00:07:52] And the state’s like, “Oh no, we released all these people. Who is going to fight our fires?” And it’s like maybe stop relying on fucking slavery to handle a crisis. Like, this is not new. Every fucking year, we have fires. It’s like basically one of our seasons because California is like, sunny.

Nichole [00:08:16] It’s one of the things we are known for.

Callie [00:08:18] Right?! Three quarters of the year, and then one quarter is like fucking fire season and it’s like everything just fucking burns. And it’s not new. We’re always just immediately overwhelmed. And we need to bring in firefighters from other states and they have the prison inmates out there working the fires, doing incredibly dangerous work. I mean, for five dollars a day on the higher end? Five dollars a day. Like… It’s so fucking disgusting and cruel and I just… I can’t, I can’t believe this is where we are. You know, people being like, “Oh my god, like what are we going to do now? We released all these people.” And it’s like, I don’t know, maybe go find the people that have been trained to fight fires and offer them jobs. They’re already trained and also stop relying on fucking slave labor. Like, I just can’t.

Nichole [00:09:17] Exactly.

Callie [00:09:18] Yeah.

Nichole [00:09:20] Well… I have maybe a slightly tangentially related thing to pop off about.

Callie [00:09:33] Oooh, okay.

Nichole [00:09:33] So I started playing World of Warcraft again yesterday. I’ve been having a craving and I was like, why are you gonna do this? But I finally gave in. I played it all day yesterday. My neck hurts, I’m a mess. Anyway. So I go in the game and there’s like an endgame economy where you have like an auction house where you can sell or buy things and you can use the gold you earn in the game now to like, pay for your subscription fee. And people have completely hijacked… And I remember reading about this years ago, but I wasn’t playing, so I didn’t really like, think about it. And people completely hijacked the in-game economy.

Nichole [00:10:20] So the auction house used to be fucking awesome because it’s a game where you can collect materials and make things. But you, if you don’t want to do that, the auction house used to be great because someone else could make stuff and sell it and you could buy it for a decent price and it was cheaper than a lot of the stuff you’d find at the vendors. So it was just this awesome way to, like, make money to get stuff you needed if you didn’t want to waste time, like farming materials. And it worked really well for everybody. Now you go in and everything, the prices are jacked up like, to a degree that doesn’t make sense. And people are mostly using it as a way to transfer gold in between factions, like guilds. And so I went into some forums and it was really interesting because people were like, well, if you don’t like the prices, then don’t buy it and then the market will correct itself. And then other people were like, yeah, in theory that should work, but it doesn’t because people have figured out how to game the system and they have control of the economy and they’re not going to let that control go because they’re profiting off of it.

Nichole [00:11:31] And I was just like, this sounds an awful lot like… What is this reminding me of? I feel like I’m having déjà vu or something. But I was like, even in a fucking virtual environment capitalism doesn’t fucking work the way people say it’s going to work. There is now consolidated wealth and there is a small amount of people who control the economy. And the little guy, like me who lost all my characters I had before because I haven’t played in so long because I’m like starting over from scratch, like I can’t go and just get simple stuff I need. Or, and they were saying, too, that they have these, um, auction house like trackers that will look for people selling stuff at a reasonable price and buy it up and then resell it in a way marked up price. So you can’t just like, like, you can’t just go out and be like, oh, I’m just going to sell stuff at a reasonable price to like someone else can get it because these people will buy it and then, like, mark it up like ten, a hundred times and then resell it. So all to say, fuck capitalism.

Callie [00:12:45] Fuck it!

Nichole [00:12:45] So hard.

Callie [00:12:47] Yeah. Don’t worry, America’s top cop and creepy Joe will solve everything.

Nichole [00:12:57] Yeah. The top cock… cock. The top… cop… Sorry.

Callie [00:13:05] Well that was something else.

Nichole [00:13:07] I’ve been isolated for a little too long. And the king of neoliberalism are going to make it all better.

Callie [00:13:16] Yeah. Yeah, the person who is probably most directly responsible for mass incarceration and modern day slavery, and someone who openly brags about being America’s top cop are definitely going to solve this problem.

Nichole [00:13:28] And, you know, it’s almost like if those people were able to serve in those roles while incarcerated, it’s almost like they don’t need to be incarcerated, and they could just, you know, have the option to maybe get skill and job training and find stuff that they want to do for a livable wage.

Callie [00:13:55] I mean, one of the, I feel like one of the most healing things that a person can have is find something in their life that matters, right? Like people do really well when they feel like they’ve been able to find something that, like, gives back, that makes them feel of use to their communities, their families. Like, I can’t imagine a better program to help rehabilitate people and to make sure that they, like, don’t fall back into anti-social behavior is to allow them to become firefighters when they get out, you know? You’ve given them the training, I mean, they shouldn’t be in prison in the first place, obviously. But like…

Nichole [00:14:37] That’s what I’m saying. It’s like, oh, it’s almost like if someone is committing crimes of survival or struggling in some way, you could just, uh, not imprison them and get them resources they need and then they’re like capable of doing great things.

Callie [00:14:53] Yeah, yeah. I mean, so many people end up in prison because we, there’s no opportunity for them.

Nichole [00:15:00] Right.

Callie [00:15:01] We’ve talked about it a lot on our previous show, our old show. But the high cost of being poor. I feel like the, which I will always recommend because I just think there was so much research that we found. Although I would really love one day, I think it’d be fun to like redo it, you know, and make sure our information’s all current and stuff. But the amount that we spend on incarcerating people versus what we could spend just like put money directly into people’s hands, into their communities would do a lot more to solve, to keep crime from happening, you know, then it does just to keep, like locking people up and exploiting them.

Nichole [00:15:49] Yeah, well, and also decriminalizing survival.

Callie [00:15:53] Also that.

Nichole [00:15:54] Because a lot of the crime that we have is only crime because someone said it was.

Callie [00:16:00] Right.

Nichole [00:16:01] But yeah, exactly. I just think because they also, I’ve heard them justify this program as like we’re giving these people like on the job training and we’re giving them a sense of purpose. And it’s like, well, that’s obviously bullshit if they can’t become, if they can’t do that job after they get out, so you’re literally using slave labor. So just say what it is.

Callie [00:16:26] I just can’t, can you imagine that and then hearing people talking about like we’re giving them on the job training, we’re giving them valuable skills. And it’s like, yeah, but then they get out of prison and then they’re being watched like usually they still don’t have all of their rights back and they don’t get to go into the field that they were just doing.

Nichole [00:16:46] Right. Like, what skills do you get from firefighting that you can use outside of firefighting?

Callie [00:16:53] Yeah.

Nichole [00:16:54] I mean, I’m sure in some fluffy way there’s some stuff, you know, it’s like, oh, I learned leadership or whatever. But like that’s a pretty specific set of, you know, skills. So, like, I just, I can’t. I can’t.

Callie [00:17:12] Same girl, same.

Nichole [00:17:16] So Callie.

Callie [00:17:18] Yes?

Nichole [00:17:20] A transphobe, a racist, and a homophobe… oh, sorry I shouldn’t have said “and” yet. Rewind! A transphobe, a racist, a homophobe and an anti-Semite walk into a bar. The bartender says, “Hey, aren’t you that lady who wrote Harry Potter?”

Callie [00:17:42] That was good.

Nichole [00:17:43] Do you get it?

Callie [00:17:44] I do get it and I appreciate it.

Nichole [00:17:47] That was a tweet from Twitter.

Callie [00:17:49] Nice.

Nichole [00:17:49] From @burgundybitch72.

Callie [00:17:55] Hey, Nichole?

Nichole [00:17:56] What?! What is happening?

Callie [00:18:02] Why do pirates love people with nipple rings?

Nichole [00:18:09] I don’t know, why?

Callie [00:18:12] Because there’s treasure in their chest.

Nichole [00:18:17] See, I can’t do it, I can’t be a bitch like you because I actually love the jokes. That is pretty good.

Callie [00:18:30] That is a joke that I adapted from Tik-Tok to make-

Nichole [00:18:34] You adapted a joke?!

Callie [00:18:36] I adapted a joke. So it’s kind of like an original joke, but not quite because like most of it was stolen.

Nichole [00:18:44] Yeah, I’ve done that many times.

Callie [00:18:47] But yeah. But my joke is gender neutral so it’s better.

Nichole [00:18:52] Yeah, I’ve done that a bunch of times, I’ve made a joke like queer or like gender-neutral or whatever. I’m like, look at me doing the Lord’s work.

Callie [00:19:03] What show are we watching? The comments are like, freaking out.

Nichole [00:19:09] I bet.

Callie [00:19:09] I love it. Yeah, I did not even tell Nichole I was going to be telling a joke today. I just decided that I felt like telling a joke. But that one’s just too good.

Nichole [00:19:19] I mean, I’m here for it.

Callie [00:19:23] I mean treasure in their chest? Come on.

Nichole [00:19:25] It’s great. It’s honestly great.

Callie [00:19:27] A joke about pirates and titties? Of course.

Nichole [00:19:29] I was going to say, I always love a pirate joke.

Callie [00:19:33] Yeah.

Nichole [00:19:34] I mean, already it’s a win.

Callie [00:19:39] Goodness.

Nichole [00:19:39] Yeah, that was good.

Callie [00:19:42] Well, thank you. And thank you for playing along.

Nichole [00:19:47] I wasn’t playing. Well, I was playing when I was like being a jerk but the rest of the time it was totes sincere.

Callie [00:19:58] Oh, goodness. OK, so we have some new patrons to thank today.

Nichole [00:20:04] We’ve been getting some really cute Patreon messages too. Usually people just sign up but like lately we’ve been getting little cute messages when people sign up and it’s really fun.

Callie [00:20:14] Yes. So I cannot remember if I’ve thanked some of these people before. I think I might have forgotten to, like, mark the, check the e-mail off. So you might be getting thanked twice. Who knows? OK, so new patrons to thank. Lindsay, Lane, Carrie, Alex, who I think is on the thread, hi, Alex! Denise and Patricia are new patrons. And then Landon and Meghan increased their pledges. So, sincerely and deeply, thank you so much to all of our patrons for supporting our queer, anarchist, leftist, media.

Nichole [00:21:02] Thanks daddies.

Callie [00:21:06] Yes.

Nichole [00:21:06] So. Are we fucking ready? Will we ever be ready?

Callie [00:21:13] No. No, we won’t.

Nichole [00:21:19] So Callie finally watched Dexter.

Callie [00:21:23] I love how you’re, like, already starting off the shade. Yes, that’s true. Extremely late to the game, as always.

Nichole [00:21:34] Yes. It’s quite all right. And of course, she started talking to me about it because the show is ridiculous. So I had, like, FOMO so I was like, you know, I’m going to rewatch it with you because I’ve always been kind of curious to see, like, how it holds up, which is like a weird thing to say because it was shit the first time around. But at the same time, I think a lot of us have like an affection for the show and like really enjoyed it when it first came out. I remember especially the first season just being like, wow, this is like such a cool concept and, you know, just really being delighted by the premise. And then in hindsight, all I had left was my burning rage for how it ended. And so I was like, you know, it might be fun to go back and just kind of see, like, what is the deal here? And especially with Callie wanting to talk to me about plot points along the way. And realizing that my memory of specifics is very foggy, I was like let me watch this.

Nichole [00:22:37] So I did. We did. And then we spent many hours sending polos back and forth, which are video messages. And, you know, of course, eventually we’re like, we need to get a mike in front of this because clearly we have a lot to say. So I think we’re not going to summarize because it’s eight seasons, 12 episodes a season, so I’m not going to, like, go through and say what happens. Like, you’ve seen it or you haven’t, but largely if you haven’t seen it, the premise is that Dexter, played by Michael C. Hall from Six Feet Under fame, is a serial killer who works with Miami PD as a blood splatter analyst, and he only, he has a code and he only kills other bad people. So initially, when the premise is set up, you know, he says that he kills people, that the cops can’t prosecute, people who got off on technicalities. He has rules about what kind of people, so they have to be murderers and they have to like, you know, it’s obvious that they’re going to kill again as well. It can’t be just like someone killed for a crime of passion. But it’s like it’s a person who kills people. And he has to have proof.

Nichole [00:23:58] So it’s kind of an intriguing premise, right? Like someone who works within law enforcement, but isn’t a cop. Just even a whole field of blood splatter analysis, I thought it was kind of fascinating. And, you know, and then there’s a serial killer, but he has a code so we’re set up to think like we’re going to feel conflicted about this person because he does bad things. But he did, you know, has this code that kind of makes him good. And it’s like, how do we feel about it? His sister is a cop and a big tension throughout the show is that you know, they’re very close and you just don’t know, like, is she ever gonna find out and how devastated is she gonna be?

Nichole [00:24:39] We see Dexter go through several relationships and then the show ends… How would you even summarize this? The show ends-

Callie [00:24:47] Shitty.

Nichole [00:24:49] Yeah, we’ll bring up specifics as we cover stuff. But this show ends with Dexter, essentially his sister dies and he ends up sort of like faking his own death and just going to live as a lumberjack? As a lumberjack in the middle of the woods somewhere and it’s very like open ended and there’s a reason for that. But anyway, so it was this eight seasons series. And, you know, Dexter throughout the series, like continuously is almost caught. And then, like someone else will end up taking the blame for what he did. And obviously, the morals of everything become extremely ambiguous. And one of the biggest things I picked up in rewatching is just how often the same plot point is used over and over and over again in every single season. It’s extremely repetitive. And then they leave us at the end with like this weird ending where there was no final confrontation. He didn’t run away because he was about to get caught. He just decided that he ruins everyone in his life and so he needs to just, like, go be by himself.

Nichole [00:26:04] So, two major things we picked up on that we wanted to talk about today from the show. One is that this show hates women.

Callie [00:26:15] Hates them.

Nichole [00:26:16] Hates women, and is really a show centered around white male exceptionalism. So we’ll break that down. But conflictingly for me, the other thing I picked up on in this show is that it is possibly the best representation of an autistic experience I’ve ever seen in my life. So I have very torn feelings because on one hand I was like, fuck this like, white patriarchal bullshit. But then, on the other hand, I was like, this is like speaking to my soul in a lot of ways. And so we just thought it’d be interesting to explore both of those on the show. And this is something that I may make a video series about at some point and actually go season by season because each season has its own flavor and kind of its own things to pick apart, but yeah.

Nichole [00:27:12] So I think the most surprising thing for me in rewatching was that season one is actually shitty. But first, because I was like, oh, season one was really good. And then and I’m like, it wasn’t. But the first three episodes are actually really fucking good. They’re campy and delicious. They’re like everything you would want from this kind of show if it was not going to be like a serious dark show. They really, it like is so tongue in cheek. It’s delightful. Like, honestly, it’s delightful. And then I don’t know what happens, but literally by, like episode four happens and the show just starts being bad. Not like good-bad, it just starts being like bad. But we will say, we both watched all eight seasons in pretty short succession. So it’s still entertaining. It’s not to take that away from it. Like it is still something that, like I said, I found myself like wanting to watch it every day, even though I’m like, the show is crap.

Callie [00:28:15] Yeah, yeah.

Nichole [00:28:16] But it’s just like, you know. A lot of it’s poorly acted. I think it’s more poorly written.

Callie [00:28:24] Mm hmm.

Nichole [00:28:25] Jennifer Carpenter, who plays Deb, even though I fucking hate the character of Deb and I hate her because of how she was written, but that actress who plays her is like, unbelievable. She fucking brings it in every scene. But yeah, like, even Dexter’s voiceovers are just really like, overwrought and cheesy. And I also realize, like, how much of a, like, narrative device, that narrative device was overused of us like, hearing him talk to himself and then later his dead father. Because I think it’s season three when like dead Harry shows up, the ghost of Harry. And they had like the lights blasting all over his face so that you could see that he had aged because he was supposed to be a ghost, or like a figment of Dexter’s imagination. But it’s like we all know that actor in real life. So we know what he looks like. And also, just like have Dexter make an offhand comment that, like, his dad’s aging in his mind, as like maybe a way to stay connected. Like do not blast the poor actresses. I’m not kidding. Like, I wish I could… It was bad. It was really, it was like extremely distracting.

Nichole [00:29:39] So anyway, where was I going with that? So, yeah. Anyway, like the show, part of why the show’s writing is bad is because it doesn’t think you understand anything. So literally every single thing that happens has to be like said out loud by someone to explain to the audience what’s going on. So like, if you have a character who makes a sad face, then all of a sudden Harry’s ghost is popping up to be like that person seems sad. You know, like it doesn’t trust you to like, understand anything. So it’s just very, like treads a lot of water, just like it’s basically explaining like what you’re seeing happen in a way that is just not necessary.

Callie [00:30:24] Yeah.

Nichole [00:30:25] And it’s wild to me that the show does that because a big piece of the narrative, another big narrative device is that we’re inside Dexter’s head and he’s constantly doing voiceovers to us. For them to think they needed an additional character to also be inside Dexter’s head and talking when like, Dexter’s thoughts weren’t enough, it’s just very weird. And it could work but they lean on both of these things, like so much. Like it occurred to me, I’m like Michael C. Hall must have hated, I mean, I don’t think he actually hated doing it, but like, he acts in most of the scenes, and then he’s also doing voiceovers for most of the scenes. And it like seems like he was doing double work almost, to like act and then also have to voiceover his acting, and like the scenes that he was in.

Callie [00:31:16] Well, otherwise we wouldn’t understand what was going on.

Nichole [00:31:19] Right. Right. So anyway, that was just technical stuff. But yeah, it really broke my heart because I think if you watch the first three episodes, you see the potential that was there for this just like delightfully campy, like self-aware kind of show that could explore this weird and sort of difficult subject matter in a way that could have been like really entertaining, and also maybe kind of honest and refreshing. But then the show decides that Dexter is the most amazing and interesting person that we’ve ever met in our lives, and that ruins the whole exploration that we were supposed to have in the show about like how do we feel about him and how do we feel about how we feel about him?

Nichole [00:32:11] I’ve been driving Callie bonkers with the comparison, but I keep comparing it to Breaking Bad. Because Breaking Bad did something similar where we’re on a journey with this person that we’re, you know like he’s the main character and we’re really watching him. But the show has a clear viewpoint on if this is a good or bad person. And the show uses the narrative… The show uses the story to constantly like… Like it kind of seduces us into thinking he is cool or sort of being on his side, and then it will immediately punish us for that and remind us like this is a bad person. And you were sitting here glorifying some of the stuff he did, but like, we’re going to remind you, he’s a fucking terrible human being. And I found that journey, you know, that’s one of the reasons that that show is like one of the best shows ever is because it just did that really well.

Nichole [00:33:12] And I think this show could have done that in a really interesting way. And it didn’t. It decided that Dexter was great and he was special and that even when he was wrong, we needed to forgive him and literally every female, every female, every woman in the show, their whole arc was centered around like him and how it made him look and how it made him feel. And so we couldn’t-

Callie [00:33:41] Well they were all caricatures.

Nichole [00:33:41] Oh my god.

Callie [00:33:42] This feminine stereotype, right? In like just a cartoonish degree. I know we’re gonna get into that more later, but it just is like, it was just so bad. Like it was just so awkward like how much the show was like… Like you described it really well to me. Like all of these characters were like them telling, like they were supposed to show us, like how to feel about Dexter. Right, and so they were all these just like very kind of flat caricatures of like that type of person, like the loving, doting wife, you know, the badass sister. It’s like in just all of these ways and there was like, no nuance. And it was just really bad.

Nichole [00:34:31] Well, then again, it was another way that they were regurgitating the same shit because we’re already living in Dexter’s head.

Callie [00:34:39] Right.

Nichole [00:34:40] And we’re already getting some kind of character check from the conversations he has with this dead dad so that’s already a way to explore like what he’s thinking internally and how we should feel about him because the dad sometimes takes like the opposite view and challenges Dexter because it’s obviously like Dexter’s conscience or whatever. So we already have that going on and then they’re like, no, but that’s not enough. Like, we need every single character in Dexter’s life to be a reflection of how the audience is supposed to feel about Dexter, because it’s not enough for us to already have all of this view into his internal, you know, workings. We also need other characters literally walking into a room to tell us that he’s a good person or there’s good in him or whatever.

Nichole [00:35:30] This show was such an epitome of my favorite blogger, Captain Awkward. Please check her out if you haven’t already. But she came up with, like, the “Darth Vader boyfriend” like many years ago. And she was saying, like, the way that we’re like, but there’s good in him, you know. And how it’s such a trope in media, but it’s also like something that a lot of us fall into in our personal lives of getting wrapped up with someone because we see the good in him and we just want to, like, save them or bring it out. And to me, this show is like, that. I was like, wow, OK, this whole show is literally a guy who kills people for pleasure and every single female character is telling us that he’s really like deep down a good person. Even though we’re supposed to think, when it starts off, and this is where I could start getting into the autistic stuff. But when it starts off, they’re clearly trying to make us think he’s, and by the end they confirm it, but they’re trying to make us think he’s a psychopath.

Nichole [00:36:35] He talks about not having empathy. He talks about not having feelings. All of these things. And yet he’s so special. And they literally say this in the eighth season. He’s a special psychopath because he does have empathy and he does have feelings. And so if he could just harness those, then he can still kill. We still want him killing because that’s entertainment. He can still kill, but he can make sure that he’s, you know, really killing for the right reasons.

Callie [00:37:06] I mean, that’s not how that works. And I would argue extremely dangerous and irresponsible to show that a psychopath can just somehow be healed into having feelings. That’s just…

Nichole [00:37:27] By multiple woman’s loves. He needs so many womanses to love him. The womens. He needs his sister, he needs multiple romantic partners, and with enough of that, enough of the blond-haired, blue-eyed love, we’ll get into that shit, Then he can be better. So it confirms…

Callie [00:37:47] Who also gets sacrificed along the way. Like their lives, like everyone’s lives around Dexter is just like burned to the fucking ground in order to like, protect him at all costs. Even if they don’t even know that that’s like, like the characters aren’t always aware of what’s happening, but it’s like he’s just churning through the people in his life. But he gets redeemed at the end so it’s like, fine. And it’s like just definitely not fine, how many people got sacrificed in Dexter’s pursuit of still being able to kill and finding out he’s a special snowflake of a psychopath. Like, that’s not how that works. You can’t just love a psychopath enough to make them like, to turn them into a good person and/or to turn their feelings back on. That’s not how that works. Either he wasn’t a psychopath this whole time and just had deep, deep trauma that he should have been working out in therapy, which like, he should have anyway. Or he was a psychopath and like doesn’t actually have feelings. It’s just whatever he’s experiencing is like not what we’re supposed to identify as, like having correct feelings. You know, the shows just like so muddy. Like, everything is just…

Nichole [00:39:07] Yes. So even in season four, which is arguably the best season, I actually think season eight might be the best season and it like ,shocked the hell out of me, but like, honestly, until the last two episodes, it was actually really well-written and very well acted and felt like a normal season. And then all of a sudden you’re like, why is he driving into a hurricane? What is happening right now? Oh, I’m sorry, spoiler alert. Probably should have said that before I told you how it ends. But anyway, where was it going with that?

Nichole [00:39:49] Yeah. So season four, you have him, there’s usually a big baddie that he’s up against. You know, he finds like another serial killer every season and they have some kind of involvement with each other. And then like the tension of this season is that, is he gonna be able to kill this person or is this person going to, like, kill him? Or is this person going to get caught by the police and then tell everyone that Dexter is a serial killer? Literally, every season this happens. So anyway, season four is like a fan favorite because it had John Lithgow from… Why was I going to say from? Third Rock Under the Sun fame. Everyone knows who John Lithgow is. I’m such a weirdo. I am very off my game today. So just apologies.

Nichole [00:40:41] Anyway, John Lithgow is Trinity Killer and, you know, is arguably the most interesting other serial killer that we meet throughout the series. And Dexter forms what is actually a very interesting bond with him because on the surface, John Lithgow seems to, he’s a prolific serial killer, but he has managed to stay completely under the radar. You know, he’s in his I think, 60s at this point, 50s or 60s, and hasn’t gotten caught, is still out there. And he, Dexter, in stalking him to kill him, discovers that John Lithgow has a family. And so contrary to what they thought, he’s not a loner. He’s not, you know, he has like a good job. He does charity work. So he completely is against how they had profiled him and how Dexter had been raised to think that he would have to be in order to function. Like his dad always told him… Oh, my god, and so there’s a third layer here, a third like, theme I think that popped up that was not explored, which is deeply interesting, is that I think Harry turned him into a serial killer.

Callie [00:41:53] Thank you! Yes!

Nichole [00:41:53] And Harry definitely abused the shit out of Dexter. Anyway, we’ll cover that too today girl, don’t you worry.

Callie [00:42:01] I know, yes. I’m fucking ready for that.

Nichole [00:42:07] Don’t worry. Yes, so anyway, you know, his dad had told him, like, you have to date and you have to do these things to seem normal. But at the same time, like, you’re never gonna be loved, you are never going to love, you’re never gonna have a family. Like you’re never gonna have these things that other people have. And so when Dexter sees that Trinity has, what on the surface seems like this extremely functional life where he’s well-loved by his community. He has his family, you know he has a good job. He like, develops these complicated feelings towards Trinity, where he wants to kill him but he also wants to learn from him and be mentored by him and maybe even have him be like a friend or even a surrogate father figure.

Nichole [00:42:48] So he does this thing that he always does where he pretends to be some other person and he meets him by happenstance somewhere and ends up being integrated into Trinity’s life and then discovers that behind closed doors, Trinity is actually intensely abusive. Like incredibly, unbelievably, creepy, abusive to his family. And so the reason I’m bringing that up is because I think the show really copped out at that point because they were trying to show… Because something that we learned about Dexter throughout the seasons, he does end up getting married. He ends up having a family. And he’s a really good dad and he’s a really good father. And so this is another way that the show is like, see, he’s a serial killer, but he’s a good guy. He’s not like this Trinity yahoo who’s, you know, crazy behind closed doors. He’s nice. He just kills the people he kills.

Callie [00:43:54] I’m so disappointed that the show didn’t keep the Trinity killer as like being this like family man. And he, you know, he had like this charity organization that he ran. He seemed like a, practically a saint. You know, just the 2.5 kids and a dog and a minivan, building homes for the needy, like just the stereotypical, like, good guy. And I think it’s really shitty that the show was like, just kidding. He’s abusive. And it’s like it would have been way more interesting, and as part of the overall show’s theme, to let him stay like this horrible serial killer but then having a really good family. Like that would have been really interesting to see Dexter having to grapple with, you know?

Nichole [00:44:42] Yeah. Because that makes it more interesting because then there’s more conflict in if Dexter kills him or not.

Callie [00:44:47] Right.

Nichole [00:44:48] There’s more conflict in if he gets caught or not, because then his family will find out this terrible thing and it will, it won’t jive with what they thought of him. Right, like it… Whereas, you know, by the time we see what’s going on behind closed doors, like his family definitely knows that, or like would not be surprised by the fact that he is a serial killer. So yeah, this show just takes, at every turn, anything that could be interesting, this show takes it and twists it as a way to just make Dexter look better. And it’s really unfortunate because there are some very interesting things I think that are brought up, and the number one of which is, you know, if we expand this out to be like more symbolic, is how far will we go to protect a dude. Right. Like, how far will we go to redeem someone who has done bad things?

Nichole [00:45:46] And, you know, since we’re both anticapitalist, we’re both anti-incarceration, and we’re both like pro-restorative justice and all that. So, like, I’m not opposed to a through-line, a storyline that has some elements of that and has some possibility for that. But that is some deep work that has to be done and the show was not up to doing it and didn’t care to do it. The show just wanted us to think that Dexter was interesting, that watching him kill people was fun, and that, like, at the end of the day, we all should want him to be safe and not get caught and, you know, live, live to kill another day.

Callie [00:46:27] Yeah, for a really kind of courageous concept, the show really flinched in the face of, like any opportunity to actually do some, like, really interesting and brave things, which is just really disappointing. You know, it’s like you said, it’s such an interesting concept.

Nichole [00:46:51] Yeah, it’s very interesting. Anytime we can explore an archetype like this, like the antihero, because that’s what he ended up becoming, was part of this rash of shows with like an antihero protagonist, right. And even to call them that is fucked up because none of them are heroes or antiheroes. They’re just, they’re just dangerous men. That’s all they are. I think, because I just feel like calling them antiheroes, too, is like giving them too much credit and still putting them in this comic book realm, you know, that kind of like mythologizes them. So, you know, we had like The Sopranos and we had I think, was it The Shield? The Commish. Do you remember that show? Definitely aging myself.

Nichole [00:47:42] But, you know, it cropped up at the same time that these shows were all kind of like a thing and were taking off, some better than others and how they explored stuff. But we just had this like national obsession with bad men and their internal lives and if they could be redeemed or not. And Dexter took that, and what could have been great is it could have been a searing critique of that. Right, like, it could have been like what Breaking Bad ended up being which was like a scathing critique of like, why are you glorifying these type of people? Why are you glorifying this behavior?

Callie [00:48:19] Why are you so quick to like, condemn anyone in his life who gets in his way? Like, the show’s point of view makes us like loathe all of the people that end up being like roadblocks to him killing. And we end up emotionally siding with Dexter always instead of any other character, even when they’re justified.

Nichole [00:48:47] Yeah. Which even that could have been okay if it was then explored.

Callie [00:48:52] Yeah. Yeah.

Nichole [00:48:53] Sorry if y’all are hearing background noise but I will literally die if I shut my window, so. I’m hoping my new mike doesn’t pick up too much but. Yeah. Like cause I feel like Breaking Bad does that. Like sometimes Breaking Bad will have Walt do something cool, or he’ll win in some way. And you’re kind of like, yeah, that was pretty badass, that was fun to watch. And then they have him do something just fucking awful and you’re like, I should not be rooting for this person. Like it just constantly checks you. So can be interesting to have some instances of like, you know, oh, this was fun or this was, I’m on this person’s side, but then this show should put that in your face. Like, why were you annoyed by someone trying to stop him from killing somebody? And you have to be like, oh, fuck, yeah, that is pretty messed up.

Nichole [00:49:50] But it doesn’t. It’s just like, are you happy? Like, he got away with it and, you know, he was able to do the thing. I think a big case of this as well was in season two, ugh Season two, where fucking Lila…

Callie [00:50:16] You’re just so deeply annoyed. You haven’t even said anything yet. I love those moments.

Nichole [00:50:23] Just her entire existence. Fucking Lila ends up being the one to kill Doakes instead of Dexter. So the show just constantly does this over and over and over again where, you know, that was our first, like, truly major like, oh, shit, how are we supposed to feel about this? Because first of all, Doakes is MVP. He is the best character. I had fond memories of him but in rewatching I was like, this motherfucker is so good. I just, every scene he was in, I was delighted. I was like, please just put him in the background of every single scene. So, you know-

Callie [00:50:59] I was annoyed by him, but I was mad at myself for being constantly annoyed by him because I’m like, he’s right.

Nichole [00:51:06] Oh my god, I was so delighted.

Callie [00:51:07] Why do I, like he’s actually the only one who’s like, this creepy motherfucker, like why is no one else-

Nichole [00:51:14] You fucking freak, I’m on to you!

Callie [00:51:16] And I just was like, I should not be feeling this way about him. He’s technically right. But it drove me crazy. His overacting was just like, fucking insane.

Nichole [00:51:30] Oh, I loved it.

Callie [00:51:31] Like it was so bad.

Nichole [00:51:32] No, it was great. It was perfect. That’s what I’m talking about though, is that’s the level of like, camp.

Callie [00:51:37] Yeah.

Nichole [00:51:37] To me it was like, he hit it perfectly. He is this like, jacked up and he’s short and he just would always like get right up in his face and be like, you fucking freak. Like every time about like the smallest thing. Like Dexter would just be like holding donuts and he’s like, oh, you fucking freak, you think you can bring in donuts and I don’t still fucking see you? I fucking see you. And he’d like walk away and I’d be like, that was amazing. I just like…

Callie [00:52:02] Not an over exaggeration.

Nichole [00:52:05] No. I’m probably actually like, toning it down a bit.

Callie [00:52:08] Yeah.

Nichole [00:52:09] Anyway, he was my favorite character. So, and he was a fan favorite. You know, like people loved Doakes and there were Doakes means and all kinds of stuff. And like, I just… So you’re setting up like this huge conflict, right? This, this, this um, what’s the word I’m looking for, like this crescendo. This has been building and this is gonna be the resolution of this like two seasons long conflict between a fan favorite and the main character. So this is like a big fucking deal. And this is the first time that we see that Dexter really is kind of put into this corner of is he going to expose himself? Like because if he lets Doakes live, then Doakes is going to tell people that he’s a killer. So is he going to risk, you know, letting Doakes do that to let him live? Or is he going to kill this person who is definitely an innocent.

Callie [00:53:09] Doesn’t follow the code.

Nichole [00:53:12] Which is funny because they’re all cops, so it’s like, is he? But, you know, yeah, he doesn’t fall into the code. And like, from what we can see, Doakes is like ethical. We’ll put it that way, I guess. And we know him. We know Doakes. Right, like he’s not just a serial killer that we met as a serial killer that Dexter’s hunting or someone who’s done something bad, like he is a character that we’ve gotten to know for two seasons. And what do they do? They have Dexter’s annoying ass ex-girlfriend come in and find Doakes and burn him alive.

Callie [00:53:54] Yeah…

Nichole [00:53:54] Like, what the fuck? And then Dexter still frames Doakes as the Bay Harbor Butcher so he gets away with everything without having to actually commit some kind of offense himself. Like in our eyes, you know what I mean, like he gets away with this without us having to grapple with the fact that, like, fuck, he actually just killed this person that we love. Or if you don’t like him, that at least we know does not fit his code at all. Like, is the opposite of what his supposed code is. So we don’t have to grapple with that. We have this contrivance show up and take care of the dirty work for him. And this is mirrored pretty well in season six where Deb ends up killing LaGuerta. Which was like… I can’t. You know, it’s another thing, like Dexter was going to frame her. Now, mind you, this is the second BIPOC person he has framed for his own murders so that he can continue living free, who ends up dying by the hand of some white lady.

Callie [00:55:09] Yeah.

Nichole [00:55:09] Anyway. But, you know, again, we have this instance of like, LaGuerta was a bit more complicated because she was a little bit more of a villainous character, but she’s still definitely was not within the code. And I have a hard time because LaGuerta was, she was just written very poorly but I really like the actress a lot. And the times in the show backed off and didn’t make her such a weird caricature of like an evil female boss, she was so sweet. Like she, I think it was season five, like, she just was like nice, and had this nice romance with Angel, and like, she was cool and supportive and like, I just wish the show had let her be that because she was really close with Doakes and never got over it. And so she like ends up finding out that she was right. Doakes was not a serial killer, it was Dexter, and then fucking Deb kills her.

Callie [00:56:05] Yeah.

Nichole [00:56:06] And Dexter is gonna, and Dexter ends up framing her for the person he killed then, too. So we just have all these instances of like, someone who definitely doesn’t fit his code. This should push us as the viewer into an uncomfortable place of having to finally, like, really grapple with, are we okay with what this person is doing and what does it say about us if we are?

Callie [00:56:30] Right.

Nichole [00:56:31] And then you have someone come in from the outside who just takes care of it for us and for him, right, and then ruins their own life in the process. Like he ended up fucking murdering Lila after. I mean, that bitch needed to go but like still. You know, like, she took care of something for you and then like, you just get rid of her. Deb ends up like having her whole life trashed and she ends up dying. And it’s just like the show just doesn’t confront anything it’s doing ever. Ever. It really is like, oh, we all love Dexter, right, like, we all think he’s great and should have all the things. Like they think that that’s how we all feel about him too, and how we should feel about him.

Callie [00:57:15] Yeah. Yeah. The show never really holds Dexter accountable at all. And it’s funny because every season is like him refiguring out the same things over and over.

Nichole [00:57:29] The. Same. Thing.

Callie [00:57:31] And trying to tell the audience that it’s like the first time he’s realizing he can care about someone, or the first time he realizes like, hey, maybe I can actually make a friend who also has this darkness in them.

Nichole [00:57:44] The dark passenger.

Callie [00:57:45] And it’s like, yeah bitch, you’ve done this before. Like, every time. And then you end up killing them at the end.

Nichole [00:57:51] How many times? How many times did he say, “I should have killed him when I met him”? How many times did he say that?

Callie [00:57:56] Way too many.

Nichole [00:57:58] He always wants to cuddle up with other serial killers and then he’s, like, shocked when it all goes bad. And it’s like, yeah dude, you’re serial killers.

Callie [00:58:07] Yeah. Yeah.

Nichole [00:58:08] So I, just to take a break for a minute of all the ranting. I really do think, I was completely blown away and I have so much affection for the show just from the side of seeing representation of an autistic experience from the inside of someone’s head and how the rest of the world looks when your neurodivergent. If you approach the show in that way, it is fucking incredible. It is incredible because you will see stuff, like and especially in season one, but it actually continues pretty well throughout the whole show. So if you think about it from that perspective, forget that he’s a serial killer for a moment and just take it from the side of, or even with him being a serial killer. When you see people, like when you see Doakes hating on him and calling him a freak, he often is doing things, or not doing things, in a very, like, autistic way. So he’s not making the right facial expression, right? Like, maybe he’s making no facial expression at all or he’s having an inappropriate reaction to something. He does things like he brings in donuts because he learned that people at work like donuts. So it’s his way of trying to read like social behavior and participate in it in a way that makes him seem normal.

Nichole [00:59:38] He talks a lot about his mask and like essentially he’s describing masking. So, and then we get to see, we get to hear his thoughts and how he’s processing a situation, but we can also see his face and see that his facial expressions are not reflecting his internal experience. And that’s also like a very autistic thing. So someone, like he might get in a fight with his sister or his girlfriend, and he’s just confused. Like he doesn’t know what he did wrong, he doesn’t understand why they’re angry at him. And we see him on the outside having this really flat, blank look. But on the inside, he’s like, I’m really confused. Why is she mad and what does she want, and maybe this is what I’m supposed to say? And then he’ll say something and it makes her more mad and he’s like, I, and he’ll say, like, I don’t know what to do right now.

Nichole [01:00:34] So if we take it from that aspect, it is very interesting to me, just, it’s such good representation. Like, I could not believe how much I identified with Dexter in most ways because we also saw stuff, like he just wants time to himself or he gets overstimulated or, you know, he’s very drained by being around people because he’s masking constantly and not really knowing what they want from him. And so he just wants to go be alone and you know that is like, it’s just so relatable. And hearing him process stuff. I would so often feel irritated by how the people in his life were responding to him.

Nichole [01:01:18] Even like Rita, who’s another one. Fucking Rita. Anyway, Rita would constantly get in fights with him, and a lot of the time she was mad at him because he wasn’t performing in the way that she had expectations for someone to perform. But not because he’s actually doing something wrong. And she was always up in his fucking business. Like he’d be like, I’m busy Saturday night and she’s like, this is more important, you need to show up. And it’s like, fuck you. Like, if I have something I need to go do. Now, granted, he was killing people, but she didn’t know that.

Nichole [01:01:56] So it’s like there’s just so many instances if you could see like he just had this really rich internal life that he actually enjoyed being inside of. And you could just see how often people were judging him for that. Thinking he was creepy for that. And also just trying to rip him out of that and trying to get him to perform more normally because it’s what they wanted from him. And I was telling Callie, like there were so many instances of little arguments between him and Deb or him and Rita where I was like, you know what? This is really fucked up that they’re still demanding this stuff from him because, again, yes, he’s a serial killer but put that aside. Like the fact that they haven’t learned how to interact with him on his level is wild to me.

Nichole [01:02:47] I had a boyfriend before who had really, really intense ADHD. And he may have also, you know, in hindsight, he may have also been on the spectrum. But I remember like he met my mom and I remember telling my mom, like he said something and he made this face where it looked like he was saying something offensive. And I remember telling my mom, like, that’s just a face he makes, like he’s kidding or whatever, because even in the few months that we had been dating, I had learned, I just learned how to read him, you know. And I was able to, like, interpret him for other people to help him navigate social spaces more easily.

Nichole [01:03:25] And so watching this and watching how often these people, these women in his life were just making these demands of him that were completely unrealistic and unreasonable to just who he was as a person. Like they would get mad at him for not looking excited about something or not emoting enough. You know, or needing time to process. Like a lot of times, he doesn’t process, like, something will happen and he just like is blank. And then he’ll go and he’ll think about it and he’ll talk to Harry. And then he kind of can, like, come back and explain how he feels and be able to have a conversation about it, which is very normal for a lot of people, either on the spectrum or who have anxiety or I don’t maybe even people with ADHD. Like a lot of times you just, you are not… Even people who have had trauma and abuse as children, it’s very common that, like, you just have this lockdown response to stuff and you can’t process your feelings until you’re in a safe environment and then you come back later.

Nichole [01:04:35] So, like, again, I have had friends, I’ve dated people who have this kind of response. I have it myself in a lot of ways. And like, it’s just natural when you’re close to someone that you start to understand how they are and to give them space for that. And we never once see a scene of Deb or Rita or anyone else he’s close to being like, oh, I know you need to process and I just came at you real hot, so like I said, what I needed to say, I’m going to leave you alone, like, give me a call tomorrow or whenever you’ve worked through this and then we’ll talk about it. You know, which is like a normal, kind thing to do for someone you love who needs time to process things.

Nichole [01:05:19] So anyway and then we see the men around him are very masculine, right, they’re very like stereotypically like macho and they just seem kind of alien to Dexter. You can tell that, like, they get exaggerated and I think that’s one of the reasons I like Doakes so much, is because he was just the epitome of that, like this, just like super fuckin masculine, like, you know, masculine person who like… And those were the guys who would always see through Dexter. And you could read that as, yes, he’s a serial killer, but you could also read it as he’s not performing masculinity in a way that they accept. Right, and he’s not obeying the male code of behavior. He’s not, like, bragging about who he slept with. And he’s just kind of, like he’s not really into sports. Like there’s this whole funny thing about him and like not understanding football at all because he just doesn’t care about sports. Like it is very much an interesting analysis of like a guy who just isn’t following the bro code. He’s just his own person. He doesn’t really understand other guys very well. And because of that, they all think he’s creepy. But when we look at what he’s actually doing, he’s not being creepy. He’s just being different. He’s just not performing in the way that they think that someone’s supposed to perform.

Nichole [01:06:55] So if we can, if the show had been a better show, I think it still has huge value for that perspective if you can watch it and kind of like see that. But if it had been a better show, it would have been an incredible representation of that. Of someone who’s just different and how unfairly that person is judged and how the relationships in their lives can be so strenuous when people don’t just accept you for who you are and work with you and meet you where you’re at.

Callie [01:07:29] Yeah, well, and that’s why I think the female characters around him, that’s why they bothered me so much because like all of the things that I was supposed to recognize were like weird or creepy about Dexter, I didn’t.

Nichole [01:07:48] Right.

Callie [01:07:48] And I was like these are just normal, like, yes he’s obviously not neurotypical. So, but like the things that the show was doing like he really never consented to anything. Like it felt like everything was always happening to him. And because of this code that Harry gave him, he had to just like go along with it in order to, like, pass. And so, and then the women like, around him were always like, they were just the worst kind of like stereotypical, still that like hangover from the 90s media of they’re just these like kind of shrieky, like irrational crazy bitches, right? Like Rita, we’re supposed to see, his wife, was we’re supposed to see, was so nice and kind but she was so naggy and she was always demanding his time and never really seemed to understand that he wanted or needed alone time. And it’s like it’s complicated because he was using that alone time to stalk and murder people, which I don’t support. But also I’m like-

Nichole [01:08:57] You don’t?

Callie [01:09:04] No. But I’m like, but they don’t know that. Like they don’t know. And so I’m like I’m just really upset that the show’s not like, it’s totally fine that he wants alone time. Like it’s not okay that these women around him keep being so fucking crazy to him and then treating him like he was the one… Like at one point, this scene I think all the time and I think it sums it up so well, there’s actually two scenes. One is like Deb. Later on in the show, she starts seeing a therapist. She sees this therapist like three times and then like never goes back, which that girl definitely needed some long term therapy for a lot of reasons. Although not that therapist because that therapy really fucked her up. But so she’s talking to the therapist and she’s realizing with a therapist that she is always the one sharing with Dexter and that Dexter doesn’t actually share with her. Like he’s not being vulnerable with her in the way that Deb is. Which is very interesting, right, that way that, like, people can make it seem like you have an emotional bond, but like they’re not really giving back.

Callie [01:10:21] So Deb’s having this realization and she talks about it in this like, oh, he’s a chair and I want like a table, kind of thing. So she gets really mad at Dexter when she has this realization and she ends up shouting at him at the police station, like while they’re at their jobs, like, you’re just a fucking chair and like storming off. And Dexter’s left standing there blank-faced and his inner monologue being like, what does that mean? And I’m like, that’s really fucked up. Like neurotypical or not, like, if someone just shouts something like that at you where they have context that they’re not sharing with you, and then storms away, like that’s really inappropriate. Like, that’s not good consent. That’s not a good thing to do, and she never really explains that to him.

Callie [01:11:12] And so there’s a lot of those things, those moments in the show where you’re like, this, I have, I’m really conflicted about how he’s being treated, which then makes you have this, like empathy for him in other ways that we shouldn’t, you know? Because like Rita, the other example I mentioned is, there’s this one point where Rita, like Dexter goes into a crime scene, which is like it’s a room just completely covered in blood. Like it’s just blood fucking everywhere. And it actually triggers him. And we find out that he has like PTSD that he didn’t know he had. And he starts having these childhood memories that he didn’t remember. And he’s having like a full-on, like he is like the classic definition of triggered. Like he gets nauseous, he starts getting woozy. He has to sit down. He can’t even be in the room with blood and usually he’s, like, completely fine around any and all blood. He’s always like the guy who’s unbothered when all the other cops and stuff are squeamish, right? And Rita’s calling him in the middle of the day while he’s at work being like, I need you to come, like something’s happened, I need you to come get me, or I need you to go run this errand.

Callie [01:12:34] And he’s sitting there trying not to, like, hyperventilate on the phone with her and she’s acting, like she’s just kind of screeching at him that he needs to be doing this thing for her because what she has going on is so important. And granted, he’s not telling her like, that he’s having a moment because he’s never really emotionally vulnerable with anyone around him. But as the audience, you’re looking at that scene and thinking like how demanding and uncaring the women in his life always are, like their emotional needs always come before him. They don’t ever really stop to check in with, like, what he really wants. And it’s really frustrating because it’s like I’m empathizing with him in a way that the show’s not even thinking about. But it’s like making decisions based on those things that, like, really don’t make sense. Like, I don’t, I’m not okay with him being a killer, but I have empathy over the way that the people in his life treat him because of him being different. But like that’s not what the show ,that’s not really what the show is telling me, you know? And he never really get, like he’s just always kind of…

Callie [01:13:51] I kept bringing this specific example up with Nichole, but it reminds me a lot of the, like I just kept thinking of the show Everyone Loves Raymond as I was watching this because it had those similar vibes, and just like you kind of have this man who’s like a pretty good husband and father, and he just is like wanting his own space sometimes, but he shows up when it counts. And just the people around him are always just like taking and taking and taking from him. And he’s just kind of this like, I don’t know, I just really want to, you know, be left alone. And I don’t really get these, like, creatures around me. You know, these women with their wild needs and mood swings. But like, I’m just going to try my best. And it’s just so insulting. You know, like we could have still seen him struggle to grapple with his not having emotions and trying to learn how to fit in without making the women around him such like, crazy people, you know? But like both Deb and Rita were out of their minds for almost the entire show.

Nichole [01:15:00] Yeah, they’re just written to be completely irrational, incredibly demanding, and just like hot messes constantly. They’re just like always like they don’t know what’s going on and they’re just a mess. Rita being pregnant was one of the most insulting depictions of pregnancy I’ve ever seen. They literally made her this like, cartoon character of like a crazy pregnant woman, and just being completely irrational and like, just mystifying Dexter and just screaming at him constantly. And like the people around her, too. Yeah, this show seems to be written from the perspective of someone who does have that very 90s sitcom view of marriage and women where it’s like they’re annoying, but they’re inevitable. Do you know what I mean? Like they’re annoying, but like you also want to get laid and have a family. So like you, it’s just something you have to do.

Callie [01:16:04] Well, and he even said that. That was the sad part is he felt like he had to be in these relationships because he needed the cover. It was like part of his code, which is then even more sad that he really didn’t even, he grew to care for these people around him. But it was just like he was being put through so much and he didn’t even really want it.

Nichole [01:16:27] Yeah. Which is unsettling. And again, that’s an interesting thing to explore, right? That could be very interesting to break that and explore that and say, hey, this is like the mid-aughts, you know, we’re coming off of this like 90s sitcom thing. Why don’t we explore this a little bit, like why do we look at relationships this way and why do we settle for that? And, you know, it could have been a really interesting thing for him to be like, I just don’t want to be in this. Something that Callie brought up, so I’ll let her talk about it more, but like there was a very disturbing trend as well, that a lot of the sex that Dexter had in the first few seasons was not consensual. And he has like… He… So many thoughts!

Nichole [01:17:22] So he describes himself when we meet him as someone who is not interested in sex. And that is why he’s dating Rita because she is a rape survivor and she is not interested in having sex, which this show also has a disturbing trend of using women’s sexual trauma as like a healing device for Dexter ,or Dexter heals them? So that’s weird. So anyway, he feels like Rita is this perfect cover girlfriend. She’s divorced, she has this trauma, so she’s not interested in sex but she does like spending time. She has two children. So she seems like the type who might be cool to like, not get married or move in together, but want some companionship and Dexter’s like, happy with that. He says he does enjoy being around her and he really loves her kids. So it seems perfect.

Nichole [01:18:24] And then, he is gaslighting Rita, in a way, because he is pretending that he’s interested in sex when he’s not. Now he’s not like pushing her for anything, which I appreciate, but he’s kind of just letting it be out there that he’s like a normal dude. But he’s like, always says to her, I’m totally fine. Like, I don’t need anything. I’m fine. Instead of being honest and saying, like, I actually don’t want sex.

Callie [01:18:52] Either, yeah.

Nichole [01:18:53] Either. So, like, this is actually great for me. And so she gets it into her head that like she’s going to lose him if they don’t have sex. And she comes over and, like, just gives him a blowjob out of nowhere. And he’s kind of like, what are you doing? Like, I don’t, you know? He’s not consenting to it. And this is another thing I was gonna bring up is there’s just no consent for him in general. He is constantly getting texts from these women in his life who are like get here now. Come over tonight. Emergency, like whatever. And then he’ll show up. And it’s like Rita in a nightie being like, I want to fuck. Or it’s Deb, you know, having whatever Deb has going on. And this is also very much like that. Like Rita just comes over, like unannounced and then is like, I want to fuck or have sex or like do this thing to you. And you know, he’s supposed to be thrilled because he’s a dude. And it’s like, again, this is an amazing thing that we could have explored like how like men should also be able to consent, and like, this is not okay what’s happening to him. And he’s having his boundaries pushed, you know, by someone.

Nichole [01:20:05] And also like, hey, aren’t these expectations we have on people to have sex, like, kind of fucked up? But it doesn’t do that. Of course, it ends up showing, like Callie and I took that out of it because we have this like pro-consent viewpoint but like, if you’re just watching, he ends up realizing he loves sex and then him and Rita like boink all the time. And it’s like, it just reinforces, the show seems to be like he is actually normal underneath it all. He just needs the right experiences and then he can be normal like other people.

Callie [01:20:43] Which is super inappropriate to do.

Nichole [01:20:46] Yes. Yeah. So it’s like, you know, I would have preferred, I don’t want to watch him have an experience he doesn’t enjoy, but I think it would have been more honest if he didn’t enjoy it and then he had to grapple with the fact that he’s like, look, I actually don’t want sex and part of me being happy in this relationship was that you didn’t either. And now, like, if you are doing it for me, please don’t. If this is something you actually need, then we need to talk about it cause I don’t want it. But instead it’s like blowjobs are amazing, you know, and he just like loves it and it just is such a fucking thing.

Callie [01:21:24] Yeah.

Nichole [01:21:25] And it’s weird too because he’s had sex before so it’s like, but they’re acting almost like it’s his first time and he’s just like realizing that he enjoys it. I don’t know. It’s fucking weird.

Callie [01:21:35] Well and yeah it’s very mixed because we do know that he’s had sex before, but the way he kind of describes it early on is not so much that he hates sex, it’s just that he doesn’t really care to have it like he doesn’t really want it. And also-

Nichole [01:21:52] He just doesn’t see the point of it.

Callie [01:21:53] Right. And also that when he’s in a relationship, once he’s with someone who wants to start having sex, then they start realizing that he’s not emotionally connecting with them. Because when you’re having sex, like real intimacy, then they start to feel like something is off and that he’s not actually emotionally vulnerable, which he clearly isn’t because he’s a fuckin psychopath, supposedly.

Nichole [01:22:16] Right.

Callie [01:22:17] So he was very worried about like that with Rita. Right, and then that all just kind of like goes away and I’m like, oh my god. It’s just really frustrating that this like male, stereotypical male outlook and experience is being blended with him being a psychopath, and that just feels very, very uncomfortable, right? Like him being kind of put upon as a man with these demanding women around him. It’s like that shouldn’t be so blurred with the experience of, like, him being neuroatypical and like not having feelings and his consent being blurred, because it makes us empathize with him in a way that’s like we’re letting him off the hook. It makes us want to let him off the hook for things that we absolutely should not be.

Nichole [01:23:11] And yeah it reinforces that that kind of thing is cool.

Callie [01:23:14] Right.

Nichole [01:23:15] That like, again, Dexter’s this, I think he was meant to be kind of like fantasy fulfillment for like nerdy guys. Or who I think like, the archetype would actually be for like, guys on the spectrum who just are, like, mystified by women, want to be with them or at least want to have sex with them, but like, don’t understand them at all. And it’s this like, look, you know, like he ends up being this guy who just like, women just like give him head out of nowhere and he loves it. And like, it never breaks down the fact that like, you shouldn’t be having confusing sex, you know like you shouldn’t be like what is happening right now.

Callie [01:24:03] Yeah.

Nichole [01:24:03] Not saying, like, two people can’t get swept up in a moment and then be like, holy shit, like I really want to fuck you and we’re gonna do this. But like he’s literally like in the middle of something happening to his body and he’s like, I don’t know why this is happening. You know, like, I don’t know why this person is doing this to me.

Callie [01:24:24] And his monologue is telling us he doesn’t want it, which is very uncomfortable.

Nichole [01:24:27] Yeah, we’re inside his head.

Callie [01:24:28] Yeah.

Nichole [01:24:30] Right. And then it’s in the afterglow he’s like, oh, maybe that wasn’t so bad. And it’s like, that’s rape.

Callie [01:24:36] Yeah. Yeah.

Nichole [01:24:37] That is literally rape. Like, that is not okay. So and the show poses it as if it’s like cool. It’s this, this is what Callie was bringing up but it’s like asexual erasure. Like he, for one reason or another he was not interested in sex, it’s not something he wanted to have. And, you know, instead of the show allowing him to just say that, it doesn’t, and then it does this thing that people always do to queer people where it’s like you just don’t know because you haven’t tried it or you haven’t had the right one. And then once he starts having the right one, it’s like, oh, yeah, this is great and I’m totally into it now. But it had to be, like that experience had to happen without his consent and it needed a sexy, aggressive woman to like, do that to him.

Nichole [01:25:31] And I know people, I know cismen who do not like blowjobs. I know cis men who have trouble achieving orgasm and have all these other like, things that people stereotypically would think that men don’t have. And they, you know, like they struggle with that. They struggle with like women not listening and doing things to their body that they don’t want or getting very angry when their bodies don’t perform the way that they are anticipating and making it a lot about themselves, you know? And this could have been like an interesting way to explore that. And really, that’s like a queer exploration of, like, I am this thing that’s outside of what society deems the norm. And it’s valid and it’s real. And then I have these other people who are trying to, in some ways violently, get me to fit back into societal norms. And can we explore that? But no, instead it’s shown is like, oh, Dexter’s cool and he’s getting laid and it’s like awesome for him.

Nichole [01:26:45] And, you know, like you were saying, I forgot about that because they explore it more in later seasons, but he says that like – later seasons meaning not season one – but he says that, yeah, like during sex and after sex, it’s when people pick up that he’s not normal and then women get weirded out by him and leave him. And like, I feel like that is also like a very like, neurodivergent kind of thing, right, like that maybe you’re not making the right kind of eye contact or you’re not emoting properly, or maybe… Like I know my ex who has ADHD would have trouble achieving orgasm sometimes because he had trouble like focusing and being in the moment with it. And things like that, right, like, it’s a common neurodivergent experience for sex to be this time when, like, you can’t mask anymore. You can’t mask enough for the person to still code you as normal.

Nichole [01:27:47] And so him talking about that was like very touching to me. And like Callie said, then you have to remember that it’s like this show about white male exceptionalism and it’s just very conflicting and it’s very hard to take so much that’s like actually like really amazing explorations of like queerness and neurodivergence and just being different. And then it’s housed in this like ugly kind of trashy box where that isn’t explored properly.

Callie [01:28:24] Yeah, well and I just, I found my, it’s like my least favorite kind of plot where people just like aren’t saying the thing. Like you have a character who has like a deep secret or a feeling that they’re, like, afraid to express. And so much of season one Dexter was like this. I mean, obviously, throughout the whole show, he has a secret that he can’t really share. But I feel like there’s this like more pressure on it in the first season, especially because there’s like several episodes in the first season of this like, sexual question with him and Rita of like they’re not sleeping together. But then she decides she thinks she’s kind of ready but that’s mostly coming from thinking that, like, Dexter’s going to, like, leave her because she’s not putting out. And so then she starts to be like the sexual aggressor and he’s clearly uncomfortable with it.

Callie [01:29:27] And there’s just all of these moments where I was like, I know that this is like a little bit of an older show and we have better language now. We have better visibility in media for like queer experiences or, you know, somewhat better neuroatypical experiences. But I just was like, just say like I’m asexual or I’m not really into sex. And like, please don’t feel pressured into it, you know, or like-

Nichole [01:29:51] And like, please don’t do that. I don’t, I actually don’t want you to do that, stop.

Callie [01:29:52] Right! Please don’t call me that there is an emergency and I show up and there’s not an emergency and you’re just like in a fuckin nightie. Like, that’s really fucking upsetting. Or even him saying things to Deb and Rita, like, hey, I need, like, alone time. Like, he could even be like, I’m an introvert and I need more time to myself. There’s just like, he never says the thing and it’s all because, like, he feels like he has to do all these things to fit in and to provide a good enough cover. But it’s like, but we know that there are people that just like are somewhat, you know, on a spectrum of like how much time alone you need or how much like sex you want in a relationship. And it was just really frustrating to see like that not be taken seriously by the show or any of the people around him, especially like the women that he was really close to, you know?

Callie [01:30:55] Like Deb not finding out until, what, season five that she actually basically doesn’t know her own brother at all. And like, yeah, it was just extremely frustrating that because this show has so many experiences that like queer people or neuroatypical people could relate to, and honestly do relate to are similar to. But then that all gets kind of like muddy mixed into him being a killer. And then it’s just like this, these violent acts shouldn’t really be blending with things that like are real and these people are just like not treating him respectfully or having good consent for him. And it’s like, are we supposed to feel that way because he’s a killer or are we supposed to feel that way because he’s like a man and the women around him like just don’t get him or aren’t, you know, brought up to think that, like, men have emotional needs? It’s just very clumsy. And I think it just does a lot of, like, harm, you know?

Nichole [01:32:07] Yeah, and I think that’s why media like this, too, does end up appealing to a certain demographic who then do glorify the main character because they are, in a way, seeing themselves represented in a way that they don’t typically. You know, you have this kind of character who’s less common or you have like the successful alpha male stereotype that is more common, right. And so, yeah, a lot of guys will look at that and say that’s what I wish I was so maybe I enjoy the show as like wish, like fantasy fulfillment or wish fulfillment. But like they can look at Dexter and be like, oh, shit, that is kind of how I am. And so this person is like even more like me. And I think I was, was it on The Take that like that show actually did inspire murders?

Callie [01:33:04] Oh, I don’t remember seeing that in The Take.

Nichole [01:33:06] I feel like I saw that somewhere that they were saying like people actually did, like kill other people in this way.

Callie [01:33:15] Big yikes.

Nichole [01:33:16] Big yikes. And it’s like, you can’t….

Callie [01:33:17] Yeah.

Nichole [01:33:17] You know, I don’t want to, like, overly blame them for that because people do all kinds of stuff with media that you can’t control. But I think it speaks to the fact that it was glorifying something and it was kind of, it was trying to say in a weird way, it did an amazing job of showing how unfair it was, the way that people coded him because he was different. But then at the end of the day, it always kept coming back to like, that is why he was different, though. Do you know what I’m saying? So it was kind of equating psychopathy with, like being different.

Callie [01:33:56] Yeah.

Nichole [01:33:58] And the whole show is kind of centered around like, can he ever be normal? Which again, could be interesting to explore from a certain perspective of like what is normal and what does that mean, and why are we all trying to be this thing called normal? But of course, like, it doesn’t, it doesn’t do it that way. Everything that’s wrong with him is his killing. But his killing also informs what is different about him. Whereas when I watch his show, it was so clear to me. I actually wanted to look it up, I haven’t researched it yet, but I would not be shocked if, like, people who worked on this are on the spectrum and maybe did it without realizing. But it’s so clear to me that, like, his killing has nothing to do with the way that people are reading him. It’s really literally like he is just neurodivergent. He’s just different. Maybe he’s asexual and he’s being, he’s being forced to assimilate the way that so many of us feel that we have to. Like when we can navigate social norms enough to be part of them, but not enough to, like, actually pass, right? That’s the experience that I’ve had. That’s the experience that Callie’s had. Like the people who are coded as high functioning when you know, that’s the last thing that you feel like you are. But-

Callie [01:35:26] I can’t even hear “high functioning” without laughing.

Nichole [01:35:31] It’s a trap! Yeah. So anyway, yeah, it’s just very unfortunate that like, I don’t think it’s necessarily wrong that he was a serial killer, but it just would have required some really sophisticated writing and a really deep dive into, like, what are we doing? And I think the way out of that would have been through Harry. Because as we continue to start seeing flashbacks of Dexter’s adoptive father, Harry, it’s Harry’s code, right? That’s what we hear this whole show is it’s Harry’s code that Dexter follows to make sure that he’s killing people who are actually bad. And so Harry is just this figure. Like we know that Dexter is adopted. We don’t know what happened to him or why, Harry was a cop, you know, he was part of the Miami PD. Deb was neglected by Harry once he adopted Dexter because Harry realized that Dexter was a serial killer or had these tendencies and then dedicated all of his time and energy to trying to train Dexter on how to get away with it and how to only kill bad people.

Nichole [01:36:45] So, so many things here y’all. This could be a whole fucking other show, but I’ll try to keep it. Two things is one, this is like, again, the epitome of like white male exceptionalism is like you think that this kid is gonna be a serial killer and instead of figuring out something else, your solution is that no matter what, don’t get caught and I’m going to teach you how to get away with it. Right? I’m not a fan of institutionalizing people and I know that we don’t have good services in place because a lot of people, if they’re caught as kids, actually can be rehabilitated and end up not killing people. But there is such a stigma around it that like parents don’t want to turn their kids in, so to speak, because then they’ll be coded as like, you know, these outsiders, these potentially dangerous people even if they are rehabbed and are fine. Anyway, so, like, that could have been something to explore, but no Harry’s like, all right kid, you’re going to kill. Let me help you do that in a way where you don’t get caught and like hopefully you can keep it to like just these bad people.

Nichole [01:38:05] So anyway, so we know this and on the surface it’s kind of like OK I guess that makes sense. But then we start seeing flashbacks of how Harry actually did this and it was intensely abusive. Harry was telling him like, you’re a monster, you’re evil, like you are never going to be normal. You’re never going to have normal things. You need to fake it. You need to mask 24/7. Never let your guard down because people will see you for what you are, right? You have to go on dates that you don’t want to go on seem normal. You have to perform these social things to seem normal. Like he even teaches, like there’s a scene where they’re taking a family picture and Harry’s like, you know, they take the picture and then Harry’s like Dexter, you didn’t smile. And he’s like, I don’t feel like smiling. Why do I need to smile? And he’s like, normal people smile. So it’s literally down to, like, his little minute facial expressions.

Nichole [01:39:05] Which, again, for neurodivergent people is a common thing that people are constantly policing your facial expressions, and part of masking is learning. And so Dexter does that. He smiles for the picture. And then there’s some scene later where Harry’s not smiling. And Dexter is and he’s like… I don’t know, it comes up again where Dexter’s like you gotta seem normal, Dad. You better put a smile on your face, right, so we can see he’s internalized this need to mask all the time and that when we see him smiling, it’s not real. And that’s like heartbreaking. So we see that his dad is, like, incredibly abusive and is basically saying the way that you are is not OK. And I need you to act normal so that you pass or else you’re gonna be in trouble, right? And so, again, it’s complicated by the fact that, like, it’s around killing people. But when we look at what is actually happening, his dad is actually just saying, you’re fucking weird, you’re different, and that’s not going to be OK. And I’m gonna basically beat this into you of how to be normal and how to act normal. And in that process, what I was coming to is that I think the show could have gotten out of this sort of trap of like, he’s weird because he’s a killer, by exploring that maybe Harry turned him into a killer by assuming that these early signs meant that he definitely would be and by abusing him and adding to the trauma that he already had.

Callie [01:40:42] Well and I think that’s why season eight was so interesting.

Nichole [01:40:46] So interesting!

Callie [01:40:47] But sorry, I didn’t mean to cut you off.

Nichole [01:40:50] Well, I was just going to end with, and by extension he ends up, Harry, ends up traumatizing and abusing Deb with neglect because he’s so fixated on Dexter. And we see scenes of things like the mom got Deb, a dog, a puppy at one point, and then Harry freaks out because he thinks Dexter is going to kill the puppy so he makes the mom, like, take the dog back. And we see Deb’s devastated. And then Dexter was going to confess to Deb that like, the dad, because Deb’s like, I just don’t understand, like, why would she take the dog? It just doesn’t make any sense to me. And the dad’s like, because of Dexter. And then he comes up with this lie that Dexter has a dog allergy so they can’t have a dog. But we see Dexter is about to confess to Deb, they’re little kids, like, why, because Dad was afraid I was going to kill the dog, and Harry finds him and, like, interrupts and he’s like, what were you going to say to your sister? And he’s like, you know you can’t be around a dog. And Dexter’s like, I wouldn’t have hurt the dog. Like, it’s Deb’s dog. I wouldn’t have hurt the dog.

Nichole [01:42:03] And we see that he clearly does have this control. Like, one of the ways that they code him as a good guy is that we never feel like any of these women in his life or anyone he’s close to is ever in danger from him. We just know he would never hurt them. And we see that tested. And again and again, he’s like, he just would never, like he would never hurt his sister. So we know that like, he does have this measure of control where he’s not just gonna be killing the family dog because he’s this like out of control serial killer. So I think it was just such a good scene. The show didn’t do what it should’ve with it, but it was such a good scene to show that Harry was actually like funneling him into this role that he maybe wouldn’t have actually been into you.

Nichole [01:42:52] I know most of us are vegan here, so it’s upsetting to talk about, like, you know, animal abuse or killing or whatever but I have read that like, yes, killing small animals at a young age is a sign of psychopathy and that you might end up being a serial killer, but it’s not a guarantee. They say that actually a lot more people do it, then end up going on to like killing humans or whatever. So it’s just, you know, it’s another thing where like, yeah, that could have been a sign of something. But Harry read it as like, this is your destiny. This is going to happen. And now I have to help you, like, be as least of a monster as possible and in that process, I’m going to abuse my daughter by neglecting her, by taking things away from her. And also for any of us who’ve grown up in a family with secrets like, it’s also just that air of like, you just know something is off. But like, no one is telling the truth and no one is talking about it.

Callie [01:43:55] Yeah. Which really fucks you up like it’s, yeah. Hard to understate like how much just living in that kind of environment of like not really ever being able to get to the truth or have open conversations really fucks with your sense of the world and your ability to, like, be in relationships fully, you know. But, yeah and that was what the show, like that was something that the show did that was so fucking interesting and that’s why season eight was so good, because we bring in, the show introduces this psychiatrist, this woman who gets brought in as like an expert on a case and she’s actually like an expert on psychopaths. And she seems, very from the beginning, to have, like, this kind of awareness or fixation on Dexter and Dexter seems to be kind of drawn to her, too. And we find out pretty quickly that she actually was good friends with Harry and she helped Harry develop the code and helped teach Harry how to basically mold Dexter into, like, the good killer he grows up to be.

Callie [01:45:17] But she did it in a very, like her views on him were very different. So her whole thing was that she thought psychopaths were a gift of nature and that they were very special and that he shouldn’t feel ashamed of, like how he was different or that he had these like, needs to kill people. And that got a little skeevy. I mean like, I kind of like that after so many seasons of him grappling with what Harry did to him and being really angry about Harry and realizing that some of the ways Harry fixated on him and molded him was like actually inappropriate. And even Deb, like, when she finally realizes that Dexter is a serial killer, she kind of immediately gets, she thinks that she can basically, like, help Dexter, almost like a rehab. Like go through a kind of boot camp where she’s going to, like, be on him 24/7 and he’ll never be alone and that eventually, he’ll just, like, be able to white knuckle his way through the like, the killing need and then it won’t be like a problem anymore. And she’s even, like, telling Dexter, like, what Dad did to you is like not OK. Like him teaching you how to be a killer instead of teaching you how to, like, not be a killer is like abusive and I don’t agree.

Callie [01:46:53] Now, she didn’t really have a full sense of who he was at that point. Like realizing, I mean, she knew he was a killer, but not really like how deep the trauma and supposed psychopathy went. But then in season eight, you get this, like, really interesting woman who’s there, kind of like, oh, I was kind of a puppet master behind Harry’s code. But while his code and teaching and kind of abusive tactics came out of his, like, fear and really a disgust for Dexter, she didn’t feel that way. She was like you’re special. You’re, you know, you’re, psychopaths are… Which like, OK, we need to talk about this for a minute. She was like, psychopaths have always been around. They’re like a gift of nature. And she was like, and the reason we have, humans have progressed in the way we have is because of psychopaths. Which like, what? That was really, she never really explained that. I mean, she said at one point that like people that are like inventors or CEOs or politicians, like they have psychopathic traits which helps them get, to like to be who they are. Which, with no irony first of all. So I was like watching this is an anticapitalist anarchist. I’m like, yeah, it’s actually not good that CEOs-.

Nichole [01:48:27] Right. Yeah. I’m like, you’re right. What she said was accurate. You’re just saying it’s a positive thing versus a negative thing. Like she’s like we wouldn’t have gotten to where we are today without psychopaths. And I’m like, correct.

Callie [01:48:40] Yeah.

Nichole [01:48:41] But we’re in a bad place, lady.

Callie [01:48:44] Yeah. Yeah, I mean, it’s actually not cool that someone can amass an obscene amount of wealth through exploitation of hundreds, if not thousands of people.

Nichole [01:48:53] Right. Like that’s not something to aspire to or celebrate.

Callie [01:49:00] Right. So that was interesting. But yeah, that’s why season eight was so good because it really explored this. But then, like the show always does, it fuckin muddied the waters. By season eight, we really see Dexter actually realizing for the first – for the first, but also kind of like the eighth time – that he like does have feelings or can bond with the people around him. And that these people that he had kept in his life as cover, he actually was emotionally connected with. So it’s like, well, was he not a psychopath then?

Nichole [01:49:40] We’ll never know.

Callie [01:49:43] That’s really shitty of the show to, like, present this whole idea that maybe he was just, instead of being taught how to kill, he could have been helped, deal with the trauma of watching his mom murdered in front of him.

Nichole [01:50:04] Right. Yes, and I think a final nail in the coffin of misogyny of this fucking show is that we find out that this doctor lady, the reason she is obsessed with Dexter and with psychopaths is because her son is also one and she ended up locking him away in an institution and he set fire to the place and died. Only, spoiler alert! He didn’t. And he comes back and he is an actual psychopath. And like she tries to redeem him, like, this is her biggest regret in life and it’s like this thing that she can’t get over and she’s dedicated her whole to career to studying psychopaths to see if they can be rehabilitated in some way. And participating in this like, off the book stuff like with Dexter forming this code with Harry to give Dexter to see if it worked. And, you know, her son comes back and he’s beyond the point of being rehabbed and he ends up killing her in front of Dexter. Which is actually a very good scene in its own way, of you know, just because Dexter had been looking at her like a mother figure and like trying to protect her and, you know, whatever.

Nichole [01:51:24] So, like, that storyline is fine just entertainment-wise, but it does say that, like Harry, the dad, did the right thing by abusing the shit out of Dexter and giving him this code and that this mother did the wrong thing and that her turning away from her son was really what made him what he was versus him being born that way. So, you know what I’m saying? Like it’s like another like way that like, oh, any woman in the show who turns away is like the devil. Versus like I think it’s, you know, he talks about like how bad the institution was and stuff, and it probably was and there is a lot of space to talk about, again, I’m like pretty anti institutionalizing people for that reason. But like, there was no space in the show for us to have, like, understanding and sympathy for her that, like, she could see this in her son and tried to do the right thing. Tried to give him, cause that’s what she says. Like, I tried to get him help and I was trying to protect other people from him. And I, like, always loved him, but she ended up feeling guilty. So she didn’t go to see him.

Nichole [01:52:36] And there’s just like this sense that he’s just like this cold, unknowable, almost like Lovecraftian force, the way the actor plays him, he’s just like this alien killing machine. And so there could have been room to explore, like maybe that is just how he was always going to be and there was no way to prevent it. But it’s kind of framed around like it’s her abandonment that made him this way. And it was her indirect love and like supportive of Dexter that made Dexter able to be out in the world the way he is and have this code and like have a family and have a life and friends and all of this stuff. So, yeah, it’s just another way that, like, women are framed as like the caretakers and responsible for men around them. It was a great season.

Callie [01:53:36] Yeah, yeah.

Nichole [01:53:37] Even so, it was pretty well done.

Callie [01:53:39] Yeah, it was very good. Well, and I just loved the payoff of, like, you know, all of this talk about, like, what psychopath’s really are and what, it was just really interesting having her come in as this kind of like expert and explain some things about Dexter but then also having this like, very opposite perspective of anyone else. You know, like Dexter had so much self-loathing because of what he was taught by Harry. And just because of all of the pressure of everyone else around him, really kind of pushing him into always masking and trying to present himself as normal. And then you have her coming in who’s kind of like, yeah, you’re different. Like, it’s cool. You’re special. You know, like that was really… It again, would be very healing, except for the fact that it’s like he’s a fucking killer, though. Like I just… Like yes, I want-

Nichole [01:54:37] Well even if she had been like, through my studies, I’ve realized that early intervention, like you, you could have probably come out of this without, you know. It’s a little convoluted that her areas of study were like, oh, let’s let them kill. Let’s just, like, teach them to kill the right people. Versus like she could have been like I’ve been studying psychopathy my entire career and it turns out that, like, for a lot of people, if you intervene and there’s some stuff… Because it’s like that with narcissists as well. Like they’re discovering if you have really early intervention, you can help people, kind of, you know, just… I mean, there’s still debate over whether teaching them to be normal is right or not. But there’s ways that they, like, they can integrate better into society and have more of the things that they may want to have.

Callie [01:55:26] Yeah.

Nichole [01:55:27] So, yeah, to have her come in and be like, yeah, you’re different and that’s fine. And really what happened is you didn’t get the help you needed when you were younger and you were abused and now you’re here. But instead, it was like, yeah, you’re different, that’s fine, and it’s cool that you kill people. I’m so proud of you. I love what you’re doing. Don’t ever stop.

Callie [01:55:50] “I love what you’re doing, don’t ever stop”! I love this for you!

Nichole [01:55:50] I mean literally she was like, I love this for you. I really want this to keep going. But yeah, it was, yeah, interesting. I think maybe my last hot take for this episode is that I just noticed there is definitely some, I don’t know if it’s appropriate to call it colorism or what. But like first of all, everyone that Dexter was involved with was white. So, like, he didn’t have any nonwhite girlfriends. But there was a lot of coding. And I think part of it is just cheesy writing where people just get overly swept up in, like, obvious symbology. But like all of the good people he dated who helped to redeem him, had blond hair and were like very white. Whereas like the women who ended up being more like the shrieking harpies that had to be put down, had dark hair. Or you had Deb who is like, turned into this like, sacrificial figure for his behalf. And who ended up being in love with her brother, y’all.

Callie [01:57:09] Oh, I can’t even!

Nichole [01:57:10] We don’t have the time or the energy.

Callie [01:57:12] No.

Nichole [01:57:13] We just can’t. They did Deb so dirty. That show just fucking annihilated her entire character. Like, it just reveled in punishing her. It just was gross to watch. But anyway, we see that like, Deb has feelings for Dexter and it’s just made so obvious that like he does not return the feelings at all and she’s just supposed to stew in these like feelings for him. And this is very typical of like brunette women who are involved with him, is like he ends up killing them in some way and that, like the love is not requited. Whereas the blonde ones end up getting his commitment. They end up redeeming him. They end up like being these like sacred figures in his life. So there’s that.

Nichole [01:58:01] And then, yeah, there’s just a lot of, like I said, like there are a lot of like Doakes who’s black and Maria, who is Cuban, like, end up getting sacrificed on his behalf. And the thing that made me the most uncomfortable, that was the most like mask off for the show was in season two Dexter has Doakes contained. Doakes is a detective that works at Miami PD and he’s like onto Dexter and he’s going to reveal him to be this mass murderer, this mass serial killer. And so he’s got Doakes locked up in this remote cabin and he’s trying to figure out, like grapple with his code and be like, am I going to kill him? What am I going to do with him? And he comes back. So he, like, leaves to process. Dexter comes back and he tells Doakes, I did the math and my life is just more important than yours.

Nichole [01:58:59] And I was like, you have a white dude talking to a black man who he literally has chained up in a cage saying that, like, I have more of a life than you so like my life is more valuable and I, like you’re gonna be the one to be sacrificed. And he was gonna sacrifice and he decided to not kill him. But he was going to frame him for these, they found like 30 of Dexter’s bodies and were calling him, well, we’re calling the killer the Bay Harbor Butcher. So Dexter was framing Doakes for all of these murders. And so he’s sending him to prison because he determined that his own life was more valuable than Doakes. And I was like, yikes. Like, big yikes here, y’all. And we’re supposed to kind of agree with Dexter. The narrative framing is that we’re supposed to sort of like be on Dexter’s side because we’re supposed to want him to continue to be free.

Nichole [02:00:01] And they have this weird scene with Doakes where, Doakes isn’t married, he doesn’t have kids, but he has a mom and some sisters. And we have this very weird scene where Deb is with him at one point, we think that they might start dating and they end up not. But Deb and him are partners and he like has her come over for dinner with his mother and his sisters. And he’s just being a dick the whole time. Like, he’s like, I don’t want to be here. We’re gonna be in and out. I hate having to come here and have dinner with them. And then we see during the dinner that, like Doakes’ family is fucking awesome. Like, they’re all funny and like smart and they’re just like, love him so much and they’re like having this, like, wonderful conversation, like, just this lighthearted, like just it kind of, like it just made me, since I don’t have a family, I’m always very much like when something feels very family in like a healthy way, it just makes my heart swell. And I had that feeling like I would be honored to be at that table.

Nichole [02:01:02] And so it’s just a very weird framing of this black family that like this family, is wonderful and loving and accepting, and yet he doesn’t want to participate in it. And then that’s what he says to Dexter, because Dexter is like, you know, you don’t have a wife, you don’t have kids, blah blah blah. And he’s like, I have like my mother and my sisters. And he’s like, yeah, but you don’t hang out with them. Like, you don’t want to be around them. And somehow this is like reason enough to punish him. And I just have to think it’s some like, hopefully unintentional, but like some kind of judgment on black men and their involvement with their families. And I just found it like so unbelievably offensive and just disgusting, honestly, it’s really gross.

Nichole [02:01:51] So anyway, this show definitely has… And it’s another thing that it sucks because otherwise there is a lot of cool stuff about the show, like the show set in Miami. And there’s so many people speaking Spanish. There’s so much integration of Cuban culture. There’s so much, like in specifically of Cuban culture in Miami, like there’s so much representation of that, and of the food and the people. And like there’s a lot of scenes where people are speaking Spanish to each other and there’s no translation. So it’s like not for non-Spanish speakers. And there’s a lot of, like, code-switching, you know, people speaking both languages. And it just had such an amazing atmosphere of like, like being centered in a not predominantly white space. But unfortunately, there’s also still this fucking racism through the show that isn’t explored. It’s not like, oh, here’s racism to explore it and dismantle it. It’s just fucking there in the narrative. And it’s gross.

Callie [02:02:57] Yeah. Yeah, I mean, I feel like we could keep talking about this show for several more hours. But yeah, I think that’s a good point. And I would also just end on like every character got fucked over by Dexter and the fact that the show, whether directly or indirectly, right, every person around Dexter was kind of this like sacrifice, whether they knew it or not, into like protecting him. And apparently, this is something Nichole informed me of, but that because this show was so popular and it was like Showtime’s only, you know, kind of written and produced show, like a big deal at the time, that the writers were told, like, you can’t kill Dexter and you can’t have him, like, get into a position where he can’t, like, get out of it. Like he gets caught and found out and thrown in jail or whatever.

Callie [02:03:58] So, like… And you can see that. Like you can see that in the writing, that there is always this like easy out, that every other character ends up like making a choice where it wasn’t what they wanted or they’re deeply unhappy or they get killed or just whatever. I mean, the end of a show like Angel’s running the police department when all he wanted to do was like retire and, like, run a restaurant. What the guy, I always forget his fate, the one that you like, Quinn. Quinn is a fucking psycho. Like, he’s just, he’s, he’s…

Nichole [02:04:45] Or a heartbroken fiancé, however you look at it.

Callie [02:04:47] Well, yeah. But like he’s now lost Deb and doesn’t get any closure. So, you know, he’s about to just like fuckin tornado through his own life and Angel’s life, grieving.

Nichole [02:05:04] Yeah, yeah. Like, Angel’s gonna watch Quinn self-destruct and just not be able to do anything about it.

Callie [02:05:09] Right! LaGuerta’s dead. Doakes is dead. Deb is dead and doesn’t even get the decency of a proper funeral. Or that the people around her that loved her get to, like, grieve her in the right way. Like Dexter just literally steals her body from the hospital and drives his boat into a hurricane. So, like, I mean, everyone can assume that she’s dead. But, like, there’s just to deprive them of that and to any sort of satisfying ending. Like the show doesn’t write her going out by like, yes, so she technically dies by getting shot, but not, not like directly.

Nichole [02:05:52] She dies by blood clot.

Callie [02:05:53] Yes. She like gets shot, but then she gets kind of saved, but then she has a stroke from a blood clot and then it basically gets turned into like, you know, she’s like brain dead. And I’m like, what an unsatisfying way for her to go. Like, she doesn’t even get a hero’s death. She shouldn’t have died anyway but if she’s going to, she doesn’t even get a hero’s death.

Nichole [02:06:12] Well and she doesn’t get a thematic death.

Callie [02:06:14] Right.

Nichole [02:06:14] Like nothing about her death factored into the show at all. Like it didn’t serve any kind of purpose in the narrative. Besides the fact that Dexter ends up killing her by unplugging her. Which, ableism by the way, because we don’t even see a scene where she’s like, hey, if I’m hooked up to machines, like at that point, you know, just, it’s fine. So we just see Dexter being like, well, this is awful and I’m immediately going to kill you because, why? So anyway, yeah, it’s just such a copout because obviously one of the main tensions running throughout the show is like, what would Deb do if she found out, and would Dexter kill her to protect himself? And instead, they have Deb find out, immediately accept it, blow up her own life to protect him, and then die indirectly. And then Dexter kills her. But it’s like, no.

Callie [02:07:09] And right before she has the blood clot, so she’s like lying in a hospital bed, so it’s like their last scene together, though neither one of them really know it. She tells Dexter to not feel bad about like anything he’s ever done. That she wants him to be happy, that he deserves happiness, and that basically he should not feel guilty for anything. You have Deb, whose entire life has been trashed by him and his trauma, which isn’t completely his own fault, but still, basically being like, I absolve you of everything you’ve ever done.

Callie [02:07:49] And then the show has the fucking audacity to be like he got his just desserts in the end because his ending is that he faked his own death and is now living as a lumberjack in the middle of god knows where without his fiancée? Wife? They didn’t technically get married, right? The woman, he ended up ending up with, Hannah, and his child. He’s away from them forever. And so his, the show was like, what’s the… The writers literally said this, and it drives me up the wall, because they’re like, what could be the most painful thing that we could do to him? Have him realize that he loves these people, that he actually values connections and then have to sacrifice those to protect them because he’s ruining their lives by being in their lives. And it’s like you literally just abandoned your child and the woman you’re in a relationship with. She’s now stuck raising your kid and everyone else lives-

Nichole [02:08:56] She’s also a serial killer, by the way.

Callie [02:08:59] Thank you.

Nichole [02:09:00] And she seems to have no code because they talk about that extensively. And it’s like you just left your kid with this person who has no code.

Callie [02:09:12] Right.

Nichole [02:09:12] And you’re not there. So, like, if they get sick of that kid… And the child that they hired to be the kid in the last season was so annoying.

Callie [02:09:21] I love how you’re so annoyed by him.

Nichole [02:09:21] That I’m like, his life is in danger because he’s fucking annoying.

Callie [02:09:28] Yeah.

Nichole [02:09:28] So just, but yeah, and they don’t even know what happened. So it’s not like… Like people kept getting hurt around you because you kept killing.

Callie [02:09:34] Right.

Nichole [02:09:34] Like you kept playing games with other serial killers.

Callie [02:09:37] Yes.

Nichole [02:09:38] If you just stopped doing that, it would be fine. And the thing is like this, this punishment, first of all, very arguable if it’s actually a punishment. And second of all-

Callie [02:09:46] It’s not. It’s not arguable. I’m giving my official ruling. It is no kind of actually, any form of accountability.

Nichole [02:09:58] Right. But also like, in no way did this show make us want him to be punished in that way. Him becoming, you know, him being a pariah, I guess you could say, like a martyr, is not satisfying to anything that was set up in the show. The main conflict in the show was that he had this secret and what would happen if everyone else knew it? So him going off and people thinking he’s dead and then he died as a blood splatter analyst and a dad doesn’t resolve that conflict for us. At all. And there’s so many ways that they could have kept him alive and could have kept him not in prison but still resolved that conflict for us. And they just didn’t. And it just ends up being ridiculous and unsatisfying and honestly offensive.

Callie [02:10:54] Well, and the fact that he is making this decision. He’s choosing to kill Deb. He’s choosing to dump her body in the same ocean where his victims went.

Nichole [02:11:08] Yeah, weird symbolism there, Dex.

Callie [02:11:10] Right. And deprive the other people in their lives of any sort of closure for both of them. And he’s choosing to abandon his kid without even communicating that to Hannah. And for all she knows, he’s dead. He is choosing to abandon his stepchildren, which, yes, were being raised by their grandparents. But still no closure. And they now will never find their half-brother, the baby that’s now with Hannah. Like the fact that he is making all of these decisions and the show doesn’t question that, like the show doesn’t go like maybe stop fucking with people’s lives. Like maybe that’s you being held accountable is you realizing that you playing these games with serial killers and you killing and you doing all this shit behind people’s back was actually the reason people were in danger. It’s not you, just you being in their lives. So like maybe stop manipulating and pulling the strings of everyone.

Callie [02:12:13] Like, I just hate that this, for anyone who identified with Dexter and him, like feeling like he had to do all these things. This show ended with them, with the, with being reaffirmed that he was doing the right thing by constantly manipulating them all and making the decisions for them. And that any of the damage that he’s done is like, fine.

Nichole [02:12:44] Yeah.

Callie [02:12:44] That’s very, very irresponsible.

Nichole [02:12:45] Because he’s repentant. Right, he’s like paying, he’s… What do they call that? Penance? Right, like, he’s like serving his time basically in isolation.

Callie [02:12:57] Yeah.

Nichole [02:12:58] And that’s absolving him of all of his sins. And it’s like, no, no, it doesn’t work that way.

Callie [02:13:04] Yeah.

Nichole [02:13:05] Yeah. So anyway, Dexter. Mostly trash. But some very interesting themes brought up in it. And honestly, just for me, it’s a huge miss. Like a huge missed opportunity, because there really were some amazing things proposed in it that just weren’t delivered on. Still very entertaining. If you haven’t seen it or you haven’t, you want to rewatch it, I do recommend. Like I said, I watched it very quickly because I just was completely engaged in it. So it is still very entertaining. But yeah, it’s also like total trash.

Callie [02:13:46] Yeah, I just… Yeah, I mean, it was entertaining. But I’m also like, this show is actually very dangerous. And I do think, Landon just brought up, you know, do we feel like this paved the way for You, this brooding, attractive white dude who kills people and like, absolutely. I think this is like, it probably paved the way for a lot of things. Right, this like-

Nichole [02:14:14] Well, I think You is like a response to this show.

Callie [02:14:19] Yeah. That’s a good point.

Nichole [02:14:23] But yeah, I mean, I do think You is a response to this show, because when Dexter was on, people like we’re obsessed with Dexter, like the kill shirt, like Dexter and his kill shirt was like a whole fucking sexual fantasy that everyone was having. And like, if you look at the promotional materials for the show, it’s like very sexy. Like, they definitely amped up, like the sex appeal of like Dexter and the artistry of like the blood splatter and stuff. And I do think that this is one of the things that paved the way for You as a response to that.

Nichole [02:14:58] Because You is an ingenious show. I fucking love it. And that’s what it’s doing, is like, do you see how much we let white men get away with? And do you see how we romanticize behavior that is extremely problematic? And like You is another show that the second it lets you feel a little comfortable with the main character and maybe root for him a little bit, it immediately will remind you that he’s a really bad dude. Highly recommend. But I do think that this was like a foundational trope in genre that You is responding to.

Callie [02:15:34] Yeah, yeah, I mean, I feel like there is a period of time, and we’re still kind of in it, although I think you’re right, like You is kind of a sign that some shows are getting a little bit more aware. But of these, like you mentioned right at the start of this episode, of this kind of like antihero, this dark, broody guy who’s got trauma, who is like, violent or kind of lives by-

Nichole [02:15:57] We have vampires now too.

Callie [02:16:00] Yeah. Who lives by his own code, right, kind of outside of what society deems appropriate or okay or not. But then can kind of be redeemed by the love of the people around them. Yikes.

Nichole [02:16:21] Yeah.

Callie [02:16:21] So, yeah.

Nichole [02:16:22] Yeah.

Callie [02:16:25] But anyway.

Nichole [02:16:25] So that’s it!

Callie [02:16:26] That’s it.

Nichole [02:16:26] Dexter. That’s it.

Callie [02:16:28] Yeah.

Nichole [02:16:29] Yeah. That’s all. Just the scant two and a half hours of it.

Callie [02:16:34] Yes.

Nichole [02:16:35] Yeah, and I have so much more to say, but I think we hit on all the major themes. Like a lot of what I would say is just bringing up, like, specific things and analyzing them. So I do think this is something I feel pretty called to do videos about so we’ll see. But if you enjoyed this video, give us a like, subscribe, ring the bell, leave a comment. You can leave three stab emojis as a comment if you don’t have anything to say, and I promise I will take them in a loving way and not be scared. But do what you want. You can join us every Sunday at 12:00 p.m. Pacific Time to join the live stream of these episodes. And, you know, if you’re listening on the pod, thanks. We appreciate you.

Callie [02:17:29] Yeah.

Nichole [02:17:29] All right y’all.

Callie [02:17:31] We’ll talk to you next week.

Nichole [02:17:32] We’ll talk to you next week. Buh-bye. Now you have to say it!

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