Dexter – Born Free (ep. 112): Ice Truck Killer’s demise


In Dexter’s Born Free, the Ice Truck Killer became yesterday’s news, Doakes grew to distrust Dexter more, and we saw Dexter as more caring.

About halfway through Dexter‘s first season we saw the Ice Truck Killer was actually a prosthetist called Rudy. However, the season one finale totally spelled out his backstory, including his real name: Brian Moser (Christian Camargo).

We learn he was older brother to Dexter (Michael C. Hall), and that they were both witnesses to the horrible murder of their mother in a shipping container. By this point, Brian Moser was known to be a killer, but we didn’t quite know what he was to Dexter. He had kidnapped Dexter’s stepsister Deb (Jennifer Carpenter), stabbed Angel Batista (David Zayas) and slaughtered a bunch of prostitutes, but Dexter still felt conflicted about him.

Rita Bennett: Deb must be a mess. I mean falling for a serial killer?
Dexter Morgan: What are the odds?

Still, there were reasons Dex wouldn’t go along with Brian. The reality of Dexter and Harry’s code was well-established, as was the bond between Dexter and Deb. While Dex and Brian shared a secret life, it wasn’t exactly the same secret.

To spell out the obvious: Brian was unhinged, targeting anyone while Dexter would only target other miscreants. Still, there are other, equally important factors that shouldn’t be overlooked. By this point, it seemed obvious that Brian was going to get caught, one way or the other. Doakes (Erik King) learned that Rudy’s blood matched the stains on Angel’s collar.

In fact, Doakes even followed Dex to a certain shipping container, suggesting he might eventually unveil the connection between the two brothers. Dexter siding against Brian made sense, even from the vantage point of shutting him up.

Dexter’s troubled existence

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There’s another (probably more theoretical) reason Dex inevitably kills Brian: Dexter’s internal angst at his past, present and hypothetical future. See, Dex was revealed to be a complex character even within the first season.

In many ways, he is brimming with internal contradictions and a tortured past. Though his stepfather’s code prevents him from going totally maniacal, he still knows he has dark urges. He understands that they clash with his outer, professional persona. There must be some self-hatred going on in a character like this, and it seems to be conveyed in different ways.

Despite constantly insisting he feels nothing, Dex is certainly capable of self-deprecation and is obviously protective of Rita (Julie Benz) and the kids. In episode 11 (Truth Be Told) of the season, he hit Rita’s ex, Paul Bennett (Mark Pellegrino) over the head, drugged him and framed him back to prison. This was many things, but it was also a huge risk for Dexter to take. Paul was a source of frustration, making Dex feel both unsafe and inadequate as a protector of his burgeoning family. It’s ironic, then, that his darker impulses played a role in possibly genuinely protecting Rita.

Anyway, Dexter’s capacity to take risks is both part of the thrill and an assumed chore. Also, his code is used to mask blood lust and respect himself as a semi-normal person. Indeed, as this episode ends, we see Dex fantasizing about the world accepting him for who he is.

Though it’s a humorous sequence, one can sense that this a part of the serial killer mentality. It’s perverted in many ways, sure, but serial killers often do end up leading respectable outer lives as a further way of masking their inner turmoil. They don’t wish to be seen as weak, troubled or weird. In fact, I seem to recall Ted Bundy interviews where he emphasizes himself as a normal guy.

Serial killers lack empathy and are selfish, but nevertheless have moments where they are more human than even they expect. It’s probably a way of further rationalizing what they do, as they probably see it merely as an occasional activity.

Well, that’s Dex, no doubt about it. Killing Brian was just a natural extension of all this, and also a symbolic way of even moving forward from his troubled past. If we imagine Dex as being real, it also makes sense he wouldn’t want his brother as a competitor, especially when he made them both get sloppy toward the end. Brian Moser — the Ice Truck Killer — was ultimately a loose end who had to go.

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That’s it for this Dexter recap! What are your thoughts? Let us know in the comments!