Theory in a Digital Age: A Project of English 483 Students, Coastal Carolina University

Film Analysis Part 2

The last group of doubles can be seen all throughout the TV series Dexter. Strauss defines the transformation double as: where the person may have double selves. Whereas in The Black Swan we saw Nina had an actual double or a mirror double, it is quite the opposite in Dexter. The TV series premiered in 2006 and ran til 2013; narrating the story behind Dexter Morgan, a Miami blood splatter expert who not only solved murders, but committed them too. Throughout the series, you see Dexter struggle with his addiction to kill. However, Dexter is no ordinary serial killer, he is the serial killer of other guilty killers that slipped through the hands of justice law. It is the idea of the narratology double that creates the story behind Dexter’s character. Dexter being someone who works for the police force must be extra careful not to get caught. If there wasn’t already enough pressure on him not to get caught, there was even more pressure on him not to be caught by his cop sister Deb and their other work friends within their unit in Miami. The narrative that was created for Dexter is what creates his double – and alternate personality or ego. There is Dexter the blood splatter analyst and then there is Dexter the serial killer. He lives one life, but at the same time leads two separate personalities. The two personalities which he holds are both aware of one another. This is what gives the show that unique use of the double. Quite often throughout the series you will see how the reflection double is used when Dexter tries to contemplate whether he should kill someone. His serial killer self may appear and tell him to kill in a mirror, but then his true self tells him when or when not to do it, which puts an even more uncanny twist to the double because he engages with that fear that is present with the double. While Dexter does not portray your average theme of the double used in film/cinema it still gives that same eerie feeling that the other films give. There is something off about Dexter and you know what it is, but at the same time you like him. That is the unique difference between these two films that show just how uncanny the double can actually get.

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