Why I still miss Doakes on Dexter


‘Dexter’, a show known for pushing the envelope, has been a popular staple on Showtime for years. Lately, it’s gotten dull. Perhaps it’s time they resurrect one of their old characters from the dead. In this week’s Clacking in Color, the hip column celebrating minorities in Hollywood, writer Jaylen Christie mentions why he misses Doakes so much.


Say what you will about Showtime’s Dexter but I find myself strangely captivated by its dark and creepy tale about a serial killer that murders other serial killers. Isn’t that clever? Sure, it’s a little gory … and by a little I mean a lot, but it does boast some good writing. Well, at least it did. If you ask me, I think Dexter’s beginning to suffer from being on the air too long. For me, the show died when they killed off Rita … but I won’t get into that. Instead, I want to focus on the Dexter of yesteryear and would like to talk about a character that’s dear to my heart — bad ass detective James Doakes.

He was the only one at that damn police station who knew that Dexter was odd.

Alright, Dexter fans. Let’s do this. Hitch a ride in my DeLorean for a blast to the past. Let’s take this week’s Clacking in Color back to seasons one and two of Dexter when Doakes, who was played by actor Erik King, was alive and kicking. Surely I can’t be the only one that remembers him. Heck, the man was awesome and managed to keep the show a hell of a lot fresher than Dexter’s victims. For those of you who don’t remember who this character was, Doakes was a thorn in Dexter’s side, a real pain in the ass. He was the only one at that damn police station who knew that Dexter was odd … which, in my book, makes him the only character with an ounce of sense.

I don’t know about you, but when I think of Dexter, I always go back to those first two glorious seasons. It just seems as if the writing was as sharp as the butcher knife Dexter keeps in his back pocket. Every character was clearly defined and had a definite purpose. Aside from Doakes being the resident African-American — which added even more color to a show that already features such strong minorities — he really helped infuse the program with a touch of intrigue and excitement. Plus his scenes with Dexter always seemed to crackle with anticipation.

Make no doubt about it, King and Michael C. Hall had a definite chemistry, a nice ebb and flow if that makes any sense. Yet, despite the fact that I liked Doakes, I always found myself rooting for Dexter. Lord, what does that say about me? I shudder to think. Nevertheless, aside from Doakes being blunt and mean to practically anyone that entered his orbit, he did have one thing that I did like — swag. The man had a confidence that radiated. Or maybe it was an arrogance.

Pity they killed him off, eh?

I guess there’s no use in crying over spilled blood … or chopped fingers.
I guess when you’re in charge of a television show, you have to find ways to keep things fresh. I wish they could have found a way to keep things intriguing without killing Doakes in an explosion, but I guess there’s no use in crying over spilled blood … or chopped fingers. The past is the past and it’s time to move forward. Yet how am I supposed to do that when things on Dexter have become so friggin’ convoluted and dull? I promise you I’m not hating, but Deb having a crush on her brother still sends chills up my spine. That’s just … wrong. Can someone please tell me what happened to the good writing? Seriously. I’m dying to know. Doakes may have been a lot of things but at least that man knew how to make an exit.

Perhaps it’s time for Dexter to do the same.

Photo Credit: Showtime

11 Comments on “Why I still miss Doakes on Dexter

  1. You obviously missed the finale last Sunday (12/16), in which flashbacks (new scenes?) of interactions between Doakes and Dexter were prominently featured.

    • I think that’s what prompted the article…
      I definitely miss Doakes. The season long tension between a cop working side by side with Dexter who doesn’t trust him was great. Even the season when Quinn was a cop (instead of a drunk man-whore) created a lot of tension with his investigation into Rita’s death. Dexter needs another Doakes for it’s final season…probably Angel?

      • Paul is right. That’s what inspired the column. I’m happy to know that I’m not the only one that misses Doakes. It really did provide some much needed tension and intrigue. The flashbacks were nice, but, um, can they just bring Doakes back permanently? Also, I absolutely love your idea about Angel being a new thorn in Dexter’s side. That would be awesome!

  2. Never a big fan of “Dexter”, but of Julie Benz. Watched when she was on and stopped when she was killed. Doakes seemed like the only cop smart enough to figure on what Dexter was up to. But not to tell anyone of his suspicions? Wrong move.

    • Oh, yes! It was definitely a wrong move for Doakes not to at least tell LaGuerta about his suspicions… and it was an even bigger wrong move for the writers to kill off Julie Benz. She brought so much to her role as Rita. I mean, I get what they were going for with the shock factor, but I do miss seeing her around. And yes, I figured you’d catch onto the DCM-12 ‘Back to the Future’ reference. :-)

  3. Honestly when I saw the previews for season finale I was 100% convinced Doakes was gonna be a new “ghost/conscience” of Dexter… that would’ve been so awesome!

    • Hey, I wouldn’t mind that happening. Seems like a great idea!

      • He spent part of Doakes season preparing himself to turn himself in, and he spent part of this season trying to come up to terms with the fact that his “dark passenger” might just be an excuse to allow himself to kill. Doakes coming up to talk to him wouldn’t have been far fetched! (I hope someone reads this suggestion!)

  4. I’ve always liked this series, but I don’t like the turn that Joey Quinn is taking, he’s just so creepy. Shoulda had him offed, not Doakes.

  5. I have never ever watched Dexter because of the goriness that comes along with it, but I completely agree with you about the show’s run. If any shows goes for too long, it starts to become stale and judging from your opinion, that’s what’s happening here. And while I don’t watch the show, its great to know that it has a strong minority filled cast.

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