10. Edward James Olmos (James Gellar)/Colin Hanks (Travis Marshall)
Season six was a complete fiasco. The whole season was spent inching towards a reveal that most viewers could smell from miles away, that ultimate bad guy James Gellar was only a figment of protégé Travis Marshall’s imagination. Gellar, portrayed by a clearly unenthused Edward James Olmos, is one-note and painfully unreal. Colin Hanks as Doomsday Killer Travis Marshall may be worse, as a good Christian schizoid, Hank’s performance comes off as laughably crazy. The only good thing that came of Marshall was that Deb caught Dexter murdering him, which finally threw a snag in the series that Dexter couldn’t merely sidestep. Other than that, these two actors are certainly capable of better work, and the writers are capable of creating better bad guys than this.9. Yvonne Strahovski (Hannah McKay)As season seven’s new love interest and killer girlfriend, Yvonne Strahovski lit male audiences on fire with her sex appeal and sinister side. As McKay, Strahovski plays a woman who spent her teen years on a killing spree with her boyfriend. Swearing to be reformed, but being far from it, McKay spends her time hiding in plain site, silently poisoning everyone that may stand in her way. Strahovski’s best performances as Hannah came after Dexter turns her in for murder. As a betrayed and jilted ex-lover, I’m sure we haven’t seen the last of Hannah McKay.
8. Jonny Lee Miller (Jordan Chase)
Season Five’s main antagonist, Jordan Chase, really never stood much of a chance to be memorable. After having to follow up the villain who murdered Dexter’s wife, Chase seemed to pale in comparison. Playing a motivational speaker who despises people in search of motivation, Jonny Lee Miller makes Chase a despicable, snide little diva. Miller didn’t last long on Dexter (you can watch him on CBS’s Elementary) after being revealed as a former fatty and serial rapist/murderer. Dexter doesn’t even off this baddie in the season finale, but leaves it to Lumen.
7. Julia Stiles (Lumen)
Jordan Chase’s killer and the Robin to Dexter’s Batman in the disappointing fifth season. Julia Stiles does an excellent job portraying the wounded victim/survivor of Jordan Chase. The only reason Lumen and Stiles rank so low on our list is because of the crummy explanation that was given when Lumen left the show. The writers got rid of Lumen haphazardly when everyone would have preferred for her to stay, but regardless, major props to Julia Stiles for handling Lumen’s traumatic arc with skill.
6. Keith Carradine (Agent Lundy)
As the FBI Specialist tasked with hunting down Dexter, as well as a love interest for Deb, Agent Lundy really shook things up around Miami Metro. Portrayed by Keith Carradine, Lundy is unflappable, incredibly smart, and so likable that even Dexter is sad when he’s gone. Having Lundy played by one of the legendary Carradine clan helped Lundy ascend to the top of this list. Unfortunately, our time with Lundy was cut short when Trinity’s illegitimate daughter gunned him down.
5. Jimmy Smits (Miguel Prado)
Played by television legend Jimmy Smits, Miguel Prado was a ruthlessly efficient Assistant District Attorney who sought revenge after the murder of his brother. When he goes to kill his brother’s killer, he finds Dexter already in the process, but instead of turning Dexter in, Prado’s asks Dexter to train him to kill. The two strike up an unlikely friendship, with Prado being emotional, petty, and deceitful. After killing innocents, telling lies, and causing trouble, Dexter decides Prado has to be destroyed and ends him.
4. Yasiin Bey (Brother Sam)
In a season with a lot of bad, Brother Sam was a bright spot. A reformed killer who offers other ex-cons job opportunities, rapper/actor Yasiin Bey (better known as Mos Def) at first draws Dexter’s suspicion, but then earns his trust. Playing a faithful Christian in a calm, accepting way, Mos gets Brother Sam to make Dexter consider spirituality for his son and even gets so close to Dexter that Dexter introduces Harrison to him. In his dying breath, after being shot by an employee, Brother Sam begs Dexter to forgive.
3. Peter Weller (Stan Liddy)
There have been a lot of serial killers who have almost got the best of Dexter Morgan, but none have come as close as corrupt narcotics cop Stan Liddy. Peter Weller, of RoboCop fame, plays the scummy, contemptible Liddy with a slime and sneer that’ll make you love to hate him. After being hired by Quinn to keep an eye on Dexter, Liddy goes rogue and gets good dirt on Dex. No worries though, Dexter offs Liddy in the back of his van and then sabotages the evidence with ease. Regardless, Weller made this snake in the grass irresistible.
2. Ray Stevenson (Isaak Sirko)
As Isaak Sirko, Ray Stevenson really hands Dexter his most formidable opponent. Stevenson plays the gay, ruthless, Russian mobster killing machine with intelligence, grace, and a fine sense of honor. After discovering that Dexter killed his lover, Sirko stops at nothing to get revenge on Dexter, but goes about it in a gentlemanly way. This isn’t to say that Sirko is a wimp; to the contrary, Sirko may be the most physically threatening villain to ever appear on Dexter. After Sirko’s mobster family puts a hit on his head, he enlists Dexter’s help to take them out. In the ensuing scuffle, Isaak is taken out by wormy club owner George in an anti-climactic ending to one of Dexter’s most complex characters.
1. John Lithgow (Arthur Mitchell)
If Lumen is Dexter’s Robin, than Arthur Mitchell must be his Joker. Played by the almost always-terrific John Lithgow, Arthur Mitchell goes from Dexter’s role model to his greatest foe. A career serial killer with a picturesque family and church life, Arthur Mitchell is man that Dexter Morgan envies and seeks to learn from. Upon closer inspection, Dexter learns that the man is even more of a monster than he is. Mitchell abuses his family and performs sadistic rituals on his victims; even worse, he finds out that Dexter is on to him right away. What ensues is a thrilling game between two skilled hunters. Lithgow is a wonder hamming it up as the monstrous Mitchell, even earning an Emmy and Golden Globe for his portrayal. In the end, Dexter bests the Trinity Killer, but loses his wife in the process, forever changing the landscape of Dexter’s life.