Michael C. Hall as Dexter in Dexter.

Here’s What Really Happened to Paul on ‘Dexter’

If there was anyone who deserved it, it was Paul. Abusive husband and father? Sounds like Dexter’s perfect target. But did Paul join many of Dexter’s other dust-bitten victims? To paraphrase Doakes, it’s quite a surprise, mother****er.

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Who is Paul again?

Paul is the abusive husband of Rita Morgan, a woman who Dexter fans know later becomes a lover of the show’s protagonist himself. Not much about Paul’s early life is known. He was born in Orlando to Bill and Maura Bennett, and he was always a rotten egg. His early years were marred by multiple run-ins with the law, but they were only a prelude to the orchestra of torture yet to come.

Paul married Rita Morgan after meeting her in Miami. The pair had two children, Astor and Cody. They moved into a house that Paul had illicitly gotten through his connections in the drug trade. Oh yeah, Paul is also addicted to crack and heroin, and owes a lot of money to a lot of unscrupulous people.

Paul showed his true colors quickly. He frequently beat and raped his wife, and one night the assault was so horrific that his own young daughter called the police. Paul was taken to prison and got eighteen months, but was released after only six for “good behavior.”

What’s Paul’s history with Dexter?

Six months after Paul is released from prison, Dexter and Rita strike up the beginnings of a relationship. The pair is harassed by Paul’s dealer Ricky, who demands that Rita settle up on Paul’s payments or else. Rita figures out that Paul has been released and tries unsuccessfully to shield her children from seeing their father. Dexter and Paul eventually meet face to face when Paul violates his restraining order to visit Rita’s house, where Dexter is watching her kids.

After trading some particularly unpleasant pleasantries, Paul tries to sucker punch Dexter, but Dexter confidently avoids it. Later, Rita gets Paul to agree to sign divorce papers on the condition that she will let him see his children again. Paul continues to harass Rita and Dexter—leaving threatening messages, showing up their house drunk, the whole nine yards. So eventually, Dexter decides to do something about it.

I love when Dexter takes matters into his own hands!

Me too! And in this case, “matters” are a cast iron frying pan! One night, as Paul returns to Rita’s house after dropping off his children, Dexter and Paul begin to talk in the kitchen. Paul begins to call Rita a string of epithets including “that skinny b****” and Dexter decides enough is enough. He picks up a frying pan and bludgeons Paul over the head with it, knocking him unconscious. He then carries the unconscious Paul to the motel where Paul has been staying. Rita is none the wiser.

See, Dexter knows all about Paul’s motel room. He’s broken into it before! And there he found both weed and a gun, two objects that are a clear violation of Paul’s parole. Dexter carries the unconscious Paul into the motel and sticks a heroin needle into his arm. Then he leaves the gun by Paul’s side just for good measure. After a tip to the authorities, Paul is once again carted off to prison in violation of Florida’s “Three Strikes” rule. Rita’s happy as can be.

So Dexter didn’t kill Paul?

So, Dexter did not kill Paul. Not directly, at least! While Paul is in jail, he repeatedly tells Rita that he’s been framed, and that he’s not to cut out to survive in prison. Turns out Paul was right. Rita is later informed that Paul has been beaten to death with a pipe after getting into a physical altercation with another inmate. Ding dong, the witch is dead. Rita feels guilty for not listening to Paul’s warnings … but not that guilty. She never has to deal with his sorry ass again.

Yet even from beyond the grave, Paul continues to be a nuisance for Dexter. Before he died, Paul told Rita that he had been kidnapped from her house, and that during the struggle one of his shoes came off and is still somewhere in her home. Rita doesn’t believe him at first, but eventually after he’s gone … she finds the shoe. Dexter’s got some explaining to do.

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Jack Doyle
Jack Doyle (they/them) is actually nine choirs of biblically accurate angels crammed into one pair of $10 overalls. They have been writing articles for nerds on the internet for less than a year now. They really like anime. Like... REALLY like it. Like you know those annoying little kids that will only eat hotdogs and chicken fingers? They're like that... but with anime. It's starting to get sad.