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Seems Dexter is shown with a five o'clock shadow (the beginning of a beard that shows up late in the afternoon on the face of a man who has not shaved since morning) most of the time.

I imagined there was symbolism in the decision to have him that way.

If that is true, I am curious to know what is the intention of this creative decision? Was there any explanation of why he is so rarely clean shaven?

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    Aside from that just being the style he prefers, perhaps you could attribute it to his late nights of running around and killing, and then not always having time in the mornings. – Charles May 17 at 2:18
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    Especially weird since he shaves at the beginning of each episode. – user1717828 May 17 at 2:33
  • We might assume this represents Dexter's mornings before the series starts too, because after that his story is one whose life becomes more hectic full of mistakes and mishaps, as the realization that is not a true sociopath unfolds.. And surely he eats different things some mornings (not to mention he was a Rita's some of the time too, once he's married and Deb I think screws up his preferred routine too when she crashes there for a bit) – Darth Locke May 17 at 15:49
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In an interview on the Scientific American podcast (at approx. 27.5 minutes) Michael C. Hall said he was clean shaven everyday working on Six Feet Under for years, and he was tired of shaving. He sold the idea of Dexter having stubble to the producers by saying "there is nothing Dexter hates more than to draw his own blood."

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There are many thoughts on why this could be the case. The most frequently discussed is that the intro is not actually one morning, but a representation of Dexter's morning routine with scenes taken from individual days. With this in mind, Dexter does not necessarily shave every day.

The other thoughts on this is that the opening montage never actually shows Dexter shaving his cheeks, maybe he's making sure he doesn't have a neck beard but keeps the rest as stubble...

  • The intro montage is an actual morning in the series. I can't recall from which season though (maybe 6?). – Charles May 18 at 19:31
  • @CharlesMay The episode which shows him going through his morning routine is Season 2, Episode 12, The British Invasion. After Doakes' body was recovered, and the FBI decided the case was closed, Dexter's narration over his morning routine (with some variation to the opening montage) describes his new day, and not being in prison. He still has a 5 o'clock shadow shortly after he shaved. – Bob516 May 31 at 0:31

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