Over the last few weeks we have been watching past season episodes of the Showtime television show “Dexter”. “Dexter” is a first person story following the main character, Dexter Morgan, as he deals with his psychosis. He is a serial killer who hides behind a “code” to control is hunger to kill people for a thrill.
In one of the earlier episodes Dexter describes his psychosis as the Dark Passenger:
I just know there’s something dark in me and I hide it. I certainly don’t talk about it, but it’s there always, this Dark Passenger. And when he’s driving, I feel alive, half sick with the thrill of complete wrongness…
Having now completed the first 3 seasons of the show Katarina took the time to point out to Mark that like Dexter he too has a Dark Passenger. For Mark this Dark Passenger is not the urge to kill people (but don’t push him) instead it is the urge and absolute need to go for bike rides.
You see the Dark Passenger for Dexter is the unseen and overwhelming need to do something evil. For Mark, it is the unseen and overwhelming need to pedal a bike. Very different in their implications but similar in their impact on the people around them.
For Dexter his Dark Passenger causes him to create walls between himself and his emotions (or lack thereof the character claims) and those around his life. In Mark’s case the Dark Passenger manifests as a growing aggression and need for physical release that takes the form of a hostile temper and foul mood.
We are currently staying in south Texas and the weather has been wintry. For the last 1.5 weeks we have had nothing but cold, rain, and some snow. Combined with the unfriendly nature of the drivers in the area the conditions have been ripe to keep Mark cooped up indoors.
On this last Saturday Katarina finally had enough and told Mark he needed to go for a ride on Sunday or she would kill him (figuratively speaking). Unfortunately Sunday morning we woke to rain, again!!! In desperation Mark searched the internet to find something active and indoors to release the Dark Passenger. Luckily Victoria has a roller skating rink so off we went to release the strain of Mark’s Dark Passenger.
The Dark Passenger in Dexter is never really appeased rather it is fed a steady stream of murders by the main character. The storyline for the show takes the viewer through a journey of engagement whereby Dexter examines his hunger, tests it, but in the end always gives in to it. For Mark the similarity is clear… appeasing his Dark Passenger is the only way to maintain his sanity.