Dexter Season 2 was about The Bay Harbor Butcher, Dexter's relationships, Dexter's killings, Debra's relationships, and Sergeant Doakes getting too close. It's been 38 days since Dexter killed his brother, The Ice Truck Killer. Debra is living with him and Doakes follows him everywhere he goes, so he hasn't killed anyone since.
The Bay Harbor Butcher
When 13 dismembered bodies are found in Bay Harbor, the Miami Metro police department starts a massive manhunt for a man the media calls The Bay Harbor Butcher. Dexter is very involved in the case, considering the bodies they found were his. He doesn't like the name Bay Harbor Butcher and instead prefers The Dark Defender that some call him after it's revealed that the butcher only goes after criminals who had slipped through the law. Dexter survives by framing Sergeant Doakes for the murders.
Dexter's relationships deepen. He learns that his father didn't actually die from heart disease, but that he committed suicide after walking in on Dexter working with one of his kills. Dexter is shattered by this reveal, but ends up having a closer relationship with Debra, who lives with him for several months because she can't sleep alone after discovering The Ice Truck Killer was her boyfriend.
Rita discovers that something is going on with Dexter and assumes drugs. She believes that he is a heroin addict and asks him to go to a 12-step program. At the program, he meets Lila, who takes him out for coffee. She seems to be able to really see him and it scares him, so he doesn't want to go back. Dexter and Rita's relationship is further complicated when Rita's mother comes to stay with Rita and tells her that Dexter is hiding something. Dexter refuses to go back to NA, so Rita breaks up with him.
Dexter begins dating Lila, when he discovers that she can see the monster that he is, though she doesn't know that he's a killer, and she doesn't care. Dexter begins to realize, though, that she is pretty crazy and Rita seems to need him. It comes as a surprise to him that he really cares about Rita and the kids. Dexter breaks up with Lila.
Lila begins to date Angel, using him to get to Dexter. She also breaks into Rita's house, and finally kidnaps Astor and Cody and brings them to her apartment. Dexter finds them there and Lila locks him and the kids in her house and sets the place on fire. They narrowly escape and then Dexter finds her and kills her.
While attending the 12-step program, Dexter decides he's not going to give into the urges to kill anymore. He finds out that his biological mother was working with Harry as an informant, and that's what got her killed. One of the men who killed her is in jail, one dead, and the other in the witness protection program. Dexter goes after the one in protection and beats him, but resists the urge to kill him. Later, the man finds him when Lila gives him the address. They fight, but the man runs off. Dexter tracks him to his cabin and decides that he is who he is, so he kills him.
Debra begins dating a guy from her gym, but it takes her a long time to trust him. Even after she trusts him, she realizes that she has feelings for Special Agent Lundy, who was brought in for the Bay Harbor Butcher case. They begin dating, despite a difference in age, and Debra is devastated when the case is closed and Lundy has to leave.
James Doakes continues to follow Dexter, trying to figure out his secret. At one point, he follows him to the NA meeting and believes that he is a heroin addict, but he soon figures out that that is not true. He finds Dexter at the cabin and figures out that he is The Bay Harbor Butcher. They fight and Dexter locks him in the cabin. After many talks with Doakes, Dexter decides to turn himself in, that it will be easier for Rita and Deb in the long run, but at the last second, he decides to continue with his plan to frame Doakes as the butcher.
While with Dexter, Debra gets a call that they are closing in on the butcher. Dexter rushes to the cabin, but the police are already there and the cabin is on fire. Later he pieces together that Lila had used his GPS to get to the cabin. Once there, Doakes told her that Dexter was The Bay Harbor Butcher. She turned on the propane and lit the gas stove, blowing up Doakes in order to get close to Dexter.
Though Lt. LaGuerta doesn't believe it, Sergeant Doakes is officially listed as The Bay Harbor Butcher and his death is believed to be a suicide.
Dexter is free to go about his business as usual.
Other Dexter Season 2 Happenings
- Before going to NA, Dexter has trouble killing his victims.
- Paul is killed in an altercation in prison and Dexter doesn't understand Rita's guilt.
- Dexter says goodbye to his brother, The Ice Truck Killer, by throwing the doll head he'd left for Dexter into the water.
- Officer Pascal is given LaGuerta's job, but LaGuerta manages to get her fired by causing personal relationship problems when she secretly sleeps with Pascal's fiance.
- Dexter kills a Bay Harbor Butcher copycat.
- Lila frames Batista for rape, and Debra tries to run Lila out of town.