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Brother Sam:

Brother Sam: Born Again Christian; Dexter's Friend

Samuel "Brother Sam" Wright is a character in Season Six of the Showtime series DEXTER.

He was an ex-con who turned to God, and then hired other ex-cons to work in his body shop.

Description

Brother Sam is an African-American male of 6’9” height who sports a scruffy goatee and eyeglasses. His work attire consists of coveralls and T-shirts. When he's not working, he usually wears a black jacket or hoodie, with a button-up shirt and blue jeans. During his workouts with a punching bag, he dons boxing gloves and athletic shorts. He is able to avoid a gunshot from Nick, and then knock him out with a single blow to the head.

Personality

Brother Sam is not afraid of death, feeling that he deserves to pay for once killing a man in cold blood. He is fearless in situations where most would back down. When Julio Benes points a gun at him, Sam even smiles.

He sees his freedom as a sign from God that he's part of a greater plan and lives his life helping ex-convicts. He believes they can change for the better because he did. Although Sam holds fundamental religious beliefs, he maintains the attitude of a realist when faced with everyday dilemmas. He admits that he continues to fight against his darkness.

Background

Brother Sam was born “Samuel Wright.” While growing up, he didn’t have faith in God. Instead, he only believed in his own father, a popular man known as Mister. One fateful day, Mister took Sam to a house and told Sam to ring the doorbell. When a man answered, Sam’s father immediately shot and killed him, causing blood to spray on Sam’s Superman shirt. Mister picked up Sam and slowly drove away as he told his son that he “did a good job.” The experience forever affected Sam.

Later, Sam lived a life drenched in crime. During a series of robberies, he killed a store owner by bashing in his head with a bottle. Sam was arrested by Angel Batista on 28 October 2002 and was facing death row until the judge presiding over his case dropped dead. There was a mistrial and Sam was set free.

However, Sam was soon arrested again, this time on a drug charge. During the first few months that he was locked up, Sam felt angry all the time and wanted to hurt someone. One day, a new guy who kept bragging about himself was admitted to the jail. Sam followed the man into the chapel and began choking him in an attempt to kill him. Suddenly a beam of sunlight shone through the chapel windows and Sam clearly saw everything around him and what he was doing. He no longer wanted to kill the man and let him go. Sam never felt so good about anything in his life and believes it was divine intervention.

Given another chance at life, Sam reformed himself as a man of the cloth. Upon his release, Sam opened an auto shop where he employed former inmates and helped them follow the right path. The police, though, doubted that Brother Sam truly changed and viewed him as a criminal "in disguise." Despite this, Sam carried on with his work, regardless of what anyone thought of him.

Summary

Omar Rivera, a fruit vender, is found murdered in a strange ritual. His intestines have been removed and replaced with seven baby snakes, after which he was sewn up with the Greek symbol for Alpha and Omega.

Sergeant Angel Batista runs a background check on Omar Rivera, revealing that he had ties to the Salas Cartel (a drug-related organization). Angel considers the possibility that the snakes in Omar’s body were a sign of dealing with a snitch. Working another angle, Angel calls in Brother Sam for questioning since Omar had worked for Sam after he was released from prison. Joey Quinn and the rest of the department have a negative view of Sam, which Dexter inquires about from Vince Masuka. He’s told that, although Sam has apparently gone from ex-convict to man of the cloth, his co-workers judge his reformation as nothing more than a sham.

Angel interrogates Sam, first asking when he last saw Omar. Sam says it was a few months ago, when Omar came to his auto shop because he needed brakes for his pickup, and brought grapefruits and oranges for the ex-cons. Sam sounds broken up over the loss of Omar, but Angel doubts that he’s sincere. Sam asks if they're any closer to finding out who killed Omar and Angel tells him that's the reason he’s there, to give him something to go on. Angel asks Sam if Omar was seen hanging around with any of his old crew but Sam insists that Omar had put his past behind him. Angel is skeptical of Sam’s opinion and brings up Victor Torres, an ex-con Sam had also vouched for. After Torres was paroled, he had promptly killed a 19-year-old girl. Sam expresses his sympathy for the “poor girl” and says he reaches out to her family every day. When Angel says that her blood is on his hands, Sam retorts that there's more blood than hers on his hands, referring to his past. Angel remains unconvinced that Sam has changed, so Sam snaps that he doesn't "give a rat's ass" what anyone thinks about him or the work he does, and insists that men can change. Dexter, though, isn't sure if he should believe Sam just yet.

After Dexter does a background check of his own at home, he stages a small accident by backing his car into a trash dumpster. He then heads to Sam’s auto shop for a chance to talk to him. Upon Dexter's arrival, he exchanges looks with Sam’s workers. who all appear to be ex-convicts. One of them, Diego, points him in the direction of Sam. Walking around the building, Dexter finds Sam skillfully training with a punching bag. Sam notices Dexter and asks how he can help him. Dexter says that he needs an estimate to repair his car. Sam seems a bit suspicious at first and remarks that he's not from around here. Dexter claims that his shop came highly recommended by a coworker. Although a bit hesitant, Sam agrees to check out the damage.

After he views the car, Sam informs Dexter that his guys can get it out in a day or two. Dexter spots the spray-painted "Good Shepherd" on the building’s wall and inquires about it. Sam explains, "Well, uh, the men you see here, they’re like my flock. And, uh, my job is to make sure that they don't wander." Sam adds that he has a lot to answer for. He tells Dexter that he once killed a man and walked off scot-free, and for that he needs to pay. Dexter says he’s surprised to hear him admit that, and Sam replies, “Don’t be. The spirit moves me to tell my story and share.” He continues, saying that he was facing death row until the judge presiding over his case suddenly dropped dead, and there was a mistrial. Dexter chuckles, saying it seems like "divine intervention." Sam smiles, while agreeing. He says that God was playing him, though, and a possession charge got him sent back to jail -- and that's how he got saved. He tells Dexter that the darkness inside of him isn't gone but he's fighting it every day, and says he sacrificed the dark part of his soul to make up for some of the pain he’s caused.

Diego approaches the two and tells Sam that Nick still hasn’t shown up to work. Sam sternly orders Diego to inform Nick that he's coming for him and to tell him now. Dexter asks Sam if one of his flock got lost and he says that it’s something like that. Sam hands the estimate to Dexter who looks it over before giving his key to Sam. As Dexter walks away, Sam wishes him a “Blessed Day.”

Later that night, Dexter tails Sam to Nick's house and watches him enter. Suddenly, he hears a gunshot, after which Sam carries Nick’s body out to his car and puts him in the trunk. Sam drives off with Dexter following him to the auto shop. Convinced that Sam's a killer, Dexter holds a syringe of M99 to sedate Sam and put him on his table. As Dexter approaches the garage on foot, he is confronted by a barking dog. He readies himself to inject the dog when Sam shows up and calms down the dog, named Eli.

To allay Sam’s suspicions as to why he’s there, Dexter makes up an excuse that he came by for his garage door opener. Keeping a close eye on Dexter, Sam states that his car is inside for the night. Although Dexter offers to come back the next day, Sam wants to get it over with and heads back inside. Dexter, with his syringe hidden behind him, follows him, while thinking that this isn’t how he envisioned taking down Brother Sam.  

As Dexter enters the garage, ready to strike, he suddenly spots Nick, alive and well, leaning on his car. Sam angrily orders Nick to get off of Dexter's car. Nick, upset, tells Sam that he can’t believe that he hit him, and Sam answers that he can’t believe that he took a shot at him. Dexter is confused. Sam instructs Nick to take Eli out back, and to not think about running off because he'll just chase him down again. Sam explains to Dexter how, in the Bible, David broke a lamb’s leg to protect it from wandering off, so he will tend to his flock any way he can. Dexter calls him a good shepherd; Sam answers, “Yeah, when I have to be.”

Sam reminds Dexter to get his clicker, so Dexter looks inside his car and fakes that he found it, while pondering the power of belief. As he turns to look at Sam, bright lights shine through the garage door behind him. Dexter asks what's going on, and Sam simply says, "Nothing good." He frowns and tells Dexter to stay back. As Julio Benes and two other Locos gang members exit a car, Sam approaches them. Julio demands their “boy” but Sam states that Nick is safe and asks them to please get off his property, Julio swears at Sam and doesn’t move.

Dexter walks over to the group and asks if there’s a problem. Sam protectively tells Dexter that it’s not his problem. Leo Hernandez, one of Julio's thugs, approaches Dexter in a threatening manner, holding a baseball bat. Dexter, using martial arts, quickly disarms and knocks down Leo which startles both Julio and Sam. Julio, though, isn't going to leave without Nick. He pulls out a gun and points it at Sam, who then takes off his glasses and drops a crowbar he was holding. Sam bravely says, "I'm not afraid of you, son. And I damn sure ain't afraid to die. I know what's waiting for me on the other side. Do you? Hmm?” He quotes a Bible verse and Julio tells him to shut up. As he looks Julio in the eyes, Sam asks, “What are you waiting for, son?” Dexter can’t tell if Sam is bluffing, crazy, or a true believer. Julio puts both hands on the gun, preparing to pull the trigger. Dexter immediately speaks up and warns Julio that he doesn't want to do that. Sam assures Dexter, “Faith, brother, God is in control."

Dexter then pulls out his ID and flashes it as a badge. He tells Julio that he's with Miami Metro and if he kills either Sam or him, the whole department will be after him. One of Leo’s thugs advises Julio that they should leave. Julio pulls back his gun and warns Sam that it’s not over. When Sam says he’ll be praying for him, Julio mockingly responds that he better pray that he won’t put him down like the last guy who crossed him, Hector Nunez, whose body was never found.

After the gang leaves, Sam turns and remarks that it was a miracle. He looks at Dexter and asks, “Miami Metro?” Dexter bends his flimsy badge and says, “Forensics Department. Lab geek." Sam, amused, says that he doesn't fight like a lab geek. Laughing, Sam says that it’s an evening full of wonders, adding, “Praise God. The Lord works in mysterious ways.” Sam closes the garage door, with Dexter thinking, You don’t say.

Later, after Dexter kills Julio Benes, Sam and Nick are seen working together on a vehicle as Sam teaches him how to connect various parts in it.

While Dexter is with Walter Kenney, Brother Sam calls him. Dexter is told that his car is ready, with Sam joking that if he gets there before 6:00 p.m., he won’t have to fight off the dog. When Dexter arrives at the shop to pick up his car, Sam says that Nick has cut ties to the Locos gang and wants to turn his life around. Then Brother Sam asks Dexter if he has plans for Sunday and invites him to a beach party. He says Nick is going to be baptized in the “holy waters” of Biscayne Bay.

Holding Harrison, Dexter stands on the beach and watches Brother Sam baptize Nick in the bay. Afterward, Dexter and Sam sit together and discuss their differing religious beliefs.

After another purposeful accident, Dexter brings his car back to Brother Sam, who writes up an estimate with the “friends and family rate.” Nick is in a good mood and he tells Dexter that Brother Sam is sending him to computer class.

Dexter notices a Bible on Brother Sam’s desk and flips through the highlighted pages. Sam asks Dexter if he’s ever read it. Dexter replies that he’s presently reading it for work, because a killer is reenacting scenes from the Book of Revelation. Sam shakes his head and remarks, “Just because he believes in some crazy bullshit, that don’t mean his faith is any less real.” They talk a bit more about the pros and cons of faith, with Sam stating, “Faith, man, you put it in the wrong things… fuck you up.”

Harrison is admitted to the hospital with appendicitis. While Dexter is there, Brother Sam calls to tell him that his car is ready. Sounding worried, Dexter says he can’t until the next day because his son has just gone into surgery. He quickly hangs up while Sam, concerned, is still talking.

Unexpectedly, Brother Sam shows up at the hospital to support Dexter. As they sit together in the waiting room, Brother Sam opens up a bit about his past. He tells Dexter that his father, whom he calls Mister, was his role model during childhood. However, one day Mister shot and killed a man in front of him. It deeply affected Sam and he became a criminal himself.

When Harrison is given the all clear by the surgeon, Dexter exclaims, “Oh, thank God,” which amuses Brother Sam. Dexter acknowledges that Sam puts his faith in God, while he puts his faith in Science. Brother Sam advises Dexter to keep an open mind, claiming that neither of them can prove whether God exists or not.

Brother Sam’s auto garage is shot up by the Locos gang, and he files a report at Miami Metro Police Department. While there, he runs into Dexter. Sam asks how Harrison is doing and it’s decided that Sam will come by Dexter’s apartment later. Upon arrival, Brother Sam gives Harrison a stuffed toy lamb, after which Dexter puts him to bed. Then he and Dexter talk outside on the balcony. Dexter reveals that he saw his mother murdered at a young age and that’s why he was drawn to working with blood. He says that “the darkness” got in deep; it never left and never will. Sam, though, insists there is light in Dexter and sees it shared with his son.

Brother Sam, while in his garage, is confronted by an assailant. He is shot three times --  in the stomach, chest, and back. Eli stands guard over Sam’s body.

Debra calls Dexter, saying that Sam has been shot. Dexter rushes to the auto shop, arriving as Sam is being taken away by ambulance. Dexter angrily vows to find the one responsible for shooting Sam. He suspects that it was an act of revenge by Leo Hernandez for the sudden disappearance of Julio Benes.

After surgery, Sam briefly gains consciousness and gives Dexter his last request -- spare Nick, the shooter. Sam soon dies from his wounds and Dexter is torn on what he should do about Nick.

Dexter takes Nick to Biscayne Bay for a talk. As they walk along the beach, he confronts Nick about the shooting of Sam. Nick admits that he shot Sam because the Locos gang wouldn't accept him back unless he did so. Dexter offers Nick a chance to turn himself into police custody. However, with no evidence against him, Nick simply laughs. This enrages Dexter and he drowns Nick in the waters where he was baptized, thus dishonoring Brother Sam's final request. Dexter’s darkness emerges, appearing as Brian.

Victims

Accomplice

Indirect Deaths

Attempted

Alleged

  • Nick - for a short period of time Dexter thought that Sam killed him with a gunshot; however shooting was another way around and no one was hurt. ("Once Upon a Time...")

Trivia

  • Brother Sam shares a resemblance to James Doakes and even tells Dexter, "You don't fight like no lab geek" mirroring Doakes' "Lab geek, my ass!"
  • According to exec producer Scott Buck, “Brother Sam is someone we wanted to bring in who had a very positive effect on Dexter,” he explains. “For him to be killed in such a hurtful way — especially when Dexter had finally learned to trust someone and have them believe that there was light in him — and then lose that person in such a violent and meaningless way… will have a lifelong impact on Dexter and who he continues to become.” [1]

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References

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