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Doakes was a strong-willed Sergeant within Miami Metro Homicide. He acted as both a detective and a supervisor at any given crime scene. He often partnered with Sergeant Angel Batista and Officer Debra Morgan, while dealing with forensics on scene, namely Dexter Morgan and Vince Masuka. His direct supervisor (and close friend) was Lieutenant Maria LaGuerta, with whom he had previously been partners for over two years.
Doakes was an African-American who kept his head shaved and had a mustache. He stood roughly at 5 foot, 8 inches, weighed about 200 pounds, and had a defined, muscular build.
His attire usually consisted of corporate casual clothing, rarely being seen outside of dress pants and polo T-Shirts, which he kept tucked in. When the occasion called for it, he'd don a full suit or a fine dress jacket in attending events. Doakes often wore gun straps over his shirt. A couple of times, he wore a black sleeveless undershirt and a red open shirt over top. Almost all of his dress pants were dark in color, usually gray to pure black. However, at times, he was shown wearing khakis.
Sergeant Doakes' keen instinct could pinpoint trouble and see the dark side of people. He was the only one in Season One and Season Two who believed that Dexter Morgan had a dangerous side. He even told Dexter that he gave him the "creeps." He often stared suspiciously at Dexter. At one point, Doakes began to tail Dexter, feeling that he was connected to the The Ice Truck Killer. When he followed Dexter to The Shipping Yard, Doakes confronted him directly, which resulted in a brief fight.
Doakes seldom smiled, although he did lighten up around his former partner (and former lover), Maria LaGuerta. He also grew to consider Debra as a friend. With others, he often displayed his quick-temper and strong vocabulary. Doakes rarely interacted with coworkers beyond a tolerable association. He treated Dexter like a criminal, was dismissive of Masuka's humor, and gave orders with the intent of pursuing justice with no derailment. He did his best to maintain a hard exterior that nobody could penetrate.
Season Two saw Doakes obsessing over Dexter. Ultimately, this led Doakes to land in hot water at work. He even became the prime suspect as The Bay Harbor Butcher when Dexter's blood slides were found in his car by the FBI.
James Doakes was born on 10 March 1962 to Mr. and Mrs. Doakes. Much of Doakes' earlier life is unknown although he may have had a rough childhood as his father was an abusive man working as a butcher (this would later on fuel his status as a prime suspect for the Bay Harbor Butcher).
Prior to joining Miami Metro, Doakes was employed as an Operative in the United States Army Rangers. The Rangers are a Special Operations unit in the Army that handles sensitive assignments. Doakes was part of a Regimental Reconnaissance Detachment that conducted deep recon missions.
Doakes was married to and later divorced a woman. He confessed to Curtis Barnes that if he hadn't left her, he might have ended up killing her.
Dexter Morgan is spinning around in his chair, surrounded by blood spatter photos, when Sergeant James Doakes announces himself to get Dexter's attention by rudely asking, "Where the hell you been?” Doakes tosses photos of the Hotel Cokehead Murders upon Dexter's desk that show a bloodied couple carved up by a blade. Dexter looks them over and concludes that this "hallmark-looking couple" didn't die at the hands of a professional. He compares the messy blood spatter on the walls to a finger painting. Doakes, unamused, tells Dexter that he gives him the "fucking creeps." Dexter acknowledges this and apologizes with a smile. When Doakes responds with "Fuck you," Dexter is slightly puzzled, and merely says, “Okay.”
Frustrated, Doakes demands Dexter's analysis on the blood spatter, asking if Dexter thinks he's there to invite him to his nephew's bris. Dexter sarcastically tells Doakes that he didn't know he was Jewish. Doakes orders him to shut the fuck up, grab a crayon, and write his report. Doakes relates what happened to the drug dealer and girl: "Rival dealer came in. Two scumbags slashed to hell. Dealer stole the drugs. Wham-bam, done. And I don't give a shit what you say, 'cause that's what happened and that's who I'm looking for." He then demands eye-contact from Dexter, while making the comment, "We are looking for a motherfucking thief dealer, you got it?" Dexter says, “Okay. Sure...I guess."
Dexter confirms that he'll get over there to do his sweep of the crime scene, with Doakes permitting him to do so (though in the typical vulgar way). He says that he wants that blood report quick, before giving one last cold stare at Dexter leading to him walking off. Dexter sits at his desk for a moment, watching Doakes walk away and then turn to glare at Dexter with a look of suspicion...one Dexter questions (in his mind) on why in a building full of cops, is Doakes the only one that gets the creeps from him? Little did Dexter realize that due to LaGuerta ending her relationship with Doakes and then the mishap with the Prostitute Killer Investigation some time before, he actually gave Doakes a "peak" behind the mask by letting his "true side" slip through and Doakes' keen instincts picked up on it instantly.
After Dexter does survey the area and determines his own analysis of the murder (believing that the target was the woman and the motive is that of an ex-boyfriend, not some drug dealer), he continues to follow his own interest into a new serial killer in town, while heading towards the briefing room to hear case details. As he stands outside he notices the widow of Mike Donovan grieving over his disappearance, asking himself if he covered all his tracks like he usually does. Doakes appears behind him, asking if he gets off on that...watching a woman in tears and asks "what's your thing, psycho?"
Dexter explains that he's just here on his way to the Briefing. Doakes says he has no business in there, before spotting Lieutenant Maria LaGuerta walking by with Detective Angel Batista. He says "this fucking guy doesn't belong", claiming that he's still waiting on Dexter's spatter report on the Cokehead Murders. LaGuerta gives the ok for Dexter to attend, wanting his input and tells Doakes that she'll go over the case with them after the briefing...thus allowing Dexter to follow her inside. Doakes gives an disgruntled expression before following the rest inside. (Note: this is one of the few times that Doakes is seen wearing a business suit, also an odd occasion as this briefing room is only ever used in this episode outside of promotions to higher ranks and commendations).
Doakes sits in on this briefing, not providing any input though is seen sitting in front of Debra Morgan as she nervously delivers her idea about refrigerated trucks involving this investigation. He does glance up at her when LaGuerta makes a sarcastic remark on the trucks "as in Ice Cream trucks."
After the meeting, LaGuerta signals for Dexter to head into her office to meet about the investigation. Doakes continues to push his own theory on it involving drugs, while Dexter continues to pursue his own theory that it was a crime of passion. He states that the drug dealer was killed quickly to be gotten out of the way while the killer took his time slashing up the woman, indicating that there was a personal relationship between the two and he suggests that it was likely an ex-boyfriend. Doakes is dismissive of the idea but LaGuerta believes him, something that dumbfounds Doakes. She tells Doakes to follow up on it and this pisses him off (though he holds himself in due to being in her presence). He stands up as Dexter examines the pictures and tells him. "I'm watching you motherfucker," before walking off.
Doakes is later seen at the scene where Dexter was tracking the The Ice Truck Killer in his Refrigerated Truck, and a human head was tossed on Dexter's windshield. He is talking to Debra Morgan, who looks over at her brother with Doakes doing the same. Dexter simply smiles, and gives a thumbs up. LaGuerta tells Dexter that Doakes arrested the killer in the Cokehead murders, and that Dexter was right about it being the boyfriend. She says, of course, Doakes still hates him.
At an unknown point in time, Doakes began seeing a married woman named Kara Simmons whose husband Ricky Simmons was an undercover cop working for the Miami Metro Police Department. This love affair was sparked by Ricky's insistence to stay within a drug ring run by Carlos Guerrero, someone the police have been trying to take down, but could never obtain enough evidence to use against him. Unfortunately for Kara, her husband was not careful enough in covering his secret.
One of Guerrero's men throws Ricky from atop the MacArthur Causeway, and he die upon hitting the ground. It was made to appear like a suicide but Ricky struggled before being thrown off, and bite a piece of human skin from his attacker. His body is subject to a crime investigation overseen by Detective Angel Batista and Lieutenant Maria LaGuerta. Dexter Morgan arrives to give his input, saying that, based on the blood spatter, Ricky fell from at least a 60-foot drop (which was too short for the Eastbound Crossway, which was only forty feet). He soon discovers a piece of human flesh in the victim's mouth, resulting from a "death rattle" that sprays blood on Dexter's face.
Doakes storms into the main offices of Miami Metro Homicide, even ignoring Angel Batista as he offers him some case files. LaGuerta walks in with an ID on the victim, stating that it was Ricky Simmons and tells everyone that he was a cop. This puts the mood of the rest of the department in shambles, something Dexter takes note of as Doakes can be seen reacting in his own way (mostly in frustrated anger).
He goes with LaGuerta to make a "next of kin" notification to Ricky's wife, something that LaGuerta finds odd. She asks him why he decided to go considering back in their days as partners, he would make every excuse to get out of one. He states that he knew Ricky from the station's softball team and that he was a good cop, however, his real reason is revealed shortly. As they approach the door, there is no answer and Doakes looks in through the blinds, which results in him stating, "Motherfuck!" The two bash open the door, guns in hand, as they survey the place with Doakes telling LaGuerta to call it in.
They find Kara Simmons lying on the floor, covered in blood, unable to move. Doakes moves in close, as LaGuerta investigates the house...calmly whispering to her, "It's James," hinting at their personal relationship. He tries to comfort her, but is hesitant to pick her up due to her wounds. Later, Batista can be seen standing over the crime scene (after Kara has been moved to a hospital) saying that it's fucked up. Captain Thomas Matthews arrives and confirms, after a phone call, that Ricky was undercover in Carlos Guerrero's family for about ten months and everything was going fine. He said that by attacking Ricky's wife, Guerrero's crossed a line and pissed off the entire police department. Doakes asks LaGuera if there's any word on the wife, and she says she should be in surgery.
LaGuerta asks Doakes why he's working so hard on Kara's case. He's about to leave to go the hospital, when she informs him that Kara has died. He sits, downcast. LaGuerta quizzes him about Kara having an affair and he admits that it was with him. They raise their voices to each other, until Doakes says Kara was going to ask Ricky for a divorce as soon as he came out from uncover. LaGuerta almost takes Doakes off the case but backs off, realizing how strongly he wants justice.
Doakes attends the funeral for Ricky and Kara Simmons and promises her brother to go after Carlos Guerrero. Soon after, Doakes shows up invited at Rose Guerrero's confirmation party, where he loudly announces that her father murdered a cop and an innocent lady. This infuriates Carlos and he orders his men follow to Doakes everywhere in order to intimidate him.
One night, when Daokes pulls into his driveway, two men jump him, pull a mask over his face, and throw him into the trunk of their car. They take Doakes to a parking garage, where Carlos is waiting. Carlos repeatedly kicks Doakes while he is on the ground. Just as Carlos is about to shoot Doakes, Detective McNamara and two other cops show up and stop him. They arrest Carlos for going after a cop. Doakes realizes that his fellow cops used him as bait to ambush Carlos.
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To be added Maynard
Doakes spends every night tailing Dexter, convinced he is up to something. He follows Dexter to the bowling alley and sits at the bar staring at him for hours. After more than a month, Doakes grows frustrated and leaves Dexter for a single night. Dexter takes advantage of the opportunity and tries to kill Jimmy Sensio.
When Doakes abruptly walks into Dexter's office while he's looking up info on Sensio, Dexter quickly switches to a porn website. Doakes asks for the blood work on the Maynard victim and stares suspiciously at Dexter. He doesn't believe Dexter was looking at porn and asks what he was really doing. Doakes says he knows Dexter hasn't rented a pron title in ten years. Dexter warns Doakes that his interest in his personal life could be considered as harassment. When Doakes tells him to report him, Dexter thinks of easier solutions.
Dexter finds Doakes waiting in his car outside Starlight Lanes. He approaches Doakes and greets him in a friendly, though insincere, manner. He informs Doakes that he will be practicing until midnight and suggests that he join him. Doakes, faced with another boring night, decides to go home. This leaves Dexter free to pursue Jimmy Sensio.
As Dexter is staring at the corpse of Eva Arenas, Doakes sarcastically tells him to take a picture; it'll last longer.
Dexter is driving after dark when he notices a car tailing him, and thinks it's probably Little Chino. He speeds up and pulls into an alley, regretting not having his kill tools with him. The other car pulls up behind him and stops. Dexter grabs a flashlight from his glove box and walks back, ready to attack the driver. However, it's not Little Chino -- it's Doakes. When Dexter holds up the flashlight, Doakes tells Dexter to go ahead and try it; he's been waiting, Dexter, though, just holds the flashlight under his face to create a creepy look. He warns Doakes that this neighborhood is full of crazies and he should lock his doors, and then walks back to his car.
LaGuerta encourages Doakes to apply for Frank Lundy's task force as it will help his career. Lundy, however, tells Doakes he wouldn't be a good fit because he's more of a "leader" than a "team member."
Dexter encounters Doakes in an elevator and thanks him for not holding the door. Doakes says, "Nice dodge last night, flooring it through that yellow light." Dexter innocently replies, "Oh...were you behind me?" As they leave the elevator, Doakes says, "See you tonight."
On the way out to the field morgue with files, Dexter finds Doakes lurking outside the station. Dexter asks why he suspects him of something, and Doakes states that he knows he's connected to The Ice Truck Killer. Dexter finds this answer vague. Doakes says that Dexter is too careful, for example, doesn't belong to any organizations. He knows that Dexter was the top of his class in med school, but traded it for blood spatter. Doakes is curious why Dexter studied martial arts in college and Dexter claims it was an easy credit. When Doakes accuses Dexter of being a good liar, Dexter walks away, thinking, "Not good enough."
After finding Dexter attending a Narcotics Anonymous meeting, Doakes erroneously believes that Dexter is a drug addict. However, Doakes' false conclusion works in Dexter's favor, as he believes Dexter's (nonexistent) drug addiction is caused by work-related stress which, as Doakes recounts, led many policemen down the same path. Feeling sympathetic towards Dexter, he ends his stalking, but not before telling him to "stay clean" and stating that he owes him a new tire (because Dexter had punctured one on his car).
A woman, Alisha Barnes, is murdered in her home. While at the crime scene, Dexter remarks on the impressive shooting -- two bullets to the chest and one to the head. Doakes says she was “Mozambiqued” aka "triple tapped. " He notices photos of Curtis Barnes, her husband, in Somalia and Afghanistan and says that he must be Special Ops. Later, Doakes attempts to arrest Curtis on the S.S. Fubar at the Blue Wing Marina; however, Curtis will not surrender his gun. Doakes ends up shooting and killing him in “suicide by cop.” It's ruled self-defense.
Dexter works a crime scene along with Doakes and LaGuerta at a comic book store where an employee, Denny Foster was murdered. Doakes becomes annoyed when Dexter begins questioning the store owner about The Dark Defender poster while he's interviewing him.
It's learned that Denny's killer is Benjamin Alvaro. According to Doakes, he's six-foot-two, 380 lbs, Hispanic, and drives a 1971 green-and-white Ford pickup. After dark, Doakes and LaGuerta stake out his place of work. Doakes says it's just like old times and suggests they get in the car and pass the time like they used to do. LaGuerta says no and laughs. She says they aren't going down that path again. When a call comes in that Alvaro is headed in their direction, they squabble about how they're going to arrest him. LaGuerta is concerned that Doakes is not fit for duty because he recently killed two men. He retorts that he's killed more than two. He then lets her know that he suspects that she slept with Esmee's man to get her job back. Their talk ends when Alvaro shows up and they arrest him without incident.
When Dexter shows up at work looking "like shit, Doakes asks Debra if her brother fell off the wagon. She says the only wagon Dexter ever had was a Radio Flyer. Doakes, confused, asks if her brother is a junkie. This amuses Debra. She asks if Doakes is high, and says Dexter never even smoked a cigarette. Deb tells Doakes she's glad he has new material, though, because "freak" and "psycho" were getting kinda tired.
Dexter finds Doakes in his lab listening to a tape of his mother and Harry. He angrily turns it off and asks why he's there. Doakes says Debra didn't know he was in the NA program, and Dexter says it's because it's anonymous, but Doakes knows he lying. He threatens to take a hair from Dexter's desk and run it for drugs. He is curious as to why Dexter would pretend to be an addict unless he has something much worse to hide. Dexter steps closer to Doakes and orders him to back the fuck off. Doakes, unfazed, says he's been waiting for a chance to take Dexter out, and Dexter says he knows how he feels. Dexter then goes to LaGuerta and insists on filing a complaint against Doakes for breaking into his lab and tailing him for weeks. LaGuerta orders him to leave work for a couple of hours to cool off.
LaGuerta meets with Doakes to warn him of the possible complaint. He states that Dexter is hiding something. LaGuerta asks if it's another of his conspiracy theories but he says it's instinct and experience. He says that he spent years looking the enemy in the face, and Dexter is dangerous. LaGuerta accuses Doakes of being obsessed and it will cost him his job if he doesn't leave Dexter alone.
Doakes suspects that Craig Wilson murdered his step-daughter Betsy due to their history of fights, blood on his clothes, and being alone with her. His suspicion is reinforced when Dexter lies to him, saying that the blood mist on Craig's shirt is from a bludgeoning. In reality, it was caused when Craig tried to save Betsy. Doakes arrests Craig
Camilla Figg meets with Dexter in his office and says that Doakes requested the Shipyard case file. When she couldn’t provide it, Doakes became angry and frightened her. Camilla doesn't want to lose her job, as she plans to retire the next year. Dexter assures Camilla that he will take care of the situation
Doakes continues to intensely interrogate Craig. When Dexter's blood report proves that Craig is blameless, LaGuerta interrupts the session. She frees Craig and chews out Doakes for displaying poor judgement. He is furious, realizing that Dexter set him up.
Dexter enters his office to find Doakes waiting for him. He says that Dexter's past is a bigger mystery than fucking Jimmy Hoffa and, unlike Dexter, he does everything out in the open. Dexter, using not-so-subtle manipulation, tells Doakes that no matter what he tries, no matter when, no matter how hard he works, he will always be a step ahead for one simple reason. Doakes asks, "And what's that?" Dexter replies, "I own you," and headbutts Doakes. He casually walks out of his office and Doakes runs after him. He grabs Dexter and throws him against a desk. Doakes repeatedly punches Dexter until he is pulled away. The department is in shock. LaGuerta orders Doakes to hand over his gun, badge, police I.D., and access card. She puts Doakes on suspension and he's escorted out of the building by two officers. Dexter feigns ignorance of what caused Daokes' erratic behavior.
LaGuerta meets with Doakes near a beach. As they walk together, she says that Lundy is pissing off people because his crew is looking over every case involving Bay Harbor victims. Doakes chuckles and says Lundy sounds desperate. When LaGuerta says he will be called in, Doakes tells her he may not show up. She warns him to be careful if he wants to keep his job, but he isn't sure that he does. He jokes about opening a butcher shop like his father. She suggests meeting with a friend of hers to apply for a job at Stillwater Security, and he tells her to set it up.
Doakes walks through the homicide department as the detectives stare at him. LaGuerta comes over to inform him that her friend, Todd, will meet him that night at the Hilton, and Doakes agrees to be there.
He enters Lundy's office and stands in front of his desk. When Lundy thanks him for coming in, Doakes tersely states, "Can we get this over with, sir?" Lundy says that, of the nine Butcher cases that passed through this department, Doakes worked directly on four of them, and he was unable to obtain a singe conviction. Lundy states that the Smith Case was thrown out for inadmissible evidence, Orozco skipped bail, the Rodrigo Case lost to bad blood work. Wen Lundy mentions Rodrigo, Doakes eyes widen and he walks out. Lundy doesn't stop him, something he will regret.
That night, Doakes breaks into Dexter's apartment and searches it by using a flashlight. He discover Dexter's box of blood slides hidden inside the air conditioner and takes them with him.
Doakes hides the box of blood slides in the trunk of his car, and flies to Haiti. There, he meets with Leonis and makes arrangements to have the slides analyzed discreetly in a local hospital lab. However, while Doakes is out of the country, the slides are found and seized by the FBI. This makes Doakes the prime suspect
By placing a GPS on Dexter's boat, Doakes finds the cabin and observes Dexter carrying dismembered body parts, which confirms that he's The Bay Harbor Butcher. Doakes attempts to apprehend Dexter himself in the Everglades, but he's overwhelmed by Dexter's physical abilities and captured. Dexter locks him inside a cage in Jimenez's Cabin in the Everglades.
Doakes watches Dexter examine his leg wound and says he hopes it's deep. Dexter remarks that it's just a graze with minor tissue abrasion and no hemorrhage along the bullet track. He sarcastically tells Doakes that he's sorry to disappoint him, but he will live. When Doakes asks if he will, Dexter replies, "Good question." Doakes tells Dexter that if he isn't going to let him go, then to kill him now. Dexter says not to tempt him. He departs, leaving Doakes locked in the cage and returns to Miami.
Meanwhile, the police are on the hunt for Doakes.
When Dexter returns to the cabin, he hands a bottle of water to Doakes and unrolls a set of knives. Doakes assumes that Dexter is going to kill him and tries to convince him that he doesn't deserve to die. Dexter commences with a speech, detailing why Doakes' life has less inherent worth than his own, which Doakes listens to in disbelief. Dexter discovers a cell phone that Doakes was trying to use, and tells him that his exit strategy won't work. Doakes challenges Dexter to "bring it" and Dexter smiles, saying he already did. Suddenly, Doakes realizes that the water he is drinking is drugged, and he passes out. While Doakes is unconscious, Dexter rolls his fingerprints onto the knives in order to frame him as the Butcher.
On another visit to the cabin, Dexter is taunted by Doakes who says he knows some mysterious information about Harry. This leads to Dexter questioning Thomas Matthews and learning that Harry committed suicide.
Dexter returns again to the cabin, this time with a passed out Jose Garza. Doakes is horrified when Dexter proceeds to kill and dismember Jose. Afterward, he tells Dexter to "stay away," the same words that Harry said when he caught Dexter dismembering Juan Ryness. Dexter freezes, then says, "I killed my father."
Doakes begins to suspect that Dexter's code only lets him target those who deserve to die, and that Dexter is tired of keeping up his facade. Doakes tries to persuade Dexter to turn himself in to the police because it will protect those he cares about. Dexter considers doing it.
Doakes manages to escape from his cage, but he ends up with Esteban and Teo Famosa, drug runners tied to Jimenez. They take Doakes hostage and force him to retrieve the drugs stored inside the cabin. Dexter happens upon the scene, and he and Doakes work together to take the guys down. Immediately after this, Dexter imprisons Doakes again.
Tragically for Doakes, Lila West located the cabin where Doakes was locked up. After finding out that Dexter is the BHB, she decided to help him out by leaving Doakes to suffer in an explosion by igniting propane tanks. Doakes tried his very best to escape, but was caught up by the blast, later identified via his ruined corpse's dental records and ultimately died as the Bay Harbor Butcher (though the blood slide that was found at Travis Marshall's crime scene later proved that Doakes was blameless)
Doakes' charred remains are found along with the dismembered body of Jose Garza, which convinces the FBI that Doakes was the Bay Harbor Butcher. As a result, his funeral is largely unattended, with the exception of LaGuerta, Doakes' mother, two sisters, and Dexter, who sits discretely in the back, thinking about how he lost another person who seemed to understand him.
Dexter and Doakes never admitted they saw eye to eye, though their conversations while Doakes was imprisoned implied they understood each other. Doakes, much like Dexter, justified killing people by their previous actions, such as when he shot Jacques Bayard, the Haitian death squad member. Although Dexter taunted Doakes of being a killer, his refusal to kill him inferred otherwise.
While the Bay Harbor Butcher Case, for the most part, remained in the dark following its closure, the events preceding the Doomsday Killer Case lead Captain Maria LaGuerta to the crime scene of Travis Marshall. It is at this crime scene that she finds a discarded blood slide among the ashes of the burned Church, leading her to reopen the case. She believes the Bay Harbor Butcher is still alive, and feels that in solving the case, she can at last clear the name of James Doakes.
Doakes reappears in flashbacks and repeats the catchphrase often associated with him.
Dexter Morgan is working in his lab when a smiling Sergeant Doakes announces himself by saying, "Surprise Motherfucker!" Dexter looks up and smiles back at him, suggesting that the two were on good terms early in their work relationship. Doakes asks about his report involving a dead woman named Mary King. Dexter informs him that the woman was stabbed 26 times in which the first stab pierced her heart. As Dexter starts to comment on who did it, Doakes interrupts and says, "They were making a fucking point."
Doakes: "This is our third vic."
Dexter: "Any suspects?"
Doakes: "Walter Munro. Fucker's crazy. Thinks he's some kind of philosopher or some shit. Always scribbling his fucked up thoughts in his journals."
Dexter: "The victims are all prostitutes, the wounds suggest the same weapon, and it is consistent with a single killer."
Doakes: "The thing is, he's crazy but he's smart too. I can never get anything on him."
Doakes looks up to see Lieutenant Maria LaGuerta standing outside the room motioning to him. He tells Dexter to hold up and walks out to meet her, asking what's up. Maria says it's about what they talked about earlier, handing him a key (likely her key to his apartment). Doakes pleads with Maria, asking if she at least wants to think about this. She shakes her head while regretfully smiling, and walks off, leaving Doakes to reflect on the relationship he just lost. This marks the moment that Doakes and LaGuerta stopped seeing one another. Doakes is embarrassed when he notices Dexter nearby watching the two break up. "Oh shit, Morgan! I didn't even know you were there. You're like invisible," Doakes stammers.
Later, another prostitute is found dead on a dock and Sergeant Doakes and Dexter are investigating the scene. "Looks like you spun a goddamn web!," Doakes remarks as he observes Dexter's blood-spatter strings that outline how a person was murdered. Doakes asks if they can pin this on Monroe or not, and Dexter begins to describe the murder, step-by-step. The way that Dexter smiles and excitedly details every key movement bothers Doakes. When Dexter finishes with a huge grin is on his face, Doakes confronts him, saying that he likes this "blood shit" a little too much. Dexter replies that he's just doing his job. Angrily, Doakes orders him to wipe the "fucking smile" off his face and help find the creep who did this. As Dexter continues to work, Doakes suspiciously watches Dexter out of the corner of his eye.
Some time passes and Walter Munro disappears, giving Doakes the slip. Dexter arrives at work with a box of Sadie's Donuts for his fellow workers as per regular routine. Masuka warns Dexter that Doakes is in a bad mood. First, the "Lieutenant" dumped Doakes, then the Prostitute Killer went missing. After most of the donuts are picked off by officers, Dexter approaches Doakes and offers him one. Doakes responds rudely, saying that he doesn't want a "fucking donut" but he quickly apologizes. He tells Dexter that he isn't the one disturbing him, but LaGuerta.
Dexter makes a mistake by quoting, "Never jump the fence if you're not willing to face what's on the other side." Doakes looks up and asks where he heard that phrase. Dexter states that a "friend" said it to him in a "moment of stress" (likely Monroe on Dexter's kill table). Doakes retorts, "Bullshit. You don't have any friends." He then opens his desk and takes out a journal. Doakes proves that what Dexter said is a direct quote from the journal of Walter Munro, and it has been locked up in his desk for a couple weeks, after he obtained it on a warrant to search his place.
Dexter: "Heh...that's a weird coincidence."
Doakes: "Fuck coincidences, I don't believe in them."
Dexter: "Anyway, I should..." (Doakes then interrupts him as Dexter tries to leave."
Doakes: "There's something off about you Morgan. I should have seen it before. The fake smile, the donuts. You don't even walk like a normal person, you glide. Like a fucking lizard on ice. It's all a fucking act...and I ain't buying it."
Dexter laughs for a second, saying that he thinks Doakes is overreacting, but Doakes only moves closer.
Doakes: "You're hiding something. And one day I'm gonna figure out what it is. You are one creep motherfucker."Dexter briefly looks Doakes in the eye and then walks away, as Doakes stares after him. This interaction clinches Doakes' dislike and suspicion of Dexter Morgan, leading into the start of the Ice Truck Killer Case and beyond.
While in the military, Doakes killed several people, indicated when he said, "It's been more than two," in response to LaGuerta questioning how he can be fine with killing two people. During the series, however, he only kills two people.
- At least three people (mentioned in "Morning Comes")
- Jacques Bayard ("Father Knows Best")
- Curtis Barnes ("See-Through')
- While being used as a bait in an ambush for Carlos Guerrero and his thugs, Doakes pushed one of them into the line of fire, likely killing him (as he was shot in the heart). ("Let's Give the Boy a Hand")
- Esteban and Teo Famosa - Doakes assisted Dexter Morgan in killing them. He first distracting the two first with talking (which allowed Dexter to sneak into cabin and kill Esteban). He then threw cocaine in the face of Teo which allowed Dexter to shoot him in the heart. ("Left Turn Ahead?)
Doakes was framed by Dexter Morgan as The Bay Harbor Butcher, and so he is generally believed by the public to have been a vigilante serial killer.
- 46 Victims in the first blood slide blood box (which include the Bay Harbor Butcher 18)
- Ken Olson (body left in Railroad Car)
- Jose Garza (body found at Cabin in the Everglades)
- Santos Jimenez (LaGuerta later connected his disappearance to the Bay Harbor Butcher Case
- Jose Garza - Killed and dismembered by Dexter ("There's Something About Harry")
- Esteban and Teo Famosa - Killed by Dexter ("Left Turn Ahead")
Most of Doakes most famous quotes have to do with curse words, as such he is the second most famous character for swear words (vastly behind the creative Debra Morgan). He is, however, very notable for his constant use of the term "Motherfucker."
- Doakes to Dexter: "Surprise Motherfucker!" ("Born Free")
- Doakes: (mouths the words just before his death): "MOTHERFUCKER" ("The British Invasion")
- Doakes to Dexter: (as he and Detective Pullman watch Dexter's expression as he observes a dead victim) "You getting a goddamn hard-on there Morgan?" ("Circle of Friends")
- Doakes to Dexter: (after arresting Jeremy Downs) "Your instincts are always dead on when it comes to killers. Why is that?" ("Circle of Friends")
- Doakes to Dexter: "Oh, and you owe me a new Michelin, you motherfucker."
- Doakes to Dexter: "Stop grinning like a fucking psycho and get back to work!"
- Doakes to Masuka: (in response to Masuka's hypochondria) "Masuka! What did I say about the fucking rats?!" ("Love American Style")
- Main article: Albert Doakes
In the novels, James Doakes is known as Albert Doakes, though plays considerably the same role. The prime differences between James and Albert is that Albert is still alive in the Dexter Book Series. However, his body is debilitated from the condition Dr. Danco left him He must act out his suspicions on Dexter with general threats, as he is physically harmless.
"Albert" served in El Salvador with the U.S. Marine Corps alongside Kyle Chutsky and Dr. Danco. Dexter believes that Doakes has a "Dark Passenger" of his own, and deals with it by being as violent as he legally can in his job. After LaGuerta's murder at the end of Darkly Dreaming Dexter, Doakes believes Dexter was the killer, and tails Dexter in Dearly Devoted Dexter, intending to "catch him in the act." Instead, Doakes himself is captured by "Dr. Danco", who tortures him by removing his feet, hands, and tongue. In Dexter in the Dark, Doakes returns briefly, but cannot communicate. In Dexter by Design, Doakes is able to speak through a speech box, and he warns Dexter that he is still watching him. Doakes attempts to intimidate Dexter again in Dexter is Delicious, after noticing the smell of decomposing material coming from Dexter's car. he is embarrassed by Dexter when it is revealed to be a bag of Lily Anne's diapers that Dexter had forgotten to throw away earlier. He hasn't appeared since.
Erik King, who plays Doakes in the TV series, joked in an interview that, in the second book,, his character becomes "a stub."
Dexter: The GameSergeant Doakes appears in the game working on Robert Marelli's case and an earlier Cokehead Murders Case. With no solid leads, he is assisted by Dexter Morgan in the investigation, although he is reluctant to work with Dexter.
- He is one of the few characters that could effectively see behind Dexter's mask, making this clear in his very first appearance. This eventually led to him discovering that Dexter was The Bay Harbor Butcher. (For other characters who knew Dexter was a killer, see: Those Who Knew Dexter's Secret.)
- While not a serial killer, Doakes (barely) legally murdered Jacques Bayard vigilante style, and he also twice distracted criminals in order to push them into the line of fire.
- Debra learned, and LaGuerta figured out, that Dexter framed Doakes for being the Bay Harbor Butcher, but Dexter was never once accused of killing Doakes to cover his tracks. Not even by Laguerta, although she did say to Dexter, "He's dead because of you."
- Doakes was the only main antagonist to whom Dexter referred to as "archenemy" in The Dark Defender." Even though Doakes died at the end of Season Two, he still appeared two times after his death (via flashbacks and a spin-off). His actions impacted Maria LaGuerta which almost caused Dexter's downfall in Season Seven. Even after being killed, Brian Moser had a similar impact on Dexter's life. Note: In the novels, Albert Doakes was proclaimed an archenemy in a similar fashion.
- Doakes had a picture of a young boy in a baseball uniform posed with a bat on his desk in "Crocodile." It's unknown if this was young Doakes, his nephew, or possibly a son. However, no children are referred to from his previous marriage.
- Sergeant Doakes is one of the most popular characters in the series, often subject to many fan wishes for his return. Most of his fame comes from his quotes and extreme suspicion of Dexter Morgan and, as such, he is sometimes viewed as a comical character rather than a serious one.
- Doakes was the most muscular member of Miami Metro Homicide, although Dexter could be argued as physically more fit from an athletic standpoint. The only person to ever dwarf Doakes was Little Chino, who not only stood much taller than Doakes, but had a more muscular frame.
- Doakes is the only main antagonist to be killed by another main antagonist.
- The Season Seven episode "Surprise, Motherfucker!" is a reference to the iconic line made by Doakes to Dexter in "Born Free."
- Doakes is the first main antagonist of the series to have appeared in a previous season.
- "Popping Cherry"
- "Let's Give the Boy a Hand"
- "Love American Style"
- "Return to Sender"
- "Circle of Friends"
- "Shrink Wrap"
- "Father Knows Best"
- "Seeing Red"
- "Truth Be Told"
- "Born Free"
- "It's Alive!"
- "Waiting to Exhale"
- "An Inconvenient Lie"
- "The Dark Defender"
- "Dex, Lies, and Videotape"
- "That Night, a Forest Grew"
- "Morning Comes"
- "Resistance is Futile"
- "There's Something About Harry"
- "Left Turn Ahead"
- "The British Invasion" (killed)
- "Surprise, Motherfucker!" (flashbacks)
- All in the Family - Chapter Two (cameo)