He is the oldest son of Arthur Mitchell and his wife Sally, with a younger sister Rebecca Mitchell. He also has a half-sister named Christine Hill, who was born from in his father's previous relationship. However, Jonah likely never met her.
He is a top-notch, high school student with a football career and a charming personality. At least, that's what he and the rest of the family show to the rest of the world. In fact, Jonah was tormented day in and day out by his abusive father, becoming the unfortunate target for his father's rage, passed on from his own father and Jonah's grandfather.
Jonah is a young, attractive Caucasian male with a tanned complexion. He has short, spiked up hair in the front and is usually seen with a bright, wide smile. Physically, he is very fit; as a football player, he works out often and has developed a strong physique.
Jonah has grown up in a family that many would say is perfect... from the outside. As such, he's developed a "mask" to show the rest of the world how happy he is, but his reality is far different.
In public, Jonah appears as a member of a perfect family. His mother, father, sister, are always happy, a part of their community and they never ever fight. Jonah is good about keeping up this mask whenever he's asked about his father (e.g. by Kyle Butler). He tells people outside the family that there are no problems and that his father is the best, coolest dad anyone could ask for, especially after getting his new car. He says it all with a bright smile and believable attitude that has very few cracks.
Behind the Mask
Jonah is suffering physical and mental abuse from his father, as well as the emotional abuse of watching his family tormented under Arthur's reign. He hides it in public but in reality, he deeply hates his father. Due to his fear of his father, Jonah never stands up to Arthur. He chooses not to argue with his father because of what might happen to him, but he bottles up a lot of his anger. In one incident, after Arthur broke each of his baseball trophies in front of him, he drives off to vent his frustration, first by angrily hitting baseballs and then bashing his dad's car with the baseball bat. The next day, Jonah lies about the situation regarding the broken windshield but Arthur sees through it and punishes him by breaking one of Jonah's fingers. This anger that Jonah tries to control for his father becomes fully displayed at the dinner table on Thanksgiving day.
Having had enough of listening to Arthur patronize the family, Jonah finally stands up to Arthur. He begins to destroy Arthur's trophies and declares him a "killer" (in a figurative sense, i.e. the way he is keeping his family under his foot). He even breaks the urn that holds Vera Mitchell's ashes. Arthur attacks Jonah and tries to kill him, while all Jonah can say at this point is, "Fuck you!" Thankfully, Dexter saves Jonah's life and pulls Arthur into the kitchen with the intent of killing him, although this fails when Rebecca and Sally protect him. Jonah watches, probably hopeful that Arthur is finally getting what he deserves.
Jonah seems to hold onto this attitude however, agreeing to aid Dexter in any way he can and does so by going through a list of vacant houses Arthur had been searching on the internet, which helps Dexter in locating the area where Scott Smith is being held captive (a ten-year-old child, the first victim in Arthur's kill cycle).
Later, Arthur returns home, bursting in to demand money, Jonah says he won't take the abuse anymore and stands up to his father, but he is overpowered once more. After Arthur leaves, Jonah pleads to his family for them to leave but they don't listen.
Following Arthur's "escape" and the death of Rita Morgan, Detective Joey Quinn begins tracking Jonah in an attempt to find out who Kyle Butler really is (believing him to be Dexter Morgan). Jonah seems to be adjusting well to life without his father around and is seen laughing inside the safe house,
When the FBI takes Jonah out to a store, he is faced with Joey Quinn who asks him about Kyle Butler. However, Jonah remains smart and doesn't reveal any info to Quinn. He only asks, "What do you want to know?" when shown a picture of the man he knows as Kyle, possibly in an attempt to protect the man who saved his family from Arthur's brutality.
FBI Special Agent Frank Lundy returns to Miami in search of who he calls The Trinity Killer, a man who has killed for over thirty years and has left a string of bodies across the country in a three victim cycle (technically four, but Lundy never found that out) every year or so. Unfortunately, Lundy loses his life when an assailant guns him down and wounds Detective Debra Morgan, which causes Dexter Morgan to pick up where Lundy left off. Dexter initially thinks that Trinity was the one who killed Lundy. With Lundy's research in hand, he tracks him to a house, where Trinity gets out and is greeted by a wife, then a pair of children (one of which is Jonah Mitchell). This surprises Dexter, to see that this man who has killed for over thirty years has a family grown and well. In relation to trying to figure out how he himself is going to survive for the years to come with his own family, Dexter begins to track Trinity.
Dexter learns that Trinity's name is Arthur Mitchell, a Deacon-practitioner who gives study sessions to young minds in high school. He meets with Arthur at his church and introduces himself as Kyle Butler, a man new in town who is separated from his wife and kids. Arthur tells him about the Four Walls One Heart, a community program that builds homes for the homeless (which happens to travel around the country) and invites him to a job. Dexter arrives at the site as planned, meets with Arthur, and begins to work alongside him. Dexter notices Arthur's family nearby and they seem happy and industrious. When he spots Jonah heading to the cooler for a drink, he takes this opportunity to introduce himself to Arthur's son.
Dexter approaches Jonah, shaking his hand as he asks if he's Arthur's son and learns his name for the first time. He notes that Jonah seems polite and well adjusted, then shares casual conversation with him. Jonah states that he enjoys spending time with the family and doesn't give any hint that something's wrong in his household. Dexter even inquires about fighting (by mentioning his own "family" as Kyle Butler) and Jonah states that they never fight, because there is nothing to fight about. Jonah says that his Dad's a pretty cool guy and references the G.T.500 that Arthur passed down to his him. Jonah says it was his father's "baby for years" and he's been given the keys to it. Jonah continues to say how his father's the best ever (at this stage, he's perfected a mask of being in a happy family so that no one knows the reality). He notices his Dad's stare and acts a bit nervous, though he plays it off by saying that his Dad's "not a fan of idle hands" before returning to work.
For a while, Jonah is referenced in conversation with Arthur Mitchell where Dexter learns that Jonah spends his mornings in ROTC, then has football practice in the afternoon. Arthur states that he wants to push his children out into the world so they can become self-sufficient. Arthur says he's proud that he doesn't get a whole lot of time with his kids, though Dexter sees this as meaning that his family doesn't get to see a whole lot of "Trinity." When Jonah makes a reappearance, he's shown washing the car his father gave him. Dexter gets somewhat of a glimpse into their relationship when Arthur scolds him for the way Jonah wipes the car. He dismisses it as nothing major and considers it just small cracks in a perfect family and it makes them perfectly normal.
Dexter takes a trip to Tampa with Arthur with the intent of dealing with his own guilt after the mistaken killing of Jonathan Farrow by putting an end to Arthur's life. In this, he learns Arthur's true back story and prepares himself to kill his nemesis only to see that Arthur's reached a point where suicide seems to be his only option. Arthur attempts to jump from the top of a building onto some spikes but Dexter catches him, not wanting him to die any other way than by his own hand. He starts to realize letting go of him could also be considered death by his own hand but two workers rush to help Arthur up just as Dexter is about to let him go. Dexter is hailed as a hero by the workers and Arthur himself, who now seems to be filled with a new breath of life.
The day before Thanksgiving, Dexter is seen spying on the Mitchell family with the mother and daughter happily working on decorations while Arthur talks with his son. Apparently, Coach Davies told Arthur about Jonah's decision not to play baseball anymore (he's both a baseball and football player). Arthur decides to take each of Jonah's trophies for his time in baseball and break them one by one. Jonah pleads with his father not do this but Arthur continues regardless, forcing Jonah to leave the house in anger. He drives off, saying, "Fuck you Dad," with Dexter following him.
He finds Jonah blowing off steam by hitting baseballs off in the distance until the anger gets the best of him and he turns to smash in the windshield of his Dad's car. When Dexter approaches to stop him, Jonah is startled to see "Mr. Butler" and asks what he's doing out there. Dexter says that he saw them fighting, but Jonah says they never fight. They then engage in a brief conversation:
Jonah: "Man you have no idea how he's like. How he treats my mother and Rebecca. You don't know what he's capable of!"
Dexter: "Well actually..."
Jonah: "He hits me..."
Dexter: "Well that's not right."
Jonah: "Y'know I'm running out of cliches to tell the coaches. 'I fell down some stairs, I walked into a door'...I know it looks like we have the perfect fucking' family but in that house, when he's there it's not a life; it's a tour of duty. Shit...he'd kill me if he knew I told you this stuff...
Dexter: "I won't say a word..."
Jonah: "...you should have just let him die".
Jonah says that he can't go home with the car like it is. Dexter suggests he can be there when Jonah tells Arthur about the car and Jonah invites him to Thanksgiving dinner at 1:00 pm the next day. Meanwhile, Jonah will stay overnight at his friend Luke's house.
Dexter arrives the next day, surprising the Mitchells (as Jonah didn't mention his invitation and hadn't been home since yesterday), but is included regardless. He helps somewhat with the food preparation until Arthur says that it's almost time for the game, a tradition shared in the family. He mentions his frustration in Jonah not being present.
Sally asks if their daughter can be let out now and Arthur (with an irritated tone) agrees, moving to her bedroom. Dexter inquires about this, whether or not she's grounded, but Sally says it's "nothing like that." When Rebecca appears, she and Arthur are cheery, with Arthur stating that he at least has one perfect child.
Arthur and Dexter then dig through the garage for a football and Dexter discovers the coffin that Arthur had built for himself. Arthur says he built it in preparation for his suicide, but he doesn't need it anymore, thanks to "Kyle." They finally find the football but it is completely deflated, something that further frustrates Arthur. He opens the garage and walks outside, just as Jonah drives up with a demolished car. Arthur's facial expression is no short of pissed off but he stands there quietly while Jonah lies about the car being damaged while it was parked at Luke's house. Arthur turns around to get a crowbar, something that makes Jonah very nervous only to see him give a temporary fix so the car is drive-able. Arthur then seems to alter his mood to happy once more and tells them it's time for the game, while Dexter reassures Jonah that things are going to work out.
They begin watching the game in the house, and everything seems fine. Jonah sits next to Dexter while Arthur quips about the game. Dexter soon says that he's not much of a football fan so he'll go help out Sally which leaves Jonah alone with his father (and quite worried). In reality, Dexter investigates Rebecca's bedroom to find it rather "young" for a teenager, while also noticing the windows are locked from the inside as well as a latch being present on the door. He then speaks with Rebecca outside while Arthur and his son continue watching the game. When there is a successful touchdown, both men rejoice and give each other a high-five, only for Arthur to grab hold roughly of Jonah's hand. He glares at him, bringing his other hand to take one of Jonah's fingers and break it on the spot, saying that was for the windshield. He then stands up to admire his own trophies on the wall while Jonah's anger begins to boil, watching Arthur with those things that he cherishes so much more than his own family.
The dinner commences and each family member says what they are thankful for. When no one mentions Arthur, he becomes even more frustrated than he was before. He makes a remark to Jonah, while both Sally and Rebecca attempt to say their thanks. However, he orders his wife to "shut up cunt" and calls his daughter by the name of his dead sister, Vera. Jonah finally stands up to Arthur, telling him that he's not thankful for Arthur and for him to stop calling Rebecca by his dead sister's name.
Jonah begins to destroy each of Arthur's trophies, with Arthur having his own temper tested. Jonah says that Arthur is a killer, a man who is leeching the life out of his own family and picks up the urn holding Vera's ashes. Arthur begs him not to do anything with it but Jonah throws the urn and it shatters against a cupboard. Arthur, infuriated now, grabs Jonah and begins to choke him out on a chair. Dexter takes off his belt and comes up behind Arthur, stringing it around his neck as he says, "Get the FUCK off him!" Dexter then pulls him into the kitchen and reveals his wish to kill Arthur. Before he can exact his vengeance, Sally and Rebecca storm in and huddle around Arthur (both victims of Battered Person Syndrome), while Jonah rushes to see what is happening (likely hopeful for his father's death). Dexter chooses to escape, running out of the house and with intense anger yells his frustrations for not taking care of Arthur sooner.
Following the Thanksgiving incident, Arthur Mitchell begins stalking a boy by the name of Scott Smith for yet unknown reasons to Dexter. He ends up abducting the boy and Dexter struggles to figure out how to track him down, so he heads back to the Mitchell house. He finds Jonah there who says that his mother and sister are out which gives Dexter a chance to talk to him. He asks Jonah to help him find out where Arthur went and notices that everything at the trophy area (including Vera's urn) is exactly back where it was, as if Thanksgiving never happened. He turns to look at Jonah and demands his help in finding Arthur, because he might hurt someone again. Jonah reluctantly agrees to go through files and other documents to find more info on him. Jonah does mention that Arthur is supposedly in Naples for a few days.
Dexter discovers that Arthur's pattern of killings actually begins with a ten-year-old boy that goes missing. Jonah calls Dexter to inform him of a realty company with some open houses and Dexter thinks this may be the perfect area for Arthur to keep the child. Before hanging up, Jonah asks how he knows just who Arthur really is and Dexter says they have a lot in common (referring to being a serial killer). Through some legwork, Dexter manages to find Arthur attempting to bury Scott in cement beneath the foundation of one of the houses he's about to build. In reality, this is what he has done for many years, always starting the cycle with a boy. Dexter saves the child but loses Arthur in the process.
In the events afterward, Christine Hill is identified as Trinity's daughter and confesses to shooting Frank Lundy and Debra Morgan before killing herself. Meanwhile, Arthur Mitchell continues to investigate the name "Kyle Butler." He kills one man with that name and visits another one's home, only to find no such Kyle seemingly lives in Miami. Dexter tails Trinity to a location but is forced to go back to the police station, while Arthur follows him back and finally discovers Kyle's real name: Dexter Morgan They meet face-to-face in the homicide dept and Arthur greets him with, "Hello, Dexter Morgan." Arthur warns him to stay away and he'll leave Dexter alone, but as Trinity leaves, Dexter impulsively follows him, planning to catch him and take him down, very unlike his normally controlled behavior. Because of this, he actually loses Trinity due to a minor accident he has during the pursuit and is locked up for fighting with a sheriff.
Arthur sees now this his only way of getting through this now is escape, so he returns home while Jonah and family are eating to demand all of their money and valuables. Jonah once again stands up to Arthur, only to be forced against the wall, threatened, and told that everything he has in life is because of Arthur and he's going to take all of it away. Jonah realizes that Arthur has done something bad again after Arthur says that someone stole something from him. While his father goes through the house searching for money, Jonah begs his mother for this chance to escape from him for good. She refuses, saying that they'll live in fear of him for the rest of their lives. Jonah replies that they already do. She shakes her head and walks away, Jonah failing to convince her it's time to be rid of Arthur.
Police are finally closing in on the true Trinity Killer and Dexter is running out of time. He needs to find Arthur and put an end to his Legacy once and for all. He goes to the Mitchell residence, after learning of Arthur's disappearance and desire to escape but he arrives at an unfortunate time. He looks out the window to see SWAT Team members on scene and ready to capture Mitchell. Dexter panics and runs through to the garage while the team busts down the door and forces the family to the floor. Dexter hides in the coffin for a moment, before exiting and pulling out his badge just in time to tell a SWAT team member that he's with forensics (of note, he saves himself a second time in Season Five with a similar excuse). Dexter asks Debra how they figured out Arthur was Trinity and she runs through the Four Walls One Heart lead, and says that Arthur's bank account has been completely emptied out. Dexter heads outside where he sees the Mitchell family being put into a police car for protection and questioning, something that he envisions may happen to his own family if he's ever caught.
Shortly thereafter, Dexter tracks down and kills Arthur Mitchell, although as far as the FBI and the Miami Metro Homicide Department know, Arthur has escaped. The family is quickly placed into protective custody of the FBI and are watched constantly while a nationwide manhunt commences for Trinity.
Arthur Mitchell claimed one final victim before his "escape" (or rather, death), the unfortunate wife of Dexter Morgan himself, Rita. Both the police and FBI arrive on scene to find Dexter, with initial questioning of the husband as the prime suspect (after saying "It was me" especially) at first but the signs of Rita's death all point to Trinity. At first Detective Joey Quinn suspects Dexter as having a hand in her death, but later starts to follow the assumption that he knew more about Trinity than he was willing to share.
This leads him to contact Agent Ray Walker, the man in charge of the witness protection for the Mitchell's to get in touch with Jonah Mitchell, who was the prime contact with "Kyle Butler" who is on the FBI's track-list. Quinn ends up with some composite sketches that resemble Dexter and he tracks down Jonah to a grocery store where he attempts to show him a picture of Dexter and ask if he is Kyle Butler. Before Jonah can answer, two FBI agents race in and cuff Quinn, preventing him from finding out any info. Jonah is told to head back to the car. This is the last he's seen for more than a year. Jonah and his family are placed in the Witness Protection Program and, at some point, they move to Nebraska.
Jonah has been living in Kearney, Nebraska with his mother Sally Mitchell and sister, Rebecca Mitchell. Brother and sister were forced to live with the constant preaching of Sally's love and admiration for the man who abused the family. Despite the fear she had of him, she was still in love with Arthur Mitchell. She repeatedly blamed both of her kids for their father's actions, and said they were the reason he left them. Rebecca, having dealt with too much emotional abuse, first from her father and then her mother, committed suicide in her bathtub by slicing her femoral artery and bleeding out to her death (incidentally, the same fashion in which her father killed the bathtub victims). Jonah found his little sister like this and the rage he felt against his father grew to such a peak that he couldn't hold it back. He confronted his mother and smashed her skull with a hockey stick over and over until she lay dead on the floor.
Jonah felt guilt and remorse almost instantly, but thought it best for his own interests to cover up both deaths as the work of his father, The Trinity Killer. Jonah reappears in the episode "Nebraska" as the sole survivor of his family. In a small town with limited resources, even the FBI assumed that Trinity was responsible. Jonah continued with his life, working at a local hardware store while this news reached Miami and, more importantly, Dexter Morgan (the man who had killed Trinity).
Dexter is currently dealing with his recent choice of darkness over light concerning Brother Sam's death and his killer, Nick (who he was given the choice of forgiving but choose to drown after his clear lack of remorse). Because of this, his brother Brian Moser returns to represent the "dark-side" of Dexter and his urges (Dark Passenger), while Harry Morgan represents the "light-side" of his conscience.
Dexter's sister Lt. Debra Morgan informs him of Trinity's return. This causes "Brian" to quip that Jonah is the one responsible for the killings, because Arthur Mitchell was killed by Dexter a couple years before. With some convincing, Dexter decides to head for Nebraska in search of Jonah. Along the way, he starts to lose control of himself, becoming more and more "dark" as his "brother" pushes him to be more spontaneous (such as sex with a random girl; "Brian" intended for her to be killed, but Dexter simply wanted her gun).
Dexter finally meets Jonah face to face and is greeted the same way that Arthur greeted him when learning of his true identity: "Hello, Dexter Morgan." During Jonah's lunch break, he tells Dexter that because of Rita Morgan's death being placed well on the news as well as Dexter's face that the family figured it out who he was but decided to keep this information sacred, since they felt that "Kyle Butler" was just trying to help them out. Dexter admits that he knew Arthur was the Trinity killer but makes up a lie that he pursued him as a way to become a "hero" by bringing him to justice. Jonah explains his side of the story with what happened at their household while Dexter, feeling that the kid has a good sense of how to lie to people, still wants to make sure that Jonah is innocent before making the choice to kill him.
Later on Dexter visits the new Mitchell household, absent his kill tools and forensic equipment (thanks to a pot-growing motel owner named Norm). Using homemade methods of determining the events, Dexter deduces that Jonah's story to the public is a falsity. As he investigates further, he is confronted by Jonah, telling him to get out. Dexter says that it's not possible for Trinity to have committed the murders and it doesn't take long for Jonah to figure out the truth from Dexter's eyes, his serious nature. Jonah asks Dexter if he killed his father and Dexter openly admits it, while Jonah shows an expression of a man angry at losing his chance to kill his own father (which he has long since desired) and flees the house.
After Dexter gets his tools back (while killing off Norm), Jonah calls Dexter for a meeting at his store and the two confront each other. Jonah tells him that he never should have come to Nebraska and Dexter says he tried to set their family free, then questioning him about killing Rebecca and Sally. Jonah charges toward Dexter with a hook, only to be forced against a wall with the hook against his own his throat.
Jonah begs Dexter to kill him, while "Brian" beckons on and Dexter starts to realize something isn't right. Jonah tells him the truth of what really happened; how brother and sister were forced to live with the constant abuse of their mother, which led to Rebecca's suicide and his bludgeoning his mother to death.
Dexter steps back while "Brian" becomes angrier. In remembering his own son, Harrison, Dexter chooses to let Jonah go free because he has feelings of remorse and guilt, showing that he has a conscience. Jonah wasn't trying to be like Trinity, he just had an angry burst of rage.
As Dexter gets into his car, Jonah runs out of the store asking how he's supposed to live with himself knowing what he did. Dexter tells him that he should forgive himself and drives off, leaving Jonah to reconcile his thoughts. Dexter leaves Nebraska and his past with Trinity and the Mitchell Family behind.
- Dexter Morgan - Attacked him with a hook but was easily overpowered. In reality, Jonah was hoping that Dexter would retaliate and kill him..
- Rebecca Mitchell - Suspected by Dexter as being killed by Jonah, but he later finds out she committed suicide.
- Arthur Mitchell
- Sally Mitchell
- Rebecca Mitchell
- Vera Mitchell
- Kyle Butler (alias)
- Arthur Mitchell's House
- Four Walls One Heart
- Ray Walker
- Joey Quinn
- Jonah Mitchell's House
- Jonah is one of the characters known to be spared by Dexter. The others he decided not to kill are Jeremy Downs, Paul Bennett, Jimmy Sensio, Ramon Prado, Andy Brightman, Elliot Larson, Robert Brunner, Joey Quinn, Brother Sam, Louis Greene, Hannah McKay, Isaak Sirko, Joe Jensen, Zach Hamilton, and Oliver Saxon. Not mentioned here are the ones Dexter temporarily spared because he ended up killing them.
- In Season Eight, when Dexter hacks Oliver Saxon's computer, there is a file named J. Mitchell. It is unknown whether it is Jonah Mitchell or someone else, but it's possible that the person was killed by Saxon or treated by Vogel.