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The Hillsborough River as it flows through the city of Tampa toward its outlet on Tampa Bay

Tampa is a location in the Showtime series DEXTER, as well as in real life.

It is a major city on the west coast of Florida situated on Tampa Bay (a large estuary), near the Gulf of Mexico.

Season One

Rudy Cooper kidnaps Debra Morgan and a manhunt ensues. Angel Batista leaves the hospital and goes to Miami Metro Homicide with a hit on Rudy’s fingerprints. Rudy has been living under a false identity and his real name is Brian Moser. According to the report, Brian grew up in a Tampa mental hospital after he was institutionalized for antisocial personality disorder. He was released at age 21 because he was “cured.”

Meanwhile, Dexter tracks Rudy to a small house and learns that he's his brother Brian. After Dexter absorbs this fact, Brian describes his life after the Shipping Yard Massacre. Brian recalls how everyone viewed him as a “fucked up kid” and he was locked away. His only "family" were doctors, therapists, and group leaders who tried to force him into living a “lie.” Through the years, Brian felt “the isolation, the otherness, and the hunger that was never satisfied.” Brian was never put up for adoption, but he held onto the memory of his bio family. The day came when he decided to track down his brother, Dexter.

Roberto is a Cuban-American and the uncle to Oscar, a ten-year-old immigrant boy who was found hiding inside a car at The Castillos' salvage yard. Lt. Maria LaGuerta begins to form a bond with Oscar, and she even considers adopting him. However, Oscar's Uncle Roberto is located in Tampa and he travels to Miami to pick him up. Oscar is overjoyed to see his uncle, and they leave together to live Tampa.

Season Four

Dexter convinces Arthur Mitchell to take him on a road trip to Tampa, where there is a Four Walls One Heart build site. While there, Dexter plans to kill Arthur. As an alibi, Dexter lies to Rita and Maria LaGuerta that he is attending a Weather Convention in Tampa. During the road trip to Tampa, Dexter discloses that he accidentally killed a man while “hunting.” Arthur appears shocked, which Dexter finds amusing as Arthur himself has killed numerous people.

Upon arrival in Tampa, Arthur and Dexter book separate rooms. That night, Arthur then tells Dexter that he wants to show him something. The next morning, Arthur drives them to a small blue house. Arthur runs up to the door and furiously knocks on it. When a baffled Asian couple answer, he says that he grew up in this house, and pushes past them as Dexter follows.

Arthur leads Dexter up the stairs and into the bathroom. Arthur states that it all started there. He goes on to say that he was ten-years-old and watching his sister, Vera, take a shower. She saw Arthur in the mirror which startled her, causing her to slip and shatter the glass shower door. The glass sliced her femoral artery and she bled to death before the ambulance arrived. As a result, his mother became a “shell” and eventually killed herself by jumping to her death. This left Arthur alone with his abusive, alcoholic father who blamed Arthur for what happened. Arthur later bludgeoned his father to death.

Dexter asks Arthur why he told him about this, and Arthur replies, “So you'll know you're not alone! You're just like me! We're both responsible for the death of an innocent,” and he then hugs Dexter. The angry homeowners inform them that the police have been called, so Dexter and Arthur quickly depart.

After they leave Arthur’s childhood home, they go to a diner for lunch. Dexter leaves for a few minutes to have his picture taken with weatherman Sonny Skyes to reinforce his alibi. When he returns to the table, Arthur isn't there. Instead, he is sitting with a family of strangers and his behavior is making them very uncomfortable. Dexter convinces Arthur to leave so they can enjoy their meal. Next, they shop at a hardware store with Dexter bringing rolls of plastic sheeting back to his hotel room.

Later, after Dexter prepares a kill room in the bathroom, he discovers that Arthur is missing from his room. Dexter locates him standing on the edge of a roof about to commit suicide. Torn between what to do, Dexter ends up saving Arthur’s life, to his later regret.

Season Eight

When Vince Masuka hires Debra Morgan to do a background check on his daughter Niki Walters, he mentions that his retired parents live in Tampa.

Related Pages

Tampa Trivia

  • The driving distance from Miami to Tampa is about 280 miles (451 kilometers).
  • The Hillsborough River flows through Tampa, with Tampa Bay as the outlet.
  • Tampa's climate features hot and humid summers with frequent thunderstorms and dry and mild winters.
  • Six bridges cross Tampa Bay.
  • Since 1904, the Gasparilla Pirate Festival, a mock pirate invasion, is held each year in late January or early February. Often referred to as Tampa's "Mardi Gras," the invasion flotilla led by the pirate ship, Jose Gasparilla, draws over 400,000 attendees.

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