Michael Nader as Farnsworth "Dex" Dexter
|Portrayed by||Michael Nader (1983-1989)|
|First appearance||"Dex" (1983)|
|Last appearance||"Catch 22" (1989)|
|Created by||Richard and Esther Shapiro|
Farnsworth "Dex" Dexter is a fictional character on the American TV series Dynasty. The character was introduced as a love interest for Alexis Colby in episode 69. He will become her third husband, and arguably the second great love of her life, after Blake. Even after their marriage ends, Dex remains a strong force in Alexis's life. The role was originated by Michael Nader in 1983, and remained on the show until the final episode (#220) in 1989. Dex did not return for the 1991 miniseries Dynasty: The Reunion.
After ColbyCo. abruptly abandons its plans to acquire Denver-Carrington, board member Sam Dexter, an old friend of Blake Carrington's, sends his son Dex to meet with Blake to understand why. In episode 69, Dex confronts Blake and his ex-wife Alexis Carrington. Dex and Alexis are immediately drawn to each other. Dex gets the best of Alexis in a business deal (he discovers information in her office and acts on it before she can) and offers her a 60-40 split so they can work together. Although Alexis resists, by episode 72 they become lovers.
Their relationship is tempestuous and passionate. In episodes 82 & 83, Dex learns that Alexis has slept with Rashid Ahmed in order to sabotage a deal he has with Blake. A furious Dex confronts Alexis. She slaps him - and much to her shock, he slaps her back. Their fight soon turns to lovemaking. However, Alexis continues to demand independence from Dex and he turns to Denver-Carrington PR Director Tracy Kendall for solace in a one-night stand. Tracy tells Alexis about their affair, and Alexis ends their relationship.
After Alexis was arrested for the murder of Mark Jennings in episode 88, Dex rallies to her defense and bails her out of jail. After she is found guilty, Dex and Adam desperately try to clear her name. They eventually uncover evidence that Neal McVane was the killer and Alexis is freed.
Soon after, Dex meets Alexis's daughter, Amanda Carrington, and they are immediately drawn together in a love-hate relationship. Dex argues with Alexis, who refuses to reveal who Amanda's father is, that she's behaving foolishly. This causes a rift between Dex and Alexis and draws Dex and Amanda closer together. In episode 99, Alexis attempts to build a family bond by planning a ski weekend. However, travel plans go awry and Dex and Amanda are snowed in alone. Their heated argument turns to passion, and they give in to their feelings and make love. Soon after, Alexis arrives and announces that she and Dex are going to be married.
Now married to Alexis, Dex must rebuff Amanda's amorous advances. She tells Alexis that Dex has a mysterious past with businessman Daniel Reece, stemming from their experiences together in Vietnam. Daniel recruits Dex to accompany him on a top-secret paramilitary maneuver. In episode 109, Dex returns from the mission, without Daniel, suffering from a fever. In his delirium calls out for Amanda, arousing Alexis's suspicions. During his recovery, Amanda makes a final plea to Dex for them to be together, but Dex refuses. Amanda turns to Prince Michael of Moldavia and Alexis, who has a past with Michael's father, King Galen, is all too happy to push them to marry.
After recovery, and against Alexis's wishes, Dex returns on his "mission" to rescue Daniel. When Daniel plans to complete his "mission," Dex declines to join him. Unfortunately, in episode 115, Dex receives word that Daniel has been killed.
Dex's continued emotions for Amanda will complicate her engagement to Prince Michael. When Moldavia rebels attempt to kidnap Amanda in episode 115, Dex manages to rescue her. Later, Amanda suspects that Michael is sleeping with Elena, a Moldavia noblewoman, and turns to Dex. He comforts her, arousing Michael's ire. Dex and Alexis fight over Amanda and Michael's wedding plans. Dex accuses Alexis of pushing Amanda into a loveless marriage to fulfill her own desires stemming from a thwarted teenage romance with King Galen. As their argument escalates, Dex tells Alexis that he's not going to attend the wedding and will return to Denver. In episode 177, as Dex leaves Moldavia, he encounters deliverymen bringing in crates in the middle of the night. Suspicious, he demands answers as to what they're doing. The deliverymen knock him unconscious and spirit him away. When he comes to, Dex is being held prisoner by the rebels. He realizes that they are planning to attack the wedding. Dex manages to break free and rushes to warn the wedding party. He arrives too late, however, and finds the chapel in carnage. He tries to prevent the rebel mastermind, Yuri, from shooting the King. Yuri manages to hit the King before Dex wrestles him to the ground. As the men struggle, the gun fires, and they both lie still surrounded by the bloody bodies of the entire Carrington family.
Dex survives the attack, as do most of the wedding guests. Dex is worried when Alexis is not released with the rest of the prisoners. Eventually she is released when Blake pays ransom for both her and Krystle.
The King is missing and presumed dead, however, Alexis learns that he is being held for ransom. Dex agrees to help her rescue the King. They sneak into Moldavia where they are captured. In episode 125, Dex escapes and rescues Alexis and Galen. Upon returning to Denver, Dex refuses to let a paralyzed Galen recuperate in their home. Dex suspects (correctly) that Galen is feigning his paralysis and tries to force him to walk. When Alexis rushes to his defense, Dex is driven closer to Amanda. When Dex catches Alexis imagining herself as Queen of Moldavia (complete with crown) in episode 135, he is heartbroken. Amanda finds a drunken Dex and they make love again - only to be caught in the act by Alexis in episode 136. Alexis immediately flies to St Thomas for a quick divorce. In episode 137, Dex tries to reconcile but Alexis rejects him. He turns to Amanda, who soon after divorces the Prince. However, by episode 140, Dex tells Amanda that their relationship has no future.
Dex continues to work on the Denver-Carrington pipeline project, hiring Clay Fallmont. Dex and Alexis cannot complete break ties, despite attempts by Ben Carrington, Blake's brother, to keep Alexis for himself. Dex tries to warn Alexis of Ben's shady past in episode 147, to no avail. Alexis succeeds in her scheme to destroy Blake, but is double-crossed by Ben.
Dex partners with Blake on a risky business venture in order to help Blake recover from Ben's shady machinations. When Alexis, as a joint partner in Dex's company, demands details, Dex refuses. In episode 153, Alexis and Dex are stranded in his construction trailer on the pipeline worksite. In their usual fashion, the argument turns passionate, and they are soon making love. Dex and Alexis's romance infuriates Ben, who attempts to drive them apart. Dex agrees to help Blake against Ben. Dex and Clay travel to Caracas to rescue Caress, Alexis's sister, whom Ben had falsely imprisoned when she uncovered evidence proving Blake's innocence. Dex meets an old work acquaintance, Leslie Saunders, who turns out to be Ben's long-lost daughter. Leslie works for Dex on the pipeline project.
Dex and Alexis's relationship is short-lived. In episode 162, Blake and Alexis are in an oil rig explosion in the South China Sea. Dex and Krystle rush to the hospital, only do discover they have disappeared. In episode 163, they find out that Blake is suffering from amnesia, remembering nothing past 1964. Alexis has convinced Blake that they're still married. When Blake's memory returns, Dex accuses Alexis of still loving her ex-husband. They fight, and Dex finally tells Alexis he is leaving her for good in episode 165. In episode 165, Dex and Dominique Deveraux start spending time together, and romance seems poised to bloom. They travel together to Wyoming to visit Dex's father and his best friend, Boyd Curtis. Unfortunately, Boyd and his daughter are killed in a car wreck that same day. Dex convinces Boyd's widow, Sarah, to donate her daughter's heart to Blake and Krystle's ailing daughter, Krystina.
At Adam Carrington's wedding, Dex chastises Alexis for her foolish dalliance with playboy Gavin Maurier. Alexis throws a drink in his face and storms out. Moments later, a band of men burst into the Carrington mansion brandishing guns. Dex attempts to stop them, only to be knocked unconscious.
Dex is held hostage, with the rest of the Carringtons by Krystle's deranged (and presumed dead) ex-lover, Matthew Blaisdel. Dex manages to escape, but is shot while running across the grounds of the estate. He is later found by a search party and rushed to the hospital, where he makes a full recovery.
Dex has been casually involved with Leslie Carrington, but their relationship ends when Leslie has a fling with Jeff Colby and goes to work for Alexis. Dex develops a friendship with Jeff's ex-wife (and Blake's daughter), Fallon. In episode 187, Fallon asks Dex to help her investigate a business deal in Africa, where he discovers that the key contact there, Harry Thresher, has ties to Alexis's new husband, Sean Rowan. Dex grows more suspicious and tries to warn Alexis, who dismisses his warnings as jealousy. In episode 194, Leslie confesses to Dex that she has been sleeping with Sean, and learned that he is seeking to destroy Alexis in revenge for the death of his father, Joseph Anders. Dex warns Alexis who fears the worst.
Dex and Blake travel to Africa in episode 195, where they discover the business deal was a cover for illegal arms shipments. Sean had planned to set up Alexis and Blake to take the fall. Sean locks Blake and Dex on a tanker and plans to blow up the ship. At the last minute, Dex uses grenades from the arms shipment to blow a hole in the tanker so they can escape. A body washes ashore following the explosion and is presumed to be Sean. When it turns out to be Harry Thresher, Dex assures Alexis that no one could have survived the explosion. However, in episode 198, Dex goes to check on Alexis and finds Sean holding her at gunpoint. The men fight and grapple for the gun. A shot rings out! A horrified Alexis cries, "Oh my God!"
Dex has shot and killed Sean. In episode 199, he takes Alexis to Los Angeles to put this terrible time behind them and they make love. Afterwards, Dex tells Alexis that he's not interested in helping her repair the damage that Sean caused ColbyCo, but is ultimately drawn into the mess. He tells her that Sean invested millions of ColbyCo's assets in collusion with Alexis's comptroller, Fritz Heath, in order to bankrupt the company.
Dex meets Alexis's cousin, Sable Colby, who attempts to charm information about ColbyCo from him. In episode 204, he unknowingly sells Alexis's hotel to Sable, who plans to evict Alexis. A furious Alexis berates Dex for not investigating the deal more closely.
Earlier in the season, a body was found at the bottom of a lake on the Carrington property. The dead body turns out to be Roger Grimes, the man with whom Alexis was sleeping when she and Blake divorced. He had been dead for 20 years but the cold temperatures in the lake preserved his body. Dex suspects that Alexis has unresolved feeling for Roger when she vows to prove Blake killed him. Fallon asks Dex what he knows about the man-made lake, and Dex vaguely mentions that it was used to flood an abandoned mine on the property following a failed business deal between the Colby, Carrington, and Dexter families: Colterton Mines. At some point before this season Sam Dexter has died and Dex and Blake later agree never to reveal "the truth about the mine."
Dex continues to cross paths with Sable, in dealing with both the African tanker deal and the situation with the abandoned mine. In episode 211, Sable reveals that she was investigating the mine to determine what her ex-husband was hiding, and never meant to hurt Blake or Dex. She promises to abandon her investigation. Dex is attracted to her genuine regret. Unfortunately, Sable's henchman continues his investigation without her - and he's not the only one.
Sable is threatened by a deranged, gun-toting, Fritz Heath in episode 212. Sable manages to calm him down and diffuse the situation, however. Still feeling shaken by the ordeal, she goes to see Dex and he comforts her, and they wind up in bed. Sable apologizes to Dex saying she respects his love for Alexis. They agree their fling meant nothing - but wind up right back in bed together. Sable and Dex want to protect Blake from Alexis - her quest for information on Roger Grimes will inevitable reveal information about the hidden mine that they want to keep secret. Dex assures Sable that his feelings for Alexis have never prevented him from doing the right thing. Ultimately, it is revealed that 8-year-old Fallon had shot Roger Grimes after finding him beating Alexis, and Blake's father Tom had hid the body in a mine under the lake to protect Fallon. The situation is complicated by the fact that the mine is full of stolen Nazi treasure, hidden there by Blake's late father. Roger's body had been disturbed from its hiding place by someone looking for the treasure.
In episode 219, Dex is shocked to learn that Sable is pregnant. Dex is upset when Sable indicates that she will raise the child without him. In the episode 220, the final episode of the series, at the Carleton Hotel Dex confronts Sable and Alexis for using him and throwing him aside. He mentions that Sable is pregnant, much to her chagrin. Alexis and Adam taunt Dex with the news, causing Dex to push Adam to the floor in frustration. When Dex turns his back, Adam rushes him. Dex falls backward into Alexis, sending them both crashing through a railing and falling off a second-story balcony while Adam, Sable, and Monica watch in horror.
In 1991's Dynasty: The Reunion an older couple is standing in the Carrington mansion, talking about the fall Alexis and Dex made at the Carlton Hotel. The woman thinks it was right there, at the Carrington mansion and is not listening to the man next to her who tells her otherwise. Krystle, having just arrived and not knowing what's going on, listens to them and asks what and whom they are talking about. The woman tells her that Alexis managed to turn in mid-air and land on top of Dex. It is left unclear whether Dex survived the fall, as the woman continues that Dex "didn't fare as well" as Alexis did.
Notes and references
- The character of Daniel Reece was abruptly written off due to the declining health of actor Rock Hudson who was in the final stages of AIDS.
- Joan Collins was conspicuously absent from the first episode of the season, due to tense contract negotiations
- Their relationship never progresses past amiable friendship
- In Seasons 3 and 4, Alexis drove Sean's father to suicide. See Alexis Colby and Kirby Anders for details.