The Surprising Connection Between Dexter And Buffy: The Vampire Slayer

On their surfaces, "Dexter" and "Buffy: the Vampire Slayer" seem like very distinct shows. "Buffy" was a genre show on two lesser networks: WB and UPN. It was pigeonholed as sci-fi/fantasy, strictly for teen girls and nerds. "Dexter" was one of the first prestige dramas. Although it was pulpy, it was almost immediately given critical praise, with Brian Lowry of Variety stating that it and "Friday Night Lights" had "blossomed to rank among TV's best programs." "Dexter" and "Buffy" take place on opposite sides of the country. One exists in a world where monsters are only figurative; while in the other they are very, very real.

There were, however, some thematic similarities. "Dexter" starred Michael C. Hall as the titular serial killer with a code. While hiding in plain sight as a blood spatter expert for the Miami Dade County Police Department, Dexter moonlighted as a killer of killers. Feeding his own dark impulses, Dexter tried to keep his killing in check by only going after people more monstrous than him. "Buffy" starred Sarah Michelle Gellar as a Vampire Slayer — a chosen one who will alone fight the vampires, demons, and the forces of darkness. But in Season 7, it is revealed that the Slayer's power comes from demonic possession. There is a darkness in the slayer that is sublimated by destroying literal monsters.

However, there's also evidence that "Dexter" and "Buffy" take place in the same universe.

Dexter and Buffy share a favorite fictional fast food joint

In the "Dexter" Season 1 episode, "Truth Be Told," Detective Batista is chided by his estranged wife Nina for sneaking Doublemeat Palace burgers into his hospital room. Batista had just been stabbed by the Ice Truck Killer, and burgers weren't a part of his recovery plan. But the name "Doublemeat Palace" rang bells for any "BTVS" fans watching "Dexter." In the Season 6 episode "Doublemeat Palace," Buffy goes to work at the burger joint of the same name. She suspects the restaurant is pulling a Soylent Green — feeding people meat to people. How did a fictional fast food franchise get from Sunnydale to Miami, and from UPN to Showtime?

The answer lies in "Truth Be Told" writer Drew Z. Greenberg. Greenberg was a writer on the latter seasons of "Buffy," and brought the Doublemeat Palace to "Dexter" as a little in-joke. Who's to say some of the killers in Dexter's world aren't supernatural in origin?

The only problem with "Dexter" and "Buffy" being in the same universe lies in two characters whose doppelganger nature would take some pretty serious phlebotinum to explain. Rita, Dexter's wife, was played by Julie Benz. Benz also had a crucial role in the "Buffyverse." She played Darla, Angel's sire/longtime lover. Darla was staked in Season 1 of "Buffy," then came back to "Angel" in Season 2. But if Rita turned out to be Darla's identical great-great-great-great-great-granddaughter, it would hardly be the weirdest thing to happen on either show.