A. In Episode 2, of Season 7, "Sunshine and Frosty Swirl".
We see Dexter's apartment in virtually every episode, but this is the first time they've done a scene outside on his lawn.
the scene, Dexter has just confessed to Debra that he is a serial
killer, and she flees in horror, running down the stairs, collapsing on
the lawn and vomiting.
He tries to calm her down, asking if she's OK, but she cringes from him, declaring that she will never be OK again.
She starts asking him questions. He tells her
that he only kills certain kinds of people, and that their father
taught him a code. Debra is horrified to learn that Harry knew.
But when she
asks him if he's the Bay Harbor Butcher, he reminds her that they are
outside, and that isn't a good place to discuss such things.
Eventually, she reluctantly goes back inside, where the conversation continues.
We see this front lawn & gate again in Episode 5 ("Swim Deep"), when Isaak leaves Dexter's apartment.
What is it actually in real life?
A. A mix
of three separate locations: an actual apartment house, a studio set,
and the lawn of another apartment house 2,000 miles away.
Where can I find it in real life?
A. This gets tricky.
We're talking about
the front lawn here, but the scene involves a mix of that lawn, his
apartment house, and his apartment interior.
Dexter's original Miami apartment house was the Bay Harbor Club condos, located at 1155 103rd Street, out on Bay Harbor Island, in Miami Beach, Florida. (An appropriate location, considering that he was the "Bay Harbor Butcher"...)
But after shooting a few initial
scenes in Miami for the first few episodes, the producers built a
replica of the interior of his apartment, at their Hollywood studios - complete with accurate (fake)
views of the outside when he opens the door. The set also includes a
replica of the front door exterior and the walkway outside.
Up until this 7th Season, they
have always used a combination of that old footage of the real apartment
house in Miami (for establishing shots), and that studio set at Sunset-Gower studios in Hollywood, CA.
For this season, however, they wanted to
do a scene outside on his front lawn. They had sent a film crew to
Miami before the season started, to capture some fresh views of that
apartment exterior (as well as other Miami locales), but apparently the
stars didn't come along.
So, for the front lawn scene, they simply used the front lawn of an apartment house near the studio, named the Carlton Park Apartments. The address is 5916 Carlton Way, in Hollywood, CA.
That's just west of Bronson, basically one long block northeast of Sunset-Gower studio.
Which, I'm sure, was one of the
main reasons they chose the locale. I suspect that the aqua-green
coloring on the gates (which somewhat matches Dexter's original
apartment) also entered into the choice, along with the front lawn and
those big palm trees.
the apartment house bears little resemblance to the Miami condos.
But it was a dark night scene, and mostly close-ups; all you really
ever see of it is the gate, the lawn and the sidewalk, so it passed the
Here is a Google StreetView of the apartments, showing the gate & lawn seen in the scene:
Rick got these shots, driving past the location during filming in July 2012.
[Warning: These areprivateapartments. Do not knock on their doors, trespass on their property, or do anything else that might disturb the residents. ]
A. In the early seasons, I usually had to hunt down the locations after viewing the episodes,
using clues from the various scenes. By the now, though,
I've developed a small group of fans, spies & tipsters who kept an
eye out for Dexter filming in their neighborhoods, and would let me know
in advance when something was about to film there.
Between those reports, my own personal reconnaissance around town, and a
few new resources I discovered, by the time the first episode airs, I
already know most (but not all) of the filming locations, and only
need to watch the episodes and match up the scenes with the correct
This group of helpful fans includes Rick, Ellen, Elaine, Mia, Joel, Susan, Eric, Jeff, Kerry & others. My thanks to all of
This tip (and the photos above) came from Rick. (Thanks, Rick!)