In the sequel season about the beloved vigilante killer, some characters get what they deserve while others don’t.
Dexter: New Blood, the much-anticipated sequel to Showtime’s popular crime drama, Dexter, took off ten years after the events of the original series. Dexter Morgan is now living under an assumed name. Tucked away in the remote cradle of nature, he has friends, an unsuspecting girlfriend who is also the town’s Sheriff, and a thoroughly above-board job. For all intents and purposes, he seems to have his life sorted.
Yet, this new life he has built from scratch is shattered, as he ends up killing after a decade. A range of new characters appears hoping to bring closure to Dexter fans, and the show certainly succeeded in some respects but left fans wanting in others.
In the very first episode, fans are left with an immediate sense of foreboding when a young girl, Lily, claims that she is passing through the town on her own. Although Angela tries to help her, it is evident that she would end up in a bad way.
The girl is seen drinking champagne and gorging on chocolates inside a bunker where she has been presumably lured. She then realizes that she is being watched. Fans flinch as they have to watch her die a brutal death for absolutely no reason as she inevitably falls prey to a depraved killer.
When true-crime podcaster Molly Park shows up in Iron Lake, not everyone is thrilled. For instance, Sheriff Angela Bishop anticipates nothing but annoyance from the young woman who would do her best to find out whatever she could about the disappearance of Matt Caldwell for her own selfish purposes.
However, Molly soon endears herself both to Angela and the fans, and it comes as quite a shock when it is revealed towards the end that she had been abducted and murdered by Kurt Caldwell. Her death appears even more tragic because Molly had already escaped Kurt once, thanks to Dexter, or Jim. And yet, she ends up dying anyway, which is not fitting at all.
Nerdy young Ethan had a very raw deal handed to him indeed. He was bullied in school by other boys who enjoyed having the power to intimidate him. He soon found his own superhero in Harrison who stood up for him. Yet, once the latter had earned his trust, Harrison hurt Ethan, causing the latter to end up in a life or death situation.
What was even more twisted was that Harrison became a hero in the process as he put the entire blame on Ethan, who was now unable to reveal the truth, being incapacitated in a hospital bed. He was henceforth touted as a potential killer with a hitlist who had been miraculously brought down by the brave Harrison inside the school premises, thus saving everybody’s life. Not a fate that is remotely fitting for any innocent person at all.
Coach Logan is the good-natured sergeant at the precinct and a part-time wrestling coach at the local school where both Audrey and Harrison are studying.
Logan is friendly, caring and ends up being something of a father figure to Harrison. He is more comfortable around the boy than Dexter could ever be and this makes his sudden death, at none other than Dexter’s hands, even more shocking. Even worse, Logan doesn’t fit the code that Dexter so religiously followed for most of his life, and although he killed him so that he could get out of prison and back to his son, fans could never get on board with Logan’s tragic demise.
Sheriff Angela Bishop loses the man she had grown to love and presumably takes the blame for killing Dexter on herself. It is also hinted that an entire can of worms will open up as Angela puts two and two together and connects Dexter to the infamous Miami Bay Harbor Butcher case.
Honest and perfectly innocent in everything that transpired, it seems unjust that Angela should have to face the fire for killing someone who hadn’t yet been proved to be a murderer himself. She is the perfect example of how Dexter Morgan destroys everyone around him, especially those he loves.
Dexter meets this reckless nuisance at the local shop in Iron Lake where he sells hunting gear. His killer instincts, quite literally, are instantly alerted as soon as he crosses paths with his arrogant young man who quite clearly has very little regard for anything or anyone apart from himself.
Matt, it is soon revealed, was responsible for a boating accident that killed several innocent people in the past. He also shoots and kills a white deer, a superbly beautiful creature whose purity is a foil to Dexter’s own darkness that he manages to harness for an entire decade, as well as a symbol of his abstinence. Killing the white buck is also illegal, and when Matt does just that in front of Dexter, the latter finally finds his resolve breaking. Matt is killed by Dexter, his first kill in ten years, and unfortunately, fans aren’t bawling into their pillows for this stain on humanity.
The teenage daughter of Sheriff Bishop is drawn to Harrison from the beginning. Yet, fans know what she doesn’t. That Harrison has a past that would put anyone he came close to, or had a relationship with, in acute danger.
For Audrey’s own sake then, it makes sense that she was left in the dark about what truly happened to Harrison in the end, and why he had to flee. Although she certainly didn’t deserve to have her heartbroken, a broken heart is infinitely better than ending up in a pool of blood in a bathtub as Rita had done in one of the most shocking deaths in Dexter.
If the Dexter serial killers were ranked from least to most villainous, the fascinating Kurt Caldwell would be close to the top. The genial diner owner would pick up young unsuspecting wayward women, pretend to be their best friend, and then lock them up in a bunker in the middle of nowhere. He would then give them the best time of their lives before shooting them and having them embalmed as trophies.
As anticipated, Kurt makes it to Dexter’s kill room in the end, and Caldwell is killed in front of a very disturbed Harrison. Kurt’s heinous crimes make him a perfect candidate for Dexter’s code, and his death, albeit brutal, feels fitting somehow.
Harrison had last been seen in the highly polarizing season 8 finale, getting ice cream with Hannah McKay, in whose care Dexter left his young son as he abandoned him for his own safety. It was thus no surprise that a teenage Harrison showed up unannounced at Dexter/Jim Lindsay’s door in the new season.
The very name of the new season, after all, is indicative not only of new kills, but also of old blood making way for the new, in this case, a new generation of serial killers. Harrison has his own dark passenger, being born in blood just as his father was. Yet, although he has his demons, he doesn’t have to go the way Dexter did. In one of the most shocking moments in Dexter: New Blood, he kills his own father for killing a perfectly innocent Sergeant Logan, but fans realize that there is hope yet for Harrison Morgan. He is allowed to flee by Angela after killing Dexter and might even end up getting his own show one day.
Finally, the vigilante serial killer is murdered in an emotional scene imbued with poetic justice by his own son, Harrison, who refuses to leave with him once he realizes that Dexter had strayed from the code and that he was liable to do it again.
Only a handful of things have aged well about the divisive original finale of Dexter. Yet, here the ending seemed justified since, vigilante or not, this messed up former forensic expert had taken lives multiple times. And although he had probably saved many innocent lives in the wake of the dead bodies he left behind, Dexter Morgan was, and would always be, a monster.
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