Television

Dexter: New Blood Series Finale Review: Sins Of The Father


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So that happened.

On Dexter: New Blood Season 1 Episode 10, Dexter’s deeds come to light. Harrison realizes what kind of a man his father truly is and makes an unbearably difficult decision.

It wasn’t a perfect ending, but it was the ending Dexter deserved.

Father & Son - Tall - Dexter: New Blood Season 1 Episode 10

Let’s just start by saying that this is a review in one person’s opinion. We don’t have to agree on everything, except that we all love Dexter.

As fans, we didn’t know what to expect when Dexter: New Blood was announced, but a chance for the show to right the wrongs of Dexter’s eight seasons was intriguing, to say the least.

The writer, showrunners, and creatives were very clear — this was a limited series that would provide some much-needed closure on the world of Dexter Morgan.

Don’t worry about me. I am the phoenix. I rise from the ashes.

Dexter

Should we be surprised that Dexter met his end, given the information we had? Anything else wouldn’t exactly have been closure — it would have just been more Dexter. But this character, as brilliant and charming as Michael C. Hall has been, is not sustainable. 

Keep Calm and Murder On - Dexter: New Blood Season 1 Episode 10

There was no way everyone would be satisfied with this ending, but Showtime still gave it to us.

We got another ten hours of Michael C. Hall inhabiting this unique serial killer and inviting us into his mind. The last scene of him in the woods with Harrison — that’s his Emmy clip right there.

Dexter: New Blood Season 1 has been a more emotional journey than anyone anticipated. It was beautiful to watch Dexter truly understand love at last.

We’ll get through this. The world needs us.

Dexter

Dexter: New Blood absolutely redeems Dexter’s eighth season. It was engrossing from start to finish. It’s hard to say goodbye to characters we love, especially ones so masterfully portrayed as Dexter. 

Logan & Dexter - Dexter: New Blood Season 1 Episode 10

The “limited” series might have been slightly more satisfying if it had been given twelve episodes as the original run had per season. Who knows what would have been possible given that the shooting happened during COVID times? 

Seeing Dexter stand trial could have been interesting, but that’s not really what this show is about, and, as Angela said, it would be a foregone conclusion that he would receive the death penalty, so why drag it out?

It was unfair to dangle the possibility of a Dexter-Batista reunion only to snatch that away. Again, this is where a couple more episodes wouldn’t have gone to waste.

At least, the Miami storyline gets some closure this way. Batista and Angela will compare notes — including Molly’s podcast — and maybe prove that Dexter was the Bay Harbor Butcher after all. Dexter’s story is over, but the horrific legacy of his murders lives on forever. 

Harrison Morgan - Dexter: New Blood Season 1 Episode 10

The ending with Harrison felt more poetic than realistic. 

It was disappointing that Logan had to die for Harrison to realize the truth about his father. But it was incredible to have someone — especially the person Dexter cares most about in the whole world — call him on being a toxic psychopath who enjoys killing above all else. 

Dexter died how he lived — being a terrible father.

What he did to Harrison on Dexter: New Blood Season 1 Episode 9 was child abuse. Deluded and narcissistic, Dexter believed that his son’s violent actions were reason enough to murder and dismember a man in front of him to make Harrison into a serial killer alongside him. 

I’m not your fucking caretaker. I’m your goddamn son.

Harrison

Harrison shooting him in the heart was a mercy killing. Dexter was spared the long, drawn-out pain of a trial or really atoning for his crimes. It was also a beautiful bookend that it happened where the white stag was killed on Dexter: New Blood Season 1 Episode 1

Dexter confronts Harrison - Dexter: New Blood Season 1 Episode 10

Nothing Dexter did in this episode was out of character for him. He absolutely would have attacked Angela in the kitchen if Logan hadn’t come along. He KILLED LOGAN. Dexter would have killed any innocent that stood in his way of being with Harrison.

This is Dexter with his back up against the wall. He’s a BAD PERSON. He’s a SERIAL KILLER. We can still love him and recognize that he got what he deserved. This was always how it should have ended. 

You don’t really care about saving anyone, do you? You’re just feeding this Dark Passenger. It’s not even a passenger, it’s fucking driving!

Harrison

It would have been more appropriate if this had all happened a few seasons ago, with any combination of Deb, Batista, LaGuerta, Quinn, even Masuka, or Lundy doing it, but that ship sailed long ago. 

It’s still disappointing that we’ll never see any of those characters again. But at least we got Dexter and Deb — Jennifer Carpenter proving once again she’s criminally undervalued as an actor — and a little bit of Angel. 

Logan's Dinner - Dexter: New Blood Season 1 Episode 10

There were a few questionable elements that were tricky to process.

The M99/ketamine debate has been raging all over the internet for weeks, but it was explained by writer/executive producer Scott Reynolds in the Dissecting Dexter podcast (a wonderful resource for Dexter fanatics).

Also, Dexter was running through the woods pretty fast for a man who was shot in the leg, what, two days ago?

And let’s not forget the reddest of all herrings, Edward Olsen, the elusive oil billionaire who remained elusive despite being a major antagonist in the first few episodes.

For what it’s worth, I may have been the only viewer who hoped for at least a mention of Astor and Cody, Harrison’s half-siblings. We can imagine he’ll go off and find them next and be truly happy at last — that’s why there’s fanfiction. 

Angela in the car - Dexter: New Blood

Julia Jones deserves recognition for her grounded, vulnerable work as Chief Angela Bishop.

Angela had an intensely emotional journey, running the gamut from fear, betrayal, anger, frustration, bargaining, devastation, and catharsis.

Chief Bishop maintained a level-head for the most part despite the rage underneath, but in the end, her need to solve the case of the missing women trumped all else. It was foolish of her to go alone to Kurt’s cabin (not yet knowing Kurt’s fate), but at that point, she didn’t have many other options.

She never let her love for “Jim” get in the way of her following her gut. Through her eyes and Harrison’s, we saw Dexter for who he truly was — a sociopathic monster who was an expert at hiding in plain sight.

Angela Contemplates - Dexter: New Blood Season 1 Episode 10

Harrison’s end could have been less hastily concluded.

Dexter: You’re right.
Harrison: I don’t want to be right! I want to be normal.

As it was, there are loose threads there. It was fittingly tragic that the one final parental figure he had left (Angela) told him to run away and never come back. 

Angela had a lot to process at that moment and, perhaps given a little more time, she could have figured something out that would allow Harrison to stay in Iron Lake.

Harrison had a community to lean on, something he never had before. Why should he have to leave it because his father traumatized him?

But this is a story about serial killers. Harrison is lucky he got something that passes for a happy ending. 

It's Cold Outside - Dexter: New Blood Season 1 Episode 10

Harrison would certainly be considered a person of interest in his father’s death, especially since he skipped town in his father’s pick-up truck. Though no one knew it, he was a key witness in Kurt Caldwell’s murder, which could have provided proof of Dexter being the Bay Harbor Butcher. 

If Angela had known that, she probably would have done everything in her power to keep him safe. It wouldn’t have been out of character for her to take him in.

I would have liked to have seen Harrison feel somewhat upset about the horrors he has been a party to as he drove off to start his new life, however, and wherever that may be. 

He may have been screwed either way, so why not stay and face the music? Maybe the showrunners are planning a Harrison spin-off and want to keep it open-ended, but it feels like it might just be best to let this be the end. 

Dexter at the station - Dexter: New Blood Season 1 Episode 10

I’ve never really felt love — real love — until now.

Dexter [voiceover]

Overall, this was a well-crafted, solid season with an appropriate conclusion to a series and a character that many people hold very close to their hearts.

Though the ending may be divisive, I found it satisfying and poetic, with fewer issues than the final three seasons of the original series.  

The lesson here seems to be that if you get too attached to an anti-hero, be prepared for some heartache. 

Feel free to vent in comments — but please keep it civil!

You can watch Dexter: New Blood online here.

Mary Littlejohn is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.

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