Dexter: New Blood Finale - Love Kills - Comic Years
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Dexter: New Blood Finale – Love Kills

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BY January 21, 2022

As I mentioned when I reviewed the Dexter: New Blood series premiere, I was hesitant about this new show. That’s actually underplaying it. When the OG Dexter lumberjacked off into the sunset, it frustrated me. In fact, I couldn’t believe I’d spent that much time on the show, only for it to end in, again, lumberjacks. However, despite my reticence, I enjoyed the premiere of the reboot. The season is over now, though, so let’s talk about the Dexter: New Blood finale, and whether the season itself lived up to expectations.

Note: This will contain minor spoilers for the season. Major spoilers, including the ending of the Dexter: New Blood finale, will come in subsequent sections.

The Setting for the Season – Woods Perfect for a Serial Killer

As I previously explained, this season takes place in the fictional burg of Iron Lake, New York. The town borders Seneca land. I mention this not because it’s a major plot point throughout the season, but because it is relevant.

It is, after all, on Seneca land where Matt Caldwell (Steve M. Robertson) shoots the white buck. This is a convenient explanation at first for why Matt has gone missing–he doesn’t want to get in trouble for hunting on tribal land. More importantly, of course, is why Matt really goes missing. His shooting the deer is the catalyst for Dexter’s return to killing. Everything that follows is just a ricochet.

dexter new blood finale image via Showtime

In addition, police chief Angela is Indigenous. She’s been searching for years for her friend Iris, who is also Native. Iris is one of a long list of young women who have disappeared from the area. While the show doesn’t explicitly talk about it–and the missing women aren’t all Native–one can’t help but think of the epidemic of missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls.

Again, the plot doesn’t hinge on these details. However, I still think that it’s context that’s important to appreciating the story overall. Now let’s get into that story.

Where We Are as the Dexter: New Blood Finale Begins

As Dexter’s son Harrison has found his dad, Dexter’s life changes dramatically. He’s already killed Matt by the time Harrison shows up, so he tries to hide that from him (and everyone else). Harrison is understandably upset that Dexter abandoned him. So they begin the delicate process of rebuilding their relationship.

Of course, there are hindrances to their efforts. For example, Harrison believes that Dexter left because there was something wrong with the boy. He’s gleaned that from the letter that Dexter left for Hannah, which refers to watching Harrison for troublesome signs. He obviously doesn’t know that the darkness to which Dexter refers is Dexter’s own. If Hannah ever saw that darkness in Harrison, then she never told Dexter. However, Harrison begins to pick up on it himself. When he is involved in an incident with a would-be school shooter, for instance, Dexter knows the official story can’t be true. He suspects that Harrison orchestrated the incident. (And he’s right.)

dexter new blood finale image via Showtime

The tension between them causes Harrison to drift toward another father figure, Matt’s father Kurt Caldwell (Clancy Brown). Kurt has his own demons, of course. And over the course of the season, he figures out who is responsible for his son’s disappearance. That leads to the explosive confrontation in the penultimate episode.

By the end of that episode, Harrison (mostly) knows who and what his father is. When Kurt meets Dexter’s syringe, the look Harrison gives him is one of awe. He sees his father not as a degenerate killer, but as an avenging angel. He even compares him to the goshdarn Batman.

The Dexter: New Blood Finale – Major Spoilers to Follow

After watching this episode, I thought about Harry, Dexter’s father. If he hadn’t recognized what Dexter was, and then taught him self-restraint, what kind of killer would Dexter have become? As it is, he basically groomed Dexter to be a mission-oriented killer.

The general definition, as that link shows, refers to a killer who “sees his goal as eliminating an identifiable group of people such as prostitutes or young women.” Dexter doesn’t go after the vulnerable like that, as we know. Instead, he lives by the Code of Harry, which channels Dexter’s murderous urges into only targeting killers who have escaped justice.

As we also know, though, Dexter will twist the Code if he needs or wants to. As a result, plenty of people have died after they entered Dexter’s orbit. And while Matt might fit the code, one could argue that Kurt doesn’t. Yes, he wriggled out of responsibility for Iris, but there’s a bunker full of evidence of his other crimes. And if he told people that Dexter killed Matt, then so what? His credibility would be shot.

In any case, it doesn’t matter. What matters is that Harrison, still in his father’s thrall, can’t see the logical flaws. In fact, it’s not until Angela arrests Dexter for Matt’s murder that the scales fall from Harrison’s eyes.

dexter new blood finale image via Showtime

Having met Miami’s own Angel Batista (David Zayas), Angela is not only aware of Jim’s real identity, but she also becomes familiar with the Bay Harbor Butcher case. Thanks to the podcast episode–RIP, Molly (Jamie Chung)–Angela also knows that there is now doubt regarding the culpability of Doakes (Erik King). Once she connects the dots from the Butcher to cases closer to home, Angela believes that she knows who the Butcher really is. And before you can say, “Surprise, Mother…effer,” she shares this fun fact with her former boyfriend.

Unfortunately, Angela makes a critical mistake. She leaves Dexter alone in the police station with one officer, Logan (Alano Miller). Like so many other people who have flown too close to Dexter, Logan falls. And while Dexter can rationalize this to himself, Harrison doesn’t buy it. Logan’s only crime was standing in Dexter’s way. Knowing this, and realizing that his father is not a vigilante hero, Harrison wants him to turn himself in.

But Dexter won’t. At first, he seems to be rationalizing it to himself still. However, Harrison brings up the specters of all those people who died, and something in Dexter changes. And when Harrison raises the rifle, Dexter reminds him to take off the safety.

So ends Dexter Morgan, the Dexter: New Blood finale, and probably Dexter overall. I’m sure they’ll reboot it with some new whelp sometime in the future, but it’s hard to see a way this version continues, unless they focus on Harrison. And either way is just fine.

Final Thoughts on the Return of This Showtime Series

Overall, I thought the season and finale were pretty darn good. It wasn’t perfect, of course. For example, I thought they left some strings dangling. This includes Batista’s storyline. I would have liked to have seen some closure for him.

Then there is the matter of Fredric Lehne’s oil baron character, Edward Olsen. He just disappeared from the story. In retrospect, it seems likely that they were using him as a red herring. After all, like Clancy Brown, he has blue eyes, which was all we could see of the Iron Lake killer at first. Lehne and Brown are also the same age. So I get the intention, but I wish that they had handled it differently. Again, he just vanishes and no one, as far as I noticed, ever even says his name.

But beyond that, I liked the season and its finale. I certainly liked it better than the original finale. These episodes were exciting (read: stressful af) and reminded me why I watched the first series in its lumberjacked entirety. I will miss my little Monday morning viewing ritual, but I think this was the ending the show deserved all along.

Dexter: New Blood is on Showtime and their streaming service, as well as on the Showtime add-on on other services.

Tell us your thoughts on the season or series in the comments below or on our social media.

featured image via Showtime

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Salomé Gonstad is a freelance writer who grew up in the swampy wilds of south Alabama. When she's not yelling about pop culture on the internet, she's working on a supernatural thriller about her hometown. Also, we're pretty sure she's a werewolf. Email her at [email protected]

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