Michael C. Hall does it again with his powerful on-screen presence and the ability to inner-monologue and not make us bored to tears through it.
IT WAS THE MOST-WATCHED SERIES ON SHOWTIME LAST YEAR.
I truly loved the new series. It didn’t have the usual cliche ‘fresh take’ or ‘reimagined’ bullshit. It brought us right back to its roots and even added Harrison Morgan. Hannah McKay’s death is explained right from the get-go, a serial killer but also a loving stepmother to Harrison (Jack Alcott).
BORN IN BLOOD.
All through the main series, we saw Harrison born in blood as a baby. The lovely and damaged Rita Bennett (my childhood Buffy favorite Darla, Julie Benz) met her demise by the Trinity Killer (John Lithgow) along with some excellent flashbacks offered in New Blood. Dexter comes home to find his wife dead in a bathtub as well as Harrison sitting in a pool of her blood.
THE ICE TRUCK KILLER
This is a direct callback to Dexter’s own ‘birth’ with his brother Brian Moser (Christian Camargo), sitting for days in his mother’s blood and eventually being adopted by Harry Morgan (James Remar).
COULD BRIAN HAVE BEEN DIFFERENT IF HE HAD BEEN ADOPTED BY HARRY?
As we know, Brian was too damaged and was sent to live in an institution, and Dexter was accepted into a loving home as he was only three years old at the time.
Do I think Brian could have been a little more gentle if he had been adopted? Yes and no. He seemed to do better with his little brother, and Laura, their mother told him specifically to keep an eye on him. Honestly, he wasn’t that much older than Dexter, which makes it a possibility that he would have been slightly different. But we’ll never know, as he turned into the Ice Truck Killer and was quickly disposed of (heartbreakingly) in season one. Luckily, the original books–he survives.
There is also another callback, further in as Harrison turns into a toddler, where he is laying in the kitchen after eating an entire box of red popsicles. This was also made to look like blood.
JACK ALCOTT KILLS IT.
They couldn’t have picked a better young actor to portray the homicidal yet deeply damaged Harrison Morgan. He even looked similar to the actor they had play him during a fantasy flash-forward with an older Hannah and Dexter.
M99 AND KETAMINE? DETECTIVE GOOGLE. WHEAL MARKS.
Now, the big two problems with New Blood. Ketamine. Michael C. Hall has a pretty badass band (as he is a great musical theater actor) that has a song called Ketamine that they used in the show. It may have contributed to the sudden chemical change.
In the original show, Dexter uses M99 to conk out his victims, yet his girlfriend Angela (Julia Jones) is quick to figure out that Dexter may have been the BHB. Her daughter Audrey even follows true crime podcasts and knows the case, not to mention Harrison religiously followed the Trinity case and hoped to get revenge for his mother. Sadly, Dexter killed Trinity, but too late.
Also, noted, wheal marks don’t stay there forever–ever had a blood test? The prick goes away eventually.
DAMN IT, KURT.
It all started because of rich psychopath Kurt Caldwell (Clancy Brown) bailing his son Matt out of every bit of trouble he had gotten himself into over the years. Dexter found out that five people had died on a boat and it may have been Matt’s fault. For the first time, we see Dexter be gentle and sincere with an animal (shoutout to the callback to the dogs barking and hating him on both shows), I believe he saw it as Deb.
MATT, MATT, MATT. YOU PAIN IN THE ASS.
Unfortunately, Matt drunkenly shoots it, and in turn–Dexter kills and dismembers him shoving him in his frozen lake. Kurt is onto him almost immediately, lying to get the police off of his son’s trail–and seeks out revenge by kidnapping Harrison over Dexter. Unfortunately, the body count piles up on Kurt’s end, and our dynamic father and son duo finds his underground bunker of embalmed women. Perfectly preserved in glass coffins.
A HALL OF EMBALMED WOMEN, OH, MY!
Now, as far as creepy villains go in the entire franchise, even after Trinity cements ten-year-old boys alive–Kurt has to be the most spine-tingling killer yet. This is pure evil. This is terrifying. He picks up runaways and locks them in one entrance/exit room and then shoots them as they run away–and preserves them forever. Just seeing that embalming equipment is fucking nightmare-inducing (similar to Teddy in Fear: The Walking Dead.)
A MESSY CHILDHOOD.
Needless to say, Harrison’s homicidal urges come out, and after Dexter finds out that he needed the code–he watches as Dexter ends Kurt’s life. All is fine and dandy, until his blood pools at Harrison’s feet and he immediately freaks out as Dexter did in the hotel room, back in the original series.
Honestly, I felt like this episode was far gorier than anything Dexter has ever had to offer. We literally see the blood spurting out, hear the squelching of the sawing of body parts–see it. It was kind of stomach-churning, and I’m a huge horror fan with little to no shock factor. Saw, anyone?
SHE KNOWS, SHE KNOWS! (remember that hilarious moment with Angel?)
In the original finale, right as Dexter coldly and calmly presses an emergency button, Angel Batista sees right through his facade when he quickly acts the part of a terrified lab tech. Joey Quinn (Desmond Harrington whom I’ve dreamt of marrying since I was…fourteen? Ghost Ship!) finds it as self-defense, and rightfully so for killing the ever amazing Deborah Morgan (played by the amazing Jennifer Carpenter) also commenting that he had wished he could have done it himself.
ONE LAST RIDE.
Angel, however–is highly suspicious and even looks shocked and hurt. All through the seasons, Doakes had been suspicious of Dexter, always cursing him out or calling him a weirdo to the point where he was framed for being the BHB instead of Dexter.
(Goddamnit, Lila. Go away.)
So it’s only poetic justice when he connects with Angela in Iron Lake and can’t shake his past shock from finding out that Dexter had died in the storm. Angela, however–shows him a current picture and immediately Angel’s suspicions come to light. LaGuerta had been deeply involved with Doakes–and she had found blood slides and such until the point came where Deb had to shoot her in a very familiar shipping container.
NERVES ON END.
It’s all starting to pile up. Despite Harrison being just like his father, he wants to be normal. As Dexter had already tried to commit suicide once by driving into the storm–it’s only poetic- that his son shoots him in the heart like he had stabbed all of his victims. Showing him right where to aim, Dexter falls into the snow, bleeding out with Ghost!Deb holding his hand.
Harrison then flees with Angela’s help, and now we could be left with a possible season 2 where the cycle starts all over again.
GODDAMN, THAT FINALE.
I yelled at my television, cried, screamed again…stomped around for a good few weeks until I finally accepted this ending. Dexter found the pressure way too much, was making way too many mistakes–and even had offered himself up to Deb to shoot at one point. This was the best outcome for him, hate it or love it.
THE DANGERS OF A SCHOOL SHOOTING.
It should also be noted that one of the episodes deals with the real-life terrors of a school shooting, where Harrison saves a plethora of students from a future one, but only to look like a hero (Dark Defender anyone?) similar to what Dexter would have done. Only this time, it’s reckless. He cuts himself to make it look like it was self-defense, but only because he wanted to know what it felt like. Even breaking a wrestler’s arm in the opposite team during one of his matches on purpose.
BRING ON MORE HARRISON.
When asked if he would return to Dexter, Michael C. Hall and producers have given it a reassuring, no. But who knows? Season 2, here we come!