Dexter: New Blood Review | A welcome return for the moralizing killer

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Through: Eammon Jacobs

Reviving Dexter was never going to be an easy task, but Dexter: New Blood is a welcome return for the contemplative and arrogant killer. The season eight finale saw Dexter Morgan (Michael C. Hall) leave his life in Miami after the infamous death of his sister Debra Morgan (Jennifer Carpenter). The ruins of his boat in a hurricane are enough to convince authorities that Dexter is dead, allowing him to start a new life in Oregon as a lumberjack. It was a misaligned ending, which many fans saw as a disservice to both Dexter and Debra. Fortunately, the 2021 miniseries makes amends.

It picks up a decade after the finale, as the former Blood Splatter analyst now goes through Jim Lindsay (a nod to Jeff Lindsay, the author of the original books), and lives a quiet life in the fictional town. of Iron Lake, New York. Dexter’s murderous side is blunted after years of suppressing those bloodthirsty urges, and he can’t even bring himself to shoot a white deer in the forest on his morning hunts.

However, old habits die hard – as once again he hides in plain sight, creating a friendly and low-key character to blend in with the townspeople. Hell, he even still brings pastries to work for his boss at a fish and game store. It’s that ordinary man’s appearance that keeps Dex on the right track. While it’s hard not to miss the hustle and bustle of the Miami PD reliever pen, whether it’s inappropriate comments from Vince Masuka (CS Lee) or the fierce fight from Angel Batista (David Zayas ) to save Miami from itself. It lacks a bit of heart, but Michael C. Hall’s performance keeps things on track.

The Six Feet Under and Safe star fits the role perfectly, relishing the chance to put Dexter back under the microscope once again. There’s a moment of sheer devastation in the back half of the premiere that shows how instantly the former Floridian can be instantly fierce when he needs it. Sure, he might be a bit older and a bit lacking in training – but his killer instinct isn’t dead yet. And it’s a real return to form when he finally pulls out those trusty white plastic sheets at the end of the episode.

New Blood places a heavy emphasis on how much Dexter has apparently changed in the decade since his escape to Miami, and it’s a fascinating exploration of who he is beneath the spotlessly clean exterior. He even has a stable relationship with the local sheriff, Angela Bishop (Julia Jones), which isn’t all that surprising since law enforcement has always been an integral part of Dex’s life. While that sounds like a predictable way to tempt fate, a former serial killer and sheriff? Yeah, it’s gonna end well. On the other hand, it’s undeniably refreshing to see him so happy. Well, at least for a little while anyway.

The public might expect a bloody affair from the start – instead, it takes time to tease Dex with a new victim, withholding violence until he’s at breaking point. All bloody things come to those who wait. He might be preaching about the importance of routine and stability, but it only takes one bad apple to push Dexter over the edge. The killer’s pent-up nature is personified in the return of Debra, who here acts as the ghost of Christmas past to remind her that all of her loved ones somehow die as a result of her actions. Sadly, Jennifer Carpenter is a bit underused during the premiere, only showing up to berate Dexter for letting people get close to him – reminding him of what happened to him.

(LR): Michael C. Hall as Dexter and Jennifer Carpenter as Deb in DEXTER: NEW BLOOD, ‘Cold Snap’
Seacia Pavao / SHOWTIME

The episode also plays with some intriguing subplots that attempt to weave some social relevance with the miniseries, as Sheriff Bishop complains about several Native American women who have gone missing on the reservation. It is also interesting that the sheriff’s daughter is protesting against a greedy corporate CEO whose drilling company is harming neighboring lands. It’s probably a safe bet that there is connective tissue there to allow Dexter to become an avenging angel again. A compelling reveal can likely be spotted a mile away by longtime fans of the series, but at least it promises some startling new dynamics that could drastically change Dexter’s quiet existence.

Overall, it’s great to see Dexter on our screens again and New Blood is full of promise for what lies ahead. However, the Revival series might struggle to deal with the question that some of the previous seasons have tried to avoid… how do you fix a problem like Dexter? If he protects innocent people by going after other depraved individuals, does he also deserve death – or should he have a happy ending? So far, New Blood suggests he’s close to redemption, but let’s just hope he doesn’t wade through a sea of ​​subplots.

Learn more about Dexter: New Blood:

Dexter: New Blood is available in the UK on Sky Atlantic and the NOW streaming service. Visit our Drama hub for more news and features, or find something to watch with our TV guide.


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