The silly disappointment of this one-and-done Dexter revival can be easily showcased in a scene midway through this finale in which Dexter and Chief Angela Bishop are looking at the same moon from different parts of town, causing me to genuinely think they were about to burst into song. In the end, after lackluster episodes and a knee-slapping conclusion, Clyde Phillips’s attempt to right the wrongs of the original series’ ending has backfired, and the character Dexter Morgan has been done a disservice. Where he was once a killer with a code put to rest with a sloppy and nonsensical dispatching into the sea, the memory of him now is that of a literal joke, sent back to his grave by his own son without an ounce of respect to his name. From front to back, fans of the original Dexter, and the actors portraying the show’s core characters, would have been better off if New Blood had never been made. It was easier to deal with the disappointment of how the original series ended when we were able to maintain Dexter’s memory as an untouchable apex predator. Our wounds from that finale had all but healed. But the New Blood showrunner had to pick the scab and let it seep to where there are no fond memories of Dexter to be had. He’s just a smirking corpse in the snowy woods of some small town he had fooled for a little while. Not even long enough to build a legacy for himself beyond being some guy who sold guns and night crawlers. Some guy in a series of guys sleeping with a single mother who’d be better off without him.
There were only a few ways this show could possibly end, and it ended just like we thought it would: with Dexter’s death. His plan to make a new life for himself under a new name in Iron Lake did not turn out the way it should have or could have, but it turned out exactly like it had to because Dexter never really wanted to stop killing. Once Harrison, the son he abandoned, came to town after spending the bulk of his life wondering where his father was and why he was left behind, Dexter realized family life wasn’t actually an option for him unless he could convince that family to join him in killing, but he failed in that too. Once Harrison saw past the fantasy of building a meaningful relationship with his estranged father, he knew he’d be better off without Dexter. He just had to see for himself that he was a garbage can of a human being, let alone a father, and then he did the world a favor by putting him down like a rabid dog. Hell, the chief of police even tipped him for his service. And she was sleeping with the rabid dog in question, which makes you wonder if Dexter was as bad a lay as he was a father.
There’s not even any satisfaction to be had in Dexter’s death because he left such a mess in his wake. Harrison has to pick up the pieces of his life yet again with nothing of consolation other than a letterman’s jacket from a school he can’t return to, a handful of cash, and a rusty pickup truck. Speaking of which, how is it that he made his way past a string of cop cars without raising any red flags that that was Dexter’s truck making its way out of town? And if Batista was in one of those cars, it sucks that he had to make that trip for nothing. He’s going to drive all the hell the way to Iron Lake just to be like, “Yup, that’s Dexter Morgan?” And how is Bishop going to sleep at night knowing that she’s literally the worst police chief ever? This show, I swear.
When Dexter first rolled into Iron Lake, he must have known it was only a matter of time before he killed again. His mask was harder to wear this time around, and his whole smiley guy, “Here’s some donuts” routine read more like one of those creeps on the street who goes from “nice dress” to “stuck-up bitch” in the blink of an eye. And it’s not like he broke edge after ten years for something admirable like taking a child diddler out of rotation or defending a woman’s honor; he did it because some smart-ass daddy’s boy pissed him off. And like smoking that first cigarette after having quit for years, he went from being a pack-a-week murderer to a pack a day, killing first for pleasure under the familiar veil of his “code” and then in an attempt to save his own ass. And in his final moments, after turning his back on his son for the last time, when he refused to uproot his life to join him, he died a coward. His own sister, ghost Deb, wouldn’t even hold his hand at the moment of death. Kneeling at his side, hand in hand, she dropped her grip before he took his last breath, almost as though she didn’t want her spirit to get pulled down to hell with his.
RIP, Dexter Morgan. Don’t come back.
On the Kill-Room Floor
• My one positive takeaway from this was being exposed to the amazing talents of Jack Alcott. I can’t wait to see what he does next, and I hope it’s not a spinoff of this show for his sake and ours. But it probably will be.
• So who left the note with the surgical screw in Angela’s mailbox? That just wasn’t an important detail to work into the finale? I’m guessing it was Molly, but still.
• There were apparently only like three Black people in the whole city of Iron Lake, and one of them gets killed by Dexter while delivering a bottle of water. Cool cool.
• What was the point of Batista even being brought back for this when Angela and Molly already knew that Jim was Dexter Morgan and that he was most likely the Bay Harbor Butcher?
• “I’ve never really felt love. Real love. Until now.” Oh, shut up, loser.