If you were to attempt to pick a general theme for last week’s episode, it would probably land somewhere within the vicinity of “the simplest solution is often the solution.” This week’s is more along the lines of “nature versus nurture.” If you’re not familiar, the basic concept of nature versus nurture is whether or not a person’s behavior is molded by the events of their life and the actions of those around them, or more so from genetics and inherited traits. In episode six, “Too Many Tuna Sandwiches,” this comes up in a family therapy session with Dexter/Jim and Harrison. When watching how they go about their unique blend of Morgan problem solving throughout the course of a day, it’s genuinely hard to determine which of the two, nature versus nurture, has the biggest responsibility for them both being huge psychos.
We spend most of our time dealing with Harrison in this episode, whether he’s in the shot or not. There’s his full-naked sex with Audrey and then feel comfortable enough to sleep through the night with the door not even closed all the way in the house of the town sheriff. And there’s his dad considering letting Kurt murder Molly Park so he doesn’t have to worry about her making a podcast about him, exposing him as a former/current murderer, and causing him to lose his newly reunited family consisting of ol’ Pugsley over there, and a ghost.
Both Dexter/Jim and Harrison have a lot working against them on both the nature and nurture sides. They both lost their mothers at an early age, under violent and bloody circumstances. They were both raised in fits and spurts by emotionally strange people whose line of work or point of direct influence had something to do with blood. And they both have huge secrets to hide that neither are very good at hiding. Dexter/Jim skulks around the small-town of Iron Lake, leering from around corners in public establishments and burning body parts in the town square. And Harrison is out there telling his new girlfriend that he thinks about hurting people all the time and snapping the arms of wrestling opponents in front of a crowd of people. Harrison and his dad aren’t good for each other, to say the least, and they’re lying to themselves and everyone around them when they say they want to be any different. The only real secret they share is that they like being killers, whether they’re crying to the contrary or not.
There’s the nature aspect coming to play here, in that they’re both hardwired to kill. And there’s the nurturing that takes place when they’re around each other, using each other’s secret desires and stabby inclinations to keep each other in the cycle of wanting to and/or needing to kill. They should probably both consider steering a ship into a hurricane at this point.
Now that Sheriff Angela Bishop knows that the man she’s been sharing a bed with isn’t actually named Jim Lindsay, she’s rattled by it, but more in a “You’re in the dog house, mister” kind of way. As soon as she asks Dexter/Jim about the obituary for Dexter Morgan and is told his tale about “faking his death” to escape the curse of the Morgan name, she should get from where she is sitting and drive to Kinko’s to make banners for the whole town letting them know. Instead, she’s like, “We’ll talk about this later,” and goes on to do other things. What is wrong with these people? What is wrong with this town?
With a bad taste in his mouth after the less than satisfactory killing of his green-haired hostage, Chloe, Kurt is making a mad grab for his next victim. He tried to lure a new young drifter named Winnie to his doo-wop dungeon, but his plans are foiled by her boyfriend, who runs up and says he found them a ride out of town. Later, we see him talking to Molly Park in a restaurant about her increasing curiosity over the real location of his son Matt. Dexter comes in and tells everyone about his sandwich hopes and dreams, and then hides his phone by the bar so he can record their conversation. (How is it possible for Kurt and Molly not to have seen him do this?) Dexter/Jim follows them to Kurt’s doo-wop dungeon and briefly considers letting Kurt kill her, but then goes in to mess with Kurt instead. Kurt does this whole pantomime of pretending that Matt is inside the cabin, probably with headphones on, and then when Dexters pushes his way in, he pivots to “Oh, he must have left.” Dexter makes a show out of looking around the cabin, but he genuinely does seem impressed, both outwardly and inwardly, by the lengths to which Kurt has gone to craft a little hideaway for himself and his own dark pursuits. Later on, we see Kurt and Dexter/Jim almost come to blows at Harrison’s wrestling match, and this is obviously going to be a whole thing.
Angela goes spelunking to try and find Matt’s body but comes across the corpse of her long-dead best friend Iris instead. It’s a good probability that Iris was one of Kurt’s first victims, and the remaining episodes of New Blood which, as far as we know now, is intended to be a standalone season, will put either Dexter/Jim or Harrison in line to take Kurt down. Or something. Maybe they’ll all just go out for tuna sandwiches together and then head out for a nice boat ride.
On the Kill Room Floor
• Seeing the straight razor in Harrison’s pocket when he is making out with Audrey is an impactful touch. But, similar to no one ever seeing the weird stuff Dexter/Jim does, shouldn’t she notice that? I would think that finding a weapon on the person you’re about to get nude with would be a deal-breaker but, who the hell knows what kids are into these days.
• Kurt making a Phantom of the Opera–style patch to cover the hole he shot in Chloe’s eye and then punching her in the corpse face was a bit much. And where was that taking place, anyway? He’s got a doo-wop dungeon AND a makeshift morgue? Get a grip.
• When Angela asks Dexter/Jim about his reasoning for lying about his real name, he claims that “technically faking your own death isn’t a crime.” Apparently, that’s true, and faking death is considered more along the lines of fraud, but isn’t fraud in and of itself … a crime? Unclear.
• When Dexter/Jim listens to Molly’s podcast episode on the Bay Harbor Butcher, he sighs and inner monologues about “the good old days.” Not really a line of thought for someone who was just proclaiming to be an “evolved” killer.