JUST THE BAD AND THE UGLY
If the first episodes of Dexter present the character of Michael C. Hall as a psychopath incapable of feeling the slightest emotion, the series quickly confronted him with criminals more cruel than him to make him in comparison a “nice serial killer” and therefore an anti-hero . The seasons then nurtured a fuzzy border between his real moods and his false morality.
This last season therefore wants to remind that Dexter Morgan would be a killer as ruthless as all those he dismembered if Harry had not fabricated a “conscience” for him from scratch through his code and the choice of his victims. If the main series humanized him by justifying and forgiving his crimes, the last episodes of New Blood desecrate the character by revealing his true face.
The approach may not be subtle, but the realization of Harrison (Jack Alcott), who no longer sees his father as a vigilante, but as a murderer, is akin to that of the public for whom Dexter becomes the unfriendly psychopath he always was.
Plant the hatchet
Even if he was prevented from doing so, he was presumably ready to kill or injure Angela (Julia Jones) to respect the first rule of his code, the most revealing of his selfishness: not to get caught. And while he had escaped the dilemma with Doakes, Lundy and LaGuerta, he crosses the red line by killing an innocent character with his own hands that the ten episodes have applied to present as a good guy (even in his last exchanges with him).
Dexter could have achieved some form of redemption at the end of Season 8 had he actually committed suicide, distraught over the loss of Debra (Jennifer Carpenter). But his death – the real one – is not an ultimate sacrifice to protect his son from his Black Passenger. This suicide by interposed weapon proves one last time his cowardice in the face of his responsibilities : face Batista (David Zayas) and walk along death row. And the fact that Debra seems to be releasing her hand from hers as he takes his last breath is probably not trivial.
The voice of her guilt more than her conscience
Beyond being indirectly responsible for the death of Rita and her sister – in addition to Harrison’s behavioral problems -, Dexter knowingly made his son a murderer. Sadly, his anti-heroic execution is rushed in and can legitimately appear to simply exist to save morals. More damaging still, the last minutes of the tenth episode install a certain ambiguity as to its impossible redemption.
Michael C. Hall’s voiceover pathetically reads the tearful letter he sent Hannah years before and concludes the episode by asking to be able to die so that his son can live. Except that we can easily imagine that after having killed his father and abandoned the few benchmarks he had, Harrison will never be someone balanced. Even less now that the whole world is about to learn the true identity of the Butcher of Bay Harbor. The life and death of Dexter will have ruined the existence of his son, even if it would have been preferable for the series to explain it more.
If one needed more proof that Dexter is a bad father
THE SAME RENGAINE
As we already noticed in our mid-term review of Dexter : New Blood, the revival has made efforts to have a facelift. Despite its remixed music, its new credits, its snowy landscapes and its different plastic (duller photography and CinemaScope format), however, we find there all the shortcomings of the last seasons of the original series.
If the new batch focuses primarily on the reunion between Harrison and Dexter, it lazily copies the classic narrative scheme of previous seasons to fill the plot: a new killer in town, a hunt between the two murderers, a new girlfriend, the police. who gets closer to Dexter and his difficulty reconciling his role as a father and his activities as an assassin.
Not the expected reunion
The father-son duo is the backbone of New Blood, but the series spends several episodes unnecessarily maintaining a mystery around the identity of the torturer who ends up unfairly under-exploited when Clancy Brown could have been as chilling as John Lithgow in Trinity Slayer. Being only a dispensable scriptwriting tool to boost the story, Kurt Caldwell thus joins the most anecdotal antagonists of the series.
The result is a dragging season, crammed with telephoned and predictable twists and turns (many are also based on chance and fortuitous coincidence), until the last episodes clumsily complete the various sub-plots to finally arrive at the denouement. Dexter has always had a soft spot for countertop psychology, but the new episodes continue to swell the line with its parentage and inheritance subtext brought in big clogs.
Clancy Brown in Dexter or the Missed Date of New Blood
The finesse of the writing does not get better either when the narration is eyeing the side of teen series. Certain episodes clearly try to appropriate certain codes and themes, but the portrait of adolescence is so caricature that it becomes more often than not laughable. Even though the finale balances expectations – and especially fears – about Harrison and his deviant behavior, the series borrows too many commonplaces to make the new characters a minimum of interesting or surprising.
In the end, Clyde Phillips was half successful. Dexter Morgan should have died quite a while ago and it’s hard to envision another fate for the killer who has finally come down from his pedestal anyway. But if we leave the outcome aside, New Blood is nothing more than a tasteless and boring transfer from previous seasons.
All 10 episodes of Dexter: New Blood are available on MyCanal