The following article contains major spoilers for Dexter: New Blood Episode 6. Proceed with caution.
Last week’s episode of Dexter: New Blood threw everything on the table so to speak, making the follow up episode an interesting act. Would the show dig its heels in and continue to build on the themes that makes this revival unique? Or would it continue on with this new, accelerated pace, racing towards its conclusion? The answer was both, making this a highly enjoyable hour of television. If you haven’t seen Dexter: New Blood Episode 6 yet, consider this your final spoiler warning.
I Need Dexter Morgan
The cat’s out of the bag. Angela confronted Dexter early in the episode about his true identity, saving us from a cat and mouse game where she didn’t reveal her cards in an effort to observe more and build a case against him. Thankfully. Getting right to it was perfect and I also really enjoyed the fact that Angela didn’t seem to care about Dexter’s grief driven explanation as to why he faked his own death. She instead pointed out how his decisions have impacted his son, which is largely what this revival series has turned out to be about.
Angela’s hurt but she’s also a good cop and she’s hot on Kurt Caldwell’s trail. Dexter: New Blood Episode 6 showed us Angela’s pursuit for the truth about why Kurt has lied so much about Matt’s disappearance. She concludes that he could’ve killed his own son, perhaps even by accident and is going to retrace the area they were supposed to search before Kurt convinced them to call off the search.
In a nice twist, Angela finds the body of her friend Iris, who is the reason why she works so hard to find these missing girls, buried under a lot of rocks inside the same cave Dexter visited while trying to find a place to dispose of Matt’s body. The closing moments of the show see Angela call Dexter and tell him that she doesn’t need Jim, she needs Dexter Morgan. Obviously she’s wanting to see if Iris was murdered or if this was an accident but this request is going to bring our Dexter out of his Jim-sized shadow next week, and who knows what the fallout from that will look like?
More on Kurt later but Angela is going to be gunning for him next week. Will she temporarily forgive Dexter in the name of the greater good? Probably. But this show has gone out of its way to tell us that she’s a good cop. We, as a viewing audience, might be lulled into a false sense of security here but now more than ever, I’m convinced that Angela is going to ultimately bring down Dexter, just after she gets Kurt. Unless Dexter gets to him first.
Dark Passenger Jr
I really enjoyed the Harrison arc this week. Perhaps what’s impressed me most about this new season is that Dexter isn’t being let off the hook at all. His actions have always had consequences and one of my biggest knocks on the post-Clyde Phillips seasons of the original show is that Dexter always felt like a hero. That his actions were always redeemable and we were on his side, with everyone else being secondary. Dexter: New Blood is rightfully taking the stand that Dexter the person has to be held accountable for the things that he’s done, no matter if we like him or not.
The therapy scene with Dexter and Harrison was a prime example. Harrison wants to talk. He wants to heal. He wants to say the things on his mind, but his father is unable to. Harrison acknowledges how hard it was to lay awake in foster care after Hannah died, wishing that his father was still alive, wishing that he had someone in his life. Then he found this letter saying his Dad was alive but was off living his life and not taking care of his son. So he finds his dad and here in this moment, he feels abandoned again because his dad can’t have an honest conversation with him.
This child has been through heavy trauma. He needs love, he needs honesty, he needs guidance as he’s obviously suffering from the same dark voices crying out for him to hurt people that his father does. Yet Dexter is only giving him the bare minimum as a parent. Go to therapy son, but I won’t meet you halfway. Looking at the cycle of trauma, would Dexter have turned out differently had Harry not given him this “code” and set him on a path full of murder? Can Dexter break the cycle by finally opening his mouth and talking to his son? More than any plot twists and exciting conclusions, that’s what I want the most, for Dexter to set his son on a different path, to convince him that he can deal with his trauma differently.
As a viewing audience, we’ve always accepted that Dexter is this monster with a thirst for murder that had to be quenched. But should we have accepted that? Dexter: New Blood is a series all about redemption in a sense but what if the actions that cause the need for redemption can be avoided? Harry could’ve taken a different course of action with Dexter. How much of him giving his son this “code” was his own need for vengeance on those who escaped the law? I like the character of Dexter, despite his flaws and crimes committed. He’s a victim of many, including Harry. Dexter can’t be redeemed for all of the garbage bags full of body parts on the floor of the Atlantic Ocean but he can help his son, who was also “born in blood,” not go down the same path.
Dexter does need to act quickly though. Kurt is rapidly moving in, in an effort to be a role model of sorts for Harrison. Kurt seems to have this effect over Harrison, almost making Harrison feel OK about giving into his rage, as seen at the wrestling meet. Dexter picked up on this (hence shoving Kurt) but until Dexter communicates with his son, Harrison is going to listen to the adult actually speaking to him. Harrison breaking his opponent’s arm at the wrestling meet and then carrying his blade in his jeans when he snuck into Audrey’s window showed that Harrison’s dark passenger is manifesting quickly. It’s not going to be much longer before he hurts someone, as he confided in Audrey that he wants to do before their relationship went from platonic to physical in Dexter: New Blood Episode 6.
The Big Bad
Really enjoying the character of Kurt as a villain. Seeing him get frustrated that he couldn’t repair his most recent victim’s face after the shotgun blast last week was beyond weird. Why does he want his victims to look good? It’s one of those questions that I hope doesn’t get answered because that added layer of intrigue just makes him a more fascinating and creepy killer.
Kurt seems desperate to kill again with his routine being ruined. He spied a potential victim outside the truck stop that got away and then had his sights set on Molly, who interviewed him behind Angela’s back. This routine, this need for things to go a certain way with his kills seems to have him in a state of panic. He’s sloppy and desperate as we saw with his attempt to lure Molly to his cabin. Dexter, thinking that Molly was who outed him, followed them and put two and two together that Kurt is a serial killer and interfered, saving Molly’s life.
Molly, being a true crime expert, knows she was in danger. Dexter, being a serial killer himself, very easily picked up on what was going on. Angela is already looking at Kurt as a suspect. My assumption is that next week, Molly will tell Angela about Kurt’s attempt to lure her into his creepy cabin and Dexter will be brought into verify the story. But what will Kurt’s potential arrest mean for the rest of the story?
Harrison, who trusts Kurt, is going to struggle with this. There will be issues between him and his father as a result. A locked up Kurt means all eyes are on Dexter, as there’s no way that Angela is letting him off the hook. And what about when Molly finds out that Dexter is from Miami and connected to the Bay Harbor Butcher case? She’s on record saying that she believes James Doakes was innocent and that the real killer escaped. There’s also the possibility that Kurt, after he’s arrested, will have something to say about Dexter.
The walls are closing in on our main character. How does he react? How will Harrison react and is it too late for this kid to not turn out like his father? At this point, more than anything, I really just want to see an honest conversation between father and son before whatever happens to Dexter. More and more, it seems like that ending will involve handcuffs or death. Hopefully he can get his redemption first and do for his son what Harry didn’t do for him.