The following article contains major spoilers for Dexter: New Blood Episode 7, “Skin of Her Teeth”
Dexter: New Blood Episode 7 continues the streak of fast paced, tightly packed episodes we’ve seen over the last several weeks. There’s a momentum, a race towards a conclusion, that feels fresh and invigorating. Some sense of nostalgia, but this story is its own and its setting out to make good for the sins of the past. If you haven’t seen Dexter: New Blood Episode 7, we’re about to get into heavy spoiler territory. Proceed with caution.
Yeah, it’s Kurt, OK?
One thing I’ve really admired about this season is that they never tried to get cute about the identity of the killer that both Dexter and Angela are up against. It’s Kurt. Every week, they find new ways to make it even more clear that it was him. Could there be a twist? Maybe but I’m not betting on it. It doesn’t serve the narrative.
Last week’s episode ended with Angela in the cave, finding Iris’ body and calling Dexter for help, which is exactly where we picked up this week. Dexter pointed out that she had been shot in the back, the same as how Kurt’s kills are supposed to go, only she didn’t die from the gunshot. Rocks were used to hold her down and she died buried under the weight of heavy stones. Angela confided in Dexter that she suspected Kurt called off the search for Matt because they were getting too close to the cave.
Angela would arrest Kurt for the murder of Iris and Kurt confessed that his father used to beat up working girls at truck stops while he was supposed to be asleep. He blamed the DNA match and murder on his father, claiming to have seen her get in his truck the night she went missing. A flashback would show that it was Kurt who picked her up, offered to help her, they argued, she bit him and he shot her as she ran away.
This was all very telling. If we are to believe Kurt when he says he had an abusive father who beat up prostitutes working at truck stops, this lays the seeds for Kurt’s future kill patterns. Just like he offered to help get Iris home, he now takes women to his cabin. He forces these women to run, the same way as Iris ran from him and he shoots them in the back the same as he shot her. It’s all a ritual, repeating what we can assume was his first kill over and over again. Just like his father, the source of his trauma, he uses a truck stop to pick up these girls.
Let’s take this a step further though. If Kurt is in some way, shape or form a byproduct of his father, could that explain his attraction towards Harrison? He sees Harrison in himself, both damaged by their violent fathers, living with this rage inside them. Could somewhere in Kurt’s mind he believe that he is the right mentor for Harrison? That he can help this rage filled kid who is just like him?
To Kill Or Not To Kill?
Dexter spends this episode debating with himself on whether or not he should kill Kurt or let Angela handle it. He wants to let Angela handle it, as he feels that’s the best outcome for everyone. Harrison can see that Kurt is a monster and Dexter doesn’t have to get his hands dirty. But it won’t be that simple.
A trucker slips Harrison an envelope while Kurt is locked up and tells him to give it to his dad. The envelope contains a titanium screw, which prompts Dexter to clear the police station so he can question Kurt himself. As it turns out, Kurt put two and two together the night Dexter picked him up outside the bar. He knows Dexter burned Matt’s body and that screw is from his son’s leg.
Dexter knows that the race is on and that Kurt has to die at his hands. He can’t risk Kurt telling anyone, especially Harrison, that Dexter is responsible for Matt’s death. Of course Kurt is released from jail and the showdown between killers is on.
The Good Cop
To further complicate matters for Dexter, Angela, as I’ve said numerous times this season, is a good cop. Her anger towards Molly for going behind her back in the case ended quickly and in Dexter: New Blood Episode 7, they made up over drinks after Kurt’s release from jail. Watching the two women compare notes on not only Kurt but also how Dexter knew to save her, the writing was on the wall: They’re onto Dexter. Angela didn’t tip her hand about Dexter’s real identity but it’s only a matter of time.
Molly knows the “Bay Harbor Butcher” case better than anyone. She doesn’t believe Doakes was the killer. With only three episodes left, it feels likely that next week, Angela will tell her the truth about “Jim”. When Molly finds out that he’s from Miami and worked with Doakes, the pieces should come together soon.
Dexter’s saving grace here might actually be Kurt. We saw Kurt spying on Molly as she left the restaurant. She surely represents unfinished business to him. My assumption is that Kurt will kill Molly. As a villain, he needs one more heinous act before he meets his demise. The question is how much does Molly assist Angela with as far as the Miami murders go before she is murdered?
The Curse of Trinity
Damn it was great to see John Lithgow again. I’m not sure if that’s it for him but the moment was creepy enough to where if that was it, then it was worth it. Harrison, in the closing moments of Dexter: New Blood Episode 7 was about to be jumped by friends of the kid whose arm he snapped last week. He pulled his blade—the same blade Trinity used to kill his mom—and went after the kids, but Dexter swooped in and prevented his son from taking any lives.
We finally started to have a real conversation between Dexter and Harrison. Harrison confided in his dad that he’s had these nightmares his whole life but when he heard Molly’s podcast, he figured out that they weren’t nightmares. He remembered his mother’s murder. He remembers the bathtub full of blood. He remembers watching. He remembers crying and Trinity leaning in, stroking his face and saying “It’s OK. Daddy will be home soon”. Bone chilling.
Dexter was ready to talk. He was ready to have a real conversation with his son but Harrison ran away from him, screaming that Dexter knew he was different and that’s why he left him. He hopped in a friends car and Dexter, in his inner monologue, said that he has to tell Harrison everything. Yes, Dexter you do. But that was not meant to be as the episode ended with a reflection on Dexter’s window, a trucker who obviously works for Kurt behind him about to grab him.
Where Do We Go From Here?
Dexter is (possibly) being abducted. Kurt knows that Dexter killed his son Matt. Harrison’s rage and “Dark Passenger” is ready to boil over. Angela and Molly are onto Dexter. Kurt wants to kill Molly.
With only three episodes left, there’s a lot at play here. As I said earlier, I do believe Kurt will kill Molly. I believe Angela will arrest Dexter, likely with Batista’s help. The questions I have revolve around Kurt: Does Dexter kill him? Or does Harrison kill him to save his dad?
Ideally, Dexter will be the one to end Kurt. With this story being so focused on cycles and patterns of trauma, I want to see the cycle of murder in the Morgan family end. Let Dexter have his one last kill. Let him come home and tell his son the whole truth before Dexter meets his ultimate fate. Let Harrison be freed of at least some of this pain that he carries around.
But maybe there is no happy ending. Maybe the ending is one rooted in the pain we’ve seen inflicted throughout this series. Maybe it’s too late for Harrison and he’s doomed to repeat the mistakes of his father. Would I be surprised if Dexter gets arrested and the cliffhanger end is Angela or even Batista on Harrison’s table with John Lithgow whispering in his ear? No, I probably wouldn’t. But after a failed ending last time, I want to see Dexter go out right this time. Have our main character finally face his consequences but let him help his kid before he does. Maybe not a happy ending but at least one with a glimmer of hope.