The following article contains major spoilers for Dexter: New Blood Episode 8. Proceed with caution.
Dexter: New Blood Episode 8 served as a setup episode in many ways, moving us towards the conclusion of this series. Or season? I suppose that remains to be seen. Typically the penultimate episode serves this type of function but with two episodes left, the assumption would be that a lot will be packed into the final two hours. Which makes sense here. Let’s go ahead and get into it. If you haven’t seen Dexter: New Blood Episode 8, we’re moving into heavy spoiler territory. You’ve been warned.
We continued on with the Kurt trying to be a father figure to Harrison story that I wrote about last week. I was glad to see this come to a conclusion here this week. While the storytelling was creepy and at times, suspenseful, it needed to end so we could move on with the showdowns we’re waiting for.
We saw Kurt’s plot unfold. His man that kidnapped Dexter at the end of the last episode would bring Dexter to the cabin so after a day of winning Harrison over, he would hunt Harrison down the same way he has the women, with Dexter forced to watch it all transpire, payback for murdering his son Matt.
Perhaps the most interesting part of this subplot to me was when Kurt broke into the high school so him and Harrison could use the batting cages. Harrison was repeatedly being hit in the ribs by curveballs and demanded more. He was insistent on receiving physical pain and Kurt was happy to give it to him. For Harrison, it was a highly dramatized display of feeling like he deserved pain and for Kurt, he enjoyed watching the suffering, knowing it would ultimately make the kid easier to kill.
When Kurt got back to his cabin with Harrison, his intentions to kill the boy felt obvious but I never felt like Harrison was in danger. The episode, to its credit, didn’t try to lure us into this belief that he was in danger but rather, like this was an escalation in the conflict between Dexter and Kurt, which it was. One of them has to die and soon.
Nostalgia But Not Quite
Dexter: New Blood Episode 8 spent about half of the episode with Dexter in a defensive position, trying to escape this man who had been hired to snatch him. This new season / series has been light on Dexter in positions to kill and, rather, has focused on the issues his killing has caused. But this felt a bit like the past, with Dexter in a violent confrontation for a majority of the episode.
Dexter quickly freed himself, causing a wreck but it didn’t kill the man. He shot Dexter in the leg and chased him through the snow for quite a long time, with Dexter trying to outsmart this man, get to his son and ignore the physical pain he was in as a result of this bullet in his leg.
Something Dexter: New Blood Episode 8 (and really this season as whole) did well was show that while Dexter still has his instincts, taking a decade off from this life has made him sloppy. Mentally, he is still the same character and thinks the same way but his mind is elsewhere. He’s not consumed by killing and survival the way he was before and he’s not as painstakingly detailed as he was in the original series. Here, when he finally did kill this man, he simply left the body in an abandoned summer camp, only putting a tarp over the body. His mind wasn’t on covering his tracks, it was on finding his son. This body will be found at some point and Dexter’s fingerprints will be on it.
As expected, Dexter made it to the cabin, right as Kurt had changed into the same hunting outfit he wears as part of his killing ritual. He was sending Harrison to run, the same as the women. Dexter intervened, hit Kurt with his truck and saved his son but allowing Kurt to get away. So perhaps Kurt can still wind up on a kill table after all?
We did finally get the moment we (or at least I) have been waiting for. In the ride home, Dexter finally started to get honest with his son. The conversation was beginning and it seemed like he was going to tell Harrison everything. We heard him tell Harrison that he’s not alone with his dark thoughts and that he was also “born in blood”. This was enough to make his son cling to him in a long, childlike hug which seemed like the moment they both needed.
Heading into the penultimate episode, my biggest question is how does Dexter handle this? Does he give Harrison the code that Harry gave him? Or does he try to steer his son away from killing altogether? As much as I want him to try a different approach, my gut feeling is that Dexter is going to try and be the Harry figure and help his son by giving him “the code”.
The End is Near
All season long, I’ve admired Angela’s police work. She seems like, in many ways, the most component police officer in the history of this series, except maybe Doakes. And here, in Dexter: New Blood Episode 8, she took more huge steps forward in figuring out that Dexter is indeed Miami’s Bay Harbor Butcher.
She’s been onto him for awhile but this week, she was actively pursuing clues. She figured out that both drug dealers Dexter targeted several weeks ago had been stabbed with needles in the neck and drugged, a common trait with the Miami killings. Instead of just being suspicious, she’s now investigating him as the killer from hundreds of murders from Miami.
Where does this go? Does she confront him? Does she call Batista? Does Dexter kill Kurt and skip town? It would feel like a betrayal of this amazing character to have anything but her bring Dexter down. I’ve been saying it all season but it should be a situation where Batista and maybe even Quinn show up for the arrest. This is what needs to happen. Maybe Dexter doesn’t even kill Kurt. Maybe Dexter is taken down by Angela and in the final scene, and Harrison after learning the code from his father, has Kurt on a table of his own. New blood indeed.