After learning the hard way that Dexter’s dark passenger will never be too far from him. The second episode of Dexter: New Blood sees our favorite serial killer covering his tracks amidst a town wide search, as well as atone for his mistakes as a father.
Spoilers Ahead – You’ve Been Warned
Following Dexter’s oh so satisfying disposal of Matt Caldwell, the entire town sets out in the woods near Dexter’s cabin to try to find him. Even using his home as a makeshift base camp, Dexter is caught off guard by track to cover his tracks, as well as come clean to Angela that he’s always had a son.
We discover that Hannah died of cancer three years earlier, at which point Harrison was put in the foster system in Miami. Following a note Dexter sent to Hannah (which proves that eventually she knew he was in exile), Harrison successfully tracked him down to rural upstate New York.
It’s interesting to see both Dexter and Harrison play their roles to blend in. The former trying to appear natural as everyone looks for a man he murdered, and the latter trying to fit in with the local teenagers who clearly don’t have the same life experience as him. Harrison knows that Dexter faked his own death and is willing to keep that secret, but is understandably frustrated as to why he has to do that.
The first of Dexter’s problems seems solved when Angela and the rest of police buy the narrative that after Matt killed the white buck on Seneca land, he merely fled (rather than Dexter murdering him in his old style). However, the patriarch of the wealthy Caldwell family Kurt (played brilliantly by character actor Clancy Brown) arrives and insists they continue searching, keeping Dexter under pressure.
Sins of the Past
The single greatest thing audiences were upset with Dexter about was the fact that he abandoned Harrison at the end of the previous series. And that’s very much where this one picks up. Harrison is rightfully jaded and demonstrates that life without a father was probably worse than whatever Dexter feared he would do wrong as a parent.
For a character that always flew solo (at least at the beginning) and who struggled to relate to other people, it’s both intriguing and sobering to see Dexter so humbled and so vulnerable. He always loved his son, and while he did what he thought was best, he clearly regrets it now and feels absolutely terrible about it. He’s come a long way from the uncaring psychopath he thought he was in the first season.
And much like his father, we see glimpses of Harrison being really good at staying guarded and hiding in plain sight. He’s well aware that his arrival is a shock to everyone in town (especially Dexter’s police chief girlfriend), but he keeps his father’s secret. After all, it wasn’t easy tracking him down, so keeping the secret while finding out the answers he’s sought is still the best plan.
All the while, his relationship with “Ghost Deb” is far more volatile than it ever was with Harry during the original series. Sure we saw Harry critical of Dexter teaching Miguel the code, or allowing Lumen to join him, but Harry never outright yelled at, haunted, or mockingly laughed at.
In a way it makes sense, given that the two were siblings and Deb’s style never included a filter. But it is admittedly hilarious to watch her laugh at and taunt him as things go wrong. Despite her methods being different, she very much represents the same side of him that Harry once did, cautioning him against anything that will lead to ruin.
Perhaps the best visual representation of Dexter’s dilemma is the blood trail he sloppily left in the snow. He’s spent years in hiding, and forged a new life. It’s a life that included a girlfriend who had no idea he even had a son. Angela makes a remark about how terrible it would be for their small little town if a dead body was found in the woods. And Dexter seems to have brought that with him.
The last two episodes have begged the question of whether Dexter can truly escape who he is. And it’s something that this miniseries will have to tackle effectively if it wants any hope of making up for the previous ending.
What did you think of the premiere episode? What do you hope to see next week? Let us know in the comments!