Liam Hoofe reviews the finale of Dexter: New Blood…
As a general rule, I try to avoid the use of first-person when I’m writing my reviews. For the final of Dexter: New Blood though, I can’t help but break that. When Dexter hit our screens way back in 2006, it instantly became a favourite of mine. It was one of the first TV shows I remember binging and it had me hooked.
I will still happily tell anybody I meet that Dexter season four is one of the best individual seasons of TV I have ever watched, and I must have watched the first four seasons of the show on at least five or six occasions. My point is, I’m a huge Dexter fan. This is why it’s always bothered that whenever I recommend the show, I have to tell people that they are probably best stopping at the end of Season Four.
Sure, seasons five, six, and especially seven, have their merits, but for the most part, they aren’t worth your time. Then there is season eight and what is for me, one of the worst endings of all time. Look, I know Game of Thrones was bad, but at least Jon Snow didn’t leave the Seven Kingdoms and become a lumberjack.
Dexter: New Blood was the most nervous I’d been about something being resurrected since Toy Story 4. While it seemed impossible that they could do any worse than the previous attempt, it still bothered me that it would tarnish the legacy of those earlier seasons even further. A failed revival can ruin a show’s reputation for a whole new generation.
So, getting to it – did the Dexter: New Blood season finale give Mr Morgan the send-off he deserved? For the most part, yes. In fact, the main issue with the ending with the show is not the direction it went in, but rather that it could have benefitted from taking a little more time getting there.
To recap – the episodes opened with Angela investigating the remains of Dexter’s house. She soon finds the titanium screw left from Matt Caldwell’s murder, links it with the screw she received in the post and slaps Dexter in cuffs quicker than you can say circumstantial evidence.
Going into the minutiae of how Angela caught Dexter feels a little petty at this point, but a bit more evidence could have been planted throughout the season. Regardless, we then get to see Dexter being interrogated in what was a fantastic sequence. Michael C Hall is at his best when he is playing Dexter this way. Watching him squirm with his back against the wall has always been a delight and you could almost see the cogs turning in his brain as he tried to work his way out of things.
We then get treated to another Batista cameo. Angela calls him to ask him some questions about the Bay Harbour Butcher, leading him to reveal that Maria LaGuerta believed Dexter was the butcher, and she ended up dead. Angela then sends him a pic of Dexter and he says he is on the way. This was one of the most disappointing aspects of the episode. The show teased us for no good reason.
Seeing Dexter confronted by Batista would have given the original run a nice bit of closure, so baiting us in with this felt unnecessary. As well as this, poor Batista probably spent hundreds on a flight for nothing.
Once it has been revealed that Batista is on the way and that Dexter will be tried as the Bay Harbour Butcher, Dex caves a little and gives Angela information about Kurt’s hideout. She then leaves him alone with Logan who, in a fit of panic, Dexter kills and escapes. This all worked quite well and was fairly gripping. Sure, Angela’s case was about as tight as a hippy’s t-shirt, but Dexter has never been one for concrete plots.
This leads us to our final showdown between Dexter and Harrison, and what is likely to be the most divisive moment in the show. Dexter tries to convince his son to leave with him until Harrison realises that Dexter has killed Logan. He then asks Dexter who else has died because of him, leading to a nice little flashback of characters gone by. Harrison turns his gun on Dexter, and realising what a monster he is, Dex tells his son that this is the only way out. He then pulls the trigger and Dexter drops to the floor.
This scene, regardless of people’s thoughts on how we got there, was a fine piece of acting from both Michael C Hall and Jack Alcott. The emotion in the episode felt incredibly real and the final moments as Dexter slipped away were poignant. Watching his hand slip from Deb’s was a nice touch, and the reading of his letter to Harrison over the closing montage was a fitting end.
Looping back to my original point, I have no issue with any of this as an ending. Despite all of its teases, the show went for what was, in the eyes of many, the most predictable outcome. This is not a bad thing, and I’m glad Dexter finally came to an end. That said, the show spent far too long trying to pull the hood over our eyes, instead of slowly turning Dexter into a monster.
Over the last two episodes, we have seen Dexter’s mask slip and as an audience, we have slowly begun to turn on him. However, another episode of Harrison, and in turn, us, realising what a psychopath he is would have made this feel more impactful. The idea that Dexter has hurt so many innocent people has been explored in the past, and the show could have taken a little bit more time to drill that home. The fact that going into the episode, most fans still wanted him to get away with it and escape again shows that they did miss the mark a little bit.
Seeing the aftermath of Dexter’s true identity being uncovered would have also made for some compelling viewing, but who knows – maybe this is something that the show will explore if they decide to spin it off with Harrison, which can’t be ruled out after the ending we got.
In the end, we were all reminded of what a monster Dexter was and he got the ending he deserved. Did Dexter: New Blood always satisfy? Of course not, but it was a much more exciting ride than what came before it and it finally give Dexter fans the closure they had so desperately needed, and for that, I am grateful.
Goodbye, Dexter Morgan.