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New Blood’ finale was the only way Dexter Morgan’s story could have ended

Dexter Morgan’s story is lastly over, sixteen years after Dexter premiered on Showtime and launched the TV viewers to the decade’s most charismatic serial killer. It was ostensibly over in 2013, when the Dexter collection finale grew to become one in every of the most hated collection finales in historical past. However the necromantic powers of fandom revived the present for Dexter: New Blood, a sequel collection that gave authentic showrunner Clyde Phillips an opportunity at ending Dexter’s story his way. And he pissed folks off once more.

Dexter: New Blood ended with a bang. Dexter’s now-teenage son Harrison, unsurprisingly outfitted with a budding Darkish Passenger of his personal, discovers his father’s homicidal interest simply as Dexter loses management of an proof path that leads on to his arrest. Determined to flee the loss of life penalty, Dexter kills Logan, an harmless police officer who can also be Harrison’s beloved wrestling coach, and makes his way to a rendezvous level in the woods. 

When Harrison guesses that the blood on Dexter’s palms is Logan’s, he lastly perceives the depth of his father’s illness. Realizing Harrison has no future as the son of the most prolific serial killer in American historical past, Dexter talks Harrison by way of the act of capturing him in the coronary heart. Harrison shoots. Dexter dies. And Harrison flees Iron Lake with the blessing of police chief Angela Bishop. RIP Dexter Morgan. Once more. This time for actual although.

A middle-aged white man getting a mug shot photo snapped.

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Credit score: Seacia Pavao/SHOWTIME

Enter: fan outrage.

Some have creative gripes about the writing or pacing of New Blood. That is high quality, to every their very own. One other contingent of followers is offended as a result of they suppose Dexter’s loss of life at Harrison’s palms is a nasty ending to the character’s story. These persons are fallacious. The Dexter: New Blood ending is superior, and it is the only way Dexter’s story could have ended with any degree of satisfaction. 

To remind everybody of what the New Blood finale was meant to appropriate, we should harken again to the Dexter collection finale. There, Dexter Morgan ships his son to Argentina, chucks his sister’s physique in the ocean, fakes his personal loss of life, and strikes to the Pacific Northwest to turn out to be a lumberjack. The lumberjack finale was unhealthy for lots of causes, largely as a result of it dodged the central query that the complete run of Dexter endeavored to ask: Is Dexter Morgan a great man who does unhealthy issues or a nasty man who does good issues?

Is Dexter Morgan a great man who does unhealthy issues or a nasty man who does good issues?

The reply to that query is essential to Dexter’s self-conception. With out it, the finale mentioned nothing about Dexter’s character, what he thought he completed, or if he was able to reflecting on the harm he brought on. Dexter’s ethical arc screamed for some form of consequence or reckoning. Offering that reckoning was all Dexter: New Blood needed to do to justify its existence.

New Blood units up Harrison’s acceptance or rejection of his father as the last phrase on Dexter Morgan — the actual reply to lumberjack finale’s unasked query. He’s Dexter’s reckoning. It isn’t a story coincidence that he arrives proper as Dexter unleashes his Darkish Passenger after years of abstention. Harrison is Dexter v.2, a traumatized potential psychopath who could both fall totally into his father’s darkness or reject his violent legacy. In flip, Dexter spends the collection going through the option to both encourage Harrison’s darkness or defend his son from turning right into a killer. It is a straightforward take a look at and Dexter nonetheless fails it. 

A high school boy in a letter jacket looks sad while standing in a snowy forest.

Credit score: Seacia Pavao/SHOWTIME

He fails the take a look at midway by way of the season, when he finds the razorblade Harrison used to just about kill his classmate and reacts with psychopathic, un-parental glee. It is an comprehensible response for somebody who has all the time thought of himself alone in the world. That does not make it any much less fallacious or egocentric. Dexter ignores his conscience/ghost sister Debra’s insistence that Harrison is best off with out him and comes clear about his identification as the Bay Harbor Butcher. Even after Harrison seems to just accept Dexter’s secret, it is the fallacious selection; Harrison can only abdomen his father’s code in the context of vigilantism and saving lives, which is an idea Dexter admits to by no means contemplating. 

In his misplaced pleasure to remake his son in his personal picture, Dexter will get sloppy. He will get caught for frankly silly causes and thrown in jail, the place he kills Logan in his desperation to flee with Harrison and prepare his son to be his serial killing protege. It is Logan’s loss of life that causes the scales to fall from Harrison’s eyes. Seeing how simply Dexter killed an harmless, Harrison perceives how unfixable his father’s darkness actually is.

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‘Dexter: New Blood’ is a ghost of its former self — for good and unhealthy

At that second, Harrison understands that the code will not be about doing the “proper” factor and saving lives. It was only ever a way to channel Dexter’s inherent evil in direction of the least objectionable targets. Query answered: By his code, Dexter is worthy of a spot on his personal kill desk. Harrison is aware of it. Dexter is aware of it, and so he totally accepts his destiny when Harrison ranges a rifle at his chest. The insufferable weight of accepting his personal monstrousness kills Dexter as certainly as Harrison’s bullet. From there, the character of Dexter Morgan has nowhere else to go. Current past that reply would flip Dexter right into a parody of himself.

In his last moments, Dexter surrenders his egocentric impulse to remodel Harrison right into a assassin and performs his first act of true fatherhood. He dies in order that his son could escape his legacy. Dexter: New Blood ends with Harrison leaving Dexter behind, each actually and metaphorically, driving out into the chilly in direction of an unsure future. The only surety is that he’s free from no matter his father would have made him, free to be Harrison Morgan — not the Son of Dexter.

Dexter: New Blood is streaming on Showtime.

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