Since the very first episode of New Blood, I’ve been rooting for the death of Dexter Morgan. Looking back at the span of the fictional life of this character, he’s had a good run. He survived a bloody and traumatic childhood. He was taught a code to give a purpose to his murderous inclinations. He made an interesting and lucrative career for himself. He was, at times, a good brother and, at times, a good partner. He resurfaced the Miami Beach seafloor with the bodies of hundreds of evildoers. And he brought a son into this world, Harrison, whom he is just now letting into his life not out of guilt but out of love. The only place he has to go from here is his grave. His real grave this time, not another fake-out do-over where he pops up in a new city under a different name. The only possible outcome for New Blood that will leave fans with the sense of this all having been worth something is for this character to die and make way for something new in the form of his progeny. And I’d be comfortable at this point in placing a wager on that very thing taking place in episode ten. But what will that look like for Harrison, who has come all this way to suffer so much? Just as he’s starting to get that father figure he’s been desperately seeking out his whole young life, what will it do to his emotional psyche to lose it all over again? I think we’re about to find out.
When we last saw Dexter/Jim, he was just about to be nabbed by Kurt Caldwell’s creepy henchman, Elric Kane. We pick back up right at that point in this episode, and it doesn’t take long for Dexter/Jim to free himself from Elric’s truck by using his hand ties to give his captor a nasty new Joker-esque makeover, causing him to slam his truck into a pole. Dexter/Jim, with circus level dexterity, jettisons from the back window of the truck and scrambles off in the snow, using Matt’s surgical screw, still in his pocket, to cut off his leg bindings and make his way back to Elric with the intent to put him down. The only problem is that Elric has a huge fancy rifle, and Dexter only has a screw. Those aren’t good odds, even for a killing machine like Dex.
He dicks around in the snow for a bit in a cat-and-mouse of hiding from Elric while also trying to get close enough to overpower him, but he doesn’t have time to waste. Kurt is out there somewhere with Harrison, and he knows exactly where they’re headed, doo-wop dungeon deux.
I was not expecting to feel so strongly for Harrison when he first showed up, having traveled a great distance to hunt down the man who abandoned him. And I was doubly not expecting Jack Alcott’s performance as Dexter’s heir apparent to summon deep emotions in me, strong enough to bring me to tears. But he did in this episode. While at Kurt’s cabin, Harrison tries his first sip of single-malt scotch, which he turns his nose up at, saying it tastes like band-aids, and is taught the hard way how to navigate a batting cage all while Kurt stalls until Dexter/Jim gets there. Kurt’s under the assumption that Elric is bringing him to the cabin to watch his son get killed, but what he doesn’t know is that he’s barreling through the snow in that very truck, hoping to both save his son and kill his son’s captor. In this in-between time, Kurt sets Harrison up, again and again, to be forced to admit to things he never got to experience with his dad. Harrison’s open-faced willingness to please, and to have that feeling of sitting next to a father figure, any father figure, right up to the point where Kurt comes out in his hunting attire ready to kill him, is heartbreaking. If there’s one good thing to come from New Blood, aside from the comic relief of ghost Deb, it’s Jack Alcott in this role. He’s fantastic.
When Dexter/Jim finally does make it to Kurt’s cabin, it’s just in the nick of time, naturally. Kurt has Harrison running through the snow and is just about to gun him down when Dexter/Jim revs toward him, sending him running off instead. He couldn’t have killed him. What would we have spent our time doing for the next two episodes? Any number of other more exciting things? Don’t be silly.
Now in safety, for the time being, Dexter/Jim and Harrison share what looks like the first genuine hug of their recent relationship, and Dexter/Jim opens up to his son about his own dark urges, promising to teach him the code that his father taught him. Oh, did I mention that this was the Christmas episode?
While Dexter/Jim and his kid are bonding over wanting to kill people, Police Chief AngelaBishop is doing some research on Dexter Morgan. After backtracking on Dexter/Jim’s handy work with the dealer and at-home chemist who sold and made the drugs that Harrison overdosed on, Angela comes to learn that they both have needle marks on their necks. In the case of the chemist, who Dexter/Jim killed, his autopsy report indicated that he had ketamine in his system in addition to the fentanyl that supposedly killed him. Doing what would in real-life be an entirely too broad Google search of “ketamine + Miami” Angela comes to a page about the Bay Harbor Butcher. You gotta wonder at this point when Angel Batista is going to be summoned into the picture. And, if my theory about Dexter/Jim dying at the end of this is correct, will it be him, Angela, or Harrison who does it? Harrison would be the most dynamic option out of the three, but my money’s on Batista. This is New Blood, though, and I’m bracing for the disappointment of none of this happening and for the last scene of the series being Dexter driving into the sunset, giving the camera a little wink. Barf at the thought of it.
On the Kill-Room Floor
• Is anything of a grander scale going to come from all the effort put into constantly bringing Matt Caldwell up? I can’t imagine we had to hear about how he lettered in three sports just for the hell of it. Sure, Kurt was making every attempt to make Harrison feel shitty about not having those types of opportunities and experiences in his own life, but come on. And where’s that other surgical screw?
• It seemed like Harrison was doing some sort of self-punishment by allowing himself to repeatedly get gobbed in the side by baseballs in that batting cage. Didn’t it occur to him that he needed to swivel around to come anywhere near close to being able to hit one of those “curveballs?”
• Dexter/Jim’s hasty decision to just cover Elric’s body with a tarp and leave him at the camp is going to come back to haunt him. He’s just doing whatever now, kill table be damned.
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