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Does Dexter: New Blood Improve on the Original Ending?



Michael C. Hall in Dexter: New Blood

This article contains spoilers for Dexter and Dexter: New BloodWhen Showtime aired Dexter on October 1, 2006, it was a refreshingly new series. The show centered around Dexter Morgan (Michael C. Hall), a blood splatter analyst for the Miami-Metro Police, who hides a dark secret. Dexter Morgan is a serial killer. But what made Dexter a standout was the real premise of the show: our protagonist only kills those who have evaded arrest for heinous crimes. Taught to follow a code of ethics by his adoptive father Harry (James Remar), Dexter follows “The Code” to near insanity in order to prove his victims are worthy of their punishment. Throughout this eight-season journey, the ghost of Harry haunts Dexter to never break the code and, most importantly, to never get caught.

Although hailed as a great show, Dexter had one of the worst series endings in television history. As we remember, the series closes with Dexter planning to move to Brazil with Hannah (Yvonne Strahovski) and his son, Harrison. Instead, Dexter takes the body of Deb (Jennifer Carpenter) out to sea during a hurricane, leaving the audience to assume that Dexter has taken his own life. We quickly learn that Dexter somehow survived and is now living in Oregon under a new identity, alone.

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Fans were left utterly disappointed and frustrated by this unjustified ending. For the audience, it did not make sense that Dexter would leave his son, especially after the tragic death of his wife, Rita (Julie Benz). It also felt that Dexter chose Deb over Hannah and Harrison; although not shocking for the character, it just felt wrong and unsatisfying. Fans of the show felt let down by the writing choices after the series’ buildup.

The audience was not alone in their lament, as the show’s star also felt the ending was unsatisfying. Although, Hall found the silver lining in the new spin-off series, Dexter: New Blood. The first season, set 10 years after the close of Dexter, shows our anti-hero return under the new identity, Jim Lindsay. We also see the return of Dexter’s sister, Deb, replacing Harry as his “Dark Passenger.”

Related: Dexter: How the Series Stands Out From Other Serial Killer Shows

When the premier opens, we quickly learn that Dexter has given up his old ways and now lives a quiet life in the mountains of upstate New York. Why no longer Oregon? That question is never answered. Of course, old habits die hard for Dexter, and he relapses, killing a man who had evaded prosecution. After Dexter rids himself of the evidence, he is faced with a dilemma: the arrival of his son, Harrison (Jack Alcott). With this, the audience instantly had a new question: what happened to Hannah? We find out that Harrison lived in a series of foster homes after Hannah died of ovarian cancer and has now finally found his father. Although slightly cliché, this did make sense to the story, and it gave us a reason for Harrison, after all these years, to finally find Dexter.

Audiences of Dexter were excited to finally see how the serial killer would raise a child and if the apple would fall far from the tree. The answer comes a few episodes later when we discover that Harrison has his own “Dark Passenger” and, similar to Dexter, struggles with this demon. Dexter decides to teach Harrison “The Code” and thinks this will be the perfect bonding experience. But as we all learn, things do not always go to plan.