How Dexter New Blood Appears to be like Completely different From the Authentic Sequence

When followers of Showtime’s Dexter final noticed the titular forensic blood spatter analyst/vigilante serial killer Dexter Morgan, he was dwelling off the grid as a lumberjack in Oregon, distant from his household and Miami roots. It was a miserable ending for a present and character that was keen on black humor. And for a time, it appeared just like the solely ending the character would obtain.

When it was introduced in late 2020 that the present can be returning as a 10-episode restricted collection set 10 years after the 2013 finale, followers started to take a position concerning the revival’s plot. Now that we’re approaching the revival’s fall 2021 premiere, its promotional supplies are hinting at a drastically completely different iteration of Dexter than we’ve seen earlier than. And that’s not a foul factor in any respect.

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The preliminary trailer confirmed that issues are undoubtedly not what we’re used to seeing within the Dexter-verse. Gone is the Miami setting, with its vibrant colours, tropical crime scene places, beachside bars, and sure, Dexter’s signature short-sleeved Oxford shirts. As returning showrunner Clyde Phillips instructed reporters on the Tv Critics Affiliation summer time press tour, “the second the primary body comes up, you’ll be able to see we’re in an entire new world… It is a fully, wholly new surroundings.” Whereas Dexter devotees might need grown accustomed to the identical stylistic thrives and setting 12 months after 12 months, these daring adjustments to Dexter’s “home fashion” truly give the present an opportunity it by no means had earlier than: to interrupt free from the confines of its earlier iteration and remodel itself (and the character of Dexter Morgan himself) into one thing new and contemporary. It doesn’t look like a coincidence that the revival is subtitled New Blood.

Picture by way of SHOWTIME

The revival omits acquainted components in favor of a chillier season, each in local weather and visuals, happening within the fictional small city of Iron Lake, New York. There are snow-covered landscapes, darker colours of muted greens and blues, and scenes set in huge forests that convey a deep sense of isolation. The frigid visuals appear to seep their method into viewers’ bones. The trailer depicts scenes the place daylight has been omitted in favor of cloudy skies and faces and places draped in murky shadow, giving the present a extra somber and suffocating ambiance. It’s virtually as if, by this new visible language, the present is letting us know that it’s solely a matter of time earlier than Dexter is swallowed entire by this new city and his new life comes crashing down, even when Dexter himself will not be but conscious.

Regardless of the return of Dexter’s darkish humor, as seen within the trailer (“Straightforward there,” Dexter says with a figuring out smile as he recoils from somebody waving a knife in a sporting items retailer. “I type of have a factor about blood”), these new stylistic thrives and adjustments give the impression that each viewers and Dexter himself have better motive to be on edge. Within the unique collection, Dexter confronted fixed dangers of his Darkish Passenger being revealed to these closest to him; right here, the sense of danger is additional heightened provided that Dexter, in accordance with Phillips, “has no connection to his earlier life,” together with any buddies or household who might need been in a position to assist him preserve his Darkish Passenger in verify. His son, Harrison, is faraway from his life, his girlfriend, Hannah (Yvonne Strahovski), is out of the image, and his sister, Deb (Jennifer Carpenter), is lifeless. Though Deb will seem within the revival in some trend and will presumably present her brother with sisterly love and recommendation by goals, visions, or hallucinations, any assist in bodily masking Dexter’s tracks that she might need been in a position to present ten years in the past is off the desk. For the primary time since we’ve final seen him, Dexter seems to be absolutely on his personal when it comes to hiding his secret life and masking his bloody tracks.

That is particularly evident within the new setting. Among the many 400,000 folks of Miami, Dexter had a little bit extra respiratory room to hunt, kill, and conceal. However within the small, woodsy city of Iron Lake, it stands to motive that Dexter, by necessity, needs to be extra cautious along with his eventual kills. A small-town setting gives much less safety, fewer locations to cover, and a better danger of somebody discovering that Dexter will not be who he claims to be. Moreover, with a handful of latest characters added to the combo resembling Jamie Chung (Lovecraft Nation) as true crime podcaster Angela, and Julia Jones (Wind River) because the city’s chief of police and Dexter’s girlfriend, Dexter appears to be dancing on the sting of hazard and complacency greater than ever.

Picture by way of SHOWTIME

Narratively talking, watching Dexter breaking legal guidelines whereas concurrently participating in a romantic relationship with somebody who enforces them guarantees a a lot richer viewing expertise for the viewers, whereas additionally making it a extra harmful expertise for Dexter. Whereas Dexter’s occupation as a blood-spatter analyst with the Miami police division put him in shut quarters with regulation enforcement, Dexter was at all times in a position to depart work and return to his personal area with out the worry of rousing his co-workers’ suspicions or attracting undesirable consideration from his police captain, Maria LaGuerta (Lauren Vélez). His house was personal, a spot the place Dexter may actually be himself with out worrying about his Regular Human Being masks slipping and revealing his darker instincts and true, murderous nature. Nonetheless, he not has that separation of labor and residential — by his personal alternative — as he permits Angela to get nearer than Maria. But when Angela is starting to share time and area with Dexter, it’s solely a matter of time earlier than she begins to probe deeper into Dexter’s thoughts (and finds one thing off), forcing Dexter to enter psychological overdrive to maintain his true self hid. It raises the query of how lengthy he can stick with it. He’s been a killer since his adolescence, and now that 10 years have handed since we’ve final seen him, it additionally means he’s had 10 further years of the pressures of burying his fact from society. It’s a constantly inflating balloon, and it’s solely a matter of time earlier than it pops.

On this method, New Blood gives up a tantalizing idea within the more and more precarious home of playing cards that Dexter has constructed for himself. Within the earlier collection, Dexter was simply… Dexter. However now, there are previous sins to hide together with a brand new identify and fully completely different id. Whereas Dexter as soon as had a second life moonlighting as a serial killer, the lifetime of Dexter in the course of the 10 years since is a whole lie and complete fabrication. The query of if (when?) all of it comes crashing down provides one other layer of dramatic pressure to the collection and likewise provides its foremost character added depth. Dexter has at all times been somebody that makes it troublesome for the viewers to root for. He’s charming and makes use of humor to deflect others’ consideration off him and away from his true darkish nature, however he’s additionally a assassin who has managed to lie, deceive, and damage each morally “good” character who has dared to position their belief in him. However now that Dexter has buried his outdated life and constructed a completely new one (on lies), the present is asking us to as soon as once more query our allegiance with him. Can he actually change? And if not, how a lot slack are we keen to offer somebody who continues to start new loves and friendships with lies — and homicide? It’s a query posed in the course of the earlier seasons that now appears to be reaching a tipping level.

New Blood gives the distinctive alternative to reply this query. As Dexter conforms to life in Iron Lake by adopting the alias Jim Lindsay, working in a sporting items retailer, and befriending native highschool college students (what may presumably go unsuitable?), he hides his previous from his new acquaintances. Not like the residents of Iron Lake, although, we do learn about Dexter’s previous life, his Darkish Passenger, and the way every time he’s given the chance to construct significant, actual, sincere relationships with folks, he constantly chooses the identical path of lies and deception. In a method, it may be seen as an act of self-preservation; Dexter using an instinctive, virtually animalistic sense to guard himself from the judgment of others whereas guaranteeing that he’s in a position to proceed scratching the itch inside his mind that may solely be relieved by killing. However in doing so, he’s additionally risking, but once more, the viewers’s sympathy and willingness to proceed to offer him the good thing about the doubt due to his traumatic childhood and the quantity of loss he has endured (a lot of which, admittedly, was attributable to Dexter himself). He couldn’t dwell a standard life in Miami amongst hundreds, and if he proves he’s as unsuccessful within the a lot smaller and extra rural city of Iron Lake, the present is perhaps speaking that that is Dexter’s final stand.

Jennifer Carpenter and Michael C. Hall in Dexter New Blood
Picture by way of Showtime

New Blood and Dexter’s self-exile and relocation to Iron Lake looks like a brand new (and perhaps closing) probability for Dexter to make a standard life for himself (however do we actually anticipate him to efficiently resist the pull of his Darkish Passenger?) and for him to show to the viewers that he’s modified. As a result of if he hasn’t, if he continues to lie and misguide and conceal such a major a part of his life and self away from these closest to him, the present appears poised to do one thing fascinating in exhibiting that simply because Dexter Morgan is the present’s titular character, he is perhaps undeserving of our want for his happiness and continued hopes that he lastly manages to see the errors of his methods. If he’s unable to face the uncomfortable truths that will come from the folks closest to him discovering his true nature, he simply might need blown his final probability at getting anybody — characters or the viewers — on his aspect.

By setting the collection 10 years after the much-maligned finale, Phillips and star/government producer Michael C. Corridor are successfully giving the present a contemporary begin and, in doing so, permission to interrupt free from the oft-tread storytelling components that it had fallen into throughout its latter, formulaic seasons. Now, as a substitute of following its drained “Massive Dangerous of the season” state of affairs, or taking part in out the drained query of whether or not or not Dexter’s sister will lastly uncover his murderous tendencies, Corridor and Phillips have freed themselves as much as handle and reply far more fascinating questions: Has Dexter managed to tame his Darkish Passenger? Can he actually begin contemporary someplace new regardless of his new life in New York being constructed fully on lies? Does time actually make you overlook your trauma — and the our bodies you’ve hidden? In any case, simply because Dexter has left Miami behind doesn’t essentially imply that his household, emotional baggage, and crimes won’t discover him. Altering settings and a long time permits sufficient years and miles to move to permit greater dramatic questions — and, hopefully, greater dramatic payoffs — than in its latter seasons.

The adjustments on the horizon with New Blood additionally give the present an opportunity to proper a few of the wrongs of its closing season, particularly its controversial collection finale. After spending eight seasons with the identical characters, followers anticipated some sense of emotional and narrative closure. However as a substitute of closure with Dexter mourning over Deb’s demise or having to half from Hannah, there was a mad dash to the end line as Dexter shortly eluded and eradicated the quite a few enemies he had racked up in the course of the season, as a substitute of fastidiously plotting an ending with actual emotional resonance. Followers had been left with the digital camera pulling again from Dexter, alone and silent. A restricted 10 episode order provides New Blood each the prospect at extra targeted storytelling and at giving Dexter the ultimate phrase in his personal story.

Michael C. Hall in Dexter: New Blood
Picture by way of Showtime

With its new fashion, tone, and contemporary plot, there’s loads of new components in Dexter: New Blood to differentiate itself from its earlier iteration. The daring shift away from its home fashion and rancid procedural components provides the present a uncommon second probability to up the ante when it comes to stakes and dramatic questions, and provides legions of dearly devoted Dexterites the ending that they had hoped for practically ten years in the past. As Phillips stated in the course of the present’s Comedian-Con@Dwelling panel, “The ending of this one will probably be beautiful, surprising, shocking, surprising, and with out jinxing something, I’ll say that the ending of this new season that we’re doing will blow up the Web.” The main points of the shocks and surprises in query stay to be seen. However till then, followers will probably be left guessing about what, ahem, sticky conditions TV’s favourite serial killer will discover himself in subsequent.

Dexter: New Blood will premiere on November seventh, 2021 on Showtime.

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