The Dexter New Blood finale disappointed me more than the original ending

Dexter New Blood Key Art

Dexter New Blood is finally over, or at least Season 1 is, and the story of Dexter has seemingly been wrapped up unless the producers decide to go with a second season and/or a spin-off show.

This new limited series was created following the backlash over the original 2013 Season 8 finale which saw Dexter fake his own death to go and live as a lumberjack and go into self-imposed exile.

But, the ending of Dexter New Blood simply didn’t work and it boggles my mind as to how the show’s creators could ruin a finale twice, and make the original ending the better choice.

After a great season overall, it is incredibly disappointing for the show to end like this.

NOTE: It goes without saying that this feature will include many spoilers for both Dexter New Blood and the original show, so if you haven’t had a chance to watch the new season then you might want to come back to this article later.

Why Dexter New Blood was needed

The original series of Dexter ended in 2013 when Dexter faked his own death following the murder of his sister Deb. Dexter drove his boat into a hurricane and was then seen working as a lumberjack in Oregon, a far cry from his previous life in sunny Miami.

Many fans felt that the ending was a cop-out and very sloppy, with most feeling the only way Dexter could/should end is with his arrest and/or death.

Ever since the show ended, it has gone down as one of the worst endings in TV history and has become infamous.

Now, the original showrunners, who left the series by the end of Season 4, have decided to reboot the show for a one-off limited series which will tell the story of what Dexter has been doing since faking his death, as well as end the show in the way it should have, giving fans a satisfying conclusion…at least in theory.

Dexter New Blood recap

Dexter New Blood takes place approximately a decade following the conclusion of Season 8 and sees Dexter now living a normal life in Iron Lake, New York as Jim Lindsay, a hunting supply store employee who is in a relationship with the town’s Chief of Police Angela Bishop.

Early on in the season, Dexter encounters Matt Caldwell, the obnoxious son of the unofficial mayor of Iron Lake Kurt Caldwell. Following the discovery that Matt caused the deaths of multiple people, making him fit the code, and then him killing a Deer, Dexter ends up killing him, which causes a manhunt for him that sees Dexter’s home as ground zero for the search while he is trying to dispose of the body.

Around the same time, Dexter’s son Harrison shows up looking for his father, after having not seen him since he left Miami for Argentina at the end of Season 8.

Dexter New Blood Deb
Credit: Showtime

As Angela continues to look for Matt Caldwell and piece together the events that led to his disappearance, she finds herself in New York City where she meets Angel Batista, the Captain of Homicide at Miami Metro, and also one of Dexter’s closest friends when he lived in Miami.

This meeting leads to Angela discovering the truth that Jim Lindsay is indeed Dexter Morgan and also plants the seeds that he may be the Bay Harbor Butcher.

Kurt Caldwell is also revealed to be a serial killer who is responsible for the murders of dozens of women over the past 25 years, and Harrison begins to display dark tendencies similar to Dexter, with him purposely attacking another student with a razor blade and breaking the arm of a wrestling rival.

Eventually, Dexter confesses to Harrison who he really is and the two seem to bond over this which leads them to both killing Kurt Caldwell.

Angela finally figures out that Dexter is the Bay Harbor Butcher and arrests him for the murder of Matt Caldwell. Dexter manages to escape from custody and plans to head to Los Angeles with Harrison, only for Harrison to realize that his father is a monster that needs to be put down.

Harrison eventually kills Dexter before fleeing Iron Lake, ending the series.

How to anger a fanbase twice

The ending of the original Dexter series left many fans angry that it had a cop-out ending, with Dexter not being caught, killed, or facing any kind of justice for his actions, which would give the story a definitive ending.

Dexter New Blood Mugshot
Credit: Showtime

So, in 2021 the series was resurrected in order to give it a proper conclusion, except many fans weren’t happy with this ending neither.

At least to me, it isn’t that the ending of the show is bad, logically Dexter had to die in some way, whether that was being killed or by being arrested and facing justice, which would involve the death penalty due to most of his crimes taking place in Florida.

The original ending of Dexter was supposed to see Dexter wake up in the execution chair right before he is administered the lethal injection. He would then look and see everyone he has either directly or indirectly killed watching him about to be executed.

This plan was ultimately changed when the original showrunners left following Season 4. Now, with Dexter New Blood being created it allowed the original showrunners to give us the ending on Dexter dying. The problem…it was far too rushed and a lot of it didn’t make any sense.

Angela solved what the FBI couldn’t despite not being a good detective

Throughout the original Dexter show, the Bay Harbor Butcher storyline played a large part in multiple seasons. Sgt. Doakes did crack the case but ended up being set up as the Butcher and killed. Maria LaGuerta also appeared to crack the case but didn’t have enough proof to secure an arrest that stuck.

Instead, Dexter was never formally charged as the Butcher and the record still showed that it was Doakes, that is until Angela solved the case in an hour.

Following an off-hand comment that a guy called Dexter who lived in Miami had a son named Harrison, Angela suddenly made the connection between Jim Lindsay and Dexter being the same person.

READ MORE: Squid Game Season 2 officially confirmed by creator Hwang Dong-hyuk

This then led to her taking a look at the Bay Harbor Butcher case, immediately making the connection and solving the case that the Miami Metro Homicide division had spent years attempting to solve, as well as FBI agent Lundy being unable to piece it together.

Yet, Angela spent 25 years trying to solve the disappearances of all of the women that Kurt Caldwell kidnapped and murdered. How was Angela unable to solve dozens of disappearances in a town with 35 residents? (Not the accurate population number by the way)

This doesn’t make any sense and just highlighted how bad the writing was in some parts of the season.

Why was the season filled with “gotcha” moments that never paid off?

Dexter New Blood was full of multiple characters and story arcs that didn’t lead anywhere and felt like swerves and gotcha moments, with the writers feeling like they got one over on the viewer, which instead just wasted precious minutes without adding much to the story.

The series featured a billionaire who was seen a few times in the show. Many fans theorized that he may be pulling Kurt Caldwell’s strings and Kurt was killing the young women for him. Instead, he was only seen a few times and had absolutely zero impact on the story.

Dexter New Blood Kurt Caldwell
Credit: Showtime

Molly appeared early in the season and had a fairly large role in the story, mainly being the host of a podcast that led Angela to take a look at the Bay Harbor Butcher case.

But, in the grand scheme of things, Molly didn’t have a huge impact on the show and her being in Iron Lake had next to no impact on the show, and she was killed off-screen so they could do a shocking reveal when Angela stumbled across her body in the bunker.

For someone that had a large role in the earlier episodes, it didn’t really make sense for her just to vanish, we all knew she had been killed so why not show us?

Batista was wasted

Batista made two appearances in Dexter New Blood, the first being a guest speaker at a conference that Angela and Molly were attending, which led to the realization that Jim Lindsay is in fact, Dexter Morgan.

Dexter New Blood Batista
Credit: Showtime

His second appearance was during the finale episode, with Angela asking him about the Bay Harbor Butcher during a telephone call, which lead to Batista claiming he will be in Iron Lake the following day with his files on the killings. Dexter was dead and the episode was over by the time this would take place.

This meant that Batista and Dexter never came into contact with each other, even though it appeared like this is what was being set up, meaning that Batista’s appearances were largely wasted, especially his appearance in the final episode.

Nothing would have really changed had Angela not contacted Batista during the final episode.

Everything was so rushed

It is worth noting that the entirety of Dexter New Blood takes place over an approximate two-week period. In the first episode, we see Dexter cross off the date December 10th on his calendar, and in episode 9 it takes place on Christmas day.

Episode 10 takes place shortly after so it is likely sometime between the 26th-28th unless a specific date was given and I missed it.

This meant that in just over two weeks,

  • Dexter went from a fun-loving family man who has settled down with his girlfriend and likes to go line dancing, to murdering multiple people.
  • Dexter reconnecting with Harrison who has travelled from South America to Iron Lake.
  • His girlfriend, Angela, carried out an entire investigation which solves the Bay Harbor Butcher case that the FBI was unable to as well as investigated multiple other crimes including the death of Iris and Matt.
  • Have Kurt murder multiple people and attempt to murder Harrison.
  • See Harrison come to Iron Lake, connect with his dad, begin dating Audrey, stop a potential school shooter, become a wrestler, train to take part in a wrestling match, get a job, escape being murdered by Kurt, kill Kurt, and ultimately kill Dexter.

Man, it has been a busy time in Iron Lake, and they all celebrated Christmas during these events. That’s not even including Angela going to New York to attend a conference where she connected with Batista, the whole Molly arc, and many other events that took place over the course of the 10 episodes.

Dexter New Blood Angela Molly
Credit: Showtime

Although many events took place in a short period of time, the first nine episodes didn’t seem overly rushed in terms of pacing and everything flowed fairly well, although not perfectly.

What was rushed though was the final episode, which at a minimum should have been two or three episodes long, ideally taking place in a whole other season.

There were many elements that felt rushed and others that never saw any payoff. In the episode, we saw Angela contact Batista regarding the Bay Harbor Butcher case, as well as reveal to him that Dexter is alive, and put new doubts in his mind that perhaps Maria was correct and Doakes wasn’t the Butcher.

The scene ended with Batista telling Angela that he would be in Iron Lake by the morning with all of his files on the case. In the end, this scene didn’t matter at all as by the time Batista would have shown up to the town, Dexter was already dead which robbed the viewer of a potential reunion between the two.

READ MORE: Is crypto gaming the future of video games?

Had the finale taken place over two episodes, it is possible we could have seen the reunion between the two, with Batista finally believing that Dexter is the Bay Harbor Butcher. The events of Dexter escaping could have still taken place after his former friend had left the building, but it would have given the viewer the highly anticipated showdown between the two that felt obvious once he made an appearance earlier in the season.

It truly felt like the writers of the show thought, “Oh, we only have 57 minutes to wrap up this story, let’s just tie up these loose ends as quickly as possible.”

How the show could have played out

Ok, now I have criticized the writers I guess it is time for me to hop into the writer’s seat for a little while and give some of my own potential storylines on how it could have played out.

Please note that I am not a screenwriter and the majority of this is off the cuff where I am typing as thoughts come to mind.

Thinking about how the ending of Dexter should have played out, I honestly would have done all of this over the course of three or four seasons, ideally without a break following Season 8.

Season 8 ended in 2013, so in either 2014 or 2015, I would have released Season 9 and continued on with the story, which likely would have prevented the ending from being so hated. So for this fan story, we will just have the show continue as normal.

I would have the entirety, or at least a lot, of Season 9 play out in Oregon following Dexter faking his own death at the end of the previous season.

As we saw at the start of New Blood, Dexter has refrained from killing for a decade. I would have this play out throughout the course of Season 9, with Dexter trying to bury his Dark Passenger and live a new life.

Dexter New Blood Kill Room
Credit: Showtime

But, as we saw in New Blood with Matt, the Dark Passenger is always lurking in the background, and I would have the Wiggles the clown character that we saw in episode 9 be the focus on this season, with it being “one last kill” because he couldn’t resist taking him out, and he really was doing the world a favor, something many viewers would have agreed with.

Following the death of Wiggles, Dexter realizes that wherever he goes the Dark Passenger will always follow, but he decides to try and live in Iron Lake, following an online friendship between him and Angela beginning the blossom. While this may be an unusual way to start the relationship, it does give Dexter a reason to move from Oregon to New York. Dexter does mention in episode 10 that the town is full of good people, making this the perfect place to finally stop killing, which seemed to work until the start of the season.

Season 10 would then begin with a flash-forward to the present day, bringing us to the same time period that Dexter New Blood took place in.

I would have a large part of the season play out exactly how it did, with the exception of Angela investigating the Bay Harbor Butcher case, at least for now.

At the end of the season, following the death of Kurt Caldwell, we will see Dexter and Harrison go to Los Angeles for a father and son bonding vacation.

This location was mentioned in episode 10 as the next destination for the two so they can hunt and kill, so let’s make them actually go there. The pair embark for LA at the conclusion of episode 10 and this vacation lasts for a couple of episodes in Season 11.

The plan for this vacation is to further teach Harrison the code, as well as kill a few people while they’re soaking up the sun.

During the trip, Harrison begins to see his father as not the hero he believed him to be, but as a monster who finds great pleasure in killing, Dexter also is careless and kills an innocent, something that is against the code, which enrages Harrison and helps him believe that the code is a cover and Dexter doesn’t truly believe in it.

But, overall the trip goes well, except Harrison is finally starting to see that Dexter is making him into a monster and that his darkness isn’t caused by his desire to harm people, but because of Dexter, this played out at the end of the episode 10 and is the reason why Harrison shot him.

As a way to introduce Batista into the show, he is also in LA and encounters Dexter and Harrison, he stops in his track and audibly says “Dexter?” as he spots the pair, but is unable to reach them as the area is crowded, perhaps a shopping mall during the holiday sales.

While trying to catch up to the pair, Batista notices that Dexter dropped his driver’s license on the ground, when he picks it up he notices the name is Jim Lindsay and that his address is in Iron Lake.

Convinced he did see his former friend, Batista decides to head to Iron Lake instead of going back to Miami as he recalls meeting Angela at the conference and recognizing it as being the same town she said she was from.

READ MORE: Should ownership of digital game accounts be transferrable after death?

During this time, Angela has begun investigating the death of the drug dealer, and the victim of an assault at the hands of Dexter, both of who had wheal marks from the injection, which also wouldn’t appear in real life. Angela also first makes the connection between these cases and the Bay Harbor Butcher. At this point Molly has only been dead for a week or so, meaning it is still fresh enough that Angela might decide to listen to her podcast to remember their brief friendship, coincidentally choosing the listen to the Bay Harbor Butcher episode.

Batista ends up in Iron Lake before Dexter and Harrison return and heads to the police station to find Angela and question her about Jim Lindsay, who she then reveals to be her boyfriend before discovering he is actually Dexter Morgan.

This prompts Angela to ask about the Bay Harbor Butcher and the possible connection between the cases in Iron Lake and those killings. The penny drops for Batista as he realizes that Doakes and LaGuerta may have been correct and that Dexter is the true Bay Harbor Butcher.

Dexter New Blood Finale Dexter and Harrison
Credit: Showtime

Eventually, Dexter and Harrison make their way back to Iron Lake, unaware that Batista is waiting for them. The rest of the trip hasn’t been great for the father and son, with Harrison beginning to resent Dexter and believing that he is a monster that will hurt innocent people and try to justify it with the code, counteracting the good deeds he does by taking out the bad guys.

When Dexter and Harrison return to Iron Lake, Dexter heads to the police station to see Angela but is instead greeted by Batista which ends an episode, likely around episode 7 of Season 11 by this point.

The two sit down and talk and Batista begins to interrogate him about the Bay Harbor Butcher killings, as well as the possibility that he was involved in the murders of Doakes and LaGuerta. By the end of the episode Batista believes Dexter is the Butcher despite having only circumstantial evidence, but vowes to build a case against him and extradite him to Miami to face justice and the death penalty, Batista then leaves Iron Lake and isn’t seen again in the show, but this gives us the highly anticipated confrontation that never happens in the current finale.

Episode 9 begins immediately after the events of the previous episode, with Dexter now knowing that the net is closing in on him and he was soon be exposed as the monster that he is.

He tells Harrison that they need to leave for good and will figure out where they’re going to live at a later point, this is done so Harrison won’t be able to tell Audrey where they’re heading.

While at home packing his belongings ready to leave (his home was burnt down towards the end of the following season and is fully rebuilt now), Angela shows up to confront Dexter about the disappearance and murder of Matt Caldwell, as well as the death of the drug dealer. It is worth noting that both Season 10 and 11 play out over the course of a couple of months or so, which makes both deaths fresh enough that events such as Kurt giving Angela the screw from Matt’s leg, the disappearance of Molly, and the death of Kurt being recent events despite taking place a season ago.

From here, the rest of the season would play out very similar to how it did, as the events themselves weren’t the issue with the finale, it was mainly down to the pacing. This would give the events leading to the conclusion, Dexter’s arrest, the murder of Logan, the discovery of Kurt’s bunker, and Harrison killing Dexter approximately two episodes to play out, which would allow them to be much more in-depth so they can be expanded upon, rather than all taking place over the course of approximately 20-30 minutes.

What’s next for Dexter?

Now that Dexter is dead, it seems that the show is finally over, but I do believe we will either see a Season 2, or a spin-off show featuring Harrison.

In a recent interview with Deadline, Dexter New Blood’s showrunner Clyde Phillips did state that he would be interested in doing a Season 2 if he is given the go-ahead by Showtime.

“Harrison is such a complicated character and he has within him the seeds of the dark passenger. He’s capable. Look at that takedown of Dexter in the end, what’s in Harrison is that he has to kill this man.”

“Also, Harrison brings a different perspective to the vigilantism of it all than Dexter did, which was kind of surprising to Dexter. He brings this youthful, optimistic innocence, that he and his dad are basically Batman and Robin – ‘Think of every time we take out one of these bad guys how many lives we’re saving, that this bad person is not going to kill.’

“Dexter never thought of that. Dexter was only taking out bad guys because that was his code.”

READ MORE: The Click Awards 2021 Results

It does seem that the new season will focus on Harrison, and will likely feature Dexter taking on the role that Harry and Deb have taken on, with him being Harrison’s conscience and inner monologue rather than a living character.

Similar Posts