Dexter Morgan (Michael C Hall) hasn’t killed in over ten years. After he left his native Miami, Dexter settled in upstate New York in a small town called Iron Lake, which stands near an Indian reservation. Dexter in these parts lives under the name of Jim Lindsey – the old Dexter Morgan is like how he died during the hurricane in Miami, so the old Dexter Morgan is no more, but there is Jim Lindsey.
Dexter lives in a log cabin in the woods, keeps goats and works at Fred’s Fish & Game, which sells guns and all kinds of hunting and fishing equipment. He meets with the local head of the police station, Angela Bishop (Julia Jones), an Indian by birth.
Dexter tries to keep his mind under control, for which he steadily follows a routine, some kind of everyday rituals. His “dark passenger” either does not appear at all, or Dexter manages to make sure that he does not appear. And if earlier Dexter had conversations in his head with his late stepfather Harry, now his late sister Debra (Jennifer Carpenter) is talking to him, who is trying to keep Dexter from new murders.
However, it becomes harder and harder for Dexter not to remember his old habits. Big Matt (Stephen Marcus Robertson), the son of local tycoon Kurt Caldwell (Clancy Brown), who unexpectedly arrived in the city with his friends, is becoming more and more impudent. Matt is such a rare asshole, and then Dexter found out that the guy was the cause of the death of five people, into whose boat Matt crashed on his boat. This story was written off as an accident, but Dexter knows from a former friend of Matt that he did it on purpose. So Matt had to take just one careless step for the “dark passenger” to come out.
Dexter is also in for a new shock: his son Harrison (Jack Elcott), who lived in Argentina with Dexter’s former lover Hannah McKay, appears at the log cabin. Harrison said that Hannah had died three years ago and he decided to look for his father. Dexter is trying to be a father to his son again, but since the circumstances of Harrison’s loss of his mother in childhood were exactly the same as his own, Dexter is afraid that his son may also find his own “dark passenger”.
Dexter is one of the most iconic series of the 2000s, it ran from 2006 to 2013 and ran for 8 seasons. I didn’t start watching it right away – judging by this review of the film, where Michael C Hall played, I was able to start watching this series only three years after the release of the first season, and somehow it happened that I didn’t write a review for this series. (Yes, and at that time I practically did not write reviews of the series.)
The original series is based on the novel Dexter’s Slumbering Demon by Jeffrey Lindsey (Dexter took his name of Jim Lindsey for a reason), which told the story of Dexter Morgan, a quiet and inconspicuous Miami police officer whose mother was murdered in front of him by a serial killer, when Dexter was three years old.
Dexter got into a foster family, and when his stepfather Harry, who works as a policeman, found out that the boy had an irresistible craving for murder, he developed a special “Harry code” for him, directing Dexter’s dark energy towards killing criminals who, for one reason or another, otherwise managed to escape punishment. That is, Dexter became a kind of “angel of death”: he killed, but criminals, real creatures, died at his hands. Also, the “code” contained clear and detailed instructions on how Dexter had to act in order not to get caught.
This series hooked me strongly, as they say, and I watched the first four seasons without stopping. Moreover, the finale of the fourth season in a certain way “looped” the story of Dexter, and if the series had been completed on this, it would have remained in memory as one of the few non-degraded series, because all four seasons were simply excellent.
Apparently, showrunner Clyde Phillips, who worked on these four seasons, planned to do just that, because he and several other people from his team left the series, but the Showtime channel, which financed the creation of the series, was not going to cut the goose that lays the golden eggs with their own hands. , so work on “Dexter” was continued, albeit in a slightly different composition.
I don’t remember the fifth season at all. Which is strange, because I remember the first four perfectly. I didn’t know the showrunner had left the show for the first four seasons, but it was clear from the fifth season that the bar had already dropped a lot. I didn’t even want to watch the sixth season, but Colin Hanks appeared there, who perfectly played a completely infernal character, and I still watched the season, but the ending there was so idiotic that I decided that it was time to end with Dexter, so I haven’t watched seasons 7 and 8. Reviews for the seventh and especially the eighth seasons were below the floor.
And now, eight years after the end of the eighth season, the new series “Dexter” was released. However, this is not considered the ninth season, although the plot of the continuation is clearly connected to the events of previous seasons. This is a new and completed mini-series called “Dexter: New Blood”. And it was Clyde Phillips and his team who worked on it, that is, the creators of the best seasons of the original Dexter.
To be honest, I was not interested in restarting the series at all – I remembered the disappointment in the fifth or sixth seasons. However, the feedback from friends who watched the New Blood series as it came out was purely positive, the mini-series was very praised, and I decided to watch it, waiting for its entire release. (I almost never watch shows until at least a full season is out. Exceptions in my memory were extremely rare, except for Game of Thrones, where it was simply impossible to wait.)
So what happened to them with the restart? Let me just say: I liked it. There is no impression that this is a banal desire to earn some money from the fan base of the old series. It is, of course, clear that they were counted on, but how else, but it was done soundly, and not a blunder, Dexter himself is still, as they say, “in the saddle” and does not give the impression of a dull pensioner, and there is enough well-written and staged story lines with Major Matt, Dexter Harrison’s son, the history of Dexter’s relationship with the police chief Angela, the storyline with the famous investigative subcaster Molly Park, and the story of the disappearance of young girls in Iron Lake (this is already told in second series) and about who is behind it.
Here, in general, one feels that the old team worked on the restart – the one that made the best seasons of the original series. At the same time, it is clear that they could not reach the level of that same “Dexter”, it was still the end of the old story, but I did not expect this, I was just wondering if they could get something worthy, and them, in my opinion, it worked out.
There is a very intelligible story: Dexter is still himself with all his virtues and with all his demons in his soul. As in the original series, Dexter is in no way a positive character. He is interesting precisely as a person with a thirst for murder, whose negative energy his adoptive father managed to direct in a very conditionally correct direction, but in the same “Dexter” it was clearly shown that no matter how Dexter tried to kill only obvious criminals, in whose fault he convinced himself (this is a requirement of the “Harry Code”), all the same, he becomes an explicit or implicit culprit in the death of innocent people, because there is no violence directed only at criminals: in such cases there are always those who are called “collateral victims,” and Dexter was forced to accept these secondary victims.
Michael C Hall played Dexter in the guise of Jim Lindsey very well. This, of course, is not quite the old Dexter – a charming and slightly shy kid with a threat of murder in his eyes – however, Dexter himself went through certain metamorphoses, and this is shown quite clearly. At the same time, we see the same old Dexter Morgan, who faked his own death and who lived quietly for about ten years in a small town in the north of the United States.
He did not attract any attention to himself, with a “dark passenger” (I know that in United Statesn translation he is called a “dark fellow traveler”, but in the original it is the word “passenger” – dark passenger) that more or less learned to cope, and then there were circumstances that the ancient evil still let out. And it was great to show – straight old Dexter, given what he went through, and given the past years, which spare no one, but they did not say that they had beaten Michael C Hall very much.
Dexter’s long-dead sister Debra appears here as an imaginary character who is the voice of Dexter’s conscience. There are not so many Debras, but Jennifer Carpenter played her perfectly, and the script of the character itself is great: Debra has long known who her half-brother is and what he does, she loves him and she tries to stop him from irreparable acts. I really liked Jennifer Carpenter in the original series, and here her role is downright wonderful.
In the new mini-series, a lot is tied to Dexter’s son Harrison. He was played by Jack Alcott. Well played: on the one hand, this is a guy with a smile of a somewhat suffering look, who has experienced a lot, on the other hand, as Dexter guesses, he lives in the same “dark passenger” as in himself, because they have – exactly the same stories. And Jack did a great job portraying Harrison: he’s kind of cute and at the same time you feel that something very unhealthy and very dangerous lives inside him.
I really liked Julia Jones, who played police chief Angela Bishop, Dexter’s lover. A mistress is a mistress, and Angela has always placed a sense of duty above romantic feelings. Bright and interesting character, well played. Well, I can’t help but note that, purely by type, Julia Jones is very similar to Jennifer Carpenter, who played Debra. Apparently, this was deliberately conceived, because it could not be an ordinary coincidence.
Of the other roles – cool Kurt Caldwell in an excellent performance by Clancy Brown: of course, an unconditional freak and scoundrel, but a character with a bright negative charm. I also liked the podcaster Molly Park performed by Jamie Chung. From the point of view of acting, there was nothing special, but the actress got into the role quite clearly, and she was scripted quite interestingly, especially her relationship with the police chief.
In general, the restart, in my opinion, was quite a success. And he is not at all from the series “just make money from the fan base of the old series.” Because there is a very coherent story in the style of the old “Dexter”, a good production and worthy acting roles. Loved it and would highly recommend to fans of the original series.
Dexter: New Blood review
Director: Clyde Phillips Cast: Michael C Hall, Jack Alcott, Julia Jones, Johnny Sequoia, Alano Miller, Jennifer Carpenter, David Magidoff, Clancy Brown, Oscar Wahlberg, Jamie Chon, Andrew Fama, Steven Marcus Robertson
Series, USA, 2021, 58 min. 10 episodes