When news of a Dexter reboot was first announced in October of 2020, fans were excited because, well, the original show ended on such a disappointing note.
The original eight-season series was a cult classic and if any show deserved a revival, it was certainly this one. Dexter was a favorite with fans and critics alike with a plethora of praise and awards attention over the years.
Based on a series of novels by Jeff Lindsay, with “Darkly Dreaming Dexter” as the main inspiration, Dexter ran from 2006 to 2013 and over the course of its 96-episode run fans fell in love with Dexter Morgan. Though he committed some of the most gruesome murders imaginable, he learned to somewhat control his Dark Passenger and only kill when doing so was necessary. He slipped up every now and then but we forgave him. He was a psychopathic vigilante but one you wouldn’t necessarily mind sharing an office with. He was the coworker who regularly brought donuts to the office. How bad could he be?
Dexter was a busy guy. He worked as a forensic blood-spatter expert at the Miami Metro Police Department. He knew how to clean up and cover up his crimes. His kills were inarguably grotesque and yet we rooted for him to get away with his heinous acts each and every time.
The Showtime series deserved the opportunity to give its protagonist a new ending. Series star, Michael C. Hall, and showrunner, Clyde Phillips, have more than made up for that finale in 2013 with Dexter: New Blood.
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In this new telling, the bright, colorful, sun-drenched beaches of Miami are replaced with the dark, cold, gray of Iron Lake in upstate New York. And Dexter, who now goes by the pseudonym Jim Lindsay, has completely reinvented himself. He’s surrounded by a new cast of extremely interesting characters and he’s refrained from killing for quite some time when we first reunite with him.
Hall describes his character as an addict and in this case, he falls off the wagon. Did we really want him to ever gain control of his Dark Passenger? In lieu of his late father, Harry, to give him advice from the grave, this season it’s his dead sister Deb, brilliantly played by Jennifer Carpenter, helping him navigate his very complicated world. The scenes between the two – who met, married and divorced in real life during the original run – get better and better as the season unfolds.
The idea for the 10-episode revival, which has been referred to as a limited series, may have originally been an attempt at an apology to the loyal legion of fans but it has actually taken things up a notch with a perfect set-up for a second season, as well as a spin-off with Dexter’s teenage son, Harrison, played by Jack Alcott.
In a recent interview, Hall explained why now is the perfect time to bring this beloved serial killer back. Over the years, he has also wanted to get a more definitive sense of what happened to Dexter.
After going back and forth about how to best bring the show back, Hall and Phillips concluded that there had to be a reunion between father and son. The two, he hinted at the time, are more alike than either could ever have imagined.
To avoid giving anything away, Hall wasn’t able to give a direct answer as to whether or not Harrison and his father have similar psychopathic tendencies but he did give a clue saying that it would simultaneously be Dexter’s “biggest fear and darkest wish because he’s an isolated and lonely person.”
It’s a fair assertion that Dexter fans are, for the most part (fingers crossed), not psychopathic serial killers. So, why do we continue to root for him? Hall says it’s because Dexter is more relatable than one might think. “We all have some version of a dark passenger that we contend with and manage. Our relationship to and negotiation with that part of ourselves is a big part of what it is to struggle to be a human being and I think with Dexter all the things that set him apart are the things that make him the most relatable.”
Dexter: New Blood has definitely set itself up for at least one more season and even a Harrison spin-off. The fans are game if those behind the series are up for it. Can you imagine Dexter giving Harrison the same type of fatherly advice Harry gave him? And with Deb over his shoulder chiming in? Please, Showtime, please!