How do you “fix” a finale like Dexter’s? The extensively reviled 2013 episode noticed Miami serial killer Dexter Morgan (Michael C Hall) pretend his personal demise and transfer to Oregon to develop into a lumberjack. Then, final 12 months, got here a reprieve, in the type of 10-part revival collection Dexter: New Blood. The present’s creators relished the potential do-over. So, too, it appears, did followers: the 10-part collection has develop into Showtime’s most-watched of all time.
Where have been the present’s writers to to go from the baffling ending of the authentic collection? The reply, someway, was Iron Lake, a small, snow-covered city in New York State. The new locale introduced Dexter into contact with a roster of latest characters, and a few acquainted faces – most importantly that of his teenage son, Harrison. This week’s conclusion introduced Dexter’s story to a definitive, satisfying finish. There was to be no lumberjack ex machina right here. Praise be.
The episode, entitled “Sins of the Father”, noticed Dexter lastly reckon with the ethical inconsistencies of his killer’s code, after murdering a police officer to flee jail. Calling him out for his transgressions, Dexter’s son, Harrison (Jack Alcott) then shoots him useless, at his father’s behest. The killing is an act of affection and liberation, for each father and son. The final we see of Harrison, he’s driving optimistically in direction of a brand new life. But followers have been nonetheless rattled by the conclusion. Some dubbed it an “anticlimax”. Others have been pissed off at the lack of a showdown between Dexter and his former colleague, detective Angel Batista (David Zayas). (The episode midway teases a climactic confrontation between Dexter and Batista, which by no means transpires.) “They really went and screwed up two Dexter finales,” wrote one other viewer. I suppose the pithy ethical right here is to watch out what you want for. But the fact of it is, this finale was incomparable to the authentic. It gave followers precisely what they claimed to need: closure; justice; some semblance of redemption.
Too typically, reboots and sequels regress to what’s secure and recognisable to win over their followers; from Star Wars: The Force Awakens to Ghostbusters: Afterlife, familiarity is the title of the sport. The simple factor for Dexter: New Blood to do would have been to return to Miami. Place Dexter in his outdated haunts. Indulge huge showdowns with all his former pals and adversaries. But in choosing a barely extra adventurous, esoteric premise, New Blood confirmed it didn’t simply need to apologise for the authentic finale. It wished to redeem it. Within the context of the new collection, Dexter’s season eight retreat to the boonies isn’t simply an arbitrary last-minute twist, however a call that has lasting and significant penalties.
As for the disappointment of the no-show showdown with Detective Batista, that’s one other name that the New Blood finale completely obtained proper. It can be disingenuous to fake unexpectedly that Batista and Dexter had some type of particular relationship. Because he spent a lot of the authentic collection efficiently concealing his murderous habits, Dexter seldom constructed up an actual antipathy with the present’s many regulation enforcement characters. The important adversaries in Dexter’s life have been, as a rule, merely different serial killers. Or else it was normally relations, similar to Dexter’s sister, Debra (Jennifer Carpenter), who seems repeatedly all through New Blood as a imaginative and prescient. It’s why New Blood was in a position to utterly change the locale and supporting forged and nonetheless really feel, kind of, like the similar present – a uncommon feat in the world of TV, the place consistency is king.
New Blood’s finale was on no account a traditional or important piece of TV. But in the higher scheme of issues, neither was Dexter. Even its finest seasons have been all the time a bit of pulpy, a bit of daft. When it involves inventive ambition, originality and purposefulness, New Blood pales drastically compared to Twin Peaks: The Return – the different high-profile revival collection that Showtime have produced in recent times. But as salvage jobs go, this was a sure-fire success. Dexter has been expunged from the annals of tv disasters. Finally, mercifully, it could be laid to relaxation.