SERIES REVIEW / OPINION – After faking his death, Miami’s most notorious killer resurfaces in “Dexter: New Blood”, the first six episodes of which have been revealed. Based in the northern United States, the former forensic expert has rebuilt his life. But his old demons are catching up to him … [ATTENTION, cet article contient des spoilers]
Dexter New Blood : from butcher to lumberjack
After eight uneven seasons, countless killings and a few formidable opponents, Dexter Morgan (Michael C. Hall) finished its run exhausted in September 2013. Marked by a fourth season which reached its climax thanks to the frightening Slayer of the Trinity (John Lithgow), the program produced by Showtime subsequently lost in intensity, weighed down by a rhythm lazy and a repetitive aesthetic up toultimately deemed ridiculous by many fans. So when the announcement of the revival fell, it was immediately followed by doubts as to the usefulness of offering a sequel to Dexter, eight years later.
Composed of ten episodes, Dexter: New Blood reveals how the former forensic expert started from scratch. Calling himself now Jim in the small community of Iron Lake, a fictitious town located in the upstate of New York State, he gave up his last name for the patronymic of his creator, the writer Jeff Lindsay.
Dexter no longer spends his time studying or cutting up corpses. He opted for a position of salesman of hunting and fishing equipment. To maintain himself, he now prefers to cut logs rather than limbs. However, he did not completely give up his links with the police since he lives a romance with Angela Bishop (Julia Jones), the head of the local police. As for his “Black Passenger”, he finally seems to have deserted. Until dark events come to resuscitate him …
The past always resurfaces (a little too much)
Like any film or series that tries to rekindle a flame that has been extinguished for many years, Dexter: New Blood comes up against the comparison with its predecessor, which works rather in its favor. From the outset, the revival stood out thanks to a polar frame and a more polished realization which stick more to the coldness of the protagonist. The limits of the directing which became deeply boring in the last seasons of Dexter are less glaring, at least in the implementation.
However, Dexter: New Blood rest faithful to the original narrative functioning. If the voiceover is less scathing, it is still present and now allows the murderer to fully assume his cracks, but also his emotions. As for his conscience, it is expressed today through the ghost of Debra (Jennifer Carpenter). Much less calm than Harry (James Remar), the serial killer’s sister gives the first six episodes some of their best parts. Animated conversations where she abuses Dexter, putting him face to face with his deepest regrets and his impossible redemption.
If Dexter shows nuances and is much more touching, the most interesting character is none other than his son Harrison, who arrives in his life without warning. Disturbed, as endearing as it is disturbing and driven by violent impulses, the teenager brilliantly embodied by Jack Alcott sows doubt in the viewer. He stands out as one of the real assets of this season and almost manages to forget scriptwriting facilities used to reintroduce other emblematic names of Dexter, whose presence is totally dispensable.
A promising new enemy
Of course, Dexter Morgan couldn’t be the only deranged inhabitant of Iron Lake. One of the plots of the revival concerns the many unexplained disappearances of young girls in the region. And quickly, the mystery around the identity of the culprit behind the kidnappings is lifted. Hesitant and sometimes clumsy in its executions, this new monster causes an uneasiness which does not cease to intensify with each of its appearances. With this antagonist, the showrunner Clyde Phillips, who had also left the first series after the fourth season, intends to create a threat to match the Trinity Slayer.
His desire to give Dexter an end worthy of the name is just as palpable. Very quickly overtaken by events, the Butcher of Bay Harbor accumulates errors which reinforce the suspense. Rusty and no longer showing the mastery of yesteryear, he allows his interpreter Michael C. Hall to reveal another facet of his game without renouncing the ambiguous looks and the feigned innocence of the anti-hero … .