The end of ‘Dexter’ was one of those awkward and too long goodbyes that all parties want to get rid of so as not to look back. After eight seasons, Showtime’s fiction was a clear case of a series that dies of success, losing its shine and meaning with each new twist of the script and exhausting the viewers who stay while others are falling down the road chapter by chapter. . And the truth is that, after that farewell, the viewers have not looked back at any time, dragged by the increasingly huge audiovisual production after the proliferation of streaming platforms. When ‘Dexter’ ended, in September 2013, Netflix had released ‘House of Cards’ a few months earlier and we had no idea what that was going to mean. Now, eight years later, Dexter Morgan returns and we sense that his return is not going to mean anything at all.
‘Dexter: New Blood’ is a 10-episode miniseries that will be seen week by week on Movistar +, starting from last Monday, November 8. In it Michael C. Hall takes up the role of the serial killer who made him famous (the prestige had already come to him with ‘Two Meters Underground’). It is a return to the universe of ‘Dexter’ that takes up all his tics and hallmarks, for better or for worse, by the hand of screenwriter Clyde Phillips. He was the showrunner of the first four seasons, undoubtedly the most worthy, which in principle is a sign that this return could be minimally interesting.
At the end of the original series, Dexter survived and fled to become a fugitive hiding in a snowy landscape in Oregon, far from tropical Miami. ‘New Blood’ takes up that idea and moves the action to Iron Lake, a fictional glacial town in upstate New York. The first moments of the first chapter show us the character running through the snow, hunting with a shotgun in tow. It doesn’t take long for us to understand that what he is chasing is not a human victim but a deer, and we immediately see that even before the animal he is not able to pull the trigger.
Dexter no longer kills, he has not killed for 10 years, and now lives under the pseudonym Jim Lindsay (In homage to the author of the novels on which the series is based, Jeff Lindsay). He leads a peaceful and routine life, surrounded by the good people of the town, whom he greets warmly on the street. The perfect neighbor facade that was built so that no one would suspect his dark habits (that is, killing criminals to quell their murderous impulses) is now his entire life.
Phillips takes up the concept he already played with in the original series: Dexter is an addict, just like alcoholics and drug addicts. And as such, he marks on the calendar each day that passes without “relapsing” (in his case, killing) and needs to follow a very orderly routine so as not to give in to temptation. ‘Dexter: New Blood’ begins by showing us a recovered addict, and as a “sponsor” he has Debra (Jennifer Carpenter), his sister who died in the last season and now accompanies him inside his head. She is the voice that keeps him at bay and prevents him from winding up with knives with the first one that passes.
It is an interesting idea, although not new, as it is also that Dexter’s voice-over, one of the hallmarks of the series, does not appear during most of the episode.. As if we were really following in the footsteps of Jim Lindsay and the real Dexter dozing inside him. The problem, of course, is that it does not take long to appear, because otherwise, as they say, there would be no story.
Following the tradition of the series, ‘Dexter: New Blood’ abuses the double meanings directed at the viewer. “I have a problem with blood” OR “There really are no secrets in this town” are phrases that Dexter says in some moments of the episode, after which he needs to look at the camera and wink his eye. But that would mean that this “revival” intends to do something new or travel some path not traveled by the original series. And it is not the case, at least in the first episode.
That everything changes … so that everything remains the same
Much will have to advance the thing so that ‘Dexter: New Blood’ does not end its journey having fallen into the same traps that the original series got into. And that Phillips and Hall have spent months telling the media that this return was intended to fix the mess that left an ending that no one had liked. They did not count, it seems, that the series would become so outdated with this return that nobody asked.
Because 10 years have passed and we have changed both the audiovisual industry and the viewers a lot, but Clyde Phillips proposes a return to the series that he did between 2006 and 2009. The same relatively tricky scripts (How convenient is it to the plot that Dexter, battling his addiction, runs a gun shop, or is the boyfriend of a police officer investigating disappearances), the same resources from which so many other series have drank afterwards and the same themes (Dexter’s son Harrison, played by Jack Alcott, also returns to reflect again on the idea of the inheritance of evil.) The title is ‘New Blood’ but this blood arrives clotted.