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Critics Review
Dexter: New Blood Episode 2 review: A father-son reunion like no other

The second episode immediately picks up where the first episode left off and delivers on yet another well-paced narrative.

3.5
Ryan Gomez
Nov 15, 2021
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Story:

An out-of-touch Dexter is forced to choose between making sure he hasn’t made a mistake while disposing off Matt Caldwell or being a father to his son Harrison, whom he abandoned a decade ago. The investigation into Caldwell’s disappearance heats up as the Chief of Police, who also happens to be Dexter’s girlfriend, sets up the search party base at Dexter’s compound.

Review:

The episode is an excellent follow up to the first and sets up the season for a gripping and exciting limited series. The unfamiliarity with the new setting for a story featuring Dexter Morgan might require another episode to get used to, but Michael C Hall’s performance makes sure the audiences are not too alienated from the Dexter mythos. Jennifer Carpenter’s portrayal of Debra Morgan, who is a figment of Dexter’s conscience, is significantly different to James Remar’s Harry Morgan, who adopted a similar role in Dexter’s conscience.

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It is an intriguing facet to Dexter’s mental makeup that Debra has replaced Harry because Harry would’ve been supportive in Dexter taking an active role in Harrison’s life, which Debra is not too enthusiastic about - or rather Dexter’s new persona is cautious about. Jack Alcott’s portrayal of Harrison is nuanced and provides an air of tragedy and mystery regarding his sudden reappearance in Dexter’s life. There are also a few hints thrown into the narrative which keeps the audience guessing whether Harrison has a darkness within him like his father.

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The narrative also explores real-world issues regarding the missing Native American women from the northern states of the US. It is integral to the plot in Taylor Sheridan’s 2017 film Wind River starring Jeremey Renner. Coincidentally Julia Jones, who played Renner’s wife in Wind River, also plays the role of Chief of Police Angela Bishop in Dexter: New Blood. Both of Jones’ characters may have similar traumatic experiences, as both characters are shown to be struggling to cope with the disappearance of a female family member.

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The second episode also offers a glimpse of the antagonist, without revealing too much about his identity. It will be interesting to see how this plays out with the overall narrative as it is firmly focused on Matt Caldwell’s disappearance. The villain’s obscure introduction to the narrative is similar to David Fincher’s Mindhunter - an excellent series that was unceremoniously cancelled by Netflix.

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Clancy Brown's introduction as Matt's father, Kurt Caldwell, has the potential to derail Dexter’s near-perfect plan of diverting the investigation surrounding the disappearance of Matt away from Dexter. There are also parallels highlighting the father-son relationship between the Caldwells and the Morgans - both dysfunctional in their own unique way.

Verdict:

The second episode of the highly anticipated series maintains standards set by the first episode and offers plenty of reasons to be optimistic about the rest of the series.


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