Dexter Morgan had killed his sister Debra, a kind of mercy, and then sunk her in the sea like most of his victims. He had ridden his boat into the mother of all storms and was mouse dead, that was safer for the spectator than the amen in church. Then you saw him alive in the last pictures of the last episode, far away from the brightly colored, blue-skinned Miami, bearded among woodcutters – somewhere where tall trees scratch the low-hanging cloud bellies. The open end was found – frankly – inconclusive.
Actor Michael C. Hall had played Dexter, the serial killer of serial killers, in an extraordinarily formidable manner well beyond the end of the screenwriting excellence of this series. His dark eyes attracted the boyish, insecure smile, plus the constant inner monologues of a monster who did good in a messed up way with its misdeeds and was always in a panic that its true nature could be revealed in the next moment. Jennifer Carpenter was congenial as his foster sister Deb, who wore her heart and all sorts of dirty sayings on her tongue. Dexter and Deb kept you on screen to the very last – when in season eight there was hardly anything left of one of the best thriller series in TV history beyond the two characters.
Clyde Phillips, showrunner of the first four glorious seasons, had a different ending, one with Dexter on death row. Phillips is now back to try his luck again for Showtime (in Germany on Sky). Dexter and the timber industry, that was probably just an interlude, as we learn in the spin-off “Dexter: New Blood”. We meet him again eight years later in the fictional town of Iron Lake somewhere in upstate New York. He is a salesman in an arms and fishing rod store and people have taken him all into their hearts, the local police chief Angela Bishop (Julia Jones) even a little deeper than the others.
The change from happy country bumpkin to killer happens suddenly
Dexter Morgan is now called Jim Lindsay (a little bow to Jeff Lindsay, the author of the book). He has sunk the “dark passenger” into himself, lives in a nice hut outside the gates of Iron Lake, keeps goats, chickens, a pig there – obviously a happy country man. It’s just before Christmas when an arrogant guy named Matt Caldwell (Steve M. Robertson) walks into the store to buy a $ 9,000 rifle.
Unfortunately, Jim learns of an accident that resulted in five deaths from the gun fanatic and for which he was never held responsible. The next look already indicates to us: Dexter has switched from deep sleep to wide awake mode, as fast as the dragon Smaug in Mount Erebor from the mere presence of the hobbit Bilbo. The vigilante who avenges the injustice and redeems unpunished injustice smelled blood.
Then crazy Matt kills a white stag in the Indian reservation, just at the moment when Jim approached the Prince of the Forest (to soft piano music) at arm’s length. The rifleman breaks out of the thicket with hoots. White deer, we now know, represent the arrival of death in some cultures. Well, and then death is already standing in front of Matt in the snow, only he thinks he’s a washcloth. “Tonight’s the night,” says Dexter of the first new blood he sheds. The series began in 2006 with the same words. And we were always somehow on Dexter’s side when he neatly lined everything with foil to avoid traces. And it is again this time.
The past reports to Dexter
Otherwise the past disturbs Dexter’s new, idyllic life. His son Harrison (Jack Alcott) finds him. Dexter last saw him as a toddler and was worried even then that the boy might have inherited his instinct. Now he decides to be a good father, Harrison, in whom there is actually quite a bit of badness, even if Debra, the somewhat shrill voice of reason, yells into his conscience: “What the hell are you doing?”
Debra who is dead? Correct, it is their spirit that appears again and again for admonition and warning – and once also for the purpose of a bloody quote from the “Fargo” film by the Coen brothers. Without Jennifer Carpenter, Dexter wouldn’t be Dexter. As morality personified, it takes the place of Dexter’s foster father Harry Morgan, the policeman who once directed his filius’ lust for murder in the direction of a vigilante: Mordio only for those who deserve it. And – first rule: “Don’t get caught.”
Katz und Maus forever – the “Trinity-Killer” strikes again
Well, last but not least, there’s this psychopath. John Lithgow is again the “Trinity-Killer”. He was probably the most exquisite opponent of our antihero and is the unresolved account that has yet to be settled.
This all rounds out into a pretty gripping drama and thriller (equipped with pop classics like Del Shannon’s “Runaway” and Leonard Cohen’s “Avalanche”), and becomes the most coherent “Dexter” season since the fourth, in which the “Trinity Killer” came on the scene. The extra round granted gives “Dexter” the well-deserved end-well-everything-well and the fans of the series the best possible Christmas present. It’s a shame that the radical instinct for destruction with which the showrunners David Benioff and DB Weiss wrecked their series “Game of Thrones” also in season eight does not allow a similar trick.
„Dexter: New Blood“, ten episodes, by Clyde Phillips, with Michael C. Hall, Jack Alcott, Julia Jones, Jennifer Carpenter (from November 22nd on Sky)