You Can’t Escape Your Past

Dexter: New Blood's last episode is out now, putting a definitive end to Michael C. Hall’s beloved serial killer journey. The original Dexter series had a bumpy ride that led to a finale no one was happy with. However, the revival brought Dexter Morgan back after eight years to give the Bay Harbor Butcher the ending he truly deserved — at least, according to series showrunner Clyde Phillips. New Blood reintroduces us to the titular serial killer 10 years after the events of the original series finale, now living in upstate New York under an alias and seemingly having renounced his Dark Passenger for good.

But what exactly happens in the Dexter: New Blood series finale? And how does everything come to an end? We'll break it down for you right here.

RELATED:‌ All the Serial Killers of 'Dexter' Ranked, From Best to Bloodiest

dexter-season-9-trailer-comic-con-social-featured Don’t Get Caught

Dexter: New Blood opens up with Dexter Morgan (Hall) living a quiet life in the small and snowy town of Iron Lake, New York under the alias of Jim Lindsay. Away from the bustle of the big city, Dexter has spent the last decade restraining his Dark Passenger — that is, until irresponsible playboy Matt Caldwell (Steve M. Robertson) kills a sacred white deer out in the woods close to territory claimed by Iron Lake's indigenous population, which leads Dexter to lash out and ultimately kill the young man. Unfortunately, Dexter’s impulsive murder puts him in the crosshairs of Matt’s father, Kurt (Clancy Brown), Iron Lake’s unofficial mayor and, as it turns out, a prolific serial killer in his own right.

Kurt uncovers the truth about his son’s death after finding titanium screws in Iron Lake’s waste disposal crematorium, where Dexter burned Matt’s body. The screws had been surgically put into Matt’s knee after a drunken boat accident, and since titanium doesn’t melt, they were the only piece of evidence left behind by the Bay Harbor Butcher. Instead of bringing the evidence to the police, Kurt decides to take matters into his own hands, which leads to a game of cat-and-mouse that ends in Kurt’s ultimate demise.

Kurt, however, takes several steps to torment Dexter’s life from beyond the grave, sending Matt’s titanium screws to Iron Lake’s Chief of Police Angela Bishop (Julia Jones), Dexter’s girlfriend. Having previously learned Dexter’s real name and uncovered his past as a forensic specialist for Miami Metro Homicide, Angela is already in. the process of investigating her boyfriend. Kurt’s posthumous gift, then, is the last puzzle piece Angela needs to uncover Dexter’s true nature. In Dexter: New Blood’s finale, Angela arrests Dexter for the murder of Matt Caldwell. With Dexter behind bars, Angela contacts Miami Metro Sergeant Angel Batista (David Zayas) to inform him that his old co-worker is actually alive and well. Together, the two officers decide to reopen the Bay Harbor Butcher case. Dexter knows there’s no way to stop Angela from learning the truth from behind bars. Nevertheless, since the first rule of his adoptive father Harry (James Remar)’s code is "don’t get caught," Dexter takes extreme measures to escape.

First, Dexter reveals the truth about Kurt's serial killing ways — and the location of where his bodies are buried — to send Angela away from the police station. Then, once he’s alone with Sergeant Logan (Alano Miller), Dexter tricks the lawman and ultimately kills him just to grab the cell keys. There’s no justification for Logan’s death besides Dexter’s survival instincts kicking in, as the Sergeant is unquestionably a good person. Also, considering how the killer also tried to grab a knife to stop Angela from arresting him, Dexter: New Blood’s finale finds the perfect way to show the public, once and for all, that Dexter is a monster. Even though the Bay Harbor Butcher takes down monsters uglier than himself, all questionable ethics of Dexter’s actions are thrown away once he gets cornered. In the end, Dexter is a cold blood killer, just like any of his victims, which means he deserves the same fate.

Like Father, (Not Quite) Like Son

While Kurt is on the trail of his son’s killer, Dexter has to deal with his own parenting conundrums once Harrison (Jack Alcott) gets to Iron Lake. Ten years after Dexter sent him away to live with Hannah (Yvonne Strahovski), Harrison tracks down his father and demands answers about his past. During the whole season, Dexter: New Blood plays with the idea Harrison has a darkness of his own, a killer instinct inherited from his father. Thrilled to have someone in his life with whom he can share his Dark Passenger, Dexter ends up revealing part of his true nature to Harrison. Dexter manipulates Harrison with tall tales of vigilante justice, never admitting he enjoys torturing, killing, and dismembering his victims.

Blinded by his urge for human connection, Dexter takes Harrison to kill Kurt. While Harrison does have his own issues and violent tendencies, the kid is obviously disturbed by Dexter’s ritual. The young man can understand how taking out serial killers might be a good thing, but he’s disgusted by all the blood and body parts, a clear sign that Harrison is not quite like his father.

Dexter: New Blood leads Dexter and Harrison to a decisive confrontation alone in the woods. After escaping jail, Dexter is ready to get out of Iron Lake with Harrison. At first, the young man follows his father’s instructions. However, once Harrison realizes Dexter killed Logan just to get away, he can no longer ignore the truth. Harrison knows Dexter deserves to pay for his crimes and that his vigilante narrative is nothing but a cover to hide his devious nature. But, more importantly, Harrison understands that his darkness is different from his father’s.

Harisson is angry all the time, which is understandable considering that he watched his mother die at the hands of the Trinity Killer (John Lithgow), only to have his father abandon him later on. Having to fend by himself alone in the world after the death of his adoptive mother, Harrison was also exposed to bad people, which taught him to be violent too. So, Harrison is, without a doubt, a disturbed person — but he doesn’t enjoy killing people, nor does he feels excited about hunting down human beings. That means Harrison can hope to have a normal life if he doesn’t have his father’s shadow to drag him into darkness.

Once Dexter realizes his son will not run away with him, the killer decides his safety is more important than parenthood and starts to walk out alone. Harrison points a gun at his father, begging him to turn himself to the police. Dexter refuses at first, knowing he’ll get the death penalty if he goes to trial in Florida. Harrison says that Dexter might deserve it, considering all the pain he caused. The killer is forced to confront all the innocent people who died because of his addiction, including Harrison’s mom Rita (Julie Benz) and Dexter’s sister Debra (Jennifer Carpenter).

Dexter realizes he will never get rid of his Dark Passenger and that, as long as he’s alive, Harisson can never be normal. For the first time in his life, Dexter puts another person above his safety and freedom and pushes Harrison to shoot him. Harrison pulls the trigger, taking down a monster just like his father has done hundreds of times before. The young man doesn’t take pleasure in his actions, though, which makes him a different kind of person than Dexter.

Angela comes on the scene, having witnessed the incident, and gives Harrison a chance to escape and build a life for himself, wiping the gun clean and taking responsibility for killing Dexter herself. As for Harrison, he’s last seen driving away from Iron Lake with a smile on his face. There’s no doubt Harrison will be scarred by every ugly thing Dexter brought into his life. However, without his father, he finally has a chance to be a better person and control his violent urges.

As for Dexter, by sacrificing his life for his son’s freedom from the family legacy, Dexter redeems himself with the first act of true love in his entire life. It’s a tragic ending, without a doubt, but one that brings the Bay Harbor Butcher to justice on his own terms. It has been quite a ride, but Dexter is finally over. For real this time.

'Dexter: New Blood' Showrunner Clyde Phillips Breaks Down That Shocking Finale and the Potential for a Sequel

He also discusses the Easter egg in the show's opening titles and how the finale script was kept secret from cast and crew.

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Marco Vito Oddo (983 Articles Published)

Marco Vito Oddo is a writer, journalist, and game designer. Passionate by superhero comic books, horror films, and indie games, he writes for Collider and develops games for Mother's Touch Games.

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