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Dexter: Sins of the Father

"You did good."

I almost can't believe they did it. And yet, what else could they have done?

A part of me is sad that we could have had a second reboot with Dexter and Harrison in Los Angeles. But making Dexter an unkillable dark superhero was always wrong. I honestly think any other ending, with the possible exception of a long drawn-out trial and the death penalty, would have been a cop-out. I cried when Dexter died. He may have saved Kurt's future victims, but in the end, he wasn't redeemed as I had always hoped he would be. As Harrison pointed out, Dexter betrayed Harry's code, and it killed him.

Michael C. Hall was so good for the entire run of the series that he made us root for Dexter, as inhuman as he was. And of course, he was just amazing in that death scene. Jack Alcott as Harrison did a fine job, too. I particularly liked that Harrison used Dexter's own words against him. That Dexter had to tell Harrison to take the safety off, and showed him where the kill shot should go. And that Deb let go of Dexter's hand as he died. And now I'm crying again.

Dexter's past finally caught up with him, and it wasn't just killing Logan, a good cop and a good man who didn't deserve it. There were all those people in that flashback who didn't deserve to die the way they did. Maria LaGuerta. James Doakes. Frank Lundy. Harry. Rita. Deb. And Dexter was manipulating Harrison into becoming like him. Dexter would have eventually destroyed Harrison, just as he destroyed Deb. I am happy that I was right all along about Harrison. All power to him for being strong enough not to let it happen, for choosing to leave behind the possibility of security and fatherly love for doing what was right.


Huge credit to Chief Angela Bishop, too. Even knowing what a monster she was dating, she kept her mouth shut and acted normal, just like Dexter always did. She got Audrey and Harrison out of the house and had Logan there as backup when she arrested Dexter. I didn't want her to die, and she didn't.

Would Dexter have killed Angela to get free, the way he killed Logan? Absolutely. During the arrest, Dexter was staring at the knife reflected in the toaster, and he even started to go for it. He initially outwitted her by diverting her to Kurt's bizarre underground display case, but Angela won in the end. And why was Dexter dating a smart, Deb-like cop, anyway? Did he subconsciously want to be caught?

I'm glad we got this reboot, essentially a reset of the sub-par series finale. It was a courageous choice by the powers that be to kill Dexter, and I applaud them. And I enjoyed every episode.

Bits:

— The start of this reboot was Angela pulling Dexter over in a sexy roleplaying thing. That was serious foreshadowing. Angela caught the Bay Harbor Butcher, a freaking big deal.

— Dexter did save Kurt's future victims. Again, not a bad epitaph, even if it was just to feed Dexter's jones.

— The Iron Lake letter jacket that Logan gave Harrison was this episode's Most Obvious Symbolism. Harrison chose the good people of his adopted town over his own father.

— So Angel Batista remarried, but we don't know who. Whom. He was single when we left the series, wasn't he? I'm sorry we didn't get a Dexter/Angel scene.

— The Christmas trappings throughout the reboot were a great choice, so clean and bright and holiday-like. There were even candy canes on Audrey's bedside table.

— For what it's worth, I have no interest in a Harrison spinoff. Even if it included Michael C. Hall as Dexter's ghost. I'm done.

Quotes:

Molly: "Dark secrets lurk beneath Iron Lake, and the more I do the deep dive, the more I come up with. At this rate, I may never have to leave."
Sigh. I liked Molly Park.

Dexter: "I am the phoenix. I rise from the ashes."
Not this time.

Dexter: "You remember when I came in and identified that distinctive rifle for you?"
Angela: "Yes. You're a good citizen."
Dexter: "I try to be."
Angela: "Do you really have no sense of sarcasm?"
Dexter: "No. (to himself) Yes."

Harrison: "Is Coach dead? Isn't the whole point that you only kill people that deserve it?"

Dexter: "I can stop. I can do it. With your help."
Harrison: "I'm not your fucking caretaker. I'm your goddamn son."
And let us remember that Deb tried and failed to fix Dexter, too.

Harrison: "Open your eyes and look at what you've done!"
From the pilot episode, Dexter to his first series victim.

Dexter: "I've never really felt love. Real love. Until now. You did good."
As epitaphs go, not bad at all.

An outstanding episode, and an outstanding finale. Four out of four letter jackets,

Billie
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Billie Doux loves good television and spends way too much time writing about it.

11 comments:

  1. I do not have a problem with the concept of this episode. But I do think it felt very rushed and poorly paced, particularly in contrast to the rest of the season, which was very well paced. This feels like they condensed a whole bunch of episodes into one. I don't know, I give them credit for wanting a conclusive ending without stretching the show (unlike the late seasons of dexter)but I still think this would have worked better if we had an extra season (or at least a few more episodes)to let these events play out more naturally (for example, I think Harrison was way too quick to accept he'd murder his own father in what was more or less a cold blooded execution).

    Well, good or bad, it's done. I might rewatch the first few dexter seasons for nostalgia sake now dunno

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  2. It was insidiously shitty, in that my first impression watching it was disappointment but feeling like it was adequate. But with the passage of time (and I swear from no external input) I just got more and more down about it. I can't believe I find myself saying I preferred the Lumberjack ending. Jesus Christ. Why do these writers keep choosing the most... inoffensive courses of action? They had total freedom this time, they could've done anything they wanted, but they still treated this 'real' series finale like they had to tread careful around their brand. It was so fucking boring!!! The most exciting thing that happened involved a fat guy sitting in a chair and the faces he was making with realization dawning on him. Why didn't they contrive some sort of confrontation with at least 1 person Dex knew from Miami Metro? It'd still be more believable (and emotionally satisfying) than Dexter killing Logan. He could've just waited it out, he didn't even *absolutely need to* do that.

    Dexter, I don't think forcing your son to shoot you really helps him with his struggle back to normalcy, consent given or not. Now he'll truly have a fucked-up hero complex. Lumberjack ending at least had some poignancy in his realization that he COULD do normal if he wanted, he just couldn't stand it when he finally had a taste of it and rode away.

    I enjoyed the season's episodes before it unlike with season 8 so this isn't deep regret. But this ending was absolutely toothless. Absolutely. Lazy cowards. They should've just gone full fantasy and turned the DP into an actual entity just for the WTF factor, or have Logan turn out to be related to Doakes since we never knew his last name. That's still more forgivable than this forgettable 'correction.' I was hoping the mysterious oil tycoon guy would come back to bail Dexter out. They could've had some fun with it! Man!

    Anyway thanks for the reviews for this season. Yours was the one positive take that didn't piss me off. And it was still gratifying to read you won't be checking in on a Harrison sequel lol >.> Well I'm hoping the only reason MCH came back for this one was under the promise that he can finally put a lid on the whole thing.

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  3. Thanks for your reviews, Billie.

    Overall I enjoyed New Blood much more than I was expecting. The ending was satisfying and, like you, I have no interest in any possible spin-offs.

    My only gripe is ... what the hell happened to Edward Olsen, the billionaire?!
    Since he did not appear after episode 3 I can only assume he existed solely to act as a red herring for the Iron Lake killer before his identity was revealed. If so, that's just lazy writing. Not even having his existence so much as mentioned by any character in passing in the 6 episodes after his last appearance is implausible and disappointing.

    Anyway, that's a fairly minor grumble. Otherwise there was some enjoyable stuff. MCH's performance in those last moments was especially good.

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  4. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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    1. Barry I didn't like the ending at all but you might be shocked to know there exist people in the world with different tastes than yours and that's not an excuse to sound like a jerk to people

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  5. ^Quiet, you. Her expectations were appropriately low, as all'a ours shoulda been

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  6. Diogo and Onigirli, thanks so much. :) I don't get paid; I do this for fun. And actually, it's our site policy that we don't allow comments that attack the writer. Even me.

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  7. I liked the whole show up until Harrison killed Dexter. That act makes Harrison now on the run for life. Why? Why couldn't he have held the gun on Dexter until Angel, Angela, (Hey, I just noticed that!) and the FBI show up to take him into custody? Then Harrison could have spent his life with those who love him. Plus, Angela is a good cop. She would never have lied to protect Harrison. It could even have set up a sequel following Harrison as he tries to straighten out his screwed up life, perhaps with Deb and Dex as angel/devil on his shoulders. Sigh. Such a loss.

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  8. I didn't watch this reboot, but I definitely wanted to know how it ended, and I have to say that it sounds like they ultimately made the right choice, even with some bumps along the way. As you said, "And yet, what else could they have done?"

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    1. No they bloody well did not! They could've gotten only enough evidence to send Dexter to prison for life, where he starts killing again. They would've been stupid, but I'd like to see that. Or Dexter and Harrison run away together for another pointless sequel. Or we could've had some more of Miami Metro PD dealing with the fallout. THEY COULD HAVE DONE BETTER, STOP BEING OK WITH IT BECAUSE YOU KNEW BETTER THAN TO WATCH

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  9. I liked this reboot and it actually did redeem the original series which I have had a hard time recommending to people due to the shitty ending. I don't agree that Harrison had to kill Dexter and was kind of mad that Dexter put him in that position. What a terrible parting gift for a father to give a son. It was odd that Angela was A) covering for Harrison and B) making him go on the run. I guess she just really wanted him out of their lives but didn't want him to suffer for Dexter's sins.

    I also hope they just let it rest here and we don't get a spin-off. Well done and now let's move on.

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