'Dexter' Was Dead in the Water Until It Was Given 'New Blood' With Sequel

When Dexter came to an end back in 2013 many fans weren't pleased with how the story concluded for the serial killer (played by Michael C. Hall).

But Dexter: New Blood has managed to change all that by both addressing and making up for past mistakes, as well as putting a spotlight on the highlights from the original show.

To recap, at the end of the series Dexter Morgan left his son Harrison with new love Hannah (Yvonne Strahovski), took his sister Debra (Jennifer Carpenter) off life support, and faked his own death by driving his boat into a hurricane.

The original show ended with Dexter living under an assumed identity, and the ambiguous way the story left things, as well as the less-than-stellar episodes that came before it, made it all the less satisfying.

But now Dexter: New Blood is here to fix all that.

**Warning: This article contains spoilers for Dexter: New Blood, including the show's finale**

Debra's involvement

Debra died in Season 8 of the original series, but she was brought back for New Blood in a very interesting way: she became Dexter's Dark Passenger.

She serves as the physical manifestation of his guilty conscience following the events of Dexter, and rather than feeding into his desire to kill, is more a buffer for him to analyse everything he does or says that could harm others.

First of all, it was nice for Carpenter to return to the show in some fashion given she was as essential to Dexter as Hall was; and secondly, Debra appearing in this way gives added depth to the story because it helps show Dexter's internal struggle as well as bring conflict to his life.

Carpenter certainly thrived in the role because she had the chance to explore a more aggressive and uninhibited version of Debra. Her interactions with Hall were certainly the highlight of New Blood.

In terms of the plot, Debra's involvement as Dexter's Dark Passenger also served to make the serial killer a more well-rounded character.

Harrison and Dexter

After his wife Rita's (Julie Benz) death in Season 4 and Debra's in Season 8, the most important person left in Dexter's life is Harrison (Jack Alcott).

Harrison was, of course, very young during the events of the original series and one thing that Dexter always worried about was whether he would exhibit the same dark desires as him.

Because of this, it made sense for Harrison to become a big part of Dexter's life in New Blood, and their relationship is the heart of the limited series.

Harrison is angry over Dexter abandonment of him, and the pair struggle to connect because the latter is so used to hiding his true self that he can't even be honest with his own son.

In the end, Dexter does open up to Harrison and reveals the truth: that he targets criminals who got away with their misdeeds and he brings them "justice."

At first, Harrison joins Dexter in his secret life after learning the truth and he doesn't shun his father for it, something that added to their relationship, even if it was bad parenting on Dexter's part.

The dynamic between the pair also makes theirs the most interesting relationship in the show, and it also allows Dexter to seem more human—even if he does end up trying to make his son into his own image.

Dexter: New Blood
Michael C. Hall as Dexter Morgan in "Dexter: New Blood", the limited series helped make up for the original series' poor ending. Seacia Pavao/Showtime

Bringing back old memories and addressing past mistakes

Harrison's arrival in Iron Lake allowed the limited series to address the original's past mistakes as well as bring back the best moments from it.

When he turns up on Dexter's doorstep Harrison shares what happened to Hannah, revealing they lived together in Argentina after he 'died' and he stayed there up until her death from cancer.

Hannah was not the best influence on Dexter in the original series: she was a serial killer just like him and when she became his target they became romantically involved instead.

Her introduction in Season 7 was only the beginning of many problems the show had in its later episodes, which lasted until the show eventually ended on its sour note, and by immediately taking her out of the picture in New Blood it ensured that the same problem wouldn't happen again.

In fact, New Blood tended to shy away from the events of later seasons, acknowledging them just enough to show they're still relevant to Dexter's life but not enough that they remain in viewers' minds for long.

Rather than bring up ill-received storylines, New Blood focused on the highlights from the original, namely Seasons 2 and 4.

Season 2 saw Dexter frame Sergeant James Doakes (Erik King) as the Bayharbor Butcher, while Season 4 featured John Lithgow as the Trinity Killer, who murdered Harrison's mother in front of him and was arguably the best killer to go against Dexter in the original show.

These seasons were high points in Dexter, and fans are reminded of them through flashbacks, Harrison's internal struggle, and Police Chief Angela Bishop's (Julia Jones) investigation into the Bayharbor Butcher case.

By bringing them back up in such ways and revisiting them through flashbacks to the original, and with cameos from original cast members, it allows viewers to reminisce on the time when Dexter was still good, rather than how disappointing it became towards to end.

Dexter finally gets what he deserves

One big mistake that the original series made was that it didn't give a definitive conclusion to Dexter's story, choosing instead to keep things open-ended so that the character could be revisited in future.

After countless seasons of getting away with murder and evading police detection it probably made sense to the writers to leave him this way, but it was unsatisfying because Dexter's escape felt more like a cop-out.

New Blood changes all that because it does put the character to rest, literally, by having him die at Harrison's hands.

Given all this awful deeds from the original series to now, Dexter had to get what he deserved in some form, and killing him off was one way of doing that.

Now that he is dead, it means that Dexter has finally come to a conclusion that is gratifying for fans, because at least the limited series isn't being ambiguous just for the sake of it.

Dexter: New Blood is available to stream on Showtime now.