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Most Shocking Moments From Dexter: New Blood

If there was ever a television series that people were pushing for a second chance at life, it would definitely be "Dexter." Based on the Jeff Lindsay novel "Dark Dreaming Dexter," the series follows Dexter Morgan (Michael C. Hall) — bloodstain pattern analyst by day, serial killer by night. Over the course of the original series eight-season run, Dexter deals with a lot. Not only does he encounter a new sinister threat every season, but he also contends with his own personal life. From his relationship with his sister Debra to secrets from his past rearing their ugly head, Dexter goes through the emotional ringer.

The series went off the air in 2013 with its then-final episode "Remember the Monsters?", which heavily divided the fanbase. The fans who were left unsatisfied by the finale waited nearly a decade for another conclusion, and their patience was rewarded with "Dexter: New Blood," a follow-up miniseries that promises one last ride with America's favorite serial killer. With the series having concluded, the time is right to run down its most shocking moments.

Warning, spoilers ahead!

Debra is haunting Dexter

When we first meet back up with Dexter in the season opener, he's where we last left him in 2013 — self-exiled in the wilderness. As opposed to the Season 8 finale, where we see Dexter living the lumberjack life in Oregon, here, he's living in Iron Lake, New York. The season opener, titled "Cold Snap," does an efficient job of getting us up to speed with Dexter's new life and mental state. The latter is where the show's first major development is revealed — that being Debra (Jennifer Carpenter) serving as Dexter's guilty conscience. Debra, Dexter's adopted sister, meets her unfortunate end in the Season 8 finale, leaving Dexter an emotional wreck and prompting his self-exile.

It's a welcome development and definitely confirms just how much her death — caused in part by him — weighs on Dexter's mind. She basically serves a similar function as Dexter's visions of Harry in the original series. However, unlike Harry, who serves as a representation of Dexter's strict adherence to his code, Debra is here to guilt him. She is the main reason that he has gone nearly a full decade without a kill, as is explained in the season opener.

Matt kills Dexter's deer

All it takes is one bad day. In "Cold Snap," we see the intentionally calibrated monotony of Dexter's life in Iron Lake in great detail. We see his new daily rituals and how the town perceives his persona of the innocent and lovable Jim Lindsay. It's a quiet life, but it's one that has kept Dexter's Dark Passenger in check since the events of Season 8. This all changes when he meets Matthew Caldwell (Steve M. Robertson), a local rich kid and pariah who quickly tempts Dexter's dark side. Matthew is a prime candidate for Dexter's bloody path of justice, having escaped blame for a deadly powerboat crash in his youth. Dexter, due to his hunting store job, has to sell and personally deliver a top-of-the-line hunting rifle to Matt. Dexter does the delivery, and despite Matt's bizarre, borderline sociopathic personality, he handles the interaction calmly.

This all turns sour when Dexter — already mentally free falling due to the return of his son Harrison — sees Matt's heartlessness up close. Matt illegally shoots a rare white deer right in front of Dexter, causing his Dark Passenger to emerge. He batters Matt in the head with his gun and, in almost no time at all, resumes his old rhythms. The director of the episode very wisely chose this as the moment for Dexter's ever-present inner monologue to resurface. It was a wonderfully dark moment seeing Dexter finally re-embrace his old self — as twisted as it can be.

Dexter's first kill in eight years

This is the moment where Dexter officially gets his groove back, and it's handled with absolute precision. After knocking out Matt in the woods, Dexter's old instincts immediately kick back in, leading to a simple but efficient new kill room. The simple joy of seeing Dexter doing what he and the series are best known for is definitely squee-worthy. The kill is very similar to Dexter's first kill in the original pilot, especially in terms of the victim's level of panic. Also, Dexter shows a particular amount of venom towards Matt — fitting, as he is to one to jostle him from his exile. He holds Matt accountable for his crimes and even lambasts him for trying to blame it on a bad childhood.

Dexter plunges his cold blade into Matt, and after a beat, the Ice Truck Killer theme returns, reflecting that Dexter has rediscovered his true self. He marks this epic return to form by quoting Trinity's famous line from Season 4 – "Hello Dexter Morgan." From the music to the darkly comical interactions between Dexter and Matt, it's a complete slam dunk of a moment.

Dexter brutalizes a drug dealer

Seeing Dexter readopt his two signature roles — serial killer and overprotective parent — is quite the sight to see. His growing — if incredibly strained — relationship with Harrison is the catalyst for many of the most shocking moments in "New Blood." Throughout the original series, it isn't uncommon for Dexter to go the extra mile when protecting his family, whether it's knocking Rita's ex-husband Paul out with a frying pan or taking down a child predator stalking Aster and Cody. Dexter is already quick to anger if the situation demands it, but if you hurt his family, you're a dead man walking.

This is definitely the case for Miles, an absent-minded drug dealer who provides the drugs that Harrison nearly overdoses on. Upon finding out his identity and whereabouts, Dexter makes an immediate B-line for him — the end goal being Miles on his table. However, just as Dexter slides his needle into Miles' neck, the police arrive, leaving Dexter to think on his feet. He quickly switches from serial killer mode to angry dad mode, beating Miles within an inch of his life. It's an entertaining and effective moment as it shows us that even with almost a decade passed, Dexter can still adapt quickly.

Angel Batista returns

One of the main reasons "New Blood" succeeds as a follow-up to the original series is its semi-self-contained nature. While the show is still entrenched in the lore of its preceding seasons, it boasts its own distinct flair. In addition to its colder and grittier presentation, the show's cast consists of mostly new faces for the series. Aside from Dexter, Debra, and Harrison, the show is largely bereft of major appearances or callbacks to older characters. That is until Angela (Julia Jones) and Molly (Jamie Chung) travel to New York City in order to hunt the truth regarding Matt Caldwell's whereabouts.

While in the Big Apple, the duo stumbles across a police seminar with a very familiar speaker — none other than Angel Batista (David Zayas). In his presentation, he speaks not only of Debra's death but the Bay Harbor Butcher and Trinity Killer as well. He and Angela get to have a one-on-one conversation, and Angel informs her of some very strange information about Debra's dead brother, Dexter, and his son Harrison, causing pieces to fall into place for her very quickly. It's a big enough delight to see Angel again, and even more so in a way that progresses the story in a major way.

Kurt shoots Chloe

One of the best elements of "New Blood" is its main villain — Kurt Caldwell, played by the incomparable Clancy Brown. Brown is no stranger to iconically sinister roles, bringing his trademark menace to his roles in "The Shawshank Redemption" and "Highlander." His chipper civilian persona stands in sharp contrast to his true nature, and Kurt is definitely the strongest antagonist since Trinity in Season 4.

What makes Kurt's killing methods so disturbing is we don't get a clear picture of his reasons until the series' penultimate chapter. His modus operandi is giving a wayward girl a room for a night and treating them to comforts and amenities. He follows this up by then asking the victim to run before shooting them in the back, killing them instantly. But these rhythms are messed up when Chloe, Kurt's latest victim, doesn't behave the way he desires. She opts to strip, thinking it's what he wants, quickly angering him before he — like with his other victims — asks her to run. She chooses not to, and he ends up shooting her in the face, killing her and sending Kurt into a hysterical rage. It's a grizzly moment that tips you off that Kurt's rituals are a part of something more specific and disturbing.

Angela finds her friend's body

In "New Blood," one of the newly introduced characters is sheriff Angela Bishop, who is Dexter's girlfriend for the first half of the series. Throughout the season, Dexter accidentally leaves behind a few too many breadcrumbs of his actions — crumbs Angela begins to track. This leads to developments that not only result in Dexter's ultimate undoing but help Angela get some much-needed closure. That being for her missing childhood friend Iris, who disappeared when she was still growing up in Iron Lakes. Angela's quest leads her to a remote cave that would've been the next stop on their manhunt for Matt Caldwell. During the investigation, this is prevented by Kurt lying about Matt's whereabouts to prevent the police from checking out the cave.

It's soon revealed that the reason Kurt doesn't want any cops snooping around in the cave is the presence of a dead body. In an effectively morbid scene, we see Angela — flanked by Officer Teddy (David Magidoff) — discover the body and quickly ascertain who it is. Angela tearfully identifies her friend's bracelet and confirms that the body is Iris, resulting in her calling Dexter for his expertise. It's a powerhouse scene that feels right at home when placed among the darker reveals from the original series.

Harrison breaks opponent's arm

Harrison Morgan (Jack Alcott) is a character who — since his birth in the original series — serves the function of a living prop. Indeed, his presence was mostly a tool used to propel Dexter, and by proxy the narrative, further. It isn't until "New Blood" that Harrison finally takes up more of a place in the main narrative. After the offscreen death of Hannah, Harrison travels to Iron Lakes and locates his allegedly dead father, Dexter.

Throughout the majority of the series, Dexter's relationship with Harrison is anything but harmonious. Yet despite the immense baggage of dealing with his dad, Harrison is able to carve out a decent niche for himself in Iron Lakes. From stopping a potential school shooting to joining the wrestling team, Harrison does a solid job ingratiating himself in the community. But this is where Harrison's own dark passenger rears its ugly head for all to see publically. In the midst of a school wrestling match, Harrison, even after winning the matchup, ignores the bell and breaks his opponent's arm. It's a simple yet effective moment that further confirms Dexter's fears that he passed his darkness down to his son.

The Trinity Killer returns (sort of)

If there is a specter who looms over Dexter for a majority of the original series, it's definitely the Trinity Killer. Arthur Mitchell (John Lithgow) is very John Wayne Gacy in his presentation — a community man with a dark secret. His backstory is quite possibly one of the darkest in television history, and begins with his sister Vera's death. As a youth, he watches his sister showering, causing her to slip and cut herself on glass, killing her. The grief brought on by this causes Arthur's mother to kill herself, leaving him with his abusive father. This leads Arthur to kill his father, setting his future as the Trinity Killer in motion for years to come.

This lands him in Dexter's path, which results in one of the series most jaw-dropping moments – the death of Rita (Julie Benz). Dexter's wife Rita sadly meets her end in the finale of Season 4, bled out in the bathtub like many of Arthur's victims. It's even more disturbing to consider that an infant Harrison had a front-row seat for the whole thing. This is further confirmed through a flashback Harrison has during "New Blood," which contains a very surprising cameo. That cameo is Arthur, once again played by Lithgow, getting out of the tub and telling him, "There, there. Daddy will be home soon." A chilling line for a brief yet effective reminder of Dexter's greatest foes, whose sickening actions still resonate today.

Dexter saves Harrison

If there's one thing we can count on from "Dexter," it's the series' consistent ability to make you feel something. As mentioned previously, Dexter and Harrison's relationship throughout "New Blood" is fairly strained for very understandable reasons. With Dexter gone for the majority of his life, it makes accepting him as a father fairly difficult. This is compounded by Kurt Caldwell — who is also a secret serial killer — taking Harrison under his wing. Kurt not only gives Harrison a job but also provides him with a level of understanding and sincerity that he isn't getting from Dexter. In the end, this turns out to be nothing more than Kurt's way to get Harrison alone and attempt to kill him.

But before Kurt can carry out his usual rhythms and finish off Harrison, Dexter arrives to save the day. Dexter — having dispatched Kurt's violent errand boy Elric — arrives in a truck and fends off Kurt to save his son. Afterward, Dexter and Harrison finally embrace in an emotional hug — a legitimately heartwarming if not slightly morbid moment. After an entire season of the duo being mostly emotionally closed off from each other, to see them have a moment of legitimate affection is truly satisfying.

Harrison watches Dexter kill Kurt

Nothing beats good old-fashioned father-son bonding time, especially when it's done while carrying out a vigilante-style execution. After finally giving Harrison the truth about who he really is, Dexter begins showing his son the tricks of the trade. He elaborates his killing methodology and explains the moral aspect of his "profession" by telling him the story of a predatory birthday clown named Wiggles, who he "took care of." This results in the duo investigating Kurt in search of legitimate evidence of his sinister activities, and boy do they find some.

Dexter and Harrison find Kurt's secret murder lair in an underground bunker, where they find all of his victims perfectly preserved like dolls. This horrific collection even includes Molly Park, the precocious true-crime podcaster behind "Merry F***ing Kill," who'd been helping Angela. Harrison and Dexter quickly come to the same conclusion — Kurt Caldwell has to die by their hands. They quickly put this plan in motion, and Harrison, up close and personal, gets to see his old man at work. It's an epic moment, not just due to seeing Kurt finally get what he deserves but also from seeing Harrison's reaction to Dexter's true self.

The death of Dexter Morgan

Well, it finally happened. After 106 episodes, a disappointing ending, and a revival, Dexter Morgan finally meets his end in the finale of "New Blood." While many fans have maintained that death is the only fitting end for Dexter, it's still heartbreaking to see him go. With his cover officially blown and with the sins of his past nipping at his heels, Dexter makes one final run for it. After being thrown in jail by Angela, Dexter tragically kills Officer Logan and drives off in search of Harrison.

After finding Harrison, Dexter makes it clear that they need to leave, but upon figuring out his dad killed his coach, Harrison quickly changes his tune. He calls Dexter out on everything — and we mean everything — yelling at his father to "Open your eyes and look at what you did!" This is an eerily appropriate callback to Dexter's very first kill in the show's original pilot, bringing everything full circle. In this moment, Dexter — seeing flashes of those he's wronged, including Debra — finally accepts his long-overdue fate in the "New Blood" ending. Dexter asks Harrison to shoot him, and after turning off the safety per his dad's instructions, he does. In his final moments, Dexter tells Harrison that he "did good," and as Debra's ghost appears to him, the killer finally bleeds out in the snow.