Occasionally, while watching an episode of the original run of Dexter, I would sometimes wonder, “What if Dexter didn’t kill this latest serial killer? What if he actually did step back and just let the police do their job?”
Well, the latest episode of Dexter: New Blood answered my question for me. Even after he had all of the evidence that he needed to believe that Kurt was not only the sniper but that he was also responsible for the decades-old murder of Iris, Dexter still tried to play by the rules. He extracted a tooth from Iris’s mouth and, seeing that she had bitten her attacker, he gave it to Angela so that she could run a DNA test. He also told Angela about the murder cabin to which Kurt had previously tried to lure Molly. For once, Dexter stepped to the side and tried to let the system do its job.
Why did Dexter do this, despite Ghost Deb literally ordering him to kill Kurt? Dexter’s pursuit of Kurt has been complicated by Kurt’s pursuit of Harrison. With Harrison obviously growing more and more unstable, Dexter didn’t want to have to keep another secret from his son. He didn’t want Harrison to make a martyr out of Kurt. Dexter wanted to make sure that his son would eventually look up to the right serial killer. Good for Dexter!
Unfortunately, it turns out that the system doesn’t work. It didn’t work in Miami and apparently, it doesn’t work in upstate New York either. Yes, Kurt is arrested and he’s taken off to jail. But, after he concocts a story framing his abusive father and after the DNA on Iris’s tooth turns out to be just a 67% match, Kurt is set free. However, while he is in jail, he’s visited by Dexter. The two of them, obviously no longer pretending to be friends, find themselves discussing whether or not titanium can melt. Earlier in the episode, a slovenly truck driver gave Harrison an envelope for Dexter. Inside the envelope was a titanium screw, one that Dexter soon learns came from Matt’s body. In short, Dexter knows that Kurt is a murderer and Kurt knows the same about Dexter. However, others may soon be finding out as well. With Kurt out of jail, Molly and Angela talked and realized that there were holes not only in Kurt’s story but Dexter’s as well.
Meanwhile, Harrison finally revealed the truth to Dexter. As Harrison explained it, he has always had nightmares but now he realizes that the nightmares were actually memories of Rita’s murder. (John Lithgow makes a cameo appearance as the Trinity Killer and is quite chilling, despite only being onscreen for a minute or two.) Harrison announced that he was leaving town. Just as Dexter tried to follow his son, he was attacked by the same trucker who gave Harrison the screw. And then …. the episode ended!
This was a seriously good episode, probably the best of the season so far. The episode opened on a properly macabre touch (with Dexter and Angela investigating Iris’s mummified corpse) and it ended on a moment of genuine suspense. In between, Michael C. Hall and Clancy Brown both did compelling work as two guys who have a secret that only they can truly understand. The scene were Dexter and Kurt faced off in the jail was wonderfully acted and directed. As played by Clancy Brown, Kurt is the first Dexter villain to truly feel like a worthy adversary since the Trinity Killer. Indeed, it seems somewhat appropriate that the same episode that featured a flashback to Kurt’s first kill also featured a flashback to Trinity’s final murder.
So, what can we expect to happen next week? Dexter getting attacked by that truck driver would seem to suggest that Kurt has more allies that Dexter imagined. What if Kurt is not working alone? What if his truck stop is actually some sort of serial killer hang-out? It’s possible and it would certainly explain why Kurt was so eager to have Harrison working there. It would seem that Kurt might want to hunt Dexter next.
But here’s the thing — there are three episodes left. Seeing as how Kurt and Dexter know the truth about each other, you have to wonder what they’re going to be spend the next three hours doing until their final confrontation. Next week’s episode is called Unfair Game. Could that be a reference to The Most Dangerous Game, the short story that Kurt seems to be trying to recreate with each of his murders? The final two episodes are entitled: “Family Business” and “Sins of the Father,” which would seem to indicate that Harrison is going to play a key role in whatever happens. Personally, I’m still expecting Edward Olsen to be revealed as Kurt’s partner. Olsen hasn’t been in the last few episodes but he was prominently featured at the start of the season so it just seems like there has to be more to him beyond just being a wealthy land developer.
We’ll see what happens!