Following the criminal exploits of characters on The Sopranos (1999-2007) and The Shield (2002-2008), antiheroes were in fashion on television. But Dexter Morgan was something else entirely. In Dexter (2006-2013), the Miami blood spatter analyst was a serial killer who channeled his dark urges toward victims who he deemed deserving—typically other killers.
Based on a series of novels by author Jeff Lindsay, the show was a watercooler hit for Showtime and for Michael C. Hall (Six Feet Under), who struck a perfect balance between Dexter’s charm and menace. But the series met with a tepid fan reaction in later seasons, with the finale proving especially divisive.
In Dexter: New Blood, a limited series airing on Showtime beginning November 7, the network is giving itself a chance to write a new ending for Dexter. Here’s what we know so far about the further adventures of America’s most beloved fictional serial murderer. (Spoilers for the original series follow.)
1. Dexter: New Blood takes place 10 years after the conclusion of Dexter.
In the 2013 finale of the original series, Dexter finds his carefully cultivated veneer of normalcy completely destroyed. He’s separated from his young son, Harrison, and his sister Deb (Jennifer Carpenter) is left brain-dead following a shooting. Dexter carries her body out to sea, then disappears during a hurricane. Presumed dead by everyone in Miami, Dexter resurfaces—apparently working as a lumberjack—in a remote part of Oregon.
Dexter: New Blood picks up roughly 10 years later, with Dexter now working at Fred's Fish and Game shop in the fictional town of Iron Lake, New York, under the alias Jim Lindsay (a nod to Dexter author Jeff Lindsay). He’s apparently been able to suppress his compulsions for killing, but a new threat in the once-quiet town will change that.
2. At least two original Dexter cast members are set to return.
Death has never been an impediment to having a recurring role on Dexter. In the original series, Dexter’s adoptive father, Harry Morgan (James Remar), helped guide his son’s conscience as a kind of spectral presence within Dexter’s mind. In Dexter: New Blood, that responsibility may fall to Deb, Dexter’s deceased sister. During an appearance during the Television Critics Association press tour, Carpenter described her role as “something completely different from a ghost entity” and that she may have more influence on Dexter’s actions than their father did.
Additionally, John Lithgow will be returning as Arthur Mitchell, a.k.a. the Trinity Killer, the murderous antagonist of the show’s fourth season and widely considered the best of Dexter’s adversaries. It's not clear whether Lithgow will appear in flashbacks or as a proverbial devil on his shoulder.
Will there be more familiar faces? Showrunner Clyde Phillips was quoted at Comic-Con 2021 as saying that “There will be some returning cast members from the original series that will make some people’s brains explode.” In a tweet, actor Erik King, who played the popular Sergeant James Doakes, said that “there may be a few surprises, MF” regarding a possible appearance.
3. Dexter’s son will be back.
Owing to his complicated life as a serial killer, Dexter thought it best to leave his 5-year-old son Harrison in the hands of girlfriend Hannah McKay (Yvonne Strahovski) before disappearing. In Dexter: New Blood, Harrison (Jack Alcott) is now a teenager, and will apparently reconnect with his estranged father to work out some lingering resentments.
4. Dexter has a new love interest.
While laying low in Iron Lake, Dexter can’t seem to escape ties to law enforcement. In the limited series, he’s apparently involved with the town’s police chief, Angela Bishop (Julia Jones). While details of their entanglement are scarce, it’s clear Dexter’s return to his murderous ways will strain their relationship.
5. Dexter makes friends with a deer.
It’s not easy to find someone to confide in when you’re a serial killer, which is probably why Dexter often talks to dead relatives in his imagination. One friend who won’t tell on him is a deer, which Hall has said Dexter befriends early on in the series. The deer “represents some aspiration to goodness to purity—one that he wants to cultivate and wants to come closer and closer to,” Hall said.
6. Dexter: New Blood takes place over the course of two weeks.
The limited series isn’t going to take too long of a gaze into Dexter’s current lifestyle. The events of the show are set to take place over a two-week period in Iron Lake—plenty of time for Dexter to engage with his Dark Passenger.
7. Dexter: New Blood isn't season 9 of Dexter.
The change of scenery from sunny Miami to snowy Iron Lake isn’t the only change on the table. According to executive producer Scott Reynolds, the structure of the original series—in which Dexter pursues a primary adversary while taking detours to dispose of less significant threats—has largely been discarded for the limited series. “We stepped away from that a little bit and made it much more personal,” Reynolds said. “It’s about Harrison. It’s about family life. It’s about a father who is a murderer—a serial killer—and the effect that that has on everybody around him.”
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