Dexter: New Blood review: Episode 107, “The View From the Cheap Seats”

Despite Kurt Caudwell being arrested, things only get worse for Dexter as his murderous secret is exposed and danger stalks his son Harrison.

The sense of impending doom that has been building for Dexter ever since his rash murder of the obnoxious Matt Caudwell finally exploded on last week‘s episode of Dexter: New Blood. His police chief girlfriend Angela uncovered that he wasn’t “Jim Lindsay” at all but is instead Dexter Morgan, Miami PD’s missing CSI expert. Thankfully for Dexter, that’s all she knows. For now. If anything, the sense that the net is closing on Dexter rather than serial killer Kurt Caudwell only increases in “The View From the Cheap Seats,” despite Kurt’s arrest for the historic murder of Iris, Angela’s best friend.

For a short while, it seemed that New Blood will end differently than previous seasons of the original series, with Caudwell under lock and key and with DNA evidence to pin a crime on him. However, his confidence is unsettling, and it’s soon revealed why: he knows that Dexter killed his son.

While the Iron Lake police department has been strangely competent in previous episodes, one of New Blood’s failings is that they turn stupid whenever it’s convenient for the plot. That happens at the start of the episode as Angela invites Dexter to contaminate the crime scene seemingly without any reason. Dexter himself points out how illegal his gathering of evidence was. Taken in for questioning, a flashback shows that Iris was Kurt’s first victim, and he’s been reliving that moment with every murder since.

This revelation casts new light on his mentorship of Harrison, and places the confused young man in imminent danger, especially as he rejects Dexter’s protection. Indeed, where Harrison will end the season is entirely up in the air. The episode seemingly shows that he is genuinely conflicted and troubled by his thoughts after earlier indications that he may already be manipulating those around him.

Ghost Debra’s 180 degree turn to now encourage Dexter to kill Kurt shows that he has now once again fully embraced his life as a serial killer, and the reveal of the leg screws shows that she was probably once again correct and Dexter should have killed Kurt before he was taken into custody. Having successfully predicted the trouble killing Matt Caudwell would cause and knowing Kurt would connect Dexter to the crime, Ghost Deb has an impressive record. That doesn’t bode well for Harrison, who she points out will be in immense danger around his father.

While the episode centers on Kurt and his history as a serial killer, Dexter and Harrison have some nice moments of symmetry. The most obvious is at breakfast when the two eat in the exact same manner and later on when Harrison dons a very Dexter-like face-shield and apron, only to be seen power washing a truck. They are alike but not the same, and whether Dexter can save his son from both his developing impulses and Kurt Caudwell is an open question, especially as his plate is so packed with Caudwell’s henchman and an inquisitive Molly. The podcaster advises Angela to “do a deep dive” on Dexter’s background, and both are only one leap of deduction away from figuring out he’s the Bay Harbor Butcher.

“The View From the Cheap Seats” continues to expand the number of possibilities as to how the show will conclude, and undoubtedly viewers will be kept guessing until the very end. Will Dexter simply kill Kurt and cover his tracks just as he always did in Miami? It has been emphasized that this is a different time and place and a different Dexter, so it seems unlikely. Will Molly and Angela realize Dexter is the Bay Harbor Butcher? Will Kurt fulfill Debra’s prophecy and kill Harrison? Will Kurt become Harrison’s first victim? Or will Harrison make his own father the poetic final victim of Harry’s code? With just three episodes to go, we won’t have to wait long to find out.

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