Dexter: New Blood premiere recap: Can Dexter resist his Dark Passenger?

Michael C. Hall as Dexter in DEXTER: NEW BLOOD, “Cold Snap”. Photo Credit: Seacia Pavao/SHOWTIME.
Michael C. Hall as Dexter in DEXTER: NEW BLOOD, “Cold Snap”. Photo Credit: Seacia Pavao/SHOWTIME. /

Dexter Morgan (Michael C. Hall) is back, and he’s not killing, well, anything anymore. The opening minutes of Dexter: New Blood takes its premiere name “Cold Snap” quite seriously, with Dexter setting out into the frozen forests of small-town New York, specifically the fictional town of Iron Lake. He raises his gun to take out a deer (an albino one at that) but can’t bring himself to pull the trigger.

In his isolated cabin in the woods, we see that Dexter hasn’t abandoned all of his old tricks. He still regularly communes with hallucinatory family members, such as his sister Deb Morgan (Jennifer Carpenter), who appears to be a fixture in his cabin.

Dexter: New Blood premiere recap: Who is Matt Caldwell?

Beyond that, Dexter appears to have a normal, quiet life complete with a new identity, a new girlfriend and a new job. Now Dexter is “James ‘Jim’ Lindsay,” boyfriend of police chief Angela Bishop (Julia Jones) and one of the sales associates at a local hunting goods store. But the first ripple in his seemingly idyllic new life comes in the shape of the local troublemaker, Matt Caldwell (Steve M. Robertson) or “the lesser of the Caldwells,” as he’s known at the police precinct.

Dexter: New Blood
(L-R): Steve M. Robertson as Matt and Michael C. Hall as Dexter in DEXTER: NEW BLOOD, “Cold Snap”. Photo credit: Seacia Pavao/SHOWTIME. /

Dexter’s first interaction with Matt makes him uneasy at best. Matt wants a $9,000 gun, but Dexter, ever a stickler for the rules, refuses to sell to him until his background check clears. He advises Matt to return the next day to get it.

Later, during a visit to his girlfriend at the police station, Dexter learns a few interesting facts about Matt from the other officers, like the fact Matt was involved in a boating “accident” a few years back where at least one person died. Supposedly Matt wasn’t driving and cleared of all wrongdoing but…more on that later.

That night, Dexter and Angela go out for a date night, and Dexter runs into his new bestie Matt at the bar. He tries, unsuccessfully, to get Dexter to sell him the gun really quick in the middle of the night. Then Matt invites him to a big party at his dad’s lodge the following day.

On the day of the party, Matt’s background check finally clears, and Dexter is tasked with delivering that expensive weapon to his house, just in time for the party, much to Dexter’s annoyance. Inside he meets Matt’s friend Bill (Charlie Thurston), who has a lot to say about his so-called pal while Matt is busy having sex with Bill’s date in the other room.

All Dexter wants to do is drop the gun and go, but he needs Matt’s signature, so he’s forced to wait for him to, er, finish. In the meantime, a coked-up Bill starts ranting and raving about that boating accident mentioned earlier. Dexter is almost ten years clean from killing at this point, and he knows hearing bad news about a guy he already doesn’t like is like chumming the waters for great white sharks, but he can’t resist leaning in when Bill starts letting secrets loose.

It turns out Matt was driving the boat and, according to Bill, he intentionally killed that guy. Bill lied on the stand in exchange for hush money and a Rolex watch, but the guilt has clearly been eating him up. When Dexter finally gives Matt his gun, he can’t help but picture knocking him unconscious with it.

Dexter: New Blood
Jack Alcott as Harrison in DEXTER: NEW BLOOD, “Cold Snap”. Photo Credit: Seacia Pavao/SHOWTIME. /

Dexter: New Blood premiere recap: Harrison tracks down his father

By the time Dexter arrives back at his cabin, guess who’s waiting for him there? His son, Harrison (Jack Alcott). Throughout the episode, someone is shown lurking just out of sight from Dexter, and we find out that it was Harrison all along. He confronts his dad, but imaginary Deb reminds her brother that everyone who gets close to him dies, including her! That’s the whole reason Dexter sent Harrison to live with Hannah and became a cabin recluse in the first place. Dexter tells Harrison he’s got the wrong guy and sends him on his way.

Then we see Dexter return to the woods and that beautiful all-white buck he was scouting earlier in the episode. Except, it looks more like Dexter just wants confirmation from something pure that he’s in control of his Dark Passenger. It’s almost like a test. If the buck lets him get close, then maybe he’s not a monster anymore, and the animal lets him near.

Dexter: New Blood
Michael C. Hall as Dexter in DEXTER: NEW BLOOD, “Cold Snap”. Photo Credit: Seacia Pavao/SHOWTIME. /

Dexter: New Blood premiere recap: Dexter unleashes the Dark Passenger

But then Matt shatters the moment with a fatal gunshot to the deer’s head, ending Dexter’s tender reverie and his ten-year dry spell. Yes, Deter went almost an entire decade without killing but kill his deer friend, and you’re over. Matt becomes the Dark Passenger’s first victim in a long time, although he does decide not to keep trophies anymore. “I might be a monster, but I’m an evolving monster.”

After that, Dexter seems to relish not having to pretend in every aspect of his life anymore, and he goes to the bus stop to get Harrison, inviting him to come home. He intends to protect and teach Harrison the same way Harry taught him. However, in the final seconds of the Dexter: New Blood premiere, we see a trail of bloody footprints near his cabin. Is Dexter getting sloppy?

dark. Next. Dexter: New Blood episode 2 recap: Who is Kurt Caldwell?

Odds & Ends from Dexter: New Blood

  • Despite its rustic sensibilities, Iron Lake seems to have a dark underbelly. The premiere introduces Edward Olsen (Fredric Lehne), a  petro-billionaire intent on drilling for more oil. Many people don’t want him in town, including Angela’s daughter Audrey (Johnny Sequoyah) at the forefront of a protest against him and his industry’s presence.
  • We also find out a string of incidences occurring nearby where several missing women have been reported. That’s going to become a significant part of the plot moving forward, I’m sure.
  • Angela notices a young girl struggling to pay for a meal at the bar and comps her a burger and fries along with some cash for bus fare. I’m guessing we’re going to see this girl again later this season.

New episodes of Dexter: New Blood premiere Sunday nights at 9 p.m. ET/PT on Showtime. The premiere episode was released early via the Showtime app.