What ‘Dexter: Original Sin’ Needs To Be Better Than ‘New Blood’ The Global Tofay

What 'Dexter: Original Sin' Needs To Be Better Than 'New Blood' The Global Tofay Global Today

The Big Picture

  • Dexter’s focus on his Dark Passenger is crucial for understanding his character.
  • Dexter: Original Sin should delve into the formation of Dexter’s Dark Passenger to stay true to his story.
  • Previous Dexter series like New Blood, fumbled their endings by not fully embracing his dark nature. Original Sin has a chance to do better.

The announcement of Dexter: Original Sin left the fans divided. Some are excited, because every chance we get to revisit Dexter is worthwhile, while others are scratching their heads. Given how both the original series and its revival, Dexter: New Blood, had lackluster endings, what are the odds of the new series also coming to a disappointing conclusion? So it’s safe to say that there is a fair amount of pressure on Original Sin not only to be worthy of the serial killer we all know and love but also to provide an overall satisfying story arc. So how can the new series avoid the pitfalls of its predecessors?

Dexter’s Main Relationship Is Always With His Dark Passenger

Dexter Morgan (Michael C. Hall) is not a hero. Sometimes, throughout both the original series and New Blood, we may root for him, but that is not because he is a good person nor because he is doing the right thing, but rather because, to a certain degree, most of us agree with the bad things he does, but our morals forbid us from doing anything about it. As a psychopath, though, Dexter has no morals and can’t form attachments, and his urges and impulses are what fill this void. All this manifests through his Dark Passenger, a narrative device that allows us to understand how he works.

There are many characters in Dexter, and most of them are apparently coming back for Original Sin, but it’s important to keep in mind that, as important as some of them may be to Dexter, his main relationship always has to be with his Dark Passenger. Since it embodies all the negative traits that he has as a psychopath and serial killer, it’s also always present at the back of his mind. In Dexter, it manifests first through the image of his adoptive father, Harry Morgan (James Remar), and, in New Blood, of his adoptive sister, Debra Morgan (Jennifer Carpenter). Those two characters hold special significance for him because they played central roles in how he learned to deal with his urges — and, consequently, in how the Dark Passenger itself came to be — but, since Dexter’s psychological condition doesn’t allow him to form an attachment, none of the people around him can form meaningful relationships with him, from his own standpoint. Maybe those relationships are meaningful to these other people, but never to Dexter.

What both the original series and New Blood seemed to forget toward the end, though, is that the Dark Passenger needs to always have center stage in Dexter’s mind. It’s fair that he kept it quiet for a while in New Blood, but, once it’s out, it’s out. Instead, what both shows did was focus on Dexter’s relationships with other characters, like Debra and his son, Harrison (Jack Alcott). When that happened, the essence of Dexter faded, and it ceased to be a show about the dark corners of human nature and became a family drama centered on a guy who incidentally also happens to be a serial killer.

As important as Harry, Debra, and Harrison may be in Dexter’s civilian life, that’s not his true self. He may have the facade of a family man, and it may even feel to us like he has a meaningful relationship with the people in his life, but he is literally unable to. For him, it’s a matter of survival, otherwise he can’t satisfy the urges that only he has. Even at the beginning of New Blood, Dexter recognizes the Dark Passenger is still there after years of quiet until he just can’t help but let it out to kill Matt Caldwell (Steve M. Robertson).

‘Original Sin’ Has To Be About the Formation of Dexter’s Dark Passenger

The fact that Dexter’s Dark Passenger manifested in the image of Harry Morgan in the original series is extremely meaningful to the story and both characters. Harry is the person who adopted Dexter and developed what is now known as Harry’s Code — a set of rules that Dexter has to follow to ensure that his urges are met without getting caught or spiraling into a killing spree. The original series starts around 10 years after Harry’s death, and, by then, Dexter is already comfortable with his Dark Passenger, but it can’t always have been easy like that, right?

Dexter shows us many flashbacks of a younger version of the protagonist struggling with his urges and failing to deal with ordinary situations (and it’s a shame Original Sin probably won’t use the iconic “young Dexter wig,” but that’s okay). During that time in his life, the Dark Passenger was still taking shape, since he had Harry’s ever-present guidance. He went to medical school to learn more about his craft and qualify for a job that would allow him to hide in plain sight regarding his urges and all that is a consequence of his abiding by Harry’s Code. So the Code is essential for the Dark Passenger to take the shape we see in Dexter. After Debra dies, another layer is added to it, which is why it presents itself as her in New Blood.

Original Sin will feature the return of Harry Morgan, now played by Christian Slater and still alive. The show is set in 1991, while Dexter, now played by Patrick Gibson, is in college and interning at Miami Metro PD, so it’s still a formative period for him as a serial killer. According to the timeline presented by the original series, Harry doesn’t die until around 1996, when he catches Dexter dismembering a body and goes on to overdose on his heart medication, so this period of five years is crucial for Dexter to learn how to tame his Dark Passenger, and also for it to properly take the shape we are used to seeing.

It’s important, though, for Original Sin not to make the mistake of trying too much to feel like Dexter. Many casting news have come out recently, bringing back characters from the original series, which makes it look like the prequel is more worried about feeling familiar than actually telling an original story. These are supposed to be Dexter’s formative years as a serial killer, not necessarily his early days at Miami Metro PD, so, more important than the setting, his settling into his own modus operandi and coming to terms with the Dark Passengers are what needs to take central stage.

‘Dexter’ Has Fumbled Its Endings Twice Before

The main challenge for any Dexter story on television seems to be the ending. With two series so far, both of them have essentially failed to deliver on all fronts. There is no right way to cap a Dexter series, of course, but a few outcomes came to be expected. Dexter is a serial killer and a psychopath, and we may like him, but he still needs to pay for all the terrible things he did. Unfortunately, neither the original series nor New Blood have been able to deliver him his due, and it felt they were more worried about not making him too bad of a person.

Being a prequel, it may seem like Original Sin won’t have this issue. We already know what’s going to happen after the ending of Original Sin, but it still requires a proper story that makes given who the main character eventually becomes. People like Dexter because it explores the darkest corners of human nature, and how those manifest in people like him. This is the core value that has to be present until the end, and Original Sin has the chance to be the first time that happens.

Dexter: New Blood is available to stream on Paramount+.

WATCH ON PARAMOUNT+

#Dexter #Original #Sin #Blood

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