I'm a die-hard Dexter Morgan fan. From the very first episode I was hooked on the show but for the first couple years I was still on dialup and would have to wait for someone to give me the episodes which would result in me spending 12 hours hiding in my bedroom to watch it uninterrupted. I have all the books as well but my brain is stupid so I haven't actually finished the 2nd book. I have this issue where I'm reading and my brain is somewhere else entirely. My mum made me read The Secret Of NIMH when I was 11 and afterwards she quizzed me. I couldn't answer a single question so as far as she was concerned I lied and didn't read it. I literally did. Then I bought the Dexter headknocker. The Dexter action figure. At Christmas I went to get my friend a coaster and she wondered wtf I was doing and tells me she figured I was being extra with getting her a drink. I have the Dexter coaster set which comes in a wooden box and the coasters are glass slides with blood splatter on them. I guess it's a little extra. FYI if you make it to the end of this blog you'll see my thoughts on Dexter: New Blood but if you don't want spoilers don't read past the final photo.
I always wanted to do a Dexter themed photoshoot and like most photo shoot ideas I have, I didn't do it. Hearing there was going to be a Season 9 of Dexter got me thinking about it again but I hadn't put any actual effort into it until my 2nd casting call for my Candyman idea. I asked for a POC and got a whole lot of white girls answering which either told me they have never seen Candyman or they missed the entire plot line to the movie since it's about racism but I don't know how you could. One person who did message me had vibrant red hair and it got me thinking about the Dexter idea again and how cool her hair would look against my backdrop, so I asked her if she'd be interested in that instead. I hadn't been this excited by a project in so long. This shoot would be the 3rd time I picked up camera up in 2021. The first time was a gig I was paid for and the 2nd camera adventure was a shoot idea I wanted to try but it was followed by a depression spell when I asked myself why I even bothered because sure I wanted to see if I could pull it off (and I did), it's not like I can go and do it again so I felt like I just wasted my time and everyone else's. It's been five months and I'm still trying to edit those photos. With the Dexter shoot concept I even got excited about prep even though it ended with me having an asthma attack from painting so many stick-on nails. My hands are small so the nails didn't fit my fingers properly so I wasn't sure which nail was meant for which fingers and painted extras depending on the models finger size, then painted extras incase any fell off and we needed them so a lot of nail polish was inhaled. Also my kettle and part of my kitchen counter is covered in red nail polish. I really committed to this job.
The plan for the shoot was fairly simple: Dexter's kill-room. The colour scheme was red and white. I was going to use my old DIY bloody backdrop, wrap the model in glad-wrap and just tell her to go crazy with poses. Murder victim but make it vogue. She nailed it! I showed Emma a couple of poses I'd seen on Pinterest and that was it, I didn't really have to guide her through the rest of the shoot. For the look I told the makeup artist that Emma needed a cut on her cheek but anything else was up to her. I wanted to have all the small details relating to the show so I even included a dodgy hand drawing so they knew which finger each nail needed to go on. One set was just white with blood splatter but the left hand was in reference to the prosthetic arm from season 1 with the painted fingernails, which later we find out goes back to Dexter's mum. I was concerned the backdrop might look tacky but as soon as I saw the first photo on the back of the camera I knew we were onto a winner!
The shoot was amusing and involved me having no filter like usual. Straight up I'm telling Emma how generally when I work with new people I always regret it so we'll see how this goes. I told my psych and the conversation went a bit like this...
My brain and mouth have never cooperated. For all the things I say and friends tell me I'm awful I do get some kind of weird pride letting them know they should hear what I keep to myself. Like they should be happy I do have some self control at times. So after that foot in mouth disaster I tried to turn the aircon on and couldn't work out how. Asked the owner for a hand and ended up with a small fan instead. This got a bit awkward because Emma was freezing because of the fan, I guess that'll happen when you're just in your underwear, but I have a heart thing now so I was overheating like crazy and needed the fan. I know the artist is meant to suffer for their work but I seem to make everyone else do it instead. The upside to all this is nobody hated me by the time our 3 hours were up and I'm pretty excited to work with them again later this year. I also bought myself a handheld fan. I haven't tried it yet but I will duct tape it to my camera if I need too.
I wanted to give some long exposure a go and try using gels. I didn't really consider the white walls and the fact the room was small so light was going to bounce a fair bit. I tried putting a black board behind her which worked a bit, but I still thought these came out pretty cool. It's definitely something I'd love to experiment with some more.
I LOVE these two screaming photos. Being a 'victim' I really wanted to try and get that vibe going and Emma 100% understood the assignment.
I loved this season. It didn't bother me at all how different it was to the previous seasons. It's been 8 years since we've seen Dexter Morgan and people change so why shouldn't he? Dexter changed his name to Jim Lindsay which gave me a giggle because that's surely a nod to author Jeff Lindsay, he's living in a small town covered in snow, he's got a terrible haircut, his girlfriend happens to be the Sheriff and he works in some sporting store. Amazingly he's not killed anyone in all this time and the sad part of knowing this detail is that if he'd known he could keep the urges at bay, he could have kept Harrison around and been a father. This is 100% Harry's fault for not sending him to a therapist as a child. He should have been sent to one straight away. We know child psychologists existed in the 80's thanks to the shitshow that was the McMartin trial.
In the first episode we see Jim hunting a deer, which my first assumption was this is his new way of killing living creatures but he's unable to shoot the animal. He does however kill a guy later on who DOES shoot the deer and that sets off the series of the events for this season. We've got the police force and the town trying to find this missing guy because he's some rich kid and everyone knows his dad Kurt who lives in town and runs the local diner, Jim has the body hidden on his property which is covered in police and Harrison suddenly turns up in town. He's all broody teenage asshole and I mean rightly so, most of us don't deal to well being the child of a deadbeat dad and his pretended to be dead. That's gotta sting. We find out Hannah died and Harrison was sent back to Miami where he was in foster care before he tracked down Dexter and travelled to confront him. This adds to Dexter's guilt because he tried to give his son a better life and failed but with that in mind, that was a huge issue for me in season 8: Dexter has a brainfart that for Harrison to grow up and have a normal life then he can't be raised by a serial killer....SO HE LEAVES HARRISON IN THE CARE OF A SERIAL KILLER! Seriously where's the logic? Harrison had grandparents plus a brother and sister he could have lived with. Then we find out Harrison went back to Miami and still there's no mention of his relatives. Why was he put in foster care when he had grandparents?! Even Cody and Astor would have been old enough for him to live with. It made no sense that Harrison remembered his Aunt Deb but not that he has siblings?
It didn't take long to realise Jim was going to get taken down by a small town cop and honestly I was annoyed by that. He worked in the Miami police department and only one person knew he was off and he was dead. You can't hide in a small town. Everybody knows everybody so why did Dexter think that was the best place to live out the rest of his days? Why did he even think dating the sheriff was a good idea? At least in a big city you can be anonymous. I can go out and never run into people I know. It's fantastic! Jim had his first slip over the deer but things were escalating because of Harrison and Kurt who happens to be the local serial killer. Jim's protector mode kicked in and he was sloppy. Harrison almost died at a party from drugs so Dexter thinks it's smart to try and take out the drug dealer. That fails because the police arrive so he starts punching him, then Jim decides to go after the ringleader and almost gets caught by the cops while trying to kill him too. His technique hasn't changed so he's also leaving a trail that's going to bite him in the ass. Kurt knows Jim killed his son as well so there's a lot of tension building as Kurt takes a special interest in Harrison which almost gets him killed a 2nd time. It's at this moment Dexter opens up to Harrison about his "Dark Passenger" and that they were "born in blood" and we see them actually start to bond. Harrison has already seriously harmed two students at his high school and he takes it extremely well hearing his father killed people. He compares Dexter to Batman which you can see amused Dexter because of the Dark Defender comic book. Harrison isn't the first to make that comparison. We also find out he remembers Rita dying. Seems implausible honestly. Harrison was 6-7 months old when Rita was murdered. He was sitting up but he couldn't crawl yet and here he is remembering Trinity leaning over tho speak to him? Dexter it makes sense that he had an imprint of his mother's death - he was three years old when that happened. This brings me to my earlier point as well - Harrison remembers Trinity but not Astor and Cody?
Angela was like a mosquito - super fucking annoying. She couldn't let anything go. I guess that's her job but this could also be a small town problem since she didn't have any other cases to work on. Kurt tells her his son is alive and living it up in some New York hotel so does she get over it and close the case? Of course not. She travels to New York for a conference just so she can drop by the hotel and check surveillance footage which proves it wasn't Kurt's son. Then at the conference she meets Angel Batista, who hasn't changed one bit, and she talks to him about a case that nobody takes her seriously on (a series of missing women, alleged runaways) so Batista tells her about the Trinity case. Angela wants to talk to the detective on that case but of course Deb is dead and Batista brings up Dexter dying and how he had a cute kid named Harrison. Obviously there can only be one Harrison in all of America because she goes home and with one google search has brought up Dexter's obituary, so now she's got something else firmly shoved up her ass since that's her boyfriend Jim. You do have to question how far Angela would have got if it weren't for some wannabe detective podcaster following her around. I groaned so hard at her character. Am I the only person on Earth who doesn't listen to podcasts? I watched that Don't Fuck With Cats show and it just proved how crazy 'couch detectives' are. They were as frightening as the guy they were hunting. The podcaster was in town over Kurt's son going missing so everyone seemed to be listening to her podcasts on Trinity and the Bay Harbour Butcher - that particular podcast seems to be enough for Angela to want to arrest Dexter. Like get some actual evidence maybe? For all of her cases she had no actual evidence or leads of her own.
One of the other old characters to return was Deb. She's replaced Harry as Dexter's subconscious and she's an asshole. I just really hated her and I had to keep reminding myself this isn't Deb, this is just Dexter's subconscious with Deb's face there to constantly reminding him how much of a fuck-up he is and that everyone close to him dies. She's quite volatile.
The big finale didn't shock me much. In the teaser you see Dexter up against a mugshot wall and sure enough, he was arrested. The show creators said from the get-go this season was to fix up what happened in season 8 and bring closure and in reality that meant Dexter was going to end up in jail or die. Some obviously hated that and think the writers failed yet again. I compared this ending to that of Promising Young Woman - yes we're rooting for her because she's acting like some kind of anti-hero and attempting to get justice for her friend but the moment she walks into that bachelor party you know there's only one way that can end. It's tragic but it makes sense. She was on a dark path she wasn't coming back from. The same goes for Dexter.
Only one thing could have really made that finale better and that involves Angel Batista. Angela calls him and emails a photo of her with Jim to prove Dexter has been alive this entire time. She also drops that he's the Bay Harbour Butcher and we see Batista holding a folder and that he's coming to them. That was it. One extra episode would have been awesome to see Batista confronting Dexter. That relationship was the closest thing Dexter had to a best friend and Batista was such an emotional guy it would have been interesting to see his reaction to finding out his friend is not only alive but also a serial killer that's responsible for the death of his ex-wife. It's a Miami case so it would have made sense to give the man some closure. I really feel like Angela can't take any credit for this arrest because it's circumstancial. She listened to a podcast and knows Dexter bought ketamine and stabbed a guy in the neck with a needle. I'm not sure that's enough to send a guy to death row. She can't prove he did that to the other drug dealer and there's literally no other evidence pinning him to the crimes in Miami.
My other gripe also involves Angela. She somehow manages to know where Dexter and Harrison are at and gets there shortly after Dexter is shot. After watching her refuse to give up on literally anything because she's a cop and that's her job, she drops the ball here and suddenly instead of caring about the welfare of this underage child who just shot his own father (which he wasn't that upset over), she gives him $20 and tells him where the freeway is. Yet again this kid is being screwed over by the adults in his life. It's literally part of her job description to make sure his welfare is sorted and she sends him packing. He's a smart kid but without family support and therapy, what are his future prospects?
If there's any future shows it will centre on Harrison but hopefully they leave it here. It might not be the ending some people wanted, but Dexter couldn't get away with murder yet again.