Saturday, December 4, 2021

‘Dexter: New Blood’ Recap: Episode 1 “Cold Snap”

Dexter: New Blood is finally here! It’s time for viewers to be reintroduced to the character they know and love. The premiere episode sees Dexter, now living as Jim Lindsay, in his new life in Iron Lake, NY. A new face but a familiar character returns, along with a person viewers know well. Meanwhile, Jim deals with a rather… annoying customer. Read on to find out what happens in “Cold Snap.”

Warning: Spoilers abound beyond this point. Read at your own risk.

Your Friendly Neighborhood Jim Lindsay

dexter new blood episode 1
Seacia Pavao/SHOWTIME

Say hello to Jim Lindsay. Or, as we used to know him, Dexter Morgan. Unlike the Dexter of old, Jim seems to have much less lethal hobbies. He ice fishes via traps and also tends to a few different animals of his own. When he ventures into town, it’s clear he’s genuinely beloved by everyone he encounters. His new job is at Fred’s Fish & Game, and he even brings his co-worker, Fred Jr., pastries! Some habits never die.

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Jim also has a girlfriend: Chief of Police Angela Bishop. We meet Angela when she pulls Jim over for a traffic stop. Which turns out to be a thing for them. (Hey, whatever works, right?) Along with their roleplay scenario of choice, they have a pretty solid relationship. Angela even manages to talk him into line dancing later at the tavern. Later, viewers meet Angela’s daughter, Audrey. Though the interaction is brief, we also get a sense that Jim gets along with her, too.

A Thorn Named Matt Caldwell

dexter new blood episode 1
Seacia Pavao/Showtime

One person Jim doesn’t seem to get on well with is Matthew Caldwell. He makes a trip to Fred’s, accompanied by his friend Bill, where he wants to buy a knife and hunting rifle. Jim sells him the knife but needs to do a background check before selling Matt the gun. Matt attempts to get on Jim’s good side to bypass the check. He brings up hunting. Jim replies by saying he hasn’t hunted in a while (don’t we know it). A 24-hour hold pops up on the background check. All they can do now is wait.

Jim heads to the station to visit Angela. A woman named Esther brings up the red flag on Matt. Logan, the sergeant, emphasizes that Matt’s a good guy… until he runs Matt’s record and tells them about a boat accident involving Matt. Jim’s stress about Matt increases, and a little more Dexter than Jim peeks through. Deb reminds him to stick to his routine and not to let Matt get to him.

The next day, Matt’s background check is clear. Fred has Jim deliver the gun to Matt, despite Jim believing a guy like Matt shouldn’t have a gun. He arrives at Matt’s to discover a party is occurring. Jim runs into Bill, who seems upset. The two go search for Matt, but he’s otherwise preoccupied. While they wait, Bill begins spiraling. The boat accident – one that killed five people – comes up and Bill reveals Matt deliberately crashed into the other boat. Finally, Matt’s free, and Jim delivers the gun. While Matt waves it around, Jim imagines grabbing it and hitting Matt in the face with it.

Hello, Dexter Morgan

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For now, Jim tucks Matt away in his mind. He chases a white buck through the woods. But he doesn’t shoot it. In fact, he never intended to kill this creature. Instead, he slowly approaches it. The buck allows Jim to touch him in a surprisingly tender moment. A moment ruined by none other than Matt, who does shoot the buck (and NARROWLY misses Jim). This sets Jim over the edge. While Matt gloats, Jim actually does hit Matt in the face, knocking Matt unconscious to the ground. In the heat of the moment, Jim pulls Matt’s knife out but stops short. And then we hear it. That trademark narration.

“If I’m gonna do this, I Need to do it right. First rule of the code: don’t get caught.”

So, Jim begins to cover his tracks, starting with the buck. He cuts its with Matt’s knife, creating a blood trail leading towards Matt, and wiping the blood off on Matt before sheathing the knife.

dexter new blood episode 1
Seacia Pavao/SHOWTIME

Next, we watch Jim set up something all too familiar: the kill room (aka his shed). Soon enough, Matt is on his table, duct tape and all. Dexter Morgan is back. Dexter breaks a glass lantern. He uses the shards to make a makeshift blood slide. Matt wakes up and experiences a swirl of emotions. Dexter tells Matt why he’s there, just as used to all those years ago. Then, he kills Matt. Right after, he notices his reflection.

“Tonight’s the night. Hello, Dexter Morgan.”

Dexter looks at the DIY blood slide, deciding he doesn’t need trophies anymore. Next, he gets to work disposing of Matt.

But it’s been a long time, and he made some mistakes. Like leaving behind a blood trail.

I Always Feel Like Somebody’s Watching Me

dexter new blood episode 1
Seacia Pavao/Showtime

Throughout the episode, we see brief scenes of a mysterious hooded figure watching Jim, who notices. It’s not until Jim returns home that the lurker’s identity is revealed. It’s Harrison! Jim is ready for the reunion, even beginning to move towards Harrison. Until Deb cuts in, reminding Jim who he really is. She tells Dexter everyone close to him dies: Doakes. LaGuerta. Rita. Herself. In response, he sees Harrison’s chest bleeding through his shirt. So, rather than reunite with his son, he sends Harrison away. (No, YOU’RE crying.) When Harrison’s gone, Dexter finds a photo of himself with Harrison when he was still a toddler. He brings it outside to burn it in the fire pit.

But all hope isn’t lost. After dealing with Matt, Jim finds Harrison at the bus station. He asks Harrison to come home. And Harrison agrees.

The Ghost of Debra Past

dexter new blood episode 1
Seacia Pavao/SHOWTIME

At long last, we also see the return of Debra Morgan. She’s still the same Deb, but this time, her presence feels heavier. Like Harry, she’s akin to a ghost in Jim’s life, always with him, never letting him forget Dexter Morgan.

Through her, it’s obvious the Dark Passenger still lurks. In one scene, Jim goes to check on his fishing trap. When he pulls it up, Deb gasps to the surface, wearing the hospital gown. Shortly after, an inky black creature drags her back down. Is this Dexter’s guilt coming out in full force? When he wakes, Deb appears again. She tells him it’s better she was the one who died first. It’s heartbreaking and intense to watch unfold. We also learn via Deb that Jim hasn’t killed anyone for almost 10 years. Not a single soul. Well… until Matt.

Deb provides her company during a few parts of the episode. But unlike Harry, she’s not entirely conscience adjacent. As mentioned above, she really strikes me as a personification of his guilt. She’s every whisper of Jim’s self-doubt turned into a deafening scream, a reminder that Jim Lindsay will always be Dexter Morgan.

Other Noteworthy Moments

dexter new blood episode 1
Seacia Pavao/SHOWTIME
  • Oil titan Edward Olsen is introduced during a protest. Audrey makes it clear she doesn’t like him. We still don’t know too much about Olsen, but he seems important.
  • Jim greets several people. Four stand out: Zach, Becca, Scott, and Brian. Huh. These names sound familiar. Are they perhaps named for Zach Hamilton (season 8), Becca Mitchell (season 4), Scott Reynolds (executive producer), and Brian Moser (season 1)?
  • No one refers to Matt’s father by name. Of course, it’s for the buildup, as we do know exactly who his father is. Nevertheless, the decision was an interesting one. It really creates a sense of reverence for his father.

Dexter: New Blood airs Sundays at 9 p.m. ET/8 p.m. CT on Showtime. Keep up with our weekly recaps and other coverage here.

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Julia
Julia is a writer/editor/content assistant for Nerds. She joined the team in 2019 but has always enjoyed talking about her favorite fandoms. When she isn't writing or working, you can find her reading, watching her favorite shows and movies, and building her repertoire of Dad jokes.

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