Dexter: New Blood Episode 2 Review – “Storm of F***” – IGN

Dexter covers his tracks in a slightly stagnant second entry.

The following contains spoilers for Dexter: New Blood‘s second episode, “Storm of F***,” which aired on Showtime on Nov. 14.

“You’re sounding like the old Dexter. All the same old mistakes.”

The second episode of Dexter: New Blood — titled “Storm of F***” (which sounds like a very “Deb” descriptor) — returned everyone’s favorite slicer and dicer to more familiar territory: the frantic scramble to hide his murderous wrongdoings from cops and/or family. It’s too early to tell if this type of retreading and backtracking to the less-than-ideal ways of the old series is indicative of where New Blood is heading (this could just be a brief callback to what once was) but “Storm of F***” still felt like a start-stop follow up to last week’s strong opener.

Dexter: New Blood Episode 2 Gallery

Blending the old with the new isn’t a problem, of course, when it’s done right. In “Storm of F***,” though, we stayed in one spot, primarily, as cops used Dexter’s land as a home base while they searched for recently knifed a-hole, Matt Caldwell. This left Dexter no choice but to plant evidence that would point towards Matt running away while also having to clean up the crazy amount of blood he’d left behind, trailing all the way into the woods (running over the spots with his ATV was a bit far-fetched). To be fair, Dexter didn’t know the cops would show up, en masse, to his home for a long stay, but also… this is almost too sloppy a slip up to buy from the former Bay Harbor Butcher.

“Storm of F***” felt like running in place because it almost literally was. And then, after everything Dexter did to cover his tracks and lead folks off in the wrong direction, it was all undone in the end when Clancy Brown entered the picture as Matt’s seemingly kind, and very influential, dad. Now, obviously it’s not hard to draw the connection between Brown’s Kurt Caldwell and the shadowy maniac spying on, and taunting, that runaway girl from last week (who obviously never made it to the shelter). There’s no way Kurt can be a saint while his son Matt is/was a killer.

The background radiation of New Blood is that Dexter’s going to face a new killer — the one who’s been making girls vanish in the area for years — and Clancy Brown’s resume is deep and impressive enough to point to him as the stalker. Being able to spot that isn’t a problem necessarily, though let’s hope the show knows this is a “worst-kept secret” situation and doesn’t draw things out. Again, one of the things that’s exciting about a new season of Dexter is the potential for anything. This episode, especially how it kept us stuck in one spot, felt too much like the one thing the show used to be.

During the search for Matt came a few interesting personal relationship beats for Dexter. Some of those were frustrating — in the typical TV ways where characters don’t just flat out explain things up front but instead speak as if they’ve been given a word limit — while others were intriguing. Dexter learned that Hannah died, Angela found out that Dexter has a son (his relationship with her is, conveniently, a two-way street of secrets), and Harrison discovered he kind of likes Angela’s daughter, Audrey.

Harrison is worrisome as a resentful “TV teen.”

Meanwhile, Ghost Deb switched into a very different entity, flashing warning signals and shouting loud expletives all over the joint, horrified that Dexter’s killed again and desperately trying to remind him he’s sick. This is all while Dexter scrambled to manipulate the cops (keeping the body under his firepit, and telling the police to set up there, was very arrogant and reminiscent of Hitchcock’s Rope).

“Storm of F***” wasn’t without its engaging elements, but Harrison is worrisome as a resentful “TV teen.” It’s one of the hardest character types to get over. Normally, these teens make viewers want to punch screens. Harrison arrived last week in a sad place, looking for the man he believed to be his dad. This week, he even wondered if there was something wrong with him, given Dexter’s note to Hannah (though, shouldn’t there be, maybe, after Season 4?). But then, Harrison was also a bit of a smug s***, toying around with blowing up Dexter’s life.

Harrison would know that no one in Iron Lake knew “Jim” had a son, and yet he just dropped that bomb on behalf of his pops. Given that Harrison wasn’t planning on staying too long (he just wanted to see if Hannah was right), it makes sense that he wouldn’t be so precious with Jim Lindsay’s social circle, but he’s also ruffling feathers and easily coming off like Dexter’s next bad idea. We shouldn’t want Harrison out of Dexter’s life just one episode later, but it’s almost that bad. He doesn’t only seem like a bad choice because he’s a teen (and former addict?), but also because he actively wants to cause trouble for his dear old dad.

While the Dexter: New Blood premiere seemed to open up new avenues of the story, the second episode shut down a few streets, making it feel like this miniseries wasn’t going to stretch its wings as far out as it could. Harrison is already a tricky character, straddling the line between innocent kid abandoned by his dad and a troublemaking teen out to wreck Dexter’s life. Ghost Deb’s warnings to Dexter about him making the same old mistakes as before feel dire for the series this early on, so let’s hope this is all still just a jumping off point.

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