Dexter: New Blood Episode 3 – “Smoke Signals” – IGN

The following contains spoilers for Dexter: New Blood‘s third episode, “Smoke Signals,” which aired on Showtime on Nov. 21.

By the rules of Dexter, insofar as “how one develops a Dark Passenger,” Harrison certainly seems like a fledgling Bay Harbor Butcher, right? “Smoke Signals” may have had Dexter chasing his tail again, still dancing with local authorities (and wildlife cameras, CSI guys, and Chekhov’s grizzly bear) to cover up his Matt Caldwell “whoopsie,” but it zeroed in on some curious and promising aspects of Harrison’s character that may prove fruitful a few episodes from now.

We don’t have to get into the main meat of “Smoke Signals” too much since the bulk of it involved Dexter doing his damndest to ditch the body he created (and mutilated) in what’s now the second episode in a row dealing directly with the aftermath of the premiere. More interesting here was how Dexter’s exhaustion and unavailability due to these efforts wove into his story with Harrison and how much Dexter tried to convince himself that this was a one-time mistake that, once solved, wouldn’t happen again. It was time to be a father (whatever he thinks that means now).

Mentioned in last week’s review was Harrison’s egregious teenage-ness, coupled with being a resentful estranged son, making him an insufferable re-addition to Dexter’s life. This boy would travel the country for years looking for “Jim Lindsey,” only to find him and then constantly complain about what a bad father Jim was being when Jim was trying, for the first time, to be a father. It seemed aggravating. And there were still traces of that this week too. Harrison was still pissy here and there, whenever Dexter would slightly misstep as a dad.

Dexter: New Blood Episode 3 Gallery

But Harrison’s solo story started toying around with some compelling things. The bozo teens he connected with last week, Audrey withstanding, are now his enemies. Harrison hates bullies, it turns out. Maybe not as much as future psycho Ethan does, who envisions himself as The Punisher in an instantly alarming way, but enough to almost immediately stand up for someone and use violence to make his point. So does Harrison have Dexter’s darkness? He himself was worried about it, and it’s possible it wasn’t just because of the letter. There’s still so much we don’t know about Harrison’s time with Hannah, or his years in foster care. And also…he was an addict at some point too? He’s for sure a damaged young man.

And the Season 4 finale can’t be ignored, right? Especially as the last episode Clyde Phillips was the showrunner for in the original run. Harrison, as a toddler, watched his mom get killed by Trinity and then sat in her blood for who knows how long, crying. It’s almost Dexter’s origin tale to a “T.” So will Harrison have his own “whoopsie” (with Ethan maybe)? Is this to be Dexter’s final lesson? Might Harrison succeed Dexter? Will Dexter be Harrison’s first victim? There’s a lot to ponder just after this one episode.

But also consider that they already tried to do a version of this story in Season 8 with Dexter and that young murder boy, Zach (Sam Underwood). The Brain Surgeon killed the kid, but Dexter saw the Dark Passenger in Zach and was considering mentoring him. So Harrison (plus the time away) might present an opportunity to do that story again, since New Blood is very directly in the business of course-correcting things from the final season.

Clancy Brown’s Kurt was more of a presence this week, albeit an annoying one. He stormed onto the scene at the end of last week’s episode with fury, but also a desperate plea to those he seemed to consider friends. This week he was nothing but a shallow grouch, just angry about everything and spouting boring lines about “how is this going to find MY SON?” Or “MY SON is out there and being MY SON!” It’s enough to make me not want him to be the Sniper/Hunter Killer (who we saw make a kill this week). It almost feels like no stretch at all that Kurt would be this crazy guy now. So could it be billionaire Edward Olden, given his fixation on young Audrey?

Speaking of possible victims here: Jamie Chung debuted this week as a sure-to-be-pesky true crime podcaster, Molly, who’s out to go glamping all over Iron Lake and report on its gruesome news. She seems like the type to end up on the embalming table of this new maniac.

This new killer seems to take in strays, into his bunker (it seemed like a hotel room last week but now I guess he convinced that poor girl to go in his basement somehow). Then he lets them very briefly run and shoots them (reminiscent of Alaskan serial killer Robert Hansen). Some cleaning and embalming later, we can assume he’s creating hunting trophies. Anyhow, Kurt now seems like too much of a dim brute for this…but who knows?

And what was with Kurt telling Dexter he’d FaceTime’d with Matt? Was he lying, for some unknown reason, or was he just so drunk that he imagined it? If it’s only the latter, that would be a strange way to wrap up the episode.

Check out our review of the Dexter: New Blood premiere…

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