'Dexter: New Blood' — Michael C. Hall Blames Harrison for Making Dexter Kill Again, but Showrunner Clyde Phillips Disagrees

Dexter fans got one hell of a reunion with the premiere episode of Dexter: New Blood. In the first hour of the Showtime revival series, Dexter Morgan (Michael C. Hall) came face to face with his grown-up son Harrison (Jack Alcott). In a recent interview, Hall said he thinks Harrison is the reason Dexter decided to kill again.

[Spoiler alert: This article contains spoilers for the season premiere of Dexter: New Blood.]

Hall appeared on the Dexter: New Blood Wrap Up podcast with executive producer Scott Reynolds and explained his theory. But then, Reynolds also spoke to showrunner Clyde Phillips. Phillips disagreed with his star. Dexter: New Blood airs Sundays at 9 p.m. on Showtime. 

Harrison’s return shook up Dexter’s new life 

Dexter left Harrison behind when he went on the run, to keep him safe and hopefully have a normal life. When Harrison showed up on Dexter: New Blood, Dexter still pretended he was Jim Lindsay. But, he caught up with Harrison at the bus stop and stopped him from leaving. 

“It was absolutely heartbreaking,” Hall said of the reunion scene on the Dexter: New Blood Wrap Up podcast. “There was one take where I actually got upset and [director] Marcos [Siega] was like, ‘All right, get yourself together because you can’t show him that.’ He feels he just can’t welcome Harrison back in. I really love the timing of it. That happens, he has the nightmare, he wakes up the next morning, goes out, touches the deer and the next thing he knows he’s killing Matt Caldwell.”

Would Matt Caldwell have lived if Harrison hadn’t shown up in ‘Dexter: New Blood’?”

Matt Caldwell (Steve M. Robertson) is a Morgan Stanley stockbroker who comes to Iron Lake, New York for hunting season. Matt tries to get Dexter to violate background check logs, and Dexter learns of past crimes with which Matt got away. When Matt shoots the deer in Dexter’s woods, it sets him off and sets Dexter: New Blood in motion. 

“He’s buried the killer but he’s also buried the father,” Hall said. “He’s buried a part of his humanity and Harrison stirs that water up. You stir up the deepest part of someone, it’s not just their light. It’s their darkness too. It’s not just the this, it’s also the that. So his desire for connection and his desire to have a relationship with the only flesh and blood evidence that he’s a real human being on Earth, his son, he turns that away but it’s been activated. Of course, the next day there’s a residual activation of his Dark Passenger.”

Hall acknowledges that Matt wasn’t exactly innocent. It was a perfect storm of the right victim and the right emotional state that began Dexter: New Blood.

“Obviously Matt pushes some buttons,” Hall said. “But I do think it’s possible that Dexter may have been able to restrain himself in that moment had the night before not been one where his son showed up and he turned him away.”

Clyde Phillips disagrees with Michael C. Hall about the first kill in ‘Dexter: New Blood’

Phillips says that’s poppycock. Well, he didn’t use that word, but he said Dexter would have inevitably killed Matt anyway. It is Dexter: New Blood, after all.

“I’m not sure I agree,” Phillips said. “I think that Dexter knowing what he knew about Matt, when he finally learns about Matt from Bill, first from Esther, then from Bill in the scene where Dexter’s delivering the gun, that Matt indeed was driving that boat, indeed rammed into the other boat after the other boat had yielded and shown his neck and still went at it. He knew that Matt deserved to die. I think Dexter’s Dark Passenger, regardless of Harrison and regardless of the white buck, was finally challenged to the point where he yielded to that.”

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