Spoilers for Dexter: New Blood Episode 8
Dexter committed lots of mistakes in the original series, but in New Blood, he ultimately makes amends by disclosing his true identity as the Bay Harbor Butcher. The Dexter: New Blood relaunch offers a second chance for the original series; with showrunner Clyde Phillips returning to correct the flaws of the final seasons of the original series.
Dexter is learning from his mistakes as he evolves into an “evolved monster” who must safeguard and hone his son’s own Dark Passenger; notably where he went wrong in hiding his identity and lying to his loved ones in the original series. Dexter is still keeping his Bay Harbor Butcher identity hidden from the people of Iron Lake; but New Blood is changing the way his serial killer persona is revealed.
Dexter Morgan, a blood-spatter analyst, avoided multiple close calls without being caught during the first eight seasons of Dexter; frequently placing people who discovered his identity on his table before they could share the knowledge. While New Blood states that Miami Metro never realised Dexter was the Bay Harbor Butcher beyond season 8; two significant characters, Maria LaGuerta and his sister Debra Morgan; figured out about his serial killer persona in season 7.
LaGuerta found that he had truly framed Doakes as the Butcher after seven seasons of denying that Dexter might have been a suspect. Deb walked in on Dexter accidentally killing the Doomsday Killer during the same season before he later admitted to being the Bay Harbor Butcher.
This is the kind of objective, proper police work that Dexter’s original series lacked
Both LaGuerta and Deb’s encounters with the Bay Harbor Butcher didn’t appear to fit the way Dexter’s original series had progressed; and each had grave ramifications that harmed Dexter’s character development. LaGuerta had spent seven seasons denying that Dexter was the Bay Harbor Butcher before acting on a hunch that seemed to be a handy story development for more Dexter drama.
Debra discovering the truth about Dexter by chance made sense because he had never intended to tell her; but it also irreparably wrecked their relationship for the rest of the original series, as she would never forgive him for lying to her throughout their lives. In New Blood, Dexter’s identity as the Bay Harbor Butcher is still being revealed to both Angela and Harrison, but the circumstances remain under Angela’s own investigation; and a father-son confession to Harrison, both of which correspond to Dexter’s changed in the sequel series.
Angela hasn’t let her affections for Dexter impair her judgement as LaGuerta did in Dexter: New Blood; as she’s still examining him as a suspicious person despite their romantic relationship. Angela hasn’t confirmed that Dexter is the Bay Harbor Butcher, but she has linked him to the Bay Harbor Butcher drug by injecting Ketamine into New Blood’s Iron Lake criminals.
This is the kind of objective, proper police work that Dexter’s original series lacked; and it adds to the impression that the Miami Metro’s Bay Harbor Butcher investigation was a sham. Angela is being set up to uncover Dexter’s Bay Harbor Butcher identity in a natural; clever way that will still have disastrous ramifications for the protagonist in New Blood. Dexter’s Bay Harbor Butcher character is ultimately pitted against a far more capable cop; putting an end to his ability to elude capture.
The way Harrison discovers Dexter as the Bay Harbor Butcher is the most significant development in Dexter: New Blood. Dexter confessing his serial killer background to his adolescent son Harrison echoes Deb’s tragic revelation since he wanted his family to know about his murdering tendencies less than anybody else. Dexter revealing to Harrison before he could “accidentally” find out strengthens their link; whereas Deb finding out by mistake damaged her relationship with Dexter.
Rather than repeating the mistake of an unintentional discover; which drove Dexter and Harrison further away; New Blood is repairing this dynamic by allowing Dexter to freely reveal his identity, so increasing Harrison’s faith in him.