Review: Dexter: New Blood Season 9, Episode 4 – “H Is For Hero”

Before you read on, there are spoilers ahead for this week’s review of Dexter: New Blood. Throughout Episode 4, “H Is For Hero”, there’s a mounting sense of dread as Dexter begins to piece together the events of a foiled school shooting involving Harrison and another student, as the serial killer realises his son may have discovered his own dark passenger. In last week’s third episode, “Smoke Signals”, we were introduced to Ethan, a high school loner bullied by his peers who develops a friendship with Harrison.

Dexter’s son is quick to protect Ethan from the bullies, resorting to physical violence to defend him in a school hallway. The likelihood that Harrison himself has developed his own sinister tendencies became stronger yet after Ethan revealed his intentions for violent retribution in the form of some dark artwork. It’s Harrison’s response, a silent, long stare that leaves us worried about what’s to come. This week, we discover what we’ve all suspected.

After receiving news of an incident at the school involving Harrison, Dexter learns that his son has been stabbed and Ethan is taken to hospital with injuries. Initially, it appears Harrison had attempted to dissuade Ethan from carrying out a school shooting, who then attacked Harrison. If only it were that simple. Dexter later realises to his horror that his son had in fact attacked Ethan and stabbed himself to stage the scene to appear otherwise. 

Harrison - Dexter: New Blood.
Harrison – Dexter: New Blood. (Pic: Showtime).

Only moments before, Harrison is seen in a school gym listening to Molly Park, who recounts infamous stories of serial killers in her own podcast. There’s a chilling throwback to the show’s most notorious and iconic antagonist, the Trinity Killer, (John Lithgow), as Park delves into the history of Lithgow’s murderer, recounting Rita’s murder in the bathtub leaving Harrison, who was only a baby at the time, sitting in her blood on the bathroom floor.

It’s more chilling yet when the connection is made that Harrison sliced at Ethan’s leg in the attack, a technique trademarked by Trinity during his ritual. It’s a smart way to connect the Trinity storyline into the world of Dexter: New Blood, especially considering John Lithgow will reprise his role as Arthur Mitchell. 

Harrison is the most intriguing aspect of the episode, as he later appears to show compassion and guilt for his crime during a speech with the other classmates singled out by Ethan as potential targets. This does raise more alarming questions into Harrison’s own psyche, did he in fact kill Hannah and lie about her death, and can his knowledge of picking locks and asserting violence onto others at school be attributed to something darker? 

Dexter - Dexter: New Blood.
Dexter – Dexter: New Blood. (Pic: Showtime).

There are new insights into the missing women of Iron Lake subplot this week, as Angela’s investigation takes a new turn, as she forms a reluctant alliance with true crime podcaster Molly Park. The story has been gradually seeded throughout New Blood, particularly in connection to Iris, Angela’s best friend from high school who inexplicably went missing. This is cited as the main reason for Angela choosing to join the police, and she affirms her belief that something happened to Iris, a fate that has befallen many of the missing women on her “Carrie from Homeland” board, as Molly Park describes it.

After four episodes, the runaway story is creeping toward building some well-needed momentum. We’ve got another glimpse at the huge truck seen lurking throughout the series thus far, this time behind Dexter as he stalks Kurt at a petrol station. Angela is further suspicious of his unsubstantiated claims that his son, Matt Caldwell, who we know is well and truly dead, is still alive. Kurt, meanwhile, meets another hitchhiker at his diner and brings her back to the cabin where the sniper previously hunted a victim in Episode 3.

His motivations remain unclear but there’s little doubt that Brown is in fact the man behind the white balaclava and sniper rifle. Clancy Brown’s Kurt is otherwise relatively subdued this week, adopting a good Samaritan act toward a hitchhiker at his diner while maintaining the lie that Matt had video-called him and is still alive. 

Angela Bishop - Dexter: New Blood.
Angela Bishop – Dexter: New Blood. (Pic: Showtime).

“H Is For Hero” raises some uncomfortable questions about Harrison Morgan in a tense, unsettling chapter to the New Blood saga. We’ve long suspected that Harrison could take after his father and harbour a dark passenger of his own, and the fourth episode of Dexter: New Blood fully realises this theory. 

There’s an interesting interaction between Kurt and Dexter on the responsibilities of being a father. A tense moment ensues as Dexter reveals key details concerning Matt’s boat accident he couldn’t have possibly known, leaving Kurt looking suspicious.  The use of cutaways for comedic purposes, (last week he had Deb filtering Matt’s body parts into a tree shredder), lends to the show’s darkly comic tone. This week, we’ve got multiple versions of Deb holding up banners and signs reading We Love Dexter. What do you think of Dexter: New Blood so far? Give us your thoughts in the comment section below!

Matt Bailey

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