Review: Dexter: New Blood Season 9, Episode 6 – “Too Many Tuna Sandwiches ”

Before you read on, there are spoilers ahead for this week’s review of Dexter: New Blood. After last week’s game-changing mid-season episode, “Runaway”, the sixth episode into Dexter: New Blood begins to build pace toward a finale only four episodes away. As Dexter and Harrison go into therapy, their relationship becomes more fraught than ever before, save for some humorous quips from Deb, Dexter’s angel on his shoulder, who sits in on the session within Dexter’s mind. To make matters worse, Dexter’s better half, and Iron Lake police officer, Angela Bishop, has just unearthed details that her boyfriend Jim Lindsay is not who he claims to be, and she wastes little time in confronting the former blood spatter analyst about his past.

Elsewhere, Kurt Caldwell is becoming increasingly unstable following a botched kill last week. To add to his list of problems, true crime podcaster Molly Park is making headway into the disappearance of Kurt’s son Matt, whom we all know was murdered several episodes earlier by Dexter. “Too Many Tuna Sandwiches” further offers a startling payoff, a damaging conversation between Dexter and Harrison that’ll leave you wincing out of sheer awkwardness, and a solid case as to why Harrison should never have taken up wrestling. 

It’s a great deal to unpack, so let’s start with Jim Lindsay, or as Angela Bishop has come to discover, Dexter Morgan. She knows everything, well almost. Jim is in fact Dexter Morgan, a Miami Metro homicide blood spatter expert who drove his boat into a hurricane, subsequently faking his death to live under a new alias in Iron Lake. Now, it’d be a stretch to imagine, even by Dexter’s standards, to picture a scenario in which the serial killer successfully talks his way out of this one, and he’s been in some close scrapes before. Pulled into the station, Dexter is thinking on his feet to explain the obituary and his reasoning to live under a new alias, Jim Lindsay.

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

His explanation is plausible, citing Deb and Rita’s deaths as his reasoning to ride his boat into the storm. Angela, the smart cookie she is, and leagues above most authority figures we’ve seen previously, quickly dumps her boyfriend with two identities, and much to her chagrin, Dexter attempts to find out if she’ll keep his secret. He doesn’t read the room very well. The spotlight comes off Dexter’s mysterious past in Miami beyond this one scene, only until the final moments of the episode in which Angela requests Dexter Morgan after making a grisly discovery. More on that later.

Soon enough, Dexter is attempting to ascertain exactly how Angela could have discovered his identity. His suspicions come to rest at Molly Park’s door, a true-crime podcaster working with Angela on a case involving missing runaways in Iron Lake. Little does Dexter know, it was his son, Harrison, who revealed to Audrey, intoxicated at a party, that his father has been lying about his real identity. Audrey then tells Angela and Angela begins to investigate, and here we are. Dexter’s latest challenge is Molly Park, the true-crime podcaster who digs a little deeper into Kurt Caldwell and his potential connection to Matt’s disappearance. Dexter sneakily records them during an interview at the line dancing bar by leaving his phone on charge behind the counter, listening to their interview. After Molly and Angela discovered another man using Matt’s name at a New York hotel last week, the podcaster suspects Kurt might have a skeleton in his cupboard, his son.

Kurt openly admits that Matt was not at the hotel, but in fact, at his remote bunker where he kills young women with his sniper. You can see where this is going. He invites Molly to meet Matt at the cabin, only for Dexter to tail them and realise that after ten years, his serial killer radar has been out of commission for quite some time. Dexter successfully intervenes and prevents Kurt from killing Molly at the bunker, where his serial killer brain makes all the connections. A remote bunker in the middle of nowhere, a room monitored by the creepy camera, and the lack of a door handle on the inside of the room. Kurt, already unhinged from his tainted kill and a second failed attempt to pick up a girl at his diner this week, furiously punches a wall in frustration.

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

At this stage, we’re not much closer to understanding Clancy Brown’s motivations as Dexter’s newest antagonist. From luring runaways to the cabin, and a ritualised moment as he covers a body in some type of papier-mâché material is strange, but as of yet, we’re not much closer to realising the villain he should be. Brown has been as unsettling as he can be charming, and sadly, his character development has not lived up to his performance. While Angela begins to investigate Kurt, her peers, notably Logan, are not convinced by her argument that Kurt’s up to no good. Logan, however, is handing out some quality guidance on relationships to Dexter at the bar, while Harrison is slipping into bed with Audrey.

This neatly moves us on to Dexter’s dead-faced, yet somehow loveable offspring. Jack Alcott has been wonderfully engaging to watch since he arrived in the season opener “Cold Snap”, and this week’s therapy sequence offers one of his best performances yet. While Michael C. Hall plays the fumbling, socially-awkward serial killer/father to perfection, Harrison opens up on being abandoned, Rita and Hannah’s deaths, while Dexter’s vague nature is criticised, and he’s advised to be a bit more of a father figure and read the room better. The therapy session goes from bad to worse as Dexter remarks that his marriage to Rita “fell apart”, despite his late wife being murdered by John Lithgow’s Trinity Killer.

Fair to say, Harrison does not take kindly to the comment. After attacking Ethan during “H Is For Hero”, Harrison indirectly admits to Audrey about his urges to hurt others, before intentionally breaking an opponent’s arm during a school wrestling match. It was always a bad idea to allow him to participate. At this point, things boil over big time. Dexter is convinced Kurt, who serves as a coaching aide at the match, has influenced Harrison to hurt the opponent, confronting him on the court.

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

It’s Kurt vs. Dexter now, judging by the look on Kurt’s face after the match. Elsewhere, Angela and Teddy turn up a lead that brings them to a series of caves in Iron Lake. In a surprise twist, Angela discovers Iris’s corpse behind a man-made wall of rocks. While Dexter confronts his son over what Kurt said to Harrison during the match, Angela calls him and requests Dexter Morgan. 

“Too Many Tuna Sandwiches” maintains a healthy pace as we move into the final four episodes of the series. Packed with surprise twists and occasional doses of meaningful character development, there’s an unmistakable feeling New Blood’s main antagonist has been underplayed on purpose. What’s the connection between Iris and the sniper shootings at the bunker, why did Kurt lie about Matt, and why has he become so interested in Harrison?

What do you think of Dexter: New Blood so far? Give us your thoughts in the comment section below!

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

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