Recap & Analysis | Dexter: New Blood Season 1 Episode 2 “Storm of Fuck”

DexterDaily's recap & breakdown for Episode 2, by Nick Henderson!


SPOILER WARNING! The following contains MASSIVE SPOILERS for the second episode of ‘Dexter New Blood’ titled ‘Storm of Fuck’ - Proceed with caution.

With the pomp and circumstance of the series premiere firmly in the rearview mirror, Dexter: New Blood is now free to move beyond basic world building. The first episode set up Dexter’s new world; Establishing a new set of rules and then promptly tearing them down. Harrison has re-emerged in Dexter’s life and thrown his simple existence into chaos. After nearly a decade of clean living, Dexter has officially fallen off the wagon and dispatched a new victim. ‘Storm of Fuck’ is the first episode that picks up the narrative thread and starts laying the groundwork for the larger narrative of the season. The result is a somewhat less exciting episode but one that serves an equally important purpose.


"You Got Big"

After the whirlwind episode that came before, “Storm of Fuck” feels subdued by comparison. It opens with a quiet but highly anticipated conversation between Dexter and his now full grown son, Harrison. Filled to the brim with pregnant pauses and passive aggressive quips from Harrison, this confrontation is every bit as awkward as I expected. Given how Harrison’s original arc ended and the general dissatisfaction with the original ending as a whole, this scene carries the burden of having to address a lot of the original show’s baggage.


Luckily, a lot of the BIG questions are addressed quickly and reasonably; effectively, freeing the story to continue without those distractions looming. We learn that Hannah passed away from Pancreatic cancer three years prior and in the course of dealing with her death, Harrison found a letter Dexter had sent to her shortly after retreating into exile. The letter provided the first clues Harrison needed to seek out his father after bouncing from family to family in the American foster care system. The final clue Harrison needed (and a fun little easter egg for fans) was a silly instagram post from Fred Jr. about Jim Lindsay bowling a 300 in their local league.

Regarding Hannah: There has understandably been some pushback from fans about the fate of Hannah and the choice to kill her off (off-screen no less). However, there doesn’t seem to be a ton of consideration for the circumstances on social media. Hannah was very much a product of the Scott Buck years and Clyde Phillips has been very forthcoming about his feelings about the show after his original departure. In short, he wasn’t pleased.

Seasons 6 - 8 are divisive at best and Hannah in particular was a source of a lot of ire from die-hards. It’s no surprise to me that Clyde chose to use her tragic death as the catalyst for reintroducing Harrison rather than bringing her back into the fold all together. I was certainly not anti-Hannah back in the day but she was one of many elements that felt mis-used in the original run. To me, this feels like another smart decision by Clyde Phillips to acknowledge and respect the original ending without taking on the burden of an element he did not feel committed to. In the end, I think the story in New Blood will be better for it.

"You Emotionally Handicapped, Crazy F***"

While the reunion seems like it is off to a decent start, Deb appears once again to remind him what’s at stake; This time, she appears by tapping ominously on his stained glass window with the bullet that ended her life. Despite a futile attempt to suppress his own doubt, the voice in the back of his mind overpowers him. The window shatters and Deb appears behind him to assault him with her own special brand of harsh truths.


It’s here that the subtle but important differences between Deb and Harry are once again emphasized. While Harry often felt like a physical manifestation of Dexter’s thought process that was meant to benefit the audience, Deb serves a totally different purpose. She represents every drop of humanity Dexter has cultivated over the years; His desire to be better. Their peaceful and calm co-existence at the beginning of ‘Cold Snap’ is indicative of the fact that he had found a way to better himself even at the cost of his own happiness. As Dexter’s resolve crumbles, their relationship becomes more and more antagonistic. As evidenced by their phenomenal exchange in his truck in this episode, his brain is screaming at him to turn back and his resistance signifies his gradual unraveling.

I am continuously impressed by this direction chosen by the writers. It would have been so easy to replace Harry superficially but instead, Deb represents a dramatic shift in the way the character is portrayed and the way the story is told. There are a lot of subtle or obvious changes with New Blood but she feels to me like the element that is keeping the whole thing feeling fresh. I can’t wait to see how they continue to utilize her throughout the season.

"This is One Storm of F***"

The storm referenced in the title of this episode arrives the morning after Dexter’s first kill. He discovers a small blood trail that he missed when moving the body right as the entire Iron Lake Police Department descends upon his cabin. Angela informs him that Matt was reported missing after his hunting trip and they want to use his cabin as base camp while they execute a search of the area. As far as terrible scenarios Dexter has landed himself in over the course of the series… this one is definitely up there. It would be bad enough if he was at the top of his game but the elephant in the room suggests otherwise. To make matters worse (better for us?), we are treated to a wonderfully disastrous scene in which Angela is surprised to meet Harrison; another aspect of this mess that pushes Dexter’s life deeper into chaos.


With Angela visibly upset and his son understandably hesitant to warm to his father, Dexter is surprised when Harrison covers for him. He shares some of his story with Angela but stops just short of exposing his father’s lies. When asked about it, he even states that he doesn’t want a cop “all up in his business” -- a sentiment that doesn’t go unnoticed by Dexter.

The Elephant in the Room: Since Harrison’s confirmed involvement in the story of Dexter New Blood, fans have theorized that Harrison might harbor his own “dark passenger.” While it is obviously way too early to make any educated predictions, this moment felt to me like the first real hint that something might be off. Between this comment, his supposed history with drugs, and Harrison’s apparent knack for breaking and entering, one thing is for sure, this episode is certainly dropping clues.

The search officially begins with Teddy crashing a police drone into a tree; immediately (and hilariously) boosting Dexter’s confidence in his ability to outsmart the authorities. As Dexter inserts himself into the investigation, this episode starts to feel something more akin to a classic episode of Dexter; With the fun deriving from him constantly trying his best to keep a lid on his own crime scene. It may feel familiar but the new backdrop allows for some fun scenarios to play out that never would have worked in Miami.

With the search back at Dexter’s cabin underway, Angela pays a visit to billionaire Edward Olsen in the hopes of borrowing his helicopter. This guy has now shown up twice and while brief, his appearance in ‘Storm of Fuck’ certainly lingers long enough to imply that he has a bigger role to play. His vast wealth obviously gives him enough resources and influence to be a key player in the missing girls conspiracy but they have yet to come right out and say it.


Dexter jumps at the opportunity to join the search in his RTV and uses it to contaminate the blood trail that he left. This also serves as another opportunity for Dexter and Harrison to talk without dragging down the pacing of the episode. When they finally come across the deer carcass, Dexter sends Harrison back to fetch Angela and then proceeds to look for the source of the trail and cover his tracks. It also leads to a wonderful appearance by Deb who stands aside and mocks him for the ridiculous situation he made for himself. Again, Deb’s presence is a perfect way to illustrate Dexter’s own internalized doubt and it makes for one of the best scenes of the episode.

Cue the Heavy Breathing

Throughout this episode, we check in with the young vagrant girl from the bar in ‘Cold Snap’; Apparently living large in some kind of lodge that is likely paid for by the unwitting kindness of strangers (Angela included). It is unclear where she is staying (or where she believes she is staying) but right from the get go, something feels off. She blindly accepts gifts of Champagne and strawberries while an unseen proprietor watches her from a (not so) hidden camera in her room (cue the heavy breathing). It isn’t until she realizes that she can’t leave that she panics and notices the camera hidden among the accent lights in the ceiling. 


She climbs onto a chair to get a better look and notices a message scrawled under the camera: “You’re already dead.” Not only did this give me a quick shiver, it reminded me of the final words uttered by the Trinity killer in Season 4: “It’s already over.”

About that Villain Tease: Since the earliest details emerged about what would become Dexter: New Blood, we have known the “big bad” would be Kurt Caldwell -- a character (played by Clancy Brown) introduced at the end of this episode. While his role in the larger conspiracy unfolding in Iron Lake is still a mystery, the person watching from the hidden camera does not appear to be Kurt. My first thought was that it might be Edward Olsen, the billionaire oil exec that we first met in ‘Cold Snap,’ but the person watching appears to be younger. Regardless, I think Olsen is destined to end up on Dexter’s table at some point. With that said, I suspect that Kurt is the common denominator and the one who is largely responsible for everything nefarious going on in Iron Lake.

While this initial tease is fairly straightforward and even somewhat predictable, the creepy factor is definitely there. With that said, Clyde Phillips demonstrated his knack for developing unconventional villains with all 4 seasons that he originally worked on. Miguel Prado, Lilah, and Trinity all come to mind as wonderfully nuanced villains that don’t necessarily fit the mold of what one might come to expect on a show like this. I am confident that as more of it comes into focus, it will subvert expectations.

"Sooner or Later, You’re Going to have to Pick a Side"

After planting one of Matt’s gloves in the snow off the highway, Dexter returns to the Deer carcass to find a group of Seneca Indians who are aiding the Iron Lake police in the search on their land. This is our first glimpse at another aspect of the season arc that is sure to play a major role. Not only is Angela the first Native American woman to serve as Police Chief in Iron Lake, she seems to have a troubled past that has driven a wedge between her and her people.


Twice throughout this episode, it is suggested that Angela may have lost a daughter (named Iris) or is at least in some way blamed for the disappearance of a young Seneca girl that was never solved. Either way, the leader of the Seneca group doesn’t mince words and it is fairly obvious that this will become an important plot point as the season progresses. If I had to guess, Iris is linked to the missing girls conspiracy and the mystery of her disappearance will be resolved as Dexter follows the call of his dark passenger.

"Everyone has Secrets"

When some local high school students join the search, Harrison is quickly enamored with Angela’s daughter Audrey (uh oh). The group heads into the woods and quickly abandons the search in favor of breaking into a cabin at the local summer camp. While not super important to the episode at hand, the scenes in the cabin actually tell us a lot about what to expect as the story unfolds. For instance, Zack shows signs of jealousy directed at Audrey and Harrison which is certainly going to become an issue down the road. Perhaps more importantly, as everyone tries to get to know Harrison, he subtly implies that he is very aware of how Rita died; A piece of information that clearly bothers him when it comes up. Lastly, we learn that Harrison is a bit of an artist and draws things in his journal. While I am not sure of the significance of this yet, I would be shocked if this isn’t important down the road.


As Harrison navigates his own social troubles, Dexter has a talk with Angela. Similarly to how Dexter dreaded pushing Rita away with the truth, he expects the Harrison revelation to be too much for their relationship to bear. To his surprise, she understands his need to keep secrets because she harbors secrets of her own. They open up to each other and Dexter realizes he can learn a lot from Angela about being a parent to a teenager. He realizes that the best thing he can do for Harrison is “show up.”

Dexter takes this new found determination into his next heart-to-heart with Harrison and we are treated to another beautifully written and powerfully acted scene between Michael C Hall and Jack Alcott. Harrison reveals the contents of Dexter’s letter in which Dexter told Hannah to reach out to him Harrison showed any “dark tendencies.” The conversation that follows is heartfelt and genuine and quite honestly, not something I was expecting at all.


It is moments like these that have always served as the beating heart of the story. Dexter’s life choices, often influenced or impacted by unimaginable darkness, inadvertently lead him to discovering more of his humanity. There’s no doubt in mind that this season will be about Dexter finding his own capacity to be a father. With Harrison now a grown man, they are free to explore these in much more interesting ways than they ever could in the original run.

"No Stone will go Unturned"

As the “Storm of Fuck” winds down, the search is called off and we are led to believe that Dexter has both avoided catastrophe and made great strides toward repairing his relationship with Harrison. Deb calls him a “Smug Fuck” for reveling in his return to form but the peace is short lived. A truck approaches Dexter’s cabin as volunteers start to disperse. Matt’s father, Kurt Caldwell (played by Clancy Brown) arrives and pleads with Angela to re-open the search. He insists that his son would not have skipped town to avoid a “poaching fine” as they suspect and that his son will freeze to death if they give up on him now.


In the final moments of the episode, we get our first taste of what makes Kurt Caldwell so formidable. He appeals to the people of Iron Lake in a moving speech that reminds them of all that his family has done for the community. With a few simple, heart-felt words, he convinces everyone to brave the cold for another night. As he greets Dexter and Harrison by the fire, the camera slowly pans down to reveal Matt’s bagged remains and his rifle are hidden in a secret compartment beneath the fire pit...

Regarding Kurt Caldwell: Despite the casting of Clancy Brown being revealed quite early in production of Dexter New Blood, his face and voice have been largely excluded from the marketing. With his introduction at the end of “Storm of Fuck,” we are forced to develop a genuine first impression of the character who will serve as this season’s “Big Bad.”

As I stated earlier, Clyde Phillips has a knack for villains; one area in which the original series suffered in the later seasons. My first thoughts after meeting Kurt in this episode is that he seems... REALLY NICE! It feels a bit like what I imagine it would have been like if we had met Trinity without being clued into the depths of his depravity in the opening moments of Season 4. He is a seemingly kind man with a lot of influence in his community. I am excited to see that facade slowly start to slip as he becomes more and more formidable throughout the season.

Where do we go from here?

The final moments of this episode left me speechless and desperate to know what happens next. With the search for Matt Caldwell back on, it seems inevitable to me that Matt’s fate will be discovered in one way or another. I am sure the fire pit was a temporary solution to his disposal problem so Dexter will likely be scrambling to find a way to either dispose of the body completely or stage a scene and create an alternate narrative. Where it goes from here is anybody’s guess...

My Score:  8 out of 10

Next Week:  Smoke Signals

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