Showtime's Dexter: New Blood offers an opportunity to rehash the original series' Zach Hamilton trainee serial killer subplot through Dexter's reunion with his now teenaged son, Harrison. Recent events in the mini-series suggest the apple may not fall far from the tree. If Harrison (Jack Alcott) does kill someone, as New Blood seems to be building towards, he may need some fatherly advice from his serial killer father, and soon.
New Blood continues the story of the serial killer vigilante, Dexter Morgan (Michael C. Hall). Dexter’s long-anticipated return finds him living in the small town of Iron Lake, New York 10 years after abandoning his son, Harrison, and adopted stepmom, Hannah (Yvonne Strahovski). He now works at a gun shop, and has given up killing in response to the death of his sister, Deb Morgan (Jennifer Carpenter), at the end of Dexter's original series finale. However, when multiple young girls go missing around the same time a suspicious hot-shot arrives in town, Dexter succumbs to his killer urges, ignoring the impassioned warnings of his dead sister, who has taken over the role of his inner moral compass. Life gets more complicated with the arrival of his son, now a teenager, who grew up thinking his dad was dead and, naturally, has a lot of questions.
It isn't difficult to predict that Harrison will inherit his father's murderous talents. Like his father, he witnessed his biological mother's gruesome murder at the hands of the Trinity Killer, Arthur Mitchell (John Lithgow) when he was still in diapers. Since then, the Dexter audience has theorized what it might look like for Dexter to have a protege. That story was almost realized in Dexter season 8 when he found himself mentoring a young killer, Zach Hamilton (Sam Underwood). However, that opportunity led to disappointment when Zach was murdered within 3 episodes of his introduction, along with any hope of a teacher/student serial killer pairing—until now. Perhaps serendipitously, within 3 episodes of Harrison's introduction, he has demonstrated potential to be Dexter's next protege and may need to learn the "Code of Harry" soon.
In Dexter: New Blood episode 3, "Smoke Signals", Harrison discovers that high school bully Zach (Oscar Wahlberg) has been having fun at the expense of another student, Ethan (Christian Dell'Edera), texting him as his made-up online girlfriend. Harrison reveals this to Ethan and helps the embarrassed teen gain a measure of revenge. When Zach physically threatens Ethan, the potential killer-in-training immobilizes Zach by effortlessly squeezing his trachea. This calm but surprisingly threatening move reveals that there is more to Harrison than previously expected. Add that to his other unique attributes- his propensity for lying, ability to pick locks, and a genius-level intellect- and the teenager may be more like his dad than he thinks.
With the next episode’s title being "H Is For Hero", it's likely the "H" stands for Harrison. The question is how does he become a hero, and is it a good thing? Will Harrison have his first kill? In episode 3 after Harrison protects Ethan, the troubled teen shows Harrison drawings of himself brandishing guns and brutally murdering bullies including Zach and Scott. This easily sets up Ethan as a potential school shooter. In that event, Harrison may have to kill Ethan to protect the students and could be celebrated as a killer. That would give Dexter much more to worry about, both as a father and as a killer in hiding.
Having Harrison become Dexter’s protégé could finally rectify the disappointing outcome of Zach Hamilton’s story, and open up exciting dynamics for their developing relationship. Dexter may also benefit from the opportunity to correct the mistakes he made with Zach through mentoring his son. Certainly having a father/son pairing of serial vigilantes would make Dexter: New Blood a killer series in more ways than one.