TV REVIEW: Dexter Season 7, Episode 12 – “Surprise, Motherf*cker!”

Dexter7The Season 7 finale has come and gone, and there were definitely bodies left in its wake. So, who didn’t survive to see another day?

Dexter goes to visit Hannah in prison. They go around in circles: how could you have me arrested? How could you try and kill Deb? So on and so forth. Dexter insists that he still cares about Hannah, but that he had to act to protect Deb – that there was no other way. Foolishly, he assumes that Hannah will take this lying down. Hannah enlists the help of her old co-conspirator, the woman who saw her poison the counselor all those years ago. Arlene slips Hannah some sort of drugs, which induces a seizure on the way back to the prison. She winds up in the hospital, from where she manages to escape (surprise surprise). She is last seen leaving a plant of Dexter’s door step, and I am guessing we haven’t seen the last of her.

LaGuerta shows up at Dexter’s apartment with some backup and proceeds to arrest him for Hector Estrada’s murder. One the hog march through the station, everyone attempts to intercede on Dexter’s behalf, including Angel and Deb. In the interrogation room, Dexter and LaGuerta go toe-to-toe, but it’s not until Masuka comes in and tells LaGuerta that the evidence she used to arrest Dexter was falsified that Dexter gains the upper hand. Now it looks like LaGuerta used official evidence to try and frame Dexter, freeing him to go and potentially dumping her career down the drain. Of course, it was Dexter who tampered with the evidence to make it look like LaGuerta was trying to frame him.

Angel and Matthews convince LaGuerta that she has to stand down, and she initially agrees. When she starts going through all the work she’s neglected while pursuing Dexter, she discovers DVDs of gas station surveillance that were used as part of the Detective Anderson investigation. One of the DVDs is from a gas station near the church, and it shows Deb filling up containers of gas. LaGuerta questions Deb, trying to get her to confess that she was at the church with Dexter, but Deb manages to hold it together (barely) and blow her off.

Dexter finally manages to find Estrada, and he’s got him in the back of his car when Deb calls and asks him to meet her. Deb tells him about LaGuerta’s evidence, which sends him to the Captain’s home. There he finds something even more damning – warrants that would allow LaGuerta to track the GPS on both Deb’s and Dexter’s phones the night of the Travis Marshall killing. This would put both of them at the church at the same time, proving Deb a liar and damning them both for his murder. Yeah, shit’s about to get serious.

Dexter uses Estrada to lure LaGuerta to the shipyards, where he first botched his attempt to kill Estrada. Meanwhile, Deb (who is at Angel’s retirement/New Years’ party) grows increasingly worried about both her brother and LaGuerta not being there, so she calls the station to tell her where LaGuerta’s car is. When she finds out that the captain is going to the shipyards, she quickly follows. Dexter has devised a scheme wherein he will shoot Estrada with LaGuerta’s gun and vice versa, making it look like they killed each other. Deb arrives before he can shoot her, though, and tries to stop him, pointing her gun at her brother. LaGuerta wakes to see a visibly distraught Deb trying to talk Dexter down, and implores her to kill Dexter.

Dexter tells his sister it’s alright, to do what she has to do. Deb finally pulls the trigger – but it’s LaGuerta who takes the bullet, not Dexter.

I thought this was a fantastic end to the season. The entire episode was fraught with tension. From the moment Dexter was arrested, it felt like everything was unraveling too quickly for him to keep up. This drives him to the decision to kill LaGuerta, even though it breaks his code. And in case you think that Deb has joined Dexter in the cold-hearted killer department, she hasn’t. She is extremely distraught over what she’s done, and you know this is something that will be difficult for her to get over.

Dexter has evolved a lot as a character this season – it’s difficult sometimes to remember that he’s basically a sociopath, because he has so many relationships and he’s so damn likable. But that understanding is really called into question now that all of the events have unfolded. He had what appeared to be a genuine, loving relationship with Hannah; his love for Harrison is not at all faked; and he feels genuine regret over the fact that Deb has been pulled into the dark side of his world. He’s also proven that he’ll do anything to protect her, including removing possibly the only woman he’s ever really loved from his life. Maybe it’s not so cut and dry after all.

Deb’s also changed a lot this season, though not necessarily for her brother. She’s also proven that she’ll do anything to protect him: she had the chance to end it all, but in the end she wasn’t able to do it, and chose to eliminate the biggest threat to both of them. She’s been struggling with her emotions all season, and I can’t imagine the emotional mess she’s going to be when the dust finally settles.

Truly great episode – definitely a worthy finale. While we didn’t get a huge cliffhanger ala Season 6, there’s plenty to be said for what we did get. Next season will also be the last, and I am really looking forward to seeing how all of these messed up characters end up.

 

Rating: 4.5/5
Reviewer: Mirjana

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