'Dexter' Finale Recap: Everyone Has an Ace Up Their Sleeves
'Dexter' Finale Recap: Everyone Has an Ace Up Their Sleeves
Esther Gim
Esther Gim
Contributing Writer, BuddyTV
The season 7 finale of Dexter, titled "Surprise, Mother******!" isn't just the phrase uttered by Doakes in a few flashbacks -- which, by the way, seems out of place, so if you have a reasoning for its purpose, please let me know -- but at the end, it feels more like the show tells us as viewers, surprise! Because I sure didn't see that coming.

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Don't Set Up a Set-Upper

Last we left Dexter and LaGuerta, he had just realized she was setting him up to kill Hector Estrada. So he ran -- as did Hector. So when LaGuerta shows up to lead Dexter away in handcuffs for Hector's murder, I'm confused. 

Isn't Hector still on the run? Did Dexter find him and have his way with him? How did LaGuerta get those photos of Dexter dumping small trash bags away near the port? What does she mean Hector's shirt and wallet were in there? IS DEXTER MORGAN GOING TO JAIL?

Leave it to Dexter to have an ace or two up his sleeve. That shirt? It's Hector's, but from when he was first arrested decades ago. And the wallet? ... It had LaGuerta's fingerprint on it, leaving Dexter a free man and everyone to believe that LaGuerta was setting him up.

Hannah's Escape

Meanwhile, Hannah's all pale, not wearing lipstick and looking sad in jail. And she admits to poisoning Deb and tells Dexter he was supposed to choose her, not his sister. Even though Hannah pleads with Dexter to move to Argentina where they won't be found (where her and Wayne Randall wanted to have a farm) they both know that they can't trust each other, which means they can never be together.

But Hannah also has an ace up her sleeve, in the form of old cellmate Arlene. As she's being taken away after her trial, she and Arlene embrace, and a pill is exchanged. Hannah lands in the hospital after the pill leads to a seizure -- but surprise, surprise, she manages to escape. I saw that coming a mile away.

And she then leaves a plant in front of Dexter's door. Is it just a sign from her or is it really poison? Is Hannah gone for good or will she pop up at some inopportune time? I'm hoping that the plant she leaves for Dexter is her hello and goodbye. 

There's other important things going on.


Like LaGuerta, who gets her own ace delivered in the form of Mike Anderson's personal items, which include footage from the security tapes from around the church where Travis Marshall was killed. 

Just when you think LaGuerta might lose her job for framing Dexter, she gets video of Deb getting gas from the station near the church. Oh, crap. It's only a matter of time before she's able to dig up evidence linking Dexter -- and Deb -- to the crime.

Dexter promises to take care of it. He weighs getting LaGuerta on her table, especially when he finds warrants in her home signed by the judge to track his and Deb's phones from the night of Travis' death. Well, that leaves Dexter no choice. After tracking Hector down, thanks to his ex-wife, Dexter forces him to call LaGuerta to tell her he's where he last looked for her.

Dexter's grand plan is to make Hector and LaGuerta's deaths look like they killed each other. And it all sounds like a complicated, bloody mess. Especially when Deb realizes both Deb and LaGuerta are not at Batista's retirement party.

So off she goes in her party dress and heels after tracking down where LaGuerta's car was headed.

One Fatal Shot

After hearing a shot, Deb walks in to see Dexter in his killer apron and LaGuerta slumped against the wall. She draws her gun at her brother ... this again? I can practically hear her screaming in her head.

There's so much tension -- of Dexter getting a hold of a knife, LaGuerta waking up and encouraging her to shoot him because she's not like him, Dexter dropping the knife and telling her to do it...

...and Deb shooting LaGuerta!

You cannot tell me you saw that coming, even in that scene with her gun drawn. Deb's reaction is priceless as she runs over to the captain she shot, screaming and crying and holding her. 

(If you stayed after the credits, you see one of the producers say the scene was supposed to end with just LaGuerta being shot -- and Deb's emotional reaction was not at all written into the scene. The scene becomes that much more powerful after learning that.)

But then we see Deb and Dexter walking through a crowd of people near the waters celebrating the new year. It's safe to assume they cleaned up and dumped the bodies, right?

Now we see where the end of the series is headed, how Deb will be changed and how her relationship with Dexter will as well. Whew. What an episode!

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(Image courtesy of Showtime)