Dexter Recap: “Surprise, Motherf**ker!”

By December 17, 2012

If you have yet to see last night’s earth shattering season finale, turn back now and read no further.

With LaGuerta closing in on them, Deb and Dexter both have to make sacrifices, but at what cost?

Dexter visits Hannah in prison. She admits to poisoning Deb, but claims she only did it so they could stay together. Dexter is heartbroken – she is, after all, the only person who ever understood him – but their love story’s over. He can never trust her, and now she knows she can never trust him. In a chilling moment, she admits she always knew one of them would end up dead or in jail… but she always thought it would be him.

Unable to accept her fate, Hannah calls Arlene, begging for her help. She tells Arlene that she can’t live in prison.

In the morning, LaGuerta shows up at Dexter’s apartment and places him under arrest for the murder of Hector Estrada. She tells Batista that she has proof that Dexter is the Bay Harbor Butcher. Deb demands his handcuffs be removed, but LaGuerta refuses.

Dexter denies being the Bay Harbor Butcher. LaGuerta accuses Dexter of carrying trash bags to his boat…with Hector Estrada cut into pieces inside. The evidence is compelling: one of the bags contained Estrada’s bloody shirt. LaGuerta thinks that she has Dexter, but it turns out she’s been set up. Masuka tells them that the shirt was from Estrada’s original arrest and is missing from evidence.

Though Deb continues to cover for Dexter, she’s less than thrilled with his tactics. “Would you prefer my normal method of conflict resolution?” he asks.

With LaGuerta’s career laying in ruins, Dexter has one loose end to tie up. It’s time to take care of Estrada once and for all. Dexter follows the Estrada’s wife to a nearby park, where he pays some children to throw a ball at his target. Roaring with anger, Estrada chases after them…stepping right into Dexter’s syringe.

LaGuerta isn’t quite ready to give up yet. Against everyone’s advice, she refuses to apologize, and even meets with her former rival Captain Matthews, begging him for his help.

Hannah arrives at the courthouse for her hearing and has a run-in with Deb. She asks Deb how she can justify arresting her, but not her brother, calling her a hypocrite. When Hannah pleads not guilty, Arlene stands up, crying, and gives Hannah a hug, surreptitiously slipping her a pill. Covering her mouth as though aggrieved, Hannah secretly swallows it as she leaves the courtroom. On the trip back to prison, Hannah has a seizure and is taken to the hospital. When another patient arrives, distracting the doctor, Hannah escapes, and leaves a goodbye plant on Dexter’s doorstep.

LaGuerta calls Deb into her office. She tells her that she let her feelings for Doakes interfere with her judgement. She says that she’s trying to leave her other cases in order and brings up Travis Marshall’s death. Amongst Mike Anderson’s personal effects was a tape of security footage from the gas stations near the church. Even though Deb vehemently claimed she never set foot in the church before it burned that night, there’s footage of her putting gas in a container at a nearby gas station twenty-two minutes before the fire department was called. Obviously shaken, Deb changes her story and tells LaGuerta that she had brought Dexter a sandwich that night, but didn’t think it was relevant. LaGuerta tells Deb that she thinks she’s not the only one who made a mistake trying to protect the person she loves.

When Deb tells Dexter about this latest debacle, even he is concerned. He goes to LaGuerta’s house, where he finds warrants that would allow her to track the GPS signals in Deb and Dexter’s phones the night of the murder. Harry tells him to run, but he isn’t prepared to give up the life he’s built for himself. At some point, the mask he wore seeped inside and became his true face. Echoing Hannah’s philosophy, he decides it’s time to chuck the code out the window and kill LaGuerta.

As the episode progresses, Dexter flashes back to his early encounters with Doakes. He realizes he let his guard down, allowing Doakes a glimpse of his true self. Now, it seems, Doakes’ suspicions are coming back to haunt him.

Dexter forces Estrada to call LaGuerta, even as he lies on Dexter’s kill table. He apologizes to Dexter for killing his mother, telling him that she was a snitch and that it was her or him. Dexter tries to convince himself that killing LaGuerta is the only way to protect himself and Deb. Has Dexter finally become the man lying on his kill table? The man who killed his mother and started it all?

Batista’s party is in full swing, but LaGuerta is nowhere in sight. As Jamie flirts with Quinn, Deb frantically searches for Dexter. She calls dispatch, only to find out that LaGuerta is heading towards the shipping yard. She leaves Dexter a message, begging him not to do whatever it is he’s planning to. LaGuerta arrives at the shipping yard, enters the container, and finds Estrada’s body. Dexter comes up behind her and gives her half a dose of M-99. He tells his father his plan: use her gun to shoot Estrada, covering up the knife wound, and then kill LaGuerta with Estrada’s gun.

Just as he’s about to kill LaGuerta, Deb enters the container. She pleads for him to stop, and he begs her to leave. LaGuerta wakes up and tells Deb that she’s a good person, but she needs to take her brother down. Deb sobs as Dexter puts down his knife, telling her: “Do what you’ve got to do.” His words echo Hannah’s the night he set her free, and Dexter stands with arms outstretched, seemingly at peace with what’s about to happen. Deb fires her gun, but, much to his surprise, he’s still standing. Destroyed, Deb runs to embrace LaGuerta’s bloody corpse…her first victim. The code remains intact.