TV Recap: 'Dexter' Episode 712 - 'Surprise Motherf*cker!'



dexter episode 712Dexter Episode 712
“Surprise Motherfucker!”
Written By: Scott Buck and Tim Schlattmann
Directed By: Steve Shill
Original Airdate: 16 December 2012

In This Episode...

Dexter visits Hannah is prison. She admits flat-out that she poisoned Deb because Deb was “trying to keep them apart.” That’s good - it would have been too out of character for Deb to set up Hannah, but seriously - how did she not notice all the drugs in her water? Anyway, Hannah mimics a child when she says that Dexter was supposed to choose Hannah, not Deb. Dexter misses her, but believes that the only way to keep Deb safe is with Hannah in prison. They could never trust each other; “We both knew it would come to this: one of us dead or behind bars.” Hannah always thought it would be Dexter. She kisses him, bites his lip open in the process, and says goodbye. Hannah’s story doesn’t end there. She calls Arlene, begging for her help. At arraignment (after a quiet confrontation with Deb) Hannah pleads not guilty, and she is remanded without bail. Arlene steals a quick, teary hug, when she sneaks Hannah something tiny. Hannah shoves it in her mouth, disguised as weeping. In the transport van, Hannah goes into seizures - Arlene slipped her poison. The van is re-routed to the hospital, where Hannah is admitted. She is unconscious, stabilized and left alone - zip tied - while the nurses attend to other patients. But Hannah was faking the unconsciousness; as soon as she is left alone, her fingers twitch. She manages to break free. We see Hannah once more - leaving an orchid at Dexter’s front door. Might as well have been the kiss of death.

After the prison, Dexter goes home to play with the kid.  Harrison misses Hannah. Jamie and Dexter to their best to smooth it over, but there is another complication: Laguerta shows up at the door with two uniforms and an arrest warrant. She arrests Dexter for the murder of Hector Estrada (ironically, Dexter’s first arrest is for someone he didn’t kill.) Everyone is shocked when Laguerta brings Dexter into the station, in handcuffs. She interrogates, with Batista in the room and Deb behind the glass. Dexter keeps his cool, sticking with the story that he went night fishing before going home to his son. Laguerta produces photos of him carrying plastic bas; he says they contained ice and garbage. She begins to grow agitated, which doesn’t help her any. Then Masuka comes in. He ran the blood evidence again. The bloody shirt did belong to Estrada, but it was from his original arrest in the 1970s - he got into a scrape with his arresting officer. The ID they recovered had Laguerta’s print on it, and both were missing from the evidence locker. Dexter is immediately released, and Laguerta starts ranting. Everyone suspected she was setting up Dexter; now they have “proof.”  Batista finds out Laguerta backed Estrada for parole, and determines she has lost her mind.

Dexter still has a loose end to tie up: Hector Estrada. He follows his estranged wife, Florencia, who meets Estrada in the park, delivering him a gun, among other things. As Estrada leaves the park, Dexter sedates him and stuffs him in the trunk. Deb calls with something urgent; Dexter reluctantly agrees to meet her.

You see, Laguerta had called Debra into her office. Tom had come by to ream her a new one and suggest she gets to some of the work she has been avoiding in favor of harassing Dexter. Much of that work is from Mike Anderson. Before he died, Mike ordered a DVD of security footage around the area of the church. After grilling Deb about the timeline the night of the church fire - and Deb asserting she wasn’t at the church - Laguerta plays the video of Deb filling a gas can. Deb is a terrible liar (which is absurd, because there is no video proof that Deb was at the church - she was two blocks away, doing something perfectly legal) and stammers on. Laguerta knows she is in on Dexter’s secret.

So Deb meets with Dexter, and for the first time, Dexter is starting to get worried. He promises Deb he will take care of it, but he sounds nervous. Dexter sneaks into Laguerta’s house and has a look around. He discovers a search warrant, signed by a judge, that would give her access to Debra and Dexter’s cell phones during the night of the church fire. Once that warrant is executed, it’s all over. Dexter realizes he has to kill Laguerta.

Laguerta, on her way to Batista’s New Year’s Eve/retirement party, gets a call from Estrada. She is shocked to hear he is alive. Estrada needs her help, and tells her to come to the same shipping container as last week. Laguerta does not hesitate. Dexter was forcing Estrada to make that phone call. He has a plan. He stabs Estrada (though I think he planned to kill Laguerta first) then when Laguerta gets there, he sedates her with a half dose (so it won’t be detectable in her system.) Dexter will shoot her with Estrada’s gun, then shoot Estrada with Laguerta’s gun where Dexter stabbed him, obliterating evidence that he was stabbed and making it look like they shot each other. Deb is at the party, but gets nervous when she sees that neither Laguerta nor her brother are there. Dispatch says Laguerta was headed to the shipyard. Deb races to the cargo container and finds Dexter, in his full kill suit, with Estrada dead on the table (and already shot) and Laguerta in a corner, unconscious but still alive. Deb pulls her gun, and begs Dexter not to kill Laguerta, while Dexter begs Deb to leave. Laguerta comes to, and chimes in, telling Deb to shoot her brother. It is an impossible situation, and Deb is crying. Dexter drops his knife and unselfishly offers himself to her. “This isn’t who you are. It’s okay. Do what you have to do.” Deb shoots - but she shoots Laguerta. Deb rushes to her, sobbing, and Dexter sits beside her, in complete shock. In a fog, the pair head back to the party, with Dexter, in voice over, pondering, “Who is Deb now? Who am I? Is this a new beginning... or the beginning of the end?”

Dig It or Bury It?

I feel.... oddly quiet at the end of this episode. Not peaceful, yet, oddly, at peace. I appreciate the season coming full circle, and let’s face it: Deb killing in cold blood was inevitable. We had been creeping towards it all season long. It felt like a very natural place for the characters to end up. Plus, bonus, maybe we will get another season with Hannah.

Flashback to the Future

Harry has never been so sage. When Dexter is snooping through Laguerta’s house, Harry suggests that now is the time to run. That has always been the plan. He can take Debra and Harrison and they can just leave. Dexter knows that Deb won’t want to run, and he admits that he doesn’t want to run, either. Between Rita and Harrison and Deb and Hannah, “The fake life we built as a cover for my kills became real.” Dexter sees his only option as killing Laguerta, but this panics Harry. “No. You’ve never done a kill like this. She doesn’t even begin to meet the code.” Dexter seems pretty sure that this is the only choice, and Harry is sad. “How did we end up here?”

Interestingly, there are a lot of flashbacks involving Doakes. These seemed to be filler; a demonstration of how Dexter’s coverup life made Doakes suspicious. It seemed mainly to benefit viewers who didn’t watch season two.


I feel like this hiatus will be a lot more tolerable than the last one.