Minutes into the Dexter season finale, we got confirmation that Hannah did indeed try to poison Deb. I thought that all along, but there was the possibility that Deb had done it herself. Luckily, there were enough twists and turns in this finale that we didn’t need that mystery.
The title of the episode, “Surprise…” (I’m editing it to keep the blog family-friendly) was a Doakes quote, and the flashbacks to Dexter’s problems with him were very well used in the episode. Dexter was able to disguise himself to pretty much everyone, but never Doakes. Recalling that as Dexter’s illusions crashed down around him made it even more dramatic.
Early in the episode, LaGuerta arrived at Dexter’s apartment and placed him under arrest for the murder of Hector Estrada. But we knew Dexter didn’t end up killing Estrada, making everything so much more interesting. The evidence that LaGuerta was using against Dexter was old, and pointed to a framing. Dexter had outsmarted her, and we weren’t even halfway through the episode! The tension was soaring through the roof.
Dexter had so many balls in the air – with Hannah in prison, how could he be sure that she wouldn’t angrily out her? And Estrada was still out there – if LaGuerta got to him first, Dexter would be toast.
Hannah’s little speech to Deb was fantastic – Yvonne Strahovski really pulled off the perfect attitude for Hannah. Aloof and cunning, she made sure she had the last word with Deb before her friend slipped her the means for what I assumed would be suicide. (Poison, of course.) Hannah was not cut out for life behind bars. I thought she might out Dexter though, and she did not. I guess she really did love him. But Hannah was smarter than killing herself – she just needed to get to the hospital, so she could manage to escape.
LaGuerta wasn’t going to let up. She caught Deb in a lie about being at the church the night they found Travis, and had footage of Deb filling up containers of gasoline. The evidence against them was mounting, and it was only a matter of time before LaGuerta was able to prove that Deb had gotten gas in between visits to the church.
If you saw the trailer for this episode, you knew where everything was leading – to Dexter throwing LaGuerta in his trunk. First he took out Estrada – not because it was within his code, but for survival. “Normal reasons”. And he was about to kill again, and it wouldn’t even come close to fitting the code.
Dexter was about to kill LaGuerta when Deb arrived on the scene, creating the perfect climax. LaGuerta groggily woke up from Dexter’s drug, and tried to convince Deb to shoot her brother. She urged Deb and told her “This is not who you are”, and Deb had to make a choice. Dexter even gave her permission, he dropped his knife and told Deb “It’s OK. Do what you’ve got to do.” And Deb chose who she is. She shot LaGuerta.
Damn. This season has had a couple of issues, but the evolution of Deb after finding out her brother’s secret has been epic. This was the perfect culmination for that storyline. Deborah Morgan killed an innocent woman in cold blood, and she will never be the same. What a way to end the season.