Dexter: Do You See What I See?

Hannah: "Look at it this way. Maybe it's the universe giving you a Christmas present."

A Dexter Christmas episode! Complete with a visit to Santa, a holiday dinner, various attempted murders, emotional confusion, and a major deception (or two!) that I certainly did not see coming.

Big points for Maria LaGuerta. Setting up Dexter by having his mother's murderer released from prison was exceptionally clever, and her nearly catching Dexter in the act was an OMG moment. She is certain now that Dexter is the Bay Harbor Butcher, and the fat lady has sung. Could Dexter kill Maria LaGuerta, a woman he has known and worked with (and for) for years, a woman who most certainly does not fit Harry's code, even though Dexter has left the code behind? I'd like to think he wouldn't, but all of the set-up we've been getting suggests that Dexter might consider killing Maria to save himself.

But if Maria disappeared, Matthews would certainly put two and two together, wouldn't he?

This season has given us a full circle back to the beginning of the series, as if Dexter's journey is now complete. He has finally left behind Harry's code and Deb has accepted who he really is; Dexter even called himself Dexter Moser, his birth name. The introduction of Hannah as the "perfect" woman for him has suggested that Dexter really could have a wife, a mother for Harrison, and something resembling a normal life without constantly pretending to be something he's not.

The full circle bit also applies to Hannah, as she helpfully pointed out. She and Dexter began their relationship at Santa's Holiday Adventure, and they probably just ended it at Christmas. Their long, complicated after dinner argument was just fascinating. I could swear that at one point she realized that she was in mortal danger from him, and he certainly came to the realization at the dinner table that he could never be sure that Hannah wouldn't poison someone he loved someday. Dexter does not kill indiscriminately, but Hannah has poisoned nearly everyone with whom she had a personal relationship. At some point, it would be Dexter's turn. Or Harrison's. Or... Deb's?

Did Hannah try to kill Deb? Would she do that? The thing is, I believed it when Hannah said that if she'd wanted to kill Deb, Deb would be dead. If Hannah didn't drug Deb, the only logical conclusion is that Deb (probably very carefully, to minimize the damage) did it to herself in order to implicate Hannah. Would Deb risk her own life to get Hannah away from Dexter? It doesn't seem like the Deb we've known for the past seven seasons, but she's gone through a lot of changes recently, hasn't she?

I noticed that Deb seemed fine when Dexter called her on the phone right before the accident. Deb also just planted evidence to implicate Doakes; that drugged water bottle in the car seemed awfully convenient, placed there by Deb so that Dexter would find it. We didn't see Hannah actually poisoning Deb's water bottle, yes, but we've never actually seen Hannah do what she does, so nice set-up there. I think Deb did it. And it worked.

The theme of this episode was whether or not Dexter has a future. He's said often in the past that he didn't believe he would live to grow old, that sooner or later, he was bound to be caught or killed. Now that Dexter can see himself growing old, it feels like that possibility is about to be taken from him, along with Hannah.

Dexter is about to get caught, isn't he?

Bits and pieces:

-- The opening sequence, with a much older Dexter married to Hannah and an adult Harrison reminded me of the last episode of Six Feet Under.

-- Angel is retiring; that Maria/Angel talk felt like The End. Which would make sense if Dexter is about to kill Maria. I sure hope we're not going to lose Angel.

-- The counselor that Hannah killed when she was a teenager was sexually abusing the girls in his charge. That makes me feel more sympathetic toward Hannah, but hey, reporting him would have been a bit less final.

-- Nadia moved to Vegas. I wish Quinn would go with her, because his subplot this season has seemed pointless.

-- Estrada is now a major loose end. I doubt he'll be running to cops about Dexter, though.

-- Dexter kissed Hannah right before the cops came. A Judas kiss on Christmas. Hannah told Dexter, "You should have killed me." I wouldn't underestimate this woman.

Quotes:

Masuka: "Man! The Christmas spirit around here sucks big reindeer dicks."
Loved the elf costume. It was perfect for Masuka.

Deb: "Do you remember the first and last time Dad took us to see Santa? You yanked his beard and I asked for a gun."

Deb: (to Hannah) "It's because I love Dexter that I am willing to do whatever it takes to protect him from you."
Which again makes it seem like Deb just set Hannah up.

Matthews: "This isn't jumping to a conclusion. This conclusion's hanging from your ass."

Matthews: "Maria, it's over. The fat lady isn't singing; her song is done. She's getting dry humped in her dressing room."
Matthews spent much of this episode swearing like Deb. Maybe that's where Deb picked up her potty mouth habit.

Dexter: "If you're good, a red-suited fat man will break into your house and bring you gifts."

Another fascinating episode in an excellent season. Four out of four Christmas kisses,

Billie
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Billie Doux loves good television and spends way too much time writing about it.

10 comments:

celticmarc said...

Whoah ! I thought of 6 feet under too !! And Maria's set up was brilliant. We had (not really) "less" intense moments than the previous weeks, but the intensity was very subtle.

I said earlier on that all the performances were great in a season 1 ep of P of I; I same the same here (and I can say that often for various shows as well). Great TV.

Crap, only one episode to go. I still proclaim this to be an epic season.

Jul said...

I agree with this being an epic season. Also agree that Deb must have poisoned herself. Very sneaky. I'm really not looking forward to watching Dexter find out that his sister manipulated him into betraying his girlfriend, though. It will be painful.
Maria was very sneaky as well. Good for her, bad for Dexter. Can't wait for the finale!

Mani said...

I too believe Debra conned a gullible and love-struck Dexter into believing his girlfriend poisoned her. After all she did say something to the effect that she would do 'anything' to keep him safe from Hannah. I also loved the intricacy of the LaGuerta con, can't wait to see what they have in store for the finale. Looks like a dream/fantasy sequence, but who knows, this time it could be Dexter's worst fears coming true...I can't stand the Quinn or Harrison parts, they are useless and so far simply excuses to give the rest of the cast something to do.

Binkley said...

Hannah told Dexter, "You should have killed me."

Wasn't a cop standing right next to Hannah. Didn't he hear that and wonder what she meant?

As for Deb's accident, I don't think it was Deb. It was Arlene, Hannah's friend attempting to protect her friend the way she had been protected years ago.

Josie Kafka said...

It absolutely didn't occur to me that Deb would do that to herself, but now that you've explained it, it makes sense.

I'm so curious to see what happens next!

Anonymous said...

Very good episode and the characters were full of ambiguity, something I love.
But one question keeps running through my head: will Dexter really kill Laguerta?

Amy Ennis said...

I do believe of course that Deb poisoned herself. I don't think it was to protect Dex. I think it was out of desperation. She really wanted him to run to her side and to come to her rescue. She thought it would push him over the edge and he would kill Hannah like she had already requested.

Anonymous said...

I don't think Deb would have taken the overdose on purpose. She could have died. It would be insane to do that just to get rid of your brother's girlfriend.

Mani said...

Possibly Arlene, but we didn't see the car roll over. She could have sent it over without being in it and somehow done something to her wrist after the fact. Her hospital act with Dex just didn't ring true to me. It's all speculation anyway, Sunday will tell all.

Mani said...

Oh, and how many times did Dexter roll his car and managed to survive it? Hmmm.