Dexter "Do You See What I See?" Review: LaGuerta's Christmas Miracle

By Cory Barker

Dec 10, 2012

Dexter S07E11: “Do You See What I See?”

Dexter has, quite smartly, subverted expectations this season. Instead of falling into its typical, often very plodding rhythms, the show has managed to keep the story moving at a relatively fast clip. Dexter and Deb’s relationship evolved quickly in the first half of the season, and his feelings for Hannah developed similarly rapidly in the second half. Along the way, the Isaak story reached a satisfying, if unfortunately early, conclusion. I like that the writers have let the story progress at a natural speed instead of holding back until the last few episodes. However, moving the story along and wrapping up some threads quickly means that it has to be moving towards something else. That’s where Dexter might be in just a little trouble.

It’s not that the penultimate episode of Season 7 was especially bad. In fact, “Do You See what I See?” presented Dexter with an important choice, one that I think reflects how he both has and has not changed this season. But this episode also over-relied on old Dexter tropes and in many ways, suggested that the conclusion to this season isn’t going to be as compelling or complicated as other portions of it.

Look, I think we all knew that LaGuerta’s 98-year search to find the real Bay Harbor Butcher was going to come to some sort of head. Hopefully, like me, you were also dreading it. Dexter avoiding his dimwitted colleagues is one of the least interesting things this show does, and with LaGuerta being the most dimwitted of them all, I haven’t been looking forward to what developed in “Do You See What I See?” for two months. This episode heavily relied on LaGuerta’s search, resulting in a good six or seven minutes of wasted screen time as Dexter and Deb plotted—unbelievably easily, I might add—to frame Doakes one final time by planting evidence in a hilariously obvious spot.

And while I will admit that I appreciated how this episode built to the “reveal” that LaGuerta actually pushed to get the man who ordered the hit on Dexter’s mother out of jail in hopes of catching Dexter in the act, one (still fairly predictable) beat doesn’t make for a good story. We’ve seen Dexter slither away from his cohorts before and even if this time Deb was directly involved, it’s hard to believe that after an entire season's worth of interesting storytelling, the show might end with the Morgans eluding and/or killing LaGuerta. Although I’m hopeful that this move actually tells us something important about Dexter and Deb’s relationship and shows that they’re clearly wearing to sacrifice anything for one another, this is not the sort of conclusion I was hoping for this season—even if I do hate LaGuerta.*

* Side note: I pretty much despite LaGuerta as a character, but based on some of the truly horrible things Matthews has said to her over the past three episodes, the Dexter's writers must hate her more. Everything that comes out of Matthews’ mouth is hateful, sexist, and misogynistic. That dude—or someone on the writing staff—has some real issues.

The rest of this episode was stronger, though still curious. The weird triangle between Dexter, Deb, and Hannah reached another stress point, with Dexter ultimately deciding to choose his sister’s safety over his newfound and still-growing love for Hannah. The show telegraphed Deb’s car accident with the lingering shots of Deb taking her anti-anxiety medication in recent episodes, but it was only a matter of time before the tension between the two ladies in Dexter’s life forced him to make a substantive choice. This story worked for me, however, because even though Dexter showed us the pill usage, it didn’t actually reveal what happened to Deb, leaving us, like Dexter, to question what really occurred. Furthermore, the aftermath of Deb’s crash unspooled like so many of the season’s great episodes and sequences: with people having calm, honest conversations. Dexter didn’t put a knife to anyone’s throat or make lame threats. His relationships with Deb and Hannah have been so well-cultivated over the season that none of that is necessary; he can be clear and direct with them. I would never have expected this show to be so reliant on people talking about their feelings like rational (well, as rational as murders can be) human beings.

Dexter’s eventual choice, to protect Deb and help put Hannah in jail, was a little surprising. Dexter is always going to protect Deb and though the show has really emphasized his feelings for Hannah, I guess the move only further confirms who Dexter really cares about. Despite everything the Morgans have been through, including Deb’s still-queasy response to Dexter’s essential desires, he picked her over Hannah. I don’t want to tread back into the capital-L Love waters the show has splashed around in, but Dexter’s choice is a powerful, telling one. Literally nothing means more to him than Deb, even his own kid. In a season that’s been all about Dexter stripping away some of his barriers and trying to manage both sides of his life, he still wants Deb more than anything else.

Unfortunately, though Dexter was honest and direct with the ladies, one of them is lying to him. We know that Hannah was in Deb’s apartment the night before the crash, but we also know that Hannah, like she admitted, is really good at poisoning people. If Hannah wanted Deb to die, Deb would be dead. So, if I can prognosticate for a second, I’m willing to bet that Hannah did not, in fact, poison Deb. Instead, I think Deb purposefully put the excess drugs in her water in hopes of framing Hannah. Before you even say it, yes, I know that would mean that Deb stupidly put herself behind the wheel of a car and could have killed herself to prove a point. And I think that’s why it happened: Deb wants to remove Hannah from the equation so badly that she took a really, really stupid risk. That’s who she is, and that’s the kind of thing she does for her brother.

Therefore, the show has built to what is not the most exciting but still hopefully emotionally powerful conclusion. Dexter is going to need Deb’s help to avoid (or dispose of) LaGuerta one final time, but then he also might find that she ruined his possible future. My hope is that this conclusion doesn’t actually involve knives, plastic wrap, and murder rooms. This season has been driven by people talking out their feelings and really embracing honesty. Why stop now?


NOTES


– If you haven’t listened to the most recent Totally Tublar! podcast, you should. I joined Price, Tim, and Jen to talk about a number of things, including Dexter. I also posited a horrible-but-likely theory that Dexter and/or Hannah will kill Deb in the finale, only for Deb to become a ghost that follows him around in the final season. When that happens, remember that I said it first. And I apologize in advance.

– It's nice to know that Dexter actually bought Harrison Christmas gifts, but it was really crappy of him and Deb to let Jamie prepare Harrison for the Santa photo and then basically push her to the side so they could take a “family” picture.

– Why did everyone, including Dexter, suddenly refer to Deb as Deborah in this episode? Did someone play around with CTRL+F in Final Draft?

– Batista is going to retire on the first of the year. He’ll probably host his own retirement party. Because he has a restaurant. But I loved that he said Mike’s death is what put him over the edge, you know, as if they were really close friends or something.

– Quinn is heartbroken because Nadia has moved to Vegas. I thought those crazy kids were going to make it. If this story plays any role in the finale, I’m going to punch a wall.

– Dexter totally wants Harrison to grow up to be a mega-bro. And apparently he doesn’t want Hannah to age, at all.


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  • Addict2TV Dec 18, 2012

    Why is everybody implying Deb risked her life with the pills ?
    Possible: She probably mixed them in the water, took a good drink and drove outside the street BEFORE they had an effect. Minimum risk.

  • Snatzer Dec 14, 2012

    pffff...Dex putting Hannah in jail is really stupid. Come on, who writes up this kind of stuff. Like you really have trouble to come up with multiple story lines... This is not some b-movie where you can come up with easy, straightforward outs. This is Dexter. I can remember Dex killing Trinity and coming home....now that was good writing...Please don't disrespect the series,so give us a good finale. ps. I'm not 100% on Hannah having a perfect track-record on poisening, but it is sort of believable that if she wanted to kill Deb, that she would not have messed up. Knowing that Dex would become her enemy. I did like the build up of the episode, so as individual shows this serie's episodes are very good and the mini storielines like the brotherhood are awesome too. But a series like the one with Trinity where also some serious policework was conducted by Miami Metro was way more cohesive...If it ends up that the cohesiveness of this series was that woman cleaning her old lover's rep and accusing Dex for being the bhb, then I'm seriously literally gonna vomit coming Sunday. Sadly, having criticised much of the writing in this year's episodes, I have a feeling I will.

  • LytaAlexander1 Dec 13, 2012

    I didn't like this character twist both in terms of Dexter and of Deb, they both seemed like douchebags in this episode. Dexter betrayed the one true love of his life without so much as the benefit of a doubt, and Deb forgot about morals and submitted to her jealousy to get rid of Hanna. It was the first time ever since the show started that I disliked them both, although plot-wise this season is ending on a strong note.

  • ludoTV Dec 13, 2012

    Can't believe that Deb would poison herself to frame Hannah. It seems out of character to do something so deceitful to her own brother (to go against the rules in the office to protect the brother is an entirely different thing). It is likely the show will go this way but to me, it is not consistent with who Deb is.

  • andreea03 Dec 13, 2012

    Can Dexter pleaseeee kill LaGuerta already? hated her since the first episode

  • gudendk Dec 13, 2012

    Am i the only one thinking that Deb put the pills in the water herself to make Dexter help her put Hannah behind bars? I really don't think she was stupid enough to poison Deb..

  • Ubercolt Dec 13, 2012

    Yes. You are the only one. No need to read the comments below or the review above. You are the one.

  • shamrat Dec 13, 2012

    Only positive from LaGuerta dying is that we get to see her partly naked. Can't wait!

  • shamrat Dec 17, 2012

    Damn! Not a single bit of flesh.

  • Shikady Dec 13, 2012

    Hanna didn't poison Deb. If you wanted to she wouldn't have put something that makes her drowsy lol. It's just so inefficient and Hanna couldn't have know when Deb would drink that bottle of water and drive, etc. Deb did it to herself.
    Batista wants to retire, Dexter kills LaGuerta, suddenly the Captain seat is open, batista takes the seat and fires Quinn and we don't see Quinn ever again. Win win win.

  • TrueTvWatcher Dec 13, 2012

    Another awesome episode! I love how things are playing out and can't wait for more!

  • JasperVerbon Dec 13, 2012

    I seriously think Hannah will die one way or another "You should have just killed me" she said. On a side note, Laguerta isn't that important anymore, but should Dexter be able to avoid being caught or should she be convinced that he's not the butcher, I see no real reason to kill her off - other than her being a bitch :p

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