Dexter's Season 7 Finale: The Normal Reasons

Dexter S07E12: “Surprise, Motherfucker!”

Predictability, despite lots of evidence to the contrary, can be good. As viewers, we want to be surprised and bamboozled by what happens on television, especially during season finales, but when a good story builds to a likely and relatively believable conclusion, it can be just as satisfying as a MAJOR TWIST.

Last week, I postulated about a version of the Dexter Season 7 finale that involved sizable reveals about Deb poisoning herself to set Hannah up and what would happen to the two women in Dexter’s life once he discovered that powerful truth. If the show’s writers would have crafted that story, I’m willing to bet that the finale would have been more overtly exciting. However, the more I think about the one we did receive, I’m satisfied with the direction it took—because it’s the direction the show absolutely had to take. While “Surprise, Motherfucker!” had its problems, it also delivered the fitting end to the season Dexter needed, even if it was a conclusion we saw coming weeks ago.

For a season of Dexter that often engaged in a compelling meta-deconstruction of so many of the show’s big tropes, plot tricks, and rhythms, it is no surprise that the finale chose to dial back the shocking moments and instead dance with what brought it here in 2012: conversations, honesty, and a whole lot of Deb’s tears.

Weirdly, a good portion of the episode lacked the urgency that has defined so much of the season, but it ended up working out for the better. The first five minutes wrote Hannah out of importance with a surprisingly brief conversation between her and Dexter. Despite everything that's happened between the two of them, there’s still an attraction, and if their confused feelings are to be believed, there's love as well. Hannah did, in fact, poison Deb for the obvious reasons, which undercuts my big theory from last week, but ultimately better serves the characters. The conversation between Hannah and Dexter not only set up stories for next season—because Hannah later broke out of police custody and is therefore totally coming back in the final run—it also set up Dexter’s headspace for the rest of the episode.

All season long, Dexter has considered and then reconsidered a lot of things in his life. Now, that’s not particularly novel because the show has gone in that direction before, but for the first time in a while, it felt like Dexter’s voiceover monologues about family, identity, and whatever else had a real purpose for the character (and not just that episode’s plot). Dexter has finally started to embrace the fact that he can, at least in this show’s warped universe, have both parts of his life. He can fulfill his urges and kill whoever he thinks he needs to (and now he can hopefully do so independently, without the silliness of the Dark Passenger), but he can also try to keep his small family unit intact.

His feelings for Hannah are real, albeit conflicted and troubling for any normal, non-TV character, and we know that he cares about Deb and Harrison even more. Dexter’s altered relationship with Deb and his new one with Hannah showed him that he doesn’t have to hide who he is. For all its blood, violence, and terrible police work, Dexter is, at its core, a show about family. So much of what Dexter is inside is based on his familial experiences and relationships. While I’ve been disappointed with the kind of lip service the show has paid to “family” as a concept in the past, that hasn't been the case this season.

Thus, when LaGuerta arrested Dexter at his home, brought him into the station to embarrass him in front of all his co-workers, clamped down hard in the interrogation room, and eventually revealed to Deb some hidden information provided by dead cop Mike Anderson*, the stakes were very high and very real. Dexter has been able to weasel his way out of ridiculous situations a number of times, but here, Deb was in trouble too and Dexter actually considered his young son as well. A season’s worth of pretty solid storytelling helped make something involving LaGuerta bearable and even fairly interesting.

*I’m still conflicted over the random appearance of the gas station camera evidence. It was a nice way to further reinforce that LaGuerta is a credible threat to the Morgans and it was a fine callback to the season premiere, but it also came completely out of nowhere, and the way it had to be explained with a mouthful of exposition rubbed me the wrong way. It served its purpose, however, even if it felt a bit hackneyed.

What of course made the story work even better is what made much of this season great throughout: Deb. As I said, we’ve seen Dexter in these kinds of situations before. He knows what he has to do, even if it means throwing out the code and killing for “normal reasons.” But for Deb, the danger of being caught is still new and traumatic. She could barely keep it together when LaGuerta fired up the DVD of the security camera footage and was more or less a mess from there onward. Even though she begged Dexter not to take care of LaGuerta in his typical fashion, there was a sense that Deb had no idea what to do. She thinks she knows what is right and what is wrong, but she also knows that she loves and adores her brother. This has been the primary conflict of the entire season, and it’s fitting that it played a major role here.

With Dexter’s soul searching and Deb’s hysteria, the episode, while light on massive twists and turns, really serviced its two main characters in the proper fashion. And as a result, once Deb discovered Dexter’s kind of brilliant, kind of stupid plan to kill Estrada and LaGuerta but make it look like they killed one another—so he was going to shoot a bullet through the stab incision and that was just going to completely remove any evidence of the first wound? Okay, sure, show—both characters were almost primed to make drastic choices.

After a season of covering for Dexter by lying about procedure and tinkering with evidence, Deb was forced to consider what it truly means to be involved with this version of her brother. It’s not just killing people who probably deserve it. It’s not just covering up tons and tons of crimes and lying to friends and co-workers. It’s not just the morally gray. And after a season of thinking about what it means to be a killer and a family man, Dexter recognized that maybe this has gone too far for far too long. Harrison doesn’t deserve this and Deb certainly doesn’t. I think maybe he realized, in that moment, that he should never have let Deb see the “real him” after all. Dexter gave himself up, willing to die to save Deb’s sanity (and I really believe he was doing so and not just posturing to convince Deb to take out LaGuerta). But as we know, the Morgan siblings will always, always, always protect one another, no matter the cost. They just keep pushing the boundaries of family.

Were the episode and that final sequence pretty predictable? Of course. We knew that as soon as Deb showed up at the shipping container that she was going to have to kill LaGuerta. But the sequence worked so well precisely because we knew that Deb was going to have to make a choice. She had to know what it was really like to be Dexter (and almost to an even more disturbing degree). For the true impact of Dexter’s choices to be felt, he had to, inadvertently or not, pull Deb so far into his bloody, murderous lifestyle that she would have to make unbelievably tough calls like this one.

It was a predictable move, but a powerful one. A season full of dramatic, honest Dexter-and-Deb interactions ended with Deb first screaming and sobbing, but ultimately in complete shock. Who knows what’s going to happen to her in the future. But all she could do was silently grab Dexter’s arm. At this point, it’s all she has, whether or not it’s the right or healthy thing for her.

What a nice capper to a darn good season of television. Dexter always has its ups and downs, but as long as Dexter and Deb’s relationship is treated with respect and the awful stuff keeps getting heaped upon them, the show works. I don’t want to make any grand proclamations about this being Dexter’s best season, but I will say that it is certainly my favorite. Jennifer Carpenter and Michael C. Hall were so good here, and they’ve been so good all season long. The way in which they portray this deep, but mutated, bond between two people is really something to be admired. And they manage to make the big scenes like the one in the container, with all the crying and yelling, so great, but they do the super quiet ones—like the final walk through the party—even better. For the first time in a few years, Hall will deserve his Emmy nomination and dammit, Jennifer Carpenter deserves a first nomination herself.

It’s nice to have the good version of Dexter back. Let’s hope it’s here to stay in the final season. Until then.



NOTES


– Thanks for reading and commenting this fall, folks. I’ve really enjoyed your insightful thoughts and feedback; you made this cool gig even cooler.

– The Doakes flashbacks were... interesting. I was surprised at how prevalent they were in the episode; while they had a thematic purpose, there was probably one too many.

– I don’t want to make this sound like a personal attack because you folks already know how I feel about LaGuerta as a character, but Lauren Vélez’s performance as REALLY WORKED UP LaGuerta was not particularly good. She oversold every scene she was in, particularly the interrogation and final sequences. I’d love to say I’m disappointed to see the character or the actor go, but I’m not a liar.

– Quinn and Jamie: Oh my god, someone please make it stop. Her rando potty mouth made me really uncomfortable.

– Batista is really retiring. No seriously. It’s going to be different, though. The good news is that he apparently dealt with those pesky health violations.

– If you’ve been able to stop picturing Masuka as the New Year’s Baby, you’re a better person than I. Someone Photoshop that for me, please.

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Deb killing LaGuerta was totally out of character, it would have made a lot more sense for Deb to arrest Dexter. The idea that Deb had to shoot either Dexter or LaGuerta was a false choice, especially once Dexter backed down. This season has been better than season six, but not because of the writing, it's because they are featuring Deb a lot more and Jennifer Carpenter's acting is able to make up for the sloppy writing.
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are you guys insane? How good the season was is another discussion; it was certainly better then the previous one, but where they took the characters? Dexter not killing a murderer because she's hot, but having no problem killing her father only because he's morally corrupted? That makes him like any other serial killer. Killing out of convenience, isn't that what they all do? Without the code he's not a hero, not someone that should be presented as a protagonist on TV. (As Hannah says. Why does she go to jail and he gets to be free?) and what they did with Deb, just to have an impact in the end? Getting her to kill an innocent person and a cop? what kind of a message is that? Even Dexter agreeing to kill her, should never ever be considered. Didn't he kill someone because he tried to kill her once?

This was good, entertaining. But very, very wrong, and an insult to characters I once came to love.
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Episode 1:The final season should explore how worst his dark passenger have gotten, where it all started with a harlequin-figure back at where deb and dex are cleaning the evidence of LaGuerta. As they were following Dex’s plan which was to make it look like a estrada and laguerta shot each other, Deb suddenly see the Harlequin (all hunch back witha heavy preverting and disgusting breathing) standing at the opening of the container and sickly said, “Me..saw You.” The harlequin flees and dexter persue him, but soon the harlequin appears nowhere in sight. Startled and aghast, Deb and Dex hears a container crane working, lefting the one where Estrada, LaGuerta, Deb’s Gun, Dex’s Knife…etc basically all the evidence that trace back to them and placing some place else. They see it was the Harlequin operating it, and now lifting a new container, the harlequin rapidly with acrobatic abilities drop himself atop of the container and pry open the doors which pours out masses of decaying, odious liquifying grease of past corpses on Deb, Dex, and LaGuerta’s cars while he queerly dance on top laughing “You’ll Never Find Them Before They Will!!!!!!!” (and by They, he means every police department in Miami) Then alarms sounds off, Deb and Dexter run into their own cars and flee. They go to Deb’s house and wash off their cars, she then breaks down as the grease of the bodies writhe off, feeling fear, regret, and guilt. Dexter is furious. with questions he ponders on “who was the harlequin? what game was he playing?” He know he has to go back and find the container or else it’s over, but it gets worse. Miami Metro were notify with the distrubence back at the Port where LaGuerta’s car is dicovered by a worker whom witness what happen, and also informs them that a container was missing, or misplace somewhere. Also, there were calls about two speeding cars cover with the same muck that’s on Laguerta’s (but they can’t distinctly identify the tag numbers or driver’s) Dexter goes back and is pulled over by police, due to the headlights, as he gets out he discover that a nocitable amout of muck was on the tires, so Dexter assaults the officer for a distraction and is sent to Sheriff’s department where he is held up. After an hour, dexter hears slaughter in the distance of his cell, shrieking and groaning…then a fire-alarm sounds as water sparkle down from the ceilings, at the end of the row of his cell, there the Harlequin stood with Estrada and LaGuerta’s corpses draged down the hall. Dexter sees how tall he was (nearly 8 feet). The Harlequin open Dex’s cell and now blocks the opening, standing in the way. “Who are you?” dexter said. “The one of whom he ask he is…” the harlequin says and Dexter noctice the Harlequin is no one, just a disrage, psychopathic sadist who loves mind-games they just cross each other’s paths at the wrong time and place. “You think you know the art of tribulation…..diseased by the living darken parasite compressing the sphygmic of the heart, clenching unto the oppressed brain affirming to the silver knife. You think you know games…is that why you attired your very being into this Mask: The Harlequin. The gallantry and games being bravely untaken by one who dosen’t even know what he’s bargaining for. You see, I am the master of the Gallantry and Games, and I will get you. You’ll be my sole pround posession as I can look back at today and see how the Man with no Mask hunts by night to Mask of what I’ve done to a Man with a Mask who hunts freely by day to Unmask what you’ve done….” here Dexter pause as he realized “or what I’ve Done.” ( As he see LaGuerta and The man he wanted all his life to take out and to see how it affected Deb, and how it could harm Harrison) “I will expose you someday, I will get someday, you hear me. I will get you on my table. You want a Game. You got one.” Dexter finished, the one on one battle. “I look forward to our Game” the Harlequin replied with his deep, disjusting tone. and walks away. (This might be Dexter’s worse decision, letting him go for a game he wants) As Dexter walks through the building, he sees the carnage the Harlequin done, every police is dead and there are countless pictures of Dexter’s past kills and association with them, evidences of him, every tv in the building plays rewinding tapes of Dexter commiting the murders. He realized his whole life was being recorded and watched by the Harlequin.

That’s how it should go. Well, just an opinon, if the writer’s of Dexter got something better than their usual CW-soap opera gimmick crap. Bring it!
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I think that Angel will be pulled back to the force to replace LaGuerta. I agree about Jamie. But I think that D & D are always amazing. They certainly give an interesting take on Bonnie & Clyde!
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A great season ending in a good episode. For me, this season was "only" the second best, after S05. I hope season 8 will be abel to continue on this level of performance.

To me, the theme of this season wasn't 'family' but 'love' in general, what it does to us, our descisionmaking. How it can completly change who we are. And how its loss can also affect us in the same areas. Strange theme for a show like Dexter, but then Dexter is a strange show :)

I have to agree, some subplots were quiet boring, like Quinn's. Well, I quess they had to give him something to do. Even if his actions fit the theme..
Viktor on the other hand was great.

Well, I'm really looking forward to season 8.
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I think Vélez was so bad on purpose. LaGuerta rarely interrogates and she was nervous and just bad at it. I'm glad the character is gone but she actually made things more interesting. Quinn, on the other hand, was once again awful and pointless. The only purpose he served was to give Victor more screen time and that actor & his character's story was so great!
I will miss Hannah, it was nice to see Dexter with her. But Deb was right cuz he could never trust her. What if burned the toast one morning?
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I had slightly considered the idea of Deb poisoning herself, that is, until I saw her car! No way could she have been in such a car wreck deliberately like that. She was pretty hurt too.

And, lucky for me, I didn't see the ending going that way at all.
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Dexter should have killed Laguerta, not Deb. It is one thing to love someone so much you're willing to cover up murder...but to actually pull the trigger?? That's way out of character. Even after all she went through this season. I think that the only way they can save the show, for me, is if Deb kill Dexter is the series finale. I was actually enjoying this season, but i think it went to far and know I'm not sure I'm going to enjoy where it's heading.
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I think Dex was ready to be killed by Deb than have to kill against his code with her waving a gun at him.
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I don't think it was way out of character for Deb. Throughout this entire season we've seen her compromise who she is and what she believes for Dexter, because she loves him so much. This was a progression of where she was headed, in my opinion. She didn't want to lose Dexter because he was the one person who ever really made her whole. If she lost him, she may have lost everything. At least from her point of view.
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just a quick note....every show is at it's core about family....no big discovery there
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Think I might have figured out Season 8. I Posted an earlier version of this on another site, but I had more thoughts and I’m curious what people think (couple spoilers):

When Debra killed LaGuerta it took care of Dexter and the evidence by letting him do the dumping without actually breaking his code. It simultaneously slowly drives Debra to her breaking point, and eventually hardens her, in season 8. All the cops will think that LaGuerta had run away or killed herself, except for Doakes, who is still alive (by getting away from most of the cabin explosion in the water), and a few others who know the truth. Matthews, LaGuerta, Doakes, and Battista, were all in on what Dexter was doing. They agreed to put Doakes in a quiet place to hide him from the rest of the force and not tip off Dexter that he was still alive. Originally, it was just Harry who would have slowly confided in Matthews about what was going on, possibly for advice, but more so for an unofficial sanction of his services. Doakes eventually uncovered it on his own, brought it to LaGuerta’s attention, who confided in Battista when they were lovers, who tells LaGuerta to bring it to Matthews’ attention, and then Matthews, who already knows, convinces everyone to come to an agreement that it’s dangerous, but for the greater good, because he kills killers. Afterward, they allowed it to happen, kept an eye on him, and selected his kills by putting him on cases to give him ideas. LaGuerta lost her nerve after Dexter started seeing Hannah McKay, more people started dying, the risk of more innocent deaths went up, and she decided to expose him. Now she’s being set up after he got caught up in her investigation and arrested. Matthews, Doakes, and Battista all know this and are allowing it to avoid the fire. They kept on playing her just enough that she hoped that she could trust them after she broke from the group. Dexter is going to figure out they’re orchestrating his kills in the end and be perfectly happy about it, although vigilant about double-crosses like Maria’s. Matthews will recognize this, but not really care due to loyalty to Harry, and his past of forming Dexter’s plans behind the scenes. They will both see it as a symbiotic relationship. Dexter takes care of Matthews’ messes and his own needs while neither of them have to say a word about it. Battista will just start to fall by the wayside in the end because of Maria’s disappearance/death. He’ll prefer to not dig into it and focus on his restaurant so he can fade away in peace, and hopefully avoid any fallout. The remainder of the group would think about killing him after no control would be left on the force to watch him except Deb, who is definitely a changed woman by this point, but decide that he is good enough to stay okay, both with the cops and within his code, on his own. Dexter will start to figure out their plan with some evidence he finds at LaGuerta’s house they didn’t show us at the end of season 7. Most of the season will go to uncovering their plan and how everyone’s situation develops from LaGuerta’s fall. Doakes will feel guilty about LaGuerta and try to throw a monkey wrench in it after some thinking. Just by showing up alive, he’ll make waves in the police department that’ll convince everyone of their actual plan with Dexter. What Doakes doesn't know is that since Deb shot LaGuerta, Estrada’s hand won’t have any gunshot residue on it as Vince will realize. He'll think that Dexter was killing Estrada, LaGuerta walked in on him, Dexter doesn’t have a gun, but Deb does, Deb fired on LaGuerta to cover for her brother because she was in on the Estrada thing. After thinking about it he’ll conveniently leave out some questionable, but not directly linkable without tests, evidence a bit to make them come out okay. Dexter will end up using Doakes’ vendetta against him to make him look “insane” like LaGuerta, and that they were both doing this “crazy plan to get Dexter” for years. Matthews will end up corroborating the plan, but he’ll have written documents saying the investigation went nowhere and that Maria and Doakes kept going with it anyway in a witch hunt. Dexter will set up his story even better by using the info that LaGuerta was behind Estrada’s release, and say that she was going to pay him to kill Dexter. The deal went bad and they killed eachother. Doakes will take the fall as an accomplice and the arson investigation will go nowhere because of that craziness. Hannah McKay will run to Argentina, and probably won’t go after Deb or Dexter again because the entire city will be looking for her and she’ll be trying to start a new life. Dexter, Deb, and Harrison will keep going with some question marks about the long-term, and the series will probably end on a barbecue scene, in that fake-happy way, with Dexter talking about the future.
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hahahahahahaha....sorry but you are giving Miami Metro waaaaaaaay too much credit and brain power. Don't worry I read it from top to bottom,but even as you wrote,questions should come into your mind of what you are writing. If by any chance in any universe,season 8 would be what you wrote,I would quit watching Dexter 5min into first episode of season 8.
Who in their right mind would wanna "help" serial killer keep on killing(guilty or civilians),giving him ideas,letting him walk around and while they are doing this,they aren't gathering any evidence on him. Yeah like you said,they are letting him kill guilty ones(killers,etc.),but why don't they collect evidence on him,so that when he kills innocents or civilians and by your theory,too many of them and they wanna "nail" him. Why would all 3 let LaGuerta hang herself,when they know what he is doing:D I can't even write,without laughing. All those years they let him kill and when he starts killing everyone,they will just turn their backs and let him doing what he was doing. For sake of constant back and forth,please read what you wrote again and again. Take as little offense as you can at my comment,but I am saying as it is to me. And what I read.

Here is how it will most likely be:
Batista gets a brain and because his ex was killed,when she looked into Dex,he will think that it is strange time for her to die. Either he comes back on force or starts to look into Dex and after some time Deb. He will bring Quinn on board as well. And his restaurant will probably be shut down.Hannah will come back at some point I guess and learned that Dex killed her dad. Oh-oh...romance is dead between them. Dex eventually kills her. Deb either dies or something along those lines(she kills herself-not likely scenario..or someone kills her)or she lives. Dex will also either get killed or run away to Argentina or something. Maybe he runs away with Deb.
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Here's what I'm thinking to address the issues you brought up:

Too much credit/brainpower: Harry originally set Dexter on this path, so the framework was already laid out. We know that LaGuerta and Matthews are both very manipulative and smart to a point. If Harry brought the idea up to Matthews and got him on board, it's not too far of a leap that it could have started there and eventually involved the others after the Doakes investigation on Dexter (if he uncovered anything). Matthews would have kept quiet about it during the investigation to keep his distance/anonymity and brought it up to LaGuerta only after being confronted and not wanting to lose a resource like that. Slight stretch, but this show is huge on the morally grey areas, he is manipulative, and they've all been frustrated in the past by criminals walking due to whatever reason. Thinking of Dexter as more of a covert ops (without really knowing it) kinda guy in this scenario. Again, the group didn't really have to do the thinking because it was laid out by Harry to begin with.

Collecting evidence on Dexter for civilian kills, etc: This is a very recent thing with him, and due to the volatile nature of even being connected with that kind of a plan there's no way they could really follow him with such limited manpower and not blow their cover. He was very good at sticking to his code for a very long time, so why would they think he would stray from it? Also, Doakes and Matthews are already off the force, with Battista to follow shortly, so that takes away some of the monitoring power they may have had to begin with. They would have thought they had him pigeon-holed into a "only kills killers" category up until now, so now that some of them are off the force, it turns into more of a crisis or wait-and-see kind of scenario, edpending on how they decided to act. LaGuerta went with crisis, the others with wait-and-see. Hence the split from the group. It would be a smart failsafe for them to stockpile evidence to use selectively if needed though, so I'll definitely give you that that's a hole here.

Why they let LaGuerta take the fall: To avoid being implicated. They all have plausible deniability and have already started framing her as running a "witch hunt." Doakes himself mentioned something in a flashback about how he shouldn't have let any feelings for her cloud his judgment (or something close to those lines). They all know they could each be set up or killed in a heartbeat if they fall out of line after knowing about something like this, so it forces them to play nice. LaGuerta started getting away from that and they let her get taken care of without getting dirty. They know Dexter can set up pretty solid alibis and frame others, so they would have let the game play out between the two of them.

Parts I'm really not sure on:

Battista may not know the plan. There were allusions to it in some scenes and flashbacks, but I'm not sure of the extent that he knows what's going on.

Vince's help to clear up the Estrada murder may not go like that at all. It was just an idea of how it could happen, but the gunshot residue would leave a pretty big hole if they just omitted it since they've talked about it previously.


Anyway, those are the ideas. It actually comes together fairly neatly and full-circle if you look at character motives, but, hell, I know just as much about what's going to happen in season 8 as anyone else. :)
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Crap, accidentally removed the comment trying to hit a different button. Friday night, just got back from drinking, that's how it goes, lol. But regardless, no offense taken at all. I honestly hope it doesn't work out the way I was thinking with Matthews/Doakes/LaGuerta/Battista knowing about it and the rest, but here's some of the reasoning for it: The producers were planning on finishing the series at season 7, and I don't know how much they filmed before they ended up getting renewed for season 8 due to popularity, but it felt like the final episode was more "tacked on" to make more story than anything. I loved the season, but they ended up doing a lot more allusions and flashbacks than normal in the finale, and I think that may be how they end up working out season 8. I'm thinking of it as more of an afterthough extension, rather than something they planned. I think if they would have left it as a series finale like originally thought, the allusions, etc, would have given us some more idea of that plan, but left it more as a read between the lines situation. There were too many clues not to think that at least some outside people knew what was going on though. Again, maybe those were added as an artificial way to extend the series, but I have a feeling the writers were scrambling for ideas to do so and that's fairly close to what they came up with. With the character interactions and how close some of them are, it may not really be that far-fetched. Just an idea. :)
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This was your favorite season?? Ugh. I was bored. There was too much distraction. All that crap with the strip club guys. What was that?? Completely unnecessary. And I think they could have one a lot more than what they did with Deb discovering Dexter. A 12 step program for serial killers?? Give me a break. I too thought Deb had poisoned herself. I wish they would have taken that route. And it was predictable that Deb was going to shoot LaGuerta but Carpenter did a really good job with it. Her and Danes need to battle it out for best crier on tv. All I know is I was on the edge of my seat for Seasons 1-5. Last season felt like the writers let their 10 year olds write the show. It was AWFUL. And this season was messy and all over the place.....and not in a good way. It felt like they tried to fit too much in. I wish they would have devoted a whole season to Dexter/Hannah as I think there was a lot to explore there. I'll be watching the last season and I hope it recovers well but I'm not holding my breath.
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the strip club subplot with Quinn was boring but Victor was so great.
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Victor wasn't bad but felt a little too reminiscent of Trinity. They'd already explored that, more or less. Would have liked to have seen more with Hannah or Deb's dealing with a killer brother.
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I didn't think much of it at the time, but today I realized it really bums me out that Deb killed her. I really wanted to see her come through all this still rather innocent.
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My dream end of the season has not (yet) become true ... Laguerta going after Dex, Deb after Hannah. While Hannah and Dex are together on the run up to a grande finale of the show.
Now I will hope that Batista will become suspicious about Dexter and go after him ... so it might still come true somehow!
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Great review, thx....I think Deb has solved the Hannah issue. Would indeed be hypocrite to keep on pursuing Hannah, when you're a murderer yourself. So, next season how is this love triangle going to work out? Maybe the CIA will hire them as spies.
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They should have Harrison kill Dexter and start off a new cycle
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this was perhaps the most beautiful series, but the ending I was a little disappointed
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And so after 7 years the tv series aligns (sorta) with the first book. LaGuerta is dead and Deb knows her brother is a killer. Looking forward to the final season.
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wow, it's a very thoughtful review. when i knew hannah really poisoned deb, it's sad, but i accepted that. it showed that deb and dexter can really trust each other, made the bond between them even stronger than before.

any thought what the next season will be? i think deb isn't "clean" anymore. she killed LaGuerta. so, i think next season either they both stay in miami, covering up the killing or go on the run (dexter will do whatever it takes to avoid this).

it's a silly thought but, i kinda hope dexter stops the killing. estrada died in dexter's hand. the last person that made Laura Moser cut up into pieces has gone. maybe his needs to kill will be gone too. also, prevents deb pulled down into darker and deeper place.
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maybe this kill will stop him, don´t know, or maybe the fact that he dragged Deb into his world would stop him. It seems he would do anything for her and to protect her. If something would stop him, that should be Deb somehow. But it is really difficult to imagine Dexter not killing anyone!
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Without going back and watching all my DVDS, has Debra killed anyone before in the line of duty???? I can't recall any so she'ss got to be getting close to her breaking point. And we saw how poorly she did during her "interrogation," next season is going to be even more intense for her especially if Hannah comes back and manages to sever Dexter and Deb.
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wasn't there a club shooting where she shot someone? I want to say that there was last season.....isn't that why she started seeing the psycologist in the first place? (the one who helped her realize she was in love with Dexter). I'd have to go back and look to be sure....it's possible I'm just creating scenarios in my head, lol.
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Know that she's definitely fired her weapon, and vaguely recall the club shooting. Couldn't remember if she shot to kill him or was in therapy due to the death of the female cop. Thanks for the reminder!
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Deb shot Carlos Fuentes in the 5th season in a club, but she realized to be in love with Dexter at the end of the 6th season, I think
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I actually have a memory of something like that, but unfortunately cannot remember who it was - maybe it was his ex-fiancee, the ice-truck killer? I can't remember who shot him at the end.
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the icetruckkiller (his brother) got killed by dexter himself - he let him bleed out and let it seem like it was suicide
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Like the S6 finale, it got to a very cool place in some pretty contrived and stupid ways, albeit much less so than last time (less contrived and stupid, not less cool).

I've gotta say Dexter abducting Estrada from a park in broad daylight was sheer genius. The only problem with a masterstroke like that is that if Dexter is arrested again it'll seem unrealistic that the police could have caught someone with such a gargantuan intellect.

The author must be glad the Quinn/Nadia story was only acknowledged with a single line of dialogue. I still hold out hope that he can be useful again. I thought he and Dexter played well off each other in the past, so I want more of that, but I think maybe they didn't say a word to each other this season. He's now a murderer himself, so maybe he likes the idea of Dexter knocking off scumbags.
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Apparently I'm the only one who didn't see Deb killing Laguerta coming. When she was pointing the gun, sure. But not before she walked in there.
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We were a few more :)
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Deb will kill Dexter at the end of the series
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for me eventually so hello from Venice (Italy
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Even though I knew this was coming, I still can't believe Deb actually shot Laguerta......I've been shaking my head for the past 2 days thinking crap, crap, crap, this isn't going to end well.....and really to be honest - although maybe unrealistic - I too want Dexter to end well in season 8....I liked him with Hannah and I want Deb to be happy.....I'm afraid it won't be that way in the end :(....now we have to wait almost a year...aaaaarghhhhh it's going to be a long wait!!!! Thanks for your reviews this season, see you season 8 :)
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the gas station footage didnt really come out of nowhere.

the one old dude told her to get back to her normal duties & pointed to a huge pile of mail. she must have found it in the pile.
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Even though I hate LaGuerta from the very beginning of the series, what happened in this finale, everything has changed for me: I cannot have any feelings for Dexter anymore, now I really want him to be caught and prosecuted. If he starts killing for "normal reasons", he is a guilty murderer who kills innocent people, so he has to pay for it.. In the finale of season 2, I didn´t want him to be caught and revealed as a Bay Harbor Butcher, but this finale - I want the exact opposite! The only one I really really feel for, is Deb, she doesn´t deserve this, she´s a victim here. She´s been put intothe undecidable situation, but still, she was forced to be be a "bad guy".. I have high hopes in Batista - he has to finally catch Dexter and somehow leave Deb out of this! I hope Harrison is still too little to grasp the situation - anyway, the closest person and like a stepmother seems to be Batista´s sister to him. And Deb would be a great step father...
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Very nice and thorough review, Cory :)

This seasons was really good and I've missed this feeling I get from watching Dexter. Carpenter may even deserve to win next year's Emmys.

I have this strange want for Dexter to end happily. I know that can't really be the show and it would probably diminish it a little, but I want the show to end somewhere where Dexter is with Hanah, Deb is close and kinda OK with her and Harrison is growing up to be a good man but with a slightly weird attraction to the color red.

Homeland ended, Dexter ended. Brace yourselves, Winter is coming.
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I agree 100%....LaGuerta's scenes were horrible! Not how they were written,but how she acted them. AT LEAST SHE IS DEAD.....hahahahahahaha....yeeess...finally!

Doakes scenes were also horrible...both how were written and acted. I mean come on,Doakes and LaGuerta in middle of station...not even gonna go into those f-ing scenes. They sucked same as Brian's in season 6,where he and Dex(well Dex alone:D) were shooting and driving. Completely pointless,since we already knew what Doakes felt about Dex.
Even with that minor scene,it was still too much of Quinn. And now he will get together with Jamie....*someone give me some buckets!(yes plural)*
Of course LaGuerta's death will bring Batista out of retiring. Or he will start looking into Dex and maybe Deb.
Episode started awkard with that whole arrest scene and was lame or pointless. Can't decide...maybe both. While they can recap how he planted t-shirt and all,why can't they recap some of those awful scenes. I did enjoy episode though and season was better,then what I thought it would be. But that said,I lowered my standards for Dexter after it's 6th season. Overall good to semi-great-ish season.
12 more episodes to go....
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This was the BEST season by far.
Jennifer Carpenter deserves a lot of credit for her great dramatic-acting scenes.
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"best season by far"???You're joking I hope. Please tell me you started watching the series from season 5, then I can take you seriously.
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Luman<3 i want her back still.
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I also love Lumen....Julia Stiles is amazing! But what is Dexter(show) these days, I'd say any great guest star,can say..."Yeah this is the low-point in my career":P:P Come on Jim Beaver went from Supernatural and being in 3rd rock from the sun,Justified,etc. to Dexter....ouuch:D
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Next season the big bad will actually be Batista, newly retired, he goes all rambo tracking down Laguerta's killer in his spare time...
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this is my guess as well. Either he will come back on force,or he will look into Dex and Deb in his own time. And after 7 seasons being useless,he too,like LaGuerta this season, will get some brain cells and start using his brains.
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That would be interesting ;o)
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I for one would like to watch that season.
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Excellent season!!!...LaGuerta had to go...She was a f...cop and pathetic person.
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Agree with everyone, this season was right up there with the best.
Looking back at the scenes with Doakes, I wish a dominating character like him was still in the Show. He is someone which enlightens the show with his strong character.

I'm wondering how Deb's character is going to change in the Last Season.
Will she forget it? Will she stay with Dexter? Will she leave Dexter's side?

Overall, this season has been great with a couple of very interesting characters (Hannah & Isaac) and along with it a great plot which slowly takes us closer to the demise of the show.
Only thing bad about this episode was Jaime and Quinn's talk, WIEIRD!

Hall or/and Jennifer definitely DESERVE a award!
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This episode confirmed that LaGuerta is (er.. was) the worst cop in the world. Not only did she not call for back-up, even though she suspected and even got some validation (from the call) that a serial killer would be after her.
Her interrogation of Dexter was pathetic - she overplayed her hand too early and her main tactic was to practically beg Dex to own up to murdering tens of people, even though all the real evidence pointed otherwise.
Let's not forget that she didn't even bother waiting for the final analyses from the evidence. I don't know about you .. but if I'm trying to put someone behind bars, someone who has shown himself to be immensely clever and had being fooling his co-workers for many years, I would double, triple-check all the evidence and build a decent case against him. Not go all in with an old shirt and some meaningless photos?!
Also .. shouldn't police officers urge to arrest criminals and not insanely shout "shoot him! shoot him!", even though he was unarmed and seemingly willing to go easy. I'm not surprised Deb shot her!
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and that blood slide,she found in church.....not even once,was it mentioned,that she found it in church and had Travis's blood on it. LaGuerta and writers...they both suck at their jobs
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Agree with most of what you said in the review. LaGuerta had to go, and we knew that from the start of the episode. Was intense how it went, though, and heartbreaking to try and put yourself in Deb's shoes. Dexter may be able to handle it, but Deb MUST be ready to crack, especially after shooting her boss. I'm with you as well on the Quinn/Jamie thing -- that was so out of character for her it was too much.
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So...damn. I think this season may be the best yet. I've had S4 up there at the top along with the majority of people, but S7 might have just dethroned it. It wasn't perfect, but it was amazing. The best part was, of course, the interaction between Dexter and Deb and their evolution throughout the season. It always had me hooked. Not only that, but they introduced a slow developing yet compelling arc with LaGuerta that ran right to the finale, and paid off big. Isaak became a pretty great character and that scene of his with Dexter at the gay bar was a highlight, as well as just the two of them interacting in the following episode as reluctant comrades. I thought he was killed a little early since he didn't start getting development right away, but I did enjoy what we ended up getting out of him and how he went out (the conversation on Dexter's boat and him pushing Isaak into the water to be with Viktor).

The biggest misstep of the season was definitely the stuff with Quinn. Not only was it just not interesting, but it didn't seem to have a point to it beyond giving that character something to do. Quinn isn't exactly the most likable character in the first place, so providing him with a useless storyline doesn't do anything to help that. Although I did like when he simply shot George, even if some people thought that was too easy. It was, but they needed to get rid of him.

That's about it. I'm sure there are random plotholes I could think of, but the good far outshines the bad, so I don't even mind that. Every episode, I looked forward to seeing more of Dexter and Deb. And although I was a bit put off by Hannah at first--hadn't we been there before?--she and the idea behind their relationship both grew on me. They made be believe that it really was different from his past relationships.

It truly felt like the show and Dexter evolved. He got rid of his blood slides, he admitted the Dark Passenger was just his own need to kill, he knowingly broke the code, he fell in love with someone who completely accepted him for who he was, and he admitted that he liked his life and didn't want to run from it. Not only that, but Dexter was willing to let Deb kill him just so that she wouldn't lose part of herself.

So now we come to the finale. Now that was a great one. I was also a bit surprised to learn that Deb didn't poison herself, but I love the direction they decided to go in, so no complaints from me about that.

The interrogation scene and the scene with LaGuerta questioning Deb were also great and intense, but nothing's going to compare to Deb actually killing LaGuerta. Damn... Even with the ending being fairly predictable, it was still amazingly well done and powerful to see play out. And apparently when Deb runs over and embraces LaGuerta, it wasn't scripted. Jennifer Carpenter added that on her own. She deserves an award for this season. She kicked ass.

The wait until next season is going to be brutal. This may not have been the same type of cliffhanger as S6, but it's one all the same as far as I'm concerned. I can't wait to see where their relationship goes from here, and how Deb recovers (or doesn't recover) from killing LaGuerta. That, and I'm sure at least someone will be suspicious about LaGuerta being killed (Batista and/or Matthews). Or hell, maybe Matthews will end up as an ally.
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Completely agree with you!
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random shit has to happen for this show to work. too often did a 'coincidental' thing save Dex. But man, Deb's acting was amazing. And PLEASE no Quinn and Jamie, when I saw that I cringed.
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true, what are they thinking teasing us with Quinn and Jamie? Nobody likes Quinn!
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Nanny is there. New Year's Eve is there.
Who is watching Harrison???
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Harrison is sleeping in the back office.
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I think they sent him of to his grandparents for a day again!
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The writers look after him. They learn valuable lessons playing with his ABC bricks.
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Perfect setup for the final season.

It would be ironic if Deb was rewarded for her effort of killing LaGuerta by being promoted to Captain.

It will also be interesting to see if Dexter went ahead with his original plan of setting it up to look like LaGuerta died in a shootout. Deb's interference may have messed that plan up.

I wouldn't be surprized if Angel cancelled his retirement plans as well and moves into Deb's old job.

Deb will find it almost impossible to live with her guilt. I see the final scene at the end of next season with Deb and Dexter facing off against each other ... each realising the other must be put down.

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Woah Cory, not so fast! HANNAH STILL DID NOT POISON DEB! The reason you and everyone else paying attention thought Deb poisoned herself is because that's exactly where the writers were going, that's what all the evidence pointed to, and that's the only explanation that makes sense. And if it turns out that, definitively, Hannah really poisoned Deb after all, it will only be because the writers either changed their minds before penning season 12, or because they couldn't re-sign the actress that played Hannah.

Everyone needs to remember the scene between Deb and Hannah at the hearing in this episode. Deb says, "Why don't you just save some time and confess to what you've done?" Hannah laughs back at Deb and says, "I will if you will." Deb says her conscience is clean, and it goes right from that "I will if you will (confess to what you've done)" line to Hannah bringing up the xanax. "All that xanax, you must have really had trouble sleeping..."

I think that's the writers keeping their initial story in line, the story that makes sense based on the events that happened (like Deb telling Hannah it was because she loved Dexter that she would do ANYTHING to keep him away from Hannah, then having the car crash that puts Hannah away the next day), while hinting to the viewers, that Hannah really didn't poison Deb, and I believe this will be a major part of season 8 UNLESS THE WRITERS CHANGE THEIR MINDS or UNLESS THEY CAN'T RE-SIGN THE ACTRESS (although I would hope since they've set up a two-season spanning story here with Hannah that they would have signed her to a two-season contract from the start).

And if the writers do for some crazy reason change the story mid-tune and act like Hannah tried to poison Deb all along, it will be a huge black mark on the show. The story they've concocted has been set up perfectly, with Debra in a sense doing right by Dexter by choosing to kill Laguerta instead of him, but also doing wrong by him by framing Hannah (so in a sense it's one point for Debra, one point for Hannah, perfectly balanced, each protecting him in their own way, although Deb's way in terms of framing Hannah also hurt him a lot).

And that speaks directly to the inevitable question, if Hannah didn't really poison Deb, why did she tell Dexter she did? And let's remember the long pause she took after Dexter accused her in the prison of trying to kill Deb before she said she did it, as if mulling over whether to go along with Deb's framejob or not. So why did she go along with the lie? Well for one, the writers are keeping the story for the next season. If it were me, I don't think Hannah really would have gone along with it in real life, I think she would have told Dexter the truth, but the writers obviously have a significant story planned for this in season eight, so Hannah lied to Dexter about what happened (for now) to leave the story for season eight.

But, to do that, the writers also had to come up with at least a plausible reason why Hannah would lie, and here are some possibilities as to why she would lie. Maybe because she was already in prison, already under suspicion with damning evidence against her that could convict her, and because she had already planned an escape without Dexter's help, she in her own way wanted to protect Dexter, leave him thinking she was guilty and that they could never be together so that he would stay away from her and be safe, something like that.

Or maybe she saw how much he cared about Deb, and because Hannah loves Dexter, did not want to hurt him.

Whatever the reason is, I'm guessing it will probably be along those emotional lines of trying to protect Dexter out of love.

But whatever it is, the point is don't be fooled! Unless the writers are chickening out or something, Hannah did not poison Deb, and we should expect to see them both back next season! I know that's what I want (because it's what the logic of the season seven's story dictates should happen, and if it doesn't it will just break the show's logic because it will be clear that the writers changed the show's plot and the character's motivations midway through the story, always a mortal sin in writing especially in situations like this).

Also remember that in past seasons, the guest stars were either dead at the end, or if they were still alive, like Lumen, they at least really put a wrap on things, and made clear that Dexter and Lumen were over, that Lumen was going to leave but never reveal Dexter's secret, and all that. And while the writers made clear they could always bring her back if they wanted to, they clearly did not need to and were not planning to, and they did not leave any plot threads in terms of Lumen/Dexter unfinished, and they wrapped it all up.

So in past seasons, these characters either die before the end of the season, so we know they're not coming back, or if they're alive they literally tell us they're not coming up, and their story arcs are completely wrapped up before the finale.

But here, with Hannah, they left it completely open ended. She's not dead. She never said she wasn't coming back. Dexter and her really never talked aside from the scene early in the episode. Hannah even left a plant at Dexter's house, which by the way Dexter never found before the end of the episode (which means the start of next season is literally going to start with, at minimum, some mention of Dexter having found that plant). Sure, they could just write it off as Dexter interpreted the plant as meaning goodbye from Hannah, and that she was gone in the same way as Lumen (and had pledged not to divulge his secret earlier in this episode, same as Lumen), but again, that would take the writers completely changing and ruining the story they've built up so well. I mean Dexter even said he loved Hannah. Yes, he was in a relationship with Lumen and was upset when she left, but this seems different. I don't see how the writers could justify just brushing this off and never mentioning Hannah again for the entire eighth season besides a quick mention in the premier like with Lumen, basically.

No, the way they left this so open-ended, so unresolved, with Dexter's admission of being in love with Hannah, with the plant waiting on his doorstep to be found when he returns home, combined with the "I'll confess to what I've done if you'll confess to what you did" line from Hannah to Deb, combined with Deb telling Hannah she would do ANYTHING to keep Dexter away from Hannah in the scene right before the car crash that ended up accomplishing just that, and combined with the final shot of episode 11 being of Deb looking ambiguously back at Dexter as she walked Hannah away in cuffs, as opposed to the final shot being of Hannah looking back maybe with a look of regret or sadness (meaning that if Hannah had really betrayed Dexter they would have shown us shots of Dexter and Hannah looking back at each other in sadness and regret and guilt on Hannah's part, but instead they finished the episode with a slow-mo shot of Deb looking back at Dexter while dramatic music played in the background)... all those factors add up to only one logical conclusion. Hannah did not poison Debra, and Hannah should be back for season eight (although I suppose they could find a way to reveal Deb's deception even without Hannah coming back, but I think that reveal and that whole story would be much better with her back.)

I like both Deb and Hannah, I don't feel any need to pick like some fans, and I hope they are both back for season eight and I think they should both survive it. But Hannah definitely didn't poison Deb, that would have been a really stupid end to her story with Dexter.
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Ok, so in my case, I don´t know yet if Deb poisoned herserlf or not. I thought during the episode that maybe Hannah talked to Dexter as if she did it because, in Hanna's view, Dexter should have chosen Hanna's side even if she did kill Deb. That's why she was so disappointed. Plus Hannah is smart and knows when someone is not going to believe her. But still, I also think it can make sense if Hannah did the poisoning. Because this way, Dexter would know all the time that Hannah is at large and she is a danger for Deb. That danger should play a big role next season, I think.

Hannah left a plant that was... black? What does that mean? The prior plant had a meaning too. Maybe it is just sadness or maybe it is a threat. Well, in any case, both stories are possible and Hanna will be back either way.
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Correct, it looks like Hannah will be back, thus blowing out all of the idiotic claims of Emo17, well done.
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Thats exactly what I said, that it looks like Hannah will be back unless they cant re-sign the actress, or the writers decide to blow up the story they've been building up and go in another direction for some crazy reason. Unlikely, but you never know with television series.

This is why they say one should walk before trying to run, Smithius1201. You should learn to read before commenting here again.

Now I know what you're going to say, "You dont make any sense. How could I write this comment if I dont know how to read and spell?" Well, Smithius, it makes perfect sense. At least, it makes about as much sense as saying the person who said Hannah would likely be back is wrong because it looks like Hannah will likely be back.
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Incorrect Emo17. YOU should try learning to read before commenting again you muppet, ha ha ha ha ha. Check your idiotic comment. There is NO season 12 and Deb's comment in the scene you referred to was regarding her potential confession of evidence tampering.

My comment doesn't contest your statement that Hannah will be back. It refers to your idiotic comments regarding the reasons for the writers supposedly changing direction in the story. There was no direction change.

So, as I've shown you as the idiot again you should learn to read before commenting on here again. You are right, this IS why people should learn to walk before they can run, you moron.

Oh dear, you really should have gone to school.
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Dude .. that is one long post. I actually think you're right and that Hannah did lie to Dex in prison (maybe to use that information as leverage in the future). But, it is a long shot .. no need to rant on for paragraphs and paragraphs, trying to convince people of what might possibly be right, even though all the evidence points to otherwise.
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In case there is any doubt there, Emo17, Hannah DID poison Deb and the character is clearly aimed for use in the final season. So hush.
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I think you must have been asleep while this episode was showing. Hannah confessed in the prison. The writers were not looking to get rid of Hannah by having her found guilty of poisoning Deb because they couldn't re-sign the actress, as she has been played back into it with her escape from custody at the hospital. Maybe you missed that part as well.

Try watching the episode again before ranting on inanely with no basis for your epic "war and Peace" length comment, idiot.
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there is no need for being rude
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It´s ok now, a personal massage from this person, has shown his/her incapability to discuss without being an...
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You really are a superior mind, no doubt :)
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Oh, in case you missed the point, you idiot, Hannah didn't lie whether on purpose or not as the story currently sits. Well done on proving yourself a complete retard though. You lack the ability to argue with any basis.
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Incorrect, it was a personal message, spelt with an "e", and it was educating your incorrect and inferior self regarding your many flaws.

Let's recap. At no point have I called Emo17 an "emo" as you claimed. I called them an idiot based on their unsubstantiated claims, which you have fallen foul of.

In addition, there is no basis for the claims that Hannah lied nor that if she had that it was on purpose. You are an idiot of the same ilk as Emo17, well done.

It seems that you, Cadd-9, lack the capacity to argue without being an.... (what is missing here, I wonder ?)
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It's not rude to point out when someone is being an idiot. An idiot is an idiot, much as a sheep is a sheep. The scene in prison was Hannah's admission of her attempting to kill Deb, that is the simple fact of the matter that some of you have failed to see. The scene in the court room with Hannah and Deb is in reference to her covering for Dexter's secret activities by tampering with evidence etc, which Hannah assumed when Dexter let her know that Deb knew his secret. The interaction between Dexter and Hannah is such because they are in love with each other, as misguided as that may be since they are likely to kill each other but there you have it. Hannah DID poison Deb as she admitted it and the court room scene is further proof of the matter.
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every time you call somebody an idiot, you are being rude - and it is even more obvious when we are just discussing a TV show
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He may be an idiot, but calling him such was unnecessary.
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Incorrect, an idiot is an idiot, therefore the label is entirely justified.
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It`s amazing how brave people can be from their parents basements. Relax it`s a show this is an open discussion. If I were a mod you`d be gone.
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Yes Justification is different from necessity though my comment was necessary and justified, Ubercolt. It is a necessity to inform those of their stupidity lest they are doomed to repeat it.
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Justification is different from necessity. You may be accurate in calling the poster an idiot, but you might struggle to prove your need to do so unless you have some kind of compulsive disorder.
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What a long post. BTW Hannah indirectly confessed to poisoning Deb when she met Dexter in prison...
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Correct. Hannah admitted to poisoning Deb, hence she did it and the retards argue that she was lying...... based on ermmmmm............. Derp !!!
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Dexter has evidently been dumbed down to appeal to the masses. That someone misses a basic plot development ought not to come as a major surprise.
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No, it doesn't. Yet their blatant ignorance and stupidity in arguing the contrary to the evidence is amusing, to say the least. Hence my stating the truth of Emo17's mentality.
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Great conclusion to a good season of Dexter, from the onset to the finale was good and my prediction last week of Laguerta getting killed was spot on and the theory about Deb's innocence in the plot to nab Hannah too. Feel sad the way Deb has completely fallen to this level and can't wait to see how she takes been a killer next season, I felt the Gas station video to be ridiculous idea but it added to the suspense and Deb's decision. Jennifer Carpenter really deserve a Emmy nomination for her performance this season and Michael C Hall may finally nick it this year.

PS. Really enjoyed the Doakes Flashbacks and hope the Quinn/Aimee relationship not dragged for the whole season. I have this theory that may be Batista may link Laguerta's murder to the Bay Harbour Butcher and come after Dex next season.
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For a split second I thought Deb was going to shoot herself in the final sequence, that's how good Jennifer performed in that scene. I mean WOW, the pressure and devastation on Deb were at their peak, thanks to that performance, I can never see a better Emmy worthy performance than Jennifer's.
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I'm glad your theory about Deb poisoning herself was wrong. IMO, the fact that it was Hannah made more sense. Hannah may be beautiful but she's a killer, to think of her as anything other than that was reckless. And I have to disagree with you on the actress Lauren Vélez's portrayal. It was very understated to me, and she did a very good job of showing that she was a continued threat to Deb and Dexter. When Deb wasn't able to pull the trigger on Dex immediately, I knew LaGuerta was a goner. The video footage was obviously a plot point. Sad to see this show end. I do agree that Michael C. Hall and Jennifer Carpenter should both be nominated for an emmy.
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The theory wasn't wrong, and it shouldn't be. Yes Hannah is a killer, but only when her own life/freedom is threatened, and only when she has no other choice. Deb didn't really even have anything on her before Dex gave her the pen (besides that old friend of Hannah's, who was really on Hannah's side much more than Deb's). Plus Deb is the lieutenant of Miami Metro, so it would be too risky for Hannah to kill her, not to mention do it exactly the same way she'd described to Dexter how she'd intended to kill Sal Price, as if Dexter of all people would not find out.

Not to mention Hannah is in love with Dexter, and she definitely would have known that killing his sister would have jeopardized their relationship. Not to mention when Hannah wants to kill someone, she doesn't mess up.

Hannah did not poison Deb. Look for what really happened to be revealed in season eight. The only way it doesn't happen is if they can't re-sign the actress or some other stupid thing like that where the writers change their mind to appease the fans that view this as a Deb vs Hannah thing and are supporting Deb. I for one view this as a great developing story where both Hannah and Deb are great characters, both in their own way trying to protect the person they love, Dexter, and both imperfect, with Debra having gone to an extreme to try to get Hannah out of the picture, which plays into this great complicated spectrum of emotions and motivations they've build up for Deb over the last few seasons that are all culminating here. That Debra-is-in-love-with-Dexter storyline was stupid in a sense when they started it out of the blue, but what they've done with it is really fantastic, and we may find out it came into play (probably more subconsciously than consciously) in her decision to frame Hannah.

But rest assured, this coming from someone who likes both the characters and wants to see them both back for season eight (and survive it as well), Hannah did not poison Deb, and if the show does not reveal that in season eight, the only explanation is they rewrote the story. Because I can tell you with absolute certainty from someone who knows a lot about how shows are plotted and has analyzed this particular season of Dexter to the bone, the writers, at least in season seven, were clearly plotting the show in that direction, where Debra really crashed her own car and framed Hannah, and where that will be a twist revealed in the future.
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Umm my bad, I could've sworn Hannah admitted to poisoning Deb to Dexter or was that a dream sequence.
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thank you writers for FINALLY giving us a good season after 2 AWFUL seasons of dexter. Hope the last season can finish the show with a bang.
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It wasnt random. In the first episode, Mike is shown questioning why Travis' car wasnt at the scene. He says he's going to check up on it. That means doing things like requesting surveillance tapes from gas stations. Before you make a criticism, get your facts straight or else you risk sounding like a self-important hack
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Actually, his facts were quite straight. I went back and watched Mike Anderson's one scene from the premiere, and he was concerned that Travis Marshall's car wasn't at the crime scene, but that was it. He never had the chance to act on it because he was killed immediately after his phone call to Deb. And then he got killed. He was going to look into the car thing in the morning. Also, there was nothing to suggest he had surveillance cameras already set up at the nearby gas stations. Even if he had, Deb would have known. She's lieutenant, so he would have needed her permission to resort to that. So, overall, yes, it's closer to random than something established. All he did was, at an ungiven time (again random), request footage that the gas stations already had. And that wasn't revealed until the finale.
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I loved this season, but the Cop stuff every season seems to get worse and worse. I'm no CSI expert, but the ending had some many obvious problems.
Dexter seems to be able to tell when a wound is caused before death or after. So how is shooting the guy in the knife hole going to fool anyone in forensics? If they test either dead person's hands will it show they fired a gun? I guess Dexter would have put the guns in each victim's hands and shot the other, but then Deb came in and shot. So do they take the gun and shoot again? And any blood spatter expert you would think could figure out that the blood spatter is all wrong on the guy victim! And last but not least, LaGuerta was shot with Deb's gun! How are they going to to fudge this one? I would think each cop has their own gun with its own serial number? They have to leave Deb's gun at the scene since if you check the bullets they gotta match with the gun.
But I guess all of this won't matter since the Miami Police seem so useless in this show! :)
But even with all that I still loved the show. It was a powerful ending, some might have seen it coming, I didn't at first, but then as Deb had the gun pointing I just knew she would be doing the killing, but I thought holy crap how can they have Deb kill LaGuerta? Is Deb going to go crazy and go on a killing spree?
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For the most part I quit watching “TV shows” other than Discovery the History Chanel or the News; it seemed the days of quality TV had long since faded.

But along came Dexter with a good story line, great acting and suspense, I’m glad to see excellence return to the screen and a newer generation of actors and actresses making their mark in the industry.
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This is probably the golden age of TV. There's so many good shows out there, how can someone even complain?
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I enjoyed this season, however I must say it isn't one of my favorites.
I expected Deb to shoot La Guerta in the end, it really was the only option for the writers to take considering it isn't the final season.

I was gonna say a bit of my own thoughts here, but i'll summarize my opinion on this show by saying, I REALLY HOPE that the 8th season is the last one, because as much as I love Dexter, this is getting quite silly.
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I think maybe everyone is missing something here. Rewatch the scene where Hanna confesses to poisoning Deb. I don't believe she meant it. I think she copped to it because
she really loves Dexter, and knows what Deb means to him, and didn't want to come between them. Also, how did deb get to the party with Dexter in tow(in his superhero outfit, no less), with no blood on her dress after hugging dead, bloody LaGuerta?
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it's magic !!! and the super hero outfit of Dexter is so bad.I live far from miami but I don't think people wear stuff like that , especially on a party.and why does he have to wear this for every killing ? clothes are part of his ritual ?
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Consider the alternative: shorts and Hawaiian shirt?
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yeah I got that feeling during that scene too...but I never know whether to give merit to scenes like that...it could have been the director wanted you to get that feeling...or it could have just been shotty acting...my money is on the former as the girl who played hanna was pretty decent throughout the season...so

wait and see i guess
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"What of course made the story work even better is what made much of this season great throughout"

Oof, I guess I was watching a different season. They cut off story points just as they got interesting (the video game dude...what was his name?; Ray Stevenson) and then coasted on a stupid, unbelieveable storyline involving LaGuerta, then they ridiculously made Dexter manipulate Deb into completely contradicting the type of person she is. Nevermind the ridiculous reveal that Hanna did indeed poison Deb (sorry, Hanna is nowhere near that stupid) or that Batista has apparently already forgiven and forgotten Quinn's bad killing of Jason Gedrick's character (which comes after he simply ended up not caring about Quinn's BS behaviour of last season).

This show has been a complete mess since the Lithgow season and now they're getting so lazy that they're crafting unbelievable twists just for the sake of having season-ending shocks.

More than anything though, the finale cemented something I've been thinking since the beginning season 3: I really, really miss Doakes. They killed him off because they painted themselves in a corner, getting rid of probably the best character on the show, and they've never been able to replace him.
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Agree with everything you say. There have been a lot of flaws in the writing this season and you named some of the obvious ones. However, when last season I was about to quit this show for good this season actually gave some entertainment and it was watchable again.
Let's face it. Dexter's characters are stupid. Seriously, their intelligence is low. Even Dexter suffered from IQ point loss last season when he behaved like an idiot. What made Doakes special was that he was *thinking* and actually ahead of Dexter at one point. That's the same thing that made Trinity special (besides Litgow's performace). This show desperately needs someone intelligent opposing Dexter. Sad truth is, it's probably too late for that now with just one more season.
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I will definitely agree that this season was much more watchable than last season, which was just terrible. I would love for the original showrunner to come back (he left after the Lithgow season...anyone think it's a coincidence that the show started its downward slope after he left?) to put this series to be properly, but I don't see it happening.
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I agree 100%. Seasons 1 and 2 were unbelievable. 3 and 4 very good. Ever since, there have been many entertaining moments, but the characters havent stayed true to themselves. Deb killing Laguerta takes it way too far in my opinion
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I don't necessarily agree with the staying true to themselves part in regards to Debra, because people can evolve and change and all that, and the show's writers really worked up to that and built that change in Debra from the ground up over multiple seasons, with her first change being that she let Dexter and Lumen go, then the therapist making her ask herself if she was in love with Dexter, which was stupid at the time but now plays into the way she protects and killed Laguerta him perfectly ... so I think that works.

What I do agree with is that the show's logic has been all over the place. The police work and crime scenes, like someone else here said, if Dexter was analyzing his and Debra's own crime scene, he would be able to figure out in five seconds that Laguerta and the other guy didn't really shoot each other. So is he just way smarter than everyone and no one else can figure that out, or do they only give Miami Metro the ability to figure crime scenes out so quickly when they're not ones where Dexter is responsible for the crime scene?

And then there's the airport kill with all the cameras, Dexter constantly killing people who the police are still investigating now instead of only targeting murderers who have already fallen through the cracks like he always did in season 1 and 2, by the code, and just by logic. Killing people the police are still investigating is a great way to get noticed and caught. Doesn't make any sense why he would do that, especially when he admits his son really needs him, he has a family now, he's started developing real emotions, a real life, and yet he's taking more risks and acting more stupid than ever? He was always so smart in early seasons. It doesn't make any sense.

So I agree that the logic of the show, motivations, how things work, plot point to plot point, motivation to motivation, a character's actions in one episode weighed against their actions a few episodes later, it doesn't flow and add up and fit perfectly anymore like it used to, it's like the new writers don't always understand how the characters really do things in their true forms like and aren't thinking things through at all, aren't reading through what they've written once they've finished it and combed through it to fix any inconsistencies ... there are just a lot of inconsistencies and a lot of Dexter being stupid and reckless for no reason in places where he always used to be smart, even if he was desperate to kill someone, he was never this stupid, and it doesn't make sense.

Still, thought besides some of that stuff, season seven had enough so much interesting going on that it was very good. Missed the theme music, though. For some reason they cut out the Dexter music altogether except in the end credits. That music is a big part of what makes the show "the show," it's ingrained in the show's identity, and watching a season of the show without that music almost felt like i wasn't watching Dexter ... it really left something missing for me, and I have no idea what they were thinking getting rid of that music.
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Yep - great season... Kind of surprising (in a VERY good way) after Season 6 was so awful (except for Mos Def's character but he passed way too soon)...

I liked the understated 'cliffhangers' that are intriguing but not an obvious tease: The Morgans will have to clean the Laguerta mess and who knows... someone may find her death a little too convenient? Not Matthews though... More likely the trouble will come from Morgan vs. Morgan I guess... And Hannah is still on the loose...

I do hope Quinn moves to Vegas (which is also another show right?) - Perhaps there will be a new captain after Laguerta who is a kick ass character?
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I loved the subtle callbacks to years of Dexter gone by that were peppered throughout the episode. The reappearance of Doakes (I think I could watch an hour of Doakes insulting Dexter and I think it would be awesome), mentions of Rita and how he used to try so hard to pretend to be a real person, and especially that last final concert sequence. I hope this was intentional, but it instantly reminded me of the last scene in Season 1 where Dexter was imagining being received as a conquering hero for protecting Miami from evil.
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