Dexter Season 7 Review “Surprise, Motherf…”

“Who am I? I’m a creep motherf*****.” – Dexter

Dexter Season 7 Finale 2012 Surprise, Motherf

Well, that’s it folks! Another season of Dexter in the books, as season seven comes to a conclusion tonight with the gripping season finale “Surprise, Motherf*****!” And what a season it was, too! I’ll get more into my detailed thoughts at the end of the review, but in short I can’t just believe the show is still this exciting overall in its seventh season. I mean, how many other shows can you think of where you could look back and say “Hey man, remember that show? Season seven was so good!” I can’t think of any, and I was especially happy for how incredible this season turned out considering how lackluster last season was.

Tonight’s finale started out with Hannah and Dex meeting up in prison. Hannah quickly admits to poisoning Deb, so people thinking that Deb might have possibly poisoned herself in order to frame Hannah are unfortunately incorrect. Hannah is summarily charged and sent back to prison, but whe gets her buddy Arlene to help bust her out, and now it looks like she’s still on the loose! I’ve really loved Hannah in these last few episodes, and I of course would love to see more Yvonne Strahovski, so I’m really happy they didn’t write out Hannah entirely. I was a bit surprised that we really didn’t get any resolution to her character, as all that she did tonight was escape and leave a plant on Dex’s doorstep to let him know she’s still around. I’m not sure if they’ll choose to have her as a major player in the eighth and final season, but she has to come back in one way or another, right?

The most surprising part of the episode for me was how quickly Maria comes over to arrest Dexter. I would have assumed that Dexter being arrested would have happened later in the episode, and that the rest of the installment would have showed Dexter working his way out of this tight spot, but I quite liked what happened instead. It’s a bit ironic that Dexter is arrested for the one murder that he actually didn’t commit (yet). Dexter is able to worm his way out of it pretty easily, but LaGuerta doesn’t stop there!

I thought it was a bit strange that LaGuerta has a nice long conversation with both Angel and Matthews, and both of them try to convince her to lay off the investigation, and she still goes right ahead with it! What was the point of these two scenes at all if they weren’t going to do a darn thing to dissuade her?

While I really loved Jennifer Carpenter in tonight’s episode, and I think that this season as a whole is the season that has the best chance of winning Carpenter some Emmy gold, the writing for her character was a little off in the early going. I’m not sure I really bought Deb being upset with Dexter for ruining LaGuerta’s career. You’d think that she would see that as a reasonable piece of collateral damage if it’s going to result in keeping her only brother away from the death sentence. I also think Deb’s logic as of late has been a bit spotty. For instance, she just thought to ask right now if Hannah knows Dexter’s secret or not? Wouldn’t you double-check that first before throwing her in jail, where she could blab to the first person she meets?

On the positive side, I absolutely loved seeing Doakes again. When I first saw him pop on screen with his trademark “Surprise, motherf*****” line, I thought he was going to be a Harry-like projection in Dexter’s head. Wouldn’t that have been awesome to have Erik King pop up every once in a while and start cursing out Dexter? Anyway, I really liked how the flashbacks were handled on this show. We so rarely see flashbacks on Dexter, and it was interesting that it was even shot differently. Everything looked a little brighter, the image was a bit more grainy, and Deb was rocking those ridiculous bangs! Man, I’m glad that’s changed over the years.

So Maria obviously had not given up on her investigation of Dexter, and now her sights have turned on Deb! I always assumed that if Dex would be discovered, it would be through one of his own mistakes, but something as mundane as Deb filling up a gas can ended up being their downfall.

The actual plan to kill LaGuerta was pretty easily executed (or it would have been if Deb didn’t interrupt), but I loved that Dexter actually struggled with this choice for a while. I liked how he told Harry that it isn’t easy for him anymore, and that the facade that he used to put on to separate himself from his kills doesn’t work like it used to.

As I predicted several weeks ago, the big death tonight was LaGuerta. The fact that she died wasn’t too big of a surprise, but the way she died, with Deb actually shooting her, was just heartbreaking. LaGuerta has been a very unlikable character at some parts of this series, but she has been in every season thus far, so it’s sad to see a series regular go in such a brutal way. It will be interesting to see how her death affects the rest of the cast when we pick back up in season eight!

Overall, this episode played out quite a bit differently than I thought it would at first. When Dexter was arrested only minutes into the episode, I assumed the entirety of the finale would be devoted to Dexter pleading his case and that maybe the very final scene would be a cliffhanger to drive us into the final season, just like the finale of season six. With tonight being the last season finale ever for Dexter, since next season’s will actually be a series finale, I think it did everything a good season finale should do. It resolved some major storylines, opened up a couple more interesting ones, and definitely has my interest piqued for season eight! See you all again in September!

Random Thoughts:

– Are you allowed to make out with someone in the visiting room of a prison? Whenever I see people touch in a D.O.C. visiting room I can’t help but be reminded of Arrested Development. “NO TOUCHING!”

– Any Spanish speakers out there? What did Angel say to Maria in their conversation?

– Very interesting that Showtime chose to put a message at the beginning about the recent shootings in Connecticut. Was that put up before everybody’s airing?

  • Mani

    It was very well done. I really didn’t know how Deb would choose until she chose.

  • Showtime, with Dexter, Homeland and the message, is a class act!

  • Shogunreaper

    Way too obvious, as soon as she found out where LaGuerta was and started heading there i knew she would be the one to kill her.

    • Missus Angela Lansbury

      Diiiiiiiid you now?

  • John Paul

    Loved Doakes. Best line on TV ever “You don´t even walk like a real person you glide like a lizard on ice.” lol

  • swizzy

    Am I the only one who wished Deb died in the car accident, something about her bothers me. haha

    • Rick

      i agree. i started out hating hannah this season and feeling so sorry for deb. by the end, i lost all respect for her. hannah was right, deb is a hypocrite.

  • Lorito88

    Yes, agreed – it was so heartbreaking to see Deb shoot La Guerta. I wasn’t expecting it…. or I think I was trying to avoiding in my mind thinking it was a possibility.

  • Lorito88

    And Angel says “esto es lo más rídiculo que yo he oído en mi vida María” or this is the most ridiculous thing that I have heard in my life ;D

    • Luke_Gelineau


  • Rick Asstronaut

    Such sloppy writing. Really embarrassing for the writers actually. they just lost out on any awards most likely. 1) Debra got her prints all over LaGuerta. 2) Debra got blood all over her dress and then wore it to the party. (They had the sense to change Dexter’s clothes but not Debra’s?) 3)They still have the evidence that debra and dexter were at the church.

    • Dame Judi Dench

      I imagine Dexter covered their tracks very well, my dear. And perhaps you will see in next season’s premiere how they did it.

    • Jeanie

      I imagine they will use these bits for next season… just to keep us on the edge of our seats.

  • Guapo

    Loved seeing Doakes again. I’d like to see more flashbacks with him in Season 8. I thought this season was well done and I found myself at the edge of my seat for the whole ride. Bravo.

  • Carmen

    Eso es lo mas ridiculo que he oido en mi vida, Maria. That is the most ridiculous thing that I’ve heard in my life, Maria. (In response to LaGuerta’s pushing for Estrada’s parole to frame Dexter).

  • Carmen

    What I want to know is, how are they going to cover up the fact that it’s Deb’s gun’s bullet in Laguerta’s body (not Estrada’s)? They either have to a)dig out the bullet and shoot her again with Estrada’s gun, or b)cut her up and get rid of her body. But if they opt for b, as they probably will, there was that call Debra made tracking her car, so everyone will know she was out at the shipyards when she disappeared (even if they get rid of her car, too)–and suspicion will fall on Dexter. They COULD say that Laguerta came after Dexter and was going to shoot him, and Deb showed up and was forced to shoot her–but how will they explain what Dexter was doing out there? (Just chillin’ in the shipyards on NYE)? I guess Debra could have been in shock when she wore her bloody clothes to the party…and I assume Dex will immediately go to Laguerta’s and get rid of those search warrants? (Unless the judges would come forward to say they had signed them, or anyone would think to ask–doubtful). Same goes for the DVD footage of Deb, it’s doubtful Laguerta has shown it to anyone yet. Anyway, yeah. I’m surprised Laguerta didn’t know better than to try to tell Deb to “put him down,” that was the worst tactic possible–anyone would will burn a church down to save her brother and cover up a murder will also kill to save her brother. It would have been better for her to plead to be let go and promise to drop the whole thing, or something. But it was an interesting direction the show took. I wonder if Deb will have a Dark Passenger now, or just be tortured by guilt for the rest of her life.

  • Stebano

    Think I figured out Season 8:

    When Debra killed LaGuerta it took care of all the evidence by letting Dexter take care of the dumping without actually breaking his code and simultaneously slowly driving Debra crazy and eventually hardening her in season 8. All the cops think LaGuerta will have run awayor killed herself, except for Doakes, who is still alive, and a few others who know the truth. Matthews, LaGuerta, Doakes, and Battista, were all in on what Dexter was doing. Doakes uncovered it, 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 they all come to an agreement that it’s dangerous, but for the greater good because he kills killers. They allowed
    it to happen and nurtured it by putting him on those cases to give him ideas after
    finding out his situation. LaGuerta lost her nerve after Dexter started seeing
    Hannah McKay, more people started dying, and she decided to expose the Dexter. Now she’s being set up by Dexter as 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. Meanwhile, they were orchestrating everything while Matthews was still in the force (even though it’s a very tenuous relationship at the current point, with Maria’s
    downfall possibly blowing their cover). 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 and not really care. They will both see it as a symbiotic relationship. Dexter takes care of Matthews’ messes and his own needs while neither of them had to say a word. Battista will just start to fall by the wayside in the end because of Maria’s disappearance/death. He prefers to not dig into it and run his restaurant so he can fade away in peace and hopefully avoid fallout. They would think about killing him after no control would be left on the force to guide him and watch except Deb, who is defiitely a changed woman, 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 in 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 a lot of thinking. Just by showing up alive he’ll make waves in the police department that’ll convince everyone of the actual plan. 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 and make him look insane like LaGuerta and that they were both doing this “crazy plan of theirs’ 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. Doakes will take the fall, the arson investigation will go nowhere because of that insanity, Hannah McKay will be in Argentina, and Dexter, Deb, and Harrison will go on for a while and the series will probably end on a barbecue scene, in that fake-happy way, with Dexter talking about the future.

    • Sanje


      • Stebano

        Why not? Care to expand on that or just being an ass? Honestly curious about it.

  • therealguyfaux

    If we believe that next season will absolutely be the final conclusion to the Dexter Saga (meaning no spinoff of any kind), there has to be a reckoning of sorts in which brother and sister die. Whether it is Deb becoming like Dex and killing a man who will only continue his murders if left alone, and then killing herself, or it is Dex killing Deb in some way in which both perish, i.e. a shootout/”suicide by cop”, in which he rationalizes that he never had a right to ruin her life as he did, and sees it as a sort of merciful death both for her and himself (somehow I doubt he could just kill himself)– whichever way, they both must die. I’m just rather pruriently interested in whether she tries to consummate her desire for Dexter, and whether he goes along with it, before “they both go off the cliff,” so to speak.

  • Dexter Fan

    Does anyone else get the sense that Matthews knows about Dexter and is helping him cover his tracks? Ever since LaGuerta approached Matthews about this case, it seems like Matthews has been trying very hard to keep her off Dexter’s trail. Even the scene where he interviewed Dexter himself was almost like a warning to Dexter that he needs to cover his tracks.

    Matthews knows everything LaGuerta knows but he doesn’t seem dumb enough to me to really come to the wrong conclusion with those facts in front of him. I think its possible since Matthews was Harry’s best friend that he knows all about Dexter’s training and perhaps he will continue to help Dexter during season 8.