We don’t need Louis Green. You can keep your Koshka Brotherhood. The Phantom Arsonist can stay at home. Joey can lose an entire army of strippers to Las Vegas. We don’t care. This is what we want. This episode brought everything back to formula and justified our undying love of green henleys and plastic sheeting. A few side-story conclusions notwithstanding, this entire episode was dedicated to Dexter, Hannah and Deb, and the complex net that is slowly closing around them.
Dexter finds out that the last of the men responsible for his mother’s death, Hector Estrada, is being released from prison on parole. Of course, he wants him on his table. He sees this kill as his opportunity to break from his old life once and for all; free to begin a new existence with Hannah.
While preparing his relatively unelaborate ruse to lure Estrada to his kill room, Dexter is approached and casually interrogated by ex-Captain Matthews. Matthews tells him that LaGuerta believes Dexter is the Bay Harbor Butcher, and has all kinds of circumstantial evidence to further her accusation’s validity. Dexter can tell that Matthews doesn’t believe LaGuerta’s suspicions, but he realizes that he needs to feed him some evidence to get both of them off his trail. He tells Matthews that Doakes had a boat stored at the same marina where Dexter kept his, and that he left that location once Doakes began to threaten him. Dexter and Deb then go about planting evidence to corroborate his story and make sure that Matthews and LaGuerta find Doakes to be the Bay Harbor Butcher.
Once Dexter has shaken Matthews and LaGuerta, he proceeds with his plan to kill Estrada. He tricks Estrada into a storage crate under the guise of a drug deal, then promptly chokes him out and preps him in plastic. Dexter tells Estrada the nature of their relationship, detailing who he is and who his mother was. But before his chainsaw can exact sticky revenge, Estrada accuses Dexter of working with “that bitch” to set him up, get him out of jail and kill him. Apparently, LaGuerta was pushing hard to have Estrada released so that she could tail him and see if Dexter would take the bait.
Realizing that he has been set up, Dexter flees the scene with Estrada in tow, holding a knife to Estrada’s throat. In the panicked escape, Dexter loses track of Estrada, who dives in to the ocean and swims away. Dexter is able to get away without being seen, but he has definitely confirmed LaGuerta’s suspicions that he is the Bay Harbor Butcher. If nothing else, the storage crate kill room wrapped in plastic shows that LaGuerta was correct in believing that the Bay Harbor Butcher is still alive.
After all of that, Dexter receives a phone call from Batista saying that Deb has been in a car accident, having blacked out behind the wheel. When Dexter finds out that Hannah visited Deb the night before, he becomes suspicious of the circumstances surrounding the crash. He goes to Deb’s house and does a quick search, finding a blond hair near Deb’s medicine cabinet. Still unconvinced, he searches Deb’s wrecked car for clues, finding her water bottle. When he tests the water and finds that it contains several doses of Deb’s anti-anxiety medication, he immediately concludes that Hannah was behind the accident. After all, that is how Hannah said she had intended Sal Price to die when she poisoned him.
Emotionally distraught, Dexter decides that he has to remove Hannah from his life to keep Deb safe. However, he can’t bring himself to kill her. Instead, he gives Deb the poison-soaked pen that killed Sal Price and implicates Hannah in the murder. The end of the episode sees Hannah being taken away by Miami Metro.
However, things aren’t so cut-and-dry. There are actually three potential poisoners in our midst. There is a very obvious finger pointing at Hannah, but I don’t think she would make this move. Having Deb out of the way might work in her favor in the short run, but the effect it would have on Dexter and the heat it would bring down upon her seem like fairly strong deterrents against this course.
It’s possible that Deb poisoned herself to turn Dexter against Hannah. She could have conceivably wrecked the car in advance, beaten herself up a bit and then drank the prescription-laced water. This seems pretty farfetched, though… even in light of all the nonsense this season comprises. It’s even less likely that Deb would just drink the drugged water while driving and hope that she didn’t kill anyone.
And since Walter White will never own up to this one… I think the blame lies with Arlene Schramm. Deb had personally threatened Arlene with jail time if she didn’t come forward with what she knew about Hannah’s involvement in the death of their guidance counselor several years earlier. And she has blond hair.
The only real question is whether or not Hannah knew what Arlene was planning. I think the story will play out that Arlene was the one who poisoned Deb, and Dexter will feel terrible about ratting out his only love. However, it will eventually be revealed that Hannah and Arlene were working together, and Arlene snuck into Deb’s house during Deb and Hannah’s heart-to-heart about Dexter on the front porch.
So, the season finale has LaGuerta closing in on Dexter, Dexter’s lifelong arch-nemesis roaming free with full knowledge of Dexter’s past, a Code-less Dexter who has seemingly embraced his Dark Passenger as himself and an intriguing whodunit poisoning mystery, all under a big, glowing banner that reads “SURPRISE MOTHERF***ER!”
This is going to be good.
LaGuerta: Yes, she is going to die. Deb is the heavy favorite to take her out, but Hannah killing her would leave all of the major players’ hands clean.
Matthews: Yes, he is going to die. LaGuerta tells Matthews that she will hold up her end of the bargain and that “you will get what you deserve.” You don’t say that to someone in TV or film unless they are going to get maimed in some manner.
Dexter: No, he will live. He will likely be arrested. However, the manner in which LaGuerta conducted the case will likely lead to him being set free. A murderer that the system could not contain and bring to justice? How ironic. This will set Dexter up as a prime candidate for a Code-killing.
Deb: No, she will not die. Deb has become the rail that guides this show. If she died, there would be no balance to Dexter’s life, and all the conflict would become too personal and internal. That’s not to say that she might not make it through to the end of next season.
Quinn: No, he will not die. But he will need a battery of antibiotic shots after cavorting with all those Koshka whores.
Batista: Maybe, he might die. They’ve set up his happily-ever-after a little too perfectly. They might off him for some levity, or just to perpetuate the hackneyed “I was just two weeks from retirement” death scene we all know and love.
Doakes: Yes, he’s dead… but he will not remain this way. His tombstone reads, “I’LL RISE MOTHERF***ER!”
Here’s a scene from way back in season two that hint at a possible direction for the series finale. It’s pretty conclusive that we won’t see Dexter wrapping himself in plastic and ceremoniously taking his own life:[youtube id=”l_44wJEpdhs” width=”600″ height=”350″]