“Surprise, Motherfucker!“ – ‘Dexter’ Episode Review

- 12-17-12reviews, TV Posted by Jason McAnelly

This week’s episode of Dexter, “Surprise, Motherfucker!” is the finale of season 7 and as such demands an excellence that gives justice to the season.  It also has the task of setting up the next and final season.  Given that the two seasons were written together, it has an advantage, but it also has the potential to fall very flat and leave season 8 in a lurch with lack of interest from disappointed fans.  Luckily, it manages to hold together and presents a season finale the likes of which the show has never had the opportunity to take a stab at.

When last we left good old Dexter, he had a couple of major issues to deal with.  He had his girlfriend thrown in jail in order to protect his sister, leaving him without the only person that he felt understands him.  He also had the unwanted attentions of LaGuerta, who had set a trap for Dexter by luring him into killing the newly released Hector Estrada – the last remaining killer of his mother.  Dex managed to avoid immediate capture, but LaGuerta’s growing pile of evidence against him was making permanent evasion more and more difficult.

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The episode starts off with Dex saying his goodbyes to a jailed Hannah.  He lets her know that he still loves her, despite having to toss her into the slammer.  Shortly thereafter, a confident LaGuerta visits Dexter at his house and has him arrested for the murder of Hector Estrada.  Of course, you and I and Dexter know that Estrada got away, so LaGuerta, regardless of what she has on our hero, is barking up the wrong tree.

Dexter has this nailed down, for the most part.  He knows that his nemesis is too tied up in the case emotionally and plays it against her.  Some planted evidence that LaGuerta discovers just happens to be old stuff taken from the evidence room.  Along with her help in getting Estrada out of jail, LaGuerta is looking like she dreamed the whole thing up in an effort to frame Dexter.  So our favorite serial killer is off the hook.  Or at least for a while he is.

Dex goes on the hunt to find Estrada and take him down, thus eliminating the final piece of evidence that could tie him to being the Bay Harbor Butcher.  But LaGuerta is still going.  She finds some video footage that puts Deb at the scene of the church burning from season 6, conveniently filling up a gas can right before the whole thing went up in smoke.  She tries to bully Deb into admitting she’s working with her brother and is further gathering even more evidence that could implicate them both.

This puts Dexter into a precarious position.  He has to decide whether he can kill LaGuerta, regardless of the fact that she does not fit his code whatsoever.  By using Estrada, he lures her out to the shipping container where he plans on doing her in.  Deborah notices that both of them end up missing from Angel’s New Year’s party and sets out to stop Dex from spilling LaGuerta’s blood.  She arrives at the exact worst time, of course, and is forced to make a decision between her brother and her former boss.

In the meanwhile, clever Hannah is clever and manages to get hold of a pill to make her look like she’s sick.  Instead of ending up in a holding cell following her arraignment, she instead ends up in a hospital bed – a much easier place to escape from.  Before the police know it, Dex’s ex-girlfriend is gone.

 

The best thing about this season finale is that the writers really got to play with setting up many different complicated stories while not feeling the pressure to resolve them all in one hour’s time.  We’re left with many floating plot lines that will continue into the next season and promise much longer opportunities to flesh them out and come to a final resolution.

Deborah and Dexter are both changing and whether that’s for the better or for the worse is no doubt what season 8 will be exploring.  In addition, Quinn has a similar problem, having put a bullet in a mobster to protect a girlfriend that’s now dumped him.  And, of course, we have Hannah wandering around free and whether she tries to continue her relationship with Dexter and tries to kill Deborah again are both unknown.  One thing’s for sure, Deb has no room to judge who Hannah is anymore and neither does Dex.

I’m glad that we’ll most likely be seeing Hannah come back for season 8 and I’m looking forward to finding out where all this leads when the show returns in another year.  The writers did a great job of putting all the pieces into position and have created the potential for a great ending that will have plenty of time to explore everything.  If they do as good next year as they did this one, Dexter will go out with its fans’ appreciation intact.

Well folks, that’s the last review for me.  Check back in about nine months and hear more about the loveable serial killer, his twisted girlfriend and the utterly fucked-up-in-the-head sister.

Category: reviews, TV

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  • iamevilhomer

    i liked this season but, the writing is getting cliched. from ‘we have to release the suspect because he didn’t acknowledge understanding his miranda rights’ and ‘tell me you’re not a cop’. easy plot device

  • http://www.facebook.com/david.henshaw.547 David Henshaw

    my only problem was Harry makes a big thing about Dexter not killing people who don’t fit the code , what about robber on boat in season 6 , guy from shady hotel in season 6 , hannahs father. So he has killed his fair share of people who don’t fit code

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