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'Dexter' Recap: Whatever It Takes

By Alicia Lutes, Hollywood.com Staff

""Because in a blink...everything can change.""

Welp, to use a few words of the Debra Morgan variety: holy f**king shit, that was an episode. Holy mother of balls, so much just f**king happened. Holy f**kballs, everything is different. OK, OK, I feel better now. Do you? Good. Well, tonight's episode of Dexter saw many spinning plates begin to crumble and fall. It was an elegant dance that Dexter was doing—balancing Deb, work, Hannah, The Bay Harbor Butcher, and (previously) The Dark Passenger all at once—but nothing so intricate can last forever. And this episode is full of ends. As a precursor to a finale, it seems like a hard one to top—mostly because it felt like a finale, and was one of the best episodes of the season. Next week should be interesting.

If you were a woman in Dexter Morgan's life, tonight was interesting for you. Three women want Dexter, for three different reasons: Debra Morgan, Hannah McKay, and Maria LaGuerta. You have to do whatever it takes to make sure the outcome you so desire is achieved. Whether motivated by what is right, what is wrong, the truth, or even love, tonight's cleverly-titled episode ""Do You See What I See?"" showed that the only thing you can really trust, is yourself.

""It's because my love of Dexter that I'm willing to do whatever it takes.""

The biggest winner of all tonight, is Debra Morgan. Everything's pretty much coming up roses by the end for Deb—but it wasn't so easy getting to this point. Deb's longstanding feelings (both familial and otherwise) for Dexter have lead her down a path of self-destruction all season. She was lying, cheating, and stealing for Dexter. And if there's one person with a code stronger than Dexter's, it's Deb's. She's lived her whole life by the moral code of law enforcement up until discovering Dexter's secret. And his killing ways have really put her between a rock and a hard place. The stress of not being a sort of moral compass was really driving her nuts: to the point that she was taking anti-anxiety pills to quell her fears. But, as we saw last week, Deb's not doing things for Dexter anymore—and going after Hannah McKay for murder is one of the ways she's exercising this newfound freedom. Deb tracks down Arlene Tram: the only witness/accomplice to the murder of a counselor Hannah committed years ago when they were roommates at a halfway house. Deb gives Arlene some time to think about the prospect of immunity for ratting Hannah out.

The only problem is...Deb nearly dies. On the way to Arlene's house to find out whether or not she's willing to bargain with Deb, our lady Morgan suffers a near-fatal accident. TWIST! That's right, in the same way that Sal Price was supposed to die (at the mischievous and deadly hand of of Hannah McKay), Deb wrecked her car and nearly died en route to possibly, finally nailing Hannah to a crime she committed.

Only...was it really Hannah? Deb had recently done what she'd promised herself she wouldn't do: interfere with an investigation in order to save her brother's true identity from being found. Prior to planting evidence against Doakes at LaGuerta's, we see Deb take one of her pills. Could this be a visual cue that Deb's pill-popping like a fiend?

And what about Arlene? Last we saw her, she was sitting in a car with none other than...Hannah McKay, telling Dexter's favorite blondie everything that Deb told her, and how hard it would be for Arlene—the only person who seems to know and is OK with Hannah's murdering of the counselor (he apparently ""put his hands"" on the girls, whatever that means exactly, we're unsure)—to not take the immunity Deb was offering: Arlene's been in and out of jail and rehab. Could all of this set the ball in motion? What about Hannah's visit to Deb's apartment and the blonde hair Dexter found at Deb's place? What does it all mean? Was Deb this serious when she meant she'd do whatever it takes to save Dexter from Hannah?

""You should've killed me.""

Hannah McKay: arguably tonight's biggest loser. In the event of Deb Versus Hannah, it was always going to be Deb. Always. It's the most...logical choice, after all. And we all know how our boy feels about logic up in that lizard brain of his. So was it a series of unfortunate events that ended the relationship of Debra and Dexter? Or was it something more... nefarious?

Well, maybe. ""That's the thing about people who poison people, Dexter, they're really f**king sneaky,"" explained Deb at the hospital. And it's true: can you ever really trust a poisoner? The answer lies in whether or not you believe Hannah really loved Dexter, or if she loved him in such an extreme way that she, too, would do whatever it takes to keep him for herself. We know that Hannah was at Debra's house. Hannah explains a desire to find common ground, saying that Dexter's newfound happiness is all thanks to her and that if Deb and her could just get over their differences, then everything would be so great! Deb, who takes a drink from her WATER BOTTLE (you know, a bottle of water just like the one that is later found to be made up of 40% alazopram) and heads out for a run. Or did she (we don't see Deb go out for a run, but we also don't see Hannah going into Deb's house, either)?

The decisive moment comes when Dexter is forced to choose: between Hannah and Debra. Dexter has to decide for himself: which woman does he believe and trust more? Future be damned, right? Was Hannah two-timing Arlene, or is she two-timing Dexter? ""I'm 100% sure about you, but you need to be 100% sure about me, too,"" Hannah pleads with Dexter. ""We could have it all.""

In the end, while Hannah is still out there, Dexter will never know that Deb is safe. So the choice is made for him: Debra it is. He gives Deb the evidence she needs to put Hannah in jail for murdering Sal Price, and goes with her to arrest Hannah. But all Hannah can do is look at him, heartbroken, and yelp ""you should've killed me"" in a way that really makes you wonder who's done the bad thing here: Hannah...or Deb? One thing's for certain: Deb and Hannah are more alike than they might think.

""What are the odds?""

Well, quite good, it seems. When it comes to who stands to win the most, it's definitely Captain Maria LaGuerta. As we totally called in earlier this season, LaGuerta knows—and I mean really, really knows—that Dexter is the Bay Harbor Butcher. She's a good cop, this one, eh? People really shouldn't have counted her out, not after all she did to get where she is now.

It all starts with Hector Estrada. He's up for parole: Hannah calls it a Christmas present for Dexter, but it seems like it was more an attempted Christmas present to LaGuerta, from LaGuerta. In order to prove her theory, she sets up Estrada as bait for Dexter but doesn't tell anyone. Continuing in her above-board investigation with former Captain Matthews, she allows Matthews to interrogate Dexter. This, of course, gives Dexter every opportunity to change the situation, furthering the evidence that connects Doakes to the Bay Harbor Butcher cases. In a moment of subtle acting from Matthews, we get the line of LaGuerta's echoed right to Dexter: ""What are the odds?"" The two talk about all the ways in which Dexter is connected to these cases: the men that killed his mother, Brian Moser, the method of body disposal. Matthews is clearly wanting this catch for his own—he always wants to one-up LaGuerta.

As they probably imagined they would, LaGuerta and Matthews find the elusive boat belonging to Doakes that Dexter planted in evidence. They find the plastic sheet coverings and a fingerprint that connects Doakes to all of it. They might as well have put a bow on all of it, too. LaGuerta thinks Dexter planted it, but Matthews says the investigation is over: ""your talent is in playing the game. Hell, you beat me.""

Which brings us back to Estrada. Dexter has Estrada right where he wants him, and minus a kerfuffle with Estrada's gun, gets him on his table, ready to close a chapter of his life by murdering the last of the men that killed his mother. Only...Estrada lets it slip that LaGuerta got him out on parole. And, oh yeah, LaGuerta's had detectives following Estrada around, so they know Estrada's here. They manage to get out right before LaGuerta gets there, but not without a hassle: plastic sheets and a working chainsaw are left on the scene. Oh yeah, and Estrada escapes into the water, leaving yet another loose end that little Dicky Moser will have to clean up.

""The future has never been kind to people like me.""

...And somehow we doubt that it will be, Dexter.

Other story lines of note:

1.) Quittin' Time for Angel: Could it be true? Is it possible? Has Angel been so disgusted, saddened, stressed-out, and morally shot by the ways of Miami Metro this season that he's cultivated an exit strategy? All signs point to yes when he gives LaGuerta notice of his retirement. That's right, probably the most normal human at Miami Metro has decided the place is too much to handle, and he's putting in his papers as of January 1st. ""You don't carry it with you,"" Angel quipped when explaining his desire for the simpler life his new restaurant provides. Not like his police work. ""... and up until, Mike's death maybe, it never got to me."" People have been overlooking and under-appreciating Angel for seasons now, so it's no surprise he's come to terms with it. He certainly deserved to be Lieutenant over Debra, and the way he's been unknowingly pushed around in the middle of the Dexter — Debra feud is downright dirty. Get out of there while you still have some dignity left, Angel. Miami Metro is going down in flames, and it's going to take everyone with it. Maybe that poor dummy Masuka should find new employment soon, too.

2.) Adios, Nadia: Well that really sucks. Joey Quinn's lovelife is officially the worst. Looks like Nadia did what any stereotypically-written stripper would do: she took that money and ran, y'all. Got herself her passport and hoofed it to Vegas with all the other dream-havers. Went to Vegas and left you high and dry, Quinny-boy. At least she had the decency to...ha ha ha, OK, just kidding, we all know it wasn't decent. She left a note with another stripper at The Fox Hole. Of course. Hilarious bonus points for the naked, ambivalent stripper telling Joey that ""you really mean a lot and she'll never forget you.""

3.) Is This the Last of Matthews?: Let's just say it now; there's no f**king way Matthews is done on this Dexter-is-the-BHB tip. Matthews was a dick, sure, but he wasn't a dummy: I think he knows as well as LaGuerta that Dexter is the Bay Harbor Butcher. Something tells me that for his last trick, he's going to try and out-scoop LaGuerta on the Bay Harbor Butcher stuff. We all know he hates her—his weirdly racist turn this season seems to prove that even more so than normal—and he really wants to stick it to her for ruining his career. I think we're really going to need to keep an eye on this one. But don't blink, or you'll miss it (get it? Of course you do, you're very intelligent).

What did you think of this season's precursor to season finale-dom? Did Hannah really try to kill Deb? Did Deb plan the whole thing? Was Hannah only using Dexter's feelings for her (and his relationship with his sister) to stay out of jail? Happy/excited/nervous about the way things panned out? Sound off in the comments!

[Photo Credit: FOX]

Follow Alicia on Twitter @alicialutes

More:

'Dexter' Recap: The Dark Passenger Revealed

'Dexter' Recap: Out of Control

'Dexter' Recap: What's Love Got to Do With It?

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