Thursday, December 20, 2012

My Review of Dexter's 7x12: "Surprise, Mother******"

Written by Scott Buck And Tim Schlattmann
Directed by Steve Shill

Dexter (re him/Deb): “Is this a new beginning or the beginning of the end?”

Considering that next season is officially the show’s final year, I’d go for the latter option. I wasn’t sure if this season finale would pull a shocker to topple Deb witnessing Dexter killing Travis Marshall but somehow it managed to do so pretty damn spectacularly.

I guess there was always going to be some form of a consequence in Deb knowing about Dexter’s killer ways but even I didn’t think Maria getting killed by Deb to protect Dexter was going to be one of them. I get why Deb did what she had to do and at least she felt bad about it but it didn’t stop it from being a jaw dropping moment nonetheless.

I might not have always been a big fan of Maria but I think it’s fair to say she didn’t deserve to die at all. All she wanted to do was clear Doakes’s name and morally, she had every right to do that but by going up against Dexter and needling Deb about information on the church fire from the opening episode this season, Maria just managed to put herself in the firing line.

She had already made a fool of herself when she arrested Dexter and couldn’t hold him over Estrada and Dexter was able to trick her into a final confrontation as well. For a tiny moment, I did think that maybe Deb would shoot Dexter and save Maria but unfortunately, it went the opposite way.

I’ll miss Maria as a character though. Throughout seven seasons the writers gave her some material while the likes of Masuka, Angel and Quinn often had less interesting things to do. Her rivalry with Tom was a joy to watch and her backstabbing ways were interesting enough but just like Doakes, she’s managed to die knowing who Dexter Morgan really is and like Doakes, she died at the hands of a woman whose love for Dexter resorted in them taking desperate measure to protect him.

Speaking of Doakes, I loved that this episode gave us some flashbacks highlighting how he grew from getting along with Dexter to realising that something was off with him. With Maria now dead, someone else might have to take on the mantle of exposing Dexter’s true nature but who perhaps? I guess maybe Angel or Quinn at a push because I really can’t it being Masuka.

Meanwhile, with Maria getting shot, the other big deal of this finale happened to be Hannah. Again, for a moment, I thought Dexter might cave in and find a way to get Hannah released but it seemed a handy seizure causing pill from Arlene meant that Hannah managed to give the cops the slip and hopefully it also means that she’ll be in the next season as well.

Also in “Surprise, Motherfucker”

It’s nice that for the flashbacks with Doakes, they managed to film as similar to the way Dexter and Doakes scenes together in the first season were like.

Hannah: “You said you loved me.”
Dexter: “I do.”
Hannah: “Then why I am here?”
Dexter: “You poisoned Deb.”

Hannah did actually try to kill Deb after all. I am wondering if she’ll make another attempt on Deb next season as well. Plus, Harrison seemed taken with her too.

Dexter: “You’re hurt, angry, scared.”
Maria (re Doakes): “He’s dead because of you.”

Doakes: “I’ve never seen someone so excited by a crime scene before. You like this shit a little too much.”
Dexter: “I’m just doing my job.”

Quinn looked like he got over Nadia rather quickly, given that he started flirting with Jamie again in this episode.

Hannah: “I’m curious – how do you justify arresting me and not him? Or is the law just something you make up as you go along? Turning a blind eye whenever you feel like it or whenever Dexter is involved.”
Deb: “Fuck you. You are a liar and a killer.”
Hannah: “But not a hypocrite.”

Harry: “No, LaGuerta’s an innocent. She doesn’t even begin to meet the code.”
Dexter: “It’s my only option. I can’t let Deb go down for what I’ve done.”

Standout music: A rather creepy version of “Auld Lang Syne” played during this episode.

Maria (re Dexter): “Shoot him, Deb, you have to end this. Shoot him.”

Chronology: New Year’s Eve by the end of this episode.

Season Seven has certainly a renewed sense of intrigue and proper drama for this show and “Surprise, Motherfucker” has definitely turned out to be one of the best episodes from the show’s entire run. It’s also served as a brilliant set up to what definitely seems like a disaster in the making final season.

Rating: 9 out of 10

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