Oh man, so much STUFF went down this week. Dexy is forced to choose between the two most important women in his life: his sister or his murdering girlfriend. LaGuerta won’t get off of Dexter’s back. And it’s Christmas! That’s enough to make anyone’s head spin.
We last left Dexter and Hannah saying the “L” word and Deb beginning the search for Arlene Schram, the roommate that witnessed Hannah slipping rat poison into her counselor’s food. We catch up with Dexter in his full kill suit. He’s older, balding and gray. He stabs an unknown victim, and then meets an unaged Hannah at her greenhouse. Harrison is a handsome teenager headed off to basketball practice. This is a possibility that Dexter never had before: a future in which he can grow old with his loved ones. Deb isn’t there… hmm.
He’s interrupted from his daydream by the ringing of his cellphone. Sorry for the late notice, but Hector Estrada – the guy who orchestrated the brutal murder of your mother – has a parole hearing at 10am. There’s a good chance he’ll get parole, too. He is the last survivor of the group of slaughterers. Hannah sees it as an early Christmas present from the universe.
You can’t help but feel pity for Estrada as he enters the courtroom in his orange jumper. Of course, when you remember the horrors he committed, you hate him again. He looks ill. He’s eligible for parole because apparently he has some kind of terminal illness. The judge asks if any victims present have statements for or against the board’s decision. Dexter remains quiet. He’s got plans of his own.
Angel has the skinny of Arlene Schram: she’s a drug addict and lost custody of her two children. Deb still can’t get ahold of Hannah’s father. Must have skipped town. Angel feels a pang of guilt about going after Hannah without talking to Dexter first, but Deb don’t play that game.
Matthews is busy putting up Christmas lights on his yacht when Dexter arrives. The former captain needs to have a chat about Maria’s theory. Dexter does well to act surprised without looking like he shit his pants. A lot of coincidences, isn’t there, Dex? Matthews goes over the list of evidence and it takes Dexter only a moment to realize that this is an interrogation. Dexter quickly lies about Doakes, explaining he had a secret boat at the same marina as Dexter. He left to get away from him and never came forward with the information because he was afraid of what Doakes might do to him. Or Deb. Matthews buys it. Now Dexter has to make sure that they have something to find.
Arlene is a real charming lady. Deb pulls out a photo of the dead counselor. Arlene could be arrested as an accessory to murder. She helps the cops, she gets immunity from jail. Arlene asks for time to think about it. What does she owe Hannah anyway?
Dexter tells Deb about Matthews and LaGuerta. Dexter is going to plant the evidence, but he will have to be extra careful with those two on the trail. Deb watches Harrison sitting on Santa’s lap, smiling and laughing (seriously though does the kid ever talk?). No, she says. She’ll do it. She’ll plant the evidence. Harrison cannot grow up without a father.
Arlene chain-smokes as she fills Hannah in about “that skanky detective.” Hannah reminds her friend that the counselor was putting his hands on them, and when she shut him down, Arlene backed her up. Hannah will not let Arlene go to jail. She just needs to stay strong. I don’t like that look in Hannah’s eyes.
Deb sits in her dark car outside of LaGuerta’s house, waiting for her to leave. She pops one of her anxiety pills and watches, finally, as the boss lady pulls out of her driveway. Deb is ready to plant some evidence, yo.
Quinn goes to the Fox Hole to see if he can find Nadia. She hasn’t been returning his calls. One of the dancers tells him that Nadia left for Vegas a few days ago to work in one of the casinos. She left him a note, but Quinn doesn’t need to read it: the dancer tells him what’s inside. Nadia couldn’t stay there; she needed a fresh start. She took the money and ran, just like you told her to, Quinn. What is this storyline, by the way? I feel like it’s just there so Quinn has something to do this season. Because really, what the hell?
LaGuerta and Matthews go through Doakes’ belongings. They find the tackle box that the Morgan siblings planted: it’s filled with deep sea fishing lures and the key to a boathouse. The Hardy Brothers search the building and find the mother load: plastic wrap and a bloody knife with Doakes’ fingerprint. They call in a forensics team. LaGuerta still doesn’t believe it; Dexter could have planted that evidence. He’s a forensics expert. Matthews tells her to lay off. He is done with this game, and he better get that pension she promised.
Deb is hoping to enjoy a nice evening run. She’s surprised by a visit from Hannah. Deb agrees to listen to what Hannah has to say. She acknowledges that Hannah makes some valid points about Dexter’s awful past and his new happiness. Can’t they be friends? Deb don’t want none of that shit. She isn’t going to give up until Hannah is behind bars. Well, Merry Christmas.
Now that LaGuerta and Matthews are out of the picture, Dexter can attempt to cut the last strand from his past life by ending Estrada’s. He plays the role of a drug dealer, approaching the suddenly well Estrada and asking for his help in getting into the Hispanic market in Miami. The killer falls for it and they plan to meet later that night. They part ways and Dexter’s phone rings. It’s Angel – Deb has been in a car accident.
Deb is asleep in her hospital room. Her wrist is broken, a few bruises, but she’ll be okay. She blacked out behind the wheel. The doctor said there was a lot of her anti-anxiety medication in her system, almost three times the normal dosage. Deb was on her way to interview Arlene, and Angel is forced to come clean to Dexter.
Deb doesn’t know what happened. She felt tired behind the wheel and before she knew it, she was upside down in a ditch. Dexter mentions Arlene, and Deb assumes Hannah told him. Oh, by the way, Hannah was at Deb’s house last night. And now she’s in the hospital after being drugged. Dexter doesn’t believe it was Hannah. Deb must have mistakenly taken too many of those pills. She must have lost track of how many she had.
Dexter lets himself into Deb’s place to try to find proof that Hannah didn’t poison his sister. He’s searching through the medicine cabinet when he finds a stray blonde hair. Is it hers? Did Dexter just bring that in with him now, or did Hannah break in? The next stop is the body shop where Deb’s poor crushed car sits. He finds an opened water bottle under the driver seat. A lab test will prove Hannah’s innocence.
Christmas Eve. Hannah, Jamie, Dexter, and Harrison sit down to a small, but nice, dinner sans Debra. Dexter watches as Hannah doles out mashed potatoes. Can you ever really trust a poisoner?
Hannah wants Dexter to spend the night, but he has somewhere to be. He has a meeting with Estrada. Dexter wants to know: did she poison Deb? Hannah is offended. Arlene is not a threat to her, and Hannah would never hurt Deb because she cares for Dexter. Besides, Hannah has never made a mistake. If she wanted to poison Deb, she would have been dead. Not to toot her own horn, or anything. She is sure about Dexter. She needs to know that he can say the same exact thing about her. Hannah wants you to figure your shit out, Dexter.
Time to blow off some steam. Dexter leads Hector to a shipping crate. It’s all ready for the kill. It only takes a moment for Dexter to choke Estrada into unconsciousness. Once he wakes up, straps to the table, of course, Dexter tells him the origin story. Estrada exclaims: “Holy fuck, you’re Dickey Moser!” Dexter gets his chainsaw ready and Estrada assumes Dex is working for “her.” What? Oh yeah, there was a big push from the captain of Miami Metro for his release. Dexter isn’t stupid. He was the one that was set up.
Outside, LaGuerta meets the two officers she put on his tail. They open the shipping container, now abandoned but still covered in plastic. Dexter has Estrada at knifepoint by the water, but the latter manages to escape into the water. Dex gives it up as a bad job and runs off into the fog.
Dexter gets another Christmas “gift”: a phone call from the lab tech that ran the water Dex found in Deb’s car. It was 20% anti-anxiety medication. Whoever did that really wanted to knock themselves out. Dexter knows Hannah poisoned Deb.
Dexter brings Deb home. He has a gift for her: Sal Price’s pen, with poison and Hannah’s prints. He took it at the scene, but now he needs to turn her in. As long as Hannah is free, Deb is not safe. Deb can’t believe he’s really going to do this. It must be very difficult.
Dexter pays Hannah one last visit. She is happy to see him – he chose to be with her. No, sorry. They are bathed in the blue and red flashes of police lights. Deb finally says what she’s been dying to say forever: “You are under arrest for the murder of Sal Price.” Hannah looks at Dexter, her eyes filled with the pain of his betrayal: “You should have just killed me.”
So what do you think? Was it really Hannah? Or did Deb do it to herself to try and convince her brother, finally, that Hannah is bad news bears?