In the beginning of Showtime’s Dexter season seven finale, Hannah McKay is in jail and receives a visit from Dex. He is terribly sorry for having to put her away, but knew Deb wouldn’t be safe while Hannah was free. Hannah does admit to poisoning Deb, but she also bites Dexter when she gives him a kiss goodbye, letting him know that it will never be the same now that he has betrayed her.
Hannah then calls Arlene from prison to ask her for a favor. It is only later in the episode that we find out Arlene is aiding in Hannah’s escape. All the while Michael C. Hall and Jennifer Carpenter give the best performances of their lives.
Meanwhile back at Dexter’s, a father is spending quality time with his son when LaGuerta shows up with two officers and an arrest warrant. She arrests Dexter, charging him with the murder of Hector Estrada and then reads him his rights. Upon their arrival at Miami Metro everyone simultaneously freaks out and asks Maria what the hell she is doing. Batista thinks LaGuerta is off her rocker and Deb watches as she questions Dex about the Bay Harbor Butcher killings.
Dex manages to seem quite innocent and Angel believes him. Masuka comes in with evidence that Hector’s shirt, which LaGuerta found in the dumpster where Dexter was photographed, was the shirt he was arrested in forty years ago and that his wallet has LaGuerta’s prints. Everyone believes that Maria tampered with evidence. Truth be told, Dexter set her up. Even though Maria is onto the truth, it is hard to feel badly for her after all her dramatics and idiocy throughout the series. She was out of line in releasing Estrada to trap Dex and now it’s come back to haunt her. Dex and Maria end up in the elevator together and she let’s him know that Doakes always knew there was something off about Dexter.
Deb drops by Dexter’s place and reams him a new asshole. As far as he can tell, he has tied up all the loose ends and they won’t be getting any trouble from LaGuerta from now on. Deb questions the ethics of sacrificing Maria’s career and Dexter doesn’t seem to care. The only problem is that Estrada is still alive and if Maria finds him, Dex is screwed. Deb worries that Hannah will testify against Dex in order to be granted leniency in her own case. Dex doesn’t think so.
Dex starts reminiscing moments spent with Doakes in season one. He realizes that he showed too much of his real self in reenacting a crime scene and he also acted too fake. Doakes could sense immediately that Dex was a creep. And yet again, another person who knows Dexter’s secret is more annoying than the serial killer we all root for and we are glad when Doakes kicks the bucket.
Deb shows up to Hannah’s arraignment and the two exchange words. Hannah is shocked that Deb knows Dexter’s secret and refuses to turn him in. She calls Deb a hypocrite.Hannah pleads not guilty and is denied bail. She sees Arlene in the crowd who hands her a pill, unnoticed by the escorting officer. Hannah then slips the pill into her mouth and has a seizure on the way to the jail. The officers driving the vehicle take her to the hospital where she is stabilized but unconscious. While their heads are turned, she manages to wake up and get herself free, on the loose once again.
Dexter tracks down Estrada through his wife by acting as a parole officer. After following her to Estrada’s location, he pays off some kids to taunt Estrada and lead him on a chase through the park where Dex awaits with his infamous tranquilizer shot.
Deb is called into Maria’s office. Maria apologizes to her, but then shows her a DVD that Mike Anderson had among his personal belongings after Travis Marshall’s death. The footage shows Deb at the gas station near the church where Marshall died, filling up a red gas can instead of her car. Deb stumbles a bit trying to avoid Maria pegging her as an accomplice, but manages to leave the office to tell Dexter the news. Dexter says that things don’t look good. Deb hears Estrada in the back of Dexter’s car and jumps the scene.
Dex and Ghost Dad go to break into Maria’s house and see how much evidence she has against he and Deb. She has a warrant already signed by a judge which allows her to look up GPS documentation for Dex & Deb’s phones on the night of Travis Marshall’s death. If she is able to see that evidence Dex and Deb will be shown at the church the moment it burnt down. Ghost Dad tells Dex to get Deb and Harrison and run. Dexter says he doesn’t want to run and chooses to defeat LaGuerta in order to protect his sister.
Dex takes Estrada back to the shipping yard and forces him to call Maria and ask for her help. LaGuerta goes to the shipping yard and Dex gives her a half dose of tranquilizer. Debra is at Batista’s retirement New Year’s party and realizes that both Dex and Maria aren’t there. She calls dispatch to get a location on LaGuerta’s car and realizes that Dex has lured her into his kill room.
Dex kills Estrada with a smaller knife and then decides to use LaGuerta’s gun to shoot him in the exact same place. He sets it up to look as though the two got into a gun fight and killed one another. He is about to shoot LaGuerta with Estrada’s gun when Debra walks into the storage cell. LaGuerta awakes and tries to convince Deb to put Dexter down, but Deb is in turmoil trying to decide what to do. LaGuerta tells Deb that she isn’t like Dexter, that she is a good person, and must do the right thing. Dexter agrees and lowers his knife to the ground, accepting her willingness to kill him.
In so many ways this show has disappointed its fans in the last two seasons, but at this moment we are thrown into the limelight as we take on Debra’s dilemma ourselves. On the one hand we want Deb to do the right thing and shoot Dexter, which is a fraction of what he deserves. But we also realize that Dexter cannot die and we don’t truly want Deb to do it. Deb cannot do the deed and instead shoots LaGuerta in the chest, killing her immediately. Deb then runs to hold Maria’s body and sobs. Dexter is in shock. The two clean up and go back to Batista’s party with forlorn looks on their faces.
Deb made the wrong choice and the consequences won’t be easy. Meanwhile Hannah is still at large. Well played writers, you have redeemed yourselves.