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Dexter Recap: All I Want For Christmas Is Reindeer Dicks Edition

 Episode 11: Do You See What I See?

Don’t you love the word “penultimate?” It’s one of my favorites. Usually in TV series, everything happens in the penultimate episode, leaving the finale to deal with the recovery. Except with True Blood. There is always a Bilith-esque cliffhanger on that show.

In this installment of the show I hate to love and love to hate, it’s Christmas! Also, Dexter realizes that, even 7 seasons in the can, he can still be outwitted.

The episode starts with Dexter having a daydream about his future, with old age makeup! You have no idea how much I love terrible old age makeup. And Dexter sure has some!
Hannah decided a sensible bun conveys old age. Which it does.
Also, Harrison is super-cute all growed up. I’m assuming he’s age-appropriate as well because creepy. 
And he enjoys the sports. I won't hold it against him...OR WOULD I?
Dex is very much looking forward to the future. Will things change by the end of this episode? Oh, probably.

Dex is taken away from his awesome old age makeup and hot son daydream when he gets a call about Hector Estrada—the lesser known brother of Erik—who has a parole hearing that afternoon. For those of you not in the know, Estrada ordered the hit on Dexter’s mother. Hannah doesn’t object to Dex wanting to kill him, in fact she’s all for it.

At Miami Metro, Quinn has been calling Nadja, like, all day or something. Matsuka’s one scene this episode features him in a Santa cap and elf ears.
Totally worth it.
He asks Quinn if they should do a “Secret Santa” this year, and Quinn replies—I kid you not—“I have enough presents to buy, man.” Who do you have to buy presents for? Do you even have parents? I thought the entropy of the universe shit you out for the specific purpose of making any scene with you in it unwatchable.

Angel mentions to Deb that he’s tracked down Arlene, the witness to one of Hannah’s early murders. He also wonders if they should tell Dexter about all of this. Deb says it’s her call. Because there is no way this won’t cause trouble down the line.

Dexter stops by Matthews’ boat. You’ll remember he’s been helping LaGuerta look into the Bay Harbor Butcher case. Anyhoo, Matthews fill Dex in on all of LaGuerta’s shenanigans, more specifically, how she thinks Dex is the BHB (and she’s right). Dex plays it cool, and spins a lie about how Doakes (the framed BHB) used to have a boat at Dex’s former marina. He didn’t come forward with the information because he was scared of Doakes, even after he was dead, I suppose. Also, lies. Also, also, I think "Former Marina" would make a sweet band name.

Deb, meanwhile, has a conversation with Arlene, a ratty ginger junkie who yells at her kids. She also reminds me of this one girl I had some classes with in college.
A class act all the way.
She'd wear dresses like the one pictured, only sans underwear. Deb makes her an offer: spill about Hannah, and they won’t take Arlene’s kids away.

Dex and Deb take Harrison to get his picture taken with Santa. Deb recalls she asked Santa for a gun when she was a kid. Adorable. Dex tells her all about how LaGuerta still has a mad-on for the BHB case. And he needs to plant evidence about the boat yadda yadda. Deb volunteers to plant the evidence; she doesn’t want Dex to take the fall for that. Plus, someone needs to take Harrison to the doctor to cure his “constantly looking off-camera at the director of photography” disease.
Seriously, kid, look at the actual camera in front of you.
Elsewhere, Hannah has a chat with Arlene about Deb. Hannah says she’ll look out for Arlene. Somehow, I doubt Hannah is going to kill Deb for a junkie. This episode is full of these tiny scenes that I feel compelled to write about, even though I have nothing interesting to add.

Speaking of scenes I have nothing to add, Dex finds an abandoned boathouse and then helps Hannah put up her Christmas tree. And asks her over for Christmas dinner. So yeah. Oh, wait. Are Christmas trees expensive in Florida? I’m imagining them costing $10,000 what with all the supply and demand.

That night, Deb stakes out LaGuerta’s house, takes another one of her pills (make a note of that, there will be a quiz later), and I assume plants the evidence since it happens off-screen. Oh, and Dex is busy stalking former CHIPS star Erik Estrada’s lesser-known brother.

Okay, I know I said I hate all scenes with Quinn in them, but this one is so good. He stops by the Foxhole (which is taking the murder of their manager in stride, I should mention) to see why Nadja hasn’t returned any of his calls. Random Stripper tells him Nadja is in Las Vegas in yet another club. Is Foxhole a chain? That would be awesome. They should look into franchise opportunities. Quinn seems dumbfounded, shocking, I know. Oh, and Nadja left him a note. A note! It said something like “blah blah blah thanks for all the fish xoxo.” Can we talk about this for a second? Quinn doesn’t go to her house, or Skype with her, or think to visit her at any time after he shot manager George? And instead of, say, texting Quinn, Nadja leaves a note for him with another stripper? Wait, I take it all back. THEY ARE PERFECT FOR EACH OTHER.

La*yawn*Guerta and Matthews go through old BHB evidence at her house. She has the balls to say Matthews is “jumping to conclusions” about Doakes. But they find an old tackle box with deep sea lures and a key to a boathouse
Watch out! Conclusions! Jumping out of nowhere!
They investigate the boathouse (remember, Dexter set all this up in like a day) and find some garbage bags and a knife with one of Doakes’ prints on it. LaGuerta is still unconvinced because who wouldn’t be? Matthews says “the fat lady has been dry humped in her dressing room,” and I’m inclined to agree.
Wait, we are talking about Kirstie Alley, right?
That night, Hannah visits Deb to work out their issues. Deb essentially tells her to fuck off, while drinking her water provocatively.

Next morning, Dex visits Matthews again to apologizes for not thinking about his lie about Doakes sooner. Matthews says to think nothing of it; they found the boathouse and proof that Doakes was in fact the BHB. Dex then calls Deb and tells her all of this within earshot of Matthew’s boat. That couldn’t have waited till you got in your car, Dex?

Dex later introduces himself to Estrada as Steve Fakename and that he has a lot of drugs to sell. Estrada is interested, and Dex gives him a location. Dex then gets a call from Angel; seems Deb has been in a car accident.

At the hospital, Angel tells Dex Deb has a broken wrist, but is otherwise fine. Oh, and she had massive amounts of anti-depressants in her system, which caused her to black out. Deb says she doesn’t remember what happened, only that she was on her way to talk to Arlene again. Deb immediately thinks Hannah had something to do with her accident. Maybe she somehow poisoned her when she visited? Or broke in? Dex doesn’t believe it; he needs proof.

And he’ll be sure to find out as he goes through Deb’s house. He does find a blond hair in Deb’s bathroom, and the sliding patio doors do seem to be open...He later investigates Deb’s car, only to find the aforementioned water bottle. He takes it to the lab, hoping it will just be plain old water.

Angel invites LaGuerta to his holiday party, but she declines. Because that would constitute fun and interacting with other human beings, and we all know she’d rather roll around naked in paperwork. Angel also mentions he’s gonna retire after the holidays. He says it’s because he likes the predictability of the restaurant, but we all know it’s because he wasn’t in this season at all. I’m just hoping they don’t do the whole retirement trope, and off him with like five days until he hangs up his guns cause he’s getting too old for this shit. Truth be told, I don’t mind Angel as a character, the whole him and LaGuerta marriage story a few seasons back was a bit much, but him running a restaurant would have been a more thrilling storyline than anything with Quinn.

It’s Christmas at Dexter’s! Just him and Hannah and Jamie and poor Harrison, who still hasn’t been treated for his wandering off-camera eyes. At this point, Dex is having serious doubts about Hannah, so much so that he’s seeing Christmas dinner in slo-mo, imagining Hannah having poisoned the mashed potatoes.
If I'm gonna go, let it be death by mashed potatoes.
That evening, Dex drops Hannah off at her place and shit gets real. Hannah starts off by saying she has always run from her problems, but she doesn’t want to run anymore. Dexter says, that’s nice, but I have to go kill Estrada now. And she’s fine with it. This girl is a keeper, Dex!

But then he goes and ruins it by bringing up Arlene and Deb and the car accident. Hannah seems genuinely shocked that he would suspect her at all. She’s insulted that he would even think that; Arlene is junkie trailer trash, who’s story wouldn’t hold up in court. But Dexter still doesn’t believe her. And Hannah calls him out on his trust issues; he’ll always wonder, won’t he?

But Deb passing out in her car seems strangely similar to how crime author Sal died. And then Hannah says something I wasn’t expecting: “I don’t make mistakes.” So, if Hannah wanted Deb dead (which I honestly don’t think she does) she’d be fucking dead. And then there’s the matter of Deb being Lieutenant of Miami Metro. Not exactly a low-profile person. This was probably one of the better written scenes between them all season. (I have a prediction/theory about this whole shebang, but I’ll wait till the end.)

Later, Dex brings former Sealab 2021 voice actor Erik Estrada’s criminal brother to the docks, finds an all-too-familiar trailer, and does his thing. 
You know, plastic, pictures, ironic/poetic chainsaw.
While he’s doing his spiel (inducing telling Estrada who he is), Estrada mentions that a certain police Captain had pushed for his release from prison. Three guesses who.

Time’s up! It was LaGuerta, who had Estrada followed. In a tense scene, Dex narrowly escapes capture, but Estrada gets away.

Dex makes it back home in time to get a call from the lab. The test results are in, and that water was chock full of vitamin anti-depressants. He goes to Deb, and hands her the pen Hannah used to poison Sal with. He goes to Hannah’s, and kisses her under the mistletoe before Miami Metro shows up and arrests her. “You should’ve killed me,” Hannah says.

Okay, are you all thinking the same thing as I am? That Deb planted a blond hair in her bathroom and drugged her own water so Dex would believe Hannah tried to kill her? I really think that’s what’s happening here. But I could be wrong. If I’m right: kudos, Deb. You’re just as devious as your brother.


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