Monday, December 10, 2012

Showtime Dexter “Do You See What I See” #711 Christmas Gifts

by  Catherine Giordano

Showtime’s “Dexter,” season 7 episode11, is entitled “Do You See What I See.” The title refers to the plot lines concerning how some of the characters are seeing the truth and some of the characters are misperceiving the truth. The episode is also about the characters giving each other Christmas gifts, some of which they would rather not receive. A lot of the characters will not be having a happy new year due to the events that unfolded during this episode.

Dexter learns that Eric Estrada, one of the men in prison for the murder of Dexter’s mother is up for parole. Dexter sees this as a great Christmas gift to him. He will finally be able to kill this man and avenge his mother’s murder. Estrada also sees his parole as a Christmas gift.

Once Estrada is released, Dexter approaches him pretending to be a drug dealer.  He tosses out the names of some of Estrada’s former associates to lead the man into believing that Dexter wants to partner with him on a lucrative drug deal. Estrada, doesn’t see the trap Dexter is setting for him agrees to meet Dexter on Christmas eve.

Dexter meets Estrada at a storage facility in a deserted waterfront area. He ushers Estrada into a storage room and after a brief tussle, Dexter injects him with the knock-out drug. Estrada comes to on the table wrapped in plastic. Dexter is holding a chain saw, the weapon used to kill his mother. He tells Estrada that he is going to use the chain saw to dismember him just as he and his men did to his mother.  Estrada realizes the truth and says, “You’re Dickie Moser.”  Dexter corrects him, “It’s Dexter,” he says.    

Estrada begins to see that his release from prison was not such a great gift after all. He screams, “You’re working with her, aren’t you. The cop bitch, the captain of Miami metro. The one who pushed for my release. She set me up.

Dexter sees the truth. It was not the universe giving him the gift of Estrada. LaGuerta was setting him up. “You’re not the one she set up,” he tells Estrada. He doesn’t kill Estrada, instead he drags him to a pier at knife point where Estrada manages to break free, diving into the ocean to escape Dexter.

LaGuerta had Estrada followed hoping to catch Dexter in the kill. When she arrives at the storage room, all she finds is a room tented in plastic and a table with a running chain saw on it.

Matthews has always been convinced that Dexter was not the Bay Harbor Butcher. He can’t see the truth because of his close relationship with the Morgan family. However, this investigation is personal to LaGuerta because she was Doakes’ lover at the time of his death. She wants to clear his name. 

However, LaGuerta is now alone in her pursuit of Dexter because Tom Matthews has decided that Doakes was definitely the Bay Harbor Butcher. He has told her that he is done helping her.

Dexter helped Matthews come to this conclusion.  Mathews asked Dexter to come to his boat (where he lives). He told Dexter that he thought that he should give him a “heads-up” about LaGuerta’s investigation. In the process, he did a little gentle interrogating on his own. This was a great gift to Dexter because both he and Debra thought that LaGuerta had given up on her suspicions.

During his visit Dexter mentions that he once saw Doakes on his boat cutting up a victim, but he was too scared to tell anyone.  He says he was so scared that he had to move his own boat from the marina just so he would no longer be in proximity to Doakes. This goes a long way to eliminating Mathews doubts.

Matthews has always been convinced that Dexter was not the Bay Harbor Butcher. He can’t see the truth because of his close relationship with the Morgan family. However, LaGuerta is also seeing what she wants to see.  This investigation is personal to LaGuerta because she was Doakes’ lover at the time of his death. She wants to clear his name. 

Dexter’s conversation with Matthews also gives Dexter and Debra an opportunity to plant some evidence to help Mathews convince LaGuerta. Debra stakes out LaGuerta’s house, and waits until she leaves. When LaGuerta is gone, we see Debra get out of her car and walk towards LaGuerta’s house,

Later we can surmise what Debra did while she was at LaGuerta’s house—LaGuerta has boxes of Doakes’ stuff in her garage. (She probably got it because she was his lover when he died. Maybe he had no next of kin.) When Matthews and LaGuerta search through the boxes, they find a deep-sea fishing lure in a tackle box. They also find a key on a key chain with a name on it that leads them to a boathouse.  There they find rolls of plastic trash bags. (They don’t find a boat, but they assume that Doakes moved it when he saw the police closing in on him.) Matthews tells LaGuerta that he is now totally convinced that Doakes is the Bay Harbor Butcher. One small question: Why did they never go looking for a boat when Doakes was first discovered to be the Bay Harbor Butcher?  

Debra still wants to bring Hannah to justice. Batista has located Arlene Shawn, a possible witness to Hannah’s poisoning of a half-way house counselor.  Arlene is a former drug addict who has gotten clean, but may still be about to lose custody of her two young children who will be placed in foster care. Debra tells Arlene that she knows about her and Hannah and the rat poisoning. She threatens Arlene with criminal charges if she does not give testimony. She also offers Arlene the gift of immunity from prosecution if she does provide her testimony. She warns Arlene that she is in danger of losing custody of her children. Arlene says she has to think it over. Debra leaves after warning her to think fast.

Batista wanted to tell Dexter that Hannah was under investigation as a courtesy to Dexter, but Debra ordered him not to say anything.  Dexter gets a call that Debra was in an auto accident while she was heading towards Hialeah. She is in the hospital, but her injuries are not too serious. She will be released in a day. She apparently fell asleep at the wheel. Everyone believes that she accidently overdosed on her anti-anxiety medication because a high concentration of this medication is found in her blood. Debra insists that she had only taken one pill and she took it the night before her accident. Everyone thinks that she became confused and simply lost track of how many she took.

When Batista tells Dexter about the accident, Dexter asks why Debra was going to Hialeah. Batista then tells Dexter that she was going there for a second interview with Arlene.

When Dexter visits Debra at the hospital, Debra tells Dexter that Hannah came to visit her the night before her accident, but she never let Hannah in the house.  Hannah was there to try to mend fences with Debra. She asked Debra to accept her for Dexter’s sake. She and Dexter loved each other and Dexter was happier because of her. Debra told Hannah that she would never accept her, and she would continue to try to bring her to justice. 

After Debra’s accident, Dexter asks Hannah if she had anything to do with it.  Hannah is shocked that Dexter could think that she would try to kill his sister. Hannah tells him that she had met with Arlene. (Arlene had called Hannah her after Debra had threatened her.) Hannah tells Dexter she had no reason to kill Debra because Arlene is no threat to her. Arlene is so messed up that she would not be a credible witness.

However, Dexter remembers how she had said that she had when she poisoned Sal Price she had expected that he would die in a car accident, not at Dexter’s house. Debra’s car accident fits Hannah’s MO. His suspicions continue.

Dexter searches Debra’s medicine cabinet. He finds a blond hair—he thinks it might be Hannah’s. Dexter goes to the auto repair shop that has Debra’s car. He searches the car. He finds a water bottle. He gets the water tested at the lab, and it is found to have a high concentration of Debra’s anti anxiety medication.

Hannah believes that the issue has been put to rest and that Dexter no longer suspects her. Hannah and Dexter have Christmas eve dinner with Jamie (his nanny) and his toddler son Harrison. It is a lovely family scene, Hannah clearly loves Harrison. This is the future Dexter wants with Hannah. He dreams of growing old with her. Hannah gives Dexter a Christmas gift—a framed picture of the two of them together, smiling and happy.

Later, at Hannah’s house, Dexter confronts Hannah again with his suspicions that she had tried to kill Debra. Hannah swears to Dexter that she would never do anything to hurt his sister. Perhaps Dexter is remembering how he said that he would not kill Hannah’s father, but never kept that promise. Perhaps he is thinking that Hannah is no more truthful than he is. (The difference that Dexter may not be seeing is that he killed Hannah’s father to protect the woman he loved, but if Hannah killed Debra, she would be protecting only herself.  Also, Dexter knew that there was no love between Hannah and her father whereas Hannah knew that Dexter loved his sister very much.)

She also says that she would never hurt Dexter by killing his sister.  She caps it off by telling him that she never makes a mistake--If she wanted Debra dead, she would be dead. I don’t think this is very assuring to Dexter.

Hannah realizes that Dexter still suspects her. She swears that she loves him, but that he is so afraid of love that he is using his sister’s accident as an excuse to ruin their relationship. She says that there must be trust in the relationship. She goes to the door and opens it, clearly inviting him to leave. She tells him that he needs to think about whether or not he trusts her.

See, Dexter is just an ordinary guy after all. He has commitment issues.  However, Hannah is a cut above the ordinary girl. She is willing to walk away from a relationship with a man who can’t commit.

On Christmas day, Dexter brings Debra a Christmas gift. It is Sal Price’s pen in an evidence bag. He tells Debra that he stole this pen from the evidence box, and that she will find aconite poison (Hannah’s poison of choice) on the tip of pen along with Hannah’s fingerprints. Hannah poisoned the pen because she knew Price had a habit of chewing on the end of his pen.  

We next see Dexter arriving at Hannah’s house where she is out working in the garden.  When Hannah sees Dexter, Hannah sees what she wants to see.  Dexter has come back to her. The scene is all sunshine and flowers. Hannah kisses Dexter under the mistletoe, but she realizes that Dexter is not kissing back with much feeling.

Dexter says, “I’m sorry.” Just then Hannah sees Debra walking down the path to her garden, and she realizes what Dexter is sorry about. Debra announces that Hannah is under arrest for the murder of Sal Price. Hannah is taken away in a police car and Dexter looks on mournfully and Debra looks on with angry satisfaction blazing from her eyes.

I am confident that Debra has set up Dexter and that he will soon realize this. Debra’s betrayal is going to ruin her relationship with Dexter. Further, Hannah knows too much about Dexter. LaGuerta has failed to find evidence against Dexter, but Hannah may be able and willing to provide it. (One small question: Did Debra fail to see this possibility or does she just not care?)

This is a roller coaster ride of an episode that spirals in on itself. No sooner is one threat ended, than another presents itself. LaGuerta tries to set Dexter up and fails; then Debra sets Dexter up and succeeds.  Hannah tries to befriend Debra, but this only reinforces Debra’s hatred of her. (Is Debra motivated only by her love of justice, or is Debra also motivated by jealousy? She feels that she is in love with Dexter, but Dexter has dismissed her feelings as not real, and proclaimed himself in love with Hannah.  Debra’s betrayal of Dexter is the “Hell-has-no fury-like-a-woman-scorned” moment of the week.)  Dexter’s love for his sister has trumped his love for Hannah—he feels that Debra will never be safe as long as Hannah is free—but I am sure that Dexter will soon come to regret his choice.

Maybe all the killers got killed off early this season because we don’t need villains. The main characters may soon be killing each other—in one way or another.

This week’s episode was a truly fascinating episode—a Christmas gift to the audience. Next week’s episode is the final episode of the season. I have a feeling that the show-runners are not going to gift-wrap-up this one for us. They are going to leave us with a cliff hanger as we  await the start of the final season next year. 

Dexter and Hannah just before everything goes wrong.
  This picture is from

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