'Dexter': Dreaming of a red Christmas
Plus, the choice is forced: Hannah or his sister?
The universe has given Dexter a Christmas present, as Hannah McKay (Yvonne Strahovski) pointed out to Dexter (Michael C. Hall) in in last night's episode, "Do You See What I See?"
Hector Estrada, the kingpin of the drug ring that murdered Dexter's mom in front of him 40 years ago, has been paroled. He is the last survivor among the killers -- thanks in part to Dexter's previous work.
Dexter meets up with Estrada by posing as a drug dealer attempting to connect him with a shipment. On Christmas Eve, he lures him to a shipping container that looks identical to the one in which Dexter's mom was introduced to a chainsaw.
Dexter points to his own chainsaw, noting it's the same way he did in Estrada's partner, Santos Jimenez.
It wasn't the universe who arranged for this Christmas present, however. (More on that in a bit.)
Dexter seems more happy with Hannah than ever. He even has a flash-forward featuring old-age makeup reminiscent of the series finale of "Six Feet Under." Hannah shows up at Deb's place to plead for Dexter's happiness.
"Can’t we work out our issues?" Hannah asks her nemesis.
"I think we can," Deb replies. "It’s because I love Dexter that I’m willing to do whatever it takes to protect him from you. I’m not gonna give up until your murdering ass is behind bars for good. That’s how we’re gonna work out our issues.
"But hey," she adds, "thanks for stopping by."
Suspicion is cast on the real purpose of Hannah's visit the next day, when Deb finds herself driving into a ditch due to three times the level of Xanax in her system than she had actually taken. Dexter confronts Hannah. He acknowledges that they love each other, but also that she will always do "whatever it takes" to protect herself.
"I’m sure about you," Hannah tells Dex. "And I’m 100 percent sure that you need to say the same about me." Before Dexter can commit, however, he needs answers. He visits Deb's demolished car in the impound lot and retrieves a bottle of water that he sends to a lab.
Tom Matthews (Geoff Pierson) tips Dexter off: LaGuerta (Lauren Velez) is convinced that Dexter s the Bay Harbor Butcher. Matthews lays out her thinking, and notes to Dexter some of the astounding coincidences: that Dexter saw his mother hacked up Bay Harbor Butcher style. So did Dexter's brother, who became a serial killer (Ice Truck). Another weird thing: the cabin where Doakes was croaked was rented to Santos Jimenez.
"I mean, what are the odds?" Matthews asks.
Dexter thinks fast and comes up with a story about seeing Doakes on the secret boat he maintained to dispose of his victims, but that he kept quiet for fear of his and Deb's safety.
Dexter updates Deb. He intends to plant evidence of the Doakes boat in LaGuerta's basement, where she's conducting the investigation using items retrieved from the cabin. Deb offers herself up for that duty instead, since Dexter can't be found there. She plants deep-sea fishing lures and a key on a keychain that spells the name of a marina where LaGuerta and Matthew find plastic sheeting and a Doakes fingerprint.
"It’s over,” Matthews tells LaGuerta. "The fat lady isn’t singing. Her song is done."
But LaGuerta has one more trick up her sleeve. Back at the shipping container, before Dexter sinks his knife into Estrada, his victim mentions the cop who got him out.
"You're working with her, aren't you?" Estrada asks. "They said that there was a big push for my release from the captain of Miami Metro."
Dexter's Christmas present from the universe was really a setup from LaGuerta. She's waiting outside with a phalanx of cops trying to find the right container. When they finally do, Dexter has slipped out, with Estrada in a headlock that he escapes by diving into the water.
In the final scene, Dexter shows up at Hannah's. He has made his choice to commit … to Deb, who arrests Hannah based on Sal Price's poisoned pen, which Dexter found the next morning and kept out of evidence.
As it turns out, Deb's bottle of water contained 40 percent dissolved Xanax.
But how will this play out, considering that Hannah knows Dexter's darkest secret?
"Dexter" airs Sunday nights at 9 p.m. ET/PT on Showtime.