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Dec 17, 2012

TV Review: DEXTER: Season 7, Episode 12: Surprise, Motherf—-r!

Michael C. Hall Yvonne Strahovski Surprise Motherfucker

Dexter Surprise, Motherf—-r! ReviewDexter: Season 7, Episode 12: Surprise, Motherf—-r! was perfectly named. Even the most intrepid viewer would have never seen the ending to this episode coming. Dexter Morgan (Michael C. Hall) struggled with the prospect of becoming a killer with no code like his brother (spoiler) since he killed him (end spoiler). Now his sister, now his co-conspirator, his jumped ahead of him in that regard. The innocent people Dexter has killed were mostly accidents (except when he was in a rage over Rita’s death and killed that guy with a boat anchor), this was cold-blooded murder. This was a bigger surprise than Sookie Stackhouse being a…never mind. She beat him. Lieutenant Debra Morgan (Jennifer Carpenter) beat Dexter to it. Lieutenant Morgan’s father, Dexter’s adoptive father, would have been so proud. She killed an innocent person to protect a serial killer than framed an innocent man for his crimes. Family ties are the ties that bind.

Who Lieutenant Morgan killed, that was unbelievable. It was a surprising turn and a great turn as well. How many innocent people are now going to die in Dexter and Debra’s wake to protect their secrets?

The second biggest surprise in the episode was the reappearance via flashback of (spoiler) Sergeant James Doakes (Erik King). His inclusion in the episode showed how sourly his presence is missed on the series. Many of his scenes with Dexter were the best moments in the episode, the growing suspicion and antagonism between the two of them a foil to the growing situation between Captain Maria LaGuerta (Lauren Vélez) and Dexter. (end spoiler)

Hannah McKay (Yvonne Strahovski) dressing down Lieutenant Morgan (Jennifer Carpenter) before her arraignment was a joy to watch, especially the part when McKay brought up the fact that she has killed a few people while Dexter has killed dozens yet Lieutenant Morgan has done nothing about it. McKay was absolutely right when she called Lieutenant Morgan a hypocrite. The best part was that Lieutenant Morgan knew it (its was on her face).

Dexter: Season 7, Episode 12: Surprise, Motherf—-r! had three major plot holes.

1. Captain LaGuerta was rendered stupid, again. She should have never let Lieutenant Morgan know of the evidence she had against her. She should never have lost her cool in the interrogation. Blunder after blunder. They weren’t her fault though. They were implanted by the writers. The writers hamstrung Captain LaGuerta with purposeful ignorance and a lack of tack at key moments to preserve Dexter. Captain LaGuerta had the blood slide and then the video of Lieutenant Morgan at the gas station. If she had waited for the phone records before the questioning, she would have had the timeline and two key pieces of evidence. At that point, it would have been time to bring in the FBI but no. Like questioning Dexter in Dexter: Season 7, Episode 10: The Dark… Whatever, she jumped the gun. It was frustrating to watch this storyline pay out again: Captain LaGuerta giving her enemies the heads up and time to act.  It didn’t gel with the smart person and the trap she set in Dexter: Season 7, Episode 11: Do You See What I See?. Why show your hand to your opponent until your side is stacked? It didn’t make any sense. She gained nothing by telling Lieutenant Morgan. Its strange that an episode can have such great writing and such poor writing co-existing side by side, where smart people do not learn from a mistake they made a few days before.

2. The biggest plot hole in Surprise, Motherf—-r! was the (spoiler) McKay escape. The prison not notifying Lieutenant Morgan that McKay had been taken to the hospital was the first strange occurrence then the silly hammer dropped on the situation: McKay escaped and there was no notification to the arresting officer (Lieutenant Morgan). An All Points Bulletin (APB) on McKay wasn’t issued. The escape didn’t go out over police airwaves. The escape didn’t get local news coverage, even considering the escapee’s past (they would have been all over it. McKay’s comely face would have been plastered all over the news). None of these normal things happened because of two reasons: the writers of this episode, Scott Buck and Wendy West. If the normal things had happened, Lieutenant Morgan would have been immediately notified. The writers couldn’t have that, they couldn’t have logic. They couldn’t have basic police procedure. No. They needed Lieutenant Morgan at the docks for the episode finale so they couldn’t have her off on official police business starting and coordinating a search for a alleged escaped murderer (you know, her job). So the viewer was sacked with this big procedural, common sense hole that Buck and West hoped no one would notice. The hole grew bigger because even after the escape during the day, at night Lieutenant Morgan was at Sergeant Angel Batista (David Zayas)’s retirement party and she still had not been notified. No one at the party knew or even mentioned it.

Paris Hilton mentions a word that encompasses the enormity of this plot hole perfectly (wait for the end of the video when its in slow motion):

If Lieutenant Morgan knew McKay escaped, she would have told Dexter immediately. That would have thrown the entire finale into disarray and the writers couldn’t have that (or be forced to think their way out of it). Their solution: an entire storyline blackout. An entire basic police procedure blackout.

3. Do you know why the McKay escape happened in the first place, why it was written into the script? So there would be no Hannah McKay murder trial next season, so McKay would not be brought back next season (she was always a one season character). She’ll be on the run to that country she wanted Dexter to run away with her to. She will never show her face in Florida again. I have seen plenty of TV shows when a criminal is brought to the hospital by police. The criminals are always chained to bed with handcuffs, no plastic zip-ties (please). (end spoiler)

Like I said before, the criminal Brotherhood on the series is no more. One of their Captains disappears and the Lieutenant assigned to kill him gets killed in the same month plus the disappearance of Viktor Baskov that started the entire fiasco and the Brotherhood lets it go. I buy that, don’t you? Their organization could be under attack so its best to do nothing about it and let their people get killed off in America.

Dexter: Season 7, Episode 12: Surprise, Motherf—-r! had a great twist ending and wrote the remainder of the new characters out (per the formula) and now the character list has been returned to the central cast once more, minus one.

I love the formula, the holes, don’t you?

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  • Ally

    You make good points, I totally agree about making LaGuerta appear too stupid and the HUGE plotholes, but I don’t fully buy your reasoning for Hannah’s escape.

    After the finale Buck has said they’d love to bring her back next season and I see no reason to doubt him…. after all Yvonne Strahovski brought plenty of new viewers with her. You might be right about them not wanting to concentrate on her trial, though.

    Of course, it could be that she has other stuff on her plate that will prevent her from coming back for season 8. If that’s the case her escape works nicely for that scenario too.

    Didn’t like the finale too much myself, Deb killing an innocent person completely destroys the character in my eyes. Then again, I wasn’t a big fan of hers to begin with. At least this should silence the crazies hoping for a Dex/Deb romance… not going to happen.

  • http://film-book.com/ Film-Book.com

    I am right about the trial. How many guest stars have come back for the following season on this show (The Formula)? I can not remember any but I could be wrong.

    For whatever reason, Yvonne Strahovski was never coming back for season 8. It was that way from the beginning.

    “Didn’t like the finale too much myself, Deb killing an innocent person completely destroys the character in my eyes.”

    She was always empty to me, besides the cursing, now she is a fool and a murderer. She chose a serial killer over a good cop doing her job.

  • Ally

    “For whatever reason, Yvonne Strahovski was never coming back for season 8. It was that way from the beginning.”

    Well, we can’t know that for sure. Maybe they were planning to bring her back for S8 all along, maybe they weren’t, but the good ratings and her popularity changed their minds.

    In any case, they are now trying to bring her back. It remains to be seen if she wants to return.

  • actionjunkie

    LaGuerta truly believed Deb would confess. There is NO plothole… people really need to stop overthinking so much. Some try to be smart and come off dumb or lack common sense.

  • Rollo Tomasi

    Why did LaGuerta believe Deb would confess? What evidence was pointing toward a possible confession from Deb?

    “There is NO plothole”

    You weren’t paying attention. Is this the first TV show involving the police you have seen?