In a million years, I wouldn’t have seen this ending coming at the start of the season. It just took such a wild turn, it’s hard to believe.

It’s Christmas time, and Dexter has the best gift of all. He has a potential future with someone he loves. He and Hannah are getting along well. And now that Deb doesn’t have any evidence on Hannah, things should blow over.

But that’s not going to happen.

Working off a tip from Hannah’s dead dad, Deb goes to meet with a woman who might have seen Hannah poison someone in a halfway house. 

The way Deb treats this woman is beyond unfair. She threatens to prosecute her and take her away from her children if she won’t give evidence against Hannah. This is basic policing, but it’s sad to see her act like that.

Meanwhile, Maria and Matthews are spending a lot of time together. They’re tracking down information about the Bay Harbor Butcher. Lots of that information is pointing right at Dexter. Probably because he is the Bay Harbor Butcher.

Seemingly unrelated, Dexter gets some shocking news. The last man responsible for his mother’s death is being released on parole. 

As though all of this wasn’t enough stress, especially during the holiday season, Deb is in a car accident. After falling asleep behind the wheel, she’s lucky to have just a broken wrist and bruising. But she’s sure Hannah drugged her. 

Dexter doesn’t want to hear it. But it’s hard not to think of that while Hannah serves Harrison a plate of food on Christmas Eve.

This was a hard scene, very well done. Hannah looks like Rita a bit. She could be Harrison’s mother. 

She could be Harrison’s stepmother. Just like the wicked stepmother, poisoning Snow White with an apple.

Or she might not be. As she points out, she’d have to be pretty stupid to poison Dexter’s sister.

Dexter grabs a bottle of water from Deb’s car and has it tested in the lab. While he’s waiting, he decides to hunt down his mother’s killer and chop him up like a Christmas Eve roast.

But just as he’s about to cut in, Maria interrupts him. It turns out she orchestrated the killer’s release from jail on purpose, to lure Dexter into doing something. 

I’m torn on this. It was vile of Maria to let a killer go free to trap Dexter. But it was also pretty vile of Dexter to let Doakes be remembered as the Bay Harbor Butcher. So they’re both pretty damn wrong.

Neither, though, are as wrong as Hannah. Maybe she thought Dexter wouldn’t find out. Maybe she thought he would love her enough to overlook a little thing like murdering Deb. Either way, she was wrong. The tests on the water came back positive. And Dexter doesn’t love anyone as much as he loves Deb.

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