Dexter fantasizes about growing old with Hannah. His daydream is interrupted when he gets a call informing him that the man who gave the order to murder his mother is up for parole that very morning. Hannah tells Dexter that it could be the universe giving him a Christmas present. He remarks that only she would see it that way.
At the hearing, Dexter doesn’t speak up and protest when Estrata’s parole is granted.
Quinn is sweating Nadia. Apparently, he’s called her five times and she’s not calling him back. Batista tells Deb that he found the girl, Arlene, who can prove that Hannah is a murderer. Batista thinks they should tell Dexter they’re investigating his girlfriend, but Deb says no.
Dexter goes to see Tom who informs him that LaGuerta thinks Dexter is The Bay Harbor Butcher. Part way through the conversation, Dexter realizes he’s being interrogated. Dexter makes up a story about Doakes having a boat in the same marina as his boat, and then moving his boat because he was afraid of Doakes. As he leaves, Dexter thinks to himself that he’ll have to make sure they find a boat belonging to Doakes when they go searching for it.
Deb visits with Arlene, who’s a bit white-thrashy. Deb threatens her with losing her kids if she doesn’t tell what she knows. Later, Dexter tells Debra that LaGuerta and Tom Matthews are looking into the BHB case. He tells her he’ll have to plant evidence leading to Doakes. She says she’ll do it to get it over with once and for all.
Tom Matthews tells LaGuerta that he doesn’t think Dexter is the killer. She says if Doakes had a boat, she’d know. He says if Doakes was using a boat to dump bodies, he wouldn’t have offered up that info. Hannah meets with Arlene who is freaking out about going to jail. Hannah tells her she won’t let that happen. She’ll take care of Deb.
Dexter browses the web, looking for a boat to pin on Doakes. He finds one and then gets a text from Hannah. She needs help bringing in a Christmas tree. They discuss spending Christmas Eve together since he’ll be spending Christmas with Deb and Harrison. That night, Deb sits outside of LaGuerta’s house, waiting for her to leave. While she waits, she pops a pill.
Dexter watches as Estrata leaves prison. For a man too sick to stay in prison, he sure runs out of that jail pretty easily. Quinn shows up at the strip club and learns that Nadia moved to Vegas. She left a Dear John letter for him with one of her stripper friends. Classy. LaGuerta and Matthews look through boxes of evidence from the cabin where Doakes died. They find a tackle box of fishing/boat stuff, and find a key with an address. It leads to a boathouse with a boat that’s been junked. They also find a cabinet of plastic and knives. Tom tells her to call her private forensic team. They find degraded blood on the knives and one of Doakes’ fingerprints. LaGuerta still won’t let go. Tom says he’s done and he wants her help in getting his pension, as promised.
Hannah shows up at Debra’s. She wants to call a truce for Dexter’s sake. Debra basically tells her to go fuck herself.
Dexter shows up at Matthews’ boat. Matthews tells Dexter that they found evidence in Doakes’ boathouse that means LaGuerta won’t be bothering him anymore. Dexter calls Deb to tell her they don’t have to worry about LaGuerta. Dexter approaches Estrata with some kind of illegal deal. He name drops Estrata’s acquaintances that he killed himself to gain his trust. They agree to meet on Christmas Eve night. Batista calls Dexter. Deb was in a car accident and he rushes to the hospital.
Deb passed out while driving. Her wrist is broken, but otherwise she is fine. Batista tells Dexter that the docs think she may have overdosed on her anxiety pills. He also tells Dexter about investigating Arlene and Hannah. When Deb wakes up, Dexter and Deb argue over whether or not Hannah poisoned Deb. Later, Dexter searches Deb’s place for evidence that Hannah broke in. He finds a blonde hair in Deb’s bathroom near the medicine cabinet. He goes to the garage where Deb’s totaled car is being kept. He finds a near-empty water bottle and takes it to the lab.
Batista stops into LaGuerta’s office. They have a heart-to-heart about his retirement and their past relationship. He confirms that he’ll be putting his retirement papers on January 1st.
Dexter arrives home to have dinner with Jamie, Hannah, and Harrison. As they eat, he wonders about Hannah and if he can ever fully trust her. She gives him a gift: a framed photo of them together.
They go to her place and she confesses to him that with her other relationships, she always wanted to run, but she doesn’t want to run from him. She asks him to stay the night, but he says he has to go. She guesses that he’s going to meet Estrata. He tells her that Deb was headed to Arlene’s when she had her accident. He asks her if she had anything to do with it and Hannah gets offended. She says that she’s not worried about Arlene because Arlene is a hot ass mess.
Now we know she’s lying. That’s not how she acted with Arlene.
She tells him that she loves him and that she wouldn’t do that to them. Dexter says that if anything ever happens to Deb, he’ll never know that it wasn’t Hannah. She tells him he has trust issues. No shit. Then Hannah plays her trump card. She’s all, “I don’t make mistakes. When I want to poison someone, they stay poisoned, son!” Basically this:
Hannah tells Dexter to figure out what he wants because she 100% trusts him, but he needs to feel the same about her. Then she opens the door, silently telling him to beat it.
Dexter meets with Estrata and ambushes him into a cargo hold. They struggle and Estrata’s gun goes off. Dexter puts him a sleeper hold. When Estrata wakes up, he’s tied to Dexter’s death table. Dexter tells him why he’s going to kill him. Before he can, Estrata asks if Dexter is working with the cop who pushed for his parole. He figures he was set up. Dexter realizes Estrata is referring to LaGuerta and that he is the one being set up.
Outside the cargo container, LaGuerta arrives and talks to several detectives who were following Estrata. They say they lost him, then heard gunshots so they called her. She follows them in the direction they heard the shots. They find the cargo container empty except that it’s covered in plastic. Nearby, Dexter runs with Estrata, threatening him to be quiet. He hits Dexter and jumps into the ocean. Dexter runs off. It wasn’t the universe giving him a present after all, it was LaGuerta.
As Dexter sets up the house for Harrison on Christmas morning, he gets a call with the results of the water bottle test. Hannah dissolved Deb’s anxiety pills into the water. Dexter brings Deb home from the hospital and gives her the bagged evidence he kept from Price’s death: the pen he chewed on with Hannah’s prints and the poison she used on the end of it.
Dexter shows up at Hannah’s. She’s happy that he decided to be with her and they kiss. Then Dexter apologizes. The police show up and Deb arrests her for the murder of Sal Price.
“You should have killed me,” Hannah says.
Prediction: Deb set this whole thing up. Nicely played, Deb. Nicely played.