Season Seven of Dexter premiered on 30 September 30 2012.
The season opens with a continuation of the events of Season Six with no time skip. Dexter and Debra are inside the church where Dexter has just killed Travis Marshall. Dexter convinces Debra that he snapped because Travis had threatened him. He then manipulates her into helping him set the church ablaze to conceal evidence (which will come back to bite both of them).
After this event, Miami Metro Homicide investigates the crime scene and they falsely believe that Travis committed suicide, after the world didn't come to an end as he planned. It is here that Captain Maria LaGuerta finds a blood-slide, which was accidentally dropped by Dexter as he was getting ready to incinerate the church.
After finding out that the Miami Metro Forensics team never takes blood slides and that the only person to take slides was The Bay Harbor Butcher, LaGuerta steals the slide from evidence. She onfirms from a private lab that the blood on the slide belonged to Travis, LaGuerta uses her position as Captain to obtain the Bay Harbor Butcher evidence from the FBI. Upon seeing the striking similarity between Travis' blood slide and the Butcher trophies, she strongly believes in James Doakes' innocence and that the real Butcher killed Travis Marshall and is still active. LaGuerta begins to open and pursue the case by herself.
Debra questions Dexter as to how he was so perfectly prepared to kill Travis, and how he was able to wrap him in plastic in the exact same way she herself was wrapped up by The Ice Truck Killer. She continues to sense something off about Dexter and searches through his apartment where she finds his blood slides and kill tools. When he returns home, she confronts him and finally learns the truth -- he is a serial killer and the real Bay Harbor Butcher.
Dexter explains to a distraught Debra that Harry had taught him a Code of how to restrict his kills to people who deserve it. Debra takes time to consider her next move, deciding not to arrest Dexter and instead to help him stop killing. This does not work out, however. When Dexter cannot continue with his extracurricular activities, he becomes severely unstable.
It's not long before Dexter pursues a very dangerous killer named Ray Speltzer, who managed to slip away from the justice system twice. Dexter tries to convince Debra to let him kill Speltzer before he can murder another innocent, but Debra strongly refuses, stating that she'll get Speltzer the right way. This fails as Speltzer does kill an innocent woman and almost kills Debra. He then escapes.
Speltzer is arrested by the police but gets off the hook by a judge. Debra then begins to understand why Dexter's actions are a "necessary evil" realizing that, if Dexter had killed Speltzer, a death would have been prevented. Dexter finds Speltzer to be a difficult and powerful adversary who captures Dexter at one point, though he escapes. After he kills Speltzer in a cremetory, Dexter shows Debra the rising smoke, and she admits that she is glad Speltzer is dead.
Earlier on, Detective Mike Anderson of Miami Metro Homicide is murdered by Viktor Baskov, a member of the Koshka Brotherhood, a Ukrainian Mafia organization. Dexter finds Viktor's fingerprint in the vehicle on the turn signal and pursues him. After killing Viktor in an airport, Dexter dumps him in the ocean, while unaware that Viktor had a tracking device on his wrist (a bracelet), which he took from a victim. This allows Isaak Sirko (a boss in the brotherhood) to find out that Viktor is dead. In pursuit of Viktor's killer, Isaak finds the exact location of the marina where Viktor was taken. He, Jurg, and George, find Louis Greene on Dexter's boat. After a conversation with Louis, Isaak learns that the boat, in fact, belongs to Dexter Morgan and he promptly shoots and kills Louis.
Isaak begins hunting Dexter to avenge the loss of Viktor but seeks first to understand Dexter's motive for killing Viktor. Dexter soon finds out what Isaak is up to after he notices that someone had broken into his apartment. The two have a brief chat on the phone and Isaak threatens Dexter, along with any other member of the police department involved in Viktor's murder (including his sister Debra). Dexter tells Isaak that only he was responsible for Viktor's murder and that Debra had nothing to do with it.
Dexter and Debra stay in a motel for safety, until Dexter can deal with Isaak. He decides to lure Isaak to a bar owned by rival drug dealers (Colombians) to have him killed. However, Isaak is superbly well trained and is able to kill all three of them and escape (with a cut on his forearm). Isaak's blood at the crime scene incriminates him in the murder and he is arrested. Detective Joey Quinn, whose girlfriend works as a stripper for the brotherhood at The Fox Hole, is forced to steal the evidence.
For Dexter's sake, Debra puts Isaak under 24-hour surveillance, but he is able to briefly evade the police. In the hope of taking Dexter out. Isaak attempts to kill Dexter at Sadie's Donuts but misses his shot due to a lucky phone call Dexter got from his stepdaughter, Astor.
Knowing that he cannot rely on the police to keep Isaak under surveillance, Dexter breaks into Isaak's apartment. As he waits for Isaak to arrive, Dexter comes across a hitman who is also there to kill Isaak. Although the hit man is armed with a gun, Dexter is able to slash his throat with a knife. (In so doing, he ironically saves Isaak's life.) Isaak realizes that the hit man was sent by his subordinate, George, to kill him. Isaak knows that George would not have acted without the approval of the brotherhood. He has been betrayed and now has a price on his head (due to his constant attempts at killing Dexter (a police employee), which would threatens their business.
Isaak's trustworthy assistant Jurg Yeliashkevych informs Isaak that two dangerous hit men, Oleg Mickic and Benjamin Caffrey, are after him. Isaak understands that he needs the help of Dexter to kill them. He then kidnaps Dexter's girlfriend, Hannah McKay, through Jurg's assistance. Isaak offers to free her and let go of his feud with Dexter, only if the latter takes care of the two hit men. Dexter reluctantly agrees, having a strong affection for Hannah. After the two men are taken care of, George himself surprises and shoots Isaak on the Fearless. Dexter hears the gunshot, but it is too late. He offers to take Isaak to the hospital, but the latter knows that there is no hope left and so requests Dexter to take him on his boat to the same spot where he dumped Viktor.
On the boat, Isaak tells Dexter that Viktor was the only person with whom he could be his true self -- like Dexter feels toward Hannah. Isaak advises Dexter to express how he really feels to Hannah, but Dexter says that he finds that difficult. He tells Dexter that he was once like him, empty and isolated without any regard for life, but that it changed when he met Viktor. Once bitter enemies, Isaak and Dexter end on good terms and Isaak takes his final breath on Dexter's boat. Dexter closes Isaak's eyes and drops his body into the ocean, genuinely regretting his death.
Hannah kills Jurg during a struggle, after he stabs her. Debra finds her critically wounded and saves her life, despite their animosity. In the hospital, Dexter tells Hannah that he feels safe with her, and the the only time he ever felt afraid (other than when his mother was murdered in front of him) was when he thought he might lose her. During their time together, Hannah helps Dexter realize that he doesn't have a Dark Passenger and what he does falls under his responsibility. Dexter finally admits that he likes killing.
A new killer emerges in Miami -- The Phantom Arsonist (Joe Jensen), who incinerates people, including a mother and her six-year-old daughter. Dexter tracks him down but decides not to kill him, as he promised Debra that he would not take another case from the police. Instead, Dexter leaves an anonymous tip, which leads the police to Joe and he is arrested.
Meanwhile, in LaGuerta's pursuit to find the real Bay Harbor Butcher, LaGuerta begins to suspect Dexter after discovering that he moved his boat to a different marina at the same time of the Bay Harbor Butcher Case. Seeking the intel from the former Deputy Chief Thomas Matthews, she agrees to help him get his job back if he aids her in clearing James Doakes' name and tracking down the real Butcher.
The two find out that the cabin where Doakes died was, at the time, rented to a drug dealer named Santos Jimenez. Matthews tells LaGuerta that Jimenez was one of the men responsible for the murder Dexter's biological mother, Laura Moser, in front of Dexter and his older brother Brian Moser aka The Ice Truck Killer. LaGuerta's suspicions suddenly rise to an all-time high and she seeks to question Dexter, but is stopped by Matthews. He says that it's best to let him question Dexter, since he is a family friend and Dexter can trust him.
Matthews surprises Dexter, by telling him that LaGuerta suspects him to be the Butcher and states the reasons. Thinking quickly, Dexter tells Matthews that he moved his boat to a different marina to avoid Doakes. He alleges that Doakes kept a boat in the same marina and may have used it to dump his victims. Dexter explains that he did not voice his suspicions about Doakes because he was afraid of what he could do to him or Debra (thus playing the innocent victim).
After his talk with Dexter, Matthews convinces LaGuerta to look for Doakes' boat and she eventually agrees to investigate the possibility. For Dexter's sake, Debra plants evidence in items from the cabin (a tackle box with an ignition key in it). This leads Matthews and LaGuerta to a boat house where they find rolls of plastic sheeting and Doakes' fingerprint. This convinces Matthews that Doakes is the real Butcher, but LaGuerta is still suspicious, believing that Dexter planted the evidence.
Meanwhile, Debra pursues Hannah, seeking to arrest her. With the help of Hannah's father, Clint McKay, she finds out that a woman named Arlene Shram saw Hannah spike the coffee of a counselor at a halfway house with rat poison (although it is established that the counselor was sexually harassing both her and Arlene). Knowing that Debra is a threat to her, Hannah attempts to kill her by mixing a large powdered dose of an anti-anxiety drug into her water bottle (a drug she takes), causing her to faint while driving. Debra ends up in the hospital, but survives with a broken wrist. After Dexter discovers what Hannah did, he turns her in to the police for the murder of Sal Price (a crime-writer who was planning to publish a book on her, detailing a number of murders she committed). Dexter later visits Hannah in prison, telling her that he still loves her, but had no choice other than to turn her in to protect Debra.
A little earlier, LaGuerta uses her position as Captain to promote the release of Hector Estrada from prison. Believing Dexter to be the Butcher, she hopes that he will go after Estrada and try to kill him. Then she can catch him in the act, incriminate him as the real Butcher, and clear Doakes' name. Her plan plays out perfectly, that is, until the last minute, when Estrada accuses Dexter of working with the Captain of Miami Metro. Dexter realizes that he is being set up by LaGuerta and takes the opportunity to flee the area. While still holding Estrada hostage, the latter manages to break free and escape.
Knowing that LaGuerta will never cease her investigation, Dexter decides to put an end to it, by setting her up. He steals Estrada's shirt from evidence with blood on it (which he was wearing when arrested in 1973) and his wallet, putting both of them in a garbage bag. Just as he plans, LaGuerta takes photos of him carrying the bags and after discovering what's inside and matching the blood on the shirt with Estrada's, she arrests him for his ]murder.
In the interview room, she bluntly accuses Dexter of murdering Estrada and framing Doakes for his own crimes. However, Vince Masuka, who goes over the evidence, finds out that the blood on Estrada's shirt is from the time of his arrest and that his wallet has LaGuerta's fingerprint on it, thus making it seem as though LaGuerta is trying to frame Dexter. This puts her in hot water, but both her and Debra know the truth... that Dexter has set her up.
LaGuerta later receives a DVD in the mail from Mike Anderson's widow, which shows footage of Debra filling a gas can at a gas station, only a few blocks from the church where Travis was murdered. The time-stamp on the DVD shows that she did this exactly 22 minutes before the fire-department received the call of the burning church. LaGuerta asks Debra to explain this and she begins showing signs of nervousness and is unable to explain this to LaGuerta in convincing fashion.
Knowing that Debra has lied, LaGuerta obtains warrants with a judge's signature, allowing her to track the GPS on Dexter's and Debra's phones on the night of Travis' murder. Upon becoming aware of LaGuerta's persistence, Dexter knows that he can either get caught, flee Miami with Debra and Harrison, or kill LaGuerta. He does not wish to flee, since his cover life in Miami is no longer fake, but real to him and he wishes to keep it, at all costs.
After capturing Estrada again and putting him on his table, he tells him that he'll release him on the condition that he lure LaGuerta to the shipping container (by making it seem like he's in trouble), which he does. However, Dexter does not release Estrada and instead kills him. When LaGuerta arrives at the The Shipping Yard, Dexter sedates her with M99 and is about to shoot her. Unexpectedly, Debra appears on scene and orders him not to go through with it.
LaGuerta (whom Dexter has injected with a small dose of M99), wakes up and faintly tells Debra to shoot Dexter, saying that she's a good person -- not a killer -- and that she can still do the right thing. Dexter agrees with LaGuerta and tells Debra to do what she has to do. However, Debra shoots LaGuerta instead, immediately killing her. Upon realizing what she has done, Debra bursts into tears and embraces her dead body. Dexter alters the crime scene to make it look as though Estrada and LaGuerta shot each other (though this is not shown).
Killed by Others
- Kaja Soroka (by Viktor Baskov)
- Mike Anderson (by Viktor Baskov)
- Louis Greene (by Isaak Sirko)
- Melanie Garrett (by Ray Speltzer)
- Danny Yamiro (by Joe Jensen)
- Leo Santolongo (by Joe Jensen)
- Tony Rush (by Isaak Sirko)
- Sal Price (by Hannah McKay)
- Jurg Yeliashkevych (by Hannah McKay)
- Benjamin Caffrey (by Isaak Sirko)
- George Novikov (by Joey Quinn)
- Isaak Sirko (by George Novikov)
- Maria LaGuerta (by Debra Morgan)
- Season Seven
- Koshka Brotherhood
- Bay Harbor Butcher Case
- Arlene Shram
- Banjo (dog)
- Code of Harry
- Dark Passenger
- Debra Morgan
- Dexter Morgan
- Doris Morgan
- Florencia Estrada
- Kaja Soroka
- Phil Bosso
- Briar Cemetery
- Coral Cove Marina
- Debra's Beach House
- Dexter's Apartment
- Gulf Stream
- Hannah McKay's House
- Hobie Beach
- Isaak Sirko's Hideout
- La Cuevita
- La Vida Restaurant
- Marine Storage Warehouse
- Mateo's Bar
- Miami International Airport
- Ocean Master
- Papa's Cafe
- Queen's Wharf Restaurant
- Ray Speltzer's House
- Sadie's Donuts
- Sal Price's House
- Santa's Holiday Adventure
- Santa Maria de Loreto
- Schooner or Later
- Shipping Yard Massacre
- Slice of Life
- Sugar Mill Saloon
- The Fox Hole
- The Shipping Yard
- U.S. Post Office
- Viktor Baskov's Apartment
- "Are You...?"
- "Sunshine and Frosty Swirl"
- "Buck the System"
- "Swim Deep"
- "Do the Wrong Thing"
- "Helter Skelter"
- "The Dark... Whatever"
- "Do You See What I See?"
- "Surprise, Motherfucker!"