Surprise, Motherfucker! is the last of twelve episodes in Season Seven of DEXTER, and the eighty-fourth overall episode of the series. Directed by Steve Shill, and written by Scott Buck and Tim Schlattmann, it premiered 16 December 2012. The estimated number of viewers for the episode during its original airing was 2.75 million.
LaGuerta is on the verge of exposing Dexter and his killer ways, while he does his best to cover for himself and Debra, and maintain the life he's created.
Dexter visits Hannah McKay in jail, after giving Deb the evidence that incriminated Hannah. Hannah confesses that she poisoned Deb because she was trying to keep them apart. She promises to keep Dexter's secret and is angry that he did not do the same for her. Hannah asks Dexter to get rid of the evidence so they can run away together, but Dexter refuses. The two kiss and Hannah bites Dexter. After he leaves, Hannah calls Arlene, desperate to get out of jail, and begs for her help.
At his apartment, Dexter plays with Harrison while Jamie cleans up. Harrison asks for Hannah, and Jamie explains to him that she had to go away.
Maria LaGuerta appears at the door with two officers and arrests Dexter for the murder of Hector Estrada. LaGuerta marches Dexter through the police station in handcuffs, causing an uproar. She brings Dexter into the interrogation room and accuses him of being The Bay Harbor Butcher. He denies it.
She presents photos of Dexter carrying black garbage bags onto his boat. He explains that they contained ice to keep fish cold because his cooler was broken. One of the photos shows Dexter throwing a garbage bag into a dumpster, and Dexter says he was throwing away his dinner from Franko’s. LaGuerta disputes this, stating that the bag contained Estrada's wallet and his bloody shirt.
At that moment, Vince Masuka and Debra Morgan enter the room. Masuka had run tests on the bloody shirt and, though it is Estrada’s blood, he found an evidence number that proved that it's the shirt he was wearing when arrested in 1973... and it's missing from inventory. Also, the wallet had LaGuerta's partial print on it. Deb accuses LaGuerta of trying to frame Dexter, and he is released. Both LaGuerta and Debra realize that Dexter had planted the evidence to make it look as if LaGuerta had framed him.
Dexter has a flashback to when he and Sergeant Doakes worked on a case involving a prostitute killer. This marks the first chronological instance in which Doakes uses the catchphrase "Surprise Motherfucker!"
Angel warns LaGuerta to back off before she ruins her career.
Back at Dexter's apartment, Dexter defends his actions to Deb, saying that he handled the situation with LaGuerta as best he knew how without killing her. Dexter realizes that he needs to find Estrada and kill him before LaGuerta finds out that Estrada is at large.
Dexter visits Estrada's wife, claiming to be Hector's parole officer, Arthur Curry. While Florencia Estrada claims that she has not seen Hector in years, Dexter knows that she is lying and believes she will lead him to Estrada. While waiting outside her house, Dexter has another flashback to the prostitute killer case, when they found a body on a boat. He becomes excited when reenacting the storyline of the killing to Doakes, allowing Doakes to see glimpses of his true self.
Thomas Matthews visits LaGuerta at the station and tells her that the commissioner has opened an investigation into her conduct. Matthews says he will try to help her but advises Maria to keep her head low.
Meanwhile, Debra shows up at Hannah's arraignment. While they walk to the courtroom, Deb tells Hannah to confess and save herself the time. In return, Hannah criticizes Deb for not arresting her brother. Deb is clearly affected by Hannah's comments, which make her realize that she is a hypocrite for being the lieutenant of homicide but ignoring the law whenever Dexter is involved. Hannah is charged with 1st degree murder and is denied bail. Arlene slips Hannah a pill while the two embrace, and Hannah swallows it as she leaves the courtroom.
Angel Batista asks LaGuerta to go to his retirement party and straighten things out with Dexter. She agrees.
While being transported back to the prison, Hannah has a seizure caused by whatever Arlene gave her. She is taken to the emergency room.
LaGuerta calls Debra into her office and apologizes for accusing Dexter. She begins to question Debra about Travis Marshall's death. Deb says that Dexter was alone at the church the night they found Travis' body, doing the final forensic sweep. LaGuerta then pulls up a security video from a gas station near the church, showing Deb filling a gas can. LaGuerta suggests that Debra made a mistake while trying to protect Dexter, and tells Deb that she will continue to pursue this.
Dexter follows Florencia Estrada to a park, where she meets Hector, giving him food and a pistol. Dexter lures Estrada to his car, where he drugs Hector and throws him into the trunk. Dexter and Debra meet at a construction site and talk in Dexter's car. Dexter apologizes for dragging Deb into the mess with LaGuerta, and says he will handle it. He decides he will figure out what evidence LaGuerta has against them before he makes a move.
At the hospital, Hannah manages to escape.
Dexter breaks into LaGuerta's house and finds warrants allowing her to track his and Debra's phones on the night that the church burned down. Harry tells Dexter to run away with Deb and Harrison, but Dexter decides to kill LaGuerta instead.
Dexter has another flashback to the case with the prostitute killings. He brings doughnuts to the station and offers one to Doakes, who snaps at him. Doakes is angry at himself for getting involved with LaGuerta, and Dexter gives Doakes advice, telling "Never jump the fence if you're not willing to face what's on the other side". Doakes recognizes the quote, having seen it one of the journals kept by Walter Munro, the prime suspect for the prostitute murders. When Dexter can't satisfactorily explain how he knows the quote, Doakes' suspicions against Dexter are aroused, realizing that there's something off about Dexter, and calls him a "creep motherfucker."
LaGuerta receives a call from Hector Estrada while driving to Angel's retirement party. Estrada tells her that he is back at the shipping yard in the same container. Hector asks Dexter to let him go now that he followed Dexter's instructions. Dexter asks Estrada if it was hard for him to make the decision to kill Laura Moser, but does not believe Estrada's claims that it was the "hardest decision" of his life. Estrada calls Laura a snitch and says that killing her did not make him feel bad. When Estrada asks Dexter what kind of killer he is, Dexter says, "I'm just a creep motherfucker," and stabs him in the heart.
At Angel's party, Deb looks for Dexter, but no one has seen him. She calls dispatch and finds out that LaGuerta's car is headed towards the shipping yards. Realizing that Dexter is luring LaGuerta into a trap in order to kill her, Deb calls Dexter, but his phone goes straight to voicemail. She leaves a message, telling him, "Whatever you're thinking of doing, please don't do it."
LaGuerta enters the shipping container and finds Estrada dead. Before she can do anything, Dexter sneaks up from behind and injects her with M99. Dexter's plan is to shoot LaGuerta with Estrada's gun and make it look like they shot each other. Deb arrives and finds Dexter about to kill LaGuerta. Deb begs Dexter not to do it, and says she won't let him go through with it. LaGuerta wakes up and orders Deb to shoot Dexter, saying that she's a "good person." Dexter agrees that Deb is a good person, drops his knife, and tells Deb, "Do what you gotta do." Deb impulsively shoots LaGuerta, then runs to her side, sobbing.
Afterward, Deb and Dexter walk through a crowd on New Year's Eve, as Dexter thinks:
- "We all make rules for ourselves. It’s these rules that help define who we are. So when we break those rules we risk losing ourselves and becoming something unknown. Who is Deb now? Who am I? Is this a new beginning, or the beginning of the end?"
- The title of the episode is the iconic catchphrase spoken in "Born Free" by Sergeant James Doakes.
- This episode was previously titled "Lethal Injection."
- The name Dexter uses as Hector's parole officer is a reference to Aquaman's alter ego 'Arthur Curry.'