It’s the end of the road for Lauren Vélez on Dexter. For the last seven seasons, she’s starred on Showtime’s psychological thriller as lieutenant-turned-captain María LaGuerta, a hard-nosed, calculating and determined woman in charge of the Miami Metro Police Department’s homicide division. This season, in her quest to prove Dexter is the Bay Harbor Butcher, Vélez’s character ultimately met her maker in last night’s season finale. (Shockingly at the hands of someone other than Dexter.) To commemorate Vélez’s award-winning role, we’re taking a look back at her greatest moments on the show.
Lauren Explains It All
Throughout the show’s first season, Vélez’s character demonstrates her sincere dislike for Dexter’s sister Debra Morgan, which all but disappears by the sixth season. Despite their improved relationship, Debra ultimately stands by her brother in last night’s season finale. In this clip Vélez opens up about her character’s initial disdain for Deb, while offering some great insight into her character.
Sleeping with the Enemy’s Fiancé
Following a demotion for political reasons at the end of the show’s first season – which led to her replacement by another woman, Esme Pascal – Vélez’s character sleeps with the woman’s fiancé and denies it repeatedly, all in an attempt to drive her nuts, which results in Pascal’s removal from her Lieutenant position and Maria back in charge.
Break It Up!
In an emotional scene in “That Night, a Forest Grew,” the seventh episode in Dexter’s second season, LaGuerta must stop James Doakes – her former partner and former lover – from pounding on Dexter right in the middle of the police station before putting him on administrative leave. Little does she know that Dexter orchestrated the fight!
After learning from a source that Doakes participated in two police operations that directly conflict with the deaths of two Butcher victims, Velez’s character squares off against FBI Special Agent Frank Lundy in an attempt to clear Doakes’ name as the prime suspect in the Bay Harbor Butcher case. Unfortunately, Doakes is later found dead in what appears to be an accidental explosion, along with the body of a drug dealer. The case is closed and the evidence LaGuerta has gathered is left ignored.
Love is a Many-splendored Thing
In the show’s fourth season, María LaGuerta becomes romantically involved with one of her homicide detectives, Angel Batista (David Zayas), but the couple has to keep their relationship under wraps. In a later episode, they secretly get married with Dexter as their witness. And by the show’s fifth season their marriage becomes common knowledge. LaGuerta and Batista would ultimately divorce, between the show’s fifth and sixth seasons, but not before having many magical moments. Check out this fun, fan-created video of their lingering looks, googly eyes and more.
Putting Two & Two Together
Early in the seventh season, LaGuerta discovers a blood slide containing Travis Marshal's blood at the scene of his death. Realizing this is reminiscent of the Bay Harbor Butcher's mode of operation; she begins to investigate whether the Butcher is still alive, and sets out to prove Doakes' innocence once and for all; which leads her to begin to suspect Dexter.
Death Becomes Her
In last night’s thrilling season seven finale, LaGuerta pays the ultimate price for proving her suspicion that Dexter is in fact the Bay Harbor Butcher. But her death comes shockingly at the hands of someone other than Dexter. Here’s a look at the promo for the aptly titled, “Surprise Mother------!”