Originally published at Se Fija!. Republished by permission.
SPOILER ALERT, and we're not kidding. If you haven't seen (or heard) about the surprising (and tragic) season finale of "Dexter," you may want to skip this one‘«™
We've waited a few days to weigh in, but we can't wait any longer: the murder of Lauren V?ģlez' character, Detective-turned-Lieutenant Maria LaGuerta, was a gasp-out-loud surprise at the end of the Season Seven finale for "Dexter."
It's a tragedy in more ways than one: LaGuerta has been an integral part of the show since the very first episode, through her stormy relationship‘«Űincluding marriage and divorce‘«Űfrom David Zayas' character Angel Batista, through her many machinations and (occasionally) surprising heroics and her powerfully strange back-and-forth with Dexter's sister Deb (Jennifer Carpenter). Yes, viewers could see something big was coming, since the first episode of the now-completely Season Seven, when LaGuerta found some key evidence linking Dexter to the deeds of a long-thought-dead serial killer, but "still"‘«™
V?ģlez' character was by far one of the most complex and challenging Latinas on television; it showed us that a Latina doesn't have to be an all-bad stereotype or an all-good angel to be both compelling and compulsively watchable. And we can always hope she'll be making the occasional appearance on the show despite her untimely demise. After all, Dexter's father, played by James Remar, has been dead for years, but that hasn't kept him from being a regular since Season One. And Erik King, who played the long-dead detective Det. Doakes, re-appeared with new scenes in this year's finale as well, even though he was killed in Season Two.
V?ģlez herself opened up to Lee Hernandez at Latina Magazine, to express both her sadness at departing the show, her pride for the work she's done, and her love for the cast. "It's funny," she said, "because we actually all got together as a cast for the first time outside of any kind of professional thing -- we got together for a send-off for LaGuerta and the result of it was making this hilarious little video clip for my next project, which is about La Lupe. That was the best send off they could've given me."
We're talked about V?ģlez and "La Lupe" many times here on LatinoLA.com, including her recent successful Kickstarter campaign that pulled together some key money for the project here. And she's got more on tap than just the biopic of the Queen of Latin Soul. "I'm going to do Shakespeare in the Park!" she told Hernandez. "It's something that I've been wanting to do for a really long time and I've never been able to do it, because Dexter generally shoots during the summer."
Good luck to Lauren, R.I.P. to Det. LaGuerta, and somehow we think this isn't the last we've heard from "either" of them.
Here's the "tribute" video that the "Dexter" cast did for "La Lupe:"
‘«™and here are the producers of "Dexter" talking about the difficult and risky decision to kill of a key character‘«™and how they'll miss Lauren.