Saturday, January 10, 2009

Dexter Character Maria LaGuerta

Lieutenant Maria LaGuerta is another enigma in Showtime’s Dexter. She is a strong commander of police officers and seems to have the natural ability to lead others and get the job done. You don’t see a lot of kindness from LaGuerta and while manipulative and mean at some times, you also see that she has a heart.

We learn early on that Lieutenant LaGuerta was not a top police officer. She was ordinary and in the middle of the pack until her last bust with friend, old lover and former partner James Doakes. Lieutenant LaGuerta shot to stardom because she knows to play the political game. In a press conference she knows how to get noticed and what to say.

Lieutenant Maria LaGuerta has an extreme dislike of Deborah Morgan and one reason is due to the fact that her father Harry Morgan was a great cop who was liked by almost everyone in the police department.

Harry Morgan’s ex-partner Captain Tom Matthews promoted Lieutenant LaGuerta but he dislikes her as much as Maria dislikes Deborah. With racial slurs or a smug grin when she fails, Maria is well aware that she is not one of his favorite people. LaGuerta knows that Deborah can get far in her police career thanks to the people her father knew.

Lieutenant LaGuerta shows that her top priority is to move up the food chain in the police department any way she can. The last case between Maria and Doakes is what propelled her career but no one is aware that Doakes deserved all of the credit. Lieutenant LaGuerta was praised and promoted while Doakes was not. For his part, officer Doakes holds no hard feelings against his old partner and boss. Had he complained about her promotion, he would only make himself look bad in the precinct.

At time it seems like Lieutenant LaGuerta is willing to let a case turn out badly rather than listen to the advice and evidence provided and found by Deborah Morgan. On the advice of Dexter, Deb explained that they should look for a refrigerated truck if they wanted to catch the serial killer in the first season of Dexter, but LaGuerta ignored Deb after embarrassing her in front of her fellow officers.

One Deborah and Dexter was proven to be correct about the truck, Captain Tom Matthews praised Deborah and told Lieutenant LaGuerta that she should also praise Deb for a job well done. Once Matthews leaves, the happy Deborah was shot down and verbally reprimanded by LaGuerta who told her that she had no right to look for the truck as officers should always follow instructions and let their commanders know there every move.

Lieutenant LaGuerta almost ruined her career up the law enforcement ladder when she once again disregarded evidence that was found by Deborah Morgan and fellow officer Angel Batista. LaGuerta believed that the security guard Tony Tucci on tape was the Ice Truck Killer but Morgan and Batista knew that there was someone off screen holding Tucci at gun point.

LaGuerta alerted the press that Tucci was the serial killer and had every officer looking for him. The real ice truck killer left a series of clues that included the severed hand and foot of Tucci. Captain Tom Matthews was only too happy to give her the good news and smirked as she tried to talk her way out of a mistake that could ruin her career.

After she tried to get revenge against Captain Matthews for taking her credit, Matthews demoted LaGuerta and placed a new female Lieutenant in her place. Partnered once again with Doakes, Maria seemed to learn from her mistakes.

Her replacement Esmee Pascal seemed like a strong capable woman like LaGuerta but it quickly becomes evident in season two that she is not as stable as she looks. Pascal begins to go off the rails as she suspects that her fiancée is cheating on her. As she begins to lose all control, Captain Matthews pulls LaGuerta aside to find out once and for all if Pascal can still do her job. LaGuerta only needed to say no and she would have gotten her old job back.

The former Lieutenant LaGuerta explains that she will not bring down Pascal based on a few rumors, as she was also subjected to sexism when she was in charge. Captain Matthews promotes LaGuerta anyway and we find out that Pascal’s fiancée was cheating on her and the other woman was LaGuerta.

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