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Lt. Maria LaGuerta


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#1

American Snob

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Posted Aug 18, 2007 @ 3:43 PM

Discuss Maria LaGuerta: Dexter's sexy, Latina and sometimes dim-witted lieutenant.

#2

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Posted Aug 18, 2007 @ 6:10 PM

I'm always a bit shocked she's so blatantly interested in Dexter, not just for reasons of decorum but because she screams Cougar.

#3

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Posted Aug 19, 2007 @ 3:04 AM

Laguerta's not dim-witted, she's political. Dexter wasn't wrong when he told Deb she could learn from Laguerta. Laguerta's problem is that she is too smitten by the TV cameras and makes grand gestures before she has all her evidence and ends up looking foolish.

#4

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Posted Aug 19, 2007 @ 7:05 AM

I love how the show is fleshing her out. In the beginning she was such an unlikable character, but the show has really worked on keeping her real and showing us many facettes of her (love the episode with her and the "kid who saw Jesus").

I also really dig her and Doakes' vibe (as friends/former collegues who obviously used to do a lot of things together). I think I might even start rooting for her to take out the new gal who can't keep her private life out of the office

#5

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Posted Aug 19, 2007 @ 12:15 PM

I also love seeing LaGuerta's relationships with Doakes and Morales because we see another view of who she is. She appears more caring and concerned when she is around them than when she is near Debs who she finds annoying. A feeling that I sympathize with because Debs is annoying to me.

#6

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Posted Aug 19, 2007 @ 2:08 PM

It's not so much that she finds Deb annoying as much as, as she told her, that Deb is too rash and impulsive. She acts first thinks later. And I also believe there is some resentment toward Deb because of who she is. I wouldn't be surprised if Laguerta is harder on Deb because she feels Deb's been given a lot more opportunities earlier because she's Harry Morgan's daughter. I think the "she's stupid" sentiment runs both way between Deb and Laguerta, and both are wrong.

#7

xtreme

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Posted Aug 19, 2007 @ 5:13 PM

(love the episode with her and the "kid who saw Jesus").



Yeah I agree on that, LaGuerta looking after the little one was the first time you actually saw the gentle side of her. And to see her shift back to her game face so quickly was cool.

#8

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Posted Aug 19, 2007 @ 11:25 PM

And Lauren Velez totally rocked the scene where she torments Neal Perry with the severed head. Bitch has balls, and the saucy way she sauntered into the room in her perfectly tailored suit and cooler was fantastic.

#9

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Posted Aug 20, 2007 @ 12:16 AM

(love the episode with her and the "kid who saw Jesus").

Yeah I agree on that, LaGuerta looking after the little one was the first time you actually saw the gentle side of her.

Of the first seven episodes, that was probably my favorite for LaGuerta. It added a lot of depth to the character, and helped me understand her background as an orphaned immigrant child. You can see why she is so ambitious, why she works so hard is and is so concerned that people know she is successful.

I think the "she's stupid" sentiment runs both way between Deb and LaGuerta, and both are wrong.

Definitely. Deb and LaGuerta both think the other woman is an unskilled ditz, promoted above their station for reasons other than police work (Deb's father, LaGuerta as a minority woman). LaGuerta and Doakes have both moderated their stance on Deb as she proves herself - hopefully, Deb will be able to do the same.

And to see her shift back to her game face so quickly was cool.

Isn't it interesting that almost everyone on this show wears a mask? Has a public "face" they wear to hide their true selves form those around them?

#10

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Posted Aug 20, 2007 @ 11:40 AM

I dislike this character. I dislike her so much that I kinda (only a little) like her now, if that makes sense. I think it's because of the acting because I believe her. You can't help but resent her at times because she is so damn full of herself. It fleshes out her character and makes it very true to life. However I'm going to say nay to the "Kid who saw Jesus" episode. Her actions were very predictable, I *knew* what she was going to do before she did it.

#11

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Posted Aug 20, 2007 @ 12:54 PM

I liked in that episode how she was starting to become a little open to Deb as well. In the bathroom she asked some pretty natural questions about what it was like having Dexter as her adopted brother and even showed interest in Deb's latest crack theory about the ITK. It's just when she opened up about her disapproval of Deb did she land her foot in it.

LaGuerta, like Doakes tends to alternate per episode. In some she's fascinating but in a lot she comes across as a self-entitled bitch. Just depends what mood takes each writers fancy I guess.

#12

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Posted Aug 20, 2007 @ 2:18 PM

One of the things I liked about this show was that even the unpleasant characters like LaGuerta have a human side. There were brief interactions with Doakes when they were framing him with Guerrera and Angel when she asked about his family that let you know she was more than a hard nosed one note character.

#13

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Posted Aug 20, 2007 @ 5:17 PM

Yeah, I don't really object to LaGuerta and Doakes being unpleasant a lot of the time. They are Dexter's antagonists after all. The show is from his perspective. Of course they are going to be unpleasant.

But it's just good writing that even the unpleasant characters get their own at least halfway relatable motivations and their own very human moments.

#14

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Posted Aug 21, 2007 @ 5:54 AM

It's just when she opened up about her disapproval of Deb did she land her foot in it.


Again DB, I'd have to agree. Although I'm thinking that Maria was just like Deb when she was at that stage in her career. Something about the way she said what she did had me hearing the words "You remind me of myself at that time."

#15

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Posted Sep 2, 2007 @ 9:01 PM

I hated her at the beginning, but I started respecting her for the way she handled Neil Perry and even for her unsucccessful attempt to torpedo the Captain. She might be ill-advisedly political, but she's got brains and can be bold when necessary.

I'm looking forward to how her relationship with the Captain's new golden girl Lieutenant develops. In the last scene with the two in LaGuerta's old office, the new Lt. unbent a bit and confided to LaGuerta that the Captain may not know her as well as he thought he did, and that she might have her own agenda. That clearly had LaGuerta fascinated. If the two of them work out a way to share some power that would be awesome but highly unusual. There's always only one strong powerful woman in a drama like this, but sympathetic serial killers are also unusual -- why stop there?

#16

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Posted Sep 7, 2007 @ 12:20 PM

One of the things I liked about this show was that even the unpleasant characters like LaGuerta have a human side.


Yeah, she started winning me over when it became apparent that she really wanted to adopt that little boy and she was a little crushed when they found his 'Tio Roberto'.

#17

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Posted Sep 8, 2007 @ 7:17 PM

It's Lauren Velez's pretty, pretty face that can break your heart at any moment.

#18

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Posted Sep 9, 2007 @ 10:10 PM

It's interesting that Laguerta becomes instantly more appealing the moment she starts displaying maternal behaviour towards a child. Is that really what an audience needs to relate to a woman in a position of authority?

#19

rowanceleste

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Posted Sep 9, 2007 @ 10:21 PM

Is that really what an audience needs to relate to a woman in a position of authority?


No, but it makes her more human, which is what helps people relate.

#20

vallegirl

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Posted Sep 9, 2007 @ 11:17 PM

It's interesting that Laguerta becomes instantly more appealing the moment she starts displaying maternal behaviour towards a child.

I think that's the way the writers set her up. The whole season was about peeling away the layers and seeing deeper into all the characters. Laguerta's initial MO was as an entitled, dumb, ballbusting lieutenant, but even before the child, she'd shown some decency and humanity both with Doakes and Tucci's mother.

And she still went back to the old Maria after her brief maternal moment. I especially loved how she bluntly told Deb everything that she disliked about her and how she sashayed into the interrogation room with the severed head in a cooler.

I also never hated Laguerta, even when she was at her worst. She's not a likeable person, even if she shows moments of frailty, humanity, decency, whatever, but Lauren Velez gives her so much authenticity, that I understand and appreciate Laguerta for who she is and how she had to be a political animal to get any kind of break.

Edited by vallegirl, Sep 9, 2007 @ 11:17 PM.


#21

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Posted Sep 10, 2007 @ 2:07 AM

Personally, I also rather like the ex-partners bond she has with Doakes, so while the scene with the kid was certainly a big one to humanize her, there are also other scenes I like her in.

That said, protectiveness towards kids has been played quite a bit on the show. If it's good enough to humanize Dexter, why not for La Guerta?

It's not like LG was just some career woman, she was being portrayed deliberately as bitchy/mean/foolish, being not so nice to both Dexter and Deb. So she isn't just a normal career woman coming across as bad, she was deliberately written as bad and that particular episode was deliberately written as a change of pace for her. And I understand that her characterization is much more negative in the books.

#22

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Posted Sep 14, 2007 @ 8:18 AM

..... sometimes dim-witted lieutenant.


I think she's really smart and haven't seen too much evidence of her being dim-witted so far. She's got the hots for Dexter and that makes her smart in my books ;-)

#23

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Posted Sep 14, 2007 @ 5:16 PM

Well, she did fall for the fake icetruck killer and she called success too early. Didn't listen to the Toni Tucci theories either (that he was a victim, not the killer).

Edited by LolaRuns, Sep 14, 2007 @ 5:17 PM.


#24

kamy

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Posted Sep 17, 2007 @ 7:45 PM

Personally, I also rather like the ex-partners bond she has with Doakes


That's what i like the most about this character too. I hope there are more scenes like this in season 2. I also hope some of Doakes paranoid/abrasive awareness of the world can rub off on LG as well...so she's not the last one to find out about Dexter and be like "say whaaa??"

I also found it kind of weird that LG became maternal for one episode with the child, and then at the same time, she was the same character that fell

for the fake icetruck killer and she called success too early. Didn't listen to the Toni Tucci theories either (that he was a victim, not the killer).


I wouldn't mind if the show stays consistent, and lets LG continue to be the power/credit/spotlight-hungry career chick...who also comes to her senses at some point. (although, i say this as someone who hasn't read the books so...)

#25

rowanceleste

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Posted Sep 17, 2007 @ 10:04 PM

I wouldn't mind if the show stays consistent, and lets LG continue to be the power/credit/spotlight-hungry career chick..


What I like is that we get to see more facets to her personality rather than just the politically hungry/power-craving career woman. She's also not portrayed as either constantly wrong (she had to make detective somehow and initially it couldn't just be that she talks a good game in front of the camera) or constantly right, etc. We also see that she cares about her co-workers, even if she's defensive/jealous with Deb and can feel sympathy for others and guilt/remorse for her actions. I hope we continue to see the little quirks, flaws and foibles that make them more than token, cookie-cutter characters.

Btw, this maybe obvious, but even though the new Lt is willing to work with Maria, does anyone think that Maria's willing to throw her under the bus at the first opportunity, regardless of any olive branches that were offered and accepted?

#26

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Posted Sep 24, 2007 @ 8:37 AM

this maybe obvious, but even though the new Lt is willing to work with Maria, does anyone think that Maria's willing to throw her under the bus at the first opportunity, regardless of any olive branches that were offered and accepted?


I'd say in a New York minute. in either direction. Those two women are too alike to work well together for all that long.

#27

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Posted Oct 8, 2007 @ 9:57 AM

I'm with Joe R. in that LaGuerta has risen to the level of being my second favorite character on the show. I love watching her drop her guard with Angel and Doakes and how she always tries to gauge how a situation can help her out and how she has difficulties dealing with her own vulnerabilities and best of all, I love how she can, on occasion, barely contain her boredom with or contempt of her superiors. She may have learned how to be political, but at heart, I don't think she enjoys suffering those fools gladly. The forced, but weirdly empathetic, smile she gave Pascal while Esme was boring her with details of her personal life was hilarious and perfect. Of course an outside observer would see how utterly not interested she was, but to the self-involved whiner, it was all the encouragement she needed.

Even when she's been unlikeable, Lauren Velez has not missed a chance to give Maria a little more depth and shading, always showing how the character's mind works. I'm just wondering if she's trying to figure out how best to work the Pascal situation where it will blow up more in the captain's face than Esme's. I don't think Maria blames Pascal nearly as much as Matthews and I highly doubt she's gotten over her bitterness and resentment toward him.

Plus, he was a great nemesis for her. That's the big fish she needs to fry. Pascal can only be an ally.

#28

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Posted Oct 15, 2007 @ 6:33 PM

Wow...there were so many things that happened last night that I almost don't know where to start. LaGuerta completely surprised me when she didn't throw Esme under the bus, but then the cynical side of me kicked in.

Maria knows that Esme's hoisting herself with her own petard and so it's not like Maria needs to drive the bus over her in order to gain from it. Pascal's mistakes are big enough and often enough that they draw the Captain's attention, without Maria having to point them out. So basically, LaGuerta can take the moral high ground and not get the reputation as back stabber, because even without airing Esme's dirty laundry, Pascal is on track to fuck up enough for LaGuerta to get her old position back.

I liked that Maria did the 'sister solidarity' thing, but it doesn't convince me that she didn't assess the situation first and make sure she'd still benefit in the end.

Edited by rowanceleste, Oct 15, 2007 @ 6:34 PM.


#29

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Posted Oct 16, 2007 @ 12:50 AM

I liked that Maria did the 'sister solidarity' thing, but it doesn't convince me that she didn't assess the situation first and make sure she'd still benefit in the end.


Well said, rowanceleste. I doubt LaGuerta made the choice she did entirely altruisticaly but I don't care; it was nice to hear a her call out the sexism involved. She may have made a clever strategic move in not ratting out Pascal but I think she also believed what she was saying to the Captain.

#30

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Posted Oct 16, 2007 @ 9:25 PM

I think she also saw it more as a way to tell Matthews to go to hell, too. He wanted Maria to step in and save his ass, and she was like "Whatever, asshole."

I do think there's an element of solidarity to her stance but the fact that her standing solid with Pascal screws over the captain hasn't escaped her. That Matthews thinks so little of LaGuerta that he hasn't figured it out either is both completely in character for the prick and perfect for when Pascal finally cocks up so badly that both of them go down for it...leaving LaGuerta as the "solid" detective who had Pascal's back the whole time.