Lauren Velez, Dexter

When it comes to love, Dexter's Maria LaGuerta can't seem to catch a break. First, her ex-lover was killed in Season 2, then another old flame turned out to be a murderer in Season 3. And now that she's finally found love with Sgt. Batista, she's unable to be with him with him because the boss won't allow their interoffice relationship. TVGuide.com caught up Lauren Velez, who plays the high-powered lieutenant, to get her take on the forbidden romance, which serial killer storyline has been her favorite and hints on who shot Deb.  

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TVGuide.com: Why do you think LaGuerta chose her career over Batista?
Lauren Velez: I think when she came to this country, she was so determined to do something with herself and make her way in this man's world that she had to play by her own rules. I think she often has the experience with men where she's too ambitious with the person she's with or they feel threatened by her. So she cannot do both love and career at one time.

TVGuide.com: What do you think they like about each other?
Velez: Well, there's the cultural aspect. And I think he's attracted to the fact she's very powerful. He knows how to get her to bring down her walls and really understands her. He wants to protect her and she lets him, because the truth is, she wants him to.

TVGuide.com: What's it like playing such a powerful woman?
Velez: I have so much fun being bitchy and having it be her world. LaGuerta does what she wants when she wants to do it. And her evolution has been pretty great. She was really strong the first season, experienced loss in the second season, found hope in the third and in the fourth season, she finds love. So it's been an amazing journey and trajectory.

TVGuide.com: Of all the cases and murderers on Dexter, which have you enjoyed most?
Velez: The killer played by Jimmy Smits. There's something about Smits and Michael [C. Hall] together and their energy. Dexter and Miguel Prado was such a wonderful relationship that went south quickly. I found it riveting to watch these two killers battling it out. It's riveting to watch Dexter be so quintessentially male. It was like to alpha males battling it out. I really enjoyed that quality of it.

TVGuide.com: What can you tell us about what's to come for LaGuerta in the last few episodes of season?
Velez: Well, you're in for a surprise with what happens between Batista and LaGuerta. And I can tell you it's unexpected — and sudden!

TVGuide.com: How about Deb? Can you give us any clue as to who shot her now that we know it's not Trinity?
Velez: The only hint I can give is that one of the things the show is all about is family and the effect family has on you. And that's all I'm going to say!