Fans of the hit Showtime series Dexter were thrown for quite the surprise when it was revealed in July that Jennifer Carpenter will return as Debra Morgan, the late sister of Michael C. Hall’s title character, Dexter Morgan.
Debra was killed by her brother in the series finale of the original Dexter series, which ran for eight seasons between 2006 and 2013.
Carpenter, 41, appeared during the Television Critics Association’s summer tour on Tuesday, where she revealed (via TV Line) that she will be playing a ‘new and imaginary iteration of Debra.’
It was revealed that Debra will essentially be ‘taking over’ as the new version of Harry Morgan (James Remar), Dexter’s late adopted father, a Miami cop who taught him how to kill criminals who ultimately slipped through the justice system.
Harry would ‘appear’ in the show, though he was seen as an externalization of Dexter’s inner monologue, a role now being transferred to Dexter’s late sister Debra.
‘I don’t think of her as a ghost (per se, but) more of a link or an echo or an inconvenient truth for Dexter,’ Carpenter said.
‘(She) comes back to sort of haunt and punish and caretake and provoke and love (him),’ Carpenter added.
Her co-star Michael C. Hall added that he thinks Debra represents, ‘how far he’s fallen… without a compass,’ since Debra was considered the ‘moral compass’ of the original series.
‘I was so excited about Jennifer doing this because I knew she would be able to shape shift and come at Dexter from so many different places,’ Hall added.
Hall added, ‘it was really fun to crack open our sense of [Dexter]’s internal landscape, because it’s much more pyrotechnic and crazy than it used to be.’
The final moments of the original series saw Dexter dumping Debra’s body into the ocean and taking off in his boat towards Hurricane Laura.
His boat is found destroyed and he’s presumed to be dead, though the final moments show Dexter living a presumably peaceful life in the Pacific Northwest.