'Dexter: New Blood'
Source: Showtime

Deb Is Back in 'Dexter: New Blood' — But Isn't She Dead? Jennifer Carpenter Has an Opinion on the Matter

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Nov. 9 2021, Published 2:15 p.m. ET

Until quite recently, it had been 10 years since charming ginger antihero Dexter Morgan (Michael C. Hall) — aka the world's most likable serial killer — chopped up a body and tossed it into the Atlantic Ocean. It's been about eight years since fans of Showtime's beloved drama Dexter were insulted with a notoriously bad series finale. The blasphemous closing to the original Dexter story even caused Michael C. Hall himself to endure a stint of "sadness."

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But with a redeeming series premiere, Dexter: New Blood is already racking up bodies — we mean viewers. Though superfans were aware it was coming, it was still a shock to see the often emotional, opinionated Deb Morgan (Jennifer Carpenter) rise from the dead, so to speak. Deb, aka Dexter's close adoptive sister, suffers an untimely death during Dexter's eighth and final season in 2013.

Considering she played such a large role in the vigilante serial killer's life, it makes sense for Deb to return in some sense. This time, though, she is a recurring vision, or a materialization of Dexter's conscience. Well, the brilliant Jennifer Carpenter has plenty of opinions on her adored character's revival.

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'Dexter: New Blood'
Source: Showtime

Fans were heartbroken when Deb was brutally shot by serial killer Oliver Saxon in Season 8, only to be taken off life support by Dexter and symbolically lowered into the ocean. It was a mercy kill, as Dexter knew that the Deb he once cared for wouldn't be coming back. But thankfully, New Blood gives Deb new life.

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"This time I get to drive a nail into your side. This time I get to suffocate you; I get to make you hurt," Jennifer Carpenter told USA Today regarding Deb's function in the new series. "That was very satisfying. For once Deb has control."

Ever since Deb discovered her adoptive brother's compulsion for murder in Season 6, she made it her mission to "fix" him and convince him to stop killing for good. We all know that isn't quite what went down. "She always thought it was a choice or a bad habit," Jennifer said.

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Jennifer — who was briefly married to Michael C. Hall from 2008 to 2011 — played the role of Deb with a lot of heart, so it's no surprise that her attachment to the character weighed heavy on her mental health. Considering this, Jennifer actually pushed for Deb to be killed off in the end. "She was such a visceral part of me, we needed to part in the healthiest way," Jennifer explained. "And that seemed like the healthiest way."

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Even so, Jennifer Carpenter was not thrilled with Deb's send-off in 'Dexter' Season 8.

"It felt so cold that I felt like an idiot that [Deb] had looked for love there. It's absurd, I wish he had shown that he was sad for me," she continued. Absurd? Maybe. Cold? Definitely. But the honest truth is that Dexter processed his sister's death exactly as nonchalantly as we'd expect.

At first, Jennifer saw the new Deb — the vision Dexter sees and talks to — as a cruel denial of her deserved trip to heaven, but she came to a realization. "It's the idea of her ascension up to this white light, finally a softer place, and then she's brought to the cold that burns where Dexter has brought me. But I realized that it was his hell, not hers. She's resting in peace," she relayed. It's quite profound.

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'Dexter'
Source: Showtime

Jennifer Carpenter believes her reprised character's return is "Deb's reward for the suffering that she endured."

New episodes of Dexter: New Blood air Sundays at 9:00 p.m. EST on Showtime.

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