Debra Morgan: Foul-Mouthed Sister and First-Rate Detective

Debra Morgan
Character Profile
Portrayed By
Jennifer Carpenter
Haley King (teens)
Laura Marano (young)
Savannah Paige Rae (young)
Season One through Season Eight
First Appearance
Last Appearance
Remember the Monsters?
Appears in
96 Episodes
Full Name
Debra Charlotte Morgan
Manner of Death
Severely wounded by Oliver Saxon.
Life-support shut off by Dexter Morgan (mercy killing)
34 (age at death)
7 December 1979[1]
Personal Status
Marital Status
Immediate Relatives
Mr. Morgan (grandfather, deceased)
Harry Morgan (father, deceased)
Doris Morgan (mother, deceased)
Dexter Morgan (adoptive brother)
Rita Morgan (sister-in-law, deceased)
Harrison Morgan (nephew)
Astor Bennett (step-niece)
Cody Bennett (step-nephew)
Professional Status
Private Investigator (briefly, 2012)
Lieutenant for Miami Metro Police, Homicide Division (2011-2012)
Detective for Miami Metro Police, Homicide Division (2008-2011, 2012)
Officer in Homicide (2006-2008)
Officer in Vice (2004-2006)
Officer in Patrol (2001-2004)
Miami Metro Homicide
Elway Investigations
Killer Profile
"No Known Alias"
Number of Victims
Modus Operandi
Killing Method
Method of Disposal
Debra developed post-traumatic stress disorder from her ordeal with Dexter's brother Brian Moser. Also, she experienced anxiety over finding out that Dexter was a serial killer and her subsequent involvement in his activities. It culminated when she confronted Dexter as he was about to murder Maria. In that moment, she sided with her brother and shot Maria in the chest, killing her.

Debra "Deb" Morgan (spelled Deborah in the novels) was a main character in the Showtime series DEXTER.

She was the adoptive sister of Dexter Morgan and worked for Miami Metro Homicide.

Debra was often the conscience of the series, providing the morally correct sense of justice, while her adoptive brother, Dexter Morgan, always pursued much darker means. Her involvement in the plot was usually parallel to Dexter, as they frequently hunted the same killers. While her intent was to bring them to justice, Dexter sought them to satisfy his Dark Passenger.


Debra was a slim, Caucasian woman. Her face was soft and somewhat thin, with a big smile. Her hair was ever changing, going from one length to another (the shortest in Season Three).

Her overall body was thin, but had an athletic build. She was very fit and capable of running down a perp when necessary. On the right side of her stomach, she had a scar from when she was shot during "Dex Takes a Holiday."


Her attire was one of the most variable throughout the series. As soon as she was allowed into Homicide, she quickly adopted designer suits, thus making her one of the best-dressed officers in Homicide. Her suits changed along with her hairstyle and, before the show ended, she dropped using a jacket and instead wore a long-sleeved button-up shirt with dress pants and shoes. During Season Eight, she changed her wardrobe entirely, switching to striped long-sleeved shirts and skinny jeans. Her typical gear was a gun and a badge, along with other possible devices such as a radio. Her at-home attire was very casual compared to her work clothing, usually consisting of T-shirts and blue jeans.


Debra was not shy and could be headstrong at times. Despite the tough persona she presented, she was sensitive and caring inside although she didn't readily express it. Debra's ability to be "one of the guys" allowed her to be effective at her job. Suspects could anger her, especially when something violent happened to someone close to her.

She was a lot of things that Dexter was not: crass, impulsive, emotional, trusting, and thus served as a perfect foil for Dexter. She highlighted his shortcomings in his attempts to be "human." Although she was often frustrated with Dexter's inability to open up to her, she defended him on more than one occasion. For example, she threatened Joey Quinn when he referred to Dexter as a "dweeb."

Every aspect of Debra's life changed once she saw Dexter plunge a knife into Travis Marshall's chest. After she put the pieces together, she discovered that he was a serial killer, much to her horror. Although she still loved him, Debra was torn over whether to protect Dexter or turn him in.


Debra had a reputation for her use of expletives. " In the first episode of the show, Dexter described her as "his foul-mouth foster sister." She hardly spoke a sentence in which she did not utter a swear word (especially when angry). This had nearly gotten her into trouble on several occasions, as she often spoke profanely to her superiors, only to realize this afterward and apologize.

In "Our Father," a poorly-timed public comment against the deceased Oscar Prado caused her to be removed from the Fred Bowman case. However, it appeared that she was able to control herself when around children, such as when holding baby Harrison. Even though he couldn't possibly understand her at his age, she used the word "fu---dge."

As perhaps the most vocal of the characters on the TV series, she created quite a list of her very own unique curse words and phrases, as opposed to a simple usage of the "F-word" by a character such as Joey Quinn. The only other character to swear nearly as often as Deb was Sergeant James Doakes. By the end of the series, Debra had used some variant of the word "fuck" approximately 996 times.

Early Life History

Debra's Birthdate

Screenshot of Debra's birth date ("Every Silver Lining")

Her adopted brother was Dexter Morgan, the main protagonist and Serial Killer of the series. Both were raised by Deb's biological parents; Harry and Doris Morgan. Debra grew up watching her brother take a lot of the spotlight. While she often sought attention from her father, he would otherwise focus on Dexter. Little did she know that Harry's reasoning for doing this was not because he loved her any less, but that he was trying to train and control Dexter. Debra decided to join the police in her father's footsteps, hoping to become worthy within his eyes, even though he had passed away years before.

Debra was born to Doris Morgan and Harry Morgan and, later, the adoptive sister to Dexter Moser. She was a tomboy as a child and was always very rough. She constantly craved the attention of her father and she envied Dexter for all the time their father Harry spent with him- teaching him how to get away with murder. She initially accepted him as a brother, however, and was extremely upset with herself, even blaming herself, after she asked Dexter to fetch her football by climbing over a fence and was injured. She was frequently confrontational to Dexter as a child, always seeking the attention from Harry and never getting it.

When she was 16, her mother, Doris Morgan died of cancer. Like her father, she wanted to become a detective and started learning to shoot a gun by borrowing her father's, which angers him when Dexter tells him, and she reproaches Dexter for telling him saying that sometimes she wished that he had never brought him home but apologizes for it soon after. She still learns how to use a gun better than Dexter and trying to foster her career as a future detective. She is distraught at her father's death, inspired by his legendary police career and follows in his footsteps. Years later, she joins the police force and yearns desperately to become a Homicide Detective.


She evolved steadily throughout the series, moving up from a Vice cop to Detective and then to Lieutenant of Miami Metro Homicide. Unfortunately, when she killed Captain Maria LaGuerta to protect her Dexter, something inside of her changed and she left her life at Miami Metro behind. She then worked as a Private Investigator for Elway Investigations for a short time before returning to Miami Metro.

Debra Morgan had one of the most developing careers in the Miami Metro Police Department. In 2001, she joined the police department and spent three years in patrol before moving on to Vice in 2004. While in Vice, she would often go undercover as a prostitute and continue to have personal contacts within their ranks.

In 2006, the Ice Truck Killer Investigation was launched after two bloodless, dismembered women were found in Miami. Showing initiative, Debra noticed that one of the victims had an ice cold body. She discussed it with Dexter and they decided that the victim was delivered by a mobile refrigeration unit, such as a refrigerated truck. At first, the idea of searching for refrigerated trucks was dismissed by Lieutenant Maria LaGuerta. Later, after Dexter stalked a refrigerated truck (which he excused as just following Debra's lead), he had a victim's head thrown at him. The department then realized the value in Debra's investigative ideas. Shortly thereafter, she managed to find the actual truck. Inside were the fingertips of victim, Sheri Taylor, who was later identified at Miami Metro Homicide. Captain Thomas Matthews heard about the successful finding of the truck and had LaGuerta promote Debra from Vice to Homicide. However, Debra was not officially a detective at that point.

After she helped break the case of the Ice Truck Killer Investigation, Debra aided Frank Lundy as part of his Special Task Force in searching for the Bay Harbor Butcher. In most instances, her intuitive ability to recognize evidence, signs, indications, and clues helped lead to the truth. She finally became a bonafide detective, earning the Silver Shield just before Dexter's wedding at the end of Season Three. One of her first duties as Detective was to lead the charge on capturing George King, but he "committed suicide" by smashing through a patrol car window after falling from the above railing. In reality, he had already been killed by Dexter to provide an escape plan for him.

Debra proved to be a capable, and hard-working detective. Nearing nine years on the force, she aided in the Trinity Killer Case picking up where her former lover Frank Lundy left off. She later closed the Santa Muerte Case with some unfortunate casualties. For this, she was temporarily put on suspension, but then managed to successfully resolve the Barrel Girls Case, only being steps behind the "Vigilante Couple."

One year later, with the recent promotion of Maria LaGuerta to Captain of Miami Metro Homicide (a position previously held by Thomas Matthews), the position of Lieutenant has opened for a new replacement. At first, Sergeant Angel Batista (who became Sergeant near the beginning of Season Three, ironically at that time forcing Debra off the Oscar Prado case to cement the position) was considered for the position, Maria's top pick to take her place. However, Deputy Chief Matthews reviews a recent heroic incident (which is circulated on a video sharing website, likely YouTube) with Debra back at a restaurant where a disgruntled employee came back to shoot up the place though she managed to take him down with no injury to civilians. This gave her a heroic feat under her belt and enough for Matthews to decide firmly on promoting her to Lieutenant, which she makes LaGuerta do. Humorously, the first promotion LaGuerta gave Deb was given with a heavy heart and annoyed attitude. The second promotion, on the other hand, was cheerful and proud-the two were actually friendly with one another. The third promotion is very emotional for LaGuerta who promised it to Batista, but now has to award it to Deb instead, and she's not happy about it. Batista remains as Sergeant, and while depressed about what occurred, he's proud of Debra... despite others such as Joey Quinn (who recently was turned down by a proposal to Deb) urging him that she's changed, Angel continues to believe in Deb and her abilities, aiding her now discreetly in dealing with being a Lieutenant.

Effectively, she completely skipped the Golden Shield of a Homicide Sergeant to reach Lieutenant, certainly a notable feat by Debra Morgan.

Relationship with Dexter

Next to Harry, the most influential person in Dexter's life was his adoptive sister, Debra. She was the one who, since childhood, enhanced his "human side." According to Dr. Evelyn Vogel, Debra "became a mirror, reflecting a positive image" of Dexter that he used to "balance out the notion of himself as a monster" ("Scar Tissue").

When young Debra had her new dog confiscated by her father, Dexter attempted to tell her that it was because he killed animals, but he was utterly stopped by Harry. Confused, Dexter asked Harry why he couldn't tell her. After listening to Harry explain the repercussions of doing so, Dexter realized that Debra would be deeply impacted by knowing about his dark urges. He decided to keep his animal kills (later humans) a secret from her and, for the majority of Debra's lifetime, he was able to do so.

Dexter was always the most important person in Debra's life, but she didn't have access to his feelings, which was all she ever wanted. Debra loved the man that she thought Dexter was, as she only knew of his best qualities -- a loving father, and a relatively good husband. However, when she walked in on Dexter killing Travis Marshall, Debra was completely astonished. Thinking quickly, Dexter said that he had "snapped" and killed him on impulse. Debra reluctantly helped Dexter burn down the abandoned church where he killed Marshall, destroying evidence of the crime. Even after Debra discovered his trophies and kill tools, Dexter still cared about her feelings and tried to reason with her, but found himself rejected by her.

Eventually, Debra's mindset began to change when Dexter targeted a psychotic serial killer who later attacked her. She begrudgingly admitted that Dexter's actions likely prevent killers from committing further murders. But after being forced into a corner (by Dexter's actions), she shot an innocent woman and became deeply enraged at him. She then quit her police job, began to drink heavily, and isolated herself from Dexter and her former life. For months, she was tormented by her irrevocable act. However, Debra was able to later reconcile with her brother (through the help of Dr. Vogel ) and their bond was reestablished. Debra even encouraged Dexter to move to Argentina with Hannah (a person that Debra initially hated) so that he could have a happy life.

Dexter's love for Debra was finally evinced after she was shot in the abdomen by Oliver Saxon and ended up in a coma - from a blood clot. Recognizing a future in which Debra would never eat on her own, speak, or have brain activity, Dexter unplugged Debra's life-support and told her that he loved her. Those would be his final words to Debra -- words that she had wanted to hear. ("Remember the Monsters?")

Debra's Lovers

  • Sean "The Mechanic" - He was the subject of a brief relationship. It wasn't long before Debra discovered that he was married and, as a result, she dumped him. ("Crocodile").
  • Rudy Cooper - She dated him during Season One, unaware that he was actually the Ice Truck Killer and also Dexter's biological brother. Rudy eventually proposed to Debra and she accepted, but soon after he revealed his identity and drugged her, to use as bait against Dexter. Dexter rescued Debra and later killed Rudy "for the safety of (his) sister." In Season Four, Debra discovered the truth about Dexter's biological family. She was very upset and informed Dexter, thinking he had no idea of who his brother was, and went on to say that she loved Dexter more than anyone.
  • Gabriel Bosque - He was yet another brief relationship (in Season Two). Debra met him while working out at the gym. They went on several dates but, eventually, Debra left him because of her growing attraction to Frank Lundy.
  • Frank Lundy - In Season Two, she fell in love with him. It has been joked by some fans that Debra may have had an Electra complex as he was approximately her father's age and like him, a respected police officer (albeit for the FBI rather than Miami P.D.). However, they had a healthy relationship despite their age difference. Debra was attracted to him partially because of his success as an FBI Agent but also of the approval he had for her viewpoints. He inspired confidence in Debra; something she never received from her father. Unfortunately, his job forced them to end their relationship. Later they reconnected while she was seeing Anton Briggs, but they were both shot and Lundy was killed. ("Dex Takes a Holiday")
  • Anton Briggs - In Season Three, she seemed to have finally found a match in Anton, her C.I. for the George King case. She became upset after learning that that her father had been involved with more than one C.I. When her case was in jeopardy due to her romantic involvement with Anton, she chose him over the case, and still received her detective's shield, with approval from Lt. LaGuerta.
  • Joey Quinn - He was a cop that was practically perfect for Debra. Both were around the same age, they worked well together on the job, and both had similar personalities.

In Season Three, Quinn transferred to Miami Metro Homicide. He and Debra started out with flirtatious jokes and the occasional hint. However, neither of Quinn or Debra actually considered a relationship at that point.
In Season Four, both Debra and Quinn lost someone they cared about. Frank Lundy showed up and began to see Debra again. However, he ended up dying midway through the season. Meanwhile, Quinn was dealing with his own relationship with Arthur Mitchell's biological daughter who ended up committing suicide.
In Season Five, during a house cleanup after the death of Rita Morgan, the two have a rapid, violent experiment in sex. Afterward, Debra denied that anything happened. For days, Quinn pressured Debra into accepting what had taken place and to hook up again. Debra stayed in denial, dismissing Quinn, and being defensive. As Quinn started to back off, Debra became jealous when she viewed him flirting with other women. Realizing that she had feelings for Quinn, she admitted them to him.
Later, Debra found out that Quinn was suspended for investigating Dexter, she wanted nothing to do with him, even though Quinn had told her that he loved her. Because of work, the two still talked with one another, and Quinn tried to press back into the relationship, feeling that he truly loved her. Debra started to believe him, after he dropped his hunch on Dexter.
In Season Six, they had lived together for about a year. Quinn decided to propose to Debra, stating he was in love with her, only to be heartbroken when she turned him down. Afterward, Quinn filled the emptiness in his heart with pointless sex with random women (all of which he didn't care about) and a lot of alcohol. He apologized to Debra for his actions and tried to get back together one last time, only to be turned down again.
In Season Eight, there were several moments where the two of them were shown to be close, such as when Quinn helped her if she was in a predicament. After Quinn broke up with Jamie Batista, Debra confronted him, saying that she still had feelings for him. The two then kissed, inferring that the two were again a couple. When Debra suffered a stroke after being shot, he cried in grief after learning that Debra would never recover.


She killed three characters within the series, however, she incorrectly stated that she killed TWO people during "A Little Reflection." This is likely excluding Carlos Fuentes as it was judged a lawful killing, and the events involving the Fuentes Brothers had not been referenced since Season Five.

  • Carlos Fuentes - When he took a hostage a second time, Debra didn't hesitate to shoot (after her earlier reluctance to shoot him almost cost the first hostage his life). ("Circle Us")
  • Maria LaGuerta - Debra impulsively shot her in order to protect her brother (and herself) when LaGuerta learned that Dexter was the Bay Harbor Butcher. ("Surprise, Motherfucker!")
  • Javier Guzman - He was a hitman assigned to kill Andrew Briggs and retrieve stolen jewels. Debra was then beaten up by him in Briggs' storage container where the jewels were located. Afterward, Debra ran up to El Sapo in his car and shot him three times with a 9mm handgun. At the crime scene, Dexter found evidence of her blood in the shattered glass. ("Every Silver Lining")

Attempted Victims

Related Pages


Debra Morgan is featured from the start of Episode 1 and acts as the other Main Character throughout the series. While her brother Dexter is dealing with a particular Main Antagonist, Debra is almost always pursuing the same criminal or, at times, another major antagonist that Dexter doesn't invest his time in. However, she has amazing detective abilities and typically catches on to clues just a mere step behind her brother thus leading Homicide multiple times towards success (almost accidentally catching her brother on several occasions). It is through her many selfless actions that she held the position of Lieutenant in Homicide and was able to lead the charge on new cases, including the Doomsday Case, and the Mike Anderson homicide investigation which leads to the further investigation of Isaak Sirko. During the penultimate season, she not only knew her brother's secret but also covered and helped him which led to her eventual emotional breakdown after she was forced into a situation that went against everything she stood for - killing Maria LaGuerta to protect Dexter and herself. She secrets. She hated that he collected trophies - blood slides .

In Season 1

Despite being smart, she is unsure of herself, so instead relies on Dexter's seemingly limitless expertise on murderers to solve difficult cases. Initially assigned to Vice, she was desperate to be transferred to homicide, and after Tom Matthews promotes her, she starts to gain a lot of confidence in herself and relies less on Dexter's abilities and more on her own.

Debra develops a close relationship with a man called Rudy Cooper, who is actually the Ice Truck Killer, who is dating her in order to get close to Dexter. She falls in love with him and trusts him completely. At the end of the season, Rudy proposes to her, and she accepts and is then kidnapped by him in order to reveal himself to Dexter. She was bound to a table in the same manner that Dexter kills his victims, while Dexter and Brian discuss her fate. In the show, she is unconscious but in Darkly Dreaming Dexter, she is wide awake and finds out that her brother is a killer. Debra is severely affected by Rudy's betrayal; she moves in with Dexter for fear of being alone.

In Season 2

Debra is particularly frail at the start of Season Two, still recovering from her ordeal with the Ice Truck Killer. Key to her recovery were Dexter and an older man and Special Agent, Frank Lundy. She starts to bury herself in work and is very wary of anyone she has a relationship with, such as Gabriel. She feels that she is not a good detective because she didn't spot that her fiancé was a serial killer, but Frank Lundy tells her otherwise and they, mid-season, develop a romantic relationship which ends in Debra gaining her confidence back. She stays in Dexter's apartment while she deals with the trauma of what happened to her, leaving his apartment a total mess to the point where Dexter repeatedly says, jokingly, "I will not kill my sister."

At the end of the season, she has regained her confidence and her police work is back to scratch. She is more determined than ever to improve her career and earn a detective shield. But she is still upset when Frank Lundy has to leave Miami due to his work.

In Season 3

As Season 3 begins, Debra had her hair cut to shoulder length, has "sworn off men, liquor and smokes" and is even more determined to get her silver detective shield. She is working with a new partner, Detective Joey Quinn, but has been approached by an Internal Affairs officer who tells her that her partner is being investigated as a dirty cop; but she refused to assist IA. She was originally part of the team investigating the murder of Miguel Prado's brother Oscar, but because of her lack of tact and people skills, she was removed from the case by the newly-promoted Detective Sergeant Batista; however, the case she has been assigned to (the murder of a young woman) was eventually found to have been the connected Skinner case, which she solved with the help of Anton Briggs, a C.I. whom she started a relationship with after saving his life from "the Skinner." Because of her success on the Skinner case, she was given her detective shield at the end of the season. 

In Season 4

A conversation between Debra and Dexter leads to her finding out her father slept with one of his confidential informants. She investigates the files on Harry's informants and interviews them, hoping to find the one Harry slept with. One of the files is shown to be Laura Moser. Also during this time, her relationship with Anton has been breaking, especially now that he had a gig in the city instead of on a cruise ship. This is put on hold by the return of Frank Lundy to Miami to hunt the Trinity Killer, and Debra once again becomes involved with Lundy. Soon, both she and Lundy are shot by an unknown assailant suspected to be the Vacation Killers, with adding insult to injury, she confesses to Anton that she slept with Lundy, prompting them to immediately break up. Lundy dies, and she eventually figures out the Trinity Killer is the shooter. As a result, Debra opens an investigation to the Trinity Killer. However, it is later revealed that Trinity could not have been the shooter. Since her wounds from the bullet were in a horizontal line, someone of Masuka's height had to be the shooter. During a Thanksgiving dinner, Debra remembers a conversation she had with Christine Hill and realizes she has knowledge of the shooting that no one outside the police department knew about. This leads Debra to believe that she was the shooter. This is backed up later when it is revealed that Hill is the daughter of Trinity. Hill later confesses to Debra that she was the shooter, moments before she shoots herself in the head. Due to her solving the Lundy killing, she restarts her search for Harry's C.I. mistress and finds out about Laura Moser, and the fact that Dexter and the Ice Truck Killer are brothers.

In Season 5

Debra is on the scene shortly after the events of Season 4 come to a close, telling fellow officers to back off her brother as she takes Harrison into her arms and asks Dexter what happened. Debra becomes shocked and confused at Dexter's response, also realizing that now Rita is dead. She backs her brother despite the opposition from FBI and her own department alike, not realizing that Joey Quinn has taken an interest in Dexter's possible connection to Rita's murder. She is seen taking care of Harrison while Dexter copes with his loss, though works to get everything ready for the funeral in her brother's absent emotional state... including setting up the coffin, memorial artwork, and the likes.

After a bad breakup with Anton Briggs and the loss of Frank Lundy, Debra has been cornered with a lot of unfortunate outcomes with her relationship status. Feeling a sense of obligation to Rita, she arrives with Quinn at her house to clean up the blood which Quinn objects because that is something the FBI is paid to do, but she feels it is her duty, so they go ahead and clean the place spotless of the blood spills. After they finish up, they begin to converse on how she's holding up... and she starts to break down in tears, while Quinn attempts to comfort her... but little does he know that the tables turn when she starts kissing him, resulting in the both of them having an extreme moment of passion that ends in sex. After they finish, Debra goes to sort through dresses as Quinn is still in shock (and likes the fact) of what just happened, questioning her on what this means from here on out. Debra is in extreme denial, pushing Quinn away while she takes a stack of dresses back to Dexter's Apartment. with Quinn still wondering what this means between the two of them.

When she learns that Dexter skipped out on his FBI interview (regarding Rita's death), she becomes infuriated and tries to reach him by phone but when that fails, she busts through the door of the apartment to see Harrison in the arms of "the crazy cat lady" from downstairs. Apparently, Dexter had her watch over Harrison, so she tries to get a hold of him again (with some of her famous cuss words and anger) and still fails to figure out where he's at. She as well as the rest of Homicide attends the funeral, with her thinking centered on Dexter, who is still missing, but Quinn attempts to run his theory about Dexter by her when Dexter suddenly arrives (thus cutting him off) and the funeral commences.

Some time passes and Harrison has grown a bit, with Dexter and the rest moving all of their possessions into what was supposed to be her apartment. She even is forced to bunk with Astor Bennett while Dexter sleeps on the couch and Cody on the cot. The stress of this starts to build, along with a new case in the midst... the Santa Muerte Murders.

In Season 6


"Oh God..." Deb finally sees the real Dexter

At the start of the season, Quinn proposes to Debra, but she rejects him and eventually ends their relationship. The ensuing awkwardness is only made worse when she is promoted to Lieutenant, thanks in part to LaGuerta's political machinations. Debra generally seems to earn the respect of the office but struggles with the idea of some people not feeling 'open' to her anymore because of her new job level. The job is also very stressful in itself, and she comes to doubt whether she can handle the responsibility. Her work and personal troubles weighing down on her, she eventually begins to attend therapy sessions. Matthews attempts to make a deal with her about covering up his involvement in the death of a prostitute, but before she can take any action, LaGuerta tells Matthews' superiors about his indiscretion and lets Debra take the fall for it.

Debra continues working Homicide after being promoted to Lieutenant; she works alongside Angel, Masuka, and Dexter to try and solve the DDK murders, but an erotic dream between her and Dexter sparks something that seems to confuse Debra. After Travis kidnaps and threatens to kill Harrison, Dexter meets him to intervene only to be ordered by Travis to inject himself with M99. But before Travis kills Dexter, Dexter manages to knock Travis out and take him to a secluded church in which he sets up his ritual to kill Travis.

Dexter Morgan manages to capture Travis Marshall following his attempt to murder Harrison. Debra previously asked Dexter if he could do a final sweep of the Santa Maria de Laredo Church, which was actually a ploy so she could tell him the truth about her emotions. When she does arrive, however, Dexter had turned the church into his personal kill room for Travis... and as she walks into the doorway she is able to witness Dexter standing with the knife in hand, seeing him stab Travis in the heart before her eyes.

Dexter says simply, "Oh God..."

In Season 7

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Debra fires her gun at LaGuerta.

Debra often glanced at Dexter with an expression of distrust, frustration, and rage. She concluded that she never really knew her brother (much like Brian Moser had suspected). She saw him as a totally different person. Dexter realized that Debra was acting differently towards him and that she was not there for him like she used to be.

Debra began studying Dexter's actions and continually questioned every movement he made due to her severe distrust for him knowing of his strong urge to kill. This resulted in her admitting that she was incapable of telling the difference between the truth and a lie from Dexter (to be fair, most of his lies were to protect her). Her distrust of Dexter was so great at this point that she briefly believed that he was the one who killed Rita, much to Dexter's anger and shock. Debra even commented that Harrison should live with his grandparents because Dexter was an unfit father, which caused Dexter to finally snap at Debra. He insisted that he was a good father, regardless of what Debra believed.

When it came to the law, Debra thought that justice is the thing that would prevail, although she did, at times, admit that it isn't perfect. She kept on telling Dexter that they should both be able to follow the law no matter what and that he could have easily gone to the police - rather than slaughtering his victims in cold blood. However, Dexter replied that the justice system is simply a joke and that it is too easy for criminals to escape through the cracks and that, if her justice system is as good as she believes it to be, he wouldn't be nearly as busy. He went on to claim that his Code is sometimes better. A good example of him using the code would be on one of his desired targets, Ray Speltzer. He convinced Debra that he could take him out before he could get the chance to kill, stating that he knew Speltzer had the potential to kill once more. Soon enough, Debra seemed to start catching on to the incontrovertible truth in Dexter's words, specifically when Speltzer brutally murdered another defenseless woman (Melanie Garrett) in his tailor-made maze. After Dexter pursued Speltzer and successfully killed him in a crematory (and burnt his body), he showed Debra the smoke produced by Speltzer's ashes (rising out of the chimney). A conflicted Debra claimed she was happy and Dexter replied that makes her 'human'.

In the Season 7 finale, Debra demonstrated how she would be willing to protect Dexter at any cost - regardless of the consequences. She reluctantly shot Maria LaGuerta in the chest in order to ensure that her brother wouldn't be condemned for his past actions. Even though she started to pin the blame on Dexter

In "Are You...?" which picks up at the end of season 6, Debra witnesses Dexter murder Travis Marshall. Dexter claims that he went to collect evidence, and was surprised by Travis; he then says that he "snapped" and killed Travis on impulse. Debra reluctantly helps him burn down the abandoned church where he killed Travis, destroying the evidence of the crime. Later, Dexter comes home to Debra, sitting in the chair in the corner of his apartment, surrounded by Dexter's victim's blood slides, a pack of knives, and other tools that Dexter uses to kill. Debra reluctantly asks Dexter if he is a serial killer. Dexter, taken aback, replies yes. Horrified, Debra recoils from Dexter as he admits that he is the "Bay Harbor Butcher", and that her father taught him how to get away with murder. In "Sunshine and Frosty Swirl", after reading serial killer reports by Frank Lundy, Debra says she wants to help Dexter, and make sure he doesn't kill again. Dexter agrees, even though he doesn't really have a choice, as Debra (probably) would have arrested him. In "Do the Wrong Thing", after Dexter disposes of a particularly brutal serial killer who had evaded imprisonment on a technicality, Debra admits that she understands why Dexter takes the law into his own hands and tells him that she will not stop him as long as he does not tell her about it or interfere with Miami Metro investigations. She even compromises her own professional ethics by falsifying evidence to mislead LaGuerta, who is trying to reopen the Bay Harbor Butcher case.

Their truce is threatened when Dexter begins dating Hannah McKay, a serial poisoner who Debra is intent on arresting for the murder of Sal Price, a writer she had feelings for. Dexter is torn between his responsibility to Debra and his feelings for Hannah, the only person who has ever accepted and loved him for who he really is. In "Do You See What I See?", the situation is worsened when Debra gets into a near-fatal car accident after a confrontation with Hannah; she is convinced Hannah poisoned her, and Dexter is suspicious enough to order a toxicology screen on a bottle of water in Debra's car, along with searching Debra's house for clues. The results prove that Hannah did indeed poison Debra, leaving Dexter with no choice but to give Debra evidence proving that Hannah killed Price. Debra is on hand to arrest Hannah, as a heartbroken Dexter looks on.

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Then embracing her in deep sorrow.

In the season finale, "Surprise, Motherfucker!", Debra rushes to Dexter's side when LaGuerta has him arrested for the Bay Harbor Butcher murders and angrily confronts her before being told to recuse herself. Dexter is released, however, thanks
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Killing her.

to the evidence that Debra tampered with. The next day, LaGuerta calls her into her office under the pretext of apologizing — and confronts her with circumstantial evidence that she was near the church at the time it was destroyed. Debra talks her way out of immediate danger, but fears that LaGuerta will soon have definitive proof of what she and Dexter had done. Later, at Angel Batista's New Year's Eve party, she learns that LaGuerta has gone in pursuit of Dexter, who she fears is in the act of killing Hector Estrada, the man who ordered his mother's murder. She goes to the scene, where she finds Dexter poised to shoot an unconscious LaGuerta. As she pleads with Dexter not to do it, LaGuerta regains consciousness and urges Debra to kill her brother. Resigned, Dexter tells her to "do what you have to do". Desperate to save Dexter, Debra shoots and kills LaGuerta, and breaks down in tears over her body.

In Season 8


Debra Morgan after being taken off life support in "Remember The Monsters?"

She was later shot by Oliver Saxon and suffered a stroke from a blood clot during surgery. She died when Dexter turned off her life-support and dumped her body in Biscayne Bay during a hurricane. This was, of course, not one of Dexter's normal killings, as he only wanted to do the humane thing for his sister.

in the beginning of Season 8, it was revealed by Evelyn Vogel that she had actually been in a state of denial for a long time and had only been trying to blame herself for getting involved in the situation. She simply viewed Dexter as the person she could scold because he was a Serial Killer, to begin with. Debra, however, began to accept that Dexter was taught to commit these secretive crimes by her father. Debra eventually decided to make amends with her foster sibling and the two moved on in life, both accepting the reprehensible urge within themselves. In the penultimate episode of the whole series, it is revealed that Debra may have even been willing to take a bullet for Dexter's sake. She was shot in the stomach by Oliver Saxon while she was trying to incarcerate him. It can be inferred that she was attempting to do this for Dexter, as she told him to journey to Argentina to enjoy his future with both his son and Hannah McKay (this was being threatened by Saxon). In the series finale, Debra and Dexter shared several peaceful moments while Debra was bedridden. Debra remembers that Dexter protected her from the fictitious 'monsters' during her early childhood.

Six months after Maria LaGuerta's death, Debra has resigned her job and is now hired in a Bail Bonds company called Elway Investigations. She has been taking narcotics and extra dosages of prescription medicines (like Xanax). She partly blames Dexter for her having killed LaGuerta because she felt there was no other option.

Slowly but surely, Debra manages to forgive Dexter after attempting to end both their lives by crashing a car into the lake, with sound advice from Dr. Evelyn Vogel.


Dexter carrying Debra's body out to The Slice of Life.

During the penultimate episode, Dexter leaves Oliver Saxon to be arrested by Debra, as she has always wanted Dexter to hand over criminals to Miami Metro rather than kill them when there is sufficient evidence, but Deputy Marshal Max Clayton frees Saxon from the seat he is tied to, before being killed by Saxon. Debra then enters the room, only to be shot in the gut by Saxon, who then escapes with a gunshot wound on his arm, fired by Debra as she was falling over.


Debra, just before being slowly placed into the water by Dexter.

In the Series Finale, doctors are optimistic that Debra will pull through her surgery. Saxon is arrested by Angel Batista and other officers on the scene, as he arrives outside the hospital room Debra was in. However, Dexter sees that Debra is no longer in the room and walks up to a teared-up Quinn, who informs Dexter that a complication arose when an unsuspected clot formed after her initial surgery, causing a loss of oxygen to be supplied to her brain, and she was pronounced brain-dead on the scene. Quinn is attempting to hold back his tears, whilst Dexter looks on with very little hope (as well as anger).

Dexter returns to Miami Metro with a GSR (Gunshot Residue) kit with intentions to kill Saxon. He tells the latter that he will kill him with a pen that has been placed on the table, but then Saxon grabs the pen and stabs Dexter in the shoulder. Dexter instantly grabs the pen and thrusts it into Saxon's left carotid artery, causing him to fall to the ground and bleed to death. The CCTV footage is then watched by Angel and Quinn, who both come to a conclusion that Dexter can be cleared under an act of self-defense, even though they can slightly see that Dexter acted out of anger.

Dexter returns to the hospital as patients from the south wing are being evacuated due to Hurricane Laura (a fitting tribute to Laura Moser, perhaps) - and goes into Debra's room to say a final goodbye, and then shuts her off of her life- support (to prevent her from suffering). He then says "I love you, Deb.", before waiting until the EKG flatlines.


Dexter dumps Debra's body in the ocean.

He then takes her body out to his boat, and drops it into the sea, before calling Hannah and Harrison to say goodbye. He then sails out into the heart of the storm and his boat is found obliterated in the sea the next day by rescue boats. He is presumed dead.  The final scene shows Dexter living somewhere else without a family in a small cabin on his own, leaving the rest of his life open-ended.

Any investigation (by Quinn, Batista or Astor and Cody) in order to find out who killed Debra while in the hospital and where did her body disappear is left open as well.

TV Appearances

Main article: List of Episodes

In the novels

Main article: Deborah Morgan

In the books, the character's name is spelled "Deborah", and she is described as "voluptuous". She also talks about how she has not been taken seriously because she has large breasts. In the novel Darkly Dreaming Dexter and the follow-up novels, Deborah finds out her brother is a killer and appears to accept it, although sometimes torn between her duty as a sister and as a cop regarding what she should do to him. After being stabbed in Dexter by Design, Deborah has finally come to accept Dexter for what he is, and in Dexter is Delicious, she even asks him to kill Bobby Acosta, knowing he will walk away free after being found to be a cannibal because of his family's wealth and connections.

At the conclusion of Dexter is Delicious, Deborah is pregnant by Kyle Chutsky, who had left her after coming to the conclusion that he was of no use to her. She is also unaware that Brian has returned as her birthing classes are on the same day that Brian visits Dexter and Rita.

Dexter: The Game

Article: Dexter: The Game

Debra cop game

Debra with her officer attire.

Debra appears following her Season 1 story arc, working undercover as a prostitute to find the Ice Truck Killer.

Dexter arrives at the motel where the Pool Victim was found and LaGuerta tells him to go and talk to his sister, Debra. Dexter gets to Debra and she asks him for help on the case as she wants to have a part of solving the case of the prostitute killer to be able to be transferred from Vice to Homicide as she is sick of working as LaGuerta's puppet. Dexter agrees to help her.

Debra game

Debra, undercover as a prostitute during gameplay.

Later on, at Miami Metro, Debra encounters Dexter to find out about what new evidence he has on the killer. He proceeds to tell her about an Ice Truck, which then leads to believe the killer has been using transportation to mobilize his victims, and an Ice Truck is perfect to preserve the victims in the state they have been found.


  • Deb wears contacts,[2] having traded in her glasses for contacts due to her interest in boys at a young age, and braces at night.[3]
  • Deb is one of few characters to discover the truth about Dexter Morgan and continue to survive after the fact until her death in the Series Finale. The only other characters currently alive with knowledge of what Dexter does is Lumen Pierce and Hannah McKay.
  • Dexter reveals several victims to Debra, though not by name (rather by description). They're all from the first season: Mike Donovan, Jorge and Valerie Castillo, and Emmett Meridian.[4]
    • Interestingly, when she's referring to the people in "that box" as the victims before Dexter mentions the above killers... none are actually present in that current blood slide box. All those slides remain in the first box.
  • Debra, aside from Jonah Mitchell, was one of the only two people who knew that Dexter killed The Trinity Killer. However, she learned far more about the event than Jonah, including the truth of what happened to Rita and some of what Dexter felt in hunting Trinity and his failure to prevent her death.
  • Debra always had a large role in the story, usually on the other half of the hunt for serial killers that Dexter often targeted. She represented the side of law and justice through the Miami Metro Police Department while Dexter was the darker side hunting the killers to put them down.
  • Her progression in Miami Metro Homicide was the furthest of any character, with most only being promoted a single rank, while Debra went from a beat cop in Vice to Lieutenant of Homicide, even skipping the rank of Sergeant.
  • After shooting Maria LaGuerta, according to showrunner Scott Buck, they left the cameras rolling and the part where Deb ran up to LaGuerta, crying and holding her was unscripted. She proceeded to say something similar to "I hate you" or "I had to." Whether the line was also unscripted is unclear but everything else was Jennifer's decision.
  • Debra is the final death (as well as Dexter's final known kill) in the series. 


Main article: Debra Morgan/Gallery


  1. Episode 802: Every Silver Lining, a computer database entry revealed when Dexter tested a blood sample
  2. Episode 106: Return to Sender, while talking with LaGuerta
  3. Episode 402: Remains to Be Seen when she sleeps at Quinn's place
  4. Episode 702: Sunshine and Frosty Swirl