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Debra Morgan: Foul-Mouthed Sister and First-Rate Detective
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Former-Lieutenant Debra "Deb" Morgan (spelt Deborah in the novel "Darkly Dreaming Dexter") is the Deuteragonist (secondary Protagonist) and a main character in DEXTER. Debra is often the conscience of the series, providing the morally correct sense of justice while her brother Dexter Morgan pursues darker means. Her involvement in the plot is usually parallel to Dexter's, usually hunting the same killer with the intent on bringing them to Justice, even though Dexter seeks them to satisfy his Dark Passenger.
Her foster-brother is Dexter Morgan, the main protagonist and Serial Killer of the series...while both were raised by Deb's biological parents Harry and Doris Morgan. Debra grew up watching her brother take a lot of the spotlight, often seeking attention from her father...who would otherwise focus everything on Dexter. Little did she know that Harry's reasoning for doing this was not because he loved her any less, but he was trying to control a "weapon" of sorts within his son to handle his own personal agenda with serial killers. 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.
She grew steadily throughout the series, moving up from a cop in vice to Lieutenant of Miami Metro Homicide. Unfortunately, when she killed Captain Maria LaGuerta to protect her brother Dexter, something inside of her changed and she left her life at Miami Metro behind. She worked as a Private Investigator for Elway Investigations (which is run by her ex-boss Jacob Elway) for a short amount of time before returning to Miami Metro. She was later shot by Oliver Saxon and suffered from a blood clot during surgery. She died when Dexter turned off her life-support and dumped her body in the ocean.
She is the Final Victim of Dexter Morgan.
Debra is a thin, Caucasian woman. Her face is soft and somewhat long, with a big smile. Her hair is ever changing, going from one length to another (and in Season 3, even cutting off a lot of it) but typically remains light brown.
Her overall body is thin but athletic, meaning she's capable of running down a perp when necessary rather than just drag behind. On the side of her stomach (right side) she has a scar where she was shot during Season 4, now sharing the same type of look her brother has (on both his side and arm).
Her attire is one of the most varied throughout the series. As soon as she's allowed into Homicide, she quickly adopts designer suits thus making her one of the best dressed officers in Homicide. Her suits change along with her hairstyle and most recently, she's dropped using a jacket and instead wears a long-sleeved button up shirt with dress pants and shoes. Her typical gear is a gun and badge, along with other possible devices such as a radio. Her at-home attire is very casual compared to her work clothing, usually consisting of T-shirts and blue jeans.
Debra is not shy with curse words but is lonely despite the rough persona she presents. Debra's ability to be "one of the guys" is what allows her to be so effective at her job. She is headstrong and wears her emotions on her sleeves, but deep down she is caring and sensitive. She is a lot of things that Dexter is not; crass, impulsive, emotional, trusting and thus serves as a perfect foil for Dexter. She highlights his shortcomings in his attempts to be "human".
Debra believes she truly knew her father, but is in reality, completely unaware of the secrets he kept—especially concerning Dexter (who she sees as a true brother). Inspired by their father's legendary police career; Debra joined the police and desperately yearned to become a Homicide Detective. Initially assigned to Vice, she was desperate to be transferred to Homicide, a goal that was accomplished in Season 1. Despite being smart, she is unsure of herself, so instead relies upon Dexter's seemingly limitless expertise on murderers to solve difficult cases. However, after discovering who Dexter is, and he himself revealing that Harry helped him control himself and that it was his idea, she's become heart-broken over knowing what her father has done and believed he screwed up raising Dexter and that he should have tried to help him rather than channeling his urges to kill others.
She rose through the ranks, despite the harsh feelings her lieutenant, Maria LaGuerta, harbored towards her, but she and the rest of the department soon grew to respect Debra as an officer. Her keen eye as a detective and loyalty to her fellow officers earned her praise from Captain Matthews and (during Season 2) FBI Special Agent Frank Lundy.
She is known to have a very foul mouth (in the first episode Dexter describes her as "his foul-mouth foster sister"), and there is hardly a sentence that she speaks in which she does not swear (she does this in normal conversation, but swears more often when angry). This has nearly gotten her into trouble on several occasions as she often speaks profanely to her superiors, only to realize afterwards and apologize. It finally got her into trouble in the 3rd season, as a poorly-timed public comment against the deceased Oscar Prado caused her to be kicked off the Freebo case. However it had been revealed she is able to control herself at times when around children, as when holding onto baby Harrison she said "fu---dge". She is also known for being easily angered and frustrated by suspects (even more evident when something happens to someone close to her). Despite her foul mouth and anger issues, it is evident that Debra really loves her brother. Though she is frustrated at his inability to open up to her, she has defended him on more than one occasion. For example, she threatened Quinn when he called Dexter a "dweeb."
This all changed once Debra saw Dexter kill Travis Marshall and, eventually putting the pieces together, discovers he's a serial killer, much to her horror. Having discovered who her brother really is, Debra is now torn over whether she loves him as family or more or even if she even cares for him at all now that she's constantly shown resentment for his actions, his secrets, and the blood slides that she discovered. Debra now constantly looks at Dexter with a look of distrust, frustration and even anger on more than one occasion. She's now come to the conclusion that she never knew her brother and believes he's a totally different person. Even though she has admitted she still loves him, Dexter has noted that she may not feel the same way he does to her and that she may never be there for him like she used to be. Debra now looks over Dexter's every action and constantly questioning everything he does due to her distrust for him and his urge to kill, which results in her to admit that she can't tell from truth to lies with Dexter (to be fair, most of his lies are to protect her, which she still believes he should be honest). Her distrust of Dexter is so great that she even believed that he was the one who killed Rita, much to Dexter's shock and anger and thinks Harrison should live with his grandparents and that Dexter is an unfit father, which caused Dexter to finally snap at Debra that he is a good father and will not lose his son no matter what Debra says.
Even when Dexter admits the truth about certain things, such as wanting to go after someone he's targeted, such as Ray Speltzer, she immediately refuses this, stating him killing is wrong no matter what and even stated all the people he's killed are the real victims, not him. This caused Dexter to be enraged at Debra's accusations, stating that several of the people he's killed did horrible things to a lot of innocent people and that if he didn't kill them they'd keep killing, a statement that has been proven to be true as most of his victims would have kept killing if he didn't stop them. Unlike Lumen, who fully accepts who Dexter is without any problems and does not view him as a monster, Debra can't accept who Dexter is and refuses to accept that and wants him to not be a killer, believing he can control himself despite his protests.
When it comes to the law, Debra always thought that it's justice, and it will always work, though she has admitted it isn't perfect. She keeps telling Dexter that they follow the law no matter what and that he could've gone to the police rather than kill his victims. However, Dexter states that the justice system is just a joke, and it's so easy for criminals to escape through the cracks and that if her justice system was as good as she thinks it is, he wouldn't be so busy. He went on to state that his Code is sometimes better, like with his victim Ray Speltzer, he could take him out before he'd kill again stating he knew Speltzer was going to kill again.
However, after witnessing Speltzer kill an innocent woman, something Dexter tried to warn Debra but she refused to listen, and she herself almost being killed in the process had it not been for Dexter's interference, Debra finally began to understand Dexter more. She admits that she hates what he does, but now understands what it is that he does, knowing there is some value to what he does. She even admitted that she should have just let him kill Speltzer so that innocent girl would still be alive. Debra's faith in the justice system has started to fall for her to lose even more faith in it after Speltzer got off due to a technicality over him not hearing his rights, despite they have his confession which left Debra furious. She became even more furious after seeing Speltzer mock his recent victim's death by smiling at her grave, which Deb almost would have attacked him had Angel not been there to calm her down. When Dexter kills Speltzer, she says that she is glad. She was further shocked to speak with one of Dexter's victim's families that the son was actually very happy his father was gone. She tried to see the bad on this side, but the son stated he was glad he's gone because his father (the man Dexter killed) was abusive to him and his mother and that they've been able to live happily and in peace without being attacked or scared. Her faith in the justice system finally reached a boiling point following Hannah McKay having killed Sal Price, who was looking into her background, and got away with it along with the deaths of other innocent people. This caused Debra to, for the first time since she discovered who Dexter is, asks him to kill someone, stating that Hannah deserves it. Though she did say she tried to find another way without him killing her, she said he's her last option and refuses to let what happen with Speltzer to happen again.
Her emotional level has reached dangerous levels in terms of stress since discovering who Dexter is, and how she's constantly putting herself out there for him despite him stating he can take care of himself. She since then has stated taking Alprazolem, a stress related drug to relieve the stress of what's going on around her. This also goes to his love life, as she stated she's fine with who he goes out with, that is not completely true, as all the women he's seen (except Rita who she considered as family) Debra has not liked at all. With Lila, Debra admits immediately her dislike and contempt for her and later having a fierce determination to get rid of her for ruining both Dexter's and Angel's lives. With Hannah, Debra immediately shows her anger to her, having gotten away with killing people before and how she got away with killing Sal Price. In fact, she became emotionally distraught after finding out that Dexter didn't kill her because he has feelings for her, claiming that he hurt Debra worse than he ever could. Unable to accept the two together, she continued to try to get Hannah arrested. Though she had the opportunity to let Hannah die, she chooses not to for herself, not Dexter's sake, like Hannah assumes. When Hannah makes an attempt to hurt Debra by dissolving her anxiety pills in her water, Dexter provides evidence that allows Debra to arrest her, though Hannah later escapes.
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 that Harry spent with him, teaching him how to get away with murder. She initially accepted him as a brother, however, and was extremely worried and upset when she got him hurt when she asked him to fetch her football by climbing over a fence. She was very confrontational to Dexter as a child, always seeking the attention from Harry and never truly getting it.
When she was 12, her mother, Doris Morgan died of cancer. From then on, she wanted to become a detective, like her father and started learning to shoot a gun by taking her father's, which he gets very angry about 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 carries on trying to become a detective. She is distraught at her father's death and inspired by his legendary police career, she follows in his footsteps and joins the police and yearns desperately to become a Homicide Detective.
Debra Morgan has 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 as such still has many contacts within their ranks. Two years passed and the Ice Truck Killer Investigation started up with two murdered victims found in Miami. Showing initiative, she started to notice oddities in the victims and realized they could be delivered by mobile refrigeration units, specifically refrigerated trucks. At first the idea of searching for refrigerated trucks was dismissed by her superior Lieutenant Maria LaGuerta but later on when her brother began stalking a refrigerated truck (which he excused as just following Debra's lead to back up her story) and has a victim's head thrown at him, the department starts to realize the value in her investigative ideas. Shortly thereafter she manages to actually find the truck and inside are the fingertips of victim Sheri Taylor, who is later identified back at Miami Metro Homicide. Captain Tom Matthews hears about the successful finding of the truck and later has LaGuerta promote Debra from Vice to Homicide. She however is not officially a detective at this point.
Two years pass, with her as an Officer of Homicide she helps break huge cases such as the Ice Truck Killer Case and aids Frank Lundy as part of his Special Task Force in hunting the Bay Harbor Butcher. In most instances, she takes point and with her intuitive ability to recognize evidence, signs, indications and clues that lead to truth she finally makes Detective earning her Silver Shield just before Dexter's wedding at the end of Season Three. One of her first acts as Detective is to lead the charge on capturing George Washington King, who "commits suicide" (in reality he was already killed by Dexter, but provided an escape plan for him at the time) by smashing through a patrol car window from the above railing.
Two years as a Detective prove Debra a capable, hard-working individual. Now nearing 9 years on the force, she aids in the Trinity Killer Case picking up where her former lover Frank Lundy left off, closes the Santa Muerte Case with some unfortunate casualties and despite being put on suspension while a fellow officer by the name of Cira Manzon becomes Detective in her place, Debra still manages to bust the Barrel Girls Case successfully, only being steps behind the "killer couple" she had hinted at before.
One year later, with the recent promotion of Maria LaGuerta to Captain of Miami Metro Homicide (a position previously held by Tom 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 gives 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.
Debra Morgan is featured from the start of Episode 1 and acts as the other Main Character throughout the series so thus she's in every episode and season to date. While her brother Dexter is dealing with a particular Main Antagonist, Debra is almost always hunting after the same character or another major antagonist that Dexter either doesn't invest his time in or otherwise. 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 multiple 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 lead to the further investigation of Isaak Sirko. During the penultimate season she did not only knew her brother's secret, but also covered and helped him which lead 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.
In Season 1
Despite being smart, she is unsure of herself, so instead relies upon 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 infinitely. 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 is 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 2, 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 house while she deals with the trauma of what happened to her, leaving his apartment a total mess to the point where Dexter says, jokingly, "I will not kill my sister," repeatedly.
Come the end of the season she has regained all of 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 has 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 her 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 cleanup 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 attend 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
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
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 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.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 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 L a Guerta 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
In Season 8, which takes place roughly six months after the finale of Season 7, Debra has left Miami Metro in order to work at a private investigation firm and she partly blames Dexter for killing 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.
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.
In the Series Finale, doctors are optimistic that Debra will pull through her surgery. Saxon is arrested by Angel Batisa 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.
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, but there is speculation that Dexter may return (not related to the spin-off that will be happening).
Debra has appeared in every episode in the series thus far, as she is the secondary protagonist (as well as main) character, and it is unlikely for her to not have a physical appearance.
- Popping Cherry
- Let's Give the Boy a Hand
- Love American Style
- Return to Sender
- Circle of Friends
- Shrink Wrap
- Father Knows Best
- Seeing Red
- Truth Be Told
- Born Free
- It's Alive!
- Waiting to Exhale
- An Inconvenient Lie
- The Dark Defender
- Dex, Lies & Videotape
- That Night, a Forest Grew
- Morning Comes
- Resistance is Futile
- There's Something About Harry
- Left Turn Ahead
- The British Invasion
- Our Father
- Finding Freebo
- The Lion Sleeps Tonight
- All in the Family
- Turning Biminese
- Sì Se Puede
- Easy as Pie
- The Damage A Man Can Do
- About Last Night
- Go Your Own Way
- I Had a Dream
- Do You Take Dexter Morgan?
- Living the Dream
- Remains to Be Seen
- Blinded by the Light
- Dex Takes a Holiday
- Dirty Harry
- If I Had a Hammer
- Slack Tide
- Road Kill
- Hungry Man
- Lost Boys
- Hello, Dexter Morgan
- The Getaway
- My Bad
- Hello Bandit
- Practically Perfect
- Beauty and the Beast
- First Blood
- Everything is Illumenated
- Circle Us
- Take It!
- Teenage Wasteland
- In the Beginning
- Hop a Freighter
- The Big One
- Those Kinds of Things
- Once Upon a Time...
- Smokey and the Bandit
- A Horse of a Different Color
- The Angel of Death
- Just Let Go
- Sins of Omission
- Get Gellar
- Ricochet Rabbit
- Talk to the Hand
- This is the Way the World Ends
- Are You...?
- Sunshine and Frosty Swirl
- Buck the System
- Swim Deep
- Do the Wrong Thing
- Helter Skelter
- The Dark...Whatever
- Do You See What I See?
- Surprise Motherfucker!
- A Beautiful Day
- Every Silver Lining
- What's Eating Dexter Morgan?
- Scar Tissue
- This Little Piggy
- A Little Reflection
- Dress Code
- Are We There Yet?
- Make Your Own Kind of Music
- Goodbye Miami
- Monkey in a Box
- Remember the Monsters?
Dexter arrives at the motel where the Pool Victim was found and LaGuerta tell 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 on 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.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.
Debra also has a very poor track record with relationships which is another contrast to Dexter and his steady (except for part of Season 2) relationship with Rita.
She dated Rudy Cooper (during Season 1), unaware that he is actually the Ice Truck Killer and also Dexter's biological brother. Rudy eventually proposes to Debra and she accepts, but soon after he reveals his identity and drugs her, to use as bait against Dexter. Dexter rescues Debra and later kills Rudy "for the safety of (his) sister." In Season 4 Deb finally discovers the truth about Dexter's biological family. She is very upset and tells Dexter, thinking he has no idea of who his brother was, and goes on to say that she loves Dexter more than anyone.
Gabriel was yet another brief relationship (in season 2). 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.
In Season 2, she becomes romantically involved with Frank Lundy and they have a healthy relationship despite their age difference. Debra is attracted to him partially because of his success as an FBI Agent but also of the approval he has for her viewpoints. He inspires confidence in Debra; something she never received from Harry. Unfortunately, his job forces them to end their relationship.
Later they started things up again while she was seeing Anton, but they were both shot and Frank was killed. (Dex Takes a Holiday)
In Season 3, she seems to have finally found a match in Anton, her "CI" for the George King case. When her case might have been 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. She also served as Dexter's "Best Man" for the wedding.
It has been joked by some fans that Debra may have something of an Electra complex. First she (unknowingly) starts a relationship with her foster brother's (Dexter's) biological brother (Rudy/Brian). Then she begins a relationship with Lundy, who is approximately her father's would be age, and like him, a respected police officer (albeit for the FBI rather than Miami P.D.). And finally she begins seeing a CI, something her father once did. Most recently she has started seeing Joey Quinn, a badmouthed cop that is practically perfect for Debra...both are around the same age, both work well together on the job and both have similar personalities.
When Quinn is first introduced during Season 3, it starts out as a simple flirtatious jokes with the occasional hint here and there. However, Quinn nor Debra ever even considers a relationship or a fling at this point therefore it's mostly just tension.
In Season 4, there is less of the hints as Frank Lundy shows up and ends up dying midway through the season and Quinn mainly is dealing with his own relationship this season with Arthur Mitchell's biological daughter. Both Debra Morgan and Joey Quinn lose someone they love this season...which sort of aids them in Season 5.
At the very start of Season 5, during a house cleanup after the death of Rita Bennett...the two have a rapid, violent experiment in sex in the house. After they finish, Debra denies that anything actually happened while Quinn constantly pressures Debra into trying to accept what happened and that the two should hook up. Debra stays in denial, constantly badmouthing Quinn and is quick on the defensive sign to suggest that they were dating or worse in her mind...possibly getting married.
As Quinn starts to back off a bit, Debra starts realizing that she's developing feelings for him and ultimately becomes jealous a few times, before finally coming up to him and admitting that she loves him. The two then kiss and start acting more and more like lovers. They're not yet open about it with anyone but they certainly are happy with one another in person.
However, Debra's recently found out that Quinn was suspended for investigating Dexter as the beginning of the season (she doesn't know that he hired a private investigator) and wants nothing to do with him, even though Quinn had just told her that he loved her. The two are talking with one another, but Quinn is still trying to press back into the relationship...truly feeling that he loves her...and Debra is starting to believe him again, as she can see who Quinn really is and that he may drop this whole hunch on Dexter.
In Season 6, they have been in a relationship for about a year and Quinn decided to propose to her stating he's in love with her, only to be turned down and heartbroken by Deb. Since then, Quinn has been filling the emptiness in his heart with pointless sex with random women (all of which he doesn't care about) and a lot of alcohol. It would later be revealed that the true reason Deb broke up with Quinn was because she doesn't love him, which left him even more hurt. He apologized for all the bad things he did before and tried to get back together one last time, only to be turned down.
During Season 8, there are several moments where the two of them show to be close, like when Quinn constantly helping her whenever she was in a predicament. Clearly showing that despite the two of them had broken up, they're still close. After Quinn broke up with Jamie, still having feelings for Debra, she confronted him, saying that she still had feelings for him as well. The two then began kiss, inferring the two are now a couple. When Debra got a stoke after being shot, he was torn apart to know that Debra would never recover, and remain a vegetable. Leaving him to suffer for his loss.
- Dexter Morgan
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.
List of Swear Words Used by Debra
Debra Morgan is perhaps the most vocal of the characters on the TV series DEXTER and as such has created a list of her very own unique curse words and phrases as opposed to a simple use of the "F word" by a character such as Joey Quinn. The only other character to swear as often as Deb is Sergeant James Doakes. By the end of the Season 8 finale, Debra has used some variant of the "F word" 996 times.
- "Holy Jesus on a Stick."
- "Pretty fucking please with cheese on top."
- "And thanks for the fucking donut."
- "Fuck Nuggets."
- "Fuck me twice on Sundays."
- "Fuck me sideways."
- "Fuck me in the ear."
- "Fuck me in both ears."
- "I don't fuck and tell."
- "A metric fuck-ton."
- "Sweet Mary mother of fuck, that's good!"
- "A baby?! A motherfucking roly-poly chubby-cheeked shit-machine, are you kidding me?!"
- "FBI? 'Fucking Bunch of Idiots'."
- "Fuckin' A."
- "Shitcock motherfuck."
- "Shit a brick and fuck me with it."
- "I'm not going to do any fucking scrap booking!"
- "Go shit up a rope."
- "Fuck you!"
- "Fuck you twice!"
- "Fuck me."
- "Holy franken fuck, snakes!"
- "Fuck balls, you're serious... Sir."
- "Do I look like a fucking fire chief?"
- "Fuck, Dex, I'm talking about my feelings here."
- "Where in Fucktopia are you?"
- "Bullshit, you fuckin' junkie whore."
- "Fuck you Linny, fuck your handwriting."
- "I'm already fucked up..."
- "That's for fucking sure."
- "You are my last ditch ass fucked effort."
- "I went through every fucking photo of every fucking crime scene."
- "Motherfucking trimmed trees."
- "Fuckin' witness whisperer."
- "I will kick your fucking nuts down your throat."
- "You need a fucking slut, so why don't you talk to Petunia over there."
- "Pressure fucking point."
- "Whenever you have a earth-shattering, ball-crushing mind fuck of a secret, you should tell your fucking sister!"
- "I love you bro, but sometimes you're a fucking tard."
- "Whoa, fuckpuddle, what do you think you're doing?"
- "Fuck you, lipgloss."
- "Fuckin' beef bus."
- "I could give a fuck who you fuck, just don't fuck with my investigation you fuck."
- "God fucking dammit."
- "Are you trying to fuck her or set her on fire?"
- "A partial fucking print!"
- "Christ on a fucking cracker."
- "Peachy fucking keen."
- "Motherfucking suck bag, you cock munching fucking fuck nugget!"
- "We are in a storm of fuck, Dexter."
- "Thank the sweet fucking baby Jesus!"
- "He's a sick fuck, but he's not the sick fuck we're looking for."
- "Holy fillet of fuck!"
- "Shit on my face if you ever put we and married in the same fucking sentence again."
- "Jesus Christ on a bike."
- "Dexter is fucking Dexter."
- "Dick for brains."
- "Yeah, yeah, I'm a hero. Fuck you very much."
- "I'm a trophy fuck"
- "We're fuck buddies"
- "Fuck off and die"
- "Un-fucking real"
- Deb wears contacts , having traded in her glasses for contacts due to her interest in boys at a young age.
- 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 on Season 8 "Remember the Monsters". The only other characters currently alive with knowledge of what Dexter does is Lumen Pierce, though her knowledge is only that Dexter is a serial killer that takes blood slides as trophies of his victims. Hannah McKay retains the same knowledge about Dexter's hobby, and how she seemingly dislikes Dexter makes her the most risky threat to him. However, Debra is slowly learning more and more about Dexter's life as a serial killer, and him being the Bay Harbor Butcher.
- 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.
- 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, which is currently in Maria LaGuerta's possession.
- Debra, aside from Jonah Mitchell, is one of the only two people that knows Dexter killed The Trinity Killer. However she learns far more about the event than Jonah, learning 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 has a large role in the story, usually on the other half of the hunt for serial killers that Dexter often targets. She represents the side of law and justice through the Miami Metro Police Department while Dexter is the darker side hunting the killers to put them down.
- Her progression in Miami Metro Homicide is the furthest of any character, with most only being promoted a single rank while Debra has gone from beat cop in Vice to Lieutenant of Homicide all in a short period of time, even skipping the rank of Sergeant.
- She has killed three characters so far within the series, the first being Carlos Fuentes when she decided not to hesitate upon him taking a hostage a second time (which almost cost the first hostage's life). The second is Maria LaGuerta, former Captain of Miami Metro Homicide in order to protect her brother (and herself). The third was a hitman named El Sapo who was assigned to kill Andrew Briggs and retrieve the jewels by beating her up in Andrew Briggs' storage container shed. Debra ran up to El Sapo in his car and shot him 3 times with a 9mm Handgun, but Dexter has evidence against her of some of her own blood in the shattered glass.
- However, she incorrectly states that she's killed TWO people during Episode 806: A Little Reflection. This is likely excluding Carlos Fuentes, as the events involving the Fuentes brothers have not been referenced since their last appearance in Season 5.
- After shooting Maria LaGuerta, according to showrunner Scott Buck, they left the cameras rolling and the part where Deb runs up to LaGuerta, crying and holding her is unscripted. She proceeds 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.
- According to season 8 after 6 months of LaGuerta's death, Debra Morgan has resigned her job and is now hired in a Bail bonds company called Elway Industries and has been taking narcotics and extra dosages of prescription medicines (like Xanax).
- Debra is the final death (as well as Dexter's final kill) in the series.