|This Character is also a Dark Passenger|
Harrison "Harry" Morgan is a main character in DEXTER and one of the most influential in the cast. He was a police officer in the Miami Metro Police Department who also acted as a Detective, however he is only ever seen in a standard uniform if on duty during flashbacks. Regardless he was one of the most respected officers in service, often being considered a hero and is constantly praised by Tom Matthews, a good friend of his who sees a lot of Harry's influence in his daughter Debra, who he's recently promoted to Lieutenant (a rank that Harry never reached).
He is the adoptive father of Dexter Morgan as well as the biological father of Debra Morgan, born to his wife Doris Morgan. In reality Harry knew about Dexter long before the Shipyard Massacre as Dexter's mother, Laura Moser, acted as his informant in a drug cartel led by a man named Hector Estrada. The two became romantically involved despite Harry's marriage to Doris and he knew of both sons, only choosing to adopt Dexter however as he could see it within Brian Moser's eyes that "he was one fucked up kid".
Harry is the most important deceased character in the series, as he has reappeared in almost every episode (except less frequently in Season 5) and has been dead since long before the start of the series. During Seasons 1 and 2, he acts primarily in a series of flashbacks that Dexter has when he is trying to relate current events to something he learned in the past. As he learns more about his father however, Dexter practically moves on from him (and rejects him) thus forcing Harry to manifest as a sort of spiritual being that is the representation of his subconscious attempting to assist him.
The flashbacks end after Season Two and Harry remains as a part of his subconscious helping him survive and make the right decisions. It is unknown if this could actually be Harry's spirit, as Dexter's mother Laura also appears to him and even his own brother Brian for a short while. Harry always acts indifferent and with a calm understanding, despite Dexter's situation.
Harry first found Dexter at a crime scene when he was just 3, and took him in as his own son. From an early age, Dexter showed signs of Serial Killer tendencies, i.e. torturing and killing small animals, which Harry identified right away. Instead of suppressing the urges, Harry taught Dexter how to curb his appetite for killing by unleashing it on criminals that escaped the system. The "Code of Harry", which Dexter constantly refers to, was instituted by Harry to prevent Dexter from being caught for his vigilantism. Every rule that stems from the code is to protect Dexter and the ones closest to him, namely his sister Debra and his wife Rita and her children.
Harry died 10 years before Season 1, which was in 2006. Therefore his date of death is actually 1996.
Throughout Season 1, Harry is seen much as a wise man and an idealist, someone who made a bold decision that could have devastating repercussions in creating his own serial killer of a son.
In Season 2, more of Harry's history comes to light, especially of his affair with Dexter's biological mother, Laura Moser. She was a confidential informant for the case Harry was working on and his actions indirectly lead to her murder. This leads to a tumultuous emotional phase for Dexter, who can't decide whether Harry created a code for him out of love or guilt. Harry has a unique place in Dexter's life as it is he who created this "Dark Passenger". But he couldn't deal with the consequences of what he created as he committed suicide out of guilt, three days after he walks in on one of Dexter's kills, a pimp who killed Joanne Sucks. Dexter traces his life very closely to Harry's, throughout Season 1 he could do no wrong, but through Season 2 and Season 3, the moral implications of being a vigilante and taking the law into one's own hands become readily apparent.
Seasons Three Through SixEdit
In the novelsEdit
Harry's character and back story is much the same in the novels. Unlike in the TV series, Harry did not commit suicide after catching Dexter during a kill, instead Harry expressed regrets after Dexter killed Last Nurse. Morgan also never had a romantic relationship with Dexter's biological mother.
- Harry is one of few characters to actually return after being deceased, as a spiritual entity or hallucinated personification of Dexter's inner thoughts (a second mind, to help him think). Dexter's mother, Laura Moser, his brother Brian Moser and Professor James Gellar are the only characters that also return in a similar fashion.
- The flashbacks which mainly focused around Dexter's youth and Harry's interaction with him growing up ended after Season Two and were instead replaced by "dreamlike" instances where Harry physically existed with the current-age Dexter. This dream quality persisted for two seasons, until Season Five when Harry's appearances were shot in the same look as the rest of the show as if he was actually there the entire time (like Brian in Season Two and Season Six). It should be noted that these dream sequences practically removed any other characters from the current situation and sometimes added new, nameless ones for the sake of the scene while Season Five and onward simply has the camera pan and Harry's right there next to Dexter, in real time environments with no such dream effect.