'Dexter' Revival: Jennifer Carpenter's Return Confirmed

Showtime’s Dexter: New Blood will feature the return of Deb Morgan, played by original cast member Jennifer Carpenter, whose surprise reprisal was initially spoiled by another returning OG, John Lithgow, earlier this year in an interview.

Carpenter’s reappearance on New Blood — set over a two-week time period — is a bit surprising, considering her character died in the original series finale following a fatal gunshot. In the anticipated 10-episode “event series,” premiering Nov. 7, Carpenter told reporters Tuesday during the virtual summer Television Critics Association press tour that she’s playing “Dexter’s version of Deb” — an inner voice, if you will — and not the same character as before.

“I don’t think of her as a ghost but more of a link or an echo or an inconvenient truth for Dexter, so that’s all that attracted [me] to come back and haunt and punish and caretake and provoke and love Dexter. It kind of felt like this show happened on two campuses,” Carpenter elaborated. “There was the main entree of the show and there’s like this community college where Deb lives. I just needed to know where Dexter was emotionally. That’s where I put all of my concentration.”

Though Deb 2.0 will exist in a new way, Carpenter promised Deb’s penchant for swearing still remains. “Be patient,” she assured.

Much has already been said about why Dexter star Michael C. Hall and the original showrunner, Clyde Phillips, felt like this was the time to revisit the beloved serial killer following the shocking 2013 series finale which saw the titular character beginning a new life as a lumberjack. 

“The way the series proper ended has a great deal with why we’re revisiting the show and the character. A lot of what was mystifying or dissatisfying to people is a lot of what creates the appetite that we’re hopefully satisfying now. The show did not end in a way that was definitive for people or gave anybody a sense of closure,” Hall said. “We didn’t hear from Dexter. He didn’t say anything to us when the show ended and it left audiences, if anything else, a feeling of suspended animation. I think a big part of our motivation was to definitively answer the question of what happened to this guy.”

“From the day the show ended until we started and perhaps even finished principal photography on this revisitation, it’s been percolating. It’s been a conscious — maybe subconscious — preoccupation. And so yeah, it’s absolutely been a sense of it being unfinished business,” he added later. 

But Phillips and Hall skirted questions regarding the future of the franchise. When asked if there would be a chance for Dexter to live on in a spinoff focused on Rita and Dexter’s grown-up son, Harrison, who returns in the revival or if Hall would be interested in continuing to play the character past these initial 10 episodes, they were adamant that they have not thought that far ahead. Their cagey responses may provide insight into what may or may not happen in the final episode of New Blood that may affect a possible continuation of the world.

“We’re not going there,” Phillips said of possibly expanding the show’s run if New Blood is a success. “We’re not going to get into the ending of the show…”

Added Hall: “For me to answer that question definitively in any way would maybe give away or potentially imply information that we don’t want to give away or imply, so I’ll refrain from answering too definitively. I certainly do hope that watching the show is a satisfying experience for people who watched it originally and are curious about what happens to him. I hope it does provide some definitive answers that aren’t primarily mystifying to people.”

Dexter: New Blood premieres Nov. 7 on Showtime.

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