Debra Morgan: An exercise in humanity

(re-post. yep.)

Warning: If you haven't watched Dexter up to Season 6 yet, then, well, go do it.

I love Debra Morgan. And looking at her character, I don't see how anyone else can't feel the same way.

Debra Morgan has always been somewhat thrown off by the rest of the world. Early on she was a bright eyed naive cop that just wanted to succeed in a field that her father was so prolific in. Deb wanted nothing more than to be the next Harry Morgan rather than being the first Debra. As she started to find herself her search for love seemed to be an even bigger part of her life than her career.

Now does this annoy some people? Sure, but does that make Deb somehow any worse of a person? Not at all. Deb is probably the most human character of the show. She's been a contrast to her brother from the start. Dexter was a calculated killer that couldn't feel much more than he tried at first; while Debra felt so much that she stopped herself from thinking because of it.

From Brian, to Lundy, to Anton, Quinn, and now even Dexter, Deb’s love interests have somewhat been a testament to how much her character has progressed. Her naivety early on with Brian expressed the raw untested character that Deb had. She was new, trying to be something she wasn’t, just wanting a life for herself that seemed too good to be true, which almost cost her everything.

 From that point on she felt distant and guarded herself. While trying to hide her pain Deb still wanted to become a success. The pain drove her to work harder and she put the pressure on her own shoulders. Brian used her and she still couldn’t exactly figure why. With that she moved on and fought for herself without even knowing how to do so. Lundy helped her let her guard down. He was the support that she never had in her life. Deb’s father issues had quickly become brother issues as well once transitioning into adulthood. Deb always wanted to let Dexter in (even though she never wanted to admit it at first) because she missed that connection once. He was all she had and once Lundy came around she regained confidence. He made her believe and then snatched it away from her. And even still Lundy showed just as much interest in Dexter as he did Debra herself. As much as she loved Lundy he was a career man and it showed once he had to leave Miami.

 Again, Deb felt hurt, thinking that even the best man she’s ever met couldn’t actually stay in her life. With Anton she wasn’t ready. She wasn’t confident. She wasn’t over Lundy yet. Anton was probably the best man to ever happen to Deb, but he couldn’t have happened at a worse time. Deb was broken in a different way this time; after seeing Lundy leave she just couldn’t bring herself to fall in love with this guy. She let him go because once Lundy was back in the picture her heart went with him.

Over the course of her romantic discoveries, Deb became more aware of herself as an officer, but as savvy as she was she was equally fragile. Deb’s inner peace is the biggest piece of her puzzle. Once she managed to find out some of the truth behind her father she broke down one obstacle. Getting over Lundy’s death was another one that she needed to conquer. The most important thing that Deb needed to face was herself.

Debra’s scenes in Season 6 and her overall character in the season were some of the show’s biggest highlights. The fact that Deb turned down Quinn’s proposal is huge. Sure she eventually realized her love for Dexter, but by not blindly jumping into something with a guy that she knows is in love with her for the sake of it, that means something. Deb didn’t want to enter a relationship that she was sure would be damaged. Why marry Quinn when he’s clearly not the right guy for her life at this point? She has responsibility, order to maintain, and can’t deal with the Chaos that is Quinn’s life. It MAKES SENSE as to why she wouldn’t want to be with him.

As far as Dexter goes: It’s always been there. It’s always at least been an implied interest by the writers. From the first season there were so many things that would lead anyone to believe that these characters were a possibility. The only thing seemingly holding the thought process back was their relationship as family. Is this something that I personally want to see? I don’t know honestly. It’s just there, but let me say that Deb realized this all on her own. Her therapy sessions got her to do a lot of self-discovering and that on its own has made her a better decision maker.

Deb beats to her own drum now. She isn’t trying to impress Harry, she doesn’t look for anyone at the department’s approval, and the only person she seemingly looks toward is Dexter. She loves him in more ways than one. Just because Deb views Dexter as her love right now doesn’t change the fact that she still sees him as her brother that she’d die for in a second. It’s complicated sure, but when is love not complicated? She’s human and she can’t help how she feels about him. I don’t think that Debra should be seen as a contrived character for something that’s always been a part of her. Dexter and Debra see their lives as nothing without one another. Family or not that bond is strong and it’s not going anywhere.

And allow me to take a moment out of all of this to say that Jennifer Carpenter's portrayal of Deb has only gotten better and better through the years. Of all the actors on the show Jennifer is the one that can stand toe to toe with Michael in any scenario and make magic happen. The way that Jennifer makes every single one of Deb's words come to life (whether a fuck is involved or not) is flawless and she deserves every award for it. If there's one person that gets snubbed even before the nominations list, it's definitely Jennifer.

Debra Morgan is a character of fire and passion and everything in between. Sure she’s not as much of a badass as Dexter. She cries, bitches, moans, screams, and acts irrationally at times. When you look at it like that though, how exactly is she different from most of us? 

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