When Jennifer Carpenter learned of how her character was to change so dramatically in the season five finale of “Dexter,” she was not happy. As Detective Debra Morgan, she let the unknown slayers of a serial killer go free. “I had a really hard time with that,” she admitted to Gold Derby, “because it sort of contradicted what I thought was true about what was at the core of Debra: things are right or wrong, and there is not a lot of grey area. She bled blue, and was a cop through and through.”
However, she came to realize the shift in her character’s philosophy was for the good of the series. “The key to moving forward in an episodic television show is connecting on a really personal level, not only for me but also for Debra. She certainly surprised me and surprised herself by the twist at the end when she unknowingly lets Dexter go.” Indeed, she was so pleased with the way the finale turned out that she might submit it if she is nominated for Supporting Drama Actress.
While Carpenter has yet to contend at the Emmys, “Dexter” and her ex, Michael C. Hall, who plays the title character have been nominated for the past three years running. While they went down to defeat to “Mad Men” and “Breaking Bad” star Bryan Cranston, last year John Lithgow won the Guest Drama Actor award for his multi-episode arc on the Showtime series.
In the fifth season, Johnny Lee Miller and Julia Stiles guested while the upcoming sixth includes appearances by Mos Def and Colin Hanks. Says the forthright Carpenter about these newcomers: “To be honest, it feels like a zoo. We’re sort of looking at them, trying to get a read on them. They’re trying to get a read on us. Before we know it, we fit and the machine starts running really smoothly.”