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'Dexter's' Jennifer Carpenter: Romance is 'on the back burner' for Deb

Matt Sayles / AP / Today
"Dexter" stars Michael C. Hall and Jennifer Carpenter at TCA on Monday.

Things got a little weird on "Dexter" last season. Just when Lt. Debra Morgan acknowledged she had feelings for her foster brother Dexter (Michael C. Hall), she sought him out to tell him in season six finale – and discovered Dex going all serial on the bad guy.


After a session at the Television Critics Association press tour in Beverly Hills Monday, Jennifer Carpenter, who plays Deb, told TODAY.com that her character will be spending season seven coming to terms with her discovery of Dexter's Dark Passenger rather than pursuing her romantic feelings.

“That's on the back burner,” Carpenter told us. “Finding out Dexter is a serial killer kind of trumps romance."

But showrunners say the romance will be explored as the show winds down to its season eight series finale, but first, he'll have to do a lot of explaining to his beloved sis. 

The seventh season opener has Dexter trying to wiggle out of the situation with Deb.

But Deb isn’t dumb, even though she’s been cruising down the denial river for years. She flashes backs on warning signs that goes back to her childhood -- and the light bulb burns brightly.

“It is, without a doubt, the most fundamentally game-changing development we’ve had since we started telling this story,” Hall told reporters at the press tour. “(Before this,) Dexter’s secret was his own and it’s not anymore.”

All of this drives the series toward the finish line. “Dexter” is set to end after the eighth season, although Showtime president David Nevins said he was not closing the door to more if that's what producers want later.

“Never say never,” Hall said.

For some viewers, last season hit a low point in creativity, with the central mystery quickly solved by many viewers far in advance of the reveal.

“Whatever your opinion about ranking the seasons, I will say that for my money, ‘Dexter’ is never more compelling than when he is in trouble,” Hall said. “And he’s never been in deeper trouble than he is now.”

“Dexter” returns for the penultimate season on Sept. 30 at 9 p.m. on Showtime.

Should the romantic feelings Deb has (had?) for Dexter be dropped, or do you think it adds more to the show? Share your thoughts on our Facebook page!

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