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Why Jennifer Carpenter's Casting In The Dexter Revival Has Fans' Eyebrows Raised

When it comes to TV show revivals, fans often greet the news with a mixture of excitement and trepidation. On one hand, getting more episodes of your favorite TV show is usually a good thing. But it's always possible a resurrected show might not have the same magic that it did when it was first on the air. This is especially true for a program like Showtime's "Dexter," which had one of the more disappointing series finales in recent years.

The ten-episode "Dexter" revival isn't currently scheduled to premiere until this fall, but casting announcements are already giving fans a glimpse of what it might look like. In addition to titular star Michael C. Hall, John Lithgow has been confirmed to reprise his role as one of the show's most memorable villains, the Trinity Killer. On July 13, Variety reported that another former co-star, Jennifer Carpenter, will be reprising her role as Dexter's sister, Lt. Debra Morgan.

Of course, if you saw the show, the fact that Carpenter is returning has huge implications for the revival. Let's unpack, shall we?

If Deb does come back, she won't be the same (obviously)

As "Dexter" fans no doubt recall, Deb died at the end of "Dexter" Season 8. Because Carpenter is returning, that leaves two realistic possibilities for how she might reprise the character. It could be via flashbacks, but on the rare occasions when "Dexter" does use them, the flashbacks usually show Dexter and Debra in their formative years, not as adults. As many Redditors have pointed out, it's much more likely that Debra will serve a similar role as her and Dexter's late father, Harry Morgan (James Remar). 

Harry Morgan was the first person to discover Dexter's true nature, and he helped his adopted son devise a way to ethically live with his "Dark Passenger." Harry also died before the series took place. On the show, he appeared in almost every episode as a figment of Dexter's imagination, to guide him. 

However, Harry's role changed over the course of the series. Harry died before Dexter really started his serial killing career, so Harry never saw the worst things Dexter did — like murdering fellow officer James Doakes to keep his secret hidden, allowing Deb to murder LaGuerta for the same reason, or allowing his serial killer lifestyle to destroy Deb. As the show went on, Harry's advice became increasingly obsolete, and Dexter lost his way. Heading into the revival, Dexter needs a new mentor. That needs to be someone who knows what he is, and after Harry, nobody knew him better than Deb. 

So, Deb replacing Harry as Dexter's mentor makes the most sense, but until the revival airs, we'll have to wait and see what happens.