Dexter's Jennifer Carpenter Describes Premiere's Deb/Dex Showdown as a 'Scary Seduction Scene'

The sense of satisfaction Dexter experiences when his “dark passenger” gets its way is nothing compared to how Jennifer Carpenter felt when she finally got to play Deb confronting her murderous brother in the act.

Lucky for us, that moment — which was teed up in last season’s finale — takes place during the Showtime drama’s Season 7 premiere (airing Sept. 30). And according to Carpenter, it’s a good one.

“It’s sort of perfect,” she shared during the Showtime saga’s showing at the Television Critics Association’s summer press tour in Beverly Hills.”I didn’t want Debra to lose any credibility with the audience. I wanted the things we’ve claimed to be true about her to remain so, and [executive producer] Scott Buck and the team of writers and producers did a great job.”

To hear Carpenter describe shooting the season-opener’s initial scene — which finds Deb walking in on her brother, whom she now believes she loves romantically, in the midst of a murder — it’s clear that there’s a lot packed into the pivotal exchange.

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“It was the strangest, scariest seduction scene, in a weird way,” explains the actress, noting Dexter’s undeniable manipulation of his sister in the premiere’s first few moments. “It was also the first time I felt [Deb's] power as a lieutenant,” she adds. “I felt as weak and as powerful as I’ve ever been — as an actor and as a character.”

“We were fresh off a very long, very generous hiatus, and that was the first scene that we shot,” Carpenter continues. “It was very hard. But once Michael [C. Hall] and I shook the dust off in rehearsals and everything, it was so easy. I didn’t have to manipulate anything; it was all right there.”

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13 Comments
  1. I just gotta believe given the relationship inside and outside the show for these two that shooting this was world-record amounts of awkward.

  2. J. May says:

    There will have to be some exTREMEly good writing for me to get beyond the WTF feeling I’ve got regarding where we have ended up with this show. My initial feeling is one of absolute pity for Deborah and fear (weirdly) for Dexter. Last season I was reeling after Deborah realized her feelings for Dexter, which really, really doesn’t feel right to me, for various reasons. I wish the entire cast and crew the best of luck.

  3. Emily says:

    I’m going to sit back, watch, and not think too much about it. I don’t think we’re ever going to see Deb & Dex rolling around in bed, not after this bomb was dropped on her, so I’m not too fussed. She was probably confused to begin with, and even if she weren’t, it isn’t like Dexter’s going to reciprocate. Besides, incest and serial killing are pretty close on the spectrum of twistedness. Dexter’s just one of those shows where as long as the characters I fell in love with are still around and interesting, I’ll keep watching. I liked the fifth season, which is apparently against popular opinion, so the sixth season was really just a bump in the road to me.

    • Brooke says:

      I share your thoughts. I also seriously think that the Deb Has Feelings For Dexter storyline was never meant to go the way a lot of people seem to think it is going to. Obviously the writers laid that path leading up to this new plot where Deb finds out his secret – why did they do that? What is their storytelling goal? I’m actually really eager to find out.

      I didn’t even think season 6 was too much of a bump in the road. I liked the questions Dexter wrestled with all season about faith and his son.

  4. Vanny says:

    Can’t Wait! (I am a newbie to Dexter and just finished watching all 6 seasons over the last month – so desperate for more episodes).

  5. John Arlock says:

    i realy don”t care, hope she is having a baby who do you think the father is?

  6. Nicholas M. Denoyer says:

    All I will say is that the first two minutes are perfect. If the entire episode is just as good, then we are in for one hell of a great premiere. Just two more months away. The hiatus went fast this year for me.

  7. Sean says:

    Last season was disappointing to say the least. Looking forward to Season 7 because i think it is going to rejuvinate the series and take it somewhere that it has never been before. The fact that Deb now knows Dexter is a serial killer can take the show to a place that i think could and will be very good for it.

    follow me on twitter: @soldak13

  8. Mikael says:

    I don’t think Deb has ever loved Dexter in a romantic/sexual way. I think she just thinks that because he has never let her in emotionally and she can tell there’s alot he doesn’t share with her. Add that to her daddy issues. She thinks that her relationships fail because she loves Dexter, but I think it’s because she’s combined her daddy issues with Dexter. She never got Harry’s approval, she was always jealous of Harry and Dexter, and therefore she has issues with men. I think that her finding out the truth about Dexter will be an epiphany for her. Now she’ll know why Harry appeared to favor Dexter all those years. Now she’ll know why Dexter is so closed-off. With her knowing the truth, she’ll feel close to Dexter and she can move on and get over her man issues.

  9. Jeff says:

    For the psychologist to bring up a possible romantic subconscious feeling of romance that Deb might be feeling for Dexter, I thought, was pretty bad. Especially with all the other emotional problems there were to deal with. And also, a thought can be planted in the mind from an outside source a grow into something the recipient believes to be true when it is not. My only complaint with this last season. Dexter is still in a class of it’s own and way above the field of it’s rivals.

  10. kathy says:

    I’m just blown away,Deb finding out falling in love with Dec. Man how do ya top that! I think Dec will have to kill Deb she’s to good a cop to let this just slide.,but how I know theirs going to be a season eight sooooo he has to kill Deb or go on the run and I don’t see that happening.I’m from Fla and it makes it that more.intresing where was Dec when Casey Anthony was freed I feel that shoes have done something on her.

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