Fall TV Preview

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.”