Debra was often the conscience of the series, providing the morally correct sense of justice, while Dexter pursued much darker means. Her involvement in the plot was usually parallel to Dexter, as they frequently hunted the same killers. While her intent was to bring them to justice, Dexter sought them to satisfy his Dark Passenger.
Debra was a slim, Caucasian woman. Her face was soft and somewhat thin, with a big smile. Her hair was ever changing, going from one length to another (the shortest in Season Three).
Her overall body was thin, but had an athletic build. She was very fit and capable of running down a perp when necessary. On the right side of her stomach, she had a scar from when she was shot during "Dex Takes a Holiday."
Her attire was one of the most variable throughout the series. While in Vice, she wore her police uniform or (while undercover) provocative clothing. After her transfer to Homicide, she began to wear long sleeve jackets (at times), button-up shirts, and dress pants, often with boots. Her typical gear was a gun, her badge, and a radio. When she was promoted to Lieutenant, she adopted designer suits, on occasion wearing high heels. During Season Eight, as a private investigator, she wore a variety of tops with skinny jeans.
Her at-home attire was very casual compared to her work clothing, usually consisting of T-shirts and blue jeans. At the gym, she wore workout apparel.
Debra was not shy and could be headstrong at times. Despite the tough persona she presented, she was sensitive and caring inside although she didn't readily express it. Debra's ability to be "one of the guys" allowed her to be effective at her job. Suspects could anger her, especially when something violent happened to someone close to her.
She was a lot of things that Dexter was not: crass, impulsive, emotional, trusting, immature and thus served as a perfect foil for Dexter. She highlighted his shortcomings in his attempts to be "human." Although she was often frustrated with Dexter's inability to open up to her, she defended him on more than one occasion. For example, she threatened Joey Quinn when he referred to Dexter as a "dweeb."
Every aspect of Debra's life changed once she saw Dexter plunge a knife into Travis Marshall's chest. After she put the pieces together, she discovered that he was a serial killer, much to her horror. Although she still loved him, Debra was torn over whether to protect Dexter or turn him in.
Debra had a reputation for her use of expletives. " In the first episode of the show, Dexter described her as "his foul-mouth foster sister." She hardly spoke a sentence in which she did not utter a swear word (especially when angry). This had nearly gotten her into trouble on several occasions, as she often spoke profanely to her superiors, only to realize this afterward and apologize.
In "Our Father," a poorly-timed public comment against the deceased Oscar Prado caused her to be removed from the Fred Bowman case. However, it appeared that she was able to control herself when around children, such as when holding baby Harrison. Even though he couldn't possibly understand her at his age, she used the word "fu---dge."
As perhaps the most vocal of the characters on the TV series, she created quite a list of her very own unique curse words and phrases, as opposed to a simple usage of the "F-word" by a character such as Joey Quinn. The only other character to swear nearly as often as Deb was Sergeant James Doakes. By the end of the series, Debra had used some variant of the word "fuck" approximately 996 times.
Born to Doris Morgan and Harry Morgan, Debra was the adoptive sister of Dexter, whom Harry had rescued from the Shipping Yard. As a child, she was somewhat of a tomboy in trying to match her big brother's abilities. Once Dexter was severely injured when she asked him to fetch her football by climbing over a fence. The incident greatly upset Debra and she blamed herself.
Growing up, Debra craved the attention of her father and she envied Dexter for all the time that her father spent alone with him. Little did she know that Harry's reasoning for doing this was not because he loved her any less, but that he was training Dexter to control his urges and how to get away with murder.
When she was sixteen, her mother died of cancer, leaving her feeling even more neglected. Hoping to make her father proud, she secretly taught herself to shoot by borrowing his gun. This angered Harry when Dexter told him about it. Debra was grounded and she reproached Dexter for snitching on her. She even told Dexter that sometimes she wished that her father had never brought him home, but she immediately apologized. Dexter then gave her the can showing her bullet holes, saying that she was a better shot than he was.
Debra was distraught at her father's death. Inspired by his legendary police career, she decided to join the police force, following in his footsteps. She hoped to become worthy in his eyes, even though he had passed away. Harry had been a Homicide Detective, and Debra yearned to be one, also.
Debra Morgan had one of the most developing careers in the Miami Metro Police Department. In 2001, she joined the police department and spent three years in patrol before moving on to Vice in 2004. She later moved on to Detective, and then to Lieutenant.
While in Vice, she would often go undercover as a prostitute and continue to have personal contacts within their ranks. In the pilot, the Ice Truck Killer Case was launched after two bloodless, dismembered women were found in Miami. Showing initiative, Debra noticed that one of the victims had an ice cold body. She discussed it with Dexter and they decided that the victim was delivered by a mobile refrigeration unit, such as a refrigerated truck. At first, the idea of searching for refrigerated trucks was dismissed by Lieutenant Maria LaGuerta. After Dexter stalked a refrigerated truck (which he excused as just following Debra's lead), he had a victim's head thrown at him. The department then realized the value in Debra's investigative ideas. Shortly thereafter, Debra managed to find the actual refrigerated truck. Inside were the fingertips of a victim, Sheri Taylor, enclosed in a block of ice. Captain Thomas Matthews heard about the successful finding of the truck and ordered LaGuerta to promote Debra from Vice to the Homicide Dept. in "Crocodile." However, Debra was not officially a detective at that point.
After she helped break the case of the Ice Truck Killer Case, Debra aided Frank Lundy as part of his Special Task Force in searching for the Bay Harbor Butcher. In most instances, her ability to recognize evidence, indications, and clues helped the homicide team. She finally became a bonafide detective, earning the Silver Shield just before Dexter's wedding at the end of Season Three. One of her first duties as Detective was to lead the charge on capturing George King, but he "committed suicide" by smashing through a patrol car window after falling from the above railing. In reality, he had already been killed by Dexter to provide an escape plan for him.
Debra proved to be a capable, and hard-working detective (almost catching Dexter committing crimes on several occasions). Nearing nine years on the force, she aided in the Trinity Case picking up where her former lover, Frank Lundy, had left off. She later closed the Santa Muerte Case with some unfortunate casualties. For this, she was temporarily put on suspension. After this, she managed to successfully resolve the Barrel Girls Case, despite letting the "Vigilante Couple" escape.
She never held this rank. Effectively, she completely skipped the Golden Shield of a Homicide Sergeant to reach Lieutenant, certainly a notable achievement.
With the promotion of Lieutenant Maria LaGuerta to Captain of Miami Metro Homicide (a position previously held by Thomas Matthews), the position of Lieutenant was opened for a replacement. At first, Sergeant Angel Batista was Maria's top pick to take her place. However, Deputy Chief Matthews made a different decision after he reviewed a recent incident (circulated on a viral video) that involved Debra. She was in a restaurant when a disgruntled ex-employee came back to shoot up the place and she managed to take him down with no injury to civilians. This gave her a heroic feat under her belt and was enough for Matthews to decide firmly on promoting Debra to Lieutenant. Maria was not happy about having to award the rank to Debra as she had practically promised the position to Batista. Although somewhat depressed about remaining as Sergeant, Batista told Deb that he was proud of her. He continued to believe in Debra and her abilities, even aiding her discreetly in dealing with being a Lieutenant. Joey Quinn, however, (who had recently been turned down by a marriage proposal to Deb) was angry about her promotion and felt that she had changed.
As Lieutenant in Homicide, Debra was able to lead the charge on new cases, including the Doomsday Killer Case, and the Mike Anderson homicide investigation which led to the further investigation of Isaak Sirko. During the penultimate season, she not only knew Dexter's secret, but also covered for and helped him. This led to her being forced into a situation that went against everything that she stood for -- killing an innocent woman to protect Dexter and herself.
Unfortunately, when Debra killed Captain Maria LaGuerta, the guilt overwhelmed her and she left Miami Metro Homicide behind. She then worked as a Private Investigator for Elway Investigations for a short time before reluctantly returning to Miami Metro.
Cases that Debra helped investigate include:
- Ice Truck Killer Case
- Bay Harbor Butcher Case
- Skinner Case
- Oscar Prado Murder Case
- Vacation Murders Case
- Trinity Case
- Frank Lundy Murder Case
- Santa Muerte Case
- Barrel Girls Case
- Dead Call Girl Case
- Doomsday Killer Case
- Mike Anderson Murder Case
- Brain Surgeon Case
Relationship with Dexter
Next to Harry, the most influential person in Dexter's life was his adoptive sister, Debra. She was the one who, since childhood, enhanced his "human side." According to Dr. Evelyn Vogel, Debra "became a mirror, reflecting a positive image" of Dexter that he used to "balance out the notion of himself as a monster" ("Scar Tissue").
When young Debra had her new puppy confiscated by her father, Dexter attempted to tell her that it was because he killed animals, but he was utterly stopped by Harry. Confused, Dexter asked Harry why he couldn't tell her. After listening to Harry explain the repercussions of doing so, Dexter realized that Debra would be deeply impacted by knowing about his dark urges. He decided to keep his animal kills (later humans) a secret from her and, for the majority of Debra's lifetime, he was able to do so.
Dexter was always the most important person in Debra's life, but she didn't have access to his feelings, which was all she ever wanted. Debra loved the man that she thought Dexter was, as she only knew of his best qualities -- a loving father, and a relatively good husband. However, when she walked in on Dexter killing Travis Marshall, Debra was completely astonished. Thinking quickly, Dexter said that he had "snapped" and killed him on impulse. Debra reluctantly helped Dexter burn down the abandoned church where he killed Marshall, destroying evidence of the crime. Even after Debra discovered his trophies and kill tools, Dexter still cared about her feelings and tried to reason with her, but found himself rejected by her.
Eventually, Debra's mindset began to change when Dexter targeted a psychotic serial killer who later attacked her. She begrudgingly admitted that Dexter's actions likely prevent killers from committing further murders. But after being forced into a corner (by Dexter's actions), she shot an innocent woman and became deeply enraged at him. She then quit her police job, began to drink heavily, and isolated herself from Dexter and her former life. For months, she was tormented by her irrevocable act. However, Debra was able to later reconcile with her brother (through the help of Dr. Vogel ) and their bond was reestablished. Debra even encouraged Dexter to move to Argentina with Hannah(a person Debra initially hated) so that he could have a happy life.
Dexter's love for Debra was finally evinced after she was shot in the abdomen by Oliver Saxon and ended up in a coma - from a blood clot. Recognizing a future in which Debra would never eat on her own, speak, or have brain activity, Dexter unplugged Debra's life-support and told her that he loved her. Those would be his final words to Debra -- words that she had wanted to hear. ("Remember the Monsters?")
- Sean the Mechanic - He was the subject of a brief relationship. It wasn't long before Debra discovered that he was married and, as a result, she dumped him. ("Crocodile").
- Rudy Cooper - She dated him during Season One, unaware that he was actually The Ice Truck Killer and also Dexter's biological brother. Rudy eventually proposed to Debra and she accepted, but soon after he revealed his identity and drugged her, to use as bait against Dexter. Dexter rescued Debra and later killed Rudy "for the safety of (his) sister." In Season Four, Debra discovered the truth about Dexter's biological family. She was very upset and informed Dexter, thinking he had no idea of who his brother was, and went on to say that she loved Dexter more than anyone.
- Gabriel Bosque - He was yet another brief relationship (in Season Two). Debra met him while working out at the gym. They went on several dates but, eventually, Debra left him because of her growing attraction to Frank Lundy.
- Frank Lundy - In Season Two, she fell in love with him. It has been joked by some fans that Debra may have had an Electra complex as he was approximately her father's age and like him, a respected police officer (albeit for the FBI rather than Miami P.D.). However, they had a healthy relationship despite their age difference. Debra was attracted to him partially because of his success as an FBI Agent but also of the approval he had for her viewpoints. He inspired confidence in Debra; something she never received from her father. Unfortunately, his job forced them to end their relationship. Later they reconnected while she was seeing Anton Briggs, but they were both shot and Lundy was killed. ("Dex Takes a Holiday")
- Anton Briggs - In Season Three, she seemed to have finally found a match in Anton, her C.I. for the George King case. She became upset after learning that that her father had been involved with more than one C.I. When her case was in jeopardy due to her romantic involvement with Anton, she chose him over the case, and still received her detective's shield, with approval from Lt. LaGuerta.
- Joey Quinn - He was a homicide detective who took an interest in Debra. They were around the same age, worked well together, and had similar personalities.
- In Season Three, Quinn transferred to Miami Metro Homicide. He and Debra started out with flirtatious jokes and the occasional hint. However, neither of Quinn nor Debra actually considered a relationship at that point.
- In Season Four, both Debra and Quinn lost someone they cared about. Frank Lundy showed up and began to see Debra again. However, he ended up dying midway through the season. Meanwhile, Quinn was dealing with his own relationship with Arthur Mitchell's biological daughter who ended up committing suicide.
- In Season Five, during a house cleanup after the death of Rita Morgan, the two have a rapid, violent experiment in sex. Afterward, Debra denied that anything happened. For days, Quinn pressured Debra into accepting what had taken place and to hook up again. Debra stayed in denial, dismissing Quinn, and being defensive. As Quinn started to back off, Debra became jealous when she viewed him flirting with other women. Realizing that she had feelings for Quinn, she admitted them to him. Later, Debra found out that Quinn was suspended for investigating Dexter, she wanted nothing to do with him, even though Quinn had told her that he loved her. Because of work, the two still talked with one another, and Quinn tried to press back into the relationship, feeling that he truly loved her. Debra started to believe him, after he dropped his hunch on Dexter.
- In Season Six, they had lived together for about a year. Quinn decided to propose to Debra, stating he was in love with her, only to be heartbroken when she turned him down. Afterward, Quinn filled the emptiness in his heart with pointless sex with random women (all of which he didn't care about) and a lot of alcohol. He apologized to Debra for his actions and tried to get back together one last time, only to be turned down again.
- In Season Eight, there were several moments where the two of them were shown to be close, such as when Quinn helped her if she was in a predicament. After Quinn broke up with Jamie Batista, Debra confronted him, saying that she still had feelings for him. The two then kissed, inferring that the two were again a couple. When Debra suffered a stroke after being shot, he cried in grief after learning that Debra would never recover.
- Season One - Debra's first major love interest is Brian Moser, who nearly ends up killing her in his quest to get close to his brother, Dexter Morgan.
- Season Two - It begins with the drama she must endure from having been engaged to a serial killer. People stare at her, take pictures, and she even suspects her new boyfriend, Gabriel, of dating her for the purpose of using her for a story (which is revealed to be false; he is simply working on a children's book that has nothing to do with her). She ends up involved with a man twice her age named Special Agent Frank Lundy who ultimately leaves her behind so that he can pursue serial killers.
- Season Three - Debra has a new partner in Joey Quinn and soon a new love interest with his CI, Anton Briggs. She's tested emotionally in this ordeal with both Quinn's lies and his persistent former associate, Yuki Amado. Also, Anton is kidnapped and tortured by a killer known as The Skinner. She ultimately shows her true initiative as an detective, earning her shield at last and is the driving force behind the investigation into George King.
- Season Four - Her emotions are tested once more when Frank Lundy reappears and she falls for him again despite her relationship with Anton. She ends up losing both of them when Christine Hill kills Lundy, after which Deb pushes Anton away due to her emotional state. In order to cope with Lundy's death, she tries to track both the shooter and the serial killer that Lundy was hunting for most of his adult life - The Trinity Killer. In addition, she begins an investigation into her own father Harry Morgan, which shows that he wasn't as perfect as everyone made him out to be. While looking through old files and newspapers, she discovers that her brother, Dexter Morgan is the son of Laura Moser and the brother of her former fiance, Brian Moser. When Debra tells this to Dexter, he feigns ignorance.
- Season Five - As Debra suffers the loss of Dexter's wife Rita Morgan (who was the last victim of Arthur Mitchell aka The Trinity Killer), she begins a spontaneous relationship with her detective partner Joey Quinn. Quinn feels an attachment to Debra and pursues a relationship while she slowly allows him in. At the same time, Debra begins working on the Santa Muerte Case where she works with a beat cop. Debra ends up killing Carlos Fuentes, a cold blooded killer, that she previously hesitated in shooting which almost cost an innocent man his life. When the case ends, the cop she was helping out, Cira Manzon, betrays Debra in trying for a Detective position. Next, Debra finds interest in the Barrel Girls Case where she develops the theory that a Vigilante Couple is taking out a group of serial rapists. Eventually, Debra confronts the couple (behind a curtain where she is unable to distinguish who they are). Debra decides to let them go...feeling that her own experiences have helped her make this choice and, while she's unsure if it's the right thing to do, she sticks to her word. She doesn't realize however, that it is her brother Dexter Morgan and his girlfriend at the time, Lumen Pierce, on the other side of that sheet...
- Season Six - Debra is seen in a whole new light after a heroic standoff at a restaurant, She is promoted to the position of Lieutenant in her department where a whole new plate of responsibilities lands in her lap. On top of the new Doomsday Killer Case, she has to deal with the breakup with boyfriend, Joey Quinn (who wanted to marry her). The awkwardness around her coworkers who used to be friendly disturbs her. She is also seeing a therapist named Michelle Ross who digs deep into Debra's emotional state. She seems to uncover an unexpected secret - Debra is in love with Dexter. At first, Debra shuts it out due to feeling that it's a sick notion (even if not related by blood, as Dexter was adopted into the family). Debra thinks back over the men in her life and begins to agree with her therapist.
- Season Seven - To be added
- Season Eight - To be added
She killed three characters within the series, however, she incorrectly stated that she killed TWO people during "A Little Reflection." This is likely excluding Carlos Fuentes as it was judged a lawful killing, and the events involving the Fuentes Brothers were not referenced since Season Five.
- Carlos Fuentes - When he took a hostage a second time, Debra didn't hesitate to shoot (after her earlier reluctance to shoot him almost cost the first hostage his life). ("Circle Us")
- Maria LaGuerta - Debra impulsively shot her in order to protect her brother (and herself) when LaGuerta learned that Dexter was The Bay Harbor Butcher. ("Surprise, Motherfucker!")
- Javier Guzman - He was a hitman assigned to kill Andrew Briggs and retrieve stolen jewels. Debra was then beaten up by him in Briggs' storage container where the jewels were located. Afterward, Debra ran up to El Sapo in his car and shot him three times with a 9mm handgun. At the crime scene, Dexter found evidence of her blood in the shattered glass. ("Every Silver Lining...")
- Beth Dorsey - Dexter killed her with her own gas bomb ("Talk to the Hand")
- Travis Marshall - Killed by Dexter ("This is the Way the World Ends")
- Andrew Briggs - Killed by Dexter ("A Beautiful Day")
- A.J. Yates - Killed by Dexter ("This Little Piggy")
Attempted to Kill Debra
Debra always had a large role in the story, usually on the other half of the hunt for serial killers that Dexter targeted. She represented the side of law and justice through the Miami Metro Police Department while Dexter was the darker side hunting the killers to put them down.
Despite being smart, she is unsure of herself, so instead relies on Dexter's seemingly limitless expertise on murderers to solve difficult cases. Initially assigned to Vice, she is desperate to be transferred to homicide. After Thomas Matthews promotes her, she gains confidence in herself and relies less on Dexter's abilities and more on her own.
Debra develops a close relationship with a man called Rudy Cooper, who is actually Brian Moser, the Ice Truck Killer. She doesn't realize that Rudy is dating her in order to get close to Dexter, and she falls in love with him. In "Truth Be Told," Rudy proposes to Debra, and she accepts, but then she is immediately kidnapped by him. Debra is bound to a table in the same manner that Dexter kills his victims, while Brian pressures Dexter to end her life. In the show, she is unconscious but in Darkly Dreaming Dexter, she is wide awake and finds out that Dexter is a killer. Debra is severely affected by Rudy's betrayal, and she moves in with Dexter for fear of being alone.
Debra is particularly frail at the start of Season Two, still recovering from her ordeal with The Ice Truck Killer. She buries herself in work, and is wary of Gabriel Bosque when she begins a relationship with him. Debra feels that she is not a good detective because she didn't spot that her fiancé was a serial killer but Special Agent Frank Lundy tells her otherwise. In mid-season, Debra and Lundy develop a romantic relationship. While living in Dexter's apartment, Debra keeps leaving the place a mess to the point where Dexter says, half-jokingly, "I will not kill my sister." At the end of the season, Debra has regained her confidence and her police work is back to scratch. She is more determined than ever to earn a detective shield. However, she is very upset when Frank Lundy leaves Miami due to his work.
As Season Three begins, Debra's hair has been cut to shoulder length. She has "sworn off men, liquor, and smokes" and is even more dead set on earning her silver detective shield. She is working with a new partner, Detective Joey Quinn, who both annoys her and attracts her. She is soon approached by Yuki Amado, an Internal Affairs officer, who tells her that her partner, Quinn, is being investigated as a dirty cop, but Debra refuses to assist Amado.
Debra is originally part of the team investigating the murder of Miguel Prado's brother, Oscar, but because of her lack of tact and people skills, she is removed from the case by the newly-promoted Detective Sergeant Batista. Fortunately for her, the case she is assigned to (the murder of a young woman) is found to be connected to the Skinner Case. While working with Anton Briggs, a C.I., they begin a relationship which jeopardizes her career. However, because of her success on the Skinner Case, she is given her detective shield.
During a conversation between Debra and Dexter, he mentions that her father had slept with one of his confidential informants. This blindsides Debra as she idolizes Harry. Driven to learn the identity of the woman, Debra asks Francis for the files on Harry's former C.I.s. and begins to interview them. One of the files is shown to be Laura Moser (yet unknown to her to be Dexter's biological mother).
Meanwhile, her relationship with Anton is on shaky ground, especially when he obtains a gig in the city instead of on a cruise ship. Anton is happy to spend more time with Debra, but she is conflicted because Frank Lundy has returned to Miami to hunt The Trinity Killer. While working with Lundy on the case, Debra once again becomes involved with him. Soon, both she and Lundy are shot by an unknown assailant at first suspected to be the Vacation Murderers. Lundy dies, but Debra later recovers. While in the hospital, Debra confesses to Anton that she slept with Lundy, and they break up.
The police begin to suspect that The Trinity Killer is the shooter. However, Debra discovers that Trinity could not have been the shooter because her bullet wound is a horizontal line. This convinces her that the shooter is someone shorter than Trinity, similar to Masuka's height. During a Thanksgiving dinner, Debra remembers a conversation with Christine Hill. Debra realizes that Christine's knowledge of the shooting was not released outside the police department. This leads her to believe that Christine is the shooter. This is backed up later when it is revealed that she is the daughter of Trinity. When Debra confronts Christine, she confesses to being the shooter, moments before she shoots herself in the head.
After solving the Frank Lundy killing, Debra restarts her search for Harry's C.I. She learns of Laura Moser's murder, and discovers that Dexter and The Ice Truck Killer are brothers. She relays this information to Dexter who acts completely shocked, although he already knew this.
After Dexter finally kills Trinity, he arrives home to find his wife, Rita, dead in the bathtub.
The story picks up immediately after the close of Season Four. Debra is on the scene shortly, ordering fellow officers to back off her brother as she takes Harrison into her arms and asks Dexter what happened. Debra is confused at Dexter's response when he says, "It was me." Realizing that Rita has been murdered, Debra backs her brother despite opposition from the FBI.
Dexter and Harrison, along with Astor and Cody (when they return from Orlando), don't return to the house. Instead, they stay in Debra's apartment. She is forced to bunk with Astor, while Dexter sleeps on the couch and Cody on the cot. As Dexter copes with his loss, Debra helps with the care of Harrison. The stress of the cramped living conditions starts to build. Soon, Joey Quinn begins to suspect that Dexter has a possible connection to Rita's murder.
Debra takes Dexter to a funeral director, but she ends up being the one who decides on the coffin and flowers, compiles the obituary, and picks up the memorial artwork.
Not wanting Dexter to see the gruesome crime scene again, Debra has Quinn meet her at Rita and Dexter's House to clean up the bloody bathroom. Quinn at first objects because the the FBI will do it, but she feels it is her duty. After their hard work, the room is left spotless. While washing up, Quinn asks how she's holding up, and Debra breaks down in tears. When Quinn attempts to comfort her, she starts to kiss him, resulting in them having passionate sex. Afterward, Debra sorts through Rita's dresses while Quinn appears pleased by what just happened. On her part, Debra is in extreme denial and blames Quinn for it. She then takes some of Rita's dresses back to the apartment. leaving Quinn to wonder what the encounter means.
When Debra learns from LaGuerta that Dexter skipped out on his FBI interview (regarding Rita's death), she becomes infuriated and tries to reach him by phone. When that fails, she rushes to the apartment to find Harrison being fed by "the cat lady" from downstairs. The neighbor explains that Dexter asked her to watch Harrison. Angrily, Debra again tries to call Dexter (using some of her famous cuss words), but she still cannot contact him.
Debra, as well as the rest of Homicide, attend the funeral and wait for Dexter, who is still missing. Quinn attempts to run his theory about Dexter by her when Dexter suddenly arrives (thus cutting him off) and the funeral commences.
During this season, Debra tackles a new investigation -- the Santa Muerte Case.
At the start of Season Six, Joey Quinn proposes to Debra, but she turns him down. The ensuing awkwardness is only made worse when she is promoted to Lieutenant, thanks in part to Maria LaGuerta's political machinations. Soon, Quinn and Debra's relationship ends.
Debra generally earns the respect of her department but she struggles when Batista and Masuka are not as 'open' to her anymore because of her new job level. The position is also very stressful in itself, and she has doubts whether she can handle the responsibility. Work and personal troubles begin to weigh down on her, and she is compelled to attend therapy sessions with Dr. Michelle Ross. Later, she has an erotic dream about Dexter which sparks the belief that she in love with him.
After being promoted to Lieutenant of Homicide, Debra continues to work alongside Angel, Masuka, and Dexter in the Doomsday Killer Case. In a separate case, Thomas Matthews convinces a reluctant Debra to cover up his involvement in the death of a prostitute. However, LaGuerta informs Matthews' superiors about his indiscretion and he is forced into retirement. Matthews blames Debra for this, and she angrily confronts LaGuerta.
Travis Marshall kidnaps Harrison to sacrifice him during the eclipse. Dexter tracks them to a skyscraper where Travis orders Dexter to inject himself with M99. Dexter (who fakes the injection) manages to knock Travis out. He takes Travis to the abandoned church so that he can finally kill him.
Earlier, Debra asked Dexter to do a final sweep of the Santa Maria de Laredo Church, which was actually a ploy so that she can tell him the truth about her emotions. When she arrives at the church, Dexter had turned the church into his personal kill room for Travis. As she walks through the doorway, she witnesses Dexter standing with a knife in his hand, and then stab Travis in the heart.
Dexter says simply, "Oh God..."
The story picks up after the last episode. Dexter claims that he went to the church to collect evidence and was surprised by Travis. He then "snapped" and killed Travis on impulse. Dexter convinces a reluctant Debra to help him burn down the abandoned church to destroy evidence of the crime.
After he kills Viktor Baskov, Dexter comes home to Debra, sitting in his apartment, surrounded by his victims' blood slides and kill tools. Debra reluctantly asks Dexter if he is a serial killer. Dexter softly replies, "Yes."
A horrified Debra recoils from Dexter and runs out of the apartment with him in pursuit. Dexter catches up and admits that he is The Bay Harbor Butcher and explains that her father taught him how to get away with murder. At work, Debra often glances at Dexter with an expression of distrust. She concludes that she never really knew her brother. She sees him as a totally different person. Dexter realizes that Debra is acting differently towards him and that she is not there for him like she used to be.
After reading serial killer reports by Frank Lundy, Debra tells Dexter that she wants to help him, and make sure that he doesn't kill again. Dexter agrees, even though he doesn't have much of a choice, as Debra could arrest him. Debra questions Dexter's every move, knowing of his strong urge to kill.
Anger builds in Dexter and he starts to imagine killing people when he can't actually kill anyone due to Debra's watchful eyes. When Debra comments that Harrison should live with his grandparents because Dexter is an unfit father, he finally snaps at her.
When Debra insists on following the law, Dexter states that if the justice system is as good as she believes it to be, he wouldn't be as busy. After Debra is attacked by a particularly brutal serial killer who had evaded imprisonment on a technicality, Debra admits to Dexter that she understands why he takes the law into his own hands. She agrees to not stop him, as long as he keeps it a secret from her and doesn't interfere with Miami Metro investigations.
Debra feels incapable of telling the difference between the truth and a lie from Dexter. Her distrust of Dexter is so great at this point that she briefly wonders if he was the one who killed Rita, much to Dexter's anger and shock.
Dexter successfully kills Speltzer in a crematory, and shows Debra the smoke produced by the ashes (rising out of the chimney). A conflicted Debra wonders if it is wrong to be happy that he is dead and Dexter reassures her that it makes her 'human.'
Dexter is dating Hannah McKay, a serial poisoner that Debra is intent on arresting, especially when she murders Sal Price, a writer she had feelings for. Dexter is torn between his responsibility to Debra and his feelings for Hannah, the only person who has accepted both sides of him.
Debra has a near-fatal car accident after a confrontation with Hannah. She is convinced that Hannah poisoned her, and Dexter is suspicious enough to order a toxicology screen on a bottle of water in Debra's car, along with searching Debra's beach house for clues. To his dismay, the results prove that Hannah did indeed poison Debra. To prevent another attempt on her life, Dexter gives Debra evidence (Price's pen) which proves that Hannah poisoned Price. Debra is on hand to arrest Hannah, who tells Dexter he should have killed her.
In the season finale, LaGuerta has Dexter arrested for the Bay Harbor Butcher murders, and Debra angrily confronts her before being told to recuse herself. Dexter is soon released, however, thanks to the evidence he had planted before his arrest. The next day, LaGuerta calls Debra into her office under the pretext of apologizing — and instead confronts her with a video that shows Debra near the church at the time it was destroyed. Debra talks her way out of immediate danger, but fears that LaGuerta will soon have definitive proof of what she and Dexter had done.
At Angel Batista's New Year's Eve party, Debra learns that LaGuerta has gone in pursuit of Dexter, whom she suspects is in the act of killing Hector Estrada, the man who ordered his mother's murder. She rushes to the scene, where she finds Dexter poised to shoot an unconscious LaGuerta. As she pleads with Dexter not to do it, LaGuerta regains consciousness and urges Debra to kill her brother. Resigned, Dexter tells her to "do what you have to do." Desperate to save Dexter, Debra shoots and kills LaGuerta, afterward breaking down in tears over her body.
Season EightSix months after Maria LaGuerta's death, Debra has resigned her job as Lieutenant and is now hired by a Bail Bonds company called Elway Investigations. She is in a relationship with a criminal, and taking extra dosages of prescription medicines (like Xanax). She partly blames Dexter for her having killed LaGuerta and feels extreme resentment towards him. When Debra's guilt leads her to almost confess to the police, Dexter forces her into therapy with Dr. Evelyn Vogel. Eventually, Debra and Dexter make amends, even though she attempts to end both their lives by crashing a car into a lake.
During the penultimate episode, Dexter leaves Oliver Saxon in The Treatment Room to be arrested by Debra, as she has always wanted Dexter to hand over criminals to Miami Metro rather than kill them. Unfortunately, Deputy Marshal Max Clayton finds and frees Saxon from his restraints, only to be promptly killed by Saxon. When Debra enters the room, she is shot in the gut by Saxon, who escapes with a gunshot wound on his arm fired by Debra as she is falling to the floor.
In the Series Finale, doctors are initially optimistic that Debra will recover after her surgery. Debra and Dexter share several peaceful moments while she is bedridden. Debra remembers that Dexter protected her from the fictitious 'monsters' during their childhood. Saxon enters the hospital in an attempt to kill Debra but is arrested by Angel Batista. When Dexter sees that Debra is no longer in her room, he questions Quinn. He informs Dexter that a complication arose when a clot formed after her surgery, causing a loss of oxygen to her brain. Quinn attempts to hold back his tears, while Dexter looks on with very little hope (as well as anger).
Dexter signs in to Miami Metro with a GSR (Gunshot Residue) kit under the pretext of collecting evidence from Saxon. He tells Saxon that he will kill him with a pen that has been placed on the table, causing Saxon to grab the pen and stab Dexter in the shoulder. Dexter instantly grabs the pen and thrusts it into Saxon's left carotid artery, causing him to fall to the floor and bleed to death. The CCTV footage is then watched by Angel and Quinn, who both conclude that Dexter can be cleared under an act of self-defense, even though they suspect that Dexter acted out of revenge.Dexter returns to the hospital as patients from the south wing are being evacuated due to Hurricane Laura (a reference to Laura Moser). He enters Debra's room to say a final goodbye. He displays his feelings for Debra while she's in a coma - from a blood clot. Recognizing a future in which she would never eat on her own, speak, or have normal brain activity, Dexter turns off her life-support and tells Debra that he loves her. Those would be his final words to her -- the ones she had wanted to hear.
He then takes her body out to his boat, and drops it into the sea, after calling Hannah and Harrison to ensure they are safe. He then heads toward the storm and his boat is found obliterated in the sea the next day by rescue boats, and Dexter is presumed dead. The final scene shows Dexter living alone in the Pacific Northwest.
- Anton Briggs's Apartment
- Cira Manzon
- Debra's Beach House
- Dexter Morgan
- Doris Morgan
- Elway Investigations
- Harry Morgan
- Lila West
- Miami Central Hospital
- The Blue Room
In the novels
- Main article: Deborah Morgan
In the books, the character's name is spelled "Deborah", and she is described as "voluptuous". She also talks about how she has not been taken seriously because she has large breasts. In the novel Darkly Dreaming Dexter and the follow-up novels, Deborah finds out her brother is a killer and appears to accept it, although sometimes torn between her duty as a sister and as a cop regarding what she should do to him. After being stabbed in Dexter by Design, Deborah has finally come to accept Dexter for what he is, and in Dexter is Delicious, she even asks him to kill Bobby Acosta, knowing he will walk away free after being found to be a cannibal because of his family's wealth and connections.
At the conclusion of Dexter is Delicious, Deborah is pregnant by Kyle Chutsky, who had left her after coming to the conclusion that he was of no use to her. She is also unaware that Brian has returned as her birthing classes are on the same day that Brian visits Dexter and Rita.
Dexter: The Game
Article: Dexter: The Game
Debra appears following her Season 1 story arc, working undercover as a prostitute to find The Ice Truck Killer.
Dexter arrives at the motel where the Pool Victim was found and LaGuerta tells him to go and talk to his sister, Debra. Dexter gets to Debra and she asks him for help on the case as she wants to have a part of solving the case of the prostitute killer to be able to be transferred from Vice to Homicide as she is sick of working as LaGuerta's puppet. Dexter agrees to help her.Later on, at Miami Metro, Debra encounters Dexter to find out about what new evidence he has on the killer. He proceeds to tell her about an Ice Truck, which then leads to believe the killer has been using transportation to mobilize his victims, and an Ice Truck is perfect to preserve the victims in the state they have been found.
- Deb wears contacts, having traded in her glasses for contacts due to her interest in boys at a young age, and braces at night.
- Deb is one of few characters to discover the truth about Dexter Morgan and continue to survive after the fact until her death in the Series Finale. The only other characters currently alive with knowledge of what Dexter does is Lumen Pierce and Hannah McKay.
- Dexter reveals several victims to Debra, though not by name (rather by description). They're all from the first season: Mike Donovan, Jorge and Valerie Castillo, and Emmett Meridian.
- Interestingly, when she's referring to the people in "that box" as the victims before Dexter mentions the above killers... none are actually present in that current blood slide box. Those slides remain in the first box.
- Debra, along with Jonah Mitchell, was one of the only two people who knew that Dexter killed The Trinity Killer. However, she learned far more about the event than Jonah, including the truth of what happened to Rita and some of what Dexter felt in hunting Trinity and his failure to prevent her death.
- After shooting Maria LaGuerta, according to showrunner Scott Buck, they left the cameras rolling and the part where Deb ran up to LaGuerta, crying and holding her was unscripted. She proceeded to say something similar to "I hate you" or "I had to." Whether the line was also unscripted is unclear but everything else was Jennifer's decision.
- Debra is the final death (as well as Dexter's final known kill) in the series.
- Main article: Debra Morgan/Gallery