Dexter: New Blood is over, and even the stars can hardly believe it. In a behind-the-scenes clip shared with fans on Monday, Jennifer Carpenter admitted that the finale was emotional. She noted that even though this was the second time the series has come to an end, she was just as sad.
Fair warning: there are spoilers for Dexter and Dexter: New Blood ahead. "It's heartbreaking, and I didn't expect to be sad about it ending again. The other day I started – I got teary-eyed," Carpenter told the camera, nearly chuckling at herself as she spoke. Carpenter played Dexter Morgan's (Michael C. Hall) adopted sister, Debra Morgan in the original series, and she was arguably his strongest connection to that life in the revival season that just ended. Debra – a police detective – was shot and killed in the line of duty in the last season of Dexter.
In New Blood, Debra returns as an apparition to Dexter while he lives in isolation, mirroring the way his dead adoptive father appeared to him early on in the show. Many fans liked this touch – both as a poignant framing device and as a way to include Carpenter in the revival. With Dexter living in New York state under an assumed name, familiar faces were few and far between.
Carpenter's portrayal of Debra was one of the most lauded parts of Dexter – she won a Saturn Award for best supporting actress for the role in 2009. She and Hall were even married in real life for a few years, though they divorced in 2011. Still, they continued working together and openly remain close friends.
Sad as it was, the Dexter finale was reportedly planned that way from the beginning. In an interview with TV Line, showrunner Clyde Phillips said that there was never any doubt in his mind that the show would end with Dexter dead, and that having his son Harrison pull the trigger was the plan from the start of the revival.
"He knew early on that Dexter was going to die. He understood that that was the right decision," Phillips said. "If Dexter keeps getting out of a jam every single time then we're doing a superhero show. We wanted to bring as much humanity as we could to the ending of the show, and to say goodbye to the character with dignity and integrity."