'Dexter': How Much More of Deb's 'Scar Tissue' Can We Take?

Take a quick look at the related searches for the Dexter character Debra Morgan. In prime real estate, you'll find something distinctly different from the usual "[Character Name] Married" and [Character Name] Actor" searches. According to Google, if you're looking for Deb, you might also be looking for "I hate Debra Morgan" as well. Sure, it's the result of an algorithm that probably doesn't understand the complexities of a premium cable series. How could it understand what Deb has been through? It can't, but it does understand one thing: there's lots of hate for Debra Morgan out there. 

Deb has long been a polarizing character on Dexter. On one hand, we love her because of how much she loves her brother and because Dexter loves her. We'd never wish the loss of his sibling upon him. On the other hand, Deb's been difficult since Day One. After all, she was the detective unknowingly dating the infamous Ice Truck Killer while Dexter and the rest of the Miami PD were trying to decode the killer's doll part clues. 

But it's not just her romantic choices that maker her hard to handle. Deb's salty demeanor and stubbornness has made it difficult to love her character as its own entity rather than as an extension of Dex's life. She's not particularly funny (her idea of a clever password was recently revealed to be "fuckingpassword" because she's apparently got a frat boy trapped in that brain of hers). She's consistently upset about something and despite the fact that her character's outward traits appear strong, she's often hysterical and almost always extremely fragile. In fact, when you start to put it on paper, it's hard to understand what we actually like about Deb as a person. Dexter can make a man who recreationally slices and dices people an incredibly likable, sympathetic character, but serving a little of that up for the killer's detective sister is apparently too much to ask. 

That's why Sunday's big episode, "Scar Tissue," begs an important question: How much more of Deb's constant spiraling can we take? It seems that the writers have come to the conclusion that we've reached our limit, finally. Deb hits what we can only hope is her absolute rock bottom when she drives herself and Dexter off the road and into a lake upon hearing that their father killed himself because he couldn't handle Dexter's bloody hobby. Lucky for pro-Deb viewers, it's what she does after she almost kills herself and her brother that we see even the slightest glimmer of hope.

Vogel convinces Deb that no matter what, she will always choose Dexter and that given the chance to re-do the standoff with LaGuerta, Deb would still kill the officer of the law instead of her brother. Deb proves that to be true when she's rescued from the car and goes back in to save Dexter from a grim fate. But is that rescue enough? Is it sufficient to redeem a character who's been inconsistent, irrational, and hysterical for seasons upon seasons? And most importantly: Can Dexter take anymore? Will he ever be able to forgive his sister for an attempt to kill him and herself? Was Deb's questionable character built questionably all along so that when push came to shove(ing a car into a large body of water), we'd pick Dexter's side, no matter what? 

Image: Showtime

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