Harrison "Harry" Morgan is a main character in DEXTER and one of the most influential in the cast. He was a police officer in the Miami Metro Police Department who also acted as a Detective, however he is only ever seen in a standard uniform if on duty during flashbacks. Regardless he was one of the most respected officers in service, often being considered a hero and is constantly praised by Tom Matthews, a good friend of his who sees a lot of Harry's influence in his daughter Debra, who he's recently promoted to Lieutenant (a rank that Harry never reached).
He is the adoptive father of Dexter Morgan as well as the biological father of Debra Morgan, born to his wife Doris Morgan. In reality, Harry knew about Dexter long before the Shipyard Massacre as Dexter's mother, Laura Moser, acted as his informant in a drug cartel led by a man named Hector Estrada. The two became romantically involved despite Harry's marriage to Doris and he knew of both sons, only choosing to adopt Dexter, as he could see it within Brian Moser's eyes that "he was one fucked up kid".
Harry is the most important deceased character in the series, as he has reappeared in almost every episode (except less frequently in Season 5) and has been dead since long before the start of the series. During Seasons 1 and 2, he acts primarily in a series of flashbacks that Dexter has when he is trying to relate current events to something he learned in the past. As he learns more about his father however, Dexter practically moves on from him (and rejects him) thus forcing Harry to manifest as a sort of spiritual being that is the representation of his subconscious attempting to assist him.
The flashbacks end after Season Two and Harry remains as a part of his subconscious helping him survive and make the right decisions. It is unknown if this could actually be Harry's spirit, as Dexter's mother Laura also appears to him and even his own brother Brian for a short while. Harry always acts indifferent and with a calm understanding, despite Dexter's situation.
Harry first found Dexter at a crime scene when he was just 3, and took him in as his own son. From an early age, Dexter showed signs of pyschopathic tendencies, i.e. torturing and killing small animals, which Harry identified right away. Instead of suppressing the urges, Harry taught Dexter how to curb his appetite for killing by unleashing it on criminals that have escaped from the justice system. The "Code of Harry", which Dexter constantly refers to, was instituted by Harry to prevent Dexter from being caught for his vigilantism. Every rule that stems from the code is to protect Dexter and the ones closest to him, namely his sister Debra and his wife Rita and her children. It was later confirmed in Season 8 that Harry sought help from Evelyn Vogel, now a neuropschyciatrist who specializes in profiling serial killers. She and Harry provided Dexter with essential "moral guidelines" so that Dexter would be doing something legitimate, instead of carelessly targeting innocents. Dexter also had to rethink killing Vogel, since she helped create the code that he operates under. Even though Vogel could expose Dexter anytime, she's earned his trust by supporting his urges to kill and by considering him a contribution to humanity.
Throughout Season 1, Harry is seen much as a wise man and an idealist, someone who made a bold decision that could have devastating repercussions in creating his own serial killer of a son.
Season TwoModificaIn Season 2, more of Harry's history comes to light, especially of his affair with Dexter's biological mother, Laura Moser. She was a confidential informant for the case Harry was working on and his actions indirectly lead to her murder. This leads to a tumultuous emotional phase for Dexter, who can't decide whether Harry created a code for him out of love or guilt. Harry has a unique place in Dexter's life as it is he who created this "Dark Passenger". After walking in onto one of Dexter's kills, however, he was unable to live with himself, seeing how Dexter chopped up his victim into pieces. Three days later he overdosed on his heart medication causing his death. Dexter traces his life very closely to Harry's, throughout Season 1 he could do no wrong, but through Season 2 and Season 3, the moral implications of being a vigilante and taking the law into one's own hands become readily apparent.
Seasons Three Through SixModifica
In the novelsModifica
Harry's character and back story is much the same in the novels. Unlike in the TV series, Harry did not commit suicide after catching Dexter during a kill, instead Harry expressed regrets after Dexter killed Last Nurse. Morgan also never had a romantic relationship with Dexter's biological mother.
- Popping Cherry
- Let's Give the Boy a Hand
- Love American Style
- Return to Sender
- Circle 0f Friends
- Shrink Wrap
- Father Knows Best
- Seeing Red
- Truth Be Told
- Born Free
- It's Alive!
- Waiting to Exhale
- An Inconvenient Lie
- The Dark Defender
- Dex, Lies, and Videotape
- That Night, a Forest Grew
- Morning Comes
- Resistance Is Futile
- There's Something About Harry
- Left Turn Ahead
- The British Invasion
- Harry is one of few characters to actually return after being deceased, as a spiritual entity or hallucinated personification of Dexter's inner thoughts (a second mind to help him think, although in season 7 it is revealed that Harry can still lie to Dexter) Dexter's mother, Laura Moser, his brother Brian Moser and Professor James Gellar are the only characters that also return in a similar fashion.
- The flashbacks which mainly focused around Dexter's youth and Harry's interaction with him growing up ended after Season Two and were instead replaced by "dreamlike" instances where Harry physically existed with the current-age Dexter. This dream quality persisted for two seasons, until Season Five when Harry's appearances were shot in the same look as the rest of the show as if he was actually there the entire time (like Brian in Season Two and Season Six). It should be noted that these dream sequences practically removed any other characters from the current situation and sometimes added new, nameless ones for the sake of the scene while Season Five and onward simply has the camera pan and Harry's right there next to Dexter, in real time environments with no such dream effect.