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Jennifer Carpenter, Dexter
The show is called Dexter, but it’s been Deb was has stolen the spotlight this year. After witnessing Dexter stab one of his victims in the heart and finally getting Dex to confess he's a serial killer, Carpenter has run the gauntlet of emotions — from denial to fear and finally all the way to begrudging acceptance. All the while, Carpenter made us believe Deb when her character admitted to being in love with her brother, even bringing us to a point where we were rooting for the adopted siblings to make a go at it. Move over, Michael C. Hall: Carpenter may steal your Emmy thunder next year.