Sunday TV: Finales for ‘Homeland,’ ‘Dexter,’ ‘Survivor’

Don’t expect a neat, predictable first season finale for “Homeland” (Showtime, 10 p.m.).

The best series of the season distinguished itself with twists and unexpected turns that began with its central character, a CIA agent who is hiding the fact she’s bipolar — something that made itself known shortly after she was injured by a terrorist’s bomb. Claire Dane’s Carrie is still trying to get back to 100 percent, but can the organization still trust her? And what do we know, finally about Damian Lewis’s former POW? Is he an al-Queda operative or not? Somebody better figure it out before he wins an open Senate seat.

“Homeland” has succeeded not just because it’s so well acted, or concerns a topic so attuned to the times, but because its writers are pros who learned from a little show called “24” exactly how to pace and unveil story in weekly drama. One thing to expect from the finale, though: It will be good.

On a night of finales, “Dexter” (Showtime, 9 p.m.) will close its sixth season with an ultimate showdown. Colin Hank’s Doomsday Killer is no John Lithgow, but I think it’s still been a pretty gripping season that found some interesting places to go for most of its characters as it toyed with the notions of religion and redemption.

Redemption plays a role in the three hour finale event for “Survivor: South Pacific” (CBS, 8 p.m.). It’s all up to Coach and the Upulo tribe as they whittle down to a final three to present to the jury. But someone still has to come back from Redemption Island, either Ozzy or Brandon, who has talked more about religion than Dexter did.

A winner is also named on “The Next Iron Chef” (Food, 9 p.m.) and competition is down to Geoffrey Zakarian and Elizabeth Falkner.

It’s Baltimore at San Diego in Sunday Night Football (NBC, 8:15 p.m.).

It led in nominations at the Golden Globes this week; and season two is imminent in three weeks (on Jan. 8). So it’s well worth your while to rewatch the first season of “Downton Abbey” on “Masterpiece Classic” (PBS, 8 p.m., check local listings). Two of the already long episodes are paired up for four straight hours.

Can dating be accomplished at Comic-Con? Only if you’re willing to indulge in a little “Geek Love” (TLC, 9 p.m.). One guy prepares for a speed dating session among some costumed women by practicing Chewbacca love call. It precedes another episode of “All American Muslim” (TLC, 10 p.m.) which has attracted a big national campaign because it is too nice. And because it’s the holidays, “My Big Fat Gypsy Christmas” (TLC, 8 p.m.) follows “My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding” (TLC, 7 p.m.).

Meryl Streep is profiled on “60 Minutes” (CBS, 7 p.m.), in which plunging property values as a result of the foreclosure crisis is also studied.

Lady Gaga, Kelly Clarkson, Demi Lovato, LMFAO, Hot Chelle Rae, Gym Class Heroes, Pitbull David Guetta and Foster the People are among the performers of the “Jingle Ball 2011” (Fuse 7 p.m.) at Madison Square Garden.

They use cameras not guns in “Shark Shoot: Fiji” (Travel, 9 p.m.).

Siggy Flicker tries her best one last time to find some suitable matches on the season finale of “Why Am I Still Single?” (VH1, 11 p.m.).

A broadcast prime time slot for “The Santa Clause 3: The Escape Clause” (ABC, 9 p.m.) leads the holiday movies that also include the new “Christmas Magic” (Hallmark, 8 and 10 p.m.), “A Golden Christmas 2: The Second Tail” (ION, 7 p.m.), “The Christmas Hope” (Lifetime, 8 p.m.), “Christmas Mail” (ION, 9 p.m.) and “Christmas Angel” (Lifetime, 10 p.m.).

It’s Connecticut at Baylor (ESPN, 8:30 p.m.) in women’s college basketball.

Sunday Talk

ABC: Reps. Paul Ryan and Barney Frank, former Labor Secretary Robert Reich, George Will. CBS: Newt Gingrich. NBC: Michele Bachmann, House Speaker John Boehner, Gov. Nikki Haley. CNN: Jon Huntsman, Sens. Roy Blunt and Robert Menendez. Fox News: Mitt Romney.

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