Sunday Night Boob Tube Bonanza: “Dexter”‘s New Daddy Issues, An Epic Face-Off On “The Walking Dead” & A Heart-Stopping “Homeland”

Thanks to last night’s episodes of “The Walking Dead” and “Homeland,” my anxiety levels are way above already above-normal leves. Seriously, the majority of the recaps for each show could be summarized as simply “OMG!!!!!” However, I shall put aside my excitement and delve deeper into both these episodes, as well as last night’s ho-hum “Dexter,” after the jump!

“Dexter.” Oh “Dexter,” where is this season going? For the most part, I have been patient with the somewhat rocky and disconnected storylines this season, because I have faith in the writers that they’re doing what’s necessary to bring the show to an end next season in a way that’s climactic and satisfying. And yet, last night’s episode was a bit of a stinker, no? Dexter’s love story with Hannah McKay, which was once at least hot, is now becoming totally cliche. Hannah has daddy issues too! That’s why she kills people just because! Personally, I don’t want to feel sympathy for Hannah, because I don’t need to feel sympathy for her to think she’s an exciting match for Dexter. Dexter’s back story — witnessing his mother’s murder — has been used expertly to explain the existence of his “Dark Passenger.” But if Hannah doesn’t believe that such a thing exists, why is the audience being force-fed her sad sack backstory in what is clearly a desire to “explain” why she is the way she is? I think the character of Hannah was so much stronger when she was just a ruthless killer who made no apologies for her crimes; seeing her crying over dollhouse memories, a busted flower garden and her crying flower garden is making me like her a whole lot less.

So, in last night’s ep, Hannah’s dad shows up in town, wanting to reconnect with his daughter. But he has an ulterior motive: money. He wants to borrow cash from her to start his own crawfish business but she balks and he immediately changes his tune from proud poppa to emotionally abusive sociopath. Hannah’s dad apparently knows of a witness to one of Hannah’s murders and tells Dexter than unless Hannah gives him the money he needs, he’ll tip off the police.

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Michonne, who helped Team Prison break into Woodsbury, has of course gone off on her own. She’s back at the Governor’s house, where she finds his creepy sitting room, with its fish tanks full of heads and, oh yeah, a little zombie girl with a peeling scalp. At first, Michonne drops her guard and appears very, very emotional at having come upon this child … but her sympathy fades once she realizes that child is a walker. As she’s above to lop off little Penny’s head, the Governor appears, brandishing a gun, begging her not to hurt his daughter. I almost – almost! — felt sorry for the Governor but then I remembered what he did to Maggie last episode, and I was back to cheering for Michonne to kill him AND his zombie child. Michonne accomplished the latter, driving her crazy sword through Penny’s head, which cause the Governor to flip the fuck out. Watch Michonne and the Gov’s epic fight above, which was broken up by Andrea. Watching Andrea and Michonne circling each other with their weapons drawn made me sad — couldn’t have Michonne just EXPLAINED herself for once? So frustrating!

Back at the prison, we meet Tyreese, a beloved character from the comic books who I am so thrilled to see being played by one of my favorite actors from “The Wire.” At this point, we don’t know much about Tyreese and his small gang of merry followers, but I’m hopeful that he and Team Prison will band together to take down the Governor.

Everyone makes it out of Woodbury alive, except for Oscar, the black prisoner who Team Prison begrudgingly began to accept as part of their camp. Poor Oscar, we hardly knew ya — but it seems like only one black dude at a time is allowed on “The Walking Dead” (check out Slate’s article on this subject). Oh yeah, and Daryl is nowhere to be found either. The Governor’s got him, and in front of Woodbury’s residents, turns on Merle, saying that the brothers are working together. As the episodes, we’re left wondering what the Governor has in store for Merle and Daryl, and whether Andrea — who has got to be freaking out a little — will do anything about it. See ya in February, “Walking Dead” fans!