Critic’s corner: What’s on TV this weekend

Kent Smith/Showtime

Homeland Sunday at 9 p.m., Showtime

Last season, “Homeland” lost some of its greatness, as the plot became increasingly absurd and the characters — particularly Carrie — made no emotional sense. But the two episodes that Showtime sent of season 3 promise a fresh start. Most of the focus is on a Senate subcommittee’s questioning of Carrie, who is as much of a mess as ever (cue Claire Danes’s cryface). The writers were smart to dig into the consequences of last season’s insanity, which include a national crisis about the efficacy of the FBI. Interestingly, Damian Lewis isn’t seen in these episodes, which means we no longer need to watch him and Carrie in their preposterous love affair. Brody’s family, however, is still featured prominently, as they weather the fallout. (Pictured: Danes.)

The Good Wife Sunday at 9 p.m., CBS


With all the “Breaking Bad” press, and all the new fall shows, and the return of “Homeland,” this gem could get overlooked. It’s the best network drama, and it returns on Sunday for its fifth season with Alicia (Julianna Margulies, pictured) planning her exit from the firm. Miraculously, “The Good Wife” has stayed good, despite lots of silly law-firm twists and a too-large huge cast. In the premiere, Jeffrey Tambor guest stars.

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Breaking Bad Sunday at 9 p.m., AMC

The ultimate episode.

Masterchef Junior 8 p.m., Fox

After “Breaking Bad,” the word “cook” has changed forever.


Saturday Night Live Saturday at 11:30 p.m., NBC


Matthew Gilbert can be reached at Follow him on Twitter @MatthewGilbert.