Here’s what’s up in the world of TV for Tuesday, December 9. All times are Eastern.
Sons Of Anarchy (FX, 10 p.m.): Tonight, FX’s manliest, brawling-est, motorcycle-riding-est show airs its last ever episode. For those like Zack Handlen, tonight marks the end of a long, winding journey, one full of giddy highs and frustrating lows. He will check in tonight one final time to provide his usual incisive critique—and, in the meantime, do check out Joshua Alston’s TV Club 10 on the show at its best—but, for those of us who solely know Sons Of Anarchy through its wonderfully bloated running times, there’s only ever one question to answer, namely…
Hey, how long is Sons Of Anarchy overrunning this week?
Well, TV Guide says the finale starts at 10 p.m. and doesn’t finish until 1 a.m., but that three-hour length probably bakes in the customary live after-show. The repeat is listed for an hour and 53 minutes, so we’re only overrunning by 53 minutes. Yes, I said “only.” For the last ever Sons Of Anarchy, an episode that can’t even break the two-hour barrier feels somehow paltry. Fingers crossed that 113 minutes will be sufficient time for “Jax to fulfill his father’s legacy in the series finale,” I guess.
The people’s top pick, now and forever
Person Of Interest Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show (CBS, 10 p.m.): Person Of Interest returns for its midseason finale next week, but this week the show is going deep undercover as the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show. Sure, it might look like Taylor Swift and Ariana Grande are performing as top supermodels Adriana Lima and Alessandra Ambrosio show off the latest in lingerie, but they’re all actually Jim Caviezel. He’s just that good at disguises.
The Flash (The CW, 8 p.m.): The murder of Barry’s mother sure feels like the kind of slow-burn, mythology-building plotline that the show only solves over the course of a few seasons, so what to make of an episode titled “The Man In The Yellow Suit” that actually teases that “Barry faces his nemesis Reverse Flash, who killed his mother, and plots with Wells and Cisco to trap him.” Big, big stuff could be afoot tonight, and Scott Von Doviak is ready to go.
Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. (ABC, 9 p.m.): Per the synopsis, “A volatile confrontation occurs between Coulson’s and Whitehall’s forces, and as a result, fates are changed.” You know, I feel like this TV Guide plot capsule is really missing the point of what “fate” is. The whole point is it can’t be changed no matter how hard you struggle against it, or how else would mighty Zeus derive amusement from the follies of mortals? Oliver Sava would appreciate it if we could have one discussion that doesn’t turn into me proselytizing for mighty Zeus, king of the gods. (Keep dreaming, Oliver.)
New Girl (Fox, 9 p.m.): In an episode aptly titled “LAXmas,” the whole gang finds themselves stranded at the airport while trying to get away for Christmas. As is often the case with New Girl, Erik Adams is cautiously optimistic, though I’m not sure how this is ever going to improve on the greatest of all stuck-at-the-airport holiday episodes: King Of The Hill’s “The Hank’s Giving Episode.” Although that might just be for that one John Redcorn line. (Also, I mention King Of The Hill a lot in these things. I’m not sure the acronym “YOLO” has ever felt more appropriate.)
Elsewhere in TV Club
Our yearend wrap-up rolls on as Joshua Alston examines the state of diversity in television in 2014. As often seems to be the case, it’s probably fair to say the situation is “better,” but that really isn’t the same thing as being “good.” Check out Joshua’s piece for a much more insightful, considered take on the topic.
What else is on?
Santa Claus Is Comin’ To Town/Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer (ABC/CBS, 8 p.m.): Here’s another pair of yuletide classics that I’m going to assume are much beloved by most people—they are being aired at primetime on dueling networks, after all—but I must once again admit that, like A Charlie Brown Christmas, I just kind of missed out on. So let me share another one of my beloved Christmas specials from the Supermarionation catalog that, like Rudolph, first aired in 1964. So get in the holiday spirit with a context-free clip of puppets skating!
Rickover: The Birth Of Nuclear Power (PBS, 8 p.m.): Now this is a Christmas special I can get behind! Hyman G. Rickover kind of was the Santa of the nuclear-powered navy, if you think about it. (Please don’t think about it. You could do literally anything better with your time.)
My Crazy Love (Oxygen, 10 p.m.): “A woman retaliates when she suspects her boyfriend has cheated, leading to a mix-up. Also: A woman considers passing up an opportunity with “Dancing With the Stars” for love.” Eh … could be crazier.
The Pioneers (National Geographic, 10 p.m.): So TV Guide claims that tonight marks the series premiere for this show about “four families attempting to emulate the pioneer lifestyle of the 1800s,” but I could have sworn I’ve already written about this show about five or six times before. Seriously, are there any families in America left that are content to live on the damn grid in the 21st damn century?
Timecop (MovieMax, 9 p.m.): Jean Claude Van Damme is a time-traveling cop out to foil a corrupt politician and save his wife. Hey, not every movie pick can be a winner. But this one so totally is!
Beasts Of The Southern Wild (Sundance, 10 p.m.): Yeah, this is pretty good, but it’s no Timecop, you know?
NHL Hockey: Los Angeles Kings at Buffalo Sabres (NBC Sports, 7:30 p.m.): Winners of two of the last three Stanley Cups, the Kings pretty much rule the hockey world … except in Buffalo, New York, where they have lost their last five games going all the way back to 2004. I think we can all agree the Kings won’t be true champions until they break this deeply inexplicable curse.
In case you missed it
Switched At Birth/The Fosters: Carrie Raisler was a fan of at least one of ABC Family’s attempts at a Christmas special for its two big dramas. Considering I’m not going to tell you which one she liked better, there’s really only one way to find out…