‘Picard’ in Bizarro World, ‘B Positive’ Finale, ‘Black Bag’ Salutes Spaghetti Westerns, Return of ‘Desus & Mero,’ ‘Walker’ Then and Now
As Season 2 of Star Trek: Picard picks up steam, Jean-Luc Picard finds himself in an alarming alt-world, thanks to Q. B Positive leads a parade of season finales. AMC+ pays homage to spaghetti Westerns with That Dirty Black Bag. Showtime’s award-winning late-night talker Desus & Mero welcomes Denzel Washington for its Season 4 premiere. Even as the reimagined Walker continues on The CW, getTV celebrates the 82nd birthday of the original Cordell Walker, Chuck Norris, with a daylong marathon of Walker, Texas Ranger. And Buffy the Vampire Slayer marks its 25th anniversary.
Star Trek: Picard
“I’m not myself,” Jean-Luc Picard (Patrick Stewart) realizes, as he finds himself—and eventually the rest of his team—in a scary new bizarro world, courtesy of the mischievous entity Q (John de Lancie), who informs the revered admiral, “You’re the very board on which this game is played.” But which game, and for what purpose? That remains to be seen, but for now, Picard’s so-called “penance” involves masquerading as a tyrant until he can plot his escape and time-travel to save the galaxy with Seven (Jeri Ryan), Rios (Santiago Cabrera), Raffi (Michelle Hurd), Elnor (Evan Evagora) and an especially flustered Dr. Jurati (Alison Pill). Another surprise guest comes along for the ride, but that’s a spoiler.
Star Trek: Discovery
Picard’s second season is just getting started, but as Season 4 of Discovery nears its end, the crew led by Capt. Burnham (Sonequa Martin-Green) finally prepares to make first contact with Species Ten-C, the mysterious beings responsible for the anomaly threatening Earth and Ni’Var in just 15 hours. As our heroes try to figure out the best way to communicate, you may be reminded of classics like Close Encounters of the Third Kind. But this could have a worst-case outcome if rogue scientist Tarka (Shawn Doyle) follows through on his doomsday mission.
The sitcom’s second season basically reinvented the show, with a spiffy song-and-dance theme song and a new setting in the Valley Hills assisted-living facility, owned and operated by Gina (Annaleigh Ashford). But for how long? In the Season 2 finale, Gina gets an offer to sell the place to a posh rival, Golden Horizons. While Gina is mulling this lucrative offer, weighing heart against profit, she’s also struggling with her feelings regarding the recipient of her donated kidney, Drew (Thomas Middleditch), who’s about to take off to Alaska.
That Dirty Black Bag
Preacher’s Dominic Cooper returns to the AMC family as laconic Sheriff Arthur McCoy, who oversees lawless life in a parched gold-rush ghost town. He clashes with notorious bounty hunter Red Bill (Douglas Booth)—whose titular bag is stuffed with human heads—in a gory, stylized homage to classic spaghetti Westerns. Filmed in Italy, Spain and Morocco, Black Bag is a mixed bag of savage frontier justice that takes an intriguing twist when Red Bill crosses paths with an eccentric farmer (Game of Thrones’ Aidan Gillen).
Desus & Mero
Oscar-nominated for The Tragedy of Macbeth (and previously a winner twice), Denzel Washington is the in-studio guest to help launch the fourth season of the WGA Award-winning late-night talker hosted by Desus Nice and The Kid Mero, who’ve got opinions on everything. Scheduled future guests as the show returns to a weekly format include Mark Wahlberg, Tom Holland and Snowfall’s Damson Idris.
Succession’s Alan Ruck joins the engrossing docudrama as Elizabeth Holmes’ (Amanda Seyfried) latest dupe, starstruck Jay Rosen of Walgreens, who argues to put Theranos’ supposedly cutting-edge blood-testing equipment in their stores despite skepticism among his colleagues. Back in the Theranos lab, chief chemist Ian Gibbons (the wonderful Stephen Fry) begins to voice his doubts as well, to his detriment. And as Elizabeth aggressively moves to make government connections, she makes a good first impression on former Secretary of State George Shultz (Law & Order’s avuncular Sam Waterston).
Cordell (Jared Padalecki) is looking for the right time to share some news with the family, while his dad Bonham (Mitch Pileggi) has secrets from his past to spill—or not. Also, a treat for fans of Walker, Texas Ranger (1 pm/12c, getTV): Who’s tougher than Chuck Norris? While you ponder that imponderable question on his 82nd birthday, you can binge a daytime mini-marathon of his CBS classic with five 1996 episodes that involve a cannibal, children being buried alive in a bus and even a Dickens homage.
More season finales:
- Joe Millionaire: For Richer or Poorer (8/7c, Fox) has reached the point where farmer Steven and construction bro Kurt finally fess up about their respective financial situations as they pick the mate of their dreams. Will love conquer all, even if there isn’t a giant payday? Later, Pivoting (9:30/8:30) wraps its first season with the besties taking the late Coleen’s ashes along on a girls’ night out to celebrate their beloved friend’s birthday. What could go wrong—or go missing?
- Go-Big Show (9/8c, TBS): Which of the four remaining contestants—“Dare Daughter” Annaliese Nock, “Motocross” James Carter, bull jumper Manu Lataste or “Professor Splash” Darren Taylor—will impress the judges with their final acts and walk away with the $100,000 grand prize?
Also on the stream:
- Buffy the Vampire Slayer (streaming on Hulu and Prime Video): Today’s don’t-I-feel-old moment: The brilliant dark fantasy allegory marks its 25th anniversary today, so what better time to start a seven-season binge with Buffy (Sarah Michelle Gellar) and friends? Or, as they sing, “Once More, with Feeling.”
- Theodosia (streaming on HBO Max): Eloise Little (His Dark Materials) stars in the title role of a fantasy adventure based on Robin L. LaFevers’ children’s books. Theodosia, the precocious 14-year-old daughter of Egyptologists, lives in London’s Museum of Legends and Antiquities, where she and her friends battle ancient and magical forces from cursed Egyptian artifacts.
- Last Exit: Space (streaming on discovery+): In a speculative documentary, director Rudolph Herzog goes out of this world to explore the possibilities of humanity finding a new home on another of the Milky Way’s 100 billion planets. His famed director father, Werner Herzog, serves as narrator.
- Secrets of the Universe (streaming on Curiosity Stream): Also taking us to the stars and beyond is an eight-part docuseries about the breakthrough missions and inventions (the James Webb Telescope, Skylab, the Perseverance rover) that are helping us understand the universe.
- Bust Down (streaming on Peacock): Lorne Michaels produces this comedic tale of four friends (Jak Knight, Langston Kerman, Sam Jay and Saturday Night Live/Kenan star Chris Redd) trying to rise above their dead-ends jobs in a Midwestern casino.
Inside Thursday TV:
- Fix My Flip (9/8c, HGTV): Flip or Flop Nashville’s Page Turner heads home to California for a new series in which she comes to the rescue of folks who’ve become overwhelmed with their in-process projects.
- Law & Order: Organized Crime (10/9c, NBC): The guest-star roster includes Rescue Me’s Denis Leary, Mykelti Williamson and Jennifer Beals as the task force investigates the ties between crooked Congressman Kilbride (This Is Us Emmy winner Ron Cephas Jones) and the Marcy Organization.
- Bull (10/9c, CBS): Talk-show host Rolonda Watts guests as Chunk’s (Christopher Jackson) mother Adaline, whom the lawyer is nervous to introduce to his new boyfriend (Madam Secretary’s Erich Bergen).