What’s On: ‘Unabomber’ Finale, ‘Mindy’ Returns, a Hurricane Relief Telethon
Manhunt: Unabomber (10/9c, Discovery): Psychologically taut and engrossing to the very end, this excellent docudrama concludes with the legal aftermath of Ted Kaczynski’s (Paul Bettany) arrest, which only deepens the gamesmanship between the jailed Unabomber and the FBI agent, Jim Fitzgerald (Sam Worthington), whose painstaking linguistic analysis helped bring him down. Bettany is tremendously affecting in this final chapter, as Fitz tries to convince Ted that going arrogantly into trial can only lead to a humiliating insanity conviction, whereas a guilty plea (and a life sentence) will allow him to at least have a modicum of control in his unhappy fate. Climactic testimony from the Unabomber’s victims and families brings the story to a fitting close, reminding us of the tragic toll from this all-too-human monster’s reign of terror.
The Mindy Project (streaming on Hulu): Here’s a non-shocker: As the sixth and final season of the giddy romantic sitcom (once upon a time on Fox) commences, Mindy (Mindy Kaling) discovers that married life with Ben (Bryan Greenberg) doesn’t exactly live up to her happy-ending fantasies. She’s much more engaged with intrigues at work, involving Jeremy’s (Ed Weeks) pursuit of Anna (Rebecca Rittenhouse) and Tamra’s (Xosha Roquemore) decision to change her future. “There’s so little that I’m wise about,” confesses Mindy, showing unusual self-awareness.
Hand in Hand: A Benefit for Hurricane Relief (8/7c, ABC, CBS, Fox, NBC, CMT): Houston-born rapper Bun B, along with Scooter Braun, has gathered an impressive roster of stars to participate in an hour special (available for streaming on Facebook, YouTube and Twitter during the initial broadcast) raising money for those affected by the recent hurricanes. George Strait will perform from his own benefit concert in San Antonio during the hour, with scheduled appearances by the likes of George Clooney, Beyoncé, Matthew McConaughey, Jamie Foxx, Julia Roberts, Blake Shelton, Barbra Streisand and Oprah Winfrey. For information on how to donate, go to www.HandInHand2017.com.
Inside Tuesday TV: Billy Joel makes his first daytime-TV appearance in more than a decade on the season opener of the syndicated Harry (check local listings). … Netflix’s documentary short Heroin(e), from filmmaker Elaine McMillion Sheldon, profiles three women trying to stem the opioid epidemic in the struggling industrial town of Huntington, W.Va. … SundanceTV’s Top of the Lake: China Girl (9/8c) concludes with Robin (Elisabeth Moss) and sidekick Miranda (Gwendoline Christie) each making personal missteps as they race to unravel the criminal intrigues involving the illegal surrogates, while Mary (Alice Englert) is in more danger than ever as she continues to rebel against her family. … Remember all those too-big-to-fail headlines? PBS’s Frontline presents the documentary Abacus: Small Enough to Jail (10/9c, check local listings ta pbs.org), from Hoop Dreams director Steve James, about a Chinese-American family-owned federal savings bank based in New York’s Chinatown that became the only U.S. bank to be prosecuted after the 2008 financial meltdown.