A 'Suits' Makeover, the ESPYS, 'Code Black' Goes Dark
A critical checklist of notable Wednesday TV:
Suits (9/8c, USA): The more things change, the more they don't on the slick legal drama that enjoyed a burst of global publicity this year when Meghan Markle (Rachel) transitioned to real-life royalty, mirroring the TV wedding to Rachel's longtime soulmate, Mike (Patrick J. Adams). With the happy couple decamped to Seattle, the eighth season finds the firm picking up the pieces, merging with Rachel's formidable dad, Robert Zane (Wendell Pierce) — which sets off a new round of jousting for power, names on the wall and highly coveted office space. When Zane clashes with Harvey (Gabriel Macht), each leans on their "right hand man" (the episode's title): for Harvey, that's now Alex (Dule Hill), and for Zane, it's ambitious and scrappy Samantha "Sam" Wheeler (high-profile new hire Katherine Heigl), a confrontational fixer who's not afraid to butt heads with any big kahuna. (I look forward to her first clash with Sarah Rafferty as COO Donna, who once again proves in this episode that the team couldn't survive without her.)
The 2018 ESPYS (8/7c, ABC): Retired race-car driver Danica Patrick hosts the sports equivalent of the Oscars, celebrating inspiring achievements and top moments in athletic performance. Special honors include the Arthur Ashe Courage Award, presented collectively to the abuse survivors who came forward about former USA Gymnastics/Michigan State team doctor Larry Nassar; the Jimmy V Award for Perseverance to Buffalo Bills Hall of Famer Jim Kelly, who has battled squamous cell carcinoma in his jaw since 2013; and the Pat Tillman Award for Service to Jake Wood, a former U.S. Marines Sergeant and co-founder and CEO of Team Rubicon, a nonprofit that transitions veterans into working for disaster response and relief.
Code Black (10/9c, CBS): No one can accuse this medical drama of not going out with a bang. In the series finale, a plane crashes into the eighth floor of Angels Memorial, creating even more chaos than usual. But the doctors have plenty else to keep them occupied. Mario (Benjamin Hollingsworth) must save Noa (Emily Tyra) after a car accident, and the entire team rallies around Leanne (Marcia Gay Harden) in court for her custody hearing. Could robust summer ratings inspire CBS to order a fourth season? Probably not, but stranger things have happened.
Inside Wednesday TV: Kevin Costner enjoys a rare light moment on Paramount Network's Yellowstone (10/9c), taking beloved grandson Tate (Brecken Merrill) on a nature outing, until it (typically for this dark show) goes south. But that's nothing compared to his brazen daughter, Beth (Kelly Reilly), showing family adversary Dan Jenkins (Danny Huston) a taste of the local wild side… Expect heated confrontations on MTVs Catfish: Trolls (10/9c), a three-week departure from the formula, with host/executive producer Charlamagne Tha God and social media entrepreneur Raymond Braun bringing harassed subjects face-to-face with their online tormentors… For the fourth year, Conan O'Brien takes his TBS Conan talker (11/10c) to San Diego's Comic-Con for special shows through Saturday. First up: a 10th-anniversary reunion of the much-honored Breaking Bad cast, including Bryan Cranston, Aaron Paul, Anna Gunn, Dean Norris, Betsy Brandt, RJ Mitte, Giancarlo Esposito, Better Call Saul's Bob Odenkirk and series creator Vince Gilligan.