‘Castle Rock’ Ends, ‘AHS: Apocalypse’ Begins, ‘World of Dance’ Finale
A critical checklist of notable Wednesday TV:
Castle Rock (streaming on Hulu): “I’m not supposed to be here,” The Kid (Bill Skarsgård) insists in the eerie series’ final chapter, which will make sense to anyone who watched last week’s installment, laying out the cosmic and creepy connection between him and not-quite-doppelganger Henry Deaver (André Holland). So what to do with this stranger in a strange land, a town where “everyone … has some sin or regret, some cage of his own making?” The late Warden (Terry O’Quinn) of the now-shuttered Shawkshank kept him entombed for decades, and the denouement of this story does justice to its inspiration, Stephen King, as well as to Poe and Hitchcock and other masters of the macabre.
American Horror Story: Apocalypse (10/9c, FX): Details on the latest incarnation of this horror hodgepodge are scarce, and FX didn’t make episodes available for advance screening. Expect an end-of-days mash-up of Seasons 1 (“Murder House”) and 3 (“Coven”), featuring Ryan Murphy’s diva repertory company: Sarah Paulson, Kathy Bates, Jessica Lange, Emma Roberts and many more, joined this year by Dynasty legend Joan Collins. A key figure in the mayhem to ensue: the Anti-Christ spawned in the first season, Michael Langdon, now played by Cody Fern, a breakout star from The Assassination of Giaanni Versace: American Crime Story. If history is an indicator, a dazzling credit sequence will be followed by campy, gory incoherence, a different sort of horror than its title promises.
Mr. Mercedes (10/9c, AT&T Audience Network): Slowly and surely, though mostly slowly, this sinister but stodgy adaptation of Stephen King’s Bill Hodges trilogy rebounds from the sad story of possessed nurse Sadie (Virginia Kull), as a dogged Bill begins to sense the malign influence of comatose, but hardly asleep, mega-fiend Brady Hartsfield (Harry Treadaway). In classic genre tradition, Bill’s dilemma is how to get anyone else to believe this outlandish scenario. He’d better hurry, because Brady is on the prowl from his basement inner sanctum-of-the-mind, seeking a new body to control.
World of Dance (8/7c, NBC): Two days after Fox’s So You Think You Can Dance anointed an “America’s Favorite Dancer” winner, this competition presents its “World Final,” with the top act from all four divisions vying to be named Best of the World. To fill the two-hour finale, look for performances from judges Jennifer Lopez, Derek Hough, Ne-Yo and Jenna Dewan, and return visits from last year’s winner, Les Twins, and Season 1 finalists Kinjaz and Keone & Mari.
Inside Wednesday TV: New from Britbox: the entire six-episode first season of Hold the Sunset, starring Monty Python/Fawlty Towers legend John Cleese in his first regular series role in nearly 40 years. He plays the suitor of a widow (Alison Steadman) whose courtship is disrupted by the return of her adult, if not grown-up, son (Jason Watkins), in midlife crisis mode… Marlee Matlin is an executive producer of the A&E documentary special Deaf Out Loud (8/7c), which profiles three predominantly deaf families raising their children in a hearing world… The premiere of Viceland’s sobering Dopesick Nation (10/9c) goes to South Florida, one of the regions hardest hit by the opioid crisis, and follows two people in recovery, Frank and Allie, as they try to help other addicts struggling to survive without health insurance or money… In CNBC’s Crisis on Wall Street: The Week that Shook the World (10/9c), author Andrew Ross Sorkin (Too Big to Fail) looks back 10 years to the economic meltdown of 2008, the fall of Lehman Brothers, and the negotiations that followed to prevent a global collapse.