Worth Watching: ‘Vikings’ Finale, Nathan Lane Returns to ‘Modern Family’


A selective critical checklist of notable Wednesday TV:

Vikings (9/8c, History): It may be good to be king, but it’s never easy, and taking the crown could be deadly. As the violent historical epic ends its fifth and next-to-last season, the sons of the legendary Ragnar — firstborn Bjorn (Alexander Ludwig) and unstable half-brother Ivar (Alex Høgh Andersen) face off in a grueling game of thrones. Will the victor spare his brother’s life, or will there be only one left standing?

'Vikings' to End After Six Seasons on History ChannelSee Also

'Vikings' to End After Six Seasons on History Channel

But a new spinoff series could be in the works.

Modern Family (9/8c, ABC): Adding a little spice to anything he does, Tony-winning actor Nathan Lane returns as Pepper, who may be Phil’s (Ty Burrell) most exacting client yet. Could the hapless real estate agent have finally found Pepper his dream home? Dream on.

Ryan Hansen Solves Crimes on Television (streaming on YouTube Premium): The meta spoof of police procedurals returns for a second season, with the Veronica Mars veteran mocking his own Hollywood persona as he teams up with an LAPD task force to solve murders. His new partner, rogue cop Vince Vincente, is played by The Wire’s Wood Harris. Guest stars this season include Jon Cryer, Donald Faison, Jane Lynch, Ken Marino, Tim Matheson, Lucy Hale, Joel McHale, Tim Meadows and Dax Shepard, to name a few.

Inside Wednesday TV: A daytime diva makes a splash on The CW’s Riverdale (8/7c), when Jughead (Cole Sprouse) comes face to face with Kelly Ripa as his father’s alleged mistress, Ms. Mulwray (a shout-out to Chinatown, perhaps?)… Ruh-roh! CBS’s Criminal Minds (10/9c) seems to be going all Scooby-Doo when the BAU team looks into a string of murders taking place in supposedly haunted houses in Maine. Did Stephen King write this episode? … Office relationships are always tricky on USA’s Suits (10/9c), and so it is when Alex (Dulé Hill) finds himself caught between Samantha (Katherine Heigl) and his wife.