Worth Watching: Beginning of the End for 'Supernatural,' 'Good Place' Quandary, 'Price' Hits 9,000
A selective critical checklist of notable Thursday TV:
Supernatural (8/7c, The CW): No one could accuse the Winchester brothers of coasting to the finish line, as the long-running cult horror show enters its 15th and final season. "Story's over. Welcome to the end," declared a vengeful God (Rob Benedict) in last season's cliffhanger, as he opened the gates of Hell to release a wave of ghouls and demons — some undeniably familiar — for Sam (Jared Padalecki), Dean (Jensen Ackles) and trench-coated angel Castiel (Misha Collins) to battle in the weeks ahead. The premiere opens with the brothers and their ethereal ally holed up in a mausoleum, where they've taken the corpse of wayward Jack (Alexander Calvert). Game on, guys!
The Good Place (9/8c, NBC): Angels and demons also figure into this brilliantly original comedy set in the afterlife, where Eleanor (Kristen Bell) is in charge of a new mission to save humanity. In an emotionally charged episode, Eleanor conspires with Michael (Ted Danson) about how to put a memory-wiped Chidi (William Jackson Harper) back on track, since Chidi 2.0 seems to be enjoying the "good place" a little too much. Tahani (Jameela Jamil) has perhaps an even tougher challenge convincing toxic gossip-blogger John (Brandon Scott Jones) to self-improve. "I haven't encountered such resistance since I tried to get Timothée Chalamet to go out into the sun," she despairs, as only Tahani can.
Grey's Anatomy (8/7c, ABC): In a throwback to the good old days of the WB (where Supernatural premiered in 2005), original Charmed stars Alyssa Milano and Holly Marie Combs guest as part of the network's "Cast from the Past" stunt. (The hook: Grey's executive producers Krista Vernoff and Andy Reaser were writers on Charmed.) Once again, they play sisters, clashing over the treatment of a severely injured sibling. In the week's big medical case, Meredith (Ellen Pompeo) finds a way to help Jo (Camilla Luddington) perform a risky surgery from afar, while an unforgiving Bailey (Chandra Wilson) stands watch.
Evil (10/9c, CBS): You can learn a lot about different forms of possession from this provocative paranormal procedural, which assigns Kristen (Katja Herbers), David (Mike Colter) and Ben (Aasif Mandvi) to investigate a case of "everyday evil" — with a lower-case "e" — involving the antics of a belligerent Broadway producer (the great character actor John Glover). When it's discovered he's actually been "sweating blood" during his latest rants, they debate whether this could be an example of diabolical obsession. Or is someone gaslighting this boorish brute? Kristen has another antagonist to deal with: malevolent Leland Townsend (Michael Emerson), who's setting out to undo all of her good work in the courtroom, and it's up to her to discredit the fiend — who's also somehow found his taunting way inside David's tormented mind.
Inside Thursday TV: Milestone alert: CBS's daytime staple The Price Is Right (check local listings) marks its 9,000th episode, and host Drew Carey makes it a lucky day for contestants when he gifts a bonus $9,000 dollars to any player who wins a pricing game — and to anyone who spins $1 on the Big Wheel… NBC's Perfect Harmony (8:30/7:30c) makes good use of its not-so-secret weapon: Pitch Perfect alum Anna Camp as Ginny, whose stage fright Arthur (Bradley Whitford) takes as a challenge to remedy. His solution: adopt a brassy alter ego… The HBO documentary Torn Apart: Separated at the Border (9/8c) personalizes the immigration debate by focusing on two mothers, one from Honduras and one from Guatemala, who are separated from their children (ages 10 and 11, respectively) when detained while seeking asylum… Criminal Minds' Paget Brewster, who has shown her funnier side on comedies including Community and Andy Richter Controls the Universe, guests on CBS's Mom (9/8c) as Christy's (Anna Faris) berserk new boss… A moving episode of AXS TV's Easy Money (9:30/8:30c) shows the late Eddie Money and wife Laurie renewing their vows in February with their five children in attendance. (Money passed away in September.)… NBC's Law & Order: Special Victims Unit (10/9c) tracks the search for a serial predator who's targeting men in gay bars. The hunt takes a turn when a celebrity comes forward to tell his story.