Worth Watching: 'Prodigal Son' Cliffhanger, Garth Brooks 'Biography,' Return of 'Making It'
A selective critical checklist of notable Monday TV:
Prodigal Son (9/8c, Fox): Having tried and mostly failed to embrace normalcy a week ago, Malcolm (Tom Payne) is back in full obsession mode for the midseason cliffhanger of the fall's twistiest procedural thriller. Despite being kicked off the case by an adversarial FBI agent (Meagan Good) — "Why don't you leave your mommy issues at home?" are the kindest words she has for the profiler — Malcolm presses on, teaming with a disgraced ex-detective (Gotham's Sean Pertwee) to follow leads into potentially dangerous avenues. Speaking of mommy issues, Malcolm's glam mom Jessica (Bellamy Young) is so annoyed at daughter Ainsley's (Halston Sage) explosive TV interview with her ex, Martin "the Surgeon" (Michael Sheen), that she decides to take action to discover just what happened to that pesky missing "girl in the box" from all those years ago.
Garth Brooks: The Road I'm On (9/8c, A&E): A two-part Biography special profiles the bestselling solo artist of all time, focusing on Brooks' astoundingly successful musical career and his devotion to family, which led to an almost 14-year hiatus starting in 2000 to raise his daughters (Taylor, August and Allie, who submit to their first on-camera interviews). Among those singing the crossover country star's praises: Trisha Yearwood, Keith Urban, George Strait, James Taylor and original bandmate Ty England.
Making It (10/9c, NBC): Parks and Recreation veterans Amy Poehler and Nick Offerman return, puns at the ready, to host a second season of the charming and uplifting craft competition series. This time around, it's scheduled more like a binge, with episodes airing nightly through Thursday (10/9c) and again next Monday through Wednesday, building to a two-hour grand finale on Dec. 11. If they build it, we will come. And in the opener, the 10 new makers are challenged to recreate a favorite craft from their youth, after making a representing of themselves as a food item. The results are unexpectedly revealing.
Fans of seasonal reality competitions might need sunglasses to check out the seventh season of The Great Christmas Light Fight (8/7c, ABC), returning with back-to-back episodes of holiday-decoration overkill, hosted by Carter Oosterhouse with designer judge Taniya Nayak. Among the first night's highlights: a New York City-themed display inspired by the Rockettes and the Rockefeller Center tree, and a pirate-themed Caribbean extravaganza from Nevada. Just be glad you're not their neighbors.
Inside Monday TV: Come and gather, all ye misfits, for the annual showing on CBS of 1964's enduring Rankin/Bass stop-motion animated classic Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer (8/7c)… Among the holiday-related distress calls on the fall finale of Fox's 9-1-1 (8/7c): a shopper pushed over the edge. Who can't relate to that?… The journey continues on HBO's lavish fantasy His Dark Materials (9/8c), when the alethiometer (aka the golden compass) sends Lyra (Dafne Keen) down a new road, with Iorek (Joe Tandberg) in tow… It's not likely to be a happy family reunion for Shaun (Freddie Highmore) on ABC's The Good Doctor (10/9c) when he returns home to visit his dying father (Battlestar Galactica's Michael Trucco) on his deathbed. Back at the hospital, Claire (Antonio Thomas) has her own healing to do, following her latest emotional breakdown.