Worth Watching: Inside the Mind of a Killer in Fact (‘Green River Killer’) & Fiction (‘Prodigal Son’)
A selective critical checklist of notable Monday TV:
The Green River Killer: Mind of a Monster (9/8c, Investigation Discovery): Over a nearly 20-year period, Gary Ridgway got away with murder. Repeatedly. Perhaps more than 90 victims, although he confessed to 71 and was convicted of killing 49 women between 1982 and 2001 in Washington state. A new two-hour special uses tapes and video archives from his police interviews to gain insights into the roots of his evil acts.
Prodigal Son (9/8c, Fox): In a more fanciful scenario from the season’s most enjoyable new thriller, fictional serial killer Martin “The Surgeon” Whitly (MichaeL Sheen) lies in a coma, having been stabbed in his cell by his traumatized son, and police profiler, Malcolm (Tom Payne), though mother Jessica (Bellamy Young) is ready to take the fall. Long story. “What would a nightmare even look like for a man like him?” Malcolm wonders. Cue a hallucination subplot as we go inside Martin’s twisted psyche to relive an encounter that continues to haunt the entire family. On the outside world, this is a great episode for scene-stealer Keiko Agena as perky medical examiner Edrisa Tanaka, who helps the team infiltrate a convention of funeral directors to solve a grisly case that only a necrophiliac could love. Ana Gasteyer guests as one of the prime suspects.
The Good Doctor (10/9c, ABC): Dr. Shaun (Freddie Highmore), who leaves much to be desired when it comes to social and relationship cues, insists there’s no longer a problem between his girlfriend Carly (Jasika Nicole) and his BFF confidante Lea (Paige Spara). Everyone else isn’t so sure. But first, the doctors hope an experimental treatment will help a young boy born who was born with a fully formed trachea and is unable to speak.
Inside Monday TV: It’s time for ABC’s The Bachelor (8/7c) to meet the four remaining Bachlorettes’ families in Knoxville, Des Moines, Virginia Beach and Alabama’s Auburn University. It doesn’t always go well. … A winner among winners is named in the finale of NBC’s America’s Got Talent: The Champions (8/7c). … HBO’s The New Pope (9/8c), aka Pope John Paul III, aka John Brannox (aka John Malkovich), agrees to a live TV interview that will shine light on his troubled past. … In the second of three feature-length mysteries streaming on Acorn TV, Agatha Raisin & The Love from Hell finds the ditzy PI (Ashley Jensen) seeking to clear her boyfriend James (Jamie Glover) from suspicion of murder after a woman he was seen arguing with turns up dead.