Worth Watching: The Return of ‘Miss Fisher,’ Earthquake Shocks ‘Good Doctor,’ All About Eve on ‘Son,’ Kim vs. Jimmy on ‘Saul’
A selective critical checklist of notable Monday TV:
Miss Fisher and the Crypt of Tears (streaming on Acorn TV): Returning from a five-year absence — the first three seasons are streaming exclusively on Acorn — the pistol-packing fashion-plate lady detective Phryne “Frannie” Fisher (Essie Davis) remains a Jazz Age delight in a feature-length mystery movies. This escapade of cheerfully preposterous escapism propels Miss Fisher from British-ruled Palestine in 1929 to a London estate and back to the desert on a caper involving giant emeralds and an ancient curse. None of which ruffles her cool composure. (See the full review.)
The Good Doctor (10/9c, ABC): By now, we know it doesn’t take much to rattle autistic surgeon Shaun Murphy’s (Freddie Highmore) world. But in the first part of a two-episode season finale, an earthquake takes Shaun about as far outside his comfort zone as imaginable. While St. Bonaventure Hospital is overwhelmed with casualties, Shaun’s immediate concern are his colleagues trapped at a charity fundraiser, including mentor Dr. Glassman (Richard Schiff), his boss Dr. Melendez (Nicholas Gonzalez) and his on-and-off-again BFF/girlfriend Lea (Paige Spara).
Prodigal Son (9/8c, Fox): So what’s the deal with Malcolm’s (Tom Payne) sometimes girlfriend Eve (Molly Griggs)? Last seen a week ago climbing into a trunk (a la the infamous “girl in a box”), Eve rekindles her relationship with a suspicious Malcolm, who agrees to let sister Ainsley (Halston Sage) use her investigative skills to poke into the human rights attorney’s background as well. And how does their mom, Jessica (Bellamy Young), regard these shenanigans? “My children can be socially bizarre, but it’s best to find it endearing and not deranged.” It may be too late on that count, but surely there’s more to Eve than meets the eye. As usual, the case-of-the-week, involving a mommy blogger whose baby daddy (or is he?) is murdered, echoes the episode’s central issue, as Malcolm puts it: “Can you ever really know anyone?”
Better Call Saul (9/8c, AMC): In an episode that whipsaws from comedy to drama, Saul (Bob Odenkirk) ramps up his crusade against girlfriend Kim’s (Rhea Seehorn) client, Mesa Verde Bank & Trust, with the outlandish audacity familiar to anyone who saw the shyster in action during the Breaking Bad days. As he tries to do the right thing in all the worst ways, he somehow forgets that what Kim wants most is to settle and move forward, before anyone expects their collusion. While they reach a pivotal moment in their relationship, Mike (Jonathan Banks) orchestrates an even more devious scheme to go after Lalo (Tony Dalton).
The Daily Social Distancing Show with Trevor Noah (Comedy Central, 11/10c): A sign of our times. Having joined other late-night hosts and crews turning to digital and social platforms over the last week to keep the jokes flowing after production shut down, Trevor Noah and his team of writers, editors and directors are moving their at-home version of The Daily Show back to Comedy Central. The show will now air in its regular linear time slot as well as on the social/digital channels where so many fans get a daily fix of their favorite comedians, virus or no virus.
Inside Monday TV: Turning points in the dueling singing competitions, as Hollywood Week wraps on ABC’s American Idol (8/7c) with solo performances, and NBC’s The Voice (8/7c) moves into the “Battle Rounds” phase. While Team Nick Jonas naturally turns to the Jonas Brothers for mentoring his dueling singers, Kelly Clarkson enlists Dua Lipa, John Legend turns to Ella Mai and Blake Shelton consults with Bebe Rexha. Whoever wins the duel moves on to the Knockout Rounds… It’s all in the family on The CW’s Supernatural (8/7c) when Danneel Ackles and Genevieve Padalecki return as Jo and Ruby… Nat Geo Wild’s The Hidden Kingdoms of China (8/7c) explores the natural wonders of China in three consecutive episodes, and the first hour will be of special interest to panda lovers, as it follows a mother and cub over two years.