Worth Watching: Finales (‘Race,’ ‘Masked Singer,’ ‘Devils’), Return of ‘The Expanse’
A selective critical checklist of notable Wednesday TV:
The Amazing Race (8/7c, CBS): It’ll feel like Mardi Gras for whoever crosses the $1 million finish line first at the end of the race’s final leg, set in ever-festive New Orleans. The real question, though, is whether the remaining three teams can stand on their own without turning to their supposed rivals in what turned out to be an overbearingly enduring alliance. (Even during last week’s “sprint” round in Manila, the brainteaser proved so challenging they had to bond together to solve it, dooming the NFL buddies.) Odds favor the bearded bros from Hawaii, but at this point, it’s anyone’s game.
Other season finales include Fox’s The Masked Singer (8/7c), going out with a typically understated two-hour finale that unmasks the three finalists, who perform “Christmas (Baby, Please Come Home)” together, while one accepts the Golden Mask Trophy (which may exceed even Dancing with the Stars‘ mirrorball for cheesiness)… The CW’s international financial melodrama Devils (8/7) wraps its first season with Massimo (Alessandro Borghi) using the dossier to stop the diabolical Dominic (Patrick Dempsey) and take over the CEO position, while learning the identity of who killed his rival colleague. But the enemies he’s made along the way could still spell his undoing.
The Expanse (streaming on Amazon Prime Video): There’s a lot going on in the fifth season of the literally out-of-this-world sci-fi drama, with humanity looking beyond the solar system for new worlds to inhabit, and perhaps exploit, far beyond the alien Ring. Aboard the Rocinante, the crew splits up on separate missions as an asteroid hurtles toward Earth and terrorists are linked to the collapse of Mars.
The Art of Political Murder (9/8c, HBO): George Clooney and partner Grant Heslov are executive producers for this deep-dive true-crime documentary, based on Francisco Goldman’s book, investigating the murder of Guatemalan human-rights activist Bishop Juan Gerardi. In 1998, two days after publishing an exposé of civil-war atrocities committed by the Guatemalan military, Bishop Gerardi was found bludgeoned to death in his parish house garage, a crime that rattled the country and further revealed the layers of corruption and conspiracy within the government.
Inside Wednesday TV: BET gets in on the holiday-movie craze with Holiday Heartbreak (6 pm/5c, also on BET Her), starring The Chi‘s Maryam Basir as Monica, who’s approaching her 30th birthday feeling cursed in the relationship game, which she blames on her dad’s own philandering past. But then she meets “Wild Bill” (Kountry Wayne), a comedian with his own checkered history… CBS’s SEAL Team (9/8c) may be sidelined, but Bravo Team still rallies when it matters. After Warrant Officer Ray Perry (Neil Brown Jr.) goes MIA after an explosion in Tunisia, they find purpose in coming to the aid of their brother and his family… Also on a personal mission in CBS’s S.W.A.T. (10/9c), Chris (Lina Esco) enlists the team to help save a teenage girl from a predatory and fraudulent religious leader (Sean Patrick Thomas)… After being freed from prison on ABC’s For Life (10/9c), lawyer Aaron Wallace (Nicholas Pinnock) continues to fight for justice and expose police corruption, including in the case of a young woman facing deportation for a minor crime.