Worth Watching: Final Shift for ‘Brooklyn Nine-Nine,’ ‘Trek Lower Decks’ Returns, ‘Walker’ and ‘North Water’ Finales, Baseball in the ‘Field of Dreams’
The much-loved Brooklyn Nine-Nine begins its final run with back-to-back episodes. Star Trek’s animated Lower Decks comedy spinoff launches a second round of cosmic misadventures. The CW’s Walker hangs up his hat for the season, and the harrowing AMC+ miniseries The North Water reaches its icy conclusion. Major League Baseball visits the iconic Iowa location of Field of Dreams to play ball.
Things have changed in New York’s wackiest precinct as the eighth and final season of the beloved sitcom gets underway with very strong back-to-back episodes. The crew is dealing with retirement and resignation after a turbulent year of self-reflection, racial uprising and reckonings over police behavior. And yet Brooklyn Nine-Nine makes it funny, especially when Jake (Andy Samberg) joins Rosa (Stephanie Beatriz) on a case involving police harassment where he has to keep overstating that he’s “one of the good ones.” Jake’s insecure wife Amy (Melissa Fumero) has a rocky period of adjustment as she returns from maternity leave, obsessed with restoring her relationship with Capt. Holt (Andre Braugher). Holt is the focus of the second episode, when the gang invades his lake house—which, curiously, lacks a lake—for a weekend getaway.
It’s chaos as usual on the USS Cerritos as the second season of the animated Trek comedy picks up in the wake of irreverent Ensign Mariner (Tawny Newsome) being outed as the daughter of Capt. Carol Freeman (Dawnn Lewis). Mother and daughter have achieved an uneasy truce, with Mariner chafing at the newfound chumminess. After arguing her way onto a diplomatic away mission, Mariner’s deep-cleaning skills unleash a powerful force that turns Commander Jack Ransom (Jerry O’Connell) into a power-mad god. And where’s Mariner’s nerdy sidekick, Brad Boimler (Jack Quaid)? Serving with Capt. Riker aboard the Titan, a storyline we’ll apparently get to in another episode.
Hold on to your cowboy hat. In the first-season finale of the Texas-set reboot, Walker (Jared Padalecki) gets shocking news that rocks his world. This being a CW show, not to mention one that features a former star of the network’s longest-running series, the news was never going to be cancellation, so fans will just to tune in next season to see how things turn out for TV’s most sensitive ranger.
Thankfully, things can’t get any more gross than last week’s survival tactic in which poor lost Patrick Sumner (Jack O’Connell) took shelter within the guts of a bear to survive a blizzard. Having been rescued by Inuit natives and taken to the cabin of a priest (Peter Mullan), the good doctor slowly heals in the final chapter of this harrowing adaptation of Ian McGuire’s novel. But when he returns to so-called civilization, Sumner will soon learn his troubles are far from over. Maybe he should have taken heed of the episode’s title: “To Live Is to Suffer.”
If you play it, they will come. That’s the hope of this nostalgic stunt, which includes an elaborate hourlong pre-game show evoking the classic 1989 Field of Dreams before the actual game begins—a first for Major League Baseball in Iowa, where the White Sox take on the Yankees in a park located near the cornfields of Dyersville, Iowa, where the movie was filmed.
Inside Thursday TV:
- The Good Fight (streaming on Paramount+): Julius (Michael Boatman) runs afoul—and we do mean foul—of Judge Wackner’s (Mandy Patinkin) bizarro-world courtroom when he refuses to pay the court’s trumped-up parking tickets. Could the Wackner Rules TV pilot be the next Judge Judy? While we wait for that verdict, Wanda Sykes arrives on the scene as a new candidate for the legitimate firm’s name partner to take the heat off of Diane’s (Christine Baranski) status within the majority-Black office.
- Titans (streaming on HBO Max): The third season brings the team of young superheroes to Gotham City, where new villains include Dr. Jonathan Crane aka The Scarecrow (Mad Men’s Vincent Kartheiser).
- Ex-Rated (streaming on Peacock): Face-of-Bravo Andy Cohen hosts a saucy new reality show in which adult singles subject themselves to critiques from former romantic partners who get specific on everything from personality flaws to sexual deets most of us keep private. Also on hand: Shan Boodram, an intimacy educator, dating coach and relationship expert, who may be able to bolster the victim’s ego and suggest ways of self-improvement.
- Homeroom (streaming on Hulu): Director Peter Nicks’ unflinching documentary follows Oakland (CA) High School’s class of 2020 during a turbulent year as the pandemic and social unrest complicate the drill of college admissions and test scores. Nicks’ previous films about Oakland’s health care and criminal justice systems, 2012’s The Waiting Room and 2017’s The Force, are also available for streaming.
- For fans of Scandinavian crime drama: Topic streams all three seasons of the original Danish-TV version of The Killing, later Americanized for AMC and Netflix. On Sundance Now and AMC+, there’s another binge opportunity with six episodes of the fact-based The Hunt for a Killer, about two Swedish detectives’ 15-year search for the culprit who murdered a 10-year-old girl in 1989.
- The Ms. Pat Show (streaming on BET+): Comedian Patricia “Ms. Pat” Williams stars in a sitcom fictionalizing her own life story. She plays a former convicted felon who’s now a suburban mom with an eye on the stand-up stage.
- grown-ish (8/7c, Freeform): The college gang, shaken by recent events, takes to the streets of L.A. to protest on behalf of racial equality and justice, which leaves Nomi (Emily Arlook) looking within to confront her white fragility.
- Chrisley Knows Best (9/8, USA): The allegedly comedic reality series about the Southern-fried over-the-top Chrisley clan is back for an eighth season, followed by the third-season premiere of brand extension Growing Up Chrisley (9:30/8:30c).