Here’s what’s up in the world of TV for Thursday, May 9, 2013. All times are Eastern.
Community (NBC, 8 p.m.): The fourth-season finale of Community puts fans in a curious position: As our own Todd VanDerWerff has astutely observed, NBC can’t cancel everything, so Community’s beleagured, abbreviated fourth season could put it on a path to a previously unimaginable fifth-season renewal. As such, you can watch tonight’s finale in a relative state of ease. Of course, the world is a cruel, unpredictable place that’s definitely part of the darkest timeline (which collides with tonight’s episode) so the show might not just be canceled, but all evidence of it could be wiped from the collective memory. Either outcome seems possible at this point.
The Big Bang Theory (CBS, 8 p.m.): It’s Boys & Girls Dungeons & Dragons night, which makes Oliver Sava sad that his name doesn’t have an ampersand in it. But perhaps he’d settle for Oliver S@v@?
The Vampire Diaries (The CW, 8 p.m.): Tonight’s episode is called “The Walking Dead,” which we’re taking to mean that all the hubub about graduation is being tabled so that the main characters can decamp to a remote location and argue for an hour. Your moderator for tonight’s Crosstalk (Please No Crosses, Because We’re Vampires) is Carrie Raisler.
Person Of Interest (CBS, 9 p.m.): Amy Acker’s Root has designs on stealing The Machine—but sure, why not devote part of the season finale to a battle between Det. Carter and human resources? Unless we’ve read the episode synopsis wrong, and HR is actually Paul D. “HR” Hudson, frontman of Bad Brains, in which case Phil Dyess-Nugent can’t wait to hear Taraji P. Henson’s rendition of “Pay To Cum.”
Glee (Fox, 9 p.m.): Finale night at McKinley is used to wrap up that ridiculous “catfish” plotline, because no one’s going to remember what Catfish (the TV show or the movie) was by next fall. Meanwhile, Brandon Nowalk prepares to meet his own catfish; please don’t tell him it’s actually a walking catfish with a fake Facebook profile.
The Office (NBC, 9 p.m.): These final three installments of the U.S. Office were always intended to be hour-long affairs—though after the announcement that the series finale is going 15 minutes longer, Erik Adams prefers to think that the remaining penultimate episode underwent a Blob-like expansion, slowly consuming Thursday nights so no other sitcom can ever claim them.
Scandal (ABC, 10 p.m.): “A major crisis rocks the White House,” says TV Guide—though, knowing this show, that crisis will be resolved within one act, thus making room for several sub-crises before the episode is out. Ryan McGee pulls on his signature “crisis suit” and dives in.
Elementary (CBS, 10 p.m.): Moriarty, is that you? Providing Sherlock with the case of the week? Or is this just an example of the world’s second-greatest detective being catfished like some glee-club chump at an Ohio high school? Myles McNutt appreciates us getting all of the Catfish jokes out of the way this week.
Hannibal (NBC, 10 p.m.): But have you heard about this show Catfish? It has nothing to do with this week’s Hannibal, which marks the long-awaited debut of Gillian Anderson as the titular character’s psychoanalyst. But all Molly Eichel sees is the place to finally put her “Mulder and Scully persue Hannibal Lecter across time and space” fan fiction to good use.
TV CLUB CLASSIC
Star Trek: Deep Space Nine (11 a.m.): If Moriarty doesn’t show up on Elementary, at least Zack Handlen will get a glimpse of one of genre fiction’s other great rivalries, that between Benjamin Sisko and renegade Starfleet officer Michael Eddington. They’re just like Jean Valjean and Javert, except instead of a loaf of bread, Eddington stole a machine that can produce infinite loafs of bread.
Gilmore Girls (1 p.m.): The first season of this show ends in a torrent of emotion, and it might be more than David Sims can bear. If you see him hailing a cab in order to head to Hartford before he has to review the finale next week, you’ll know why.
WHAT ELSE IS ON?
Mountain Movers (National Geographic, 8 p.m.): They say that faith can move mountains—so the stars of this docuseries must be crazy religious, seeing as their job involves creating and installing winter-sports courses.
Two And A Half Men (CBS, 8:30 p.m.): This is the final episode before Angus T. Jones takes leave of his series-regular status, thus requiring the title to be changed to Two And A Quarter Men, Both Of Whom Still Aren’t Charlie Sheen.
Nick Cannon's Big Surprise (E!, 10 p.m.): What’s Nick Cannon’s big surprise? After months of strenuous labor, unreturned phone calls, and backbreaking retooling, it turns out he’s the only Up All Night cast member who wants to go through with that show’s revamp. (And his character didn’t survive past the first five episodes!)
Small Town Security (AMC, 10 p.m.): We’re tremendously unsettled by the commercial where Internet smartasses cause Small Town Security star Joan Koplan to slam her fist into a desk (at least it’s edited to look that way), so we’ll just use this space to remind you that Small Town Security is a television show that you can watch. It has a second season, which begins tonight.
Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter (HBO2, 9 p.m.): The box-office failure of this film was a huge blow to your What’s On Tonight? correspondent, who had a back pocket full of potential president/monster mash-ups. Au revoir Calvin Coolidge: Crytoid Catcher, Richard Nixon: Arnold Picker Is Too A Monster, and Howard Taft: Something Something Loch Ness Monster In Giant Bathtub Something.
Unfaithful (Lifetime, 8 p.m.): Highlighted because, for all of the acclaim the film earned Julianne Moore, Unfaithful has always seemed like a Lifetime Original Movie with a much bigger budget.
Stanley Cup Playoffs: Game 5: Wild at Blackhawks (NBC Sports, 9:30 p.m.): The fifth game of the series is pushed to the waning hours of primetime, where the Wild’s ultimate demise at the hands of the Blackhawks will go unseen by the most sensitive of viewers.
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT
Supernatural: Sam and Dean are locked in a meat locker and forced to reminisce about their most memorable paranormal cases. Ha ha, just kidding: Actually, Phil Dyess-Nugent is locked in there, too, and he has to recount the Winchesters’ greatest hits.