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Worth Watching: ‘Picard’ Finale and ‘Strange New Worlds,’ Julia’s Last Dish, ‘Girls5Eva’ Sings Again

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A handoff in the Trek universe as Star Trek: Picard wraps its second season just as the Trek prequel Strange New Worlds launches its voyages with Capt. Christopher Pike. HBO Max’s Julia serves up its final dish of delicious dramedy. Peacock’s hilarious Girls5Eva returns for a second season of girl-group musical mayhem. Mike Myers tackles eight over-the-top roles in his new Netflix comedy The Pentaverate. Returning after a month’s hiatus, Grey’s Anatomy enters Season 18’s final stretch with the return of Kate Walsh as Addison Montgomery.

Star Trek: Picard Season 2 Patrick Stewart

Star Trek: Picard

Season Finale

What would the Star Trek world be without its paradoxes? In the Season 2 finale, Picard (Patrick Stewart) and his team stuck in 2024 must solve this riddle in order to save the future: “To succeed, there must be two Renée [Picards]: One who lives and one who dies.” The action is plentiful as they race to stop Soong’s (Brent Spiner) plot to thwart the Europa mission, and when the dust settles, we’re reminded of Trek’s trademark humanistic philosophies, where absolution and forgiveness chart a path to a more hopeful future. If I didn’t know a third and final season was coming, I’d have been satisfied with this as a series finale.

Ethan Peck as Spock, Anson Mount as Pike and Rebecca Romijn as Una in Star Trek Strange New Worlds

Star Trek: Strange New Worlds

Series Premiere

When one Trek window closes, another portal opens. The latest spinoff takes us back to the days before Capt. Kirk, when Capt. Christopher Pike (Anson Mount) led the U.S.S. Enterprise on missions of galactic exploration. Introduced in Season 2 of Star Trek: Discovery, Pike is joined by Rebecca Romijn as Number One and Ethan Peck as Science Officer Spock. May they all live long and prosper.

Julia HBO Max, Sarah Lancashire

Julia (2022)

Season Finale

The year’s most life-affirming comedy ends its first season with Julia Child (the magical Sarah Lancashire) considering hanging up her French Chef apron after the first season finishes filming, stewing in an existential crisis following her encounter with fiery feminist Betty Friedan. We know her public-TV show will continue—and HBO Max just renewed Julia for a second season (yay!)—but it’s still worth it to watch her tackle one more dish, a chocolate soufflé, and remind her audience: “All you have to do is plunge in… that’s the key not only to the kitchen but to life itself.”

Girls5eva Season 2, Paula Pell, Sara Bareilles, Renee Elise Goldsberry, Busy Philipps

Girls5eva

Season Premiere

The streamer’s funniest comedy returns for a second season, with the one-hit-wonder 1990s girl group in “album mode” as they prepare to go back into the studio. The road will not be without bumps—including a knee injury for the self-sacrificing Gloria (Paula Pell)—as they sign aboard the Property Records (as in Property Brothers) label. Another hitch: They’re given only six weeks to record a new album, to be launched alongside the Property brand’s new line of scented hammers. (Yes, the barbed jokes fly freely on this show.) Even the ultra-ambitious Wickie (Renée Elise Goldsberry) may have to tap into “human mode” as these sisters in song chase success on their own “we are woman, hear us roar” terms. The Tony-winning Goldsberry and Pell are in great company with bandmates Sara Bareilles and Busy Phillips.

Mike Myers in The Pentaverate

The Pentaverate

Series Premiere

How much Mike Myers is too much? Is that even possible? We’ll find out with his latest comedy venture, a six-episode series featuring the Saturday Night Live veteran tackling eight, count ’em, eight, outrageous characters. Launching as Myers’ Austin Powers film franchise marks its 25th anniversary, The Pentaverate tells of a secret society of five men who have manipulated world events for centuries and the Canadian journalist (Myers as Ken Scarborough) who sets out to expose them. Among his other characters: a media mogul patterned after Rupert Murdoch, a rock ’n’ roll manager, an ex-Russian oligarch and a right-wing radio host. Guest stars include Ken Jeong, Keegan-Michael Key, Debi Mazar and Absolutely Fabulous diva Jennifer Saunders.

Kate Walsh as Addison Montgomery in Grey's Anatomy

Grey’s Anatomy

9/8c

It’s been a minute—OK, a month—since the last new episode of the long-running hospital soap, and they make up for lost time in a busy hour that features the return of Kate Walsh as Addison Montgomery. She’ll no doubt savor all the drama as Owen (Kevin McKidd) returns to work, Meredith (Ellen Pompeo) clashes with Richard (James Pickens Jr.) and Bailey (Chandra Wilson) deals with a miffed Catherine (Debbie Allen) who’s none too pleased that some of her Foundation hospitals are being audited.

Mayim Bialik as Kat in Call Me Kat

Call Me Kat

Season Finale9/8c

Another series signs off for the season as Kat wraps its second round with a guest appearance by Ted Wass making for a mini-Blossom reunion. He played her dad on the ’90s sitcom, and now appears as Kat’s late father in a flashback that helps the present-day cat café owner evaluate her life. Julia Sweeney guests as her therapist, helping Kat keep her anxiety under control as she conjures a plan to save her business.

Christopher Meloni as Detective Elliot Stabler, Mariska Hargitay as Captain Olivia Benson in Law & Order: Organized Crime

Law & Order: Organized Crime

10/9c

Crossover alert, when SVU’s Benson (Mariska Hargitay) teams up with her former partner Stabler (Christopher Meloni) to find a 9-year-old girl they suspect was abducted to strike fear in a member of the corrupt cop squad known as the Brotherhood. Benson’s SVU colleague Rollins (Kelli Giddish) also lends her expertise to the case.

Inside Thursday TV:

  • Walker (8/7c, The CW): The Walkers find cause to celebrate, marking Abeline (Molly Hagan) and Bonham’s (Mitch Pileggi) anniversary.
  • Atlanta (10/9c, FX): Series creator Donald Glover wrote (and barely appears in) another trippy episode set in Amsterdam, where Al/Paper Boi (Brian Tyree Henry) goes on a goofy and borderline disturbing odyssey after partaking in a “Nepalese space cake” with Darius (LaKeith Stanfield). Stay tuned for a startling movie-star cameo when Al is led into an underground “Cancel Club” bar.
  • Big Sky (10/9c, ABC): The criminal intrigue takes a back seat to relationship drama as the thriller returns with Jenny (Katheryn Winnick) wondering what’s up with Travis (Logan Marshall-Green), while the long-simmering love triangle between private eyes Cassie (Kylie Bunbury) and Jerrie (Jesse James Keitel) and U.S. Marshal Mark Lindor (Omar Metwally) comes to a head.

On the Stream:

  • The Staircase (streaming on HBO Max): Based on the renowned true-crime docuseries of the same name, an eight-part scripted drama depicts the stranger-than-fiction tale of author Michael Peterson (Colin Firth), whose wife Kathleen (Toni Collette) was found dead in their home at the bottom of a staircase in 2001. At his murder trial, evidence of a similar incident turns up.
  • The Porter (streaming on BET+): A period drama inspired by real events follows the disparate fortunes of two Black train porters in the 1920s whose lives go off on very different tracks after a workplace tragedy.
  • Taste of the Border (streaming on discovery+): Chef Claudia Sandoval explores the multicultural delights of local food in towns on the U.S. and Mexico borders.
  • Cursed Films (streaming on Shudder): The second season ends with a report on the making of director Ruggero Deodato’s infamous 1980 shocker Cannibal Holocaust, which led to a court case in which he was accused of a performer’s murder during filming in the Amazon.
  • The Offer (streaming on Paramount+): More behind-the-scenes moviemaking drama as Grey’s Anatomy alum Justin Chambers makes his first appearance as Marlon Brando, who producer Al Ruddy (Miles Teller) and director Francis Ford Coppola (Dan Fogler) had to fight to get cast as Don Corleone. The battle to cast Al Pacino as Michael was even more contentious.

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