“The Americans,” 10 p.m., FX.
As last week's
episode ended, a high-stakes crisis was beginning. Martha knows her
husband “Clark” is really a KGB agent who tricked her into using
her job to spying on the FBI. She simply walked out.
Now the FBI wants to
arrest her, the KGB wants to whisk her out of the country ... but
neither can find her. This is a strong, taut hour ... which suddenly
goes limp, two-thirds of the way through. A scene with three
teen-agers seems wildly misplaced; other scenes slow to half-speed
... but do lead to a quietly telling scene between Philip (the fake
“Clark”) and his other wife, the KGB's Elizabeth.
“The Middle,” 8 p.m., ABC.
The families on
ABC's Wednesday comedies seem to have lots of neighbor problems. On
“Modern Family,” the Dunphys clashed with Ronny and Amy, who had
a boat in their front yard; on “Middle,” little Frankie (Patricia
Heaton) faced the towering and brassy Rita Glossner, played by Brooke
Now Frankie has a
new problem: Mike and friends built her a a patio; she wants to relax
there ... but the neighbor kids make it difficult. Meanwhile, Sue and
Lexie have a dorm room that's great – almost.
ALTERNATIVE: “A Few Good Men” (1992), 7-10 p.m., WGN America; or
“The American President” (1995), 8:31 to 11 p.m., Pop.
Aaron Sorkin has
become the great American screenwriter, with an Oscar (“Social
Network”), Emmy (“West Wing”) and Golden Globe (“Steve
Jobs”). Now we can revisit the start of his career.
“Men” was a
Broadway hit that took him to Hollywood; with Rob Reiner's perfect
direction and a great cast, it was nominated for a best-picture
Oscar. “President” re-linked him with Reiner, this time for a
lighter tale of love amid romance. It also whetted appetites: Michael
J. Fox liked playing a political staffer, so he went on to “Spin
City”; Sorkin liked writing about politics, so he created “West
p.m., CBS. Last week, the show ousted its biggest contestant – Scot
Pollard, 6'11, who was on five teams over an 11-year pro-basketball
career. That cuts the original “brawn” tribe to two people, the
same as “brains”; “beauty” has three.
p.m., NBC. It's time to re-save a life; a heart-transplant patient
has been seriously injured in a car crash. The case brings strong
memories for Alex, Jesse and Millicent.
Parks,” 9-11 p.m., PBS (check local listings). Already a successful
businesman, Stephen Mather struggled with bipolar disorder and found
solace in nature. He began pushing for a separate National Park
Service, which was created on Aug. 25, 1916. This chapter of Ken
Burtns' splendid film views the early years with Mather in charge,
including his struggle to add the Grand Canyon.
p.m., Fox. Hakeem faces problems from a generation above and below.
On one side, his dad (Lucious) is maneuvering to take away his
leadership of the record label; on the other, there's the son that's
on the way, via Anika. Hakeem ponders what he really thinks of being
9 p.m., ABC. In a rerun, everyone has the same idea at the same time:
Sneak into an elegant house that Phil is selling.
Bong,” 9:30-11 p.m., Comedy Central. If you missed this
three-parter last week, you can see the whole thing in one gulp now.
As the name suggests, it's goofy, ragged and mostly fun.
p.m., ABC. Desperate to get Maddie back without going to the courts,
Rayna and Deacon even ask for Teddy's help in prison. Also,
Juliette's tour success stokes Layla's jealousy.
10 p.m., WGN America. The seven runaway slaves have reached Kentucky
now, with Rosalee and Cato trying a daring scheme to get the medicine
needed for Cato's wounds.