Matt's Picks: December 13-16
The Vampire Diaries (Monday-Friday, 8/7c, The CW)
Get bit. The CW's Southern Gothic answer to Twilight-mania is at least as sexy and twice as fun, burning through so much bloody story in its second season that this weeklong marathon of the sophomore year's first 10 episodes should come in handy, with two episodes airing each night. This time around, admire the ladies of Mystic Falls, in particular Nina Dobrev doing double duty as the virtuous Elena and the evil vamp Katherine, and Candice Accola as Caroline, whose transformation into one of the show's most fascinated and tormented characters took nearly everyone by surprise.
Hawaii Five-0 (Monday, 10/9c, CBS)
Harking back to the hit remake's pilot episode, Buffy's James Marsters returns as the exotic crime drama's Big Bad, Victor Hesse (aka the man who killed McGarrett's dad). This time, he's threatening Chin Ho, strapping explosives to his chest in a hostage situation. Which explains the episode's title: Hana 'a'a Makehewa, Hawaiian for "Desperate Measures." In other Monday night casting news, Glee's Emmy-winning Jane Lynch returns as Charlie's therapist on Two and a Half Men, who tries to help her client get over his latest break-up (with Jenny McCarthy's Courtney). And look for another Glee veteran, Patrick Gallagher (who played the love-starved coach last season), on TNT's Men of a Certain Age, as a mechanic who clashes with Owen and tests his authority at the car dealership.
NCIS (Tuesday, 8/7c, CBS)
Renee Walker lives! Not exactly, but it's good to see Annie Wersching, the ill-fated last squeeze of 24's Jack Bauer, back on TV. She plays Deputy DA Gail Walsh, partnering with the NCIS team to investigate the disappearance of a Navy petty officer who's the sole witness in a murder trial. No word yet if she'll recur on the show, but never say never. And given the mortality rate for quasi-regular females on NCIS, let's hope they issue her bulletproof armor.
Burn Notice (Thursday, 10/9c, USA Network)
Gone again so soon? The spy caper wraps its fourth season with back-to-back episodes full of peril. In the first, Michael is confronted by his old nemesis Tyler Brennan (The Shield's Jay Karnes), who blackmails our hero with the task of killing government agents unless Michael can once again get the upper hand. In the finale, Michael is the target of a tactical assault team coming after him and all those he holds dear. How will he get out of this mess? And how badly will they keep us hanging between seasons this time?
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