Michael J. Fox, Matt Czuchry and Julianna Margulies
The gloves come off in a sensational finale to an incredible season of CBS's The Good Wife (Sunday, 9/8c), one of the best and hands down the most purely entertaining drama series anywhere on TV. The intrigue is riveting as rival law firms (Florrick/Agos, Lockhart/Gardner) go for broke, using any means necessary — including possibly illegal electronic eavesdropping — to get the advantage on the other in what now seems a fight to the death. Partners battle partners between and within both teams, and when Christine Baranski (the embattled Diane) faces off with Michael J. Fox (ruthless interloper Louis Canning) for control of the firm she built with the late Will Gardner, the fireworks are as awesome as the surprising fallout.
The twists keep coming to the very last minute, as a dizzying swirl of political, legal and family matters bedevil Alicia (Julianna Margulies), and her worry is well founded when her snarky mother and uptight mother-in-law (Stockard Channing and Mary Beth Peil, respectively, and they're a hoot) conspire to take charge of her son Zach's graduation party. Blending humor and suspense with brilliant plotting that is succulently executed by one of TV's finest ensembles, The Good Wife wraps a fifth-season run of conflict, tragedy and high drama in high style. With all due respect to Sunday's cable offerings that in recent seasons have edged this series out of Emmy contention, TV doesn't get better than this. Attention deserves to be paid.
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In other season-finale news, CBS's The Amazing Race (Sunday, 8/7c) stages its final lap in Las Vegas, where illusionist David Copperfield presents the three remaining teams with a magical challenge. ... PBS's moving Call the Midwife ends its third season (Sunday, 8/7c, check tvguide.com listings) with Jenny helping Chummy at her dying mother's bedside, while Shelagh and Dr. Turner anxiously wait for news from the Adoption Society. ... Stewie is back to time-traveling on the finale of Fox's Family Guy (8:30/7:30c), this time to break up Peter and Lois so he's never born — which backfires when he finds himself reborn into a Downton Abbey-type British family. Guest voices include Game of Thrones' Isaac Hempstead-Wright (Bran). ... And while many expected this might be the end of CBS's The Mentalist, the show was renewed for a seventh year (albeit left on the bench until midseason). In the season finale, Patrick Jane must either come to terms with his feelings for Lisbon or watch her go off to D.C. with Agent Pike.
MORE THAN ZERO: A delicately etched and intimately powerful portrait of grief and bitter loss, the Lifetime movie Return From Zero (Saturday, 8/7c) stars a fearless Minnie Driver and the ever-affable Paul Adelstein as Maggie and Aaron, a couple rocked to their emotional core by the loss of their unborn child, discovered to have died in the womb shortly before the delivery date. We follow them through the wrenching procedure and recovery process with a stark realism in which husband and wife are often seen at their worst, as their once-solid relationship frays when Maggie plummets into depression and neither seem able to say or do the right things to be able to heal and move on. Though sometimes hard to watch, Zero is a compelling and beautifully acted character study that will make you care as it dramatizes a domestic tragedy with a minimum of melodrama, so rare for TV and TV-movies.
THE WEEKEND GUIDE: A true sitcom classic, Designing Women joins the Logo lineup, with a top-20 "The Saturday Night the Lights Went Out in Georgia" marathon of standout, and notably outspoken, episodes starting Saturday at 2 p.m./1c. ... The challenge for clone "twins" Sarah (the sane one) and Helena (the crazy killer one) in another exciting episode of BBC America's Orphan Black (Saturday, 9/8c) is to put their violent past aside to focus on the real threat: the conniving Rachel (all three played by Tatiana Maslany), whose minions play rough. ... Andy Samberg returns to NBC's Saturday Night Live (11:30/10:30c) to close out the season, with St. Vincent as musical guest. ... Recent SNL guest band Coldplay performs from its new album in the NBC special Coldplay: Ghost Stories (Sunday, 7/6c). ... Much more music on tap as yet another awards show fills the Sunday schedule: ABC's 2014 Billboard Music Awards (8/7c), airing live from Las Vegas's MGM Grand Garden Arena. Ludacris is host to a starry A-list roster of musicians, while the show promises what's being called "a Michael Jackson world premiere experience."
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