Maria Bello Maria Bello

As Fox takes a pause before the World Series moves back to St. Louis for the final game(s) starting Wednesday, tonight's main event is a supersized two-and-a-half hour live performance show of The X Factor (8/7c), begging the question: Is bigger actually better? (Don't count on it.) This makes time for all 17 acts: the good (including Melanie Amaro, Simon's disingenuous "save" from last week, who should never have been kicked while Simon favored his pet Tiah Tolliver); the bad (any of the groups, including the Justin Bieber-wannabe hair-tossing brothers and the ensembles the judges cobbled together, both of which Paula inexplicably let through) and the "oh please" contingent (led by weepy Dexter Haygood, who took the spot that should have gone to the dynamic wedding singer Elaine Gibbs). It seems the point of tonight's show is to further tighten the ranks to 12 in advance of letting America start to vote next week. Eliminating the entire group category might be a good way to start.

Top scripted option: a pivotal episode of FX's Sons of Anarchy (10/9c) that picks up right where we left Juice hanging as the club prepares to take a crucial leadership vote. It's like the Wild West when bullets start to fly, heads start to roll, and awful things end up in the soup — or should we say chili — as major characters reassess their place in the mess these latest misadventures in the drug trade have landed them in. "We all do damage. Character is determined by how we repair it," says one of the old-timers. Before it's over, more irreversible damage has been inflicted on this fractured "family."

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