Timothy Olyphant, Jim Beaver, Erica Tazel
How long has the Justified fan waited for someone to ask this question to Boyd Crowder: "Where did you get all of those teeth?" You'll likely be grinning yourself, while cringing at the edge of your seat, as the pleasures just keep multiplying — a high-octane Justified highball of great banter, tremendous suspense, clever twists and reversals — in a harrowing, hilarious and fantastically entertaining episode, so eventful you might mistake it for a season finale, but thankfully there are still two more episodes to go (Tuesday, 10/9c, FX) in this terrific fourth season.
It has all been building to this violent showdown between the forces of good (the U.S. marshals) and evil (everyone else, from Boyd's crew to an army of thugs and snipers representing the Detroit mob). The target is Drew Thompson (the great Jim Beaver), a 30-year fugitive in sheriff's clothing, currently in the marshals' custody, although they feel like sitting ducks, outnumbered and outgunned in Harlan as they calculate several desperate escape maneuvers while awaiting rescue. The episode, written by exec producer Graham Yost and Chris Provenzano, is titled "Decoy," and revolves around a series of standoffs, confrontations and subterfuges that leave few unscathed and unbloodied. Special props to Patton Oswalt as the loyal and lovably resilient Constable Bob, who even Raylan has to admit is a "tough son-of-a-bitch" by the time the dust settles, following a tense encounter outside a (metaphorically apt) high-school principal's office.
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GIRL TALK: What a difference a kiss makes. Ever since Fox's New Girl went there, exploding the mutual but awkward attraction between roomies Jess and Nick with a smooch that has turned the apartment into (Schmidt's words) "a den of sexual tension and lies," the show has been on comic fire. This week (9/8c), the fallout escalates into a slapsticky riot of loopy seduction and bad timing, as Jess (an inspired Zooey Deschanel) decides she knows what this girl wants, just as the easily distracted Nick (Jake Johnson) falls prey to his amorous new boss at the bar (Odette Annable). "I know this is not going to end well, but the whole middle part is going to be awesome," he brags to his buds — though not to Jess, who forces a giddy epiphany when on pain meds. In a storyline that for at least the third episode in a row reveals a weird obsession with urination jokes, Schmidt (the peerless Max Greenfield) becomes fixated on possessing an exotic tropical fish as a way of getting over Cece's (Hannah Simone) recent betrothal. "Why can't I have the things that I want?" he laments. Something tells me this particular rom-com subplot is far from over.
SEEING RED: TV's most popular franchise is once again cloning itself. Just as NCIS spun off from JAG and NCIS: LA was borne from its mothership, the next two episodes of CBS' NCIS: LA (9/8c) will serve as a launching pad for a potential new NCIS spinoff, this time focused less on a locale than on a roving "Red" team, a mobile unit of investigators (led by John Corbett and Kim Raver) who solve crimes all around the country. NCIS: USA? Or, more likely, NCIS: Red, which means future spinoffs can borrow from the rest of the color spectrum, promising (or is that threatening) an entire rainbow of NCIS offshoots. The "Red" agents are introduced in a case that teams them with Callen and Sam when a murder weapon is found in Idaho that connects to an incident back in L.A. ... Over at NCIS (8/7c), Michael Weatherly directs an episode involving a K-9 bomb-detection unit in Afghanistan.
OFF THE DEEP END: Back in January, Fox tried to upstage ABC's insipid new reality competition Splash with a one-time special, Stars in Danger: The High Dive, which not only stretched the definition of "star" but belly-flopped with barely a ripple in that week's ratings. Surely the same fate awaits this pathetic-looking floater (8/7c), which hopes to ride Dancing With the Stars' ebbing wave. The contestants are a "who's who" — more like "who the hell?" — of C-listers, the best known including Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, former Cosby kid Keshia Knight Pulliam (oh, Rudy), reality addict Kendra Wilkinson and plus-sized clown Louie Anderson. Olympian Greg Louganis is their presumably embarrassed mentor, Joey Lawrence and SportsNation's Charissa Thompson are the hosts, and the whole thing sounds like a test to see how long it takes cheese to sink to the bottom of the pool. And I'm being open-minded.
THE TUESDAY GUIDE: Tina Fey gets the star treatment from James Lipton (an often-parodied figure on Saturday Night Live) as the 19th sporadic season of Bravo's Inside the Actors Studio (8/7c) gets underway. We're happy to report that her response to what she hopes to hear God say at the gates of heaven involves a shout-out to Oprah. ... The season finale of ABC Family's Pretty Little Liars (8/7c) will be followed by a sneak peek of the pilot episode of its new summer companion: Twisted (9/8c), a mystery series about a troubled 16-year-old implicated in a student's murder. Both shows return full time on June 11. ... BET's reality spoof Real Husbands of Hollywood (10/9c) wraps its first season with guest stars including Shaquille O'Neal, Nicole Ari Parker and Tisha Campbell-Martin, followed by the finale of Second Generation Wayans (10:30/9:30c). ... Guest-star alert: Lost's Henry Ian Cusick is a suspicious grief counselor on ABC's Body of Proof (10:01/9:01c), and thirtysomething's Polly Draper arrives on CBS' Golden Boy (10:01/9:01c) as young Detective Clark's newly sober mother, who wants back in her children's life. ... A new edition of HBO's Real Sports With Bryant Gumbel (10/9c) features segments on Mike Tyson, transsexual basketball star Gabrielle Ludwig, Olympic hurdler-turned-bobsledder Lolo Jones and the dangers of extreme sports. ... OWN's Oprah: Where Are they Now? (10/9c) returns with updates on infamous guests including Dennis Rodman — who hasn't exactly been keeping a low profile lately — "Octomom" Nadya Suleman and sex-scandal veteran Gennifer Flowers. ... Someone unlikely to ever participate in a "Where Are They Now?" retrospective is superstar Justin Timberlake, who continues an album-promotion media blitz that included memorable appearances on Saturday Night Live and Late Night With Jimmy Fallon. Maybe not last, but certainly least, The CW offers The iHeartRADIO Album Release Party With Justin Timberlake (8/7c). ... Just in time for spring, the Weather Channel explains its recent decision to give names like Athena, Nemo and Saturn to winter storms in the special A Storm NAMED Winter (8/7c).
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