Longtime fans of the long-running medical drama are about to confront the issue they’ve feared for years: Can Grey’s Anatomy survive without Meredith Grey? We’ll soon find out, because Ellen Pompeo is saying goodbye to the series—for now—after 19 seasons, with Meredith accepting a new job across the country in Boston on behalf of her genius daughter. Her follow doctors at Grey Sloan are cooking up a surprise farewell that’s bound to lead to hugs and tears—while the new crop of interns reminds us that life goes on, as they compete to participate in the latest groundbreaking procedure. The episode is preceded by spinoff Station 19 (8/7c), also returning with the first new episode since November, reminding us where things left off when Meredith’s house caught fire during a lightning storm.
Law & Order
A strong episode of the franchise’s rebooted mothership tackles the tricky issue of racial profiling: first for Detective Shaw (Mehcad Brooks), who’s confronted at gunpoint by patrol officers mistaking him for a murder suspect, subsequently filing a complaint against advice that the brotherhood of blue will bite back. Then the case he and Cosgrove (Jeffrey Donovan) are investigating takes a dark turn when it appears the victim, a respected Black doctor, may have been targeted by a neighborhood safety app.
Law & Order: Special Victims Unit
Multiple Emmy winner Bradley Whitford (The West Wing, The Handmaid’s Tale) could add yet another nomination for a moving guest performance as a noted neurologist who’s suffering from early-onset dementia when his loving wife (Nancy Travis) is murdered, a crime he’s convinced he is responsible for. Benson (Mariska Hargitay, who directed the episode) isn’t so sure, and we share her compassion for this confused and tormented soul, who’s shown in a series of flashbacks all the way back to a spelling bee in 1973, when he and his future wife first began their special relationship.
Series star Natasha Lyonne is co-writer and director of another fun episode of the mystery series, this week attracting Nick Nolte and Cherry Jones as the attention-grabbing guest stars. Human lie detector Charlie (Lyonne) is drawn to the “blessed honesty” of Nolte’s character, a special-effects artist who toils away in his workshop, haunted by a death on a movie set more than 30 years ago. Jones runs the special-effects house, and her attempts to bury the truth of what happened back then leads to a new puzzle for Charlie to figure out, leading to an over-the-top finale worthy of the horror movies these characters specialize in.
The Fresh Prince remake that fancies itself a drama, welcomes original series star Tatyana Ali in a recurring guest role, as West Philly transplant Will (Jabari Banks) captures the attention of a basketball recruiter. The second season opens with three episodes, the rest following weekly.
Star Trek: Picard
What’s the deal with Jack Crusher (Ed Speleers, who’s also front and center as You’s chief antagonist), and why does the villainous Vadic (Amanda Plummer) want him so badly? We’ll soon find out, now that Picard (Patrick Stewart) and Riker (Jonathan Frakes) have put themselves, the U.S.S. Titan and its reluctant captain (Todd Stashwick) at risk with their rescue attempt. Elsewhere, Raffi’s (Michelle Hurd) undercover mission takes a turn, revealing the identity of her mystery handler.
INSIDE THURSDAY TV:
- Outer Banks (streaming on Netflix): Returning for a third season of 10 episodes, the YA adventure finds its young heroes far from the Outer Banks—on a deserted Caribbean island they christen “Poguelandia,” and where another treacherous treasure hunt awaits.
- Walker Independence (9/8c, The CW): Discover the origin stories of the Western prequel’s key characters through a series of letters Gus (Philemon Chambers) writes to his late wife.
- Call Me Kat (9:30/8:30c, Fox): JAG star David James Elliott guests as Dan, the long-estranged father of Max (Cheyenne Jackson), who’s not thrilled to see him again after 30 years, though Kat (Mayim Bialik) is more than happy to plan a reunion dinner.
- The Ms. Pat Show (streaming on BET+): In the third season of the quasi-autobiographical comedy, ex-con mom Ms. Pat (Patricia Williams) balances family and career when she hits the road as an opening act for a stand-up tour.
- Neighbours (streaming on Amazon Freevee): Selected episodes of the long-running Australian soap opera begin airing, including several featuring Margot Robbie, Russell Crowe, Guy Pearce, Liam Hemsworth and Kylie Minogue earlier in their careers, in anticipation of a new season of the resurrected series later this year.
- Black Snow (streaming on Sundance Now): Also from Australia: a six-part mystery (launching with two episodes) starring Vikings’ Travis Fimmel as a cold-case detective investigating the 1995 murder of a teenager after a time capsule’s opening reveals new evidence.
- Rap Trap: Hip-Hop on Trial (streaming on Hulu): From ABC News Studios, a documentary explores how controversial lyrics in rap music have been used in criminal prosecutions, part of an alleged pattern of criminalizing forms of Black artistic expression.