<p>Adrian Pasdar of 'Heroes'</p>

Adrian Pasdar of 'Heroes'

Credit: Trae Patton/NBC

Recap: 'Heroes' Finale - 'An Invisible Thread'

A shapeshifting Sylar makes his way towards the President with Claire in tow and the Petrelli brothers hot on his trail.

Volume 4 of “Heroes” had its ups and downs, and with “An Invisible Thread,” the final episode in the “Fugitives” arc of the series, the show sought to tie up the remaining threads in order to have the world go to hell just a few weeks later. The episode had a tough act to follow, what with “Chuck” just before it delivering a complete clinic on how to stage a season finale. But even taken on its own, too little of tonight’s finale made much sense to make one long for Volume 5.

[Full recap of Monday's (April 27) "Heroes," with spoilers, after the break...]

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<p>Jeanane Garofalo of '24'</p>

Jeanane Garofalo of '24'

Credit: FOX

Recap: '24' Episode 20 (3 a.m. to 4 a.m.)

Jack Bauer takes Jeanane Garofalo to task for being a liberal. Fans cheer.

So maybe it was a mistake that I watched Monday (April 27) night's "24" after rewatching and recapping the "Chuck" finale? It's not that I had any choice in that matter. Shows come on when they come on and I'm just a humble recapper, a slave to the schedule. But maybe if I hadn't been coming off of "Chuck," Monday's "24" wouldn't have felt so darned boring for most of its running time.

"Chuck" is fighting for its life and felt the responsibility to deliver a finale with romance, comedy and a series redefining twist. Meanwhile, "24" has already been renewed and it's basically treading water in the weeks leading up to a two-hour finale. One show is hungry and one show is pretty well sated.

There were two spectacular Jack Bauer meltdowns in the episode and for many fans, that will be enough.

[A bit of a recap after the break, though it's hard to recap an episode so stripped down...]

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<p>Just when did Melissa Rycroft injur herself?&nbsp; She's all smiles at this US Hollywood Party last Thursday.</p>

Just when did Melissa Rycroft injur herself?  She's all smiles at this US Hollywood Party last Thursday.

Credit: AP Photo/Matt Sayles

Recap: 'Dancing with the Stars' - Performances - Week 8

How will the judges score injured Melissa's rehearsal tape?

 

Nine weeks in.  Six couples left, one of which (Ty & Chelsie) is obviously the least capable.  But wait!  Tom informs us that Melissa has suffered an injury and will not be performing tonight.  And, of course, he'll explain what that means for the competition a little bit later. In the meantime, here we go:

Gilles Marini & Cheryl Burke

After weeks and weeks of being the frontrunner, Gilles has floundered a bit recently.  And he's also having a lot of trouble with his shoulder (which conveniently results in a shirtless trip to the doctor).  The shoulder seems like its going to be fine, but Gilles is totally questioning himself.  But with the linde-hop, Gilles proves quickly his insecurity was unwarranted.  Dressed in very comic, matching polka dot outfits, he and Cheryl give us a fun, energetic performance that reveals a different side of the usually sexpot-oriented Gilles.  While he's still undeniably sexy, its much more goofy that we're used to, and the judges praise his diversity.

Score: 27 (which is actually the same score as last week, but they are celebrating it anyway)

Lil' Kim & Derek Hough


After giving us a toned down, uncharacteristic performance last week that resulted in a fifth place finish (down from first the week prior), Lil' Kim lets us know that the real her is "back with a vengeance."  Given the green light by the judges to bring all of her personality to her dance, Kim brings it to her and Derek's casa nova.  In a black widow-inspired dress, she is fiery and focused, keeping up a perfect pace with Derek. The crowd (including Lance Bass!) gives a rousing standing ovation, and the judges follow suit.  "The bitch is back and she means business," Bruno announces, and Kim tears up as judge after judge serenades her with compliments.

Score: 28 (the 10 is from Bruno)

Chuck Wicks & Julianne Hough

Chuck and Julianne are ecstatic that after last week's personal high score of 27, they might really be in this competition.  They follow it up by continuing their questionable fashion choices (especially Chuck, who is wearing blue suede pants - which I'm sure was a self-conscious move to accent his ass, which he seriously shakes nonstop through the performance - and a blue silk tank top).  But also by continuing the energy they finally found last weekend.  It seems at this point its truly a five couple race.   Carrie Ann has some issues with Chuck's chin (I didn't notice), and the boys both have issues with his arms, but otherwise they agree.

Score: 26 (though a little let down by Bruno's 8, the pair are pretty stoked).

Shawn Johnson & Mark Ballas

Too-cute Shawn and Mark want to "sizzle" this week, and Mark decides to bring in his mom (!?) to show Shawn how. It turns out she's a three time Latin American dance champion, and she has a move or two to send Shawn in the sexy direction.  Its clear that Mark has inherited some of his mother's skills during their samba, though Shawn seems to struggle to keep up with his spark.  Her attempts at "sizzling" hip moves come across as awkward and forced.   It's certainly not a bad performance - but this late in the game its not w . Len agrees, though Bruno and Carrie Ann are much more into it.

Score: 27 (including a erroneously perfect score from Carrie Ann)

Melissa Rycroft & Tony Dovolani

We learn Melissa's not here because she has a rib injury. And it looks like she'll be able to come back to the performance (she's on the phone with the doctor "right now").  The judges are going to have to base their scores on Melissa's rehearsal tape, which she did in the midst of the injury.  Her practice video mostly involves a trip to the doctor after hurting her rib during a "very difficult move." Serious, suspenseful music in the background, we learn "she hope she's can pull it together!"  She certainly doesn't for the rehearsal.  Dancing the jive to The Go Gos (Belinda Carlise, we hardly knew ye), it feels very unpolished and it is clear Melissa's injury is proving problematic (she makes lots of "I'm in pain" faces).  The judges are sympathetic, but unimpressed.

Score: 21 (eee, let's hope those Bachelor-fans bring out the pity votes in full force)

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<p>Kisha and Jen of 'The Amazing Race'</p>

Kisha and Jen of 'The Amazing Race'

Credit: CBS

Recap: 'The Amazing Race' - 'Having a Baby's Gotta Be Easier Than This'

Jen and Kisha run into trouble swimming and telling Chinese people apart

Every season, while watching "The Amazing Race," I continue to put together my list of things I'd want to make sure I was comfortable with doing before coming face-to-face with Phil Keoghan.

I'd want to learn how to drive a stick shift. That's a no-brainer. I'd want to learn, "Drive faster please" in at least 15 or 20 languages. I'd probably go try a moderate bungee jump.

I'd do that last one because even though I'm not necessarily afraid of heights, it's something I've never done before and I'd really want to make sure that's a fear that wouldn't come out of nowhere to cripple me on national TV.

The odds of "The Amazing Race" asking you to bungee or sky-dive are pretty high, but still probably less likely than the chances you're going to find yourself submerged in the water at some point in your journey. 

I'm just saying that probably Jen wanted to have that whole "Fear of the Water" thing at least partially under control, because that's too obvious a handicap to have it prevent you from winning a million bucks.

[Recap of Sunday (April 26) night's "The Amazing Race," titled "Having a Baby's Gotta Be Easier Than This," after the break...]

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<p>Eliza Dushku of 'Dollhouse' with horse (also of 'Dollhouse')</p>

Eliza Dushku of 'Dollhouse' with horse (also of 'Dollhouse')

Credit: FOX

Recap: 'Dollhouse' - 'Haunted'

Eliza Dushku's Echo is imprinted as a dead woman trying to solve her own murder. Creepy!

We open Friday (April 24) night's "Dollhouse" with rich d-bags sitting around a patio table on an unbelievably expensive estate, sipping Long Island Ice Teas. There’s no way any of these pretty boys could muster the ambition to actually pay for all this, so there’s got to be a rich older woman around – and there she is. This is Margaret, on her beloved horse, blowing a kiss to Jack, her much younger, ridiculously handsome younger husband. She goes off for her ride, the guys hang out some more... and then Margaret’s horse comes back without her. This is not a good sign.

Echo wakes up in the chair, and DeWitt is there, looking uncharacteristically emotional. She says to Echo, “Margaret, I’m sorry to be the one to tell you – you’re dead.”

Wow. That is probably the best line I’ve heard on “Dollhouse,” but I imagine waking up to that would definitely put a crimp in your day. And cue the opening credits. (Hey, does the probable cancellation of the show mean that we don’t get to see the lesbian geisha scene?)

[Intriguing, right? Full recap after the break...]

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<p>Sierra of 'Survivor: Tocantins'</p>

Sierra of 'Survivor: Tocantins'

Credit: Monty Brinton/CBS

Recap: 'Survivor: Tocantins' - 'It's Funny When People Cry'

What starts as an open-and-shut elimination for Sierra ends in a satisfying blindside

 

Pre-credit sequence. While I'm a bit sad to see Brendan and his JT-generated man-crush sent home, the absence of the Dragon means we no longer need to hear about Coach's alleged Dragon Slayer status, right? Right? The "Survivor Tocantins" Elite Eight returns to camp at the start of Thursday (April 23) night's episode. Everybody is happy and gloating. Well, everybody except for Sierra, who calls it the worst night she's had in Brazil, Sierra asks if things can at least be congenial in her last days in the game. She begins her campaign for Miss Congeniality by apologizing to Coach for writing his name down. "Every decision you made is bad," Coach lectures Sierra, before mispronouncing the word "assuage." He then instructs Sierra that in this game, it's "kill or be killed" and he's not about to be killed.

[Full recap after the break...]

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<p>Lil Rounds of 'American Idol'</p>

Lil Rounds of 'American Idol'

Credit: Michael Becker/FOX

Recap: 'American Idol' - Double-Elimination cuts the 'Idol' field to 5

Lil Rounds was sent home quickly, but who joined her on the double-elimination night?

9:00 p.m. ET "Two journeys end tonight," Ryan Seacrest reminds us as Wednesday (April 22) night's "American Idol" results show begins. "And no one is safe." I'm instantly intrigued. 

9:02 p.m. Ryan gets moderate cheers for revealing the ongoing "American Idol" commitment to Going Green. He generates far more excitement by telling the crowd that if they wait long enough, David Archuleta will show up.

[Results after the break...]

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<p>Lawrence Taylor and Edyta Sliwinska of 'Dancing with the Stars'</p>

Lawrence Taylor and Edyta Sliwinska of 'Dancing with the Stars'

Credit: Kelsey McNeal/ABC

Recap: 'Dancing with the Stars' Results - Lawrence vs. Ty

After 58 minutes of filler, the 'Dancing' elimination came down to an NFL legend and a rodeo icon

Who will be going home tonight!?!?

We'll find out after 58 minutes of garbage, starting off with a complete re-do of last night's 60s-themed group dance, and then lengthy recaps of every single performance. In case you need the summary: The group dance was lame, Ty and Lawrence are in serious trouble, while everyone else - unless the home voters show us some bizarre judgement - is looking good to make it to next week.

[Recap and results after the break...]

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<p>Adam Lambert of 'American Idol'</p>

Adam Lambert of 'American Idol'

Credit: FOX

Recap: 'American Idol' - It's Disco Night for the Top 7

Lil faces more criticism, Adam pulls another surprise and Matt faces the judges who saved him

Ryan Seacrest begins Tuesday (April 21) night's "American Idol" in the midst of a projected inferno. A Disco inferno? Why yes. Tuesday night is Disco Night on "American Idol," rarely the finest showcase for 21st Century singing talent.

But whether the "Idol" Top 7 handles the theme with aplomb or not, their mere performances will be a welcome distraction from a week dominated by mockery of last week's Judges' Save of Matt Giraud and rumors of Simon Cowell's departure after next season.

Full recap after the break...

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<p>Carlos Bernard of '24'</p>

Carlos Bernard of '24'

Credit: FOX

Recap: '24' Episode 19 (2 a.m. to 3 a.m.)

Kim has a daughter, Tony has an evil plan, Hodges has a Red Pill and Jack has a seizure

Tony, Tony, Tony has done it again.

FOX is getting to be a network of weird end-of-episode juxtapositions.

On Sunday night, "Family Guy" spent the better part of an episode arguing in favor of the legalization of marijuana, claiming that the fight to criminalize pot is mostly being waged by crazed industrialists and mocking general anti-drug campaigns. The episode ended and cut immediately into a Partnership for a Drug-Free American PSA modeled after FOX's low-rated game show dud "Hole in the Wall." It was a tasty mixed message.

Then, on Monday (April 20) night, "24" spent an hour with Tony Almeida plotting to kill federal agents. It was an episode geared toward silencing the doubters who suspect that Tony is still good at heart. Then, immediately after the episode, we were treated to Carlos Bernard, telling us to do our part to fight Global Warning. Because Bernard isn't exactly the most versatile of actors, his sneer remained unchanged from the end of the episode to the PSA. Since I can no longer trust a word that Tony says, I can only assume that he's secretly conspiring against the environment. 

So my message to "24" viewers: DON'T DO ANYTHING TONY SUGGESTED!

We all know what Admiral Ackbar would say in this situation...

[Full recap of Monday night's "24" after the break...]

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