THE SHOW: “Grey’s Anatomy” season finale
WHEN/WHERE: Thursday, 9-11 p.m. EDT on ABC
REASON TO WATCH: Will Izzie join Denny in heaven (or is that hell)? Will George quit? Will Derek and Meredith legally become Meredere?
CATCHING UP: Izzie Stevens (Katherine Heigl) walked — sort of — down the aisle last week to become Mrs. Isobel “Izzie” Stevens Karev, but it’s a marriage that may not last through May sweeps. A small, previously undiscovered and apparently inoperable tumor that has spawned more Denny (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) visitations could end up killing her. Dere (Patrick Dempsey) and Mere (Ellen Pompeo) put off their nuptials so Izzie could get married, and (yes): They still want to.
WHAT IT’S ABOUT: The first hour is “Here’s to the Future,” in which Izzie decides whether to go ahead with the risky surgery. In the second hour, George (T.R. Knight) “delivers some stunning news,” according to ABC, to Miranda (Chandra Wilson.)
BOTTOM LINE: There’s an old and unbreakable rule when it comes to predicting the outcome of a huge season finale, which, stated simply, is: Don’t bother. Anything could happen. Anything is supposed to happen; that’s the whole idea of this possible endgame for Izzie, whose story line the last half of the season has been like a bread trail leading us to one inescapable conclusion, namely her tragic and Emmy-Award-winning death. Even her Heathcliff/Catherine/“Wuthering Heights” hallucination dance with Denny suggests we’ll see them walking arm in arm in the final shot down a darkening hallway of Seattle Grace.
But not so fast, Greyniacs. Even Heigl has suggested she’d like to come back, and I don’t think she meant as a ghost. George (who did, after all, suffer through the death of six college students last week) is a more likely departure. Here’s one blunt and inescapable fact — Thursday night’s two-parter has “event TV” scrawled all over it.
THE SHOW: “30 Rock”
WHEN/WHERE: Thursday at 9:30 p.m. EDT on NBC
WHAT IT’S ABOUT: On “30 Rock,” Liz (Tina Fey) becomes famous as a relationship expert, with guest stars Sherri Shepherd, Sheryl Crow, Mary J. Blige, Elvis Costello, Adam Levine, Clay Aiken and ... others!
BOTTOM LINE: I haven’t been loving “30 Rock” with my usual (and just a little embarrassing) rapture. In recent weeks, it’s felt windy, wheezy and possibly too full of regard for its own comic genius to actually be ... comical. The plot involving Jack Donaghy’s (Alec Baldwin) long-lost dad, Milton (Alan Alda), in need of a kidney has been a sudden inspiration on the show. Too bad he has to share the stage with a dozen (or so) other high-profile cameos.
THE SHOW: “CSI”
WHEN/WHERE: Thursday at 9 p.m. EDT on CBS
WHAT IT’S ABOUT: Season closer’s called “All In,” about a scam involving chips missing from a shuttered casino that turn up in Las Vegas. Murders ensue, and two of the suspects are well known to TV viewers — Cynthia Watros (“Lost”) and Gerald McRaney (“Major Dad”). Meanwhile, Dr. Raymond Langston (Laurence Fishburne) uses deadly force for the first time.
BOTTOM LINE: So as not to overheat your DVR, this may be the 9 p.m. entry to set “record” to — or watch on the Web tomorrow. Reason is, the major development on “CSI” already has taken place — Bill Petersen out, Laurence Fishburne in. Langston is a qualified success, and qualified only because this character still has a big growth curve ahead. He remains very much the professorial egghead who knows how many stab wounds felled Julius Caesar but doesn’t quite know himself, or we him.
The journey — for viewers and the character — will be worth taking, but you’ll have to wait till the 10th season for this road trip.