The motorcycle gang thriller that’s subtly influenced by the story of Hamlet — Sons of Anarchy (10 p.m. Tuesdays, FX) — returned Sept. 10 for its sixth and penultimate season. President of biker club SAMCRO Jax Teller must remain true to himself as he balances smart moves for the club against what is safe for his family’s future.
Season Six, as in nearly every season, finds some of the series’ stars behind bars. Jax’s wife, Tara, as well as his would-be stepfather and former club president Clay, are both locked up, finding themselves in respectively difficult situations. On the outside, Jax tries to mend the wounded Sons, consistently trying to bring the club back to the roots his father laid years before.
The question remains: Is Jax really like his father — a relatively gentle man who founded the club as a source of brotherhood and eventually wanted to rid the Sons of all illegal trade — or, as Jax probably fears, has he become more like Clay — a lethal, conniving player? This week, outside pressure weighing on the club leaves Jax picking up the pieces.
WEDNESDAY SEPT. 11
It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia (10 p.m., FXX) – The gang weighs in on the gun debate after Frank appears on local TV in support of the Second Amendment.
The League (10:30 p.m., FXX) – As the Nowzick wedding/draft weekend continues, we meet Andre’s parents and Ruxin takes on J.J. Watt to gain control of his fantasy team.
THURSDAY SEPT. 12
Project Runway (9 p.m., Lifetime) – The designers are challenged with dressing the modern Southern woman
FRIDAY SEPT. 13
Real Time with Bill Maher (10 p.m., HBO) – Maher returns from summer hiatus with Bill Nye (the science guy), former Republican National Committee chairman Michael Steele, The Economist’s Zanny Minton-Beddoes and new rules galore.
Comedy Bang! Bang! (Mid-season Finale, 10 p.m., IFC) – IFC’s quirky late-night talk show breaks until late October and goes out with a bang (bang) with this musical mid-season finale written and directed by Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber (Paul F. Tompkins). Scott and Reggie welcome Happy Endings’ Casey Wilson and “The Phantom” of the show’s studio (Thomas Lennon).
SUNDAY SEPT. 15
Breaking Bad (9 p.m., AMC) – Major fallout from the shootout changes the game entirely for everyone left standing. This third-to-last episode is titled “Ozymandias,” after the poem by Percy Bysshe Shelley about the fall of empires. So. Tune into Talking Bad at 11 p.m. to get your fix with Bill Hader and Dean Norris (Hank).
Dexter (9 p.m., Showtime) – After just witnessing his mentor dying in his arms, Dexter must decide once and for all whether to kill Saxton or leave for Argentina with Hannah and Harrison. With this being the last episode before the series finale, he should probably spend 45 minutes thinking about it. Fun plot twist idea: Jamie kills Deb.
Boardwalk Empire (9 p.m., HBO) – Dr. Valentin Narcisse comes to Atlantic City looking for his missing booking agent; In Chicago, Dean O’Banion tasks Van Alden with looking after the Capone family (that’s C-a-p-o-n-e, capice?); Agent Knox reports to J. Edgar Hoover in D.C.; Nucky leaves for Florida to embark on a new business venture.
The Newsroom (Season Finale, 10 p.m., HBO) – As the country watches on to see the final election votes stack up, Will and the ACN crew await their fate, which lies in Reese Lansing’s hands. Elsewhere, Sloan discovers the winner of her “signed” book and Jim attempts to make peace with Lisa, hoping Maggie will follow suit.
Ray Donovan (10 p.m., Showtime) – Bunchy decides to take the advice he gave Connor and attack his fears head-on, resulting in a mess Ray has to fix. Police question Mickey about Sean Walker’s murder and Ray orders Avi to protect his family from Sully.
MONDAY SEPT. 16
Under the Dome (Season Finale, 10 p.m., CBS) – Expect more dome revelations, near-death experiences and a big cliffhanger ending in this finale! Big Jim sets out to stop Barbie for good; Angie, Joe, Junior and Norrie discover the Monarch’s identity.
CONTACT JAC KERN: firstname.lastname@example.org or @jackern