Tonight in HD: April 23

Season Highlight: Modern Family (TV3, 8.00, 5.1) After having a physical, then missing the call with the test results, Phil automatically thinks he’s going to die. The scenario sounds desperate and lame but after a run of mediocre episodes, US critics thought this was one of the season’s funniest (if only to hear Phil tell the doc after he’s asked to bend over: “Dim the lights, crank up the Norah Jones, and let’s get this over with”). Benjamin Bratt, who returns to guest star as Manny’s dad, Javier, also gets one of the best lines when he insists his son and Jay join him for a day at the track rather than on the links: “Golfing — that is for old men and women who like women.” Philip Baker Hall also returns as Luke’s new friend, the Dunphys’ cranky neighbour with an oxygen tank, who turns out to be a whizz at WWII video games (“see you in hell, Klaus!”). ✮✮✮✮

SoHo Highlight: Game of Thrones (Sky 10, 8,30, 5.1): "There’s a lot of (power broking) going on this week," reckons the AV Club, "a lot of uneasy alliances, a lot of long-term promises being made to secure help in the present." Concurred The Independent: "With some plot progression and intrigue, this week was a welcome change to the sluggish pace of (the premiere)." Observed The Guardian: "In an episode all about the fragility of friendship and the importance of the right alliance, Tyrion demonstrated once again why he could be the most dangerous member of his family." ✮✮✮✮

Home & Away (TV3, 5.30) Brax and VJ’s relationship puts Elijah on the outer; Harvey and Roo’s second ‘first date’ goes awry; John and Gina negotiate moving in again. ✮✮

Friends (TV2, 6.30, R) While trying to become better acquainted with her sexy client, Rachel inadvertently thwarts Ross’ plans for a romantic evening with his girlfriend. ✮✮✮✮

Shortland Street (TV2, 7.00) Nicole lashes out in a fit of drunken pique; Bree pays the price for her crimes; Vasa fights temptation. ✮✮✮

Last Man Standing (TV3, 7.30, 5.1) Mike, amazed that Mandy might finally have found a passion for something, takes her under his wing at work. ✮✮

Criminal Minds (TV One, 8.30) When brutal home invasions in the California suburbs appear gang-related, the BAU team thinks that more devious motives could be at work. ✮✮

Desperate Housewives (TV2, 8.30) With Carlos still in rehab, Gabrielle asks for Lynette’s help; Renee talks Bree into getting out of the house and having some fun at a bar. ✮✮

Homeland (TV3, 8.30, 5.1) In the wake of the explosion, Saul finds Carrie hospitalised and manic, but realises her chaotic theories have merit. The AV Club thought this “a solid episode of Homeland, one that got everything nicely on track for the season finale” while critic Alan Sepinwall highlighted echoes of TV2’s overlooked Friday night SD espionage drama, Rubicon: “Though Henry Bromell didn’t write this episode of Homeland (the script was by Meredith Stiehm and Chip Johannessen), it carried the show’s strongest Rubicon overtones yet. The Vest was all about the thin line between madness and the dedication required to be a great intelligence analyst, and it spent a lot of time showing an all-American Muslim terrorist preparing to say goodbye to the life he knew before sacrificing it for the greater cause.” ✮✮✮✮

Person of Interest (TV One, 9.30) Reese discovers there’s more to the story after he infiltrates a smuggling ring to get close to his latest person of interest, who may be hiding a secret identity. ✮✮

Revenge (TV2, 9.30) An unstable visitor turns Daniel’s birthday celebration into a life changing event. ✮✮

CSI: Crime Scene Investigation (TV3, 9.35, 5.1) Catherine works with the FBI to investigate a murder carried out by a professional hit man at a law firm she recommended to a friend. ✮✮

Saving Grace (TV3, 11.20, 5.1) The squad tracks down a serial killer who has been mutilating women. ✮✮

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