By Mike Hughes
Gannett News Services
By Mike Hughes
"Battlestar Galactica" season finale, 8 p.m., Sci Fi Channel. This show has quickly gone from good to great. And it has shown a remarkable willingness to take sharp detours. As this episode begins, Starbuck is leading a rescue mission. The Cylons — ruthless robots that can create multiple versions of a human form — are attacking from the air. Meanwhile, an election pits President Roslin against Baltar, the self-centered genius who was seduced by a gorgeous Cylon. He finally has a campaign issue: He's pushing to have the runaway fleet of humans settle on a semi-habitable planet. There is much more on the way. This ferocious series is about to spin in several directions. If you're not a regular, make sure you watch the "previously" part at the beginning. Then settle in for strong writing, sharp direction and great performances.
"Saving Private Ryan" (1998), 6 p.m., TNT. Here's another chance to see this superb movie. It mixes sweeping World War II scenes and intimate portraits of men under pressure with fine work by Tom Hanks, Matt Damon and others. Director Steven Spielberg shows his knack for making even conversation seem richly visual.
"Stargate SG-1" season finale, 6 p.m., Sci Fi Channel. As an Ori attack nears, there's a scramble to find a device that would obliterate the evil galaxy. It isn't easy, especially since a magical knight is guarding the device.
"Stargate Atlantis" season finale, 7 p.m., Sci Fi Channel. One of the Wraith offers a deal. Is this a windfall or just a trap?
"In Justice," 8 p.m., ABC. Charles Conti (Jason O'Mara), a cop-turned-legal-investigator, stirs up bitterness when he reopens the case of someone convicted of killing a fellow officer.
"Las Vegas," 8 p.m., NBC. When a thief is captured, he claims to know about a bomb in the casino. On a lighter note, a cooking storyline includes Wolfgang Puck, Donny Osmond and Charo.
"Conviction," 9 p.m., NBC. This hour bounces between some quick humor and serious cases. Each case is involving and none is completely satisfying: Steele has a teen defendant with a domineering father. Rossi has a drug-addled witness. Peluso is trying to do a favor for his bookie.