5 must-see episodes on MeTV this week of September 25

Beloved characters say goodbye, John Wayne saunters onto a sitcom, and a futuristic soldier inspires 'The Terminator.'

September is coming to an end, which means its almost time for raking leaves, trick-or-treating and turtleneck sweaters. Almost time. You'll find nothing pumpkin-spiced in our lineup this week, but we certainly have some spicy entertainment. You'll find ends and beginnings, fantastic guest stars, and a classic sci-fi tale.

M*A*S*H "Abyssinia, Henry"
Wednesday 27 at 7PM | 6C

The final episode of season three shook up the status quo of the 4077th. McLean Stevenson and Wayne Rogers, though Stevenson's character Henry Blake did so in much more dramatic fashion. The closing report, as delivered by Radar, "It spun in ... there were no survivors" … well, it simply shocked the nation.

Mannix "Hardball" and "The Name Is Mannix"
Thursday 28 and Friday 29 at 2AM | 1C

You'll find drastically different Mannixes in the series finale and premier, on back to back nights. For starters, eight years had passed between "The Name is Mannix" and "Hardball." But it was an entirely different show at its inception, originally a gritty take on the 1960s spy trend, one which evolved into a hard-boiled action series.

The Big Valley "Night of the Executioner"
Saturday 30 at 12PM | 11C

This episode focuses entirely on Heath Barkley, as played by the wonderful young Lee Majors. Dennis Hopper also guest stars, as an outlaw named Jimmy Sweetwater who is accused of assassinating a congressman. Barkley and Sweetwater end up in jail together, leading to some nifty plot twists and a staged escape.

The Outer Limits "Soldier"
Saturday 30 at 1AM | 12C

Fans of The Terminator take note: the entire concept was born here. A soldier from the future is sent back in time, in this tale penned by science-fiction master Harlan Ellison. In fact, the writer ended up seeking legal action against The Terminator, which led to an undisclosed settlement, credit at the end of the film, and a vehement denial from director James Cameron.

I Love Lucy "Lucy and John Wayne"
Sunday 1 at 4PM | 3C

The Duke himself turns up for some timeless shenanigans. It's proof enough that Wayne was just as able with comedy as he was playing cowboy.

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