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Critic’s Corner: What’s on TV this weekend

Peter (Right, Josh Jackson) battles Windmark (left, guest star Michael Kospa) in the final and extraordinary battle for the fate of mankind in the series finale of Fringe.

Peter (Right, Josh Jackson) battles Windmark (left, guest star Michael Kospa) in the battle for the fate of mankind in the series finale of Fringe.

Fringe 8 p.m., Channel 25

After five seasons, this sci-fi drama leaves the air with a two-hour finale. I wasn’t a loyal “Fringe” fan; I’ve missed more episodes than I’ve seen. The cast never turned me on. But still, I knew it was a daring and sometimes mind-blowing show that took science to some fascinating extremes. Will Walter Bishop survive? Who will win the final battle against the Observers? Pictured (from left): guest star Michael Kospa as Windmark and Josh Jackson as Peter.

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Masterpiece: Downton Abbey Sunday at 9 p.m., Channel 2

I’m not going to revive the debate about whether or not this show is just a pretty soap opera. Of course it is. And I think this season’s stories are better than last season’s because they aren’t as overblown (read: no wheelchairs). The problem right now has more to do with spoilers, because the seasons air in the UK before they air here. And don’t expect that to change. According to executive producer Rebecca Eaton, “January is the sweet spot for ‘Downton’ ” in the States, because the fall and December are too crowded. Pictured: Brendan Coyle as John Bates.

Fatal Attractions 10 p.m., Animal Planet

I’m not gonna be ignored, pet tiger.

Prison Diaries 10 p.m., DFH

Dear Diary, I have a sweet new roomy, name of Schillinger.

Real Time With Bill Maher 10 p.m., HBO

Making Congress funny, year in and year out.

Matthew Gilbert can be reached at gilbert@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @MatthewGilbert.
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