WHAT IT’S ABOUT A local politician running for Senate (Teri Polo, “The Fosters”) has a medical emergency. Hank (Mark Feuerstein) gets the call. Meanwhile, dear old Dad, Eddie (Henry Winkler), returns, and guess what he’s planning? The eighth and final season of this Long Island-based fantasy begins.
MY SAY Every fairy tale comes to an end, but “Royal Pains” can be forgiven for prolonging the inevitable just a little bit longer. This abbreviated season (just eight episodes) should go a long way toward reminding those remaining loyal fans why they’ve remained so. Because there are few series on TV with a sunnier disposition than “Royal Pains,” so why change that now? Wednesday’s opener (“Stranger Danger”) answers that conclusively: It won’t. The sun’s still bright, the color palette too, and the beach never looked so inviting.
But about that end: There are storylines to resolve, and the show immediately gets to work on those. Eddie returns as his usual manic self, reminding Hank that his own commitment-phobia must have had its roots somewhere, or with someone. He also has what Herr Doctor Freud must’ve long ago identified as “superhuman blues,” later known as Spidey’s lament: He saves the world, but who’s going to save him? I suspect we’ll find out soon enough.Story‘Royal Pains’ creator talks filming on LIPHOTOS'Royal Pains' LI filming localesPhotosWe're famous! Long Island in pop culture
Wednesday’s beginning-of-the-end does indeed feel like the beginning of the end. Evan (Paulo Costanzo) and Paige (Brooke D’Orsay) have big decisions to make. Divya (Reshma Shetty) and Raj (Rupak Ginn) — back together again after being apart most of the series — may be facing major life decisions beyond their control. Jeremiah Sacani (Ben Shenkman) once had a true love, now lost. What about him (or her)?
Over the next couple of months, there will a musical episode, one based in Hong Kong, and the rest, of course, right here. Those figurative clouds will threaten, as more crises will emerge. But this is “Royal Pains.” The sun always comes out tomorrow. Expect a happy — make that very happy — end to this fairy tale.
BOTTOM LINE As always, a welcome summer visitor.