Living in the Cul-de-Sac: Watching Season 10 for the First Time

Discussion in 'Knots Landing' started by JROG, Sep 23, 2016.

  1. JROG

    JROG Soap Chat Active Member 10 Years on Soap Chat 5 Years on Soap Chat

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    EPISODE 1: SUICIDAL

    The episode picks up perfectly from season 9’s finale, as the heightened life in the cul-de-sac goes on and nobody realizes Val is on the floor, unconscious. Karen and Mack argue about how to handle the situation with Manny, Pat nags Frank to get a job, Bobby and Betsy innocently play around. It is 16 tense minutes before Frank realizes something is wrong and discovers Val.

    Fucking Santa Tecla is back! But then again it would, wouldn’t it? Mack puts on his best hat and cowboy boots and goes looking for Michael and Paige in a montagey kinda way, which Manny calls suicidal. First Olivia, then Val, now Mack? Boy, this show is dangerous! I love that Mack calls both of them his children.

    It was funny Harold and Mack didn’t know each other for the longest time; that seems like it would have never happened in earlier seasons.

    Mack gets captured and plays an interesting game of trying to provoke Harold and bring him on his side. Meanwhile, back home, Abby and Karen continue to lean on each other as they await news and, hilariously, Karen talks to an Explosives Expert so she can blow up the marina anytime she wants. Did she talk to Gary about this? I hear blowing up stuff like that can lead to some dangerous things….

    I loved the small moment of Meg picking up Mack's gun and the horrified looks on their faces. Greg is saddled with taking care of his child and decides to hire a publicist, certainly for something nefarious or another.

    Jill learns that Val's alive and goes all apocalyptic on her phone device before puking her guts out. It eventually dawns on her, while she contemplates a second murder attempt, that nobody will believe Val's story. The scene has unnecessary voiceover, considering Jill's entire thought process was pretty obvious. There’s some comical shit with a psychiatric ward patient next to Val. Last time they had a random comic character around, he stole Lilimae away. Who is this patient getting it on with? Surely not Gary!

    When Manny orders Chava and Mack killed, Harold intervenes and does the killing himself. Thank God Manny died!! Although he was an interesting actor and villain, we can wrap this whole thing up now! "WWWWHHEEEEREEE ARE MY CHILDREN?" Mack unnecessarily screams, but then again, most of the times he screams, it’s unnecessary.

    We’re off to a very good start!
     
  2. Natalia Patterson

    Natalia Patterson Soap Chat Active Member

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    This episode really demonstrated the strengths in all of the actors. Again, the writers were'nt afraid of stirring thinges up. Always keeping the viewers on edge.
     
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  3. Daniel Avery

    Daniel Avery Super Moderator Staff Member 15 Years on Soap Chat 10 Years on Soap Chat 5 Years on Soap Chat

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    I loved the way they inserted character actress Billie Bird (as Val's hospital roommate). With all the tension surrounding Jill/Val and the scary aspect of the twins being in danger (wandering around unsupervised) without their knowing it, they needed that touch of comedy. The actress, known for comic characters on sitcoms (at that point, known as the wisecracking housekeeper on Benson), would seem totally out of place in a high-tension situation on a drama series, which might be why she was cast.

    I also loved Jill's very Knots-ian reaction to finding out Val had survived. With all the nefarious plotting going on across all the nighttime soaps, can you imagine any of them barfing into a sink when they thought they might be found out?
     
  4. Willie Oleson

    Willie Oleson Struck by boogie lightning 5 Nomination Wins 10 Years on Soap Chat 5 Years on Soap Chat The Bachelor 2016

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    You're right. There wasn't enough barfing going on. They all should have barfed at least once.
     
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  5. JROG

    JROG Soap Chat Active Member 10 Years on Soap Chat 5 Years on Soap Chat

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    I'm not sure comedy was needed -- it didn't seem to be needed pre-Lechowick era, especially not this kind of broad, obvious comedy -- but I do see how she felt out of place, purposefully so, and that helped make it better.

    Funnily enough, I did think how rare it is to have a soap villain react this way. It felt very specific to the situation and character, which was great. Angela, J.R., Alexis would certainly never. Maybe Richard Channing. He seems like a puker.

    '

    LMAO!!
     
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  6. JROG

    JROG Soap Chat Active Member 10 Years on Soap Chat 5 Years on Soap Chat

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    EPISODE 2: BORDERLINE

    Witty. Val finally wakes up and it was better than I ever could have imagined. Val’s freak-out—"She tried to kill me! She tried to kill me!"—is a chilling moment. How heartbreaking that nobody will believe her (Jill stands around smiling evilly with contentment) but the storyline still showcases Val and Gary's connection wonderfully when he immediately agrees to send the twins to Lilimae's (now relegated to an off screen convenience instead of running to be by Val's side). Van Ark does some truly great work here. Oh, and I really enjoyed Patient Sheila in this episode.

    Meanwhile, Greg meets with a PR specialist to change his image – this sounds like it could lead somewhere good.

    Something very interesting is happening with Abby here. Following Olivia's suicide attempt, she admits to having changed: She understands Manny's actions because she herself has used the same reasons he does to justify them, but no longer sees things this way. A soap opera villain admitting their villainy is a seminal moment, for sure, but it leaves me worried about the kind of Abby we’ll be seeing on her last season on the show. I will not be able to handle it if she suddenly becomes good. Abby’s relationship with Karen, as previously noted, is currently different. As Karen becomes more and more disheveled (which is fun to watch), Karen and Abby lean on each other and even share a hug. I hope they come to their senses when Nice Bod Michael is out of danger. Speaking of which, the episode initially seems determined to zip through the various beats of Michael and Paige's kidnapping and Harold and Mack's search for them as quickly as possible. Despite the fact that it takes the time to show us a hogtied Guy Who Gave Mack Information, one gets the sense this whole thing just might be over by episode’s end. But then Paige, Michael and Johnny go and get themselves locked in the back of a truck in the blazing hot day. My God, this nightmare (storyline) just won’t go away, will it?
     
  7. Willie Oleson

    Willie Oleson Struck by boogie lightning 5 Nomination Wins 10 Years on Soap Chat 5 Years on Soap Chat The Bachelor 2016

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    Eventually.
    :)
     
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  8. JROG

    JROG Soap Chat Active Member 10 Years on Soap Chat 5 Years on Soap Chat

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    EPISODE 3: DESERTED

    "Abby's being so nice to everyone. What does she want?" Mack, 1988.

    What a fab episode! No, not the Mexico stuff. The Truck Cast does its best to create some tension while we wait for Mack to save them. The highlight is Johnny finally revealing that his Irish accent isn’t real and explaining his backstory. It is such a relief when Mack suddenly opens up the truck – I thought we would have to suffer for the rest of the episode along with the characters. And what is it with KL and cows in desert areas? Are there really that many cows walking around like that?

    The true meat of the installment is back in Knots Landing, where Val has been released and touchingly asks to spend the night at Karen's. Their scenes are fascinating: Two women desperately trying not to lose it. Karen's son and stepdaughter have been kidnapped and missing, Val was almost murdered and fears for her life. And all they can do is cook and talk about guard dogs. What I really liked about Karen's regrets about the years Michael was growing up is that they recalled a Karen that was not perfect, a Karen that did not have all the answers, which is the Karen we initially saw.

    One thing about the Mexico stuff: It built up to the wonderful reunion scene at the MacKenzie house. In any other show, all this happiness and all those hugs would be completely unacceptable, but the show has never forgotten how to do this type of thing. While everyone is celebrating and eating, Val feels just as deserted as those back in Mexico. She hides in the kitchen, busying herself with cleaning up, as various characters stop by to offer words of comfort or advice. This stuff has not only served to make Karen and Val's friendship feel stronger than ever, but Val's interaction with Abby is just phenomenal. Who knew Abby and Val would ever be hugging? Karen still doesn’t believe Val but maybe Abby is the one to turn to? Someone’s going to have to believe her at some point, because that psycho bitch Jill is telling Gary that she’s afraid what Val could do to her, and could very easily be setting up the next part of her plan.

    The last few minutes of the episode are also thrilling: Drugs have been found at Lotus Point, which only spells doom for the business. Thrillingly, someone drives up and parks in the cul-de-sac. Who is it? Jill, back to mess with Val? Somebody connected to Pat and Frank’s Witness Protection Program? Something to do with the Lotus Point drugs? We don’t know!

    And, of course, those heartbreaking ending moments as Val searches the house, knife in hand, and then stays up all night in the living room. What a tremendous storyline.

    DDD
     
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  9. Natalia Patterson

    Natalia Patterson Soap Chat Active Member

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    I fast forwarded through all of Jonny' s parts. Omg. I hated that whole storyline. They could have left that out.
     
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  10. JROG

    JROG Soap Chat Active Member 10 Years on Soap Chat 5 Years on Soap Chat

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    EPISODE 4: THE PICK-UP GAME

    What a brilliant episode. The news about the drugs on Lotus Point getting splashed all over the papers leads to Mack's job being threatened and to some truly brilliant scenes as Mack immediately shuts down, leaves the office and spends his day playing basketball and contemplating the fact that he’s growing older. The scene with Paige is a particular highlight, a great example of their relationship and of KL’s ability to present seemingly trivial moments of everyday life that are all but simple under the surface. Mack, of course, still has time to question Abby's current situation as he, once again, wonders what she is up to. It’s a truly surprising, fascinating story for Abby, who Karen believes is trying to make up for Olivia's suicide attempt. Is that the answer? I suppose we’ll find out!

    The Lotus Point situation also hits Gary strong, who buys all the papers on the resort and throws them away. Karen and Abby try to calm him. "Aren’t you the one who buried a body under the playground?" he snaps at Abby. I approve of this reference. Hilariously, Karen, never one to take abuse lying down, reminds Gary that he was the one who threw it all to hell last year and decided he wasn’t interested in Lotus Point anymore.

    Finally, someone believes Val! And how awesome is it that it’s Frank who starts trying to prove Val's innocence. The residents of Knots Landing are too smart to keep believing for long that an otherwise sane Val could have imagined it all the way they have thought so far, so even Gary and Karen begin to have doubts. Jill calls Val to ask if Gary is there, freaking an already terrified Val out, and something tells me that Jill may be slowly making mistakes… While hanging out in her kitchen, Karen warns Val that, if she keeps closing herself off like this, then Jill has won. To add to the details of the scene, Karen does all this while reading the label of one of Val's new grocery items, adding so much realism and texture to the soapy story.

    Meanwhile, the Mysterious Car Man turns out to be there for Pat and Frank! Oh, no! The episode is so good that even Julie having to throw her spelling bee competition was sad!

    After building in the background for what feels like an eternity, there’s movement in Paige and Greg's story. Paige shoves her hands down Greg's pants (for a totally innocent reason!) and then decides to hunker down and figure out how to get to him. This brilliantly intersects with Mack's ‘mood’ of the episode, who tells her how to get to Greg. Never one to waste time, Paige promptly strips her clothes off and swims in Greg's pool before emerging like a Californian Aphrodite all naked and wet right in front of Pops, who seems like he’s about to take a bite off that apple.

    DDD
     
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  11. Daniel Avery

    Daniel Avery Super Moderator Staff Member 15 Years on Soap Chat 10 Years on Soap Chat 5 Years on Soap Chat

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    I remember liking this episode so much that I saved it on videotape for several years. Lynne Moody was at her most beautiful! I also liked the way little bits and pieces of the Williamses former lives came out in unique ways, such as when ex-cop Frank got Pat to snoop into Jill's bank account to gather evidence of her plot against Val, and how the spelling bee drama reminded us that all three of them were losing a lot by having to go into hiding. I know the "shark-infested waters" scene is an often-cited scene from the series, but I'd forgotten that Mack basically pushed Paige in Greg's direction without realizing it. Boy, will he live to regret that!
     
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  12. JROG

    JROG Soap Chat Active Member 10 Years on Soap Chat 5 Years on Soap Chat

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    EPISODE 5: SEX AND VIOLENCE

    For a storyline that grated so much last season, the Williamses witness protection saga provides some excellent fun here. The guest actor who turns out to be not a hitman but an actor taking advantage of Pat’s story was hilarious and brilliant. Everyone involved, including Mack's secretary, was clearly having the time of their lives. There was a lot of fun interaction between Ted, the PR guy, and Abby as well, who, in her effort to save Lotus Point, is returning more and more to her old self. And, of course, you give Paige a lay, she moves right in! Great episode!
     
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  13. JROG

    JROG Soap Chat Active Member 10 Years on Soap Chat 5 Years on Soap Chat

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    EPISODE 6: A WEEKEND GETAWAY

    Third stunning episode in a row! "A Weekend Getaway" starts nicely with Gary in therapy to try to figure out how to help Val. From there on, it’s a love letter between the two characters – this storyline is basically a love story for Gary and Val, one of their greatest ones. There is a lot of great interaction between Gary, Val and Karen here, something pretty rare since Gary moved out of the cul-de-sac. Gary desperately wants to believe Val but Jill has been too smart to leave behind any clues.

    In the meantime, we see the Abby we know and love emerging more and more, while her connection with Greg deepens. These two have always been a great pair but this dynamic that we’re witnessing now is fairly recent… and could go places!

    Mack was hilarious as he dealt with Paige's absence: "I don’t run a hotel!" I liked the way he found to finally end Pat and Frank’s dilemma, although Harold's reappearance was a bit random. I hope it leads somewhere good.

    And, of course, Jill having no choice but to tell Gary she slept with another man in order to throw off suspicion was a great way to end!
     
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  14. JROG

    JROG Soap Chat Active Member 10 Years on Soap Chat 5 Years on Soap Chat

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    EPISODE 7: THE BRIAR PATCH

    Season 10 continues to deliver majorly! Jill's way of deflecting suspicion by confessing to, and then proving that she had, an affair is pretty genius. One can’t help but really feel for Val as she’s begging a complete stranger to admit to a one-night stand. Meanwhile, Abby gives Harold a job at Lotus Point but then plants drugs in his locker, as you do. It’s the first sign that Abby is not only back – she never went away! This becomes clearer and clearer as Abby and Gary convince Karen it’s time to sell Lotus Point. At the same time, Abby has found out that there is oil under Lotus Point. So, what does she do? She spins this elaborate web of lies, deceit, and manipulation, which also involves Greg, and finally gets Lotus Point sold to a Japanese holdings company – which is owned by none other than Abby! "Where did you come up with ‘Morikame’?" Abby is asked. "In the phonebook!" she replies. Most deliciously of all, Abby's ‘change’ wasn’t real at all – just a deliberate scheme to gain control! Amazing.
     
  15. JROG

    JROG Soap Chat Active Member 10 Years on Soap Chat 5 Years on Soap Chat

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    EPISODE 8: A FINE ROMANCE

    Oh, hey! It’s the strip croquet episode! Another KL milestone achieved – I’ve heard much about this scene but this was the first I ever saw it. It illuminates everything that is so different and so fun about Paige and Greg. But it’s not all about attraction and sex. After Paige redecorates Greg's bedroom, he finds that she still left a picture of Laura in there (something that says a lot about Paige), but it seems Greg is ready to move on, illustrated by his taking down the painting Laura bought and replacing it with a younger, more modern painting that Paige bought. In the meantime, things deteriorate so much between Gary and Jill, that he breaks up with her. Jill's reaction to the break-up is to put together wedding invitations. I like her style. Frank and Pat take the week off, while Karen almost doesn’t appear, except in a couple of scenes during the end (surely, a rarity!). There is also some interesting stuff happening with Ted, who flirts and woos both Paige and Abby. It’s hard to tell whether he’s slick or slimy, if he’s being genuine or if he’s strictly playing the game in regards to his job, but that’s the fun of it. Speaking of fun, Abby deftly manipulates the situation with Harold while she celebrates her secret acquisition of Lotus Point by buying herself expensive jewelry. Also at the jewelry store? Greg, who buys an 100K engagement ring – but no, not for Paige… but for Abby! It’s one of those twists that was there all along but you don’t see coming, and Abby's reaction to the proposal will forever go down as one of the most hilarious in Knots Landing history. Brilliant, brilliant season!
     
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  16. Toni

    Toni Soap Chat Well-Known Member 15 Years on Soap Chat 10 Years on Soap Chat 5 Years on Soap Chat

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    Just give´m time...

    I´m very happy you´re enjoying this season! But it´s something more kind of TNT Dallas, than of vintage Knots, if you know what I mean...
     
  17. JROG

    JROG Soap Chat Active Member 10 Years on Soap Chat 5 Years on Soap Chat

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    EPISODE 9: A MANY SPLENDORED THING

    The show zeroes in on Abby with razor-sharp focus, and it’s to its immense benefit. She’s one of those characters that can carry and propel an entire show, but you wouldn’t know that from the way they treated her for most of seasons 8 and 9.

    As Abby considers Greg's marriage proposal (complete with flashbacks of her season 5 wedding with Gary), videotaped propositions from Greg, and lots of amusedly scheming looks, Paige is out of town for her grandfather’s funeral and we are gifted with a return from Anne. The dynamic between Paige and Anne is so fascinating and complex, and one basks in Anne's willingness to hurt and annoy her daughter as much as possible. By the end, Abby has accepted Greg's proposal, and we get a beautiful ending as Greg symbolically says goodbye to his relationship with Paige.

    Also, a couple of shockers: A pizza and soda only cost $12.50 in 1989, AND the show throws some Charles Scott shade!

    This is the third episode in a row in which Pat and Frank are absent.
     
  18. JROG

    JROG Soap Chat Active Member 10 Years on Soap Chat 5 Years on Soap Chat

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    EPISODE 10: CABIN FEVER

    Watching Abby and Greg skillfully plan out their union is so much fun and exciting. This marriage has the potential to shake up the entire show. "Greg who?" Karen says when Abby calls with the news. Betraying the depth of his feelings for Paige, Greg avoids breaking up with her as long as decently possible, but eventually takes the plunge. Paige goes from having her entire life planned out to losing basically everything she worked for. It’s strangely affecting. Jill continues to manipulate Gary into extending her stay at the ranch. There’s something very funny about how dry and deadpan his understanding and politeness is. There’s no other character like Gary that responds to things that way. Mack is banished to the mountains amid his mid-life crises, where Temptation shows up in the face of sexy forest ranger Paula. I loved the scene after Paula propositions Mack where he gets up and enters what we think might be her room, but instead he’s gone back to Karen. But we knew that all along, didn’t we? I have a feeling we may see Paula again soon. In the meantime, Karen gets to play the nagging mother as Michael plans to start college soon. Poor Paige sits and watches as Greg and Abby smugly announce on TV that they’re getting married and that Greg is running for mayor. Oh, that must hurt!

    This is Frank and Pat’s fourth absent episode in a row. JVA is currently a member of the One-Scene Club.
     
  19. JROG

    JROG Soap Chat Active Member 10 Years on Soap Chat 5 Years on Soap Chat

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    EPISODE 11: MERGER MADE IN HEAVEN

    Indeed it is! Abby is busy closing accounts and shuffling money around, when Olivia announces her engagement to Harold. Olivia is determined to prove Harold is innocent in order to win Abby's approval to marry him (as opposed to proving it just because) and finally gets a clue: She figures out Abby was behind it. I guess Abby isn’t as adept at covering her tracks as Jill is. The bathtub scene was brilliant – a very Abby-like Olivia emerges and, unlike her drug phase, this Olivia makes total sense. Whatever’s going on with Mack is utterly fascinating. From his return to the office and taking back his dartboard, to his announcement that he’s quitting his job. Gary finally has enough and tells Jill not to come back. Poor Jill – whatever is she to do? Paige makes Greg jealous with Ted Melcher and in the process makes a fool of herself. Greg yells at her to quit pulling stunts, while he also deals with a very disapproving Carlos. If I were Carlos, I’d be careful not to get fired! Having successfully blackmailed her mother, Olivia parades Harold at the wedding as Paige watches Greg and Abby get wed. Scandalous!

    Frank and Pat are absent from the fifth episode in a row. I know I wanted that Witness Protection Program story to be over but I still wanted to see them. Val also takes the episode off.
     
  20. JROG

    JROG Soap Chat Active Member 10 Years on Soap Chat 5 Years on Soap Chat

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    EPISODE 12: MRS. PEACOCK IN THE LIBRARY WITH THE LEAD PIPE

    The hilariously and cleverly titled episode features John Pleshette’s return to the series, as director this time. He brings his own flavor to things and we get some really different, interesting moments, like the extreme close-ups of Jaime Lyn Bauer's radiant smile, or that truly unexpected scene in which Greg wakes up (covered in Abby's negligee or something) and surprises Abby in the bathroom of their honeymoon suite, where close-ups are used again, combined with some weird expressions from the actors to put together something straight out of Season 3. Wonderful stuff, and so exciting that a show in its tenth season, so far removed from those early years, can still pull off something like this.

    While Abby and Greg honeymoon, and Paige licks her wounds for losing Greg, the episode mainly focuses on Mack's search for something knew, and the slow reveal to Gary that Jill actually was behind Val's so-called suicide attempt.

    I really like the idea of Mack becoming a lawyer and that Peggy is going with him. I just hope that they don’t overdo it with Mack's crusades, because I can see that becoming tiresome really fast.

    Meanwhile, Jill is losing control and spying at Gary from outside windows. I do appreciate that the show has avoided making Jill pull the typical psycho faces/acting that you’d expect, or using music to infer as much. In fact, she acts totally normal and logical – as she hides around bushes. Austin’s face is hilarious when her supposed one-night stand barges into the office and announces he has VD. Well, leave it to the Lechowicks to have it all unravel based on an STD. (Someone’s wife has been sleeping around!). The rest of the episode is a sort of cat-and-mouse between Gary and Jill, as she works to prevent any questions from arising, and Gary ends up accidentally or purposefully hunting down the various pieces of the puzzle. It’s not until Mack remembers that Jill handled the case of a professional forger that they both he and Gary finally realize what has happened. It’s a goosebump kind of moment. But, it’s not over yet! Jill realizes that Gary must be on to her and, in a great ending, gets so furious that she cuts her hand with a box-cutter. Oh, Val, you better run!

    The episode is also notable for introducing Lilimae's replacement, Ginny, a knock-off version of our favorite nosy grandma (because they didn’t want to keep paying Julie Harris…), who was somewhat annoying, but I’ll give her a chance.
     
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