My Thoughts on Season Six of KL, Episode By Episode

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    Remember in the last ep when I couldn’t quite figure out Abby’s motivations in exposing Bob Caulfield’s ‘60s institutionalization? My confusion continues this week, because she seems rather pleased when she’s talking with Greg about it, so I’m guessing that she did this as some sort of favor to him. The problem is that Greg does not see it as a favor and is rather disgusted with this treatment of his opponent, which I think is pretty cool. We’ve got ten years and a whole ton of eps with Greg to explore the wild complexities of his character, but he’s already fascinating by this juncture, and one of those things that keeps him so fascinating is those shades of grey. Is he good or bad? Well, I’d say he’s kinda neither, because he’s been shown to have some questionable moral choices such as working with the Wolfbridge group and then telling lies about his involvement with them, but then he also has real ethical moments like right here. When he finds out about the Caulfield news, he says how it has nothing to do with the race and isn’t even applicable, that it’s a non-issue, and he also knows that Abs found a duplicitous way to obtain the info (she had one of her lackeys steal it), which he is not pleased with. I like the fact that Greg wants to win the race but he wants to do it the right way, not by digging up some old story from twenty years ago to try and sabotage the reputation of his opponent.

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    Things start to get more threatening between Greg and Abs after he’s less than elated by what she has done. We are having some fabulously schizo moments with these two lately, and I’m saying that with love. Let’s think, just three episodes ago he was shooting St. Claire to death to save Abs (um, sorta). Then two eps ago they formed a bit of an uneasy alliance together when she agreed to give a nice little press conference to show Greg as a hero. One episode ago, that press conference went off without a hitch and you’d think everything would be square, but then she went and pulled this Caulfield business, which is pissing Greg off in this ep. During the gathering at Lotus Point (which is kinda the nucleus of this whole ep, giving our characters lots of space to move around and interact with eachother), she says how she could always go to the press and tell them the truth about what happened on the boat. Greg tries to be dismissive and is like, “You already gave your press conference,” but then Abs starts to spin a new version of the story out of thin air, presenting what she could tell the press, saying, “Oh, I was so scared because Greg was threatening me with a gun and he shot St. Claire right in front of me and he was gonna shoot me, too!” Greg seems vaguely unnerved by this threat, but I’m not entirely sure I buy it. I mean, I buy that Abs would maybe go through with this and try to soil Greg’s reputation, but I’m not sure I buy that the public would accept it. I feel like if Abs decided to give another press conference and was like, “Never mind, guys, I changed my mind and Gregory Sumner is actually an evil asshole who threatened me with a gun,” people would maybe have a hard time believing her. Even so, we’ve seen the incredible way Abs can handle lies when she has to, the way she can make them sound so true, so maybe she actually could make this one work, who knows?

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    What else happens at the big Lotus Point gathering? Well, like I said, it mostly provides a good opportunity for lots of interacting and yearning. The yearning is really amped up here, by the way, because we have Mack yearning to be with Karen, we have Val yearning to be with Ben (who comes to the Lotus Point opening with The Desperate Horny Chick that I’m ignoring for the time being, mostly because I can’t remember her name) while also, as always, simultaneously yearning to be with Gary, we have Cathy yearning to be with Joshua, and you get my drift. Maybe one of the most striking parts of this segment is when Abs first meets Joshua and introduces herself. She’s actually rather friendly with him and he even goes up to Cathy later and says, “I met Abby; she seems nice,” which, if this was a sitcom, would be the point where you pipe in the laugh track because it’s really so undeniably funny.

    Let me interrupt for a minute to talk about fashion. I’m really not much of a gay guy because I generally ignore the fashions and what all the characters are wearing in my write-ups, even though I’ll notice them and comment on them when watching the show. I think it’s worth noting that this is the season that Travilla comes into the fold to design the clothing and fashions, and I also think it’s worth noting that this goes complete concurrently with him being brought to work on Dallas. Looks like from 1984 to 1986 he was working on both Dallas and KL at the same time. Now, his fashions ruined Dallas during that two year period and were utterly ridiculous to look at (let’s not even talk about whatever nonsense Barbara Carrera would show up wearing during that dreadful dream season), but I don’t recall him ruining KL in the same way, adding some validity to my theory that everyone is just inherently better when they’re working on KL. The fashions here don’t distract me the way they distracted me on Dallas; we may see more glamorous fashions at this juncture in the series, but it never really feels out of place to me, and especially since in this instance we’re at a fancy Lotus Point opening that’s also functioning as a political function, it makes sense. I only bring this up because Abs is rocking a fabulously unique look for the Lotus Point opening. Again, my gay status really should be revoked since I fail so hard when it comes to trying to describe the looks of clothing, but basically she’s wearing this fantastic silvery-white kinda dress and she’s got this big diamond necklace on with this big-ass diamond in the very center of it, drawing your attention to it. I don’t know what most fans like to see Abs in, but I personally really dug this and, paired with her incredible new season six short haircut, I think she may look at her best this week, but of course that’s just my opinion.

    Alright, so the Lotus Point opening happens, Greg is good enough to invite Bob Caulfield to show up and he makes sure they get photographed together and all that, which is very decent of him, and then we are about ready to conclude the ep with a fabulous cliffhanger. I always know a cliffhanger is excellent if I can still remember it vividly, and this was one of them. I wouldn’t have been able to tell you what episode this came from, but I have always remembered how this episode ends. Earlier in the episode, when The Desperate Horny Chick I keep ignoring was drooling over Ben in his office and trying to molest him while he looked bored and annoyed with her, she made some mention of how, “I see you up in your office, late at night, typing out love letters to Val.” Nice seed planting on the part of writers, helping us to know that Ben is typing Val letters on his sexy fancy 1984 computer.

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    Oh yeah, f*ck, how did I forget to bring that up. Our last episode featured Ben at his computer, and I jotted in my notes, “First sighting of a computer on KL?” Well, is it? I can’t go back through the last 100 episodes or so and try to spot a computer, but I certainly feel like such fancy schmancy gadgetry would have had no place back in the simpler days of Knots Landing Motors, and I don’t recall seeing one in Abby’s sexy palace office during season five (is that palace office gone, now, by the way? I feel like we didn’t see it at all in these first five eps of the season and I’d be greatly distressed if we never got to see it again), so I’m actually fairly certain that Ben’s computer here is our very first KL computer. God, how I love watching the times evolve and change around our characters. After all, in 1979, when the series first started and the world irrevocably shifted on its axis due to this grand and cosmic event, who the hell would own a computer? Maybe some really super duper rich guy, and the computer would probably take up a whole building and not really be able to do anything except maybe function as a calculator. Then let’s leap to 1993, when KL goes off the air and the suicide rate spikes by millions, and reflect that, by that point, most businesses, even small ones, would probably have computers as standard practice. So it’s fascinating to slowly watch that change take over, and I of course made sure to check with My Beloved Grammy and I asked her if she was working on any computers in 1984 (for some quick context, 1984-1985 is when My Beloved Grammy finally divorced her loser asshole first husband and came to start her new life as a sexy and sophisticated independent 1980’s career woman). She gave it some thought and then said she didn’t remember working on computers very much until around 1988, but she says she had an office job in 1984 in which the office had one computer and it was like a big deal who got to work on it and play with it.

    Anyway, the computer is a very important function of the plot in Ipso Facto, because in addition to bringing us one step closer to the modern age that we currently live in, it also helps to give Abs some useful information. Now, I actually don’t think Abs is being deliberately sneaky in this instance; I don’t think she’s trying to snoop into Ben’s private affairs, but rather she walks into his office for some reason or other and I think the secretary is like, “Oh, use one of Ben’s floppy disks for your news segment or whatever,” so Abs grabs one and puts it in the computer and then suddenly a little love letter written from Ben to Val starts to appear before her. Actually, it appears in a rather odd way, as if someone is typing the words right before our very eyes. Is this how these things actually worked? I confess that by the time I made it into this world (1990), I think floppy disks were going out of style, and I only vaguely remember ever using them back in elementary school to, I think, play some sort of computer game (was it Oregon Trail?).

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    Anyway, if anyone was alive and cognizant back in 1984 (do you like how I’m making it sound more like 1884 and like everyone who was alive back then is almost surely dead by this point?), please go ahead and write in or leave a comment about this whole typing thing. I’m fairly certain that if you put in a floppy disk and it was storing something someone had written, it would probably just immediately present you with the big block of text, but the way it’s done here is certainly much more effective for the drama, because we are watching the words being typed before our very eyes, and it’s mostly generic stuff about Ben’s love for Val but how they can’t be together (I should probably mention that we are also hearing his voice piped in over the soundtrack as the words type themselves out), and then at the very end, he says, “The thing I don’t think I can ever get over is the fact that Gary is the father of your babies.” Boom, so now the cat is out of the bag, at least in terms of the fact that Abs knows the truth. I even love the way this is shot, because the camera is focusing in on the words on the screen and the reflection of Abs in the screen is out of focus, but then after that whole babies reveal, the camera switches focus so now Abby’s face and eyes are shown clearly in the computer screen, all very stylish, don’t you think?

    So that does it for Ipso Facto. Obviously it was brilliant, but of course I say that so often at this juncture that I’m beginning to sound like a broken record. I almost wish we could get a mediocre or subpar episode just so I could stop saying, “Omigod this was so amazing!” over and over again, except I don’t really wish for that because I love the way it feels to just watch this endless string of incredible television eps all in a row; what sheer bliss it is. Before I wrap it up for this ep, let me try to get a few intelligent thoughts in there about what I liked. Well, I was delighted to see Elikann doing the directing and I thought he brought his usual flair (Abs reflected in the computer screen, Mack and Jane sitting in the car during a rainstorm, etc. etc.) but I also thought the cast was functioning tightly as a unit, what with the Lotus Point celebration bringing them all together. Meanwhile, we are really continuing to grow some new stories while nicely finishing up with the old stuff. The writers are always so smart with this, because they could have easily just turned this into The Wolfbridge Show and had it turn into this thing where Mark St. Claire is this evil villain who’s constantly showing up to do evil things, but instead they blow him away and then move on to new stuff, yet it never feels like rushing, never feels like they’re trying to make us forget about anything; it just all feels so very organic.

    I love KL just about as much as anything in the my life or in the entire world and so I simply can’t wait to get together with My Beloved Grammy for another disk of five incredible eps in a row. In fact, as soon as I’m done writing this, I’m gonna call her to arrange our next date. Okay, so anyway, Ipso Facto was brilliant and so far all of season six has been brilliant and the beauty part is that we still have 25 more eps to watch and it’s only gonna get better and better, so let us move onward to Truth and Consequences.

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