Living in the Cul-de-Sac: Season 11 for the First Time

Discussion in 'Knots Landing' started by JROG, Sep 15, 2017.

  1. JROG

    JROG Soap Chat Well-Known Member

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    NO SPOILERS PLEASE!!!

    EPISODE 1: UP THE SPOUT AGAIN


    Back to the cul-de-sac! Here’s the key, there’s the key, where’s the key? Paige quite possibly makes her stupidest decision ever by choosing Ted. Ted takes that goddamn key from her, and then Greg takes the key from him, but it turns out Paige has the REAL key and Greg hired a muscular goon for nothing. It’s all quite fun, and includes a quick scene with a funny, good-looking sleaze.

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    Mack, Karen, and Paula are stuck doing their comedy routine as Karen gets released from the hospital, Paula gets dropped off, and Mack confesses all but, guess what, Karen's in the back of the car, so she didn’t hear! OK. What was once really funny in the ending episodes of the season now feels tired.

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    Val fears the worst when Danny cancels their date because he’s sick. Understandable, considering her history. She pays him a surprise visit and is ecstatic to find out he’s indeed sick. She runs away when Danny offers his peen. While he’s sick?! Come on, dude. Chicken soup is good but it doesn’t work that fast.

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    Meanwhile, Gary is caught in an endless succession of high angle shots and coffee-pots obscuring faces. Both Val and Pat teasing Gary about Sally's friend was very funny but this, too, feels a little tired. This aired after a several-month break, and it’s all still the same. But, at least in this case, we see some exciting movement when yet another disembodied voice (OK, kinda) attacks Can’t-See-My-Face in her apartment and Gary is left stupidly yelling on the phone, "What’s your number? What’s your name?!" I can’t tell if he’s worried or shocked he’s finally getting a freezeframe.

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  2. JROG

    JROG Soap Chat Well-Known Member

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    EPISODE 2: POETIC JUSTICE

    Gary desperately tries to explain his bizarre soapy life to the authorities. After trying out several ways to locate Sally's friend, he begins to lose hope. Mean-while, the show has changed its format: The episode opens with a new scene, then cuts to the opening credits. This is where things get weird: In the middle of the goddamn credits, they stop to do a recap, before returning to the music. As if that weren’t a bizarre choice to begin with, they’ve already shown us new material, so the recap that’s meant to catch you up comes after that. I appreciate their return to the original music and their attempts at originality, but here they are breaking the wheel and attempting to reinvent it for no reason.

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    The race to Rick Hawkins’ mailbox continues! Honestly, I’m not even sure why it matters, but the whole thing reminds me of a Shakespearean comedy with twins gone dramatic (only, in this case, the twins are replaced by keys). You know this is Lechowick work because tires go flat, steering wheel bolts mal-function, and we get a whole scene about an elderly couple reporting their truck stolen (complete with comedy bits). Also, everyone’s jogging. Paige trapped in a dirty bathroom while Ted breaks through the door (insert your own, "Heeeeeeere’s Ted!" joke) is absolutely great. In the end, Ted gets away with what he thinks is everything and Paige and Greg believe him dead after his truck is found in a lake (great production work here).

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    Winner of the episode: Greg's muscular abductor, who is hilariously serious about playing Monopoly.

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    For once, Mack and Karen take a backseat to the action. They’re preparing a barbecue and Mack acts all awkward when Paula's name is brought up. He might as well put a sign on his head.

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    I really enjoyed the Danny/Val stuff. Everything in Val's house has turned pastel (Bliss Colby's bedroom could not compete!) and she’s beginning to fall in love with Danny, unexpectedly. She makes several speeches about it in the episode. Oh, you just know it’s all going to go very, very bad. I really liked the ocean scene (it always feels right when Val is there) and what a surprise ending: Val breaks things off with Danny, so what does he do? He asks her to marry him!

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    Last edited: Sep 21, 2017
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  3. Seaviewer

    Seaviewer Soap Chat Well-Known Member

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    Oh, yeah, I remember that. I don't think it lasted long, though. :popcorn:
     
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  4. JROG

    JROG Soap Chat Well-Known Member

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    Unique, but completely nonsensical!
     
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  5. Daniel Avery

    Daniel Avery Super Moderator Staff Member

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    It lasted the whole season! And yes, an odd mash-up of original material (the teaser scene/cold open), credits, and recap, followed by more original material prior to commercial. Seaview Circle captured in sand sculpture was clever enough, so the rest of it was not necessary. I was more than willing to forgive them, though, because the return of the "real" theme music (and the death of the funeral dirge-theme tune of seasons 9-10) was an adequate trade-up.

    Totally not related, but I'm reminded that the main thing I know about Robert Desiderio (who played slimy Ted) is that he is the real-life husband of Judith Light, who was on the Dallas reboot. Similarly, Sam Behrens (even slimier Danny) is the real-life husband of Shari Belafonte, whom Donna Mills recently trounced in the tennis competition on Battle of the Network Stars.
     
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  6. JROG

    JROG Soap Chat Well-Known Member

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    EPISODE 3: PRINCE CHARMING

    Really fun episode. The day of the MacKenzie barbecue arrives and, with it, the reveal that Mack and Paula spent the night in the same hotel room. Lee gets to do some good, subtle work here, as she hides how angry she is that this detail was kept from her, and later suspects that something did happen between her husband and their friend. She’s particularly good in the kitchen scene where she tells Mack she wants "the truth, no jokes." Although Mack admits he’s attracted to Paula, Karen is a glass half-full kind of gal, and focuses on the positive stuff: He didn’t bonk her. How understanding!

    Meanwhile, Eric's back, and dressing like a grandfather. Seriously, Greg comes off more youthful. It’s nice to see Eric again but unfortunately, he comes chained to that thing he calls a wife. Cue endless moaning about the fact that others eat meat and how tough life is for her. I did find her more tolerable than their last visit, especially when it became clear that she and Eric had something to tell Karen and Mack… I somehow hoped she’s dying or they’re divorcing and wanted to tell them together… Horror! She’ll be moving in with the MacKenzies for months, while poor Eric is sent abroad. NOOOOO.

    After taking the first two episodes of the season off, Harold and Olivia are back (and so is sweet Michael). Olivia is enforcing a strict budget, and it all descends into chaos when she discovers Harold bought the expensive kind of ice cream. They are quickly embroiled in one of those petty arguments couples get into until they find apologize to each other and go watch a movie. Carafotes is really good here.

    There are a couple of excellent scenes dealing with Nagata, Hawkins, and Ted. In the first one, Greg goes to his office (after asking Paige to come back to work for him) and finds a very much alive Ted sitting on his couch. Ted blackmails Greg in exchange for the pictures Paige has. By the time Greg goes to Paige, it’s too late: She’s already turned the pictures in. The police decide they don’t have much to go on, and drop the case, and Greg somehow agrees to just send Ted to Japan. Wow, I thought Ted would end up dead by the end of this. Both scenes are filmed wonderfully—at night, with lots of shadows, blacked out surroundings and focus only on the actors, that sort of thing. Paige and Ted run into each other by the elevator and ride down together. Slapping ensues – Paige slaps Ted, and Ted slaps Paige. Paige's face is priceless. Ted leaves Paige with some parting advice: To take advantage of the fact that Greg is in love with her. I don’t know if this is Ted's final appearance, but I’m going to miss him. What a fascinating character he ended up being, and what shocking turn of events.

    Danny's not having a good week: First Val turns down his proposal(s), then Bobby and Betsy begin to throw some major shade at him. Danny avoids talking to the twins’ kindergarten teacher, Amanda. Uh oh. While Gary continues his frantic search for Sally's friend, Val continues to turn down Danny's proposals. Danny is all sweet and understanding about it, and then visits his girlfriend, Amanda. That bastard! Lemme guess? Amanda must also be Sally's friend! A mess!

    Winner of the episode: Harold, and that fabulous six-pack of his that will not be affected by extravagantly expensive ice cream!


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  7. Seaviewer

    Seaviewer Soap Chat Well-Known Member

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    I much preferred he first incarnation as a younger version of Karen. I think there was more to explore there.
     
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  8. JROG

    JROG Soap Chat Well-Known Member

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    She was recast? I can honestly say I had no idea :lol:
     
  9. Daniel Avery

    Daniel Avery Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Linda kept being "recast" throughout her run, even if she was always played by Lar Park Lincoln. They kept changing her motives and attitudes as they moved her from plot to plot, and from character to character. This was similar (though done much better) with the character of Jill Bennett.
     
    Last edited: Oct 6, 2017
  10. Seaviewer

    Seaviewer Soap Chat Well-Known Member

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    No, not literally recast but, as Daniel said, her personality and motivation changed markedly for no obvious reason - something I more associate with Dynasty where such things were chopped and changed quite frequently.
     
  11. Toni

    Toni Soap Chat TV Fanatic

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    I´d better think that Linda got "liberated" from the repression her mother taught her, along with those ideas about healthy food and environment. Once you rid of them, the rest is a piece of cake (as JR would say): you get your hair dyed, realize your brother-in-law is much hotter than your husband, get a job where the BIL works, and well, this is the promising start of every blonde who wants to be somebody in life. Too bad she didn´t learn of her mistakes too much...

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    Now seriously, I never found Linda´s behavior hard to believe or out-of-character, maybe because when the Abster left, the show was crying out loud for new conniving blondes. And that Linda was (as Yoda would say!). She was highly entertaining, and Linda Park-Lincoln never played her too seriously, but with a enormously funny lightness. Just in my opinion, your honors... (Oh TV God, how I miss "The Good Wife" already...)
     
  12. JROG

    JROG Soap Chat Well-Known Member

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    EPISODE 4: CLOSE CALL

    Following the advice Ted Melcher gave her last week, Paige wonders (to poor, captive Carlos) whether she can trust Greg, and decides to milk him for all he’s worth: Abby's old office, a company car, a computer, $120,000 a year salary. Greg, of course, gives in, and wants to celebrate with champagne, but Paige keeps things strictly professional. The interplay between those two is very interesting and their chemistry white hot. You can see why the show is placing so much on their shoulders.

    The developments at Sumner Group are very painful to our lovable duo of idiot, Mort and Bob, who make their first appearance of the season as they theorize Paige is still around because she’s doing Greg sexual favors. Mort, with his characteristic humility, figures he’s good-looking enough to stand out in the competition for Abby's old office. His reaction to finding out Paige has it is priceless.

    Meanwhile, from eons ago, the show addresses the theft of Michael's software by Johnny Rourke (I actually kind of miss Johnny). Greg pays Michael $100,000 to end the matter, then offers him a job at Sumner. Amusingly, this sends Mack and Karen through the roof. Both parties attempt to psychologically manipulate each other but it doesn’t work, and Karen ends up screaming at Michael in a way that makes Head Screamer Mack very proud. It’s pretty funny.

    Harold tries to stay patient as Olivia bitches to him about the brand of soda he bought. If you switch over, you see, they’ll save 31 dollars a year! I’m surprised Harold hasn’t pulled some of his mafia enforcer moves on Olivia yet.

    Karen finally confronts Paula about her feelings for Mack. "You’re my friend!" Paula whines and somehow gains the moral ground.

    Frank helps Gary search for Sally's Friend all through L.A. At one point, Gary knocks on the right apartment but Chester, being a dog that’s useless, doesn’t actually bark when Gary rings the bell, so Gary moves on.

    It feels good to have so much focus on Gary and Val again. It just feels right. Danny drives Amanda to work with no apparent concern whether Val is actually there (he misses her car altogether). Val, of course, spots him, and a little too naively believes his explanation that he was there for her. The twins tell Gary that Danny is yucky, and my God, are they right or what? There is a subtle change to Danny now. We see moments of his true self shining out; he looks positively psychotic in some of the shots. Val resents Gary's interference (possibly because he says Danny is yucky) and reveals to Danny that Gary is the twins’ father. Then, the show goes on coincidence overload: Not only does Frank sing, but he is performing at the same place, same night as Amanda, who also happens to sing, who happens to be there with Danny, who Gary happens to see, while Amanda happens to have her dog with her, so Gary will accidentally hear her refer to him as Chester, so then he can find out the truth. Phew. I’m exhausted.

    Winner of the episode: Michael, who now has $100,000 and a nice job, without a degree, and for managing to win against Greg.

    Loser of the episode: Chester. What kind of dog doesn’t bark when the bell rings?


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  13. Daniel Avery

    Daniel Avery Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Unless I'm remembering wrong, the club where Amanda and Frank appear ("Stage 25") is named for the soundstage where Knots Landing was being filmed...a nice little in-joke in an otherwise tough-to-tolerate storyline.
     
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  14. JROG

    JROG Soap Chat Well-Known Member

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    EPISODE 5: BEST INTERESTS

    Amanda and Chester drive off and thus resumes yet another succession of scenes in which Gary tries to reach/find/call/locate Amanda and everything in the universe stands in his way. As a final recourse, he goes to Val's so he can ask for Amanda's number. The whole thing goes spectacularly badly, since Danny is there, and long story short, Danny ends up admitting that he’s married to Amanda! I gasped. Gary is written as particularly weak here – he tries to punch Danny and hurts his hand on the door. Ok, but really?

    On the other hand, we see some strength in Val that we haven’t witnessed in a long time. Val quickly ends things with Danny and refuses to return his calls or allow him to explain. Eventually, she decides to hear him out – and in one of her most thrilling moments ever, tells him to leave her alone in no uncertain terms. It’s obvious this won’t end there, but it’s exciting to watch Val react to Danny's betrayal the way you expect her to.

    Danny, to prove his … well, I don’t know, tells Amanda where to find Gary. Amanda shows up at the ranch with Chester, and the two spend a long, romantic day actually talking to each other face to face.

    There is a return to the feeling of neighborhood in this episode. I really love the scene with Mack, Karen and Val just hanging out outside at the cul-de-sac, talking, groceries moved from car to house, and then Ginny's arrival with the hilarious news of her arrest.

    Paige is resolved to make Greg squirm and wait and get jealous – as much as possible. The hilarious part is, she succeeds. Greg is waiting and squirming and peeking through windows and is making a fool of himself – to our viewing pleasure.

    The Ginny stuff is so unexpected. The initial scene of the story throws you right in: Ginny visits a couple people with the twins. One of those people, Jeri, taking advantage of the distraction the twins provide, steals money from a safe. It’s a genuinely wtf moment. Next thing we see, a police car pulls up at the cul-de-sac and you think you know where this is going: Ginny will somehow end up taking the blame. But it quickly proves to be so much more than that. Before long, there’s a whole case that draws Mack and Frank in, a mysterious-corporate-evil-figure that lurks in the shadows, threats of jail and trial. By the end of the episode, I’m really hooked. I particularly liked that bedroom scene with Mack and Karen, where you see the passion and determination return to him – he knows something fishy is happening and he will find out. It feels the character has purpose again. Unfortunately, poor defender of retirees everywhere Jeri gets thrown out a window to the pavement below.

    Winner of the episode: Val, for finding her strength and determination again.

    Loser of the episode: Evil corporation representative/lawyer Mark Baylor. Despite his endless efforts and his main adversary ending up with her blood splattered all over the pavement, he somehow comes across as a bigger loser.



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  15. JROG

    JROG Soap Chat Well-Known Member

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    EPISODE 6: WHEN PUSH COMES TO SHOVE

    So much great stuff! Such a good season so far. Aunt Virginia is put to some good comedic use following Jeri’s murder. Can you imagine how difficult she would be as a witness? Well, she’s worse! It all clearly is heading towards Ginny being accused of Jeri’s murder, but it barrels on with such conviction and such fun that you don’t care.

    Greg takes Paige's games and uses them against her by piling on so much work, she doesn’t have time for anything else. Consummate professional that she is, Paige responds by doing her job. Meanwhile, surprisingly, Greg and Paula (who’s still arguing with Karen over wanting Karen's husband’s penis) run into each other. Holy randomness! The two begin to spar in a way that’s obviously meant to be sexy, only we’ve never really seen Paula behave like this before, have we? Greg would never give her a second look, unless she suddenly develops a Paige-like acerbic tongue that catches his attention and matches his wit – and so she does. Yet, I can’t deny, this could be fun. It will be interesting to see what, if anything, they do with it. Karen and Paula make up, only for Karen to find out Paula's going out with Greg.

    It’s not the only Greg-surprise Karen gets this week. She learns that Michael's bought himself a fancy smancy watch and, in a way that recalls the Karen of seasons 1 or 2, mercilessly makes fun of Michael for the extravagance. A few million dollars have not changed Karen for-the-people McKenzie. It’s not all fun and games, though, when she realizes Michael was inspired to get the watch by Greg. I loved that little realization.

    Val and Amanda officially meet or re-meet or whatever, after which Danny goes crying to Amanda and spends the night with her. The next day, he finds Val waiting for him outside his apartment. She forgives him. Val is given a big speech to explain this but, honestly, it all screams plot point. How did she reach this point? How and why did she make this decision? I didn’t get a good enough answer, BUT… I’ll reserve judgment as long as the plot that results from this is good.

    Mack ends up with the theory that Mark Baylor killed Jeri and warns that he will put him away. Instead, you guessed it, aunt Ginny is arrested! Mack gives good shock-face freezeframe.

    Winner of the episode: Mack, for getting his drive back.

    Loser of the episode: Paige, for not seeing this coming.

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  16. Seaviewer

    Seaviewer Soap Chat Well-Known Member

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    :lol:
     
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  17. JROG

    JROG Soap Chat Well-Known Member

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    EPISODE 7: MIXED MESSAGES

    In a charming opening scene, Paula acts smitten with Greg after realizing they’re only there to make Paige, who’s dining with Christopher at a nearby table, jealous. Their scenes remain charming throughout – what a departure from the previous episode! Greg invites Paula to the Sumner office party – there’s a great shot of Greg seen in the distance, with Paula's legs in the forefront – and he begins to see her as something more than a tool to annoy Paige with. Still, during a talk at a restaurant later, one can’t help but get the feeling Paula recoiled just a little when Greg kissed her cheek (neck?). If she’s interested, she doesn’t seem to be there yet.

    Meanwhile, Paige meets a new luvah in a way that would only happen on a Lechowick show: She’s showing a client to her car, when she overhears a couple arguing and breaking up. The man, who is tall, muscular, and sexy, of course, hands her a bag of fancy pantyhose, that clearly his ex won’t be using, and walks away. Paige wears them. How kinky. Of course, she runs into the man again and he shows how heartbroken he is by hitting on Paige. It doesn’t work but, guess what? He’s a guest at the Sumner party! Before long, there’s elevator sex. "These elevators really get a workout," Greg hilariously comments. "I can’t believe this is all a coincidence" Paige says as she’s getting ready to sleep with Tom Ryan in her apartment… uh oh. Tom Ryan literally rides her. When she wakes up, he’s no longer there.

    The Sumner office hijinks continue. Let’s see if I can get this right: Mort kicks up his asshole-meter a notch by making sure Michael knows Bob is bringing his cousin to the party as his date. Michael asks Polly out. Polly tells him she has a date but he later overhears her asking Harvey out. Thing offers to go with Michael to the party. Polly is without a date because Mort arranged for Harvey to have to work. Mort is stunned to see gorgeous Thing on Michael's arm. Mort asks Paige to dance and gets shot down. Mort hits on Polly but Harvey returns on time. Mort decides Bob’s cousin is next but Bob’s cousin is only his third cousin, so she kisses him and they realize their love for each other, while Mort seethes. Fun!

    Following their evening of kinky role-playing, Michael and Thing come to realize they’re attracted to each other. Is Michael going to sleep with every woman that comes to stay at that house?!

    Despite Val taking him back, Danny is at Amanda's, upset that their one-night stand was just that. Meanwhile, Gary is upset that Danny is always around, whether he’s visiting Val or Amanda, and wants to go away with her. He tells her not to tell Danny, which is of course exactly what she’ll do. Danny continues to romance Val and the show plays cutesy, romantic music while they kiss – um, he’s cheating on her and is a douchebag. Are we confused here, Show?

    Ginny is exonerated when the money Jeri stole is found in Baylor’s home. Wow, that’s a great twist. Baylor sees Mack and Frank and asks them to represent him, assuring them he’s innocent. "I love the law," Mack tells Karen, who squeezes in an appearance a few minutes before episode’s end, and he can’t stand knowing that Baylor is guilty. But Ginny, while creepily going through her dead friend’s jewelry, finds the $17,000 that supposedly was taken by Baylor in the jewelry can! Oh, this is great.

    Loser of the episode: Mort because, well, he’s Mort and rightly nothing goes right for him.

    Winner of the episode: Bob, who finds love, even if she’s his third cousin. That was actually kinda sweet.

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    DDD
     
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  18. Willie Oleson

    Willie Oleson drilling for soap

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    It looked like a lingerie commercial.
     
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  19. JROG

    JROG Soap Chat Well-Known Member

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    EPISODE 8: THE GOOD GUYS

    My God, this season doesn’t even give you a second to breathe, does it?

    Tom calls Paige to apologize for hitting it and running. Before long, we (and Mack) learn that Tom is a cop. It’s all Mack needed to hear. You think the story will be about Mack trying to push Tom onto Paige, but you soon realize that he’s somehow involved with the Shady Corporation and probably been intimidating and hurting people right and left.

    Karen fills in for the talk show again. Is this the beginning of some Karen-becomes-a-talk-show host story or something?

    Everything else is pretty much put on hold while the episode majorly focuses on Tom and Paige. Olivia and Harold are still arguing about money. Michael and Thing are still attracted to each other. Karen still worries about Michael's spending. Gary, Amanda, and Danny take the week off.

    All this, and the cliffhanger is that Tom stood Paige up.
     
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  20. JROG

    JROG Soap Chat Well-Known Member

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    EPISODE 9: PERFECT COUPLES

    What a doozy of an episode.

    Once more, Paige is left feeling angry over something Tom did and pining after him. The fact that she’s this involved in such a short amount of time says a lot about just how much she actually likes him. Nevertheless, Tom ends things and pines away for Paige by looking at a lingerie shop window. Weird.

    The Sumner Group fun continues. On the one hand, you have Polly. Dating- every-guy-in-the-company Polly. I like her. There’s a really funny scene where she brings Paige chocolate to help her get over Tom. Typically, Paige chews her out but takes the chocolate – and then we see her trash bin is full of empty candy bar wrappings.

    On the other hand, you have the ever-douchey Mort making it his life’s purpose to date ‘Teresa’ aka Thing. Michael eventually snaps and tells Mort that only he will be sampling his brother’s wife’s giftbox. Somewhere in all of this, Mort meets Harold and Olivia (you guessed it, they’re having money problems) and lets the cat out of the bag: Michael is ‘dating’ Thing! Bob, ever so sweet and touching, actually defends Mort: "He’s really not such a bad guy. He’s just insensitive and crude." And you know… yes. Mort is just clueless.

    Eternal loser Mark Baylor gets sentenced to three years and begs Karen to get Mack to stop investigating. Karen is being flattered by the bailiff (who speaks not at all like real people would when he praises Karen's talk-show skills), so I hope she does get the message. Karen's funniest moment of the episode comes when Mack announces he’ll invite Tom and Paige to dinner, without them knowing the other is coming, and she deadpans: "You don’t want to meddle, do you?" Well, I don’t know what else he’s supposed to do.

    Pat finally makes an appearance but most of the scene is handled by Frank. Nevertheless, it’s a stand-out: Mack suggests Pat and Frank talk to Mark about what it’s like being in the witness protection program. Frank’s ensuing monologue is great, and gave the Williams’ season 9 introductory storyline some very nice resonance.

    The music on the show has gone crazy. There’s setting the mood and then there’s clubbing you over the head with it. Still, it’s charming. The focus of the episode is Danny's descent into madness. Despite an unconvincingly acted first scene (where Danny casually calls Val and then breaks down crying by himself over receiving divorce papers), his increasing desperation is must-see TV. There’s nasty Danny sex. Ridiculously on-the-nose live singing that makes Cathy seem subtle. Dog-napping. And then the harrowing, unexpected, devastating final scene: Several minutes of Amanda being slammed against the wall, threatened, choked, dragged across the floor, hair-pulled, raped. A stunning, heartbreaking end, wonderfully played by two actors I’m still on the fence about.

    PS. Hard to believe, but in 11 seasons, I think this is only the second rape?
     
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