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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    EPISODE 11: NEVER JUDGE A BOOK BY ITS COVER

    Danny's reaction to raping Amanda is just as disgusting as you’d expect it to be: He denies it, belittles her, calls her weak, and throws her out. They don’t skimp on the graphicness: At some point, Amanda's on the floor, her hand protectively between her thighs following her trauma. It’s not the type of imagery you’d expect on a network show. I really love the unexpected direction they’ve taken with this villain type story. It doesn’t feel like your typical dating-a-psycho scenario. Danny comes off charming, totally normal, everyday, and yet capable of extreme anger and actions. Sadly, the writers are trying to amp things up by having Val say things like, she loves Danny more than she ever loved Ben or even Gary, which is totally unnecessary. Honestly, I don’t truly buy that she loves him (the chemistry isn’t really there) but the story doesn’t require that we feel a strong sense of love between the two. The drama is still good enough on its own.

    I loved Mack and Karen conspiring to get Tom and Paige back together and how the two ended up in bed again. They have nice chemistry. As for Oakman, he’s not exactly Mark St. Claire, but he’ll work as a shadowy figure for now. I feel Mack is being a little stupid not seeing through Tom though.

    I’m starting to like Thing a little more now, and the actress playing Amanda has really impressed me with her work the last couple of episodes.

    I was right – Karen is now a talk show host! Well, if anyone would be, it’d be Karen. In great Knots Landing fashion, they connect this story to Danny's when Karen does a show on rapists. It’s a little obvious, of course, but such a great joining of storylines.

    The ending – Amanda calling in to Karen's show to discuss her rape, while Danny watches uncomfortably with Val by his side, and Gary recognizing Amanda's voice – is great. This season has kindly been giving Gary lots of cliffhangers.

    DDD
     
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  2. JROG

    JROG Soap Chat Well-Known Member

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    EPISODE 11: TWICE VICTIM

    A classic Knots episode. Although it gives Val the shaft once again (more on that later), it’s a wonderful exploration of rape that manages to feel both soapy and gritty at the same time. Exclusively focusing on the Danny/Amanda/Gary/Val story, it leaves majors like Greg, Paige, as well as the supporting cast, out of this one.

    Shackelford and Peyser turn in excellent performances as Gary approaches Amanda about her rape and helps her through the process of reporting it, getting examined, and ultimately being disappointed in the outcome. It’s all very sad and dramatic, but one has to chuckle a little at Gary constantly being surprised (Amanda was raped – Danny was the one who raped her – Amanda slept with Danny just two weeks ago – Val's engaged).

    Amanda is given a couple of very good speeches here: First, she erupts when Gary wants to go beat up Danny, desperate to avoid the endless cycle of payback that’s about to get ignited. Then, she reveals she thought of herself as dirty following the rape and catches herself saying that she 'admitted' to being raped. This is where the episode comes the closest to sounding like an after-school special, but nevertheless, its condemnation of the misogynistic way rape gets handled (what coincidence to be watching this while the Weinstein scandals reign supreme) is noteworthy, even if it does feel at times they’re just checking off boxes.

    Gary turns to both Mack and Karen for help and advice before telling Val that Danny raped Amanda. "She says she was raped by Danny!" Listen, Val's reaction is normal, even expected. Why would she believe her? She does have reasons to lie. And, Danny is Val's biggest love (rolls eyes). But the Val I know would have voiced these concerns before choosing to believe the woman in this situation… or, if she couldn’t, it would take one long, meaningful moment staring into Gary's eyes, and she would have known it’s true. A greatly acted scene from Shackelford and Van Ark but my blood pressure was through the roof. Of course, this is only happening like this so the Danny/Val relationship continues, sacrificing Val's character for the sake of the plot.

    That being said, the whole thing is sorta saved by the final two glorious scenes. Gary lures a smug Danny to the ranch to discuss helping Amanda in what is one of the best Gary scenes, and instead goes after him with a baseball bat until Danny is on the floor, whimpering with fear. In those few minutes, Gary metaphorically raped Danny by completely taking away control of Danny's life and making him feel helpless and scared. "Did you enjoy it, Danny?" he asks kind of sexily. Oh, yes we did.

    Meanwhile, as Amanda readies to kill herself by taking care of a variety of chores, she gets a knock at the door: It’s two young girls selling magazine subscriptions in order to save to go to college. Their joy, optimism, and enthusiasm touches Amanda and she orders a bunch of subscriptions, changing her mind about her suicide. She stands there, smiling widely as we fade to credits, an unexpected, touching, poignant ending.

    DDD
     
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  3. JROG

    JROG Soap Chat Well-Known Member

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    EPISODE 12: WHAT A SWELL PARTY THIS IS

    If you told me a few weeks ago there’d be an episode mostly focused on Michael and Linda's story and that I’d like it, I would have never believed you. But what a swell ride this was.


    Michael's birthday is the catalyst for most of the events in the episode. While Karen and Mack are busy planning and then unplanning a party, Michael focuses on helping his newest shouldn’t-have-feelings-for-her girl find an apartment. What a lovely surprise when Eric returns. The scene in which he apologizes to Michael for scamming him out of a baseball card when they were young is touching and heartbreaking, both in its irony and because you can totally see this happening between the two of them back then.

    I can’t believe we’ve watched these two kids grow up all these years. When Eric tells Michael that he thought growing up would be easier, it carries so much weight.


    Tom kisses Paige until she agrees to play hooky with him. They try to find things in common they’d like to do but end up back in bed. Greg spotting them outside and telling Paige he’s glad she’s feeling better is hilarious. Speaking of Greg, he brings Paula to the ranch hoping to have sex with her but Paula, astute as she is, can tell she’s nothing more than a diversion and refuses to give it up unless Greg burns with passion for her. I did very much like her in this scene.

    The Harold/Olivia situation is kind of comically tragic. They argue over money again, then they argue over arguing in general, and then they fight about how they fight. Looking back at how they met, got married, as well as their ages (particularly Olivia's), it’s no surprise that things are imploding so spectacularly. Still, that final scene where Olivia throws her ring into the glass of water and leaves the house resonates a lot. I don’t know what it is, but I could see so much of Abby in Olivia here.

    Following a brief visit from Val (where she says she won’t let another one of Gary's demented lovers ruin her life – and she’s got a point), we get a lot of funny moments during Michael's party. Although Mort bringing a blow-up doll to a party full of his colleagues is too close to sitcom humor, one can’t deny Karen catching Mack trying to deflate it was very amusing. I loved all the little bits of Karen and Mack deciding to mingle with their son’s friends and then realizing they’d rather by upstairs eating chocolate cake in bed.

    Underneath all the shenanigans, the Michael/Eric/Linda situation is finally boiling over and it all comes to a head when Linda runs off in tears. Karen later finds her crying downstairs and thinks she’s about to comfort her but instead gets shocked into a freezeframe when she is told Michael is who Linda wants to be with!
     

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