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Rewatching Knots Landing

Discussion in 'Knots Landing' started by Karin Schill, Sep 22, 2017.

  1. Karin Schill

    Karin Schill Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Okay so last night we reached the end of season five...

    Annoyingly our VHS recording had some gaps in it due to thunder the day it was taped. So we missed some key scenes. :(
    So I'd say bring on that official DVD release. I want all of Knots Landing properly released on DVD!:cool1

    I doubt the WB will release it. But they really should as this show is great and deserves to have all 14 seasons on DVD and not just the first two!

    Anyway moving on to the episode...

    "Negotiations"
    The season comes to a close and they once again manage to build up big drama as Mack is finally making progress in his attempt to bring down Wolfbridge.

    Mark Saint Claire skillfully plays people against each other and leads Val on to believe that he's got Gary. He also scares the shit out of Karen by telling her that three things will happen and then they will kill Mack.

    But it's not Mark Saint Claire that's got Gary, but it's Mack who has moved Gary from the police station and now keeps him at an hotel. Gary is reunited with Abby who is happy to see him. But he is angry with her. Abby wants to help Gary and Mack bring down Wolfbridge since she loves Gary. So she's willing to risk her own life.

    Abby plays her part well and Saint Claire takes the bait but then she is not allowed to leave. Instead she sits by helplessly watching as Wolfbridge calls Val and Karen and arranges for them all to be at a hotel in order to have Gary killed.

    Val and Ben break up temporarily since he realizes that Val is not over Gary. They are three people in the relationship, Ben, Val and Gary. They are never alone.

    Greg Sumner choses this moment to bring down Wolfbridge and presents Macks' material at a press conference, saving his own ass in the process.

    Meanwhile at the hotel, Karen shows up and manage to warn Mack about the bomb in his car. But when Gary rushes off to save Val who is in the car, Mack notice someone trying to shoot him and diverts the gun shot so it is Karen who ends up getting shot instead!:eck:

    Gary pulls Val out of the car. She is happy to see him. But he then leaves her heartbroken by running after Abby who is in a limo and is kidnapped by Mark Saint Claire.

    The episode closes on Karen and Mack and the end scene is sickening. His wife is shot and all Mack can say is "I've got them". Seriously? :eek:
    I mean shouldn't he be more worried about his wife?

    So well season five is over and it's been a roller coaster ride. Personally I found this season a bit uneven.

    I loved:

    - Val and Gary's fling and how Val is pregnant with his babies.
    The baby plot creates lots of drama and I find myself waiting for the moment when Gary will find out...

    - Abby marrying Gary
    Although I love Gary/Val and prefer them to Gary/Abby I really enjoy Gary with Abby too. They were an interesting match. :kiss:

    - Ben
    The character is a good guy and he's quickly turning into one of my favorites this time around.

    - Ben & Val
    He's the good guy she needs in her life. :)
    Poor guy really loves Val and wants to marry her despite that she's pregnant with her ex.

    - Karen's addiction
    It seemed realistic. It was done in a good way and you don't expect someone like Karen to become an addict. So it highlights a very real problem.

    I disliked:

    - Wolfbridge.
    I know they are supposed to be the bad guys in this season but I felt like there was too much focus on them and Mack's witch hunt on them. I found them highly annoying. Maybe I was supposed to.

    - Abby cheating on Gary the moment after they got married
    Before this season I thought she actually loved him. But this season made it very clear that she just married him for the money. Although his "death" sort of made it seem like she loved him again. :confused:

    - Gary and Cathy getting involved.
    The whole thing about Cathy looking just like Ciji is a bit over the top. He is clearly into her since she reminds him of someone else.

    - Cathy's ex Ray.
    Annoying dude.

    - Chip & Diana
    I think Chip ruined Diana's character and made her unlikeable.

    - Laura getting greedy
    I feel like her character has changed now when Richard is out of the picture and she is paired with Sumner. She is more greedy, she sells out her friends and she gossips and is very bitter at Richard. All of this has made her less likable somehow.

    Ouch! I hadn't expected to actually dislike more things than I loved about this season! :eyes:
    But oh well I guess it all ties together in a wonderful web of storylines that pulls you in and hooks you on the show and I am definitely hooked on the show. So much in fact that I went straight ahead to watch the first episode of season six after watching the finale, not to get stuck on the cliffhanger! :D

    But over all season five felt different than season four. I think it is because Richard, Kenny and Ginger has left the show and were replaced with Mack, Greg and Cathy. These characters all bring different things to the show. Richard was your average joe. A sort of likable guy who was a bit of an underdog. Greg on the other hand is this dirty politician. He represents something different and with Mack going after the bad guys and solving crime it's a different feel to it.

    So season five feels a bit more over the top and soapish.

    KnotsSeason5or6.jpg
    Oh and this photo I've scanned was probably taken sometime towards the end of season five so I thought I'd share it here :)
     
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2018
  2. Karin Schill

    Karin Schill Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Okay so as for the start of season six...

    "Buying time" & "Calculated Risks"
    I found it hilarious how Abby had cut her hair in the limo. Also it seems like Greg Sumner has dyed his hair in the middle of the press conference too! :hl:

    Abby is kidnapped and Gary is worried about her. Now he wants her back.

    Karen is very ill. She needs surgery to live. In a way this plot feels a bit like a recycle of what's happened to Sid. But all things considering I can understand why she is reluctant to have the surgery.

    Diana moves to New York and leaves the show. I guess Cathy and Joshua will replace her and Chip as the young couple this season...
    Anyway I liked the scene when she said goodbye to Karen and she told her that a part of being a parent was to see her child flew the nest and knowing that she could take care of herself. It was poignant and rang true. It gets bittersweet knowing that Karen could be dying. But instead of being selfish and wanting to spend the last months of her life with her she wants her daughter to start a new life in New York since she knows it's what's best for Diana.

    Karen and Mack. He loves her and wants to make amends. She pushes him away and lies by saying that she doesn't love him since she wants to spare him the pain of becoming a widower. But she's not thinking of Michael in all this as it would be better for her son to have Mack as his step-dad if Karen were to die...

    Of course Karen won't die but still...

    Joshua finally shows up. I like him. He's sweet and oh how young Alec Baldwin was. I remember the first time we saw it we were amazed that someone who was a big movie star was on a soap opera like Knots Landing. I guess by 1997 Alec Baldwin had made it in Hollywood...

    Anyway Joshua asks Lilimae to tell him about his mom and she says all the nasty things about herself!

    Then the episodes closes on Greg showing up at the pier to rescue Abby and he ends up shooting Mark Saint Claire! :omg:
    Somehow I had completely forgotten about that!
     
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  3. Karin Schill

    Karin Schill Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Okay so tonight it was "Ipso Facto"...

    Karen has confided in Gary that she's dying. He thinks she should tell Mack or else he will be bitter about it when she's gone.

    Joshua has learnt that Lilimae is his real mom and come to accept it. So in this episode they are acting like mother-son all of a sudden.

    A romance is blooming between Joshua and Cathy. They are completely opposite attracts as Joshua is so innocent and Christian and Cathy is an ex-jail bird who's broken the 6th commandment. Yet they are cute together and you can clearly see how they are trying to redeem Cathy's character this season and make her more likable and nice. It's like they are trying to clean her up to fit with squeaky clean Joshua...

    The grand opening at Lotus Point. Ben and Val are clearly not over each other. Mack and Karen aren't either...

    Mack and Jane Sumner realize that they were in love with each other when they were young but that they have missed their moment and are now hopelessly in love with their spouses.

    Then at the end it's that memorable moment when Abby snoops in Ben's computer and gets exactly what she deserves when she reads his personal note to Val.
    At first she is amused by it all but then her face turns into pure shock as she reads that Gary is the father of Val's unborn twins, which means that Gary must have cheated on her with Val to impregnate her. So what comes around goes around! :laugh1:
     
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  4. Daniel Avery

    Daniel Avery Super Moderator Staff Member

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    I love love love that last focus-pull when the camera is on the computer screen (Ben's writing), then dissolves to Abby's shocked face as what she's read sinks in. THAT was a master stroke of directing and photography, because it was all in that single take.
     
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  5. Karin Schill

    Karin Schill Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Oh yeah the way that scene is filmed is perfect. I guess in the old days your face could easily reflect on the computer screen. I don't think it does that so much on the flat screens...

    Anyway in the next episode "Truth & Consequences"...
    they back up to the last scene of the episode so you can once again see Abby's reaction. Only this time we see some reaction shots on her face that we missed the first time around...:laughs:

    The big thing about this episode was the divorces, double bill. First Val and Gary's attempt to reconcile Mack and Karen fails and Karen decides to file for a divorce from Mack. Then Jane tells Greg on the night of the election that she wants out too. I can't blame her considering how he treats her. :(

    Oh and Greg won the election and became a California state senator. Somehow I had forgotten about that. Somehow my sister thought his wife Jane reminded her a bit of Jackie Kennedy. It makes me wonder if the characters could have been inspired by the Kennedys... :think:

    Abby and Gary gives Joshua two job offers and Lilimae tells him to take the TV station job. I can see why she did that choice for him but she's going to regret it big time as fame will change Joshua and not for the better...

    Then at the end of the episode Abby tells Greg's fishy lawyer that there's nothing she can do about the babies and he replies something cryptical. So yeah the baby kidnapping is set in motion! :eck:
     
  6. Daniel Avery

    Daniel Avery Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Actually, he was elected a US Senator (as in, one of two Senators representing California in the US Senate in Washington). This means Greg will be moving to Washington, DC to do his job. If he'd been elected to State Senate (like Peter will later on), he would only have gone to Sacramento, CA. At any rate, it would be unrealistic of him to remain in Knots Landing (or on Knots Landing) if he kept the Senator job, so obviously something's going to give.....[/minor spoiler]

    As for the Kennedys, William Devane did play JFK in a film (maybe two...I can't recall) so I'm sure they wanted that "vibe" when they hired him.
     
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  7. Karin Schill

    Karin Schill Super Moderator Staff Member

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    I know he was elected to the US Senate and was going to Washington. It just came out wrong when I wrote it. What I meant with California State Senator was that he was going to represent the state of California in Washington! ;)

    And yeah naturally he won't last the entire term (6 years). In fact Jane already hints that something will go wrong and she won't stick around to see him destroy himself...

    Right I had forgotten about that. I think he also played Jackie's dad in the "A Woman Named Jackie" mini-series where SMG played teenage Jackie. :)
     
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  8. J. R.'s Piece

    J. R.'s Piece Soap Chat TV Fanatic

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    He said in an interview that he knew that Richard was being written out before the season began shooting. Richard and Laura’s marriage breaks down over several episodes and when he tries to support, she repeatedly rejects him or being with him.
     
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  9. Karin Schill

    Karin Schill Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Thanks for telling me about that JR's Piece. Interesting that he'd known from the start of the season that Richard would be written out. Sure his marriage to Laura did break down but no worse than it did in the previous season and then they did patch it up. So I guess I had not seen that as reason enough for him to leave town...

    Tonight it was "Love To Take You Home"...

    Jonathan arrives in town and wants Joshua to come home with him and I love all the drama that follows. Once again Julie Harris gives a brilliant performance and you can really read Lilimae's emotions on her face when she looks at Jonathan at the end of the episode when he's leaving. :clap:Such a bittersweet moment and knowing what will happen to Joshua this makes me sad.

    But yeah in a sense this episode had a bit of "coming of age" theme with Joshua who leaves the nest and make love for the first time. He becomes a man and due to his strict Christian upbringing he feels guilty about it. Even though he hasn't done anything wrong. I loved the intercut of the two conversations between the two generations of Cathy & Joshua and Lilimae & Jonathan. Excellent and emotional stuff!:love3:

    The funniest moment of the episode was when Gary showed up at Val's lamaze class and the two of them told Mack that it was their fault that Karen was divorcing him. :laughs:
    I guess all the other people at the class probably could sense that Gary was the one who was the father of Val's babies just from watching the two of them together.

    Yet it takes Abby to make Karen realize that she's been wrong about Mack and she goes to find him on the beach with coffee pot in hand. I love that little detail and that the two of them are on the mend. :love8:

    The end of the episode was so annoying though with Doctor Ackerman. :bang:
    I hate how he steals Val's babies from her and I bet the pills he gave her was to hurry on her birth.
     
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  10. Seaviewer

    Seaviewer Soap Chat TV Fanatic

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    I remember that scene quite clearly. The look of disbelief on Mack's face that "you two" were advocating staying together.

    Richard leaving the house seemed like a natural direction for the story to take but I was still shocked to find that John Pleshette has actually left the show when the next episode screened (just the following week here).
     
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  11. Karin Schill

    Karin Schill Super Moderator Staff Member

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    I agree Richard leaving the house is one thing, John Pleshette leaving the show is quite an other. Does anyone know why he was written out?

    So tonight it was "Tomorrow Never Knows"...

    Mack and Karen goes away for a weekend together and works out their problems. Although Karen is still keeping secrets from Mack so he doesn't know that she's dying...

    When Val goes into labour nobody is home so she gets Eric and Michael to take her to the hospital. They calls Gary there. But by the time he gets there it's too late.

    The babies have already been born and taken away from a sedated Val. She could hear them cry and the nurse say that her babies were healthy but she can't prove it. When Doctor Ackerman tells her that the babies have died she starts to cry. Poor Val. :(

    Abby is not happy when she hears that Val's babies have died. Then she gets a mysterous phone call asking about the father's blood type which makes her very confused.
     
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  12. Daniel Avery

    Daniel Avery Super Moderator Staff Member

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    I've always thought that John Pleshette wanted to leave, not because of dissatisfaction with his story, but because he wanted to do other things. In addition to acting, he wanted to write (including KL episodes) and direct...all sorts of other things that can't really be done when tied down to a regular acting role in a show that films roughly ten months a year. Multi-talented folks like him don't typically allow themselves to be tied down to one gig for very long. Whatever the case, he wasn't pushed out like Houghton and Lankford seem to have been.
     
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  13. Karin Schill

    Karin Schill Super Moderator Staff Member

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    You may have a point about John Pleshette. I've noticed he's written and directed some episodes too so I guess multi-talented is the right word for him. :)

    Okay so tonight it was "We Gather Together..."

    It's another amazing episode that's filled with lots of emotions as they deal with the loss of Val's babies.

    Poor Val is convinced that she heard the babies cry and that she saw them and that they were alive. But when she tells Gary he doesn't believe her since she was sedated and nobody else believes her either. :(

    Poor Lilimae is absolutely heartbroken when she hears about the loss of her grandchildren. The way she goes from excited bubbling new grandma to heartbroken hysterical lady just like that is absolutely brilliant.

    That damn Ackerman has no shame lying to Val and her family straight in their faces. :mad:

    Gary helps Lilimae take down the nursery and confesses that he was jealous and wished that those babies were his. Lilimae tells him that in a way they were since he's the only constant in Val's life. Ben on the other hand admits to Mack that he is selfish. He doesn't elaborate but reading between the lines it's because he's not sad that the babies are gone even though it's hurting the woman he loves.

    Abby gets another call about the babies and the father's bloodtype and is puzzled. She doesn't get anything until Gary tells her that Val thinks the babies are alive then she gets a bad feeling whose babies it might be. So she spends the next two days doing everything to track down Scott Eastman to get her answers questions but she can't get hold of him. :confused:

    Seems like Abby can actually feel guilty about what might have happened as she doesn't wanna face Val at the Thanksgiving dinner. She actually feels bad for her and guilty about what has happened.

    The tragedy brings Joshua and Cathy closer together. I also like how Mack told Karen about how his family had reacted to when President Kennedy was murdered and how they had all come together for Thanksgiving that year. It's weird to think of that in 1984 that was only 21 years earlier...kind of like january 1997 would be right now.

    Then they celebrate Thanksgiving at the MacKenzie's and Karen drops a bowl. Her paralysis is coming.

    Val doesn't show up at the dinner so Gary has to go and get her. He finds her in the empty nursery I think. Their conversation is heartbreaking. She tells him she regrets them ever getting remarried. He says that he doesn't.

    Finally they arrive at the Thanksgiving dinner and Val acts like she and Gary are still together. :eyes:Everyone's shocked and doesn't know how to respond to that...

    So well that was that episode...

    Questions for everyone who watched this episode originally. Was this episode broadcast on Thanksgiving or later?

    The reason I ask is because on the Internet Movie Data basis it says it was broadcast on december 6th , 1984 which seems a bit weird for a holiday themed episode about Thanksgiving. If it wasn't broadcast around Thanksgiving as planned does anyone know why?
     
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2018
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  14. Daniel Avery

    Daniel Avery Super Moderator Staff Member

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    It did air well after the "real" Thanksgiving, probably because of ratings concerns more than anything else. In the US, November is a "Sweeps month," a period of time when the networks set rates for advertising (commercials). They put on their "best" material in those months in an attempt to spike their ratings and thus charge more for commercial time for the next few months. Long story short, they had to make sure Val gave birth during Sweeps, since it would be the best "ratings draw" event. Weddings, deaths, births, major plot developments--those sorts of things always seem to happen in Sweeps months. They barely fit the birth episode into the Sweeps period as it was, since "Tomorrow Never Knows" aired on 11/29 and the period probably ended on the following day. This would push their Thanksgiving (actually on November 22 that year, sayeth ye olde google) back a bit, which actually works well for the irony ("giving thanks" when everyone thinks two babies just died) and the dramatic opportunity (how else to get Abby into a room with Val except via a holiday dinner?). From the look of that season's schedule, there were little to no pre-emptions. "Love to Take You Home" aired on Thanksgiving evening, probably not drawing much of an audience given other events going on (cough*football*cough). Mack mentioning JFK makes sense since that was the day we actually celebrated Thanksgiving, and was also the anniversary of the assassination. Maybe in KL world, it really was November 22; in episode 132, the medical records state that Val gave birth on November 18th.

    I know this is all more "business" than "show", but there was a method to their madness. KL only cracked the Top Ten in the Nielsen ratings during the 1984-85 season. I can't find the citation on the web right now, but I seem to recall Val's birth being one of the highest rated--if not THE highest rated--episode of the series. It may have even been the highest rated episode of any broadcast show that week.
     
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2018
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  15. J. R.'s Piece

    J. R.'s Piece Soap Chat TV Fanatic

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    Well, John Pleshette directed the season five episode, Homecoming. Then returned to the show later in the run.

    Never mind about Thanksgiving timing. If you go by tv transmission dates, Valene was pregnant for over a year.
     
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  16. Seaviewer

    Seaviewer Soap Chat TV Fanatic

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    Being outside the US I was not aware at the time that "We Gather Together" is a Thanksgiving hymn. When I saw that title I thought it was going to be funeral.

    Another scene that has stayed with me. Whenever I hear the phrase that something is "in question" I still think of the babies.
     
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  17. Karin Schill

    Karin Schill Super Moderator Staff Member

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    I didn't know that it's a Thanksgiving hymn either. Hilarious about the "in question" phrase. Yeah they did use that a lot in Abby's phone call and she really didn't get it. :lol:

    Thanks for that excellent answer. I have heard that November is sweep month before but I had somehow forgotten about it.
    Where did they show that their birth was on November 18th?

    The reason I ask is because I got the impression from watching the episode that the twins were born two days prior to Thanksgiving which would make their birthday November 20th. :confused:

    I have noticed that too and the most hilarious thing was that they said the twins were born one month early! :rlol:
     
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  18. J. R.'s Piece

    J. R.'s Piece Soap Chat TV Fanatic

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    Valene’s pregnancy was nearly 13 months!

    In Season 7 episode 2, it is shown onscreen on the hospital computer records that Valene Ewing of 16966 Seaview Circle in the city of Knots Landing was admitted on November 18th 1984 and discharged on November 21st.
     
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2018
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  19. Daniel Avery

    Daniel Avery Super Moderator Staff Member

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    All true! However, it isn't entirely clear-cut, however, because in episode 123 ("The Forest for the Trees") they goof up and say in dialogue that the delivery occurred on November 24th. Such details often get contradicted, since the writers likely did not think we would be paying such close attention. I choose to believe that was a goof, since the 11/18 birthdate makes more sense in light of the Thanksgiving timing we've already discussed. 11/24 makes it two days after Thanksgiving.

    BTW, I think "We Gather Together" is just a good hymn that happens to suit Thanksgiving, but not pigeonholed as such, the way "Jingle Bells" became a Christmas carol over time. The Quartermaines of General Hospital sing it every year before their traditional Thanksgiving dinner (of pizza!), but before that I knew it as just another hymn sung in Church.
     
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2018
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  20. Karin Schill

    Karin Schill Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Thank you for the information about the twin's birth date. So they want us to believe it was the 18th or the 24th...
    But yeah 24th wouldn't make any sense considering that Thanksgiving was on the 22nd. So I guess the 18th it was. ;)

    But yeah I am sure that the script writer's never could imagine that we would be discussing this online more than 30 years later. :lol:

    Tonight it was "Message in a bottle..."

    Val is having nightmares about the babies and the people closest to her. I vividly remembered the dream with the kite and how Abby came and interrupted Val and Gary when they were kissing "Uh-uh I think you've got something that belongs to me?"
    "Is it time?" Gary asked.

    Later on Val dreams how the babies are taken from her and again Gary says "Is it time?"

    There seems to be some hidden message inside of Val's mind in all this. :think:

    But yes it gets to the point where Val doesn't trust anyone anymore and decides to leave Knots Landing in the middle of the night. She is slipping...

    Abby is also a nervous wreck as she comes to the conclusion that Scott Easton is dead and she confronts Doctor Ackerman with what she thinks she knows about the babies but the bastard denies it. :(

    Gary meets Paul Galveston who gives him a horse. I guess Gary will become close to him because he needs a father figure and Paul Galveston misses his son. So well they form a sort of surrogate father-son relationship.

    Val tells Karen about the first time she met Gary. It's obviously a plantation for what's to come further ahead...

    Karen's paralysis has begun...

    and yeah Val is on the run...
     
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