Thursday, January 11, 2018

KNOTS LANDING Episode 157 of 344: A CHANGE OF HEART


Episode Title: A Change of Heart

Season 07, Episode 27

Episode of 157 of 344

Written by Parke Perine

Directed by Joseph L. Scanlan

Original Airdate: Thursday, April 17th, 1986

The Plot (Courtesy of TV.Com): Greg takes Laura to Las Vegas to get married at the Wedding Chapel of Joy. She's reluctant, but he tells her how much he loves and needs her. Later, Karen and Abby ask Laura if there's anything she can do to get Greg to help with the cleanup of Lotus Point, and Laura remarks that a wife should have some influence over her husband. Abby's taken aback. Laura asks Greg to clean up Empire Valley for her wedding present. Greg tells Karen he will clean up Empire Valley in four months if she will get him all of Empire Valley back, or she can kiss Lotus Point goodbye. Eric comes home from the hospital. Jill again tells Peter that she wants out, and that she doesn't care about Empire Valley anymore, she just wants to stop lying to Gary. Ben and Cathy sleep together. Cathy tells Ben she doesn't want to leave him. Ben feels guilty, but Cathy says he should let himself feel happiness instead of always putting other's first. Val invites Cathy over for a good-bye dinner.




                Welcome back for another fun filled episode of KL.  I immediately have two things to note about this particular episode we’re discussing today, starting with the title.  This is actually the second time we’ve had a KL ep with this title; our first Change of Heart (click on that title to read my thoughts on that one) was back in season five, right at the peak of all the Chip Roberts drama after Lilimae had hit him with the car.  I’m fairly certain that this isn’t the only time we’ll see an ep title being reused a few years later, although at the moment, I can’t really remember what they might be.  The second thing to note about this ep is that it starts with one of those longer recaps narrator by that cheesy narrator guy, so instead of our usual thirty second preview, we start with the narrator saying, “In Knots Landing,” and then giving us a summation of what’s been going on, all very corny and old fashioned, which I enjoy.  I always wonder why they choose to do this style of beginning for certain random eps; I don’t think we’ve had a recap in this style since near the start of season six.  When I first saw this, I assumed that there was a big gap between this ep and our prior one and the powers that be were just hoping to keep everyone caught up, but then I did some checking and it looks like this just aired one week after the last one, so I dunno.  Anyone have any ideas?  Anyone have a preference?  Would you rather see your thirty second preview or would you rather see footage from the previous ep narrated by the cheesy narrator guy, saying things like, “Meanwhile, were Ben and Val drifting apart?”



                About two eps ago, we had the brilliant exchange between Greg and Laura in which he asked if she’d like to get married and she answered, “I appreciate the offer and I’ll seriously consider it.”  In A Change of Heart, Greg finally manages to convince Laura once and for all that they are meant to be married, and I wanna start out by talking about that plot point.  All of these proceedings unfold in a gloriously KL way, very grounded and down to earth and quick.  There’s no corny scene of Greg making some big, bold romantic gesture to Laura, begging for her hand in marriage, nothing like that, but instead a fabulously, let us say, almost businesslike arrangement of their love for eachother.  We start off with a nice little scene of Greg and Laura playing with Daniel on Laura’s back patio, and then as Laura sends Daniel off to bed, Greg says they should take a trip tomorrow.  When Laura points out how there’s a lot going on at Lotus Point and Empire Valley, Greg says, “I think that they can get along without us for a couple of days,” which kinda doesn’t make sense since Greg and Laura only wind up being gone for a couple of hours, but whatever.  Greg also tells Laura that he’ll “pick out a nice dress for you; you never know who you might run into,” and when she asks him where they’re going, he stays mum, only telling her that it’s a surprise.  Through this scene, Greg is wearing his glasses, and I’d like to take a moment to note how much I like Greg’s look whenever he’s wearing his glasses.  This viewing of the series is really showing me that Greg Sumner is very sexy and charismatic, and an impressive part of that sexy charisma is his ability to look good in any attire, even a pair of glasses that are kinda made for old square white guys.

                A little while later, we cut and, boom, we’re in Las Vegas. Of course, when I say, “In Las Vegas,” I mean we see a few quick stock shots of old Vegas hotels, just like previous eps when characters have gone to Vegas.  In fact, now that I think about it, disappearing to Vegas is kinda ingrained inside the core fabric of this series, because when you think about it, we have had Karen tracking down the evil Dr. Ackerman in Vegas in season six, we have had Karen and Mack running off to Vegas to elope in season four, we have had Lilimae and Jackson Mobley (remember him?) taking Lilimae’s autoharp to Vegas in season three, and then, I remind you, we had Bobby and Pam Ewing going to Vegas in the very first Brief Dallas Interlude and that was how they ran into (Fake) Gary for the first time and we first got started with this whole epic KL adventure.  Perhaps if Bobby and Pam had chosen not to go to Vegas in that Dallas ep from so long ago, we wouldn’t even have a KL series to watch and enjoy at all and life would be completely meaningless and without worth.



                I always like to try and spot the hotels that we see in the Vegas stock footage, and we get a few in this instance, starting with The Las Vegas Club.  Now, I’ve been to Vegas many times and don’t recall everything seeing a Las Vegas Club, but according to Wikipedia as I’m typing this, the club was opened in 1930 and only shut its doors in the middle of 2015, not all too long ago. So, at this moment, there is no Las Vegas Club, but apparently it’s got new owners who are considering revamping and remodeling it.  Right next to this hotel, we have the classic Golden Goose and, well, that’s about it, cuz then we cut to inside of Greg and Laura’s limo as he convinces her to marry him.  Laura is nervous as we start the scene and asks Greg to explain why he picked this exact random moment for them to get married.  Greg says, “You want me to straighten out my life, I want to make an honest man out of myself,” which is a great line that made My Beloved Grammy laugh.  He adds, “I do love you, and you want me to be a mover and a shaker, so I think you’d better step up to that and keep me moving and shaking.  I love you and I think I fail to tell you I need you, and that’s probably the strongest drive of all.”  See how fantastically honest Greg is in this moment?  In a way, his lack of gushiness towards Laura makes all of this only more touching, because he’s being honest about his emotions in a very direct way.  Oh yeah, and he finishes up with a bit of humor that I hope was improvised by Devane in which he says, “By the way, did I fail to mention my winning smile?”  Laura is convinced and the two step out of the limo and head into The Wedding Chapel of Joy.



                My only problem with this development?  We don’t get to actually see the wedding, and that bugged me and it also bugged My Beloved Grammy.  Thinking back over all the weddings we’ve had on the series, I’m pretty sure that we’ve always been allowed to physically see them take place, jumping all the way back to our fourth Brief Dallas Interlude, Return Engagements, in which Gary and Val tied the knot for the second time and Miss Ellie gifted them with their own TV show.  Since that fateful day that launched us off into this great television adventure, I’m fairly certain that we’ve seen four weddings on the series up to this point, though please write in to correct me if my number is off.  We saw Karen and Mack get married (in Vegas, of course) in To Have and to Hold, and then we saw Gary and Abs get married at Westfork in Sacred Vows, followed by Joshua and Cathy in For Better, For Worse, and then Val and Ben earlier this season in Pictures at a Wedding, and then that brings us up to date with Greg and Laura here.  All four of those previous weddings we got to witness, but Greg and Laura don’t get the same courtesy, which bugs me.  I suppose you could say our not seeing their wedding ceremony is in keeping with the whole style of how Greg and Laura have chosen to get married, which is quickly and quietly.  On the other hand, I think this also demonstrates a problem that I have with the way the writers handle Laura’s character at this point in the series, a problem that started either in season five or six, and that is that as much as I love Laura and the way Constance plays her, she is often put on the sidelines while other characters get the majority of the focus.  Laura at this point exists more to be a part of Greg’s story, whereas I feel she got more of her own, independent stories to work with back in the first four seasons. 



                Laura and Greg do not even bother to enjoy one night of a honeymoon together, instead choosing to return to California later that same day.  Yikes, talk about rushed, right?  It’s a busy day when you wake up, fly from California to Vegas, get married, and then immediately fly back to California in order to go to work and deal with toxic waste buried under the ground and all that good stuff.  Anyway, Laura returns to Lotus Point just as Abs and Karen continue to bicker over how to handle the pollution.  In case I didn’t mention it last ep (I didn’t), it was revealed that Galveston Industries actually buried that toxic waste in sealed, lined containers, so it wasn’t leaking into the ground until Gary chose to blow up all of Empire Valley in All’s Well.  Now we’ve got a bit of a moral quandary to deal with; after all, who is truly responsible for this pollution?  The toxic waste wouldn’t have even been there in the first place were it not for Greg Sumner’s father, but the barrels would not have exploded and started leaking pollution were it not for Gary, yet at the same time, Gary was only blowing up Empire Valley after Greg allowed it to get so out of hand with James Bond villains and secret lairs and evil British people running around, causing trouble.  Gary just did what he had to do in order to get rid of all those problems. 



                When Laura returns to Lotus Point, she drops the news of her marriage in the most fabulous way possible.  See, Abs and Karen are talking about how they need Greg’s help with paying for the cleanup and asking if Laura can do something about that.  To this, Laura answers, “I’ll do my best to see that he does; after all, a wife should have some influence on her husband, right?”  This is a great little moment as we get to see the reaction of both Karen and Abs.  Karen gives her best wishes and Abs says, “Congratulations,” but she says it somewhat through gritted teeth, which made me smile, and then when Laura says, “Thanks,” do I detect a certain something in her tone?  Flashing way back to the early days of the series and Abby’s first arrival on the cul-de-sac, we should all remember how she went after Richard, Laura’s first husband.  Is Laura now boasting a bit to Abs because she has married the man that Abs clearly finds so charming and sexy?  Do you think perhaps Abs was even thinking of trying to woo Sumner now that her and Gary are splitting up?  Instead of going along with that plan, she instead has to watch Laura and Greg get married and realize that, yes, they are really and truly in love.  I like to imagine that Laura is getting some smug satisfaction out of all this.



                Even though Abs can be wicked and duplicitous, she’s on a roll lately when it comes to expressing honest emotion at unexpected times.  Near the start of the ep, she has a little meeting with Gary in which she says that perhaps they should slow down the divorce proceedings for a little while; wait until all the Empire Valley problems are cleared up before they start splitting up assets and all that stuff.  When Gary shrewdly asks, “What’s in it for you?”, Abs at first is like, “Oh, nothing,” but then she sighs and admits, “If you want the truth, I’m scared.”  I love Gary’s face when she tells him this, because he just looks sorta disbelieving and even amused.  Abs tells him, “In case you haven’t noticed, I’ve had a few things to be scared about lately.  I made a bargain for some land that turned out to be totally polluted.  I’m getting divorced.  Lotus Point is all I have; I don’t want to lose it.”  Now, on paper this might just sound like the usual Abs web of lies, precisely calculated in just such a way as to get her whatever she most desires, but I don’t see it that way.  Based on how the scene plays out and based on Donna’s acting, I think Abs is being honest here in much the same way she was honest last ep, reflecting on the death of her brother and how much she misses him.



                The only other thing Abs related this ep is a rather bizarre scene between her and Olivia.  We begin this scene in an abrupt way, with Olivia just screaming and thrashing around in her bed.  Abs comes rushing in and there’s a big hug and Olivia keeps crying and all that for a little while.  She explains to Abs that she just had a horrible nightmare involving her, um, teddy bear.  Hmmm, okay, a little strange for a fifteen year old girl to be having a dream about her teddy bear, but let’s hear her out.  She says how  the dream was about people (“everybody”) destroying her teddy bear and tearing him apart, that she tried to scream and yell at them to stop, but nobody would listen.  At first, I was going to write about how I fail to see what the point of this scene was, but after doing some double checking and watching the scene again, I noted the line of dialogue where Olivia says, “And Gary was on the couch, just watching; he didn’t do anything, he just watched.”  Now I think this scene is really about Olivia’s life being thrown into turmoil thanks to the impending divorce, as well as probably her problems with drugs.  Honestly, at this exact point, I’m not sure if Olivia is using drugs.  Not to get into spoiler territory, but her drug problems come back in a big way somewhere in the eighth season, but I don’t know if we are currently witnessing her in an in-between stage or not.  Anyway, even if I’m able to find something to talk about regarding this scene, I didn’t love it and it’s probably the second worst moment of the ep (we’ll discuss the number one worst moment shortly), mostly because it seems tonally weird for the Olivia we are currently watching.  This scene really feels like something that should be in season two or three, when Olivia was just a little girl.  Now she’s a bit too old for this sort of thing, but whatever, it’s still not a terrible scene, just kind of a weird one that comes rather out of the blue in the context of this particular ep. 



                Meanwhile, Karen is still hard at work trying to figure out exactly how to handle this pollution business.  A lot of her footage this ep is basically her and other characters wrestling with the decision of how to deal with the cleanup.  The fact that so much time is devoted to this whole environmental spill story might come off as boring to some people, but I actually like it, mostly because I’m pleased to see environmental consciousness on the series.  This relates more to my own terror and panic over current world affairs and certain “Presidents”  who clearly have no regard for our environment or for protecting the planet.  It’s rather sad to watch this episode of television from 1986 and see more environmental consciousness here than you see from your current “President” or his creepy collection of white supremacist and Neo Nazi advisors and confidantes.  As we were watching this ep and characters were talking about the environment and calling the EPA for help, I said to My Beloved Grammy, “At least they still had an EPA in 1986.” 



                Karen’s quest for a solution leads us directly into the worst scene of the ep, a scene all KL fans should remember vividly and immediately start peeing their pants with laugher as soon as they remember it.  Oh dear, what a bad scene this is, a scene that goes down like an absolute lead balloon.  The badness actually starts in the scene right before this scene, in which Eric triumphantly returns to the Fairgate/MacKenzie house healthy as a horse while really loud piano music plays dramatically on the soundtrack.  This scene has no dialogue; instead, Karen gives Eric a big hug and then we dissolve right to her walking around Empire Valley or Lotus Point or, you know, wherever the hell she’s walking (honestly, I find the geography of the exact locations for Lotus Point and Empire Valley to be rather confusing and I’ve kinda stopped trying to figure it out), wearing a red dress, shot in a closeup.  Then we cut real fast to a shot of the lake, the source of all this poison, and then back to Karen in her closeup, at which point she shouts, “DAMN YOU, PAUL GALVESTON!” and the camera does a super quick zoomout and it’s just all kinds of bad.  Seriously, what were they thinking with this scene?  How did Michele manage to film this scene without getting violently ill?  When they were filming this, do you think everyone was like, “Oh yes, this is gonna be a really good dramatic moment and Michele will finally get her Emmy”?  Obviously that’s not the case, because this scene is a joke, although its camp merits are high enough for me to still enjoy it.  This gets to join the ranks of such KL camp classic scenes as “IT’S TEA!” and “WE’RE RUINING LIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIVES!” 

                Karen’s absurd moment of damnation for Mr. Galveston leads her to an eventual decision to do business with Greg Sumner, um, I think.  Honestly, I found this scene (the last one of the ep) a little hard to follow, but I’ll give it a shot now.  Basically, Greg says how it would take two and a half years to clean up Lotus Point with the help of the EPA, and that’s “without litigation.”  Then he announces that he can personally clean it all up within four months, using all of his influence with Galveston Industries to call in whatever favors are necessary.  Then he reveals, “I want Empire Valley.  Your job is to get it for me.  Of course, I’d like it at a reduced price, let’s say fifty cents on the dollar.”  When Karen asks, “Why would I do anything to help you win?”, Greg answers, “Get me Empire Valley or you can kiss Lotus Point goodbye,” and yes, obviously he is sucking on a cigar while he makes this bold statement, meaning we are now at Cigar #15 on The Sumner Cigar Counter. 

                This is an interesting scene to end the ep, and after rewatching the scene and now writing about it, I think I understand it better.  It’s scenes like this that keep Greg Sumner so interesting to watch.  In a way, what keeps him interesting is sorta the influx of what keeps Abs interesting.  Abs is, for the majority of the time, wicked and up to no good, but then occasionally she’ll let her human side show and we realize how complex she truly is.  With Greg, he’s generally charming and charismatic and funny, sorta taking the piss out of everyone around him, being witty and making his jokes, not an evil person, but then every now and then he’ll pull a move like this one, which is straight out of the playbook of either J.R. or Abs or both (and I'm willing to bet this type of ep ending was a big David Paulsen influence, as this feels like it would be right at home as the ending of any given Dallas ep).  Every now and then, we’ll see how calculating he can truly be, and this is one of those moments.  It’s almost like sometimes Greg is our hero and sometimes he’s our villain, but even saying it that way doesn’t seem to do justice to the intricacies and complexities of this fabulous character.



                That’s the way we end the ep, but there’s still one more plot point worth discussing, and that’s the affair between Ben and Cathy.  Yes, indeed, the two have finally shagged, an event that’s been a long time coming, an event that I’ve seen coming since the last few hours of season six.  I repeat that this is a storyline that most fans seem to hate, but at the moment I think I’m okay with it.  Some people just really hate adultery storylines; you ever notice that?  My Beloved Grammy has already expressed that she wishes the show would have “a little less adultery,” although I fear her wish will never completely come true as adultery and affairs are just part of the series’ soul.  I think this is because I go easier on people having affairs than a lot of other people do.  I’ve just never felt as harshly judgmental about cheating because I think we are all people and we are all sexual and it’s very difficult to be 100% monogamous with one person.  I also understand and sympathize with Ben, who feels like he doesn’t have a full spot in Val’s heart, and Cathy, who I imagine is feeling confused about nearly every decision she’s ever made. 



                In this ep, Val invites Cathy over for a nice dinner as a way of saying goodbye to her before she goes off on tour.  However, Cathy finds a moment to corner Ben in a hallway when he’s all by himself and tell him, “Maybe instead of this being a farewell dinner, it should be a postponement dinner.”  See, now that she and Ben have had a shag, she’s thinking maybe she doesn’t want to run off on tour after all; maybe she’d rather stay around and keep shagging Ben.  It seemed to be this particular development that bothered My Beloved Grammy the most; she thought it was rather shameful for Cathy to accept Val’s dinner invite while she’s shagging Val’s husband in secret.  Again, I just don’t feel so judgmental.  I think Cathy is desiring to be with a nice person like Ben after years of abuse at the hands of different men (let’s not forget the freckled Ray from back in season five) and Ben is the first man to truly treat her well and act like he cares about her.  Is it kinda bad form to be trying to steal your friend’s husband at the same time that your friend is inviting you to her home?  Yeah, sure, but we all make bad choices and I can understand the wheels turning in Cathy’s head, so I don’t condemn her. 



                That about does it for this ep.  I’m sure I’ve forgotten certain details, such as Peter doing sit-ups shirtless and showing off his ridiculous muscles (he has a nice body but he's no Sexy Michael) or a small scene between Peter and Sylvia near the start of the ep (they’re giving a statement to a lawyer or something like that), but I think I got most of the big developments.  This ep was pretty good, although again lacking a certain punch, a problem with pretty much all the eps in season seven at this point.  There are only two bad scenes in the ep, one of which is merely bad (Olivia and her teddy bear nightmare) and one of which is so bad that it transcends badness to become some new form of badness never before seen on this earth (“DAMN YOU, PAUL GALVESTON!”).  Aside from those two scenes, however, everything else is fairly solid.  I’d say my favorite part of this ep is the fact that Greg and Laura get married, a development I’ve been anticipating for quite some time.  Now that I’m officially declaring Laura and Greg an even more interesting couple than Laura and Richard, it pleases me to see them finally agree to marry and settle down together.  I also liked the focus on the environment, although I remind you that this might have more to do with me bemoaning the current state of our country and less to do with the actual storytelling.  Overall, A Change of Heart is a pretty good ep of KL, but not one of its best, and it’s certainly not as good as the other Change of Heart from season five.

                We’re getting closer and closer to the end of the season, with just three eps left to go.  Next, we shall discuss the very last of the Larry Elikann-directed eps (sniff) with His Brother’s Keeper.   

Thursday, January 4, 2018

KNOTS LANDING Episode 156 of 344: ARSENIC AND OLD WASTE


Episode Title: Arsenic and Old Waste

Season 07, Episode 26

Episode 156 of 344

Written by David Paulsen

Directed by David Paulsen

Original Airdate: Thursday, April 10th, 1986

The Plot (Courtesy of TV.Com): Ben's really upset about Cathy leaving. He tells her that he isn't the twins' father. He goes to the beach house with a gift for her and they make out. Val is worried because she feels Ben slipping away from her. Jill tells Gary that she can't see him because she's in love with him, but doesn't want to be. Peter apologizes to Sylvia for his threats. Mack finds out that the reservoir at Lotus Point is loaded with arsenic. Abby admits that Galveston dumped arsenic at Empire Valley. Greg tells Laura that Galveston left Gary the land because he knew it was polluted, but he wants to buy it anyway, because he hates to lose. Everyone argues over who is responsible for cleaning up Empire Valley. Gary thinks Greg should, as Galveston dumped the chemicals. Greg thinks Gary should, as his explosion started the leak.



When we last left off, Eric was deathly ill and in critical condition at the hospital after suffering arsenic poisoning.  I wasn’t particularly invested in Eric’s sickness and don’t really care all that much about the storyline, but whatever, it’s gonna keep going this ep and, I would argue, become more interesting than it was in the previous couple of eps.  Let’s just go ahead and dive right in and get started with our last lap of season seven eps.  So yeah, we open up right away on sick Eric lying in a hospital bed, looking like a wreck.  Again, I attempt to wash my brain out from all prior knowledge of what happens on the series and pretend like I am watching it for the first time and I ask myself: Would I think Eric is going to die?  I think I would stick with “probably not,” but I’d also feel like it’s not outside of the realm of possibility, as we all remember what happened roughly five years ago when Sid Fairgate checked into a hospital.  At the same time, I don’t think I would care all that much, and that just boils down to a problem I’ve had since day one in which I fail to feel invested in Eric, even though he has cool moments and I have no problems with his character. 



We can add to the Sumner Cigar Counter good at quick, as we see Sumner enjoying Cigar #14 out on the patio of his sexy office when Laura comes to visit him.  This is a lovely little scene between the two, as Laura says how she waited something like an hour for him to show up and he never did, and when he says how he got a little tied up, she says, “You’re standing here doing nothing.”  “Nothing?” Greg replies before adding, “I’m conducting, making sure the cars go in the right direction, softening up the noise of the sirens, maybe adding a crash or two.”  A funny line and good delivery, but I think we can all see that something is bothering Greg and that something has been bothering him for weeks or even months.  It’s not too hard to figure out what’s eating at him; I imagine he feels like his whole life is something of a failure.  In this ep, he sorta recaps his adventures over the last three seasons and reminds Laura about how he gave up his seat in the senate in order to work on Empire Valley and then that all went up in smoke quite literally, so perhaps he’s feeling some reticence to attempt a new project, fearing it could end up an equal failure to his others. 



Meanwhile, Abs is still debating over how to handle her knowledge of what’s infecting the grounds below Empire Valley, but she does the right thing this ep by telling Karen and Mack the truth pretty quickly.  Actually, maybe I’m being a smidge too generous with her, because I just went to double check and it’s actually at about the thirty minute mark in this ep that Abs lets it all out, so she still keeps mum for more than half the ep.  However, realizing that Eric’s health is seriously at stake and that this is not a problem to be taken lightly, she pulls Karen and Mack aside at the hospital to level with them, telling them the arsenic is coming from discarded hazardous materials at Empire Valley, courtesy of Galveston Industries.  This is an interesting scene, because Karen gets angry and says, “Why didn’t you tell us this before?” and Abs says, “I am telling you,” and Mack actually kinda comes to her difference by saying, “She is.”  Karen is still mad and points out that Abs has been sitting on this info for a couple of days, to which Abs replies, “Don’t you dare accuse me of sitting on something like this.” 

Before this scene, however, we have an Abs scene that is even more interesting.  See, there’s a scene of Karen, Olivia, and Abs all gathered together, observing sick Eric in his hospital bed, and then Abs gets reflective for a moment and says, “He reminds me so much of Sid,” and then goes on for a moment about how Michael looks more like Sid than Eric does (which I would highly disagree with), and then she says, “Maybe it’s his sweetness; Sid was always so sweet, so strong,” and she adds how sometimes, when she’s alone, she’ll find herself thinking about Sid.  Wow, do I have a lot to say about this small, quiet little scene.  First off, as I always point out whenever Sid’s name pops up, I admire that this character is never completely forgotten; he will still be mentioned in 1986 even though he died on the series way back in 1981.  Most other shows, at this point, would probably assume nobody remembers this character anymore, but he still comes up in conversation right up to this point, and I’ll keep my ears open in future seasons to see if he gets mentioned again (I read that we get a mention of Sid as late as season fourteen).  Also, I note that this ep was written and directed by David Paulsen, so I appreciate the fact that he does a good job of bringing up past histories and events that occurred well before he was ever involved on the series; this shows that he was paying attention and making sure to show respect for the stories that came before.  Finally, I just love that this is a moment of true, genuine, 100% honest emotion from Abs.  She is not bringing up the memory of her late brother for any duplicitous purpose or to try and get away with something, but rather because the memory comes to her and she starts speaking aloud about it.  I can imagine some television suit asking the writers to ditch this scene, probably saying something like, “That character’s been dead for five years and this little speech has nothing to do with the main plot,” but I’m glad the scene is here because it keeps Abs fascinating to watch.  If you removed this scene, you would lose a great look into Abby’s naked emotions, and it’s those glimpses that keep her so multidimensional and fascinating to watch.



Eric’s health eventually improves enough that he is able to open his eyes and speak to his mother.  This is an important scene, see, because for a good chunk of the ep, the characters are running around trying to figure out what’s wrong with their water, thinking that their entire supply of water, including the drinking water, is tainted.  Everyone has been assuming that Eric was swimming in the pool and that’s where he got the arsenic, so they’re confused when they test the pool and discover there’s no arsenic to be found there.  After waking up, Eric informs Karen that he wasn’t swimming in the pool, but rather a reservoir out closer to the Empire Valley area.  Hmmmm, well that certainly helps explain things, no? 



J.B. and Gary are still not seeing each other, although Gary remains confused over what exactly lead to J.B.’s abrupt exodus from his life.  Fortunately, J.B. decides to show up at his hotel in this ep just to further confuse him by saying how she was in love with him, but she doesn’t really want to be in love with him, something like that.  “I fell in love with you.  I don’t want to be in love with you.  I can’t.  I need some time, Gary.”  Gary looks confused and annoyed by this declaration, but perhaps he’s actually wondering why J.B. showed up at his hotel looking so awful.  For whatever reason, J.B. has decided to wear a trench coat that would be right at home on some fat white guy driving his van with no windows over to the local elementary school, plus she seems to have just recently showered and not dried her hair, so that’s not looking too good either.  I don’t mean to pick on J.B.’s appearance since I generally find her very beautiful and luminous to look at, but this creepy trench coat and wet hair is hardly her best look. 

Probably the last story to explore in this ep is the burgeoning romantic relationship between Ben and Cathy.  When we first catch up with Ben this ep, he’s in the shower, tuned out as Val talks to him from outside, looking distracted and upset.  He’s in a classic angry man position in the shower, both of his hands plastered to the wall directly in front of him while he stands motionless with the water pouring down over his head, not moving or speaking.  Val is standing at the sink and talking about Cathy’s decision to go on tour, how it will probably do her good to get away from everyone for awhile.  Val says something like, “She’s been through a lot and the writers aren’t giving her anything to do, so maybe it’s better that she go away for awhile; don’t you think, Ben?” and she only gets crickets from inside the shower.  When she points out how he seems so quiet, Ben attempts a bit of humor by flinging the shower door open and singing opera, or something.  I didn’t really love this moment because I didn’t find it very funny, but then I thought more about the context of the scene and whether it’s actually supposed to be funny, and now I think I like it better.  Ben is distracted and thinking about adultery, so when Val calls him out for seeming distant, he tries to act goofy and silly the way he often does, as a way of saying, “Why look, everything is so fine that I’m acting goofy and funny, just like my usual self!”  The fact that he isn’t funny really just helps to sell that he’s got a lot of stuff on his mind.



Later, Val and Lilimae have a little chat in the kitchen while Lilimae prepares something delicious for dinner.  Val is upset that Ben is busy all hours at the television station and that he hasn’t bothered to call, but Lilimae reminds her that there were plenty of times when Val got too busy and didn’t call, either.  Lilimae also lets loose one of her more laughable whoppers by saying, “You know that I don’t interfere with you and Ben.”  I had to snort at this line, because I’d say Lilimae is remembering a very different version of events concerning her behavior throughout, well, nearly every episode ever since Ben was first introduced onto the series.  I can vividly remember Val and Ben having a real hard time getting to know each other back then because of the interference of a certain mama, and I think we can all remember her screaming, “Get out of here, Ben Gibson!” at him during the sordid events of Chip Roberts’ death, and then of course she’s been a huge pain in the ass for him throughout season six and a good chunk of season seven, as well.  Is Lilimae saying how she doesn’t interfere with Ben and Val now?  I guess you could argue that’s true, since she’s been a lot nicer to him since the whole “guardian angel named Joshua” speech back in Irrevocably Yours.

Next up, we see Ben hanging around Pacific Cable Whatever on Saturday, saying something about how it’s easier to get things done on the weekend without a bunch of people around.  This is probably true, but I’d be curious to know exactly what work Ben has to do, as he appears to just be sitting around, moping.  After awhile, he makes his way to a room with a piano and starts playing a bit, only for Cathy to come walking in a second later.  I like the little detail in this scene where Cathy sneaks up on Ben and scares him; this made me flashback to her vacuuming and getting scared by, um, Val (?) somewhere in season six or so, and it’s just a nice little thing to put in the scene.  You could easily just have her walk in and be like, “Hi, Ben!” and then let the scene play out the same way, but having this little accidental scare adds a special something to the scene.  After scaring the shit out of Ben, Cathy reminds him, “You never danced with me at the fundraiser even though I was wearing that super sexy and weird looking bikini thing that exposed pretty much entire body except for my boobs.” 



This leads the two characters into a slow dance together set to soft piano music.  At first, I wondered if Ben was working with one of those self playing pianos and if this music was a continuation of that piano, but now I feel pretty comfortable saying the music we hear is the score of the show and not music that the characters can hear.  Anyway, we cut back real fast to Val and Lilimae (they’re watching TV and Val declares, “That’s a stupid program; I don’t know why you watch it,” making me wonder exactly what 1986 show they could have been watching, and then in my brain I just decided to make it Miami Vice and I’m gonna go ahead and stick to that belief) and then we cut back to Cathy and Ben dancing.  To be clear, this is definitely the dance of two people about to have an affair; it’s slow and romantic and tender and thoughtful, not just two people dancing together for a little bit of fun.  It all feels very intimate, and then it gets more intimate when Cathy brings up, GASP, Val’s babies.  She talks about what Greg said at the fundraiser, how he implied the babies weren’t Ben’s, and she asks why he would say that.  We get an agonizing several seconds of silence before Ben finally answers, “Because they’re not,” and then we go to a commercial.

Yikes!  I liked this scene and I liked Ben telling Cathy the truth about the babies, but I also felt like the punch this scene was probably supposed to provide was, um, lacking.  Part of this might be my own knowledge of events to come.  Try as I might to fully wash my brain out of future proceedings, it’s not always so easy to do.  In this case, I know that Lisa is on her way out of the series, that she just has four more eps after this one and then she will be leaving the show forever.  Also, because of my memories from my college watching, I also know that Cathy doesn’t use this information for any bad purpose and/or go around telling other people about it, so I know that this is going to lead to basically nothing.  Even so, let me try and pretend that it’s 1986 and I’m watching the series week to week and I don’t know that Cathy is about to leave the series and I’ll try to see what possibilities I might have theorized for future series events.

Well, being that Ben and Cathy are obviously about to have an affair, I would probably theorize that the truth about Val’s babies would lead them to getting together for more than just an affair, perhaps forever.  I imagine I would have a strong suspicion that Ben was about to leave Val and declare that he no longer loves her and has fallen in love with Cathy.  I would also theorize that, maybe just maybe, we would wind up seeing a more wicked and calculating side of Cathy’s character, that perhaps all this could lead to some sort of verbal showdown between her and Val in which Cathy winds up using her knowledge about the twins’ paternity as some form of blackmail against Val.  My third theory (and the one that would probably wind up being closest to being true) is that Ben and Cathy would have their affair, decide they love each other, and quietly leave town together, never to be heard from again.  Based on my own research, I think this is actually the storyline that was originally planned out, that both Lisa  and Douglas  were gonna take a hike after season seven but, for whatever reason, Mr. Sheehan decided to stick around for one more season after this.  I’ll talk more about this development as we get closer to the end of the season, especially with how this so obviously seems like what is meant to happen as we conclude season seven.



Ben and Cathy’s romantic dance made its way into the thirty second preview, but it’s yet another example of the preview kinda tricking us, because nothing sexual actually happens during the dance.  However, a little bit later, Ben pays a visit to his old Plant House, where Cathy is now living, and finds her dressed in, well, almost nothing.  All she’s wearing is what we learn is one of Ben’s shirts and no pants.  Now, I’m fairly certain that she’s wearing underwear, although I don’t recall us seeing an actual shot of it.  Perhaps we can all make this scene a little steamier by imagining that Cathy is actually going commando, sorta like Julianne Moore’s fabulous bottomless scene in Short Cuts.  Also, note the way that Ben responds when Cathy asks who’s at the door.  He says, “Your landlord,” which is sorta a funny line, but he says it super quiet, super stoical, sounding very sad.  I think what we are seeing here is two people giving in to their raw carnal desires, and I think we can tell that Ben is feeling rather shitty about that even as he finds himself helpless to avoid it.  Ben also tells a little story about how he was at work and he went to her dressing room to tell her something but, “The room was empty; all the Cathy things were gone.”  He delivers this line in the same sad tone, adding to the complexity of it all.  Maybe Ben doesn’t necessarily want to cheat on Val, but he’s feeling truly sad that Cathy is going away. I’m not sure if I believe Ben is in love with Cathy or not, but certainly they have a special friendship and have had that special friendship since late season six, when Ben first started to come to her defense against the tyrannical abuse of Joshua. 

The moment of embrace is possibly the most interesting part of this whole sequence.  See, Ben is standing off in a corner and Cathy approaches him somewhat timidly.  It’s in this part that we learn she’s wearing his shirt, as Ben observes so and says, “I’ve been wondering where that shirt went.” Then they start to get close and Ben sorta whispers, “I’m an old-fashioned kind of guy; I love my wife.”  Cathy says, “I know,” and then Ben says, “I love my children; I have a good life,” and Cathy says, “I know, you shouldn’t be here,” but it’s too late.  Ben has put his hand on Cathy’s shoulder and now Cathy is touching Ben’s arm and, wouldn’t you know it, now they are kissing, and that’s how we end this ep.

Do I like this affair storyline?  I’m actually gonna have to get back to you on that, and I’ll refrain from completely answering the question until I’ve finished talking about the whole season.  If I’m not mistaken, this storyline is fairly unpopular with most fans, yet I honestly think I might like it.  First off, I’m not one of those people that condemns other people to Hell because they have an affair or an isolated indiscretion.  I think these things are complicated and that the reason men might want to cheat usually boils down to them feeling stifled by monogamy.  Also, the fact that they have been planting the seeds for this affair for so long really help it in my eyes.  My memory was that the affair just came out of nowhere in the closing hours of the season, but really Ben and Cathy have been flirting with having an affair for the whole year, pretty much, so it feels much less abrupt upon this viewing.  Perhaps one of the reasons fans don’t like this storyline is because it soils characters who are inherently good and ethical people.  Ben is a good person and so is Cathy, so maybe people just don’t like watching two good people have an affair?  In any case, I think I actually like this storyline, but I’ll have to wait awhile before I make up my mind definitively.



Okay, that oughta about do it for Arsenic and Old Waste.  This episode was fine, but also nothing too terribly special.  I fear that I might just keep making that statement for the rest of the season, as things sorta wind down and we get ready for the start of a new era of KL, that Latham/Lechowick era of five seasons that I designated as the third era of the series, spanning 1986 to 1991.  I’m actually pretty eager to get started with season eight, since I think it will keep things into gear a little more after the somewhat meandering storytelling structure of the latter part of season seven.  Anyway, this episode was good and all, there was nothing really bad about it, but it also was just kinda there, not really doing a lot to elevate it up and make it superb.  There were plenty of things I liked, which I made sure to note, most especially that callback to Sid via Abs, but it also felt a little lifeless. 

We’ve got just four eps left in the season, so without further ado, let’s move right along to A Change of Heart.  more

Thursday, December 28, 2017

KNOTS LANDING Episode 155 of 344: THE LEGACY

       Episode Title: The Legacy

       Season 07, Episode 25


       Episode 155 of 344


       Written by Lynn Marie Latham


       Directed by Timna Ranon


       Original Airdate: Thursday, April 3rd, 1986


       The Plot (Courtesy of TV.Com): Greg asks Laura to marry him. She says she will consider it. Greg fires Peter. Eric is very sick with arsenic poisoning. Abby finds out that Galveston dumped acid and arsenic in Empire Valley. She offers to sell Empire Valley to Greg, but he doesn't buy it, suspicious she wants to sell it so fast. Peter's mad at Sylvia for telling Abby everything. Sylvia says she deserves the money, as she really had Galveston's baby. Peter says he has done all the work and threatens Sylvia. Abby tells Peter she wants 51% of whatever money he gets or she will tell Greg that he's not Sylvia's son. When Jill finds out Gary gave Empire Valley to Abby, she agrees to work with Peter to get it from Abby. Gary calls Jill, but she ignores him. Jill tells Peter that she wants out of the plan, because she's fallen in love with Gary and doesn't want to hurt him. Peter reminds her that Galveston killed their parents, and that they've come too far to turn back now.




        Welcome to The Legacy, the episode that concluded yet another disk of five eps for My Beloved Grammy and myself.  After this ep, we’ve just got one more disk to go and then season seven shall be finished and we’ll move on to season eight.  We open The Legacy on the Fairgate MacKenzies at the hospital, hoping to see a very sick Eric.  If you have no idea what I’m talking about, it’s probably because I did a crappy job in my last essay and forget to write about a fairly major plot point, which is Eric getting sick.  Actually, if I’m remembering correctly, the whole “Eric getting sick” thing sorta spans the whole disk, starting with him just complaining of feeling kinda sick and groggy and then he was rushed to the hospital in our previous ep, Phoenix Rising.  Hmmm, what could be wrong with him?

        I think I neglected to write about this Eric-related drama in prior eps because, well, I kinda don’t care.  It hurts to say that, and perhaps some of my feelings just boil down to my sick obsession with Sexy Michael Fairgate that tend to make me ignore his much less sexy older brother.  On the other hand, maybe I’m having a hard time caring about this because, well, it’s just not that exciting?  Throughout the ep, we get a whole lot of footage of Karen in the hospital, being all upset, and lots of footage of Eric lying in a bed, all sweaty and sickly, but somehow none of this really engaged me.  I found myself thinking back to previous trips that different Fairgates took to the hospital.  The first one was of course Saint Sid in his final moments on the series, and then we had Diana in the hospital with kidney trouble for the season four low points of Emergency and Abby’s Choice, and then we had Karen getting major spinal surgery in season six’s #14 With A Bullet.  All of these prior hospital visits have gripped me more than Eric’s trip to the hospital now, and that even includes Diana’s.  What is it about this storyline that is so fundamentally uninteresting to me?  I’m not entirely sure, but I do wanna note real fast that My Beloved Grammy seems fairly convinced that Eric is going to die, and I take that as a compliment to the show’s writing and prior events.  As I seem to say over and over again, killing Sid Fairgate off at the start of season three permanently created a “nobody’s safe” feeling on the series, so when characters wind up in the hospital with major problems, we always think back on Sid and how he died and realize that any character could die at any minute.  Even so, I still find this storyline a bit of a snore.


        One thing about the storyline that I did note with interest was the actress playing Eric’s doctor, Fran Bennett.  Ring a bell?  It should, because I went on and on about this blacktress (black actress) way back in the third episode of the series, Let Me Count the Ways, when she made her first of three appearances that designate her as a Tangled Knot. 


       In that ep, she played Bev Tolner, although I don’t think they ever said her name within the confines of the ep.  She was just one of the people at the school board meeting near the start of that ep, if I’m remembering correctly, but then she returned in Abby’s Choice as Kimya Haman, although I confess I do not remember her in this ep and I forgot to make mention of her when I talked about the ep so long ago. 


       Anyway, now here she is to finish her trilogy of appearances and now she is Dr. Faulker, so not only is she a Tangled Knot, she’s sorta a Triple Tangled Knot cuz she showed up three times and played three different characters each time.  She also wound up doing this on E.R., by the way, since she showed up in 1996 for the episode Union Station and then showed up again way later in 2008 for Owner of a Broken Heart, playing a different character.  Quite the actress, no?


        I really don’t care that much about this storyline, even though I can’t quite put my finger on why, so let’s just finish talking about it for the time being and move on to some other business.  Hmmm, well yet another plot point I neglected to mention last ep was that we actually concluded with Gary agreeing to give Empire Valley to Abs in exchange for her not dragging his name through the mud during an ugly public divorce.  Okay, so now Abs has Empire Valley, I guess, although I confess to being a bit confused about how much of it she gets when we factor in the whole Val’s babies thing.  Didn’t Gary leave, like, half or Empire Valley to them?  Or was it more complicated than that?  Did the trust he left them entitle them to some sort of money or royalties (probably the wrong word to use) for the land, in general?  Or does Abby’s taking over of Empire Valley mean the twins are now going to get screwed out of it?  A confusing state of affairs, but then all this Empire Valley stuff has been fairly confusing pretty much since it was first introduced, so I guess that’s nothing new.  Anyway, when we catch up with Abs in this ep, she’s spending some time at one of her super boring planning commission meetings, looking generally bored and disinterested, but then she hears something that spikes her interest.  See, the old bald white guy with a moustache who seems to be leading the meeting turns to the topic of toxic waste disposal and how it should be handled.  Then, a different old white guy (sans moustache) says how, “Until the 1970s, it was legal to dig a big hole, so long as it was on your property, and pour toxic waste into it.”  Then he starts saying how a lot of different groups use to dispose of toxic waste in the same fashion, and he happens to mention Galveston Industries.  Abs gets a look on her face and we can tell she’s doing some thinking. Perhaps Empire Valley could be polluted because of toxic waste within the grounds?  Hmmm, what do you think? 


       Well, Abs does a little bit of research and discovers that, yes indeed, Galveston Industries most definitely dumped all sorts of toxic chemicals, including acid and arsenic.  Oh no!  From there, it’s time for her to figure out how to get rid of this toxic land she’s just gotten property rights of, so she pays Greg a visit at his skyscraper office to discuss selling it to him.  First off, I must note the fabulous way that Abs and Greg greet each other.  Abs comes into the office and says hello in a sorta cute way, like mellow but jolly, and then Greg has this wonderful line where he says, “How many thank you cards did you get, you old baby saver, you?”  It’s that last part, the “baby saver” part, that I find so amusing.  Devane just delivers it in this fabulously sarcastic way and I am once again convinced that this was a line he improvised.  Ever since I learned that Devane improvised so much of his dialogue, I’ve found myself obsessed with thinking about which lines those could have been.  Nearly every line of dialogue out of Greg Sumner’s mouth is always brilliant, and I wish I could always know who to credit for that, the writers of whatever episode or the actor himself.  In any case, Abs tells Greg that she’s getting Empire Valley (and she answers my earlier question when she clarifies that she’s getting what’s left of Empire Valley) and that she is willing to sell it to him.  Now that we’ve lived and breathed with Sumner for nearly three years, we should be able to see that he’s a pretty sharp cookie, and he demonstrates that again right here by not immediately jumping for joy at Abby’s pronouncement.  He is rightfully suspicious of Abby’s sudden spurt of generosity, pointing out, “You’re awfully eager to get rid of this piece of ground, aren’t you?  You’re too kind to me all of the sudden.”  Because of this, he says he does want the land, but he’s not gonna sign the document quite yet. 

       Greg is a busy boy this week because not only is he working with Abs to potentially buy Empire Valley, but he’s also making some pretty bold suggestions to Laura.  See, we first catch up with Greg and Laura (and add Cigar #13 to The Sumner Cigar Counter) in his office when he’s moping around, smoking his cigar and doing pretty much nothing.  Laura gives a terrifically impassioned speech that I loved and which was delivered fabulously by Constance, starting with her saying, “Cynicism may be fashionable, but it’s really really boring.”  I like the line and the way she delivers it, but I do have to take some issue with it, because wouldn’t most fans of the series describe Laura’s character as “cynical”?  Maybe this is a little example of the pot calling the kettle black, that Laura is able to see the unappealing aspects of Greg’s cynicism but doesn’t recognize that she’s usually ready to go with a cynical comment of her own.  Let me make it clear that I’m not judging; I love Laura and her cynicism is part of what I love the most about her.  I am just pointing out that she might be acting like a smidge of a hypocrite.  Her speech gets even better when she adds, “The guy I fell in love with was a lot happier when he was going after something and you went after whatever you wanted.”  Then she adds how all Greg does nowadays is sit in his office and drink and feel sorry for himself.  She raises her voice and she’s amazing and it’s wonderful and then Greg’s reaction is even better, cuz as Laura is about to get going, he casually suggests, “What do you say we get married?”  This is then followed by one of my favorite Laura lines ever, a line I remember loving as soon as I heard it.  She sorta sighs and then she says, “I appreciate the offer and I’ll seriously consider it.”  Even as I type the line out, I find myself smiling and laughing; there is just something about this line that has always tickled my funny bone.  I love the line not just because it’s funny, but also because it’s perfect for Laura’s character, especially Laura at this juncture, now three years post-Richard.  I imagine that when Greg throws this offer out, Laura immediately finds herself thinking about two things, one of which is how much she loves Greg and wants to marry him, and one of which is how horribly her first marriage went.  I can remember being in college and having dinner with my friend and updating him on what was going on in the KL (although I’m sure he didn’t really care) and telling him about this line and how funny I found it and how brilliant the writing on KL was.  Well, I loved the line then and I love the line now and think it’s one of Laura’s top ten quotes.


       Greg also makes yet another big decision in this ep when he finally decides to fire Peter.  See, he previously offered five million dollars to both Peter and Sylvia as something of a test to see how they’d react.  Sylvia wanted to take the five million and run with it, but Peter got greedy and decided to say no.  Now, Greg asks him one more time, “You sure you don’t want that five million?” and when Peter says no, Greg tells him he’s fired and to go clean out his desk.  Pretty cool scene well acted by both Devane and Hunt, who plays Peter as completely caught off guard, shaken and very sad about what has just happened. 

       This glides us nicely into a scene between Sylvia and Peter that greatly helps to fill us in on their backstory and what exactly they’ve been up to together.  Peter is really pissed off with Sylvia for telling Abs that he’s not her real son (during the Trump-esque blank pages scene, you’ll all remember), and then Sylvia says, “But I did have Galveston’s son and I deserve what’s mine,” so we realize officially that Peter and Sylvia are not related.  Then Peter has a line that’s a bit clunky, one of those lines that’s overly loaded with exposition in which he says, “I found your file while I was working at Galveston Industries and I found your little white lie!”  This is information that’s necessary for us viewers to have, but it’s delivered in a bit of a silly way, cuz of course Sylvia would already know this stuff, so having Peter say “while I was working at Galveston Industries” is, you know, a little bit of crummy writing.  Actually, it makes me think of what is quite possibly my all time favorite Simpsons joke, which is from the season five episode, Bart’s Inner Child.  The joke is that, well, let me just lay it out in quotes so you can all see the brilliance.  It happens when Homer drives the family to a self help lecture and is just parking the car:

       Homer: Well, here we are at the Brad Goodman lecture.

       Lisa: We know, Dad.

       Homer: I just thought I’d remind everybody.  After all, we did all agree to attend this self help seminar.

       Bart: What an odd thing to say.

       Fuck, that joke is brilliant, so funny that it makes me laugh every time I even think about it.  Anyway, Peter’s line here is similar to what that joke is making fun of, those clunky exposition dumps that are sometimes necessary in film and television and sometimes work well and sometimes do not work well.  I would argue this isn’t one of the better examples, but whatever, I’m way over-focusing on this one microscopic aspect.  Throughout the scene, we learn that Peter is the one who did most of the brainwork on this scheme, doctoring up certain files or whatever, figuring out a way to make it look like he’s Sylvia’s son.  Frankly, I’m still kinda confused on all this stuff, but I think it’ll become clearer as we move through the rest of the season.  Also, I am not confused in the way that I am finding the writing flawed, but in the way that it’s just a complicated story and my poor little brain can’t totally comprehend it quite yet.


       Now that Gary has gotten rid of his claim to Empire Valley, J.B. really has no reason to keep hanging around him, although she does tell Peter in this ep that she’s in love with Gary, prompting Peter’s brilliant insight, “Jill, you don’t have to fall in love with everybody you sleep with.”  Anyway, J.B. spends this entire episode giving Gary the cold shoulder and ignoring his calls, which seems odd.  I get that she originally started hanging around Gary specifically cuz of the Empire Valley stuff, but if she wants to cut him off now, wouldn’t it be better to officially break up with him?  How does dodging all of his phone calls somehow work out better?  All that happens is Gary spends most of the episode confused and upset cuz he can’t get ahold of J.B. and, when he does, she’s super weird and distant.  I do believe that J.B. is in love with Gary (even though she was going after Mack just a handful of eps ago, but we’ll let that slide) and I do believe that she’s wrestling with some pretty confusing thoughts, and I continue to find this character endlessly watchable and fantastically played.  Oh yeah, and one last thing on J.B.  The Legacy ends with a big plot revelation when Peter and J.B. are hanging out and she’s all upset and asks, “Don’t you care how I feel?” and Peter hugs her and answers, get ready for it, “Of course I care; you’re my sister; you’re the only family I’ve got.”  Oh my God! 



       Meanwhile, Cathy continues to mope around and wish she had something to do.  Ugh, it truly hurts me to watch Lisa get so very little to do in her final hours on the series.  Basically all she does in this ep is make a bunch of phone calls trying to get someone to hang out with her only to find out that everyone is busy, and then I think she announces to Ben that she’s going on the road or……something.  The scenes where Cathy makes futile calls to her friends made me imagine that it’s actually Lisa making phonecalls to different KL writers to see if any of them will write her an interesting storyline.  I’ve found myself rather baffled to see that so many KL fans seem to strongly dislike Cathy, a character I’ve loved since as soon as she was introduced (I even loved her back when she was Ciji!), but now I’m starting to wonder if this is the reason why.  Do fans just remember Cathy as she was in her last batch of eps on the show, being given nothing interesting to do?  I think that might be part of the reason, and I also find myself wondering if, at this point, Lisa knew that she would not be returning to the series for season eight.  Who made the decision to have the character leave?  Did Lisa wanna leave the show or did the writers decide to write her out?  In any case, it’s sad to watch her do nothing knowing that, in just five more eps, she will be gone forever.


       That about does it for The Legacy, an ep that was, you know, okay.  I really liked our previous ep and think that was probably the highlight of this disk of eps, and The Legacy is a bit of a step down.  There are great moments, of course, and some killer lines of dialogue that I’ve already mentioned, but the ep is also lacking in terms of excitement.  I don’t care about the Eric-being-poisoned storyline, so that fails to get my heart pumping, and then a lot of the other stuff going on is, you know, good, but it just lacks a certain punch, a comment I’ll probably be making about most of the concluding eps of season seven.
 
       Next up, we shall start our last disk of eps for the season, beginning with Arsenic and Old Waste.