Thursday, May 17, 2018

KNOTS LANDING Episode 173 of 344: THE INSIDE MAN


Episode Title: The Inside Man

Season 08, Episode 13

Episode 173 of 344

Written by Linda Salzman

Directed by Paul Tucker

Original Airdate: Thursday, December 4th, 1986

The Plot (Courtesy of TV.Com): Greg makes out a will for Peter with him as the beneficiary. Abby brings Sylvia to stay with the Sumners. Jill tells Peter that she'll cover for him, but their relationship is over. Paige rejects Sexy Michael (!) and he takes it out on Karen. Paige agrees to go to a movie with him as "friends," but stands him up when Peter asks her out. Peter cancels a date with Abby to meet Paige. Jean gives Ben cash for his "services." Lilimae finds it while doing laundry and shows Val. Ben tells her it's the office pool. Val's worried about Ben's strange behavior. Greg offers Ben a job. He doesn't want to take it, but does when Jean threatens his family. Karen finds a letter that Anne wrote to Mack about Paige's birth, but they suspect Paige wrote it herself, and wonder if she's lying about anything else. In a cemetery, there is a tombstone that says "Paige Matheson, 1967-1985."


Welcome back, and let us now discuss The Inside Man, starting with, hmmm, let’s see here, let’s talk about J.B. first.  In my notes, looks like I wrote, “Open on J.B. telling Peter she lost the baby; why introduce the pregnancy in the first place?”  Well, I agree with myself and my notes, so let’s further explore this.  Why do the writers introduce this pregnancy only to abruptly kill it?  For some context, we were told in the culminating moments of A Turn of Events that J.B. was pregnant and it was the first time, as viewers, that we were privy to such information.  Then J.B. lost the baby in the very next ep, Touch and Go, and that brings us right up to date, with me continuing to bitch about this pregnancy.  I’m holding out hope that the writers will use this to give us something interesting and organic within the grander context of the saga, but I also have a sneaking suspicion they will let me down.  The fact that I don’t even remember this whole J.B. pregnancy thing sends me a hint that it’s going to very quickly fall into the background and then just turn into this thing that happened that is never mentioned again.  However, I have already somewhat SPOILED proceedings by saying that we are getting closer and closer to Psycho Jill, my very favorite J.B., and I think it’s because of this bump on the head she just suffered that she’s going to begin the metamorphosis into Psycho Jill.  Perhaps this pregnancy and its very abrupt conclusion could also contribute to Psycho Jill?  Let me just say for the record that I hope this happens, because then I’ll be able to better understand why this is happening at this precise moment.  If her pregnancy just fades away and is never mentioned again, I will not be a satisfied viewer.




That’s about it for J.B. (since all she does on this entire disk of eps is hang around the hospital, getting only one or two scenes per ep), so let’s move over to some other folks.  I’ll start with Sumner, and that branches off into how he sorta tangles with other characters this ep, like for instance Ben.  Also, I want to make sure and note that Sumner smokes two cigars in this ep, meaning we must add two more cigars into the grand Sumner Cigar Counter.  Only problem?  The Sumner Cigar Counter is enclosed within my other notebook, full of notes about pretty much the last three seasons or so, and I have moved on to a new notebook at this point (only five pages deep!) and I forgot my other notebook at home.  To set the scene, I am currently sitting in a quiet coffee shop (a different one than I usually like to go to), my computer all plugged in and charging, my new notebook on my lap, but my older notebook left at home for the time being.  Rest assured that I will quickly get us back up to date on the Sumner Cigar Counter by going through how many he smoked on our last disk, adding the cigars from this disk, and then having a nice total all prepared and ready to go when I begin discussing the next disk.




In addition to smoking two cigars, Sumner is also busy with offering Ben a job.  I’m a little unclear on all this, mostly cuz I was still pretty bored and not really making a tremendous effort to pay attention, so I can’t tell you precisely what job Greg offers to Ben.  I do know that Greg has some ulterior motives to what he’s doing, but he’s also kinda sorta doing the right thing.  I think he’s offering for Ben to come and work on his team as a way of protecting him, really, but it’s all very circuitous and somewhat confusing.  It also relates to Hackney, of course, because we can’t go one episode without having to see and hear and deal with this this character.  Basically, Ben doesn’t want to take Greg up on his offer, but he ends up doing it after Hackney, like, threatens his family again, or something.  Hackney threatens his family a lot, and we all remember (or, better yet, perhaps we don’t) when she kinda sorta kidnapped Bobby at the grocery store and then was all like, “Ben, hello, what a coincidence seeing you here!”  I guess that was a not-so-subtle way of being like, “Watch your ass, because we can fuck your shit up good if you’re not paying attention.”  Do I really believe Hackney or any of her lackeys who I’m not paying any attention to would kidnap little Bobby and Betsy and murder them?  No, not really, but I guess Ben is nervous enough about these threats to keep doing the things Hackney asks of him.

This bad storyline is stressing Ben out a lot, so he starts drinking a bit of scotch.  This immediately raises Val’s antenna when the two are sitting in bed together and Ben is sipping a glass of scotch and, when Val questions him on why, he answers, “Because I want to sleep.”  Val gets rather upset by this and starts fretting about how never used to have a scotch before bed, and quite honestly, while I understand where she’s coming from, I think she’s being a little silly.  It’s probably because of the fact that my dad would always come home from work and have one or two glasses of some liquor, and it was usually scotch, so I don’t really see it as something all that strange.  Also, Ben’s drinking a glass of scotch; he’s not pulling a Gary and grabbing an entire decanter full of booze and just throwing it down his throat as quickly as possible.  I’m also amused by a later scene in which Ben is on the phone and Val sorta takes a peek at him and sees that he’s, GASP, refilling his glass of scotch with more scotch while somewhat ominous music plays on the soundtrack.  I get that Val is sensitive to alcohol because of the whole being-married-to-Gary thing, but for some reason I just found all of this rather amusing.




I also have to wonder if Douglas Sheehan had real scotch in that glass or if he, perhaps, insisted on his character beginning to drink scotch just because he, himself, wanted to be drinking scotch while having to film the footage for this miserable, miserable storyline.  Fuck, I am suddenly seeing sooooooooo much wrong with everything Ben is doing this year, and it makes me just wish achingly that he had left at the end of season seven, as was so clearly the original plan.  Now that I’ve spent the last three seasons going from thinking Ben was boring to becoming rather in love with him and all the fantastic charisma and realism Doug brings to the proceedings, it hurts me ever the more to see one season of bad stories soil the character in such a way.  It’s kinda like how I felt about Cathy in the latter eps of season seven; watching this character I love get shuffled around with bad storylines all before she leaves the show just kinda hurt me to watch, but Ben’s treatment is even worse, cuz he came back for a full, solid year and now he has to suffer through the entire year with all this Hackney nonsense.  Yup, I’m willing to bet that after nearly half a year of filming this footage and scene after scene of having to act alongside this ridiculous cartoon known as Hackney, he probably brought his concerns to the powers that be and said, “I’ll finish the damn season and this damn storyline, but you’ve gotta let me drink a little scotch to get through it, please, for the love of God.” 

Let’s move our attentions over to Olivia, the character who is very soon going to bless us with the very best storyline in all of season eight.  That storyline has been nicely percolating and getting ready to heat to a boil, slowly but surely, all the way since somewhere in mid season seven when we first saw Olivia blaze up a doobie.  We thought Mary Jane was the worst vice Olivia had going for her, but with The Inside Man, the careful observer will begin to notice through Olivia’s behavior that she has most likely moved on to a much harder drug.  In this ep, she comes rolling up to, I think, Westfork, along with Paige, super duper excited to announce to Abs that she officially has her license.  Now, this scene I liked very much, and let me explain why.  Peter is also hanging around the area since I think he might have just shagged Abs or something like that, and then Olivia hops out of the car and is like, “I got my license, omigod, it’s so exciting,” and everyone’s happy, but then her little car starts to roll backwards down the hill because, wouldn’t you know it, she forgot to put the parking brake down.  Then Paige and Peter sorta run after the car and are able to get the brake down safely and nobody is hurt, and that’s when their eyes lock and we see the mutual interest the two immediately have in eachother.  I like this because the scene seems to be about one character, Olivia, but then we have this parking brake business, which helps to alert us that Olivia’s mind is not clear and focused, and then the parking brake business also helps to organically get Peter and Paige to meet.  This is the kind of skilled, organic writing that I’ve come to expect from KL and which has been rather lacking as we’ve been working our way through this season.




Later, we see the continuing frustration of one Sexy Michael as he struggles to understand why Paige is shutting him out.  We get a pretty good little scene in this ep in which we see poor Sexy Michael tapping on Paige’s bedroom door and whispering to her, trying to get her attention, trying to get her to come out and talk to him.  Then we go inside of Paige’s room and see that she is happily ignoring Sexy Michael, choosing instead to lie scantily clad on the bed and peruse a magazine article all about Peter.  Again, I like the way this flows, that we are able to see Sexy Michael’s frustrations and we are also able to see that Paige now has her eyes set on someone new, and it’s done relatively free of dialogue, which I also appreciate. 

While we’re on the topic of Sexy Michael, he’s definitely having a hard time with all of this and he’s choosing to direct his anger at his mother, whom he’s convinced has sabotaged his relationship with Paige.  This I don’t care for, mostly because I think Sexy Michael is acting like a little whiny bitch.  Is it wrong that I just fail miserably to even get inside of his head and understand what he’s going through?  Despite his beauty, his absolutely stunning, monumental, earth-shattering beauty, I’m starting to believe Sexy Michael was a virgin before he met Paige, because why else would he be carrying on like this and acting like such a twelve year old girl?  Just because they slept with each other, he’s now convinced he’s in love with her?  I just find this terribly silly, and so, for my own sanity, I must make my own personal version of events in which Sexy Michael was a virgin, lost his virginity to Paige, and since he has not yet learned how to separate sex and love, he’s now convinced he’s in love with Paige.  Also, I want to feel sorry for Sexy Michael; I look at this happening and him being sad and in pain and I want my heart to go out to him, and I want to understand him, but somehow I can’t.  This might be because I’ve spent so much time creating an elaborate fantasy in which Sexy Michael is actually gay, deeply, deeply, deeply gay, so gay that he makes me and all my gay friends look like fat straight white men who drink beer and beat their wives by comparison.  I would just so much rather live in a world where Sexy Michael is gay and there is the possibility that I could violate him, so perhaps it’s causing my brain to block out his heterosexual behavior and reject it as some sort of weird mirage, something that’s not actually happening in front of me.  Finally, I think it just hurts me to see a creature as beautiful and divine as Sexy Michael get so tied up in knots (tee hee) because of one girl.  Does Sexy Michael not even look in the mirror? Does he not know what powers and gifts God has blessed him with?  Does he not realize that he could screw absolutely any man or woman in the entire world that he set his sights on?  He’s wasting so much time by fretting about his relationship dramas with Paige when he could be showering with the entire high school football team and then letting them all take turns gang banging him.




The last real important bit of business this week involves a love letter that Anne apparently wrote to Mack back in the long long ago.  This letter emerges when Paige gives it to Mack and is like, “My mother wrote this for you, but my evil grandparents who I hate hid it from you for all these years.”  Mack reads it and then the letter is just sorta hanging around and Karen is constantly eyeballing it.  Mack gives her full permission to read the letter and doesn’t seem too worried about it one way or the other, but it seems like it’s this great big moral thing for Karen, who can’t decide whether to read it or not, and even Val chimes in with her opinion and tells Karen that she should not look at the letter.  Even so, Karen eventually does read the letter, and while it’s a lovely little affair, full of yearning and talk about how Anne wants so desperately to be with Mack forever, something about the letter leaves Karen with a bad feeling.  She explains this bad feeling to Val later and says how it’s odd that Anne had just given birth to a new baby girl, yet she hardly mentions the baby at all in the letter.  It takes her awhile to get to her point, but basically Karen says how she’s very suspicious that Paige wrote this letter herself, and she admits that she’s having a hard time trusting Paige.  Well, our last shot of the ep shows that Karen has good reason to be suspicious.  See, she and Mack are talking about Paige and the whole issue of trust, and then Mack says some line or other about how they need to trust her, but then we cut to this random cemetery and the camera pans down to a headstone and, wouldn’t you know it, it’s got Paige Matheson’s name on it, and right underneath the name, the dates of 1967-1985.  Well gee, that’s weird, because if Paige is lying dead in this grave, who’s the woman played by Nicollette Sheridan that’s currently residing with the Fairgate-MacKenzies in their home?  I actually like this mysterious ending a lot, and it’s an ending that has stuck with me from my first viewing, one that I’ve always remembered, because I think it does a very effective job of making you want to tune in next week to see what’s really going on.

I do have a bit of a problem with the dates on the headstone.  Are we to now infer that Paige was born in 1967?  That makes her only nineteen years old here, yet she feels much older, plus I’m almost certain that when she first showed up in the closing moments of season seven, she gave her age as 21 or 22.  If that was the case, her birthday would be more around 1963 (which happens to be the real year Nicollette was born).  If Paige is really nineteen, then why all this business about how she’s too old to have a relationship with Sexy Michael?  How old is Sexy Michael supposed to be, anyway?  I’ve been trying to keep track of his age, and while the human equivalent of a gigantic throbbing penis, Pat Petersen, was born in 1966, I think Sexy Michael is supposed to be two years younger than that.  Okay, so that would make Sexy Michael born in 1968, right?  So Paige is only one year older than him?  And that makes her too old to fool around with him?  I’m just getting very confused, and I predict my confusion will only grow larger a little later down the line, since I think Paige is suddenly afflicted with some minor SORAS and ages four or five years at some point in our future. (EDIT: I DID MY RESEARCH AND PAIGE SAYS SHE'S NINETEEN IN HER FIRST EP; I'M STILL PRETTY SURE SHE'S GONNA GET SORAS AT SOME POINT)




The last thing I want to note about this ep is how it’s got a real Christmas spirit thing going on.  In fact, I think our last ep also had the Christmas spirit, and the whole Christmas theme seemed to really permeate this disk.  I like this because there were never any seasons on Dallas and certainly never a celebration of Christmas, and I like seeing the holidays acknowledged over here.  It’s also interesting because, in my brain, KL had Christmas eps nearly every year, but now I’m seeing that my memories are way off, as we haven’t had a Christmas ep since way back in season three with One of a Kind.  Anyway, this ep gives us lots of little moments of merriment, such as a scene with Ben and Val putting up Christmas lights together, a visit from Abs to Sumner’s ranch that causes Laura to say, “I’ve suddenly lost my holiday spirit,” and a particularly dreadful sweater that Abs wears which, I must believe, she is only wearing in order to win some sort of Lotus Point ugly Sweater Contest.


 

That’s all I got for this ep.  I liked it fine and thought it was much better than the last two eps, but it’s of course got problems.  Hackney remains the festering boil on the face of this entire season.  I want to just ignore the boil and try to focus on the other aspects of the face, because I usually love the face, but the boil is just getting bigger and bigger and more full of pus and we all know that, any moment, when we least expect it, it’s going to explode and send a bunch of nasty goo and mucus running down this otherwise lovely face.  I liked the ending of this ep very much and a few of the other smaller details, but I also remain underwhelmed in general, suddenly realizing just how flawed and problematic this year truly is, and that’s honestly kind of a bummer, since I’ve heard fans bitch about this season a lot and, prior to this rewatch, I remembered it as being brilliant as usual.  Now I’m seeing that’s not quite accurate. 

In any case, we’re finally almost ready to move into a storyline that I truly and 100% love, and that storyline is going to really kick into gear with our next ep, Gifts.





Tuesday, May 8, 2018

KNOTS LANDING Episode 172 of 344: TOUCH AND GO


Episode Title: Touch and Go

Season 08, Episode 12

Episode 172 of 344

Written by Tom Citrano and Joel Okmin

Directed by Lorraine Senna

Original Airdate: Thursday, November 27th, 1986

The Plot (Courtesy of TV.Com): Mack and Karen confront Paige and Sexy Michael separately. Paige agrees to stop the affair, but Sexy Michael maintains they are in love. Sylvia tells Peter about the letter she gave to her attorney. The producer tells Val that they need the first draft of her script in a few days, so she hires a personal secretary. Ben is afraid he has ties to Jean. Jean tells Ben that if they bury Peter in the media, she'll get out of his life. Ben and Mack question the witness, Paul Kelly. They find holes in his story and Ben figures he is working for Jean and confronts her. Greg thinks someone is trying to ruin Peter's career, and tells Peter that he and Jill's story better match when she wakes up. Jill loses the baby. Jill wakes up and Gary is mad that she requests to see Peter instead of him.


                Our last episode was A Turn of Events and I was bored and underwhelmed by it since, you know, almost nothing happened in it aside from Peter driving around and having so many flashbacks that the ep could probably pass for a clip show.  Will this episode make up for the shortcomings of the last one?  Eh, kinda, I guess.  Let’s just get started right away and talk about, oh, let me think here, how about Peter?  Okay, just to keep us up to date, I remind you that Peter and J.B. were having a little secret meeting at the top of the cliff when she decided to stumble and fall off of said cliff.  Then there was that moment of her clutching the twig or branch or whatever and begging Peter to help her, him doing nothing, and then the twig or branch or whatever snapping.  Even though we all saw that event perfectly well when it was shown in Over the Edge, for some reason we had to see it again fifty times in A Turn of Events and then we see it again in this ep.  What is it with this shot?  Why must we just keep seeing it over and over and over again?  I remind you that the whole thing looks cheap and shitty, so why keep showing it to the audience over and over again?  What is the point? 

                Anyway, Peter is just hoping against hope that nobody was in the nearby vicinity to see that he and J.B. were talking together, but today a witness emerges, some man named Paul Kelly who claims to have seen everything that went on between the two.  Somewhere near the middle portion of this ep, Greg calls up Ben and Mack and invites them over to his ranch to meet this witness, which is sorta odd, but whatever.  The two men grill the witness and at first he seems alright, able to name exactly what Peter and J.B. were wearing and all that, but the trio is quickly able to poke holes in his story when they get to the whole “what did you do after she fell” part of the story.  He says how he ran off to call 911, but then he starts to stumble over his story and get pretty nervous when the gang tells him how they can check the 911 tapes and listen for his voice.  The jig is up pretty fast and we all realize that this guy is not a credible witness and was probably nowhere near the scene when J.B. took her fall.  This connects us to our next character up for discussion, a character who was a fan favorite upon original airdate and remains a fan favorite to this very day, and that character is….

                …Jean Hackney!  Okay, obviously I was kidding about the whole “fan favorite” thing, because this character sucks, has sucked from the moment she first showed up onscreen, continues to suck now, and will be sucking all the way through nearly the rest of the season.  I kid you not, I’m not even really making any effort to pay attention to her or her storyline anymore.  We’ve seen her lying in bed with some mysterious stranger and making mentions about how Ben’s going to have to kill Sumner, we’ve had these little hints that she claims to work for the CIA, but she’s really not, and I just don’t care.  I’m not even trying to pay attention and I take full responsibility if I say something wrong about her storyline or if I seem dismissive of it.  I bring this up right now because, in this ep, she has a little talk with Ben and she says that she will leave him and his family alone if he “buries Hollister with this story.”  Hmmm, okay, but why?  I thought Hackney liked Peter?  Didn’t she ask Ben to publicly endorse Peter for the senate during the Peter vs. Gary battle?  Why, now, does she want Peter “buried”?  This was probably stated very clearly in the ep but, as I said, I’m not trying to pay attention.  This story is stupid and it’s gonna just keep being stupid for nearly the entire season and we’re all just going to have to continue to watch it and deal with it and make our peace with it.  Let’s move on.



                Oh yeah, one last thing related to J.B. and the whole 911 tape thing.  Something very strange happens in this ep and I don’t entirely understand it and perhaps my lovely readers can help me out.  Basically, Ben and Mack decide to go listen to that 911 tape, figuring that if Peter is the one who called it in, well, they’ll just hear his voice clear as a bell on the tape.  The only problem is that when they arrive to hear the tape, they are told it’s mysteriously gone missing.  Later, we cut to Mr. Gregory Sumner playing the tape on his gigantic 1986 stereo system, only for Jason 4 to walk in and start talking about how he wants to listen to rock music or something.  Since Lisa Hartman is no longer on the show to sing her fabulous songs, we are back in the land of the public domain music, or at least that stock non-music that TV shows like to use whenever they don’t wanna pay for the rights to a real song.  Basically, Greg blasts some non-music that sounds like generic rock for a couple of seconds and Jason 4 is like, “Alright!” and gets all enthused about it, making me think of Jan Brady rushing into the living room to tell the family, “Hey guys, listen to this groovy song!” before blasting out that stock De Vol mariachi sounding music that we’d always hear constantly.  Then Laura comes walking in and is like, “I really wish you wouldn’t play that kind of music around here; he hears it everywhere he goes.”  God, all of this is just terrible.  Why is it so terrible?  I think you just need to watch the scene to understand why it annoys me so much, but it all boils down to the non-music.  First we hear the non-music and we’re all thinking, “Well, that’s clearly just a lot of nothing,” and then Jason 4 has his way over enthused line reading of “Alright!” and then after that we have this bit of Laura dialogue that only further points out that this is non-music.  Of course, that’s not the main thing we’re supposed to be focusing on here; what’s important is that Greg appears to tape over the 911 tape with this non-music.



                My question here is: How did Greg obtain this tape?  This development confused both My Beloved Grammy and myself, and I’m quite sure we didn’t see any sort of scene indicating how Greg could get this.  We know he’s a powerful guy, but Jesus, a 911 tape?  How does one even go about getting a 911 tape?  Will this ever be explained?  I’m hoping one of our future eps throws in a line where Greg explains how he got this stolen tape, but for the time being, I am a very confused viewer.

                I actually am interested in the whole story of Val writing a script for Ramilar Productions, although I’m nearly positive this is going to go nowhere.  In fact, let me just give you my memories real fast so we can see if I am proven correct or incorrect by the end of the season.  I remember Val working on a script for Ramilar Productions for a good chunk of eps, maybe even as many as ten, and then it just sorta fizzling away into nothingness and not being mentioned again.  If my memories are accurate, something happens that leads to the studio deciding to put Val’s treatment on the back burner, and then it’s just sorta not brought up ever again.  Will I be right?  We shall have to wait and see.  However, that’s the future and we are talking about the here and the now, so for the purposes of this ep, what happens is that Ramilar Productions gives Val a call and asks her to step on it with this movie treatment, since they just found out that another network is working on something very similar and they want to beat them to the punch.  Knowing that she’ll have to work harder and faster now, Val decides she’d better hire a personal assistant, which she does.  Her personal assistant is named Bradley and he’s going to be in this ep and then one more, The Inside Man.  He’s played by Larry Cox (pictured below) and is not especially memorable for anything, but I did note that he appears in Friday the 13th: Part VII as, um, Russell.  By that point in the series, I’m surprised they were even bothering to give their characters names, and I have absolutely no memory of who this Russell is (also cuz I just really don’t like that one very much and hardly ever rewatch it, although a ton of fans suck that movie’s dick and seem to think it’s just the greatest, leading only to confusion on my part).  He also appeared in Heathers, a movie I love, although I once again can’t remember who he played.  I promise I’m not drunk or stoned as I write this essay, I’m really not; it’s just that I am seeming to have a hard time remembering the kind of mundane, trivial shit I usually can remember and also I’m just kinda having a hard time caring about what’s going on in the series right now.  The basic thing that’s important about Bradley is that Val hires him because she needs the extra help, but Ben is immediately suspicious when he comes home to find this stranger in his house, and he’s utterly convinced that he is a Hackney plant.  He asks Bradley a lot of uncomfortable questions and clearly frightens the poor guy a little bit and, I’m pretty sure, I think he fires him in the next ep, but not in this one. 


                The only other big story point worth talking about is the continuing drama between Paige and Sexy Michael.  Okay, so last ep Karen walked in on the two of them spooning in their sleep and she was able to deduce from this image that the two are shagging.  We saw her tell Mack in our last ep, but the ep was almost over by that point, so we didn’t get a lot of time for his reaction.  In this ep, we see some debating between Karen and Mack on how to handle this, and personally I’m with Karen.  Again, remember this is all coming from the point of view of a hippie dippie super hardcore stereotypical liberal gay boy who is a total sexual free spirit in all regards, but I just don’t see what the big deal is.  So Paige and Sexy Michael want to shag, so what?  A lot of characters go on about how the two “are practically related,” but come on, the two ain’t related, it’s all by way of marriage and romances from twenty years ago; it’s not as if the two are actually brother and sister, so let them shag it up; it’s not like their kids are going to be born deformed or anything.  In fact, Paige and Sexy Michael would probably produce the most perfect batch of babies God ever cooked up, all infused with sexy blondness and the good sexy genes of one Sexy Michael. 



                When we first catch up with Karen and Mack, they are talking about this, and Karen says, “Sex isn’t wrong in and of itself.”  Yes, boom, you hit the nail on the head, Karen, and I agree with you 100%, but then Mack says, “Your son and my daughter had sex in our house,” and My Beloved Grammy spoke up and said, “Yes, that’s the problem,” and she opined that if the two must have sex, they shouldn’t be doing it in Karen and Mack’s house.  I listened to her and I’m like, “Okay?”  Who cares where they have sex?  Why would it be okay for them to take it to a motel but not okay to do it in the house?  I just don’t understand these things.  Let me just jump into the show and pretend for a moment that I am either Karen or Mack and I had just gotten wind of Paige and Sexy Michael’s little affair.  I would promptly sit the two of them down and explain that I am not mad at them for shagging, that they are young and beautiful and it’s important that they shag and shag and then shag again, but I would also give them a very thorough safe sex lecture and talk to them about all the scary 1986 STDs such as AIDS or the very worst STD of all: pregnancy. Then I would let them have a ball doing whatever the hell they wanted.



                Anyway, things don’t exactly play out that way in the show.  Instead, we see that Paige and Sexy Michael are suffering from some very different ideas of what their relationship means.  This is done through crosscutting, which is another thing that this Latham/Leckowick era of the show can’t get enough of.  First we crosscut between Karen and Paige talking in the kitchen to Mack and Sexy Michael talking while doing some sexy 1980s working out.  Oh fuck, can I just say how much I love to go out jogging and working out with Sexy Michael?  Then after we had worked up a good sweat and gotten our testosterone flowing with all the cardio and fitness, we could retire to the locker room and hose off our sweaty bodies together and then Sexy Michael could drop the soap and…

                I got distracted again, sorry.  Okay, basically we establish that Paige is ready to be done with this relationship, that she is not in love with Sexy Michael (insanity!).  However, via the use of more crosscutting, we see that Sexy Michael feels he is deeply in love with Paige, and we cut from his saying, “Paige and I are in love” to Paige telling Mack, “We are not in love,” and “It’s over between Sexy Michael and me.”  For the purposes of this ep, that’s about all we get on this front, although the talk between Paige and Mack does give us our first Sepia Toned Flashback in some time, and I was happy to see those coming back. In this Sepia Toned Flashback, we get to see a smidge of Young Mack and Young Anne on a picnic together, declaring their love for each other.  I liked this because, well, I like the Sepia Toned Flashbacks, but also because I can see the intended parallel going on here.  One reason Mack isn’t super angry at Paige and Sexy Michael is because he can remember oh so clearly the way he felt when he was young like them and deeply in love with Anne.

                That’s all I got for this ep.  Just to be clear, it was way better than our last ep, way better, but I still had a hard time getting into it.  A storyline that I love and cherish deeply is just around the corner, so I’m just waiting for that to show up, but I have to say, at this exact juncture right now, we are in a rut where I’m just kinda bored and disinterested by what’s going on in front of me.  Really, all this business with J.B. falling off the cliff and “Was Peter with her?” and “Will a witness emerge?” is just a total snore; there’s nothing I care about in this storyline and I just want it to be over and done with so it can go away.  The Paige and Sexy Michael stuff is pretty good, but also not quite as compelling as I remembered it being, and of course the less said about Hackney, the better.  This disk sorta improved itself as we went along, but it got off to a real rocky start with these first two or three eps, which were just, I hate to say it, kinda boring.

                One exciting thing is that there are 344 eps of KL and this is ep 172.  You know what that means?  It means that after finishing this ep, we are officially halfway through the series!  We are now officially in the second half of the series!  I felt such accomplishment when I came to this realization, a renewed confidence that, yes, My Beloved Grammy and I really can watch this entire series if we put our minds to it and make sure to keep our dates as frequent as possible.  With that said, let’s officially move into the second half of the series with our next ep, The Inside Man.


Thursday, May 3, 2018

KNOTS LANDING Episode 171 of 344: A TURN OF EVENTS

Episode Title: A Turn of Events

Season 08, Episode 11

Episode 171 of 344


Directed by Kate Tilley

Original Airdate: Thursday, November 20th, 1986

The Plot (Courtesy of TV.Com): Abby suggests Sylvia have an attorney draw up a letter with the truth about Peter, to be released to the public if anything happens to her. The attorney then gives the letter to Abby. Sylvia gives another copy to Olivia. Karen walks in on Sexy Michael and Paige cuddled up asleep, and tells Mack that they're sleeping together. Ben and Mack try to figure out the link between Peter, Jill, Abby, and Sylvia. After Jill falls off the cliff, Peter calls 911. At the hospital, Gary apologizes to Jill for his ultimatum. Peter tells Mack and Ben he used to date Jill, but now they're good friends. Gary tells Abby that he loves Jill. Something goes wrong, and a code blue is called for Jill. Abby and Gary overhear a Doctor saying that Jill is pregnant. Jean tells Ben to report that Peter was seen with Jill before the accident. Another man tells Ben he saw Jill fall off the cliff and that Peter was with her.



Welcome to A Turn of Events and prepare to be bored as basically nothing happens for the majority of the ep’s 48 minutes.  Sorry to blow my wad so fast, but Jesus, what the heck happened with today’s ep up for discussion?  I’ll just go ahead and dive right in and say that we pick up immediately where we last left off in Over the Edge.  J.B. has taken a nasty fall over the cliff and, as we pick up now, we start with Peter speeding off and leaving her all alone like a pathetic little coward.  As he speeds around, we start flashbacking to stuff, a lot of stuff, and these flashbacks really seem to go on forever and become almost comical the more they happen.  Seriously, how many times are they gonna re-show the shot of J.B. clutching onto that branch and it snapping?  Why do they keep re-showing it?  Is it just to further remind us that Peter had a moment of opportunity to help her and he chose to let her fall? Okay, cool, but I got that; I already saw it in our previous ep and I don’t need to see it seventeen more times in this ep.  Also, the shot of J.B. falling off the cliff wasn’t even that cool; it was rather cheap looking and should really be the kind of shot they allow to pass us by and then quickly bury and hope we forget about.  Every time they show her going, “Peter, listen to me,” and then suddenly taking that plunge off the cliff, it just further emphasizes how cheap this all looks.

But that’s just some of the flashing back.  Really, Peter kinda flashes back through everything these two characters have done with eachother since they were first brought into the fabric of the series.  I suppose this stuff is helpful for those new viewers or for people who have missed a few weeks, but it still stuck out as odd to me and felt like an attempt to pad the running time.  At first, I theorized that perhaps this was the first ep to air after a long break, but I took a peek at airdates and nope, this is only airing one short week after our last one.  It honestly feels more like the start of a new season, in which they need to remind us of everything that went down last season in a five minute recap.  The fact that it’s all happening here, in a random ep in the middle of the season, just feels vexing.  Oh yeah, and one last complaint while I’m bitching about this; it would be one thing if they started the ep with Peter driving around and the flashbacks and then got them all nicely finished up and put away for the remainder of the ep, but instead we keep cutting to other characters and then returning to Peter, and whenever we return to Peter, you guessed it, he’s speeding around the road and suffering from flashbacks.  I guess the drama of this scene (I should maybe put “drama” in quotations) comes in seeing how Peter is going to behave now that his sister has taken this big plunge off this cheap cliff.  Will he turn around and go back to rescue her?  Will he find a phone and call an ambulance?  Well, for awhile it looks like he’ll do nothing, but then he speeds in a circle and starts to go back the way he came, and a little later we see him making an anonymous phone call to 911 telling them about J.B. and the cliff, which is a good thing, because before he does this, we see some rather jolly hikers come right within a few feet of where J.B. is lying, but failing to notice her.  If Peter didn’t call someone, J.B. could still be lying there up to the present day! 



Oooh, I just thought of another thing to complain about after taking a glance at my notes!  Looks like I wrote, “Really bad obvious stock news footage of helicopter rescuing J.B.”  I’m glad I looked at my notes and was reminded of this, because it’s awful.  When a helicopter arrives to rescue J.B., we see Peter hiding in a bush and watching it take her away.  When the camera is on Peter, it looks fine, it looks the way the show generally looks, right?  But when we cut to the helicopter, it goes into like, video, and it’s obviously some stock shit that they got from the CBS news vaults or whatever, looking totally different from the other footage, and it’s way obvious.  I know I shouldn’t bitch that much about this because it’s standard practice for television to borrow recycled footage and it often sticks out even worse than it does here, but damn it, I don’t think of KL as standard television and I don’t like them resorting to standard television techniques, and if they simply must resort to those techniques, couldn’t they at least do a better job of hiding it?

Anyway, J.B. goes to the hospital and then, like, slips into a Plot Contrivance Coma or something.  Honestly, not a lot to talk about in this department, as I find this a monumentally underwhelming story.  At this point I’m seeing the creative team really stretching to fill all 30 eps of the season, and I’m yearning for the days of the 30-episode season six, in which every single ep still had weight and story and plenty of juicy material for the entire cast, all while building to a greater overall story that was compelling and clearly super well thought out.  Well, that was then and this is now, and now it’s becoming very clear to me that the powers that be could have easily sliced five or even ten eps out of this season order and it would have improved things exponentially.  Everything about this J.B. story feels like a desperate attempt to kill time, to take something that could be wrapped up very quickly and try as hard as possible to draw it out over the course of four or five eps.  Now, perhaps I’m confusing my beloved readers, since I believe I mentioned being excited to see J.B. take that plunge because it meant we would be entering my favorite era of J.B. very shortly, and yes, that is true, but that era is still not quite here.  I’m thinking of the glory that will be J.B. when we hit the season nine finale and one of my favorite cliffhangers of the whole show, and yes, I think her taking the fall off the cliff is the start of her journey to that season nine finale, but it’s just the start.  Here, at this exact moment in time at this precise juncture within the series, all we are seeing is J.B. slip into a Plot Contrivance Coma for an ep or two and then quickly come back out of it.



Oh yeah, and we also find out she’s pregnant.  Why is this important?  Perhaps I shouldn’t be so critical because maybe, just maybe, this will wind up paying off in the future and I just can’t remember right now.  However, it sure seems odd to me to introduce a J.B. pregnancy at the precise same time that you’re killing the pregnancy off.  What happens in this ep is that we are told for the first time that she’s pregnant and she might lose the baby, and then, you guessed it, she loses the baby.  So why bring it up in the first place?  It’s not like it’s gonna lead to some sort of “Who’s the real baby daddy?” storyline or anything like that; it’s just brought up and then forgotten just as quickly, an example of some rather lazy writing that I find very unbecoming for KL.

Honestly, that’s about it for J.B. and, in truth, is about it for the whole ep, since we really don’t get much else going on with the other characters, although I suppose the majority of the non-J.B. stuff relates to Karen and Mack.  The cat is finally out of the bag this ep when Karen decides to sneak into Sexy Michael’s bedroom at night to, like, gather his laundry or something.  Honestly, I do kinda question this, but I am sure Karen had no ulterior motive; she probably just felt like doing the laundry and decided to go and grab it right now.  Still, Sexy Michael is a young man now with raging hormones; how does she know she won’t open the door to find him violently masturbating?  That’s not what she finds, of course, but she is about to make her way out the door when she decides to stop and properly tuck Sexy Michael in, at which point she realizes that Sexy Michael is not alone, that Paige lies sleeping in the bed alongside him.  The two look very cozy, by the way, spooning as they sleep and I note with approval that Sexy Michael is the big spoon.  I can tell you that if I had just been given the divine pleasure of sex with Sexy Michael and we were drifting to sleep, I would really hope for him to be the big spoon for me so that I could rest comfortably all night with his arms around me, breathing that sweet smell of Sexy Michael in the air, dripping with testosterone and raw masculine sexual energy.  Mmmmmm, yeah baby, Sexy Michael, oh yeah.



Oh wait, I got distracted again.  What was I talking about?  Oh yeah, Karen discovers Paige and Sexy Michael together.  This leads to her telling Mack what’s going on over a lovely lunch together.  I liked this scene because of my love for both characters, but Karen is wearing a very unfortunate hat and it provides me with the perfect opportunity to talk about another thing I don’t like about this season: The wardrobe.  Seriously, the show lost Travilla at the end of the seventh season and, right now, I’m really missing him.  For this entire disk, scene after scene, My Beloved Grammy and I would talk about how hideous the outfit that some character or other was wearing was and it was nonstop.  This season is an explosion of bad sweaters and truly awful colors that have no business being together somehow being forced to co-exist on top of clothing that’s already ugly enough to begin with.  My Beloved Grammy says she misses the costuming of the last few seasons, and I agree with her and question why everyone is dressed so badly this year.  Is it just the loss of Travilla?  Was this just an ugly time in history?  I’m trying to think really hard about 1986-1987 and what kinds of fashions were in style then and I’m sorta coming up blank.  I think my vision of what 1980s fashion is kinda lies frozen around 1984-1985 and I just sorta take that look as the all-encompassing “80s look.”  However, we are now closer to the end of the ‘80s than we are to the start of it, as we are about to cross into 1987 and enter that awful era of clothes where it’s not quite the ‘80s and not quite the ‘90s yet, but rather this weird blending of grey and ugliness (picture the wardrobe of A Very Brady Christmas if you’re having a hard time visualizing this).  In any case, I’m not sure who to blame, but the wardrobe sucks pretty consistently this year, with even the divine goddess Abs being forced to wear many a butt ugly sweater.



So that’s about it for Karen and Mack and all of that this ep; I’d say the only other important thing to talk about is Sylvia and this little letter she decides to write.  See, now that she’s afraid of Peter poisoning her with pills (Peter’s poisoned pills persistently produced problems), she’s decided to live with Abs at Westfork for a little while, and this ep she hands Abs a letter and says, “If anything strange should happen to me, I’d like that letter opened by my attorney,” or, you know, something like that.  Abs assures her that the letter will be given to the proper authorities, but then she leaves the room and immediately hands it over to some lackey to dispose of.  However, a little later in the ep, we see that Sylvia is a pretty clever girl, because she takes Olivia aside and also gives her a copy of the letter.  Sylvia may be old and get a little silly when she has too much to drink, but she’s sharp enough to know not to trust Abs outright.  Will this letter ever lead anywhere?  I can’t remember, but I’ll pay attention as we move forward to see.



Real fast on the Sylvia character; I’d like to take this moment to say that I have absolutely no memory of what happens to her or where she goes.  I know that season eight is the end of her time on the show, that she shan’t be following us into season nine, but I have no idea how her time on the series winds up concluding.  Does she die?  Does she move away?  Does her storyline just sorta get finished up with and she goes away?  I have absolutely no recollection whatsoever, and I’m kinda curious to see how this winds up playing out, since it’s playing as brand new for me upon this viewing.  I will say that I still like the character and the performance, even if I’m maybe a bit underwhelmed by the story developments at this point.

And you know what?  “Underwhelmed” is pretty much how I felt about this entire ep.  It really didn’t do much for me and I really don’t have anything else to say about it.  For me, this is the very definition of a “filler” episode, as nothing much happened, with the only vital story stuff being the further developments in the Paige/Sexy Michael camp and the fact that Karen and Mack are now aware of the constant shagging between the two characters.  Sylvia’s little letter might wind up being important, as well, but I’m not sure yet.  Aside from that, this ep had a lot of Peter driving around in a car and having flashbacks, and then it had an absolute snooze of a story for J.B., and this snooze is only gonna draw out longer, over the course of the entire disk, if I’m remembering correctly.  So yeah, that’s about all I got for A Turn of Events, which I’d say is easily the worst episode we’ve seen so far this season, and probably one of the worst in a couple of years.  While I didn’t hate this episode, I also didn’t love it and I didn’t really particularly like it, either.  Considering this was penned by Lawrence Kasha and Michael Filerman, I’d expect a little more from them, something more than boring filler and a ton of flashbacks. 




Okay, enough about that.  Let’s go ahead and move right along to Touch and Go.

Thursday, April 26, 2018

KNOTS LANDING Episode 170 of 344: OVER THE EDGE


Episode Title: Over the Edge

Season 08, Episode 10

Episode 170 of 344

Written by Lynn Marie Latham

Directed by Nick Havinga

Original Airdate: Thursday, November 13th, 1986

The Plot (Courtesy of TV.Com): Jean scratches Greg's car in order to meet him, and later comes on to him. Mack tells Paige she can come to him if she needs money. Paige pawns some jewelry. Peter can't find Sylvia, and calls Jill over to Sylvia's. Peter tells Jill about the pills, and she's angry that he's gone too far. Ben, who was going to interview Sylvia, stops by and is suspicious about Jill being there. Sylvia shows up at the ranch telling Abby that Peter tried to kill her. Peter denies it, but Sylvia says she's staying at the ranch until Abby finds her new accommodations. Gary and Abby sleep together, but he tells her that sex isn't enough anymore. Jill won't tell Gary what her relationship to Peter is, so he gives her an ultimatum. Jill tells Peter that she's going to tell Gary he's her brother, and Peter flips out. They argue, and Jill accidentally falls over the side of a cliff.


more



                Welcome to Over the Edge.  In the case you missed my essay for our last ep, let me re-explain that I am writing this sans notes and sans the ep being pulled up in front of me for the purposes of review.  I promise that this will probably be the last time I do this, but I actually greatly enjoyed writing about the last ep based on pure memory, and I just finished writing that essay mere moments ago, and I’m greatly enjoying sitting in this little coffee shop and sipping coffee.  Anyway, I’m on my third cup of coffee and I’m feeling very caffeinated and animated and ready to write more, so let’s dive right in.




                Last ep, Peter was poisoning Sylvia quite nicely and everything was going well when he had a random and sudden change of heart and decided to stop poisoning her.  This ep, he shows up at her apartment and, wouldn’t you know it, Sylvia is gone.  Where could she be?  Well, it turns out that she got wise to Peter’s plan right and quick and decided to evacuate the premises and now she’s taking refuge at Westfork.  I imagine it’s not too difficult for her to make the move from a shitty and cramped little apartment to the giant and sprawling lexure of Westfork, a ranch which, I remind you, comes fully equipped with its own gym, hot tub, and even a motherfucking sauna.  If I lived in the KL universe, you can bet your ass I’d be making up excuses to come and live at Westfork, as well, and I would obviously call up Sexy Michael and invite him to join me for a little private sauna together.  So yup, Sylvia has chosen to move over to Westfork and hang out with Abs for awhile.  We see her and Abs catching up this week and while Abs is very courteous and civil with her, we also get the sense that she’s a little fidgety to get rid of her, as she asks her precisely how long she’s planning to hang around the ranch.  If I remember correctly, Sylvia is sipping coffee or tea and she just sorta shrugs and is like, “I dunno, for as long as I feel like it.”




                When Peter sees that Sylvia’s apartment is missing one vital thing, Sylvia, he calls up J.B. and asks her to come over and meet him right away.  J.B. obliges and when she shows up, Peter spills his guts to her, telling her everything about how he decided to turn wicked and start poisoning this old woman.  J.B. is all shocked and is like, “How could you do this, Peter?”, but then Peter reminds her that he was trying to stop his wicked ways.  Again, I like the fact that Peter is a fairly complex character.  In fact, in case I haven’t mentioned it yet (I’m sure I have, but I’ve written a shit-ton of these damn essays by this point and I can’t remember everything I’ve said), Peter is really elevating up in my esteem upon this viewing.  I like that he’s neither pure nor evil; I like that he has many shades of gray.  He’s been somewhat draped in mystery since he first showed up in the early hours of season seven, and we are still having a bit of a hard time figuring where he stands on the good/evil spectrum.  In this case, he slipped into evil for a little while, but then he returned to the side of good when he decided that poisoning an old woman was, to quote Greg Sumner, “Not very nice.” 



                The fact that J.B. is hanging out with Peter at Sylvia’s apartment also propels us into a new plot point because, wouldn’t you know it, there’s a knock at the door and it happens to be Ben.  See, Ben was all scheduled to have an interview with Sylvia at this time in this place.  Why, then, does he knock on the door and have it answered by Peter and J.B. rather than Sylvia?  The two give some sort of flimsy excuse for why they are hanging out together, probably hoping that Ben won’t figure out they are brother and sister.  However, Ben’s first suspicions don’t gear towards a sibling relationship, but rather a shagging relationship.  He sees these two together and naturally assumes that Peter is slipping J.B. the hot beef injection.  Then, somehow or other, in a way I can’t remember (no notes), the news travels over to Gary, who also has to ponder why Peter and J.B. are suddenly so cozy.

                Gary decides to have a little chat with J.B., and he gives her an ultimatum.  He says he needs to know what precisely is going on between her and Peter and, if she can’t answer that question, their relationship will have to end.  This leads us nicely into the final scene of the ep, a cliffhanger that involves a literal cliff (the last time a cliffhanger involved a literal cliff, I think it was poor Sid going off of that cliff at the end of season two).  See, Peter and J.B. meet up in the middle of nowhere, right in front of a big cliff that’s basically saying, “Hey, somebody please fall off of me, please!”  J.B. tells Peter how she’s going to tell Gary the truth, she’s going to tell him that she is, in fact, Peter’s sister and that the two have been involved in a very sordid and rather complicated storyline since early season seven.  Peter doesn’t want to hear this, saying how they must protect their secret and Bob Loblaw.  Just as they are in the middle of fighting, J.B. stumbles and takes a high dive off of the cliff, but that’s not all.  It’d be one thing if she just fell right off the cliff and hit her head and that was it, but she actually manages to grab onto a branch or something and scream such dialogue as, “Oh, Peter, help me,” and we have this weird moment in which Peter kinda sorta helps her and kinda sorta doesn’t.  I feel fairly confident that this stuff will be further explored in our next ep (we haven’t watched it yet), but I think we are supposed to get the feeling that Peter somewhat wants J.B. to fall off this cliff. After all, she was right in the middle of telling him how she’s gonna expose their lie to Gary and fuck up all of his plans, so I think the dark part of Peter, the same dark part that could embark on a wild poisoning scheme, also wants to see J.B. take that fall and be removed from the equation.  Anyway, J.B. grasps the branch for awhile and then it snaps and she goes tumbling violently down to the bottom of this cliff, just as we get our “Executive Producers” credit flashed on the screen.

                I actually think this scene is very important, and not just because it provides the exciting CLIFFhanger for the ep, but also because I am convinced it plants seeds that will pay off for years into the future.  Let me just say right off the bat that I’m gonna drift into MAJOR SPOILER TERRITORY for a minute or two, so please don’t read this part if you have never watched beyond the confines of this particular episode.  Anyway, any KL fan who has watched the series start to finish should vividly remember what happens in the closing hours of season nine as well as the opening hours of season ten, and that is J.B. going way off the deep end and conducting an elaborate and amazing plot to murder Val and make it look like a suicide.  Now, that is some seriously wicked and psychotic behavior, and when we first meet J.B. back in that random ep from late season six, it’s hard to believe that, at some point, the character will be conducting this homicidal plan.  As we have moved through season seven and these early eps of season eight, we have the same feeling.  J.B. seems conflicted and maybe a little morally questionable (mostly from how she’s gone after not one, but two married gentlemen), but she certainly doesn’t seem dangerously psychotic.  However, it is my personal belief that her insanity begins right here and right now, when she falls and hits her head good.  I think this severe hit on the head that’s going to put her into a coma for a few eps (if I’m remembering correctly; we’ll see when we move on to our next disk) is when her brain gets fucked up and begins her down the path to Total Psycho.  Total Psycho J.B. is my very favorite J.B. and I’m very excited to get to her, and I believe this is where it starts.  Anyone care to agree or disagree with me?  Let’s hear some thoughts!




                Okay, so that does it for Sylvia and Peter and J.B.  How about Gary and Abs?  I’m glad you asked, because the two have a shag this week, and it’s their first shag in some time.  In fact, let’s try to reflect back on when the two shared their last shag.  Anyone remember?  It must have been somewhere in season seven, and I’m sure it must have been early in the season, before Gary decided to divorce Abs and before he started to slide inside of J.B. regularly.  In any case, I can’t remember the exact precise moment of their last shag, but I’m sure it’s been awhile.  How do they wind up shagging again this week?  Well, I again remind you of my missing notes and how I’m totally winging it while writing about this ep, so I confess I can’t remember.  I think the two are just sorta hanging around Westfork and they get reflective about their relationship.  Maybe that scene’s in this ep, maybe it’s in another one contained within this desk, but in any case, I like this scene because the two just sorta talk about how things developed with them throughout the last six years and why it has now lead up to a divorce, and then I think the two just sorta, you know, shag.  Going completely off of my memory and absolutely nothing else, I think we then cut to the next morning and the two are still in bed together and Abs is looking mighty cozy, finally having gotten that sweet Gary Ewing cock that she so desperately craves, but then Gary says how this was just an isolated incident and shan’t be happening again, that this divorce is imminent, unstoppable, irreversible like my raincoat. 




                In our last ep, we got a little hint that Paige’s financial situation was not quite as rosy as she might make it appear.  Her credit card got denied and she owes something like $2,000.00 to the hotel she is staying at.  In this ep, Mack somehow gets wind of this little problem and tells Paige how she can live with them as long as she wants (or if she already living with them?  I can’t fucking remember) and he also tells her that she can come to him whenever she’s in a financial pinch.  Paige feels the need to continue looking like she has more money than she actually does.  Anyway, right after Paige tells Mack that she has plenty of money and everything is rosy, we cut to her at a pawn shop trying to pawn some jewelry.  The guy says he’ll give her something like, I dunno, a thousand bucks or something, and Paige gets all snooty and is like, “It’s worth twice that much,” but then she must swallow her pride and accept the money this man is willing to fork over to her.  Gee, what’s really going on with Paige?




                Now might be a good time to talk about Paige as a character and how I’m feeling about her twelve eps deep into meeting her.  Paige is such a huge part of the second half of the show that it’s kinda easy to forget about this portion, in which she’s a new arrival and she’s rather shrouded in mystery.  When I look at Paige, I feel warm and cozy inside, knowing she will be with us right into the very final ep and even for the first two seconds of the 1997 reunion movie.  However, ignoring all my knowledge of events to come, trying to look at her as this new character that we’ve hardly gotten to know, it’s hard to tell if she’s nice or nefarious.  We’ve seen that she lies about stuff, we’ve seen that she makes sure to present a version of her life that is probably not quite accurate, and we’ve seen her go after Sexy Michael with a vengeance (but then who can blame her?).  I can tell you right now that My Beloved Grammy does not like her and thinks that she’s evil and up to no good.  At some point, will My Beloved Grammy change her mind?  I’ll check back in with you all in a year or so, after Paige has been more comfortably established.  For the time being, let me just say that I like the charisma Nicollette brings to this character, I admire her beauty, and I’m glad she’s now part of the show and is going to be for the next seven years.




                We’ve only got one more thing to discuss this ep, and I’ve made sure to save the worst for last.  You guessed it, Hackney.  My annoyance with her grows and grows more and more with each passing ep, and this is her most annoying ep to this point, thanks in no small part to the bad “acting” of Wendy Fulton.  Okay, to set the scene, in this ep we see Hackney pull up besides Sumner’s parked car in a parking garage and go to town on it with a pair of keys.  As we first see this, I’m like, “What the hell is she doing?”  Then Sumner shows up two seconds later and Hackney starts to yell at him about how he parked way too close to her car and he’s not even within the lines and, if he was, she wouldn’t have scratched his car.  The scene is terrible and her acting is terrible.  I’m realizing that my main problem with this storyline is not even that it’s stupid (which it is), but that most of it lies squarely at the feet of this “actress” playing this character.  No fucking wonder this woman never acted after 1991, because she’s awful. I’ve never seen her in another thing and I don’t want to.  Her talents are more suited to the very worst of the daytime soaps.  Every time she speaks, she annoys me, and every time I look at her face, I am annoyed.  Even the good acting and inherently charming nature of Mr. William Devane cannot salvage this most awful and most annoying scene.




                I’m not even sure what Hackney’s end game is with this little parking lot altercation she cooks up, but later in the ep, she stalks Sumner to a bar and then makes more conversation with him, getting him to buy her a drink.  The two have a few drinks and talk about, um, something.  At this point, I was sleepy and grumpy and wanting the show to drift its attention back to interesting stories like Paige and Sexy Michael.  Even if I had my notes with me at this moment and was to take a moment to peruse them, I’m sure they just say something like “Hackney sucks.”  Let’s think, I looked it up and learned that Hackney makes her last appearance in ep 25 of the season, so the good news is we only have…..gulp……fifteen more eps to go with her.  Oh Jesus, I guess I take back that thing I said about “the good news.”  Fuck this character and fuck this actress and fuck this Hackneyed storyline.

                Sorry to end on such a bitter note. Aside from Hackney, which is going to be a consistent problem with the season for as long as she is around to torment us, this ep was actually rather good, with the most exciting element of it being the very ending with J.B. flying off that cliff and all the joy and excitement that will bring us well into the year of 1989.  Anyway, that’s about all I’ve got to say about Over the Edge so let’s just move right along to a fresh disk of cul-de-sac excitement with A Turn of Events.