Wednesday, January 18, 2017

KNOTS LANDING Episode 089 of 344: SECRETS CRY ALOUD

A QUICK UPDATE: I DO APOLOGIZE FOR NOT PUTTING UP A BLOG POST LAST THURSDAY, BUT I AM A VERY LAZY PERSON AND I HAD MORE IMPORTANT THINGS TO DO, LIKE SITTING AROUND DOING NOTHING.  AT SOME POINT IN THE FUTURE, PROBABLY WITHIN SEASON FIVE, I PLAN TO PUT UP TWO EPS ON THE SAME DAY AND GET US BACK ON TRACK, BUT UNTIL THEN, I APPRECIATE YOUR UNDERSTANDING!

Episode Title: Secrets Cry Aloud

Season 05, Episode 14

Episode 089 of 344

Written by Diana Gould

Directed by Alexander Singer

Original Airdate: Thursday, December 29th, 1983

The Plot (Courtesy of TV.Com): Val tells Lilimae she's pregnant, and Lilimae inadvertently tells Ben. Val admits to him that the baby is Gary's, and Ben's upset. Cathy and Gary kiss, but Gary says he won't cheat on Abby. Mack tells Greg he has evidence on Wolfbridge. Mack's office and the MacKenzie home is ransacked. Laura offers money to the Marcus', to buy their property on Lotus Point, but they won't sell. Mark St. Claire goes to see Abby and says that he represents Wolfbridge, and they will be her partners in Lotus Point. Abby refuses, and Mark says she has no choice. If she doesn't cooperate, they will have her variance revoked. Karen ransacks Val's bathroom looking for pills, and is so out of it, she doesn't even notice her house has been trashed. Karen calls the doctor and gets a refill. Mack finds Karen passed out in the shower with the empty bottle of pills beside her.

 
 
 

                Oh boy, get ready for a loaded episode.  Of all the eps we watched upon our last visit (spanning I’ll Tell You No Lies through Forsaking All Others), this one has to be the most dense and rich, just packed with excitement and drama from start to finish.  By the time it was over, I said to My Beloved Grammy that it almost felt like it had been a two-hour episode, not meaning that it felt long or drawn out in any way, but only that so goddamn much happened in it.  Let’s dive in.

                Oh jeez, who to start with?  All the characters are real busy this week, but I think I’ll start with Gary and Cathy, since I’m really loving the shit out of all the developments between the two characters.  Why do I find this so fascinating?  Hmmm, I think the main reason is that I’m in legitimate awe of how KL can take a story that’s so inherently silly and not only make it feel pretty realistic and grounded, but also use it to say a lot about the characters and help us to better understand them.  I mean, it is ridiculous that Lisa Hartman can play the character of Ciji, that character can be murdered, and then a handful of eps later, Lisa Hartman can be back on the series as a new character named Cathy (which is also such a wonderfully similar name) who just happens to look exactly like Ciji (even if she claims, “I don’t see the resemblance”) and who Abby just happened to stumble upon and then hire to pull a Vertigo type distraction on Gary.  With all that said, however, it never feels ridiculous on the series, and I’m still kinda trying to figure out how the writers manage to pull that off. 



                Okay, so anyway, what are the two up to this week?  Well, we open on the most fabulously ‘80s image I’ve ever seen, which is Cathy floating in the Westfork pool on one of those big inflatable rafts while Gary talks to someone on one of those gigantic cordless phones with the huge antenna that could easily stab somebody’s eye out (in fact, I’m pretty sure I have an old Playboy with an ad for that exact phone in it).  This image definitely reinforces that we’ve entered a new era for KL, and when I say “new,” I also mean “better.”  Yes, those early days of the first three seasons and episodes about say, Michael’s A.D.D. problems (you all remember that one?  The writers sure don’t) seem very far away as we watch Cathy float in the lavish pool and Gary do his thing on his super sexy ‘80s phone. 
 
 

                After Gary hangs up, we learn that he is going to have to drive out to the country somewhere to see a horse.  He’s considering buying a new horse but the owner really wants to meet and get to know people before she sells off her horses.  Because of that, he invites Cathy along and she agrees.  Not too long after, we have another fabulous image that I really wanted to masturbate to, which is Abs relaxing in the Westfork hot tub.  It’s completely impossible for me to see a hot tub now and not immediately think of Donna Mills in a swimsuit, just relishing the shit out of those hot jets massaging her back, mmmmm.  As she lounges, Cathy comes and tells her about this impending trip to the country and asks how she should handle it.  Abs reinforces that Cathy’s job is to keep Gary occupied, doing whatever it takes.  There’s a little pause and then she says, “Everything except for that,” and we understand what is being implied.  Is Abs worried about Cathy and Gary?  She sure doesn’t seem like it at this point, but if she was paying a little more attention, she might notice that the two are starting to act like more than friends, that they’ve really taken a liking to each other that goes beyond the job Cathy was hired to do as well as Gary’s own Jimmy Stewart obsessions.  You’d think that Abs would be a little more reticent to send Cathy off to the country with Gary, but then again she is occupied with her own dramas, which we shall explore shortly.
 
 

                Gary and Abs go to visit this ranch and meet the owner, a lovely old woman named Mercy who is played by Ann Doran (pictured below when she was much younger).  A quick glance at this lady's IMDb page proves very impressive, as she has been in a ton of stuff including Rebel Without a Cause and her first damn acting credit goes all the way back to 1922!  I didn’t recognize a whole ton of stuff on her resume, but I’m just impressed by how many years she was acting (all the way until 1988) and the fact that she lived all the way until the year 2000.  In this small role, she makes the most of it.  I found this character very warm and full of life and rather memorable.  This could easily be a toss-off, just a plot necessity to get Gary and Cathy up to this ranch, but instead she really fills this character with energy and I believe her as a woman who really loves raising horses and really cares about where her horses go when she sells them.  Gary impresses the lady when he tells her how he grew up on a ranch and has been around horses and animals his whole life.  We are really seeing the Gary who loves the land (“Gary loved the laaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaand,” as Miss Ellie would say) at this point in the series.  Now that he’s got his own ranch and is surrounded by nature all day, he is really in his element. 
 
 

Anywho, due to some complications, by the time the old lady has agreed to sell the horse, it’s real dark out and she insists that Gary and Cathy stay the night, saying how they won’t get back to California until four in the morning and she can’t have that on her conscious.  She also says how it’s nice to see a happy young couple like them, and of course after scoring the horse, Gary doesn’t want to burst her bubble and tell her that Cathy is just the reincarnation of a singer he knew and that he’s got a different wife at home, so they let it slide and, of course, the next scene is them awkwardly trying to figure out the sleeping arrangements.  At first Gary says how he can sleep in the chair, but Cathy won’t hear of it, so the two get into the sleeping attire (and of course Gary just has to sleep shirtless, which I would probably avoid if I was sleeping next to Lisa Hartman and trying not to have sex with her) and settle in for the night.  One very significant and very honest bit of business occurs before the two drift to sleep, in which Cathy asks if Gary ever had sex with Ciji (except she says, “Make love,” and I think we all know at this point how I feel about that term), and Gary answers very candidly with, “I don’t think so.”  He explains how, during his drinking days, he would often have blackouts and not remember what occurred, and he says how sometimes he would sleep over at Ciji’s apartment and not remember getting there or staying the night there, but he concludes by saying that he’s fairly certain he didn’t do it.
 
 

The two actually behave themselves very well all through the night, but then the next morning comes and, well, there’s some kissing.  This is another example of the thirty-second preview at the start of the ep showing you something to lead your mind to make one assumption, but then you are surprised by what actually winds up occurring.  See, the two do sorta start to kiss and then make out a bit (and of course I’m watching this and thinking about how, really, they would probably have bad morning breath and this wouldn’t be too terribly romantic, but I digress), but then Gary puts a quick halt to it.  What follows is one of Gary’s finest moments ever, in which he explains how, if he was still a drinking man, he would probably go through with this, because if he felt any guilt about it, he could take a drink and wash that guilt right out of his head.  However, he’s not a drinking man anymore and he says how he married Abs and he must respect their marriage, no matter how much he might like to be with Cathy.  My God, isn’t KL just so fucking good?  I could go on for hours about this one scene alone, but I’ll try to make it succinct and keep it to just a few thoughts so we can move on to our other characters.  I love so much about this scene, and the first thing I love about it is that the writers are, as always, putting character above drama.  On any other nighttime soap, these two would sleep together, just because it’s exciting and it makes for good drama.  The other shows would care less about what makes sense for the characters and more about what will be titillating to the viewers.  But with KL, they allow Gary to step back from the situation and get introspective and explain why he can’t do this, and it shows us some tremendous personal growth from him, which leads me to my second point. 

I don’t mean to sound like I’m always shitting on Dallas, because Dallas will always occupy a special place in my heart and I'll always love it for its good seasons and for the memories of watching it with my brother, but it’s just that watching KL simply makes Dallas pale in comparison.  Over on that series, I felt like the characters weren’t really allowed to grow or change.  J.R. was pretty much J.R. from start to finish, and while Hagman played him brilliantly in every episode and is an iconic part of TV history, I felt like there wasn’t really much room for growth with him, aside from perhaps softening up a bit and becoming a smidge less wicked by the end of the series.  Same with Bobby, who was generally the boringly heroic and good brother.  One character who was allowed to grow and change was Sue Ellen, but it took forever.  It wasn’t until season ten that she finally gave up drinking for good and started to fix her life (I know she does that in season nine, but then that turns out to be a damned dream, so you know, doesn’t really count).  Over here, the writers don’t rely on Gary’s alcoholism as some crutch they can return to whenever they’re running dry on stories; instead, he had his big bender in season four and now we have him really and truly committing to changing his life and being a good person.  He hit his rock bottom and now he’s making his life good.  Already I’m seeing tremendous growth and evolution of Gary from the one we met in the Dallas interludes and the first season of KL.

Meanwhile, Val’s still pregnant and this week two more characters get to find out this news, one on purpose and one by sheer accident/misunderstanding.  See, Val is taking a shower when Lilimae comes into her bedroom to speak to her.  While Val gets dried up in the bathroom, Lilimae is sorta lying on Val’s bed, flipping through some manuscript pages and telling Val how she’s thought of some more stories that Val could incorporate into the book if she’s interested.  While looking through the papers, what should she happen to find but a couple of pregnancy pamphlets.  Now, at first I actually thought that Lilimae was pulling an Abby move right here and purposefully going into Val’s room to snoop for something.  The reason I thought this is because she seems remarkably calm when she sees the pamphlets, so I thought perhaps she had entered the bedroom on a quest for them, but then I talked with My Beloved Grammy and she pointed out how Lilimae looks casual and relaxed, then she walks out of the bedroom and sorta pauses and gets this look on her face that’s like, “Wait, what did I just see?”  So really, I think Lilimae was just sorta rifling through pages of Val’s book, found the pamphlets, and then it took a minute for her to realize what that means.  Thank God My Beloved Grammy is here to discuss these plot points with me, and it’s also a testament to how well crafted the show is that we are always able to discuss what’s going on in a sorta open dialogue (we didn’t do that as much with Dallas).
 
 

Okay, so it’s not too long later that Val gets straight with Lilimae and tells her that yes, she is pregnant.  She leaves out a few important details, such as that the baby is Gary’s because of a night of unbridled passion back in …And Never Brought to Mind.  She then tells Lilimae to not tell anybody, and My Beloved Grammy shouted at the TV, “That means don’t tell Ben!”  Lilimae couldn’t hear My Beloved Grammy through the TV screen, however, because a few scenes later we see her heading up to Ben’s Plant House with some devil’s food cake, ready to make peace with him and talk about this impending baby.  Of course, at first Ben is a bit surprised to see Lilimae being so nice to him, but then she starts to talk about plans for the future, saying how she is a progressive mother and wouldn’t object if Ben and Val decided to live in sin for awhile before getting married.  Then she says how they shouldn’t kick her out of the house, not just because she enjoys living rent-free on a nice cul-de-sac with super interesting characters as her neighbors, but also because she would make a great babysitter.  When Ben hears the word “babysitter,” he’s like, “Lilimae, don’t you think you’re jumping the gun a little bit?”  It’s at this moment that Lilimae pretty much lets the cat out of the bag, and I gotta say I admire the way Ben keeps his cool.  Make no mistake, he makes a face like, “Oh jeez, I’m kinda surprised,” but he doesn’t admit to her that he was unaware of this news; he just sorta nods.  Of course, at this point he is unaware that the baby is not actually his, and how will he react when he finds this out?

We don’t have to wait long to see, because a little bit later he and Val get together and talk about this news.  Now, based on the uncomfortable face Ben made at the very start of our last episode, Witness, when Val dropped that frightening “love” word on him, My Beloved Grammy predicted that he wouldn’t be excited about fatherhood.  However, it’s the exact opposite, as he gets all hyped up and says how he just can’t wait to be a dad, and there’s all these cool things he wants to do with a kid, and oh gee golly gosh he just can’t wait.  Mere seconds later, Val tells him the truth, and I really appreciated that for a multitude of reasons.  Again, this goes right back to what I was saying about character coming before drama.  Another series would probably have Val stay hush hush about the real father for a ton of episodes and build a bunch of drama out of that, but here, the writers know her character so well and they know that she simply wouldn’t do that.  She is inherently decent and strives to always do the right thing and she doesn’t lie, so she tells Ben right away that Gary is the father.  Once he hears this, all of Ben’s excitement deflates and he angrily storms out of the house.
 
 

I have to say that all of this is playing as much richer and much more exciting than it did upon first viewing.  In fact, I’m gonna make a really bizarre confession and say that I really don’t even remember any of this.  I vividly recall all the shit that goes down with Val and her babies next season, but all of these developments involving the conception of the baby (babies, but we still don’t know that) and the way she deals with it and how Ben reacts to it, well, for whatever reason all that stuff fell clear out of my head.  I was drinking quite a lot more when I first watched the series, and would usually pound back three or four martinis (or just straight vodka on the rocks with a twist of lime, which was my favorite college drink) while watching, so perhaps that explains some of my lapses in memory. 
 
 

But anyway, everything about this story is working 100% for me here, and that includes Ben.  Now, I want to make it clear that while Ben is still probably my least favorite cast member out of the scrolling squares (well, probably the still-absent Diana is my least favorite at this precise moment, but let’s not split hairs), he’s already playing way better for me than I remember.  I remember him just being dull, not Kenny or Ginger dull, but still pretty dull.  Now, I’m really warming to him more, and I admire that the writers were able to introduce him out of the blue at the start of this season and already I feel investment in his feelings towards Val and their relationship.  Even just thinking over the season thus far, they did a great job of establishing his past and what he’s been up to (he didn’t mention Jean Hackney at all, but I suppose we’ll get to that when the time comes) and we get the sense that, after having some wild adventures and being all over the world, he is ready to settle down.  Hence, it makes sense to me that he would be initially excited about Val being pregnant, and it also makes sense that he would be upset that Gary is the father.  One thing worth noting is that Val doesn’t get any time to explain to him how this happened, so for all Ben knows, Gary and Val have been carrying on some ongoing affair behind his back.  If he heard that it was just one night, that it was unplanned, that it was spur of the moment, that it just happened, perhaps he could understand, but he runs off on Val too fast for that to occur.

Ben figures pretty heavily into the next episode story that I wish to talk about, which is Mack and Wolfbridge.  Early in the ep, Mack comes by The Plant House and asks Ben to leak a story.  Ben asks him what the story is about, and Mack tells him he wants him to write something to the effect of, “An anonymous source is currently conducting a serious investigation of the Wolfbridge group.”  He says how he wants to scare them a little, ruffle some feathers, maybe get them to take some action against him so that he can prove what an evil little powerhouse they are.  Ben is amiable and says he will see what he can do for leaking this story, but before he ever has a chance to, Mack returns to his office to find it completely trashed.  What a fabulous little scene this was, and so well played by The Dobsonator, because instead of being mad or shocked about his ruined office, he grins.  He knows that he’s scaring them now, and that means he’s onto something with his investigations, much the same way that a certain sexual predator President-elect who shall remain nameless gets so nervous whenever the CIA starts talking about investigating Russian hacking and potential voter fraud. 
 
 

A little while later, Mack finds his car completely trashed, as well, and with some sort of file missing from the front seat.  This time he doesn’t grin, but he also doesn’t seem terribly upset.  This just provides more evidence that the Wolfbridge group is getting nervous about his investigations.  However, Mack is upset a little bit later when he comes home to find the entire house trashed.  Now things are getting too personal, because now he may very well be putting Karen’s life at risk, or even Michael’s!  Can you imagine what the world would be like if someone damaged that boy’s beautiful face and body or, God forbid, murdered him when he is just on the cusp of turning 18 and reaching the height of his sexual powers?!  That would not be a world I could possibly live in, and if someone were to damage the beautiful boy's body beyond repair, I would have no problem with that person being killed on the spot, no trial and no jury and nothing like that.
 
 

Okay, now follow me along here, because the next part gets tricky.  Again, my lack of drinking upon this viewing and the help of My Beloved Grammy is making it a lot easier to follow some of these plot points that zoomed straight over my head back in college.  In this instance, the plot is really thickening for Abs and Lotus Point.  See, since she wants to take all of Lotus Point and the beautiful beach property surrounding it and turn it into some big hotel or whatever, that means all the people who are living there currently need to be relocated.  Now, most all of them have agreed to move thanks to a very generous monetary settlement or whatever, but there is one old couple that refuses to move and yes, the old lady is the gramma from Critters 2.  As soon as I saw this woman onscreen, I was like, “It’s Nana from Critters 2!”  This makes the second Critters 2 alumni I’ve spotted in the span of just a few episodes (remember that the gross old guy that the crites ate early in that movie showed up to direct Gary on where to find Cathy a few episodes back).  This sweet little actress is named Herta Ware (pictured below) and, in addition to Critters 2, she also has many movies on her resume that are not as good as Critters 2, including Cocoon and Species.  Herta Ware, ladies and gentlemen.
 
 

Her husband, by the way, also has a rather impressive roster of credits to his name.  This actor’s name is Peter Hobbs (pictured below) and he was in Sleeper (alongside Mark Graison!), The Andromeda Strain, and 9 to 5.  But wait a minute, wait just one God damned minute here, as I took a look at his IMDb I gasped aloud when I realized that he is also a Tangled Knot and we have seen him once before already!  Let’s flash back to early season three and the episode Moving In.  You’ll recall that as the episode where Lilimae officially became a part of the cul-de-sac by agreeing to live with Val, and he played the judge who was so, well, judgey towards Gary and Val and gave that big sanctimonious speech about  how we must not abandon our senior citizens.  Well, now he’s back and he has morphed into this new character, a man who refuses to sell his house that he’s lived in for like fifty years or whatever.
 
 

Okay, enough about that.  The basic gist is that Abs sends Laura out to try and sweet-talk the couple into selling their house.  Laura says something like, “Doesn’t it bother you that a lot of people are going to be forced out of their homes because of this?” and Abs replies with, “It’s the way the game is played; if you don’t like it, you can get out.”  After that, we get a real good scene between Laura and the old couple in which she tries to speak with them and they simply refuse.  I love the fact that you can tell Laura doesn’t want to do this, and when she tries to speak directly to them and say how they really don’t have a choice, she means it as a sorta warning, but they take it as more of a threat.  Really, Laura is just trying to say that this situation is out of her own control and that they had better sell because, in the end, they won’t have the choice to stay, but it’s easy to see how the old folks interpret it as her sending them a threat.  In any case, the scene ends with the old couple still adamant in their refusal to leave. 
 
Before I continue with that plot point, let’s pause to talk about Laura for a minute.  During the incredible opening credit scrolling squares of one of the five eps we watched on our last visit, My Beloved Grammy opined that she would like to see more of Laura’s personal life, pointing out how we hardly ever see Laura at home or hanging out with her kids (you all remember she had little baby Daniel back at the start of season four, right?), that she’s mostly on the show connected with other people’s plotlines.  Yes, this is true, I agree with her, and I wish to address that a bit now.  I feel in many ways Laura has really blossomed this season.  Without Richard around to degrade her and make her feel bad, I feel she has really turned into that perfect Laura that I know and love, the eye-rolling woman who is always ready with a sassy comment and who has a certain still-waters-run-deep quality, always kinda hanging out in the background and observing what’s going on around her, not necessarily making a big deal out of it, but just sorta watching.  However, it’s definitely true that she’s not getting many of her own, independent storylines at this point.  Rather, she is a part of the Gary/Abs story, and she’s functioning as one aspect of this ever-expanding plotline.  Based on my memories, I think this remains something of a problem for the rest of Laura’s time on the show.  She is always great, Constance always plays her perfectly, and I always love her presence, but I remember her feeling a little bit like she existed to form part of other character’s storylines.  A little later, we’ll see her get close to Sumner and that’s all very wonderful, but even still, she’s a portion of his stories.  So I’m agreeing with My Beloved Grammy that I would enjoy seeing more of Laura’s personal life, maybe some exciting stories of her own, maybe more in the vein of season two when I felt like she was actively getting her own material to work with and stories that were purely Laura, and that is probably really my only complaint about the series at this exact point in the saga.



Okay, now one of the BIG developments this week is that we finally meet Mark St. Claire (pictured below), who is a delightfully campy James Bond villain kind of guy who is going to be with us through the rest of the season and also into a teeny weeny bit of season six.  Now, I confess to a smidge of confusion because, in two previous eps, we had Sumner having a covert meeting with some white guy who had glasses on, and at first I thought that was Mark St. Claire, but no, I was mistaken, for he is making his first appearance right here.  He comes strolling into Abby’s palace office and says how he could help her out with her business, that he runs some big company that has a lot of power and Bob Loblaw.  To Abby’s credit, she does not believe or trust this man and orders him out of her office.  If I recall correctly, he makes some sort of vague threat to her, but I can’t quite remember what it was.  In any case, we have quite a few more eps with this guy, often sitting in a dark, smoke filled room with random evil people around him, making phonecalls full of threats to lots of characters.  I guess this guy is like the head of Wolfbridge, the big cheese, the Don Corleone of this outfit.  We’ll have more time to explore him at greater length as we move through the rest of the season.
 
 

The last character to talk about is Karen, and it’s a doozy this week.  She is slipping ever deeper into her pill problem, acting like she is stoned all the time, unable to carry on simple conversations, alienating her friends as they try to help her; it’s all very bad.  In this ep, she learns that she’s expected to make some big speech at one of Greg’s political fundraiser things.  Now, I’m a little fuzzy on the details here, because I couldn’t figure out if Karen clear forget to even write the speech, or if she already has the speech written and has just forgotten that she’s expected to deliver it in just one day.  In any case, we see her getting all stressed about this speech, pacing around her room on the night of the rally and practicing the speech with M.F.  Only problem is that she can barely get a couple of words out before she has to ask M.F. for help with what comes next.  She concludes by saying how, if she gets confused, she can look at her notes, and everyone heads off to the rally, but we viewers should all be getting a sinking sensation in our guts at this point, because we know nothing good can come of this.  This feeling only grows worse when Karen realizes she is out of pills, frantically searches her room and her medicine cabinet for the sign of any only to find all the bottles totally empty, and then has to head off to the rally all without the aid of any of her pills.
 
 

The scene where Karen has to give her speech is legitimately painful to watch and I felt awful for her while I was watching, but that’s a testament to how well done the scene is.  This isn’t supposed to be fun to watch; it’s supposed to be sad and embarrassing.  See, the big moment comes and some old lady stands up and is like, “I’m not good at giving speeches, so let me introduce you to Karen!”  Karen stands up and it’s just awful.  She barely can get a word out and she keeps stammering and stumbling over what she’s supposed to say, and we get a really good visual flourish that helps us to understand her perspective in which we have a head-on view of the entire crowd staring at her and then the lens starts to get really super blurry and we realize that it’s her vision we are seeing at this moment.  Then, to make it even worse, she picks up her notes to help her and ends up dropping them all over the floor before finally Mack comes up to rescue her and take her away from the rally, all while she just sorta stammers, “I’m sorry,” over and over again.  In all truth, this scene probably doesn’t go on so long before Mack jumps in to get her out of there, but it felt like absolutely forever, which is a testament to how well done the scene is.
 
 

Next up, we have Karen and Val together at Val’s house.  Val is in the middle of trying to say something when a super groggy Karen just gets up and says, “Excuse me,” before disappearing out of the room.  Then we cut to Karen raiding Val’s medicine cabinet, which has to be one of her worst moments.  At first, I wondered if Karen was just looking for any pill that would give her the fix she needs, but then I had a flashback to a few eps back (can’t remember the exact specific one) in which Lilimae saw Karen taking a pill and mentioned how the doctors gave her that pill in the sanitarium.  So, naturally, Karen must be looking for those specific pills, but then Val enters with a wise look on her face and says, “They didn’t let Mama take those pills home.”  Karen has been caught red-handed going through her friend’s medicine cabinet looking for some pills so she can survive the night.

I might be going out of order here, but at some point Karen calls her doctor and makes up a fib about how she knocked her pills down the sink or something and she needs a refill on her prescription.  Some fabulous acting from Michele in this scene as she sorta paces the room while trying to speak with the doctor.  I have always thought it must be interesting and hard to have to act as a person talking on the phone when there’s really nobody on the other end to talk to, and that was a random thought I had while watching this scene, because I really believe she’s speaking with her doctor and I really believe that she’s pausing so he can speak back and all that stuff.  It’s a weird bit of acting that I note and I appreciate even though probably nobody else cares.  While we’re on the subject of acting, by the way, I’m back on board with Karen and with the way Michele plays her.  I was kinda critical of her earlier this season (“WHAT IS AN A.P.B.?!”), but now I think she’s doing terrific work and is back on the top of her game.  I really believe her as someone descending into a drug problem, yet I don’t feel judgmental and don’t want to condemn the character because I love Karen and I love the way Michele plays her.  Watching this, I really just feel a desire to see her get better, to get over these problems and return to being the normal, fun, happy Karen that we all know and love.

The big cliffhanger of this ep involves Mack rushing into the bathroom to find Karen passed out in the shower with the bottle of pills beside her, a fabulous closing image which, thank God, did not have to be the final thing My Beloved Grammy and I saw upon our last visit, for we had one more glorious episode to watch after this one.  I say this a lot, but I imagine if I was a viewer in 1983, I would just be beside myself for having to wait an entire agonizing seven days to see what’s going to happen to Karen after this, omigod.

Fuck yeah, that episode was good, am I right?  Didn’t I tell you it was dense?  It’s so brimming with drama and excitement that it’s yet another of those eps throughout the season that feels like it could easily serve as a season finale.  Every single character has so much going on and, just sitting here and going through my notes, I suddenly found myself able to write so much about even small scenes or character moments.  Of the five episodes My Beloved Grammy and I watched, and all five of them were fabulous, this one is absolutely the best one we saw.  Start to finish, it was rich, it was exciting, it never stopped moving, and I couldn’t look away.

Next up, we have the return of Bill “Cooke” Duke to the director’s chair as Karen faces the horrors of a rehab center with our very first episode of 1984, Forsaking All Others.

 

 

1 comment:

  1. "Martinis and KL" could be the name of my biography. Thankfully I have cleaned up my act.

    ReplyDelete