Sunday, February 26, 2017


Episode Title: Negotiations

Season 05, Episode 25

Episode 100 of 344

Written by Richard Gollance

Directed by Larry Elikann

Original Airdate: Thursday, March 29th, 1984

The Plot (Courtesy of TV.Com): A man tells Val that Gary is alive and that she will be receiving a call from Mark St. Claire, but if she mentions the conversation, Gary will be killed. Ben tells Val that Gary is dead. Karen tells Val that Gary is alive, but kidnapped. Val confronts Ben, who says he was happy when he thought Gary was dead, because he's tired of her being in love with him. Val breaks up with him. Mack has Gary stashed away at the Bel Mar motel, and brings Abby to see Gary. Gary's mad at her and doesn't like Mack's plan as it depends on Abby. Mack says he has no choice. Greg calls a press conference and says that he found out Wolfbridge is a criminal organization, and gives credit to Mack. Greg says he will sever all ties with them. Mack tells Abby he is going to wire her, and will bring Gary out to the lobby at 3:30 so that St. Claire will have a chance to shoot Gary again. Abby needs to get him to say something that will link him to the assassination attempt and then get away from him as fast as she can. Abby goes to see St. Claire, and tells him that Gary's at the Bel Mar. He then pulls the wire off of her and says she is going with him to the hotel. St. Claire calls Val and tells her to go to the hotel, and to get into Mack's jeep, which will be out front. He tells her that Gary will come out, and she needs to drive him away. St. Claire then calls Karen and tells her that he has planted a bomb in Mack's jeep. Abby figures out that Karen will tell Mack not to get in the jeep because of the bomb. Then Gary will see Val in the truck, and run out to save her so St. Claire's men will be able to have a clear shot at him. The hotel maid, who works for St. Claire, hides a gun in her cart, and goes to the lobby. Mack and Gary walk into the lobby. Karen runs in and tells Mack that there is a bomb in his car. Gary sees Val, and runs to her. The cleaning woman pulls out a gun and is about to shoot Gary, but Mack grabs her arm and she accidentally shoots Karen instead. Abby sees Gary run out of the hotel. She tries to get out of St. Claire's limo and yells at him to help her. St. Claire pulls her back in and they speed off. Gary runs after the limo. Back inside, the maid is arrested and Mack holds Karen as they wait for an ambulance.

                Welcome to Negotiations, which is a landmark KL episode in many ways.  First and foremost, why yes, in is indeed the finale of the glorious fifth season of the series, a season that showed the series reaching new levels of popularity, jumping from #20 in the ratings for season four to #11 for season five.  Perhaps even more importantly, however, it is also the 100th episode of the series.  Ah yes, I can’t describe how I’ve waited for this day to come.  See, way back when I started doing this blog, and I was writing about the very very first episode, and I wrote “Episode 001 of 344,” and I wrote “001” instead of simply “1” absolutely on purpose, knowing that one day we would reach the stage of triple digit episodes, that really the majority of the series is triple digit episodes, which is pretty amazing when you think of it.  When I made it to the tenth episode and I wrote “Episode 010 of 344,” I felt I was a step closer to one day reaching triple digits and not having to put any zeroes before the episode number, and now that day is here, for I can officially say that we are discussing “Episode 100 of 344.”  Oh, what bliss.

                I wish I could take a time machine back to March 29th, 1984, and see this episode upon original airdate.  More, I wish I could experience the days leading up to the airing, because I’d be very curious to see if CBS made a big deal out of this being the 100th episode.  Did anyone mention it?  Did anyone notice?  I feel like it’s rare for 100th episodes (or 200th episodes or 300th episodes and so on and so forth) to land at the exact same spot as the season finale; usually they are contained randomly somewhere else within the season.  So anyway, when this was about to air, did CBS advertise it as, “Watch the season finale on Thursday!” or did they emphasize the fact that it was the 100th episode or did they perhaps do both?  That seems like a bit too much of a mouthful for a simple television spot, “Tune in Thursday for the season finale that’s also the 100th episode of the series!”  100 episodes is a big deal, so I want to take a few moments to write about that and why it’s an important milestone.  A lot of what made 100th episodes a big deal back in the day is kinda null and void nowadays since all the good stuff is on cable and most cable shows don’t ever make it to 100 episodes and also don’t seem like they really want to.  However, back in the old days, 100 episodes was an important milestone because it meant you had crossed the bracket and were now eligible for being sold to syndication, so most shows would strive to at least produce that many eps.  In addition, I think 100 episodes was just sorta seen as a point of honor for TV shows, like, “We’ve made it, we’re here, we’ve proven ourselves.”  However, with most shows nowadays, I feel like the goal is not to rack up as many episodes as possible just to say, “Look, we beat the record of some other TV show that had a million episodes!”  Rather, the cable shows seem more concerned with quality over quantity, creating a good series that tells a good story for as long as it needs to be told. 

In fact, as I was writing this, I got curious about how many eps a lot of the popular cable shows have had, so I’ll give a bit of random info on what I discovered, beginning with what I tend to think of as the first of the big HBO cable shows, Tales From the Crypt.  I could most definitely be mistaken in labeling this as the first, but I feel like this was one of the premiere examples of a television series that could be filmed and shot and shown as if it was a real movie, and it was the first time I can think of in which real directors, big time movie directors who already had movies under their belt, took to the world of television as a way to further express their artistic selves.  Okay, so Tales From the Crypt was on from 1989 to 1996 and had 93 episodes.  Boy, they came close but they didn’t quite hit 100.  Honestly, if I was running that show and it was up to the final season, I would probably just be like “Can we throw an extra seven eps into this run so that we can end the series with exactly 100 episodes?”

Boy, this is fun, let’s think, what other shows could I use as examples?  Let’s stick to HBO for the time being and sorta move along chronologically.  The next show I can think of from HBO that I enjoyed was The Larry Sanders Show (one episode of that series featured a guest appearance by The Plesh!).  This ran from 1992 to 1998 and had 89 episodes.  Okay, how about Sex and the City?  That ran 1998 to 2004 and had 94 episodes.  One of my absolutely all time favorite television series, Six Feet Under (allegedly pitched by creator Alan Ball to HBO as “Knots Landing in a funeral home,” and oh God how I hope that story is true) ran from 2001 to 2005 and had 63 episodes.  Boardwalk Empire ran from 2010 to 2014 and had 56 episodes.  Heck, even The Sopranos, which in my mind was one of HBO’s longest running series and, I assumed, had racked up well over 100 episodes by the time it ended, only had six seasons and 86 episodes altogether.

What about other channels?  HBO was the first big one, but I feel like Showtime and then AMC also came along to give us quality cable programming that continued to put network programs to shame.  For Showtime, I loved the series Queer as Folk and that ran from 2000 to 2005 and had 83 episodes.  Also, I kinda sorta liked some seasons of Weeds (meaning roughly three of the eight seasons), and even that one, which I would argue overstayed its welcome by a good couple of seasons, only clocks in at 102 episodes, just barely hitting that 100 episode mark before hanging it up.  For AMC, we of course had the brilliant Breaking Bad, which ran 2008 to 2013 and had 62 episodes, and we also had the equally brilliant Mad Men, which ran from 2007 to 2015 and finished its run with 92 episodes.

My point?  I don’t even know if I had a point; I think I mostly just felt like bringing up some other shows and throwing out random trivia about how many eps they produced, but I think I can spin this into an actual coherent point that sounds super smart and intellectual.  Well, I find it very interesting to think that all the shows that I just mentioned (save for Weeds, but we’ve almost watched 102 eps of KL, so why split hairs?) ended their run with less episodes to their credit than we currently have of KL, and the thing that’s so amazing about KL is that we’re now at episode 100, and while many other shows would be at risk of starting to feel tired by this point, I feel like we’ve only just begun to really enjoy the fabulous world that is KL, and it’s kinda amazing to think that we still have 244 more episodes to watch in the series before calling it quits, and even more amazing to think that (in my opinion, of course, and based on my memories of the last time watching the series), the show will still maintain an incredibly high quality all the way until the last episode that is currently nine years and 244 episodes away.  How many other shows can rack up that many episodes and still stay good to the very last drop?  But anyway, that’s enough about that, I can re-explore these subjects and go on another long rant when we hit the 200th and 300th episodes one day, but for now, we are talking about the 100th episode and it’s Negotiations and here we go. 

Did I mention last week about how Val was going to travel to New York as part of a book tour to promote her newest book?  Well, if I didn’t mention it, I probably should have, because we actually begin Negotiations not in our usual California setting, but in New York with a nice (probably stock) shot of the Statue of Liberty overlooking the ocean (for all those Trump voters out there who are confused, the Statue of Liberty is this famous statue symbolizing the fact [and a little later I can help to explain the concept of what a "fact" is] that America welcomes immigrants and refugees; that's, you know, kinda a core part of our country's values).  After this shot, we move inside some random hotel set that Val is hanging out in.  I feel like Val’s second book, Nashville Junction, is kinda being put on the backburner at this exact juncture in the saga.  Like, she has revealed that she’s written it and we had that touching scene a handful of eps back in which she dedicated the book to Lilimae, and that’s all been very good, but I definitely feel like this book isn’t taking center stage the way Capricorn Crude did.  With that book, so many storylines revolved around it and we spent so much time watching Val write it and prepare it and get it set up for publication and go on Mike Douglas’ show and all of that good stuff.  Perhaps because we’ve already covered those bases once before in the past, the writers are choosing to not to highly emphasize her sophomore effort.

Anyway, Val is in New York for all of fifteen seconds, and I also wanna take a moment to note that there’s clearly no actual on-location New York footage being filmed.  Remember this is still 1984 and pre-Giuliani so probably the producers and directors were afraid of being violently raped and then shot to death by junkies if they tried to film actual footage in the big apple, or perhaps they just didn’t have it in the budget.  In any case, while it may have been nice to see Val gallivanting along the real-life streets of New York and doing touristy things like taking in the Empire State Building, for the purposes of this episode all we get is that quick stock shot and then a bit of footage of Val inside this building.

The reason Val’s book tour is cut so short comes in the form of some mysterious man who approaches her to tell that Gary is, in fact, alive.  This man also tells her how she will soon be receiving a phone call from James Bond villain Mark St. Claire, but that she needs to keep hush hush about this resurrection or else Gary will be killed.  Who is this man, by the way?  I’m not referring to the actor this time, who I’m not even gonna bother to look up, but rather the character.  I’m assuming that he works for St. Claire and that’s how he has this information, but why warn Val?  Is this out of the kindness of his heart and he’s going over his boss’ head to give Val this information?  Or is this part of some trap set by the Wolfbridge group?  Again, I remind you that alcohol was consumed while viewing this disk of eps and I think we’ve now proven that Brett can’t really follow the plots all too well if he’s been doing a bit of drinking.  The fact that all this Wolfbridge stuff throughout season five has made so much more sense to me upon this viewing versus when I watched it in college and was constantly drinking vodka, also adds validity to this claim.

In any case, as soon as Val hears this news, she’s back on a plane to California.  I’m gonna hop around on a few details so I can talk about a pretty vital scene taking place between her and Ben later in this episode.  If you’ll recall, Ben has already figured out the ruse cooked up by both Gary and Mack, so he’s well aware that Gary is alive.  However, in a scene taking place at The Plant House, Val also tells him that she is aware, and we get some pretty good Ben stuff in this scene.  See, he finally confesses that when he heard Gary was dead, he was glad about it, because he was tired of Val’s heart always belonging to Gary.  He has some line of dialogue about how, “Your knees go weak when anyone mentions Gary’s name,” and obviously that’s absolutely true; we viewers have spent 99 episodes previous watching Val’s knees go weak.  It’s a very candid little confrontation scene between the two and I applaud the balls it took for Ben to speak so directly when another person would just sorta hold in whatever was bothering them.  Even so, Val is fairly horrified by this news and breaks up with Ben, for the time being, at least.

Speaking of people breaking up, things are still rocky between Karen and Mack as Karen continues to hold firm in her decision to divorce him.  Once again, we’ve run into a storyline that I clear forgot existed.  I have no recollection at all of such a rift forming in the MacKenzie union; in my brain, after Karen got over her pills problem, it was smooth sailing for quite awhile.  How long is this going to last?  Whenever we hit storylines that I don’t remember existing (and we’ve had kinda a slew of them lately, such as the consummation of an affair between Gary and Cathy), the next question I ask myself is how long this story will go on.  So here we are in the last episode of season five and divorce bells are ringing out for Karen and Mack, but how long until they are able to fix their marriage?  I guess I’m spoiling future proceedings by saying that they do fix their marriage, but I dunno, I’m starting to figure anyone who is taking the time to read all of these thoughts of mine has probably already seen KL start to finish at some point in their life.  Anyway, for the time being, Karen is holding firm in her split from Mack.  Early in the ep, when the two have a chat, she reiterates, “I don’t want to see you anymore.”  Poor Mack, trying to do the right thing and ending up paying for it.  At the same time, poor Karen for having to deal with the fear that she would lose another husband to his high ideals and his noble goals towards bringing criminals to justice.

St. Claire gets more intimate than ever this week when he personally stops by Karen’s house to make vague threats and also throw out some predictions about how things are going to unfold throughout Karen’s day.  He has quite a roster, but he says, for example, how Diana will call to cancel their afternoon plans together, at which point Karen says, “Why is she even in the opening credits at this point?” and St. Claire says, “Don’t worry, she’ll be gone with season six.”  He also says how Karen will be receiving a call from Uncle Joe (remember him?) and a few other things.  Basically, all of these things wind up coming true throughout Karen’s day, causing her to panic and realize their lives could all be in some serious danger.

Oh yeah, and we also get to hear Diana’s voice on the phone without physically seeing the character, making me wonder what precisely was going on behind the scenes with Lonow at this point.  Does anyone have any info?  Lonow is not shy about her coke abuse back in the ‘80s, so am I wrong in deducing that it was in full flair by this point?  Indeed, the last time we saw her (it was a few episodes back in Finishing Touches), her eyes definitely had that deflated look of the hardcore cocaine abuser, but I don’t want to make random assumptions about things I don’t actually know.  I would be curious to learn when exactly the powers that be decided it was time for Diana to leave the show, because it feels like she’s been getting slowly phased out for half the season.  During the early half of the year, which was so heavily focused on Diana and Chip, I felt her promotion into the opening credits was justified, but as the season wound on, I really started to think it would have been more appropriate to keep her billed as a guest star or as “Also Starring” or however they had it done before.  I also wanna take a quick moment to note that Lonow is the first example we’ve seen of someone being promoted to the opening credits just as their time on the series is starting to come to an end.  As we move further into the future, we are going to see quite a few examples of people’s promotions into the main cast actually being the sign that they are about five minutes away from being shipped off the series forever, a rather fascinating and vexing phenomenon.  I have a lot of questions about Diana and about what was going on behind the scenes, so allow me to take a moment to write an OPEN REQUEST TO CLAUDIA LONOW, who I'm quite sure is reading this blog at this exact moment.  Claudia, if you're reading this, please consider my request that you grant me an interview via the magical internet world.  I have so many questions I want to ask you and I have tweeted at you before and you responded!  What a day that was!  If you are around and willing to do an interview with me, hey, let's do it!  I'm really a very nice person and it would be a real honor to speak with someone from KL directly!

Meanwhile, I’d say the affair between Gary and Cathy is pretty much dead at this point.  Perhaps one of the reasons I didn’t remember it (in addition to all that vodka I was drinking) is because it didn’t really last too terribly long, only about what, four or five episodes?  It seems like Gary and Cathy finally shag and are getting started with something of a romantic relationship when boom, Gary up and dies on her, um, sorta, and now Cathy is starting to discuss blowing town.  Actually, I could see how upon original airdate, a viewer might actually think that Cathy was leaving the show forever, because she seems fairly serious about it.  In an early scene from the ep, during another one of those Cathy/Laura heart-to-hearts that I had completely forgot about ever existing, Cathy says how she has realized that Gary is really and truly in love with Val, and Laura does nothing to dissuade her, for she knows its true, as does everyone else from Seaview Circle and everyone else who has been following the last 99 episodes of the series.  So anyway, next thing we know Cathy is packing up a bag and talking about going to some other place and finding some crummy job as a waitress or whatever.  Now, I’ll just go ahead and say right away that Cathy is not leaving the show, but rather will be hanging around as a member of the main cast for the entirety of seasons six and seven, but My Beloved Grammy sure seemed to think she was going away.  Generally I try not to spoil future proceedings for her, but in this case I went ahead and told her that we’ve still got 60 more episodes with Lisa Hartman as Cathy, and thank God, by the way, because I’m not ready for her to leave yet and I am ready to hear her sing more fantastic cover songs throughout the next two seasons.

Okay, the main gist of the episode that’s going to lead us into our very big and very exciting cliffhanger involves Gary, Mack, Abs, and of course the wicked Mark St. Claire.  See, Mack has finally gotten Abs to agree that she’ll wear a wire and then have a meeting with St. Claire, the goal being to get St. Claire to admit he’s going to try and kill Gary before he actually goes and does it.  Then, as part of the whole master plan, Gary is going to be in the lobby of this hotel (I think it’s called the Bel Mar Hotel or something like that, and I have it pictured below in its current 2017 state) at a certain precise time, during which time St. Claire or one of his henchmen will try to assassinate Gary and then, there you go, Mack will have a tape of St. Claire saying he’s going to kill Gary along with the actual attempted assassination, plenty of incriminating material to get the wicked James Bond villain put away for life.  This all leads to some very dramatic and juicy dialogue in which the music (Joel Rosenbaum this week) gets to really swell up and become exciting and Gary gets to grit his teeth and deliver such fantastic lines as, “I agreed to be a target for you guys, but I did not agree to put the gun in her hands,” referring of course to Abs, who has become an essential part of the plan and who Gary is, understandably, having a bit of trouble trusting at this moment.  In any case, Mack tells Gary this is the way it’s gonna be, that it’s a little scary but everything should so smoothly, and then we proceed ever closer to our cliffhanger.

As noted, Gary escaped (walked out?) from police custody in the last ep, and now he’s being kept in this somewhat fancy little hotel, which certainly seems more comfortable than that white room from last week.  However, there’s a mysterious chambermaid running around and looking evil, a chambermaid played by Laura Palmer’s mother, also known as one Grace Zabriskie.  Ah, how fabulous to see a familiar face pop up, and indeed when she first showed up on the scene, My Beloved Grammy was all like, “Why does she look so familiar?” and I had to tell her that she was Laura Palmer’s mother.  About four years down the line, we shall have Laura Palmer’s father showing up in the role of some sort of scummy drug dealer, so keep your eyes open for that development!

Anyway, this mysterious maid is sorta poking her head into Gary’s room and doing whatever and then we see her make a mysterious evil phonecall to St. Claire in which she informs him that Gary is, indeed, staying at this hotel, and she knows his room number and everything.  At this point, we are going to have to allow a little bit of suspension of disbelief so that the writers can propel us towards our exciting cliffhanger, because really this part is a bit flawed in some storytelling aspects.  Mainly, what’s stopping Laura Palmer’s mother from just walking into Gary’s room and shooting him there?  Why would St. Claire choose to follow through with a very public assassination when this maid could just quietly kill Gary in private and then go about her day?  The real reason is because we need this exciting cliffhanger, and the exciting cliffhanger must take place in the main hotel lobby, not in Gary’s private room, so let’s move on.

Things start to move very fast in the last ten to twenty minutes of the episode.  Let’s see, first and foremost, St. Claire kidnaps Abs, um, sorta.  See, they are having that meeting and Abs is trying to get the proper information out of St. Claire, but I’d say she’s a bit too obvious about it, because it doesn’t take long for St. Claire to find the hidden wire on Abby’s person and rip it off before declaring that they are all gonna take a nice drive together.  So whoops, that plan didn’t exactly go off without a hitch.  Meanwhile, St. Claire also pays a call to Valene and tells her exactly the place and the time where she can find Gary.  Also, through a circuitous series of events, we have learned that there is going to be a bomb in Mack’s jeep or something like that, and then for some reason Val decides to go to the hotel and climb in the jeep and she’s gonna start it and it’s gonna blow up and oh my God, we just can’t have that.  Finally, Karen decides to rush to the hotel and tell Mack that there’s a bomb in the jeep or something (I can’t entirely remember the circumstances that lead to her rushing to the hotel, but whatever).

Gary gets suited up in some heavy body armor and prepares to march out into that hotel lobby.  Things are getting good and suspenseful when Karen comes running in to tell Mack about the bomb in his car, how he can’t get into the car, how Gary can’t get into the car, how they’re all going to blow up.  However, at this point Gary gets a look at Val climbing into the jeep and he sorta freaks, screaming out her name and saying, “Don’t get in the car!”, like Michael Corleone to the ill-fated Apollonia.  He yells it about five thousand times, but Val must not hear him, because she still climbs in.  At that exact same time, just as Gary comes running out to save her, he spots Abs in the back of St. Claire’s evil car, reaching her head out and screaming for Gary to save her.  Now he’s got a real Sophie’s Choice situation on his hands; should he run to Val in the jeep and rescue her before she blows up or should he go and rescue Abs from the evil hands of St. Claire and his goons?

At that precise moment, just as Gary goes running off to try and save both women, Laura Palmer’s mother pulls out her little silenced pistol and aims it for Gary, but Mack manages to grab her arm and wrestle her and the gun goes off in another direction, which seems like it might be okay, but the only problem is that she winds up shooting Karen instead, oh no!  Fortunately, even if Karen might die (she doesn’t), at least Laura Palmer’s mother is brought to justice, as we see another character (I think cheesy Detective Morrison) pull a gun on her and march her out of the hotel lobby.  Even so, the episode and, to be clear, the entire season come to their conclusion with a rather sad shot of Mack on the ground, holding Karen’s body and saying, “No, no,” over and over again.  Even though Karen’s body is completely bloodless, which might be a smidge unrealistic for someone who was just shot in the stomach, it’s still a touching and sad scene and a rather scary way to end the season and have to wait all summer to see how things turn out.

Okay, so let’s try and go through the roster of all the different cliffs we are currently hanging off of, shall we?  First off, we have Val nearly blowing up in the car, but fortunately she’s okay, still pregnant with Gary’s twins and all of that.  We have Abs kidnapped by the Wolfbridge group, currently speeding her off to God knows where.  Most importantly, however, we have Karen shot and at risk for death.  Again, if this was 1984 and I was watching this upon original airdate, I’d be like, “Holy shit, how am I going to wait all summer to see how this turns out?”  Watching now, however, the effect is a bit diluted.  For one thing, I always knew that Karen was the one cast member to remain with the show for all 344 episodes; I think I knew that little bit of trivia even before I ever embarked on the journey of watching this series.  Therefore, the “Will Karen die or not?” cliffhanger doesn’t entirely work for me.  No, she’s not going to die, because she’s also in the next 244 episodes and is on the show all the way to the very ending.  I wouldn’t know this back in 1984, however, and for all I know, perhaps Karen would die between seasons or the writers might even pull a Sid and kill her a few episodes into season six, who knows?

Like I’ve said, My Beloved Grammy doesn’t know what lies in the future for us, and the death of Saint Sid way back in season three has always left her feeling that anyone in the cast could die.  When we finished this ep, she said how she doesn’t think Karen will die because she’s such a vital character to the series, but that she also didn’t think Sid would die and he went ahead and died anyway, didn’t he?  Because of that, she really seems to think we might be losing Karen when we hit season six, and since I like suspense, I haven’t told her one way or the other what’s going to happen to Karen.  I will say, however, that I was very pleased the next morning, when I awoke in the guest bedroom of My Beloved Grammy’s home, and she came out of her bedroom and told me she, “Woke up thinking about Knots.”  She said how she woke up wondering if Karen will be alright and wondering what will happen to Abs and all that good stuff and I was like, “Yes!  The show is working its magic!”

This is clearly our most packed cliffhanger so far on the series, and perhaps ever, honestly.  I can’t think of another cliffhanger that puts so many different characters into such different forms of jeopardy all at the same time, can you?  Also, reflecting on the previous four seasons before this one definitely helps to emphasize how exciting this particular ending is.  With season one, we didn’t even have a cliffhanger; we actually ended on some form of catharsis in which Gary entered that Alcoholics Anonymous meeting and announced, “My name is Gary and I’m an alcoholic.”  Our first cliffhanger came in the concluding moments of season two, when Sid and that forgettable F.B.I. agent guy went flying off that cliff together.  For season three, the cliffhanger was Val finding Gary and Abs in bed together and throwing Gary out of the house.  With season four, it was the continuing mystery of “Who killed Ciji?” and we actually ended on a moment of sorta quiet reflection with Gary incarcerated and Abs and Val both sitting in chairs and looking out at the sea, deep in thought.  This season is clearly designed to play in the big leagues alongside its contemporaries, which I imagine were producing exciting cliffhangers of their own this year (although this very easily trumps the super lame Dallas cliffhanger that season, which was just going back to the well and recycling old material with a stupid, “Who shot Bobby?” mystery).

Alright, so that was Negotiations, our very final episode of the brilliant season five.  How did I find it?  Well, it was great, obviously.  If I seem to lack any of my usual pep, allow me to take a moment to explain it.  Clearly, all five episodes on this final disk of the season were excellent, super duper exciting and super duper riveting and I loved every second.  The only reason I might seem less enthused (in addition to the drinking that makes it hard for me to follow basic plot points) is because I am just so damn fidgety and excited to dive into the amazing sixth season of the series.  I simply can’t wait to re-experience all 30 magical episodes of the absolutely masterful sixth season, so even though I enjoyed the shit out of this last batch of season five episodes, I was also kinda like, “Ooooh, next time I visit, we get to start the sixth season!”  So please note that any lack of enthusiasm on the part of myself is not a reflection of these episodes, but rather a sign of how excited I am for the next season to come.

Next up, I’ll do another one of my quick “Reflections” essays in which I talk a bit about season five in the grand scope of things (spoiler alert: I’d say it was easily the best season we’ve watched thus far), and then after that we will launch into the sixth season of the series with the very first episode of that season.  Originally airing October 4th, 1984 (jeez Louise, nearly six months after the airing of this season finale!), our next episode up for discussion is Buying Time.


  1. Great finale and great write-up as usual. But...I am going to go there. It would be nice to go to one place on the interwebs where I didn't have to hear about Trump non-stop 24/7. Starting to get a little distracting IMO...I respect the fact that it is your blog, your rules. But wanted to give my two cents.

  2. One more cliffhanger, I suppose, is Val and Ben's relationship hitting the skids... oh and you forgot about the plot point and great scene with Karen marching into Abby's office to tell her that she'll gladly take back what is rightfully hers, her half of the apartment complex at Lotus Point, effectively making her Abs's partner!

    One big question for me in all of this was why Wolfbridge needed to kill Gary after the 1st attempt failed. And then, to make the 2nd attempt so public with so many people in the know? I guess the first attempt was to allow his assets to be freed up and allow Abby to run free with Gary Ewing Enterprises again... but would that have really happened? With a will in place and a divorce in process? And if Gary really had died, dontcha think JR and family would have swooped in to see where that money had gone? Seems like the smarter move for Wolfbridge would have been to step back and wait for Gary's response. Surely now he WOULD be scared enough to possibly follow through with Lotus Point after knowing WB / St. Clare could be so bold as to kill Ray, thinking it was him.

  3. Was is the Bel Mar Hotel really called, and where is it? I’d like to go there next time I’m in LA.