Thursday, March 16, 2017

KNOTS LANDING Episode 105 of 344: IPSO FACTO

Episode Title: Ipso Facto

Season 06, Episode 05

Episode 105 of 344

Written by John Saffron

Directed by Larry Elikann

Original Airdate: Thursday, November 8th, 1984

The Plot (Courtesy of TV.Com): Gary tells Karen that Mack won't be grateful that she spared him her death; he'll be angry and resentful. Abby hires Scott Easton. Greg tells Abby he knows that one of her employee's broke into Caulfield's medical files. Abby threatens to retract her statement if he tells. Lotus Point has their grand opening. Mack and Karen begin to talk at the opening. Joshua tells Cathy that he met Abby and she is really 'nice.’ Greg invites Caulfield to the opening, and tells the press that his medical history doesn't matter. At the station, Abby sees a floppy disc on Ben's desk that is labeled "Val Notes." She puts it in the computer. It's a letter to Val that he loves her, but just can't get over the fact that she is having Gary's baby. Abby is shocked.

                Oh fuck yes, remember how I jizzed in my pants super hard over our last episode, A Little Help?  Most of that jizzing wasn’t even based entirely on that particular ep, but rather a collection of feelings of love towards KL that appear to be reaching some new height of almost hysterical obsession as I work my way through the show along with My Beloved Grammy.  Well, the jizzing shall only continue, growing stronger even, as we dive into this episode, Ipso Facto, and I suggest we start right off with, “What exactly does ‘ipso facto’ mean?”  I’m glad you asked, because I looked it up and now I’m gonna tell you.  The term “ipso facto” basically means, “Because of the fact that has already been established,” or another definition I found says, “As an inevitable result.”  I bring this up because as the episode started, I announced the title of the episode and the airdate to My Beloved Grammy, as I always do, and then I randomly asked her what that term actually means and she didn’t know either.  So, I looked it up, I learned what it means, and now I can only sit sadly and reflect on the fact that I’m allegedly a college educated person and my degree is supposed to be in writing and yet I didn’t even know until mere moments ago what “ipso faco” means.  Oh well, the fact that My Beloved Grammy, who is older and wiser than I, also didn’t know what it means definitely helps me to feel a little bit less stupid, so let’s move right along.

                This is the fifth episode of season six and I’m actually noticing some similarities to the fifth episode of season five from one year prior.  In that instance, Greg threw a big political gathering (at what I later learned was simply a redressed Southfork set and, upon looking at some pictures online, I can confirm that it was, indeed, Southfork) and that gathering provided a fine opportunity to get the entire cast gathered in one place to interact.  Here, in Ipso Facto, it’s the grand opening of Lotus Point that provides a setting for all our characters, although there’s definitely still some political stuff going on, as well, which we shall discuss when we discuss it.

                First off, here’s one development I neglected to mention last week, and that is the triumphant return of Jane Sumner.  Yes, Anne Frank is back on the scene in A Little Help after making her last appearance back in Forsaking All Others and she continues to be prominent in Ipso Facto, as well.  Let’s soak up all the Jane we can, by the way, because she’s only gonna be in one more episode this season (Truth and Consequences) before essentially leaving the show (she gets one last surprise appearance in 1990 with Out of Control).  Much like so many other KL characters that I remember being bored or underwhelmed by but am suddenly really digging (Eric and Ben, to name just a few), Jane is ascending in my view and I’m starting to greatly appreciate this character as well as the actress.  Is it just the inherent greatness of KL?  Is it just the fact that when you have the KL writers working their magic, even the most minor of characters becomes super interesting and compelling?  I feel like that might be it, along with simply casting good, solid actors who can bring these characters to life effectively.  Before I get too excited, let me just make it clear that I’m not like, “OMIGOD JANE SUMNER IS THE GREATEST CHARACTER IN TELEVISION.”  No, nothing like that, she’s a relatively minor character who only appears in six episodes out of 344, but I’m just saying that, for how minor she is and what a toss-off this character could be, the writers still manage to make her interesting. 

                I bring up Jane because she figures somewhat significantly into the story this week.  She’s back in town as of last week to see what the heck is really going on in Greg’s life, another detail I appreciate.  I feel like it wouldn’t be a complete KL episode writeup if I didn’t take a moment to shit on Dallas (a show I still like a lot, just to be clear), so let’s go ahead and get that out of the way now.  Over on Dallas, wildly dramatic things would occur and often characters who should be on the scene for such proceedings would be conspicuously absent.  An example that springs immediately to mind is when Southfork nearly burned down at the conclusion of season six and yet, for the first ten eps or so of season seven, Miss Ellie was completely absent and we would just be told by other characters that she was, like, on a vacation or some other nonsense.  Oh yeah, really?  You’d think that your house nearly burning to the ground might be a good reason to cancel your vacation plans, but I guess not.  Over here in the comparatively more realistic world of KL, when Greg ends up shooting James Bond villains to death on sexy boats, the writers do not just merely dismiss the character of his wife with some throwaway line like, “She’s travelling through Europe.”  Nope, instead they bring her back into the proceedings and have her say, “Gee Greg, I hear you shot some James Bond villain to death on a sexy boat.”

                Greg and Jane had a good scene in the last ep that I neglected to mention, but basically the gist of the scene was that he manages to keep cool and act like everything’s okay, although I get the sense that Jane somewhat sees through his lies.  This week, Jane probably spends more time hanging around Mack than Greg, and we even get the possible stirrings of an adulterous romance between the two.  See, at some point near the middle of the ep they wind up in a car somehow, and it’s raining and it’s all very stylish, courtesy of that ever-dependable Larry Elikann, who continues to bring such fabulous style to the small screen every time he steps behind the camera of a KL ep.  Anyway, Greg and Jane are talking about their past history, and I’m gonna go on for another seventeen pages about how much I love this, so get ready.

                I love the fact that I actually believe in this past story, that it never feels invented.  When Greg was first introduced to the show back at the start of season five, we were told he was an old friend of Mack’s and that they went to college or law school together or something.  This could have felt totally invented, but it’s always felt genuine to me, and now as Mack and Jane discuss being young and staying up late to study for stuff, I can actually picture it in my mind; it’s not like when Jenna and Bobby would discuss their youth and their love affair over on Dallas and I would just get bored and throw up.  Instead, this actually feels like real people.  Even when they kiss, it doesn’t feel too soapy or melodramatic; it’s just something that happens.  The kiss is placed into the thirty second preview before the still-absolutely-brilliant opening credits, making it look like something saucy and risqué, but when it actually occurs it’s not such a big deal, and I kinda prefer it that way.  Will Jane and Mack have an affair?  Well, considering Jane’s going away in the next episode, I’m gonna go ahead and say probably not, but maybe we the viewers aren’t even meant to be in suspense about this; maybe we are just supposed to watch two people have a little romantic moment and then that’s the end of it.

                It’s rather typical of me to pick one of the smallest aspects of any given episode and then write about it for several years.  All things considered, the kiss between Mack and Jane is a rather microscopic portion of this episode compared to everything else that’s going down this week, so let’s explore someone else, starting with my much cherished (and still favorite character, thank you very much) Karen.  We open the ep on her and Gary having a chat about her recent medical diagnosis and her decisions in the past few weeks.  I actually somewhat understand Karen’s point of view, because I’m just not much of a fighter when it comes to such things and I’ve always thought that if I ever got some dread disease and was gonna die in six months or a year, I would just cheerfully wait it out and tell everyone that I’m dying and I wouldn’t get too upset about it; I’d probably go do all the naughty things I like to do but must moderate in daily life when you think you’re gonna live for a certain number of years.  If I was gonna die in a year or less, I would go to Vegas and gamble and smoke and drink and try to just lose all my money that way and I would also like to hit Hawaii, Dr. Greene style, and swim in the ocean and be with all the beautiful shirtless Hawaiian boys until it was finally time for me to die and take that great spiritual journey down below. 

                But wait, I’m not supposed to be writing about my own neurotic obsessions with death; I’m supposed to be writing about Karen’s views on her impending death.  Basically, Karen says how she wants to go on living her life the way she’s always lived it, and that includes going to work and keeping busy and being around all the people she loves, her friends, such as Gary, and her kids, such as sexy hunky twink boy Sexy Michael.  She also explains her reasons for leaving Mack out of all this, how she doesn’t want him to just take her back out of a feeling of obligation.  It’s a lovely speech and I happen to pretty much agree with her, but Gary is also a smart man and he says how, when Mack finds out the truth, he’s not going to be grateful that Karen kept him in the dark, but rather angry and resentful because she shut him out.  This is what the show is all about, really, two characters who I love and who are absolutely fascinatingly complex and simply mesmerizing to watch onscreen sitting together and having an unbelievably interesting and thought-provoking discussion.  Sweet Jesus, I feel like I can’t say it enough, but I just fucking love these two characters.  I’ll try to calm down a bit in upcoming write-ups, but for now I’m just gonna lay it all out there and say that yes, in the sad and twisted little brain of Brett, these people actually feel real to me and when I watch them onscreen, I honest to God often forget I’m watching a TV show and just get lost in my belief that these are actually real humans and I’m getting some glimpse into their lives somehow.  This inability to separate actors from the characters they play continues to this very day, by the way, because in my mind, Gary and Val and Karen and Mack and Greg and all my friends are still out there in the universe, doing their thing (which is why I was so horrified by Gary and Val’s respective appearances on shitty new TNT Dallas and why I refuse to acknowledge anything that happened to that series as canon to either original Dallas but most especially KL).

                I’m going off on a tangent again, so let’s get back in focus.  The amazingly skilled and still vastly underrated writing of KL continues to impress me, particularly with how they are managing to write Karen at this juncture.  Think about how easy it would be for Karen to come across as unlikeable right now.  We’ve watched Mack be a good husband to her for well over a year now (I think we’re coming up to two years pretty soon), dealing with all the drama and crap.  Now, as Karen finds out she will be dying shortly, she chooses to shut Mack out and tell him nothing about it, which in all seriousness is a rather shitty thing to do.  However, the way it’s done on the series, I don’t judge her, but rather I understand her.  She’s complex and three dimensional just like all of us real people, and I like that even though she’s kinda the central character of the show and I’m sure the writers always want us to like her, they’re not afraid to take her to dark places like last season’s pill addiction or this recent development.  Also, Michele is just so damn good (when she’s not being too extreme and hyperventilating too much and screaming, “WHAT IS AN A.P.B?!”, and in my opinion that really softened up in the latter half of season five and seems to have kinda vanished by this point).

                Oh yeah, and as for Gary, well he’s also awesome in this scene, and I just love listening to him speak directly to his friend.  Laura also has this ability to get really direct with the other characters but never come off as nosy or overly aggressive, and Gary’s demonstrating that now.  I also wanna reiterate again (even though I’m sure I’ve brought this up five thousand times by this point and am just too lazy to go back and check) how much Gary has grown since the early days of the series.  Imagine if Gary was taking it upon himself to talk to Karen about this in, say, season four, when he was just on his way to that big decanter full of bourbon.  He was such a damn mess at that point that it’s amazing to think of how much he’s grown after coming out of that big bender.  Now, he’s the kind of person that Karen will listen to and actually respect what he says, because he’s proven himself to be rather adult and mature and pretty wise in that “good judgment comes from experience which comes from bad judgment” kind of way.  So yes, go Gary, I love you so.

                So clearly Gary gives Karen some stuff to think about, but she doesn’t really take any direct action to change her behavior this week; we’ll have to be patient and see what happens a little later down the line.  For now let’s shift our focus over to her at-the-moment-estranged husband, Mr. Marion “Mack” Patrick MacKenzie.  Well, this week we are inexplicably kinda sorta introduced to a new Gary character, Gary Loader.  Follow me along here, since this may all sound like the insane ramblings of someone who was drinking while watching the show (even though I wasn’t this time; I swear) as I basically try to describe something that I don’t think I remember enough to explain well.  Okay, here we go.

                Basically a black guy walks into Mack’s office (we’ve seen black people on KL since as early as episode two, Community Spirit, but I feel like we’ve had a real explosion of blackness in this sixth season, with multiple different black people showing up every week, which pleases me) and asks Mack for all the information he has on Gary Loader.  Then Mack gives some speech about how Gary Loader is, um, like, a bad guy or something, and he did something bad and, well, yeah, that’s all I got.  Why am I having so much trouble remembering the contents of the dialogue of this scene?  Honestly, probably because I was so distracted by the introduction of another Gary into the mix; in fact, if you take a look at my notes, I wrote nothing about what actually transpires here, I simply wrote, “Gary Loader; another Gary?”  I just found it rather odd that the writers would choose to introduce another Gary character into the mix, but I suppose if he is always referred to by his full name of Gary Loader, it will avoid confusion for us viewers.  Also, I guess it’s actually kinda cool to do that because, you know, in real life people have the same names all the time (I remember how I was a unique little Brett all throughout my entire schooling experience and I never remember encountering another Brett in all twelve years of my public education), so that just shows realism, which I’m consistently praising the show for.  But anyway, Gary Loader, ladies and gentlemen, and I promise to try and do a better job of focusing on him the next time he comes up, since I’m pretty sure the writers aren’t introducing this name for no reason; it’s gonna continue playing out throughout the course of the season.

                Say, let’s talk about Ben for a minute, cuz we pick up this week right where we left off.  He’s cleaning out his office and he’s hitting the road, kissing goodbye to Pacific World Whatever because of Abby’s wicked move last week involving that other big political guy, Bob Caulfield.  However, Abs knows that for the purposes of good drama, it’s important for Ben to remain working at the station with her, so she tracks him down in the parking lot outside and is like, “Look, we’ve got 48 minutes a week, we’ve got a shit ton of characters in the opening credits, and it would really be a lot easier for the stories to keep flowing if you and I worked in the same place and we didn’t have to keep constantly cutting from me at work to you at some other type of work, so will you stay?”  After that impassioned plea, Ben agrees to stay, which is very fortunate for The Desperate Horny Chick that also works at the news station and is currently drooling all over Ben (I’ll talk about The Desperate Horny Chick later, maybe even in a later episode).

                Val goes to see the doctor this week and we learn that the babies are very close to being ready to come, just a few short weeks away.  We also get some ominous news that doesn’t do much for me since I have a vivid recollection of how everything involving Val’s babies unfolds this season, but it certainly worked for My Beloved Grammy, who is utterly convinced that Val’s babies are going to die before they’re born.  Again, don’t forget that we watched all fourteen seasons of Dallas prior to this and, in addition to enhancing the experience of watching KL by emphasizing how much fucking better KL is, that show also loved to get the women pregnant and then kill off the pregnancies after a few weeks of drama.  But that’s cuz that show was often very lazy in its writing and would never even attempt an undertaking as complex and unforgettable as VAL’S BABIES.  Rest assured, my dead readers, the babies are not going to die while they are in Val's belly, but I do see why you might think that’s on the horizon after the doctor tells Val, “The babies are fine, just a little smaller than usual.”  What does this mean?  I’m utterly convinced that line is thrown in to scare us into thoughts of a miscarriage or even two stillborn babies, for why else would it be here?  The doctor even emphasizes that Val’s in perfect health and has been doing all the right things for this pregnancy, so I’m gonna pay attention to see if this “smaller than usual” business plays out in a later episode or not.

                I want to take a quick moment to say good on Val for actually being a responsible pregnant woman.  I appreciate the fact that Val is such a good little pregnant woman, doing all the right things and eating all the right foods and not drinking any alcohol.  I’m also having a flashback to 1981 when Ginger (remember her?  No?  Exactly) was pregnant and still had wine at her baby shower (in what is still one of the all time worst KL eps ever made, Moments of Truth) and I’m also remembering 1982 when Laura was pregnant and Richard had no problem with the idea of her sipping lots of new and exotic wines with him (this was back in the brilliant Best Intentions).  I’m very curious to know when exactly it was officially decided once and for all that pregnant women shouldn’t drink at all, because we saw those two instances of it, and now we’re up to 1984 (almost 1985) so I don’t know if it would still be not-that-big-a-deal for Val to have a glass of wine with dinner even though she’s pregnant.  My basic point is that I’m glad she’s not, so let’s move on.

                Remember in the last ep when I couldn’t quite figure out Abby’s motivations in exposing Bob Caulfield’s ‘60s institutionalization?  My confusion continues this week, because she seems rather pleased when she’s talking with Greg about it, so I’m guessing that she did this as some sort of favor to him.  The problem is that Greg does not see it as a favor and is rather disgusted with this treatment of his opponent, which I think is pretty cool.  We’ve got ten years and a whole ton of eps with Greg to explore the wild complexities of his character, but he’s already fascinating by this juncture, and one of those things that keeps him so fascinating is those shades of grey.  Is he good or bad?  Well, I’d say he’s kinda neither, because he’s been shown to have some questionable moral choices such as working with the Wolfbridge group and then telling lies about his involvement with them, but then he also has real ethical moments like right here.  When he finds out about the Caulfield news, he says how it has nothing to do with the race and isn’t even applicable, that it’s a non-issue, and he also knows that Abs found a duplicitous way to obtain the info (she had one of her lackeys steal it), which he is not pleased with.  I like the fact that Greg wants to win the race but he wants to do it the right way, not by digging up some old story from twenty years ago to try and sabotage the reputation of his opponent.

                Things start to get more threatening between Greg and Abs after he’s less than elated by what she has done.  We are having some fabulously schizo moments with these two lately, and I’m saying that with love.  Let’s think, just three episodes ago he was shooting St. Claire to death to save Abs (um, sorta).  Then two eps ago they formed a bit of an uneasy alliance together when she agreed to give a nice little press conference to show Greg as a hero.  One episode ago, that press conference went off without a hitch and you’d think everything would be square, but then she went and pulled this Caulfield business, which is pissing Greg off in this ep.  During the gathering at Lotus Point (which is kinda the nucleus of this whole ep, giving our characters lots of space to move around and interact with eachother), she says how she could always go to the press and tell them the truth about what happened on the boat.  Greg tries to be dismissive and is like, “You already gave your press conference,” but then Abs starts to spin a new version of the story out of thin air, presenting what she could tell the press, saying, “Oh, I was so scared because Greg was threatening me with a gun and he shot St. Claire right in front of me and he was gonna shoot me, too!”  Greg seems vaguely unnerved by this threat, but I’m not entirely sure I buy it.  I mean, I buy that Abs would maybe go through with this and try to soil Greg’s reputation, but I’m not sure I buy that the public would accept it.  I feel like if Abs decided to give another press conference and was like, “Never mind, guys, I changed my mind and Gregory Sumner is actually an evil asshole who threatened me with a gun,” people would maybe have a hard time believing her.  Even so, we’ve seen the incredible way Abs can handle lies when she has to, the way she can make them sound so true, so maybe she actually could make this one work, who knows?

                What else happens at the big Lotus Point gathering?  Well, like I said, it mostly provides a good opportunity for lots of interacting and yearning.  The yearning is really amped up here, by the way, because we have Mack yearning to be with Karen, we have Val yearning to be with Ben (who comes to the Lotus Point opening with The Desperate Horny Chick that I’m ignoring for the time being, mostly because I can’t remember her name) while also, as always, simultaneously yearning to be with Gary, we have Cathy yearning to be with Joshua, and you get my drift.  Maybe one of the most striking parts of this segment is when Abs first meets Joshua and introduces herself.  She’s actually rather friendly with him and he even goes up to Cathy later and says, “I met Abby; she seems nice,” which, if this was a sitcom, would be the point where you pipe in the laugh track because it’s really so undeniably funny.

                Let me interrupt for a minute to talk about fashion.  I’m really not much of a gay guy because I generally ignore the fashions and what all the characters are wearing in my write-ups, even though I’ll notice them and comment on them when watching the show.  I think it’s worth noting that this is the season that Travilla (pictured below fashioning Marilyn in something brilliant) comes into the fold to design the clothing and fashions, and I also think it’s worth noting that this goes complete concurrently with him being brought to work on Dallas.  Looks like from 1984 to 1986 he was working on both Dallas and KL at the same time.  Now, his fashions ruined Dallas during that two year period and were utterly ridiculous to look at (let’s not even talk about whatever nonsense Barbara Carrera would show up wearing during that dreadful dream season), but I don’t recall him ruining KL in the same way, adding some validity to my theory that everyone is just inherently better when they’re working on KL.  The fashions here don’t distract me the way they distracted me on Dallas; we may see more glamorous fashions at this juncture in the series, but it never really feels out of place to me, and especially since in this instance we’re at a fancy Lotus Point opening that’s also functioning as a political function, it makes sense.  I only bring this up because Abs is rocking a fabulously unique look for the Lotus Point opening.  Again, my gay status really should be revoked since I fail so hard when it comes to trying to describe the looks of clothing, but basically she’s wearing this fantastic silvery-white kinda dress and she’s got this big diamond necklace on with this big-ass diamond in the very center of it, drawing your attention to it.  I don’t know what most fans like to see Abs in, but I personally really dug this and, paired with her incredible new season six short haircut, I think she may look at her best this week, but of course that’s just my opinion.

                Alright, so the Lotus Point opening happens, Greg is good enough to invite Bob Caulfield to show up and he makes sure they get photographed together and all that, which is very decent of him, and then we are about ready to conclude the ep with a fabulous cliffhanger.  I always know a cliffhanger is excellent if I can still remember it vividly, and this was one of them.  I wouldn’t have been able to tell you what episode this came from, but I have always remembered how this episode ends.  Earlier in the episode, when The Desperate Horny Chick I keep ignoring was drooling over Ben in his office and trying to molest him while he looked bored and annoyed with her, she made some mention of how, “I see you up in your office, late at night, typing out love letters to Val.”  Nice seed planting on the part of writers, helping us to know that Ben is typing Val letters on his sexy fancy 1984 computer.

                Oh yeah, fuck, how did I forget to bring that up.  Our last episode featured Ben at his computer, and I jotted in my notes, “First sighting of a computer on KL?”  Well, is it?  I can’t go back through the last 100 episodes or so and try to spot a computer, but I certainly feel like such fancy schmancy gadgetry would have had no place back in the simpler days of Knots Landing Motors, and I don’t recall seeing one in Abby’s sexy palace office during season five (is that palace office gone, now, by the way?  I feel like we didn’t see it at all in these first five eps of the season and I’d be greatly distressed if we never got to see it again), so I’m actually fairly certain that Ben’s computer here is our very first KL computer.  God, how I love watching the times evolve and change around our characters.  After all, in 1979, when the series first started and the world irrevocably shifted on its axis due to this grand and cosmic event, who the hell would own a computer?  Maybe some really super duper rich guy, and the computer would probably take up a whole building and not really be able to do anything except maybe function as a calculator.  Then let’s leap to 1993, when KL goes off the air and the suicide rate spikes by millions, and reflect that, by that point, most businesses, even small ones, would probably have computers as standard practice.  So it’s fascinating to slowly watch that change take over, and I of course made sure to check with My Beloved Grammy and I asked her if she was working on any computers in 1984 (for some quick context, 1984-1985 is when My Beloved Grammy finally divorced her loser asshole first husband and came to start her new life as a sexy and sophisticated independent 1980’s career woman).  She gave it some thought and then said she didn’t remember working on computers very much until around 1988, but she says she had an office job in 1984 in which the office had one computer and it was like a big deal who got to work on it and play with it. 

                Anyway, the computer is a very important function of the plot in Ipso Facto, because in addition to bringing us one step closer to the modern age that we currently live in, it also helps to give Abs some useful information.  Now, I actually don’t think Abs is being deliberately sneaky in this instance; I don’t think she’s trying to snoop into Ben’s private affairs, but rather she walks into his office for some reason or other and I think the secretary is like, “Oh, use one of Ben’s floppy disks for your news segment or whatever,” so Abs grabs one and puts it in the computer and then suddenly a little love letter written from Ben to Val starts to appear before her.  Actually, it appears in a rather odd way, as if someone is typing the words right before our very eyes.  Is this how these things actually worked?  I confess that by the time I made it into this world (1990), I think floppy disks were going out of style, and I only vaguely remember ever using them back in elementary school to, I think, play some sort of computer game (was it Oregon Trail?).

 Anyway, if anyone was alive and cognizant back in 1984 (do you like how I’m making it sound more like 1884 and like everyone who was alive back then is almost surely dead by this point?), please go ahead and write in or leave a comment about this whole typing thing.  I’m fairly certain that if you put in a floppy disk and it was storing something someone had written, it would probably just immediately present you with the big block of text, but the way it’s done here is certainly much more effective for the drama, because we are watching the words being typed before our very eyes, and it’s mostly generic stuff about Ben’s love for Val but how they can’t be together (I should probably mention that we are also hearing his voice piped in over the sound as the words type themselves out), and then at the very end, he says, “The thing I don’t think I can ever get over is the fact that Gary is the father of your babies.”  Boom, so now the cat is out of the bag, at least in terms of the fact that Abs knows the truth.  I even love the way this is shot, because the camera is focusing in on the words on the screen and the reflection of Abs in the screen is out of focus, but then after that whole babies reveal, the camera switches focus so now Abby’s face and eyes are shown clearly in the computer screen, all very stylish, don’t you think?

So that does it for Ipso Facto.  Obviously it was brilliant, but of course I say that so often at this juncture that I’m beginning to sound like a broken record.  I almost wish we could get a mediocre or subpar episode just so I could stop saying, “Omigod this was so amazing!” over and over again, except I don’t really wish for that because I love the way it feels to just watch this endless string of incredible television eps all in a row; what sheer bliss it is.  Before I wrap it up for this ep, let me try to get a few intelligent thoughts in there about what I liked.  Well, I was delighted to see Elikann doing the directing and I thought he brought his usual flair (Abs reflected in the computer screen, Mack and Jane sitting in the car during a rainstorm, etc. etc.) but I also thought the cast was functioning tightly as a unit, what with the Lotus Point celebration bringing them all together.  Meanwhile, we are really continuing to grow some new stories while nicely finishing up with the old stuff.  The writers are always so smart with this, because they could have easily just turned this into The Wolfbridge Show and had it turn into this thing where Mark St. Claire is this evil villain who’s constantly showing up to do evil things, but instead they blow him away and then move on to new stuff, yet it never feels like rushing, never feels like they’re trying to make us forget about anything; it just all feels so very organic.

I love KL just about as much as anything in my life or in the entire world and so I simply can’t wait to get together with My Beloved Grammy for another disk of five incredible eps in a row.  In fact, as soon as I’m done writing this, I’m gonna call her to arrange our next date.  Okay, so anyway, Ipso Facto was brilliant and so far all of season six has been brilliant and the beauty part is that we still have 25 more eps to watch and it’s only gonna get better and better, so let us move onward to Truth and Consequences.


  1. Abby's face blending into that computer screen with the realization that Gary fathered those twins is absolute perfection. Also, if I remember correctly, Karen wore a hat to that Lotus Point opening, and she looked off the charts gorgeous.

  2. I have vowed to never watch or read about the Dallas reboot series. I like to believe that Gary, Val, Mack and Karen are still living in the cul-de-sac.

    To respond to your question about computers, I graduated from a small high school in 1987. We learned how to type on typewriters. We didn't get a computer in our school until my senior year. It was an Apple IIE, and the whole computer class shared it. I sound like an old man talking about the depression!

  3. We shared an Apple IIE at my grade school too. We all had to sign up for 15 minute blocks. I don't know why. It didn't really do anything.

    Anyway... I always forget which exact episode has Abby and the computer. It's one of the show's most memorable moments not just because of they way it's shot, but also because it is a surprise moment for the audience and the character at the exact same time. We've known more than her, and we knew eventually she was gonna find out, but it wasn't done in a way where we see her slowly piecing it together. It just whacks her and us in the head at the same time. The best cliffhangers are the ones you never see coming, but in hindsight feel the pieces had been together for all along.

  4. Season 6 is where the 1980s fashions really get out of control. KL goes from being a show about middle class families to a glossy show about UPPER middle class families -- and the glitzy fashions that follow. During my first job out of college in the late 1980s, I remember a LOT of women wearing big hair, big earrings, and big shoulder pads.

    Which begs an interesting question: did TV shows like “Knots Landing” inspire the fashions of the 1980s or merely reflect them?

  5. This is the season where production moved up north (to Oregon?) to avoid traffic concerns with the 1984 Summer Olympics in LA. All of the cloudy, misty scenes shot for "Lotus Point" were done up there.