Episode Title: Over the Edge
Season 08, Episode 10
Episode 170 of 344
Written by Lynn Marie Latham
Directed by Nick Havinga
Original Airdate: Thursday, November 13th, 1986
The Plot (Courtesy of TV.Com): Jean scratches Greg's car in order to meet him, and later comes on to him. Mack tells Paige she can come to him if she needs money. Paige pawns some jewelry. Peter can't find Sylvia, and calls Jill over to Sylvia's. Peter tells Jill about the pills, and she's angry that he's gone too far. Ben, who was going to interview Sylvia, stops by and is suspicious about Jill being there. Sylvia shows up at the ranch telling Abby that Peter tried to kill her. Peter denies it, but Sylvia says she's staying at the ranch until Abby finds her new accommodations. Gary and Abby sleep together, but he tells her that sex isn't enough anymore. Jill won't tell Gary what her relationship to Peter is, so he gives her an ultimatum. Jill tells Peter that she's going to tell Gary he's her brother, and Peter flips out. They argue, and Jill accidentally falls over the side of a cliff.
Welcome to Over the Edge. In the case you missed my essay for our last ep, let me re-explain that I am writing this sans notes and sans the ep being pulled up in front of me for the purposes of review. I promise that this will probably be the last time I do this, but I actually greatly enjoyed writing about the last ep based on pure memory, and I just finished writing that essay mere moments ago, and I’m greatly enjoying sitting in this little coffee shop and sipping coffee. Anyway, I’m on my third cup of coffee and I’m feeling very caffeinated and animated and ready to write more, so let’s dive right in.
Last ep, Peter was poisoning Sylvia quite nicely and everything was going well when he had a random and sudden change of heart and decided to stop poisoning her. This ep, he shows up at her apartment and, wouldn’t you know it, Sylvia is gone. Where could she be? Well, it turns out that she got wise to Peter’s plan right and quick and decided to evacuate the premises and now she’s taking refuge at Westfork. I imagine it’s not too difficult for her to make the move from a shitty and cramped little apartment to the giant and sprawling lexure of Westfork, a ranch which, I remind you, comes fully equipped with its own gym, hot tub, and even a motherfucking sauna. If I lived in the KL universe, you can bet your ass I’d be making up excuses to come and live at Westfork, as well, and I would obviously call up Sexy Michael and invite him to join me for a little private sauna together. So yup, Sylvia has chosen to move over to Westfork and hang out with Abs for awhile. We see her and Abs catching up this week and while Abs is very courteous and civil with her, we also get the sense that she’s a little fidgety to get rid of her, as she asks her precisely how long she’s planning to hang around the ranch. If I remember correctly, Sylvia is sipping coffee or tea and she just sorta shrugs and is like, “I dunno, for as long as I feel like it.”
When Peter sees that Sylvia’s apartment is missing one vital thing, Sylvia, he calls up J.B. and asks her to come over and meet him right away. J.B. obliges and when she shows up, Peter spills his guts to her, telling her everything about how he decided to turn wicked and start poisoning this old woman. J.B. is all shocked and is like, “How could you do this, Peter?”, but then Peter reminds her that he was trying to stop his wicked ways. Again, I like the fact that Peter is a fairly complex character. In fact, in case I haven’t mentioned it yet (I’m sure I have, but I’ve written a shit-ton of these damn essays by this point and I can’t remember everything I’ve said), Peter is really elevating up in my esteem upon this viewing. I like that he’s neither pure nor evil; I like that he has many shades of gray. He’s been somewhat draped in mystery since he first showed up in the early hours of season seven, and we are still having a bit of a hard time figuring where he stands on the good/evil spectrum. In this case, he slipped into evil for a little while, but then he returned to the side of good when he decided that poisoning an old woman was, to quote Greg Sumner, “Not very nice.”
The fact that J.B. is hanging out with Peter at Sylvia’s apartment also propels us into a new plot point because, wouldn’t you know it, there’s a knock at the door and it happens to be Ben. See, Ben was all scheduled to have an interview with Sylvia at this time in this place. Why, then, does he knock on the door and have it answered by Peter and J.B. rather than Sylvia? The two give some sort of flimsy excuse for why they are hanging out together, probably hoping that Ben won’t figure out they are brother and sister. However, Ben’s first suspicions don’t gear towards a sibling relationship, but rather a shagging relationship. He sees these two together and naturally assumes that Peter is slipping J.B. the hot beef injection. Then, somehow or other, in a way I can’t remember (no notes), the news travels over to Gary, who also has to ponder why Peter and J.B. are suddenly so cozy.
Gary decides to have a little chat with J.B., and he gives her an ultimatum. He says he needs to know what precisely is going on between her and Peter and, if she can’t answer that question, their relationship will have to end. This leads us nicely into the final scene of the ep, a cliffhanger that involves a literal cliff (the last time a cliffhanger involved a literal cliff, I think it was poor Sid going off of that cliff at the end of season two). See, Peter and J.B. meet up in the middle of nowhere, right in front of a big cliff that’s basically saying, “Hey, somebody please fall off of me, please!” J.B. tells Peter how she’s going to tell Gary the truth, she’s going to tell him that she is, in fact, Peter’s sister and that the two have been involved in a very sordid and rather complicated storyline since early season seven. Peter doesn’t want to hear this, saying how they must protect their secret and Bob Loblaw. Just as they are in the middle of fighting, J.B. stumbles and takes a high dive off of the cliff, but that’s not all. It’d be one thing if she just fell right off the cliff and hit her head and that was it, but she actually manages to grab onto a branch or something and scream such dialogue as, “Oh, Peter, help me,” and we have this weird moment in which Peter kinda sorta helps her and kinda sorta doesn’t. I feel fairly confident that this stuff will be further explored in our next ep (we haven’t watched it yet), but I think we are supposed to get the feeling that Peter somewhat wants J.B. to fall off this cliff. After all, she was right in the middle of telling him how she’s gonna expose their lie to Gary and fuck up all of his plans, so I think the dark part of Peter, the same dark part that could embark on a wild poisoning scheme, also wants to see J.B. take that fall and be removed from the equation. Anyway, J.B. grasps the branch for awhile and then it snaps and she goes tumbling violently down to the bottom of this cliff, just as we get our “Executive Producers” credit flashed on the screen.
I actually think this scene is very important, and not just because it provides the exciting CLIFFhanger for the ep, but also because I am convinced it plants seeds that will pay off for years into the future. Let me just say right off the bat that I’m gonna drift into MAJOR SPOILER TERRITORY for a minute or two, so please don’t read this part if you have never watched beyond the confines of this particular episode. Anyway, any KL fan who has watched the series start to finish should vividly remember what happens in the closing hours of season nine as well as the opening hours of season ten, and that is J.B. going way off the deep end and conducting an elaborate and amazing plot to murder Val and make it look like a suicide. Now, that is some seriously wicked and psychotic behavior, and when we first meet J.B. back in that random ep from late season six, it’s hard to believe that, at some point, the character will be conducting this homicidal plan. As we have moved through season seven and these early eps of season eight, we have the same feeling. J.B. seems conflicted and maybe a little morally questionable (mostly from how she’s gone after not one, but two married gentlemen), but she certainly doesn’t seem dangerously psychotic. However, it is my personal belief that her insanity begins right here and right now, when she falls and hits her head good. I think this severe hit on the head that’s going to put her into a coma for a few eps (if I’m remembering correctly; we’ll see when we move on to our next disk) is when her brain gets fucked up and begins her down the path to Total Psycho. Total Psycho J.B. is my very favorite J.B. and I’m very excited to get to her, and I believe this is where it starts. Anyone care to agree or disagree with me? Let’s hear some thoughts!
Okay, so that does it for Sylvia and Peter and J.B. How about Gary and Abs? I’m glad you asked, because the two have a shag this week, and it’s their first shag in some time. In fact, let’s try to reflect back on when the two shared their last shag. Anyone remember? It must have been somewhere in season seven, and I’m sure it must have been early in the season, before Gary decided to divorce Abs and before he started to slide inside of J.B. regularly. In any case, I can’t remember the exact precise moment of their last shag, but I’m sure it’s been awhile. How do they wind up shagging again this week? Well, I again remind you of my missing notes and how I’m totally winging it while writing about this ep, so I confess I can’t remember. I think the two are just sorta hanging around Westfork and they get reflective about their relationship. Maybe that scene’s in this ep, maybe it’s in another one contained within this desk, but in any case, I like this scene because the two just sorta talk about how things developed with them throughout the last six years and why it has now lead up to a divorce, and then I think the two just sorta, you know, shag. Going completely off of my memory and absolutely nothing else, I think we then cut to the next morning and the two are still in bed together and Abs is looking mighty cozy, finally having gotten that sweet Gary Ewing cock that she so desperately craves, but then Gary says how this was just an isolated incident and shan’t be happening again, that this divorce is imminent, unstoppable, irreversible like my raincoat.
In our last ep, we got a little hint that Paige’s financial situation was not quite as rosy as she might make it appear. Her credit card got denied and she owes something like $2,000.00 to the hotel she is staying at. In this ep, Mack somehow gets wind of this little problem and tells Paige how she can live with them as long as she wants (or if she already living with them? I can’t fucking remember) and he also tells her that she can come to him whenever she’s in a financial pinch. Paige feels the need to continue looking like she has more money than she actually does. Anyway, right after Paige tells Mack that she has plenty of money and everything is rosy, we cut to her at a pawn shop trying to pawn some jewelry. The guy says he’ll give her something like, I dunno, a thousand bucks or something, and Paige gets all snooty and is like, “It’s worth twice that much,” but then she must swallow her pride and accept the money this man is willing to fork over to her. Gee, what’s really going on with Paige?
Now might be a good time to talk about Paige as a character and how I’m feeling about her twelve eps deep into meeting her. Paige is such a huge part of the second half of the show that it’s kinda easy to forget about this portion, in which she’s a new arrival and she’s rather shrouded in mystery. When I look at Paige, I feel warm and cozy inside, knowing she will be with us right into the very final ep and even for the first two seconds of the 1997 reunion movie. However, ignoring all my knowledge of events to come, trying to look at her as this new character that we’ve hardly gotten to know, it’s hard to tell if she’s nice or nefarious. We’ve seen that she lies about stuff, we’ve seen that she makes sure to present a version of her life that is probably not quite accurate, and we’ve seen her go after Sexy Michael with a vengeance (but then who can blame her?). I can tell you right now that My Beloved Grammy does not like her and thinks that she’s evil and up to no good. At some point, will My Beloved Grammy change her mind? I’ll check back in with you all in a year or so, after Paige has been more comfortably established. For the time being, let me just say that I like the charisma Nicollette brings to this character, I admire her beauty, and I’m glad she’s now part of the show and is going to be for the next seven years.
We’ve only got one more thing to discuss this ep, and I’ve made sure to save the worst for last. You guessed it, Hackney. My annoyance with her grows and grows more and more with each passing ep, and this is her most annoying ep to this point, thanks in no small part to the bad “acting” of Wendy Fulton. Okay, to set the scene, in this ep we see Hackney pull up besides Sumner’s parked car in a parking garage and go to town on it with a pair of keys. As we first see this, I’m like, “What the hell is she doing?” Then Sumner shows up two seconds later and Hackney starts to yell at him about how he parked way too close to her car and he’s not even within the lines and, if he was, she wouldn’t have scratched his car. The scene is terrible and her acting is terrible. I’m realizing that my main problem with this storyline is not even that it’s stupid (which it is), but that most of it lies squarely at the feet of this “actress” playing this character. No fucking wonder this woman never acted after 1991, because she’s awful. I’ve never seen her in another thing and I don’t want to. Her talents are more suited to the very worst of the daytime soaps. Every time she speaks, she annoys me, and every time I look at her face, I am annoyed. Even the good acting and inherently charming nature of Mr. William Devane cannot salvage this most awful and most annoying scene.
I’m not even sure what Hackney’s end game is with this little parking lot altercation she cooks up, but later in the ep, she stalks Sumner to a bar and then makes more conversation with him, getting him to buy her a drink. The two have a few drinks and talk about, um, something. At this point, I was sleepy and grumpy and wanting the show to drift its attention back to interesting stories like Paige and Sexy Michael. Even if I had my notes with me at this moment and was to take a moment to peruse them, I’m sure they just say something like “Hackney sucks.” Let’s think, I looked it up and learned that Hackney makes her last appearance in ep 25 of the season, so the good news is we only have…..gulp……fifteen more eps to go with her. Oh Jesus, I guess I take back that thing I said about “the good news.” Fuck this character and fuck this actress and fuck this Hackneyed storyline.
Sorry to end on such a bitter note. Aside from Hackney, which is going to be a consistent problem with the season for as long as she is around to torment us, this ep was actually rather good, with the most exciting element of it being the very ending with J.B. flying off that cliff and all the joy and excitement that will bring us well into the year of 1989. Anyway, that’s about all I’ve got to say about Over the Edge so let’s just move right along to a fresh disk of cul-de-sac excitement with A Turn of Events.