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Fantasy Knots Landing - "Together Again"
FANTASY KNOTS LANDING - TOGETHER AGAIN
It's a beautiful summers day with temperatures in the San Fernando Valley topping the 100 degree mark. Not a cloud in the sky and easy to see (when spotting the blistering heat on the cyber camera) just why filming of the 14 seasoned cul-de-sac drama NEVER occured in the peak summer months (not that filming the end of July would make THAT much of a difference)....
Anyhow, back to basics as we concentrate on the corner of that cul-de-sac known to millions around the globe as Seaview Circle and the arrival of a grandoise limo with seating inside for...well, for the cast of television's third longest primetime drama of all time after 'Gunsmoke' and 'Law and Order' respectively...
Yes, you guessed it! Today, the cast of 'Knots Landing' are back in town - together again once more for a one off reunion special. This my friends, is a moment to treasure for Knots Knutters around the globe. They're all here for your delight! Ted and Joan, Kevin and Michele, Donna and Bill AND...
...well, lets look at those credits to see who else has turned up for this party shall we?
(CUE Jerrold Immel's melodic masterpiece striking up it's familiar tones as our camera pans across the rooftops unveiling the logo - 'FANTASY KNOTS LANDING: TOGETHER AGAIN')
Fantasy Knots Landing - "Together Again"
'Starring' (in alphabetical order):
Joan Van Ark
With Contributions from:
Michael Filerman and David Jacobs
Written By: Robert McCormack
As the luxury limo stops outside the Mackenzie household, so one by one a host of familiar faces emerge into the broad daylight:
"It looks so much smaller" remarks Lankford. "When I returned in 97 for the reunion movie" she adds, "I was confined to just a few scenes down in Culver City. I've not set foot in this street for over 20 years"
"Neither have I" replies James Houghton (Lankford's on screen hubby for the first 4 years of the series' remarkably long run). Houghton is looking considerably greyer than he did in his Knots Landing heyday. A little older too though still boasting some of the handsome features that won him the role of Kenny Ward some 26 years earlier.
Kenny was mean't to be the playboy on the block hence the importance of Houghton's 'look' for the part - a look picked up by Michele Lee's Karen Fairgate in the very first episode as her character tackled Kenny on the suspicions she had that he was fooling around with her stepdaughter Annie...
Kenny: "I want you to know that I was the seducee"
Karen: "Kenny, Kenny, don't be charming. You know it never gets anywhere with me"
Kenny: "Well why did you come over?"
Karen: "Well, I think you're very handsome Kenny and if I were you I'd just stay away from Annie. Don't talk to her, don't look at her..."
Kenny: "Hey I was only trying to help"
Karen: "Yeah I know but Sid Fairgate won't stop to ask who the seducee was. He'll just re-arrange your face, and it won't be handsome anymore"
Kenny's womanising ways soon caught up with him though and at the end of the show's first series, his marriage to Ginger appeared to be in tatters when she caught him having an affair. Kenny followed Ginger back to the house and tried to get indoors when she locked him out with the immortal words:
"Ginger, open up, I can explain..."
However inside, Ginger was smashing up the household - mainly Kenny's sound equipment as he broke in and stopped her as she yelled back at him:
"Here's your TV and your equipment now GET OUT. GET OUT, GET OUT, GET OUT....." (then calmer as he held her arms) "GET...OUT"
Ginger then ran into her bedroom leaving Kenny staring at his wrecked record player and forcing him to head round to his mistress Sylvie asking:
"Have you got a bed for the night?"
Back on the cul-de-sac that day as their fellow castmates head into the Mackenzie household one by one, both Kim Lankford and Jim Houghton look down at their old home recalling their time on the show:
"What happy memories" admits Kim Lankford with a smile on her face before the pair head inside to join their fellow cast members for the reunion party....
Inside, the cast are gathered with Executive Producers Mike Filerman and David Jacobs opening a large bottle of champagne - much to the squeals of delight from the cast:
"Warner Brothers have given us a bigger budget than Lorimar ever did" laughs John Pleshette,
"No way" replies Kevin Dobson before continuing, "This is left over from the Dallas reunion last year"
"This is so great being back" admits Joan Van Ark. "I'm dying to see my old home"
"Lets head next door and have a look" says Ted - her on again, off again partner throughout the show's 14 year run while the rest of the cast sit behind in Karen's old home to refamiliarise themselves with each other. For many, this is the first time in almost 20 years that they have met up so needless to say, they have a lot to catch up on....
We then focus our attention on the Ewing household with actors Ted Shackelford and Joan Van Ark strolling up to the gate outside. Joan is clutching hold of the garden fence just like her alter ego did some 26 years earlier on the day she arrived at the cul-de-sac for the first time – looking up in awe at the house before her. Unlike Val though who was staring in amazement at the prospect of actually owning this home, Joan is staring on with fond recollections of the 13 years spent here playing Val:
“Suddenly, it’s like going back in time” she remarks to Ted
“Yeah” he agrees. “Fourteen years from all our yesterdays…” he ponders.
And so, we also take a journey back in time – to the 27th day in December 1979 when Val and Gary first arrived at their new residence…
We pick up with Karen entering the front path to welcome her neighbours to the cul-de-sac:
Karen: “Hi…Karen Fairgate, I live over there” (pointing to her home)
Gary: “Oh hi….excuse me…” (laying down his bags) “Gary Ewing, this is my wife Valene and my brother Bobby”
Karen: “Hi Valene”
Karen: “How do you do?”
Karen: “Well…we’re the neighbourhood Brady bunch, three kids, stationwagon, dog. If the dog visits you, call us and we’ll send over the scoop squad”
Val smiles with excitement – looking on at Bobby to suggest she is going to LIKE it here:
Karen: “Look, before we get in the way of our friendship, how about a little public dinner with us tonight?”
Gary: “Em…” (nervously)
Karen: “You’re not gonna say you’ve got a stew cooking?”
Val: “Well no but…”
Karen: “Seven o’clock is that okay?”
Bobby: “Well I have a plane to catch so I’m sorry”
Karen: “Oh well…maybe next time. But you’ll be there…Val…and …”
Gary: “And Gary”
Karen: “Gary…” (laughing nervously as she struggles to recall their names) “Well. I’ll see you later. Bye…”
Val: “Yeah bye…”
Karen: “Have a good trip” (to Bobby)
Bobby: “Thank you…”
And that was it. The pair’s very first moments on the cul-de-sac. It’s been some ride for them both. Together, they’ve been through three marriages, a very public divorce, extra marital affairs, hooked up to malevolent (or in some cases psycho) partners, had their twins stolen at birth, both been suspects in numerous murders, they have children scattered all over the place and they’re STILL together…
CUE a collection of Gary and Val scenes recalling the special magic they had with each other as a couple:
Like the night in “Flight Of The Sunbirds” when the pair were temporarily reunited back at the Ewing home:
Laughing on his way out the door, Gary remarked: “You know it’s kind of interesting how everyone thought…that you and I…were having an affair?”
Val in turn laughed back – however as the seconds passed, soon both realised that an affair was EXACTLY what they WERE having! At first, it was Gary who clicked, then it was Val. At first, Val’s face was filled with horror at the thought – until her heart reminded her that this was GARY she was thinking of. Realising that he was, after all her one true love, Val therefore had a momentary weakness and opted to ignore her feelings of guilt for ‘cheating’ with him as was evident by the devious smile on her face – a smile reciprocated by Gary who then closed the door behind him and walked towards Val to kiss her…
A short time later, the pair were still having their ‘affair’. Then as Gary left Val behind to head home to Jill, so Val reminded him:
“We shouldn’t be doing this”
To which Gary replied:
“You mean I shouldn’t be going home to someone else”…
Thus prompting Val to smile back at him – touched no doubt by his words….
Then there was the day of Paige and Tom’s ill-fated wedding. Remember? As Val and Gary walked down the aisle amidst the cluster of guests whom the minister had to send home, so Val commented:
Val: “I feel just terrible for her”
Gary: “Well Val…the minister is available, the church is available, it would be a shame to waste the minister, the church and all these flowers…”
Val: “What…you mean…?” (clicking on)
Val: (laughing nervously)”Oh…get married?”
Gary: “Why not?”
BY NOW THOUGH, THAT LAUGH HAD TURNED TO ONE OF OUTRAGEOUS JOY !!!
That proposal was followed by months of uncertainty regarding the couple’s future as Val suffered a nervous breakdown. However Gary remained loyal to her and the pair planned a summer wedding the following year. On the night of the rehearsal dinner though, things went pair shaped when the guests all became trapped in the Sumner Group building making the couple decide to not waste anymore time:
Gary: “Uh huh?”
Val: “You know when you said that our rehearsal dinners were jinxed?”
Gary: “Oh…don’t worry about that. This has been kind of fun and we haven’t even got to the dinner yet”
Val: “But you were right. Everytime we wait, something goes wrong and we don’t get together. And everytime we put it off we have some kind of delay, then something happens and we don’t get married. It’s like a comedy”
Gary: “I think it’s more like a soap opera”
Val: “So let’s just skip the dinner…Gary, I don’t want to wait anymore. Lets get married now…tonight, as soon as we can find someone to perform the ceremony…Gary we don’t need a big gathering, we don’t need anyone else there. It’s always just been the two of us together anyway, even when we weren’t together”
Gary smiles in agreement at this as Val continues:
“We’ve certainly been through ‘for better or for worse’ this year haven’t we? So why wait Gary? Let’s do it. I love you so much…”
Gary becomes emotional upon hearing these words and grabs hold of Val’s face to embrace her with a tender kiss as she proposes once more:
“Let’s Get Married”
As he replies:
“Oh I do love you” before continuing to kiss her…
And then finally, after their year long separation at the hands of Val’s kidnappers, the pair were reconciled one final time – declaring their love for each other in Knots Landing’s very last episode:
Gary: “Val, I gave all your clothes away”
Val: “Great excuse for a shopping spree”
Gary: “I thought I’d lost you forever. I walked around like a zombie for months. If it hadn’t been for Mack and Karen…”
Val: “And for Kate”
Gary: “Eh…she was good to the kids”
Val: “She was very good to you”
Gary then sat down on the bed beside Val and assured her:
“I wanted to fall in love with her…I tried. But I couldn’t”
Val: “Are you sure?”
Then holding her hand:
Gary: “I have never…loved anyone…the way that I’ve loved you”
Val: “Then I feel sorry for her”
Gary: “Yeah…but I sure feel good for us…give us a kiss”
Val: “Piece of cake”
And at that moment, the pair shared a long, tender embrace – their first for a full year thus closing Knots Landing….
Back in the year 2005 as the pair look back on all these wonderful memories with each other, they both ponder on where Gary and Val are now:
Ted: “Do you think they’re still together?”
Joan: “Most probably…yes”
Ted: “Do you think they’re still living here in this place?”
Joan: “For sure. I’m convinced that Val still goes jogging on the beach every morning…”
Ted: “And Gary is still doing right at every turn no doubt – trying to make a difference”
Joan: “Exactly, because that’s just Gary”
Ted: “Do you miss them?”
Joan: “Absolutely, we shared so much of our lives together in this place. I think part of my heart will always be here in this cul-de-sac”
Ted: “Yeah…me too”
Back in the Mackenzie household meanwhile, the rest of the cast are still reminiscing – this time about the bitches on Knots Landing. Every single one of them:
“We had some wonderful bitches on our show” remarks John Pleshette
“The best” laughs James Houghton
“But you’ll be hard pushed to find one as talented as this one” comments Bill Devane as he points towards the one and only Ms Donna Mills…
“Come on, I wasn’t a complete bitch you know” she laughs
“But you came close babe” replies Pleshette – making Constance McCashin roll her eyes to the ceiling as she comments:
“I see Richard is still smitten with Abby after all these years then?”
“He still holds a special place in his heart for Laura though” answers John
“You forgot one thing though” replies Constance
“Laura’s dead. Remember? They KILLED HER OFF”
“Oh here she goes again” remarks David Jacobs who is standing with Michael Filerman observing the cast’s conversation with each other…
And so we wander back in time once more to wallow in some of Knots Landing’s greatest bitchiest moments:
Such as the day Claudia tried to panic Val on the cul-de-sac by making her believe that Gary and her daughter Kate were having an affair…
Claudia: “Gary is just the sweetest man, and I mean he has done so much for Katie”
Val: “Oh well, she’s a great kid”
Claudia: “I mean all the attention and affection that he has shown her has just been wonderful, and he was so generous to give her the job on the ranch”
Val: “Well from what Gary has said, she’s just a natural with the horses”
Claudia: “Oh well, Katie hasn’t been around horses in a long time” (laughing) “I know why he gave her the job”
Val: “No, I mean, he really thinks she IS good”
Claudia: “Ooh really?” (laughing in an embarrassed manner), “ooh…you’re gonna laugh at me”
Val: “What?” (curious to know what is on Claudia’s mind)
Claudia: “I mean, I was worried” (still embarrassed) “no… I cannot say this”
Val: “What? What is it?”
Claudia: “I was worried that Gary had a CRUSH on Katie”
Val: “Gary?” (face falling)
Claudia: “Yes, well I mean after the accident he kept calling and coming over”
Val: “Oh sure, I mean he felt guilty”
Claudia: “Yes I know, but he was em, around, so often that I eh, I started to get concerned… you see you need to understand that em, Katie has a crush on Gary”…
CUE the look of devastation on ‘Poor Val’s’ face…
And speaking of ‘Poor Val’, what about the night she earned that nickname of her’s? Lets recall that one shall we?
Jill: “I would love to kill you…but…you are going to kill yourself”
Val: “I won’t” (laughing)
Val: “I won’t”
Jill: “What won’t you?”
Val: “I will not”
Jill: “What won’t you do Valene?”
Val: “KILL MYSELF”
Jill: “Well…if you won’t do it, then I will have the pleasure, because I have to do it, so stop telling me what you will or will not do when I will or will not do”
And at that moment, Jill smashed Val’s bedroom mirror. A short time later after much debating on whether or not Val actually still loved Gary, so Jill held a gun to Val’s head while reminding her of a few home truths from the gospel of Jill Bennett:
Jill: “You can’t not know how you get under people’s skin, you’re under GARY’S skin, and as long as you’re around…”
Val: “I’ll…I’ll go away…”
Jill: “As long as you’re ALIVE, Gary’s going to think about you, and worry about you, and feel protective, at your gift – such as it is. Because you have the gift of making people ESPECIALLY Gary, but not only Gary, say “Poor Val”. Poor Val isn’t responsible for the way she feels, or the way she acts, or the way she is, you can’t blame poor Val because…she’s ‘Poor Val’. She can’t help being just a little bit crazy. Well if you get enough people saying that, and pretty soon they forget that poor Val takes advantage of their pity. How poor Val is as self-centred as they come. How poor Val needs them to keep saying “Poor Val” because it’s her excuse to be a child, and it absolves her absolute selfishness…”
AND THEN WITH ONE ALMIGHTY YELL OF CONTEMPT WHICH HAD BEEN WELLING WITHIN HER INNER SELF FOR SOME TIME, JILL LASHED OUT:
“POOR VAL” !!!!
But what happened when all the bitches came together for a normal everyday chitchat? This next encounter may help explain just what went on as we eavesdrop on a private conversation between Jill and Abby on the day of Eric Fairgate’s wedding as Abby spotted the impending reconciliation of Gary and Val and thought she’d have a little fun with Jill along the way as she searched for her missing (and errant) boyfriend:
Abby: “You’ll probably find him with the first Mrs Ewing”
Jill: “I’ve just saw Val and he’s not there”
Abby: “Oh well…he’s probably playing with his kids”
Jill: “Thank you for your concern”
Abby: “It starts with the kids you know…the kids are their excuse for getting together. He buys them little things like animal crackers, chewing gum whatever, it’s really….very sweet”
Jill: “I’ll tell him you said so. I know your opinion means a lot to him”
Abby: “And then Gary or Val, or maybe even BOTH of them will tell you that the only reason they get together is for the sake of the children. And then Gary will umm…find an excuse to take her home – saying it’s just to drive the kids home, they’ll go to bed together…”
Jill: “I’ll watch out for those animal crackers…”
Abby: “Yeah…because you know you were a very exciting pair – when he was cheating with you, but now that he doesn’t have to cheat anymore…” (then realising) “…maybe that’s Gary’s problem! It’s the CHEATING not the WOMAN that he finds exciting”
And then with a stare that could kill, Abby concluded to Jill:
“I’m probably, DEAD WRONG”
Before waltzing off – her job complete….
Back in the present day, Michael Filerman puts down his champagne glass and retrieves a videotape from Karen’s sideboard:
“Hey guys, I have something to show you all”
“Uh oh…it’s not that damn ‘last will and testament’ by yours truly now is it?” replies Constance
“Not atall” replies Filerman. “While we were talking about our great bitches on the show, I wanted to show you a little message I received from Nicollette a few days ago. As you guys know, she’s doing ‘Desperate Housewives’ right now and can’t be with us because she’s in Europe doing some promotional work for that show”
“Oh that’s too bad” remarks Michele Lee
“But” continues Michael, “She didn’t want to feel left out so she left you this message…”
Mike Filerman then puts on the tape of Nicollette recorded in Europe a few days earlier:
“Hi guys” she begins…
“Hi” replies everyone back at the TV as Nicollette continues…
“As you guys probably know, I’m busy doing some small show they call ‘Desperate Housewives’ right now and I’m kind of wrapped up with some promotional work on that. However I didn’t want today to pass by without dropping in to give you my warmest wishes”…
“Oh…” replies her cast-mates in the Mackenzie living room…
“We sure had some great times together not forgetting some unforgettable scenes. That croquet scene with Bill goes down as one of my all time favourites – what a great pair of legs that man has you know!”
CUE a blushing Bill Devane…
“And I recall all the wonderful girly scenes with Michele and Joan and my mom Michelle Phillips. We had some great moments together and I want you guys to know that I use the experiences I learned at ‘Knots’ everyday on ‘Housewives’ to make me a better actress with each passing day”
“I’m particularly proud of Paige and how we developed her. She started off being the teenage brat and ended up the heroine. This is something I couldn’t have achieved of course without some great writing and of course great acting colleagues to channel that energy with…”
“I just want everyone to know that I’m sending you all my love and I hope we’re together again real soon. Take care. My love always”
And as Nicollette blows kisses to the camera, so the tape ends prompting mother hen Michele Lee to shed a few tears at this point. Kevin Dobson then walks over and takes Lee away from all the emotion to wander down the Mackenzie driveway for a quick stroll down memory lane…
“Let’s go for a little walk” he suggests….
As the pair close the doors of the Mackenzie house behind them, they walk down the garden path together – hand in hand, prompting Kevin Dobson to joke:
“And I still feel like the most married guy on earth. This place is a killer you know. One breath of cul-de-sac air and you start stepping into character again”
“Gee…how many times do you think we walked down this drive huh? Hundreds anyway…”
“Hey…where’s the basketball stand?”
Kevin has his hands in the air with despair prompting Michele to lean on his shoulder and promise him:
“I’ll have Karen buy him one for Christmas”
“Nah” responds Kevin. “Mack would rather have another holiday to Tahiti” (referring of course to his Christmas present in 1987)…
With Michele and Kevin standing at the bottom of the drive – perched against the infamous Mackenzie mail-box, the pair try to recall who lived where on the street:
Kevin: “Okay so there was Abby down the bottom right of the street right?”
Michele: “No Ginger and Kenny lived down there”
Kevin: “Oh” (looking shocked) “Well who lived there then after they moved out?”
Michele: “No one”
Kevin: “No one?”
Michele: “Well do you remember anyone walking out onto the lawn?”
Kevin: “Yeah…I think we had a gardener once…or was it the make up guy?”
Michele laughs as Kevin continues:
Kevin: “So if Ginger stayed down there, then Abby lived in there then right?” (pointing over to 16969 Crystallaire Place)
Michele: “Right. Followed by Claudia played by the lovely Kathleen Noone”
Kevin: “Of course”
Michele: “And then we had Abby again. She came back at the end”
Kevin: “And of course there was Laura. Our next door neighbour for many many years”
Michele: “Yeah…Laura was always the one Karen could go to when she couldn’t talk to Val. A wonderful character”
Kevin: “And she stayed there with Richard. Then we had Frank remember?”
Michele: “Oh yes” (her heart is breaking at the thought of old friend Larry Riley)
Kevin: “And for a while there was Michelle Phillips next door too”
Michele: “Of course. And Karen wasn’t happy with that of course”
At that point, we take a flashback to 1987 and a classic moment between Mack and Karen at the Mackenzie kitchen table as Karen sat stitching old clothes to stop herself from being angry when Mack nipped next door to Anne’s and forgot to return:
Mack: “You’re doing needle-point”
Karen: “Yes I’m doing needle-point. And you had pizza at Anne’s” (false smile)
Mack: “You never do needle-point unless you’re upset. We TALKED”
And as Michele looks directly to her right, she spots the Ewing home next door and wells up as she recalls her infamous chats with ‘Valene’…
Just like this one in 1990 when she learned that Gary and Val were to be re-married:
Karen: “Why didn’t you tell me?”
Val: (beaming) “I didn’t have the chance”
Karen: “Have you set a date?”
Val: “NO…I haven’t even said yes”
Karen: “Why not?”
Val: “Well I don’t want him to think I’m easy”
Karen: “Hey come on…are you worried?”
Val: “No…I’m not worried” (then off Karen’s look) “Well…I AM worried….Karen, you know how to pick a husband. I mean Mack is everyone’s idea of a dream husband. My record in the husband picking department isn’t all that good”
Karen: “But this is GARY we’re talking about as in “I hope Gary and Val get back together again”.”
Val: “People still say that?”
Karen: “Only at the mention of your name or his”
Back in real-time though and this segment IS after all to recollect the best moments of Karen and Mack:
“We had so many great scenes together” comments Michele
“Yeah…but…” replies Kevin, “What one stands out the most?”
“Gee where do I begin? I loved all those comedy scenes at the start you know? When the pair just couldn’t see eye to eye…and the stolen babies story…all that detective work…”
“Yeah” agrees Kevin
“I didn’t like it when they split up though. It broke my heart the day I had to give you back my wedding ring”
“I didn’t like that much either” answers Kevin, adding “I preferred all the comedy stuff”…
And so, with that sentiment, we look back on just a few of Karen and Mack’s finest moments…
Like the day of Laura’s funeral when Mack was forced to apologise for his moody behaviour and thank his wife for his blessings as the pair left the wake to return home:
Mack: “I guess there is so many people that I have to apologise to”
Karen: “And they’re all going to forgive you”
Mack: “You know, I know. I’m so grateful for everything that I have, and I’m such a jerk for wanting more”
Karen: “What did you want?”
Mack: “I don’t know…a second chance? A second life?”
At that moment, Mack picks a rose from an adjacent rosebush and hands it to Karen along with a kiss before continuing:
Mack: “I love Paige, and I love Michael, I love Eric and I love YOU”
Karen: “I love you too”
Mack: “I’m so grateful to you Karen for putting up with me, putting up with everyone. You’re so kind and loving, gracious, smart, beautiful, headstrong…” (interrupted)
Karen: “Don’t stop now, don’t stop”
Mack: “I wanna take you home and rip your clothes off”
As the pair walk off, Karen’s lack of response forces Mack to comment:
“Okay you’re supposed to say “yes”.”
“Yes” replies a solemn Karen…..
Then during the Jason Lochner crisis, the pair shared the mother of all heart to hearts:
Karen: “Is there stuff you’re not telling me?”
Mack: “I can’t tell you about Jason”
Karen: “I mean about yourself”
Mack: (sighing) “Karen, my old man was tough. He was wrong and me made mistakes”
Karen: “What did he do?” (puzzled)
Mack: “It’s not…it’s not about what he did. The gory details are almost boring. It’s about the way he made me feel you know? He made me feel like…I couldn’t DO anything, and what I thought and felt didn’t matter, or, I guess that I wasn’t worth anything. I think that young people need encouragement just like a plant needs sunshine. Not enough sun is worse than getting smacked around which he was also good at”
Karen: “Oh Mack”
Mack: “And I look at myself and I think “What am I doing to Meg?”
Mack: “Yeah, what am I doing to my own child? Am I like my father? I’m not hitting her. But what happens when I raise my voice or take away a privilege? What does that make her feel like?”
Karen: “Mack that little girl is blessed to have you as a father”
Mack: “Karen I’m spending too much time away from her. I’m staring at a criminal charge. It’s like…like I’m putting everything else before my family”
Karen: “Meg knows you love her. Children don’t always listen to what we say, but they learn from watching how we act and that little girl knows not only do you love her but that you care about people and truth and justice…” (interrupted)
Mack: “And the American way?”
Karen: “You have all the virtues that people should have….I wish I could change what happened you but I can’t….I just want you to know how much you’re loved”
And with those words, Karen holds her husband’s cheek in a caring manner as Mack looks on at her with tears in his eyes – clearly touched by her sentiment…
And who could forget their last hurrah? Following the worst crisis the pair had ever gone through in their marriage, they lay in their beds tossing and turning towards the end of “Just Like Old Times” clearly still unsettled. It was left to Mack to speak first:
Mack: “This is ridiculous”
Mack: “You know what we’re doing?”
Mack: “We’re acting like an old married couple”
Karen: “We ARE an old married couple”
Mack: “No, maybe you’re an old married couple but I’m not an old married couple. I’m just acting like an old married couple. Walking around here on eggshells, afraid to open my mouth. Afraid that if I say anything our marriage is going to break up”
Karen: “Have I made you feel that way?”
Mack: “Yeah….no….you haven’t…I don’t know…it’s what”
Mack is interrupted by Karen’s infectious laughter:
Mack: “What are you laughing at?”
Karen: “It feels so good to have you yell again”
And at that point, Karen throws a pillow at him as Mack bursts into speech:
“I feel like a damn fool. I almost wrecked this marriage because I didn’t want to show you how helpless I felt. I just wanted to protect you and Meg so much that I almost went off at the deep end. But I’m not gonna say I’m sorry anymore, and I’m not gonna let this marriage go down the tubes”
Then, encouraged by Mack’s determination to succeed with the marriage, Karen replies with excitement:
Karen: “I love you so much” (hugging him) “Oh Mack I’ve missed you so much. When I was in New York I wanted to call you so many times”
Mack: “Why didn’t you?”
Karen: “Pride…stubbornness, I can be very stubborn you know”
Mack: “Oh, no fool”
Karen: “I’m sorry I didn’t believe you, I’m sorry I’m so controlling. I feel like I…I….I…”
Mack: “Karen do me a favour”
Mack: “SHUT UP…. please”
And so, with that rift healed, normal service had resumed in Knots Landing as the series ended….
The pair stand by the mailbox laughing as they recall these fine memories:
“There was a chemistry between us don’t you think?” asks Lee
“Yeah sure” nods Kevin
“And somehow that chemistry always comes across on camera. And THAT’S why I think Karen and Mack worked so well together”
As the pair stand chatting, both Constance McCashin and Bill Devane pass them on the driveway as they walk together arm in arm down to the waiting limousine:
“Where are you guys off to?” asks a curious Michele
“For a game of strip croquet” laughs a cheeky McCashin….
Meanwhile as Michele and Kevin return inside, the cast are sat talking about the best farewell scenes they had as characters:
“Oh James and I win hands down” remarks a sarcastic Kim Lankford
“Not” replies James.
"I didn't even know I was leaving when I filmed mine" adds Joan Van Ark
"That's why we had to bring you back" laughs David Jacobs
"I liked mine" admits John Pleshette. "I thought there was something desperately sad about the way Richard left..."
CUE the scene where Richard got into his car which was filled with suitcases, then started the ignition, reversed down the driveway and drove out the cul-de-sac quietly, in the still of night, all alone...
"I liked mine too" comments Donna Mills. "I thought it was just so like Abby the way she sneaked outta town leaving a trail of chaos behind her..."
CUE Abby and Brian being driven away singing "Don't Worry Be Happy"....
However Ted Shackelford points out that both Don and Constance were given the best farewells of all:
"What a way to go" he laughs
"Absolutely" replies Filerman. "It's the best honour we can pay an actor but to have their character remembered for all the right reasons and I think with these two that's what we got"
"Yeah, especially Constance" remarks Joan. "Her storyline went on and on right up till the close of the series..."
We then turn the clock back to 1981 and the classic scene with Karen and the kids leaving the hospital following Sid's death and later on with Karen sat on her bed listening to the audiotape Sid made for her just moments before his fateful operation. All the while, Karen is sat motionless until a trickle of a tear rolls down her cheek:
“Karen…my Karen” he begins, “Seeing you here with the kids brought back so many wonderful memories…and there were so many things I wanted to say to you…and mostly, I just wanted to hold you. I could see how scared you were…and I wanted to comfort you with my body. That’s why I hate this damn accident so much, it’s taken away my body’s greatest pleasure – holding you, touching you, feeling your body next to mine. That’s why I gotta take this chance – to get all that back”
“You know it’s funny, when I…when I think about the operation being a success you know I, I think about all the wonderful things I could do with a healthy body like travelling around the world…build that race-car and all those…those crazy kinda superficial things, but then I realise that, none of that matters. All I really want is what I already have…waking up with you every morning…sleeping next to you at night…just living with you and the kids…having our family together…there’s no words to tell you how much that meant to me, but if that chance didn’t work and you’re listening to this now, I want you to know that…I don’t have any regrets. I love you Karen…and whatever happens to me, my love for you, will never die”
Next up comes the tape that Laura left for Greg. therefore have your hankies read as you read the Constance McCashin version of Laura's farewell tape:
"Okay Ace here it goes" begins Laura,
"There's been a lot of people in my life who've said they loved me. I wanted to believe most of them, I HAVE believed most of them, but, you are the only one who made me feel truly loved" (laughing) "Of course you had a weird way of doing it but it worked"...
"I laughed at your dumb jokes" replies Greg
"You said that I brought out the best in you and then you yelled at me for doing it - said you didn't want the best brought out"
"I didn't" responds Greg
"Of course there are some people who think that there isn't any best to be brought out right? But...I know better...and so do you. Another thing is that....your loving me brought out the best in me too....it made me feel like I was really worth something...and because I didn't want to disappoint you I always tried harder to be what you wanted, and what you needed....so I don't know, I think the bottom line is that we were really good for each other right?"
"Whatever you say" answers Greg - by now, the tears are beginning to emerge....
"So what's next? What happens now? Nothing probably. I know that's what you'd say. You'd say 'nothing'. But I'm not so sure.... All I know is that I really wanna see you again, and that I really want to be with you again...."
By now, Laura too is overcome with emotion and has therefore to stop for a moment to gather herself...
"This is very hard...and I...I wanna love you again and I want to feel your love again....so actually, I really don't wanna say goodbye" (attempting to laugh) "And just that I love you very very much, and I'll see you later....maybe...."
Greg has since broken down and admits back to the TV:
"You loved me in a bad spot Red. I don't know what you're trying to tell me. Why did you leave me all alone? I can't figure why you left me all alone......I love you....and I hope I don't end up hating you...."
"If you ask me" comments an emotional Joan Van Ark, "that was Bill's finest scene....."
While the cast are sat in the Mackenzie home reminiscing about the Greg and Laura scene, the actors who played them have headed out to the ranch where they acted so many of their scenes together. Tucked under the Hollywood hills, we find Bill Devane and Constance McCashin walking around the stables looking back on the wonderful time they had with each other playing Greg and Laura:
"Personally" remarks Bill, "I thought they were the best couple on the show. They weren't too 'extreme', too 'heavy', too 'in your face', they were just an ordinary married couple"
"Coping with ordinary married situations" responds Constance
"Don't tell Michele or Joan that" quips Constance as we journey back in time once more to 1985 for two classic scenes when Laura and Greg were still at the fun stage - breaking up one minute, and reconciling the next:
We drop in on the day after Laura found Abby hunting for her dress in his bedroom - a ploy by Greg's evil mother Ruth to drive Laura out of town. Here, Greg is following Laura on her way to work:
But Laura keeps walking...
Greg: "Can I give you a ride?"
And still she keeps walking...
Greg: "You can't outwalk me. This car is a lot faster than you"
Laura: "Can it go through solid objects?"
CUE another car with it's disgruntled owner yelling at Greg:
Greg: "This is ridiculous. You know I wouldn't sleep with Abby"
Laura: "GO AWAY"
Greg: "I haven't slept with Abby since we started seeing each other"
Laura: "She was looking for her dress in your office"
Greg: "I wasn't EVEN HOME"
Laura: "I'm so sick of this, I'm So SICK OF THIS. I don't wanna have anything to do with you"
Greg: "You want commitment? You GOT it"
Laura: "Your word is worthless"
Greg: "MARRY ME"
Laura: "I'm already married"
And then the following day, Laura went to visit the house that a prospective buyer had been eyeing up. However much to her annoyance, the buyer was Greg and it was all just a set up as Laura soon discovers when a mystery butler hands her red roses:
Laura: "Those are for someone else"
Butler: "No, they're for you"
Laura: "No I'm from the Real Estate office, I'm just here to look at this house"
Then Greg arrives on the scene:
Greg: "What's the matter? Bashful all of a sudden? Take the flowers" (off Laura's look) "You're avoiding me"
Laura: "You got it"
Greg: "I miss you" (kissing Laura)
Laura: "Did you rent this entire house just for this evening?"
Greg: "Rent it? Don't you think I could afford to buy it?"
Greg then whisks his good lady off to a private dinner:
Greg: "Actually, I borrowed it from a friend"
Before walking a little further:
Greg: "Now I understand things are really hotting up around the old cul-de-sac. Val's got her babies back"
Laura: "How do you know about that?"
Greg: "I know about everything...now...you're not gonna believe the evening I have prepared for you"
Laura: "This whole thing is unbelievable. I mean it looks like a Greek painting"
Greg: "The view....is for you"
(showing the LA skyline at night)
Greg: Salmon Foumet...a little lamb. Montrechez, and ME"
Laura: (with a cheeky smile) "The dinner sounds great"...
Back at the house, the rest are wondering where Bill and Constance have got to...
"Where did those two go?" asks Ted Shackelford
"Oh..." replies John Pleshette, "They're off doing their 'couple' thing"
"Right" answers Ted
"I can't help but feeling I should be over there too" he continues...
Michele Lee then remarks to Donna:
"You know in some ways, Abby and Greg were a couple too"
"Well for six months, I guess we technically were" replies Donna.
"No but before that...there were a lot of Greg and Abby scenes. Usually they were a lot of fun..."
Such as the many blackmail scenes between the pair with Greg threatening to go to Gary with his knowledge of Abby's involvement in the twins' kidnapping:
Greg: (applauding) "Bravo...bravo"
Abby: "Greg. What are you doing here?"
Greg: "I stopped by to congratulate you Abby. You pulled off a fantastic coup"
Abby: "What are you talking about?"
Greg: "You have just been voted 'Guardian Angel Of The Year' for bringing together Valene Ewing and her two long lost babies"
Then, closing the door so the staff don't hear:
Abby: "How did you know about that?"
Greg: "Oh good news touches all ears. I'd no idea what a wonderfully giving human being you were to be so concerned about your husband's ex wife. Can Sainthood be far off?"
CUE an annoyed Abby as Greg kisses her:
Greg: "My hat's off to you woman...incidentally, how much of all this does Gary know about?"
Abby: "How much do you think Gary knows?"
Greg: "Brilliant. What an artist you are. You pulled it off and no one knows. Nobody except me of course..."
Donna Mills agrees:
"Yeah, they were quite a pair. Much of it was to do with the fact they were both such multi stranded characters amidst a castful of goody goodys. The audience just loved that. And of course while they were awfully wicked at times, they had good qualities too which kept them interesting. They weren't totally evil..."
However rather than see yet another scene relating to Abby's involvement in the stolen babies saga, we instead concentrate on the character of Greg and in particular, his outrage over the murder of Frank Elliott at Empire Valley as he met up with project co-ordinator John Coblentz to discuss the matter in his office:
Greg: "There is a dead man at my Construction Site and that makes me VERY angry"
Coblentz: "I know...Elliott. That was most, unfortunate"
Greg: "Unfortunate? Is that all you have to say? We're not talking about a squirrel here who ran out in front of a speeding car, we're talking about a PERSON. This doesn't seem to bother you"
Coblentz: "No Gregory, this does NOT bother me. What DOES bother me is your reaction to it"
Greg: "Did I just fall through the looking glass here? Aren't you the guy who taught us that what separates us from the dictators and the tyrants of this world was the value we place on human life?"
Coblentz: "That was theory but this is FACT"
Greg: "I take it back. Elliott is NOT a squirrel to you, he is a BUN. And you stuck your foot out and squished him"
"Now I did not leave the United States Senate to become partners in murder. Now that was not part of the agreement and this is NEVER gonna happen again right?"
Go Self Righteous Greg !!!!
Then there was the threesome between him, Paige and her mother Anne:
Anne: "So you're not dying then?"
Greg: "Everybody's dying. It's Part Three of 'You're born, you live and you die' "
Anne: "Well, when I read those awful things about your health, it made me consider my own life, and I've got to tell you that I doubt I could live with my conscience if you died without ever having slept with me"
Greg: "He he...well I don't want to be a burden on your conscience"
Paige then enters:
Paige: "What are you doing here?"
Greg: "She's easing her conscience"
Paige: "Well I heard about your health. Greg I'm so sorry"
Anne: "You're here to commiserate. How sweet. that's what I'm here to do too"
Greg: "Yeah I could get into a little commiserating"
Anne: "The only thing is he claims he's not dying any faster than the rest of us"
Paige: "You mean you're not sick?" (relieved)
Greg: "Wait a minute let me get something straight. If I'm dying I could get lucky here tonight, if I'm not dying then I'm gonna be unlucky? Well I'm dying, I'm definetly dying..."
But sometimes he could be pure nasty - like the time he set up Tom Ryan to ensure he didn't marry Paige. We pick up with him presenting himself as the culprit who had tried to frame Tom just minutes before his marriage to Paige:
Greg hands Tom an envelope with papers inside:
Tom: "Is this a wedding gift?"
Greg: "I like to think of it as a going away present"
Tom throws away the envelope as Greg continues:
Greg: "This is an airline ticket, and this is what you need to get yourself off the hook"
Tom: (realising) "You set me up. You're the one who hired Joe"
Greg: "Now I keep this and you keep that. If you disappear before this corny little ceremony I'll get the charges dropped against you. If you decide to hang around for the festivities...well, it's up to you. You can be a single free man, or you can be a married convict..."
And with despair, Tom yells back at him:
"You still love her..."
But despite creating all these opportunities, Greg would still not commit to Paige:
Paige: "Tom has asked me to marry him"
Greg: "No kidding. When is the wedding"
Paige: "I haven't given him an answer yet. I wanted to ask you something and I want an honest answer. Do you love me?"
Greg: "Tick tock tick tock tick tock dah... you had the chance of an honest answer this morning"
Paige: "Just tell me"
Greg: "You know how everything I touch turns to lead"
Paige: "Thanks for being honest..."
Yes, it's fair to say Greg was a very complex character who could be paired up with anyone - not just Laura or Abby but Paige, Linda and many others. However as Joan Van Ark recalls, such double acts were not the only ones outwith the marital concept that Knots Landing came to enjoy:
"I so adored the scenes with Julie Harris and I feel so blessed with the guest stars and actors I got to work with. At one given time in the Ewing house we had Julie Harris, Alec Baldwin and Valene"...
We then focus on two wonderful scenes from the finales of Season Seven and Season Eight respectively. In the first, Lilimae is left to pick up the pieces as Val sits broken hearted on her bedroom balcony following Ben's recent decision to embark on a tour with Cathy and leave her behind and their marriage effectively in tatters.
In the second, much the same has happened again with Ben off once more on an assignment. However Val uses the same gut instict she had when she suspected he was dead in El Salvador during Season Five. Only this time, she is convinced that Ben isn't really on assignment but has headed off to kill Jean Hackney who had terrorised the pair for close on a year. Once more, it is Lilimae who is left behind with Val to pick up the pieces:
"Will you take a little advice from your momma? Go away for a couple of days. I'll be here with the kids.....go on. You could go up to San Francisco and meet that nice lady you met on the book tour. Or you could go to New York and see some shows....you know I was reading the travel section of the newspaper the other day and there's a fair war on...Valene..."
And then 12 months later at the end of the eighth season:
Lilimae: "Oh sweetpea ....you're worried because of me. I'm the one who put this thought in your head because I was worried he wouldn't call ....but you said he would ... and he did ....you were right ....and look there. It's not even nine o'clock"
Val: "I know it's not momma"
Lilimae: "So why don't you wait till you have good reason before you get all down in the mouth. Ben will call. That's all there is to it"
"The pair of you worked well together" remarks Michele Lee with a warm smile on her face.
"Thank you" replies Joan
At that moment, both Bill and Constance return from their visit to the ranch:
"Oh here come the newlyweds" remarks a jealous John Pleshette
"You're just mad she loves me more than you" quips Bill Devane
"That's a matter of opinion" replies John
"Sure she said so herself in that video message. Remember?"
"Yes that's right" agrees Constance. "Remember the tape I made in my VERY LAST EPISODE?"
David Jacobs' eyes then roll at this latest dig which McCashin has made in his direction.
Is she being serious or not though? As we've come to expect with Constance in these specials, you just never know...
Anyhow to ease the 'tension', Mike Filerman puts on another tape to show everyone now that they are all back together again in the same room:
"This is a surprise tape made for you guys by some of your fellow co-stars from over the years - all of them want to wish you well on your reunion today"
"Oh" remarks Michele, "I didn't know anything about this"
"That'd be a first" quips Pleshette once more...
And so the tape begins! First up is the legendary Julie Harris:
"Hi all, hi sweetpea"
"Momma" replies a tearful Joan Van Ark with her hands up to her face in surprise - forcing Michele to put her arms around her 'best friend' as Julie continues:
"I'm so glad you are all there and safe and well today. I still think of you all each day and pray for you all and your careers. May God bless each and every one of you..."
The cast seem touched. But no sooner have they got the chance to recover from that when another old friend appears onscreen. It's Kathleen Noone:
"Good day to you all"
"This is real good" agrees Bill Devane
"While I was only involved in the show for the last three years, I didn't want this opportunity to pass by without letting you guys know what a really special time I had there with you all. You guys were warm and welcoming from my first day there and I thank you for that. I hope you all have a lovely day together"
"How sweet" replies Joan, whose face turns to shock again at the sight of her onscreen brother Alec Baldwin!!!
"It's great to be back talking Knots Landing with you all once more. Without that experience I don't think I'd be sitting where I am today. The character of Joshua was a complex one and I basically took him as far as I could. There was no other option but for him to fall off the roof that night! But the year and a half I had there with you guys was such a wonderful learning experience and I thank you all for making it so"....
"No star too great or small" remarks Ted Shackelford:
Then, Ted's on screen (and off screen) belle Teri Austin appears:
"Hi all, hi Ted. Just wanted to say hi to you all. Hope you are having a wonderful day together and just for the record Val, I'm really glad you and Gary got back together"
To this Joan laughs!!!
Jill's onscreen brother played by Hunt Block then pops up:
"I had two great years playing Peter. BOY did I enjoy it. I enjoyed you guys all too - especially my time with Donna. All we seemed to do was sleep together. What a great job. I must've been lousy in bed or something though cos she covered me in cement on my final day"
"Anyhow I may have went on to other things, but I still look back on my time on Knots with fond recollections and that's down to you guys. Enjoy yourselves..."
Then finally, saving the best till last, it's Don Murray!!!
"Oh My God" replies Michele with her mouth wide open:
"Seeing you with the cast here today brought back so many warm memories..."
Michele laughs outrageously at this as Don attempts to retell his farewell tape recording:
"I think of our time together often - being with you and the kids...that's why I invited two of them along with me today..."
CUE the shock of her life on Michele's face when Pat Petersen and Claudia Lonow turn up beside him on the video:
"Hi mom" yells Pat, "Hi mother" yells Claudia.
Needless to say Michele has tears in her eyes at this point:
"So I want you guys to join with me in raising your glasses to the Fairgate family including the wonderful Steve Shaw. To Steve..."
At this moment, the cast raise their glasses as Don instructs them to toast:
Joan makes them also toast their other absent friend - Larry Riley!
"Larry Riley everyone"
"To Larry Riley" they all respond,
And back on the videotape, Don makes a toast to the thing that brought them all together in the first place:
"And to Knots Landing" he continues - raising his own glass...
"To Knots Landing" respond the cast.
However Michele is too emotional by this point - sat beside Joan, shedding the same tears she did in the final scene of the Block Party. As a result, Michele gives her toast to the show a few seconds later, quietly into herself:
"To Knots Landing" she toasts, thus ending our fantasy reunion....
Hope you guys all enjoyed this 'special'. Have a very Happy Christmas everyone....
Last edited by Knots Man; 12-27-2005 at 02:38 AM.
Nice one Knots Man. This is a great alternative to together again. By the way, what did you think of Together again.
Have u considered a career in writing. You'll be excellent.
That mustve taken a long time to do Knotsman but it was very entertaining. Thank you for doing it for us.
Abbylexis, I just realised I didn't reply to you last night. Anyway I've not actually seen the 'Together Again' reunion yet. I simply wrote this because I got tired of waiting on it to arrive Sunshine Boy should hopefully send me the copy he got from Joshua early in the new year so all being well, I'll read it sometime in January. Hopefully I'll have received it by the 22nd of January. The reason I mention this date is because January 22nd marks the tenth anniversary of the day Knots Landing was last shown on Network TV in the UK so although July 13th this year marked the 10th anniversary as well (because Satellite Channel UK Gold overtook the BBC network in airing the series), January 22nd is the official anniversary.
So what better way than to mark the tenth anniversary of the passing of my favourite TV show than by viewing a brand new episode!!!
Wow, Knots Man, do you know those Knotsy quotes by heart or do you have every episode on video? LOL
I enjoyed reading the fantasy TOGETHER AGAIN. It was fun. Your copy of the CBS version should arrive soon so you can compare and contrast.
Yes Josh, I know every single one of those scenes off by heart (knot).
Looking forward to seeing the reunion for myself soon...