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In today's episode, "Land Of The Free," a motorcycle gang began terrorizing the town. Michael was injured and got stitches. Karen and Sid had a confrontation with one of the bikers. Val told the Fairgates about when she couldn't get Lucy back from the Ewings. Sid rescued Diana from the bikers.
I remember this episode quite fondly. I also have the paperback adaptation which I read more recently. It's a nice example of the way the cul de sac people could bury their differences and pull together when required - even Richard. I particularly enjoy the moment when he is listing the charges the gang will be liable for. (I hope I have this right.) He asks Diana, "Did they try?" She says they hinted and he yells triumphantly, "Conspiracy!"
“Land Of The Free”
Best Line; Sid to Richard on hearing his legal advice for our villain bike boy,”If he’s his lawyer the guy’ll get life”….nice one Sidney
Best Moment; Check out that sexual tension between Diana and her doll as she practices her “co
quetish” delivery of a line for a school audition
Worst Outfit; Read On People…..
Worst Hair: No bad hair days for this ep
Points to not: A good 1 st season epsiode , everyone gets lots of small turns with Karen bearing the brunt of the storyline.Only the cliched ending spoils this thought provoking 70’s romp…also some very nice wide camera angles keep this episode moving along nicely
Even little Jason Avery(the first) gets a few appearances
It seems the whole community in Knots Landing loves nothing more than hanging out at the beach on a cold, misty,incredibly foggy morning.So much so that our favourite Seaview Circle gals have brought the kids along for some volleyball in the fog.And so all is looking good( well kinda misty actually) – Michael and Eric are fighting over a ball…wait till you see what they fight over in 11 years time mom…Diana is being …well Diana and Val is getting her first “dunk” in the sea, while Laura and Ginger show off their goosebumps in surely the most revealing swimsuits ever worn on the show.
Then the truly unexpected happens….(no guys….you’ll have to wait for Ciji for all that kind of thing!)…a gang load of bikies come thundering,literally, down the beach , seriously harassing the beachgoers and giving our gals a particularly hard time.Karen manages to get a good right hook in ( yes this episode packs a punch or two) and even little Jason Avery managed a few sideswipes before everyone does a hasty retreat.
Now it’s all back to the cul-de-sac for the usual “ Richard handing out terrible legal advice before ushering gorgeous Laura away from the main plot to dish out his dinner, therefore giving Val a home run to overact and ensure a continuing contract during the budget cutting season of 87 “ It’s also interesting to note Karen’s penchant for husbands who know all the local cops- the only explanation is that Sid gives their car a good service. However, Karen is livid about all this ( the bikies , not Sid’s new friendship with a cop ) and we know it’s only just begun.
After a pointless Karen and Diana scene, notable only for Claudia Lonow’s startling interpretation of the word “ coquettish, it’s all back to the beach , minus Ginger who is apparently taking her kids on a field trip…what ? mid afternoon in the working week?! No sooner has Val laid out her blanket on a considerably warmer looking beach than last time, who shows up all fired up and raring for a fight but our bikie gang from…well we don’t know where but probably somewhere quite boring if they’ve come back to take on Karen and Val. This time it’s little Michael who gets the dramatic moment as he is hit by a bike. That’ll teach Karen for keeping him out of school to share the main plot.
On the way home from the hospital, with a bandaged Michael, Karen is fuming- it’s against everything she and America stand for and she’s not having a buck of it- unlike Sid who doesn’t seem to care one way or the other at this point. Mind you I really haven’t seen Sid break a sweat over anything this season which brings me to my next question; Did Sid smoke marujauna in his garage? Answers on a postcard please. How lucky then that as they speed home they should see the two ringleader bikies hanging out at a local something or other.Sid manages to corner one by ingeniously raming his car against a toilet door therefore blocking one in……and then proceeds to get the other in a quite impressive headlock until the cops arrive. What was I saying earlier about Sid?
One is then hauled off while Karen does the decent thing and lets the other go,” I couldn’t honestly accuse him of anything” she says. How much do we love Karen Fairgate at this point.
Next it’s time for Kenny and Ginger to make an obligatory appearance together, so everyone minus Val & Gary hang out at the Fairgate’s while Richard literally hangs out in the worst white shirtless suit I have ever seen in all my years on this planet. Personally I think this scene is the beginning of his mental breakdown, climaxing with the superb 3 rd season episode “ Night”.
After dropping Diana off somewhere- no not a cliff- the Fairgates get a nasty visit from bikie boy no 2 who tells them to drop the charges against his mate or else! And low and behold the next morning things get really scary as all manor of orange juice cartons and cereal packets are scattered over the cul-de-sac as rubbish bins are sent flying courtesy of the gang and some pretty impressive wheelies, leaving Sid, Karen and Gary aghast as the music swells ( the funky, funky music- check it out everyone) and we go to a commercial break.
Back to the Fairgate’s and the cops aren’t much help but Karen’s still not dropping the charges. For some bizarre reason this prompts Val to tell the whole JR/Lucy saga all over again while over at the Avery’s Laura worries about Karen while modelling a new form of tent that doubles as a nightdress. Richard isn’t impressed and doesn’t stick around for a close up.
The action keeps coming in this ep as Karen and Val are nearly driven off the road and if that wasn’t enough they then get obscene phone calls about how some chick called Nicollette is going to come along in 7 years and spoil all the fun.” What are we gonna do?” asks Val. “I Don’t know” Karen replies.
Back at the cop shop Karen decides she likes the cast just as it is and drops all the charges, but this episode’s still got 10 minutes to play, so our bikie friends decide she’s got to pay for keeping them in the main plot when they were supposed to be fighting Charlies Angels by now not still on the Knots set.
So- Diana is swiped.Hoorah!! But no it’s not permanent and it’s yet more dramatic funky music all round as Gary, Kenny, Sid and even Richard get stuck into the gang down at the beach- although Richard does take on the bikie chick who at one point seems a bit much for him, before our hero’s prevail and the cops show up again.
“Sid, I’ve never seen you like that” says Karen, turning up too late for anymore right hook action.
No, and I doubt we’ll ever see him like that again.Richard decides to tel us he feels terrific and everyone laughs like they’ve never done before. Except Gary who is absoluteley knackered. Roll credits…
----RECAP; Ok not the episode your gonna play when you feel nostalgic for a bit of early Knots, but some nice stuff and plenty of scenes with just the girls which is always welcome. It does also raise the question on a citizens right to sunbathe peacefully on a fog filled beach and without these eps we never would have had such classic hours and good characterization to come.