Unfairly dismissed as "Dallas with grapes" Falcon Crest was very much its own series but it would be absurd to suggest that Falcon Crest was not influenced by other soaps on prime-time.
This particular episode and storyline of a mysterious killer moves in a direction Knots Landing had been going in. The sight-line view of the killer is along similar lines of an Italian movie suspense/thriller genre known as "Giallo". Knots Landing had shown that prime-time soap audiences were intrigued by such subject matter and style. It would lead to the predictable departure of a specific character.
The added sophistication in this episode beyond the use of a few different camera angles is the attempt made to draw audiences towards the notion that some of the motives of characters, particularly those regarded almost exclusively as altruistic are more subjective than we perhaps may have concluded.
For instance Cole (William Moses) is ticketed for speeding and nearly taken in for drunk driving by the sheriff, a man whom he and his father Chase (Robert Foxworth) are convinced has been railroading the young man. Is this cop just doing his job? Or does he have something against Cole?
In a similar vein Vickie (Jamie Rose - by this point in the second season sporting a less disastrous hairdo), in conversation with her older-man boyfriend Nick Hogan (Roy Thinnes) refers to her father Chase's tenure on the Tuscany Board of Supervisors as an ego trip and ridicules the attempts of her mother Maggie (Susan Sullivan) to become a screenwriter. In Season One of the show none of the Giobertis would have questioned each others motives and ambitions thusly, at least not for us to see.
Vickie also states something anyone watching the show would have noted i.e. that she hasn't had a single meaningful conversation with her father since they moved to the Tuscany Valley. We haven't seen that and she is pointing it out echoing a criticism made about her character's arc on the show.
The real novelty here is that we are seeing the character of Vickie Gioberti doing something interesting that actually ties in with the rest of what is happening on the show. It is something the writers struggled to give her.
Jamie Rose was the most hard-done by of the regulars on the show early in its life on network TV. The role of her mother Maggie initially was played by red-haired actress Samantha Eggar and the narrative which was like a modernized version of the Walton's called for a red-haired girl-next-door type.
When Samantha Eggar was replaced by Susan Sullivan, Jamie Rose should also have been replaced. The hair was a dead-giveaway that she didn't belong and most of what her character did (beyond her tender Wuthering Heights-style romance with field-hand Mario) went over poorly with audiences.
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