Casting Confusion Begins To Detract From Narrative
Falcon Crest sees the brief return of Tony Cumson (Robert Loggia playing the role originated by John Saxon in Season One) brought in by San Francisco Globe chairman Richard Channing (David Selby) via the ruse of hiring him to run an oil rig amongst the holdings of the Denault Cartel.
Richard has made a deal with Julia Cumson (Abby Dalton) the wife Tony left behind as her controlling mother Angela Channing (Jane Wyman) drove him away. Richard thinks that if he reunites Julia with Tony she will sell her stock and Angela will lose a block of shares intended to remove Richard as chairman.
Meanwhile Lance (Lorenzo Lamas), Julia's adult son with Tony, is still seeing his ex-girlfriend Lori (Maggie Cooper) while his wife Melissa (Ana Alicia) remains in hospital and her baby (which is not his) clings to life. Cole (William Moses) the real father of Melissa's baby is still facing a murder charge and opts to flee the jurisdiction unless his family can stop him.
This is one of the haphazard offerings of the series and looks like it was churned out behind schedule. The result looks indistinguishable in quality from any episode of daytime drama airing at the time. This could have been a General Hospital episode and not a very good one going by the dialogue and writing.
In the second season of the show Robert Foxworth had embraced an angrier side of his character Chase Gioberti which was always convincing, fully appropriate to the backstory and character development but nevertheless a little difficult to watch at times. Even if one happens to be watching it at home it can feel like you're on the receiving end of his moral indignation. That is how effective the characterization is yet it does something less positive than entertain.
The real outrage that a viewer might come to feel is by seeing the reptilian portrayal given by Mel Ferrer as Angela's attorney Phillip Erickson, a shyster poster boy for corporate legal malfeasance and potential disbarment.
Eventually the deficit of continuity on this show made for questionable casting decisions which included the hiring of actors who appeared on the show in the roles of different characters. When Lance angrily demands what Tony is doing in Tuscany I wondered the same thing but only because he is played by a different actor. Loggia's performance here leaves much to be desired and it doesn't appear he, or a number of the other actors, was given adequate time to prepare.
Maggie Cooper appears as Lori Stevens in the role originated by Cindy Morgan in Season One. The two actresses couldn't be more different and as if to add to the confusion Cindy Morgan would return to the show in later years as a completely different character.
This episode was scripted by Leah Markus who also wrote an episode of Dynasty and served as a story consultant on Dallas.
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