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Chase (Robert Foxworth) previously at the most bitter of odds with the Sheriff Robbins over the Agretti murder is suddenly buddy-buddy with him which contradicts almost all of Season Two. Their investigations together discovered the mysterious catacombs beneath Tuscany where a killer lurked. They raid Richard Channing's office together like Chase has been deputized.
Chase and his wife Maggie (Susan Sullivan) are also suddenly on friendlier terms with his conniving aunt Angela Channing (Jane Wyman) even after all she has done to them and those they care about over the first two seasons of the show. Angela graciously offers to make the arrangements for their daughter Vickie's wedding to Nick Hogan (Roy Thinnes) - a match of which Angela showed nearly as much trepidation as Chase and Maggie did.
Richard Channing (David Selby) is at a crossroads. The accidental death of his adopted father Henri Denault (Yes! Another mysterious death on Falcon Crest) in the previous episode which he was involved in but not really responsible for has created a slight power vacuum at the top of the Denault Cartel - a shadowy business group formed by French Nazi sympathizers at the close of World War Two using misbegotten wealth.
There is a grand jury subpoena waiting for Richard in Tuscany which his very determined associates are unconcerned by as they take him back to New York by force.
Richard laments the loss of his "reputation". Reputation? Publisher of a scandal sheet who causes uncomfortable scenes wherever he goes whilst fronting for an organization of corporate criminals and he is worried about "reputation"? This character picks the end of a season in which reputation was the last thing on his mind and suddenly obsesses over it?...M'kay. Hope the independent writers they brought in were worth it.
Back at "headquarters" (a very imaginative name for a headquarters) in New York abducted by his former associates Richard awaits his meeting with the secret head of the organization referred to as "The Chief" (a very imaginative name for the secret head of a shadowy group) to demand his contractual release.
Lance (Lorenzo Lamas) - the least ingratiating mooch in TV history, having forged a real alliance with his wife Melissa (Ana Alicia) via the consummation of sexual chemistry which took nearly a full year to surface, who schemed with her to get his own mother Julia (Abby Dalton) out of the power-mix at Falcon Crest now has Mom bent to his will.
Lance had to show a lot more game to be a player on the show and get out of the familiar pattern of not merely being outworked by other characters but outsmarted. Seeing him choke-slam a Marine into a bar counter as we do here is a bit much but it shows that the character may offer surprises in Season Three.
The gunshot heard off-screen in the closing scene allows for the departure of one character and potentially others. But if writers are going to trim a cast list it is much easier to bump off a bunch of characters in a terrorist bombing or a plan crash. I still prefer having characters simply leave town to be brought back as needed.
Consistency was the casualty here and as it approached the end of its second season this show neared a "Shark jump" as it struggled to pander to prospective new viewers without regard to a fan-base potentially growing weary of the formulaic pattern of night-time soaps.
The element of the cartel was always something I enjoyed when it was done well and with less overt manifestation. Here we are given something that resembles a cheap adventure serial when the subtle hints dropped about "the company" were deliciously vague and promised so much more.
Loose ends are left untied from Season Two going into Season Three. Melissa's libel suit against the Globe is among them.
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