Falcon Crest: Season 2, Episode 1

The Challenge (1 Oct. 1982)

TV Episode  -   -  Drama
7.1
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Richard promises to deliver Falcon Crest to his elegant stepfather while Phillip and Angela search for their enemy's weakness. Angela battles Chase for control of the vineyards.

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(created by) (as Earl Hamner) , (as Robert L. McCullough)
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Title: The Challenge (01 Oct 1982)

The Challenge (01 Oct 1982) on IMDb 7.1/10

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Cole Gioberti (as Billy R. Moses)
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Ana Alicia ...
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Chao-Li Chi (as Chao-Li Chi)
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Richard promises to deliver Falcon Crest to his elegant stepfather while Phillip and Angela search for their enemy's weakness. Angela battles Chase for control of the vineyards.

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Drama

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1 October 1982 (USA)  »

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This Richard Channing Dude Is Kinda Scary
15 March 2012 | by (Toronto, Canada) – See all my reviews

Season Two begins and many members of the cast have different hairdos (Abby Dalton's is an improvement, Jamie Rose's is a disaster).

Gus, the foreman at Chase's vineyard dies. On this show it is probably a good idea to fill out them organ donor cards right away and keep up with them life insurance payments. Don't worry about writing a will - those only end up creating more confusion and turmoil.

Chase (Robert Foxworth) made half-owner of Falcon Crest in the legal wranglings which closed out Season One confronts his manipulative and controlling Aunt Angela (Jane Wyman) informing her he'll be taking an office at the winery. She protests but he is firm. Angela responds by promoting Lance (Lorenzo Lamas), her henchman and chosen heir, to General Operations Manager with the direct instructions to keep Chase out of the winery.

Power is something one takes on Falcon Crest and a preening pretty boy like Lance isn't going to stop Alpha male Chase from taking what is his. Foreseeing future resistance Chase gets legal help and it is all put in writing - which includes integrating the vineyard he inherited from his father back into Falcon Crest.

Lance's pregnant wife Melissa (Ana Alicia) who was warned by him that he'd sleep around on her suddenly objects to it in a change from Season One when she didn't care. As she is carrying another man's child he loathes the very sight of her particularly since he was forced to marry her by Angela and not a little because they just never hit it off anyway. Keep in mind Lance caused his Aunt Emma's miscarriage in Season One.

Melissa continues to give the brush off to her ex-boyfriend Cole Gioberti (William Moses) who, in all probability is the real father of her child - one which she is but a couple of months from delivering and presenting not only as Lance's but as heir to Falcon Crest as well as the Agretti family wine empire her father Carlo has built.

Mystery man Richard Channing (David Selby) is set to seize the chair of the board of directors of his dead father Douglas Channing's newspaper the San Francisco Globe in which Angela owns partial stake along with the proxies of her two daughters and her grandson Lance. Angela wants to use it to wage a public relations war against her bold nephew Chase to curb his claim to power at Falcon Crest.

Richard Channing may have other plans. Adopted from an orphanage at the age of four Richard never knew his birth mother and has been looking for her ever since. Financially backed by his adopted father the equally mysterious Mr.Denault (E.G. Marshall) Richard sets forth a plan to seize Falcon Crest for the Denault cartel.

Who is Richard Channing? After seeing a couple of scenes with the character the question almost becomes "What is Richard Channing?". We've gotten a glimpse of him but he has shown us almost nothing and if we get even that much more information in the next episode it will keep us coming back.

When I told people I was watching Season One I got the same sly look from those who had followed the series as well as being told that Season Two was shall we say "A better vintage". The stakes get higher and there are suddenly more players.

This episode is one of the better episodes I have seen of any TV series. A remarkable balance is struck between the appealing elements and the cast really looks like they have gained a comfort level with the narrative and the characters. It takes a certain amount of time before a series hits its stride. Many of them never get a chance to. This one galloped in its second season moving from 13th overall in ratings to a solid 8th.

Adding David Selby who had been on the less successful NBC prime-time soap Flamingo Road strengthened the cast as his complicated character contributed texture to the narrative.


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