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Season One Recap


Let's Review




Season One

December 10, 2005 to May 6, 2006

Production Numbers: 101-123

Written by Andy Eckles

Copyright(c) 2005, 2006 Sunset Studios. All rights reserved.


The first season centered heavily on the engagement of Hollywood film producer James Blackthorne and Brooke Taylor, a young makeup artist who worked on his last film, Angel Assassin.  James's spoiled daughter Miranda made no secret of her contempt for Brooke's place in her father's life.  On the night before the wedding, Miranda accidentally ran Brooke down with her car.   Upon learning that Miranda had been drinking at the time, James blasted his selfish daughter and sent her fleeing to Las Vegas and directly into the arms of con man Brett Armstrong.   After a quickie wedding, Miranda returned home with her new husband and promptly moved him into the house, much to James's displeasure.

But James had other things to worry about.  While busy with his duties as Hollywood royalty, his much younger bride and his nephew, Ethan were growing secretly closer every day. In an effort to diffuse any further sparks, James paid Winter Austen, a down and out nurse and former lover of his best friend Kenny DeWitt, to seduce Ethan.  The matchmaking proved successful and Ethan appeared to withdraw from Brooke temporarily.

Meanwhile, James's arch nemesis Will Thomerson arrived from New York and announced his takeover of the floundering Jaguar Studios, which he planned to use to settle an old score with James.  Years ago, Will had courted James's young sister Georgie and then left her broken and alone when he got the chance to produce on Broadway.  Georgie died a year later after giving birth to a son.  James had raised Ethan and never told him that his father was the unscrupulous Will Thomerson.  James's scorned ex-wife, Hollywood legend Alex Reynolds teamed up with Will to exact revenge on James for the way he'd treated them.  Believing their union would prove beneficial in their feud with James, Will proposed to Alex.  Later, Alex received another proposal from producer Jordan Rydell who wanted her to star in his new film.

Alex overheard a private conversation between James and his attorney where James revealed that Will was Ethan's father.  Hoping to use the information as ammunition later, Alex kept quiet.  Then after bribing a member of the MPAA, Will and Alex successfully had Angel Assassin pulled from the public just before its premier.  Unable to recover from the debt that he'd incurred making the film, James put his studio up as collateral and subsequently lost control to none other than Will Thomerson.  Payback was foremost on James's mind, angering Brooke and sending her directly back into Ethan's arms.

Brett's past as a con man caught up with him when a former girlfriend and business partner Devon Graham showed up demanding her share of the oney they'd squelched from various jobs.  Rather than part with the money, Brett risked Devon telling Miranda about his shady past.  On top of that, Brett was arrested for the murder of he and Devon's partner, Bailey, who had taken a tumble out of the Las Vegas hotel room they shared.  A lovestruck Miranda accepted the easy way Brett explained everything away.  Finally, with the help of Miranda, they were able to trick Devon into admitting that she'd accidentally killed Bailey.  She was arrested and Brett was off the hook.

James's son Stormy, unsatisfied with his suburban life with his wife Heather, began a torrid affair with his protégé Lauren Spencer, an up and coming pop superstar.  Heather pleaded with Stormy to give her a record deal with his studio, Good Times Records, but Stormy was preoccupied with Lauren.   With Miranda happily believing her new marriage was rock solid, Brett eagerly coaxed Lauren into naming him as her manager, and soon found out about her and Stormy's affair.  In exchange for his silence, Brett blackmailed Lauren into sleeping with him.

Alex, bent on destroying James's new marriage to Brooke, called upon a private investigator and learned that Brooke had been married before and that the divorce had never been finalized.  After some seductive coaxing, she managed to bring Phillip Whitacre to town, where he promptly informed the couple that their marriage wasn't legal.  Angry, James blasted Brooke and told her that he could never forgive her for her betrayal.   Reeling from James’s harsh words and intent on setting things right, Brooke flew to the Dominican Republic to get a quickie divorce from Philip.  Concerned for her fragile state, Ethan went along.  While on the island, they shared a memorable night together and made love.  The next day, the jeep Ethan was riding in was bombed by a band of loyalists.  Authorities told Brooke that he couldn't have survived.  Broken and destroyed over the loss of her newfound happiness with Ethan, Brooke isolated herself in her hotel room on the island.

After hearing of the tragedy and reconsidering his feelings for Brooke, James flew to the Dominican Republic to reclaim his bride.  A faulty engine caused his private jet to plummet to the thick jungles of the island.  Paramedics rushed James to the hospital where he was treated for a massive head trauma.   Still bent on revenge, Alex decided it was the perfect time to reveal the truth about Ethan's true parentage.  Jordan, having fallen hopelessly in love with Alex, insisted he accompany her to the Dominican Republic. Upon their arrival, it became clear that James was suffering from memory loss.  After taking one look at Alex, he mistakenly believed they were still married.  Thoughts of revenge faded and Alex decided that she'd let James believe they were still married.  After spending a weekend in a secluded beach house, Alex had fallen back in love with her former husband.  An outraged Jordan told Brooke that James and Alex had reunited.  Overcome with despair, Brooke promptly returned to LA and moved back into her old apartment.   Back on the island, Jordan showed up at the beach house and confronted Alex about her devious plan to win James back.   Stricken with constant headaches, James suddenly began to remember and cursed Alex for her manipulation.  He promptly flew back to LA where he pleaded with Brooke to take him back.

After learning that she was pregnant, quite possibly with Ethan's child, Brooke went back to James and led him to believe the baby was his.  Just as they'd reconciled, Ethan returned, claiming that he'd been thrown from the jeep and taken to a mission where nuns had nursed him back to health.  Torn, Brooke maintained that she and James were back together, and were expecting a child.   Ethan was devastated and reluctantly went back to Winter.   Fearing that Ethan wasn't through with Brooke, Winter broke into Brooke's apartment and found a letter in the garbage addressed to Ethan.  In the letter, Brooke had named Ethan as the father of her baby.

Stormy learned of Brett's blackmail plot against Lauren and they came to blows.  In a heated argument, Brett suggested to Heather that there was more to her husband's relationship with Lauren.  Suspicious of Stormy's actions, Heather followed him to Lauren’s dressing room and caught them in the throws of passion.  Devastated, she threw Stormy out and vowed to never forgive him.  Later, after reconsidering her decision, Heather went to Lauren's apartment and found it empty.  Collapsing onto the beach, she cried hysterically with the realization that she was too late.  Stormy had left to tour with Lauren.

Alex accepted Jordan's marriage proposal, and on the day of their wedding, James collapsed at the beach club.  Stricken with concern, Alex went to the hospital and sat by his bedside.  Angry that she chose her ex husband over him, Jordan called off the wedding.  Desperate to make up for her manipulations with James in the Dominican Republic and for his poor health, Alex married Will in a private ceremony, alarming Jordan who again vowed his true love for her.  The next day, Alex had the marriage annulled, but not before signing ownership of Sunset Studios back to James.   Alex then pleaded with Jordan to give them another chance, but Jordan refused and set sail on his yacht to Hawaii.   After leaving the dock, he discovered Alex in the lower cabin lying on the bed wearing nothing but a fur coat.

James learned that he had developed a terminal condition as a result of his head trauma from the plane crash.  Inoperable swelling of the brain would cause him to die within weeks unless he had a risky operation.  After considering his options, he scheduled the surgery and planned on telling Brooke right away.

Overwrought with insecurity in her relationship with Ethan, and faced with the truth that he was the father of Brooke's baby, Winter began blaming Brooke for all of their problems.  In a heated argument on the stairs at the Blackthorne mansion, Brooke fell and lay unconscious.  Fearing that everyone would think she pushed her, Winter fled the scene.  After recovering at the hospital and learning that her baby was safe, Brooke revealed that Winter had been there when she fell.   Angry that Winter did nothing to help Brooke, Ethan broke up with her.   Distraught and wanting to punish Brooke and Ethan, Winter told James that he wasn't the father of Brooke's baby, and that Ethan was.  After realizing she'd ruined any chance of reconciling with Ethan, Winter accepted a cash handout from Kenny DeWitt and left town.  James confronted Ethan, who swore he didn't know he was the father of Brooke's baby.  Brooke overheard them and packed her things, slipping quietly out the door.   James, preparing to check into the hospital for an operation that could kill him, was devastated to learn that Brooke had left before he got the chance to ask her if he was the baby's father, or if Ethan was…

Read Season 2 Recap

Producers Remarks

by Andy Eckles

The majority of the first season was written on the fly.  I had no real direction that I was going in.  Some writers frown upon that, but I think it worked to my benefit.  The season had a freshness and a sense of urgency that the second season did not.  I had a basic concept of these characters, and after writing the first episode, I felt like I knew them from and back. From then on, it was easy for the characters to take over the story.  They led me to where it needed to go.  From the glitzy Las Vegas strip, to the tropical beaches of the Dominican Republic.  

The story started out to be much more centered on Hollywood than it actually turned out to be.  I didn't want it to be a scripted version of Access Hollywood or Entertainment Tonight.  Instead, Hollywood simply became the backdrop for the various romantic entanglements.  

Characters who varied from initial conception: Brett, who was initially only supposed to appear in about four episodes, obvioiusly stuck around much longer.  He was the original culprit in the mini-mystery involving his business partners.  But I liked the character and thought there was a lot of possibilities with him, so I kept him around.  Another character who wound up very different was Winter Austen.  She was to learn two very startling secrets.  One was that Ethan was Will's son; the other that Michael was Ethan's son.  Her meddling was to lead to her eventual murder in the season finale, casting suspicion on several key characters.  I opted to hold off before introducing a full-fledged murder mystery, so I had her quietly go away for a while.  

The season fnale was "anti-climactic" as some put it.  There were no car chases, fires, earthquakes, massacres, weddings, evil twins, etc (that all happened during the course of the season itself).  Instead, I bowed out in episode 23 with an emotional cliffhanger keeping the reader wondering what would happen with the James/Brooke/Ethan triangle, if Stormy and Heather would get back together, if Miranda would fall for Brett's lies, and if Alex and Jordan would get married.   The low-key event was necessary to explain the five months of actual storyline time that would pass between the first and second seasons.  

All in all, season one was, in my opinion, very solid.  The most emotionally relevant season to date.  Feelings and relationships were explored.  And some storylines first introduced in those early episodes are still going on today.  



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