10, 2005 to May 6, 2006
by Andy Eckles
Copyright(c) 2005, 2006 Sunset
Studios. All rights reserved.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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
Season 2 Recap
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.
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
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.
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.
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