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Season Two Recap


Let's Review




Season Two

June 3, 2006 to November 8, 2006

Production Numbers: 201-224

Written by Andy Eckles

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


Five months had passed, now with James bound to a wheelchair following the risky brain surgery he had undergone.  Brett had assumed the responsibility of heading up Sunset Studios while James recovered, but he was forever in fear that his day in the sun would soon be stripped away if James began walking again.  To keep James immobile, and to cement his position in the company, he administered muscle relaxers to James with the help of Jamesís private nurse, Gwen Hardisty.  Brett and Gwen had also been sleeping together for some time, hiding the fact from Miranda who blissfully went about her days as the new manager of Hotel Terranova, one of Jamesís fashionable resort hotels in the mountains.

In Jamesís lengthy quest to find Brooke and bring her home to answer to the charges that Ethan may be the father of her child, he received unwarranted aide from nosy Denver newspaper reporter Janet Harper.  James quickly boarded a jet to Janet HarperPhoenix where Janet had spotted Brooke, and tracked his would-be bride down at her ex-husband, Philip Whitacreís apartment.  An eight-month pregnant Brooke returned and vowed her love for James.  With Ethan present, Brooke maintained that James was the father of her baby.  Ethan, who James had exiled from his life after learning of his affair with Brooke, was devastated and returned to his lonely life working for Jamesís nemesis, Will Thomerson.

Stormy returned home after losing Lauren and his record label because of financial difficulties.  His homecoming proved to be bittersweet upon the realization that Brett was now the head of Sunset Studios.  Stormy immediately took the offense, vowing to open everyoneís eyes where Brett was concerned.

Meanwhile, Brett had his hands full with other projects besides enlisting his mistress Gwen to help him keep James bound to his wheelchair.  He had bribed Heather into seducing Will Thomerson in an effort to steal viable movie deals from him for Sunset Studios.  In exchange, Brett promised that he would put her to work in an upcoming film.  Not until Brett went back on his word to put her in a film did Heather end the relationship.

Now married, Alex and Jordan had already begun to experience problems in their marriage.  Alex began a new business venture after learning that a piece of land in Colorado left to her by her uncle was a vast natural gas field.  Feeling that a change was in order, James bought into Alexís company and handed over the reigns of Sunset Studios to Stormy and Brett, who spared over control on a daily basis.  With James and Alex in business together, Jordan became more certain than ever that his wife was still endeared to her ex.

James Brooke Taylorand Brooke were re-married in a small ceremony, wishing to make their union official before the baby arrived in a matter of weeks.  Still being drugged by an unwitting Gwen, James grew increasingly weak and listless, taking a violent spill down the stairs as a result.  After being rushed to the hospital, the doctors ran tests and discovered that he was gradually being chemically sedated.  Stormy immediately went to Gwen, who claimed she knew nothing about any chemical reactions that would have adverse affects on James.  Later, Gwen blasted Brett for putting James in jeopardy and using her to do it.  Insisting that hurting James wasnít his intention, Brett managed to calm her down.  When Gwen learned she was pregnant with his child, Brett pretended to be excited, vowing that when the time was right he would leave Miranda and run off with her.

Aftertheir 4th of July celebration, Brooke and Jamesís happiness was again threatened.  Philip Whitacre kidnapped Brooke and brought her to Alexís cabin in Big Bear amidst a paralyzing snowstorm, where she gave birth to her baby, Michael Taylor Blackthorne.  After being rescued and mother and baby were safely back home, James regained use of his legs and he and Brooke rejoiced in their newfound happiness.

While Miranda failed to hide her resentment toward baby Michaelís hold over her father, the rest of the family welcomed the new addition with open arms.  Gwen grew increasingly distraught with the assumption that Brett had no intention of leaving Miranda, and she exploded into a fit of anger when he suggested she have an abortion.  After she had a miscarriage, Stormy grew suspicious when Gwen refused to reveal who the father of her baby had been.  Feeling for the young womanís loss, James and Brooke offered to let Gwen stay on as Michaelís nanny.

Ethan began dating Janet Harper, who was still hanging around asking questions about the Blackthornes.  Stormy ran into her and recognized her from a stop in Denver during Laurenís tour, immediately growing suspicious of her intentions toward Ethan.  Alone in her room at Hotel Terranova, Janet kept busy with a manuscript she had been writing about the Blackthornes.

Will became suspicious of Ethanís real paternity when he saw a photo of him from many years before.  He had a DNA test done that confirmed his suspicions, and a vengeful Will began to plot his retaliation against James for keeping his son from him for so long.  Also suspicious about what Janet Harper was doing with Ethan, Will broke into the nosy reporterís hotel room and found her manuscript about the Blackthornes.  When he offered to buy Janet her own newspaper in exchange for the rights to the manuscript so he could turn it into a movie, thereby exacting his revenge on James, Janet quickly agreed.  After learning of Heatherís deceit in seducing him in order to steal movie rights, Will concocted yet another scheme, this one directed at Heather to make her sorry for her betrayal.  Believing that she was going to an audition set up by Will, Heather was drugged by sleazy porn director Joel Armitage and filmed in a three-way with two other men.  When she woke up in a hotel room the next morning next to a note and a copy of the videotape, she immediately withdrew from everyone and hid away in her room over the horror of what had happened.

Upon returning hJordan Rydellome from the long-awaited premiere of Angel Assassin, James and Brooke found Michael missing from his nursery.  Since no ransom demand was ever made, everyone became a suspect, including Gwen, Philip, Miranda, Ethan and Jordan.  A break in the case occurred when Ethan spotted his old flame, Winter Austen.  A mentally unstable Winter was believed to have kidnapped Michael because she still claimed that he was Ethanís son, and not Jamesís.  A dramatic chase ensued and Winter raced to the edge of a pier with the baby in her arms.  Desperately, James and Ethan tried to convince her to hand the baby over, but a rattled Winter instead plunged off the pier with the baby, falling thirty feet into the choppy ocean waves.  Frantic, Ethan dove in after her.  After Winter and the baby were recovered from the water, everyone realized just how demented Winter really was.  The ďbabyĒ was actually a bundle of towels, mistaken for Ethanís child by a very mentally unstable Winter.

After being questioned and later crossed off the suspect list, Gwen began blackmailing Brett, demanding money in exchange for her silence over his misdeeds.  Rather than risking her coming back for more payoffs, Brett arranged to have her kidnapped and taken back to prison in Paraguay to finish out the remainder of her sentence.

Janet reconsidered her decision to sell her manuscript to Will, hating the thought of causing Ethan any heartache over what the film might do to his family.  She attempted to get Will to relinquish the manuscript.  When he refused, she broke into Willís house and tried to find the manuscript, only succeeding in finding DNA tests proving that Ethan was Willís son.

James and Alex met opposition with the Blackthorne-Reynolds natural gas pipeline when Jack Fallmontís nephew, Senator Timothy Fallmont, threatened an injunction due to complications with environmental issues.  Stormy recognized the senatorís wife as the woman heíd had an affair with the previous summer while on tour with Lauren.  Samantha begged Stormy to keep quiet for fear that her husband would learn of their affair.  But to Stormyís surprise, Timothy already knew of the sexual liaisons his wife had with the younger man.  Janet Harper had snapped photographs of their intimate meetings in Denver and sent them to Timothy.  Stormy was left with a difficult decision as Timothy issued him an ultimatum:  stop seeing his wife or be the cause of the pipeline not going through.  But when Stormy reluctantly agreed, Brett had already gotten word of the scandal and filled James in on every detail.  Furious over his sonís lack in judgment, and fearing that he was the cause of his business problems, James threatened to remove Stormy from his post as executive at Sunset Studios.  A keen Stormy knew right away that Brett was responsible, physically attacking him in retaliation. 

When Alex suspected Jordan of the kidnapping, he grew angry and left her.  Alex moved back into her beach house in Malibu and Jordan began throwing wild parties with the Hollywood elite.  During one party, Jordan became friendly with Philip Whitacre, now a rising name in the porn industry.  When Philip boasted about his three-way with Heather while she was drugged out in Joel Armitageís office, Jordan became unglued.  He attacked Philip and sought out the person behind his daughterís misfortune.  After learning that Joel Armitage was the man who directed the amateur film, Jordan and Stormy paid him an unfriendly visit.  Joel confessed that Will Thomerson had hired him for the job and he knew nothing more.

Heather RydellHeather confided in Miranda about what Will had done and the two set off to find the tape of her in Armitageís office.  Breaking into Willís house one night, they accidentally found a hidden doorway that led to a tunnel underground connecting to the Blackthorne mansion.  Since no signs of trespassing had been found the night of Michaelís kidnapping, Will was immediately suspected.  James flew into a rage and threatened his nemesis with a gun.  The police, along with Brooke and Miranda managed to stop James before doing something he would regret, but not before dropping his gun where it slid away from view.

Will was arrested for suspicion of kidnapping but was later released due to a lack of evidence.  Certain that sheíd never see her son again, Brooke confessed to Ethan that Michael was his son.  Alarmed by her admission, and determined to find his son, Ethan ran off in a rage.

When Will was found murdered the night of the Filmmaker Awards, a sprawling investigation ensued, with Stormy at the top of the suspect list.  Janet Harper claimed that while posted outside of Willís house, she heard a gunshot, then saw Stormy flee outside.  Stormy was arrested and charged with murder, aided by Brettís tampering with evidence to make his meddling brother-in-law look even guiltier.  Meanwhile, several other individuals aroused suspicion in the murder.  Among them: James, Alex, Jordan, Heather, Brooke and Ethan.  Ethan had been missing since the night of the murder, and Brooke was ominously soft-spoken about the incident.  Jordan had arrived at the house after Will had been shot, discovered the videotape of Heather, and was seen by Alex, who assumed he was the killer.

After an eyewitness account from the caretaker at the Thomerson estate, Brooke was charged with murder.  She confessed to being there the night of the Filmmaker Awards when Will admitted to the kidnapping in an effort to avenge the fact that James had kept him from Ethan.  In a state of despair, Brooke found Jamesís gun that heíd dropped the night before and shot him.  Afterwards, James and Ethan arrived to cover up the crime.  While sorting through Willís papers, Ethan found a list of addresses of possible adoptive parents who Will might have given Michael to.  While Brooke sat behind a jail cell, Ethan arrived at the door of Joel Armitageís house and saw the directorís wife taking baby Michael out for a strollÖ

Read Season 3 Recap

Producers Remarks

by Andy Eckles

Season two was experimental in many ways.  It focused on far less than its predecessor.  There were two main storylines: Michael's kidnapping and Will's murder.  My original idea was to create a very dark, brooding season enveloped in mystery and misery.  It worked almost too well.  Primarily written in the dead of winter of 2005, my personal life and my mindset at the time had major impacts on the writing.  It lacked the sunny banter and comic relief present in season one, which wasn't exactly a plus.  

Michael's kidnapping was originally going to be permanent.  In other words, James and Brooke were never going to see the baby again.  It was a tactic that I'd never seen on a TV show or another webseries.  But the ramifications hit me and I reconsidered.  If I had gone with my original idea, the loss of the infant would have dominated the rest of the series, because let's face it, no parent would ever be able to get over a child vanishing forever.  So by the time I reconsidered, it was already the end of the season and the mystery of the missing baby had already gone on for 3/4 of the season.  The baby was finally seen again in the finale.

Will's murder was something I had planned for a long time.  In the vein of the infamous murder of 1920's Hollywood director William Desmond Taylor, there were suspects aplenty.  The introduction of the secret passageways earlier in the season upped the goth-factor about a hundred percent.  That idea I got from Scream 3, where the characters were trapped inside a big old Hollywood mansion that housed a maze of secret tunnels.  Will, the first main character to be killed off, wasn't hard to let go of.  I was never satisfied with his character.  I always wanted more.  He was never quite evil enough.  So his departure was easy, and created lots of future storyline.  The discovery of the body was originally to come in the last scene of the season finale.  Too cliche, I thought.  Instead, have it happen four episodes out and have the cliffhanger as when the murderer is revealed.  Much better, I thought.

Speaking of Will, the subject of his being Ethan's father was something that I struggled with for the entire first two seasons.  No less than 5 times I had planned a way for Ethan to learn the devestating truth.  And each time I nixed it because it "wasn't the right time".  With this in mind, I knew that whenever the truth was learned, it would be so anti-climactic that it would be trivial.  And it was.  I'm not perfect!

The finale also set up storylines for season three.  A short scene with Nathan in his Paris condo ogling pictures of Renee and Alex set the mood.  Readers were still unsure of who he was or what he had done to get himself banished, but I think the effect worked well.  Also, Renee's emergence as a main cast member started when she walked in on Kenny in bed with yet another blonde startlet.  Other characters who came and went in this season (and aren't really missed): Janet Harper, Timothy Fallmont, Samantha Fallmont, and Gwen Hardisty, the nurse from hell.  

All in all, probably my least favorite season so far.  I think parts of it worked and parts of it had ideas that were never fully realized.  Still has some very important developments in the overall canvas of the story.  



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