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Season Six Recap

 

Let's Review

 

 

 

Season Six

February 25, 2011 to December 10, 2011

Production Numbers: 601-629

Written by Andy Eckles

Copyright(c) 2011 Sunset Studios. All rights reserved.

 

Reeling over the news that Ethan was alive and in a New York State prison, James confronted his nephew, whose only concern was over news that Brooke and Kyle were in love.  Upon speaking to the district attorney, James learned the circumstances that led to Ethan’s imprisonment.  After the earthquake a year and a half before, Ethan was rescued by a man who was driving from California to the East Coast.  Suffering from amnesia and going by the name Dan Cody, Ethan moved in with Emmett and his daughter, Sophie.   A year later, Ethan and Sophie were married.  When Ethan learned that Sophie had information pertaining to his true identity, he flew into a rage and accidentally killed her.  With no identification to prove who he was, he was found guilty of manslaughter and sentenced to five years in prison.  It was there that he met Kyle, whom he shared details of his life with when memories began to return.  When Kyle was released from prison, Ethan asked him to find Brooke and tell her the truth—that he was alive.  When months went by with no word from Kyle, Ethan saw a news report of the hostages returning from Acapulco and then realized that Kyle and Brooke were a couple.  Brooke still had no idea that he was alive.  

Kyle awoke in the hospital and told the police that his stabbing was accidBrooke Taylorental.  Brooke blasted Kyle for keeping the truth about Ethan from her, but he insisted that he did it because he was in love with her.  Kyle told Marilee that he’d lied about being her son, prompting Marilee to go on a wider search for the child she gave up.  When Brooke arrived in New York, she was reunited with her true love, but quickly found that he was a changed man.  A joyful reunion was replaced with feelings of anger and resentment.    Meanwhile, Mackenzie arrived in New York to defend her actions to James.  After a heated argument, James forgave her for keeping the truth about Kyle.  They then made love. 

After Ethan was released from prison on a technicality, he returned to Los Angeles and was reunited with the rest of his family.  Brooke agreed that she and Michael would stay at the mansion so that Ethan could have time with his son, but their bickering made for awkward living circumstances.   Meanwhile, Brooke decided to return to work, taking an office at Moonshadows where Kyle was already working.  It didn’t take long for Kyle to realize that there was still an attraction, and he used Brooke’s desire to its full advantage, wearing down her willpower until she finally gave in and made love to him in his office. 

Kelly’s crooked, money-hungry talent agent, Neil Winslow, kidnapped R.J. and demanded a hefty ransom from the Blackthornes.  As Stormy and Eddie arrived with Kelly to make the exchange, Neil got startled by approaching police officers and drove off with R.J. in the car.  Eddie attempted to block Neil with his car but a truck veered toward them and barreled into Neil’s car.  Neil was killed but R.J. was removed from the debris unscathed.  Stormy took custody of R.J. while Kelly decided to stay in L.A. to be a mother to her son.  Using Alex and Jane’s duplicity as leverage, she blackmailed Stormy into letting her stay at the mansion.   A guilt-stricken Jane considered moving back to Illinois, but Stormy forgave her and asked that she stay.  Conflict between Kelly and Jane was immediate.   Meanwhile, Stormy still refused to forgive Alex for her role in keeping his son from him.   Distraught over alienating her children again, Alex once again turned to Jordan for comfort.

Depressed over her fractured relationships and past mistakes, Suzanne accompanied her creative writing professor, Ross Fuller, to Death Valley to learn the teachings of his self-help guru, Warren Abbott.  The welcoming nature of Warren and his followers was a needed change for Suzanne.  She immediately became immersed into life at the compound, going as far as to give Warren all of her money—over one hundred thousand dollars.  Claiming the community, which he’d dubbed “New Abbott”, couldn’t commissiRoss Fulleron new members without strong financial support, Warren pressed Suzanne to do more.  Driving back to L.A. one night, Suzanne and Ross broke into Jordan’s house and took off with furs, jewelry, and priceless art.  Meanwhile, Brett tried desperately to locate Suzanne.  One of Fuller’s students alerted him to the compound in Death Valley.  When Brett arrived, he was met with hostility and opposition.  Suzanne insisted that she was in a better place and that there was nothing left for her in Los Angeles.  The devastation over her personal troubles too great, she insisted Brett leave and not return.  But after investigating Warren Abbott, Brett learned that the man was a con who swindled money out of lonely, unsuspecting people.  Warren owned a bookstore and had a permanent residence in San Francisco.  Brett attempted to get Jordan to help him expose the man, but an indifferent Jordan refused, claiming he was done with Suzanne and all of her drama.  Brett returned to New Abbott alone and was apprehended by Warren and his followers, tied to a chair in a tent and beaten.  It was there that Brett learned of Warren’s plans to destroy New Abbott so that he could abscond with the money and disappear.  When Suzanne began to have a change of heart, she went to him and attempted to set him free.  Warren and the others quickly caught them, however.  In an explosive showdown, Brett and Suzanne escaped and revealed Warren’s true motives to the rest of the compound.  As everyone began to leave, Warren detonated the bombs and blew the compound to pieces.  When the smoke cleared, Brett and Suzanne were safe, but Warren was nowhere to be found. 

Renee, livid over the revelation that Kenny had slept with other women during their courtship, found a new source of frustration when Sierra and Benji announced that they’d been married in Vegas.  Both Renee and Jordan tried to talk sense into their children with no avail.  Finally, Renee was forced to fill Sierra in on Benji’s misdeeds, including his role in Hunt Robert’s disappearance, publishing Suzanne’s tell-all, and the beating of a homeless man.   Ironically, news soon arrived that their marriage wasn’t legal.  Benji was devastated when Sierra began to pull away from him, insisting they’d made a mistake.  Benji’s violent temper frightened Sierra and Renee, and caused Jordan to cut his son off financially and emotionally.  When Suzanne and her new friends from New Abbott broke into Jordan’s house and stole a carload of priceless goods, Jordan immediately blamed Benji.   When Sierra began socializing with the handsome and attentive Ashton Childers, Benji became enraged with jealously.   Alone in the pool house, a desperate Benji sought solace from Sheldon Novak, his sworn enemy.  When Sheldon inferred that Sierra was falling for Ashton, Benji became enraged and threatened a bewildered Sheldon with a gun.  Jordan called the police to arrest BeBenji Rydellnji for the robbery, hoping it would scare him enough to begin making changes.  Benji went to Blake for help, but Blake was on to his best friend.  He knew about the gun and didn’t believe Benji about the robbery.  Devastated and with nowhere to go, Benji slipped out before the police arrived.  In desperation, Benji called Sierra and pleaded with her to talk to him.  She agreed, meeting him on the Hollywood Bowl lookout.  She soon found a desperate and pathetic Benji pleading with her to take him back.  When she still refused, Benji shot her, believing that with her gone the pain would be lessened.   While running from the scene, Benji raced into the road and caused an accident.  A car with Ashton and Blake traveling to the lookout in hopes of coming to Sierra’s aide, collided with a drunk driver, leaving Blake badly injured and Ashton in a coma.

Benji was picked up by the police who were looking for him in connection to the robbery.  Once the arresting officers heard reports of Sierra’s murder near the spot they’d arrested Benji, the pieces began to come together.  Desperate, Benji escaped and stole a police car, resulting in a pursuit that lasted well into the night.  Benji called Jordan from the car after realizing the gravity of his actions.  A devastated Jordan begged Benji to come home, but Benji knew it was a hopeless situation.  He crashed his car into a pylon supporting the 101, landing him in the hospital in critical care.  Everyone gathered to wait for news while James and Kenny broke the news of Sierra’s death to a devastated Renee.  After hours of surgery, the doctors pronounced Benji dead, devastating Jordan and everyone who knew Benji. 

Following Sierra’s death, Nathan was given a humanitarian release from prison.  He made a grand entrance at Benji’s funeral, inciting anger from many, including Renee, who blamed him for many of Sierra’s troubles.  T.T. returned to Los Angeles to help Renee through her grief, and he and Kenny began sparring over her affection.   After convincing Stormy to head up his west coast division of Titan Records, T.T. left for an extended trip to Europe and a devastated Renee went with him.  James withdrew from everyone in the wake of Benji’s and Sierra’s deaths, taking the tragic events harder than even Jordan, who was now racked with guilt over turning his back on his son in his time of need.   When Jordan learned that Suzanne and Warren Abbott’s followers were responsible for the break-in, and not Benji as he’d once thought, he throttled her,  prompting Suzanne to leave town for good.  Much to Alex’s disappointment, Jordan began constantly pushing her away.  Finally, he told her that they had no future together.  A devastated Alex was unlucky in love again.  Blake, distraught over his best friend’s demise, confessed to Miranda that he’d been in love with Benji, and made her promise not to tell Eddie about his sexuality.  Later, Blake turned to Sheldon Novak for comfort.   Kelly was introduced to Sheldon’s father, Vaughan Novak, a successful talent agent, and immediately began conspiring to get him to help her flailing career.   Horrified by the recent tragedy, Stormy decided to forgive Alex for her betrayals, and welcomed her back into his and R.J.’s lives. 

After the premiere Hollywood Madam, Gemma Sanders, was incarcerated, she called on Miranda to take over her high-priced call girl operation.  At first Miranda laughed the idea off, but when Jane’s cousin Farrah, a down on her luck prostitute, spoke of her violent pimp’s threats, Miranda knew she had to do something.  When another young call girl was found murdered by the same pimp, Miranda officially became the new Hollywood madam.  Soon after, she began receiving threats from Hugh Rogers, the crime boss who was not happy with Miranda poaching his best girls.  When threatening Miranda by driving her off the road and placing a deadly snake in her car didn’t work, he hired a former employee, Brad King, to kill Miranda.  While juggling her pregnancy and trying to keep her new career from Eddie and her family, Miranda was now a target for murder.  Jane begged Miranda to reconsider her latest stunt, but Miranda brazenly went forward with a party she’d planned as a welcome to the new girls.   

Kelly learned about Miranda’s call-girMiranda Blackthornel party and glibly went to Stormy and Eddie with the information.  Jane came to Miranda’s defense and filled them in on the threats that had been made against Miranda.  Brad secretly called the party off, so when Miranda arrived at Gemma’s mansion, it was deserted.  The next morning, Miranda was missing, leading Jane, Stormy and Eddie to fear the worst.  But when Miranda showed up alive, her boyfriend and her brother blasted her for her behavior.  Meanwhile, Brooke and Kyle found Hugh Rogers dead body hanging in a freezer at Moonshadows.  Suspects began to pile up, but it was Miranda who was arrested after a strand of her hair was found on the body.   After being released on bond, Miranda went into labor and gave birth to a baby girl named Tiger.  Eager to get their life back on track, Eddie convinced Stormy to go with him to find Hugh’s real killer.  Meanwhile, Miranda learned that David was Tiger’s biological father, but refrained from telling Eddie.  Brad King framed Farrah for Hugh’s murder, though he had done it himself.  Farrah was arrested and charges against Miranda were dropped.  Back home, Miranda told Eddie that he wasn’t Tiger’s father.  Angry over her affair with David and over her getting involved in the prostitution ring, Eddie broke it off with her. 

Mackenzie grew annoyed when her relationship with James became constantly overrun by his family’s personal problems, and the two began to drift apart.  Meanwhile, Ethan began working with Mackenzie to help reconcile the budget for her show, The Young at Heart.  When Mackenzie’s ex-husband, Mason Stone, showed up in town and began hassling Mackenzie, Ethan came to her defense.   Ethan’s feelings for Brooke began to thaw just as she was on the verge of reconciling with Kyle.  Following their lovemaking in his office at Moonshadows, she couldn’t think of anything else.  A major marina expansion at Moonshadows put her and Kyle in close working proximity on a daily basis, making him all the harder for her to resist.  To complicate matters, Kyle and Mason became fast friends, angering both Mackenzie and Ethan who didn’t trust either of them.  Mason arranged for blackmail photos to be taken of Senator Nordquist, the chairman of the Coastal Commission, with one of Miranda’s call girls, in exchange for a variance to complete the marina expansion.  Meanwhile, Kyle was unaware that Mason was working with their contractor, Chip Matthews, to sabotage the marina expansion so that Moonshadows would go bankrupt and he could buy the land for a steal, gaining access to oil reserves beneath the soil.   

Brooke and Ethan reconciled, but not without problems.   During a couples weekend trip to Palm Springs with James and Mackenzie, Ethan spent most of his time with Mackenzie working on budgets for The Young at Heart.  When word of Miranda’s arrest spread, James had to leave early, angering Mackenzie.  Brooke was prepared to leave after a heated argument with Ethan, but Kyle showed up under the pretense that he needed her signature on official Moonshadows business, and convinced her to stay.  Later, Mackenzie and James decided to cool things off for a while, and Brooke told Ethan she still had feelings for Kyle.  Angered, Ethan slept with Mackenzie.  Kyle proposed to Brooke but she asked him to give her more time. 

Nathan expressed his desire to return to the big screen, anNathan Blackthorned promised Stormy his shares in the studio if he cast him as the lead in the remark of his 1969 blockbuster science-fiction hit, The Benefactor.   Desperate to get Brett ousted from the studio, Stormy took him up on his offer, and tricked Brooke into signing a proxy giving Nathan back his shares.  When Brooke found out Stormy’s betrayal, she was livid.  Production, however, was nearing, and ultimately James made the call to allow Nathan to keep his leading role.   Brett promised Kelly a role in the film, but Stormy promptly had her fired. 

After several people heard strange noises coming from Vaughan Novak’s basement, Alex discovered that he’d been hiding Victor Distefano, who was very much alive.  Jordan immediately went into a rage, angered that the man who’d caused his family so much trouble was alive and well and more importantly a free man.  Victor explained how Vaughan had nursed him back from the brink of death after the fire on his yacht two years before.  After multiple plastic surgeries, he was good as new, and more importantly, on his medication.  A reunion with his two sons, Eddie and Blake, did not go as Victor had hoped, with both young men refusing to accept their father back into their lives after the sketchy events leading up to his alleged death. 

After several attempts were made on Lola’s life, Jordan moved her from the Actors Retirement Village and into his house.  Investigators were perplexed by the calling card left by the killer after each attempt—a photograph of Lola from the year 1968.  Alex had seen a photograph at Vaughan’s house of two twin girls, Lola and Lana, and gave it to Jordan, who confronted his mother.   Lola revealed that Lana was her twin who had taken her place for four years beginning in 1967 while Lola suffered from exhaustion due to the pressures of the spotlight.  Then when Lola returned to reclaim her life, Lana refused to give it up, and the two struggled.  Lana fell down the stairs and died, prompting Jonas Lamont to make it look like an accident to protect Lola.  Jordan realized the photographs left by the killer were of Lana, meaning the killer knew about the switch.   Meanwhile, attempts were made on Jack Childers life, as well as the life of Elana Hendricks, the diva star of The Young at Heart.  In both instances, photographs were left at the scene.  In the case of Elana, it was a photograph of Greg Bender, an actor who Elana had struck and killed while drinking and driving many years before.  And in the case of Jack, a photograph of a young woman named Natalie Davidson, whom fell overboard Jack’s yacht one foggy night and had never been seen again.   Vaughan realized that the attacks were connected.

Elana was later lured to the Young at Heart studios and killed.  Next to the body was a photograph of a woman named Cheri Montessori, another of Elana’s hit and run victims.  Vaughan confessed that he had first worked at Jonas Lamont’s “fixer”. When one of his contracted celebrities would get into trouble, he would assist Jonas in making it go away, as he’d done in the cases of Lola, Jack and Elana.  Since Vaughan was the only one alive who knew about the secrets, the others began to suspect him.  However, when Vaughan was present during a shooting attempt on Nathan and Victor, Vaughan was canceled out as a suspect.  Next to the site of the shooting, a photograph was left of an actress named Bianca Burnett, who had died after ingesting pills at a party attended by Nathan and Victor.  As with the others, Vaughan had made the incident go away to protect the studio. 

Nathan began to suspect the awkward, inexperienced young man hired to direct The Benefactor in the murders and attacks.  Keaton Hartley was inquisitive, star-struck, and during a lunch at the Polo Lounge, in possession of many old photographs of the Keaton HartleyLamont 3 actors.  A nervous Keaton explained that he’d been an admirer of Nathan and his co-stars for some time, and was compiling a scrap book for his own personal enjoyment.  Nathan was not convinced.   A woman named Denise who worked in the archives at Sunset Studios told Nathan that the killer was probably someone Jonas had once confided in.  Nathan was invited to speak at a science fiction conference, and while there, Jack Childers was killed.  Another photograph of Natalie Davidson was left at the scene, and Nathan had spotted Keaton nearby shortly before the murder.  Stormy later saw Denise in archives having a meltdown over her failed acting career.  After a camera crane toppled on top of Nathan and nearly crushed him, a photograph of Bianca Burnett was faxed to The Benefactor production offices.  Nathan hired Eddie to help find the killer since the police had come up with no concrete leads. 

Brett learned that Deacon Edgewater, the CEO of Double Strike Studios, was suing Sunset Studios for plagiarism of the script for The Benefactor.  In an effort to get him to drop the suit, Brett arranged for him to fall off the wagon.  The con worked, but Deacon was later found dead from an apparent suicide.  The tragedy left Brett racked with guilt.  

When James’s father, Marcus, fell ill, he flew to Monaco to be with him.  Brooke went along for support, and when they arrived, Alex was waiting.  James’s relationship with his father had been strained after the death of his sister, Georgie, while Alex had always had a special connection with Marcus.  While sitting with Marcus shortly before he died, Alex recalled confiding in him about a tragic turn in her life.  A secret that she’d told to no one else.  Later, Kenny revealed to Alex that Marcus had left her the majority of his multi-million dollar estate.   Before leaving Monte Carlo, James and Brooke succeeded in growing closer than they’d been in years. 

When both a guest at Moonshadows and a construction worker on the marina project grew ill due to bad water, guests began checking out and the resort began losing money.  Arsenic was found in the water after Brooke fell ill and was hospitalized.  Mason revealed to Chip that he put the arsenic in the water in hopes of getting the resort closed down, but never anticipated anyone getting sick.  When one of the hotel guests died, Mason panicked.  He later convinced the man’s daughter to file a lawsuit against Moonshadows, which successfully bankrupted them, thus closing the resort.   Mason created a dummy organization, Loomis Enterprises, and made a bid on the land.  Mackenzie found out that Mason bribed Senator Nordquist to grant the variance, and confronted Kyle, who insisted he had no knowledge of Mason’s activities.  During a struggle, Mackenzie fell down a cliff.  Kyle took off but called the accident in when he began to feel guilty.  While recovering at the hospital, Mackenzie told Kyle she wouldn’t tell Ethan because she feared losing him to Brooke. 

Mason’s partner and financial backer was revealed to be Jackie Blackthorne.  She arrived after learning of the water contamination, promptly giving a statement to the press and arranging for Mason to take the full brunt of the blame.  While Mason was taken to jail, Jackie had other enemies to worry about.  Renee had returned, now married to T.T., and was fighting mad over losing her resort to Jackie. When the permits to drill for oil were denied, and rather than risk the bad publicity over the oil drilling, Jackie donated the land to the government. 

Eddie got contact information from Keaton’s cell phone during his investigation into the murders.  Despite their fractured relationship, Miranda insisted on helping.  They learned that Keaton had been a client of Reconnections, an organization that helped adopted children find their biological parents.  They also learned that Marilee had contacted the same organization.  Marilee explained that Reconnections had listed Keaton as a possible match for her son, but it turned out to be false.  Eddie then determined that Nathan must be Keaton’s father, which would explain the young man’s fascination with him.  Lola was attacked by the killer at the same time that Keaton was with Nathan, so he was ruled out as a suspect.  Meanwhile, Denise blasted Alex for taking the career that she believed she should have had.   She later told Nathan that he wasn’t Keaton’s father, but she knew who the young man’s biological parents were.  Nathan was lured to the studio by the killer where it was revealed that Marilee had been the person responsible for the attacks and murders.  She explained that Cheri Montessori, one of Elana Hendricks’ hit and run victims, had died and was thrown into the ocean by Vaughan and Jonas to protect Elana.  Cheri had a three year old boy at home that no one knew about, and the boy died after several days when his mother didn’t return.  The baby had been the one Marilee had given up for adoption.  Her plan had been to exact revenge against the actors of Sunset Studios for never owning up to their mistakes, and for Jonas covering them up.  Meanwhile, Eddie put the pieces together and he and Stormy and Miranda arrived in time to stop Marilee from killing Nathan.   

Keaton broke into Alex’sAlex Reynolds house with a gun and threatened her.  There he revealed to her that she was his mother.  After Deacon Edgewater had taken advantage of her upon her arrival in Hollywood, she’d gotten pregnant and given the child up for adoption.   Keaton explained that he’d gone to Deacon’s house to confront him and after he left, the man hung himself out of misery.  Alex succeeded in talking Keaton down, relieved when Jordan arrived in time to save her.  The police apprehended Keaton and he was put in jail for aggravated assault.   Later, Alex went to jail and confronted Keaton where she attempted to make peace with him.  She later phoned Keaton’s adoptive mother and told her that her son needed his mother.  

When Emmett Lawson returned with vengeance in mind, he kidnapped Michael and disappeared with the young boy.  Brooke and Ethan, horrified over the prospect of losing their son, grew closer while they waited for word.  Finally, Emmett was spotted with Michael at the Hollywood sign.  Ethan and Brooke raced to the scene to stop the madman from doing the unthinkable: pushing Michael off the cliff in an effort to exact revenge for his daughter Sophie’s death.    After hours of persuasion, Ethan convinced the man to hand his son over.  Grief stricken, Emmett plunged to his death.  

Overjoyed that their son was safe, Brooke and Ethan found comfort in each other’s arms.  When day broke, however, Ethan was still in love with Mackenzie.  A devastated Brooke took Michael and left the country while Ethan moved to New York to be with Mackenzie.   Kyle, broken-hearted over losing Brooke and with no job prospects since Moonshadows had closed, moved back to New York to head up his family business, Fenwick Industries.

Eddie forgave Miranda and pledged to raise Tiger as his owJames Blackthornen child.  The two were wed in a ceremony at the mansion, but not before David returned from the clinic in San Francisco, now in remission after a risky brain surgery to remove the tumor.  Miranda introduced David to his daughter, Tiger.  Jackie was thrilled to have her son home alive and well, but David soon informed her that he’d bought Moonshadows back.   Miranda and Eddie moved out of the mansion and into a townhome, surprised that Stormy and Jane had rented the unit directly next door.  Following Deacon Edgewater’s suicide, Brett was offered the position of CEO at Double Strike Studios.  Heather returned from the institution, stable but angered that her friends and family felt the need to walk on eggshells around her.  She told Brett that they would have to take things slow, and that her main focus was being a mother to her daughter again.  Jackie and Nathan decided to remain married but maintain separate residences.  Eddie and Blake made small strides to forgive Victor for his checkered past, and Eddie embraced his brother and his sexuality.  Kelly met her biological father and moved in with him.  After Miranda’s wedding, Jordan asked Alex to marry him for the third time. 

With his children gone from the mansion, Ethan in New York with Mackenzie, and Brooke escaping to Bermuda, James struggled with empty nest syndrome.  Kenny inquired if he thought he and Brooke were meant to be together.  After a special advanced screening of The Benefactor, James asked his pilot to file a flight plan to Bermuda. 


Producers Remarks

by Andy Eckles

When I decided to end The Blackthornes after six seasons, it was January of 2008 and I was in the planning stages of the fourth season.   I had a pretty good idea of what was going to go down for the second half of the series and I couldn’t imagine it going on past that.  So from that point, I began doing something that I hadn’t up to that point.  Plan ahead!  Most stories that came after that were created with the end to the series in mind.  Once I did that, I could tell that there was a change in what I wrote and how I wrote it.  Mostly for the better, but not always.  I felt like season six was the most cohesive of any of its predecessors.  Being under the time constraints to get every story told in 28 episodes had a lot to do with that.  There weren’t many scenes that didn’t have a specific purpose.

As with most of the prior seasons, this one centered around the production of a film.  This time, The Benefactor—a remake of an early film directed by Jonas Lamont and starring Nathan Blackthorne.  I came up with this by going through the filmographies I’d created for the StarLog webpage back in season 2.  When I decided to bring Nathan back in this final season, I decided that a remake was in order (since Hollywood seems so dependent on them these days -- a rare instance where I actually mimic real-world Hollywood).  I chose this film because the year it was made, according to StarLog, matched with the timeframe I needed to set up the events through backstory.  I now wish I’d have thought of a different name for the film because The Benefactor didn’t sound too terribly sci-fi.  I got the idea for the storyline for The Benefactor from a song by the UK-based band White Lies.  The song was called “Fifty on our Foreheads” (there was an episode title with the same name, btw), and was about a space ship carrying fifty children on an exploratory trip to space.  The ship veers off course and smashes into the sun.  In the storyline, Nathan played Norton, the wealthy financer of the venture.

Bringing Nathan back was important to me because I always felt like he was this legendary figure in the tapestry of the Blackthornes/Lamonts/Rydells but was suckered with a storyline in season 3 that soured him in the eyes of the readers.  I knew there was much more I could do with him, possibly even make him into a leading man, which I think for the most part worked during the scenes where he was targeted by the killer and the resulting investigation.  And if I was going to bring Nathan back, I of course had to bring Victor back.  The two of them together in any scene are so much fun to write.  They’re both so melodramatic and the monologues that Victor veers off into at any given moment make me literally laugh out loud when I read them.  My favorites this season were Victor’s description of his ordeal following the yacht explosion, and then his grim monologue about death in the first scene of “Adam”. 

Other characters I knew I had to bring back, at least for a few episodes, were Jackie, David, and Heather.  I always had this mental image of Jackie showing up and being revealed as the mastermind behind some big business deal.  I got my wish, but I think the scene that stood out was the final showdown between her and Renee.  I never get tired of writing scenes with Renee in them.  She’s my equivalent to Dominique from Dynasty, who had some of the best (and ridiculous) lines I’ve ever heard on television.  David’s return left a little to be desired.  Readers thought it was anti-climactic and I don’t disagree.  The whole problem was, I wrote David out after season five because I really didn’t have anything for him to do.  I knew I’d want him to return prior to the finale, but the setup I’d given him (going away for treatment of a brain tumor) had such huge possibilities, but fell flat when he made his “big” return.    Having it happen during Miranda and Eddie’s wedding could have led to fireworks, but instead just a bunch of duds.   Heather’s return, on the other hand, was one of the finer moments with this character, I think.  I put her through so much in four seasons, I like to think that now she’s living happily ever after with her daughter in her life and maybe a new romance. 

Also back in season four, I had planned the eventual demise of two fairly important characters.  Benji and Sierra.  To me, there was no other way to end the tortured story of Benji Rydell than to have him do this heinous, unforgivable thing, and then die in some horrible way himself.   I talked a lot about this in my blog, so a lot doesn’t need to be said.  The basic idea came from three songs by The Killers.  Leave the Bourbon on the Shelf, where a man grows jealous when his girlfriend is seen cavorting around town with another man.  Midnight Show, where he kills his girlfriend in a jealous rage.  And Jenny was a Friend of Mine, where he is blithely sits through interrogation by the police.  I had written the scene where Benji kills Sierra back in 2008 when I came up with the idea.  It didn’t change much between then and its final version that appeared in the episode.  I was that emphatic that this happen.  I just felt that by season six, with the end looming near, the series needed a turning point.  Something to show that it wasn’t just a campy series about rich and immoral people.    To this day, the episode that follows Sierra’s murder, “Nobody Lost, Nobody Found” is the episode that I read and re-read the most.   The scene that I’m most proud of is the final scene of that episode.  Everyone is waiting at the hospital for word on the outcome of Benji’s surgery.  Jordan looks up and sees the doctor come out of the operating room, and he walks down the hall to find out how his son is, already knowing what he was going to say.  In my head I imagined the whole thing in one continuous shot, from Jordan’s journey down that hallway, then back to the waiting room where he delivered the news.   I used very little dialogue in the scene, and the whole thing was told through Jordan’s point of view.  I wrote most of it in seclusion in my bedroom in L.A.  and the first draft only took about three days to write. 

Now it’s confession time.   I wanted to write a story that brought some of the “elders” together into a story that dated back to the early days of the studio.  I wrote a couple of scenes between these characters (Nathan, Victor, Lola, Jack Childers, Vaughan Novak, etc) with loads of innuendo but having no idea what the story was going to be.   I thought it would eventually come to me, but for a few episodes it never did.  Then, as often happens, it finally hit me, and the mystery about someone killing old stars of Lamont 3 because of their past sins was born.  It was a close call.  I almost nixed the whole thing because I couldn’t make all the pieces work together.  I’m so glad I didn’t, because the way it turned out was better than I could have hoped, and I think it was a fitting end to the series.  Part of the hallmark of the series was always what happened before it started.  I was glad that I could use the history to its fullest advantage.  I didn’t set out to write a murder mystery, but in the end I think it was much more than that. 

The other thing that I liked was that the season began with a flashback of Ethan and his life during the time he was “dead”.  A lot of time was spent on his relationship with Sophie Lawson and her deranged father, Emmett.  I was able to bookend the season by bringing Emmett back to exact revenge over his daughter’s death, using young Michael as his target.  I think it made the seemingly boring flashback of Ethan’s year and a half in upstate New York seem a bit more relevant. 

I wanted the finale to be a low-key sendoff to the characters.  A lot of people got happy endings, some got a possible happy ending, and for the most part I think it was believable.  Just not that business with David’s return, and the slipshod sendoff I wound up giving Kyle, who'd turned into a fairly important character.  Basically I wanted it to end in such a way that if I ever brought The Blackthornes back, it would be like hitting a reset button.  Really this was the only way the series could ever continue.  If it were to pick up again now—a year later—I’d like to think that there would be new entanglements, new drama, new relationships, and of course new sins from the past that have yet to be uncovered.  As Denise from the Sunset Studios archives said, “this place (the studio) is a working log of old secrets”. 

The final scene, with James leaving to follow Brooke to Bermuda, was the way I’d always envisioned the series would end.  James and Brooke were the core of the series for the first two seasons.  Their relationship was the driving force. I thought it was only natural that it end with the possibility that they would end up back together.  Whether they did or not, I don’t know.   Maybe one day I’ll decide on the answer.  

Overall, probably my favorite season.  I know I only touched on the “good” here.  Obviously, there was a lot of bad, and that’s to be expected.  But it’s been a year and I tend to let the bad become eclipsed by the good. 

Until next time……

 

 


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