25, 2011 to December 10, 2011
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 accidental. 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 commission 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
Benji 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-girl 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, and 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
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 Lamont 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
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’s 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 own
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
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
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
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
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……