Reviews of select episodes —
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# 066 <3.26> For Better, for Worse
The countdown to the season finale starts.
As we remember from the cliffhanger of the previous episode, Julia has come to the Tuscany Valley to "bury" her mother. This is the key element of the whole episode.
In this episode, brilliantly written by ELLIS MARCUS, the St. Timothy Church of the Tuscany Valley is the major location for the dramatic events centered around the lavish wedding ceremony of Angie and Phillip. It is just in these peaceful surroundings where the worst kind of things are about to happen. First, Julia comes to the church to confess her sins to Father Bob, who realizes she plans to kill her mother. Later, Julia appears at the wedding ceremony — dressed in a nun's habit. It is the legendary moment of "the nun with the gun".
Instead of getting rid of Julia — as other shows probably would have done — "Falcon" continues to make use of that great character, a character you can surprisingly still feel empathy for although she is a murderess. All that thanks to good writing and ABBY DALTON's excellent portrayal of Julia.
This is the first episode that involves Father Bob more and more into the storyline. Father BOB CURTIS, who plays himself, convinces in his portrayal of the priest's dilemma whether to break the seal of confession — first in the church when he looks around to check if Julia has come to the ceremony, and later during the wedding reception at Falcon Crest when he thinks for a second that Melody, the maid, might be Julia.
And then — Julia's plans are all crossed... by little Joseph. She panics. She takes him. She disappears with him.
THOMAS J. PUCHER
# 067 <3.27> The Avenger
This is a great episode focusing on two aspects: the ambivalent relationship between Angela and Julia and some prospects of what is coming up in later seasons.
In seasons 1 and 2, we already learnt that Angela is a tough businesswoman and somewhat ruthless towards her enemies, controlling her children's lives. Whereas Emma has learnt to cope with this to a certain extent, Julia, being mentally stronger and more reliable than her sister, has been often oppressed by Angela. Her mother ruined her marriage and took over the education and upbringing of Julia's son, Lance. Julia, however, was somewhat unable to fight her mother's predominance. Her striving for her mother's love and respect always remained unfulfilled.
All this led to the climax of the shattered relationship between mother and daughter in this episode. Julia is a fugitive, and Angela realizes that she might have failed as a mother (Lance: "Everything went wrong." Angela: "And now it's too late to make it right."). When Julia, holding Joseph captive, is found in the Spring House and proposes an exchange (Joseph for Angela), she agrees right away in order to save little Joseph's life and to save Julia from more harm. And even though she is facing certain death as Julia announces to kill her, she has the greatness to reflect her failure as a mother: "I have so much difficulties to express my feelings. I'm like my father, he was stubborn." Nevertheless, Angela is a loving mother and finally manages to convince Julia to give up and to become mother and daughter again. Fate, however, decided otherwise...
Furthermore, this episode, even though not being the cliffhanger of the season, provides little hints on what the viewers will expect in later episodes: Terry receives a letter from her former husband, which is the beginning of the Joel McCarthy storyline in season 4. Besides, the audience can watch one of ANA-ALICIA's brilliant performances of Melissa freaking out. In later seasons, especially in seasons 6 and 7 (the so-called "tongue-in-cheek years" of the show), this performance will reach its top.
INGO A. KÜPPERS
former Senior Editor and CFO
# 068 <3.28> Ashes to Ashes
Julia is dead, and nothing is the way it was.
The family fulfills her request to have her ashes scattered in Italy, her ancestors' home country; they fly to Europe in Richard's jetliner. But the Channings and Giobertis do not get very far. When flying over Colorado, it becomes apparent that the cartel has prepared an attempt not only on Richard's life, but on all family members' lives.
What is hinted in the last episode of season 3, will be continued at the beginning of season 4: a new enemy of the family, who will stop at nothing to eliminate the whole family.
This episode's little inside joke (stock footage of a starboard engine from the "Airport '77" movie where ROBERT FOXWORTH played Captain Chambers) shows the humor the producers come up with every now and then.
This episode is one of the highlights of the whole series — not only because it is the season 3 finale, but also because almost all the characters are involved in the cliffhanger and all their lives are at stake.
Once again, the devoted fans do not know how the series will be continued and who will survive or will not. By now, "Falcon Crest" is definitely one of the best 1980's shows — besides LORIMAR's "Dallas" and "Knots Landing", the show becomes attractive to more and more viewers.
Senior Editor and Art Director