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Reviews of select episodes —
reflecting the respective author's opinion, but not necessarily the editorial staff's.

Fans are welcome to write reviews of additional episodes (e.g. a favorite), which may be published here after being checked by the editorial staff. The DFCF remains the right to shorten or edit, will discuss any changes with the respective author prior to publishing though.
Please send your submissions to production.office@falconcrest.org.
# 099 <5.01> The Phoenix
Like phoenix from the ashes: Maggie returns to her home, completely unknown to her. Chase takes care of his wife, but does not tell her about Connie, and Maggie feels there is something wrong between her and Chase — although Chase repeatedly expresses how much he cares for her.
Richard is still very careful, has a squad of bodyguards around him and hires a new attorney, Jordan Roberts.
With MORGAN FAIRCHILD as a special guest star this season, an effectively and well-told storyline about child molestation in Jordan's past is established.
Cass and Anna want to bulldoze Falcon Crest to turn the vineyards into a luxurious resort — something Angela has to prevent. Chase and Richard have lost almost everything. Greg pays a visit to Julia in River Bend, Oregon — and returns to Falcon Crest with a revelation that will completely change the lives of Angela, Cass, Anna and all others living at Falcon Crest.
Unfortunately, this is the final season of "Falcon Crest" that EARL HAMNER has control over as the executive producer.
Senior Editor and Art Director
# 103 <5.05> Ingress & Egress
Falcon Crest is on fire! Anna Rossini has set the Victorian Mansion on fire for revenge on Angela.
The fire scenes were very well shot. The production staff built a complete new part of the house and burnt it down just for this episode. The Victorian Mansion will be burnt down once again (next time by Melissa), and parts of these scenes will be reused as stock footage.
Apart from that, the "funny years" of "Falcon Crest" give us another shot: When unconscious Angela is treated by the paramedics and regains consciousness while the firemen try to extinguish the fire, she shouts: "Will somebody turn off that infernal noise!"
This episode also includes nice blasts from the past: Richard finally discovers who has been trying to kill him. It's Pamela Lynch, who underwent plastic surgery to get a new identity. In addition, Connie Gianinni returns to Tuscany, which outrages amnesiac Maggie. It's a nice approach of the producers to bring back characters from the past for new storylines. That approach will be repeated all over the forthcoming seasons.
Nevertheless, from my point of view, this episode is a beginning of something new, leaving the past behind: Falcon Crest is in safe hands again after Anna Rossini is taken to a mental institution and unsuspecting Cassandra has sold her Falcon Crest shares to Angela's friend, Peter Stavros. Melissa makes plans for her marriage with Cole and gives up Greg Reardon. Julia finally meets her son, Father Christopher, for the first time.
Furthermore, Apollonia (Angela calls her "Babylonia") is introduced as a new sidekick for Lance in this episode. This is an approach of the producers to attract a younger audience to the show. For the same purpose, one of Sting's songs is featured in this episode — the first time ever that real life music is played on the show.
former Senior Editor and CFO
# 115 <5.17> Shattered Dreams
This is one of the few moments in the show where Angela shows her sentimental side: When Emma is in the hospital and unconscious after the hijacking of Dwayne's truck, Angela starts to cry and confesses to Chris that she now fears for Emma's life as she did for Julia's when she thought she had lost Julia in the spring house fire. She also regrets that she lied to Julia about Chris' death after he was born and asks Chris for his forgiveness.
JANE WYMAN brilliantly plays this scene and convincingly portrays Angela's other side where she can be a loving and caring mother.
A few moments later, however, she's back to business (brilliantly playing that payback scene with Erin Jones).
The show also touches a rather delicate topic: child molestation. MORGAN FAIRCHILD's character Jordan Roberts was abused as a child by her own father. As she can't cope with this, she has blackouts and develops a multiple personality, "Monica", who is very promiscuous.
The issue is very well handled in the series over the rest of the season, showing that victims are often lost by themselves and need professional help to cope with it.
former Senior Editor and CFO
# 122 <5.24> Unholy Alliances
Due to JANE WYMAN's state of health, she was not able to play in episodes # 119 and 120. Therefore, parts of the scripts had to be changed and newly filmed. One of the changes was Angela and Peter's wedding, which originally should have taken place in # 119, but was shifted to this episode (# 122).
Like in every other TV production, the "Falcon Crest" producers, too, had to react to unpredictable events promptly. JANE WYMAN was not able to play from time to time due to her state of health, so several scripts had to be changed on short notice and her character Angela had to be written off the respective episode. This reached its climax in season 9 when JANE WYMAN was absent most of this production year.
former Senior Editor and CFO
# 126 <5.28> Captive Hearts
Although all the characters' storylines are moving along towards the season finale, this episode's main focus is on "Captive Hearts", the final chapter of Jeff Wainwright's book and, therefore, on the abduction of Maggie.
The episode title — the title of this season's 28th show — refers to the title of chapter 28 of Jeff's novel, "Consumed", which, by the way, was also the title of the foregoing episode and alluded to its cliffhanger, Maggie's abduction by Jeff.
BILL SCHMIDT, one of the most talented additions to the writers since ROD and CLAIRE PETERSON joined the producing staff, succeeds in creating a horrifying atmosphere in the cabin where Maggie is held. Jeff forces Maggie to rewrite parts of the chapter with that very labeling name and to read parts of his novel aloud to him. It is both the choice of words in BILL's great script and SUSAN SULLIVAN's convincing portrayal of a terrified Maggie, who is going through hell, as well as EDWARD ALBERT's frightening looks that help establish the idea Jeff might physically harm Maggie any moment although we do not see too much of a physical contact between them. ROGER BELLON's score also contributes to these scary moments.
I am not sure if the writing staff, at that time, already had plans to reveal later that Maggie was raped (as we will learn in season 6), but BILL SCHMIDT definitely created an atmosphere in the cabin that left the audience wondering at that time if any kind of sexual abuse happened although everything was more hinted than executed. What a brilliant way to play with the viewers' imagination.
Executive Editor
# 127 <5.29> The Cataclysm
This is EARL HAMNER's final episode as executive producer and also the end of the "PETERSON era".
Most of the loose ends are tied up, and most characters' lives are in danger, either by the quake or in another way, to make it easier for a new producing staff, who might want a fresh start.
Almost as a ritual towards the season finale, ROBERT FOXWORTH's Chase is facing death. As usual, BOB FOXWORTH threatened to quit — as he had done at the end of season 2 and at the end of season 3.
Some ideas, however, are laid as a groundwork for the new season, e.g. Lance's re-awakening interest in Melissa, the possibility of extending ABBY DALTON's appearances to make her a semi-regular or a regular again, and Peter's phone call with a person, who is most unwelcome in his life — his brother (to be played by ANTHONY QUINN) if this season's creative forces had stayed on the show. This phone conversation, however, will be completely ignored by the new creative forces in the following season.
All in all, a great cliffhanger following the tradition of rocking many characters' lives — this time, even in a literal sense. In a geographical region where earthquakes are very common, it seemed almost inevitable that the series finally had to make use of the most realistic catastrophe.
Executive Editor