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# 040 <2.22> Climax
(revised 10/04/2021)
ROBERT FOXWORTH was originally the designated director for this episode. It was directed by HARRY HARRIS in the end, however.
Season time frame:
The episode opens one week after the end of # 039 - Maggie was in the hospital for a week.
It must be around the end of February / beginning of March 1983 (compare characters' clothes and the information on the time frame in # 037 and 039).
Mistake: When Maggie is released from the hospital, Cole touches the door of the Mercedes-Benz 300 TD station wagon in the wide angle shot, which he does not, however, in the subsequent close-up.
This is a mistake caused by the particular close-up filming technique - check # 001 (Gus in the Gioberti House) for details.
The scene with Lance and Melissa riding in the Falcon Crest meadows was originally staged on the Falcon Crest Victorian Mansion veranda and also included Apollo in early script drafts.
The filming location for the Falcon Crest grounds (meadows and hills) is the southern end of Bartholomaus Canyon in Sylmar, CA. The exact place is the meadows a little northwest of the corner of Terra Vista Way and Terra Bella Street.
Mistake: In their embrace in the Gioberti House, Maggie's arm is not on Chase's shoulder first, whereas it is in the subsequent frame filmed from across.
This is a mistake caused by the particular close-up filming technique - check # 001 (Gus in the Gioberti House) for details.
The establishing clips of the New York building where Richard was taken show a building that is different from the Whitewood Industries headquarters (compare # 019). It is the one where Denault had a personal office (compare # 038). Obviously, Jacqueline has her secret office - maybe in a different floor - in the River House (a luxurious apartment building in Manhattan), too.
The high-rises seen through the window in the interior set of Jacqueline's office do not match the real surroundings of the River House though.

The establishing shot of San Francisco (stock footage from a film library) features a view of The Embarcadero with piers 27, 23, 19 and 17 (from left) in northern direction. Yerba Buena Island and the Oakland Bay Bridge are in the distance. The shot is from the steps at the corner of Lombard Street and Kearny Street.


Deleted scene: The initial version of this episode included an act 2 scene with Lance and Melissa coming down the stairway in the Falcon Crest Victorian Mansion after Julia's return (see scene still). Angie asks them what the reason for Julia's desperation might be. Having secretly orchestrated Julia's disappointment in Tony, Lance and Melissa share a conspiratory look. - This scene was omitted in order to stay in the one-hour timeslot on CBS (including commercials).


License plate number of Vickie's burgundy 1982 Dodge 400 Coupé: 762 XUJ.
Nick drives a white / blue 1973 Chevrolet El Camino SS Pickup with a camper cover.


Falcon Crest Victorian Mansion veranda set - inconsistency: Compared to the real Villa, the set has only two instead of three steps from the driveway up to the veranda. The single step from the veranda to the front entranceway, however, was rebuilt correctly. But the tiles on the floor of the entranceway (on the last step) are missing. Compare the photo of these tiles on the real Villa's entranceway.
The elaborate tiles at Villa Miravalle's entrance are from MINTONS, a British company from Staffordshire, which was known as Europe's leading ceramic factory during the Victorian era. It was active between 1793 and 1968 and was sold a few times after that. The brand is now defunct.
Wilson Fong died at Mercy Hospital in San Francisco - a hospital that is never seen in the series and will never be mentioned again either.
Deleted scene: A scene in the Hogan house bedroom was filmed for act 3, in which Nick wakes up at around 10:00 AM after spending the night with Sheila. It is his wedding day with Vickie. This segment was removed in post-production.
The Falcon Crest Rose Garden where Vickie and Nick's wedding ceremony is held is actually the Rose Garden at the Los Angeles County Arboretum & Botanic Garden in Arcadia, CA.
Original script drafts called for Father Bob to marry Vickie and Nick. But fortunately, the writers realized early enough that Nick could not marry in the Roman-Catholic church a second time because of his marriage to Sheila. The Catholic church does not acknowledge the (civil) divorce of marriage and still regards Nick and Sheila to be married.
The license plate number of Richard's blue-gray Rolls-Royce Silver Spirit I (see # 025 for the original plate and # 039 for a different number) is now 762 XUJ - the same number as on Vickie's burgundy Chrysler earlier this episode. The prop guys were not very careful.
Product placement: Richard hands Vickie a wedding present from Tiffany.
Mistake: After Vickie and Nick exchanged their wedding vows in the Falcon Crest Rose Garden, the positions of Maggie and Phillip's hands are slightly different in two subsequent frames.
This is a mistake caused by the particular close-up filming technique - check # 001 (Gus in the Gioberti House) for details.
Original plans for this episode staged the whole wedding reception (right after exchanging the wedding vows) inside the Falcon Crest Victorian Mansion. In the final version, however, only the final part of the reception was set inside the house.
There were nine different versions of the confession scene filmed for the cliffhanger (re: Carlo Agretti's murder).
Instead of Julia's confession, the various drafts of the script of # 040 contain alternate confession scenes with Lance (b & w scene still above), Melissa, Richard, Diana, Phillip, Angela, Chao-Li and Cole.
Even the cast members themselves did not know which version the producers would choose until the episode was braodcast - except ABBY DALTON, who was called by supervising producer BOB McCULLOUGH the day it was scheduled to air. The killer was chosen on input from CBS, but the network did not dictate that it had to be Julia. So CBS did not know for certain who the producers chose as Carlo Agretti's killer until just minutes before it aired. LORIMAR delivered the final print of the season finale to the network, CBS Television City on Beverly Boulevard in Hollywood, the night it aired. CBS, of course, sent the episode to New York via satellite at the last minute, where it aired first due to the different time zones in the U.S.
From the alternate versions, here is each confessing character's motive for the murder of Carlo Agretti (unused segments):

  • Lance: "He [Carlo] kept pushing me. First the marriage. Then he threatened to cut Melissa out of his will. He was pushing me around... You [Chase] were pushing me around... She [Melissa] was even pushing me around. Then, at the baby shower, he [Carlo] threatened me. I wasn't going to stand for that. Not after what I'd already put up with...
  • Melissa: "He was no father. I was nothing more than another bargaining tool to him. He wanted Falcon Crest so badly that he traded me in marriage to Lance. Then he threatened to cut me out of his will. That didn't give me much choice. With him gone, I controlled the Agretti Vineyards, I finally had my own source of power."
  • Richard: "Carlo Agretti was a hypocrite who spurned me in public while privately trying to bleed me dry. I offered him double the market value for his property. But he resented that and threatened to expose my own father as a Nazi. I couldn't let him do that."
  • Diana: "It was my only option. I had orders to get the Agretti Vineyards at any cost, and 'the company' has never recognized any limits. Results are all that count. There was an agreement... Richard had to deliver the entire California wine industry to 'the company' or give up any hope of independence. I wanted him to survive out here... to succeed. I was in love with him. I wanted him free... for me..."
  • Phillip: "It was the only thing left to do. Agretti had fought Angela for years. He was preparing to sell out to Richard. That would've been disastrous for Falcon Crest. With Carlo and Richard both clawing away at her, there was no time for the niceties of legal maneuvering or negotiating. I had to expedite matters. Angela has given her life to Falcon Crest, and... you see... I love her..."
  • Angela: "Carlo got exactly what he deserved. He sealed his own fate when he threatened to cut Melissa out of his will. I have no regrets. He would've done the same to me. You [Chase] don't understand anything, do you? From the time I sat on my grandfather's knee... until now, I was the chosen one to care for and enhance the legacy of Falcon Crest. Your father had no aptitude for that challenge. My strength, my dedication covered for his weakness. And then you came here to change all that? You're nothing but an opportunist who still has his head in the clouds at thirty thousand feet. You don't have the faintest idea what it takes to maintain the greatness of Falcon Crest!"
  • Chao-Li: "Mrs. Channing took me in when I was a young man with no place else to turn. She made me a part of this family. I owe her everything. Carlo Agretti... he fought her at every turn. There is nothing he would not have done to win control of Falcon Crest."
  • Cole: "I did it all along because he would not let me prove to Melissa how much I loved her - and she was carrying my child."
In this episode's sneak preview, there is a camera spot which is not a clip from the final version of the confession scene, but from one of the alternate scenes showing each character's reaction: Julia is standing next to Diana and staring at the murderer, who is unseen from the camera point of view. But in the final version of the cliffhanger ("Julia version"), Lance is standing next to Diana. Using that trick, the producers made sure not to spoil the surprise in the cliffhanger.
Mistake: The shots of Fong entering the Falcon Crest Victorian Mansion living room are from different takes combined in the editing process. First, Chase is close behind Fong near the door frame. In the reverse angle featuring the whole reception, Chase is much farther away from the door frame; both of them have gone farther into the living room than before, which is coherent with the few footsteps they made into that direction. In the later close-up of Chase (without Dan Robbins), he is suddenly farther back again, standing in the doorway of the double pocket doors (only his left arm is visible on screen capture 3). When, in a later segment, Dan Robbins heads towards Chase, Chase is very close to the door frame again, the horizontal part of the casing being almost centered behind Chase's back. As the scene progresses, the close-ups of Fong, in which nothing more but Chase's left sleeve is visible, are intercut with shots of Chase and Sheriff Robbins several times; in these shots, Chase is standing quite close to the door frame again.
This is a mistake caused by the particular close-up filming technique - check # 001 (Gus in the Gioberti House) for details.
Post-production mistake: One close-up of Cole was accidentally flip-flopped whereas the other close-ups of him are the right way round.
Post-production mistakes: There are several inconsistencies in the confession scene. Some of the shots from the alternate versions are used for the final version; in those sequences, some characters are standing in different places - different from the ones in the final "Julia version".

In the wide angle shots of the reception, it can be seen that Julia is standing between Nick and Angela in the final version (Julia confessing; screen captures 1 and 3).
In all alternate versions, the murderer always stands next to the bridal couple, or to be even more precise, next to Nick in front of the window in the southern wall of the Victorian Mansion. Various close-ups in this episode are actually from the alternate confession scenes:
In one close-up, Angela is next to Nick (screen grab 2 - yellow arrow); Julia is missing in that particular shot, which apparently comes from the "Angela version".
In another close-up, Lance (screen grab 4) is standing in that same position although he ought to be standing between Melissa and Richard in the "Julia version". This close-up of Lance is obviously from the alternate "Lance confessing version".

Some of the close-ups were obviously filmed separately. This can be concluded, for example, from the reaction shots of Melissa and Lance on the one hand and Richard and Diana on the other hand. Judging from the previous wide angle shot, Richard or Lance would have to be visible in the other close-up respectively.
Some of the characters' reactions to Fong identifying the murderer are also from alternate cliffhanger versions:
Angela and Phillip do not look into Julia's direction; from their point of view, they ought to look much more to the right.
This is also the case with Chao-Li and Emma; in their close-up, there is a person in a light gray suit (screen capture 2 - yellow arrow) unexpectedly to be seen next to Chao-Li - it is Lance (by mistake!), who ought to be standing opposite Chao-Li in the "Julia version". This shot is obviously from the "Melissa confession".
In the close-up of Melissa (screen grab 3), Lance is missing by her side. Richard is standing next to her instead. This footage - used here by mistake - is apparently from the "Lance confessing version".
The climax of the confession scene is also a combination of footage from the various confession versions. When Julia pulls out the gun, Angela's shoulder is visible next to her. A few seconds later (screen grabs 2 and 3), Phillip is pulling Angela backward to protect her. In that shot, Julia is not visible although she should be close to Angela. In the subsequent frame, cutting back to a close-up of Julia again (screen grab 4), both women are shoulder to shoulder again.
Oddity in the exterior shots of the Falcon Crest Victorian Mansion in the cliffhanger: With Chase and Sheriff Robbins having rushed to the reception, it seems awkward that neither Chase's pickup nor the Sheriff's patrol car are visible anywhere on the driveway. - Post-production used generic establishing shots of the Mansion.

The filming location for this season's final scene - the mourners standing at the graveside - is a lawn area at the Los Angeles County Arboretum & Botanical Gardens in Arcadia, CA.


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