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.
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# 156 <7.01> Opening Moves
The first episode without ROBERT FOXWORTH, and I personally do not miss Chase for a second. On the contrary, Chase's disappearance in the San Francisco Bay makes room for some new exciting storylines centered around his "death" — or, let's better put it, the fact that he has gone missing.
All the reactions to Chase's being swept away are too interesting, as are the two people from his past: Special guest stars LESLIE CARON as Nicole Sauguet and ED MARINARO as John Remick.
This episode makes it very clear what we all always felt subconsciously and deeply: Chase was far from being "Mr. Perfect"; despite his contempt for dishonest people, he also had his very own dark secrets, including the loan from Miss Sauguet. Nicole is like the personification of Chase's overindulgence in self-righteousness and the downfall of his arrogance at the same time. LESLIE CARON plays her with some deliciously sardonic humor. "Nicole Sauguet's Theme" by MARK SNOW is a unique score that adds to the quality of her scenes.
John Remick, on the other hand, seems almost like "Mr. Perfect" despite being a mercenary. Good-natured, honest, loyal, caring. Almost everything Chase wanted (and pretended) to be, and almost everything Richard can never be... No wonder that Maggie, after the first shock and uncertainty, will be somewhat attracted to hunky John.
However, it is Richard who will play an even more important part in Maggie's life now — and in everyone else's in the Tuscany Valley now that it is only a matter of time when he will finally learn that he is Angela's son. While Chase is swept away in the icy waters of San Francisco Bay, Maggie will be swept away by Richard...
THOMAS J. PUCHER
# 157 <7.02> Obsession, Possession
The truth is out! The show has entered a whole new era.
Richard's family history is finally completed. What has begun as a mystery at the beginning of season 2 and led to a climax in the middle of season 2 (as Angela's archenemy Jacqueline was said to be Richard's mother) is now turned upside down. After all the years of hurts and sentimental wounds Richard had to suffer because he never had a real mother due to his adoption, he now learns that Angela is his mother.
Although he now has a mother who is still alive, his hunt for motherly love is still not over yet as Angela still rejects him (Angela: "My son died 45 years ago.").
The new concept of revealing that Angela is Richard's real mother gives the show a new direction. The audience knows that something completely new will begin in this 7th season. Formerly, Richard and Angela fought each other as distant relatives. The question that occurs now is whether they will still fight each other as mother and son. A brilliant approach of the producers to create interesting new storylines in this season after ROBERT FOXWORTH's leaving the show.
INGO A. KÜPPERS
former Senior Editor and CFO
# 159 <7.04> The Big Bang
The end of Chase's dream, the end of one of the show's most beautiful locations!
Richard is jealous of Remick, who has been supporting Maggie in her battle against Nicole Sauguet. Miss Sauguet has vanished, but not without leaving behind a little gift for Maggie: The loan note in the amount of $ 30 million was sold to Angela, who now demands payment from Maggie.
The reading of Chase's will holds little surprises for everyone, particularly for Vickie and Eric. At this time, Vickie only gets a weekly "allowance" — while the couple, who is always broke, expected millions.
Again, someone from the past shows up: Carlton Travis, an old friend of Angela's, wants to prevent Richard from building his amusement park, Channing Nevada, in the immediate vicinity — something Travis is determined to enforce.
Richard is Maggie's knight in shining armor: When Angela demands the loan, Richard hands a check to the woman of his dreams. Maggie may be dependent on Richard financially now, but she will not lose her home — Chase's dream.
Soon, Maggie will lose the house in another way...
Unfortunately, the miniature model replica of the Gioberti House is far from being convincing: A cheap papier mâché replica stands in for the real house. The gas explosion also seems to be quite moderate, compared to the explosion in the season 4 cliffhanger (Richard's house on Hilltop Road in those days). Maybe the house itself is the reason: It withstood earthquakes, fires and the heat of the summer — it's dream over... with Chase's dream...
Senior Editor and Art Director
# 160 <7.05> Dead End
An episode packed with suspense and emotion. Writer BILL SCHMIDT put all the best elements he could come up with into his last script for the series.
The main focus of this episode is on another farewell. The explosion and its aftermath symbolize the end of Maggie's life with Chase.
Besides the moments immediately after the explosion, one of the key scenes in this episode is Maggie talking to Richard on the terrace of his house the morning after the blast: She tells him she kept dreaming the same dream over and over again; the house blowing up, digging in the rubble. But the only thing she found was Chase's body.
Other best remembered moments are the overwhelming minutes in the dilapidated Gioberti House when Maggie risks one last look at her home. Her last scene in the Gioberti House was much longer originally; she moved from the kitchen to the dining room and through the foyer into the living room. What was kept in the final editing was Maggie in the living room. SUSAN SULLIVAN did a voice over of Maggie's memories of how she agreed to Chase's suggestion of a new start in the valley. MARK SNOW used elements of "Maggie's Theme" to underline her emotions. Maggie picks up the falcon coat of arms, almost the only thing that survived the explosion without damage — another symbol: The Gioberti House might be gone, but Falcon Crest will live forever.
This episode is saying goodbye to the Gioberti House, saying goodbye to Maggie's old life in the Tuscany Valley, saying goodbye to Chase's dream, and it is finally "Goodbye, Chase".
THOMAS J. PUCHER
# 171 <7.16> A Madness Most Discreet
This episode is dominated by three storylines: Richard and Maggie's wedding, Richard's joining The Thirteen and Emma's payback the Habermans.
Richard and Maggie finally get married. This story arc was SUSAN SULLIVAN's suggestion. Their marriage will turn out to be the love story of the show! What a great storyline!
In addition, Richard is forced by The Thirteen, a powerful organization of businessmen, to join them because they want their hands on his media empire to utilize it for the sabotage of the stock markets and the world's economy. This storyline will be dominating the rest of the current and the beginning of the following season.
Furthermore, Emma is willing to pay it back to the Habermans, who blackmailed her, with Lance's and Melissa's help. ANA-ALICIA's performance in these scenes is just fabulous, involving Melissa as seductive lure for Arthur Haberman with her disproportionate wig and her extravagant outfit.
This storyline again is a proof of the great humor the producers had in these production years.
INGO A. KÜPPERS
former Senior Editor and CFO
# 172 <7.17> Stormy Weather
One of the best and most dramatic episodes in the whole series! With little production requirements and low cost, the producers staged a very good story involving all the characters, who meet more or less voluntarily in an isolated estate: Falcon Crest.
The story about The Thirteen is continued. Curtis' hint about Chase being involved with The Thirteen, however, remains a mystery unfortunately. This new storyline was just hinted, but never executed.
Emma’s "murder game" finally gets the ball rolling: Intended to be a diversion at first, the "game" becomes more than real because a victim is found — by, of all the people, Maggie.
It becomes apparent that The Thirteen are involved in everything when the victim's murderer dies.
Emma threatening Richard, as a cliffhanger, is equally perfect as the whole episode.
Beware! The Thirteen are everywhere and have a finger in any pie!
Senior Editor and Art Director
# 182 <7.27> As Tears Go by
As in season 6, the next to last episode and the subsequent finale of season 7 have always given me the impression of a most thrilling 2-part movie.
Besides continuing to tell all other storylines, these two episodes are dominated by the plotlines about The Thirteen and Melissa's search for the lock to the "key to Angela".
If anyone had doubts about how dangerous The Thirteen can be, the cliffhanger of the previous episode and the events following it this episode speak for themselves: Rosemont had Madame Malec killed as a warning for Richard.
The hearing before the Senate Select Committee concerning The Thirteen is a public spectacle with lots of witnesses on the stand. Lance gives evidence in a neutral and unbiased way although he is certainly not Richard's best friend. Vickie surprisingly tells the truth about her and Eric's prison term in Geneva and their being guilty of stealing from Richard's safe deposit box although this would have been her chance to get even with the stepfather she hates so much. But it is for Maggie's sake that she tells the truth whereas Eric tries to establish the idea that Richard uses The Thirteen as scapegoats for his nefarious undertakings. Finally, it is Emma, who surprises us all again, when she comes to the hearing and wants to make a statement, but actually does not know what to say. She hates Richard and loves Richard, all at the same time, thinking he is the one to blame for Curtis' death on the one hand, but knowing he is not on the other hand. John Remick's return is a blast, and there is undoubtedly still pretty much attraction between him and Maggie despite all that happened.
I have always regretted that the fabulous scene involving Richard's executive assistant, Cindy, giving testimony was not kept in the final cut. Only a short segment made it to a V.O. coming from a TV report about the hearing in the background of another scene.
Melissa and Lance finally find the right lock to the key Chase left Melissa, and we realize Angela's reign over Falcon Crest will come to an end if Melissa and Lance are rescued.
THOMAS J. PUCHER
# 183 <7.28> Last Dance
This is a rather untypical seasonal cliffhanger because almost all the action takes place in the middle of the episode, such as the rescue of Lance and Melissa, the assassination on Angela and Richard, Richard offering his life to The Thirteen, his last night with Maggie, Eric shooting him and Richard's burial at the Gioberti Cemetery at Falcon Crest.
Although nobody from the producing staff knew at the time when the episode was shot that many of them would not be invited back for the following season, the production standard of the episode is extremely high — as if they all wanted to contribute their very best for the last time. MARK SNOW's score is unparalleled; the action in the recap and sneak preview is emphasized by a very thrilling score. Angela and Richard share one of the most emotional moments in the show's history in the living room of the Falcon Crest Victorian Mansion when Angela is just inches away from telling Richard she loves him, and, again, it is MARK SNOW's score that adds to JANE WYMAN's and DAVID SELBY'’s excellent acting. Carly and Dan's relationship might be on new grounds, as MARK SNOW's background music joyfully underlines when Carly tells Dan she is not his half-sister. "Maggie's Theme" is used during Richard and Maggie's last night, Richard's secret goodbye. The funeral score plays with the audience's emotions and, along with Father Bob's speech, makes us forget any of Richard's dark sides. When Angela comes down the stairs in the Mansion to move out, MARK SNOW uses parts of the show's main theme — something he did on very rare occasions only — and amalgamates them into a dark-tuned score that makes us feel sorry for Angie.
The cliffhanger is so different because it is not what we are used to. It is not another "Falcon-ish" catastrophe threatening the lives of many core characters, it is simply the story of the two daddies that Maggie tells Michael and Kevin. And while she speaks about Richard and Chase, the final scene — sort of reminiscent of the "Flamingo Road" finale — takes us to a European castle where Angela visits a dark figure, who is still alive and who could be Chase or Richard...
You have to expect the unexpected from "Falcon", and that is what this highly emotional cliffhanger proves. I love it because it is so different and because it plays with the viewers' emotions. Thinking of what seasons 8 and 9 will bring along, it could have made a brilliant ending to the series despite its loose ends.
THOMAS J. PUCHER