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What were your favorite cliffhangers from the 80s prime time serials?

My top 4:

1. Falcon Crest season 2, in which doormat Julia is revealed as Carlo Agretti's killer, and then goes shooting in Angela's house. I remember being totally shocked by this when watching it originally. We have to wait until September to find out whom Julia killed.

2. Dallas season 4, in which Cliff arrives at Southfork to find a body of a woman wearing white floating in the pool with JR standing at the balcony above. We're left to wonder if the woman was Kristin, Sue Ellen or Pam, who were all wearing white in that season finale episode.

3. Knots Landing season 4, in which Gary lingers in jail as a suspect in Ciji's murder, and Karen learns that Diana has run off with Chip. Not the most exciting cliffhanger in terms of plot development. It wasn't so much plot-based as it was character-based, which sometimes creates for more emotionally satisfying viewing.

4. Knots Landing season 5, in which Karen is shot and Abby is kidnapped during the climax to the convoluted Wolfbridge story (which I confess I still don't understand). It was a really exciting bite-your-nails cliffhanger that grew organically through the entire season.

What are your faves?

by John Pleshette's back hairreply 2601/19/2013

Loved your Number 1, OP. I haven't seen it since it first aired but I remember seeing people graveside from the waist down, as they watched the casket beibng lowered into the ground.

by John Pleshette's back hairreply 101/15/2013

The Moldavian Massacre, hands down.

by John Pleshette's back hairreply 201/15/2013

Who shot JR - Dallas season 3.

by John Pleshette's back hairreply 301/15/2013

When Sable Colby slapped Alexis two full seasons ahead!

by John Pleshette's back hairreply 401/15/2013

Loved your number 1 and 2, OP, for sure.

Gotta nominate the end of Season 1, Dynasty...

by John Pleshette's back hairreply 501/15/2013

Never liked the Moldavian massacre because by that time we'd had so many red herring cliffhangers you knew nobody important was going wind up dead.

Falcon Crest, to its credit, was far better with deadly.

by John Pleshette's back hairreply 601/15/2013

1. Who Shot JR? At the time, it was new, and very surprising. It caused a sensation. After this, the cliffhanger became de rigueur for nighttime soaps.

2. Agree with OP's choice of Falcon Crest Season 2, Julia revealed as Carlo Agretti's killer. This completely took me by surprise.

3. Also agree with Knots Landing Season 4. It was the culmination of a few very good plots.

4. Knots Landing Season 6. Val comes close to getting her babies back.

5. Knots Landing Season 3. Val finds out about Gary's affair with Abby and leaves him. Broke my heart at the time and I always longed for Val and Gary to get back together.

7. Dallas Season 7. Bobby is killed after Katherine Wentworth runs him over the day after he and Pam had make up sex and decided to get back together. Too bad the it-was-all-a-dream plot ruined this cliffhanger's legacy or I'd place it second. At the time, it was really effective. I thought I was saying goodbye to a beloved character. Bobby was the knight in shining armor and I always loved him and Pam together.

by John Pleshette's back hairreply 701/15/2013

A much better [italic]Dynasty[/italic] cliffhanger was Cecil's mid-coital heart attack. So trashy in the best possible way. Alexis's wig is a character all its own.

by John Pleshette's back hairreply 801/15/2013

Oh my God, R8, thank you for posting that! I completely forgot about this. Love the porn music playing while Alexis wears poor Cecil out. Classic!

by John Pleshette's back hairreply 901/15/2013

My God, yeah, I forgot about Coitus Alexis. That was fucking hilarious!

by John Pleshette's back hairreply 1001/15/2013

Another vote for KNOTS LANDING: Valene finally getting to her kidnapped babies - only to have one of them kidnapped AGAIN right before her eyes.

by John Pleshette's back hairreply 1101/15/2013

The season 9 finale of Dynasty left Blake shot, Krystle in a coma, Fallon and Krystina tied up in a bunker with a madman, Sable knocked up by Dex, and Dex and Alexis in midair, falling from a balcony.

by John Pleshette's back hairreply 1201/15/2013

It does kind of capture the best and worst of Dynasty....

by John Pleshette's back hairreply 1301/15/2013

I loved the Knots season 9 cliffhanger when psycho Jill Bennett forced Valene to swallow a bottle of sleeping pills and made it look like a suicide attempt. That was a very creepy episode.

by John Pleshette's back hairreply 1401/15/2013

Off soap, but the Star Trek TNG cliffhanger with Picard appearing on screen as Locutus was pretty cool too.

by John Pleshette's back hairreply 1501/15/2013

OK I'm breaking the time warp but last year when Deb caught Dexter with the Ginsu knife... holy fuck, Dex.

by John Pleshette's back hairreply 1601/15/2013

I'm with R14. That was some of the best writing and acting in all of TV. I came on here to post that but you beat me to it.

by John Pleshette's back hairreply 1701/15/2013

It wasn't a season ending cliffhanger, but the episode of Knots Landing when Ciji never shows up to perform her song at Richard's restaurant. So Ginger fills in, and as they're showing all the characters during Ginger's performance, and the tension between so many of them, they cut to Ciji's body washing up on the beach at night.

At the time, we didn't have spoilers, so that was so unexpected.

by John Pleshette's back hairreply 1801/16/2013

OP, I totally.agree with your #s 1 and four. The only down side to the FC cliffhanger was the reveal that Jacqueline was the body in the casket, so no more Lana. I have to add the 1st season, "my God, that's my.Mother," DYNASTY cliffhanger plus the 6th season cliffhanger with the La Mirage fire and(best of all)Alexis finally taking the mansion from Blake and his "blonde tramp." Plus the added bonus of seeing Dominique bitch slap Alexis upside her head! And last but certainly not least, the final DYNASTY cliffhanger. Sad that ABC wouldn't give the show one more season or even an extra hour or two to resolve all those loose ends.

by John Pleshette's back hairreply 1901/17/2013


Yes, would have posted this too. I remember that shit being an event across the nation.

by John Pleshette's back hairreply 2001/17/2013

I don't think FC had any iconic cliffhangers, the ones that most random/casual viewers remember to this day. I think the only ones you can label iconic are the Moldavian massacre, JR being shot, and Val finding her babies. I think only the rest of us diehards remember the other ones season by season.

by John Pleshette's back hairreply 2101/17/2013

That episode where the threw a few scenes my way.

by John Pleshette's back hairreply 2201/17/2013

R18, that really was an amazing episode and a true surprise! Poor little Ciji.....

by John Pleshette's back hairreply 2301/17/2013

80s are over.

Thread closed.

by John Pleshette's back hairreply 2401/17/2013

Diana calling Charles "Phillip Charles Arthur George" during the wedding vows. That was the funniest episode finale ever.

by John Pleshette's back hairreply 2501/17/2013

Certainly the most outrageous cliffhanger was Fallon flying off in a spaceship.

Did they know The Colbys had been cancelled when they filmed this, I wonder?

by John Pleshette's back hairreply 2601/19/2013
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