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Previously on “Knots Landing” — a 14 Year Summary of TV’s 2nd Longest Running Drama

“Knots Landing” is the second-longest running prime time television drama in the history of television. The show spun off from “Dallas” in December 1979 and ran 344 episodes through May 1993.

It all started in 1979 when Gary’s mother, Ellie Ewing, bought Gary and Val their house on Seaview Circle. Gary’s brother, Bobby from “Dallas”, brought the newlyweds to California. Back then, Karen was married to her first husband Sid, who owned and worked at Knots Landing Motors, a local auto dealership.

Karen welcomed Gary and Val to the neighborhood with an overwhelming block dinner party.

Laura and Richard Avery were far from the ideal couple. They lived next to Karen and Sid on the other side than Gary’s and Val’s house. At that time, they had one son, Jason, and a few years later, a second son, Daniel, was born.

Newlyweds Ginger and Kenny Ward, like Gary and Val, had recently moved to the cul-de-sac. Kenny was a record producer who met Ginger when she was a struggling performer. Kenny of course promised Ginger the moon in terms of her career, but all she got was a job taking care of Kenny.

It wasn’t too long after moving in that recovering alcoholic Gary fell off the wagon. Around the same time, Sid’s sister, Abby Fairgate blew into town. Karen knew Abby was a troublemaker, but Karen was used to that. Sid’s family seemed to have more than their share of troublemakers, including Sid’s daughter, Annie, from his first marriage.

Abby got a job with Knots Landing Motors and it wasn’t long before she and Gary got Sid mixed up in some stolen auto parts mess with the mob. Abby was the bookkeeper at Knots Landing Motors. Abby jury-rigged the books to hide what was really going on. When Sid got wise to it, and the feds got involved, Sid was sent hurtling off a cliff in his car. Around the same time, Abby’s first husband showed up and kidnapped her two kids.

Sid was paralyzed from the accident and opted – against Karen’s wishes – for an operation that could help him regain the use of his body. But the operation was not a success and Sid died on the table.

Abby, meanwhile, got her kids back by setting up her ex-husband and soon started making eyes for Richard. Abby and Richard used to flaunt their relationship right in front of Richard’s wife Laura.

This was also when Karen’s brother, Joe Cooper, came to town and stayed with Karen, Eric, Michael, and Diana for about a year.

Pretty soon, Abby got tired of Richard and set her sights on Gary, who she pegged to be the beneficiary of a huge chunk of change from his recently deceased father, Jock. But Gary was the black sheep of the family – he didn’t have Jock’s and JR’s ruthlessness, and had a real propensity for cards, booze and the ladies when he was young – so Jock left Gary’s money to him in trust. Gary felt like this was a slap in the face and Jock’s final statement to Gary that Gary was a loser.

It wasn’t long before Abby had her claws dug in so deep that Gary left Val and Abby wound up with the last name “Ewing” for the first time. Of course, Abby wouldn’t come straight out and tell Val the truth about her affair with Gary.

That’s about when Mack Mackenzie came into the picture. He was a prosecutor working the Sid Fairgate murder case. He and Joe Cooper tried to keep Karen from getting herself killed while she went after Sid’s murderers. Ultimately Karen set up Sid’s murderers and, at the same time, managed to fall in love with Mack.

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Right before Abby and Gary married, Gary slept with Val one more time. And Val got pregnant.

Ciji Dunne was a recording artist discovered by Gary and Kenny. Gary developed a thing for Ciji but eventually she was murdered. Gary was jailed for the murder. He was on a drunken binge the night of the murder and couldn’t remember where he’d been. Karen’s daughter, Diana, was seeing this guy, Chip Roberts, who was living with Valene and her mother. Chip was really not Chip, but some guy named Tony and he had a thing going with Ciji and then killed her. Chip and Diana went on the run and Chip wound up impaling himself after he fell from the shock of seeing Cathy Geary, a woman Gary met who was a dead-ringer for Ciji. It turns out the reason Gary met an identical look-alike for Ciji was because his wife Abby hired Cathy so that Gary would become preoccupied with Cathy.

Shortly after that, Greg Sumner blew into town. Greg and Mack were old law school chums. Greg was running for state Senator. His daughter, Mary Frances actually came to live with Karen and Mack for awhile.

Due to the machinations of Greg’s biological father, Paul Galveston, Greg had sold his career out to the Wolfbridge Group, a cartel of morally bankrupt business leaders. Greg ended up out of politics, Karen got shot by an assassin aiming for Gary, and Abby was kidnapped by the leader of Wolfbridge.

Greg then got involved with Gary in another project called Empire Valley. Gary thought it was a land development deal but it was really a secret spy installation hidden underneath a suburban planned community. When Gary found out the truth, he blew it up.

Meanwhile, Val’s twins were born stillborn – except they weren’t. Abby had let it slip to a business associate that her life would be easier if Val’s twins didn’t exist. So the business associate arranged with a crooked doctor to have the twins sold on the black market, and to tell Val the twins were still born. After Abby found out her complicity in this arrangement, and realized she was on the verge of being found out, she reunited Val and her twins.

About the same time, Val met a new man – Ben Gibson. He was a journalist. But it ultimately came out he’d had a past as a spy. He was duped by a double agent, Jean Hackney, and pushed into a planned murder of Greg Sumner. With Mack’s help, Ben saved Greg, himself, and his family. Ben disappeared to protect his family or to go after Jean Hackney who was on the run.

Abby’s daughter, Olivia, developed a drug problem. Abby pulled it together and helped her daughter through it. Greg’s supposed brother, Peter Hollister showed up, eventually winding up dead and buried underneath a children’s park on the grounds of Gary’s, Abby’s, and Karen’s real estate venture, Lotus Point.

Gregory Sumner had the same love / hate relationship with Laura Avery whose ex-husband walked out on her and didn’t even bother to say goodbye. Richard paid the mortgage on their house, paid off all his debts, and just left.

Laura finally married Greg in late 1985 and became pregnant. Greg didn’t want to have any more kids because of how he felt he screwed up with Mary Frances. Just as Greg accepted the pregnancy, Laura learned she was dying of a brain tumor. Laura decided to go to a private clinic – which is where she went to die alone.

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Greg realized he didn’t have the skills to be a single parent and he gave Meg to Karen and Mack.

Karen got kidnapped right around when Mack’s illegitimate daughter Paige came to Knots Landing. Anne had a kid that Mack never knew about. Paige became involved with Peter Hollister right before he died.

Paige’s mother came to Knots Landing and rented Laura’s house.

Though Peter claimed to be Greg’s brother, he wasn’t. But Peter’s sister was an old chum of Mack’s from his work with the Governor: Jill Bennett. Jill made a play for Mack but he wasn’t interested. Jill and Gary started seeing each other and pretty soon, Gary and Abby split up.

Eventually Jill tried to kill Val by forcing Val to commit suicide, and of course no one believed Val when she said Jill was really a killer. Of course, the truth came out in the end but not before Jill killed herself and stuck her body in the trunk of Gary’s car.

Just when it looked like Gary and Val might actually get back together, Val’s Aunt Virginia introduced her to a computer expert, Danny Waleska.

Valene met Danny and married him. Gary met a girl over the phone who misdialed a number to her friend Sally and stumbled upon him. This phone girl, Amanda, was ironically married to Danny. Gary and Valene realized that they were dating a divorced couple and thought it was funny. But it was no laughing matter when Danny raped his ex-wife Amanda and she left town. Valene decided to marry Danny. Later on, Valene saw Danny’s violent temper and wound up stabbing him in the chest in Mack’s office.

Pat and Frank Williams moved into Laura’s house after Laura died. It turns out Pat, Frank and daughter Julie were part of the Witness Protection Program, after Pat testified against crooked doctors.

Val’s crazed drunk husband Danny ran Pat down with his car.

Danny continued terrorizing the neighborhood until he fell drunk into a swimming pool and drowned, right in front of Frank’s little girl Julie.

That’s also about when Paige went to work for Gregory Sumner. And Paige and Sumner actually started a romance.

Just when Paige thought Greg might propose, he actually married Abby. Around the same time, Abby set up a dummy corporation, Murakame, which she used to defraud Karen and Gary out of their real estate holdings at Lotus Point. Finally exposed, Abby wound up with an ambassadorship position in Japan, one that Greg had actually been gunning for.

Before Abby finally left, she made sure she had a talk with her daughter Olivia who went off and married Harold, a former mob enforcer. They had more than their share of problems, getting together, being apart. Basically, poor Olivia couldn’t deal with the reality of having no money.

Karen’s son Michael joined the Sumner Group too when he had developed a computer virus detector that Sumner wanted to own. Eric, Michael’s brother, came home from college with a new wife, Linda. Eric went off on assignment to Saudi Arabia leaving wife Linda staying with Karen and Mack. Linda and Michael had an affair.

Eric came back, Eric and Linda divorced, Linda and Michael got together, then Linda dumped Michael, got involved in some kinky sex thing, and wound up dead herself.

Paige didn’t want to jump back to Gregory now that his ex-wife had left him. Instead she took up with crooked cop, Tom Ryan. Tom and Paige were going to get married, but Sumner paid Tom off to stand her up.

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A devastated Paige went back to Greg and they became engaged. When she learned that he had a vasectomy and that she wouldn’t be able to have any kids, she broke off the engagement, and watched as Linda Fairgate climbed the ladder even further into Gregory’s bed. Linda thought she was invincible. When old friend, Brian Johnston, the architect roamed to Knots Landing as Linda’s old boyfriend, he took a liking to Paige and wanted to get her into bed. When Paige realized his antics, she decked him while the videotape was rolling. Later that night Brian went to Linda’s apartment for some love-making and had to hide for Greg. When Linda couldn’t find Brian she started to get nervous that her videotape with him would surface. The only videotape that surfaced was Paige decking Brian. Johnston killed Linda.

Gary and Val remarried finally. Gary literally stumbled upon Joseph Barringer, a scientist, who worked on something called Tidal Energy — which involves the use of energy via the ocean. Greg loved this idea and went into competition with Gary. Eventually Gary lost all his money on Tidal Energy.

Karen and Mack became foster parents to Jason Lochner who was being physically abused by his father.

Greg’s daughter came back to town but Mary Frances was killed in Greg’s office by a sniper. Shortly after that, Mary Frances’ identical cousin Kate turns up along with Greg’s sister Claudia.

Paige fell in love with Pierce Lawton, another in the long line of mystery men in Paige’s life who turn out to have some major character flaw. Pierce was psychotic.

Greg has a change of life and signs over ownership of the Sumner Group 1/3 to Mack and Karen in trust for Meg, 1/3 to Paige, and 1/3 to Claudia.

Val, after two successful books, is tagged by her publisher to do a biography of Greg Sumner. When Val stumbles upon a woman who claims that her son had an affair with Laura and that Meg is not really Greg’s daughter, she tells Greg who makes sure that she is put away. Val goes to Florida to research this fact even more causing a rift between her and Gary. Greg knows that this mysterious woman is Mary Robeson, Laura’s mother who was in jail for writing phony checks and doing scams.

Valene finds out who this mysterious woman is and calls to Karen frantically telling her that Mary Robeson is Meg’s grandmother and to not let Meg out of her sight. Val disappeared and was eventually thought dead in a car wreck.

Mary Robeson blackmailed Mack and Karen. Mack tried to pay her off. Mary was found dead. Mary had been killed by her brother Joe.

Val didn’t die. It turns out she had been kidnapped by this evil guy, Treadwell, who was gunning to take over the Sumner Group. Val got too close to finding out the truth about the whole thing. Mary and Joe Robeson worked for Treadwell.

Because Val was presumed dead for a year, Gary got romantically involved with Greg’s niece Kate. Val returned to Knots Landing after escaping her kidnappers. Around the same time, Abby returned to Knots Landing – it turned out she worked with Treadwell in an attempt to take over the Sumner Group.

Treadwell died. Val and Gary reunited. Abby returned to the cul-de-sac.