After Ciji’s death, Laura refused to forgive Richard for being mean to her best friend while she was alive. Believing Laura no longer loved him, Richard left Knots Landing. Laura thought Richard left town in this manner because he killed Ciji, but later came to know otherwise. Kenny and Ginger also left Knots Landing, with Kenny being offered a job in Nashville. In the season finale, Gary languished in a prison cell awaiting trial for Ciji’s murder, while Lilimae discovered Chip’s real identity. By this time, Chip had left town with Diana, leaving Karen horrified that her daughter was in the hands of a killer.
In the show’s first episode, which aired on December 27, 1979 on CBS, a giddy Valene ran on the beach, proclaiming to Annie Fairgate that she’d never seen the ocean. She would return to the ocean many times over the years, especially after her babies were kidnapped and declared dead during the sixth season.
Ginger became annoyed as Kenny refused to take interest in her aspirations as a singer. However, both become closer as their first child, Erin Molly, is born, and Karen’s dry-eyed composure surrounding Sid’s death finally crumbles when Kenny and Ginger put the baby into her arms and ask her to be their new daughter’s godmother.
Valene attempted to forge a bond with her mother Lilimae (Julie Harris), who moved in with her and Gary. Lilimae had all but abandoned her as a child in her hopes to be a country music singer. Karen’s brother, Joe Cooper (Stephen Macht) took on a job as a bookkeeper at USC and briefly stayed with the Fairgate family. Laura began an affair with her boss Scooter after years of being unhappily married to Richard. She planned to leave Richard, but then discovered she was pregnant. She planned on aborting the pregnancy, but decided not to after Richard got violent. Richard was becoming the company pimp after being asked to supply entertainment by his boss for some clients at his law firm, a pattern that kept repeating itself. This was eventually revealed on the news, and Richard’s employer denied any cooperation with him. After losing his job, Richard became depressed and had a nervous breakdown. An incident erupted and Richard was sent to a mental institution.
After Karen passed up the opportunity to fund a methanol-powered vehicle project, Gary and Abby devoted hours to making it work without her help. Abby made repeated passes at Gary, and finally they slept together. Valene discovered this in the season finale, leaving the cul-de-sac in tears.
Abby hired a Ciji look-alike, Cathy Geary (Lisa Hartman), to keep Gary distracted so he would not learn about her crooked business practices. Gary hired Cathy to work at his ranch, but when Chip (who had been hiding out at the ranch with Diana) saw Cathy, he fell backward onto a pitchfork and killed himself. The ordeal with Diana caused Karen to become more depressed, and she was addicted to prescription painkillers. State Senator Greg Sumner (William Devane), an old college friend of Mack’s who was running for US Senator, received the endorsements of Mack and Karen, as well as Abby, who wanted to buy herself a senator. Greg hired Mack to lead his Senate Crime Commission investigating the crooked Wolfbridge Group, and when Abby convinced Greg to get her an illegal land variance to build on Lotus Point, Greg pinned it on Mack, thus ending their friendship.
Joshua became a televangelist at Abby and Gary’s TV station. He and Cathy married, though on their wedding day she had second thoughts because fame had warped him. Valene (still believing herself to be “Verna”) became engaged to a man in Tennessee, but Gary finally found her and brought her back to Knots Landing where she re-united with Ben but still refused to believe that her babies were dead. Karen and Ben discovered that Valene’s doctor had paid off a nurse to assist in the deceit. Mack tracked down Valene’s babies that had been adopted on the black market. In the season finale, Abby and Val, Mack and Ben, and Gary and Karen arrived at the Fisher house, where Sheila Fisher opened the door holding one of Valene’s twins in her arms. As Valene got out of Abby’s car and approached the house, Harry Fisher passed in front of the house in his car with Valene’s other twin baby. His wife shouted to him and warned him, “They want to take the babies…” Harry drove off with one of Valene’s babies before anyone could stop him.
With his sanity slipping away, Joshua became abusive toward Cathy, who then left him. Not wanting to lose her, he decided that they should die together. He tried to throw Cathy off of a tall building, but Lilimae arrived in time to stop him. She disowned Joshua, but he fell from the roof and died. Lilimae spent the rest of the season mourning him, while Cathy moved on to Ben, whose marriage to Valene was failing due to the continued threat of Gary, who by then knew that he was the father of her twins. Ben cheated with Cathy and in the season finale, prepared to leave Valene and go on a singing tour with her as her manager. Abby’s teenaged daughter Olivia (Tonya Crowe) developed a drug problem. A girl, Paige Matheson, (Nicollette Sheridan) arrived at Mack’s door claiming to be his daughter. But on the same day, Karen disappears and finds herself being held hostage by a stranger who knows her name.
After Laura’s death, Frank and Pat Williams (Larry Riley and Lynne Moody) and their daughter Julie (Kent Masters-King) moved onto the cul-de-sac. Mack and Karen were suspicious of them at first, but became their friends upon discovering they were in the Witness Protection Program. Business at Lotus Point began to slow down, and Karen, Gary, and Abby agreed to expand the marina to accommodate the business of Manny Vasquez (John Aprea). Meanwhile, Paige, Michael, and Paige’s boyfriend Johnny Rourke (Peter Reckell) went on an archaeological dig in Mexico. When it became apparent that Manny Vasquez (John Aprea) was selling drugs through Lotus Point, its owners tried to stop him. He told them that Paige and Michael would not re-enter the United States until he was allowed to conduct business at Lotus Point.
Paige began to work for Greg, and found herself attracted to him. Lilimae left Knots Landing with a new man in her life. Gary took an increased interest in Valene’s twins, initially at Valene’s resistance. His attention to Val and the children was an annoyance to Jill, who was now living with Gary and became jealous. Jill made an elaborate plan where she edited audio recordings of Ben’s voice to make Valene think Ben was trying to contact her, and forged letters from him. Jill then stole the tapes of Ben’s messages and the letters, leaving Valene with no proof when she tried telling people. In the season finale, Jill broke into Valene’s house at night and forced Valene at gunpoint to take a whole bottle of sleeping pills in order to make it look like Valene had killed herself. The following morning, Valene was seen laying motionless on the floor.
Valene and Gary got together after Danny’s death. Valene fell from a horse and developed psychiatric problems for a while. After a season of irrational behavior, Valene was cured, and she married Gary again. Anne met Italian Nick Schillace (Lorenzo Caccialanza), with whom she both fell in love and spent the season scheming. Their plans all backfired, and in the season finale, Anne was left broke and homeless. Paige and Linda competed at the Sumner Group (the renamed Galveston Industries).
In the two-hour series finale on May 13, 1993, Karen returned to Mack, and Nick’s accomplice Vanessa Hunt (Felicity Waterman) killed Treadwell, paving the way for Valene to return to Gary. Treadwell’s partner was revealed to be Abby, who, returning for the first time in four years, told Greg that she would be taking over the Sumner Group. However Greg thwarted her scheme by threatening to reveal her dirty dealings in Japan with some well documented evidence that he had just acquired. Anne offered Greg a divorce and he was free to get back together with Paige. Claudia decided to move to Monaco, and on the way to the airplane met up with Anne and Nick. Back at Seaview Circle, Gary, Val, Mack and Karen were preparing to have a barbecue as a new couple were moving into Frank’s old house on the cul-de-sac. At that moment, another car pulled up and Abby emerged. She informed everyone that she had heard Claudia’s house was for sale (the house which had originally been hers when she lived on the cul-de-sac). Valene smiled and welcomed Abby back to the cul-de-sac before rushing Gary away. Abby is left with Karen, to whom she proclaimed “Just like old times, isn’t it?”