Season 01, Episode 01
Air date December 27, 1979
Written by David Jacobs
Directed by Peter Levine
Episode Guide
Community Spirit
"Pilot" is the first episode of CBS' Knots Landing's first season. Originally airing on Thursday, 27th December, 1979, "Pilot" was written by David Jacobs and directed by Peter Levine.


Act I Edit

Sid Fairgate, a local mechanic, arrives home early from work citing a bad cold. He greets his neighbour, Laura Avery, then heads inside to find his teenage daughter, Annie Fairgate, in his bed with a boy. Meanwhile, newlyweds Gary and Valene Ewing arrive at their new home, along with a moving van containing furniture from Gary’s mother. Gary’s brother, Bobby, accompanies them in the move. Karen Fairgate, Sid’s wife, arrives home, and greets the Ewings immediately. She introduces her family as the ‘Neighbourhood Braidy Bunch’ and invites the Ewings for a potluck dinner, to which Gary and Val agree to. The Ewings then tour their new house as Sid throws out the boy his daughter was with, which catches Karen’s attention. It is revealed that Annie’s two-week stay with the Fairgates has been strained, which Karen confronts Annie over. Annie storms out the house in a rage, taking Karen’s car with her. Karen then chastises Sid over his laidback parenting of Annie, citing their distant relationship as a cause for action rather than passivity.  At the Ewing household, Bobby insists that he and his mother’s kindness is not unfounded, and they are happy to help. As Bobby prepares to return to Dallas, Gary and Valene remark that their second marriage will be successful. Gary accompanies Bobby to the airport, leaving Valene alone. Richard Avery, a lawyer, arrives home, and greets his new neighbour Valene. Valene invites Richard in to inspect her new home, who then offers to fetch her a bulb. Several hours pass before Richard returns with the bulb, coincidentally arriving at the same time as Gary returns home. Richard inquires after Gary due to his affluent background, and then invites the Ewings to attend a neighbourhood gathering after dinner. Meanwhile, Karen and Sid continue to clash over Annie. Karen implores Sid to send Annie back to her mother, Susan Philby, fearing the consequences of another turbulent week.

Act II Edit

At the Fairgate dinner party we meet the three children between Sid and Karen. Gary tells the party that this is the second time he and Val have been married, having initally got hitched 17 years earlier. Karen tells 15 year old Diana to close her ears because it would have meant Gary and Val married in her young teens. Meanwhile Annie has gone to the Ward house, the fourth couple that are important in the early years of KL. Record producer Kenny is playing disco records and it becomes apparent he is a womaniser as he wishes his wife Ginger is not present when Annie visits. They tell a naive Ginger to introduce herself to the new neighbours at the now assembled Avery shindig. At the soiree, the men and women separate, Sid offers Gary a job in his car sales business whilst the women discuss family. When Ginger lets it slip that Annie is over at the Ward's, Karen knows she must intervene. Karen catches them in a clench and orders a snarling Annie home whilst she reminds Kenny that he won't look so good if Sid knew what was going on. Back at the party, Annie is making passes at the men whilst Valene announces she has never seen the ocean. She is sympathetic to the plight of the unhappy Annie, relating her to her own teenage daughter. She invites Annie to the beach and for lunch. Sid also encourages Gary's potential employment at Knots Landing Motors. Later that night Annie crashes the car into the driveway and has Diana as a drunk passenger. This is the final straw for Karen who gives Sid an ultimatum, either Annie or herself and the kids must go.

Act III Edit

Annie has other ideas and tries to run away from the Fairgate house in the middle of the night. Karen tries to offer an olive branch but instead the troublesome teen smashes the Living Room mirror and takes off. Meanwhile, Valene expresses her doubts about moving to Knots Landing to Gary.

Act IV Edit

The next morning she rings Valene to bail her out. She does so and asks what has happened. Annie has been accused of turning tricks in a bar. They drive to the beach and one of Knots Landing's iconic moments occurs when Valene takes off running into the Pacific Ocean. Annie thinks of robbing her but doesn't and they then have a tete a tete about trust. Annie says she is so unhappy because her mother is in an asylum, her grandmother is dead and Sid is the only one left to take it out on. Val drives them back to Seaview Circle and Karen thanks her for helping Annie in the first emotional moment between the soon to be best friends. Up to this point Val had been unsure of her place in the neighbourhood but Gary reminds her it is probably their last chance to be happy and successful. Sid has a deep and meaningful conversation with Annie. He tells Karen it was her confrontation that made the breakthrough. They get into the vintage car he has been working on and drive recklessly through the estate for fun.




Special Guest Star(s)

Trivia Edit


'Uncharted Love', the second in a series of 14 novels based on 'Knots Landing'.

  • 'Uncharted Love', the second in a series of paperback novels based on Knots Landing, focuses on 'Pilot'.
  • 'Pilot' is the sole appearance of Karen Allen as Annie Fairgate.
  • In the opening title sequence a scene of Kenny and Ginger looking out their window is shown that is subsequently never seen during the timeline of the show. This deleted scene was from 'Pilot', and shows Kenny and Ginger observing a reckless Annie returning home.