Forget even, Santa Barbara's Mason just gets mad

 By Gabrielle Winkel, Soap Opera Weekly, 1991

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When Bridget and Jerome Dobson returned to Santa Barbara as head writers and creative production executives, one of their primary goals was, in Bridget Dobson's words, "to get Mason back. We really had to get him back or Santa Barbara wasn't Santa Barbara." That pivotal character, they felt, had been lost.

During the first week of March, when Mason (Gordon Thomson) and his mother Pamela (Marj Dusay) went head to head with the entire Capwell family, the rebuilding of the cynical, angry Mason had begun (The dinner table episodes were brilliantly written by Patrick Mulcahey as a favor to the Dobsons, personal friends). In fact, the metamorphosis broke new ground when Mason and Pamela parted - C.C. (Jed Allan) had her returned to a mental institution - with an incestuous kiss. "We didn't know how to do it (bring back Mason) except through the oedipal way," Dobson explained.

This week, Mason continues antagonizing key friends, family members - even enemies. He reminds his father, C.C., that he's at the same age at which male Capwells traditionally drop dead. He then tries, in vain, to get Dash (Timothy Gibbs) out of town. Mason wraps up the week by beginning to get his mother out of the institution (Dusay may returns to Santa Barbara to continue to bond with her son and torment her ex-husband). Mason will be getting a love interest when Katrina, C.C.'s German business friend's daughter, is cast and comes to town.

Thomson admits the transformation has been challenging as well as "much more exciting. Though I hope (I get) no more lines." (The Mason of old liked to talk. A lot.)

A few weeks ago, Mason's venomous parting words to his family were : "Your pretty lives, your perfect lives, your exquisite happiness will be destroyed inch by inch, wound by wound as surely and completely as you destroyed her (Pamela). This is my solemn promise. Remember it." We will.