In Episode 36, Elliot Carson asks, "All the solid citizens of Peyton Place are good people, aren't they?" to which sensible Ada Jacks replies wryly, "That's the New England story if you want to believe it." Well, don't believe it for a second. As the continuing story of Peyton Place unfolds in this second DVD set from Shout Factory, viewers learn that everything in the town of 9,875 is not really as it seems. While the previous DVD set established core characters and laid the foundation for stories, Peyton Place truly begins firing on all cylinders in the next 31 episodes.
Among the shorter story arcs presented: George and Julie Anderson's marriage crumbles as George begins hallucinating and flashing back to his experiences in World War II. After running away to New York, Betty meets sophisticated "kept woman" Sharon Purcell (a luminous performance by actress Dayna Ceder -whatever happened to her?). Although Betty's New York adventure only lasts for six episodes, its impact will reverberate throughout the remainder of the program's run when Leslie Harrington's private detective makes a grievous misinterpretation of Betty's interaction with Sharon's associates. In other stories, Rodney and Allison move tentatively toward a relationship, while Norman Harrington finds a kindred spirit in the underprivileged Rita Jacks. Patricia Morrow's sensitive portrayal of a bad-girl-gone-good is absolutely flawless, with Rita eventually becoming one of the most beloved characters in the series.
However, it is Elliot Carson's return to Peyton Place in episode 32 which really drives the narrative for the next 30 episodes. In an epic plot involving all of the major characters, dark secrets are finally exposed as Elliot fights to prove his innocence in the brutal murder of his adulterous wife Elizabeth eighteen years earlier. This long story arc culminates with a violent conclusion more or less cribbed years later for the second season finale of Falcon Crest. When the real killer of Elizabeth Carson is ultimately revealed in episode 62, many lives in Peyton Place will be changed forever...
Episodes included in this 5 DVD set (minor spoilers):
Episode 32: Aired: 1/5/1965
Leslie's private detective Mr. Blaine locates Betty in a Boston hotel. George threatens to kill Rodney if anything happens to Betty. Elliot arrives and wanders the deserted streets of Peyton Place.
Episode 33 - Aired: 1/7/1965
Allison tells Rodney that Betty is in New York, but she doesn't want to be "found". A hallucinating George locks himself in the Peyton Place Professional Building with a loaded gun.
Episode 34 - Aired: 1/12/1965
Elliot begs Connie not to be afraid of him. As the police converge at George's office, a shot is fired.
Episode 35 - Aired: 1/14/1965
Laura decides to give up her pursuit of Rossi and leave Peyton Place. Boarding house landlady Mrs. Hewitt tells Elliot that most townspeople think his late wife Elizabeth got exactly what she deserved.
Episode 36 - Aired: 1/19/1965
Betty meets the sophisticated Sharon Purcell in New York. Tavern owner Ada Jacks suggests Elliot let sleeping dogs lie. A tipsy Laura gives some parting advice to the Harrington family.
Episode 37 - Aired: 1/21/1965
Julie prepares to move back into her empty home. Elliot gets a frosty reception from his former father-in-law Calvin Hanley. In New York, Sharon dazzles Betty with her glamorous lifestyle.
Episode 38 - Aired: 1/26/1965
Elliot confronts Paul Hanley, Elizabeth's younger brother, whose eyewitness testimony convicted Elliot. Betty moves into Sharon's luxurious Manhattan apartment. Dr. Rossi has bad news about Elliot's father Eli.
Episode 39 - Aired: 1/28/1965
Betty declares herself a "New York Cinderella". Connie is uncomfortable when Allison speculates about Elizabeth Carson's murder.
Episode 40 - Aired: 2/2/1965
Connie reassures Elliot that growing up, Allison never wanted for anything. Betty's blind date, set up by Sharon, turns dangerous.
Episode 41 - Aired: 2/4/1965
Calvin reassures Paul that he did the right thing by testifying against Elliot at the murder trial. Julie phones Rodney with news that Betty is coming home, but Leslie warns him that Detective Blaine has disturbing information about Betty's escapades in New York.
Episode 42 - Aired: 2/9/1965
Betty returns to Peyton Place. Connie supports Elliot as his father goes into surgery.
Episode 43 - Aired: 2/11/1965
Betty makes a deal with Leslie to free Rodney from marriage. Elliot quite literally shatters Connie's lie. Rodney is jealous of Paul's attention toward Allison.
Episode 44 - Aired: 2/16/1965
Elliot threatens Paul. Matt informs Leslie that Peyton Mill is reverting back to Martin Peyton's ownership.
Episode 45 - Aired: 2/18/1965
Leslie gives Rodney a copy of Detective Blaine's report on Betty. Connie admits to Rossi she's to blame if Elliot actually killed Elizabeth.
Episode 46 - Aired: 2/23/1965
Robert Wainwright, Martin Peyton's lawyer, questions Elliot about the murder of Elizabeth and asks if Elliot knows the identity of the man Elizabeth was seeing. Eli Carson learns the truth about Allison.
Episode 47 - Aired: 2/25/1965
Julie bids Leslie farewell. Elliot orders Allison to stay away from Paul Hanley.
Episode 48 - Aired: 3/2/1965
Elliot warns Connie that Paul is suspicious about what happened 18 years ago. After a visit from Leslie's attorney, a Peyton Place resident collapses and dies.
Episode 49 - Aired: 3/4/1965
Paul finds "Pandora's Box" hidden in a closet. Dr. Rossi helps Betty embark upon a new career.
Episode 50 - Aired: 3/9/1965
Rodney attempts to rekindle his relationship with Allison. Elliot discovers a diary wrapped in an 18 year-old newspaper announcing the murder of Elizabeth Hanley Carson.
Episode 51 - Aired: 3/11/1965
Betty clashes with a new supervisor. Elliot has proof of Elizabeth's affair with a prominent Peyton Place citizen.
Episode 52 - Aired: 3/16/1965
Constance is blackmailed into suppressing evidence in Elizabeth Carson's murder. Norman is taunted by lower-class Rita Jacks and her boyfriend Kitch at The Shoreline Cafe.
Episode 53 - Aired: 3/18/1965
A drunken Norman is confined to the Pillory in the town square. Connie tells an enraged Elliot about the blackmail threats, and Elliot promises to stop it.
Episode 54 - Aired: 3/23/1965
Rita visits Norman in the hospital and meets a disapproving Rodney. Leslie makes an admission about what happened the night Elizabeth was murdered.
Episode 55 - Aired: 3/25/1965
Dr. Morton learns that his daughter Claire is coming home to Peyton Place from Lima, Peru. Paul demands that Elliot return Elizabeth's diary so that the guilty party can be punished at last.
Episode 56 - Aired: 3/30/1965
Paul visits Leslie and accuses him of murdering Elizabeth. Norman asks Rita out on a date, but she insists his family will never approve of her.
Episode 57 - Aired: 4/1/1965
Elliot is served with a subpoena. Ada approves of Rita and Norman's relationship. Leslie receives an unexpected visitor at the Peyton Mill.
Episode 58 - Aired: 4/6/1965
Wainwright offers Leslie a settlement in exchange for his resignation from the Peyton Mill. Elliot attempts to warn Leslie that an enemy is on the way to kill him.
Episode 59 - Aired: 4/8/1965
Paul's revenge against Leslie backfires, leaving an innocent party fighting for life after an attempted murder at the Peyton mansion.
Episode 60 - Aired: 4/13/1965
Dr. Rossi and Dr. Morton fight to save the gunshot victim in surgery. Paul tells Allison about the shooting at the Peyton mansion.
Episode 61 - Aired: 4/15/1965
Claire Morton arrives at Doctor's Hospital and meets Mike Rossi. Elliot receives thanks for saving a life.
Episode 62 - Aired: 4/20/1965
A full confession to Elizabeth Carson's murder is made.