The season ending perfectly captures what made this show so great during this era. A good mix of camp (Alexis arrested for murder and spending the night in jail in her BIG! RED! DRESS!) and drama (Fallon getting into a potentially fatal car accident).
Kirby's departure is somewhat mixed. Her whole upstairs/downstairs story and relation with Adam had it's ups and downs, but it seemed like the writers ran out of story for her. Her departure, and episodes of trying to get revenge on Alexis and going nowhere with that, is somewhat welcome. But the actress was good in her role, so a mixed bag. Still, her final confrontation with Alexis did give one of Alexis' best lines in the series; after Kirby calls Alexis a bitch, Alexis replies with one of her best lines ever: "If I am, take a lesson from me, you may need it in
Pamela Sue Martin's departure is much more of a hit to the show. Moreso because, until we get to season 9, her replacement just was not written well.