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Dallas season premiere recap: The Devil's Son

John Ross sets an elaborate plan in motion to destroy Christopher and Elena, but J.R. is still king

Posted on

WTW Dallas
Skip Bolen/TNT


TV Show
Current Status:
In Season
Barbara Bel Geddes, Linda Gray, Larry Hagman, Patrick Duffy, Charlene Tilton, Victoria Principal

As we begin season 2 and the late Larry Hagman’s last handful of episodes as J.R. Ewing, let’s remember it’s okay to get misty. I know I got teary-eyed and rewound when, at the start of the premiere’s second hour, Hagman beamed after J.R. told Josh Henderson’s John Ross that it was okay to feel something as he watched Elena and Christopher kiss. “Use it,” he said. “Love, hate, jealousy: mix ‘em up and they make a mean martini. And when we takeover Ewing Energies, you’ll slake your thirst — with a twist.” It’s also okay to see how Dallas, while never the same without Hagman, might be able to keep our interest. (John Ross is going to need to have a lot of sex.) Here we go.

We opened with gubernatorial candidate Sue Ellen enjoying her 12-point lead in the polls and chants of “You are Texas!” Cut to John Ross at a swanky bar, eliciting his own cheers when he approached a bachelorette party and wrote-in “French kiss a stranger until his toes curl” on the bride’s to-do list apron. She guessed he was trouble — he’s got his daddy’s grin, after all — and he was. The next morning, she told him to sneak out the back to avoid her father. Turns out, her dad is the reason he slept with her: The man had refused to sell J.R. Ewing’s son his fleet of trucks, so John Ross recorded the rendezvous on his phone and threatened to take it to a society reporter. The father said his daughter and her fiancé were in love. “Love is for pussies,” John Ross said. “Now do we have a deal?”

The reason John Ross is so down on love, of course, is because Christopher and Elena are together — and he sees them, together with Bobby, as a voting block at Ewing Energies. The men each own 30 percent of the company, while Elena has 10 percent. That’s especially important at a time when John Ross wants to spend $50 million on those oil trucks and Christopher has his heart set on a new methane rig. As we learned when Christopher asked NASCAR driver Ricky Rudd to test a Ewing Energies-sponsored stock car that runs on methane, he’s hoping to win the city contract to provide fuel for all of Dallas’ public transportation. And as we learned when J.R. made his first appearance sitting with his cowboy boots up on John Ross’ desk (and taking credit for John Ross’ “screwing that trucker heiress girl” scheme), J.R. and John Ross don’t want that contract to happen because they need Bobby turned back into an oil man. That should be their main goal, but John Ross wants to destroy Christopher. J.R. warned him that “vengeance is a dish best served cold” (a little too cliché for J.R. Ewing, writers), when really, he should have told John Ross what Bobby said to Christopher last season: “An eye for an eye just makes both people blind.”

NEXT: The real screwing begins