Blood & Oil recap: The Ripple Effect
A dramatic Blood & Oil pilot cliffhanger left oil tycoon Hap Briggs and his business partner, Billy LeFever, fending off a siphoner as a spark ignites a puddle of oil where the trio wrestle. Hap’s legs catch on fire just as he kicks the thief off of Billy, which makes the thief’s jacket ignite. Our masked man hops up and runs toward the tanker full of stolen oil. This is the exact opposite action of what you should do when engulfed in flames. I guess theft and attempted murder trump the “stop, drop, and roll” method.
We know that Hap’s son, Wick, is the one who is currently nursing a significant shoulder burn. Hap and Billy do not. On the flip side of this dysfunctional coin, Wick has no idea if his dad escaped the explosion he witnessed as he drove away from the rig site. He’s too busy concentrating on getting his alibi squared away with his accomplice, Garry.
Early the next morning, Hap hobbles around with second-degree burns and tells Sheriff Harrison that the perpetrator should be easy to track down since only a dozen or so employees had the security codes. The sheriff finds the bullet that was fired the night of the explosion. Between this evidence, the knowledge that one of the thieves has a burned shoulder, and the hefty reward Hap’s offering to speed this process along, heads are definitely going to roll.
Back in town, Cody has decided that a dingy motel with a parking lot full of drunk roughnecks in the middle of the afternoon is not an ideal place to raise her baby. Now that they have a million dollars kicking around in a bank account, she tells Billy that she wants Jules to find them a legitimate house. Unfortunately Billy isn’t paying attention because he’s been invited to the Oilman’s Club with Hap. This friendship has officially reached bromance level.
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Before he can share a bottle of whiskey with Billy, Hap celebrates his daughter’s homecoming. Hap sends his driver A.J. (Adan Canto) to pick up Lacey (Miranda Rae Mayo) from the airport after she hears about her father’s near-death experience. A.J. is ruggedly handsome, and Lacey is feisty. Their hookup at the end of the episode was as predictable as my mom’s 1-2-3-4 password for everything.
Wick “rushes” over to his father’s side and says all the right things, including “I love you,” to throw everyone off his trail. Call me crazy, but I really believe Wick’s guilt was severe enough to conjure those emotions. Lacey dotes on her father and stepbrother and speaks rudely to Carla in front of everyone. We learn later that Carla is clearly not her mother and her hatred for this woman literally forced Lacey to move to California. Carla seems to embrace her pair of disrespectful stepchildren. This makes me scared of her.
For example, when Hap shares the list of potential employees who may have siphoned the oil, Wick’s name is on the list, but it’s crossed out. Carla thinks they shouldn’t discount anyone. Hap assures her that his son would never point a gun at his face. Carla coldly agrees with him and it’s evident that she’s lying. Additionally, she puts on her best equestrian outfit and rides her show horse (the opposite of anything you would see in North Dakota) and meets the sheriff on top of a secluded hill. They have a cryptic conversation about Wick being more than just an employee. I thought they were going to start making out, but they didn’t. Surely that’s something that will inevitably happen in an upcoming episode.
NEXT: Wheeling and dealing
Over at the Oilman’s Club, which is a fraternity of rich, old white guys in suits and boots, Hap and Billy listen while a man discusses the business end of the recent explosion and how much money was lost as a result. Billy suggests that Hap start his own outfit so he doesn’t have to deal with scamming industry regulations anymore. Hap smiles and tells the number cruncher that he’s going to buy his company. It will be a wholly owned subsidiary that will be worth so much more than the investment in 10 years. Naturally, Billy wants in.
At the exact same time, Cody is working a deal with Jules on a house. When Billy doesn’t answer his phone (because he’s boozing it up at the club) she decided to take a page out of her husband’s book and just buy the house. Basic math tells us that there’s not enough money in the bank for the LeFevers to execute both deals. Are they going to double down during the boom? Or are they going to buy Junior a front yard that isn’t strewn with beer bottles?
While Cody and Billy fight over the future, Garry and Wick fight with a potential buyer over the huge tanker full of stolen oil. It would appear that sketchy folks in the siphoning business do not want to touch Briggs’ oil. The creepy potential buyer also mentions that there is a cash reward on the thieves’ heads that is more than the oil would bring anyway. Uh oh.
There’s no time for Wick to have a panic attack. He is due at his father’s house for family dinner. You can imagine his complete irritation when Billy and Cody show up. Since when do they share DNA with Hap? Billy calms down when Jules walks in. He announces her as his girlfriend, and she looks as shocked as everyone else in the room. During drinks on the veranda by the rushing river (Did I mention it’s a nice house?), Wick’s phone rings. Garry informs him that the creepy guy is going to turn them over to the cops for the reward money. Suddenly, Wick winces in pain as Hap claps him on the back of the shoulder. Wick turns around, and it’s clear that Hap is suspicious.
They walk back to the dinner table. Hap announces that he and Billy are going into another business adventure together. I figure that Hap did this to annoy his son, but he’s surprised when Billy cuts him off, apologizing that he won’t be able to join him after all. He has chosen his family over money. Hooray for wise decisions!
After dinner, Hap asks Wick where he was the night of the explosion. Wick parrots back his standard alibi. Just as Hap is about to call BS on that weak excuse and probably demand that he remove his shirt, the sheriff shows up to share the good news — the thief has been found. Well, his body has been found. The sketchy potential buyer, complete with a burn on his shoulder, had a gun that matched the bullet. Wick is extremely happy that all of this is behind them now. The sheriff looks him straight in the eye and reminds him that now he has a murder to solve. Heads up, Garry!
That night, Jules answers her door while wearing a silk nightie. Hap is on the other side. He accuses her of trying to get back at him by dating Wick. Jules snaps that her feelings are not his business — he lost that privilege a long time ago. Hap snatches her up, kisses her passionately, then demands that she stay away from his son. This I did NOT see coming. I assume Hap provided Jules with seed money to start all of her businesses? Does Hap have other women on the side? Is that why A.J. is taking pictures of Hap outside of Jules’ place? Is he really a private investigator hired by Carla?
Billy was right. The oil field is a rough business.