Truths come out, and so do the claws as the scene is set for a juicy second season

By Mandi Bierly
August 09, 2012 at 02:18 AM EDT
TNT
S1 E10
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This season finale reminded me of a line from the Trace Adkins song “Honky Tonk Badonkadonk” — we hate to see her go, but love to watch her leave. Why? We’ll have to wait until January for season 2, but this was a great end to season 1. That final shot, pulling back to show the nighttime city skyline from an empty space where the son had just told his evil father to teach him his dirty tricks, almost felt like something out of a superhero movie. Like they were Harry Osborn and the Green Goblin. I loved it. This episode belonged to Josh Henderson, who made me say “Awwww” when John Ross proposed to Elena and “S—, this is a good scene for him” when John Ross later fought back tears as he pleaded with Elena not to give up on him. Let’s dig in.

Thank god we got another shot of the blood-splattered stuffed animals. As we all guessed, it was Tommy who’d been shot. Rebecca dialed someone and said, “I’m in trouble.” Next thing you know there were men dragging Tommy’s body across the hardwood floor (instead of lifting it, which wouldn’t have made more of a mess, guys). They rolled him in plastic and then out the door in a bin.

We cut to the hospital where the family was waiting for word on Bobby, who was stable but hadn’t awoken from surgery, so they couldn’t determine whether he’d suffered any brain damage. J.R. said until security threw him out, he was going to talk to his brother, and alone with Bobby, he touched his hand and told him to wake up and fight — fight with him. He said he was going to tell Bobby something he’d never heard before: “I love you, Bobby, and I don’t know who I’d be without you.” J.R.’s chin quivered slightly, and I teared up a little.

John Ross took a call from Vicente, who wanted him to ask Christopher how soon the methane extraction rig he was standing on would be fully operational and able to be moved. Rebecca showed up at the hospital with bruises on her face and chest, and admitted Tommy and she had fought. Christopher wanted to find Tommy (to do what, Christopher?), but Rebecca said he was gone for good. She noticed Christopher was wearing his wedding ring again, and he told her she should, too.

Here’s what I don’t get: Why didn’t she just tell him that Tommy had stolen her rings for money to get out-of-town? That would have been totally believable and she wouldn’t have had to go comb through Tommy’s hotel room (finding nothing but photos of them kissing) and go visit the body being stored inside a van in a hangar. (That couldn’t have smelled good. Maybe dump it from a plane sooner?) She found a receipt from a pawn shop in his wallet. After Bobby woke up and was fine, John Ross took Elena to an office that was having its interior gutted. Turns out it was the old Ewing Oil building, and John Ross had rented the floor as a surprise for Christopher, to show him how much their family name means to him.

Then John Ross had a surprise for Elena: he proposed with a ring that he said reminded him of the first time he saw light reflecting on oil. He’d thought he’d never see anything as beautiful, but then he saw her. He knelt and told her he loved her and that everything was better with her. Okay, this oil-based proposal would not have worked on me, but it was pretty perfect for Elena, I suppose. She said yes. When Christopher showed up for a toast, he was immediately moved by the office space and eventually happy for Elena and John Ross. With them moving on, he was, too. He took Rebecca some Chinese food, like they had when they first started dating, and they kissed. He noticed she wasn’t wearing her ring, and she told him it was because the pregnancy had made her finger swell. Guess a man knows better than to argue with that.

NEXT: Ann worries us, for a moment

With Bobby feeling up to visitors, J.R. brought him a bottle of booze just as lawyer Lou was leaving. “You know you’ve hit a low when even a lawyer won’t take the time to insult you,” J.R. quipped when Lou ignored him. Marta had saved all her videos onto a Cloud Drive, and the authorities had found them. Bobby said he couldn’t die because he had unfinished business with J.R. There was footage of J.R. conspiring with her against Bobby. Lou drove J.R. to Southfork and interrupted John Ross’ basketball game with Christopher (male bonding!). Of course, Elena would come looking for John Ross (so her mother could tell him she’d misjudged him) just as he was agreeing to come clean about his involvement with the fraud to help void the deal with Vicente. She heard everything. As I’ve already mentioned, I thought Josh Henderson was great in the scene that followed. He made you want Elena to believe that John Ross had changed — that he was trying to do better for her now — because it was the truth and he was fighting back tears. He said he knew she was angry and hurt, but he didn’t want her to give up on him. He asked her to meet him at Ewing Energies the next day and start anew.

Meanwhile, Sue Ellen had told Ann she was going to hold a press conference and drop out of the gubernatorial race. She had to live with herself and she couldn’t if she laundered Ryland’s money through her PAC. Wanting to do what was best for “the good people of Texas,” Ann went to see Ryland, who she assumed was blackmailing Sue Ellen to get to her. Ryland was willing to back off if Ann slept with him in his office. I almost threw something at the TV when she took off her jacket and started unbuttoning her shirt. I couldn’t believe she’d be that stupid — and she wasn’t! She opened her shirt to show her bra — and a wire. She had him confessing to extortion, blackmail, and needing to launder money. She told him if he made a move on her, Sue Ellen, or anyone in the family, he’d go to jail. He went to grab the mic, and she punched him. ANN! ANN! ANN! She told him the next time he asks for a hug, he’ll be hugging the business end of her shotgun. Ann later met Sue Ellen in the park and gave her the recording because the good people of Texas need her.

Time for a big reveal: So Cliff Barnes’ righthand man Frank was trying to strike a deal with Vicente to give Cliff his rights to Ewing technology and the lien on Southfork. Before Vicente could sign the papers, he was arrested by federal agents at his door. When he got downtown, Bobby, J.R., and Christopher were waiting for him. John Ross and J.R. got immunity for their full confessions, which would void Vicente’s deals with Bobby for Southfork and Christopher for Ewing Energies technoogy. I’m guessing we haven’t seen the last of Vicente. “Life is cheap in prison, Vicente, and I’m a very rich man,” J.R. told him. “So am I,” Vicente said. Bobby threatened J.R. and told him he had a copy of Marta’s videos, which he would use if J.R. screwed him again. Christopher wasn’t ready to forgive John Ross, but Bobby wants the boys to work it out. Good luck with that!

Christopher had asked John Ross to have Bum track down Tommy, and Bum finally found his hotel room. It was empty, so Christopher thought Tommy had switched hotels to avoid him, but then, the phone rang in the room. Christopher answered it. The woman on the line assumed she was talking to Tommy and told him he had to come to Des Moines because Uncle Fred had a heart attack. Who was she, Christopher asked. Tommy’s sister, Rebecca. SECRET IS OUT! Oh, it gets even better. Christopher went to see Rebecca and told her he’s going to find out who she is, send her to prison, and take the babies so they never know what a piece of garbage she is.

Rebecca reminded him he lied, too: he was still in love with Elena when he married her. Yeah, but totally not the same thing, whoever you are. Chris went to see Elena, and stopped her as she was on her way to meet John Ross and return the ring. He gave a pretty great speech — these Ewing men can woo! He said when she was nine, and he saw her crying after her father died, he knew he’d do anything to make her smile again. When they were 15, and she beat him racing horses on the ranch and he kissed her for the first time, he knew he loved her. And when they were 22, studied all night for an exam, then came home after it and made love, he knew he wanted to marry her. He said they’d wasted too much of their lives not being together and pulled out the engagement ring he’d given her once before.

NEXT: Johnny Cash is the perfect soundtrack for J.R.

Time for a montage! As Sue Ellen gave an inspirational speech to the good people of Texas (can that phrase be outlawed), I almost thought she was going to be shot. She wasn’t. We saw John Ross get excited hearing the elevator at Ewing Energies, only to turn and find Elena’s mother there to return the ring. Ouch. Apparently Elena and Christopher stopped at the house to see her before heading to a hotel to have sex. And we saw Bobby and Ann looking out over Southfork feeling like it was home again. Silly fools! Rebecca, it turns out [drumroll], had been calling Frank for help. She’s Cliff Barnes’ daughter. She’d given up two years of her life to help him settle things with the Ewings and get peace. She’d lost focus, but she promised she wouldn’t do it again after Christopher threatened to take the babies. You know she means business now because she was wearing all black. And a turtleneck! Cliff’s giving her a second chance to get a piece of Ewing Energies so he can bring the family down. He told Frank to keep her safe, because there’ll be a firestorm when the Ewings find out what’s happening.

What was it Bobby said, if you’re consumed with “eye for an eye,” you both end up blind? The Ewings are definitely going to be at odds now. John Ross told J.R. he’ll bring him into Ewing Energies IF he stops teaching him about oil and starts teaching him all the dirty tricks he’ll need to get the company away from Christopher and Elena. If J.R. screws him, John Ross said, he’ll never see a dime from Southfork oil and he’ll be back in the home for good. “Now that’s my son, from tip to tail,” J.R. said proudly as Johnny Cash played. AWESOME. Reunited and it feels so evil!

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