Zade Rosenthal/TNT


S1 E3
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June 21, 2012 at 02:00 AM EDT

That sound you heard was Dallas fans breathing a collective sigh of relief that no one in the world’s poshest barber shop had the balls to ask JR Ewing if he wanted his eyebrows trimmed. NEVER! It may not be smart to put a pool table in the middle of a room lined with barbers wielding straight razors — how many times a day do they get hit in the back by a pool cue? — but it was brilliant to start the episode there, with JR finishing up his deceitful son John Ross’ shave. “I loved my daddy, and I respected my daddy,” JR said while sliding the blade across John Ross’ throat. “But most importantly, I feared my daddy.” And with that, we were again reminded why Dallas is the delicious reboot none of us knew we even wanted.

To everyone’s surprise, JR wasn’t prepared to slit his son’s throat. In fact, he was remarkably understanding about John Ross and “Marta” trying to cheat him out of 2 billion barrels worth of oil. He knew he hadn’t been there for John Ross during his formative years, but if given the chance, he wanted to teach him about Big Oil now. They shook on it, hugged, and got right down to business. JR said he wanted to meet the real money men fronting them the cash to steal Southfork from Bobby, and John Ross told JR about lawyer Lobell blackmailing him for more money to keep Bobby in the dark. The calm confidence in JR’s voice — even as he told John Ross to go find the witness Lobell had paid off 15 years ago when his drunk-driving son killed an elderly woman in a crosswalk — was somehow as comforting as a narrator’s voice in an animated Christmas classic. Maybe that’s why John Ross smiled the way he did (or, it could have just been Josh Henderson realizing JR Ewing had called him “partner”).

Rather than do a straight recap each week, I think we’ll break the episodes down by Who’s Screwing Who.

Let’s start with “Marta,” who appears to be screwing John Ross in multiple ways. Last week, we saw her drug John Ross and make a sex tape. Why? It was not explained. This week, it was the uneasy look she and her “Venezuelan oil man” associate shared after JR renegotiated their deal that made me think she was pulling one over on John Ross. Also, the way she popped a pill after JR said screwing him twice wasn’t a risk she wanted to take made me think she will, at some point, die from what will be made to look like an accidental overdose. Will it be JR or John Ross killing her after finding out she and her oil man had no intention of conveying Southfork to them after buying it from Bobby for a cool $50 million (in exchange for 14% of oil profits)? Or will it be her associate who does it when he believes she’s threatening their scheme? And what are those pills she has? In my dreams, they’re to keep her alternate personality from breaking through — a woman with anger issues who’s into bondage and filmed her sexcapade with John Ross so she could replay it on the nights when she couldn’t drug a man to be her submissive. What? Too much?

NEXT: Grumpiest Old Men

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