Christopher finds the answer to his marital woes in a pregnant cow in trouble, J.R. makes a move against John Ross
Dallas Larry Hagman
Credit: Zade Rosenthal/TNT
S1 E4
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I know I promised that I’d break these recaps down into who’s screwing who, but before we get with all the backstabbing this week, CAN WE DISCUSS THAT COW? There’s no way you could miss the analogy because they did everything but use a telestrator to draw an arrow on the screen connecting Christopher — who confessed to Bobby that he can’t stop thinking about what could’ve been with Elena even though he knows a good man doesn’t leave his new wife — and that pregnant cow whose calf had punctured her uterus, caused massive internal bleeding, and couldn’t be turned. Bobby had told Christopher he wouldn’t tell him what to do about Rebecca, only that he had to make a decision one way or the other. When the cow had enough of that stilted dialogue — she could only stay silent for so long in that much pain — she started moaning again, and Bobby pretended he was Billy Crystal delivering Norman in City Slickers. Bobby wanted to cut the cow open and save the calf; Christopher wanted to take the cow to town so a vet could try to save them both. If you wait too long, you’ll lose them both, Bobby said. GET THAT? IF CHRISTOPHER WAITS TOO LONG, HE’LL LOSE BOTH REBECCA AND ELENA.

I can’t remember the last time I laughed that hard. We didn’t see Curly shoot the cow, we just found out when Bobby and Christopher introduced the calf to its new mom that yes, they’d had to put the old mom down. “It was the right call,” Christopher said. “Yeah, his new mom is gonna take good care of him,” Bobby said. GET THAT? REBECCA IS THE NEW COW. Just incase that wasn’t heavy-handed enough for you, we got some talk about how Bobby always told Christopher he was special because he and Pam chose him as their adopted son. So that means what? Things happen for a reason, just because it wasn’t the original plan doesn’t mean it’s not the best thing for you, and people like knowing they were the pick? Deep. That entire cow situation was so awesomely bad… I loved it.

The other highlight of sheer hilarity: J.R.’s attempt to remind Elena that John Ross has always liked her because she was the only one who could get him to study or even finish a book.

Elena: He was dyslexic, not stupid.

J.R.: Yeah. Listen, why don’t you ask him to the barbecue today….

Amazing. That segue was about as good as the time I transitioned from one question to another during an interview with Scott Baio by simply saying, “So, Heather Locklear.”

Now back to our regularly scheduled program: Who’s Screwing Who This Week.

J.R. is screwing John Ross. Big Time. I feel like I must be a good person, because I thought J.R. was going to have his private eye knock off Marta Del Sol, or at least tail her so she didn’t hurt John Ross, after J.R. learned that “Marta” is actually Veronica Martinez, a bipolar woman with two arrests for stalking her ex-boyfriends — one of whom she went after with a skinning knife. “I’d say when it comes to jealousy, our girl is crazier than an outhouse rat,” J.R. surmised, smiling. Why is an outhouse rat crazy? I refuse to Google it. Instead, J.R.’s plan was to get photos of John Ross and Elena looking cozy so he could take them to Marta, who would be mixing champagne and Lithium at the time, naturally, and in her rage, she’d agree to rework the Southfork deal so the Venezuelans would sign it over to J.R. alone.

Three things: 1.) I’m still not convinced the Venezuelans aren’t screwing J.R. somehow and Marta won’t die a horrible drug-related death made to look like an overdose. 2.) Why did J.R. tell Marta that John Ross was with Elena at the goodbye Southfork BBQ (which wasn’t as crowded as I’d expected)? I assume he doesn’t actually WANT her to kill his son. Does he want Marta to go there, make a scene and get arrested before she can tell John Ross those photos came from J.R., who also gave her the idea to screw him out of the deal? 3.) Did anyone else, for a second, think J.R. was propositioning Marta to be his mistress when he said she’d at least know what she was getting with him?

NEXT: John Ross needs some work in the screwing department

John Ross tried to screw Rebecca, and failed. At John Ross’ morning meeting with J.R. at his apartment — loved the random Chex Mix on the kitchen counter, which I assume was an attempt to make the place look lived in — J.R. told him Lobell’s son had two felony drug possession charges against him. They just needed to manufacture evidence of a third strike, and they could blackmail Lobell into closing the deal. J.R. gave John Ross the job of finding a girl who could get a photo of the son (played by Jason London) doing drugs. J.R. suggested Marta, but John Ross said she was kinda “clingy.” I love how much J.R. and Bobby want to talk about their son’s sex lives.

Obviously, we knew who John Ross was going to call: He told Rebecca he knew about the email, and if she came through with this photo, he’d let her get away with whatever scam she was pulling on Christopher. Rebecca denied sending the email (must have been Tommy), but went along with it. She went to what I assume was a Narcotics Anonymous meeting and asked Lobell’s son if they could go some place and talk because she was having a tough day. Not sure why “some place” was a parked car — not at all creepy — but her weak attempt at convincing him to get high with her was aborted when he hit us over the head with the story of how he was able to go straight because he found someone he loved. He stopped lying to himself that being bad was his only option. Now when he thinks about messing up, he thinks about her and what he’d be losing. CHRISTOPHER’S LOVE HAS SAVED REBECCA, AND SHE DOESN’T WANT TO LOSE HIM BY RETURNING TO HER CON ARTIST WAYS.

Rebecca went home and called John Ross to tell him she wouldn’t do it. He said she had until the next afternoon to git-r-done. He took the call when he was with Marta, who’d convinced Neiman Marcus to open late at night for her so she could buy John Ross a watch and he’d never be late for another date. He told Marta about Lobell’s son, and she agreed to take care of it the next morning so she and John Ross could celebrate that afternoon. Maybe Lobell’s son didn’t love his lady as much as he said he did, because Marta did more than photograph him snorting cocaine. J.R. took those photos to Lobell, who has to file the papers signing Southfork over to J.R. (John Ross can wait his turn) or else. Man, J.R.’s eyebrows rose to that occasion!

Anyway, John Ross had missed his date with Marta and ignored her calls all day because Elena had interrupted his alone time drinking and watching NASCAR at a bar. She wanted him to help charm a middle-aged woman into letting her drill on her land. Once John Ross’ charms worked, he and Elena went out to the field and played around with a water hose. That’s when J.R.’s PI took pictures of them, proving to Marta that John Ross had lied about spending the night playing pool with his buddies. Elena told John Ross she wanted to be in business with him again, but they’d have to take everything else one step at a time. But then Christopher chose to do the right thing — which was apparently be a total douche and make Elena hate him. He wrote her a $20,000 check and told her to cash it so she couldn’t claim partial ownership of his patent in the future when she would again want to compromise her integrity for her ambition. That’s when Elena texted John Ross asking him to be her date at the BBQ. She has excellent timing, by the way — he was only wearing a towel when he read it.

John Ross then texted Rebecca and told her he was coming to the BBQ. “You shoud’ve [sic] done what I asked,” he added. Love the typo. At the BBQ, Rebecca saw John Ross show up — looking the hottest he’s looked on the show in like Hatfield & McCoy-meets-Dolce & Gabbana — and she told Christopher they had to talk. He took her to see the new calf and told her he’d chosen her/THE NEW COW. She told him she had something to tell him about the email that Elena received when they were going to elope! Clearly, she’s going to blame it on Tommy, right? But…

Tommy is trying to screw Christopher out of his patent. Will Rebecca tell Christopher the full story? She and Tommy had planned for her to get close enough to Christopher that Tommy could install that program on Christopher’s computer — which he finally did — and they could steal his patent. Why? It seems like there’d be easier things to steal from rich people. Tommy also confirmed he’s doing more than moving boxes to help Ann pack up Southfork (while Christopher moves 1,000 head of cattle — sure he did) so Ann and Bobby can move into a condo. (A CONDO?) He’s been copying family records from the “storage barn” trying to dig up valuable information they can exploit. What do you think he’ll find?

Cliff Barnes is still trying to screw J.R., god bless him. J.R. went to see Sue Ellen at her office and bring her a pearl necklace of Miss Ellie’s that he found while he sat and watched as someone else packed up Southfork. (Good thing Ann found Miss Ellie’s silver when she did.) Of course, Cliff Barnes also arrived at that moment to take Sue Ellen to lunch and talk about her political aspirations. There was time for one good J.R. zinger — “I’m a changed man. Evidence of that is the fact that you’re not being wheeled out of here with two broken legs” — but did anyone get the impression Larry Hagman was reading his lines off a cue card someone was holding up at Cliff Barnes’ height? J.R. invited Sue Ellen to a pre-BBQ breakfast at the ranch and found out Cliff wants to fund her campaign. So I assume we’ll keep seeing more of Cliff so J.R. can get his snark on. J.R. said he wants a fresh start with Sue Ellen. She told him Cliff still thinks he’s after Southfork. Good times are ahead.

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