Dallas recap: Family Ties
Dallas, you are a crazy, delicious little show that managed to pack a manhunt, the arrest of a drug-addicted Buckle Bunny, a wedding that’s the equivalent of uniting a Stark with a Lannister, a fight during which someone is wearing a bath towel, and a slow-motion shot of Patrick Duffy walking into two hours (or 90 minutes, if you don’t count commercials). Well done!
We began with the Ewings confronting baby-hugging Gov. McConaughey about his involvement with Harris Ryland and Cliff Barnes at a speech where he was touting a pipeline that will prevent them from pumping Southfork oil. Truth be told, I don’t exactly understand what’s happening here, but John Ross’ threat to McConaughey was easy enough to follow: “My father took down three senators, two governors, and a vice president, and he taught me everything he knows,” he said. “Your head’s gonna look real nice above my fireplace, governor.” Cue the credits!
Back at the ranch, Bobby tried to convince the bank to give them a three-week extension on their loan, but everyone knows that won’t be enough time to get them out from under the $1 billion fine and appeal the ruling. So, Bobby said, they double down on J.R.’s masterplan: Since Ryland’s trucks come out clean at the border, they’ll try to catch them in Texas, and they’ll try to get both Pamelas on their side so they can mount a takeover of Barnes Global from within.
Christopher said John Ross had to tell Pamela No. 2 about her father being responsible for the rig explosion that killed her twin babies. He didn’t want to do it, knowing it could break her, but John Ross agreed. She looked on the mend at her place, where he found her painting the walls white for a fresh start. She gave him a hello kiss, and he backed off and told her the truth about the evil triad. She didn’t believe her father would ever hurt her. She thought John Ross had only sat with her last week to manipulate her, “like you always do, like WE always do.” Josh Henderson is so good at playing hurt.
Meanwhile, at the ranch, Christopher and Elena ran into Drew, who’s explaining his bruises by saying he fell off some scaffolding. Elena wanted to know why Drew was asking her to lie to the Ewings about Harris when they hate him just as much, but he wouldn’t tell her. The least he could do, she said, was stop seeing Emma. Of course, he went to see Emma straight away to ask her to run away with him because he “likes her.” Convincing! She turned him down, knowing her father would find them and not be as kind the second time.
The Governor held court with Harris and Cliff and let them know if this goes bad for him it’s damn well going bad for them, too. Keeping with Harris’ love of animal metaphors, he said the Ewings are trapped animals flailing about trying to convince themselves it’s not over. McConaughey told Harris to tie off his loose ends because “What the Ewings don’t pick clean, I will.” They can’t kill the governor, right?
NEXT: Christopher wants to declare his mother dead
Christopher went to see Ellis, the assistant U.S. attorney, who told him his mother’s passport expired in 1998 and was never renewed. She hasn’t filed a tax return since 1989, and all the dividends owed to her as one-third owner of Barnes Global have been sitting in a trust account untouched since then. Ka-ching! Trading on Ellis’ guilt over his false assurances that Vicente would face justice in Venezuela, Christopher told him he needed to get them a death certificate for Pam yesterday.
At Southfork, Ann brought an obscenely large bouquet of flowers into Emma’s room, and conveniently stumbled upon a bottle of pills in one of her drawers. Ann confronted Emma about Sue Ellen saying Emma had seemed high at the bar when they ran into each other. But Emma said it was Sue Ellen who was drunk and trying to discredit her incase she told her mother about seeing Sue Ellen drinking. Emma told her mother to take the pills — she doesn’t need them now that she’s not living with her father and grandmother. But the way she immediately searched her room for another bottle said differently.
While Elena brought Christopher lunch at Ewing Energies (why isn’t he telling her about his search for Pamela?), Bobby was at Southfork asking Sheriff Derrick if he’d tail Ryland’s trucks. I love how the sheriff makes house calls for the Ewings. Sue Ellen came and told Bobby she’d been to Ken Richards’ house and he was gone. Bobby suggested she ask Bum to track him down. Excellent idea. She stuck around so Ann could ask her if she’d been drinking that night she saw Emma. Sue Ellen said she wasn’t drunk, and Ann was doing Emma no favors believing her lies.
Speaking of Emma, she was in the barn playing Buckle Bunny (what they call bullrider groupies, for real) manipulating McCabe, a superhot ranch hand who rodeos, to get her some prescription pain pills. She was a little light on cash if she wanted 50 for $5 a pop, so she kissed him and bit his lip — offering more “rough” stuff once he gets her the pills. I should’ve been horrified that she’d prostitute herself for pills, but 1.) I didn’t think she’d really do it and 2.) If she did do it, I thought, then she probably would have slept with him even without the exchange of services.
At Pamela’s place, she was looking at the TESHA report when Cliff came in, trying to sell some sob story about how he couldn’t come to the hospital because he thought he’d break up seeing her fight for her life. Please: Worst. Excuse. Ever. He handed over her annulment papers and told her the Ewings would pay for all of their sins. She said he was scaring her, the way he was talking about destroying them — it was clear things were set in motion.
NEXT: Point for Harris
While Sue Ellen and Bum played nicely together — he’s on the Ken case — John Ross drank some bourbon out of his father’s signature bottle and glasses and lamented the irony of Pamela thinking the one time he told the truth was a lie. That was a nice scene between John Ross and Bobby, who said he knows how complicated it is to care about a Pamela Barnes — she’ll always be a Barnes first.
Drew caught Emma kissing McCabe, who came through with some Vicodin. Why did he put on that long-sleeved shirt? The bicep-baring T-shirt was so much hotter. Emma pulled McCabe away before the pissing match really got started. The Ewing men also got screwed over: Harris had anticipated them sitting on his trucks. When Derrick saw one veer away from the others, he followed it. Harris’ right hand, Roy, had switched out the cargo, so it was just women’s shoes. Roy even got some cash from Bobby when he promised to call if he saw anything suspicious with Ryland trucks.
At Southfork, Drew confronted Emma and asked her how many pills she costs a night. Ouch! And awesome. She threatened to get a restraining order against him if he keeps trying to help her, and he threatened to go to the Feds about her father’s real business if he sees her with more pills or McCabe. He’s willing to go down with Harris for Emma. I should find that sweet, but is she worth it? Now Emma is snorting Vicodin? You can do that?
Things were worse for the Ewings, who found out the bank had sold their loan to Cliff Barnes, who was calling it in. They need to come up with $200 million in the next 24 hours, or Cliff will own them. John Ross called Pamela and asked her to ask her father why he’d want a company with a $1 billion fine and methane technology that doesn’t work: He knows Christopher’s technology wasn’t at fault, and the only way that happens is if he’s to blame.
Pamela got home and found her father waiting with flowers and a note that read “We did it!” He told her how with a few well-placed campaign donations he’d make the fine go away, how they’d make billions off of Christopher’s technology (extreme close-up!), and how maybe the babies dying was a blessing in disguise because they’d have tied her to the Ewings for life. She excused herself and had her freakout elsewhere.
That night, she went to see John Ross in the rain. He came outside sans umbrella to hear her say he was right — her father would never love her as much as he hated the Ewings. John Ross scooped her up, and I really wanted to enjoy that Officer and a Gentleman moment longer. But we cut to Christopher and Elena fighting over him trying to get his mother declared dead after she saw texts from Ellis saying he had news about his mother. Am I horrible because I think it’s okay to declare the parent who left you when you were seven and doesn’t want to be found dead if it saves your family’s livelihood? I feel like the producers know how boring Christopher and Elena are compared to John Ross and Pamela — which is why they had this confrontation set when Christopher had just come out of the shower and was wearing a towel.
We did get to cut back to John Ross and Pamela, in his bed, naked. She was trying not to cry. She said she wants to hurt her father as much as he’s hurt her. If that talk didn’t excite a tender John Ross, nothing will! Team Ewing! But wait: Ellis’ contact at the treasury department found an active Swiss bank account receiving deposits from Barnes Global that mirror the amounts being placed in the trust fund, going all the way back to 1988. The names are different, but it appears to be Pam’s signature on the accounts.
NEXT: Your daughter is on top of John Ross, not beside you, Cliff
At the top of the second hour, we joined Pamela No. 2 at her place, where she was hacking into her father’s files trying to find something that would pin him to the explosion. John Ross walked out in his tank top and boxers, assured her they’d find something, and celebrated by having sex on the couch. Correction: They were on the floor. That, we found out with a quick cut back to them after Cliff bragged to a caution-preaching Harris about waltzing into Ewing Energies with his daughter by his side.
At the office, we got a status report: Dead ends everywhere. Christopher was nervous that John Ross had told Pamela about his search for his mother — Pamela No. 2 hadn’t known her aunt had one-third of the company while she held none. Meanwhile, at Southfork, even Emma’s horse was annoyed by her. Ann tried to tell Emma she was there for her and strong enough for both of them, but Emma still doesn’t want help.
Christopher came up empty-handed looking at his file on Harris, so Elena took a peek and noticed the shoes. She confronted Drew — that’s why he didn’t want her to tell the Ewings about Harris beating him, he was driving/muling for him. Amazingly, Drew came clean about everything regarding the bomb, too. Elena told him he had to fess up, and maybe, if his testimony proved the evil triad conspiracy, the Ewings would help him. When she stormed off, he got out a gun.
On Elena’s long walk back to the main house, Emma had time to behave like a brat, and Ann finally filled Bobby in on her addiction. Patrick Duffy gives great hugs, I bet. Elena interrupted them to tell Bobby about Drew. By the time she, Bobby, and Christopher returned to Drew’s guest house, he was gone. He’d signed the land and his shares of their company over to Elena and left a full confession, but they need him to really put the triad away.
At Pamela’s, John Ross got word about the manhunt for Drew. Cliff showed up to whisk Pamela off to lunch, and John Ross had to hide. Nice to see a man in a suit down on the ground like a high school student busted in his girlfriend’s bedroom. At lunch, Cliff offered Pamela a pair of her late aunt Catherine’s earrings, and Pamela played it brilliantly: She didn’t want the heirloom, she wanted the shares Cliff had inherited when Catherine died. He raised a glass, which I assume meant yes. His toast was interrupted because he got summoned away to meet with the governor and Harris, who were watching the news and saw Roy had been arrested and a warrant was out for Drew. Cliff wasn’t worried though: Roy disappears, Drew gets painted as a lone wolf with a grudge against the Ewings, and Christopher’s technology is redeemed quicker than expected. Let’s have another drink!
NEXT: Setting up for the finale
Tension were high at Southfork, where John Ross insinuated to Christopher that Elena may know where Drew is and just isn’t telling them. The good news: They were going to have the cops who impounded the truck Drew was driving when he got arrested recently search it again and try to link it to Harris. Emma went to see her father because she recognized Roy as someone who works for him, and now she understood what Drew meant when he said he’d go to the Feds and take down Harris and himself if she didn’t stop with the drugs and Buckle Bunnying. But Harris being Harris convinced Emma this was all her fault because consequences follow chaos, which she created when she left him. He told her to get some pills from upstairs, then go fetch her things at Southfork and move home. Meanwhile, the charges against Roy were dropped because all the State had was Drew’s letter.
Without knowing what was going to happen with Pamela No. 1’s shares, Bobby told John Ross what Bum had overheard when he was eavesdropping on Pamela No. 2’s lunch with her father. She hadn’t yet told John Ross that she scored her aunt Catherine’s shares. They need those. Bobby asked John Ross if he loved Pamela, and John Ross said it wasn’t about love, it’s about the family now. So was Bobby telling John Ross to screw her or SCREW HER? They got interrupted by the police coming to get Bobby and Ann and taking them to a scene of an accident. They’d found pills in Emma’s wrecked car. She was fine, but they’ll have to book her for driving under the influence. Ann and Emma had it out after Emma called Ann a hypocrite: She’d done for four years with Harris and Judith and escaped; Emma had done 20 years. They both self-medicated. Yes, but now Ann isn’t the one with the problem. Ann said she wouldn’t bail Emma out until she promised to go to rehab. Won’t she just call her father then? Oh, Ann thought of that. She told Bobby to tell Derrick to make sure Emma can’t call Harris. That’s legal?
Drew called Elena and told her that he was going to find Roy but needed money to do it. Her mother begged her to help him. So she’s lying to Christopher now. Elena’s smart, so this should be good. She needs something to do on this show, right?
John Ross was waiting at Pamela’s when she got home. To her credit, she told him right away about her father giving her the shares. After lunch, she’d been at Barnes Global signing the paperwork. John Ross turned her words about them manipulating and seducing each other back on her: he needs more than her word that she won’t choose her father or herself over J.R.’s masterpiece. But what does that mean? A contract?
Elena and her mother met up with Drew, and after his mother yelled at him, Elena gave him $5,000 and an untraceable cell phone. They wanted him to go to Mexico, but he’s insisting on staying and finding Roy. He told Elena to find the oil and make their father proud. Yawn. That is the lamest story line on this show. Next. Drew rode off on his bike without a helmet on. Even if it’s night time, that’s dumb Drew. GET A HELMET. PEOPLE CAN RECOGNIZE YOU.
Christopher got a call that someone at a bank in Zürich thinks they saw his mother. It’s been 24 years since Bobby saw her, and that was after the car accident that left her burned and covered in bandages — so Bobby couldn’t tell if the photo of a woman in a large hat was her or not. Christopher’s going to Zürich, Elena’s going with him.
Sue Ellen came to Southfork to update Bobby on how no bank will touch them and Ken is still not found. Bobby got a text from John Ross saying Pamela’s shares will be his by morning. That cheered Bobby up a bit. He knew what J.R. would say: Let Cliff go all in and think he’s won. Let him be the architect of his own disaster. “Well, big brother,” Bobby said raising a glass to a photo of J.R., “as you wish.” The music started, and we cut to Pamela and John Ross getting married! He asked her if she was doing it because she loved him or hated her father. Her answer? “I do.” (Did they have a prenup where she said the shares were shared, or is he hoping to score half the shares in a divorce if it comes to that?) Next, we cut to Cliff coming into Ewing Energies and asking Bobby for the keys to the kingdom. Bobby handed them over and told him not to get too comfortable. Cliff said he could only imagine the look on J.R.’s face right now. “Me, too,” Bobby said, smiling and walking away in slow motion. Badass Bobby. Who knew?