The family that fights together, stays together... for the length of a commercial break
Credit: Zade Rosenthal
S2 E5
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Before we get into this episode, tell me the promo for next week‘s episode touting “the end of J.R. Ewing” drove someone else to eat an entire sleeve of Girl Scout cookies with two glasses of milk. There may have been tears involved. Now I can’t tell if my stomach is upset because of the piece of my childhood that’s being taken away or because of the cookies. Probably both.

The reason I liked this hour — besides the ridiculous slow-mo shot of Christopher tossing the prototype at Vicente’s henchman — was because for a moment, you thought it was designed to bring the family closer. But then, twist, Sue Ellen is still going to take Elena’s shares and Bobby’s saying, “I never go looking for a fight, but when one finds me, I sure as hell finish it. And they are in for the fight of their lives.” So much for peace!

We started with Sue Ellen visiting Ann in jail before her sentencing hearing began to tell her not to give up on Emma forgiving her — or the jury not giving her the maximum sentence of 20 years. On her way out, Sue Ellen ran into Christopher and Elena and she fought with Elena over the lack of updates about the Henderson well. “I shouldn’t have to keep asking for something that’s mine,” Sue Ellen told John Ross. Ding, ding, ding! It’s the moment he’s been waiting for: Next time we saw them, he was telling her how Drew’s arrest for smuggling stolen goods would trigger the morality clause in her contract with Elena. She could seize her assets, including her shares of Ewing Energies. Sue Ellen knew John Ross had used her, but he played it well: He said he wants her to be his partner. She’s in.

After it was teased that Vicente was planning something for the next day when he was to be transported to the airport for his one-way flight back to Venezuela, we cut to Christopher and Rebecca’s mediation. She only wanted half of his stakes in Ewing Energies, if he wouldn’t fight her on custody. He offered her 7 percent, if she agrees to joint custody and an annulment after the deal is signed. Pamela settled for 10 percent and his other conditions. The annulment will go through after the babies are born.

J.R.’s only appearance in this episode was him with his female computer tutor, who made sure he had email and Apps including Angry Birds on his tablet. “Honey, I don’t need anymore angry birds,” he said. Ha. Bobby was in his home office on his computer when he got an IM from J.R.: Check your email already. “J.R., stop messaging me from your room. I’m trying to get some work done before I go to Ann’s sentencing!” Bobby yelled. “Then check your damn email. I’m trying to cheer you up!” J.R. had typed back. Bobby opened a video of a man and his dog. Bobby laughed. “It’s a dog playing basketball. Doesn’t that beat all!” J.R. typed. “Yeah, it’s great. Now leave me alone. And get a hobby!” Bobby yelled back. “;) That’s a wink. Get it?” J.R. wrote. Ah. I should’ve known what J.R. was up to, but I was too busy enjoying the idea of J.R. on YouTube. Bobby smiled. He didn’t guess it either.

NEXT: “Game on”

Once we saw Elena tell Christopher how she was handling the Drew situation and he’d be pleading guilty, we started Ann’s hearing. Bobby was amazing on the stand, talking about how he met Ann when she was working as a therapist using horses as a way to build with battered women. He said the jury was right to find her guilty, but they should do the just thing again and take into account the full truth of what Harris had done to her when sentencing her. Very well-played.

Rebecca got a call from Cliff, and she told her she’d infiltrated Ewing Energies just like he wanted. She teared up as her dad praised her. We didn’t get to hear it, but whatever pride he expressed was enough for Rebecca to tell John Ross that she had to hold on to her shares. She said it was for the sake of the babies and her not wanting to fight with Christopher anymore. She said he won’t need her shares once Sue Ellen gets Elena’s, and he’ll have her support on the board and not have to give up the methane patent. Not good enough. “Game on,” he said. Stupid move, I thought. He should’ve kept her firmly on his side.

Bobby went to see Emma at the stable and told her she has another family at Southfork that is there if she needs anything. “I won’t be needing you. I promise,” she said. Good thing she swept her hair behind her ear like Ann always does. Bobby commented on it, and we knew we’d be seeing her at the hearing.

Christopher went to confront Drew about being a screwup, and Drew said he was trying to earn money to buy his father’s land back from Bobby. He insisted he’d checked the truck before he started back — so someone must’ve smashed the taillight. He said he had a bad feeling about the foreman he’d fired who’d purposely drilled at the wrong angle. Who would want to keep Elena from pumping oil? Christopher guessed John Ross, and had the one male who works underneath him at Ewing Energies pull Elena’s contract with Sue Ellen. He saw the clause and called Elena, but she was too late. MAYBE TRY YELLING, ELENA? Elena blamed her brother for ruining everything she’d been working for and told him to get his own way home. Cold!

So now, Vicente was being transported, and as soon as he got in the SUV, the cuffs were taken off. He was told he had two hours before his escape would be reported. Pamela signed her deal with Christopher and told her assistant she’d take it and a DVD ultrasound to the house herself.

Emma went to see Sue Ellen before that day’s hearing and saw Ann do the hair thing herself. Emma said she’d come to show her support… for her father. Ann told her she was a good daughter. I can see why Ann and Bobby are together — they both can be so compassionate and levelheaded (when they’re not shooting someone). Ann could see that Emma was torn and worried about what her father would do if she wanted a relationship with Ann. So Ann told a story about the time she’d gotten highlights without consulting Harris and got so nervous about his reaction, she’d dyed her hair back before he got home. But Harris figured out what she’d done and was furious anyway, reinforcing that she was stupid and worthless. She told Emma it gets easier. What? Thinking about disobeying him?

NEXT: Die Hard: Southfork-style

Sue Ellen and John Ross came to Southfork to present Elena with the papers seizing her shares and a nasty verbal fight ensued between the ladies. Bobby had been brought up to speed and stormed off to get J.R., but J.R. was gone. The cut to Vicente’s SUV made me worry he’d taken J.R. already somehow. He’s not worthy of killing J.R.!

Bobby went into his home office and prepared to show Sue Ellen what was on the cloud drive that would send J.R. and John Ross to prison. But it started deleting itself. That video J.R. had sent Bobby was the culprit. “What’d you expect, Uncle Bobby? You keep a junk yard dog like J.R. tied up long enough, he’s only gonna get meaner,” John Ross said. Bobby started shoving John Ross toward the door. “You get out of my house, you pathetic little son of bitch!” This is a new Bobby!

Vicente and his crew pulled up and collected Rebecca, who’d arrived a moment before, on their way into the house. Vicente slapped John Ross in front of the whole family for turning him in and painting him as the one with dishonor. “You see, in my country, when a man makes a deal, he honors it,” Vicente said. The plan was for Christopher to retrieve the plans and prototypes with one of the henchmen while Vicente and his other goons stayed there and prepared to hurt his Rebecca if he didn’t return in an hour. Only John Ross was the one to jump up and protest. “You Ewing boys share after all! I love it!” Vicente said. So he knew to put the gun to Elena’s head. She’s where Christopher’s heart is now.

While Ann testified on her own behalf and begged Emma for a second chance from the stand, John Ross and Elena used the hostage situation to have a heart-to-heart in case they didn’t make it. She just wanted to know why he’d screwed her out of her shares. “You broke my heart,” he said, honestly. She tried to remind him that she saw the good in him when no one else did. He said the day she stopped seeing the good in him was the day it died. Also honest. Bobby and Sue Ellen also talked. He said she could break the cycle of Bobby/Christopher always doing good and J.R./John Ross always doing bad by giving back the shares so John Ross doesn’t win. No answer. John Ross and Pamela also eventually talked, and she told him the truth about her keeping the shares: It’s the first time she’s pleased her father. She asked if she’d just been revenge sex. “Revenge sex is all I could afford,” he said. Liar.

Back at Ann’s hearing, Harris testified and again repeated that Ann’s last words to him in the hospital were that she wished he was dead. Ann was growing increasingly concerned that Bobby and the family weren’t there. Christopher, meanwhile, retrieved the prototype at Ewing Energies, and as he and the man guarding him walked back toward the elevator to leave, Christopher threw the prototype at the guy. Why slo-mo? Was it going to explode or something? I assume not since Christopher tackled the guy to the ground and a floor scuffle erupted. Christopher eventually got the guy’s gun, but the guy had retrieved his phone and had his finger ready to hit send on a message to Vicente that said “Kill her.” Who had the fastest trigger finger? Commercial break!

The jury ended up giving Ann probation. Suck, it Harris and Judith! Judith protested, and the judge let her and Harris have it. Clearly, he was on Ann’s side: “You’d done that to me, sir, hell, I might have shot you, too.” Texas! Ann told Lou they should hurry home.

Christopher and the guy returned. Vicente took the prototype and Elena as his technological insurance policy. Outside, Vicente walked Elena to the arriving helicopter, just as Drew arrived home. Inside the house, Christopher and John Ross pretended they were going to fight, but instead, the two of them and Bobby started a Ewing vs. Venezuelan brawl. That felt like watching Stallone in The Expendables, and I mean that in a good, over-the-top way. Christopher ran out and punched Vicente. Vicente was about to fire on Christopher, who was shielding Elena (ever the gentlemen), when Vicente got shot in the back. I thought maybe J.R. had just gone out hunting and returned home at the right time. It was Drew. So I guess he’s off the hook with Elena and Christopher.

Christopher and John Ross gave each other a nod. John Ross kissed Rebecca’s forehead. Bobby told Sue Ellen they were stronger as a family than they were apart. Ann arrived home. All was well. For a second.

Next we saw John Ross, he was introducing his mother as a new board member at Ewing Energies. John Ross’ confidence is back — his hair was huge. Bobby couldn’t believe Sue Ellen was going through with this, but she said he was right: They are stronger together. And cue Bobby’s turning point from wanting to save the family to wanting the other half out of it: “I never go looking for a fight, but when one finds me I sure as hell finish it,” he said. “And they are in for the fight of their lives.”

Your turn. What did you think of the episode? How would you like to see J.R. go out next week?

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