Dallas recap: Like Father, Like Son
John Ross makes moves to take Ewing Global public, and one of them doesn't turn out well for a spiraling Sue Ellen
Just when you think Dallas is getting bogged down with all the business talk, it finally gets to the ‘S’ in the episode rating. That stands for sex, of course, but as usual, there’s more than one way to get screwed on this show. It’s a credit to Josh Henderson (and his tears) that the hour will be remembered most for his confrontation with a drunk Sue Ellen (Linda Gray). He made John Ross’ turn from a bastard to a hurt boy to a bastard again believable. Here we go.
John Ross found out his permit to frak on South Fork was back under environmental review by the new railroad commissioner (Bobby), so he stormed into his mother’s office and had it out with her (for the first time this hour). In short, “I may be drunk on power, but you, you’re just drunk,” he told her. “This wasn’t the tough love of a mother, these are irrational decisions of an alcoholic.” Cue the opening credits.
John Ross approached Bobby and Christopher (a.k.a. “self-righteous, party of two”). The show quickly addressed Bobby’s conflict of interest by informing us and John Ross that Bobby had signed his shares of Ewing Global over to Christopher. John Ross doesn’t think stabbing him in the back was a “family first” message, but Bobby said John Ross left them no choice.
I love that everyone is just okay with that hideous sculpture John Ross brought back from his honeymoon. Move along. Nothing to see here. Christopher asked whether Elena had found anything they could use against Nicolas, and he also told her about Carlos looking into who Nicolas was before 1997. Elena said she’d get right on that. Yes, by texting Nicolas to get his butt to her office. He told her there’s no paper trail to connect him to her family since they never legally adopted him, and to stay the course (he is in Texas!): she’ll work on getting close to Pamela to turn her against John Ross, and he’ll work on John Ross, whose family hatred makes him vulnerable.
John Ross looked so sad staring at his little arctic models. Nicolas said even he saw what an opportunity they’re giving up. John Ross offered him some of his daddy’s bourbon, and Nicolas said following Cliff’s agenda is becoming increasingly difficult. They agreed to drink more after work. Elena, meanwhile, asked Pamela out for a girls’ night, and poor Pamela suggested they invite Emma, who was at that moment having a nice chat with her mother. “Nice” if you like hearing Ann agree that John Ross has just been using Emma, which Emma didn’t. Nicolas left for drinks with John Ross after Bobby threatened to look hard at Nicolas’ private subsidiaries for violations if he didn’t help the company come up with the cash for the arctic play. That is an abuse of power, Bobby.
NEXT: Semen Watch 2014
At the bar, John Ross’ assistant, Candace — the one Ryland and Judith have tasked with getting his semen on the dress that the underage prostitute was wearing when photographed with John Ross — made her move. She said there was “a lot” of him she wanted to see outside of the office. Wink-wink. But John Ross had business to attend to. Nicolas said he couldn’t go against Cliff’s wishes, and he couldn’t reason with him. Just then, an old “friend” of John Ross’, Hunter McKay, noticed his buddy and called him and Nicolas over.
While Sue Ellen drank tea with Ann and wondered if she’d done the right thing turning on her son to stop the affair, Hunter, now a successful videogame entrepreneur, gave John Ross an idea to take Ewing Global public and get away from his family drama by gaining controlling interest. Elsewhere, the ladies drank champagne while Elena noted that Pamela seemed genuinely worried that John Ross might cheat on her with Candace, whose skirt length is the subject of an office pool. She later met with a female PI and put her on the case.
John Ross went home and told Pamela he’d found a way to get her dad out of their lives, but he was going to need her help. She said they’re a team. AND WHY DID WE CUT AWAY FROM THEM HAVING SEX? Come on, Dallas. You’re better than that!
At least we got to see Christopher and Heather get busy in the bed of a truck for a second until her ex Bo pulled up to tell her that he had to go work another job so she had to watch their kid. Christopher stepped in and told the boy it was bring a kid to work day at his office, and since he’s the only kid he knows, he’d be doing him a favor hanging with him while his mother did real work. Supersweet, Christopher, but also way too soon. It’s good to know Christopher had nothing to do at work that day but play with the arctic models.
Elena’s PI posed as a Ewing Global employee and got Candace away from her desk long enough to sneak inside John Ross’ office and plant a camera. John Ross made nice with his mother, so he could tell her about his plan to take the company public to get the money for the arctic play and dilute Cliff’s shares. John Ross again promised that he’s done cheating with Emma, so Sue Ellen said he had her support. Though he still needs the supermajority. He met with Nicolas at some kind of fairground and asked him to vote to take the company public and uncuff himself from Cliff. I couldn’t tell if Nicolas was really considering it or not. So much business talk.
Christopher carried Michael (I guess we have to learn his name now) to Heather’s car, and she told him about Bo getting addicted to pain pills when his bull riding career ended with an injury. Finally, the two of them admitted talking about money and babysitting isn’t keeping it casual, and it turns out they’re both okay with that.
NEXT: Candace goes all in
I about choked from laughing when Candace, feeling pressured by a text from Ryland, walked into John Ross’ office wearing that dress, rolled it down to her waist, and stood there in her bra asking if there was anything else he needed. He simply told her she’d have to start taking no for an answer because he’s a married man and it would never happen. Isn’t that grounds for firing? Candace walked out of his office still pulling up her dress, as Sue Ellen came off the elevator. “Well, that son of yours is somethin’ else,” Candace told her. EWWWWW.
Sue Ellen had a panic attack. Instead of confronting John Ross like a normal person, she stood there and fumed. Watching John Ross be faithful via that planted camera, Nicolas told Elena about a possible Plan Whatever Letter They’re Up to Now: He votes to take Ewing Global public, John Ross thinks he’s in control, they steal it back from him for Cliff, and the Ewing family is more divided than ever because they blame John Ross. Elena wasn’t immediately sold, but she supported him. As expected, Sue Ellen said no at the vote.
Sue Ellen was downing bourbon when John Ross came to her house to find out what the hell had happened. She told him he’d lied to her face, and she wouldn’t believe him when he said he’d turned Candace down. Oh man, the tears in Josh Henderson’s eyes when he screamed, “I am not my father!” This was one of the best scenes in the series. John Ross finally stopped the posturing and was just a hurt little boy, upset that his mother had sided with someone who wasn’t him. He asked her why she was doing this to herself again, meaning drinking. She blamed him and J.R. The tear that fell down his cheek when he said, “No, mama, you did this to yourself” — ah. If she wanted him to take responsibility for his actions, she had to take responsibility for hers. He phoned someone and said he needed a favor.
It was Emma. They met at his penthouse. She wanted him to thank her for the file on the judge she was about to hand over. She told John Ross it was always about his needs, when she has needs too. He reluctantly started to take off his tie, and she told him not to bother. Tonight was about her needs. Then she reclined on the couch in her bra and panties. There had to have been a take where she not only motioned him over but also motioned him down, right? A little too much for TNT? I hate how John Ross has been using Emma, but it’s not fun to see anyone made into a prostitute — which is what John Ross was in that moment. “I said, ‘Come here… now.'” Whoa.
Elena got a text from Jasper the PI to check her email, and there was the video of John Ross servicing Emma. And when he was done, Emma said, “Now go home and kiss your wife.” Elena was appropriately appalled. Emma is the worst.
John Ross went to the judge and said Sue Ellen was not just drinking, she’s out of control. He blackmailed the guy with photos of him at the brothel. The judge said John Ross was just like his father, and John Ross said you hear that enough, you start to believe it.
Sue Ellen was so drunk she could barely answer the door when the police showed up with an order to take her in for a mandatory psych evaluation. “Get her some help,” John Ross said as the ambulance door closed. Bastard? Yes. But did he just save her from dying of alcohol poisoning? Probably.
John Ross told Bobby, Ann, and Christopher about his mother drinking again, and they felt bad for him until he said she was taken into custody. With her being incapacitated, her power of attorney falls to him, and he knows she’d want him to vote to take the company public, he said. No one could say anything, they were just stunned. You’ve got to hand it to Josh Henderson though: The way he walked away, no hint of a smile on his face, allowed us the possibility of still feeling something, however small, for John Ross. There was no joy in how he won.
Your turn. What did you think of the episode?
And bonus, to remember happier times, check out our EW Pop Culture Personality Test with Josh Henderson and Linda Gray. How cute are they together?