Dallas season premiere recap: Secrets and Lies
John Ross does business in the bedroom like his daddy, while Elena goes undercover in the boardroom
Isn’t it hilarious that Pamela Barnes is now the character we like the most? It’s just a matter of time until she makes John Ross pay. Here we go…
We opened with Bobby at the family graves, reminding us that he’s the only Ewing left and Southfork’s caretaker now. “Well, I’ll try not to disappoint you,” he said, before riding away. You got the feeling it was the show’s cast and crew saying that to the late great Larry Hagman, whose name is still on their call sheets.
At the Omni Hotel, John Ross made his season 3 entrance in socks and boxer briefs only. Well done, wardrobe department! Still spent from his night of cheating, he got his second wind when Emma mounted him while wearing his cowboy hat, which she said he’d need if he was going for his morning ride. “Giddy up, sweetheart,” he said, flipping her over. They rolled off the bed, and wouldn’t you know it, the page that stuck to her black panties was exactly the document they were looking for in her father’s accordion files: Her grandmother’s power of attorney, which gives control of Ryland Transport to Harris, and since he’s in jail, to Emma. Of course, John Ross wanted her to use her newfound power to lease him her drilling ships and icebreaking cargo ships. Deal, she said, but she’s keeping the accordion file (which J.R. had instructed John Ross to get).
Bum warned John Ross not to get too cocky when it comes to Emma, but John Ross said he’d do nothing to jeopardize the love of a good woman waiting for him at Southfork. (Does he really believe what Pamela doesn’t know doesn’t disrespect her?) Bum gave him J.R.’s belt buckle and I teared up, as did Josh Henderson. Later, John Ross met Pamela at the old hay barn in the middle of Southfork, and underneath the stars, he told her he’d gone to Houston the previous night to pick her up the biggest diamond in Texas since Sue Ellen wants to throw them a real wedding. It is the biggest, most hideous diamond ever but she loved it. He knelt and proposed, promising not smooth sailing but the ride of her life. Cue the theme song, which got me dancing in my chair as always.
With John Ross and Pamela now living at Southfork, John Ross thinks it’s time to remodel — you know, with a three-story atrium, a giant billiard room, and an indoor pool. Bobby is against it, of course, but those are the least of his concerns when it comes to what John Ross wants to do to their home.
NEXT PAGE: Christopher has wood
There has never been a more dramatic wood chopping scene on TNT than Christopher’s entrance. Hot thermal shirt, even hotter beard. I approve. It turns out he’s so rugged and pissed not because Elena betrayed him but because she won’t return his calls so he can get back with her. She’s still in Mexico, where she left the rich compound she’s crashing at to go see Cliff Barnes and accept his offer to be his proxy at Ewing Global. She didn’t realize that part of that deal would be gathering evidence so she could prove the Ewings framed Cliff for J.R.’s murder. Did she have the strength to exact revenge? She’ll find it, she said, because she sees this as justice for her family (oh, and for him).
Christopher’s brooding may be short-lived. He came to the rescue of a sexy female ranch hand, Heather (90210‘s AnnaLynne McCord), who didn’t actually need his help to deal with a bad boss. She has four brothers — she’s got this. Still, she appreciated Christopher saying she could come to him with any problems in the future. And off she rode.
Sue Ellen was happy — and sober — seeing how well John Ross was treating his new wife. She told him not to underestimate Bobby, a steel hand in a velvet glove. How cute was John Ross when he told her that J.R. had lost more than his fair share of battles with Bobby because he didn’t have her as an ally? Enough business talk for Sue Ellen though. The ladies had to go sit by the pool and plan yet another “proper wedding” at Southfork. Emma asking if she could help Pamela? Priceless.
Elena showed up at Southfork and apologized to everyone for trying to help her brother Drew after what he’d done, especially to Pamela and Christopher, and then Christopher took her aside to apologize for the cruel things he’d said to her in Zurich. He wanted to make it work, but she’s already gone too far down the road of betrayal to stop now. She told him they were both broken and had to fix themselves before they knew if they could heal. She was ready to move out, but Christopher told her to stay at Southfork. She smirked on her way out. Her mother found her, and we learned she’s keeping her partnership with Cliff from her mother, who’s still loyal to the Ewings. We also learned Drew is with Joaquin in Mexico and that the three of them — Drew, Joaquin, and Elena — made a pact to look out for each other for life. Elena had insisted they take the homeless boy in when they were young. Is it wrong that I hope we don’t see Drew for a very long time? He sent his mother a letter, which Elena told her to burn after reading. Will she?
At Ewing Global, we learned John Ross and Christopher want to buy all the arctic leases because they can drill both oil and methane, and also that no one else in the business world but John Ross heard that Emma is now the CEO of Ryland Transport. They all just think John Ross charmed a deal out of a stranger? He’s not THAT good. To get the half billion dollars to bid on the leases, they wanted to sell off a Barnes Global division. Elena interrupted the meeting to ask for a job — which gave her access to the computers and a lot of fancy lighting as she added documents to the company records. Cliff has access to a guard’s cell phone in prison. Elena called him and told him she was in.
Just when Bobby thought he had a buyer for that division, which was a reason to call for champagne, a hot man barged into the boardroom. This is Nicolas Trevino, Cliff Barnes’ proxy. Elena tried to look surprised, but we all guessed this was Joaquin. He was there to tell them they need a “super majority” — a real thing, even though it sounds fake! — to sell off part of the company and they don’t have it. Nicolas told them Cliff thinks he was framed and is determined to prove it. Afterward, the Ewings used a version of Wikipedia to find out Nicolas is a Mexican billionaire financier and tycoon who made his empire introducing low-cost generic drugs to Latin America and Africa. Elena had put something in the system so it’d look like Cliff had done business with Nicolas before. When the women left the post-reveal summit, the men worried that perhaps Bobby, Bum, and Carlos had left a loose end when they framed Cliff. Bobby said they hadn’t.
NEXT PAGE: John Ross is frackin’
Back at Southfork, Emma was messaging John Ross when Pamela came home. They bonded over the fact that both of them have put their father in jail. Pamela was sweet, telling Emma she was there if she ever wanted to talk, and Emma was heartless, telling Pamela how good it was to know that she and John Ross were just across the hall. Emma messaged John Ross to come home and be bad with her. Ooh, Emma, you need to know that Pamela could eat you for lunch. At this point, I’m already looking forward to it.
John Ross thinks he’s found Plan B to get them the money to buy the arctic rights: Drilling the shale deposit on Southfork. He believes he’s now within his surface rights to do it, and Elena seems to agree. But is she just saying that so it causes a major divide between John Ross and Christopher/Bobby? You know Christopher is against it because drilling will destroy land, which means his hot ranch hand will be out of a job. Christopher said they’d find another way to get the money, or turn Nicolas, but nope. John Ross said, “I’m frackin'” — and he did it with a straight face! Bobby told him he wasn’t half the man J.R. was and he’d stop him, too. Elena just lurked.
John Ross went to see Emma in her room and told her he needed those contracts ASAP. He was willing to provide a non-rush service for that rush service. WINK WINK. Sue Ellen spotted him with Emma in the dark outside her room. “What’s a matter, mama? You look like you just seen a ghost,” he said. She thought she had. He told her Emma was the one he’d done business with to get those ships.
Cut to Harris pacing in his cell and then being released. The cartel told him if he doesn’t get their product moving again, Emma would learn a lesson (as would Ann).
Elena arrived back in Mexico and slo-mo walked to Joaquin, who was, of course, Nicolas. Long story short, he’s going to help her make the Ewings pay for what they did to their family. Also, they’re totally going to hook up sooner or later, right?
Your turn. What did you think of the episode? For an inside look at the episode and a tease of what’s to come, read our postmortem with exec producer Cynthia Cidre.