'Dallas' Recap: Family Above All
'Dallas' Recap: Family Above All
This week on Dallas, the Ewing family bonds together to spring John Ross from the pokey as another pair of siblings get a bit too close for comfort. We learned in Forest Gump that life is like a box of chocolates, but Dallas is teaching us that family is like a homemade cake. Just like making a cake from scratch, family is often messy for the Ewing clan. Unlike cake baking, however, the Ewings almost never get to enjoy the sweet moments for very long.

This whole cake analogy has given me some great spinoff ideas though. I would totally watch Cake Boss: Dallas Edition where Bobby is always yelling at everyone and they make cakes in the shape of JR's eyebrows. Call me, TNT!

Christopher really steps up to the plate this episode and proves he can be interesting if he really, really tries. But first he has to throw about 15 separate temper tantrums, so it's sort of one step forward and one step back as usual. Sue Ellen also steps up her game, showing that John Ross got good bribery genes from both sides of the gene pool.

By far the most and least shocking twist of the night was the revelation that Tommy and Rebecca aren't actually siblings. Did anyone actually not see that one coming? I'll admit that I gasped when Tommy kissed Rebecca, but only because I thought Dallas might be trying to ride the popularity of Game of Thrones and throw in a little incest. It seemed pretty obvious to me the whole time that Tommy and Rebecca weren't actually brother and sister.

For one thing, I don't know any siblings who use the word "sister" as much as Tommy did. If you did a Dallas drinking game with just the words "birthright" and "sister" you would end up in the hospital right alongside John Ross.
Jailhouse Blues

The episode opens with John Ross being booked into jail. Frankly, I'm surprised it took Dallas eight episodes for someone to need a mugshot. Despite the fact that Marta recorded every moment of her life like a crazy person on reality television, the police can't find any trace of the video proving John Ross left before her unfortunate skydive.

This sends John Ross into jail, which is bad news for him. It's especially bad news because Vincente has come calling, wondering about how he's going to get his oil. He threatens John Ross that if he doesn't get his oil cut, bad things will happen. John Ross fairly reasonably points out that the best way to get the oil would be for him to not be in jail so he can get drilling on Southfork. I'm not really sure how Vincente expects John Ross to get him the oil from jail. It's not like he can ferment it in his cell toilet.

This doesn't stop some thugs from finding John Ross in jail and beating him up. Oh God, not the face! Anywhere but the face! Poor John Ross ends up in the hospital to recuperate, with the threat hanging over him that the next time the thugs will finish the job.

Saving John Ross

Despite their many, many differences the family really comes together this week to save John Ross. Because they are the Ewings, this family togetherness involves more shady business deals and bribery. But if we know one thing about the Ewings, it's that drama is their birthright.

First up is Bobby, who gets an unplanned visit from Vincente where he threatens to take Southfork if he doesn't get the mineral rights. Bobby is pissed, because pissed is basically Bobby's default function. His mood baseline is intensely furious, and he only gets angrier from there. When the lawyer tells him that Vincente actually has a case, he looks like he's about to blow a gasket. I imagine that Patrick Duffy gets all of his dialogue in caps lock; such is the constant state of Bobby's hostility.

When John Ross is put into the hospital with his injuries, however, Bobby relents. He goes to see his mama's grave and tells her that he's been protecting the land for her, but now he has to protect his family. Since she was the master of whimsical family cake analogies he thinks she would understand.

Meanwhile, Sue Ellen commiserates with Ann that she might need to cross a few lines to protect John Ross. So she goes to the coroner and suggests he rule fake Marta's death a suicide. When he protests, she mentions how she will definitely be the next governor of Texas, which seems a little egotistic.  While he doesn't exactly go for her bribe of medical examiner, he does eventually give into her threat of exposing his illegally written prescriptions.

While John Ross's mama is bribing medical examiners, Daddy JR is still living it up in Vegas. Unsurprisingly, JR's eyebrows are skeptical of Vegas and its girly drinks. JR brings a sympathy walker around with him, but a fruit garnish on a drink is just too drama queenly for him? When he gets the call about John Ross, he hurries into the worst guarded hospital room of all time to look concerned about his son. Does JR have a heart after all? Probably, but it's still his machinations that put John Ross there in the first place.

Unbeknownst to poor Sue Ellen, Christopher has decided to stop whining and stomping around and glaring for five seconds to be useful. But first, of course, he whines and stomps around about how John Ross brought the situation on himself. After visiting John Ross in the hospital, however, he realizes John Ross just wants to live up to his father's expectations. As an adopted Ewing who mentions how he is adopted at least five times per hour, Christopher knows how this feels.

So despite the fact that he's been getting some heat from Exxon, he goes to Vincente to offer him a piece of his clean energy deal. Oh good, let's talk some more about methane! I have to respect that Dallas intrinsically understands clean energy is not quite as fun or sexy a topic as they'd like it to be, so they usually enhance these talks by setting something on fire.
Vincente accepts and allows Marta's tape to be found, exonerating John Ross.

So Christopher has saved the day and he and John Ross even shake on it. But it's not all good news. Christopher is now in league with the scary Vincente and his unreasonable production demands. Meanwhile, Sue Ellen gets an angry call from the medical examiner, who ruled the death a suicide despite the fact that it was clearly a murder. For someone running on a platform of honesty, Sue Ellen has bribed more people than almost anyone else on this show.
Brotherly Love

While the family scrambles to save John Ross, Christopher scrambles to resolve his feelings about his own burgeoning family. The fact that Rebecca is carrying twins hasn't abated Christopher's fury about all the conning. He's so mad he has a police friend of his run a background check on her. It's not a very thorough check though, because it doesn't pull anything up.

In Rebecca's apartment, Ann tells her how she's totally Team Rebecca and that Christopher will come around. Just at that moment Tommy reappears in the apartment, and you know trouble is on the way. Ann offers to hook Tommy up with a ranch hand gig far away, but it seems doubtful he'll take the opportunity. Why? Because through his snooping on Christopher's computer he's found out about the Exxon deal and he wants a piece of that potentially billion dollar pie.

He tells Rebecca he has a buyer all lined up, and that if she doesn't help him sell he'll tell Christopher everything. What's everything? Well for starters the kiss Tommy plants on Rebecca tells us they're not truly brother and sister. If Rebecca doesn't want Christopher to know about the long con, she'll have to help Tommy's evil plans.

What did you think of this week's episode? Will Tommy steal Christopher's work? Will John Ross stay out of trouble? And what will happen when JR jumps back into the mix? Share your theories in the comments!

Morgan Glennon
Contributing Writer

(Image courtesy of TNT)