This week on Dallas, JR wins the day (for now) while Christopher finally decides to get his hands dirty with some blackmail. Also there is a lot of love square stuff I still refuse to care about. Plus JR takes his eyebrows on a victory tour, including a jaunt to Cowboys stadium where he waves to all of adoring Texas on a giant screen.
After finally securing Southfork, JR decides it’s time for a much-needed vacation. All that scheming, backstabbing, and double-crossing can really take it out of you! So he leaves Southfork in the not-remotely capable hands of Jon Ross and hops into a helicopter for far off places. “Now that you’ve finally won Southfork, where are you going?” Jon Ross asks. “To Disney World to terrify children!” JR cackles, and off he goes into the sky. Finally free to feel the wind rush through his eyebrows.
I’m desperately hoping that JR returns very, very quickly next week. Dallas without JR is like watching a show about Texas without oil and giant cowboy hats. It’s possible, but it just doesn’t feel right. At least the next generation of schemers are taking it up a notch this week. Watching Christopher finally do something interesting besides look teary eyed and squint at computer screens was a welcome change. The upcoming battle between Chris and Jon Ross will be interesting to watch, mostly because neither one seems even a tenth as competent as their daddies.
The show’s real drag continues to be the female characters, who sometimes show flashes of interesting traits only to revert to wide-eyed confusion seconds later. Poor Elena, as the middle piece in the least interesting love triangle of all time, gets the shortest end of this stick. The show continues to want Elena to be the moral center, but on a show like Dallas, “moral” is pretty much a code word for “boring”. So instead Elena spends 90 percent of her time angry, upset, confused and disappointed instead of scheming with her more interesting cast mates.
At the moment the show is even trying to sell the idea that con artist Rebecca is a good person trapped in a bad situation. Unfortunately, I would find a scheming Rebecca to be much more interesting than the trapped deer in the headlights character we’ve gotten so far. This leaves Ann, Bobby’s new wife, as the most interesting female character. We learn a bit about her backstory this week and you should always keep your eye on a character who consistently packs heat for no apparent reason.
This week the battle for Southfork has seemingly switched to the younger generation. Will they rise up to the challenge? Or will the old timers need to come back and show them how it’s done?
The Long Con
Our last episode of Dallas ended on quite the cliffhanger: would Rebecca tell Christopher about the email? This week starts right back where we left Rebecca and Christopher in the barn. Rebecca tells Christopher that she loves him but also that brother Tommy was the one who sent the breakup email to Elena. Rebecca is legitimately the worst con artist, possibly of all time.
Christopher immediately runs out and punches Tommy in the face. Everyone at the party seems shocked, but this is a Ewing party so I’m not sure why. I’m shocked no one ended up shot or falling into a pool. By Ewing standards, this is a pretty tame party.
Christopher packs up Rebecca and tells her she’s done because of the whole “conning” him thing. She mostly just pouts and cries and makes sad faces. Then Christopher runs out of the party and Elena makes sad faces, causing Jon Ross to make sad faces. This causes me to make a sad face; because I’m wondering what those magnificent JR brows are doing while we’re wasting time with the love square.
Rebecca eventually gets Ann to agree to have dinner with her. Rebecca claims that she wants to get out from under Tommy’s evil grasp. As the episode ends, Rebecca delves into the files Tommy stole from Southfork. He wants to use those files to sell Ewing family secrets and become a millionaire. But what does Rebecca want to use them for? Only time will tell.
After the party, Bobby gets an unwelcome piece of mail. It says that Southfork now belongs to JR, not the Del Sol group. JR spins a tale about how Cliff was trying to buy the land out from under them, so he got to it first. Bobby rolls his eyes and goes to see his lawyer, who has high-tailed it out of town. Now Bobby is really upset, realizing he’s been played.
Bobby goes to see another lawyer, who tells him that unless he can prove that JR was part of the fraud or knew about it, the sale is actually valid. Bobby and Christopher are both pissed, but since Christopher has had a rough few days he’s livid. He wants to start getting into business with shady characters just like Uncle JR.
Bobby talks him down, explaining that the whole idea of selling Southfork was to avoid these destructive shenanigans. Patrick Duffy is really great in this role, because even when he says things that are morally sound, he says them with so much intensity it looks like he’s about to punch everyone in the head.
As oil trucks start to caravan onto the Southfork property, Bobby desperately tries to figure out a way to slow down the drilling progress. Instead it’s Ann that’s like “chill sweetie, I got this.” She goes to see her ex-husband, played with slimy charm by Mitch Pileggi. He owns all the oil trucks and agrees to back out of his deal with JR, which will make it hard for them to start drilling as planned. He also tells Ann that people don’t really ever change, which is pretty much the overarching theme of this Dallas reboot.
Is there another show on television with the phrase “my birthright” said more often? I don’t think there is. JR keeps talking about how Southfork is his birthright, while Jon Ross also sees Southfork as his birthright. I wish in my everyday life people talked in this kind of dramatic way. “How dare you steal my order at Starbucks, that Frappuccino is my birthright!”
Jon Ross is understandably angry he was cut out of the Southfork deal. But JR somehow manages to calm him down with fatherly advice and a sweet box at Cowboy stadium. When JR takes off for parts unknown on his magical helicopter ride, he leaves Jon Ross in charge of the Southfork drilling.
Jon Ross uses this opportunity to hook back up with Elena and throw it in Uncle Bobby’s face. But maybe he should have been paying more attention to crazy Fake Marta. She breaks into Jon Ross’s room, the least secure room in all of Southfork apparently, and drops off a little love note and an even more romantic sex tape.
But Christopher has the same idea and breaks into Jon Ross’ room. There he finds the sex tape, gets drunk, and visits Elena. The next morning he wakes up with the sex tape CD in his pocket, miraculously uncrushed despite the fact that he slept on it. He decides not to tell Elena about it, but he does tell Jon Ross. Because Jon Ross called Marta by her real name, Christopher now has evidence that Jon Ross was in on the fraud. So he has a choice: betray his father and help Christopher get Southfork back or go to prison.
What did you think of this week’s episode? Did you want there to be more JR? Are you liking the female characters or finding them a bit bland? And what do you think Jon Ross will do? Sound off in the comments!
(Image courtesy of TNT)