This week on Dallas, the Ewings plan their goodbye barbeque in the middle of love square shenanigans while JR tries to get Marta to Fatal Attraction John Ross out of the way.
JR is seriously the best dad ever. Last week he and John Ross bonded over implicit shaving death threats and this week he’s sending John Ross’ unstable hookup buddy to go boil his bunny. But I’m sure it’s all to teach John Ross a valuable lesson. “That’s why you always leave a note!” or “That’s why you shouldn’t date girls that roofie you!” I feel like John Ross will eventually be appreciative of these lessons JR and his eyebrows are teaching, if he manages to survive them.
In other corners of the Ewing world, Ann is packing up the house while preparing for a big Southfork sendoff party. She asks Bobby to help her do some heavy lifting or really anything useful but Bobby has important girl talk to do with Christopher. So clearly helping Ann lift gigantic boxes will have to wait until after he and his son have played a couple rounds of MASH to determine if he should be with Elena or Rebecca. “Thanks for the back problems honey!” Ann says cheerily. Now here’s a situation where Ann should have whipped out her gun.
Meanwhile John Ross is simultaneously trying to hook up with Elena, escape fake Marta and blackmail Rebecca. He’s very busy with the ladies this week. So too is Christopher, who can’t decide between Elena and Rebecca because of feelings and stuff that I don’t really care about. Bobby pretends to care about Christopher’s love life, as good dads do, while birthing a cow with his bare hands.
There was a lot going on this week and the storylines moved smoothly forward. While we didn’t get as much on the sale of Southfork, we did get a good amount of double-dealing and scheming as usual. While the episode was strong on its own merits, it set up nicely for some great disasters next week at the BBQ of jilted lovers and email scandals. I personally can’t wait.
You’ve Got Mail
Who knew back in the 80s that a major aspect of the rebooted Dallas would be a scandal over who sent an email? “What’s an email?” 80s Dallas wonders. Still, while interesting in the premiere, this email scandal is getting a bit tired by now. Hopefully since the show is addressing the issue head-on already they plan to tie-up that plot thread instead of making it a mysterious through-line. I’m willing to care about this email for a little while longer, especially if it makes Rebecca a little more interesting.
To that end John Ross tries to use Rebecca this episode to work her con artist magic on Lobell’s former druggie son. Since he has two strikes on his record, if they get pictures of him taking part in an illegal activity they can blackmail his father into backing down. This is Texas, after three strikes it’s entirely possible they just take you out back and shoot you. At least this seems to be the way everyone is acting on the show.
So Rebecca reluctantly goes to use her feminine wiles on the son to turn him back onto drugs. Except he touches her heart with a story about finding love and cleaning up, so she gives in. I have to say, for a girl working the long con she is pretty terrible at doing anything interesting. I was hoping her team-up with John Ross would show other sides to her character but it really didn’t. Both she and Elena routinely look like deer in the headlights whenever things go wrong for them.
Thankfully, Jon Ross also has Marta who is completely out of her mind and who roofies people for fun and profit. John Ross sends Marta after Lobell’s son, and she successfully gets a picture of him doing blow with hookers. See, Marta is a crazy person who gets things done.
It turns out Marta’s real name is Veronica and she has a bad history of trying to kill boyfriends who have wronged her in the past. This explains the pills in the last episode and also probably her penchant for roofies and sex tapes. On this show, it’s really hard to determine what is ‘normal’ and what is ‘crazy’ behavior.
Marta is apparently obsessed with John Ross now. John Ross doesn’t seem as concerned about her stalker behavior as he should be, even when she takes him out to buy him an expensive watch. I’m surprised that thing didn’t have a GPS tracking device in it. John Ross is telling her exactly what she wants to hear, but what he should probably be doing is shaving off all his facial hair and assuming a new identity somewhere she can’t find him.
Instead, he is pal-ing around with Elena, helping her with oil stuff and having playful water fights. He even makes time to talk to his mom, while stopping by with Elena to pick up some cash to start a new (and legal!) drilling project. Sue Ellen warns him that JR is basically the devil but John Ross keeps going “he’s teaching me the oil business!” which is apparently the Ewing equivalent of playing catch.
Of course, JR is the devil because he is at that very moment sending one of his cronies out to take pictures of John Ross with Elena. Why is he interested in his son’s love life? Is he going to give some helpful advice and then shove his arm into a cow like Bobby? Nope, he’s going to use the pictures to drive the unstable Marta into a murderous rage. He also tells Lobell to cut John Ross out of the deal and seems to be working a new deal with Marta as well.
Looks like Cliff Barnes was right when he said JR didn’t change. I love Cliff Barnes so much because he is by far the most ridiculous person on this ridiculous show. Every time he pops up I feel like it should be accompanied by a “dun dun dun!” theme. Cliff will pop around a corner and the camera will zoom directly into one of his wrinkles and he will glare and then JR will glare and it’s all amazing. I love how everything on this show is so heightened and over the top. If you did a drinking game based entirely on dramatic zooms you would need a liver transplant about halfway through an episode.
Love and Cows
Meanwhile Christopher and Bobby are having a heart to heart while building fences and birthing cows about the Elena and Rebecca of it all. Bobby advises Christopher to just be honest about his feelings, but if he loves Rebecca he has to let Elena go. Then the mama cow dies and it’s very sad. But thankfully the adorable baby cow lives to be adopted by another cow, so we can have more heavy-handed exposition about how Christopher was adopted.
So Christopher goes over to Elena’s place before the BBQ to give her 20 grand and be a horrible person to her. He’s breaking up with her again, this time Harry and the Hendersons style. So of course Elena invites John Ross to the BBQ, where he shows up looking like a cater waiter. Rebecca panics seeing him and pulls Christopher aside to tell him about the email. But what will she tell him?
What did you think of the episode? Do you want to see Elena and Christopher rekindle the old flame or are you rooting for her and John Ross? Will JR succeed in cutting John Ross out of Southfork? Sound off in the comments!
(Image courtesy of TNT)