Sunday, December 2, 2012

Impressions, New Mexico

Recently I traveled to New Mexico on business. Having never spent time in the Land of Enchantment state, I stole away for a few hours to drive from Albuquerque to Santa Fe to go to the Georgia O'Keefe museum. The museum was small but lovely and I'm glad I went (and can now cross this off my travel bucket list) but I wish I had more time to explore.

On my last day there I also wanted to ride the world's longest tramway, the Sandia Peak Ski & Tramway. [] - I had visions of me hurtling up the side of a mountain in a James Bond ski chalet style tram, as a I drove well out of my way up the side of a mountain ... only to find once I reached the guardhouse that the Tram was CLOSED FOR ANNUAL MAINTENANCE. They might have wanted to mention that on their website, maybe. I felt a bit like Chevy Chase in National Lampoon's Vacation when they show up at the gate of WallyWorld - except not really because I wasn't actually that upset, just a little disappointed.

never one to let travel snafus slow me down, I quickly changed plans and decided that if I couldn't take the tram, I would drive my damn self up the mountain. Or up a mountain at any rate. So on a Friday in early November, I found myself driving to Sandia Crest, a 10,700 foot elevation in the Cibola National Forest.

While it wasn't that cold down on the ground/non mountain elevation, at the top it was freezing, and I actually saw snow flurries at the peak. I'm sure the view from there is fantastic, at the moment I was there it was swathed in clouds so you could literally see nothing, but it was kind of neat feeling like I was inside a cloud.

The getting there was half the fun as they say, a nifty drive with lots of switchbacks. Before the flurry elevation, I saw light rain through a bright sun ... red rocks, sandstone ... evergreen trees and hiking trails ... signs warning of bear country. Wild turkeys! Clouds rolling over me like spirits ... sharp blue skies in the distance ... log cabins. My ears popped. At one point I was on Route 66, getting my kicks.

I can see why many artists and those with a spiritual bent are drawn to the area.
More on my observations of NM at another time.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Toddlers & Tiaras Horrorfest 8/22

I haven’t written about Toddlers & Tiaras in a while, but the episode this past week in Las Vegas was sufficiently horrific to inspire me. Somehow bringing the already disturbing spectacle to Sin City upped the ante, so to speak. 

In the opening montage of pageant scenes, they showed an Oompah Loompah (Roald Dahl version not Johnny Depp version) looking child of the four-to-six year old boy persuasion who was stripping as his talent routine.

The episode focused on families of the ilk that have a lot of money or at least like to seem like they have a lot of money and they spend it conspicuously on things like McMansions, bright yellow Vipers and lots and lots of cosmetic surgery.

One child arrived by helicopter. Another arrived in a giant pink Hummer limousine, because that’s what the three-year old requested. Uh huh.

One of my faves was the douchebaggy pageant dad, who a friend referred to as either gay or a serial killer. I vote both. Throughout the show he sported t-shirts that said:
  • ·       I Heart Lesbians
  • ·       I don’t date single moms I make them (??)
  • ·       I support single moms (with image of a stripper dancing on a pole)

Horrible delusion pageant mom Kelly or Kelli is back … I think they lived in Lake Havasu, Arizona previously (which was somehow fitting) and they now appear to live in Las Vegas (perhaps even more fitting), but not that I care so let’s suffice it to say that this train wreck of a human has already ruined her three-year-old twins. Ruined. And her plastic surgeon should be shot.

One of the highlights of this episode was the pageant judges, all drag queens, tho one was not in drag. The others were Britney Spears, Lady Gaga and Cher. Cher totally read the horrid Kelly/Kelli awful twin family. As someone so wisely pointed out, ‘money can’t buy you personality.’

The little girl that arrived by copter seemed to be subsidized by her grandmother, who had a face lift face that was difficult to look at. What was almost more difficult to observe was how mute the child’s mother was. I don’t think she uttered a single word the entire show.

These women’s plastic surgeons ought to be SHOT. Stripped of their medical licenses.

Douche dad had a cute kid who seemed to have some talent and a halfway decent personality, either in spite of or in response to d-bag daddy. At her pageant coach’s studio (all the kids had the same coach BTW) she went through some of her routines and posed for the head shots and photos that it seems they have to submit in order to compete in the pageants.

So her theme for the photo shoot was the Blue Man Group … in midget form. For reals. I have no idea what was going on. It was the little girl and two little people in blueface. Posing for photos with their legs in the air.

And I have to call the pageant coach out on the giant flippers two of the little girls were wearing. Awful. Scary grandma face was mad at pageant coach so she’ll get hers I’m sure.

In one of the on-camera interviews with little copter girl, they asked: What’s a drag queen?
Little girl’s response: That’s where you take your clothes when you don’t want to wash them yourself.


PS – after T&T there was a new episode of Here Comes Honey Boo Boo Cholesterol and Diabetes festival or whatever it is called. At one point they pass an establishment called the “Kuntry Stoe.” Close. Close to English. And the Kuntry Stoe was advertising cured hog jowls, whatever those are. But let’s just say that I don’t think little Glitzy the pet pig was actually given back to “the breeder” no sir indeedy. Unless in their language breeder is a euphemism for “meat grinder.” Just saying. 

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Ep 10 - The Dallas Season Finale Cometh

AKA “The Ewings come together in order to help one of their own overcome an illness.”

What happens tonight will blow you away, promiseth TNT. And they delivered!

PS doesn’t it bother anyone that Christopher hasn’t at any point wondered where Rebecca’s expensive engagement and wedding rings have gone?

Hell of an opener – the body of FTommy, seemingly dead. Falling to the floor. Rebecca standing there, shaking, with the gun. She places a call, tells the person on the other side that she’s in trouble.

Immediately unidentified men show up to remove the body. Who the hell are these people? Rebecca is furiously scrubbing the floor of the loft .. as if she’s done this before. The clean-up crew’s cart said “J Beall.” Hints of something to come in the future? Efficient clean-up tho.

Cut to hospital waiting room. Bobby is out of emergency surgery from the seizure triggered at the end of the last episode. He’s alive but they are not sure if he has brain damage, he’s unconscious. JR rushes to his unconscious side. God, soap operas love that tableau of a person lying helplessly with furrowed brow in a hospital bed (always a private room), blankets perfectly folded, with breathing tubes snaking over to ominous looking medical equipment.

JR exhorts him to wake up and tells him he loves him. 

John Ross, Christopher, Elena in waiting room. Elena looks longingly at the back of Christopher’s head. John Ross gets a phone call, goes outside to take call. It’s the Venezuelan. He’s down on the Gulf checking out Christopher’s methane rig. It’s actual equipment with real workers doing stuff. Venezuelans want to know when the rig will be operational.

Rebecca shows up at hospital waiting room, with obvious bruises. Rebecca tells Christopher that she got into a fight with FTommy, but he’s gone now, “for good.” She notes that Christopher has his ring back on, he says he wants to make their marriage work, and that she should put her rings back on … haaa I told you so. She is clearly flustered by this and makes an excuse to leave. Christopher tells John Ross that he wants his PI Bum to find FTommy. Ooopsie.  Law of unintended soap opera consequences even with good intentionedness.

See sometimes it’s useful to have people like JR and John Ross around.

Rebecca opens the door to a seedy motel room where FTommy has been evidently staying. She starts pawing through stuff looking for the wedding rings. She wisely put gloves on, but only after she entered the room. In her search, she finds photos of her and FTommy embracing. She tears them up but doesn’t burn or flush them. Classic mistake.

She can’t find the rings, so she calls the body snatchers and asks where FTommy’s body is because she needs to find something. Ewwww.

So does anyone think she really loves Christopher? Or is this still part of the long con. Or self preservation.

Lone Star beer six-pack in the seedy hotel room, nice Texas-y touch of the day.

Bobby wakes up, Ann and Christopher are in the room, sleeping. He seems fine, no brain damage. My husband predicts that the stroke/seizure will have killed his empathy and he’s now like JR. that would be interesting.

Rebecca goes to the body dump site, or rather a van parked in a hangar. ? She searches FTommy’s body and finds a pawn ticket for her flawless 2 carat engagement ring and diamond encrusted wedding band …

John Ross takes Elena to an office construction site, the intended home of Ewing Energies, which was the previous home of Ewing Oil. The birthright! John Ross wants to sit where JR’s office once was. Let the daddy complex go, John Ross. This whole family needs therapy.

While there, John Ross proposes to Elena! Didn’t see that coming. She says yes. He tells her she reminds him of oil reflecting off light. Okaaaayy ... Gives her a ring with a brown stone.

Christopher approves of the office space choice. Doesn’t necessarily not so much uh uh approve of John Ross and Elena’s engagement.  Awkward glances between Elena and Christopher.

Rebecca goes to the pawn shop only to be told her flawless rings were sold yesterday. She bribes the pawn shop owner to find out who bought them, he says he’ll call her.

Christopher shows up with conciliatory Chinese food for Rebecca at their loft. He asks why she’s not wearing the rings, she says her fingers are too swollen from being pregnant to wear the rings. Good cover. She’s clearly a very experienced con.

What will her fortune cookie say?

Lou is at the hospital visiting Bobby, JR shows up. Ah, Lou is a lawyer. JR says ‘you know you hit a low when even a lawyer won’t take the time to insult you.’

Bobby says he’s a medical miracle, can go home tomorrow, and anyway he can’t die because he has unfinished business with JR. JR claims again he wasn’t part of the FMarta fraud. Bobby reveals that they found her cloud storage drive and found a video of JR conspiring with her against Bobby. Bobby says “I’ve got you dead to rights, brother.” He manages to come across as imperious even in a bathrobe. He tells JR it’s time to stop the double dealings, but he doesn’t say if he will send JR to jail. Maybe he hasn’t decided yet.

Bobby is on his way home from the hospital, Sue Ellen shows up with a nice plant. She tells Ann that she’s scheduled a press conference and is bowing out of the governor’s race. She won’t launder Ryland’s money and she regrets crossing a line. Says she’s done too much wrong in her past to deserve to be governor. Well that’s probably true.

Oh so the ring is a ‘chocolate’ diamond, the color of oil. Elena’s mother is coming around to the idea of her marrying John Ross.

Lou shows up with JR at the ranch where John Ross and Christopher had been having a friendly cuzzin basketball game. Lou tells John Ross they have evidence against him of trying to commit fraud. Christopher is there, tells John Ross he can’t lie his way out of video evidence. John Ross says he will confess to conspiring with FMarta with the Venezuelans but only if they seal his confession and Elena won’t find out.

Of course Elena is there listening in the hallway (no doors, no locks, no privacy) and storms in and confronts him. He’s trying to rationalize that now he’s trying to do the right thing and that sure he set things in motion but he’s a changed man now and needs her by his side.

John Ross tells her to be at the Ewing Energy office tomorrow for “a new beginning.” She rushes off.

A tarted up Ann shows up at Ryland’s office to tell him he’s won. Wants to know what he wants, assumes all his blackmail is to get to her, his ex-wife. He says it’s about laundering money but as long as she’s there how about an awkward, essentially forced romp in the hay? She starts to undress and he stares at her creepily.

In an awesome move, she unbuttons her shirt and reveals that she’s wearing a wire! On her underwire! She now has him on tape admitting to extortion, blackmail and conspiring to launder money or somesuch.  She tells him if he doesn’t leave her, her family and Sue Ellen alone, he’ll be hugging the business end of her shotgun. She sure does like to threaten to shoot people. Foreshadowing or potential flashback?

Anyway, now again we are reminded again of Ann’s turn as the character Sue Ellen Mischke in Seinfeld, the woman who walked down the street wearing only a bra. Here she is wearing only a bra, helping a woman named Sue Ellen. Coincidence or fate?

Cut to another excellent plot twist – Vicente the Venezuelan is sitting down with Cliff Barnes’ lackey, 7-Up guy. Apparently Cliff has been arranging to buy the methane technology rights AND acquire the lien to SF. Well played, Cliff! You haven’t been on in several episodes, but this whole time you were quietly conspiring in the background… starting with working the FTommy angle.

But just (literally) as Vicente is about to sign the papers, Feds show up at his door. The look on 7-Up’s face is priceless.

Ann is at the park again watching the playground. But this time she's smiling. She asked SE to meet her there. She gives SE the recording and tells her not to drop out of the Gov’s race.

Vicente is arrested, and confronted by Bobby, JR and Christopher. I guess when you’re buds with the state AG you can get this sort of private meeting. Vicente is going to be charged with fraud and the murder of FMarta. Whatever deal JR/John Ross have made will make the Venezuelan’s dealings null and void.

V says he’s going to take John Ross down with him. However, the J’s got immunity for their confessions. Sweetheart deal!

JR threatens Vicente, saying he never should have harmed his son, and that life is cheap in prison. Vicente threatens him back. 

Bobby tells JR he has a copy of the video that implicates him and that if he tries and screw him again he’s got evidence against him. JR tips his hat and leaves.

Bobby, Christopher, John Ross chat. Christopher is understandably ticked at John Ross. Bobby seems to feel that maybe John Ross has learned his lesson. He urges the cuzzins to still go into business together. Why would a father want his son to go into business with someone who was clearly a criminal, a cheat and a liar? Oh right, because there must be a season two!!

Bum calls, says he found FTommy’s hotel room. Christopher and Bum go into the room. The room has been cleaned, of course FTommy is not there. I thought they might find the scraps of photos that showed FTommy and Rebecca kissing. But even better, fortuitously at that moment the phone in the hotel room rings. It’s Ftommy’s sister, his REAL sister Rebecca.

So that’s why Rebecca’s background check came back clean, because FRebecca stole the identity of FTommy’s real sister!

Christopher goes to the loft and tells FRebecca  that he knows she’s not Rebecca Sutter. Who are you? He demands. She says I’m your wife. She says she knows what she feels for him, and she throws the Elena thing in his face. Says he’s still in love with her.

He vows to find out who she really is, and when he does, he’ll send her to prison and ensure the babies never know her. Why wouldn’t he have already contacted the police, maybe even brought them with him to the loft?

Cut to Elena, who has car keys in hand and the oil engagement ring in its box … you have to assume that she is on her way to Ewing Energies to give John Ross the ring back. Cue to Christopher showing up to pour his heart out to her.

I don’t want to waste another minute without you, he tells her. He says that he is over with Rebecca, forever. Somehow he still had the original Elena engagement ring and hands it to her.

Cut to SE at a lectern (not a podium) giving an impassioned speech. While she talks, the action cuts to John Ross at the office building waiting for Elena. But who shows up instead, her mother, who wordlessly hands John Ross the ring box. Who sends her mother to end an engagement? Lame.

While SE is still speaking as the voice over, cut to Bobby and Ann overlooking SF contentendtedly. SE says she wants to fight for the future of Texas. She closes her speech by saying “For all those people who want to tear me down, I have 3 little words: I am Texas.”

And who is FRebecca, you ask? CLIFF BARNES’S DAUGHTER.


FRebecca is in the hangar again, looking suddenly patrician. 7-Up guy is there, and you’re wondering what the hell is going on. Suddenly it dawns on you that this whole long con has been orchestrated by Cliff Barnes all along, and FRebbeca is his progeny. Holy crap.

She recruited “the Sutter boy” in the con even tho he was ‘a loose cannon.’ A dead cannon now, and 7-Up and his henchmen are off to dispose of the body. That’s tidy. Daddy Barnes shows up and chides his daughter (real name still unknown), telling her she lost focus and got caught up in the Ewings. He even managed to buy the damn wedding rings from the damn pawn shop so that she couldn’t put them back on … she says that she knows she screwed up and she will not lose focus now, since Christopher threatened to take her babies.  She claims her allegiance to daddy.  He says he will give her a second chance, and he wants her to get a piece of Ewing energy. This is good writing dammit. 

He tells 7-Up to protect FRebecca, because there is a Ewing firestorm a-brewing. So what’s our first move, Miss Barnes, 7-Up asks her. I was hoping they might smooch. 

John Ross is sadly staring out the window of the office space. You really almost feel sorry for the bastard. But you know that in these moments, he is becoming hardened against the world, against love, against everything.

Meanwhile, Elena and Christopher have wasted no time, checking into a hotel room and getting busy.

Johnny Cash playing again.

Well, at least John Ross has his daddy. JR is at the office space with him, mixes him a drink.

Forget teaching me the oil business, says John Ross to JR. Teach me every dirty trick you know. (I thought that was the oil business?)

John Ross vows to take the company from Christopher and Elena (the company which they just started about 30 seconds ago, have they already drawn up paperwork?) and cut JR in. BUT, if JR screws him again, he’ll make sure JR goes back to “the home” for good and never sees a dime of the oil money from SF.

JR seems pleased, says “now that’s my son, from tip to tail.” Devil’s tail.


Arrrrggghgh I have to wait until January to find out what happens. Don’t know how I will make it. But TNT, you did blow me away. You blew me away. 

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Random TV Ramblings - Charlie's Angels

The Cloo channel is showing Charlie’s Angels episodes. Tonight, the Angels have to go to a séance, with Rene Auberjunois. But first, they have to go shopping, because after all, what does one wear to a séance? Very important question.

Was Farrah supposed to be the smart one? God, it wasn’t a good show. I guess by comparison it was... Never underestimate the power of T&A.

Episode “The Séance,” original airdate 12/15/76

Oh gawd it's a marathon and now they’re in a women’s prison, with a baby-faced Kim Basinger.  And although it’s prison, their hair is still feathered and their make-up is perfect.

“Angels in Chains,” original airdate 10/20/76

RIP Farrah. 

Dallas Episode 9 - The Dragon's Eyebrows

Per Wikipedia … “nine is considered a good number in Chinese culture. It’s strongly associated with the Chinese dragon, a symbol of magic and power. The dragon often symbolizes the Emperor.”

Does that sound like JR or what?  I would have titled this episode something like “Enter the Dragons” or “Family Dragons” or something. The writers in their infinite wisdom called it “Family Business.” I am NOT second-guessing them, just saying.

The channel guide description:
John chooses between family and business; another illness strikes the Ewings.

Another illness strikes the Ewings? Maybe friend of the blog (FOTB) ARF is right when she predicts Rebecca won’t ever actually give birth …

But enough about the channel guide description, let’s start the show!!

Second to last episode, lots of ground to cover.

First of all, cutesy wutesy kissing and stuff between John Ross and Elena. Elena blames JR for getting John Ross into this mess and for him having to ‘be near’ FMarta. John Ross says ‘it’s complicated.’ Elena tells him that Bobby was willing to drill for oil on SF if it meant saving John Ross.

John Ross looks intrigued at the prospect.

Would Rebecca already have a baby bump at 8 or 9 weeks? Lame baby talk, etc. Christopher says something about them creating their own family now, they buy stuffed monkeys. Yawn.

Someone has knitted covers for the tree trunks in Dallas. You expect that kind of thing in Austin, but not Dallas forgodssake.

Fbrother is waiting for Rebecca in the loft. She says, ‘how did you get in, I changed the locks?” FINALLY someone had the sense to change those damn locks.

He demands key cards to access plans to C’s rig. Offers to cut R in, threatens her. She scratches him but is clearly afraid of him. Fbrother says help him or he puts a bullet into her little fairy tale. But who would he shoot – Christopher? Rebecca? The fetuses (feti)?

PS – DNA under the fingernails anyone?

Snakey Harris shows up at Sue Ellen’s office with a gift, a bottle of wine. For an alcoholic. Looked like a bottle of Louis Jadot btw.

He knows about her bribe offer to the medical examiner. In return for keeping her secret, he says he needs to borrow her PAC to launder some money. Ballsy. She throws him out yadda yadda.

Hmm this is interesting. Fbrother’s buyer for the methane rig plans is Barnes’s lackey, 7-Up dude. Didn’t predict that!

Working for himself or Barnes? Fbrother demands more money.

John Ross and Elena cleverly come up with a way to get the oil under SF without actually drilling the ranch … slant or horizontal drilling. (Simpsons did it.)

Cue a medical emergency. Bobby starts stroking out or something. You’d think SF would have their own ambulance or medical staff on site.

Doctors diagnose a “brain seizure.” Is that a real thing?

Elena and Christopher look sort of longingly at each other. Elena admits to John Ross that B has the cancer, and no one told him because everyone assumed he and JR would have used the knowledge to gain the upper hand. John Ross gets a look on his face like he suddenly realizes what a d-bag everyone thinks he is … or does he?

Does John Ross have a conscience? Discuss.

Either way, he summons the elusive Bum the PI and demands that he find JR. Says “I’ve never kicked an old man’s ass, but today’s as good a day as any.” He tells Bum to tell JR that his brother is dying.

Bobby had an aneurysm. Needs to get his blood pressure down so he can have surgery.  So he stubbornly insists on leaving the hospital. Ha! He said they should get an ambulance to be on stand by. Told you.

For some reason, Rebecca shows up at the ranch. Hmm, Ann called and told her about Bobby … NOT Christopher. Some reconciliation.

Awkward, at that moment Elena walks in with 2 cups of coffee …

The family has hired Nurse Ratchett.

On her way out, Rebecca considers stealing Christopher’s key card but doesn’t.

JR is back!

Ann yells at him. Calls him a sociopath. Kicks him out and threatens to shoot him in the ding ding.

Bobby says he regrets selling SF. The man is a world-class waffler. No wonder he was dead for an entire season and then suddenly came back.

Christopher says he won’t fight John Ross on the slant-drilling, but he wants the deed back for SF. Wants peace of mind for Bobby.

C lays it on thick, playing the Cuzzin family loyalty card. Says Bobby has always been there for John Ross, even when his own father JR wasn’t … tells him the old John Ross he used to know would do anything to get SF back. It’s like he’s Darth Vader and they are still trying to find the one little bit of Annikin goodness in him … like a creamy moral center.

John Ross tries a direct tactic, asking JR for the deed back. He refuses. John Ross says Uncle Bobby helped him out when he was attacked – JR says “I came as soon as I heard!” LIAR.

JR says “what’s gotten into you anyway?” John Ross says “a little bit of decency.”

FINALLY someone, John Ross, says he’s tired of hearing about THE BIRTHRIGHT.

Enough with the gd birthright already.

JR promptly kicks John Ross out of his room where John Ross has been staying. Doesn’t SF have another guest room?

John Ross walks out with his luggage, encounters Sue Ellen and Elena. John Ross says JR is back but refuses to sign the deed back over, even tho he can now have the oil, which ostensibly is what he wanted. John Ross says of JR, “He’s being pig-headed and selfish.” “That’s so unlike JR,” says Sue Ellen sarcastically and stomps off.

John Ross appears to be having a moment of reckoning. He’s coming to terms with the fact that he’s been craving and seeking the approval of a ginormous jerk bag who would claw over his own family to get his way. John Ross says he loves his father, but he’s so lost in his own anger and bitterness that there’s no room for anybody else.

Parental dynamics can be complicated.  

Sue Ellen gives an awesome impassioned speech to JR. how he leaves a path of destruction in everyone’s lives, and that she and Bobby are used to it but he should stop screwing his own son over. She alludes to depression being the reason he ended up in the nursing home b/c he realized he had nothing, and he still has nothing. He says “I’m going to be back on top!” in a delusional manner.

SE tells Ann that Snakey Harris is blackmailing her. I kind of like this pairing of SE and Ann. They should figure out a way to screw Harris over. Hard. But in the meantime, they are already talking about SE’s gubernatorial bid in the past sense. Shame. Governor Ewing has a nice ring to it.

JR and his eyebrows sit down at Bobby’s desk. He spies a photo of him and Bobby together.

Carmen the housekeeper summons him to see “Mr Bobby.” It’s safe b/c Ann is gone. Nurse Ratchett allows him to enter.

JR says “I have lapses every now and then when I do wrong.” HA.

Bobby says he loves him.

It’s a short meeting.

Elena, Christopher and John Ross are drinking Shiner Bock in the SF kitchen. I appreciate the Texas-y touches. They ponder what Ewing oil would have been like had JR and Bobby been allies instead of enemies.

Christopher proposes he and John Ross team up to create Ewing Energies. With Elena as a partner. THREESOME!!

It’s kind of sexy when they talk oil talk and drilling technology and gas hydrates. Cuzzins!

Oh wait, Bobby is an equal partner too. Foursome? Ewwwww.

JR still owns the mineral rights to the oil under SF so he’ll still get the profits of that oil, or at least a part of it.

How cute, the kids are opening a lemonade stand.

JR is drinking brown liquor and staring at the deed. And a photo of his dead momma. He signs it. What does that mean?

Why can’t all documents be sepia toned and important looking?

JR leaves the document on Bobby’s bed (with Nurse Ratchett’s tacit approval.)

I guess he did sign the deed back over, I’ll be damned. But he points out if Bobby dies, it all goes back to him anyway. I guess this is about as warm and fuzzy as JR gets. Maybe he’ll spike Bobby’s meds and try and off him sooner.

BTW I HATE and I mean HATE the Walmart commercials that feature real customers. Painful.

Nice product placement of vehicles in Dallas. Corvette, Chevy, Tesla.

Tommy calls Rebecca and is furious that she doesn’t have the key card. He says “you owe me.” For what, exactly?

He wants to know where she is. She hangs up on him.

She then goes to a safety deposit box (bank lady comments on the fact that it’s been a while since she’s been there) that contains wads of cash and what looks like credit cards or credit card blanks … and a handgun.

Nice Johnny Cash song playing as she pulls the gun out of the deposit box and puts it in her ostrich purse.  

Cut to Tommy nervously waiting in a bar for Barnes’s sidekick, who tells him, ‘your services are no longer needed.’ Tommy looks pisssssed.

Lou (who is Lou – investigator? Lawyer? Fed?) calls Bobby and says they have a lead on FMarta – she had cloud storage of documents, video, etc. (did you say viddddeeeoooo?) He seems confident that they’ll find evidence that will nail the Venezuelans and get the BIRTHRIGHT back. But Lou brings up a good point – if they find evidence that implicates JR, does Bobby want to know?

Just when JR has done something nice (or so it seems) and perhaps they could start to think about reconciliation …

Cue another seizure for Bobby.

More Johnny Cash. Tommy barges into Rebecca’s loft and attacks her. To rape her? To kill her? Just rough her up? He talks about how the whole “oil” scam was her idea in the first place, and she engineered the whole Christopher set up. How exactly did her background check come back clean?

She fights back.

She’s fighting for them babies!

She grabs the gun. They struggle.

Gun shot – blood spatter on the stuffed monkeys – WHO WAS SHOT DAMMIT?
Just memorize this line, Rebecca: “It was self defense.”

If I were a betting woman, I’d bet that Tommy is the one shot. However, if Rebecca gets shot (and killed) then that clears the path for Christopher and Elena to finally be together.

Tantalizing scenes shown from THE FINAL EPISODE NEXT WEEK. No Cliff Barnes this week (DRAT!) but I have it on good authority (@kenkercheval) that he will be on the season finale! 

Chill … ‘til the next episode. 

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

EPISODE 8 – only this one and 2 more episodes to go until the season ends

When we last saw John Ross, he was in the back of a police cruiser being dragged away by Dallas’s finest.

Cut to a visiting room at the jail, where Elena is asking him what he was doing in FMarta’s hotel room. Sure, don’t ask questions about whether he killed a woman or not, or was involved in a violent crime, demand to know if he was with another woman!

John Ross  as always cleverly positions himself – tells Elena he was there to save her from the stalkery FMarta. Which he was, because he thought FMarta had kidnapped her. Which she wouldn’t have if he hadn’t been shtupping her and conniving with her against his entire family …

Anyway, the police have strong evidence … and they didn’t find a surveiilance camera. Whoooops.

Interestingly enough, he’s been in custody at least 30 seconds and hasn’t given up the Venezuelans yet.

BTW, Cliff Barnes better be in this episode.

Cut to Mommy visiting John Ross in jail. Sue Ellen to the rescue …she’s already hired him a great attorney and thinks FMarta’s death will be ruled a suicide. She also thinks he’s holding something back, and is protecting his father. But who is he protecting exactly, his father, or himself? Or both. He stubbornly doesn’t want JR to be called back in to clean up this mess. He comes clean to Ma about having slept with FMarta, but he won’t tattle to her about the Venezuelans. He says he doesn’t want to mess with her gubernatorial bid, but I would guess the press would already be having a field day about this. He also seems overly concerned that Elena will find out that he had an affair with FMarta. Should we remind him that someone is dead?

You want to believe he actually cares for Elena, but then again …

Cut to Christopher and Knocked Up Rebecca (KUR) in his Tesla, with vanity plates Ewing 6. Who has got Ewings 1-5. Anyway, she says “where do we go from here” which prompts me to break into song from Evita. Patti Lupone is a legend but I liked Madonna in the movie. Anyhoo.

He says he’ll take responsibility for the baby, she throws back in his face how traumatic his parents’ divorce was for him, and how all he said he ever wanted was for their kids to have two parents under one roof. Well I guess she shouldn’t have conned him and scammed him and broken up his previous relationship and gone through his paperwork and tried to set up his family and brought her evil “brother” into the mix. What were we talking about?

Oh right, Christopher’s anger. “will we ever get past that,” KUR asks. “I don’t know.” Powerful stuff. It’s hard to make an angry getaway revving an electric car.

Friendly local po-po is filling Bobby and Ann in on the FMarta situation, who she really is. Says things aren’t looking good for John Ross. Bobby says John Ross is ambitious, but not a killer.

Christopher walks in and says he needs to do something about a rig test blah blah. SOMEHOW in the midst of all the drama he has managed to keep diddling around with his methane stuff. When was he working?

Continuing in the theme of Nobody Knocks, Elena strolls in to the kitchen. She’s upset. I guess about the whole boyfriend going to jail thing. Christopher is unsympathetic, says if you play with snakes long enough you’re bound to get bit. He’s right. She counters that anger at John Ross isn’t enough of a reason to want him to suffer for a crime he didn’t commit. Huh, she’s also right. She reminds Christopher that he and John Ross used to be best friends. Falls on deaf ears.

Christopher chases the 5-0 outside. Oh, he’s the sheriff. Good connections. Asks the sheriff to run a background check on his “wife” Rebecca. I wouldn’t even refer to her as my wife if I were him. Does that mean he’s softening? Does the background check mean he wants to try and trust her again?

Either way, I’ve watched enough police procedurals to know cops get in trouble when they randomly run criminal background checks on people they are not investigating. I guess it’s ok if you’re the sheriff. Which reminds me, why didn’t anyone call the cops on Rebecca and Tommy? And WHY is she still living in their loft? He probably still has a joint bank account with her.

You gotta expect some interesting dirt will come out of that background check, tho.

Back to county lockup. John Ross struts even in an orange jumpsuit. For some reason he hasn’t had a bail hearing yet. The head Venezuelan guy (Vicente?) comes to see him, at John Ross’s request. John Ross asks him where the video footage is … general threatening banter … Vicente basically says he (John Ross) is responsible for FMarta’s death since he ratted on her.

John Ross says he’s going to come clean to the cops. Vicente threatens him in a general manner. Demands his oil again. John Ross gives vague excuses again. Says get me out of here, and you’ll get your oil.

Vicente says YOU’RE TIME IS UP. Duhn duhn duhn!

Exxon Mobil comes to see Christopher, wants to make an offer. He says he won’t license it. Nerdy looking people work at his eco friendly alternative energy joint.

Ann is hanging out with Rebecca, inexplicably. Is being very supportive.  Tries to bolster Rebecca’s confidence, blah blah. Tommy comes strolling in (doesn’t knock). Where has he been? Oh wait, I don’t care. Babbles something about Rebecca being his only family. Ann inexplicably offers Tommy a job on her cousin’s ranch in Oklahoma. Isn’t the guy a creep, a criminal, a conman? Why would you help him and foist him off on family. And why would he seems so excited about a smelly ranch job in Oklahoma, like he can’t get a smelly ranch job in Texas.

I wish they would just out Ann’s secret already so she can stop being guilt-nice to Rebecca.

Finally, somebody knocks! The Venezuelans, on Bobby Ewing’s door. Tells Bobby that they hold a lien on SF until loan is paid off through the oil. Will this force Bobby’s hand to allow drilling on SF??

The other option is the Venezuelans call in the loan and take the BIRTHRIGHT LAND. Bobby narrows his eyes at him … scoffs at the note and the fraudulent deal. Tells Vicente that he owns the land, but Bobby owns the mineral rights. And basically get out of my house. They really need better security at SF.

It’s time for a good shivving! Or at least a good beat down. John Ross gets his ass kicked with a warning from Vicente and a message to Bobby.

Random white dude lawyer says the lien is valid. Bobby wants to pursue the fraud charges and collusion and stuff. Yelling, loud voices, etc.

Family rushes to John Ross’s bedside. Something about internal bleeding. A Latino gang is blamed. Bobby immediately makes connection to the Venezuelans. Smartypants. Bobby wants to help John Ross make bail to get him out of harm’s way.

Christopher looks longingly at Elena who is looking sadly at John Ross.

Sue Ellen deals frustratedly with a coffee air pump in the hospital waiting room. Ann lends a sympathetic ear. Boy, Ann must be working off some MAJOR guilt. Sue Ellen says she’s going to have to cross a line to help John Ross. Ann assures her she’s just trying to be a good mother.

John Ross wakes up, sees Christopher at his bedside.  Tells Christopher that the Venezuelans will kill him just like they killed FMarta if they don’t get oil. Christopher says John Ross needs to come clean … John Ross says the V’s are too dangerous. Tells Christopher about the camera. Wishes he hadn’t been so desperate to drill on SF. Must be some good pain meds he’s on.

JR and his eyebrows are at a bar. Bum calls him and tells him about John Ross getting beat up in jail. JR is still obsessing over the Pakistani dude.  Are they really going to develop that plot line in the last two episodes of the season?

Bobby goes to visit Miss Ellie’s grave. I don’t think I’d want to be buried in my own backyard. He tells the headstone that he’s going to do whatever it takes to protect the family.

Bobby says until they can prove fraud, they are going to have to start pumping oil on SF. Boy he flipflops fast. Christopher says he can give the V’s something better than oil. He wants to start taking care of this family. He’ll make them an offer they can’t refuse. License his technology?

Sue Ellen goes to a morgue. Of course. She wants to strongarm the coroner into ruling the death a suicide. Offers him post of CME when she’s Governor. He doesn’t seem receptive to the bribe. But she threatens him with dirt she’s got on him.

John Ross’s criminal ward, late at night … the guard walks away … THE VENEUELANS ARE COMING! THE VENEZUELANS ARE COMING!

Oh wait, I see eyebrow shadows. It’s JR, back from Vegas and some imaginary high stakes card game.

Christopher goes to see Vicente in his phat Miami Vice type pad. V wants to reclaim his oil from Chavez’s nationalization. Why should he care about Christopher’s chunks of smelly cow fart ice? Christopher has his little pitch down with the ice and the fire.

Christopher tells V that he can harness resources worth more than all the coal, oil and natural gas in all of Venezuela combined .. offers them exclusive South American rights to the technology. They want ‘certain assurances’ that the tech works. He wants the footage. Will C turn out to be the best wheeler dealer in the family?

Wait, was JR really there, or was it a dream? An nice reference to the dream season of Dallas 1.0?

Sue Ellen goes to see John Ross at the hospital, detective walks in, says charges have been magically dropped. Sue Ellen looks smug … but turns out charges were dropped since the camera was mysteriously located on the roof of the hotel. Either Christopher or JR had something to do with it.

SE cashed in her chips for nothing. The ME ruled it a suicide even tho it clearly wasn’t which means he screwed up, put his career and life on the line, for nothing and now a killer goes free. Oh well.

John Ross and Christopher make up. They are just two good ol’ boys trying to make their daddies proud. John Ross limps off with Elena.

Now that John Ross is safe, they need to figure out a way to get SF back.

Christopher is now dancing with the devil. 

Sheriff dropped off the background check.

SE confesses to Ann that she bribed a medical examiner. Now she’s regretting crossing that line. Probably because she did it for naught.

Christopher goes to Rebecca’s place – oh wait, his place. Tells her the background check came back clean. But he’s not sure he can let all the anger and distrust go. He asks her if there any more secrets. Of course she says no.

I don’t think this is something that a couple can move past …

WITHOUT KNOCKING, Tommy storms back in. he knows about Exxon going to see Christopher and the potential value of the technology. He wasn’t happy with the engagement and wedding rings she tried to pay him off with (shouldn’t Christopher have demanded those back? Dumass.) and he wants to sell it to the highest bidder. He gives Rebecca a big ol smacker on the lips and threatens to tell Christopher all their dirty little secrets.


Description of this episode, per the channel guide:
Ewings try to clear the family name; Christopher is approached by oil company.  

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Ep 7 – Rebecca confides in Elena; someone close to the family is murdered.

Episode opens with Christopher racing a pretty horse out to the thinkin’ tree where the Ewings carve the names of their beloveds. He caresses the carving of “Chris + Elena.”

John Ross is on the phone yelling at some lawyer to ‘un-do’ the trust that blocks him from the mineral rights on Southfork. Christopher strolls in and gives him back the DVD of John Ross having sex with FMarta, tho unclear why he wouldn’t hold on to it as collateral. I guess he’s that thick. … John Ross says “don’t you have some cows to go birth?” good question.

Christopher says something about the Ewing name (BIRTHRIGHT!!) and says “just because I’m fighting fair, doesn’t mean I won’t fight … for Southfork AND FOR ELENA. “

Cue John Ross’s nostrils flaring … and the awesome theme song which gets stuck in your head for days at a time. Well at least it does in mine.

Rebecca shows up at Elena’s door with a gift basket to thank her for ‘being cool’ about taking her to the doctor. She promptly yaks in Elena’s bathroom, and Elena immediately knows Rebecca is preggos.  She says “I’m sorry I threw up in your bathroom” and leaves. It’s this kind of writing that keeps us hooked!!

Incidentally, has anyone had Elena checked out for anorexia? She’s not going to eat any of the food in that basket, guarantee.

Incidentally, can just anyone in the world just drive onto SF and hang out whenever they please? You’d think there would be a guardhouse, and that they’d have instructions to not let Rebecca on the property. You’d also think that Christopher would have changed the locks on his loft so that Rebecca couldn’t be hanging around in it with her “brother” going through important family documents … that boy just is really thick I think. He may just be dumb enough to fall for Rebecca’s ploys to try and get him back.

I’m not convinced that she really does love Christopher – well, maybe she hearts him a little but I don’t think her motives are pure – and I’m not convinced that baby is his. Unfortunately, he’s probably too thick to demand a paternity test. (Maury tie-in? Note to producers.)

Cut to Ann sitting in a park somewhere fingering the locket her ex husband gave her and watching kids in a playground. Bobby calls her – why is he listed as “Bobby Ewing” in her phone – do you have your husband’s first and last name as his contact in your phone? Mine says Sweet B, not my hub’s real name. Suspicious.

Further suspicious, she lies to Bobby and says she’s at Nieman’s (taking the name in vain) and that she won’t be home in time to take a ride with him. What skeletons from her past are dancing in her closet? 

Unfortunately now that I’ve made the connection that she is the braless “if it don’t fit, you must acquit” character from Seinfeld, I can’t stop picturing her that way. I miss you, Jackie Chiles! But I digress …

John Ross tells a story about bourbon to Charlene Tilton over salad. She makes a reference to Sue Ellen’s alcoholism. He asks ‘his favorite cousin’ Lucy to ask Uncle Gary to help him with the mineral rights issue. JR and Gary need to sign off for him to be able to drill. She seems surprised that John Ross is a d-bag.

Offers her a ‘significant stake’ (or steak, perhaps) in Ewing oil for her participation. Wouldn’t she already have a stake? So many questions.

Elena is working on her pickup truck – she’s so self sufficient. Christopher shows up and tries and helps her with the engine.

“any sparks” he asks? Har har. 

He tries to apologize to Elena for what he said, she says he has to respect her relationship with John Ross. She acknowledges they were getting too close.  He says he cares about her, and he should have fought harder when he thought she ditched him on their wedding day. She urges him to call Rebecca.

Then she blurts out that Rebecca is pregnant. “She should have been the one to tell you,” says Elena. AH, YOU THINK?

Christopher storms off. So much storming in this show, love it.

Bobby is somewhere on the ranch playing with cattle (he’s so hands on) and police come to find him. They arrest him for the assault on Harris Ryland – oooh didn’t see that coming! Instead of fighting back, Ryland hits him legally. Well played. And he did it in front of witnesses, even.
Bobby is in jail, talking with his lawyer. Well-connected Ryland is offering a deal – Bobby apologizes and he will drop the charges. Don’t trust him! Bobby thinks Ryland wants to get his hooks back into Ann.

Bobby switches conversation to ‘where is JR?’
Lawyer says he’s got some dirt on JR”s PI, Bum. So his name is Bum, not Bump. Good to know.

Christopher goes to the loft. Accuses Rebecca of lying about the pregnancy.

She gives him attitude … ooh low blow she throws the abandonment card at him – says she thought he’d be more understanding, seeing how his birth parents treated him.
Interesting tactic?

Christopher tells Bobby and Ann that he’s going to have Rebecca do a paternity test. So he does have an ounce of sense! Bobby expresses surprise that Christopher might think Rebecca is lying (huh?) and Ann yells at Christopher saying Rebecca is trying to do right by him and he’s just being spiteful and cruel. (double huh? Must be a reference to her own past)

Ever since she got Ryland’s flowers, she’s been ‘edgy.’ I don’t think she told Bobby about the locket.

In return, Bobby hadn’t told her that he went to see Ryland and ‘slapped him around,’ and now Ryland is demanding an apology or will press charges.

John Ross and Elena are out to dinner. Twisted Root Burgers – I’ve been there!! Damn good burgers. John Ross is right about something.  Apparently was the site of their first date. He says she’s the one thing grounding him right now and he doesn’t know what he’d do without her.

And they are drinking Shiner Bock – very Texan.

Says they should go on a trip when all the drilling nonsense is past them. Just then he sees FMarta walk by …
Things get worse as the Venezolanos call him and demand a meeting in one hour.

“Word travels like oil in a pipeline,” says Vicente. “and the word is, there is no oil in your pipeline.” Reminds John Ross that he owns the lien on SF. John Ross offers information in exchange for more time; he throws FMarta under the bus and tells Vicente that she’s been skimming from him. Asks that FMarta be run out of town.

John Ross gets one more week …
And if they don’t get what they are promised, they will take SF. BIRTHRIGHT!!

John Ross catches Lucy coming out of Bobby’s office. She and Gary are on Bobby’s side. John Ross says he’s in trouble with the Venezuelans. Bobby is shall we say unsympathetic to his plight.

You almost feel sorry for John Ross.

Next scene, he goes crying to Momma. She suggests he use some of Elena’s oil to pay off the Venezuelans. Not a bad idea. John Ross says he doesn’t want to

JR calls Bum to see what’s going on. JR doesn’t seem worried about the mineral rights trusts holding up in court. Bum gives him the update on Cliff’s right hand man who turns out to be a child from Islamabad that he plucked from the streets and gave a home, job, education. In other words, a foundling!! Very Little Orphan Annie.

JR alludes to maybe making Islamabad some kind of offer.

Christopher and Rebecca are at the doctor’s office getting a paternity test. Touching scene. She apologizes for what she said about his birth parents. Wah wah.

Sue Ellen takes Elena to lunch, tries to convince her to give John Ross oil. Sue Ellen is very convincing. Plus, she is the sole investor in Elena’s company, and she not so subtly reminds her.

Two tables over, FMarta is watching Elena at the restaurant.

John Ross gets a call from Elena, but it’s really FMarta on the other end of the line!! She intimates that she has Elena (I don’t think she does, just her phone) and that he should come to some hotel.

John Ross goes storming over there. Walks into a dark hotel room (bad move). Finds a freaky mad looking FMarta hiding in the hotel room. She is (rightfully so) freaking out over the fact that Vicente knows she stole from him. She says if he cares about Elena’s safety, he will help save her from the Venezuelans.

Christopher goes to Elena’s door. Of course, she is there, not with FMarta. Elena apologizes for spilling the beans about the pregnancy. Christopher declares he still wants to be with her. She resists because he’s going to be a father. She says they have to make it work with their respective others.

“I guess timing is everything,” says Christopher. Ain’t that the truth.

Of course it couldn’t be that easy. Sure, we thought Rebecca was going to be out of the picture, clearing the way for Christopher and Elena to get back together … but NOOOO whammo stupid pregnancy gets in the way.

Bobby goes to Ryland and apologizes, Ryland drops charges. Bobby tells him to stay away from Anne. Ryland tires to give him a folder and says Anne is hiding something from him.

Vicente froze FMarta’s bank accounts. John Ross offers her money, she wants his help. For some reason FMarta had a camera set up, unclear what she was intending to film. He snatches Elena’s phone back from her, she scratches him, he leaves.

Cue 2 Venezuelan goons going toward FMarta’s room. Clearly they will kill her, and police will find John Ross’s DNA under her fingernails. Dun dun dun!

Ann is pleading with Christopher to take Rebecca back, saying she lied about something in her past but didn’t lie about her love .. uh talking about herself much? Clearly she’s hiding something, and it has something to do with a child. Bobby has the folder that Ryland gave him, but it’s not clear if he’s looked at it or not. Phone rings, doctor calling Christopher about the paternity results .. but of course they won’t give him the results over the phone.

Cut back to John Ross leaving the hotel, and running smack dab into FMarta’s very real dead body lying on the hood of a car … horror!! My guess is he will run rather than wait for the cops. He may think FMarta committed suicide, she did have a well documented history of mental instability, but the whole DNA under the fingernails is going to prove quite a bother …

Oh, yeah, he’s pulling a runner. Bad move. Especially when they were witnesses who saw him on FMarta’s floor .. and particularly when the hotel security footage will very easily pick him up fleeing in his black Corvette.

So Christopher goes to the doctor, with his mom and dad, which is a little weird, and finds out the baby is his. Er, make that, babies. They can tell at 9 weeks that someone is having twins? Double kick to the nuts, Christopher.

Cue creepy/supposed to be sweet scene of an ultrasound with Rebecca, Christopher … and his parents. Ann runs off crying. Awkward.

Cut to Ann fingering the locket again in front of a fireplace. Bobby tells her that Ryland gave him a folder about her past, but he doesn’t need to look in it. Says he’s there for her, and throws the folder in the fireplace. Sheeet, I would have read it lickety split. Cut to images of photos burning, of Ann holding a baby. Something tells me we haven’t heard the last of this.

John Ross meets up with Elena. She tells him she’ll help with the oil, says “we’re in this together, I’ve made my choice.” JUST at that second, police pull up looking for John Ross, saying he was seen fleeing the scene of a crime, namely that of the murder of FMarta. They take him in for questioning. Oddly enough he doesn’t protest his innocence and he and Elena just give each other a meaningful stare. Guess it’s good FMarta was taping the action in the hotel room, huh?

How do they pack so much into one hour? Less even when you factor in commercials. Damn.