Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Week 3 of Dallas - wheeeee

Spoiler alert - if you haven't watched the episode yet, stop reading. 

Episode opens with Christopher having sexy dream about Elena. As if we didn’t already know he still has feelings for her. They had to throw some sex into this episode, and that's about all we got. 

Attention to detail: John Ross has fake Marta del Sol (FMarta) listed in his phone as Marta del Sol. Good thinking. 

JR and John Ross are still working on getting dirt on Lawyer Lubell’s drunky son, to use as leverage.

I wish JR would get his teeth fixed.

JR squared plot to set up drunky son. JR proposes using FMarta, John Ross demurs.

JR refers to Elena as “that Mexican girl.” Nice.

Never one to not go right for the jugular, John Ross calls Rebecca and reveals that he knows she sent the email to Elena that broker her and Christopher up. Does JR know that John Ross has this intel?

JR’s PI digs up dirt on FMarta, turns out she’s bipolar and has a history of violent stalking. JR declares her ‘Crazier than an outhouse rat.’ They plot to somehow use FMarta and Elena against John Ross.

Miss Ellie’s silver collection is missing – cue Rebecca’s “brother” Tommy. Anne is planning a big BBQ at the ranch. Then she and Bobby are moving to … a condo? As if.
Christopher and Rebecca are now staying at Southfork (SF).

Elena comes in with some bids for a test of the methane something something that she needs to review with Christopher. They exchange longing glances … and cue Rebecca walking in awkwardly.

Referring to one of the contractors who is bidding on the tests, Christopher says, “In the oil business, cheap and fast gets you good and dead.”

Rebecca rushes off to the library to study for the Texas bar exam.

Anne is annoyed because Bobby won’t spend time going through “his family’s” things while they are moving.

JR shows up at Sue Ellen’s office to give her a ‘good luck charm’ for her pending campaign for governor, Miss Ellie’s pearls that he ‘found’ while cleaning up SF. Suddenly Cliff Barnes (Yay Ken Kercheval) bursts in and JR gets annoyed, says Cliff “must have been out of his tiny mind” if he thought they would sell SF to him. Sue Ellen says she contacted Cliff to get political advice. (this refers back to the original Dallas when Cliff ran for some office backed by a fake campaign that JR used to set him up, or something like that)

“You lost the right to have a say in with whom I lunch, a long time ago.” Sue Ellen to JR.

Rebecca wasn’t going to the law library after all!! She was meeting John Ross. She feebly protests that she wasn’t the one who sent the email. Although it could have been her brother. Either way, she accepts John Ross’s bargain – if she helps him with his underhanded plot to frame Lawyer Lubell’s drunky son, then he’ll let her get away with her plot to scam Christopher, whom John Ross refers to as “my dimwitted cousin.” (Dimwitted but hot) She is supposed to get photos of Drunky Son doing drugs. John Ross says “You strike me as a resourceful girl, Rebecca,” you’ll figure it out. I agree.

With twists and turns like this, the first third of the episode flew by!
Elena meets John Ross at their fave local bar. She says she’s there to talk business and needs his help charming some old lady out of her oil rights because he’s “a lot better at people than she is.” Yikes.

She charms him by saying “you look a lot better as an oilman than a barfly.”  JR’s PI is at the bar watching the whole exchange.

Christopher and Bobby are mending fences – literally. How quaint. Wonder why one of their 900 ranch hands can’t do this. Ever prescient Bobby is tuning in to the fact that it might be awkward for Christopher having his ex-girlfriend and wife in such close proximity .. gee why didn’t Christopher think of that.

One of the above mentioned ranch hands pulls up in one of the 900 gleaming white pickup trucks with the SF logo emblazoned on the side to alert Bobby that a pregnant cow is in trouble! He’s such a humanitarian and renaissance man!

Cue crusty old lady Henderson to be charmed out of her oil. She says to John Ross: “oh, you’ve got your daddy’s charm, let’s hope you didn’t get his morals.” Too late.

Twice FMarta has called John Ross and he’s ducking her calls. Foreshadowing stalkery.

In a compete show of maturity, John Ross starts spraying Elena with a hose. Really. They engage in some light hugging, which is captured on film by the creepy PI who is working for JR. Elena stops before it goes any further.

Elena tells John Ross she needs to tell Sue Ellen how much it will cost to hire a crew to rape Old Lady Henderson’s land for oil. (in previous episode, SE agrees to back Elena financiall. Unclear if SE’s intentions good or not. Or Elena’s for that matter)

Elena asks if John Ross will go with her to see SE, his Momma. He says it may not be cordial. SE wants to be an ally to John Ross but he is resentful of her absence or alcoholism or whatever during his youth. Something about a boarding school, wah wah.

Love the Dallas beauty shots.

SE expresses concern that John Ross is in touch with JR, asks if he thinks his father has really changed. John Ross says he’s glad he’s finally teaching him about the oil business and stalks out. No one enters or leaves a room normally in this family.

SE looks wistfully at the pearls. She should rub them against her teeth to see if they’re real, that’s what I would do.  

Cut to Christopher and Bobby discussing women problems while working on a cow having a difficult labor. Really.

Christopher reveals that he and E were going to elope, and that he found out right before he was to marry Rebecca that they were duped by the fake email (femail). Christopher declares his love for Rebecca but admits he “can’t stop thinking about what could have been.” Was afraid Bobby wouldn’t be proud of him. Bobby says he has to make a choice, let go of Elena for good. “I don’t know if I can,” says Christopher.  C still believes John Ross sent the email.

Bobby wisely decides to take off his watch before sticking it in a cow’s bum.

Unclear how much time has actually elapsed between episodes but Rebecca already has wedding photos on display in her bedroom. I guess money buys you a very speedy photographer.

Rebecca poses as recovering addict to ensnare Drunky Son, who is leading an AA or NA meeting. She’s low.

I think JR’s PI is named Bum. Or Bump.
JR wants to use the photos of John Ross and Elena frolicking with the hose to enrage FMarta. Knowing full well that she has violent stalker tendencies! That man is a dickhead.

Sounds like stuff will go down at the big BBQ (shocking).

“You know I’m good at trouble,” says Bum(p). “Me too,” says JR.

Elana asks John Ross to go back in business with her. As for the personal part, she says “one step at a time.”

John Ross arrives at his loft to find FMarta waiting angrily for him. He of course lies to her about where he’s been. They of course kiss passionately.

Cut to Rebecca sitting in a car with Drunky Son – who gets into a car with a total stranger? 12 steps or not. She tries ham-handedly to get him to do drugs. He says he’s clean, and not interested. He seems like a nice guy, probably the only one on the show, so of course he will get screwed royally. He reveals his weakness, his wife/girlfriend. That will likely be used against him in future.

Rebecca backs down.

She finds Tommy in her room at SF installing the program in Christopher’s computer so they can steal his patent. He also says he’s digging around in the family info at SF to find info they can use to exploit the family. He says it’s all about money but I wonder if there isn’t some sort of revenge involved? They said their parents died when they were young, any chance they blame the Ewings? Are their parents even really dead? I saw part of this plot on an episode of Monk once, BTW.

FMarta makes Neiman Marcus open after hours so she can buy John Ross an expensive watch (because he was late for their date). Classic stalker move.

Nice Neiman Marcus placement. Nice Piaget placement.

Rebecca calls, says she couldn’t go through with Drunky Son set-up. She appears to have some shred of a conscience. But John Ross, undeterred, threatens her again and says by tomorrow afternoon she better have pix of DS doing drugs or he’s going to tell Christopher everything. Unclear what he knows besides the tracing of the IP address to her of the mysterious Christopher-Elena break-up email.

FMarta offers to get the pictures of DS doing drugs first thing in the morning. DS has two strikes and evidence of doing drugs will get him three strikes and in Texas jail for like forever.

Cut to sad scene of birthing cow dying.

Cut to JR chatting Elena up, encourages her to invite John Ross to the BBQ. Mention of John Ross being dyslexic. JR has invited SE over to the ranch. She says Cliff Barnes wants to fund her campaing. JR says “that man is as see-through as a mosquito net” and he just wants to be in her pocket. SE says “everybody wants something. What do you want?” He says, “a fresh start.”

She’s not wearing the pearls.  
Cut to scene of adorable baby cow being introduced to a new cow foster mom. Cue discussion about Christopher’s adoption (nice segue!!)

Did I mention that Elena also lives on the ranch? Every freakin’person lives there.

Christopher shows up with a check for $20k for Elena for her help with the methane testing. He is rude and says he wants there to be no question in future of ownership and he wants “no obligation to her.” Says she is ambitious and always trying to prove how she’s more than just the help’s daughter, and that it’s clear how quickly she will compromise her integrity for money. She missed a great opportunity to slap him!

Likely he is just being harsh to make it easier on them not being sweet on each other, but he said some very dirtbaggy things.

She sends John Ross a text and asks him to be her date to the BBQ. Couldn’t his father just have invited him?

If FMarta is worth her salt as a stalker she’s reading his texts.

John Ross tells JR that Marta is taking care of the Lubell issue and that he will confront Lubell first thing in the morning. He texts Rebecca to let her know he’s coming to the BBQ.

FMarta is taking her pills with alcohol, and is upset that John Ross broke their “date.” JR shows up at her door with the pictures of John Ross frolicking with Elena. She now knows that John Ross lied to her yesterday and was with Elena, and that he is on his way to SF to be with Elena.

FMarta gives JR the pix of Drunky Son, he looks dead in them. JR offers her a new deal with him.

Yay Charlene Tilton! She looks good.
It doesn’t look quite humid enough at this BBQ.

Jeezy Creezy even the damn dance floor at the BBQ has a big SF logo on it.

Rebecca tells Christopher she has to tell him something.

JR goes immediately to Lubell and threatens him with the pix. Demands 100% of the deed, cutting John Ross out of his half. Says “John Ross can wait his turn.”

Father of the year!!

Rebecca says that she has to tell Christopher something about the infamous email. Duhn duhn duhn!

Dayum, the episode is over already!!
PS - they found the silver.  

Tuesday, June 26, 2012


I’ve been anticipating the return of Dallas to TV since last year. TNT has been wisely hyping it on social media since summer 2011.

The premiere did not disappoint. They also wisely showed two back-to-back episodes on June 13, and in addition to receiving record cable TV ratings which surely made the network and advertisers sit up and take notice, it got the attention of viewers -- it made your head spin to see the double, triple and dare I say quadruple crossing that went on. The backstabbing, the intrigue, and the gotcha moments … well I hope you DVRd it or can watch it online because I don’t have the emotional energy to recap it here.

I couldn’t wait for the second week, here is the blow by blow recap I recorded while watching the episode. Never has 60 minutes flown by so fast! It was giddying I tell you.

Nothing like starting an episode with JR holding a straight razor to the neck of his son, John Ross, and threatening him for daring to maneuver to cut him out of 2 billion barrels of oil.

The irony of course being that John Ross is really a chip off the old block, JR can’t help but be proud and respect his son’s douchebag wiliness.

JR asks him to ‘find it in your heart’ to give him a chance to be a father and teach him the old business – don’t trust him John Ross!

So far the only person who seems good is Elena, the daughter of  Bobby’s maid who was engaged to marry Christopher (Bobby’s “foundling” son – I mean, who uses the word ‘foundling’?) two years ago but is now bonking John Ross and is in business with him. But that goodness either can’t last or is a show. I guess Bobby’s wife (second wife to be exact), Anne, seems good also but you know you can never be sure.  She almost seems too good/unsuspecting, and is a little flirty with her son’s wife’s (supposed) brother who is of course now working on her ranch.

So Elena and Christopher apparently used to be hot and heavy but two years ago on the eve of their marriage, Elena receives an email from Christopher breaking things off. She flees to Mexico to find solace and John Ross follows her …

Christopher in the first week marries some new chick Rebecca who has got to be a bad seed, you just know it. She has some (supposed) brother, Tommy, that is hanging around and acting suspicious.

Of course Christopher didn’t send the email and I immediately had my theories on who could have sent Elena the infamous email that broke her and Christopher up two years ago:
Rebecca and/or her ‘brother’  (he alludes to having been working on their ‘plan’ for two years)
Sue Ellen
John Ross
The butler

Wasn’t Elena just a little suspicious that Christopher would have broken off their engagement (they were due to marry the NEXT DAY) with an email? Not a text message? C’mon, Elena.

How many people believe that Rebecca’s brother Tommy is really her brother?
And why does Anne seem so chummy with him? Brother alludes to having killed people while shooting at the SF (Southfork) shooting range.

If you followed along in week one, there is a group of mysterious Hispanic financiers who are fronting the deal to buy Southfork (while pretending to be the Del Sol convervatory). These shady financiers should know better than to threaten JR! Always bet on JR people.

In one scene, Faux Marta Del Sol (FMarta) is taking some sort of prescription drug, which will surely be revealed later.  

FMarta also presumably has a videotape she made of her and John Ross having sex, they have some sort of sordid backstory.

Further spoiler alert – Bobby has the cancer. Stoically, he doesn’t want to tell his family but the wife finds his medicine.  Of course there is a surgery to help him.

Bobby’s surgery to remove his tumor was a success, yay! But the doctors were wrong about his prognosis and possibility for recurrence, boo!! But there’s a special drug he can take, yay! But there are serious side effects, boo!! Duhn duhn duhn

Bobby calls his lawyer (crooked) Lubell to put the sale of the ranch on hold .. duhn duhn duhn!! Sorry you have to watch week one to really know what’s going on.

Ok, next scene. Bobby gets a call from JR’s doctor, and doesn’t even bother to ask his name? he believes it right away? Of course it was faked to get JR back in the house – simple but effective ploy.

Bobby’s reaction - “It will be great having a rattlesnake in the house.”

Cliff Barnes (Ken Kercheval) is back! Another rival for the land.

Suddenly Bobby is just as impassioned about keeping the family land as he was about selling it . ?

Elena and Rebecca having lunch together, not awkward at all.

Bets on whether Rebecca is actually falling for Christopher or will she go on with the long con slash possible revenge?

So a mysterious and slightly threatening chrome dome (reminiscent of the 7-UP guy) shows up at your door (where you are conducting methane experiments) and says Cliff Barnes is inviting you to dinner and the car is waiting downstairs … well of course you go!!

I think “slightly sinister” is the direction given to the writers, scorers and directors of the show – if you just read the plot points on paper, they sound fantastically cheesy but somehow they manage to pull it off.

Nice placement for the Omni Hotel, where Cliff Barnes, “Uncle Cliff” rented out an entire floor.  Oooh, Uncle Cliff wants to invest in Christopher’s alternative energy company. Well that dinner didn’t last long. Christopher storms out.

Cliff is brother to Christopher’s real mother, Pam, who ‘disappeared’ but $10 says she comes back.  Two words: VICTORIA PRINCIPAL

Of course Anne rides around with a shotgun on her horse.  She hears something in one of the rooms in the barn, and comes around the corner, gun drawn, to find JR leafing through old family papers. Of course the fabulously wealthy Ewings keep their priceless family papers, photos and heirlooms in a spare room in the stable?

“Bullets don’t seem to have much of an effect on me, darling, “ is JR’s retort to Anne., who unbelievably isn’t suspicious of JR and just asks him to lock up when he leaves.

For as backstabby as this family is, people seem to be relentlessly not suspicious when something clearly smacks of suspicion. Or are they??

JR finds his mother’s (Miss Ellie) journal and gives it to John Ross to find dirt to use in their favor. “You are my son, tip to tail,” says JR to John Ross. “Nobody gives you power. Real power is something you take.”

Rebecca lies to her brother, saying she hasn’t had a chance to install the program that will give them control over Christopher’s computer. He wants dirt on the methane experiments.

Oooh, per the journal, Miss Ellie spent some time in a mental institution.

Eh, who cares, it’s not like mental illness is the stigma it once was.

Oh wait, I get it, it’s ammunition to overthrow Ellie’s will through allegations of incompetency.

JR slapping John Ross must have felt pretty good.

OK so Christopher is back to setting methane on fire. Which must smell AWESOME.

Question: Is Christopher’s lab/office/business in the same building as his apartment/loft?

Since Elena helped figure out the issue of how to harvest the methane, does that mean she and Christopher are now business partners?

Wow that was fast, Bobby capitulated and went back to the idea of selling Southfork.  Lawyer Lubell leaves with signed paperwork.

Christopher tells Bobby to stop protecting him, and that he can beat John Ross.

And cue Bobby revealing his cancer diagnosis. Christopher understandably gets upset and feels like Bobby is shutting him out, storms out. Christopher immediately reveals cancer diagnosis to Elena and dissolves into tears. They embrace, which segues IMMEDIATELY into a kiss. Which lasts about .10 seconds, just long enough for Rebecca’s ‘brother’ Tommy to snap a photo of it on his phone.

Tommy wastes no time sending pic to Rebecca, prompting her to load the program into Christopher’s computer (or did she)…

Fitting that John Ross drives a Corvette. And that Christopher drives a Tesla.

But regarding their wardrobe, must Christopher wear those unfashionable white sneakers? 

Ah, the Hispanics are Venezuelans. Makes sense, and leaves the door open for future political intrigue.

Now Lubell ups the ante, demanding $5 million from John Ross or he calls Bobby and spills the dirt. Last week it was $2 million, and the original offer was $500,000. But John Ross is getting dirt on Lubell via his drunky son who killed an old lady in a DUI.

Christopher immediately divulges cancer diagnosis to Rebecca, and says when he first heard he was upset and says Elena “helped me through it.” Doesn’t tell her about the kiss, but says now he knows what’s really important and that he loves her (Rebecca). They embrace.

Christopher has bright idea for him and Rebecca to stay at SF until the sale is complete. They’ll all be under the same roof!

Cut to shot of Rebecca throwing jump drive (with offending program) into the trash as they hug. Of course she could later fish it out of the trash; a nosy housekeeper could find it; Bobby could stumble upon it; or the ‘brother’ could just give her another jump drive, they are pretty cheap these days.

That’s the beauty of this show, it’s like a “choose your own adventure” book – there are so many directions you can go in because no one has any moral compass. North, South, East, West! I wonder how set in stone the story arcs are at the beginning of the season. They must have to film and edit the shows well in advance, but do they tweak the plotlines as they go along when they see what the audience is responding to? Need to look into this more.

Anyway, Anne then tells Bobby that JR knew about Miss Ellie’s journal and that he gave it to John Ross. Bobby laughs, isn’t mad. Says it’s just who JR is, and who he will always be. But he grimaces, maybe he is mad after all.

John Ross’s chance at shutting down Lubell, dirt on his DUI son, falls through since the witness died. Tells his PI (?) to keep digging.

PI reveals that he knows who sent the infamous email to Elena, it was Rebecca Sutter. DUNH DUNH DUNH 

Final question - who decorated Southfork, Anne Richards?  It’s like let’s stick a star and an SF logo everywherrreeeee.

Next Wednesday can’t get here fast enough.