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.  

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