J.R. returns from vacation to find Bobby seriously bed-bound and ill; the cousins decided they like each other enough this week to maybe start a business; and Sue Ellen remains resigned to her situation with baddie and Ann's ex-husband, Harris. Oh, and Tommy and Rebecca continue their struggles.
Before the Credits
A beaten John Ross lies in bed talking to an up-and-about Elena (appreciate the obscured male form, viewers!). Elena, being the good girl, criticizes J.R. for his role in this whole mess everyone's in. As a viewer, I will defend him because J.R. makes this show watchable, but I can see Elena's point that J.R. is the devil. In fact, he's called a lot of names tonight.
As a son, John Ross defends him because he loves J.R. But, John Ross seems touched when he learns that Bobby was willing to drill Southfork to save his life, which is probably more than J.R.'s ever done for his son (though I cannot say this with certainty, having not watched the original series).
Over in snoozeville, Rebecca and Christopher talk about the baby; Christopher is willing to make this family work but he needs time while she's willing to forget everything. That becomes increasingly difficult, however, with Rebecca's brother/lover Tommy pressuring her to steal from Christopher's holy company. The revealed sexual tension between these two makes sense in hindsight given that they are con artists, but I wish that all the episodes earlier in the season could have hinted more at a physical relationship.
Meanwhile, Ann's evil ex-husband and entrepreneur, Harris, brings Sue Ellen some alcohol; awkward since Sue Ellen has been clean for 20 years. His plan is to blackmail the future governor.
John Ross and Elena work on a plan to drill: they decide that if they drill from the Henderson property and slant drill horizontally into Southfork, they can keep the integrity of Mama's dying wish to protect Southfork. Bobby approves, even if the plan is more costly but twice as effective.
Of course Christopher barges in, angry at John Ross for trying to help Southfork when he already saved the day. After scolding the boys for acting like boys, Bobby collapses rather hilariously, the others panicking for help. Turns out, it is rather serious because it was what the show has dumbed down for us as a brain seizure (aneurysm). Finally, John Ross learns of Bobby's cancer, rather devastated that Bobby wouldn't tell him because he was afraid the JRs would use this as leverage to gain Southfork back. John Ross isn't that cold.
After Bobby stubbornly insists on returning back to Southfork, J.R. arrives to visit his dying baby brother. My favorite scene of the series happens right here: Ann shoos him out, calls him a sociopath and a few another names, he calls her that third wife. The only thing better would be if it was a standoff between Ann's gun prowess and J.R.'s eyebrows. Not sure who would take that.
On his bed, Bobby expresses regret over selling Southfork since it sold away Christopher's future. I don't know much about science but I do know Christopher's a moron so his methane miracle seems less and less credible as a potential profiting future.
What's Gotten Into John Ross & J.R.?
Decency. John Ross is sick about J.R. proclaiming his birthright. I am and I can't imagine how original viewers of the first series could bare it. John Ross wants J.R. to let it go, which deeply offends J.R. John Ross has always tried to be like his father, but of course it isn't enough. When did I start caring about John Ross? He snuck up on me; I can honestly say that I've grown fond of him.
Sue Ellen arrives to comfort her former brother-in-law. She ends up bonding with Ann over how terrible Harris can be. Sue Ellen admits that Harris knows she bribed the medical examiner to get John Ross out of jail. Her dreams for governor are shattered because she knows going into business with Harris will be too much.
At an opportune moment when the Third Wife leaves, J.R. and Bobby have a little R & R time. It is a sweet scene and it reminds viewers that Southfork just complicates this relationship. Brothers first! They fulfill the mantra bros before hoes/oil/other stuff, at least later in life. Bobby loves J.R. and J.R. refuses to believe Bobby will die. J.R. gives over the deed for the trust of Southfork (but notes that if Bobby dies, he gets the deed back--J.R. always wins).
The cousins commiserate over their fathers' failed relationship because they put oil first and were always competing. Christopher suggests a partnership with his cousin John Ross, only a few hours/days after trying to attack him. So this plotline feels forced! They agree to combine the oil business with new energy so that both will profit. Of course Elena is a partner, she needs something to do! Ewing Energy: the failure of the future.
Meanwhile, our least favorite con man Tommy is angry that Rebecca doesn't have the key card. Tommy's desperate because he promised one of the richest guys in the world power.
Immediately after that phone conversation, Rebecca goes into safety deposit box and retrieves a heavy-looking gun. If I were her, I would just have Ann around me all the time. She knows how to use a gun.
Tommy's deal falls through. He should be thankful he isn't dead. Instead, he shows up ready to kill Rebecca. But she gets her gun and it goes off, but we don't see who it kills or injures. Can I wish that the bullet somehow got both of them, but saved the twins?
Bobby gets a phone call from the police about J.R.'s involvement in fraud with the woman known as Marta. The police want to know if Bobby wants to pursue charges against J.R.; the thought causes severe stress, sending Bobby into another "seizure."