So last week’s episode was the bomb engineered by Elena’s black sheep bro Drew Ramos and remotely detonated by old-school enemy Cliff Barnes. On Monday we dealt with the fallout. The Ewing clan takes a head count to see who makes it past to the theme song: though bloodied and bruised Bobby, Junior, Chris and Elena are okay but the Anti-Pam and her very expectant, twin-filled tummy lies underneath fallen girders! Summoning strength, Chris and John-John give it the old heave-ho and everyone is whisked away to an area hospital. There Bobby is reunited with Annie and the two reconcile after Bobby’s blowout last week but, sadly, one doesn’t have to have read What to Expect to When You’re Expecting (and 300 lbs. of Steel Has Landed on You) to know things don’t look too good for Pamela and the kiddos. The doctor lets Chris know that Pamela has a life-threatening aneurysm that could rupture, threatening her life. It’s best to abort the twins, doc advises, to save her.
“Don’t let them kill our babies, Chris!” Pamela cries. “Promise me!!!”
“Wait a minute!” my lovely wife Paula, currently a nursing student, declares from the kitchen. “If Pamela is still conscious, then it doesn’t matter what the doctors or her divorced husband have to say- it’s her decision!” Silly woman, this is Dallas, for cryin’ out loud! Go take your fancy knowledge of patients’ rights to them Yankees on Nurse Jackie or whatever.
Christopher beats himself up over the explosion, thinking it’s all his fault despite Bobby and Elena’s attempts to convince him otherwise. A hack from the Texas EPA shows up to rake him over the coals but Bobby gives the pencil pusher a clench-jawed invitation to GTFO. This plus the fact that his on-again/off-again lover Pamela may be on death’s door pushes John Ross to lay the blame for the accident squarely upon Chris.
Sue Ellen sees the bigger picture: if Chris goes down, then Ewing Energies goes down too, taking the whole family’s fortunes along with it. She settles her sputtering son down and gets to work, taking advantage of her connection to the EPA’s honcho Ken Richards to get the inside scoop on their investigation. At a hoity-toity watering hole, she meets with Richards (played by the original stunning Steve Austin, Lee Majors!) who has been carrying a torch for her since her Miss Texas days. Later, he lets informs her that there were two explosions: the first coming before the larger methane breach, which points to a bomb.
Let’s leave this Fall Guy for another, as a guilt-ridden Drew Ramos meets up with Cliff and Harris’ goon at a prearranged location. Drew whales on the dude, crying that he didn’t know that the bomb would go off with people — including his own sister — still on board the rig. The flunky takes advantage of Drew’s guilty conscience, planting the suggestion that the bomb went off prematurely and that Drew is falling off on his bombmaking skills. Perhaps the best thing for everyone is for Drew to bounce, and it’s advice that doesn’t seem to go unheeded.
Hey, small world! Harris Ryland is also at the hospital, waiting on Angela Glower to pull through after tumbling down the stairs last week. While Mommie Fearest is laid up in traction, he finally apologizes for the whole Annie frame-up debacle which resulted in their daughter/pawn Emma ditching them for the Ewings. Of course, he’s just apologizing so that he can keep his job as the family business’ president, of which Ma threatened to divest him before her fall. After letting him dangle for a minute, she tells him that if he can get Emma to talk with her one last time, she’ll let him keep his job. When her granddaughter shows up alone, she tells the girl that Harris tried to bump her off and that if Emma can get her safely to England away from her matricidal son, she’ll give Emma the company. Harris barges in and Emma rats the old lady out. When she arrives the next day, she’s shocked to find an empty room- empty except for Harris, who had the hag sent away to a rehab- the kind of rehab that keeps you drugged up and out of the way. For someone who has been raised around horses, it looks like Emma bets on the wrong ones.
The Anti-Pam receives a visitor, her mom Afton Cooper (still played by Audrey Landers, the elder sister one of my childhood crushes Judy from BJ and The Bear). Still giving Ewings headaches after all these years, she’s a thorn in Chris’ side and when Pamela’s health goes into a nosedive, she becomes shrill and threatening. Christopher opts for a last-ditch surgery to save both his ex-wife and unborn children, which ends successfully.
The next day, Bobby’s investigations into Barnes Global reveals that his long-thought dead wife Pam is indeed a silent partner and possibly alive and well in Abu Dhabi. This revelation and that of the explosion’s nefarious origin reeks of Cliff Barnes’ plotting to devalue Ewing Energies, which Junior reminds us was foretold by the late prophet J. R., who is turning out to be some kind of Carnac of Crime. But the real shocker of the evening comes when we see the heart monitors of Unborn Baby Ewings 1 and 2. As the Anti-Pam screams in anguish, one slows down and flatlines. Seconds later, the other follows. . .
And so ends the tenth episode of this season, “Guilt & Innocence”. Once again, with Afton’s arrival, we had another nod to the show’s rich history. With the ongoing Pam mystery unfolding, it’s not totally outside the realm of possibility to pull back the shower curtain on this season’s finale and find Victoria Principal standing there. Fingers crossed.
Hey producers: if you’re taking requests on returning old-school characters, bring back a personal favorite: Ray’s ex-wife Donna Culver, played by Susan Howard (a pureblooded Texan by way of Marshall). She was smart enough to mix it up and hold her own — a trait that even alpha male-dominated Ewings could respect — and her return could give the old cowboy Ray Krebbs something more to do than the glorified walk-ons that you usually stick Steve Kanaly and Charlene Tilton with.
Not much to dust off the Mapscos for tonight. If not for the bar, Southfork, and a couple other scenes, it may as well had been General Hospital. Thankfully, I haven’t had need to check out the chapels of our area medical centers, but if you know if the one Chris brooded in this week belonged to one, let us know.
See y’all next week!