The deaths of Chris and the Anti-Pam’s unborn twins at the end of last week’s episode brought still more sad times for the Ewing family, especially for their parents. Christopher, who is Bobby Ewing’s heir not only to his estate and holdings, but also as the show’s straight-arrow Eagle Scout hero, is a broken man. He bearing the onus of having his life’s work, his innovative methane project, being the cause of the explosion that claimed his children’s lives as well as receiving the blame for causing the ruination of his family’s fortunes.
Everything’s riding on the Ewings’ meeting with the Texas EPA, whose report Sue Ellen’s inside guy Lee Majors assures will reveal two explosions taking place on the Ewing Energies rig, reeking of sabotage. But the next day (while seated at a ridiculously huge round table on loan from the set of Dr. Strangelove), the EPA suits tell the clan that they are being held liable for the blowup and that a glitch in Chris’ fail safes is responsible. Then they lay out the biggest whammy: a fine of one billion-with-a-“B” dollars. Bobby tells the bureaucrats to shove their report up their asses (hear that? That’s Miss Ellie rolling over in her grave, trying to find her switch — the time-honored Texas solution for pottymouthed boys) and the fam retreats to their offices to lick their wounds and plot their next course.
John Ross, under duress from Chris for inside info from the Barnes camp, goes to Pamela’s penthouse. There he finds several prescription bottles and a dead-eyed Pamela Rebecca Barnes sitting on the balcony, gazing out into the Dallas skyline. No stranger to ex-lovers deciding to take the Nestea plunge from high-rises (let’s pour one on the curb for Season One’s sexpot looney toon Marta del Sol), jr* brings her inside and tries to console her, even making tea. While poor Pamela is still doped up, he manages to hook up a flash drive to her laptop and download some important documents. Before he leaves, he offers the Anti-Pam some news about the explosion, that it wasn’t Chris’ fault. Later, she begs her ex to exact revenge on whomever was responsible.
(*Making tea? For that Barnes woman? You’re gonna have to work a bit harder to earn your daddy’s ALL CAPS, Junior.)
Chris shows up in Ken Richards’ gentleman’s club (and no, it’s not the kind you see in the back of the Observer: the kind where you get Coke and brandy, not the kind where you do coke with Brandi) and has terse words with the EPA official, accusing him of punking-out on turning over the audio reports that would exonerate Chris of negligence. When the Six Million Dollar Man acts clueless, he threatens to reveal to the public Richards’ duplicity and starts a fight with the club’s bouncer before getting thrown out. When Elena shows to pick him up he lashes out, accusing her of being glad that his kids are out of the way because motherhood would have held her back from being a big, bad oil tycoon. She gives him a well-deserved smack in the face and storms out.
Emma Ryland is stopped while horseback riding by her skeevy dad Harris, who tells her to stop catting around with Drew Ramos. After telling her pops to mind his own, she later invites Drew — who apparently is gonna stick around the ranch a little longer, despite his guilt in installing the bomb — on a date, and shares a nice snog with him. Big mistake. Harris and his goons blindside him that night before he can meet Emma. She tries to numb her pain at being stood up by returning the attentions of a much-older man at the bar, but before things go too far, Harris shows up and offers to take her to Drew. In a scene from a demented, Peckinpah-scripted episode of Full House, Daddy reminds her of that one time when she was a little girl, she defied him and rode on a horse that nearly killed her. He had to put the horse down — kinda like what he what he just did with Drew. As Emma looks on Drew’s beaten and battered face, she nods. Message received. How rude, indeed!
Sue Ellen then has a meet with Richards. Over a watered-down whiskey (clawing back to the wagon, perhaps?) she gives him hell, reminding him of what happens when enemies cross the Ewings, especially when all of them are united like Voltron in a Stetson. The next day Richards meets with Governor Sam McConaughey (who I instantly recognized as “That One Dude from Wings,” but whose SAG card reads “Steven Weber”) who indulges in the Obama-supported sport of skeet shootin’. It’s revealed that the Guv squashed Richards’ report, and has blackmailed him into silence by threatening to reveal some environmental malfeaseance in Ken’s past. When Ken continues to show less than blind allegiance to his boss, McConaughey orders his resignation. Richards then picks his side, sending Sue Ellen documents that show that the Governor’s main contributor is Harris Ryland.
Sue Ellen goes to Bobby, demanding to know what J. R. was up to before he died. He lets her in on his late big bro’s Master Plan, which seems to be now taking form. He meets with Carlos del Sol, who brings a floozy (Rhonda) that J. R. met while in Mexico. Rhonda tells that J. R. was sniffing into Ryland Transport’s dealings with a drug cartel. Also, Junior’s flash drive with stuff he’d stolen from Pamela’s computer yields a trump card for the family’s hand: Katherine Wentworth’s will, which left Barnes Global to her kids Cliff, Rebecca, and Pam. With Pam believed dead (or alive and well and living in Abu Dhabi, only Victoria Principal’s agent knows for sure) her third of the company would go to her closest living descendant: Christopher Ewing.
The high-fives are gonna have to wait, however, as Governor McConaughey meets with his puppetmaster. Harris Ryland is apparently an avid Animal Planet fan, and tells the crooked politician about a scene from a documentary about a komodo dragon taking down a buffalo. The dragon is smaller than its chosen prey, but will ultimately win due to its slow-acting but deadly venom. That, and a buttload of patience. As the episode closes, we see that heady Ryland patience and venom cocktail wreak doom upon the Ewings. And with Ewing Energies hamstrung, the family’s sole source of oil revenue is the one on the Henderson ranch. The State seizes the property, invoking eminent domain. John Ross pleads with Bobby to begin drilling on Southfork immediately, but Bobby says that will take weeks to start up, and in not enough time to stave off the EPA fine.
Time to look in the living room couch cushions, Ewings. Old Jock surely must have left a billion dollars in loose change there. . .
So that was the eleventh episode of Season Two, “Let Me In”! Only four episodes left over two nights! As the late, great Don Cornelius would have said, it’s all gonna be a stone gas, honey!
Once again, I’m sad to report that the Mapscos will once again lie dormant, as even armed with a DVR I didn’t see any area landmarks this episode. Maybe y’all did.
See y’all next week!