During tonight’s cold open, Governor McConaughey holds a press conference at the Henderson spread, which the state has just seized through eminent domain, and announces his plan to run an pipeline through the property financed by the good ol’ boys at Barnes Global. In attendance is the fighting-mad Ewing family: Sue Ellen gets up in her political rival’s grill (remember Season 1? Sue Ellen lost the election to McConaughey — he definitely got my vote, with his promises of free weed and bongo circles) and tells him that they know all about his shady dealings with Cliff Barnes and Harris Ryland. John Ross gets in a jab, reminding him that his daddy brought three senators, two governors and a vice-president to heel- Guv’nor Sam’s head will join them above the fireplace. Somebody call Parkland Burn Ward, stat!
Trash talk aside, things are looking pretty grim for the Ewings. TESHA’s (Texas Environmental Safety and Hazard Administration) $1 billion fine for the explosion looms over Ewing Energies and though Bobby tries to extend a loan, in the interim there is no incoming revenue from oil. Bobby puts our friend Sheriff Derrick on the case (Here’s an investigative report, Dallas news outlets: Dallas County Sheriff’s Department is enforcement arm for area oil baron), trailing Ryland Transport trucks coming from Mexico. One of the trucks splits off from the convoy, hightailing it for a private storage space. Perhaps its cargo is illicit, carrying dope from Harris’ homies in the drug cartels? The deputies turn up nothing, just women’s shoes. The garage owner (who is actually Ryland’s goon Roy) calls his boss, telling him that the cargo switch went as planned.
Junior goes to the Anti-Pam’s penthouse and, hoping to bring her over to his family’s side, reveals that her dad Cliff was behind the oil rig explosion that caused the deaths of her unborn twins. Being the dutiful daughter, she doesn’t want to hear it and orders him out. Later, Cliff pops in with a present (an annulment of her marriage from Christopher — I guess Hallmark gift shops had a special this week) and news that the Barnes-Ewing feud is about to draw to a favorable close. Cliff buys out the outstanding $200 million Ewing loan and immediately calls it in, giving Bobby twenty-four hours to cough up the dough or else he will own Ewing Energies lock, stock and barrel. John Ross then throws Pamela a Hail Mary in the form of a question: Why in the hell would Cliff Barnes want a company hamstrung by a billion dollar fine and methane tech that has proven more deadly than useful? “That idiot Barnes” (as the dearly departed J. R. nicknamed Cliff) provides the answer to his shocked daughter: once he’s in control, the TESHA fine will disappear -thanks to the governor- allowing them to make beaucoup cash off Chris’ patents. Totally worth killing your twins to get over on them Ewings, eh Pammy? Up top! Anti-Pam can’t flip over fast enough.
Chris meets with his lawyer, who tells him that his mom Pam’s secret Swiss bank account, which, per Rebecca Wentworth’s will, was set up to handle her share of Barnes Global, has not had a deposit since 1988, the year Pam went missing. Chris tells the lawyer to get her declared dead so that he, as her sole heir, can get control of her third of Barnes Global. The lawyer then discovers a secret account belonging to a “Patricia Barrett” whose signature looks remarkably like that of Pamela Barnes. It looks like Pam — dear, sweet, unimaginative Pam (why would your cover identity have the same initials, for Christ’s sakes!) — is alive!
Meanwhile back at the ranch, Emma Ryland catches hell from her mom Annie about her prescription drug abuse. Annie tells her that Sue Ellen saw her at the bar last episode, high as a kite and picking up strange older men. Emma tries to flip the script, saying that she was cool but it was Sue Ellen that was three sheets to the wind. Later Sue Ellen calls shenanigans and tells Annie to get her girl in line wiith some tough love. Emma goes catting around Southfork looking to score and meets a like-minded ranch hand who gives her the hook-up for more drugs to chop ‘n’ snort, all while doing her best to avoid her former boyfriend Drew, who took a beating last week from Harris’ men. After getting a re-up on pills and guilt from Harris, she totals her car and gets popped by Sheriff Derrick. Annie refuses to pay her bail and allows Sheriff Derrick to take her to jail until she agrees to rehab, telling him to not allow her to call Harris. Of course, Derrick is only happy to indulge this flagrant denial of prisoners’ rights.
And what’s Drew been up to this week? He’s been letting Elena cover for him with the Ewings, until she puts two and two together (he was busted for trucking contraband women’s garments) and susses out that he was working for Ryland. Drew begins to sing about the putting the bomb on the rig, fearing that Ryland would come for his sister if he didn’t. While Elena goes to the Ewings about his revelation he grabs a Glock and gets ghost. On the down-low, he meets with his sister and tells her that he won’t rest until he brings the pain on Roy. He then drives his motorbike away into the night, visions of a spin-off dancing in his mind. When Elena returns to the ranch Chris receives a Skype of the mysterious “Patricia Barrett” checking in on her account in Zurich, but it’s hard to make out if Pat is really Pam. He and Elena make plans to head to Switzerland to make sure.
While Roy gets arrested for his part in the conspiracy, the members of the He-Man Ewing Haters Club (Governor Sam, Harris and Cliff) get together for some damage control. While McConaughey is freaked out by the downturn, Cliff maintains his cool. He takes Pamela out for lunch, narrowly missing John Ross in her penthouse. He tries to gift her with her aunt Katherine’s emerald earrings, but she wants something more substantial: Katherine’s third of Barnes Global. When Bobby finds out, he warns Junior that at the end of the day, when he and Pam were caught in the middle of their clans’ blood feud, she would choose her family and he would choose his. He tells the Anti-Pam that she needs to give him assurance that she’s fully on Team Ewing, and she does, by marrying him.
Bobby meets Cliff at Ewing Energies the next day. Cliff can’t hide his smirk as his former brother-in-law admits defeat and turns over the keys. As Cliff Barnes stands triumphant in the very lair of his father’s sworn enemies, he wonders aloud about the look on J. R.’s face if he were there.
Bobby, who shared with Sue Ellen J. R.’s observation that Cliff Barnes was his own worst enemy and that his own hubris would undo whatever plans he devises, smiles as he walks away in an awesome Tarantino slo-mo.
“Me too.” J. R.’s masterpiece is about to finally come together. . . .
Wow! Thanks for hanging in for two episodes’ worth of commentary. Two hours down, two hours to go for this season! Here’s some questions Will Victoria Principal finally show up? What the heck is J. R.’s Masterpiece anyway? (My bet? It’s barbecue sauce). All to be revealed next week, but for now it’s Mapsco Time!
- The place where Sheriff Derrick staked out Ryland Transport trucks on the way back from Mexico? As a proud child of East Dallas (repping the 75206), I spotted that as the parking lot behind the AT&T building off Haskell between Live Oak and Bryan. Viva East Side!
There were a lot of other area spots, some way too swank for proles like me to ever figure out, so I’m hoping you guys in the commentariat will enlighten me. Before I leave some other things to think about:
- Is that J. R. Ewing Bourbon Private Stock for realsies? I’d love to get my hands on that bottle.
- Channel 8’s own Ron Corning and Cynthia Izaguirre with Ewing Energies bomb coverage! Ewing adoptee Christopher was a Wednesday’s Child, right?
- Speaking of Chris, when his girl packs a lunch it’s Sonny Bryan’s. My girl? An El Charrito dinner. Elena’s definitely a keeper.
See y’all next week!