Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Searching for Signal: #109 - “Dallas” - Season 11, Episode 29

So we start out at Ray’s house, where’s he’s apparently been struggling with the knife-wielding Connie since the end of the last episode. In a moment of really impressive choreography, they sweat and huff their way out of the bedroom, across the landing, and then tumble down the stairs. It’s very exciting.

As they clatter to the base of the stairs, Ray finally manages to wrestle the giant knife away from Crazy and knock her out. While she takes a nice nap, Ray gets on the horn with the sheriff’s department. While his heaving torso glistens, he asks if they wouldn’t mind sending a car out, if they’re not busy.

Cut to JR’s office, where he’s trying to dictate a letter or something, but he’s having a bit of trouble since Sly, and her shocking amounts of jacked-up hair, is a little peeved about how JR fired Casey. “Did you have to hurt him like that?” JR basically tells her to shut up and keep writing. And she does. (Why does Sly still support nasty JR after all these years. WHY?)

Suddenly, Cliff barges in, babbling about how he sold his gas field and he sold all his Westar stock and blah blah blah. Initially JR couldn’t care less, threatening Cliff with violence and such. Then Cliff mentions that he sold his Westar stock to Jeremy Wendell. Dramatic music kicks in as JR finally pays attention and gets that look of utter hatred on his face.

Jenna shows up at Ray’s house (I guess she got bored in Europe) and wanders around yelling for Ray. Sensing something might be amiss, she hands off little Lucas to some nanny that we’ve never seen before. Then Jenna spies blood all over the staircase. (Um, isn’t this a crime scene? Shouldn’t there be some yellow tape and detectives scribbling into little notebooks?)

So Jenna freaks out and calls Bobby. (Instead of, you know, the police.) Bobby tries to calm her down and then he runs into a nearby phonebooth to put on his Superman uniform.

Quick scene with Sue Ellen and Nick, where she’s chattering away about the court order that is almost ready so she can stomp out to South Fork and rescue John Ross from his satanic daddy. Nick, and his hair, grunts in support and understanding.

Zip over to Ray lying in a hospital bed, and here comes frazzled Jenna and Super-Bobby. Jenna only has half the story, running her mouth about “some crazy woman” that attacked Ray out of the blue, but she’s SO glad that Ray is going to be alright. Ray just stares at her for a bit, because he knows the OTHER half of the story has to be told, but he’s really not in the mood. So he tries to delay the spilling of the beans.

Ray: “Why don’t you just go home now, you must be exhausted after the long plane flight.” (This from a man who was knifed, fell down a flight of stairs, and had to dial a phone during all the madness. I don’t think these two scenarios really compare.)

Jenna: “But I just want to BE with you!” (Um, you’ve been in Europe this entire season, which doesn’t really give a good light to your sudden devotion to Ray. Did you eat some bad escargots that made you change your mind?)

Jenna finally concedes, giving Ray a passionate, annoying kiss before wondering off to check with her stylist about the next scene. Bobby stays behind. He knows something is up, and presses Ray about it, but Ray keeps mum and pulls the sheet down so we can see his bare chest again.

Sue Ellen arrives at South Fork, accompanied by two police offices and her John-Ross-rescuing court order. JR is sitting on the patio, looking smug, so we know this is not going to go well. JR refuses to cooperate, so Sue Ellen, in high-drama mode, spits out “Place Mr. Ewing under arrest!” (These are thrilling and exciting words, even though we are aware that this is a lost cause.)

JR takes the court order, rips it up, then whips out one of his own. Some judge in his pocket has forced a 30-day delay due to some annoying legalese. He then says some rude and vindictive things, natch, and poor Sue Ellen leaves empty-handed.

Miss Ellie has witnessed this horrid scene, and she confronts JR. He tells her to butt out. Ellie persists, wanting to know where JR has stashed away John Ross, and stating that JR is doing wrong by Sue Ellen because “She is a GOOD mother!” At this last phrase, you can almost hear the blood vessels popping in JR’s brain. He lashes out at Miss Ellie with more cruel words, then storms off.

Cut to Nick’s house, where Sue Ellen barges in, infuriated about the JR situation. Nick and his hair offer to find John Ross, but cautions that they can’t actually kidnap him because that might look a wee bit bad when the custody case comes around. Sue Ellen pouts.

Then we’re in Washington, where Bobby and Sam Culver are about to meet the Senators who have arranged for Bobby to get back the Ewing name. Instead of a wild celebration, the Senators are actually rude and hateful, begrudgingly allowing Bobby to have the name for only one year, at which point there will be a Justice Department review to see if he can keep the name.

This arrangement is bogus, compared to reality and actual law, so I’m assuming that the writers are just putting the pieces in place for an extended battle where JR does everything he can to make Bobby lose the Ewing name so JR can get it for himself. Sounds rather boring, but I guess I’ll see what happens.

JR’s office again, where this time April waltzes in, fully intending to gloat over having made a bundle by selling her Westar stock to Jeremy Wendell. Too bad that poor little JR doesn’t get to be chairman of Westar after all his unethical attempts to be just that. JR basically tells April and her hair that nobody should ever underestimate him. Who cares, JR, you aren’t winning RIGHT NOW and that’s all that matters.

Cut to Bobby and can’t-stand-her Kay in Washington. They are having dinner, which people seem to be doing all the time in Washington for some reason. It’s fundamentally a break-up scene, which is fine by me, but then Kay has to up the irritation factor by uttering this line about not being with Bobby anymore: “Even the pain is better than being with ANYONE else.”

That has got to be the most inane piece of dialogue ever written.

Now we’re at South Fork, and it’s breakfast time. Everyone’s all gathered around, (well, at least the people who are legally allowed to be on the premises), and Clay makes the announcement that he and Miss Ellie are now co-owners of South Fork. JR, right on cue, blows his top and starts ranting, not even stopping when Miss Ellie wails at him “Don’t you care AT ALL about my happiness?” No, he doesn’t, Miss Ellie. Have you not read any of these scripts?

Of course, there’s the obligatory chest-thumping confrontation between JR and Clay. When it becomes clear that JR has no valid reason for having an issue with this and he’s apparently not going to get his way, JR throws out his trump card: “I’m leaving South Fork. This is no longer my home.”

Good. Teresa and I will help you pack.

Jump over to Ray’s house, where his body is once again barely covered by a sheet as he rolls around in his bed. Jenna waltzes in the door with breakfast that she clearly doesn’t have the skills to have actually cooked, and starts babbling away about their life together. Just to make her shut up, Ray confesses about his affair with Connie. Jenna gulps and then wanders out of the room without closing the door, which is really rude.

Back over to South Fork, where JR is packing a suitcase in his room. (Dude, you have staff on the payroll that can do this for you, why are you bothering with it?) Bobby comes in and tries to counsel JR on the error of his ways. Instead of a big blow-up, which I’d like to see because I don’t want these two to ever get along, they actually bond a bit. JR is still intent on leaving, but they end the conversation in a civil manner with both of them teary-eyed over Jock. (Who has been gone for HOW many seasons now?)

Speaking of past cast members, I’m totally stunned when we cut to whatever that room is at South Fork where they have the curving staircase that keeps getting remodeled every season for no apparent reason. (Well, except for the one year with the fire. At least then I understood the renovation.) Out of the weird hallway on the left comes none other than Lucy Ewing.

Lucy! That we haven’t seen in at least seven seasons. Who knows what plans the writers have for her, but I’m thrilled. Loved her. (And I also don’t know where Charlene Tilton has been since she left the show, but it was apparently a really good place. She looks amazing.)

Lucy wanders around for a bit, calling out to see if anybody’s home. Then little Christopher comes running down the famous stairs. He’s not really impressed with Lucy’s arrival on the scene, she was gone before he had actual dialogue on this show, but at least he’s full of information. “Uncle JR moved out!” Lucy breaks into a glowing smile. “What a great day to come back home!”

I hear ya sister.

Cut to Cliff’s office, where he and April are apparently waiting for someone to show up to a business meeting. Turns out that someone is Casey Denault, whose dramatic firing by JR caused Sly to use even more hairspray than ever on her coiffure. April just glares at Casey. They are still not friends by any means, but she’s going along for the ride because Cliff wants to do this: The two of them are going to fund Casey’s dream of finally drilling for oil on his “daddy’s land,” that patch of dirt we’ve been hearing about from Casey for who knows how long.

Casey is stunned, then euphoric. He promises that great things will happen. Cliff is very excited as well, this is yet another way to get back at JR. April is still bitter, and knocks Casey down a notch. “Just send the royalty checks.”

Back to South Fork, where Lucy and Miss Ellie are chatting. Lucy is perusing a cache of framed photos and reflecting on the fates of various family members. “How sad. One by one, they all leave South Fork.” (And all because of one person. Well, except for the ones that were lucky enough to die or be killed.)

Miss Ellie ignores this slight dig, and instead questions Lucy on why she decided to come home way after her contract had expired. Lucy fesses up that husband Mitch has been ignoring her and she’s wasting away in their mansion. “I just need some time to think..”

Zip over to John Ross’ school, the Preparatory Academy for Children Being Used as Pawns in Divorce Settlements. JR shows, and then begins filling John Ross’ head with twisted lies about why they can’t live at South Fork anymore and that his mommy is a drunken slut. John Ross beams in acceptance, the stupid child. JR’s evil work is never done.

We end the episode in Jeremy Wendell’s office. JR walks in (where is Security when you need them?), full of his usual cockiness. Jeremy is initially bored with the show, and they spar a little bit. Then JR plays his ace concerning the natural gas resource that Jeremy bought from Cliff. “Your line has to cross MY property.” (That little bit of land where Sly dressed up like a hooker and straddled a porch railing so some old geezer would get horny and sign over the rights.)

Jeremy: “What do you want?”

JR: “Meet me tomorrow in my office. It’s not money I want.”

Hmm. The next episode is the last for this season. There’s no telling what kind of cliff hanger this is going to be. Oh wait, did I just make a pun? My bad.

No comments:

Post a Comment