Friday, March 1, 2024 Mar 1, 2024
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Dallas Recap, Episode 7: “Collateral Damage”

Rebecca's pregnant, but who's the father? Bobby has a run in with the police, and there's a dead body outside a hotel. Just another day at Southfork.
By Terry Linwood |

Now that the danger of losing his family home to the more avaricious branch of the family has abated, Christopher Ewing saddles up his horse and takes a jaunt around the ranch. He comes upon the ol’ courtin’ tree we saw back in the pilot, with its carvings of Ewingpair-ups through the years: Jock and Ellie, Bobby and Annie, J. R. and Money. . .and Chris and Elena. Chris heads back to the homestead to meet up with his defeated cousin. Feeling all magnanimous and stuff he returns to John Ross his DVD copy of Marta Does Dallas since, you know, me and my daddy totally schooled you and your daddy last week so I won’t need it. Nyah nonny boo boo.  Even in defeat, Junior remains defiant and refuses to smell what Chris is cookin’, and the two draw their battle lines for the next prize: Elena.

Rebecca shows up at Elena’s cabin with a gift basket to thank her for giving her a lift to the hospital and to apologize for the whole ruining Elena’s future by stealing her man with a bogus e-mail (playas gon’ play, right?). In mid-grovel, she begins to dry-heave and beelines straight to the bathroom. Elena begins to put two and two together. Either the Cracker Barrel summer sausage in the gift basket is out of date, or homegirl is pregnant. It’s the latter, and Rebecca says she can’t tell Chris because he refuses to talk to her.

John Ross has dinner with his elder cousin Lucy. After sharing a laugh over the time when Lucy found Junior passed out after breaking into the family liquor cabinet for a sneak of bourbon (preteen drinking and alcohol poisoning. . .always a laff riot!), John Ross cuts to the chase: Lucy’s dad Gary owns a share of the mineral rights that have stymied he and J. R.’s plans to drill at Southfork. If Lucy can entice Gary into changing his alliance with Bobby into one with J. R., then the drilling can begin again. After Fredo dangles the prospect of a huge share of future oil revenues in front of her, we catch the traces of a vixenish smile. Is the old wild, rebellious Lucy finally back?

Christopher tries to put his plans of winning back Elena into effect, pitchin’ woo at her as she tries to fix her truck. Seeing that her protests are falling on deaf ears, she informs him that he’s going to be a babydaddy. “Rebecca should have been the one to tell you,” she says. Smooth move, Ex-Lax.

While Bobby’s working on the ranch, a Dallas Police squad car pulls up. Bobby is informed by Officers Seth Rogen’s Stand-in and Nell From Gimme a Break! that he’s under arrest for the aggravated pimpslap of Harris Ryland and is taken downtown. While at the pokey, he talks to the captain from a couple of episodes ago who tells him that Ryland will drop the charges if Bobby apologizes. Bobby adamantly refuses and wants to know how the cops are coming along on gathering evidence on J. R.’s fraud case, ‘cause it’s not like the DPD has anything else to do. The cops have nothing, but they have managed to dig up something on J. R.’s henchman and former Sex Pistols guitarist Steve Jones (I guess he really let himself go), a.k.a. “Bum”.

Chris shows up at Rebecca’s apartment (now devoid of the smell of Axe spray and empty Four Loko cans since big brah Tommy left) and tells her that he’s not sure she’s telling the truth. Later he tells Bobby and Annie that he’s getting a paternity test. Before we can entertain the prospect of a Dallas/Maury crossover, Annie rips into Christopher for being cruel. After Chris leaves in a huff, Bobby finally tells Annie that he introduced Ryland to The Hand from Atlantis and this news leaves her in hysterics. She’s still shaken up by the weird locket that he sent her last week.

John Ross takes Elena to a burger joint in Deep Ellum. While a Patsy Cline song plays in the background, he’s revealing his innermost feelings to his girl. Out of the corner of his eye, he spies Marta hurrying towards the door (someone must have requested “Crazy”). After losing her outside, he gets a call from Vicente Cano’s Venezuelan goons demanding his presence at a meeting with the jefe to discuss the delinquent delivery of the Southfork oil. In a tense exchange, Fredo gives up Marta’s skimming of Cano’s money to save himself, but the oilman gives him one week to get his act together or he will take Southfork and everything beneath it, the ranch and the oil (remember, he holds the lien).

The next day, John Ross is surprised to see Lucy coming out of Bobby’s office at the ranch. Looks like she’s probably caught the prior six episodes and knows a loser when she’s sees one, so she snitched him out to their uncle. In desperation, Junior tells Bobby that unless he can start drilling on the ranch hell’s going to break loose, but Bobby’s tells him that once he can link J. R. to fraud the two are to be banished from Southfork forevs. Fredo then goes whining to mama Sue Ellen for help. She suggests that he ask Elena to float him a few barrels off her stake at the Hendersons, but he is unwilling to involve her in his sordid aspects of his life.

In the back of a Las Vegas limo that gets sixty miles to the gallon of the unleaded tears of starving orphans, J. R. has a conference call with Bum. Bum’s investigation of Cliff’s henchman “Frank” turns up that he’s really a street kid that Cliff found in Islamabad, brought back to the States and put through college to get his MBA. Not bad for the price of a cup of coffee, I say, but the fact that he’s still just a college-educated gofer for Barnes must still rankle Frank. J. R. sees the chance to sow dissension amongst Barnes’ ranks.

Sue Ellen has lunch with Elena and asks for her help to spot her boyfriend some oil to tide over the Venezuelan investors until he can find a way to drill at the ranch. When Elena balks at being party to going against Bobby, Sue Ellen puts on her best Junior League smile and reminds her that she is still Elena’s sole investor — woe be unto Elena if she decides to pull her money out.  Two tables away, Crazy Marta is shooting eye-daggers in Elena’s direction. . . J. R. Jr. gets a call from Elena. Or is it? He’s shocked to her Marta’s voice. She tells him to meet her at a hotel room or Elena gets it. When Junior arrives, there’s no sign of his girlfriend; Marta stole her phone in a ruse to get him to help her because now Cano’s got a hit on her for embezzling his money. All this paranoia makes her horny, so if John Ross could step right on the spot right over there and turn three-quarters while she gets him out of his clothes. . .

Whoa! Nice try, Looney Tunes! John Ross sees the “on” light from the spycam and is not gonna fall for the sex tape gag again. He tussles for Elena’s phone, earning a scratch on the neck for his trouble. As he bounces quickly from her room, he narrowly misses seeing Cano’s men heading towards her door with purpose . . .

Bobby meets up with Harris Ryland. After sucking it up and apologizing for kicking his ass, Ryland gives him a manila envelope which contains some info about Annie, the stuff that Bobby doesn’t know about his wife. He returns to Southfork where Annie is trying to convince Chris to do the right thing and reconcile with Rebecca before the baby is born. After leaving the folder on a bookshelf (where else do you put potentially damaging information about your significant other?) he comes in as Chris receives a call. The paternity results are in.

John Ross makes it outside the hotel, but it looks like Marta’s beat him downstairs — the hard way. Her lifeless body is spread-eagled atop a car in the hotel driveway having fallen from her high-rise balcony.  Junior is obviously shaken, but has enough presence of mind to know that he’s gotta beat it before Dallas Homicide shows up. Before he leaves he locks gaze with a man and woman who saw him march angrily off the elevator onto Marta’s floor minutes earlier.

When it comes to Rebecca’s unborn baby. . . Christopher. . . YOU ARE THE FATHER! Yep, the paternity tests are positive, and Chris is gonna be a dad — of twins! He visits Rebecca, who’s getting an ultrasound, and the sight of his unborn babies brings tears of joy as he holds his wife’s hand. But then he remembers that she screwed him over, so eff that noise. Later that night, Bobby lets Annie know that he apologized to Ryland and that he dropped the charges. He also lets her know about the envelope, but he tells her that he doesn’t need to know what’s in it, but he hopes that she will trust him enough one day to tell him  what was inside. As he tosses the envelope in the fireplace, and the flames consume what probably was a bunch of Polaroids of Annie with ill-advised haircuts in the 70s, we see a picture of a younger Annie fondly embracing a little girl.

Outside, John Ross is reunited with Elena who is safe and sound at Southfork. Their reunion is interrupted by the same Dallas cops that came for Bobby. This time it looks like they’re at Southfork for John Ross Ewing III, who is wanted for questioning in the murder of Veronica Martinez, alias Marta del Sol. In the words of the late twentienth-century philosopher Scooby-Doo: Ruh-roh. . .


It’s Mapsco Time, kids!

1. John Ross and Lucy had their lunch date at the Omni Hotel downtown. I’m gonna take this time to complain to the producers (like they read this!) about the short shrift that Lucy Ewing’s gotten this season.  Before this episode, she’s only received two little walk-on one liner scenes, usually with Ray in tow. During the lunch date with Fredo, I thought, “Hells yeah! Lucy’s gonna get backin the mix!” Ten minutes later, you let me down by having her snitch and run, not to be seen again until probably Chris’ twins’ prom night. What’s up with that, writers? I’ll admit I had a crush on Charlene Tilton when I was a little kid (and Brooke Shields, and Debbie Harry, and Daisy Duke. . .). Remember Battle of the Network Stars? I still carry the memories of Charlene emerging from the dunking booth. Good times, that.

2. John Ross and Elena had their date at the Twisted Root Burger Company off Commerce in Deep Ellum. Looks like Elena’s a Shiner Bock girl. You’re a’ight in my book, Jordana Brewster.

3. What hotel was Marta given the ol’ heave-ho from? The directions Marta gave where at “Walker and Third”, but me and Google Maps are calling shenanigans.

What did y’all see?

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