Dallas Recap, Episode 8: “No Good Deed”

Our hapless good ol’ boy John Ross Ewing III has some ‘splainin’ to do, as he cools his heels in a DPD interrogation room, not only to the boys in blue but to Elena. While detectives argue outside about who got to be “Bad Cop” last time, he tells her the reason why he went over to Marta’s in the first place: because Crazy McBat$#!+ claimed that she was holding Elena hostage. He also comes clean about Marta not being who she claimed to be but rather a Venezuelan con artist brought in to bilk Uncle Bobby out of Southfork. A homicide detective returns with very bleak news: eyewitnesses placed him leaving the scene after The Girl Who Thought She Could Fly took a plunge from her balcony. His fingerprints are all over the hotel suite and DNA recovered from Marta’s fingernails matches his (remember the scratch she gave him on the neck?). Then David Caruso walks in, makes a bad pun as he puts on his shades — Roger Daltrey screams YEEEEEEAAAAAAH!!!  — and John Ross is taken to get booked for murder. Sue Ellen drops by the pokey to see her baby boy in county orange and begs him to give up the real killers but, if he did so, Junior would have to give up J. R.’s fraudulent Southfork scam as well so he keeps mum. When she asks him to get in touch with his dad, he tells her that it’s his mess to clean up-he’ll handle it.

Christopher drops off his new babies-mama Rebecca, and you’d need an icepick to cleave through the cold shoulder he gives her. Though Rebecca makes a pitch for eventual forgiveness, Chris isn’t feeling it. The next day at the ranch, the Dallas County sheriff has interrupted his busy schedule — of busting up cattle rustling rings or whatever it is that that Hollywood thinks goes on down here — to give the rundown on John Ross’ legal woes (“I can’t believe J. R. would have this family mixed up with the likes of her,” Bobby says when informed of Marta/Veronica’s history of balls-out crazy.  Really, dude?).  Elena comes in and has a spat with Christopher, feeling that his ongoing rivalry with J. R. Jr. is clouding his vision that his cousin is innocent. Chris later meets up with the sheriff and tasks him with finding out info on Rebecca. Your tax dollars at work, Dallas County citizens!

John Ross has a meeting with Vicente Cano, the Venezuelan oil lord, in jail. Remember that spycam that Marta had set up in the hotel room to blackmail Junior, which probably holds footage that will clear him of Marta’s murder? Well, the detectives never found it and it seems that Cano’s killers did.  Tony Almeida reminds Fredo that his snitching on Marta’s embezzling is what led to her getting killed. He then coolly makes a threat: if he were to sing to the cops about the truth then yet another home movie starring John Ross would hit the streets- heavily edited to make him Marta’s killer, and a Venezuelan Vengeance Squad that would make the Colombians at the end of Scarface look like the Keystone Kops would be dispatched to Southfork to take out the entire Ewing clan.

Paul Jacobs, a Research and Development VP at ExxonMobil, makes a visit to Christopher’s office.  Big Oil has caught wind of Chris’ method of using carbon dioxide to extract methane to make Captain America’s shield or energon cubes or whatever (science make brain say ouch!). It may be The Next Big Thing in Alternative Energy, and ExxonMobil wants to be there to kill it in its crib- oops! I mean, fund this great leap of innovation! Chris tells Jacobs that he shopped his idea around to various companies and got a slammed door in his face for his trouble; his company Ewing Alternative Energies will go it alone. Unfazed, Jacobs hands him his card. Meanwhile, Annie and Rebecca spend some time together at Rebecca’s apartment when Tommy strolls in. Rebecca reminds her big brother that they are through, but he’s not receiving the message. Annie offers Tommy a job working as a ranch hand for her sister in Oklahoma, which he readily accepts. He marches upstairs to gather up the rest of his stuff, with the visions of passing around Wayne Coyne in a giant plastic ball playing in the Flaming Lips concert in his head.

Bobby opens his front door and comes face to face with Vicente Cano.  Cano tells him about the big scam perpetrated by J. R., Marta, John Ross, and himself and, since he put up the money to finance this scheme, he currently holds the lien on Southfork Ranch. Bobby then informs Cano that the lien doesn’t mean squat as long as he holds the mineral rights to Southfork, which means Cano can’t drill. At the county, John Ross makes some new friends. Unfortunately, these new friends are friends of a now-very unhappy Cano, who is kinda miffed that Fredo left out the whole mineral rights thing, which is going to keep the two billion barrels out of the Venezuelan’s hands. They welcome their new buddy Junior with a good-old-fashioned buttkicking and tell him that he’s done for unless Bobby signs over the mineral rights. John Ross Ewing III, folks, handlin’ thangs like a bowse.

Word of Junior’s pummeling makes it back to Southfork and the Ewings-and Elena arrive at the ICU en masse.  They are met by a distraught Sue Ellen, who explains that Fredo was beaten by a Latino prison gang. Bobby dazzles the family with his amazing powers of deduction and possible racial profiling by linking the toughs with Cano sending a message that he will get the mineral rights by any means necessary. While her baby boy internally bleeds in a hospital room, Sue Ellen wonders to Annie if she has let down John Ross by not being there when he needed her and ponders going over to the dark side. John Ross awakens to Christopher at his bedside and rues his downward spiral of bad alliances and choices that have led him to the mess he and the family are in now. If only he hadn’t tried to walk in his daddy’s footsteps. . .

And speaking of Daddy, he’s still in Sin City, about to enjoy a shot of forty-year-old single-malt Scotch distilled from the sweat of downtrodden Glaswegian laborers. J. R.’s on a call to henchman Bub, whom he has tasked to dig up dirt on Cliff Barnes’ driver Frank, when Meat Loaf drops the bad news about Junior.

Back in Texas, Bobby visits Miss Ellie’s grave and monologues about the current, fractured state of the Ewings and decides to get the house back in order. This means allowing Cano to start pumping oil on their land, which Christopher loudly vetoes. Wanting to do his share in protecting the Family and their home, he’s willing to make Cano an offer he can’t refuse.

At the hospital, Sue Ellen has a talk with the coroner who is about to make his report on the manner of Marta’s death. She attempts to persuade the doc into ruling the death as a suicide and baits a possible post as “Chief Medical Examiner” (do we even have such a position, or is Sue Ellen making this stuff up as she goes along? Hey 7-Eleven counter guy, let me have this Big Bite for free and I’ll let you be Super Awesome Secretary of Slurpees, ‘kay? Hell, I’m running Republican, so what do I have to worry about?).  When he balks at this obvious bribe, she goes hardball: it seems that the coroner has giving out more scrips than “Michael Jackson’s doctor” (because that’s where we are now, people — Conrad Murray is the new Doctor Nick) and all of his patients have the nasty habit of dying. A sleeping John Ross gets a special visitor: J. R., who caught the first vulture out of Las Vegas to stand a sorrowful watch over his son and heir.

Chris has a sitdown with Cano to discuss drilling at Southfork.  In short, here’s what was discussed:

CHRIS: You can’t drill on my family’s ranch. That deal was based on fraud.

VICENTE: I am sorry, my friend, but I know not of what you speak.

(Chris grabs his briefcase, takes out a block of ice and a Zippo)

VICENTE: Chavez nationalized the oil in my country and that really hurts my bottom line and—

(Vicente spits out his drink) HOLY F—, ESE! YOU JUST LIT THAT BLOCK OF ICE ON FIRE!!!

CHRIS: Blah blah blah. . .science science science. . .crap-ton of money. . .

VICENTE: (To his guards) You gotta see this! Bollilo here just set ICE ON FIRE!

. . .or something like that. Anyways, this is the offer Cano can’t refuse: Chris is going to offer Cano the exclusive South American rights to his alternative fuel bonanza, which should yield way more energy than fracking at Southfork would ever yield. In return, Cano has to give up the murder scene spycam that will clear Junior of Marta’s murder.

The next day, Sue Ellen visits John Ross in his room and is really jazzed that her foray into villainy has paid off. The coroner must have caved because she is absolutely certain that her boy will beat the murder rap; she is ecstatic when the homicide detective enters with the news that charges have been dropped and Junior’s free to go. Sue Ellen’s joy turns to trepidation when she discovers that it wasn’t her turning the screws on the coroner, but police finding the spycam (thanks to Christopher and Cano) that got him  off. She receives a call from the coroner while dropping off Junior at Southfork, and he is far from happy about fudging an autopsy and letting killers go free. If this doesn’t come back around, then this ain’t Dallas.

John Ross is reunited with Elena, and thanks Christopher for his help. The two cousins/best friends/bitter rivals shake hands, their feud over for now. Bobby hands Chris a note from the sheriff. He then shows up at Rebecca’s. The sheriff says that she’s clean. He asks her if there’s nothing else that she is hiding, and she assures him no. Yay, happy endings all around.

Eff that noise. This is Dallas, after all. Tommy saunters back in and says that he’s not going to be bought off for all the jobs, wedding rings or American Apparel giftcards in the world. He’s caught wind of Exxon’s overtures to Chris, a potential payday of billions, and he wants a piece. And that’s not all he wants a piece of. He lays a slobbery, wet one across his “sister’s” mouth, and threatens to tell Chris the whole truth about their relationship unless she starts playing ball again.

Man, just when I was really starting to miss Game of Thrones. . .

 

Well, there are only two episodes left in the season! It’s been a blast watching these with y’all, and I  can’t wait to see how this all pans out. But first, it’s:

Mapsco Time!

– Christopher dropped off Rebecca at the corner of Main and Ervay downtown, and in the “Ewing6”, no doubt! Hats off to the Dallas production staff for this fanwank of continuity. Here’s a bit of savory Dallas trivia meat I’m gonna throw out to fellow fans: Can you remember “Ewings 1-5” (their make/models, and their drivers?)

I was also happy to see the venerable Wilson building across the intersection. When I was a wee, fro’d-out kid of the Seventies, my mom would take me and my little brother Khafre on the bus to H. L. Green’s where, if we were good, we’d get a couple of Icees. I kinda miss Old Downtown Dallas.

And what did y’all see?

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