Hot damn, Judith Light.

Dallas Season 3, Episode 2 Recap: Bad Grandma

House Ryland makes House Lannister seem like House Huxtable.

If you missed Episode 1, catch up here. Let’s jump right in, shall we?

In a quiet parking lot outside downtown Dallas, Ewing dogsbody Bum meets with Sue Ellen, who sets him on a new task: finding out whether John Ross has been getting his smoosh on with that little trollop Emma Ryland. It seems that after four decades of being cheated on by J. R., she’s become quite an expert on philandering. Cheaters producers, take heed: something tells me Sue Ellen Ewing would shrug off a knifing better than Joey Greco—especially after a shot of 80-proof liquid courage, which, sadly, she’s taken to again after Bum leaves the limousine.

Harris Ryland, newly liberated from jail by his skeevy Mexican narco friends, hightails it back to his house where he comes face-to-face with his daughter Emma. Knowing that it was her collusion with the Ewings that landed him in the joint, he threatens to send her to the funny farm just like he did to his domineering mother, Judith, last season. But Emma plays a surprise gambit—she signs the release for Grandma Ryland to come home from rehab, and Judith doesn’t waste time tightening the apron strings to choke Harris into submission. She re-assumes control of Ryland Transport and tells her hapless son to send a message to the Mexican cartel that a renegotiation of their smuggling deal is in order. When Harris tries to warn her that thoaw vatos are straight-up killers not to be taken lightly, Judith tells him boy, please! She’s been “dealing with psychopaths and criminals since while you were playing with your Easy-Bake oven.” House Ryland makes House Lannister seem like House Huxtable.

Back at the ranch, Bobby and Annie get word that her abusive ex-husband is out of jail. Bobby gets on the case by calling up his friend United States Attorney Ellis but even though it’s obvious that the judge was paid off somehow, he gets stonewalled by the system.  But Bobby’s still got some juice left from his days as a state politician, and he calls up his friend Senator McAllister to get to the bottom of this.

With the prospect of Emma being able to supply Ryland Transport icebreakers in limbo, Junior’s idea of fracking at Southfork Ranch to raise capital seems more attractive by the hour. Bobby and Christopher remain steadfast in their opposition, however, and Chris dispatches a Ewing Global geologist (who looks to be a cross between the late, lamented Philip Seymour Hoffman and Milton from Office Space) to determine whether John Ross’ shale survey or Bobby’s survey from 1980 (which reeks of Hai Karate and is sketched on the back of a BJ and The Bear poster) is the right one. Just so Geologist Nerdlinger knows which side his bread is buttered on, Junior drops off a stack of Benjys to influence the outcome—which the guy promptly turns over to Bobby because like he’s a man of integrity like Lord Eddard Stark of Winterfell and cannot be bought. Bobby has no idea what idea what this dork is talking about (it’s shown earlier that he and Annie are Duck Dynasty fans), gives the money back to him, and praises him for his honesty.

Christopher meets cute again with a Southfork ranch hand, Heather, who don’t take too kindly to all this talk of frickin’ frackin’ goin’ on, spookin’ steers and whatnot. He invites her to the Ewing barbecue goin’ on at the see-ment pond and she says. . .yep.  Later at the party, it turns out that this tomboy cowgirl shore cleans up good. After bootscootin’ with her on the dance floor, he gets a well-earned kiss. Yee-haw.

Guess who else is coming to dinner? Nicolas Trevino, bringing his own signature dishes of smarmalade and a homegrown beef with the Ewings. He meets up with his partner in crime, Elena Ramos, who reminds him that her mom Carmen could blow the whistle on their revenge scam once she gets a look at her long-lost foster son. The Southfork cook is genre-savvy enough to know that any dealings with Cliff Barnes can’t be about anything but revenge against her longtime employers, but Carmen agrees to keep mum as long as Nicolas/Joaquin keeps her children out of trouble.

The results are in on the geologist’s survey, and it turns out that Junior’s survey is the right one. Southfork Ranch is perilously close to becoming New Frack City unless Bobby and Chris can come up with a plan to raise the money to bid for the Arctic oil leases. Chris discovers that Nicolas’ dealings with Cliff goes beyond simple business, so he gets sent to Mexico to dig up dirt while Bobby deals with the notoriously frack-happy state Railroad Commission to stop John Ross from going forward. Sexy. But they’d better move fast because Elena and Nicolas have discovered Bobby’s e-mail to Carlos del Sol, which ties J. R.’s floozy friend Rhonda to the night J. R. was murdered.

The Rylands are in Ciudad Laredo to meet with the Ochoa cartel and after submitting herself to the most disturbing patdown this side of Bad Lieutenant, Judith successfully dictates terms with the druglords for even more money. Just to show how effin’ OG she is, she does a rail of the cocaine that Ryland Transport will once again be trucking across the border. “Hot damn!” she sniffs. “Mama like.” (Please tell me the season finale ends with a coked-up Judith Light taking on a Colombian death squad: “Who’s the Boss now, motherf—–s!!!”) It turns out that the cartel checked the wrong Ryland: once Harris gets a moment alone, he exposes his wire and he’s got the whole meeting on tape.

Bobby and Annie get a call from his Senator friend and head out to meet to discuss Harris’ release. Not long afterward, they get cornered by some Men in Black types who take them to an undisclosed location. The spooks reveal themselves as CIA agents working to take down the Ochoa drug cartel and inform the Ewings that their snooping around threatens to blow the cover of their operative—which is, of course, none other than Harris Ryland.

So, that’s what happened in last night’s episode, “Trust Me.” As a public service, I would like to remind viewers that when cheating on your spouse with a new Ashley Madison friend, try not to get your swerve on in view of the South Side on Lamar rooftop sign. Your old pal Bum might be up there, recording your infidelities with his zoom lens. You’re welcome.

See y’all in seven with next week’s episode!


  • ArundelHunter

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