Season 3 episode 3- ‘Playing Chicken’

I’m definitely feeling an improvement as Dallas 2.0 continues. Sadly though the improvement is only slight and there continues to be annoying, and totally unnecessary, rewriting of the history that was established in the original (so much for the production team considering everything that happened in 1.0 as ‘bible’ for 2.0) as well as poor writing and boring characters (Elena anyone?).
There are highs and lows in episode three as NuDallas (as some have dubbed it) continues to go up and down on the quality like a yo-yo. This week I felt it didn’t quite beat last week but was definitely better than the, rather weak, season opener. Whatever the reason, Dallas 2.0 seems to have problems in that the viewing figures continue to fall week after week as they have since it started in 2012. I think it’s a shame but with a production team that has only just started to listen to what the fans actually want yet continue to make clumsy continuity errors and rewrite characters completely it’s little surprise it is going down.
But anyway, As the episode opens it’s the morning after the night before and Bobby and Ann are being driven back to their car by their new CIA friends. Once safely back in their vehicle Bobby tells Ann that he’ll beef up security on the ranch and that both she and Emma will be safe from the pesky Ochoa-Mendez cartel which is about as interesting a storyline as Elena’s turn to the dark side.
At Southfork John Ross and Pamela are having breakfast and John Ross goes haywire with a can of squirty cream. The fun ends somewhat abruptly though as Emma enters and reveals to John Ross that she’s wearing a rather revealing red swimsuit before she goes outside. Naturally the scene is witnessed by Sue Ellen who is lurking by the doorway.

The harlot!

The harlot!

Further away on the ranch Bobby and one of the ranch security men, David, are on horseback, Bobby tells him that he wants more security patrolling the ranch. At that moment David gets a call about trouble already happening and he and Bobby speed off. When they get to the scene John Ross is busy fighting Bo, the Southfork foreman (the Ewings never seem to have much luck with their foremen, Wes was a Jock imposter and Bo’s a drug dealer) who also sold Emma pills in season 2. Bo’s annoyed thinking he’ll lose his job if Jon Ross fracks. Bobby doesn’t immediately intervene though saying ‘I want to make sure John Ross learns his lesson’ (He always did like to watch a good pasting!)
Back at the house Ann and Sue Ellen are having breakfast on the balcony and talking about the forthcoming wedding when Sue Ellen voices her suspicions that John Ross and Emma are at it hammer and tongs.
Ann seems to agree that it could be possible, telling Sue Ellen ‘You were right about the pills, you could be right about this’ while Emma (the little home wrecker!) sunbathes innocently below.
Over in Mexico (yawn) Christopher is visiting Cliff in prison (great to see Ken Kercheval back-shame he’s still playing the same unrecognisable psycho that is NOTHING like his original series character) They talk and Christopher quickly gets riled. I think it’s odd how since the revelation that big Pam is dead, everyone seems to have forgotten that she ever existed, but surely for Christopher who now knows that his mother did love him and she wanted to return to Dallas to be with him, he should have more questions than ever-especially when face to face with the uncle who supposedly (and totally unbelievably) concealed her death from him for 24 years!?
Anyway, Cliff laughs that they’ve renamed the company he built (I thought Herbert built it?-something else that needs explaining clearly please Mrs. C!) to Ewing Global.
Chris leaves and outside a child runs into him and lifts his wallet at the same time. Running up the street, he passes it to two men sitting in a truck.
Next we see Nicholas and Elena (up until this point I had thought a miracle had happened and the episode would be totally ‘Elena free’ but unfortunately no such luck). Nicholas goes to see Rhonda (the lady who testified to Cliff being in Nuevo Laredo) and offers her $25,000 if she will ‘tell the truth’ about what really happened. She looks tempted and he gives her until the next day to think about it.
Back at Southfork Ann takes the initiative to go and have a word with Emma and cautions her against dressing so provocatively. Emma quickly gets stroppy and flounces inside where she encounters Pamela (now minus the cream). Pamela invites her to go shopping to pick things out for her honeymoon, upon hearing this Emma is only too glad to help (she probably wants to persuade Pamela into buying a duffle coat, fur hat and mittens to cover her love rival up!)
Elsewhere Bobby is having lunch with an old friend, Stan, who also just so happens (so Bobby thinks) to have the power to stop John Ross from fracking Southfork. However Stan tells Bobby he can’t do it, but he does give him an idea when he starts talking about projects being held up due to eco systems being threatened.
Meanwhile Bo is summoned by John Ross to Ewing Global where John Ross tells him he knows about the drugs that Bo has been dealing and he will take them to Bobby unless Bo gets on board with his fracking of Southfork. He also tells him that Jock made his first big strike in 1945 (which of course he didn’t, he was off fighting in the war and sleeping with nurse Margaret Krebbs and making Ray-another continuity cock up-Jock actually made the strike in the 30s, but what’s a little thing like details to Dallas 2.0)
Ann pays a visit to Harris at Ryland Towers (whose idea was it to have Harris’s home look grander than the inside of Southfork?) she tells him she hasn’t forgotten all the terrible things he’s done. He says despite what she thinks about him, he does love their daughter (I guess someone has to). Ann asks that Harris tell Emma about his new found calling as a freelance CIA agent but Harris says it’s too dangerous and he couldn’t trust her with it.
Later on Sue Ellen is having dinner with Bum (why hasn’t this guy got his own series yet?). She apologises to him for asking him to spy on John Ross and is worried she’s being haunted by the philandering ghost of J.R. (which she probably is, but she’s also correct about John Ross) then she mentions that Bum never told her about J.R’s cheating even though he ‘knew all the secrets’. I may be wrong and she may be talking about information Bum had gleaned while working for J.R.-as obviously he wasn’t around in the original series-but the way Mrs C and co have been rewriting history left, right and centre, I wouldn’t be surprised if Bum isn’t yet another character jammed into the history of the show.
Meanwhile in Mexico, Chris is in a shop speaking with the owner, who’s a former business partner of Nicholas who cheated him. The man tells Chris that he should search for who Nicholas was before as he has no school certificates etc. etc.
Elena (aka Dallas 2.0s most uninspired character) is at the shooting range. She tells the guy running it that she got cheated (who isn’t getting cheated on in Dallas these days?!) on by a guy and he checks the security footage (what she’s actually looking for is evidence that Cliff’s gun was stolen while he’d used the range) but finds out that the footage from the night in question is gone.
Back at Ewing Global Bum is meeting with John Ross. Bum says that J.R.’s plan was to steal the Ryland’s company, not for John Ross to sleep with Emma. John Ross says Bum should stick to doing what he’s paid to do as Emma enters, Bum leaves, and Emma removes her coat to reveal a green corset (which does look rather fetching on her I must admit).
Anyway, realising that John Ross is not going to stop his affair with Emma he goes to see Sue Ellen (who also has a nicer home than Southfork!) he admits that he lied to her about John Ross and Emma not being together and apologises.
Down in Mexico, as Chris is leaving his hotel, he gets approached by the same two guys in the truck that got his wallet (they’re not here to return it though). They say they know he’s seeking info on Trevino and ask him to go with them, ‘why would I do that?’ he asks ‘because you want answers senor’ (don’t we all!) they reply. Naturally he does go with them (he must get his reckless streak from Bobby-he’s also fond of getting into strange vehicles on request)
On Southfork John Ross is ready to begin fracking! But as he gives a speech to his new crew Bobby arrives with a secret weapon to stop him-it’s a lesser prairie chicken! (yes this scene was fun and it did remind me of original Dallas, however it’s Dallas from 1988-1991. I couldn’t have imagined Bobby solving one of his many problems with J.R. in the early years of the show by presenting him with a chicken-even a lesser prairie one!)
Anyway, as Bobby explains about how endangered the chicken is (and is native to Texas don’t you know!) it becomes apparent that this is what Bobby’s doing to stop John Ross from fracking Southfork. (Something tells me however that John Ross is hardly going to let such a small thing stop him)
If only Bobby had thought of getting the chicken involved at the start of season 1-could have saved a lot of pain and heartache

If only Bobby had thought of getting the chicken involved at the start of season 1-could have saved a lot of pain and heartache

Elena and Nicholas are in her apartment cooking, she asks if Rhonda has called and remarks that the Ewings always seem to be one step ahead (and with any luck the writers will be one step ahead and will be getting rid of her by the end of the season, along with Carmen and Drew and Nicholas) then Nicholas’s phone rings (speak of the devil and she appears!) it’s Rhonda, she agrees to meet with him. Clearly counting his chickens before they’ve hatched he races off to meet her in a deserted parking lot, but when he does Bobby is in the back of the car! Rhonda sticks to her story and Bobby tells Nicholas that the truth hurts (and the truth is that Elena and her family are the most boring characters on the show and should all leave Dallas at the end of the season) he goes back and tells Elena what happened. She says ‘maybe the Ewings will always win (let’s hope so)
Back at Southfork Pamela undresses for John Ross. Throwing off her coat she reveals a green corset (identical to the one Emma was wearing when she pounced on him at Ewing Global! To be fair though he did pounce back-the tramp had obviously encouraged Pamela to buy it knowing she was going to get exactly the same one) Because of this he’s unable to rise to the occasion leaving her alone and looking very hurt on the bed. I think they’re dumbing her down way too much-everyone knows that she’s going to find out about the affair and go absolutely spare, surely she doesn’t need to be made to look like a complete idiot in the process? Is this really the same woman that was in the boardroom of Barnes Global at the start of season 2?
Finally, Nicholas tells Elena how he feels (or how he says he feels) about her. Naturally, Elena being Elena she feels the same (a la John Ross & Christopher) and gets ready to sleep with him (something about this scene feels very wrong given that they’re supposedly as close as brother and sister-despite him being absolutely minted and not once having lifted a finger to help her or Carmen or Drew in the last two years)
Over in Mexico the chaps that Chris went with have taken him to Nicholas/Joaquin’s compound. As he gets out the car he is approached by a beautiful woman who tells him she can tell him lots about Nicholas Trevino and the reason is she’s his wife!! (and as far as we know, isn’t working for the CIA, though next week we’ll no doubt find out she isn’t his wife either)
Next Week-The wedding!

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2 Responses to Season 3 episode 3- ‘Playing Chicken’

  1. ghent32 says:

    Whats up Dan?

    I think episode 3 was OK, certainly not as good as “Trust Me” but I guess every episode can’t be super stimulating. I agree with you, and I’m glad that you mentioned how Pamela is being portrayed. I hate it, she is much tougher than that. My guess on this is that when she finds out that he is cheating, she’s going to erupt. I think they are having her play this super vulnerable part right now so that when she blows, it’s going to be big, but that’s my guess. I much prefer the Pamela in season 2 who was tough as nails. This vulnerable part wont last long, and just wait until she finds out that they framed Cliff. As angry as she is at Cliff, I don’t think she’ll tolerate that the Ewings kind of manipulated her in that scheme. I think the WAR is coming. BTW – Can we please find a way to get Cliff out of prison – it’s TV for Gosh Sakes, we can do what we want here, and he is useless to the show in prison. If we can create a loophole with a ‘lesser prairie chicken”, can we find one for Cliff please. I also think the show needs to show more about Ewing Global establishing itself as a company. In any given episode in 1.0, Ewing Oil was always at war with some other company to gain control, and thats where a lot of the manipulations came from, double-crossing business allies, fighting WestStar, Barnes/Wentworth. Hardwood Oil, etc…I’m starting to realize that 2.0 is forcing the dynamics of the shows 10 stars with each other and thats it. Before it was the business dealings that spilled over into the human dynamic which created the personal drama. There are no business-related plotlines (and arctic leases alone isn’t doing it). In addition, everyone lives at Southfork now, where are the nightly dinners and bickering at the dinner table? Where are the scenes where all of them gather to the living room for drinks after/before dinner? Those scenes brought a ton of drama and were always fun. I like this show, and I see the effort the show makes to constantly mention 1.0 and I like that (even though they don’t always do their research), but they need to be more creative with this show so that they can create more dynamic and plot lines in various ways.

    I certainly have noticed the ratings dip as I contantly monitor it. I will say that the live+3 almost always gives us another full million viewers, and live+7 gets us into the 3.5 million range. It still is TNT’s 2nd best performing show, so real hard to tell what will happen, but I’m sure we can all agree that the summer episodes will give it a big boost in ratings simply because there isn’t much else on. Anyway my friend, until next episode. Be well.

    • Dan says:

      Hi Mike,

      Good to hear from you, sorry for the late reply. I agree with you I would like Cliff out of prison and much more of a season regular. With all his clout it certainly wouldn’t be too hard. It would be great to see a scene round the dinner table and pre-dinner drinks. If I’m correct the only dinner table scene there has been was in the pilot episode. I hope they hurry up with the alterations. The show does seem to be trying harder, the pace has improved but after episode 4 I’m left feeling there is still a lot for the makers to do and I’m truly hoping we see it before the show gets cancelled altogether. Speak to you soon.

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