Season 3 episode 4- ‘Lifting the Veil’

It's a good thing Bobby doesn't bear grudges when he was asked to walk the woman who broke his son's heart down the aisle.

It’s a good thing Bobby doesn’t bear grudges when he was asked to walk the woman who broke his son’s heart down the aisle.

Having watched this episode a few times now I personally feel that it’s the weakest one of season 3 barring the first episode. Real opportunities to strengthen the show and mix in some of the history are squandered in favour of ridiculous, meaningless plot twists and scenes that will do nothing other than to hasten the show’s end. Not to mention more pointless 4 second cameos from much love original characters which can only serve to further alienate fans of the original. The show remains bland when it should be compelling, though there have been improvements in terms of pacing but little else in my opinion.
The episode opens with Christopher talking with Lucia Trevino. She tells Chris the reason why Nicholas didn’t exist before 1997 was because he wanted to distance himself from his life as an orphan living on the streets (er, would this be before or after the Ramos (yawn!) family took him in and before or after he moved in with their uncle?)
At Southfork John Ross and Pamela are in bed when his phone rings, it’s his secretary Candace calling to tell him he has a meeting with railroad commissioner (and Uncle Bobby’s close pal) Stanley Babcock, but he has to move fast as it’s within the hour.
Downstairs Sue Ellen tells Ann that John Ross and Emma are having an affair and that Emma should move out. Ann says that can’t happen (yes let it happen!) because it’s too dangerous with the threat from the cartel (que another naff storyline). Sue Ellen wants to tell Pamela, Ann does her best to talk her out of it.
Near the house John Ross runs into Emma and tells her that she may screw like a woman but acts like an attention starved little brat (ouch!) she tells him to go to hell and flounces off inside where she encounters Pamela tucking into a tasty looking piece of mango. It isn’t long before Sue Ellen enters and looks very conflicted as she sees the two women interacting. She leaves and knocks back some more sauce (all that’s missing is her shoulder pads!)
Drew (aka pointless character no. 1) calls Nicholas on his cellphone and tells him he feels ashamed for his part in making the bomb that killed Chris and Pamela’s babies (and presumably he’s also ashamed that his family have been shamelessly shoehorned into the history of the original and we’re all supposed to just swallow it) He says he’s thinking of handing himself in but Nicholas does his best to talk him out of it.
Back at Southfork Chris enters and he and Bobby go into the study (aka the dining room) Chris tells him Nicholas didn’t exist before 1997, Bobby says he’ll get Carlos Del Sol to look into it.
John Ross arrives at his meeting only to find Agent Ryland waiting for him instead. He tells John Ross that he wants the X-files back that were stolen from him but John Ross manages to haggle him down to an orange flash disk. Harris tells him to bring it to a certain address within an hour and he will get what he wants (in other words the never ending and rather tedious saga of drilling on Southfork may finally be coming to a close!)
Back at the ranch the ladies are getting ready for the wedding, and Afton is there (great to see her back) she seems to be rather bitchy when talking to Pamela, which isn’t the Afton I remember from the last time she appeared on the original but I guess it could be put down to her being in such close proximity to Sue Ellen who she’s never gotten on with.
John Ross calls Emma, apologises and asks her to meet with him and to bring the flash drive Harris wants. Downstairs Carlos Del Sol has arrived (everyone in Dallas can move extremely fast it seems) he tells Bobby he’ll find out what he can on Nicholas (if Nicholas is so wealthy and he and Carlos are both businessmen, how come he hasn’t heard of him before? in fact how come everyone hasn’t heard of him before, especially Christopher and John Ross? Are we seriously expected to believe that in 20 years neither Carmen, Drew or Elena or their beloved ‘Papi’ (while he was alive) never so much as mentioned Nicholas to any of the Ewings or even had so much of a photograph of him?!)
John Ross tries to sweet talk Emma and tells her that he needs the flash drive to put Harris back in jail and they can both take over his company, but Emma didn’t bring it. So he sends her off to fetch it while Harris calls and tells him time is running out.
Back at the ranch Christopher has a word with Nicholas who tells him that he knows he was in Mexico and if he wanted to know anything about him he should have asked (what I’d like to know is how long we have to put up with the Ramos family being forced down the viewers throats when it seems no one finds them in the least bit interesting)
Ray and Lucy are back (but naturally they are given very little to do besides standing around looking as though they’re joined at the hip-badly underused and another 4 second cameo to draw fans of the original in. Maybe they can’t come back full-time, but why can’t they be given something to do and drawn more into the story when they do appear? Big disappointment and another example of how the makers of Dallas 2.0 are badly not getting it)
Well loved characters again badly under used.

Well loved characters again badly under used.

Across Dallas John Ross arrives at the address Harris told him to go to and (naturally) it’s a brothel. Meeting Harris inside, John Ross goes with him to another room where he sees Stanley Babcock on a monitor enjoying a tryst with a woman dressed as a dog (WTF! this is Dallas’s most pathetic scene, of either series, so far. Why were so many scenes cut that would have made the episode better in favour of this rubbish?! Why were Afton and Ray and Lucy sidelined so this nonsense could take place? Truly it’s little wonder viewers are continuing to desert the series when this is the best the writers can come up with!)
Dallas sinks to a new low.

Dallas sinks to a new low.

John Ross goes into the room, at Harris’s invitation, to talk/coerce/harass the commissioner. Back at Southfork Chris talks with Elena and tells her Nicholas is married (she thinks he’s divorced-and why wouldn’t she, they only grew up as brother and sister after all, it’s only natural she’d have no clue whatsoever as to whether or not he’s married!) Christopher reminds her she wouldn’t marry him without his first getting an annulment from his marriage to Pamela (finally! Someone gets their own continuity straight)
Back at the Ryland whorehouse Harris won’t hand over the Babcock disc without first getting the flash drive from John Ross but he has yet to get it from Emma. Noticing that he isn’t yet back at the ranch and their wedding is due to start pretty soon, Pamela calls him and leaves him a message (‘Get back here NOW or you’ll wind up with Tommy!’ is what she should have said)
Meanwhile Bum (seriously this guy should be in the opening credits) finally gets the flash drive from Emma, who has been deliberately late in getting it to him, no doubt hoping it would scupper the Southfork wedding celebrations. Speaking of which, meanwhile Afton is slagging off John Ross to Sue Ellen, leading her to nip outside for another sly swig of the booze.
Back at the XXX-files whorehouse Harris tries his own efforts to compromise John Ross by introducing him to two illicit ladies. Luckily though just as they start to undress him (despite his protestations of being a married man (ha!) he’s interrupted by Bum’s arrival. Bum tells him that whatever is really on the flash disc is encrypted (it appears to only contain holiday pics so John Ross has Bum make a copy before handing the original over to Harris) The deal done, Harris swaps disc for disc and John Ross leaves but not before Harris has told him to stop sleeping with Emma (I think a lot of people would like that too)
Over at Southfork Nicholas tells Elena that though he’s still technically married he and his wife are getting divorced but the lawyers are still trying to strike a deal.
Upstairs (or down-I get lost with where all the rooms are in Soutfork these days) John Ross tells Sue Ellen that he’ll now be able to frack, but she tells him that she knows he’s having an affair with Emma and that she’ll tell Pamela if he doesn’t stop. He accuses her of being drunk and that it’s making her forget her loyalties.
Next he goes in to see Pamela who is now rather miffed at his tardiness to their own wedding. As if to highlight this Afton smacks him round the back of the head as she leaves the room (and presumably Dallas as inexplicably as Gary and Val did last season and are still NOWHERE to be seen!)
Pamela’s upset and tells John Ross that Cliff made the same excuses to her that he’s making every time he wasn’t there for her (this would be the same Cliff who would have absolutely loved to have been a father and would move heaven and earth to be with his daughter and doubtless would have showered her with love and affection and never have ordered the planting of a bomb on a rig that would have placed her in mortal danger and led to the death of his unborn grandchildren!) She seems to buy John Ross’s rather feeble excuses though eventually.
Outside the wedding finally begins as Bobby walks her down the aisle (I can’t help laughing at the collective amnesia of the characters who seem to have forgotten-in double quick time no less-that this is the woman who supposedly came to Dallas on the orders of her father intent on destroying the Ewings, married her (adoptive) cousin, murdered Tommy Sutter and would not have been seen dead marrying John Ross-all hail St. Pamela of Dallas!) Just as the ceremony begins it cuts off and we don’t get to see it (I don’t have a problem with this as it’s the same as what happened when Clayton married Miss Ellie in the original, but what I do have a problem with is the fact that we could have seen more if somebody hadn’t decided that it’d be much better to slot in a scene in a brothel and someone frolicking around with a woman dressed as a dog!)
Anyway, at the reception John Ross approaches Bobby at the bar and tells him he’ll soon be fracking Southfork as Babcock now sees things his way. Bobby tells him he’ll never drill the ranch (he should put his mind to those alterations instead) Bobby then calls Babcock, has a bit of a whinge and puts the phone down.
He’s seething until Sue Ellen tells him she has a way to stop John Ross drilling.
Speak of the devil, he and Pamela leave on their honeymoon (no doubt a faceless hotel somewhere) while Christopher preoccupies himself by leading Heather into the barn for a steamy make out sesh.
Across town Senor Trevino enters his penthouse only to find his wife waiting for him (I must admit I do like the chemistry between the two actors, when the Ramos family leave perhaps Nicholas and Lucia could stick around to keep making things difficult for the Ewings, I certainly buy them as a couple much more than I do Nicholas and pointless Elena)
Lucia tells him she doesn’t want to get divorced and wants to try again for the sake of their children. If he doesn’t go along with her (it’d be hard not to-she seems very persuasive) she says she’ll grass him up to the Ewings. This seems to persuade Nicholas that doing what she wants might be for the best after all.
In the brothel Harris is told the ‘madame’ wants to see him and, of course, she turns out to be none other than Judith (Coke snorting, CIA, prostitution-is there no end to this woman’s talents?!) Don’t get me wrong I think Judith Light is excellent and I really like her on Dallas but the writers seem to be making her and Harris into more and more of a cartoon couple, they seem to get more ridiculous with every episode. Plus Judith barely looks a day older than Harris let alone old enough to believably be his mother (isn’t it funny how the Rylands are more popular than the Ramos family yet seem to be getting dumbed down while the very unpopular Ramos clan are still being forced down our throats) Anyway, Harris shows her pics of John Ross during his earlier encounter with the ladies who clumsily attempted to seduce him. Judith isn’t impressed until Harris announces his plan to blackmail John Ross with a semen stained dress, (one of the ladies that John Ross encountered earlier is actually 16 thus they plan to say he committed statutory rape if he doesn’t do what they want-the plan seems massively convoluted if you ask me) all that’s missing is the substance itself which Harris announces he will get with the aid of Candace, John Ross’s secretary! (Yawn! er, I mean Gasp!)
Next episode:- D.T.R.

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