Season 3 episode 5- ‘D.T.R’

This episode was ok, it was marred by the continued presence of Elena, though her screen time was minimal she still got more than Pamela who (when she isn’t acting ridiculously dumb) is an infinitely more interesting character and actually has a place in Dallas which Elena, Carmen & Drew most definitely do not. For me part of the problem of Dallas 2.0 is that it has never felt like Dallas. When I heard it was coming back, in 2012, I really looked forward to it and tuned in to watch the first episode. But since then the show has continually declined with endless (and often pointless) plot twists, everyone seems angry with each other all the time, someone’s always trying to outdo/blackmail/backstab someone else etc. it seems as though the show has little of the heart and warmth that helped make the original such a massive success. If Dallas does stay on the air (and I hope it will) I hope it does so with more of the family aspect which, I think, it seems to be seriously lacking at the moment as well as the Ewings being side lined in the show in which they are supposed to be the focus!

Anyway, the episode starts with John Ross and Pamela Rebecca coming back from their honeymoon. John Ross asks Pamela if she’s ready to go rule the world (she certainly is, but it won’t be with John Ross once she finds out what he’s been up to with Emma) In the limo Pamela says she feels she’s been asleep at the wheel for the last few weeks (do I spy a hint that she’s going to start taking notice of what’s going on around her and the writers are going to stop making her look like such an idiot?) John Ross asks the driver to go past the drill site so that he can see what progress has been made. As it turns out though, not much as Bo explains to him that a drill bit has been dropped down the well bore (whatever the hell that all means) and they need to get it out. John Ross asks him if they can all work that night, and threatens to replace them with another crew when Bo balks at the idea, finally though he relents. John Ross sees Bobby on horseback and gives him a mock cheery wave. Bobby stares back with his usual (I’m staring into the distance at nothing in particular) look.
Meanwhile across town Sue Ellen (is it just me or has the excellent Linda Gray been virtually carrying the whole show single handed this season?) is meeting with the Guv’nor (my favourite Dallas villain-of the new series anyway). She’s brought him a gift, it’s a bottle of J.R. branded bourbon (it’s a pity she couldn’t have brought him one of those J.R. dolls too) and asks him to ask Stanley Babcock (Dallas’s Rail Road Commissioner and kinky furry fancier) to resign, she knows he’s been involved in some shady activities. The Gov tries to brush her off, she tells him he’ll need a miracle when she announces how he was involved in the sabotage of the Ewing Energies rig and that good blackmail never sours (what’s good blackmail exactly, I thought all blackmail was bad!) the Guv says if she does that he’ll remind the voters about her being involved in bribery ending with blackmail may not sour but it curdles. She calls Bobby and says they’ll have to issue a reminder as to who’s really in control.

Who's in control? Sue Ellen is!

Who’s in control? Sue Ellen is!

In Nuevo Laredo (yawn!) Nicholas and Elena are meeting with Cliff (It’s great to see Ken Kercheval but please can we see him doing something else other than looking scruffy in a jail cell and yelling ‘I didn’t kill J.R.!’ Cliff says that the Ewings having taken his daughter is what hurts him the most. He gives them a pass on the firing range but says he’s disappointed the Ewings got to Rhonda. Nick remarks that the Ewings are very smart, Cliff hits back with ‘I’m paying you to be smarter!’ This is the man who can, supposedly, get someone killed with a phone call and yet he can’t find some way to get himself out of prison? Where are his lawyers when all this is going on? If he’s so wealthy surely they can find some evidence that he’s not guilty (like evidence that he was in Cabo the night of the murder), what makes him think Nicholas and Elena can actually get him out anyway? Nicholas is the world’s most unconvincing billionaire and Elena is Dallas’s most pointless character, if I was Cliff I’d start looking for someone else who could help. He should call Afton and ask her to sing a charity single with the proceeds going to fund his legal fees. There’s more guff about Elena’s totally nonsensical quest for ‘justice’ against the Ewings (the same Ewings who have been incredibly kind and patient with her considering the kind of rubbish she’s put them all through. Not to mention keeping her mother in a job and allowing Elena to come and go at Southfork like she lives there. As the pair get up to leave Cliff tells Elena (about Nicholas) ‘keep an eye on him’ (presumably because Cliff has heard that Nicholas outstrips Elena in the popular character stakes 10-1)
At Southfork Heather is in the stables when Chris enters and says that John Ross won’t be in charge much longer ‘there’s a plan’ he tells her. Then asks her out for a drink, ‘I’m not up for anything serious’ she tells him, good job then that Christopher is as much of a challenge as Elena when it comes to bedding someone and is well up for it.
At Ewing Global Bobby is inspecting the new office sculpture (soon to replace the awful Jock and Miss Ellie painting that STILL hangs at Southfork) while E.G. secretary Jill (who reminds me of Sly from the original) hovers nearby. Sue Ellen is in her office where she quizzes John Ross ‘are you still sleeping with Emma?’ John Ross says Sue Ellen just wants to punish him for how J.R. treated her before reminding her ‘I’m not J.R.!’ (He’s still got quite a way to go before that honour can be bewstowed upon him) Outside Christopher confronts John Ross and has another sanctimonious rant at him about peoples lives being ruined by John Ross laying them off (the amount of times Christopher rants at John Ross, usually from behind Bobby, I wish that John Ross would just knock him out) John Ross says that he will frack Southfork dry! (I hope he takes care of those alterations first)
Back at Southfork John Ross (who must have a private plane to fly him across town he moves that fast) has brought Emma a necklace from his honeymoon (though it looks like it came out of a Christmas cracker) and they talk business (well as much business as two people who know nothing about it can talk) John Ross tells her that the flash disc he gave to Harris has encrypted info on it and he still wants the Ryland ships. As he goes to leave he runs into Ann who asks him what he’s doing there ‘I forgot my briefcase’ is his totally unconvincing reply. She goes into Emma’s room and sees her admiring the cheap necklace. The two argue (and it was extremely satisfying to see Ann finally let loose on Emma-shame she took it all back two seconds later) Emma asks Ann ‘what’s your purpose around here?!’ (it’s er, er, Ann’s purpose? well it’s er, er….) before calling Ann a liar, an ex-drug addict and an attempted murderer! (if the shoe fits and all that) Ann finally loses her rag and orders Emma off Soutfork (and take Elena and Carmen with you!)
Speaking of which the dull twosome (Nicholas and Elena) are meeting with a state attorney who they ask for help in ‘bringing down the Ewings’ truly I hope that the conclusion of this storyline will see Elena (and the other Ramos family members) exiting Dallas for good.
Back at the ranch Ann rings Harris and tells him about her fight with Emma, he actually seems quite sweet in reassuring her that she didn’t screw up. Still, he knows better than to p*ss off the woman who once shot him! He gets the flash drive out of his safe and plugs it into his computer before calling his CIA contact. The two meet in a restaurant and Harris says he wants out but the CIA agent says he can’t and that Emma is safe as long as he ‘stays on the ride’. Then Harris reveals that he has evidence of offshore bank accounts where the agent’s put his payments for illegal black ops he’s done. Harris says he wants extra protection for his family (not including Judith-she can take care of herself) or he’ll go to CIA chiefs.
Back at Ewing Global Pamela sees John Ross talking to Candice, the secretary who never gets any secretarial work done, when she gets a phone call from Cliff who tells her that he knows she went along with the Ewings framing him for J.R.’s murder because she wants to punish him for hurting her babies and, just in case we all forget, he didn’t kill J.R.! she hangs up tearfully (actually quite a touching scene) I only wish Mrs C. and co hadn’t decided to keep exactly what happened in the last 20 years a total secret. If people actually knew what motivated Cliff to turn so evil-those who have a problem with his behaviour (like me) would find it easier to accept. But Cliff buried the feud with the Ewings so that cannot be the reason. My guess is it’ll have something to do with Pam’s death and or Katherine.


Bobby and Sue Ellen also see John Ross with Candice. Sue Ellen says there’s nothing innocent about him (indeed!)
Elsewhere in Dallas Chris and Heather are in a bar drinking. Chris tells her that in high school he was captain of the basketball team and head of the science club (Christopher doesn’t like science!) Heather asks him about the girls he was with and who D.T.R’d (Defined The Relationship) She tells him she has a child.
Meanwhile the Guv and Babcock are talking. The Guv says there’s nothing illegal in Stanley being with the girl dressed as the dog for sex (besides the fact that it was an awful scene) except that she was a sex worker and that he paid her for services rendered. Also they discuss when the Guv goes for President in 2016 money will be laundered through the ‘usual accounting firm’. Unbeknownst to the pair however their conversation is being picked up by the bug planted in the J.R. bourbon bottle (how neat!) and listened into by Bobby and Sue Ellen who says to Bobby ‘the family that blackmails together, stays together’ (er, not exactly Sue Ellen and the Ewings haven’t acted like a proper family since the show started in 2012)
Heather and Chris arrive back at her place just as Bo (her ex) is dropping off their son, Michael. She has a go at him and says he has a gambling problem (I actually feel quite sorry for Bo, he’s got John Ross nagging in one ear, Heather in the other and Christopher looking down his nose at him). Bo tells Chris to stay away from Heather and their son before speeding off leaving Chris with Heather and their son. Seeing his opportunity to score brownie points with Heather Chris bonds with the little lad while discussing transformers (awwww)
Judith (who seems to have no discernible storyline) meets with Emma in a restaurant. Emma tells her that the Ewings want to lease their ships and looks rather pleased with herself before Judith informs her ‘we will not be doing business with the Ewings!’ But Emma counteracts her by handing over half of the files she got from Harris’s safe which detail all of Judith’s sordid dealings, particularly her rather interesting sideline of being a madame of underage prostitutes (I don’t know where she finds the time)
She tells Judith she’ll get the other half when she agrees to contract the ships. Then Judith tells her ‘never let a man screw you for nothing’ (oops, she really should have told Emma that earlier) and her girls play a very smart game because they’re always in control but a whore who gives without receiving is not only a whore but also a fool’. (The way that Emma and Judith-and Harris-seem to be getting weirder and weirder makes me wonder if they wouldn’t be better suited to a show like Bate’s Motel or American Horror story than Dallas) Judith ends her verbal savaging with ‘If you think John Ross loves you then you are a worthless creature’ (steady on Judith!)
Back at Ryland Towers Judith enters looking rather like the bride of Frankenstein (or Rylandstein in this case) She tells him that she’s had to give Emma the contract for the ships because of the info he’s kept on her and that they have to break Emma and John Ross up and get her to come back home. ‘Candice is working on it’ he says.
Back at Elena and Nicholas’s Hall of Justice they are looking through J.R.’s murder file looking for evidence of Cliff’s innocence (they should be watching the original series on dvd-plenty of evidence on there) when Elena sees a mystery scar on a photo of J.R.’s body (actually pretty morbid) Elena says ‘Cliff’s a terrible man’ (look who’s talking!) Nicholas says Cliff is a means to an end (the end being, hopefully, that the Ramos crew are leaving Dallas for good-given that they were never there in the beginning anyway).
Across town Emma’s wrapped up in a sheet, enter John Ross (who else) Emma says she wants a piece of the arctic deal and that they’ll have to start being more discrete. John Ross says he doesn’t want to stop seeing her.
Over in Nuevo Laredo (AGAIN! HOW MANY TIMES?!) Elena and Nicholas are back visiting Cliff in prison, Cliff says he always though Pamela knew he was framed but now realises she actually thinks he killed J.R. and that he had to tell Elena the truth about what happened to her father, even though it was devastating for her to hear (but of course nothing happened to her father because neither he, Carmen, Drew or Elena were ever there in the original no matter how many times the viewers are asked to believe that they were) Cliff says if Elena can turn Pamela against the Ewings she’ll help Elena get her justice (now that sounds like a good deal!)
Back at the ranch Ann is driving and sees Emma has returned. The two talk, both apologise to each other (it’s a shame because I thought Ann was great angry) and Emma says she’s stopped seeing John Ross. The two hug and it’s obvious that Emma is really quite evil. Harris arrives and tells Ann he’s got them more protection (I could really see in this episode what others have said about Ann and Harris having good chemistry, she has better chemistry with him than she does with Bobby) Again Harris is quite nice to her saying that she’s been a better parent to Emma than he ever was (while nervously eyeing her trigger finger)
Elsewhere Sue Ellen is playing the Guv the recording that she got through the bugged bourbon bottle cork. The Guv says it’s the reason politicians shouldn’t accept gifts, especially when they have J.R.’s name on them (too true!) He asks who Stanley’s replacement will be and (funnily enough) Sue Ellen has the perfect candidate in mind!
Over at Ewing Global John Ross receives the contract for the ships, duly signed by Rylandstein herself. Next he gets a text from Sue Ellen who tells him to turn on the tv. When he does he sees that Babcock is stepping down and the interim Rail Road Commissioner is Bobby! (looking very pleased with himself too, I’m just surprised he hasn’t appointed Christopher as his deputy)
This is my smug face!

This is my smug face!

John Ross goes berserk and storms into his office, closely followed by Candice until he shuts the door in her face. He calls Sue Ellen and says he thought they were allies but now he knows he has another enemy to watch out for. Listening to the message leads Sue Ellen into having another drink (though she does hesitate for all of 5 seconds first) I like how Sue Ellen’s return to ‘drinking’ means that she has a ladylike sip here and there from a cool looking hip flask. What happened to her visiting bars and gulping from a bottle wrapped in a brown paper bag?-and where are her massive shoulder pads!
Back at Ewing Global Bobby and Christopher sweep into the office more sanctimonious than ever and start haranguing John Ross straight away (I’m surprised he hasn’t taken a swing at either one the way they’re constantly on his back) Bobby gives John Ross a speech (while Christopher massages his shoulders) about Southfork being his trust and he’s the custodian of it (he must have forgotten that he’s only half custodian since John Ross also now owns half) John Ross retorts with ‘If you want to build a roadblock between me and Southfork go right ahead, if I’m as bad as my father ever was I’ll blow right past it!’ (you bloody tell ’em J.R.III!)

Next week:-‘Like Father Like Son’

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4 Responses to Season 3 episode 5- ‘D.T.R’

  1. Katherine says:

    Great review, Dan!

    I think it’s the funniest yet. I think you can only watch that as a guilty pleasure because you sure as hell can’t take it very seriously. Not-making-much-sense is another matter. I think the reviews are way better than the actual show.

    • Dan says:

      Hi Katherine,

      Thanks v much for reading and the kind words, I’m really pleased you like my reviews. Yeah, I’m starting to give up taking it seriously and starting to think of it it as a totally separate show (albeit with some of the same characters). It’s never going to be ‘Dallas’ for me and the way the ratings are going if they continue to fall it may not be on the air much longer anyway. Hope you continue to read my blog.

  2. ghent32 says:

    I think it was a failry good episode. I will say that so many of the shows that I watch these days are so predictable, thankfully Dallas is not one of them. For the faults they have, they are good at surprise twists. As far as the relating of this show to the old…I really don’t think it is a very fair comparison. I really don’t see too much of anything they could have done to be as good as the original, even in season 1 with JR it wasn’t the same and never was going to be. I made my peace with this back in season 2. I feel those who appreciate getting to see the ones we love such as Bobby and Sue Ellen and Cliff get to reprise their roles can take some solace in that and just enjoy it for what it is. Others who feel poorly about the show can move on from it. I’ll say this, the ratings are dipping, but don’t be so fooled by the ratings during the original viewing of each episode, I’m not going to give Dallas too much of a pass because if the show was as great as it could be, it would pull the viewers, but Dallas DOUBLES its viewership when DVR numbers are counted and they’re still averaging about 3 million per episode after ALL of the numbers are crunched, that indicates the show has a solid viewership for a cable show and is still ranked as one of Cable’s TOP 15 Drama series. I think TNT is killing this show by viewing it on Monday nights, the simple fact of the DVR numbers proves that. I think the ratings of this show get pointed out so much because the viewership of the return episode back in the summer of 2012 was nearly 6 million, which is as good as network ratings, and even those ratings plunged from week 1 to week 2 down to 4 million or so. The simple truth of it is, I scour the internet all the time looking for articles on the show and what I see is 75-85% positive feedback. The show, for what it is right now, is solid, the only ones complaining are those of us who were regular viewers of the original series. It’s probably not reasonable for us to demand that the show be the very same, would that really work in 2014 anyway? As I said, like my buddy Dan here, I am one of the original viewers, and my love for what the show was allows for me to soak up what I find good about this version, and there are quite a few things I like, so I’m going to watch it every week, and I’m going to hope that TNT realizes what it has and approves a season 4. “Dallas” has had me since 1985, and they still do.

    • Dan says:

      Hi Mike,

      Thanks for the comment, good to hear from you as always. I also like to see the original characters, I think Linda Gray’s performances as Sue Ellen have really carried this season and she seems to have become close to the heart of the show (at least her confrontations in John Ross) I would just like to see more original characters returning, if only for guest stints of a few episodes, but I find it disheartening to see characters like Ray and Lucy return only to be given nothing to do besides stand around. I hope if the show does get a 4th season the powers that be really sit down and try and take everybody’s thoughts on board because I think the fans who are asking for improvements are all pretty much asking for the same thing. Hope you continue to read, speak soon.

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