Season 3 Episode 7- ‘Like a Bad Penny’

Apologies for the lateness of me posting this. Personally I thought this episode was pretty weak, especially compared to the last few weeks which have seen a slow build up of quality and seeming to get better and now it all seems to be squandered again. It felt like a real chore to get through as I was watching it. If the show is lucky enough to be renewed for a fourth season I hope somebody somewhere has sat down and thought of bringing in some of the changes that fans have long been asking for on the show, at the moment it just feels like a very sad decline for what was once (at least the original series was) a ‘must see’ television show.

'We promise to keep Sue Ellen away from the drinks cabinet'

‘We promise to keep Sue Ellen away from the drinks cabinet’

As the episode opens Bobby and Ann (for once Chris isn’t with them) are meeting with the doctor where Sue Ellen is being held since last episode’s shock committal by John Ross of his own mother (the evil fiend!). Bobby and Ann are trying their best to persuade the doc to release Sue Ellen into their care. Bobby tells her that J.R. once had Sue Ellen committed to a sanitarium (and I seem to remember she had a private room that was tastefully decorated, for the 1970s, and her own corrupt private nurse that was on hand to be bribed whenever SE needed booze!) Anyway, the doc says that Sue Ellen cannot be released until the judge (that would be the crooked kinky one from last ep) views the admittance report (I wonder if the report references her huge shoulder pads from the 1980s?)
Next we see Sue Ellen herself in a day room looking anxiously around at the other patients (or service users) as they generally act in a ‘crazy’ fashion (I felt it was a very stereotypical way to depict people with mental health issues and quite unrealistic, from my experience anyway)
At Ewing Global John Ross is in the process of firing his secretary (and I use the term extremely loosely) Candace (finally he’s noticed she doesn’t actually do any work) she begs him not to do it but old stone heart isn’t in the least bit persuaded. Outside he asks Bum to keep an eye on her saying ‘I’m cute, but not that cute’ before quoting J.R. (funny how J.R. seemed to have a saying for every single occurrence possible)
In her apartment Elena (double yawn!) is re-watching the sex tape of Emma and John Ross (purely for ‘justice’ purposes) she looks truly disgusted when Emma tells him to go and kiss his wife (I must admit the quality of the footage is excellent, I need to trade my video camera in for one of those hidden ones!) she gets a call, it’s her dim-witted brother Drew (he’s having trouble with his math homework) he tells her how guilty he feels about the part he played in the rig bombing in which Christopher and Pamela’s babies died (it’s a bit late for second thoughts now pal!)
He says he can’t live like this anymore and wants to turn himself in but she tells him that doing that won’t bring them back (and sadly it won’t reverse the clock on this ‘continuation’ either) and that if he returns he will just ‘re open old wounds’ (you can say that again!) Nicholas (the billionaire entrepreneur who seems to have far too much time on his hands) sees her talking on the phone and asks her what’s wrong (Drew needs to work out the area of a pyramid) she tells him that Drew wants to return to Dallas but she thinks she’s talked him out of it (of course she has) Nicholas give her a file to throw Christopher off his case.
At Ewing Global John Ross is in his office (the one full of hidden cameras) when Pamela enters and asks him how he is, he tells her seeing Sue Ellen drunk took him back to his childhood when he tried to keep her away from the bottle (I don’t remember any such thing, John Ross always seemed like he hadn’t the foggiest notion she was an alcoholic) John Ross then mentions Sheikh Sharif Ali (J.R’s supposed last business partner) who has an interest in the arctic leases (naturally) but needs to partner up with an American company to get in on them. He suggests they pay him a visit.
Elsewhere in the office Chris approaches Elena saying that Nicholas has backed John Ross’s vote for the company to go public so that he can take control of it for himself. Elena (can the character be any more pointless) throws him off by saying she’s ‘found out’ who Nicholas was before 1997 (does anyone even care) she shows Chris some badly photocopied fake documents saying that Nicholas was Javier Hernandes (Cue the ‘real’ Javier entering Dallas in season 4 also to get revenge on the Ewings due to J.R. having broken into the orphanage and swapped birth records with Nicholas and Javier so that J.R. could get a postage sized stamp parcel of land that he originally had the rights to but then Jock sold it to Digger who gave it to Cliff who sold it to….etc etc) Chris asks her how she came by the information (since his ‘extensive’ search of asking a shopkeeper about Nicholas didn’t bear much fruit he’s astounded she’s cracked the case) she tells him she phoned the state archives in Mexico (if only he’d thought of that! or thought that since Carlos Del Sol couldn’t find anything it’s unlikely she came by the info so easily) Anyway, she says he did it so that his parents wouldn’t re-enter his life looking for money. Chris tells her he thought her taking the job at Ewing Global would bring them closer together but it’s moving them further apart (maybe next time he should try a bit of romance!)
Elsewhere a truck is entering Texas with former Dallas simpleton Drew aboard. The driver stops and lets him out of his secret hiding place in the back for Drew to get into the front (surely it would have been better for him just to stay hidden all the way to Dallas)
At Ryland Towers Harris is sacking Candace and asks her for the keys to her townhouse and the dress back (fired twice in one day the poor girl)
In the sanatorium Sue Ellen gets a visit from saintly Ann who has brought her a change of clothes (grey does nothing for Sue Ellen-she needs something with fur) Ann says Bobby is doing everything he can to get her released (which means he’s probably out somewhere trying to catch another lesser prairie chicken) Sue Ellen says she sees herself in Pamela and she wishes she’d told her about Emma and John Ross before saying that ‘John Ross is his father’s son’ (though I remember for a short time it looked like it could have been Cliff Barnes)
Candace runs into Emma who offers her a job working for Ryland Transport (shouldn’t she check with Harris and Judith that there is a job going) Candace says Harris just fired her.
In Las Vegas John Ross and Pamela are introduced to the Sheikh’s son, Prince Nasir, the prince is cheesed off because apparently J.R. told the sheikh that once he was in control of Barnes Global he’d reach out about the arctic leases but the Ewings have been in control for a while and not made contact (I guess no one told him that J.R. got shot dead and they spent a good deal of time trying to sort that mess out before finding out it was Bum all along) the prince tells John Ross that not only has his father been dishonoured but J.R’s name has been dishonoured too (I actually think J.R. would be extremely proud given that all he ever did was plot to blackmail, lie and swindle his way to power any way he could) Pamela tries to blame the problems on Cliff (doesn’t the sheikh know Cliff has been in prison for months?) the prince leaves to attend a poker game (when in Rome and all that)
In an underground car park Chris is approached by Drew who says he’s come to make up for what he’s done (the only way he could really make amends would be to leave Dallas immediately and take Carmen, Elena and Nicholas with him never to be mentioned or referenced on the show again) Chris, understandably, loses his rag and hits Drew a few times while we viewers are treated to unnecessary flashbacks to last season just in case we’d forgotten why Chris is so angry (or just in case any new viewers have stumbled onto the directionless mess that is Dallas 2.0 and need it explaining) Chris drives off (of course without first calling the police)
Chris arrives at Heather’s and she helps treat his badly chafed fist. He tells her she’s giving him a second chance at having a family (except it’s someone else’s) their deep intellectual conversation wakes up Michael (aka the Village of the Damned child) so Chris plays with him (he’s such a keeper!)
'You are under my power. I want cookies NOW!'

‘You are under my power. I want cookies NOW!’

Back at Ryland Towers Harris is using his laptop (probably shopping online for either a dress or a dog costume) when Emma enters and asks why he had Candace try to seduce John Ross. She says he’s a better man than they thought because he didn’t do anything (except cheating on his wife with Emma-that John Ross has a heart of gold!) Harris then gets a manila envelope out (why are all sensitive documents in Dallas kept in envelopes or folders and then thrown around to all and sundry) he shows Emma mocked up pics (which don’t actually show anything and thus aren’t proof whatsoever) of John Ross with the underage hooker (do the CIA know about this?) he tells her that J.RIII is sleeping with her.
Over in Vegas John Ross and Pamela enter the room where the poker game is held and she tells the prince that she saw his wife admiring her earrings (the one’s Cliff gave her that were previously, supposedly, owned by Mad Kath Wentworth) the prince says they were owned by Catherine the Great (yeah Katherine the Great of Dallas!-when’s she coming back anyway) she hands them over to buy John Ross’s way into the poker game (the stakes must be bloody high!)
Back at Heather’s Chris is on the phone with Sheriff Derrick (should have phoned him earlier) he asks the sheriff to let him know when they find Drew. A sudden knock at the door is revealed to be Bo, drunk (and in the grip of Michael’s supernatural powers) he tells Heather he wants her back and then takes a swing at Chris but the clumsy tit misses and hits his head on the couch.
Back at the bore house Nicholas tells Elena he knows about the kinky vid that the P.I. sent her but Elena says she won’t be sending it to Pamela. Nicholas acts like he agrees but later calls said P.I. and asks her to resend the video to his email this time! (the crafty get!)
Back at the poker game John Ross doesn’t have enough to cover the raise so he throws J.R.’s watch into the pot (as you do when playing a game of extremely high stakes with a bunch of very wealthy Arab sheikhs) John Ross has the winning hand but instead folds and then makes amends with Sheikh Sharif.
Pamela wants to know why he threw the game away (especially when she’d put up a pair of very nice, and doubtless very valuable, earrings) he said the watch was an albatross around his neck and without it maybe now he can be his own man (fair enough but what about the earrings!)
The next day Chris goes to see Bo who thanks him for taking him home. Chris offers Bo a job but Bo throws it back in his face saying he doesn’t need charity, prompting Chris to shoot back with a few home truths as Heather pulls up.
At the sanatorium the doc is talking to Bobby and Ann. She says she wants Sue Ellen to undergo a detox program before she’ll release her. Bobby assures her SE will get all the help she needs from them (this ‘help’ includes keeping the liquor fully stocked at Southfork and making no effort whatsoever to even hide it from Sue Ellen) Sue Ellen is released into their custody and they tell her they’re taking her back to Southfork to move in with them (while I was curious how the storyline of Sue Ellen’s return to drinking would play out at first, I feel now that it’s a real waste of a great character and a fantastic actress-Sue Ellen was much more interesting, for me anyway, at the start of the series where she appeared to have exorcised her demons, put the past behind her and was strong and successful & I still can’t see the point of taking the character down this road)
Meanwhile Drew is carrying a box helpfully marked ‘Drew’s stuff’ (just in case he, or we, forget his name which I must admit is a definite possibility given how dim witted the character is and how bland the whole Ramos clan are to viewers) inside he finds the evidence of J.R. having swopped the deeds between the Ewing land that owned by Drew’s beloved ‘papi’ (groan)
At Ewing Global Chris is telling Bobby that Elena found out who Nicholas was before 1997 but it’s a dead end. Bobby says it doesn’t matter as he’s going to place a call to his pal at Goldman Sachs who can control where the shares from Ewing Global going public will end up by underwriting the IPO (whatever that all means)
Anyway, Candace gets a visit from Emma at her townhouse. Emma asks what the real reason was that Harris wanted her to seduce John Ross so Candace, helpfully, spills the beans about the convoluted dress plot and Emma asks ‘was this the dress?’ holding up a pic of the hooker wearing it.
Over at Southfork Pamela and John Ross return from their trip to find Bobby, his pal Cal (of Goldman Sachs don’t you know) and Chris (Bobby’s Siamese twin) sat at the dining room (formerly living room) table. John Ross won’t accept Cal as the underwriter until Sue Ellen comes down the stairs (looking rather wobbly, hope she hasn’t been swigging the bathroom mouthwash) showing him that neither side has the bogus ‘supermajority’ they need to take the company public. John Ross agrees Cal can underwrite the IPO (and Bobby gives him a chicken for protection) John Ross tells Sue Ellen he only had her taken away to help her but she says he only did it to help himself (she’s sharp!) Emma returns with the dress (seems she’s planning on using it herself, it would go down a storm at the Oil Baron’s Ball with all those seedy old lechers around!)
At Elena’s old place she walks in to find Drew studying the deeds (and looking for a colouring book) he asks her how she came by them. Naturally (which is an annoying trend in this episode) rather than her explain we’re treated to more pointless flashbacks showing what happened. He says their father died for nothing and she tells him that she and Joaquin are working on a plan (which is doomed to failure) to get ‘justice’ (yawn!-it’s only the 6000th time she’s said that word since the start of the season) Drew runs out saying the time for planning justice is over (and sadly the time for Dallas 2.0 may be over also if the show doesn’t make vast improvements soon)
Meanwhile John Ross gets a call from security, someone is on the ranch to see him. It’s the prince from Vegas, the sheikh has had a change of heart and will supply the capital to allow J.R.III to buy Ewing Global when it goes public. John Ross says the sheikh will be his partner, then the prince returns John Ross’s watch as the sheikh thought John Ross actually wanted it (now where are the earrings?) John Ross looks a bit gutted to have it back.
Elena is on the phone to Nicholas, telling him Drew just ran out. Nick says he will use every resource he has to find him (the problem is that he doesn’t seem to have any. For a self made ‘billionaire’ he seems to have none of the trappings of such wealth whatsoever)
John Ross and Pamela are in bed together when a message flashes up on her cell phone it’s the sex tape of John Ross and Emma lovingly sent by Nicholas (I hope she returns the favour and gets him something equally nice at Christmas)
Nicholas meets with Hunter McKay (I thought we’d see him again, however I now think my theory about Carter reappearing and Tracy coming back will never happen)
Hunter says that when Nicholas offered him the chance to take down the Ewings (isn’t there anyone in Dallas who doesn’t have an axe to grind with them) he didn’t mention anything about the Mexican gangsters-with guns no less! Nicholas takes him to the cartel (yawn, this storyline with the endless Mexican gangsters goes from bad to worse as does the fracking, now the going public, then Sue Ellen’s drinking) he tells them that the Ewing Global IPO is moving forward and that when it happens he will buy enough shares for them to take over the company so they can launder their drug money through it for years to come (with so many enemies it’s a wonder the Ewings bother getting out of bed every morning!) the cartel head says that if it doesn’t work Nicholas’s children will be harmed so naturally Nick then asks if they’ll help him find Drew (as you do when someone’s just threatened to hurt your children)

Next- ‘Where there’s smoke’

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4 Responses to Season 3 Episode 7- ‘Like a Bad Penny’

  1. Michael H. says:

    The show is in a slump if you brought back Pamela Barnes Ewing from the dead and have her hostage under Harris Ryland paid by Cliff Barnes and she escaped to Southfork to look for Christopher that would definately boost the ratings. If not Victoria Principal recast her.

    • Dan says:

      Hi Michael,

      Thanks for reading and the comment, apologies for the lateness of my reply. I was sorry when the character of Pamela turned out to have died, I thought the way they handled it was good, redeeming her somewhat, who really believed that she’d run off and leave her family anyway. Having said that, I personally (though I know others wouldn’t) would have liked to have seen Margaret Michaels return to reprise the role, or if she was unavailable another actress. I really think Dallas suffers without the Pam character. Obviously it can’t be helped, since the sad passing of Larry Hagman, that the character of JR is absent but I think to have both JR and Pam (and several other favourite original characters) missing from the new show is a recipe for disaster.

  2. ghent32 says:


    Are u no longer blogging or reviewing for the show???????

    • Dan says:

      Hi Mike,

      How goes all? Sorry I’ve been away for ages, I was taking care of some things and I let this blog fall by the way side a bit, but I’m back now and endeavouring to catch up on my reviews and other articles etc which I’m aiming to have up within the next few days. I’m still watching the show, I quite enjoyed bits of each of the latest two episodes aired so far, but disappointments also, it just seems a bit directionless to me, plus the falling viewing figures, I do hope it can survive though, I still think it has a lot of potential but personally I also think it would be better in the hands of another production team, one that really understands Dallas.

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