Recap: Bobby and Ray ride over to an area of Southfork, where a group of prospective ranch hands are gathered. Ray gives the grizzled men a once-over, grimacing at some of the older candidates, when a young boy - Luke Middens - saucily tells Bobby he'd loooove to ride his horse sometime. Bobby perks up at that, decides he'd like to bond with a spirited young boy this episode 'cause of how much he loves laying it on thick about his deep love of children, and motions at Ray to hire the young'un's father, Bo Middens.
Sue Ellen stops by the breakfast patio to announce that she's off to run errands in town. JR hobbles after her and asks her exactly how she's been spending her days lately, and pretends to be worried that she's overdoing it. Sue Ellen glares at him and tells him to stay out of her life the way she stays out of his - but he argues that he doesn't want to spoil "the pretty picture" that is their dysfunctional marriage. She snaps, "That's for the public, not for us" and climbs into her car.
Bobby gushes to Pam about how cute, adorable, and all around awesome the new ranch hand's kid is, and that he looooves the idea of a child frolicking around Southfork. Pam's like, "That's nice", then scrunches her face concernedly and spacily wanders off in the direction of her car. Bobby wonders aloud if he said anything wrong, and Miss Ellie tells him that Pam is probably just nervous about her baby 'cause of the miscarriage she suffered in Season 1.
When JR arrives at work, he discreetly fondles Kristen, who suggests they hook up at her condo later. He perks up and is all, "Can do", then asks her to please get his private investigator, Cal McBride, on the phone pronto.
Sue Ellen is in a session with her therapist, Dr. Ellby. She drones on about her dismal life, including (possibly) getting knocked up by Cliff Barnes. When Dr. Ellby points out that even though it's 1979, there are ways to establish paternity, Sue Ellen's like, "Meh.." and says she prefers to live with the uncertainty as to who fathered her spawn. She tells him she'd rather spend her energy figuring out how to be happy, gain full control over her life, and be a good mother to the son she's been so shittily neglecting from the moment she discovered she was preggers.
JR orders Cal McBride to follow Sue Ellen, then report back asap about how and with whom she's spending her leisure time.
Pam and Cliff are having one of their usual meetings-on-the-street about the usual Ewing-Barnes-feud-fueled conundrums. Pam chides her brother for being so consumed with hatred toward the Ewings and accuses him of using his OLM job to constantly stick it to them. Cliff weakly denies doing any such thing, then says there's been talk of rich donors wanting him to run for Congress...and that he's so flattered he's seriously considering launching a campaign. Pam's like, "That's nice" and tells him she hasn't yet 'fessed up to Bobby about the genetic disease situation their baby could be facing, and Cliff stares at her incredulously and is all, "Wha-a-a-a??"
Pam returns home from work and watches Bobby as he teaches Luke how to make and throw a lasso.
Bobby and Luke are enjoying a lunch break and talking about Luke's nomadic existence on account of his pa moving them from place to place in a never ending search for permanent employment. Ray gallops over and informs them that the hot weather has attracted more rattlesnakes than usual, and that one just bit Bo. Luke looks alarmed and cries, "Pa!" and he and Bobby quickly mount their horses and gallop into the remoteness of Southfork.
Bo is laying on the ground, moaning all delirious-like when Bobby, Luke, and Ray ride over. Bobby hovers over Bo and assures him he'll take good care of Luke while he's in the hospital getting his anti-venom treatments.
Sue Ellen is sashaying down the street in Dallas when she unexpectedly runs into JR and Kristin, who claim they were just entertaining clients at a business lunch and that she should have joined them. Sue Ellen glares at them skeptically and coldly retorts, "I never interfere with my husband's business" and saunters off. Once she's out of earshot, Kristin asks JR if he thinks his wife is onto them, and JR just shrugs and goes, "Do you care?" ... and when it's clear that neither of them does, they head back to the office.
Cal McBride reports to JR that Sue Ellen spent the day shopping and getting her hair done. JR looks unsatisfied with that and orders him to continue following her around.
JR returns home and finds Jock sitting on the patio, talking on the phone to the doctor who's treating Bo...and he gruffly orders him to take good care of the ranch hand and send him the hospital bill. When he finishes the call, he asks JR if he set up the trust fund for his first wife, and JR barely refrains from rolling his eyes and promises to get on that asap. He asks his daddy if he told Miss Ellie about his first wife, and Jock admits that, nope, he hasn't gotten around to that yet. A few seconds later, Miss Ellie steps outside to see how Jock is doing...and Jock assures her he's feeling fine and waxes on about how much he loves her. She, in turn, kisses his hand and tells him he's a good man and that she's always loved and trusted him. Subtle, show.
Ray tells Bobby that Bo is going to make a full recovery, but that they'll need someone to take over his workload. Luke offers to do it...and after some hemming and hawing from Bobby about how he's much too young to do the work of a grown man, he agrees to give the kid a shot and orders him to round up the stray cattle in the south end of the ranch. Luke [literally] screeches, "Ye haw!" and rushes off...and Ray stares after him with a look of dismay and tells Bobby, "I hope you know what you're doing."
Sue Ellen stares down at Baby John Ross in his crib and promises to finally be a good mother...and JR overhears her and calls it "a touching scene". He asks her again how she's been spending her days in downtown Dallas, but she refuses to say and retorts that she should be the one asking what he's been doing with Kristin. JR fibs, "Just lunch" and reminds her that she's his wife and is therefore expected to act accordingly. Sue Ellen argues that she's not his wife in any way that matters, and points out that they no longer share their lives together or give even the tiniest of rat's asses about each other. She describes their marriage as "sick, very sick", shoots him the stink-eye, and stalks out of the room. Please get a divorce.
Luke reports to Bobby that he was able to round up the stray cattle, then assures him he's A-OK with sleeping and eating at the bunk house, like the rest of the ranch hands are expected to do. Bobby nods approvingly, then offers to take him out to a movie later.
Later, Pam tells Bobby she had great time at the movies and is happy that Luke seemed to really enjoy third-wheeling it with them. Bobby says he likes the kid a lot and could totally see himself planning a father-son type picnic so they could cement their bond even tighter...then quickly promises that he'll love their baby just as much. Pam asks him if he'd be OK not having a baby, and Bobby's like, "The hell you talking about?" and tells her she's just nervous after the Season 1 miscarriage and assures her that she's going to deliver a healthy baby and that everything is going to be marvelous.
The next morning, Pam goes down to the patio for breakfast and is informed by Miss Ellie that Bobby and Luke went riding...and Pam decides that even though she's pregnant and that there's been more rattlesnakes slithering around the ranch than usual, it would be a good idea for her to go riding too.
Bobby is at the bunk house, saddling up Luke's horse when he sees Pam come riding over. A few seconds later, a rattlesnake spooks her horse...and she gets thrown from her saddle and hits the ground with a loud thud. Bobby's all, "Pammmmmm! Nooooooo!" and races over to where she's laying, unconscious.
In the next scene, Pam regains consciousness in the hospital and asks Bobby about the baby, but he just tells her not to worry about anything and go back to sleep. The doctor pulls Bobby aside and confirms that she did lose the baby, but that they could always try for another one. Bobby tears up and squeaks, "But we wanted this one sooo much", then sadly ambles off.
Cal McBride reports to JR that in between charity meetings and fashion shows, Sue Ellen has been keeping regular appointments with a therapist. He adds that Dr. Ellby has a solid reputation as a psychiatrist, but that he's also known as a ladies man who has a penchant for rich, beautiful women. JR stares contemplatively into space.
Bobby tells Luke that he's moping around 'cause he's sad about Pam losing their baby. Luke shares the sad story of how his mom died giving birth to him, and that he feels bad about causing her death.
JR returns home from work and finds Sue Ellen sunning herself by the pool. He seats himself beside her and asks her whassup with her going to a shrink, so Sue Ellen tells him that their married life is less than desirable and so she needs to get her shit together to figure out how it got so bad. JR grimly retorts, "It's probably 'cause you can't stay away from any man who stares cross-eyed at you", then chides her for wanting it all: the Ewing name, privileges, and the freedom to be a tramp. He says he's pretty sure that Dr. Ellby is only treating her 'cause he's trying to get her in the sack, and Sue Ellen asks if it bugs him more that she might sleep with him, or reveal something he'd rather keep hidden.
Pam tells Bobby there can't be anymore children for them...and when Bobby's all, "Wha-at do you mean??" she finally tells him about the genetic disease she recently learned she's a carrier of, and that she'll likely pass it onto their children. Bobby scrunches his face in misery, then looks alarmed and asks about Baby John Ross. Pam says she took him to a doctor for some tests, and that in a few months they'll know whether or not he's afflicted with the disease. She then tears up and says how sad she is that she can't give him the one thing he really really wants.
Digger and Cliff drop by the hospital to visit Pam...and afterwards, Digger moans to Cliff about how sad he is that he'll probably never have grandchildren (and apparently, any kids Bobby and Pam adopt won't count, the douchebag). Cliff boldly announces, "You have a grandson" and says he's pretty sure he was the one who knocked up Sue Ellen nine months before Baby John Ross was born. He promises Digger that if Baby John Ross doesn't die of neurofibromatosis and someone decides to finally take the bull by the horns and looks into some paternity testing that proves he's the baby daddy, he'll demand that the Ewings turn the tot over to his bio dad.
Bobby returns home that evening and tells everyone that Pam is OK, but that she's taking the miscarriage very hard.
The next morning, Luke tells Bobby that his pa is out of the hospital, and that they're moving to Montana to live and work at his uncle's farm. Bobby looks sad, but says it sounds great, and that living in Montana is a whole lot better than constantly moving from place to place.
Bobby arrives at the hospital, where Pam is packing her stuff and hanging with Cliff. When Cliff remarks on how the miscarriage was probably for the best, Bobby gets angry and snarls, "You've never loved anyone!" Cliff snaps back that he loves his son, who could be dying right now...then calls Bobby out on trying to "corner the market on self-pity".
When Pam and Bobby return home, Sue Ellen expresses her condolences about the miscarriage and assures Pam that the grief will get easier with time. A few seconds later, Bo and Luke pull into the driveway to say goodbye...and Luke promises to send Bobby a postcard. The two shake hands before Luke climbs back in to the truck...but then rethinks the inadequateness of that goodbye and jumps out of the truck, races toward Bobby, and leaps into his arms for an extended hug. As the two tear up about the end of their three day friendship, Pam stares over at them with a stricken expression on her face.
Recap: Bobby and Ray are rounding up the Southfork cattle while Miss Ellie is at the doctor's office, looking into whether or not a lump in her breast is malignant. The doctor tells her it's probably a cyst, but will do further testing to make sure...and Miss Ellie says she's been keeping this potential cancer scare a secret from Jock 'cause she doesn't want him to worry until there's something to actually worry about.
JR is on the phone, barking in annoyance at someone regarding the Southeast Asia deal he foolishly leaped into (after mortgaging Southfork) during the previous episode. Kristin wanders into his office and starts massaging his shoulders...and after he finishes the call, she cooingly invites him to share with her whatever's stressing him out. Before he can respond, another call comes through with more troubling Southeast Asia related news - just as Jock arrives. Kristin's all, "Ack!" and tells him that JR's super busy at the moment, but Jock ignores her and barges into JR's office. JR hastily finishes the call and tells him he's just been dealing with the usual OLM harassment, and Jock says he's been working too hard lately and insists he take a break so they can go to lunch together...and JR obediently replies, "Yes daddy sir."
That evening, Lucy excitedly tells Bobby that Val told her she's been in touch with Gary, and that the two might rekindle their stupid rollercoaster of a relationship. JR frowns disapprovingly and says, "Don't count on that" and reminds her that her idiot parents have broken her heart before. Bobby concurs and advises her to not get her hopes up...and, fortunately, this tedious will Val and Gary?/won't Val and Gary? subplot gets wrapped up for the time being when Miss Ellie steps into the room to announce that dinner is ready.
Jock wonders aloud why everyone's quieter at the dinner table than usual, then remarks to Miss Ellie that she's looking especially spacey. She assures him she's fine, then suggests that he and the rest of the Ewing menfolk get away for awhile - by going on a hunting trip in Louisiana, for example. Jock perks up at the idea and says he'd like to invite Ray along...and JR rolls his eyes at the prospect of having to rough it in nature in the company of Ray.
As the Ewing menfolk (plus Ray) prepare to board the Southfork helicopter, JR grumbles to Bobby that he doesn't get why Jock always has to invite Ranch Hand Ray along. Bobby just shrugs and says that Ray's practically family...and by practically, he means that eventually Ray will get outed as Jock's illegitimate son and expect to be treated as an equal.
Jock et al. arrive in a tiny Louisiana town named Landowne and quickly head over to the general store to load up on supplies. While chit-chatting with the store clerk, Jock needlessly but proudly identifies himself as Jock Ewing - as in, the dickwad patriarch behind Ewing Oil...and the clerk's all, "Wha-a-a?" as he visibly processes that fascinating nugget. When Jock et al. leave the store, the clerk immediately calls up a grizzled yokel named Tom Owens to report that Jock Ewing and his sons are in town and that they plan to hunt in some nearby woods. Tom narrows his eyes, mutely stares into space for several seconds, then growls, "I've waited thirty-two years to face this man." Yeech...sounds like another Digger who can't let go of a decades old grudge in response to whatever Jock once did to piss him off.
Jock et al. are at a local bar, drinking and gruffly cackling about something or other when Tom Owens, his fresh-faced son Dan, and another yokelly looking guy named Ben enter the bar. Tom sneeringly tells Jock that the Ewing name doesn't mean shit in these parts, and Jock just shrugs amiably and says he didn't claim it did. Tom orders him to look him in the eye, so Jock glares back and him and derisively says he has absolutely no clue who he is. After a few more seconds of hostile sniping, the two suddenly lunge at each other, and this prompts Bobby and Ray to leap into action and start punching Dan and Ben. JR remains safely seated, clutching his beer...but effectively ends the rumble when he smashes his beer mug over Dan's (or was it Ben's?) head after he comes sliding head first across the table. After a full asskicking has been administered, Jock et. al. saunter out of the bar, snickering about the big swinging dicks they each fancy themselves to be.
Miss Ellie tells Pam she's off to a routine doctor's appointment, and Pam scrunches her face concernedly and points out that she just saw her doctor for a routine appointment a day ago. She asks if anything is amiss, but Miss Ellie assures her that all is well, then heads out.
Ben suggests to Tom that they head to the woods and terrorize Jock et al. in their campsite...and Tom nods solemnly and vows that, one way or another, Jock is going to remember who in blazes he is.
Miss Ellie is in the sitting room at Southfork, worriedly reading a pamphlet about breast cancer. Pam invites her to join her in the nursery while she feeds Baby John Ross...and as the two head upstairs, they run into Sue Ellen on the staircase. When Baby John Ross starts mewling from his crib, Pam's like, "Er, that's your baby crying", and Sue Ellen shoots her the stink-eye and sassily retorts, "No shit. Good thing I hired a baby nurse...plus, there's the two of you." Pam refrains from telling her where to shove it and continues on to the nursery with Miss Ellie...and as Miss Ellie cuddles her grandson, Pam asks her again what's wrong. Miss Ellie assures her it's nothing, gives her a quick hug, and volunteers to go warm the baby's bottle.
As Jock et al. spread out to hunt in the woods, an unseen man skulks nearby, tampers with the lantern in their campsite, then opens fire on Bobby. Jock, JR, and Ray rush over to see if he was hit, then decide that the flying bullets must have been some kind of freak hunting accident. A few minutes after they return to the campsite and crack open a few beers, the lantern that had been tampered with explodes...and Ray studies the charred remains and deduces that someone punctured a hole in the bottom of it. Jock decides to ignore that second red flag and chalks it up to another freak accident...and JR stares despondently into space and says he really really wishes he were back in his Ewing Oil office.
Late that night, the skulker reappears and quietly opens the hood of the rental vehicle and tampers with the engine. Jock hears the commotion so he grabs his rifle to investigate, and the skulker opens fire and shoots Jock in the abdomen.
After the commercial break, Bobby and Ray are firing back at the gunmen (aka Tom, Dan, and Ben) while JR cowers behind a tree. When Bobby and Ray yell, "They shot Jock!", JR stupidly leaves his safe spot to check on his father and immediately gets shot in the leg. Ray's all, "Noooooo!" and races in the direction of the gunmen, but by that time Tom, Dan, and Ben have hightailed it out of there. When Ray grimly discovers that the engine of their rental vehicle has been pooched, he and Bobby decide to go on foot to Landowne and get some help while a hobbled JR stays behind to guard the campsite with his rifle.
Bobby and Ray walk through the woods, their rifles raised. They find blood on a tree and correctly assume that their return gunfire injured at least one of the shooters.
Tom tells Ben and Dan (who's clutching his bleeding arm) that Jock and JR are sitting ducks and that he wants to return to their campsite, pronto, so he can finish them off.
As JR wipes a wet cloth over Jock's face, a contrite looking Jock invokes his heart attack in the Bypass episode and says that this shooting has reinforced for him how short life is...and that he has a huge confession he'd like to get off his chest. He tells JR he was once married to a woman named Amanda Lewis who had a nervous breakdown two years after their wedding. At the time she was confined to a state mental institution, but now lives in a private hospital, courtesy of Jock's secret payments to cover all of her medical expenses. He tells JR that if he dies this episode, he wants him to set up a trust fund for Amanda so she can continue to enjoy her cushy digs. JR looks weirded out by the startling confession and half-heartedly promises his father that if he doesn't make it out of this hunting trip alive, he'll be sure to get right on that trust fund request.
Bobby and Ray arrive in Landowne and are quickly unsettled by how quiet the podunk town is. They run over to a florist who just happens to be sweeping the street in front of his shop and implore him to summon help for their wounded hunting mates, but the florist tells them he couldn't give a rat's ass about their problems and snappishly orders them to get lost. Bobby and Ray decide that their best option is to "borrow" a vehicle so they can race back to the campsite and rescue Jock and JR...and the two find a pickup truck that the owner stupidly left his keys in.
JR has nodded off when Tom et al. return to the campsite to exact their revenge on Jock's decades old dickishness. Tom snarlingly informs Jock that thirty-two years ago he tried to strong arm him into selling his land...and when he refused, Jock leaned on him so hard (?) that no one wanted to buy his crops, which subsequently drove him into bankruptcy. Tom growls, "I waited a long time to get revenge", and Jock wearily retorts, "Fine, go ahead and kill me." Tom raises his rifle, stares stonily at his target for a few seconds...but then gets a stricken look on his face and lowers his weapon while muttering, "I can't...I'm not a killer." A few seconds later, Bobby and Ray return in the stolen truck, raise their rifles in ready-to-fire positions and order Tom et al. to drop their guns. Jock assures them it's all good, and that he doesn't want to involve the law for something he's going to classify as a hunting accident [as well as a completely pointless episode]. Jock then turns his attention back to Tom and admits that, yep, he he rode roughshod over a lot of people back in the day and feels kinda bad about it now. When he mumbles something about how all men deserve to go to their graves with dignity, Tom's like, "This doesn't mean you're still not going to hell", but then peacefully skedaddles with Dan and Ben. Jock tells JR that as soon as he gets home, he's going to carefully comb over their finances and sort out the secret situation they discussed earlier...and JR does his best to mask his panic as he nods in agreement.
Jock, Bobby, JR, and Ray return to Southfork by ambulance...and when Miss Ellie sees her beloved in a wheelchair, she's all, "Wha-at happened??" Jock assures her he's fine - and that, in fact, he finds the occasional gunshot injury rather stimulating. LOL. As everyone ambles toward the house, Jock pulls JR aside and reminds him about his promise to set up the trust fund for Amanda, and JR's like, "Uh huh" and stares concernedly into space.
Recap: Kristin is enjoying an early morning frolic in the Southfork pool...and she contorts her freakish Joker-like lips into a smug grin when she notices JR standing a few feet away, brazenly ogling her taut, bikini clad bod. She gives JR a better eyeful of her curvy attributes when she flips onto her back for a leisurely backstroke, then climbs out of the pool so she can gratuitously display her entire near naked self. JR hands her a towel and tells her how positively fetching she looks in wet skimpy-wear, and Kristin tells him she loooooves spending time at Southfork 'cause it really makes her feel like part of the family...and JR assures her she is part of the family and adds that he's going to miss staring hungrily at her when she heads back to Santa Fe. Sue Ellen emerges from the house in her bathing suit, and JR sidles over to her and suggests that since he has a brief opening in his morning schedule, they could go upstairs and pound one out. Sue Ellen disinterestedly rolls her eyes at the bizarre proposal, sneers about how not subtle he is whenever the "romantic" mood strikes, then casually sashays over to the pool to listlessly lay on a lounger.
Over at Ewing Oil, JR receives the latest OLM report, aka a bitchy assessment of how Ewing Oil is not doing nearly enough to meet the new emission standards. Jordan Lee drops by to rail at JR about how annoying it is to the rest of the cartel members that the OLM keeps hassling them and says they're considering forming a new cartel (sans Ewing Oil). JR summons Bobby to his office and snarks at him to put more pressure on the Austin senators 'cause they don't seem to be moving fast enough to rein in the OLM - but Bobby says he doesn't really want to spend so much time in Austin, and reminds JR that he has a job here, plus a ranch to help run. The two bicker for a few more minutes...and after Bobby stomps out, JR pulls out a cash-filled briefcase and smiles smugly.
JR meets with Alan Beam for a secret one-on-one and asks him how the Cliff Barnes for Congress scheme is coming along. Alan tells him they're getting "nibbles" from potential fake donors, and JR snaps that nibbles are no longer enough and that he wants him to step up his efforts pronto. He shows Alan his cash-filled briefcase and cackles about how money is the best way to any politician's heart...and tells him to use this cash to seduce Cliff into believing he has a lot of donor support to help him run a congressional campaign. Once he's convinced he's a shoo-in and resigns from the OLM, the financing for his campaign will suddenly dry up.
During dinner at Southfork, Mama Shepard tells the Ewings she's totes excited about her upcoming trip to Europe with the new rich beau she was somehow able to snag. Kristin does her best to look as dispirited as possible when she tells everyone about her plans to attend architecture school in Santa Fe, and wonders aloud if she's missing something by rushing into higher education too fast. Mama Shepard's like prolly and says she'd much prefer her to focus all of her energy into getting her hooks into a marriageable rich man so she can live a pampered life of leisure, and Kristin perks up at that and says she's so eager to stay in Dallas and cruise the single scene that she'd settle for a temporary job. JR tells her there's a vacancy at Ewing Oil 'cause one of the secretaries is on an extended honeymoon trip, and Kristin excitedly says she'd loooove that...then contorts her face into a faux contrite expression and says she couldn't possibly continue living at Southfork and sponging off of the rich Ewings. JR suggests she move into one of Ewing Oil's condos (aka, a continuation of her sponging) ... and when Mama Shepard asks a grim-faced Sue Ellen what she thinks of all this, Sue Ellen just shrugs and wearily retorts, "Kristin always knows exactly what she's doing."
Later that night, Mama Shepard tells Kristin that JR is a fine man, and hopes that she too can land as rich and powerful a husband...or land this particular rich and powerful husband. She advises Kristin to keep her eyes peeled for the right opportunity...then pretends to cluck sympathetically about Sue Ellen's post-partum depression and says that, because of her constant depression, things might not end well between her and JR. Kristin slyly replies, "I'll worry about JR", and Mama Shepard nods approvingly at the icky possibility of both her daughters being nailed by the same man and says, "Whatever you do, it'll be the right thing for all of us." Kristin promises to not let her down.
JR is showing slide photos of potential drill sites in Southeast Asia to the cartel members, but they make it clear they're way too nervous about expanding their oil drilling outside the United States and decline getting in on the deal. Kristin sashays into the room, wearing a strapless top that accentuates her cleavage, and sets down a tray of snacks. The men eye her ample bosom, then cackle at JR for not falling into the trap of "all work and no play" ... and don't stop cackling even after JR pretends to look offended as he informs them that Kristin is his wife's sister.
Bobby tells Miss Ellie he's off to Austin, and that he's worried about the OLM continuing to put the screws to Ewing Oil. A few seconds later, the nurse from Pam's gynecologist office calls Southfork to confirm her appointment, and Bobby's like, "Gynecologist..?", then stares up at the sky looking happy and hopeful.
JR tells a consultant that Ewing Oil is going it alone in Asia, and that he wants to be assured his company will beat out any competing bids. The consultant hems and haws about the unethical nature of providing inside info to a bidder, then decides 'ah fuck it', and writes down his "opinion" on what the highest bid would be and advises JR to top that number by a wide margin.
JR meets with (banker) Vaughn Leland to request a ginormous loan so that Ewing Oil can drill overseas - but Leland says he's reluctant to loan him that much money, especially since it's a risky venture that doesn't include any of the other cartel members. JR reminds him that Ewing Oil has made him rich over the years and strongly urges him to reconsider, then says he's determined to head up the biggest and most independent oil company in all of prime time TV.
Cliff and Pam meet up for another of their anxiety-ridden one-on-ones on a public street. He tells her he's miffed that she's seriously considering an abortion, so she explains that she simply can't bear the thought of watching her baby get sick and die during infancy, and that she still hasn't found the right moment to tell Bobby about any of this so that he could be weighing in. Cliff just shrugs and is all, "Whatever...this is yours and Bobby's decision to make", and Pam says it would help a lot if the Ewings weren't always under so much pressure from the OLM. Cliff says he has no intention of easing up on her shitty in-laws, and that one day soon he intends to "break JR" by announcing to the world that Baby John Ross is his spawn.
JR finds Kristin hanging on the Southfork patio, and she waxes on about how much she looooves being on the ranch 'cause it has real strength, just like Ewing males...which is an odd sounding analogy, but OK. JR purrs, "And you're a lady who likes strength" - just as Sue Ellen appears from out of nowhere, glares suspiciously at the two of them, and snaps, "I didn't know anyone was out here." JR sheepishly says he was just showing Kristin the lovely view from the patio...and when Sue Ellen rolls her eyes and retreats back inside the house, JR continues to flirt with Kristin.
Pam greets Bobby after he returns from yet another hectic day in Austin. He tells her she got a call from her gynecologist's office earlier and comes right out and asks her if she's pregnant, and she confirms that she is. Bobby woots happily and lifts her for an up-in-the-air hug, then steers her over to his car 'cause he suddenly wants to whisk her to downtown Dallas for a celebratory dinner.
The next morning, Pam tells Bobby there's something she really really needs to tell him - but he says there'll be plenty of time for that after he's announced the happy baby news to the family. LOL. They head downstairs to the patio, where everyone's assembled for breakfast, and Bobby blurts out the news of his bun in Pam's oven. The Ewings squeal delightedly and jump up to hug the expectant parents, while Sue Ellen stares indifferently into space. A few minutes later, she pulls JR aside and snarkishly tells him that the family finally has what it's always wanted: a real Ewing heir. Ouch.
Bobby walks Pam to her car and asks her what she really really needed to tell him earlier, and she says it's not important, then glumly climbs into her car and stares despondently into space.
Kristin gabbles about how exciting it is that Pam's pregnant, and Sue Ellen woodenly mutters, "Yeah...real exciting." An exasperated Kristin asks her if there's anything she actually gives a rat's ass about anymore, including her not-so-subtle flirtation with JR, but Sue Ellen just shrugs and asks what it matters, since she (Kristin) just does whatever she wants, regardless of how it affects anyone else. Fair point.
While driving to work, JR tells Kristin her new condo is ready for her to move into...and when she gushes at him for being such a great brother-in-law, he asks her if brother-in-law is really the way she thinks of him, then urges her to "work on that" and come up with a more interesting idea for both of them. Subtle, JR.
When JR barks at Bobby to step up his visits to Austin to pressure the senators, Bobby says it's really not necessary for him to be taking daily trips anymore, then wonders aloud if there's some reason he's trying to get him out of the picture with all this superfluous travel.
JR shows Kristin her new condo, a horror show of hideous '70s wallpaper clashing with floral couches. She tells him she's super happy about getting her own digs and gives him a thank you kiss, then heads down the hall to the bedroom. As Kristin shoots JR a come hither stare in the mirror, he gives her a come-from-behind embrace that TV shows always like to do and starts unbuttoning her blouse. She whirls around to face him and makes it clear that she didn't give up architecture school for something as tawdry as a one night stand, and he scrunches his face unhappily and says, "I hope you're not expecting any promises." Kristin assures him she isn't - but that since she totally is expecting promises and a whole lot more, she needs more time to ponder how badly she wants to throw all sense of decency to the wind by hopping into the sack with her own sister's husband. JR looks satisfied enough with that answer and tells her to take all the time she needs.
Vaughn Leland tells JR that three banks are willing to loan him $100 million under one condition: put up Southfork as collateral. JR looks aghast and says he couldn't possibly mortgage his family's beloved home...but when Leland says that the banks are insisting on it, JR mulls it over for a few seconds and goes, "Done."
Pam is having lunch with Digger, who's doing a whole lot better now that his recast is no longer boozing all day long and burning the candle at both ends. Pam breaks the news that she's pregnant, and Digger calls it wonderful news, and reminds her that both she and Cliff survived babyhood, despite being diseased with his genetic disorder. He urges her to keep quiet about it to Bobby and just keep her fingers crossed that everything is going to turn out fine...which seems like weird fatherly advice, but OK.
Kristin enters JR's office to deliver an unsigned letter, then starts rifling through his drawers. She jimmies open a locked drawer and finds a black briefcase filled with intel about his secret Southeast Asia drilling plans and looks intrigued as she reads it over.
JR meets with Leland to go over the paperwork for the ginormous loan application. Leland warns him that if something in Asia goes wrong and causes Ewing Oil to fall behind on its payments, the bank will have no choice but to take over Southfork. JR dismissively calls that "loser talk" and declares that Ewing Oil will soon become a powerhouse in the oil industry. The two men celebrate with a drink.
As JR breaks open a bottle of champagne over in Condo Horrible, Kristin says she definitely made the right decision to pass on architecture school, 'cause there's no way it could possibly be as interesting as the oil business. She purrs about how utterly fascinating she finds everything...and by everything, she means all the secrets she just got wind of that he's obviously keeping from the rest of the family. When JR's all, "Wuh? Secrets?", she tells him she has some of the pieces to the puzzle - e.g. clandestine meetings with Vaughn Leland, maps of drilling sites in Southeast Asia, and a huge bank loan - and JR exclaims, "Why, you devious witch!" Kristin saucily retorts, "I thought you liked devious", and JR says he looooves it, then asks what she plans to do with her newly discovered intel. She promises to keep it under her hat - but, in exchange, she wants him to make lots of return visits to her condo for extramarital romps. JR looks untroubled by that arrangement, and the two stare at each hungrily before quickly getting it on.
Recap: Bobby is doing laps in the Southfork pool when Pam comes over to say good morning and explain that she left their bed in the wee hours of the morning 'cause she felt the need to canoodle with Baby John Ross in the nursery. Bobby's like, "I know" and snidely points out that the tot has a mother and a baby nurse, then gets miffed about her unexplained reversal on wanting them to have a baby of their own. Before she can reply with another non-answer, Jock and Miss Ellie emerge from the house to have breakfast on the patio. Pam wanders over and spacily says hi to her in-laws before going inside to get dressed for work.
As Pam drives through the Southfork gates to exit the property, we see that Valene is parked on the side of the road, monitoring the Ewings' comings and goings. When she spots Lucy exiting the gates in her fancy convertible, she puts her car into gear and trails behind her.
Pam calls Dr. Hollister to see if he can squeeze her in for a physical...and, as luck would have it, he happens to have an opening that morning.
Bobby grumbles to Miss Ellie about marrying into the shitty Barnes family and how confusing Pam's behavior has been lately. He asks his mother how in blazes she's managed to stay married to her gruff misogynist of a husband for so many years, and Miss Ellie smiles her idiotic serene smile and says that, like most Ewing men, Jock can be a major pill to live with, so she picks her battles carefully. Bobby suddenly looks sheepish at the realization that he too can be a difficult Ewing man and has probably been unfair to Pam about the whole baby matter...and Miss Ellie urges him to apologize before things start spiraling out of control. Bobby shoots her an affectionate smile and says the only two people in the family he ever felt comfortable talking to was her and Gary...as in Gary, the estranged brother who JR has been allowed to bully, alienate, and be forced to give up custody of his only child.
Lucy arrives at the university campus...and Val parks behind her, climbs out of her car, and cries, "Luuuuucy!" When Lucy turns around, Val smiles brightly and says, "Hello baby!" Lucy glares back at her and snidely asks her how much bribe money she took from JR during her previous Dallas appearance, then storms off in her much-too-high wedge sandals.
Dr. Hollister tells Pam she has no symptoms of neurofibromatosis, and that even if she does start to develop some, at her age it's unlikely to be fatal. She asks, "What if I have children?" and he tells her that since she carries a strain of an inherited genetic disease, there's no guarantee that her babies won't die in infancy...but also no guarantee that they won't. He's really not the cheery, optimistic sort, this doctor.
Jock and JR are in a meeting with Alan Beam and Ewing Oil's original white man lawyer, Harv Smithfield. Jock rails about how the OLM keeps interfering in the approval process for Ewing Oil's prospective drill sites, and a weary looking Harv tells him they can't do much to stop Cliff Barnes 'cause the courts all agree he's not overstepping his OLM boundaries. Alan reminds everyone that Cliff ran for public office before taking a job at the OLM, but Jock says he doesn't find this talk helpful 'cause he's pretty sure it's common knowledge that no one in Texas would ever vote for a dickwad like Cliff.
When Lucy returns to her car, Val approaches her with her sad face on. She denies taking any of JR's bribe money, but Lucy just shrugs and says it really doesn't matter, considering she's been abandoned at Southfork since babyhood. Val says she figured it wouldn't be so bad for her to continue to live there 'cause she was raised there, but Lucy tells her she's never felt truly loved by the Ewings, and therefore doesn't feel as though she belongs anywhere. Val moves in for a hug, but Lucy slaps her away and tells her to get lost.
Sue Ellen looms over Baby John Ross as he yowls in his crib. When the baby nurse ambles over and asks Sue Ellen if she'd like to change his diaper, she haughtily snaps, "That's what I'm paying you for."
Val calls Bobby at Ewing Oil to inform him that she's skulked into Dallas on the down-low and could use his help on something Lucy-related. She gives him a time/place and he promises to meet up with her tomorrow.
When Pam returns home, Miss Ellie tells her she got a message from a Mr. Hollister. Pam rushes upstairs to return the doctor's call, and is stunned when he tells her that her blood tests revealed that she's pregnant.
That evening, Bobby tells Pam that Val's in town and invites her to come along with him to their secret meeting, but Pam declines and says she'll be tied up all day. He apologizes for being a rude turd to her earlier and says he'll do his best to refrain from pressuring her about having a baby. Pam scrunches her face mournfully and says she'd love nothing more than for the two of them to produce another Ewing spawn...and when she doesn't elaborate further, Bobby says that whatever she's not telling him is all going to come out in the end anyway, and she retorts by squeaking, "I know."
JR chides Sue Ellen for continuing to lounge around in a bathrobe and do fuck all, and she snaps back that she doesn't give a damn what he thinks of her laziness. He asks her why she continues to live at Southfork and stay married to him if she's so miserable, and she cackles evilly and says she gets enormous delight out of his uncertainty about Baby John Ross's paternity, especially when unwitting family members remark on how much the baby resembles his father. JR retorts by slamming his glass of booze in front of her and urges her to feel free to start drinking again, 'cause he found her to be far less bitchy whenever she was stumbling around the house, blitzed out of her mind. Could someone please tell these two to get divorced immediately??
Over at Ewing Oil, Alan Beam tells JR that, according to OLM bylaws, the head of the agency must resign his position once he officially embarks on a campaign to run for public office. JR looks intrigued by this angle and orders Alan to scout around for some fake political donors who can get the ball rolling. Alan warns him about the possibility of Cliff getting elected, but JR says that once Cliff has resigned from the OLM, he'll ensure that the campaign donations suddenly dry up. As he chuckles devilishly, Alan winces and remarks, "I'd sure hate to be on your bad side" and JR's like, "Damn straight" and warns him to never forget what a vengeful assbag he can be to his perceived enemies.
Dr. Hollister confirms to Pam that, yep, she is indeed pregnant...but that he still has no way of knowing if her baby can survive whatever strain of neurofibromatosis he/she will be born with. Pam says she's so distressed about the strong possibility of her baby dying in infancy and would prefer to not burden Bobby with this kind of pain and uncertainty, so Dr. Hollister urges her to find someone (other than him) she can bellyache and moan about this to.
Pam meets up with Cliff downtown and tells him she's pregnant, and he's like,"OMG!" and advises her to tell Bobby about her dilemma. She says she can't possibly share this news with Bobby, 'cause then the cat will be out of the bag about Baby John Ross possibly having a genetic disease that could kill him at any moment...even though it's probably something JR and Sue Ellen have every right to be informed about, asap.
Bobby meets up with Val in a public place, and she tells him she saw Lucy earlier, but that the spiteful little troll made it clear she doesn't want anything to do with her. She adds that she's also been in touch with Gary, who put a temporary halt to his boozing and has gotten himself a job somewhere on the west coast. She thinks there's a strong possibility that she and Gary could hook up again and would like to share this good news with Lucy - but Bobby advises against getting Lucy's hopes up...'cause, considering the rollercoaster nature of hers/Gary's shitty relationship, it's more than likely they'll break up again. Val says she doesn't want to do anything to hurt Lucy, but would really like it if they could at least be friends. Bobby promises to help with that effort and agrees to meet her at her motel...and she asks him to keep all this on the down-low 'cause she'd rather that JR didn't get wind of her superfluous guest appearance on Dallas.
Bobby drives Val over to the university's practice field, where Lucy is rehearsing a cheerleading routine with her teammates. Bobby wanders over and tells Lucy that Val is in his car and would love to chat with her, but Lucy makes a meh face and says she's not interested. The camera then pans up to the spectators in the bleachers, and we see that JR dropped by to observe Lucy's cheerleading practice - 'cause, yeah, that really seems in character for him - and is staring over at Val and Bobby through a pair of binoculars.
Pam joins Miss Ellie in the sitting room for a brief heart-to-heart. She asks the old gal what she thinks her life would have been like if she'd never had children, and Miss Ellie says it certainly would have been different, though not worse, to live without "the byproducts of our love for each other". She says that she and Jock loved each other, regardless of the existence of their children [or his gruffly misogynist disposition], and would have had a great childless life together. Pam says she's not so sure she could say that same about her and Bobby, then says she knows how important children are to him and has grave doubts that a childless marriage could survive.
Jock gruffly tells JR he doesn't like the idea of Cliff Barnes getting elected to Congress and would prefer to tackle the issue by sending Bobby to Austin so he can "help maneuver things", whatever the hell that means. Bobby says he's not thrilled about the idea, but will do it...though not tomorrow 'cause he'll be too busy bridging the divide between Lucy and Val.
Bobby implores Lucy to meet with Val and hear her out...and after a tiny bit of hemming and hawing, she agrees to go with him to Val's motel.
Val is all, "Ack!" when JR shows up at her motel and says as soon as he found out she was in town, he sent a team of his flunkies to check out every cheap motel in Dallas to find out where she was staying. He accuses her and his drunk of a brother of wanting a piece of the Ewing pie, and orders her to leave town by nightfall - but Val gets all in his face and refuses, threatens to call the police, and insists on staying in Dallas so she can make amends with her daughter. As she wails, "'Cause I have nuthin' to lose!", Bobby and Lucy suddenly appear in the doorway of her room - and Lucy shoots JR the stink-eye, then gushes at her mom for finally having the stones to stand up to the ogre. As Bobby forcibly steers a red-faced JR out of the motel room, Val admits to Lucy that despite abandoning her at Southfork her entire life, she's always loved her and would like it if they could be on speaking terms again. Lucy agrees, coos, "I love you, Mama", and the two hug.
Recap: JR and Sue Ellen are at the Dallas airport to pick up Mama Shepard and Kristin, who's now being played by the sultry Mary Crosby and her freakish Joker lips. By scripted coincidence, Cliff is also at the airport to pick up Digger, who too has been recast and is now played by a less boozy looking actor who sports a fuzzy white beard. Mama Shepard greets JR warmly, wanks him about being so awesome and rich, then says she can only hope that Kristin will do half as well in the husband department.
Pam is in the grisly looking nursery cooing at Baby John Ross when Bobby enters the room to kiss her good morning. Pam assures him that she'd be just as besotted with the tot if she didn't assume he was Cliff's spawn, then tells him how dismayed she is by the low level of interest Sue Ellen seems to have in her newborn. Bobby breezily says she'll come around eventually and reminds Pam that the child isn't her responsibility - just as Miss Ellie enters the room and says how super it would be for the Ewing family if they too produced a baby.
Lucy is hanging at the stables with Ray, grumbling that Kristin Shepard is nothing but trouble. Ray just shrugs and says he thinks she's pretty harmless, and Lucy rolls her eyes and says it's sad that men can't seem to see her for the opportunistic tart she is. A few seconds later, JR and Sue Ellen arrive at Southfork with Mama Shepard and Kristin, and they're greeted by Jock and Miss Ellie. Mama Shepard peeks into Baby John Ross's baby carriage, gushes over his cuteness, and picks him up for a grandmotherly cuddle. She asks Sue Ellen if she'd like to hold her son, but Sue Ellen just makes an ew face and says she's going inside to lay down. Mama Shepard remarks on the strong resemblance that Baby John Ross bears to his father, and JR grins back at her with a weirdly delighted expression on his face.
Cliff brags to Digger about how much power he has in his Office of Land Management (OLM) job, then hands him a royalty check, courtesy of the oil profits from when he invested in Wally Kessel's oil rich property that he eventually leased to Ewing Oil. Cliff cackles about how he's squeezing Ewing Oil by having a say in where they're allowed to drill for oil and says his mission in life is to bankrupt the company. Digger tut tuts him for being so vengeful and says he simply wants Jock to get a modest comeuppance for swindling him and stealing his girl more than forty years ago, which...get over it, dude, it happened over forty years ago.
JR complains to Jock and Bobby that Cliff and his OLM flunkies have enlisted a team of experts to poke around the Ewing oil wells in an effort to shut them down. JR says they need to figure out what Cliff's weakness is so that they can put a stop to his anti-Ewing plotting, then says he recently heard some gossip that might be helpful in that capacity: Cliff has been secretly on the take from special interest groups. Egads!
Cliff brings Digger to his apartment, and Digger suddenly gets faint and nearly collapses. Cliff rushes over and helps him into his bedroom so he can lay down and recombobulate himself.
Pam meets up with Bobby downtown and tells him that ever since Sue Ellen gave birth, she's been consumed with thoughts of babymaking...and thinks she'd be fine giving up her department store career to become an unemployed lady of leisure - I mean a full time Southfork wife and mother.
Cliff tells Digger he's going to arrange for him to see a doctor...and when Pam arrives at Cliff's apartment, she feels Digger's forehead and says he has a fever. Cliff pulls Pam aside and tells her he's dying to tell Digger that he may have a grandson, and isn't sure how much longer he's going to be able to keep his mouth shut about that scandalous secret.
Sue Ellen tells Kristin that her stay in the clinic-mansion in Season 2 was wonderful 'cause of all the great medical care and tasty food she was served. When Kristin starts bellyaching about how hard it is to find a rich, marriageable man, Sue Ellen advises her to stop "being on the prowl" and passively wait around until the right man finds her. With that said, she urges Kristin to enjoy her singlehood as much as possible - but Kristin says she'd much prefer the perks of having a wealthy, powerful husband. She then cautions Sue Ellen about her post-partum moodiness, and warns that if she continues to miss those wretched looking Ewing family dinners, someone else will be more than happy to occupy her chair...and by someone else, she means herself.
After examining Digger, Dr. Hollister urges him to drink a bit less 'cause his liver is mildly pooched, then breaks the news to the entire Barnes clan that Digger is afflicted with neurofibromatosis. He explains to Pam and Cliff that it's a genetic disorder that a parent unwittingly passes along to their children - meaning that the two of them are both carriers of the disease - and that it can be life threatening for an infant. Cliff's like, "Ack!" and looks alarmed that the genetic disorder might have a deadly effect on his and Sue Ellen's love spawn.
Miss Ellie and Mama Shepard are gushing over Baby John Ross, relieved about how healthy he seems after his harrowing fetal alcohol syndrome start in life. Mama Shepard wanks Miss Ellie about how delighted she is that the tot will get to grow up on the Ewing's luxurious ranch, then get rich working alongside his father at the family's oil company.
Cliff tells Pam he wants to warn Sue Ellen about their love spawn being diseased with neurofibromatosis, but Pam says that given how fragile she is, the shocking news could send her into an alcohol-fueled tailspin. She offers to take Baby John Ross to the pediatrician herself and then will find a way to secretly get him tested for the disease.
Later, Pam is in the nursery staring worriedly at Baby John Ross...and when Bobby enters the room, he assumes that all of her worried staring is due to Digger's health issues.
The next morning, JR openly ogles Pam as she lounges by the pool in her swimsuit...and when Bobby sneaks up behind him and is all WTF?, he tells his brother he was just thinking how lovely Sue Ellen would look in a similar suit. Gross, JR.
JR goes upstairs to admonish Sue Ellen for not showing even the tiniest interest in their baby, then comes right out and asks her if she cares about him at all. Sue Ellen says she considers the baby her punishment [for binge-drinking and extramaritally doinking Cliff], and that he's a constant reminder that she was used by two cruel men. JR reminds her that, despite his cuckolding at the hands of Cliff Barnes, he's accepted the baby as his own - but Sue Ellen just mocks him for being too generous with his affections, then says she's off to meet up with her mom and sister for lunch at a swanky downtown restaurant.
Pam calls Cliff to tell him that the doctor assured her that the baby is fine...but to be extra sure, she's going to take him to Forth Worth to get him tested for neurofibromatosis. She sourly adds that Sue Ellen is abandoning her son to go lunch with her mom and sister at a swanky downtown restaurant...and after the call, Cliff orders his secretary to make a lunch reservation at the swanky downtown restaurant so that he can pretend to accidentally bump into her.
Pam arrives at the doctor's office in Forth Worth, passes off Baby John Ross as her child, and tells the doctor that she's a carrier of neurofibromatosis and wants some testing done to see if he has any symptoms of the disease.
At the swanky downtown restaurant, Cliff "bumps into" Sue Ellen and is introduced to her mom and sister. He invites them to join him at his table, but Sue Ellen coldly declines and says she wants to catch up with her family in private.
JR meets up with Alan Beam at an out-of-the-way burger joint to tell him he wants him to go undercover and discreetly poke around Cliff's personal bidness. Alan says he's done some preliminary research and is pretty sure that Cliff's motivation to torment the Ewings is out of a need for power...as well as the writers' insistence on keeping the tedious Barnes-Ewing feud alive indefinitely. JR hands him some cash and says he'd like to introduce him to his daddy.
Doctor #2 tells Pam that Baby John Ross shows no symptoms of neurofibromatosis, then suggests that Pam undergo a complete physical to see what effects the disease is currently having on her body. She says that while adults rarely suffer fatal effects from neurofibromatosis, babies often develop cancerous tumors and don't survive...then advises a freaked out looking Pam to bring the baby in for frequent checkups.
Pam meets up with Cliff and tells him she has no idea how she's going to break the news to Bobby about her inability to have a child without passing her diseased genes onto the tot.
Digger apologizes to Cliff for unwittingly giving him his disease, then says it's a damn good thing he never had any kids prior to learning he was a carrier. Oops.
Over drinks at Southfork, Miss Ellie tells Sue Ellen that Pam took the baby to the pediatrician and got a clean bill of health, and Sue Ellen's like, "Whatever, I really don't give a shit." Kristin tells everyone they ran into Cliff Barnes at lunchtime...and JR looks irked and asks her if they lunched with them, and she confusedly retorts, "Why would we do that?", then stares into space with her face scrunched all intrigued-like. Miss Ellie interrupts the conversation to announce that they're going to have to hustle if they want to make it to the theater on time.
JR and Sue Ellen return home early from the theater after Sue Ellen pleads one of her dizzy spells...and JR accuses her of once again faking illness. As Kristin eavesdrops, JR rails about Cliff...and Sue Ellen chuckles at his jealous tone, denies that she's carrying a torch for Cliff, and snaps at him to stop pretending in front of her family that he's a model husband.
After Sue Ellen storms upstairs, Kristin slinks over to JR and asks him if everything is OK...and he assures her that everything's fine and that he's going out for a drive. Kristin purrs about how nice it would be to go along with him, and the two stare hungrily at each other.
Sue Ellen finds a bottle of booze from her former stash, but doesn't allow herself to fall off the wagon 'cause the writers fully fished that lake dry in Season 2.
The rest of the Ewings return from the theater. Bobby asks Pam why she's been so sullen all evening, so she tells him she can't have a baby after all. He irritably snaps, "Why not?!" and assumes it's 'cause she's worried about losing her identity as a department store employee...and instead of explaining the neurofibromatosis situation she just learned about, she yells, "Be reasonable!" and storms up to the grisly nursery, where she cuddles Baby John Ross and stares mournfully into space.
Recap: The Dallas police are questioning the hospital staff about the missing Ewing baby...and they're also asking Sue Ellen about anything she might know about that could help them piece together what might have happened to the premature tot. Sue Ellen stares mournfully into space and murmurs, "It's all my fault...I've done terrible things..." and the cop kind of perks up at the quasi-confession and asks her to please elaborate. JR appears in the doorway and cuts the interrogation short, then barks at the cop for going down "the wrong path" with his spacey wife. He explains that she [rightly] blames herself for boozing it up throughout her pregnancy, which led to the alcohol-fueled car accident, which then caused the fetal alcohol syndrome baby to be born prematurely. JR insists that neither he nor his wife knows anything about the abduction and should be allowed to go home, and the cop mulls that over and agrees to release them from questioning. He tells JR he'll probably get a ransom call soon, then says he'll arrange for the Southfork phone to be tapped. He sternly warns JR to follow the proper procedures and not try resolving the matter by going around law enforcement...the way he did when Bobby was kidnapped by those weird yokels last season.
Jock is in a remote area of Southfork treating sick cows when a rancher drives over in a pickup truck and tells him that Miss Ellie needs him at the house asap.
Miss Ellie is weeping in the fugly nursery when Jock enters the room and asks whassup. She wails, "It's the baby! He's been kidnapped!" and Jock scrunches his grizzled face confusedly and is all, "Wha-a-a?"
Lucy and Bobby arrive at Southfork after being summoned by Miss Ellie and race into the house to see what's going on. When Miss Ellie tells them about the baby's kidnapping, Bobby looks alarmed and says he's going to head back into town to fetch Pam and bring her to the safety of the Southfork ranch. JR, meanwhile, returns with a dazed looking Sue Ellen and explains to everyone that the doctor gave her a sedative so she can wander around the house in an even more zombie-like state than she was doing in Part 1. He also introduces Detective Rollins, who's been assigned to put a tap on the phone in case the kidnapper calls with a ransom demand.
Pam is ambling downtown when she passes a street vendor who happens to have his radio tuned to a local news station, which just happens to be reporting on the missing Ewing baby, John Ross III. She gasps in horror, then runs into Bobby in front of the department store where she works. He asks her if she's seen Cliff today, and she tells him she hasn't, nor has his secretary. From that Bobby deduces that Cliff must be the kidnapper, then starts railing about how much the man hates the Ewings. Pam argues that her brother would never do a horrible thing like kidnap a baby, and Bobby's like, "Would, did" and storms off...forgetting that his sole reason for coming into the city was to ferry Pam back to Southfork for safekeeping. Pam heads over to the nearest pay phone and leaves a message for Cliff to call her asap.
The Ewings are camped out in the living room, snacking on delicious sandwiches and waiting for a ransom call. A grey haired woman named Mrs. Reeves arrives at Southfork and says she's the baby nurse...and Miss Ellie's like, "Shit! I totally forgot I hired her!" She explains to Mrs. Reeves that the baby she was supposed to be caring for just got kidnapped, but figures 'ah what the hell, the kid'll turn up eventually' and shows the nurse to her new live-in digs. LOL.
Pam convinces Cliff's landlord to let her into his apartment so she can wait for him and/or search for any clues as to where he might have gone.
JR decides he can't sit around Southfork any longer, waiting for a ransom call, and announces that he's heading back to the office. He goes upstairs to fetch his handgun, and gently coos at Sue Ellen to continue laying uselessly in bed while the rest of the family sorts out The Missing Baby Situation.
When the phone rings, Jock answers, scrunches his grizzled face confusedly, and barks, "Now wait a minute! Hello? Hello?" He then explains to Detective Rollins that the woman on the other end claimed she stole the baby, is sorry, and will deliver him near the flagpole at City Hall. Detective Rollins' is like, "We're on it!" and rushes out of the house with Jock...and also Ray, who doesn't look as though he's been given anything better to do this episode.
Jeb Ames calls JR and tells him he requires a favor in exchange for the safe return of his son...and by favor, he means a briefcase filled with a million dollars cash.
Jock arrives at City Hall and walks over to the flagpole to wait for the baby delivery.
Sue Ellen wakes up, stumbles over to the nursery, and natters about how neither Cliff nor JR is ever going to hurt her again. She declares, "No one will hurt me anymore", then stares down at the empty crib and snidely adds, "Not even you" and stumbles out of the room.
Miss Ellie phones JR and tells him about the fool's errand Jock went on at City Hall, and JR sourly declares it a hoax. Sue Ellen, meanwhile, stumbles into the living room and sinks herself into the nearest sofa chair. A few seconds later, Mrs. Reeves bounds in, a little too cheerily considering the circumstances she's suddenly found herself in, and pours fresh coffee for everyone.
JR calls his money man, Vaughn Leland, and says he needs a million dollars cash neatly stacked into a briefcase, and asks him to please keep quiet about it.
Bobby storms off half-cocked to Cliff's workplace and barges into his office. Cliff's secretary yells at him to get the hell out as he rummages through the papers on Cliff's desk and checks the appointment calendar. He screeches, "He has no appointments today!" then storms out of the building and squeals off in his car. What an addled fucktard he is this episode.
Cliff arrives in his apartment and is pleasantly surprised to see Pam waiting for him. He says he heard the news about the Ewing baby kidnapping on his way home from Austin...and when Pam asks him if he had anything to do with it, he looks miffed that she'd even ask him such a thing. She warns him that Bobby assumes he's the culprit and is storming around Dallas like a mental patient off his meds, and Cliff rolls his eyes and says he's really not scared of her stupid nitwit of a husband.
Jock is still standing next to the flagpole at City Hall and is staring to look peeved.
Bobby storms over to Cliff's apartment, snaps, "You've gone too far!", then berates Pam for always defending her brother. Cliff calmly tells him he had nothing to do with the kidnapping, has a rock solid alibi 'cause he was in Austin all day, and urges Bobby to chill the fuck out so the three of them can put their heads together and figure out who the actual kidnapper is.
Detective Rollins declares Mission Flagpole a hoax, and suggests to Jock and Ray that they return to Southfork and haplessly sit by the phone some more.
JR collects a briefcase containing one million dollars from Vaughn Leland and thanks him for helping him save his son's life. Vaughn tut tuts him for not involving the FBI in the ransom demand, but JR's like, "Meh" and promises to pay him the money back asap.
JR returns to his office with the cash filled briefcase - just as Jeb Ames calls to inform him that he'll be dropping by soon. He warns JR not to try anything - 'cause while they're meeting, Willie Joe will be with the baby, looming over him with a tiny hangman's noose. When he hangs up, Jeb cackles and tells Willie Joe that JR fell for it, then adds, "It's a stroke of luck that someone snatched that kid" and laugh about how they're about to get a lot of money without even having to commit a crime. Except extortion, which in this case is a first degree felony.
Pam suddenly remembers a dark haired woman she saw staring into the NICU window during the previous episode and wonders if maybe she saw something that could help them find the kidnapper. She rushes over to the nurse to get her to help explore that theory further.
Back at the ranch, a strangely perky Mrs. Reeves tries to buoy Sue Ellen's dazed spirits by telling her not to give up hope about her missing spawn, and that she should believe everything's going to be A-OK by the time this two-parter concludes.
Pam arrives at the home of Priscilla Duncan, while Bobby and Cliff hang back on the sidewalk. Priscilla invites her in and tells Pam she heard all about the kidnapping on the news, then doubts that she can be of any real help. Pam fishes a business card out of her purse and asks her to call her if she remembers anything...but just as she's about to exit the house, she hears the sound of a baby crying. Priscilla perks up and says, "That's my baby!" and goes into the next room to retrieve him, and Pam sticks her head out the door and summons Bobby and Cliff over and reminds them that the nurse had told them that Priscilla Duncan's premature baby had died in the hospital. Priscilla, meanwhile, emerges from the other room with the baby in her arms, and Bobby and Cliff notice that he's still wearing the hospital bracelet with the name Ewing. Bobby gently tells Priscilla that they saw her hospital records and therefore know for a fact that this child this couldn't possibly be her baby - but she insists he is, backs away, and wails, "Pleeeeease don't take him away!" Pam promises they won't, and will wait patiently until she's ready to hand him over. OMFG, just call 911, Pam.
Jeb Ames arrives at JR's office to collect his ransom money. JR snaps, "Where's my boy?" and Jeb says that once he leaves the building with the cash, Willie Joe will call him and let him know how to find his baby...'cause, yep, that sounds totally trustworthy, LOL. When the phone happens to ring at that moment, Jeb tells JR he'll let him mull over the ridiculous terms of the money-baby exchange while he fixes himself a drink. The phone call is from Bobby, informing JR that, long story short, they found his baby at some deranged woman's house and are bringing him to the ranch now. JR hangs up the phone, smashes the glass out of Jeb's hand, and pulls out his gun and snarks, "Are you trying to make a fool of me?" Well, d'yuh. He orders him to get the hell out of his office - and Jeb agrees to leave, but warns that he and Willie Joe aren't done harassing him for all the fallout from the Tina Louise killing.
Cliff, Bobby, and Pam stand around Priscilla's apartment and quietly dish about how messed up Priscilla is after being dumped by her husband, then suffering the loss of her baby. Cliff remarks that she should probably look into getting herself some psychiatric care now that she's committed a serious crime that should probably have involved police intervention by now. Priscilla enters the room, still holding the baby, and announces that she's finally ready to hand him over to his bio mom...and everyone's like, "Fantastic!" as they exit the apartment together.
Pam and Bobby drive Priscilla to Southfork (!), usher her into the house - past Detective Rollins no less, LOL - and position her in front of where Sue Ellen is sitting so she can apologize for "the terrible thing" she did after her baby died. She says she didn't want to believe her preemie was gone, and somehow convinced herself that John Ross III was her baby. Sue Ellen just stares back at her with glazed over eyes.
With the eyes of the entire Ewing family upon her, Sue Ellen takes the baby from Priscilla, then looks visibly irked when JR puts his arm around her and smiles as if there's nothing at all weird about his wife's lackluster response to a kidnapper being escorted into his home to return their newborn son without any police-related repercussions that we are made aware of.
Crawl away, John Ross III! Crawl fast and far.
Recap: Sue Ellen is in the maternity ward of Dallas Memorial Hospital, staring spacily at her baby through the NICU window while, down the hall, the doctor is assuring JR that somehow his fetal alcohol syndrome baby is doing so well that he'll be ready to go home in a couple of days. As JR ambles toward the NICU window, he notices someone reading a newspaper featuring a story on how Jeb Ames and Willie Joe Garr were somehow granted early parole for the murder of Tina Louise in Season 2. JR chews on that disturbing nugget for a few seconds, then goes over to where Sue Ellen is standing and tells her not to worry 'cause the baby is healthy enough to be released in a couple of days. Sue Ellen shoots him the stink eye, says, "I'm not worried about anything", then stares vacantly into space as she sashays down the hall toward her room. The two pass Cliff, who's hiding in a nearby corridor...and when the coast is clear, he sneaks over to the NICU window to get a glimpse of the baby he's convinced himself is his and Sue Ellen's love spawn.
Jock, Bobby, Ray, and a small team of ranchers are herding cattle somewhere on the Southfork ranch and expressing concern about several of the cows having screwworm. Jock growls that they'll have to deal with it quick or they'll have an epidemic on their hands...and he and Bobby agree that in the next day or so they're going to have to check every cow to assess how much of the herd is diseased. A few seconds later, JR and Sue Ellen drive over on the nearby gravel road...and the menfolk wave hello while Bobby bellows, "Hellooooo Sue Ellen! Welcome home!" LOL. When she responds by sitting stonily silent in the passenger seat, JR urges her to smile, wave, or do something to acknowledge the greeting. She spacily holds up her hand, palm faced outward, and decides that that qualifies as a return hello...and Bobby is aghast at how miserable and zombie-like Sue Ellen looks.
Pam is out for a drink with Cliff, imploring him to keep his distance from Sue Ellen 'cause she's an emotional tinderbox who's likely to self-destruct at even the slightest provocation. Cliff insists he looooves both her and the baby and wants them to become a family of three - but Pam argues that, even considering her loveless marriage to JR, Sue Ellen is better off living a life of pampered luxury at Southfork with an army of servants to help raise her child. Cliff's like, "Noooooo!" and says his mind is made up about the contrived re-stirring up of his feelings for Sue Ellen.
Lucy and two of her girlfriends are lounging by the pool at Southfork, cackling about cute college boys. Lucy sees JR and Sue Ellen pull up into the driveway and bounds over to say hey and ask how the baby's doing. She tries to give Sue Ellen a welcome back hug, but Sue Ellen fends off any kind of affection by standing frozen still and shooting her a stony glare. Yeesh.
Sue Ellen and JR retreat to their bedroom, and JR gives her a quick shoulder rub from behind and says he's glad she's home. He promises to somehow make up for his shitty track record as a philandering douchebag husband - but she's just like, "Whatever" and says she's going to take a nap before dinner.
Jeb Ames and Willie Joe Garr show up at Ewing Oil to snidely congratulate JR on the birth of his baby, and the two secretaries are all, "Ew" and inform them that neither JR nor Bobby is in the office today. The yokels ask the secretaries to pass along their good wishes...and as soon as they leave and are out of earshot, the secretaries agree that the two men give them the creeps [especially the one with the ugly dark toupee, I'm assuming] and can't figure how in blazes they got released on parole.
Miss Ellie tells JR she thinks that Sue Ellen is looking pale, but JR assures her that his wife is in perfect health and that she just needs to rest.
Jock and Bobby return from cattle herding and inform JR about the screwworm dilemma, but add that they plan to inspect the entire herd and get the disease under control. Fantastic.
Pam runs into Sue Ellen near the main staircase and gushes about how happy she is that she's home...and Sue Ellen gives her a side-wise glare, coldly says, "Thank you", and stalks off. A bewildered Pam goes upstairs to dish to Bobby about Sue Ellen's moodiness and how impossible she is to talk to - but Bobby just shrugs and says she'll come around eventually.
Sue Ellen stumbles into the nursery, which Miss Ellie was somehow given the green light to decorate with fugly loud wallpaper, scary looking stuffed rabbits, and a music box that emits creepy sounding tinkly noises. Bobby pokes his head into the room and asks Sue Ellen how she's feeling, and she says she's fine and remarks on how Miss Ellie really outdid herself in making the nursery look more hideous than any nursery in the history of TV show nurseries, OMFG. Bobby assures her that the family cares about her and not just the baby, and gently chides her for pushing people away. He then promises not to blab what she told him in the Season 2 finale about Cliff being her baby daddy, and she shoots him one of her stony glares and says, "I don't know what you're talking about", deliberately drops the music box and watches it smash to pieces on the floor, then stalks out. Yeesh.
Bobby and Ray come upon a sick cow somewhere on the ranch, and Bobby contorts his default bland expression into an expression of sadness as he aims his rifle and puts the poor animal out of its misery.
JR suggests to Sue Ellen that they have lunch in their favorite Greek restaurant after visiting the baby, but Sue Ellen snarks that she has no desire to visit the baby...and that she's going to invoke her doctor's casual recommendation that she get enough rest in as much of the episode as possible. JR scrunches his face in frustration and heads off to work.
Downstairs at the breakfast table, Pam, Lucy, and Miss Ellie are chatting about the screwwormed cattle and how hopeful they are that the menfolk will be able to nip the problem in the bud. When JR comes downstairs to grab a quick bite, Miss Ellie offers to treat him and Sue Ellen to lunch when they go into town to visit the baby - but JR tells her that Sue Ellen won't be going into Dallas today 'cause of all the resting she's telling everyone she needs. The women exchange knowing glances...and once JR's out of earshot, Pam points out that new mothers really do need rest. Though probably not 24/7 ... in a house where it looks as though the Hispanic maidservant does the lion's share of the cooking and cleaning.
Cliff is at the Office of Land Management, studying a map of Texas and barking at one of his flunkies about how badly he wants to mess with Ewing Oil's ability to drill on their leased sites. The flunky warns him to back off and not get into an "abuse of power" situation with such a powerful family, and Cliff pretends to look contrite and be in full agreement. When the flunky leaves, Cliff calls the hospital to get an update on his alleged spawn.
The Ewing Oil secretaries inform JR that Jeb Ames and Willie Joe Garr dropped by and weirded them out with their general scariness, and JR does not look thrilled at the thought of associating with those weird yokels ever again. He heads into his office, where the company lawyer is eager to introduce him to Alan Beam, a young hotshot and expert in environmental law. Alan hands JR a thick folder and proudly calls it a "game plan" to combat everything that Cliff could possibly to do mess with Ewing Oil's lease sites...and JR glances through it and says he's very impressed.
Over at the hospital, Pam asks the nurse if she can give Baby Ewing his bottle, then explains that his mother is an unstable train wreck who can't be bothered to get herself chauffeured into Dallas to visit her newborn son.
Back at the ranch, JR tells Jock and Bobby what a bright guy Alan Beam is, and that he might be very helpful in putting a stop to Cliff Barnes's harassment as the Office of Land Management overlord...and Bobby pretends it's not awkward that the writers are determined to keep perpetuating the tedious Barnes-Ewing feud into a third season. As that's happening, Pam and Lucy return from the hospital, gabbling excitedly about seeing the baby. Lucy politely asks Sue Ellen, who's lounging by the pool reading a magazine, if she wants a drink, and Sue Ellen curtly replies, "Club soda." JR gets in on that action and carries the drink over to where she's sitting and gently tells her he'd really like it if she made an effort to show some interest in things - like their newborn baby, for example - then applauds her for successfully licking her booze habit and staying on the wagon ever since giving birth. Sue Ellen snaps, "My drinking was never a problem" - haha! - and JR decides to let that whopper of a lie slide as he reaches into his pocket and pulls out a small jewelry box. He tells her it's a maternity ring - but Sue Ellen shoots him a cold glare, snaps, "I'm no longer for sale", and storms into the house.
While sitting around the dining table for an informal heart-to-heart, Miss Ellie tells Sue Ellen she's made her share of mistakes in life (the wretched nursery decor being her most recent) and urges her daughter-in-law to not brood about the past, but look forward to a fabulous future. She points out that JR has been on his best behavior lately, and that perhaps a baby is what they both need to stumble through the remaining wreckage of their shitty marriage and see if there's anything worth salvaging [which I find highly doubtful]. Sue Ellen puts her best Stepford face on and assures her overly involved mother-in-law that she is indeed happy, that her baby is the most beautiful thing she's ever seen, and that JR has been completely wonderful to her this episode. Lucy bounds into the room and gushes about how excited she is for all the womenfolk to visit the baby later, and Sue Ellen looks aghast at the idea of spending even a moment with her spawn and pretends to stumble around looking faint. She declares herself too weak to drive into Dallas and says she's going upstairs for yet more rest. After she leaves the room, Lucy tells Miss Ellie that Sue Ellen clearly has no interest in seeing her child...kind of like how her parents abandoned her and then started a spin-off show in which she was never included.
The doctor tells Miss Ellie that the baby is going to be discharged from the hospital tomorrow, and Miss Ellie's like, "Yippee!" and shares the good news with Lucy and Pam.
JR and Alan Beam are discussing oil leases when Jeb Ames and Willie Joe Garr burst into JR's office unannounced. After Alan beats a hasty retreat, JR chides the two yokels for causing a ruckus while they're out on parole. They remind him that they were working on his behalf when they accidentally tossed Tina Louise off the roof of her apartment building, and JR looks momentarily sad at the loss of his one time mistress and says it sucks that she ended up dead 'cause she never would have spilled the beans on Ewing Oil. Ames and Garr are like, "Whatever" and complain about their money problems now that they've both drained their savings accounts to pay off their legal fees. JR says he couldn't be any less interested in helping them financially...and when they advance on him all threatening-like, he warns that if they so much as touch a hair on his head, he'll see to it that they're back in prison by day's end.
Bobby tells Sue Ellen he's driving into town to see the baby and offers to give her a ride...and when she makes a blech face, he tells her she can't go on like this indefinitely: wandering moodily around Southfork in her bathrobe. Sue Ellen insists she's just following doctor's orders, then snaps at Bobby to leave her the hell alone.
Bobby arrives at the hospital and spots Cliff about to enter. He runs over and demands to know what he's doing here, and Cliff snarkishly declares that he's here to see his son. Bobby says he won't allow him to cause trouble, and warns him that Sue Ellen is too mentally unfit to take the pressure of having to choose between him and JR. He then blocks him physically from entering the hospital, and Cliff eventually backs off, but vows, "I'll have Sue Ellen and the baby! Any way I have to!" and storms back to his car.
Cliff returns to his office and is enraged that his oil impact study he wrote in an attempt to halt oil production on various Ewing Oil fields was rejected. He vows to his flunky (who doesn't look as though he has the slightest interest in the Barnes-Ewing feud) that one day he's going to make the Ewings give back everything that belongs to him. Whatever, Cliff...Godspeed.
At breakfast the next morning, JR tells Jock that Ames and Garr stopped by his office yesterday, and Jock contorts his grizzled face into a ew expression and says that those stupid yokels should have been put away for good for killing Tina Louise, then makes it clear that he doesn't want them to have anything to do with Ewing Oil.
Pam and Bobby meet up by the stables and agree that the tedious Barnes-Ewing feud is continuing to wear on both of them. With that said, he tells her that Cliff showed up at the hospital yesterday and that he warned him to stay away from Sue Ellen and the baby. He urges Pam to reinforce that decree, then threatens to concoct a scandal that will ruin Cliff's political career if he doesn't comply.
That afternoon, JR finds Sue Ellen sunning herself by the pool, enjoying a glass of ice tea. He tells her to get changed so they can drive into town and pick up the baby - but Sue Ellen pretends she has a headache and is too frail to make the trip. She then gets up and sashays into the house, and JR follows her upstairs and orders her to cut the shit with her phony headaches and dizzy spells, and start acting like a proper Ewing wife and mother. He grabs a bunch of outfits from her closet, tosses them onto the bed, and orders her to pick something out...and after briefly taunting him to drag her out of the house kicking and screaming [which would have been super awesome to watch], she quietly agrees to accompany him to the hospital.
When JR and Sue Ellen arrive at the hospital, they're swarmed by a crowd of reporters and photographers. A cop rushes over, introduces himself as Lieutenant Simpson from the Dallas Police Department, and informs the two - while the live news cameras are rolling - that their baby has been kidnapped. Egads!
Inside the hospital, the staff apologize to Sue Ellen and JR for their irresponsibility in allowing someone to just walk off with their baby...while the cops assure them that they're doing everything possible to find the tot. JR excuses himself to call Southfork, and informs Miss Ellie, who's putting the final touches on the grisly nursery, that his baby is currently missing. She's like, "Wuh? Missing? There must be a mistake", so JR confirms that, nope, the baby has mysteriously vanished from the hospital...and no one knows who took him or why. Miss Ellie offers to help round up the family and bring them back to Southfork, then tears up and wails, "Oooooh nooooo!!"
Recap: JR drops by the clinic-mansion to get an update on Sue Ellen's detoxification. Dr. Rogers ushers him into his office and informs him that Sue Ellen still has the shakes from her recent booze withdrawal and that - no surprise - she's in a highly perturbed state about being forcibly confined to a rehab clinic-mansion. He says he can't release her anytime soon 'cause it's more than likely that she'll start drinking again, and JR concurs - but says he'd like to see her so he can report on her condition to his nosy family.
Sue Ellen is sipping a glass of water in her room when JR suddenly appears in the doorway. He asks her how she's feeling, and she snarls at him for leaving her at the clinic-mansion to be treated like a caged animal, then hurls her drinking glass at him. JR hastily shuts the door to avoid being struck...and as the drinking glass shatters, Dr. Rogers locks the door and assures JR that his nutty wife is being well taken care of. Sue Ellen, meanwhile, clutches her pearls (like, literally clutches her pearl necklace) and stares tearfully into space.
Lucy and Miss Ellie return home after shopping for Lucy's prom dress...and Lucy excitedly tells Jock that her date for the evening is a socially acceptable young [hetero] man named Lawrence Templeton. Miss Ellie ambles over to Bobby and moans about how much she hates the idea of Sue Ellen being kept away from the family, but Bobby insists that right now the clinic-mansion is the best possible place for her. Miss Ellie wonders aloud what could possibly have caused the woman to become such a hopeless boozer. Gee, I dunno...could have everything to do with the callous, philandering douchebag she married so she could live a life of pampered leisure on a ranch, aka the most lucrative gold digging opportunity that was available in Texas circa 1975.
Cliff drops by the department store where Pam works and asks her why she's been avoiding him for the last few weeks, so she tells him she's tired of having to take sides in the tedious Barnes-Ewing feud the writers can't seem to fully let go of. She informs him that Sue Ellen has been forcibly confined to a clinic-mansion rehab 'cause of her out-of-control drinking, then accuses him of doinking her purely to get back at JR. Cliff admits that it, yep, their icky affair definitely started out that way - but that he ended things 'cause he didn't want Sue Ellen to lose her social standing as Mrs. JR Ewing. Pam argues that the real reason he broke things off was 'cause he was so worried about what the scandal would do to his budding political career, then snarks at him to stay away from Sue Ellen if he isn't prepared to offer her marriage, kids, a white picket fence, etc.
JR returns home and reports to Jock that Sue Ellen is "out of sorts", but that she appears to be improving from some much needed therapy...and Jock stares into space, looking like he half believes that obvious bullcack.
Miss Ellie drops by the clinic-mansion to visit Sue Ellen...and is spared having anything thrown at her dumb, placid face. Sue Ellen puts on the brightest, happiest faux smile she can muster and gushes about how awesome it is being in rehab - kind of like the vacation that JR never took her on after their honeymoon 'cause he's such a neglectful assbag of a husband. She pretends that the reason she's being confined is 'cause she was so exhausted from all the charity meetings she was attending - but Miss Ellie's like, "Cut the shit" and asks her if her marital problems caused her to start hitting the bottle so hard. Sue Ellen insists that she and JR are just fine, and that they're both looking forward to parenting Cliff's love child while passing him off as the Ewings' first grandson. Miss Ellie chides her for always worrying so much about pleasing her and Jock, then decides it's time she headed back to Southfork so she can lounge around and do her usual nothing alongside her grizzled husband. Sue Ellen gets annoyed when her door is promptly locked by the orderly, then buzzes the nurse and bitchily demands her medicine. The nurse tells her it's not medicine time yet, then fondles the pearls around Sue Ellen's neck and tells her, "There are other ways to keep calm...everything's available if you have the money to pay for it." Sue Ellen snaps at her to get out - but the unfazed nurse urges her to think about what she said.
Last day of school! Lucy excitedly tells a friend that she somehow passed all of her classes and is eligible for graduation. After that, she runs into Anne and her drug dealer friend...and when they invite her to hang out and pop some pills, Lucy declines and smugly says she's sooo done with the pill addiction storyline. The drug dealer scoffs, "I've heard that one before", then dickishly says the next time she needs her fix, the cost will be double. Lucy chirps, "There won't be a next time", then climbs into her car and squeals off.
Sue Ellen is having a one-on-one therapy session with Dr. Rogers, telling him nonsense like what a successful marriage she and JR have...and denies ever being angry with JR whenever he stays away for long stretches on his "business trips". Dr. Rogers points out that she threw her drinking glass at him the other day and that she really should dig deep in order to uncover why she's been drinking so excessively. Sue Ellen angrily insists that her drinking has been blown out of proportion...then stops herself and says it's not very ladylike to express emotion in front of a stranger. Dr. Rogers refrains from pointing out that her image as a ladylike Texas socialite is a ship that has long sailed, and just tells her that they'll pick up this thread during their next session.
That evening, Jock initiates a fruitless father-son chat with JR. He asks his son whassup with the rift between him and Sue Ellen, and JR breezily assures him it's nothing he can't handle. Jock scrunches his face and says he's not so sure 'bout that, and remarks that Sue Ellen seemed marginally happy (if you don't count her affair with Cliff, and the time she tried to kaput her marriage by fleeing to her mother's) shortly before getting knocked up. JR tries to shift the conversation to the OLM, but Jock snaps, "To hell with the OLM!" and demands to know how JR plans to repair his marriage. JR says he put her into rehab, then whines, "What more do you waaaant?!" Jock credits him for being a good businessman, but orders him to put more effort into being a good husband and father once the baby arrives. JR unconvincingly retorts, "I surely will" - LOL - then beats a hasty retreat from the study, leaving Jock staring contemplatively into space.
JR arrives at the clinic-mansion for a second visit with Sue Ellen. She looks fake jovial and tells him she's totes fine now and eager to come home [so she can hit the booze stash in the Ewing study]. JR says he'll only allow it if Dr. Rogers gives him the green light, then points out that the only reason she's sober is 'cause she hasn't had access to alcohol. He pulls out a newspaper and shows her a photograph with Cliff and his date at a recent gala opening, snidely urging her to remember who she's married to and what's at stake. Sue Ellen accuses him of doctoring the photo, then screams at him to get out. After he leaves, she summons the nurse and removes her pearl necklace.
Sue Ellen is lounging on her bed after a drinking binge (courtesy of the corruptible nurse) when she's informed that Bobby Ewing has arrived for an impromptu visit.
Bobby hands Sue Ellen a lovely bouquet of flowers, and she smiles at him and waxes on about how marvelous the clinic-mansion is. Bobby gives her a brief update on the family, and Sue Ellen says she's bummed she won't be able to attend Lucy's graduation. Bobby says she just needs to give the doctor time to help her get her head screwed on right...and this triggers a freak-out, during which she starts beating him with the bouquet. A couple of men in white coats quickly rush over, subdue her by grabbing her arms, and announce that they're forcibly taking her back to her room. Bobby snappishly orders them to take their hands off of her, and insists on being the one to escort her inside.
Sue Ellen apologizes to Bobby for losing control, then complains that the clinic-mansion is little more than a prison. Bobby urges her to give it a chance...and she sarcastically retorts, "All I have in my life is taame." She moans about how hard it is to fill the days at Southfork now that she's a lazy married lady of leisure, then complains that JR always comes home "smelling of his sluts". Bobby blushes and tells her she's embarrassing him and implores her to have this conversation with JR. Sue Ellen stares into his eyes and laments not meeting him first, tells him he's kind and loving...then leans in close and gets all touchy-feely with his face. She natters about how much she loves JR - but that he doesn't love her back...and when he forbade her from adopting a baby in the Black Market Baby episode, she went out and got herself knocked up in order to hurt JR, who incidentally shows zero interest in ever wanting to doink her. She tears up and says the only people she hurt were herself, the hapless fetal alcohol poisoned child she's carrying, and the somewhat clueless baby daddy. Bobby contorts his face into an aghast expression, then grabs her by the arms and demands to know who the baby daddy is, and she admits that it's prolly Cliff Barnes. Bobby gasps, then stares at her in horror...and Sue Ellen hangs her head in shame and whimpers, "No one can help me now."
An enraged Bobby heads straight over to Cliff's apartment, punches him in the face, and says he knows all about his icky affair with Sue Ellen. He snarlingly accuses him of taking advantage of a vulnerable women who also, not coincidentally, could leak intel about JR and Ewing Oil. Cliff insists that at some point during the affair he fell in love with Sue Ellen, but Bobby just shoots him a disbelieving stink-eye. He warns him to keep his trap shut about possibly being Sue Ellen's baby daddy 'cause he doesn't want JR, Jock, or Miss Ellie to find out. Cliff sheepishly agrees, but then informs him that JR has been long clued in about the blechy affair.
Back at the clinic-mansion, the corruptible nurse supplies Sue Ellen with more booze, then bitches at her for being such a messy inmate. Sue Ellen implores her to leave her door unlocked so she can flee at the first available opportunity, but the nurse refuses. As she starts making the bed, Sue Ellen hits her on the head with a water pitcher, then grabs her purse and booze and flees. She finds a car parked near the entrance that has keys in the ignition (it always amazes me that people wander away from their cars with the keys in the ignition) and drives off. As she chugs from her booze bottle, she swerves to avoid hitting a car, but then crashes into a telephone pole.
At the hospital, Dr. Krane examines an injured Sue Ellen and announces that the baby is miraculously OK after the car crash - but that it needs to be delivered by Caesarean asap. She exits the exam room to tell JR and Bobby that Sue Ellen has some internal bleeding and if they don't deliver the baby now, they could both be lost. She also mentions that Sue Ellen had been drinking at the time of the accident...and JR and Bobby relay all of the shocking news to the rest of the family that's camped out in the waiting room.
As Sue Ellen is being prepped in the operating room, the surgeon remarks that Sue Ellen's drinking has "doubled our trouble", and that they only have a window of two minutes to deliver her preemie.
Bobby asks Pam if she knew that Cliff was doinking Sue Ellen, and she admits she did...but then shows no signs of knowing that he might be the baby daddy. Bobby tells her he paid a visit to Cliff and punched him 'cause he was so miffed at him for taking advantage of Sue Ellen.
Cliff turns on the TV and sees news coverage about Sue Ellen's car accident and subsequent hospitalization. Must have been a slow news day in Dallas. He looks alarmed and rushes out.
A nurse informs JR he now has a son, and that he's currently on display through the glass window in the neonatal unit. Dr. Krane tells him that Sue Ellen is stable, but that the baby will be touch-and-go for a few days. Pam spots Cliff in the hall, discreetly extricates herself from the Ewings, and demands to know what he's doing here. He replies, "I want to see my son!" and Pam stares at him in shocked horror before accompanying him to the neonatal unit. Cliff stares tearfully at the incubated baby and decrees that the tot, assuming he survives his fetal alcohol poisoning, is going to be raised a Barnes. (Nope.)
A somber JR and Bobby are sitting by Sue Ellen's bedside. JR wonders aloud why their marriage degenerated into such a hate-filled cesspool, then reminisces about how much he loved her for the first five minutes after they got married. He stares at her and tearfully remarks on how beautiful she is, and that she's got to live, damn it!
Recap: Sue Ellen arrives at her doctor's office in a wood paneled station wagon, which I thought was a surprisingly frumpy car for the wife of JR Ewing to be driving. She parks, pulls out a flask and takes a few sips, then goes inside to see how far along her hapless spawn's fetal alcohol syndrome has progressed.
Lucy is at the department store where Pam works, looking over necklaces in the jewelry department. She buys the most expensive one she can find and charges it to the Ewing account. Pam spots her and rushes over, assumes she's here for their previously arranged appointment to try on prom dresses, and tells her she put aside the prettiest ones for her to peruse. Lucy stares at her with a spaced-out expression for a few seconds, then says she forgot all about the prom dresses and just stopped by to buy her friend a birthday present. She then rushes out of the store, leaving Pam staring after her in puzzlement.
Dr. Krane tells Sue Ellen that everything's fine...and by everything's fine, she means she needs to cut down on her binge-drinking asap. She tells her that her tests revealed high levels of alcohol in her bloodstream - not that it isn't obvious to anyone with half a brain that she staggered in here drunk. Sue Ellen says she has no right to lecture her, and an incredulous Dr. Krane points out to the nitwit that her health and that of her spawn are her responsibility. Sue Ellen haughtily retorts that she merely had one cocktail at lunch...and that if she continues to give her a hard time about her incessant drinking, she's going to shop around for "a more understanding doctor".
Lucy enters a pawn shop to sell the necklace she just bought and is offered a measly $50 for it. She hems and haws but eventually agrees to the price, then rushes off to meet up with her drug dealer, who hands her a fresh supply of pills and a soda to wash them down with. He invites her to attend a party at (their friend) Anne's house later, and Lucy says she's totes up for that.
Pam stops by Ewing Oil to touch base with Bobby before the two head home. He tells her he read the new OLM guidelines, then grumbles about how they're even stricter than last year's. In short, nothing in Texas gets built without Cliff's approval. Pam makes a whaddya gonna do? expression and says that while she loves her brother, sometimes she doesn't like him...and isn't quite ready to return his phone calls. She swiftly changes the subject and asks him if he's noticed anything strange about Lucy, and he just shrugs and says she's mostly been quiet ever since getting the heave-ho from her closeted gay fiance. The two then have to put a pin in that discussion when Sue Ellen staggers in and says she's here to meet JR, 'cause apparently they're putting on a facade of marital unity while attending a fundraising dinner. Once Pam and Bobby exit the office, Sue Ellen makes a beeline over to JR's booze cabinet and pours herself a stiff drink.
JR is in a meeting with a senator and some other white guy, and the three are bitching about how much they hate the new OLM guidelines. The senator invites JR to join them and another senator for drinks so they can continue bitching about the OLM...and JR checks his watch, stares contemplatively into space for a few seconds, then decides to blow off plans to attend the fundraising dinner with Sue Ellen without bothering to tell her.
Sue Ellen, meanwhile, continues to throw back the booze while waiting for JR to show up. She drunk dials Cliff and asks him if she can come over, but he says no 'cause he's currently canoodling with a woman...then adds that he'd have no problem rebuffing her even if he were home alone.
Ray is in his ranch hand hovel, polishing his boots when a blitzed Lucy drops by and touchily-feely invites him to get it on with her. He pushes her away and snappishly says he's not in the mood for her games, then asks her if she's been drinking. She gigglingly says no...and when he asks her what she's on, she coos, "It's soooo wonderful" and starts unbuttoning his shirt, as if we didn't get enough of the yokel's naked pecs in the previous episode after he hit the sheets with Donna. The horruh. Ray reminds Lucy that they made a deal to just be friends, not least 'cause at some point in the series he turns out to be her $#@&% uncle, then goes over to his kitchenette to put on a pot of coffee so she can sober herself up.
Sue Ellen wisely decides she's too drunk to continue driving, so she pulls over to the side of the road and promptly passes out.
Ray pours Lucy a cup of coffee...and when she snarks that she doesn't want it, he looms over her and asks her if she wants her grandparents to get wind of her pill popping. She wails, "I don't care! No one notices me anyway!" and a fed up Ray shoves the mug in her face and forces coffee down her throat, snapping at her to shape up.
Bobby spots Sue Ellen's car on the side of the road, and both he and Pam pull over to check it out. When they find Sue Ellen passed out in the driver's seat, Bobby picks her up and transports her to his car and tells Pam he'll send a ranch hand to collect her car in the morning. When they arrive at Southfork, they discreetly bring her upstairs and deposit her atop her bed. Bobby then decides, "Enough is enough" and says he's going to confront Jock and Miss Ellie about tonight's bender. Pam, meanwhile, sits by Sue Ellen's bedside...and when she regains consciousness, she tears up and whimpers about how Cliff won't talk to her anymore, then says she's pretty sure he was with a woman tonight. Pam clucks sympathetically, then urges her to shut it about her ex-lover and get some rest.
Bobby contorts his default blank expression into one of grave concern as enters the study and gives his parents the what-for for pretending that everything is A-OK with Sue Ellen...and uselessly looking the other way while she continues to poison their unborn grandchild with her binge-drinking. He explains that this evening she had spent hours boozing it up in JR's office while waiting for him to show up...and eventually gave up waiting, got behind the wheel, and was found by him and Pam passed out in her car. JR enters the study and asks whassup...and when he's informed about Sue Ellen's drunken incident, he gets defensive, says his meeting ran late, and that it's not his fault his wife is a hopeless boozer. Miss Ellie abruptly clears the room so she can have a stern-faced mother-son chat. She chides him for being a power hungry douche (like Jock) when it comes to business, but having no redeeming qualities (unlike Jock) in his personal life...and that he's neglected Sue Ellen since day one of their marriage and doesn't even bother to be discreet about his serial womanizing. She warns him that his baby is in danger from her constant drinking and that he urgently needs to do something - but JR snaps, "It's too late!" and stalks out of the room. Miss Ellie tears up and whimpers to herself about the lousy parenting skills she exercised during JR's formative years, which...no fucking duh. It's interesting she's not the slightest self-reflective about the shit job she also did raising Lucy after the family cruelly ripped her away from Gary and Val.
Ray tells Lucy he's going to fetch Bobby so he can help get her into the main house without her grandparents noticing how stoned she is. After he leaves, Lucy giggles to herself as she sneaks out of his hovel and heads off to Anne's party.
When Ray returns to his hovel with Bobby, he's dismayed that Lucy has disappeared...even though anyone with an ounce of foresight could have seen that coming. Ray thinks she might be at Anne's house, so the two climb into his truck and speed off. They arrive at Anne's house, notice that there's a party in full swing, and find Lucy canoodling with a boy. Bobby yanks her by the arm and tells her it's time to go home...then tells Anne that he plans on tattling to her parents about the party. Bobby then grabs Lucy's purse, finds a little bag of pills inside, and asks her how long she's been taking them. When she just giggles in response, Bobby stuffs her into the passenger seat of her car and ferries her back to Southfork.
When they pull up to the house, Bobby instructs Lucy to act as normal as possible in front of her grandparents and hope to hell they don't clue in to her pill popping. He then tosses her car keys at Ray and decrees that she's no longer allowed to drive her car without their permission. Bobby fibs to Miss Ellie by telling her that Lucy got a flat tire...and Lucy nods and does her best to not appear spacey. After she heads up to bed, Miss Ellie remarks to Bobby how ghastly Lucy looked, and Bobby breezily says she's been going through a rough patch lately and will hopefully get over it before the end credits start rolling.
At daybreak, JR thrusts open the curtains of his bedroom, smashes one of Sue Ellen's booze bottles on the floor, and admonishes her for embarrassing him in front of his family with last night's bender. Sue Ellen snaps back that it's his fault for keeping her waiting at his office [which, unfortunately, was equipped with a fully stocked bar] ... and when he whines that he was at a business meeting, she snarls, "Which was more important than me!" JR sheepishly promises it won't happen again, and Sue Ellen chuckles and says he must have gotten a tongue lashing from Jock for his negligence. She taunts him by chirping, "'Til death do us part" and he snaps back that he has no intention of putting up with a drunk wife, and orders her to dry out and transform herself into "an admirable wife and mother". Sue Ellen lets out a caustic laugh and asks what reward she'll get from him, then asks, "A good father..?" and JR snidely retorts, "Not for that bastard you're carrying, you won't." Yeesh. After he storms out of the room, Sue Ellen gets out of bed and staggers over to the closet, pulls out a hidden bottle of booze in a shoe box, and takes a big swig.
Pam tells Bobby she's worried about leaving Lucy and Sue Ellen in the house alone - but Bobby brushes off her concerns 'cause what could go wrong with leaving a pregnant alcoholic and her dimwitted pill-popping niece to their own devices?
Lucy is high on pills again, giggling as she plays with backgammon pieces. When she gets bored and staggers out of the study, she sees a drunk Sue Ellen teetering at the top of the staircase clutching a suitcase and staring down at her with her cold, bloodshot eyes. She suddenly collapses and topples down the flight of stairs, and a giggling Lucy hovers over her uselessly. Ray happens to enter the house at that moment, rebuffs Lucy's ill-timed attempts to smooch him, and calls an ambulance.
Ray calls Bobby at Ewing Oil to report Sue Ellen's accident, then shares the doctor's optimism that both she and the baby are going to be A-OK...aside from the deteriorating fetal alcohol syndrome situation that no one in the Ewing family seems interested in doing fuck all about. He adds that Lucy popped a bunch of pills again and was stoned out of her mind when Sue Ellen fell down the stairs...and Bobby's all, "Fuuuuuuuuck.." and rushes over to JR's office to give him the troubling update about his wife.
At the hospital, Dr. Krane tells JR that, according to tests, Sue Ellen is fine - but that she wants to keep her in the hospital for observation. She adds that if Sue Ellen continues to booze it up, she'll continue to put the health of her baby in serious jeopardy and strongly recommends she be put into rehab, like pronto. JR replies, "Ewings take care of their own", and Dr. Krane rolls her eyes 'cause of how well that's been working out...and when Jock and Miss Ellie arrive, she also gives them a quick update. Jock pulls JR aside and gruffly tells him he's going to need to face up to his responsibilities as a husband and father...and since it appears as though that reality hasn't penetrated his skull yet, he's going to see to it that he straightens out so his grandson has a father he can be proud of.
Bobby confronts Lucy in the study and solemnly tells her that Sue Ellen could have died during the fall. He asks her if she really wants to go through life doped up on pills, and she bursts into tears and says she's mortified that she was too stoned to help Sue Ellen while she was laying helplessly on the floor. Bobby orders her to stop popping pills, and says that coping with emotional pain is part of life. Lucy tearfully promises to try, and the two hug it out.
Sue Ellen chuckles as she blames her high heels for the fall...and Jock and Miss Ellie smile blandly and pretend that, yep, that's the most plausible explanation for her accident. JR announces that he's putting her in a rehab clinic in Ft. Worth, and Sue Ellen poutishly replies, "But there's nothing wrong with me" and everyone in the room exchanges seriously? glances.
JR drives Sue Ellen to the clinic, which looks to be a large mansion. She begs him not to leave her here - but he says he has to, not least 'cause when she's drunk he can't trust her to keep her pie hole shut about the baby likely being Cliff's love spawn. Two men in white coats rush over - LOL - and forcibly drag Sue Ellen towards the entrance of the clinic-mansion. She shrieks in protest, then shouts in JR's direction, "I'll get back at you someday!!"
TO BE CONTINUED!
Recap: JR tries to get a call through to Papa Mainwaring, but has no luck getting him on the phone...and Miss Ellie overhears and asks him why he's bothering, since clearly the man wants as little to do with the Ewings as possible. JR points out that their families could still do business together despite Lucy's "dumping" of Kit...and the two head over to the dining room, where a visibly depressed Lucy is staring dejectedly into space. She irritably tells JR he'll be just fine if he doesn't do business with the Mainwarings, and Miss Ellie sternly tells JR now that the subplot involving the Mainwarings and their closeted gay son is over, there will be no further talk of that family. Bobby offers to drive Lucy to school, so the two walk outside together and encounter a giant box in the driveway. Bobby tells Lucy to close her eyes so he can pull apart the box and reveal - ta da! - a red sports car! Bobby jokingly says it's getting to be too much of a pain to drive her to school in the mornings and that he thinks she's mature enough to have a car of her own. Lucy bounds into the driver's seat and slowly pulls out of the driveway.
JR and Jock arrive at Ewing Oil and go straight into a meeting with Bud Morgan, who I'll assume is one of their project managers. Bud is complaining that the Office of Land Management (OLM) has stopped his crew's test drilling, to which Jock grunts, "How in the heck could they do that?" JR says it's not they, it's Cliff Barnes...and that Cliff claims that the OLM needs more time to study an environmental report. He says it's clear that the OLM is dragging its feet on this report strictly out of dickishness, then reluctantly orders Bud to let his crew go until they can resolve the issue. After Bud leaves, JR tells Jock they're going to have to get rid of Cliff and/or somehow take the power away from the OLM. Jock suggests they get in touch with his old pal Sam Culver, an ex-governor and ex-speaker of the house. He then offers to make the call 'cause apparently Sam owes him a favor.
Ray arrives at the house and tells Bobby he saw Lucy driving very slowly in her new sports car. Bobby says he hopes that the gift will ease her heartbreak over Kit, to which Ray whines that no one bought him anything when his affair with Garnet McGee took a nasty turn after she started hitting the sheets with JR. Bobby points out that Jock gave him the deed to a plot of land on the Southfork property so he could build a house...and refrains from reminding him that he's a grown ass man and shouldn't expect gifts whenever things with his fuckees go awry. Ray stares despondently into space and says he's not ready to think about building a house yet.
Inside the stereotypical Longhorn bar, Texans decked out in plaid shirts, jeans, and cowboy hats are do-si-do-ing and drinking beer. The camera pans over to a table of strangers we've never seen before, and the womenfolk are complaining about the wretched hillbilly music and that they'd much prefer being at the disco. One of the women, a blonde named Donna Culver, says she digs all things hillbilly and wants to stay...and Ray, who's sitting at the nearby bar, overhears this madness and looks intrigued. One of the men sitting at the table strongly urges Donna to leave with the group, but she gets irked and snaps at him to leave her alone. Ray interjects himself and tells him to leave her be, then assures him that the Longhorn is a respectable place and that she'll be fine. The man glances around, fearful of the yokelly cowboys who have suddenly gathered around and look ready to rumble over something that has absolutely nothing to do with them, and agrees to leave. Donna thanks Ray for coming to her rescue and accepts his offer to buy her a drink. Ray's all, "Squeal!" 'cause this is the most action he's seen in eleven episodes, and excitedly motions for the bartender to bring over some drinks.
Later, Ray and Donna are sitting together at a table, talking. He natters about how special Southfork is, and proudly tells her he was given a plot of land on the ranch so he could build a house, raise horses, and never truly have a life of his own. Donna asks why he hasn't built his house yet...and he gets all red-faced and says he almost had a girlfriend once, but that things didn't work out when he found out she was a shameless cheater. Donna's cab arrives...and as the two say goodnight, they arrange to meet up at the Longhorn tomorrow night. As she sashays out of the bar, Ray stares after her longingly.
JR and Jock meet up with Sam Culver for lunch in a fancy restaurant. Sam tells them he heard that "Digger's Boy" is giving them trouble, and Jock nods and says he's been using his position at the OLM to constantly needle Ewing Oil. He and JR wank Sam about how powerful in Texas he is, then complain that the OLM is wreaking havoc with their business. JR warns that if the OLM isn't forced to back off, they're going to have to get their oil "from the A-rabs", and Sam gasps [at the derogatory pronunciation of Arabs and/or the idea of looking outside Texas for a steady oil supply] and replies, "You're pretty direct." Jock pleads with Sam to do his best to rein in the OLM...and somehow the conversation segue ways into Sam's recent marriage to a woman more than half his age, and an invitation for the two of them to come to Southfork for dinner on Saturday night. Sam announces that his young wife will be meeting him here any second 'cause they have plans to go shopping together...and a few seconds later, he glances toward the entrance of the restaurant and happily announces that she's arrived. The blonde woman, who remains hidden behind the waiter as she strides over the table, reveals herself a few seconds later to be - gasp! - Donna Culver.
That evening, JR enters the study and finds Sue Ellen sitting in a chair and broodily drinking. He warns her that if she continues to drink like this while pregnant, he's going to evict her onto a trash heap...but she just chuckles and asks if she's embarrassing him - and if so, he should feel free to seek comfort elsewhere. JR's like, "Whatever" and tells her he finally found a way to put a stop to Cliff's abuse of OLM power, then urges her to stay away from the dining room so the family can eat without having to look at her drunken, glazed over expression.
Donna arrives at the Longhorn and tells Ray she debated whether or not to come. Ray stares at her all smitten-like in a borderline creepy way, orders a couple of drinks, and gushes about what a mysterious woman she is. She gives him a brief bio: she's twenty-eight, was born in Marshall TX, and has no idea what she's doing having drinks with an over-eager dork in a hillbilly bar. She softens and says she likes that he didn't try to hit on her last night, then asks him what he's looking for. He shrugs and somehow refrains from desperately crying out, "For someone...anyone to love meeeeee!!" and instead replies, "Just a happy ending." He tells her it all starts with finding someone you could be happy with, and stares longingly into her eyes...and Donna cryptically mutters, "Things always change" and that she just wants to have a fun evening. Ray says he could definitely get on board with that, then raises his beer mug and toasts, "To fun!"
On the breakfast patio at Southfork the next morning, Miss Ellie asks Jock if Sam's new wife is pretty...and Jock snorts derisively and says the old goat hooked up with a woman who's way too young. He assures her he's not jealous, and that a young woman like that couldn't possibly hold a candle to "a real woman" like her, and Miss Ellie lights up at the blatant wankery and gives him a happy kiss. Pam and Bobby bound onto the patio wearing matching tennis outfits and announce that they're off to the club...and a few seconds later, Sue Ellen staggers outside and stares vacantly into space while sipping from her breakfast Bloody Mary. Jock and Miss Ellie scrunch their faces concernedly in lieu of actually doing anything to help their troubled daughter-in-law as she continues developing a fetal alcohol syndrome situation for her hapless unborn spawn. Ray arrives and tells Jock he's ready to start stocking his land section with cattle, then blushingly says he met a purdy lady...and on the basis of chatting with the woman over drinks two nights in a row, he's decided that things are looking up on the romance front. Pam gushes, "That's great!" and says she and Bobby would love to meet her. Ray likes the sound of that and invites the two to join him and Donna at the Longhorn bar on Monday night.
At Southfork on Saturday night, Sam and Donna are over for dinner...and Sam regales the group with tiresome stories from the old days. Ho hum. Bobby reminds Donna that they briefly went to high school together, and Donna gives him a summary of how she hooked up with Sam. JR tries to steer the conversation to business matters, but Sam ignores the cue and lays it on thick about how marrying Donna gave him "a younger slant on things" and that she has such a useful point of view. JR gently points out that she probably isn't as well versed as him in the oil business, but Sam just shrugs and says, regardless, he depends heavily on her judgement on account of how much he treasures her. He tells JR he hasn't decided whether or not to lean on Cliff's stalling practices within the OLM, but is waiting for an opinion to magically penetrate its way into his brain.
Later, JR compliments Sue Ellen for being so well behaved during dinner, and she explains that she was too busy thinking to do much talking. JR snidely asks, "About your next drink?" so Sue Ellen explains that she couldn't stop thinking about Donna, a young woman who's resigned herself in marriage to an old goat - but yet still has a far better marriage than they do. JR rolls his eyes and says he doubts the two ever hit the sack [yeesh, visual alert], but Sue Ellen insists that even if that's true, the marriage is still miles better than theirs. True enough - though it's a pretty low bar to measure any other marriage against. She says that Sam is a man who cares about his wife, takes her advice and listens...and JR suddenly realizes that if he wants Sam's decision about the OLM to go his way, he's going to have to win over the wife. Well d'yuh, genius.
Lucy and a small group of gal pals are lounging by the Southfork pool. The gals urge Lucy to start getting out again and to stop being such a downer, then point out that there are men other than her closeted gay ex-fiance she could hook up with. One of the girls pulls out a bottle of pills, hands a pill to Lucy, and promises that it'll improve her mood...and if I'm not mistaken, this is the start of a 'drug addiction that's destined to quickly spiral out of control' subplot.
Bobby and Pam arrive at the Longhorn to double date with Ray and his lady...but when they enter the bar and glance across the room, they notice that Ray's new girlfriend is none other than Donna Culver. Pam's like, "OMG!" and Bobby hustles her out of there before Ray can see them. As they hurry to their car, Bobby says he can only assume that Ray has no idea she's married.
Sue Ellen is drunkenly hosting a Daughters of the Alamo meeting at Southfork. One of the committee members pulls Miss Ellie aside and tells her that everyone has been noticing that Sue Ellen hasn't been herself lately (translation: she's a hopeless lush), and would like her to resign until she's "feeling better". Miss Ellie concurs and says she'll handle it. Sue Ellen, meanwhile, has propped herself up against the side of the house, boozing it up in a not-so-subtle fashion.
JR overhears Pam and Bobby talking in hushed tones about the Ray and Donna situation and looks intrigued.
Bobby arranges to meet up with Donna at a restaurant and asks her point blank why she's seeing Ray, then adds that he's a friend. Donna hangs her head shamefully and says that Ray has no idea she's married and snarks at Bobby for sticking his nose in their bidness. Bobby tells her that the clusterfuck with Garnet McGee nearly broke him in half, and that he doesn't deserve to have his tender heart broken a second time. Donna tells him she didn't intend on dating Ray ('cause duh), but now that they've chatted over drinks two nights in a row, she's starting to care for him. Bobby tells her to make up her mind - a) stay in her gold digging marriage with Sam, or b) give up the financial perks of being Mrs. Culver and start slumming it with Ray on his plot of land - 'cause she can't have it both ways. Donna stares contemplatively into space and nods, then says that Sam Culver is the best man she knows, but that she always knew she wasn't actually in love with them when they married. She says she fully grasps that someone is about to get hurt, but doesn't think she can prevent that from happening.
As the Daughters of the Alamo meeting wraps up and the committee members start heading to their cars, Miss Ellie announces that Sue Ellen had such a rough day that she should probably resign as committee chair asap. Sue Ellen pretends she was just about to suggest that herself...and the committee ladies look thrilled at being rid of the lush and high-five each other. LOL.
Ray hits the sack with Donna at the Starlight Motel - ew - and we get to endure the spectacle of him lounging around bare-chested. Post-doink, Ray suggests that the two of them go away together so they can get to know each other, then solemnly adds, "It's getting serious on my end." JR, meanwhile, is parked across the street from the motel, gleefully spying on the lovers.
The next day, JR stakes out the Culver house, a ginormous brick house, and waits until Donna gets into her car and drives off. He follows her downtown...then pretends to accidentally bump into her on the street. After some initial chit-chat, he remarks on the vast age difference between her and Sam...then snidely adds that no doubt there are lots of advantages for her being in a marriage like this. Donna rolls her eyes and tells him she's heard this all before and assumes he's hitting on her. When he replies, with a straight face, "No, I'm a married man. I believe in the sanctity of marriage", she asks why he's hassling her then. He tells her he just happened to spot Ray's truck barreling down the street last night and thought something might be wrong so he followed him to the Starlight Motel...and was curious enough to hang around and see who he was doinking. He fake laments the idea of Ray getting his heart broken again, then wonders aloud why Ray would allow himself to fool around with a married woman. Donna calls JR out on expecting a favor in exchange for keeping her affair with Ray a secret, and JR promises to keep the scandal on the down-low if she instructs her husband to do everything he can to take the power away from the OLM, aka Cliff Barnes.
Lucy's gal pals are urging her to attend a party and promise that boys are expected to be in attendance. The pill pusher from earlier gives her another dose of whatever she's peddling...and Lucy takes the pill, immediately perks up, and announces that she's totes down for a party.
Ray gets a call from Donna, and the two make arrangements to meet up in a remote location.
Jock tells JR that Ray is looking to stock up his land section with cattle...and JR feigns cluelessness about what's currently going on in Ray's life and goes, "Really?" then tells his daddy he expects to hear from Sam shortly, and that he's confident the conversation will go really well.
Ray kisses Donna hello, and she finally comes clean about her marriage to a much older man - who, incidentally, she just told she's leaving. She says that Sam was very kind about getting the dumperoo and wished her well. She tells Ray she's leaving Dallas to think about whether or not she's ready to make any kind of commitment to a yokelly ranch hand such as himself, and Ray implores her to stay and says they can work this out together. She assures him she won't be gone forever and may well be into the idea of re-hooking up if he's still interested. Ray gives her a smooch and says, "I'll be here" ... 'cause, well, duh ... where the hell else is he gonna go?
The next morning, JR gets a call from Sam Culver, who tells him he had a long talk with his soon-to-be ex-wife, whose strong opinion it is that OLM is doing an excellent job tormenting the shit out of Ewing Oil. JR is shocked and suggests a face-to-face meeting, but Sam declines and abruptly hangs up, leaving JR to sheepishly admit to Jock that the OLM is still on their backs. A few seconds later, Ray shows up at the house and tells Bobby he's now interested in looking at floor plans. He says that things with Donna didn't quite work out as he hoped, but that he's pretty sure he could care for someone again. He grins stupidly and pronounces, "It's a damn fine feeling."