Recap: The Ewings are enjoying a lazy day by the Southfork pool. Jock is guzzling several mixed drinks while he and Miss Ellie play backgammon...and Pam and Bobby splash around the pool while JR openly ogles Pam's ample hooters. Jock affectionately barks at Pam not to tire herself out too much, and Miss Ellie chides him for being overly concerned and points out that exercise is good for her.
The Ewings discuss tomorrow's cattle auction in Fort Worth, and Miss Ellie gabbles on and on about how she used to always go with her father. She remarks that Gary is the only one of her sons who had any interest in ranching...and everyone exchanges awkward glances at the mention of the family's drunken black sheep. Lucy comes right out and says, "Everything always gets quiet whenever my daddy's name is mentioned. I wonder why that is?" and everyone exchanges a second round of awkward glances. Sue Ellen sashays over to Jock's/Miss Ellie's table and tells her father-in-law that JR would loooove to go to the cattle auction with him, and says that even though Ewing Oil takes up a lot of his time, he's actually very interested in cows. Sue Ellen then walks back over to where JR's lounging and smugly tells him that Jock is delighted that he'll be accompanying him to the cattle auction tomorrow. JR looks less than thrilled, and takes her aside so they can't be overheard and complains that he has no desire to hang around a bunch of cows all day. Sue Ellen says she thought he'd appreciate a chance to suck up to Jock for a large block of time, and declares that Bobby is slowly chipping away at his status as Jock's favored son. She reminds him that Bobby is now working at the family company, and that Jock and Miss Ellie have accepted Pam and no longer allow JR to mock her - even jokingly. JR insists that that's just temporary - but Sue Ellen insists he's losing his grip, and that if he's not going to do something about it, she will. JR glares at her and orders her to stop dictating to him how to run his life and business. He tells her that Ewing Oil is bigger and better than it's ever been because of him...and that under his fake mentoring, Bobby is unwittingly spending most of his days performing useless tasks and running stupid errands. He sternly tells her that if she wants to keep her cushy life as Mrs. JR Ewing, she needs to shut her pie-hole, stop challenging him, and get back in line.
Bobby informs Pam that he has to travel to Las Vegas for an oilman's convention and wants her to join him. She lets out a happy woot! and the two hug.
After the commercial break, Bobby and Pam arrive at a big convention hall in Las Vegas. Bobby quickly gets mobbed by friends and acquaintances, and Pam tries hard not to look overwhelmed. Across the lobby, one of the hotel's manservants [spoiler: Gary] stares over at Bobby...but Bobby is too busy working the crowd to notice the presence of his estranged brother.
Forth Worth. Lucy, who has accompanied Jock, JR and Ray to the cattle auction, tells the menfolk she wants to go off and do some shopping, and Jock hands her a wad of cash and orders Ray to chaperone her. Once they're out of earshot, Lucy tells Ray to beat it...and when he refuses, she threatens to tell her grandfather that he's been forcibly doinking her in the hayloft. Jimmy suddenly pulls up in his red car, and Lucy tells Ray she'll be back in an hour...and that this rendezvous is not what he's thinking it is - but then says she really doesn't give a rat's ass what he thinks about it. Ray warns her that Jock wouldn't approve of her taking up with Digger's nephew, so she sassily tells him to make sure he never finds out...and then she and Jimmy drive off.
Lucy and Jimmy arrive at a shitty looking diner, where her mother Valene is working. They enter the diner, say hey to Valene, and Jimmy sits at the counter and orders a hamburger so the womenfolk can spend some quality mother-daughter time together.
Las Vegas. Bobby is wrapping up a party that he hosted in his hotel room, and soon after the last guest leaves, there's a knock on the door. Gary (who's being played by actor David Ackroyd until the much yummier Ted Shackelford was cast in the Knots Landing role) bustles into the room - and before Bobby can get a good look at his face, he mutters about how he needs to get the room cleaned up. Bobby asks him to come back tomorrow - then finally gets a good look at his face and incredulously goes, "Gary..?!", and pulls him into a manly hug.
Valene and Lucy are strolling through a nearby park, getting caught up on each others' lives. Lucy asks her mom to tell her the story of how she and Gary met so that viewers can hear the backstory, so Valene gives us a condensed version of events. Gary became instantly smitten when she waited on him in whatever hillbilly truck stop diner she was working in the time. The enjoyed some "good flirtin'", he'd walk her home after her shifts, made her feel like a lady, and quickly proposed. The shit, however, hit the fan when he took her to Southfork to introduce her to his family. They made it clear that they did not approve of him marrying a skanky waitress, and Gary wasn't strong enough to stand up to them...and by them, she mostly means JR. Lucy narrows her eyes and declares a burning new hatred for her uncle.
Gary tells Bobby and Pam that when he hit rock bottom he had amassed a gambling debt of around $50,000, was a hopeless alcoholic, and homeless. Damn, he's one hot mess. He blacked out one night...and when he finally regained consciousness two weeks later, he discovered he'd been badly beaten. He somehow ended up in Las Vegas, where he was able to lick alcoholism and his gambling addiction by getting a job as a bartender and blackjack dealer. Interesting approach. This brings us to today, when he saw Bobby's name on the hotel's junket list. He says he wouldn't have minded also seeing Jock's name - but definitely not JR's. Pam chuckles and says they have something in common, and Bobby's like, "Ah, come on. JR's not that bad", which prompts Pam and Gary to burst out laughing.
Lucy tells Valene they should get a place together, but Valene fearfully shakes her head and says that if JR even knew they were talkin', he'd run her "clean out of Texas". She tells Lucy that for now they'd better keep their visits on the down-low. Lucy says that she and Jimmy need to get going, but promises to return soon.
Bobby gives Gary an update on Lucy and refers to her as "a sweet kid" - but Pam derisively snorts and argues that she's less a sweet kid than a spoiled rotten wildcat with a nasty temper. Gary grins and says he likes the sound of that, and Pam concurs and says she really does like the munchkin-nymphet. Bobby tells Gary he wants to tell Miss Ellie that her long lost son is coming home and then rushes over to the phone - but Gary grabs the receiver and says he has no desire to ever go back home, mostly 'cause he doesn't want to tangle with JR. A disappointed Bobby urges him to think it over, then reminds him that they're all meeting up for dinner later. After Gary leaves to go back to work, Bobby tells Pam that Gary was always Miss Ellie's favorite - but Pam solemnly reminds him how cunty his family can be, and cautions him about being too optimistic about a happy family reunion.
Pam arrives at the restaurant, where Gary is already seated, and tells him that Bobby got momentarily delayed. Gary gabbles to her about how much he misses his momma - and Lucy, of course - then complains about feeling like an outside among the Ewings. Pam tells him she can totally relate, and urges him to lean on her as a fellow outsider if he ever needs to. Bobby arrives at the table and happily announces that he just bought three plane tickets to Dallas.
Southfork. Miss Ellie runs out of the house shrieking, "He's coming home!" and Jock's all, "Wuh?" so she tells him that Bobby and Pam ran into Gary in Las Vegas... and, yadda yadda yadda...they're all flying in from Vegas together. JR and Sue Ellen exchange troubled expressions, then pretend to look thrilled with the news. Miss Ellie wants everyone to be home when Gary arrives, so she orders JR to take the day off work and forbids Sue Ellen to go into town. She then bitches at Jock to leave the past behind and reminds him that Gary is still his son and that he should avoid "putting up walls". Jock glares at her and snaps, "What kind of a man do you think I am?" and gruffly assures her that his intention is to tear walls down, not put them up. After he stalks off in his usual grizzled, pissed off manner, Sue Ellen jokes to JR that he's going to have to get another office at Ewing Oil ready - but JR smirkingly says, "I don't think that will be necessary."
JR goes inside and heads straight to the bar and pours himself a drink. Sue Ellen trails after him and asks him why he thinks Gary is coming back, and JR says maybe it's to see Lucy...then starts ranting about what a weak, inept pussy his younger brother is. He recalls how he tried to "help" him by getting his marriage to "that trashy girl" annulled...and when the pressure got to him, he ran out and abandoned Valene and Lucy. He calls Gary a loser and gleefully predicts, "He'll mess up this visit without any help from me."
Over in the stables, Lucy tells Ray she wants to re-open their "closed book" and tries to seduce him. Gaaa!! I thought the writers did away with this incestuous wretchedness from Season 1. Ray's like, "What about Jimmy?" and Lucy makes a face and derisively calls him "just a kid". She then grabs Ray and forcibly kisses him, but he pushes her away and says, "I don't want no more of this. Not now or ever." Amen to that.
Bobby, Pam, and Gary arrive at Southfork...and Lucy hears the car pull up and peeks through the stable window. Miss Ellie comes running out of the house, pauses for a moment to stare at her estranged son, then rushes into his arms. Jock, who's too gruff and manly for any sissy hugging, ambles over and shakes Gary's hand. Over in the stables, Lucy grabs a pair of binoculars from Ray and asks who the strange man is, and Ray says he knows who that is, but - for some dumb reason - doesn't want to say. Lucy finally gets a clue and rushes toward the house and stands in front of Gary and stares at him. He awkwardly says, "Hello. It's good to see you" and she's tells him it's good to see him, and the two touch hands and gaze into each others' eyes.
Later, Bobby is regaling everyone with the story of how he and Gary crossed paths in the Vegas hotel - but Jock interjects and orders Bobby to stop babbling nonsense so they can "clean the damn room of baggage". LOL. He turns toward Gary and barks, "Stand eyeball to eyeball and get it over with all at once" ...and the scene promptly fades out, so I'll assume that the baggage got cleaned off camera.
Later that night, Gary tiptoes into the kitchen to get himself a glass of milk. Bobby hears him and joins him, and the two sit at the kitchen table together and talk about old times. After a few minutes, Miss Ellie appears and reminisces along with them. She tells Gary she's missed him so much, and that she'd really really like it if he came back to Southfork for good.
The next morning, Lucy tells Gary she'd really really like it if he took a drive with her to Fort Worth, and he's like, "Er...OK" and the two hop into Ray's blue truck and drive off. In the next scene, they arrive at the shitty diner where Valene works, and she looks shocked to see her husband/ex-husband (dunno if they actually got divorced). Lucy giddily says, "It's him, mama. He's still pretty" (though not nearly as pretty as Ted Shackelford) and Valene starts twitching and looks overcome with emotion.
Pam gets a phone call from someone who tells her that Digger's in the hospital after being found half-dead (and fully drunk) in the street. Bobby offers to go with her, but she says Digger will probably wig out if she shows up with a Ewing son, then rushes off.
Gary and Lucy ask Valene to return to Southfork with them, but Valene is too afraid of what JR might do. Gary assures her he's mellowed out (though not really), and that Miss Ellie and Jock do a good job keeping him in line. She gives in when Lucy begs her, and Gary happily declares the matter settled and says he's going to call home and alert everyone that the three of them are on their way.
Southfork. Miss Ellie asks Sue Ellen where Gary and Lucy went, and Sue Ellen tells her they went out somewhere for a drive. Bobby tells the family that Digger Barnes is in the hospital's drunk ward...and when Jock lets out a mocking sneer, Bobby admonishes him for the deplorable way he treated the hapless lush during the barbecue. Jock snaps, "That's enough!" Miss Ellie, meanwhile, gets a phone call from Gary, and passes along the news that Gary and Lucy are with Valene, and that all three are planning to come to Southfork. JR grumbles that he ordered Valene never to set foot in Texas again, and Miss Ellie tells him to shut it and insists she wants her family together. A put out looking Sue Ellen remarks that she thought Gary's reappearance was just a visit, but Miss Ellie firmly says, "Not anymore." JR reminds everyone what a tramp Valene is - and Bobby tells him to lay off and says if Gary wants her here, then she has every right to be here.
JR calls somebody named Tom and orders him to reactivate a company named Q&R, which he was planning to liquidate. He tells Tom to rework the books so it looks like a successful company, and Tom sounds aghast and calls the company "a loser"...and JR chuckles and replies, "I have just the loser to run it."
Thanks for reading! If you are enjoying TVofYore's recaps, consider thanking me by buying me a "coffee"!