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."
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