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!!"