Dallas - Season 3, Episode 14
Recap: It's Gary's birthday, and Miss Ellie is marking the occasion by brooding in her bedroom while looking over Gary's childhood drawings and playing his favorite song (over and over and over) on the record player.
Out on the patio, JR complains about mama repeatedly playing the same song and snarks that he never liked it, to which Lucy snaps, "Why? Because it's Gary's favorite?" When Bobby gently reminds JR that their mother always sinks into a state of extreme depression on Gary's birthday 'cause of how shittily the Ewings have treated him for the last decade or so - an impasse she doesn't seem all that interested in doing fuck all about to help resolve - and JR rolls his eyes derisively and mutters that a deadbeat lush like Gary is definitely not worth brooding over. Lucy's face contorts into a demonic expression of rage as she hissingly warns him to not talk about her daddy like that...and Bobby interjects and points out that a man doesn't have to be a rich and powerful CEO to account for something. JR snidely retorts that Gary is an alcoholic gambler - which, in his book, doesn't amount to much...and Bobby growls about how he needs to learn some manners - just as Jock tells them both to shut it, 'cause he doesn't want Miss Ellie to hear them argue on her annual Sad About Gary Day. When the Ewings begin to disperse from the table, Sue Ellen chides JR for always being such a dickwad to Lucy...and he smirkingly replies that her therapy sessions must be doing wonders for her 'cause her empathy for others is "downright touching".
Jock goes upstairs, turns off the record player, and tells Miss Ellie that all of this brooding is "no good". When he urges her to come downstairs, she refuses and whines, "I want my sonnnnn..", so Jock points out that even if they had the faintest clue where Gary was, there's no way in hell he'd ever be willing to step foot onto Southfork again. As a tearful Miss Ellie stares despondently into space, Jock gruffly says it's always the same story with Gary...meaning he always splits whenever things get so much as slightly uncomfortable.
As JR packs for a business trip to Austin, Sue Ellen wryly says she hopes that he and Kristin will find some time to squeeze in a little fun this weekend...and JR refrains from openly chuckling at his brazen philandering and tells her he's pretty sure they can think of something to keep their genitals occupied. Sue Ellen marvels about how unconcerned he is about displaying his perverse conduct so publicly, and JR weakly argues that the only thing he's guilty of is nepotism by hiring his sister-in-law, and that "only a filthy mind would come to perverse conclusions". As he heads toward the door, Sue Ellen smilingly promises that, while he's away, she plans to be just as discreet as he is. Sounds fun. Now please get a divorce.
Lucy tells Miss Ellie she likes it when she plays Gary's favorite song ad nauseam, 'cause it gives her comfort knowing that someone at Southfork besides herself misses her daddy. Miss Ellie nods sadly and tells Lucy she knows she's been secretly visiting her mom, and quickly adds that she really really needs to talk to Valene. Lucy tells her that, as coincidence would have it, she's off to visit her mom right now...and Miss Ellie's like, "Hurray!" and invites herself along.
Val looks apprehensive when she sees Miss Ellie show up at her secret mother-daughter meetup - but when Miss Ellie politely explains that she insisted on coming along, Val smiles and says it's nice to see her again. Miss Ellie tells her she really really neeeeeeeds to see Gary 'cause she considers him more her son than Bobby and/or JR, who belong more to Jock...which is kind of a dicked up logic, not least 'cause the three are fully grown men now, but OK. Val cagily says she sometimes hears from Gary, and agrees to pass along a message for him to call his mother asap.
Sue Ellen answers the phone when Rudy Millington (Kristin's old boyfriend) happens to call to see about getting hold of Kristin. Sue Ellen tells him she's working for JR now, and that the two are on a faux business trip in Austin and staying at the Conley Hotel. When Rudy says he'll trying calling her there, Sue Ellen suggests he show up unannounced to break up the drudgery of the business trip, and Rudy says he likes the sound of that and thanks her for the tip.
Val returns to the hotel she's been hiding out in and calls out for Gary...and Ted Shackelford - yay! - emerges from the bedroom and gives her a big smooch. She tells him they need to talk, then falls silent when she notices that he's in the process of packing his suitcase. When she's all, "Wha-at is going onnnnnn?" he tells her he's gotten sick of just sitting around all the time, so he landed himself a job in California. She asks what this means for them...and when he tells her he wants them to take their re-hookup "slow and easy", she snarks back that they've been taking it real easy for many months, and asks how long it's going to take him to decide whether or not they're likely to make it as a couple. He's like, "Dunno", then closes his suitcase and heads for the door - just as she informs him that Miss Ellie told her she's desperate to see him. Gary's like, "Nope" and says she'll just want to drag him right back into his shitty family's dysfunction, but Val implores him to stop being so frightened of the Ewings and grow a pair. Gary shoots her the stink-eye, promises to call, and leaves...and Val stares sadly into space and murmurs, "Happy birthday.."
Kristin is delighted by the swankiness of the Conley Hotel, and reminds JR he promised her there'd be no business this weekend. JR says he intends to keep that promise, then heads over to the front desk to check them into their room. Rudy Millington, who's lurking in the lobby, appears puzzled at the sight of his girlfriend acting so canoodly with her married boss/brother-in-law.
Gary drops by Ewing Oil to see Bobby...and after the two share a hearty man hug, Bobby says he's getting on the horn to inform their mother that her black sheep son is finally back in town.
Miss Ellie is thrilled by Bobby's phone call, but is warned to keep the news about Gary a secret from Lucy so she doesn't get her hopes up about her parents ever wanting to raise her - even though 1) by this point she's pretty much fully grown, and 2) Miss Ellie and Jock have so severely botched the job that any subsequent effort to parent her would be an exercise in futility. Bobby promises to bring her to Gary in the morning, and she breathlessly blurts out, "Yippee! I can't wait to see Gary on the down low tomorrow!" - LOL - and Sue Ellen, who's idling in the nearby study overhears the conversation and stares into space with a mixture of contemplation and amusement etched across her face.
JR and Kristin sashay into the hotel restaurant...and JR spots a grizzled businessman named Eugene Bullock, who's dining with a much younger blonde woman (Sally) who recently made the transition from office assistant to shameless trophy wife. Eugene boasts that Sally saw something she wanted [a grotesque sugar daddy] and went after it, and grimly adds that she barely even has to put out on account of his aged pecker's generally flaccid state. TMI, Eugene. Sally comes right out and concurs that, yep, she married the unsightly, largely impotent old goat purely for the money - and Eugene cackles and advises Kristin to take a page out of Sally's book and force a commitment out of JR...and to stop pretending she cares about him as a person, as "that strains credulity". Bwahahaha! When Kristin explains that she's JR's sister-in-law and functions purely as his secretary, Eugene rolls his eyes and retorts that when he offers advice, "smart people take it". JR cackles and toasts to that...which was a bit weird, considering he doesn't seem inclined to dump Sue Ellen anytime soon. Kristin, meanwhile, stares into space with an intrigued expression on her face.
Gary sheepishly returns to Val's hotel room and reminds her it's his birthday, and that he'd like to celebrate it with her. She perks up, and the two hug happily.
JR tells Eugene he'd like to bring him in on his gazillion dollar Asian oil deal - but Eugene stops him and says he now defers all of his business-related decision making to Sally. He then announces he's off to bed, but urges JR to stay awhile and negotiate with his wife. When Kristin pouts in protest, JR tells her to run along and amuse herself elsewhere.
Kristin heads over to the bar and orders an Irish coffee just as Rudy Millington appears on the stool beside her, tells her he booked himself into the nearby St. Francis Motel, and that Sue Ellen tipped him off about her current whereabouts. He asks her whassup with her cavorting around town so publicly with JR Ewing, so she tells him that since Sue Ellen doesn't seem to want him, she decided 'why not hit the sheets with my own brother-in-law and hope I eventually get a marriage proposal out of it?' Rudy boasts that he's no slouch, aka a banker who earns 200K a year...and Kristin chuckles condescendingly and says that JR leaves 200K tips. When Rudy sourly asks her if that includes her [sex-on-demand] fee, she smacks him hard across the face and stomps off.
The next morning, Bobby ferries Miss Ellie to his Ewing Oil office, where Gary and Val are waiting to visit with her. Miss Ellie happily hugs her son, sheepishly apologizes for the horribleness that went down at Southfork last season, then asks him how long he and Val have been seeing each other. Val says they've been shacking up for the last year or so, and Gary says he's into the idea of getting remarried and moving to California - but doesn't want to take Lucy along 'cause he's not entirely confident the remarriage will take, and he no longer wants to make promises to his daughter he can't keep. Miss Ellie nods and says she'd be grateful to be part of his life in any way he's willing to include her...and this prompts Gary to amble over to Val and propose. She stares at him in stunned bewilderment before crying, "Yes!" and leaping into his arms.
Kristin struts into the hotel restaurant in form fitting tennis-wear and snappishly reminds JR, who's huddled in another meeting with Sally, that they had plans to play tennis. JR tells her he's conducting business and to go find something else to do...and she storms over to the valet to retrieve his car so she can drive over to the St. Francis Motel for a revenge nooner with Rudy.
Bobby offers to help with the arrangements for Gary's/Val's quickie wedding, then mentions to Miss Ellie that he has some real estate deals pending with houses in California. Miss Ellie perks up and asks him if the houses are nice...and when Bobby's like, "Well d'yuh" and shows her the photos, she stares at them in quiet contemplation.
Rudy gets out of the shower and is wearing just a towel cinched around his waist when Kristin arrives. He grins at her lustfully and invites her in for a romp.
Miss Ellie and Bobby stop in at Southfork to change into something dressy. Jock asks Miss Ellie where in blazes she's been all day, and she breezily rushes past him and says she's in a hurry and can't talk. When Jock asks Bobby whassup, he spills the beans about Gary and Val being in town, and that they're about to have a quickie wedding. He invites Jock to attend, provided he can behave himself, but Jock refuses to show an ounce of support to his deadbeat son and says he's given him too many chances already. Bobby shakes his head in exasperation and jots down the address in case he changes his mind.
Bobby tells Miss Ellie he told Jock about the wedding, but doubts he'll be in attendance...and Miss Ellie sighs and says he was always way too hard on Gary. Sue Ellen, who's continuing to idle in the nearby study, overhears the conversation and once again stares into space with a mixture of contemplation and amusement etched across her face.
Sally tells JR she's eager to make a deal with him, and promises to convince her husband it'd be a good idea. When JR calls home to check in, Sue Ellen gleefully tells him she has some good news to share: Gary is back in town and plans to marry Valene this afternoon. She smirkingly adds, "I hope this doesn't ruin your little holiday" and an irked JR mutters, "Damn.." and abruptly hangs up before telling a disappointed Sally he needs to rush back to Dallas, pronto, 'cause he has an ill-fated wedding to put a stop to.
JR expresses his annoyance to the front desk clerk when he's told that Kristin absconded with his car - just as the valet saunters over to inform him that she asked him directions to the nearby St. Francis Motel just before taking off.
Miss Ellie presents Gary and Val with their wedding gift: a stack of photos of for sale houses in California. She explains that she'd like to buy them a house in exchange for stealing Lucy and forcibly raising her at Southfork. Gary says that sounds like a reasonable bargain and gratefully clutches her hand - just as Jock arrives and grizzles about how he heard that there's a wedding happening here today. Gary grins and tells him he's glad he was able to make it, and the two share a manly hug.
Kristin takes a post-coital shower, then smooches Rudy while he coos about how much he still loves her. A few seconds later, JR enters the room with the aid of a heavily tipped motel employee and barks at Kristin to get dressed. Rudy glares at JR, who chuckles about how embarrassing this must be for him...this meaning that the skank he just doinked is abandoning him for the man she's more regularly doinking. He spots Rudy's business card and promptly calls his boss, threatening to withdraw all Ewing Oil money from his bank if he doesn't immediately fire Rudy Millington, a man who's completely devoid of character and moral fiber. After the call, he smugly tells Rudy he may need to relocate to Atlanta to find work, then swaggers out of the room with Kristin dutifully trailing after him.
JR arrives at Val's hotel room, and looks mildly miffed when he's told that the wedding ceremony has already taken place. He smarmily congratulates the bride and shakes Gary's hand.
In the next scene, Bobby, Val, and Gary are in Southern California, where Bobby is showing them a house in a fictional suburb called Knot's Landing. Val gushes about the house and tells Gary she'd like to move in asap...and Bobby muses about what a nice ring Knot's Landing has to it. Heh.
The next morning, JR staggers onto the patio for breakfast, looking vexed and disheveled. He chides Sue Ellen for not giving him an earlier warning about his brother's wedding, but she just shrugs and says she couldn't give the tiniest of rat's asses about anything the Ewing family does anymore. She informs him that Miss Ellie bought a house for Gary and Val in California, and JR perks up and goes, "California..?" and starts cackling about his sudden relief at the distance that now lies between him and his most hated brother.
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1/7/2020 11:06:53 pm
Your captions are just SO funny! LOL
1/11/2020 09:04:29 am
It's good that you did this episode. Do you plan to do Knots in the future? I would like to help out with that- I'd written some recaps for that one.
Isabel K. French
1/11/2020 09:25:29 am
I would love to, Harvey. The problem is, Knot’s isn’t streaming anywhere, and the show doesn’t seem to be on DVD. I have no idea how to access the episodes.
2/6/2020 11:35:31 pm
1/15/2020 08:46:33 am
Where can I read those, Harvey? Sounds great!
1/15/2020 09:10:02 am
I too would love to read your recaps of knots if you ever did them. you could probably buy the seasons on DVD from a Private seller who basically recorded them. the last time knows was on TV i think was soap net back in 2003.
1/15/2020 08:45:25 am
As always, a great recap. The start of Knots Landing. But... who’s Valerie? 😉
1/15/2020 08:48:57 am
Brain fart! Thanks for the heads up. I fixed that.
1/15/2020 09:11:51 am
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