Dallas - Season 3, Episode 15
Recap: Sue Ellen hears her spawn start mewling at 3am - but now that her maternal instincts have fully kicked in, she's more than happy to get up to tend to her crying baby. At the same time, Bobby wakes up and notices that Pam's side of the bed is empty, so he makes a beeline over to the nursery and is all "Wuh?" when he finds Sue Ellen standing in front of the crib, cuddling her son. She tells Bobby she now feels bad about behaving so cuntily towards the tot, and Bobby says it's all in the past, and that they look very nice together.
Bobby finds Pam in the study with paperwork spread out on the desk in front of her. She explains that the baby woke her up...and that since she wasn't very tired, she decided to get some work done. Bobby gets a peeved look on his face and says he disapproves of her doing work-related stuff at home, and thinks she should be able to complete her assignments between 9am and 5pm. He then remarks on how she's been spending more and more time at the store, and thinks it has a lot to do with Sue Ellen's sudden desire to be a mother to her own child. He says he thinks it's wrong for her to throw herself into her work - but Pam snaps back that he's wrong, then shoots him the stink-eye as he sheepishly retreats from the study. At that moment, JR drunkenly stumbles out of the adjacent room and admonishes Bobby for arguing with his wife when the rest of the family is trying to sleep, and Bobby grabs him by the collar and snarls at him to mind his own damn business.
At work the next morning, JR grumbles to Kristin that Jock has severely restricted his decision-making abilities at Ewing Oil, and that he's treating him like an errand boy - despite making the company fabulously rich as a result of his Asia deal. He sourly adds that Jock will probably appoint Bobby to run Ewing Oil...then looks contemplative for a few seconds and wonders if it's actually a good thing to lure Bobby back into the company, since it means he'll get Jock off his back and could sideline Bobby with some kind of superfluous, time-consuming project.
Ray arrives at the Culver house as Donna is directing a team of moving men to clear out the furniture and other belongings. Ray expresses condolences to Donna about the death of her husband Sam, and explains that he skipped the funeral 'cause he didn't want to risk embarrassing her. He then scrunches his dumb face into a wincey expression and tells Donna he feels awkward being here - but also really really wants to touch her. Donna sashays over to his truck, climbs inside the front cab, and coquettishly says, "Come on, cowboy. Let's go!" OK, well...someone's gone completely insane after the death of her husband.
Pam is at The Store (this is somehow the first time I noticed that her workplace is literally called The Store), looking very industrious when her boss Liz Craig pops by her office to invite her to lunch. Pam declines and says she's far too busy...and when Liz assures her it's A-OK to enjoy a relaxing lunch considering how hard she's been pushing herself lately, Pam insists on continuing to plug away.
JR looks peeved about Jock taking over his office, so he scrunches his face faux concernedly and tells his daddy he's worried about Miss Ellie being home alone at the ranch all day, and that he's contrite about screwing up to the degree that Jock feels the need to supervise him at the office. He suggests a possible solution: persuade Bobby to return to Ewing Oil so that the strapping Ewing brothers can work side by side again. Jock points out that that didn't work out so well the first time, but JR earnestly insists he's changed for the better and promises to play nice with his bro. Jock agrees to think it over, and will probably chat about it to Bobby tonight.
Bobby drops by Pam's office with a bouquet of yellow flowers and offers to take her to dinner and a movie. Pam says that while it's a sweet offer, she has a photo session scheduled shortly, followed by a meeting. Bobby looks irked and tells her to get someone else to do it (the fuck?), but Pam says she can't really do that and suggests they go out tomorrow night instead. Bobby petulantly insists she go out with him right now - or else never - then snidely points out, "This company got along without you before!" before storming out like the prickly little bitch he's morphed into this episode.
That evening at Southfork, Jock tells Bobby he's looking to spend less time at the office so he can stay home all day to hover over Miss Ellie, then implores him to resume his executive position at Ewing Oil. Bobby says he actually prefers running the ranch at Southfork...but when Jock begs him to pleeeeeease make the life change, Bobby agrees and says he'll break the news to Ray asap.
Miss Ellie is standing on the patio, staring wistfully into space when Jock joins her. She tells him she finds it so quiet at Southfork these days, and that she used to harbor a crazy notion that her three sons would all live here happily with their spouses and children. Jock says he'd prefer to focus on the two of them spending time together and calls this "the best time of our lives" ... but Miss Ellie's just like, "Meh" and dejectedly ambles inside.
Bobby enters the Longhorn Bar and is pleasantly surprised to find Ray hanging out with a live human woman, aka Donna Culver. Bobby orders a beer, explains that Pam didn't come along 'cause she's working late yet again, and tells Ray he'll be returning to work at Ewing Oil and hopes this doesn't leave him shorthanded at Southfork. Ray just shrugs and says it's no problem 'cause things have been pretty slow lately. After Bobby heads out, Donna tells Ray she won't make the mistake of working late and leave him alone to drink in a bar all night, and Ray says he's no longer into the idea of spending hours warming a bar stool, then blushingly adds, "I have better plans for my nights", which...ew.
Pam arrives home at the same time JR pulls up in the driveway...and he chides her for working so much overtime lately, then mockingly warns her not to leave Bobby alone too much. Pam retorts by ridiculing his lack of manhood, specifically his penis's inability to father Sue Ellen's child - oh, snap! - and comes right out and says she's pretty sure that Cliff is the baby daddy. JR snaps that there's no proof of that - and that according to state law, whenever an infant's paternity is up in the air, the woman's husband is officially declared the father. He then snarls about how all of Digger Barnes' offspring are trash, and that Ewings should stay far away from them.
Pam goes up to her bedroom and sheepishly tells Bobby she just did a very stupid thing...and very stupid she means she got sucked into an argument with JR and blurted out that she knows Cliff is Baby John's bio dad. Bobby's face turns ashen as he mutters, "Oh no.." and says that clearly JR was trying to strike where she's most vulnerable: motherhood. When Pam insists that she won't risk pregnancy for fear the child will become afflicted with her genetic disease, Bobby suggests they consider adoption. Pam scoffs at the [perfectly reasonable] idea and says she's in no mood to rush into that.
JR hovers over Sue Ellen, who's fast asleep, and calls her a tramp who's caused him nothing but trouble. He then nonsensically vows to put both Cliff and Pam out on the street.
The next morning, Sheriff Washburn arrives at Southfork to informally question the Ewings about the skeleton that was unearthed on Ray's new housing lot. Washburn tells them the skull has a bullet hole, and that his officers figure the man was likely a drifter who pissed off the wrong person. He asks Jock and Miss Ellie if they remember anyone who mysteriously disappeared thirty years ago, and they both stare blankly into space for a few seconds before mumbling that, nope, they have no recollection of any such person. Bobby cheekily asks JR if, when he was a child, he shot someone and forgot about it, and JR shoots him the stink-eye and says he doesn't find that question remotely amusing...even though it got a hearty chuckle out of everyone within earshot.
Ray tells Bobby he's planning to propose to Donna, and Bobby congratulates him and suggests he have the wedding at Southfork. Ray concurs and says that since glomming onto the Ewings has been his lifestyle choice for as long as he can remember, he can't think of a better venue.
Sue Ellen tells Dr. Ellby she felt bad for JR when he caused the Ewings to almost lose Southfork, and liked that he was vulnerable and human-like - to the point that she felt a desire to help him...but when he struck oil in Asia, he quickly reverted to being his usual dickish self. She laments marrying a man she abhors and is worried that Dusty is going to turn out to be just as bad. A few seconds later, she abruptly decides she hasn't been making adequate progress with these therapy sessions...to which Dr. Ellby points out that she seems to be becoming more of a whole person who's more trusting of herself. Sue Ellen stares contemplatively into space as she mulls over that arguable assessment.
Bobby arrives at Ewing Oil and tells Jock he broke the news to Ray about quitting ranching to resume his executive job...then adds that the long work hours won't be a problem 'cause he hasn't been seeing much of Pam lately. He says he broached the subject of them adopting a baby, but Jock cautions him about rushing into adoptive parenting, and urges him to lean more towards birthing "a real Ewing", which I thought was a really douchebaggish thing to say.
JR runs into Harrison Page while he and Kristin are lunching at a fancy restaurant. JR remarks on all the long hours Pam has been putting in at The Store, and says he'd love to see her get a promotion that involves lots of business travel. Subtle, JR. As Harrison mulls that over, JR sweetens the suggestion with a promise to bring him in on his Asian oil deal...and Harrison brightens and says he'll definitely give it some serious thought.
Sue Ellen is cooing at Baby John in her bedroom when JR enters and calls their tender mother-son moment "a pretty picture". He admits he's pleased that she's finally been taking an interest in her own child - unlike himself, who's never so much as held the tot.
When Pam arrives home after yet another evening of working overtime, Bobby confronts her on the patio and barks, "I'm getting damn sick and tired of waiting around, not knowing when you're coming home!" He says he refuses to live this way, and demands that she stop spending so much time at The Store...and more of it "at Southfork, being my wife!" Pam somehow refrains from reminding Bobby about all the business travel he used to do as a Ewing Oil executive, and refuses give up her job just 'cause he says so. Bobby calls that answer unacceptable, so she snaps back, "Then there's only one answer left: a divorce!" and storms back to her car. Bobby's all, "Ack!" and runs after her, insisting that he was just being a blowhardy misogynist douchebag and didn't actually mean to piss her off to the point that she'd bring up divorce [aka a sweet release from the intolerable situation of living under the same roof as her sexist husband and meddling in-laws]. Pam softens and explains that she felt a void when Baby John no longer needed her...and when she's at work, she can just lose herself in it and not dwell on her barrenness. Bobby vows to work this out with her, then urges her to come inside...and we see that JR is standing on a nearby balcony, eavesdropping on the conversation.
Ray and Donna are in bed together, enjoying some post-coital canoodling, which...ew. He gushes about how much he thinks about her whenever he's herding cattle, then brings up the idea of marriage. Donna mumbles something unintelligible, then tells Ray she doesn't want to get remarried so soon after her husband's death, 'cause people might jump to the [somewhat accurate] conclusion that she had a younger backup option waiting in the wings. She doesn't want him to get tangled up in all the gossip, and Ray looks satisfied enough with that explanation and says he'll be grateful if she so much as contemplates the possibility of one day marrying him.
JR calls Harrison Page and tells him he'll cut him in at 1% of the Asian deal, then asks whassup with Pam's promotion at The Store.
Liz Craig bursts into Pam's office and snarls, "Your hard work has paid off", then explains that Harrison Page has decided to install her (Pam) as head buyer of the Dallas store, while she (Liz) is getting transferred to Houston. Pam stares back at her in shock and says she never even talked to Harrison Page about a promotion...but Liz is like, "Whatever" and snarkishly warns that the head buyer job is so demanding it's guaranteed to break up her marriage. She bitchily congratulates her, then storms out of the room.
While having pre-dinner drinks at Southfork, JR pretends to be thrilled about working with Bobby at Ewing Oil again, and Jock says he may still drop by the office now and then...but that his priority will be to spend his days lounging around Southfork with Miss Ellie.
Bobby greets Pam when she arrives home and invites her to join himself, Ray, and Donna for dinner. Pam ignores the invitation and tells him she just got a big promotion at The Store, and Bobby immediately gets surly and says he's pissed that she'd even consider accepting it. He says that if she insists on filling her days pursuing a career, there won't be anything left of their marriage - so they may as well consider divorce. [Woo hoo! Yes please!] As he storms off to meet Donna and Ray, Pam stares after him, twitching miserably.
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Recapper: Isabel K. French
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