Dallas - Season 3, Episode 21
Recap: JR returns to Southfork after a long day at work and audibly groans when he sees that Sue Ellen has thrown him a Happy Ninth Wedding Anniversary! surprise party. As Sue Ellen chirps, "Happy anniversary, darling!", Jock toasts their marital bliss to a roomful of partygoers...while Kristin stands in a corner, glowering. JR ambles over to her and tells her she could at least pretend to have a good time...and a few seconds later, Sue Ellen wanders over to where JR and Kristin are standing and announces to everyone that her dear sister will soon be moving to California, then raises her glass of club soda and adds, "May she find a man of her own!" LOL. As everyone drinks to Kristin's man-hunting abilities, Kristin stares daggers at her sister.
After the party, a tipsy JR amorously invites Sue Ellen to show him what a devoted wife she really is, and she responds by pouring half a bottle of champagne on his crotch and makes it clear that they're never going to have sex again...and that all she wants is a quick divorce and sole custody of Baby John. JR snarls that she's not fooling anyone with her devoted wife act - but she argues that, actually, it's been pretty easy to pull off.
A subdued, hungover JR arrives at work the next morning. Louella informs him that Kristin called and wants him to call her back asap, and he makes it clear that he has zero desire to talk to that tart and to always tell her he's in a meeting. Bobby summons him over to his office to show him a map of Texas with the location of a Ewing oil field that got shut down years ago. He says it's possible there's a lot of oil there and that he intends to start drilling, but JR says he doubts it's worth the trouble for what's likely a small amount of oil. Bobby says he doesn't give a rat's ass what he thinks and that he's moving ahead with the drilling...and when JR irritably asks him why he bothered to tell him about it, Bobby says he figured he should at least go through the motions of informing the president of Ewing Oil what's going on. Back in the foyer, Louella answers another call from Kristin, and JR overhears and shakes his head while mouthing I'm not here.
Later, JR wraps up another fuckfest with the leggy blonde hooker he's been seeing lately, tosses a wad of cash at her, and heads back to his car. After he pulls onto the street, he's immediately followed by a mysterious man in a blue car.
Alan drops by Ewing Oil to tell JR that his job offer at Smithfield & Bennett was rescinded now that he's no longer marrying Lucy. He apologizes for all the double crossing JR thinks he did and reminds him what a bang-up job he did with the whole Cliff Barnes Faux Running for Congress scheme. JR assumes he's wired and pretends to not have a clue what he's talking about...and when Alan snarls that he knows enough to give him plenty of grief, JR tells him to get lost: out of his office, then out of Dallas altogether. After Alan storms out, JR buzzes Louella and asks her to please send a bottle of bourbon to Harv Smithfield with a thank you note.
JR drops by Kristin's condo...and when Kristin bitches at him for not returning her many "urgent" phone calls, he chides her prickly 'tude and says he merely came by to relax with a drink. Kristin whines about how gross it was to watch Sue Ellen hanging all over him during their anniversary party, then asks why in the hell she announced to everyone that she's moving to California. JR's like, "Dunno", then says she probably should go back to California and finish her studies...not least 'cause the only thing she appears to have going on in Dallas is their icky arrangement of her lounging around a Ewing Oil subsidized condo, waiting for him to show up whenever he's in the mood for a romp. Kristin apologizes for complaining and says she misses seeing him, and he hands her some cash and tells her to go out and buy herself something pretty. He then beats a hasty retreat...and when he pulls onto the street, he glances in his rear view mirror and this time realizes he's being followed.
Early the next morning, JR calls his buddy in the police department, Detective Harry McSween, and summons him to Ewing Oil for a private one-on-one.
Miss Ellie is strolling through a neighborhood park with Matt Devlin, once again admonishing his plans to build low income housing in lieu of expanding the city's green space. He politely stands by his decision and suggests they go to lunch so he can convince her to put an end to this boring-as-fuck subplot.
JR tells Detective McSween everything he can remember about the car that was following him. The detective suggests he give him an itinerary of his planned whereabouts so he can arrive at the venues early and catch the stalker in the act.
Alan drops by Kristin's condo and proposes they join forces in hatching a sinister revenge plot against JR for so callously discarding them now that they've served their purpose. He urges Kristin to go over whatever records she may have on JR's malfeasance, and Kristin promises to think it over - but makes it clear that any colluding between them will be hanky panky free, aka strictly business.
JR is hanging out at the hooker's apartment while she browses a magazine and complains about his sexless visit. JR checks his watch and decides he's been at this "appointment" on his itinerary long enough for Detective McSween to be scoping out the area. He climbs into his car and drives off, and the person who's been following him pulls onto the street - and is swiftly stopped by police. McSween demands to know why he's been stalking JR Ewing, and the man immediately cracks and identifies himself as private investigator Tom Fuller, and that he was hired by Sue Ellen Ewing to document her husband's comings and goings.
JR races home to admonish Sue Ellen for hiring a PI to follow him, and she just shrugs and calls it payback for all the times he unleashed his PIs on her. She openly admits that she's actively trying to uncover any dirt that will help in her upcoming custody battle for Baby John...and when a furious JR snarlingly threatens to kill her, she chuckles and says he doesn't have the guts.
JR goes over to Kristin's condo and rails about Sue Ellen...and when Kristin asks him why he doesn't just divorce her and be done with it, he says he doesn't want to risk her getting custody of Baby John or - heaven forfend! - his parents getting wind of his serial philandering if the matter goes to court. 'Cause, yeah, I'm sure that cat hasn't been out of the bag since the early days of his/Sue Ellen's shitty marriage. He figures that the best way to move forward would be to convince his family that Sue Ellen has started drinking again so he has a good excuse to get her locked up in the clinic-mansion sanitarium he imprisoned her in at the end of Season 2. He tells Kristin he could use her help with that, and she giddily says she's more than willing to do his bidding - but only if he agrees to marry her before the ink on his divorce papers has had a chance to dry. JR's all, "Ack!" at the prospect of agreeing to that madness, then somehow manages to keep a straight face as he gives her his word. He instructs her to launch phase one of Operation Make It Look Like Sue Ellen's Drinking Again by inviting Sue Ellen out to lunch and ordering a big glass of bourbon for herself.
The next day, Sue Ellen arrives at a downtown restaurant for her lunch date with Kristin. Kristin apologizes for being such an abominable sister, confesses to hitting the sheets with JR, but puts most of the blame on their mother, who taught them to be the shameless gold diggers they grew up to be. She says she's planning to return to California to complete her studies - but hopes they can bury the sins of the past and be best friends again. Sue Ellen sees no red flag with that proposition and agrees to the two of them going back to being on friendly terms - and Kristin raises her giant glass of bourbon and toasts, "To friendship!", then leans forward to "accidentally" spill the entire contents of her drink all over Sue Ellen's white dress.
JR offers Tom Fuller a briefcase filled with $10,000 cash to rewrite his PI reports to Sue Ellen so that it looks as though his recent activities have included innocent business meetings and get togethers with friends - not the nightly visits he's been paying to the leggy blonde hooker. Tom eagerly agrees to the bribe, but points out that he already sent Sue Ellen a series of PI reports that document his past comings and goings. JR shrugs unconcernedly and says he'll take care of doctoring those.
Sheriff Washburn arrives at Southfork to tell Jock and Miss Ellie that the investigation into the body that was found on Ray's plot of land has been closed due to a lack of new information. A few seconds later, Sue Ellen returns home from her lunch and explains to her in-laws that she has a bourbon soaked dress 'cause Kristin spilled her entire drink on her. When she goes inside to change, Jock scrunches his face perplexedly and remarks to Miss Ellie that he's never known Kristin to drink anything but white wine. Sue Ellen, meanwhile, goes through the day's mail and finds the latest PI report from Tom Fuller. She rushes upstairs and, without even reading the thing, puts it into her [not so] secret hiding space: inside a manila envelop that's taped under the jewelry case in her underwear drawer. Which, I'm guessing, is literally the first place JR would go looking for it.
That evening, JR solemnly tells Jock and Miss Ellie that he found an empty bourbon bottle in his bedroom and is afraid it's a sign that Sue Ellen has started drinking again. He asks them to please not say anything to her about it, but urges Miss Ellie to keep a close eye on her. When he goes upstairs to pretend to concernedly check in on his drunken wife, Jock points out to Miss Ellie that Sue Ellen was acting kinda funny earlier.
The next morning, JR calls Kristin and reminds her to get to Ewing Oil before Jock arrives, and she agrees and says she knows exactly what to do.
When Jock arrives at Ewing Oil, he finds Kristin waiting in the foyer. She tells him she's waiting for JR, who promised to give her the inside scoop on places to live in in California. As anticipated, Jock invites her to wait in his office, and she happily accompanies him there. She asks him if Sue Ellen got home OK after their lunch yesterday, then adds that she's very worried about her sister's newly emerged drinking problem 'cause of the alarming way she boozed it up during lunch, and then drunkenly spilled an entire glass of bourbon all over her dress. Jock mulls over the distressing news and nods his head concernedly.
While driving home, Sue Ellen is pulled over by a police officer...and we see that Detective McSween, who orchestrated the traffic stop, is watching from a nearby squad car.
When the phone rings at Southfork, Bobby rushes out of the room to answer it...then returns a few seconds later with a somber expression on his normally expressionless face and informs the family that Sue Ellen has been detained for faux suspicion of drunk driving.
Later, Bobby drives Sue Ellen back to Southfork, and she quietly enters the house. She tells the family that the drinking and driving accusation is a mistake, and swears that she hasn't had a single drink since the late stage of her pregnancy. When Jock, Miss Ellie, and Bobby stare back at her skeptically, she gives up trying to convince them of her sobriety and retreats upstairs. Bobby tells his parents that the arresting officer reported that Sue Ellen was driving erratically - but didn't charge her 'cause she's a member of the privileged Ewing clan.
JR and Kristin cackle about the successful rollout of Operation Make It Look Like Sue Ellen's Drinking Again and tout their evil cleverness. Kristin excitedly says she absolutely can't wait to be the next Mrs. JR Ewing - and a horrified JR's all, "Whoa, honey" and tells her not to rush it. She poutishly reminds him they made a deal, and he concurs and pretends that he has no intention of going back on his word.
Sue Ellen is in a session with Dr. Ellby, complaining about how JR is trying to make her look like a hopeless drunk in front of his family. Dr. Ellby suggests she go on a trip to clear her mind, but she tells him she's worried that if she leaves town for an extended period of time, JR will find a way to keep her off the ranch for good and bar her from seeing her baby.
During pre-dinner drinks, Sue Ellen tells the Ewings she got some much needed therapy from Dr. Ellby today, and that he doesn't believe she's resumed her drinking habit. She accuses JR of wanting it to look like she's been drinking so he can get her committed to the clinic-mansion sanitarium and gain full custody of Baby John. She admits she hired a PI to follow him around in order to provide proof that he's a philandering douchebag and therefore an unfit father/husband. And speaking of proof, she runs upstairs to retrieve Tom Fuller's reports so that Jock and Miss Ellie can look over the irrefutable evidence for themselves.
In the next scene, Sue Ellen hands Tom Fuller's reports to Jock and Miss Ellie as she shoots JR a smug glare and says, "See what kind of son you have." As JR does his best to hide his amusement, Miss Ellie reads over one of the reports in befuddlement and says that, according to Tom Fuller, JR was doing nothing more than attend business dinners and go on outings with friends. Jock concurs and hands the reports back to Sue Ellen, grumbling, "Why did you do this?" Sue Ellen's all, "Wha-a-a-a?!", accuses JR of switching the reports, and lunges at him while shrieking, "I hate you!!"
As Bobby pulls a hysterical Sue Ellen away from JR, she asks if he believes her, and he just stares stonily at her. After she storms out of the room, JR apologizes to his parents for having to witness that loony outburst just now, then gets on the phone with the family physician to set up an appointment for him to make a house call to Southfork and assess Sue Ellen's deteriorating mental state.
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12/28/2020 06:43:38 pm
your recaps are great! very detailed. I just finished this episode and it never fails. i am always completely stunned by JR! He is so ruthless! When Sue Ellen found out that he switched the papers from the investigator, i felt so bad for her.Thankyou for your recaps.
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Recapper: Isabel K. French
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