Dallas - Season 4, Episode 8
Recap: Ray is horseback riding on a remote area of Southfork when he stops, dismounts, and runs his fingers through the dirt while staring contemplatively into space. A few seconds later, he climbs atop his horse and trots off.
JR paces the pool deck while Sue Ellen suns herself on a lounger. He rails that he's still in his prime and nowhere near ready to retire from Ewing Oil, and Sue Ellen sexily concurs that she can definitely testify to him being in his prime. She suggests he start a new company, but he points out that Ewing Oil is already his company and that he wants it back. He admits to being surprised at how well Bobby handled the latest crisis, and says it's nice to see he has "some Ewing blood in him". As Ray rides over, JR rolls his eyes derisively and says he's willing to tolerate having a new half-brother as long as the yokel stays on the ranch and out of his way. Sue Ellen remarks on the fact that Jock always paid more attention to Ray than he did Gary, then worries that since Bobby continues to run Ewing Oil, which squeezes him (JR) out, their importance in the family's pecking order is slowly getting chipped away at. JR assures her she has no reason to worry 'cause he's about to hatch a plan that will "put a burr" under Bobby's saddle. And possibly Ray's too.
Over in the stables, Ray tells Miss Ellie he's grateful to her for not reacting to the news that he's Jock's bio son by wanting to throw him off the property. Miss Ellie just shrugs and says the news wasn't exactly the world's biggest bombshell, then tells him he's in for a huge adjustment now that he's officially the fourth Ewing brother. Ray argues that he's been Ray Krebbs for too long to suddenly switch over to being Ray Ewing, and would prefer it if no one but the immediately family knew about it - but Miss Ellie says she doubts that'll be possible, and welcomes him into her dysfunctional family.
Pam's private investigator, John Mackey, drops by The Store to give her an update on Operation Find Mother Barnes. He managed to trace her movements to Kingsville three months after she supposedly died in Corpus Christi twenty years ago. Specifically, she worked in Kingsville as a waitress in a coffee shop, where she met a traveling salesman and then left town with him. Pam exclaims, "That's wonderful!" and urges him to keep pressing ahead with his investigation.
Jock tells Miss Ellie that JR and Sue Ellen are upstairs "taking a nap", and Miss Ellie beams and says she's soooo she's pleased that the two have managed to repair their former train-wreck of a marriage. She then says she had a lovely chat with Ray and remarks on how much like Gary he is in loving the land, which she mistakenly thought was a trait that she alone passed along to Gary and (sort of) Bobby. Jock grins at that acknowledgement and gruffly coos about how much he looooves Southfork.
Bobby is meeting with Les Crowley of the Lonestar Bank, discussing the possible purchase of the Wilson property, aka a large plot of land that sits adjacent to Ewing 23. Les tells him he has a few weeks to make a decision, and Bobby promises to give it some serious thought.
Ray picks up the morning paper, sees an article about Donna Culver heading up a charity drive, and stares wistfully into space.
Cliff is putting the last touches on a fancy dinner for two at his apartment when Pam drops by to share the latest news about Operation Find Mother Barnes. Cliff tells her it's not a good time for a brother-sister chat...and when Pam notices the fancy table settings, she correctly guesses he has a hot date. A few seconds later, Donna arrives and gives Pam an eyeful when plants Cliff with a tongue-on-tongue smooch...and Pam's like, "OK then, I'll talk to you another time, Cliff" and beats a hasty retreat. Cliff tells Donna that once Pam starts blabbing about what she just saw, the entire Ewing family is going to know they're hitting the sheets...and Donna's just all whatever and says that people are going to have to find out about them sooner or later.
Bobby calls the foreman at Ewing 23 to give him a heads up that he's dropping by tomorrow to look at the adjacent Wilson property. A few seconds later, we see that some nefarious looking guy is skulking around Ewing 23, planting a bomb inside an oil well.
That evening at Southfork, Bobby tells Jock he's contemplating buying the Wilson property and wants to take Ray along to look it over with him. He figures that even if there's no oil on it, it could expand the grazing land for the Southfork herd. JR asks why Ray isn't joining them for pre-dinner drinks...and when Miss Ellie says he isn't ready to make any dramatic changes in his life, JR predicts that that'll soon change, given that "Ewing assets are hard to resist". When everyone stares at him, visibly appalled, he's like, "Just kidding!" and agrees it's probably best to slowly ease Ray into the Ewing fold. He then changes the subject and asks Bobby if Cliff Barnes is getting cut in with the Wilson real estate purchase [not sure why he would], then says that that loser wouldn't be getting a dime from the Ewing 23 crude oil profits if he were in charge. Pam angrily reminds JR that Cliff is legally entitled to any profits generated from Ewing 23, then smugly informs him that Cliff is currently involved with someone who could potentially cause trouble for him. When she names Donna Culver as her brother's new romantic interest, JR chuckles and mutters, "Will wonders never cease?" and Miss Ellie cuts the bitchy conversation short by announcing that it's time to go eat dinner.
At bedtime, Pam tells Bobby she hates herself for letting JR get to her - but Bobby tells her not to beat herself up about it too much, and points out that Cliff's/Donna's hookup will eventually become public knowledge. Pam says she's mostly worried about Ray finding out, and Bobby nods solemnly and says he'll drop by Casa Krebbs in the morning and break the news to his half-brother. Pam changes the subject and announces that she got some news from her PI that indicates her mother might be alive and well and living in Texas, but Bobby just grunts and disinterestedly warns her about getting her hopes up. Pam gets miffed that he doesn't share her excitement and says she's really starting to hate what's happening to their marriage, specifically how obsessed with work he is and what an insensitive prick he's becoming. Bobby explains that as the CEO of Ewing Oil he has to do his hardest to concentrate a lot more than he did when he was JR's underling, and assures her he loves her...but she just stares back at him with a look of scepticism etched across her face.
JR frets to Sue Ellen that he now has to worry about Cliff and Donna Culver joining forces against him. He asks her if she's bothered by Cliff hooking up with another woman, but she assures him that there's zero heat left over from that icky affair, and that their newly re-bonded marriage is all she cares about these days. JR nods approvingly, but then pronounces, "A man needs more" and vows to cut Bobby out of Ewing Oil any way he can.
The next morning, Donna drops by Ray's house to tell him in person that she's now hitting the sheets with Cliff. She says he's fun and easy to be with and that she got tired of being alone, but that this hookup is not nearly as deep and meaningful as their relationship was. Ray assures her he's fine with it and is happy if she's happy - just as Bobby arrives to pick up Ray to go check out the Wilson property.
As Bobby helicopters himself and Ray to Ewing 23, Ray admits he was totally freaked out when Jock announced to the family that he's his bio dad. Bobby asks him if he told Donna the shocking paternity news, since it's soooo obvious they love each other - but Ray shakes his head and says she's now into Cliff, with whom she has a whole lot more in common. When the two arrive at Ewing 23, the foreman informs Bobby that some nut just called the field house and threatened to blow up the wells unless he gets $5 million by 4pm, and will call again at 12:30pm to get an update on his demands. An ashen-faced Bobby's all, "Wha-a-a-a-a?!"
JR drops by Ewing Oil to give [his secretary] Louella a bouquet of flowers and suggest they have a late lunch to "catch up" ... and she's all, "Mmm hmm.." and assures him she's totes into that idea.
Pam tells Cliff that her PI learned that their mother lived in Kingsville after Digger claimed she had died - but Cliff's like, "I really don't give a shit" and reminds his sister that the woman abandoned them when they were children. He adds that he has zero interest in digging into the past and much prefers looking to the future with his fancy new girlfriend. Pam asks him if he's mostly interested in Donna 'cause she's rich and has powerful political connections, but he pretends that any such ulterior motive is the last thing on his mind.
Bobby calls Connie at Ewing Oil, gives her a quick debrief of the bomb threat, and asks her to locate Jock asap. Ray, meanwhile, orders the men working at Ewing 23 to spread out and search for bombs.
JR notices Connie and Louella frantically working the phones and asks whassup, so Louella tells him that some nut threatened to blow up Ewing 23 and that they're desperately trying to locate Jock. JR chides them for not coming directly to him and reminds them that since he used to run the company, he's more than capable of handling this type of crisis.
At 12:30pm, a sweaty looking man calls the Ewing 23 field house from a pay phone. He tells Bobby he's demanding a fully gassed jet at 4pm, $5 million in cash on board, and no police involvement. He promises that once he's safely in the air, he'll reveal the location of the various bombs he planted. Bobby whines that $5 million is a lot of money to raise quickly, so Sweaty responds by directing his attention to the toolshed on Ewing 23, then presses the explode button on his detonator. When the toolshed promptly blows up, he smugly says, "In case you think I'm joking", and Bobby looks completely freaked out by the explosion.
The sheriff and his officers are on the scene at Ewing 23, picking through the charred remains of the toolshed. Bobby gets on the phone with Les Crowley at the Lonestar Bank and orders him to put together $5 million and deliver it to Ewing Oil stat. One of the officers finds the remains of the bomb and tells Bobby it looks to be a sophisticated contraption that was set off by a remote control. Bobby gets on the phone with JR, tells him what's happening, and that he's decided to cave in to Sweaty's demands and have the $5 million and gassed jet ready at the nearby airstrip by 4pm. JR asks him if he's absolutely sure he's doing the right thing, and an impatient Bobby pissily tells him to just make sure that all of the demands are met. JR calls Franklin Horner at the Cattlesman Bank to inform him that the Lonestar Bank will soon be frantically trying to put $5 million together for Bobby, then orders him to not cooperate and to convince the other banks to be equally as uncooperative.
The sheriff goes over the Ewing Oil employee list and comes up with two of the likeliest suspects: a drunkard named Duke, and a disgruntled slob named Gillis.
The sheriff's men, along with Bobby, head over to the trailer park where Duke lives and burst into his trailer home. They find Duke, passed out drunk in front the TV, then deduce that since he's probably been passed out for hours, the bomber has to be Gillis.
Les Crowley manages to scrape together the $5 million and rushes it over to Ewing Oil. A dismayed looking JR calls him "a real go-getter".
Bobby and Ray arrive at the airstrip just as the fully gassed jet lands. The bomber, who is indeed Gillis, runs onto the tarmac with a detonator clutched in one hand. He glares at Bobby as he races towards the plane - just as JR and two armed police officers exit the plane and point their guns at Gillis. When he waves his gun at them they open fire on him, and he falls to the ground and drops the detonator. As everyone stands around and uselessly watches, Gillis crawls toward the detonator while a horrified Bobby yells, "Noooooo!!" and runs toward him in slow motion. Gillis reaches the detonator and presses the explode button, and a few seconds later, the nearby Ewing 23 oil wells simultaneously explode with some pretty spectacularly fake looking '80s style special effects. LOL.
Bobby is furious at JR for allowing the officers to shoot Gillis instead of giving him a chance to talk the nut down - but JR points out that since Gillis pulled a gun on them, they had no choice but to shoot, and that he really really hates the idea of giving in to an extortionist. Bobby picks up the detonator, then whips it angrily into space before staring despondently at the hilariously fake looking flames.
It remains unclear if this debacle was, in fact, "the burr" JR was plotting to put under Bobby's saddle to get him out of Ewing Oil - but if so, talk about overkill.
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Recapper: Isabel K. French
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