Recap: Pam is in the fugly nursery, fussing over Christopher and continuing to falsely assume that Bobby brought him home as their newly adopted son. Miss Ellie asks Pam why she checked herself out of Brooktree earlier than Dr. Conrad advised, so she says she really didn't think she needed anymore therapy...which ended up being a wise decision, 'cause of how the timing of her homecoming coincided with her new baby's arrival to create a wonderful miracle. Miss Ellie concurs and asks Bobby how he was able to pull off the adoption so unexpectedly quickly, and Bobby just kind of shrugs while mumbling, "I guess they just cut through some red tape, Mama. I dunno." LOL. Pam asks him which adoption agency ended up coming through for them, and he tells her he can't reveal that 'cause it's confidential...and before Pam can chew on that nonsensical reply, JR pokes his head into the room to see whassup. Miss Ellie sternly tells him that they have some unfinished business to discuss...and after she leaves the room, a glowing Pam gushes to Bobby, "It's what we've always wanted: a baby of our own."
As JR fixes himself a drink, Miss Ellie demands an explanation for the depleted Ewing Oil cash reserves...and he breezily tells her to calm down (!) and assures her he knows what he's doing. Dissatisfied with that condescending non-response, Miss Ellie tells him that in Jock's absence she made it a point to stay out of the family business - but now realizes it was a major error of judgement, given that he's responsible for Ewing Oil losing a small fortune. She asks him why in blazes he would secure such an enormous loan with Ewing assets, so he explains that he bought up all the oil that would have been allocated to Clayton Farlow and then hoarded it so he could use it as leverage in his quest to have Sue Ellen thrown off of Southern Cross so she'd return to Southfork with John Ross. Miss Ellie reminds him that she made it abundantly clear she didn't want Sue Ellen to return to the ranch upon threat of eviction from Southern Cross and says that no way in hell would Jock approve of his methods. JR stubbornly says he'll do anything to get his son back - but Ellie counters, "Not this time. From now on, until your daddy gets back, your days of free rein at Ewing Oil are over" ... and as she storms out of the room, an unsettled looking JR stares after her worriedly.
JR picks up the phone and attempts to call Jock - but can't locate him in whatever South American jungle he's purportedly traipsing through as he scours the land for oil.
Sue Ellen is all packed up and ready to leave the Southern Cross ranch for her temporary new home in a San Angelo hotel suite. She thanks Clayton for his hospitality, and he thanks her and John Ross for bringing back some life back into his house, then laments that her flaccid coupling attempt with Dusty didn't work out as planned. He tells her to call if there's anything he can ever do for her, and she warmly bids him adieu.
JR is on the phone once again, trying to get through to Jock, but still can't reach him.
Pam is feeding Christopher his breakfast when Miss Ellie enters the kitchen and announces that she's off to San Angelo. Pam asks her to pass along her best wishes to Sue Ellen, then prattles about how utterly thrilled she is to be caring for her new baby.
A defeated looking Ray tells Walter Sherr that since he's unwilling to borrow any money (from Donna or Miss Ellie) for the San Antonio development, he has no choice but to pronounce the deal officially dead. A bummed Walter says they'll need to look for a buyer to take the soil-challenged land off their hands, then says he knows a fellow named Scotty Singer who might be interested.
Mitch is doing his hospital rounds when he enters a room occupied by a pretty, middle-aged woman named Evelyn Michaelson who's simultaneously getting a facelift and a divorce from her husband. She asks Mitch if she's making a mistake by going under the knife, and he assures her that Dr. Waring is an amazing physician, and that she'll be in very capable hands while she's on the operating table.
Over at Southern Cross, Miss Ellie tells Clayton she'd like to resolve the clusterfuck that JR dragged them into when he hoarded a massive amount of oil in an attempt to regain custody of John Ross. She proposes selling the oil back to him...and when he agrees and offers $33 a barrel, she smilingly tells him that that sounds fair. As they shake on it, she cheekily reveals, "I would have taken $32" ... and as the two chuckle over her superior negotiating skills, she asks him if he would ever have given in to JR's demands. Clayton answers by asking her if Jock would have given in, and Miss Ellie grins and admits that he would have told the bully to go to hell...which, Clayton points out, is pretty much what he did. He then points out the irony of JR launching such an expensive operation for the purpose of blackmailing him into throwing Sue Ellen off of his ranch when she voluntarily moved out this morning...and Miss Ellie reacts to that revelation by staring back at him in stunned bewilderment.
Bobby drops in at Brooktree to meet with Dr. Conrad, who tells him she's been so worried about Pam ever since she checked herself out early. Bobby tells her about the baby [Pam assumes was intended for her to raise], and that overnight she's been transformed into a whole new person who seems positively giddy at the prospect of motherhood. Dr. Conrad says she's delighted to hear that...and expresses her immense relief that the baby came into their lives when he did, 'cause the hopelessness Pam was feeling about being motherless was putting her on dangerous ground. She shudders as she adds, "I hate to think what might have happened if you didn't have that baby." She asks Bobby to pass along her best wishes to Pam and breezily expresses her hope that from now on everything in their lives will be merry and well, and Bobby thanks her and exits her office.
As JR exits the house to head to work, he encounters Cliff, who has just arrived at Southfork carrying a gigantic teddy bear. JR moans, "Oh Lord" ... and when Cliff smilingly explains that he's come to meet his new nephew, JR grumbles, "With him here now I suppose we'll be overrun with Barneses." Cliff chuckles and tells him to keep smiling, then reminds him that he has only three days remaining to pay back his loan...and JR chides him for being a slow learner, 'cause he seems to have forgotten that "old JR always lands on his feet". That he does, JR. That he does.
Scotty Singer offers Ray $3 million for the San Antonio property...and when Walter urges Ray to accept the offer and take the loss, he despondently agrees. After Scotty exits the office, Walter tells Ray he's sorry that they both screwed the pooch so badly on this deal, then half-heartedly suggests they join forces to develop a different housing project in the non-foreseeable future.
JR arrives at Ewing Oil and asks Sly if she was able to get a hold of Jock, but she tells him that all she was able to learn was that Jock is somewhere "in the interior" and won't be back at the main camp for several days. JR snappishly asks her if she can't get any better information than that, and she's like, "Uh no" and tells him that the phone connection was so horrible it's a miracle she was able to hear anything on her end. A sour looking JR heads over to his office, where his lawyer, Howard Barker, is waiting. He informs JR that all of the subpoenas have been delivered to the various witnesses who can portray Sue Ellen as a booze guzzling monster. JR nods approvingly and says he wants to go all out at the hearing, pronouncing, "I'm going to win custody of my son if I have to drag his mother through the mud from one end of Texas to the other." Howard cautions that if he goes that route, the Ewing name will also be dragged through the mud, but JR just shrugs and says he's pretty sure Jock will forgive any bad press if it results in getting his grandson back onto Southfork.
That evening at Southfork, Pam giddily tells Bobby that their son is babbling at his new teddy bear...and that she's sooooooo happy to be a mom and that Christopher is sooooooo wonderful she can't believe he's really theirs. Bobby refrains from confessing, "Now that you mention it, he's actually not" - before Miss Ellie pokes her head into the room to summon Bobby downstairs for a contentious family meeting.
Miss Ellie tells Ray she now has the cash reserves to loan him the $3 million he needs for his San Antonio development, but he contorts his dumb face into an anguished expression and tells her he no longer needs it 'cause he sold the land (and lost $1 million in the process). When she stares back at him in mournful devastation, he asks her to please drop it 'cause he really just wants to forget the whole thing...and a few seconds later, she's forced to do just that as JR, Bobby, and Lucy file into the living room. When JR butts in in an attempt to take control of the family meeting, Miss Ellie growls, "Sit down, JR" and shoots him the stink-eye...and he obediently lowers himself into the nearest sofa chair. She then commences the family meeting with the preamble that she considers it her job to see that the family and Ewing Oil is run the way Jock expects the family and Ewing Oil to be run, then drops the bombshell that JR has been stockpiling oil, depleting the cash reserves in the process, and drawing against the company's assets - all for the purpose of waging a personal vendetta against Clayton Farlow for the crime of offering Sue Ellen and John Ross asylum on his ritzy ranch. She proceeds to inform the family that she sold back to Clayton the oil JR has been stockpiling at $33 a barrel, and JR's all, "The fuck?!" and snappishly tells his mama he wishes she'd stayed out of it. Miss Ellie tells him she had no choice but to step in and replenish Ewing Oil's cash reserves and makes it clear that she's no longer going to put up with his vendetta-fuelled shenanigans. JR reminds her that Jock ordered him to get John Ross back to Southfork asap, and Miss Ellie tells him that she detests his methods, then announces that it's time to vote on whether or not JR should continue as president of Ewing Oil.
The vote plays out as follows:
When everyone's all, "Wha-a-a-a?" at Miss Ellie's surprising decision, she's forced to admit that there's really no one else in the family who's fully capable of running Ewing Oil - but then stipulates that Bobby will need to co-run the company until Jock returns home and is able to keep his naughty son in check. Miss Ellie then tells JR that for all of his dumb conniving to get Sue Ellen off of Southern Cross, she and John Ross voluntarily left the ranch this morning...and as everyone ambles out of the living room, JR stares into space with an expression of stunned incredulity before letting out a happy woot.
At the breakfast patio the next morning, JR thanks Miss Ellie for her stay vote - but she clarifies that it wasn't a vote of confidence, then chides him for never learning from past mistakes. When JR changes the subject to his upcoming divorce hearing, Miss Ellie laments the fact that Sue Ellen is out there in the world somewhere, alone with her grandson, in need of someone to take care of them. JR assures her that Sue Ellen will eventually return to Southfork with her tail between her legs, 'cause there's been a precedent of her always needing a rich man/family to lean on, which...true enough. Miss Ellie makes it clear that if that doesn't happen, he is not to add further misery to the woman's life by vilifying her in court, and JR breezily insists that she'll be back at Southfork in no time.
Clayton visits Sue Ellen in her hotel suite to drop off a few items she forgot to pack, then tells her that Dusty left town to go on the rodeo circuit. That was a remarkably speedy return to full-time cowboyin'. He adds that he got his oil supply restored after cutting a deal with Miss Ellie, which means that his refineries are going to be back in business very soon. When he tells her that Miss Ellie knows that she and John Ross have moved off of Southern Cross, Sue Ellen worriedly wonders how this is going to affect JR's strategy in court. Clayton offers to accompany her to court for moral support, but she politely declines and says she'd prefer he not be privy to all the unflattering smack talk about her bad behavior from her drinking days that JR is likely going to throw in her face during the hearing.
During breakfast, Donna irritably asks Ray why he's not confiding his problems in her, then reminds him that she's on his side...and that she cares about him, not the money. Ray self-piteously whines that every time he tries to prove he's more than a dumb cowboy, he's faced with the harsh reality that he really isn't more than a dumb cowboy. An exasperated Donna reminds him for the umpteenth time that he doesn't have to prove anything to her and that she loves the yokelly simpleton she married - but he just angrily rails about how she has everything: looks, money, brains, and political savvy. He bitterly points out that she's so super awesome that she can write a book that'll become an instant bestseller, then moans, "And look at the dummy you're married to." Donna chides him for resigning himself to be "poor old dumb Ray Krebbs" just 'cause one development deal didn't work out...and when she puts her hand on his shoulder to calm him down, he backs away, shoots her a hateful look, and hisses, "Take your hands off me!" and storms out of the house, leaving Donna staring after him with a look of startled bewilderment, muttering, "What a rude, insecure dinkwhistle he is." [Sorry no - that was me, projecting.]
Pam and Bobby take little Christopher to the doctor for a checkup...and when the doctor asks Bobby if he has the tot's official papers from the adoption agency detailing which shots/illnesses he's had, Bobby promises to somehow figure out a way to get that documentation.
That evening at Ewing Oil headquarters, Miss Ellie summons Cliff, along with the bankers who loaned JR the $200 million he needed to stockpile oil so he could stick it to Clayton Farlow. She informs them that the company is prepared to repay their loan with interest, and sarcastically thanks them for aiding her son in his time of need. She then chides "Jock's friends" for charging his son an outrageous rate of 25% to extend the loan for ten days, then directs her ire at Cliff as she asks, "How long are you going to perpetuate this stupid Barnes-Ewing feud? Until we're all dead and gone? Is it worth it to you?" Cliff's like, "Hmm, let's see...forever, yes, and yes" and stubbornly retorts that she can't seriously expect him to apologize for the fact that JR got in over his head. Miss Ellie snarks back that she doesn't expect shit from him - but that by now he should be aware that when the Ewings stick together, they're an unbeatable force.
The following morning, Miss Ellie again warns JR to not persecute Sue Ellen during today's court hearing, reminding him that he's only president of Ewing Oil by her good graces...and that if he publicly trashes his wife she won't hesitate to fire him. JR assures her he'll do nothing of the kind and promises to make her proud.
Afton arrives at Mitch's condo with several pieces of luggage and tells him that her visit with their mother went fine, and that she hopes he doesn't mind her staying with him until she can find a place of her own. Mitch says he'd be happy to have her and gives her a quick update about how cordially things have been going with Lucy lately. He then scampers off to work, and Afton calls Cliff's office and leaves a message for him to call her back.
JR and Howard Barker arrive at the courthouse amid a gaggle of paparazzi-like reporters who snap his photograph and pepper him with questions. JR sees Sue Ellen across the corridor and ambles over to her for a pre-hearing mindfuck. He informs her about what's on the agenda for today's hearing: a parade of witnesses who can testify to the fact that she's proven herself to be a drunk, tramp, and unfit mother. He warns that no judge in his right mind would ever award her custody of a small child, points out that she no longer has her rich lover to protect her, and urges her return to Southfork post-haste. When Sue Ellen snaps, "Never!", JR threatens to keep her tied up in litigation for a very long time, then urges her again to consider returning with their son to the Ewing ranch.
Bobby is talking to his lawyer friend Eric about a legal way to adopt a baby that just kind of appeared out of nowhere and needs a home. Eric says it kinda sounds like a shady 'I bought a baby on the black market' type situation, but promises to research the issue and let him know what he uncovers.
Howard Barker is about to launch Operation Destroy Sue Ellen's Credibility to Judge Berwin and describe how Sue Ellen is too much of a slutty ex-boozer to be entrusted as the primary caretaker for her son - when Miss Ellie suddenly enters the courtroom and sits in one of the spectators' seats. JR's all, "Ack!" and hastily tells Howard to stop talking.
Bobby returns to Southfork - just as Rebecca is leaving the ranch. She gushes about how delighted she is about the baby, says she looks forward to being called Grandma Becky, and applauds Bobby for magically solving all of Pam's mental health problems by bringing home a baby. She then gets into her car and drives off, leaving Bobby staring concernedly into space.
Judge Berwin informs the court that he's reached a decision, and then needlessly rambles on and on about how fathers can be excellent single parents, despite the long-standing tradition of judges awarding custody to the mother. As JR perks up with an expression of hopefulness that the decision is about to go his way, the judge decrees that full custody of John Ross is to be awarded to Sue Ellen, with child support payments in the amount of $6,000 a month. He adds that visitation rights will be established at a later date - but until then, JR will be allowed to visit his son on alternate weekends.
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