Recap: Miss Ellie is ambling around Southfork when Larry of Deltham Catering pulls into the driveway to ask whassup with her not calling him to cater the annual Ewing barbecue. Miss Ellie says that with Jock away searching the jungles of a fictional South American country for new sources of oil, everything has been so unsettled that she simply forgot all about the event. She tells him she'll give him a call if she changes her mind, then goes into the house and happens to notice the latest edition of The Dallas Press sitting on a table with the headline "Ewing Divorce Case Ends". She finds Pam and Bobby eating their breakfast in the dining room, and they're soon joined by JR and Lucy. JR irritably points out to Miss Ellie that if she had allowed him to publicly trash Sue Ellen during his divorce hearing, John Ross would be sitting at this breakfast table right now - but Miss Ellie reminds him that she put the kibosh on that 'cause she doesn't want her grandson to get tangled up in a needlessly ugly custody battle. Lucy cheekily asks JR if his primary concern is about having control over his son's Ewing Oil voting shares, and JR shoots her the stink-eye and rejoins, "Why don't you have that junior plastic surgeon you're married to design you a new face: one without a mouth." Hee! Bobby tells JR they need to meet sometime today to discuss his transition back to Ewing Oil as co-president, and JR rolls his eyes and grumbles about the annoyance of having a watchdog hovering over him and controlling his every move.
Donna invites Miss Ellie, Lucy, and Pam to accompany her to Dallas to celebrate her official book launch. Pam declines, 'cause apparently she has to spend every waking moment of her life fussing over Christopher, but Miss Ellie and Lucy tell her they're definitely in.
Over at Casa Wentworth, Rebecca notices that Cliff is reading and re-reading the "Ewing Divorce Case Ends" article in the newspaper and asks whassup with his fascination 'bout that, then tells him she's well aware of his role in The Mystery of Who Sired John Ross storyline from Season 3, 'cause apparently that family gossip made it to all the Houston papers. [Must have been a slow news period there too.] Cliff ruefully tells her that he fell in love with Sue Ellen during all that - but had his heart broken when he realized that she was simply using him to get back at JR, who was able to successfully lure her back into their dysfunctional marriage. Rebecca asks him if he's going to reach out to her now that she's single, and he's like 'sure, why the hell not?'
Elsewhere in Dallas, Sue Ellen brings Clayton to the fancy new house (with wall-to-wall carpeting seemingly everywhere) she just purchased. She excitedly gabbles about how she wants to move in right away 'cause she has all sorts of fun ideas about how she wants to decorate her new digs. Clayton asks her when she last lived alone, and she's like, "Uh, never..?" and explains that she had two college roommates when she met JR. She acknowledges that she'll likely make mistakes while living on her own, but Clayton tells her not to worry, and that she should feel entitled to make as many mistakes as she wants. He then offers to help with setting up the financing on her new home...and when she thanks him for always being so good to her, he tenderly touches her face and says, "You're like the daughter I almost had." Aww..
At a Dallas bookstore, Donna is being showcased as the author of Sam Culver: The Political Years, aka the newly published biography that's taking the country (county?) by storm...and professional photographer Roger Larson is on hand to snap pics of Donna as she awkwardly holds up a copy of her book while doing her best to transform her default grimace into a smile. When Roger finishes the shoot, he ambles over to Lucy and says he recognizes her as last year's Miss Young Dallas and gushes over her photogenic good looks and says she should seriously consider pursuing a career in modelling. He hands her his business card, says he's with a reputable agency, and assures her he could definitely get her work...'cause apparently Dallas is filled with clients looking to hire models under 5". Lucy thanks him and then sashays back over to where Miss Ellie and Donna are standing.
JR snarkishly tells Bobby he doesn't belong at Ewing Oil, citing his previous stint as president as a disaster...and Bobby counters that criticism by pointing out that there's an eroding confidence in his ability to not run the company into bankruptcy whenever he feels the need to fuel his personal vendettas. JR responds by growling, "Why don't you go home, diaper your baby, and take care of that nutty wife of yours?" - LOL - and Bobby's like, "Speaking of nutty.." and points out that their mama had to bail him out of the oil hoarding quagmire he got into with Clayton Farlow, a man he shouldn't have been foolish enough to threaten. JR shrugs and says he had to use every tactic possible to try to get his son back onto Southfork, and a weary Bobby's like, "Whatever" and tells he him he wants to see the latest reports on the company's research and development. JR petulantly swivels his chair so that the back of it faces Bobby, and then mumbles at him to ask Sly to provide him with that stuff.
That evening at Southfork, the family celebrates Donna's book launch - except for Ray, who silently pouts about her achievement because he's an insecure little baby-man who can't seem to stop stewing over his latest real estate failure. When the phone rings, Bobby takes the call and then, a few seconds later, passes along Jock's message that he's planning to return home in a few days and is looking forward to the annual Ewing barbecue. Everyone's all, "Hurray! Jock's coming home!" [which I found to be kind of heartbreaking, knowing that Jim Davis had passed away months prior to the airing of this episode], and Miss Ellie gaily declares the annual Ewing barbecue back on.
The next morning, Pam is feeding Christopher in her usually overly coddley way when Miss Ellie bursts into the kitchen and gabbles about how excited she is to host the annual barbecue as they welcome the family patriarch home. She says she'd really like it if John Ross were in attendance, and, to that end, will drop by Sue Ellen's fancy new carpeted house to extend a personal invitation.
Donna is hosting a press conference on the grounds of Casa Yokel to promote her new book. When one of the reporters asks Ray if he read the Culver biography, he forces a smile and fibs that he has, and that it's a great book...bitterly adding, "Everything Donna does is great." The second reporter remarks on how Sam Culver must have been a very hard act to follow, but Ray just shrugs and pretends as though he has too much of a thick skin to ever feel inferior to anyone in the Culver/Ewing orbit.
Mitch is discussing his patients with Dr. Waring when Lucy interrupts by calling to invite him to the Ewing barbecue, hastily adding that she really really wants him to come 'cause it's an extra special occasion, on account of her granddaddy is returning home from South America. Mitch grimaces at the prospect of having to socialize with the Ewing clan, but agrees to indulge her by making an appearance.
Harold Haskell, Ewing Oil's accountant, drops by JR's office to tell him he's decided to classify the financial loss from JR's ill-thought-out oil hoarding scheme as "unforeseen costs in research and development". JR says he likes the sound of that wankery and offers Harold a raise...and Harold beams in response, then brown-noses further by pointing out that if Ewing 6 proves to be as unprofitable as everyone expects, the company can claim it as a nice tax loss. [It's unclear why he would be doing that now that Cliff is the owner of that property - but then I'm a recapper, not a fictional corporate tax accountant.]
Cliff, meanwhile, is meeting with a guy named Stan who assures him that there's much oil to be pumped out of Ewing 6. Cliff cackles delightedly and says he'd like the field to be rebranded Barnes-Wentworth 1.
Miss Ellie and Pam drop in on Sue Ellen to gush over her fancy new carpeted home and invite her and John Ross to the annual Ewing barbecue. Sue Ellen looks aghast at the thought of stepping foot back onto Southfork, but Miss Ellie implores her to reconsider 'cause it'd mean sooooooooo much to Jock to be reunited with his grandson. Sue Ellen mulls it over and says she'll do it, but only for the sake of her son's grandparents.
Miss Ellie is in the kitchen, cooking up a giant pot of her famous chilli and chit-chatting with Lucy and JR. Lucy announces that she invited Mitch to the barbecue, and Miss Ellie's like, "That's nice" and tells her that Clayton is also coming. JR's all, "The hell? The man hates this family" to which Miss Ellie chuckles and argues that he doesn't, and that she thinks Jock will really like having another no-nonsense grey-haired fellow to hang with. JR wistfully says he wishes John Ross could be at the barbecue, and Miss Ellie happily informs him he will be, then explains that she personally invited Sue Ellen and her grandson to attend the shin-dig.
Rebecca is on the phone with Katherine, who's planning to return to Dallas for a job interview at a local TV station. Rebecca says that she and Cliff will pick her up at the airport, and from there they'll head over to Southfork for the barbecue. Cliff overhears that last part and tells his mom he highly doubts he'd be welcomed by the Ewings - but Rebecca informs him that, in fact, Miss Ellie wants him there in the hopes of finally putting an end to the tedious Barnes-Ewing feud, 'cause she's pretty sure that JR is finally ready to live his life in peace. Heh.
Sue Ellen is aghast when JR shows up unannounced at her new place with a big rose bouquet and a present for John Ross. JR admires her lovely home, just as John Ross races into the room to say hey to his pa. JR gives him his present: an assortment of letter blocks with which he shows the tot how to spell m-a-m-a and d-a-d-d-y. He stares contemplatively at his young son, then tells Sue Ellen they've done a damn fine job of raising him...and Sue Ellen somehow refrains from pointing out that he's done close to nothing to parent their son and instead asks him if he restrained himself from trashing her during the divorce hearing just 'cause Miss Ellie was in the courtroom that day. JR pretends as though, nope, he had decided all on his own to take the high road so that John Ross would be able to respect both of his parents. He then wraps up the visit by telling her he'll see her at the barbecue, thanks says her for letting him stop in for an impromptu visit, and heads out.
While out for dinner, Afton tells Cliff she's crashing at her brother's (well...Lucy's) swanky condo 'cause she can no longer afford her fancy apartment, and that the dinner clubs she's approached to hire her as a singer expect her to prostitute herself on the side. She then changes the subject to how much she's turned by his new CEO title and the kind of money and power comes along with it, and a flattered Cliff blushes happily at the brazenness of her gold digging and says he'd be more than happy to look into how he can help her get her singing career off the ground.
Bobby summons his lawyer friend Eric to get some more insight into the ramifications of his "friend" wanting to adopt a baby who seemingly has no bio parents. Eric tells him his "friend" could be in serious legal trouble, then explains to the dolt that generally when a baby materializes out of nowhere, the next step is to officially declare the child 'a ward of the state' while case workers do their best to locate the tot's closest blood relative.
A giant 'Welcome home Jock' banner has been hung with care at Southfork in advance of the Ewing barbecue, a celebration which is now in full swing. Clayton arrives with Sue Ellen and John Ross, and JR makes a beeline over to greet the trio. When Miss Ellie and Sue Ellen take John Ross over to the food table, JR snidely asks Clayton if he accompanied his ex-wife to Southfork to protect her from him...and Clayton chuckles and is like, "Yeah, pretty much."
When the Barnes clan arrives at the barbecue, Katherine says she really really wants to meet Christopher, so Bobby offers to escort her into the house while (old friends) Clayton and Rebecca briefly get caught up on their lives before hitting the dance floor together.
Pam looks happy to see her half-sister, who proceeds to gush over her new nephew. When she asks Bobby how he managed the adoption so swiftly, he mumbles, "I just got lucky, I guess", then reminds Pam that she's owes him a dance at the barbecue. Pam tells Bobby she'll join the party once she's fed Christopher, then suggests that, in the meantime, he could get to know Katherine better by dancing with her. [In hindsight, prolly not one of your better ideas, Pam.]
Elsewhere at the barbecue, Ray is boozing it up while brazenly flirting with a hottie named Tawny, who complains that she hasn't seen him at their local watering hole lately. Ray tells her he's been too busy wheelin' and dealin' to hang with her and the ranch hands, and Tawny responds by remarking that he really doesn't seem like the wheelin' and dealin' type. A few seconds later, Donna wanders over to them with her editor George Whitlow, who tells Ray he's trying to convince his wife to write a second book. Ray contorts his face into the same pissy expression he's been contorting it into ever since Donna received her $50,000 advance check for the Culver bio, sarcastically mutters, "Everything Donna does is wonderful", and then beats a hasty retreat with Tawny. What a rude, stupid jerkwad he is.
While heading back to the barbecue party, Katherine tells Bobby how weird she thinks Pam is for insisting on spending so much time with Christopher. The two then run into Judge Thorny, who congratulates Bobby on his new baby and says that since he handles most of the adoptions in this district, he'll likely be presiding over Christopher's adoption. Bobby's like, "Ooooh terrific" - but after the judge wanders off, he stares worriedly into space.
Mitch's beeper goes off...and when he gets to the nearest phone and calls the hospital, he learns that his facelift patient, Evelyn Michaelson, is in some desperate need of TLC. Cliff, meanwhile, amuses himself by needling JR about his ownership of the oil field formerly known as Ewing 6...and then a few seconds later, Afton sashays over to invite Cliff to dance with her.
Katherine tells Bobby she's planning to relocate to Dallas and hopes she has better luck finding a decent man than she did in New York. Mmm hmm..
Sue Ellen looks wistfully around the horrendously decorated Southfork nursery...and JR stands in the doorway, watching her for a few seconds, before asking her if she misses it. She tells him she always loved this fugly room...and when JR responds by gazing at her hungrily and touching her face, she coldly pushes his hand away and storms out of the room.
Afton tells Cliff she doesn't feel comfortable partying at Southfork anymore and would prefer to go elsewhere. He agrees - until Sue Ellen emerges from the house and gives him a sexy once over. He looks instantly re-smitten and asks Afton to excuse him while he flirtily banters with his former lover and escorts her to the dance floor.
Miss Ellie heads into the house when she's informed she has a phone call...and while that's happening, JR is standing on his balcony, glaring down at Cliff and Sue Ellen as they slow dance. The camera then pans around the crowd of partygoers as the music changes and everyone starts joyously square-dancing. Ye haw!
Inside the house, Miss Ellie is staring into space with devastation etched across her face. JR descends the staircase and asks her whassup, so she explains that Punk Anderson just called to inform her that Jock was flying via helicopter from "the interior" when it crashed...and despite various search parties being dispatched to locate the missing aircraft, there's no sign of survivors or any wreckage. The locals have since given up looking and assume that Jock is dead...and after saying the word dead she bursts into tears and wails, "Ooooooh!"
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