Recap: JR brings John Ross to Ewing Oil headquarters to show the tot where his daddy works. He carelessly tosses his cowboy hat onto Phyllis's desk, then points at the office next to his and says that that's where his Uncle Bobby works, muttering, "Where he does whatever he does around here" - LOL - then goes into his office, and places his tiny son in the big leather chair behind his desk, happily nattering about how proud Jock would be if he knew that one day he'd teach him everything he knows about the oil business. A few seconds later, Miss Ellie calls to let JR know that Sue Ellen is worried 'cause he hasn't brought John Ross home yet, and JR says he's running a little late, but is on his way over there now.
While putting Christopher to bed in the fugly Southfork nursery, Pam remarks on how much the tot "favors the Ewings" ... prompting a look of alarm from Bobby, and Pam conceding that seeing a resemblance is probably all in her head [spoiler: it is]. She then presses Bobby about info regarding Christopher's bio parents 'cause she wants to be aware of any hereditary problems he might have, and Bobby chides her for assuming the worst, then pretends as though he's going to find out everything he can about the baby's parentage.
Over at Studio Creepy, Roger is snapping photos of Lucy shrieking, "More! More!" - until Lucy suddenly stops posing 'cause she's too exhausted. Roger gushes about what a natural she is, then instructs her to adjust her pose by shifting one of her stumpy legs over the armchair she's sitting in. She indulges him, and he snaps away while creepily moaning, "Ooooooh yessssss...this is going to look so sweet" and Lucy just kind of rolls her eyes and breezily chuckles to herself, "Photographers.." 'cause it's somehow not registering with her what a complete weirdo this nerd-freak is fast proving himself to be.
Sue Ellen admonishes JR for returning John Ross a half hour after the agreed upon time, so JR explains that he took the tot to his office to show him around, chuckling, "He was prancing around there like the King of Ewing Oil" [though not according to the footage I saw.] Sue Ellen looks less than thrilled by that observation and says she fully plans on encouraging John Ross to choose an entirely different occupation so he's less likely to turn into an aggressive douchebag like his father. JR asks her if she's dining alone tonight, mockingly remarking that she used to get more action when they were married. He heads towards the door and quips, "If things get dull around here, just give me a ring. I know some cowboys who might help you out" and Sue Ellen responds by mutely shooting him the stink-eye before taking her son upstairs for his nightly bath.
Afton thanks Cliff for getting her a new singing gig in a way classier establishment than the Stardrift Lounge, then remarks on how their relationship seems to be on a down-turn. She says she was contemplating moving in with him [though I doubt there's enough room for two in that tiny apartment] - but he says he's not sure the timing is right, then cites all of the non-existent pressure he's been under at Wentworth Tool & Die. Afton says it sounds like a lame excuse to not get serious with her, and he brushes that off and tells her to relax, then kisses her cheek and tells her he'll see her (tonight) when she makes her singing debut at her classy new workplace. A few seconds after she leaves, Sue Ellen calls Cliff to complain about how out of sorts she is...and the two arrange to have dinner together later in the week.
While breakfasting on the patio, a Mr. McGregor of McGregor's Feed & Supply drops by to inform Miss Ellie that stupid Ray hasn't been paying the invoices for the last several weeks, and the overdue bills are really starting to stack up. Miss Ellie is aghast at Ray's negligence and explains that he's been under a lot of strain lately, but that she'll talk to him about writing a check and settling the account asap.
Carolyn Carter of the Smithfield & Bennett law firm arrives at Ewing Oil with the Palmer-Bates agreement papers for Bobby to sign - just as JR appears in the hallway and invites her to his office. He assures Carolyn he's back to being fully engaged at Ewing Oil, and Carolyn says that Harv will be happy to hear that, despite remaining gravely concerned about the unresolved legal situation regarding Jock's will continuing to go unread. When JR asks what the big deal is, she explains that unsealing Jock's will could drastically change things regarding the ownership of Ewing Oil, specifically 'cause the document will likely address all Ewing heirs, both present and future (meaning not just John Ross) ... and JR's all, "Ack!" when he realizes that Jock's will might result in Ewing Oil stock being spread around too thin for his liking. Carolyn wraps up the meeting by telling him she'll send a messenger to pick up the Palmer-Bates agreement papers once they've been signed, then heads out...and JR stares at a framed photo of his son and tells it, "Looks like the longer we delay reading that will, the better off it might be for both of us." Not sure how he figures that, but OK.
A disheveled, hungover looking Ray asks Donna to make him a pot of coffee, but she declines to do something he's fully capable of doing his own damn self and tells him she's on her way out to spend the day in town to do some research for her new book. She adds that she'll be out all afternoon, then plans to join the Ewings for dinner. Ray grumbles, "Busy lady" ... and Donna somehow refrains from telling him where he can shove his sarcasm. A few seconds after she leaves, Miss Ellie calls to summon Ray to Southfork, like pronto.
Bobby asks his lawyer friend Eric what in blazes he should tell Pam about Christopher's origins, and Eric's like, "That's the least of your problems" and points out that he has some serious legal issues he needs to sort out, preferably without further dragging him into this illegal adoption quagmire 'cause he'd rather not get disbarred. He urges Bobby to just come clean and tell his wife the full truth, but Bobby whines that he can't 'cause the lie has gotten too big. Eric's like, "Whatever dude" and gives him the number of a top-notch family law attorney: Charles Eccles.
Miss Ellie asks Ray whaddup with him not keeping up with the bills for McGregor's Feed & Supply, and Ray sheepishly says he hasn't gotten around to it. She points out to the numb-brain that it only takes a few minutes to write a check...and that since JR and Bobby are too busy running Ewing Oil to cover for his slack, he needs to do a far better job performing his foreman duties at Southfork. She sternly adds, "You're a Ewing, Ray. And you're going to have to start acting like one."
JR informs Bobby that he looked over the papers for the Palmer-Bates agreement and signed them - just as Sly buzzes to inform Bobby that Jordan Lee is on the line for him. JR's like, "I'll take it!" and picks up the phone...and Bobby looks delighted at how re-engaged with work his brother is. Jordan Lee, meanwhile, is surprised to have gotten JR on the phone and makes it clear that Bobby is the Ewing the cartel would prefer to deal with, and JR's all, "Pfft.." and invites him to the Cattlemen's Club to talk it over.
While out on the town shopping, Lucy gabbles at Mitch about how Miss Ellie wants the family to have dinner together as often as possible, then says that since it's getting late she should prolly get going. The two exchange a light kiss...and as she sashays off down the street, the camera pans over to the next block, where Roger is creepily spying on her.
That evening at dinner, Ray pulls a no show, and JR just kind of shrugs and points out that the yokel was never comfortable eating with the family, cheekily adding, "After all, we do use knives and forks." LOL. Donna remarks on how it didn't take him long to revert back to his usual nasty self, and JR's like, "Right?" and says Jock likely had no idea how weak Ray was when he gave him those ten Ewing Oil voting shares. He then grumbles about how Harv Smithfield is trying to pressure them into reading Jock's will...and when Miss Ellie makes it clear that she somehow thinks it's best to put that off indefinitely, JR agrees and says he's made it clear to Harv that things are to stay in limbo for the foreseeable future. As Bobby silently listens, his face scrunched concernedly, JR pronounces that there's absolutely no reason to read that will ... "and until there is a reason, it's not going to get read".
Later, Bobby privately confronts JR about wanting to keep Jock's will under seal and points out that keeping everything in legal limbo cruelly raises Miss Ellie's hopes that Jock might still be alive. JR says he's OK with their mama being delusional if it gives her comfort, and Bobby reminds him that Jock could not possibly have survived the helicopter crash into that muddy South American stink hole. JR chides him for so quickly writing off their daddy, then declares, "If mama won't believe that daddy is dead, then for her sake, neither will I."
Sue Ellen and Cliff return to her place after having dinner out. He leans in for a smooch, but she gently pushes him away and tells him she's not over Dusty yet, and therefore has zero desire to plunge into another intense relationship. Cliff says he'll try to be as understanding as possible 'bout that, then suggests they get together tomorrow for another platonic type outing.
Pam asks Bobby if he learned anything more about Christopher's bio parents, and Bobby mumbles that he wasn't able to dig up much, other than the two were "fine, healthy people". Pam looks satisfied enough with the vagueness of that response and leans in for a hug...and as Bobby hugs her back, he stares concernedly into space.
Miss Ellie calls Mr. McGregor to see if Ray paid him the amount owning, and McGregor says, nope, he hasn't yet received a check. Miss Ellie then tries to get in touch with Ray at Casa Yokel, but there's no one home to pick up.
Miss Ellie calls Bobby and tells him that Ray has let a bunch of overdue bills stack up at McGregor's Feed & Supply, and Bobby offers to stop by there on his way home and settle the account...and when Miss Ellie expresses concern about Ray's continued deterioration, Bobby agrees to give him a talkin' to.
At the Cattlemen's Club, JR tells Jordan Lee he was surprised by the negativity he expressed towards him during their recent phone call, reminding him that Bobby isn't actually able to make any deals without him signing off. Jordan says that he and probably Marilee Stone wouldn't be opposed to doing business with him - but the other two cartel members (Wade and Andy) have made it clear that they never want to get directly involved with him again. Like ever.
Rebecca and Katherine drop by Southfork to visit with Pam and Christopher and then go out for dinner, plans that Pam completely forgot about. She says that since Christopher is teething she'd much rather stay home and cooingly comfort him...and when she suggests that they go to dinner with Bobby, Rebecca says she'd prefer to wait until a contrived, non-emergency involving Christopher doesn't preclude her from joining them for an evening out.
JR is over at Marilee Stone's house, lounging in her bed as she pours them a couple of glasses of champagne. JR tells her he could really use her support in convincing Wade and Andy to do business with him, and Marilee's like, "Sure, why not?", then climbs into the bed for a post-coitus cuddle. She tells JR she'd love it if he came to her party on Saturday night, but he politely declines 'cause he has custody of John Ross this weekend and is pretending as though he needs to stay by his side every minute.
Ray is hanging at the Longview Bar, aka the same Braddock watering hole he's been hanging in for the past few episodes, exchanging flirty banter with his blonde gal pal, Bonnie Robertson. A pissed off looking Bobby enters the bar, strides over to Ray, and asks him whassup with his general dysfunction, snarling that he just had to pay Southfork's outstanding balance at McGregor's Feed & Supply. Ray grumbles, "Will ya just get off my back please?", and Bobby tells him it's long past time for him to shape up and run Southfork the way it's supposed to be run. Ray gets all prickly and growls, "Just who do you think you're talkin' to anyway?" and Bobby tells him he gives less of a shit of the mess he's making of personal life than he does about the work that's not getting done at the ranch...and warns that if he keeps going down this path, he'll have no choice but to find someone who's actually willing to do the job. Ray snarls, "The hell you will" and throws a punch at Bobby - but Bobby easily deflects his fist and ignores his attempts to bait him into a full on bar fight. He sadly (but rightly) says, "You're not worth hitting, Ray" and stalks out of the bar, leaving Ray looking angry and defeated. When Bonnie suggests that Bobby was probably too afraid to engage in a fight, Ray argues that he didn't see anything worth fighting. No argument here.
Afton is making her singing debut in her swanky new restaurant workplace, and the song goes on for what seems like a really looooooooong time. When she finally wraps it up, Cliff stands up and enthusiastically applauds, then gives her a congratulatory smooch. He's suddenly startled when, a few seconds later, he notices that Sue Ellen and Clayton are seated across the restaurant and looking in his direction. He heads over and sheepishly explains to Sue Ellen that he just got Afton her singing job, and that their relationship is mostly business oriented. Sue Ellen coldly retorts, "That's very nice" ... and when Cliff returns to his table, a miffed Afton says it's finally dawned on her that his interest in Sue Ellen has been the reason he's so reluctant to get serious with her.
Ray is sacked out in a cheap motel after hitting the sheets with Bonnie, and she gushes about how much their doinkfest was like old times. She gives him a happy canoodle - but he just looks shame-faced as he stares despondently into space...as well the philandering yokel should.
Clayton escorts Sue Ellen home after their night out, and she pretends to not be upset about having witnessed Cliff smooching Afton.
Back at Southfork, Bobby reports to Miss Ellie that he paid Mr. McGregor, then tracked Ray down at the Longview Bar, looking drunk and unkempt. JR enters the kitchen at that moment and bursts out laughing as he cackles, "I knew he wouldn't be vertical" [and the organic way in which Larry Hagman delivered that line had me chuckling right along with him]. He derisively adds that, much like his deadbeat wino of a brother Gary, Ray "doesn't have the strength of character of a real Ewing" - a remark Lucy overhears when she enters the kitchen. Lucy admonishes him for always kicking people when they're down, but JR just kind of shrugs and tells Miss Ellie he's glad that she didn't schedule another voting meeting, quipping, "The only way we'd get Ray there to vote his share is to hold it in a bar." Lucy tells Bobby and Miss Ellie that clearly JR wants Ray thrown out of the family so he can steal his ten voting shares, and Miss Ellie says that while she doesn't approve of JR's hilarious and spot on trash-talking of Ray, the yokelly idiot kind of brought it on himself by being an easy target. That he has, Miss Ellie. That he has.
The cartel members are gathered in the reception area of Ewing Oil and tell JR they've agreed to do business with him, mostly 'cause of how much they loved Jock. After they shake on it and leave, JR retreats to his daddy's office and stares at the late patriarch's framed portrait. He apologizes to Jock for giving up on the company after learning of his grisly demise - but then promises to make Ewing Oil bigger and stronger before passing it on to his son. He solemnly declares, "I'm back, daddy. And nobody's going to take Ewing Oil away from me, my son, or his son" and vows to make him proud.
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