Recap: JR drops by Casa Yokel while Donna is packing for a trip to Laredo to do some in-depth research for her new Sam Culver book. JR says he's trying to track Ray down, but no one seems to know where he is - and Donna snappishly tells him her husband's whereabouts are none of his business. He advises her to save her deteriorating marriage by convincing the dumb yokel to relieve the burden of having ten Ewing Oil voting shares by handing them over to him...and as Donna chuckles at his self-serving motives, JR points out that Ray is clearly unable to cope with the pressure of being a Ewing and therefore needs to meekly accept that being a foreman at Southfork is as far as he's ever going to go in life. He adds that if Ray continues to hang onto his voting shares, their marriage will continue to circle the drain.
Bobby meets with his new family law attorney, Charles Eccles, to tell him the half-truth that Christopher has no bio parents after his mom died suddenly and his dad is an unknown male. Charles chews on that for a few seconds before telling Bobby to come back tomorrow, 'cause he's due in court soon and has to think about how to best handle this adoption conundrum.
Pam brings Christopher downtown, where she meets up with Liz Craig and Jackie. Liz asks Pam what she does with herself while Christopher is napping, and Pam just kind of shrugs all contented-like and says she waits around for him to wake up. Liz shakes her head in bewilderment and says she'd go nuts with so much leisure time on her hands, then abruptly changes the subject and tells Pam that she and Jackie have a fun surprise in store for her.
A pensive looking Donna writes a note for Ray, letting him know that she's going to be out of town for the next several days.
The "fun surprise" Liz and Jackie unveil for Pam is an aerobic workout at the Renard Dance Studio...and we get lots of gratuitous footage of Pam and a roomful of ladies exercising in skin tight '80 style body suits. Liz tells Pam that she and Jackie do this everyday and that she's welcome to join them whenever she feels like working up a sweat.
Over at Studio Creepy, Lucy gushes at Roger about how much she loooooooves the photos he's been taking of her for her portfolio and asks if she can bring them home to show her family. Roger gets weirdly prickly about the request and says he doesn't want any outsiders evaluating what he calls "our collaboration", pointing out that they still need to carefully select the photographs that will work best for the portfolio. Lucy's like, "Mmm...I still want to show my family the photos", so Roger reluctantly agrees to hand-pick a small batch of his personal favorites.
Mitch is dining out with Evelyn Michaelson, who urges him to indulge in more relaxation time whenever he's off duty from the hospital. To that end, she invites him to join her for a game of tennis tomorrow afternoon, and he perks up at the prospect.
Elsewhere in downtown Dallas, JR is dining out with Jordan Lee and Marilee Stone, cackling about the new business deal Ewing Oil and the cartel have agreed to embark upon together. JR then glances across the room and sees Sue Ellen and Cliff sitting at a table together...and he gets so flustered and perturbed by the visual that he orders another stiff drink.
The next morning, private detective Jerry Macon calls JR to give him an update on Operation Surveille Sue Ellen 24/7 and reports that Cliff brought Sue Ellen home at around midnight and thus far hasn't left the premises. JR looks displeased by the news and instructs Jerry to continue staking out her place until he's able to report what time Cliff finally emerges.
Sue Ellen looks peeved that Cliff spent the entire night sacked out on her couch 'cause he was too drunk to drive himself home. She tells him she really just wanted to enjoy a pleasant evening with an old friend, not host a sleepover for a date who's unable to hold his liquor. Cliff apologizes for his boorish drunkenness and suggests they do something fun today, but Sue Ellen nixes that idea and orders him to get up and out of her house before John Ross wakes up.
Ray arrives home and calls out for Donna, but gets no response. He checks out the bedroom closet and notices that some of her clothes are gone...and eventually finds the note she left for him in the kitchen.
Charles Eccles advises Bobby to go the Abandoned Child Procedure route, which means showing up in court for what he expects to be a routine hearing requesting temporary guardianship of Christopher. Bobby tells him that the tot's deceased mother has a living sister, and Charles says he's going to need an affidavit stating that she has no objection to the adoption...and, following that, they have to make a weak attempt to half-heartedly locate the bio dad by placing an ad in the newspaper and then cross their fingers that no one actually comes forward. When Bobby scrunches his face concernedly, Charles explains that it's really just a formality 'cause usually in cases like this the bio dad has no idea that he fathered a child. On the other hand, if someone actually does come out of the woodwork, Bobby and Pam are going to have a boatload of legal problems.
Jerry Macon reports to JR that Cliff left Sue Ellen's house about an hour ago, and JR responds by barking that he wants his ex under 24/7 surveillance. He then asks Sly to get Wally Hampton (of some big corporation in Tulsa) on the phone, 'cause he needs to summon him to Dallas to request a devilish favor.
Lucy stops by the marital condo to excitedly show Mitch her portfolio photos - but he's busy getting ready for his tennis date with Evelyn and asks her they could do this another time. A few seconds later, Evelyn arrives to pick him up...and after Lucy beats a hasty retreat, she stares tearfully into space when she eavesdrops on Evelyn chucklingly asking Mitch if he "recovered from last night".
Sue Ellen calls Clayton to complain yet again about how lonely she is now that she's living by herself for the first time ever, and he's like, "Sucks to be you" and tells her he's about to jet off to Montana, where Dusty is performing on the rodeo circuit. He offers to cancel his trip and come to Dallas so he can hold her hand and murmur reassurances about how she'll be just fine living on her own, but she tells him to enjoy the Montana rodeo and to wish Dusty the best of luck on his bronc rides.
Afton is rehearsing a song at her fancy new workplace when JR stops in to drop the bombshell that Cliff spent the night at Sue Ellen's house. Afton shrugs disinterestedly and says she can't do much 'bout that, and a miffed JR tells her he'd very much like it if she were to actively pursue Cliff. Afton chuckles about the torch he clearly still carries for his ex-wife, smugly mocking, "I think you're jealous right out of your cotton-pickin' gourd" ... and JR scrunches his face concernedly as he's forced to admit to himself that, yep, he truly is jealous right out of his cotton-pickin' gourd.
Afton stops by Cliff's apartment to ask him if he's in love with Sue Ellen, and Cliff confirms he is and insists that wanting to couple up with her (no longer) has anything to do with getting back at JR. Afton warns that JR is going to crucify him if he continues to tap that, but Cliff smugly reminds her he's in full control of his life and that JR has zero ability to screw with him or his livelihood. Afton sadly says it's pretty obvious that there's no room in his life for her, then insists that JR will never let him be with Sue Ellen. "He'll break you!" she snaps before fleeing the tiny apartment.
Lucy arrives at Studio Creepy an hour late and tells Roger she doesn't much feel like posing for photos while he barks, "More! More!" 'cause she just learned that her estranged husband is interested in another woman. Roger says he finds that utterly impossible to comprehend and coos, "Can't he see how beautiful you are?", then grabs her and plants her with a big wet smooch. Lucy stares back at him in shock, then decides she's into it after all (ew) and kisses him back...and Roger says he wants them to put a pin in their amorousness so he can snap some photos of her looking all moody and upset.
Sue Ellen's nurse-nanny, Mrs. Chambers, announces that since it's the end of her shift she'll be heading home now...and Sue Ellen balks at the prospect of spending the evening alone and invites her to stay for a game of backgammon. Mrs. Chambers [refrains from asking why in blazes she'd be willing to spend unpaid time entertaining her lonely employer and] politely says she can't 'cause her nephew is taking her to dinner, then wishes Sue Ellen a lovely evening before beating a hasty retreat.
Sue Ellen wanders over to her wet bar [I find it interesting that she keeps so much booze in the house, given her history of alcoholism] and touches one of the bottles and removes the lid...but then wisely thinks better of it and quickly puts it back on before firmly closing the cabinet.
Donna calls Ray to let him know that her research is taking longer than expected and that she'll be in Laredo for a few more days. She adds that an extended stay is probably for the best, given what a tool he's been acting like ever since he flamed out on the failed San Antonio real estate venture when he was too dumb to get the soil tested prior to making the land purchase.
Rebecca and Katherine drop by Wentworth Tool & Die headquarters to visit Cliff, who appears to be working very industriously. He proudly says he's going to make this company the best in its field...and Katherine rolls her eyes and looks her usual peeved self whenever the topic of Cliff being at the helm of her late father's company comes up. She grumbles that they're late for dinner, and Rebecca urges her to lighten up and says she should admire her half-bro for striving so hard for success.
JR warmly greets Wally Hampton when he arrives at Ewing Oil for their tête-à-tête, then gets right down to the reason he summoned him: he wants him to offer Cliff the job of Chief Operating Officer and promise a huge salary (which JR offers to cover) ... and then six months later fire him "for embezzlement or something equally as disgraceful". An unfazed Wally's like, "Sure thing, JR" and jokes about how Cliff may become so disgraced that he'll never be able to find gainful employment again, and a gleeful JR says he's definitely counting on that.
JR arrives at Sue Ellen's house to pick up John Ross for a day of court-approved father-son bonding. He tells Sue Ellen that he's taking their son to the nearby kiddie park and asks her if she'd like to join them...and Sue Ellen mulls over the prospect of spending the entire day with her wily ex before deciding 'ah fuck it, why not?'
While lounging by the Southfork pool, Bobby asks Pam if she's considered returning to work, and Pam says she might go back to The Store when Christopher is a bit older. She then asks Bobby if a court date has been set for the adoption hearing, and he says it hasn't - but that his lawyer told him it's very routine and (fibs) that most mothers don't even attend the hearing. Pam tells him she wouldn't miss it 'cause she wants to hear the outcome of the judge's decision with her own ears.
Sue Ellen looks on as JR rides on a little merry-go-round with their son, leads him through a concrete maze, and pays an organ grinder to play a personal request. JR then lays it on thick to Sue Ellen about how good it is for John Ross to see them both getting along, and she agrees and admits that she's having a very nice time.
Lucy is sunning herself by the Southfork pool when Mitch drops by to tell her he now has time to look at her portfolio photos - but Lucy sourly tells him she's not interested in sharing them with a cheater. He explains that his new friend Evelyn is a nice person who's been going through a rough time lately and needed someone to talk to, and Lucy snaps, "Pillow talk?" and asks if he's hit the sheets with her. When Mitch assures her he hasn't, Lucy bitterly replies, "You mean not yet..?", and an irked Mitch blurts out, "That's right." Lucy ends the conversation with an abrupt goodbye, prompting Mitch to storm back to his car.
After a day of fun at the park, JR invites Sue Ellen to join him, John Ross, and the rest of the Ewing clan at Southfork for dinner...promising that he'll drive her home anytime she wants. Sue Ellen mulls it over, but in the end declines his offer and says she should prolly be getting home now.
Later that evening, JR tells his son a bedtime story, then adds that he has a strong feeling his ma is going to be back at Southfork real soon, and that they're all going to live happily ever.
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