Recap: At the patio breakfast table at Southfork, Miss Ellie reads the morning paper and asks JR if he's aware of the recent drop in oil prices, and he mumbles that he is and that he's crossing his fingers that it's only temporary. A few seconds later, Ray and Donna drop by and also remark on the drop in oil prices, and Donna says she thinks it could be a good thing, 'cause it means that gas will be more affordable at the pump for everyday folk. JR grumbles that it's not good for Ewing Oil, and Ray says this is going to be a giant headache for any distributors sitting on a huge pile of oil 'cause they'll patiently have to wait for the price to go up. Heh. JR stares worriedly into space for a few seconds before abruptly getting up and leaving for work, and then Donna and Miss Ellie head off to meet with a decorator, presumably the one who's assisting them with the refresh of Pam's/Bobby's bedroom.
Over at Southern Cross, Clayton's foreman tells him that if the oil shutdown continues to drag on, he'll have no choice but to lay off another five hundred men. Clayton overrides that decision and instructs him to keep the men on the payroll at half salary - despite him not really being able to afford to do that. Sue Ellen, who's breakfasting outdoors, hears that last thing and tells Clayton she doesn't want to be responsible for destroying everything he's built...but he tells her he can't stand the idea of giving in to JR's blackmail, then points out that JR has created a stupid quandary for himself: he's sitting on 500 million barrels of oil, which is declining in value by the day.
During a therapy session, Pam tells Dr. Conrad that lately she's been so fixated on Rebecca's abandonment of her 'cause most women don't just up and leave their small children. Dr. Conrad [rather dickishly, IMO] points out that the same thing happened to Cliff and he seems to be coping fine - but Pam points out that, in fact, her brother's coping mechanism was to feel bitterness about their mother leaving them, and never wanting to talk about it. She then complains about how she was never able to have a relationship with her mother and, in turn, won't have one with her non-existent biological children, which is why she felt so empty the day she ended up on the roof of a tall building. Dr. Conrad points out that she can always adopt a baby and that it's simply a matter of time before the adoption agencies are able to produce an available tot, but Pam gets a crazed look in her eyes as she starts railing about how she's unable to stand the pain of waiting any length of time, not least 'cause she neeeeeeeds to prove to herself that if she had a baby:
A concerned looking Dr. Conrad's all, "Okaaaay" and asks her if having a child would make her internal pain go away, and Pam stares back at her with a spacey expression while mumbling, "I dunno."
JR arrives at Ewing Oil and finds Vaughn Leland waiting for him in his office, cackling to himself as he reads the newspaper article about the drop in oil prices. JR pretends to be unconcerned about the rapid devaluation of the insane amount of oil he's currently hoarding and assures Vaughn that the price will soon rise...and Vaughn's like, "Uh when?" and reminds him that his first loan payment is due in a few days and that he's lost about $5 million overnight. JR breezily says he's not worried, on account of he's always able to come out on top whenever he's faced with any hardship and is confident that he'll do so in this situation...then tells Leland that he and his fellow banker friends just need to chillax.
Over at Casa Yokel, Donna is wrapping up a meeting with her new editor, Edward Chapmen, when Ray returns home. Donna introduces him to Edward and explains that he's agreed to publish the biography she just penned about her late rich husband, Sam Culver. Edward gushes about Donna's "stunning insight into politics" and tells Ray he should be proud of his wife, who's about to become a bestselling author ['cause...sure, a biography about a non-living, obscure Texas politician sounds like a total page-turner for the masses]. As Donna walks Edward to his car, Ray gets a call from Neal Hart, who tells him they need to get together pronto to discuss a problem that has arisen following the soil test from his San Antonio property. Uh oh. Ray suggests they meet at The Cattlemen's Club tomorrow for lunch.
Bobby meets up with Jeff Farraday to give him $2,000 in exchange for copies of the monthly checks Kristin received from a California law firm. Bobby asks who set up the trust fund from which the checks were issued, and Jeff is all, "Dunno" and says it's not his problem if this is a dead end 'cause he really just wants to wrap up this I have custody of Kristin's baby storyline and get the hell outa Dallas.
JR drops by the Stardrift Lounge to inform Afton that he arranged with Milton to give her the weekend off so that she's free to sexily frolic in the Bahamas with Vaughn Leland and "keep him happy". Afton's all, "Eww.." and says she's done all she's going to where that fossil is concerned, not least 'cause she's pretty sure JR is full of shit about his ability to get her a recording contract. JR snarls at her to do what he's ordering her to do, then grabs her by the arm - just as Mitch enters the restaurant, sees that his sister is being manhandled, and rushes over to punch JR in the face. An enraged JR glares at Afton and tells her she's finished, growling, "There's a million tramps like you around. I'm just going to have to find myself another one." After he storms out, Afton thanks Mitch for stepping up like a good big brother should...then decides that since Milton is no doubt going to fire her as the Stardrift Lounge's superfluous nighttime entertainer, they should go out and enjoy a nice dinner. She then stares contemplatively into space and says she's come to the realization that she's been going about her quest for wealth the wrong way.
Vaughn Leland drops by Ewing Oil and is introduced by JR to Afton's replacement: a sultry brunette named Heather Wilson. JR tells Vaughn that Heather works for the Bahamas Chamber of Commerce (a dubious claim, I can only assume) ... and that since the Chamber is always trying to drum up tourism, she'd love to invite him to the islands for an all-expense paid vacation. Vaughn looks intrigued by the prospect, then asks Heather if she could step outside for a minute so he can make it clear to JR that, regardless of him pimping out a sexy new woman with whom he can indulge in a Bahamian sex romp, he still expects the loan payment in ten days. JR assures him it won't be a problem, and Vaughn smilingly exits his office as he promises to send him a postcard.
Over at the Cattlemen's Club, Neal Hart informs Ray that the San Antonio land he purchased can't support residential construction unless every unit they build is reinforced with piles, which is going to increase the project's cost 50% more than was originally budgeted. Ray scrunches his dumb face concernedly and says he doesn't have the dough for that, then asks Neal to hold off doing anything for at least a couple of days while he flounders around cluelessly and decides his next move. Neal agrees, then tells the dimwit that soil testing is typically done prior to purchasing land, and Ray sheepishly explains the colossal clusterfuck by mumbling, "Fools rushing in."
Bobby stares at the copies of the checks Kristin received monthly, then tries (in vain) to contact the California lawyer who set up the the mysterious trust fund.
Lucy returns to Southfork - just as Miss Ellie is bicycling back to the house after checking the mailbox. She opens a large envelop from Jock, quickly reads over at the papers inside, and exclaims, "Oh my Lord!"
During pre-dinner drinks at Southfork that evening, Miss Ellie announces to the family that Jock wanted her to inform them all of some major changes he's decided to implement at Ewing Oil. He writes that while he trusts JR (sorta), he's become dismayed that "at times he takes a somewhat headstrong approach to business", adding that he thought the same of Bobby when he was briefly at the helm. Therefore, to avoid JR treating the oil company like his own private treasury and fiefdom, he's divvying up voting shares (for all major decisions) to be allocated in the following manner:
Incidentally, I find it noteworthy that a male Ewing toddler gets 10 shares, while his fully grown female cousin, Lucy, gets zip.
A shell-shocked JR pretends to be unfazed by the new checks and balances to which he's going to have to adhere, and raises his glass while toasting, "Here's to daddy for looking out for the welfare of Ewing Oil."
The next morning at breakfast, Miss Ellie tells Donna she's not sure that Jock did the right thing by giving her the most voting shares and opening the door to what will likely become an annoying rivalry among his sons. She then wrings her hands about 1) how pressure-averse Gary is going to react to now having a say about what goes on at Ewing Oil, and 2) how JR is going to react to giving up the fiscal autonomy he's been enjoying for a really long time. Donna suggests they forget about these problems for now and focus on redecorating Pam's/Bobby's bedroom, and Miss Ellie agrees - but only after she gives Gary a call.
The Ewing Oil accountant shows JR the company books and assures him that everything looks on the up and up - except for the teensy effect the drop in oil prices might have on their bottom line. JR says he anticipates that oil prices will rise very soon, then urges the accountant to take some extended vacation time, starting Monday, [so that he's incommunicado when the imminent shitstorm over his oil hoarding scheme comes to light]. JR then buzzes Sly to instruct her to bring him some cartons, 'cause he's got some stuff he wants to put in storage.
Over in Knot's Landing, Valene is eavesdropping on Gary's call with Miss Ellie and looking less than thrilled about him being dragged into the latest Ewing Oil drama. Gary tells her he feels the need to head back to Southfork to ease Miss Ellie's mind about the voting shares situation..and when Valene worriedly points out that being around his shitty family usually makes him want to head to the nearest bar and guzzle as much booze as humanly possible, he assures her that this time everything is going to turn out A-OK.
Afton drops by Cliff's office to marvel at his important new CEO job and offer to help him stick it to JR with the aid of some tasty intel she'd like to share. Cliff grins at the prospect, and the two agree to go out and chat about it over a drink.
While holding hands and strolling through a park, Pam tells Bobby she'd really really like to return to Southfork and resume her job at The Store, then meekly admits that Dr. Conrad has made it clear she feels that that'd be rushing things. She asks Bobby if he's heard back from any of the adoption agencies, and he vaguely replies that he keeps in regular touch with them, but hasn't yet heard anything definitive about a baby. Pam happily says she's been pondering various baby names and likes Bobby, Jr. and Rebecca...and Bobby stares back at her lovingly as the two exchange I love yous.
Ray attempts to get a $3 million loan to finance his San Antonio project from the Cattlemen's National Bank ('cause he doesn't want to use his wife's dough), and the loan officer, Martin Porter, expresses doubt that it'd be approved without collateral - but tells him that the loan committee will pretend to go through the motions of reviewing his request and render a decision in a few days.
Afton tells Cliff that JR has borrowed a total of $200 million ($100 million from Vaughn Leland) to hoard millions of barrels of oil, the value of which is dropping by the day. She adds that she refused to prostitute herself with Leland, who - after throwing back a few drinks one night - let it slip that he hates JR with the intensity of a thousand suns and hopes to hell that he defaults on his ginormous loan. Cliff asks her what any of this has to do with him, so she tells him how desperately she wants revenge for JR's shabby treatment of her and figured that since he's a powerful CEO he's now in a position to join forces with her and take advantage of the idiotic predicament JR has put himself into. Cliff says he likes the sound of that, then orders champagne, with which Afton toasts, "Good endings to bad beginnings."
Back at Southern Cross, Dusty and Sue Ellen are watching more boring old footage of him bronc riding when JR calls to tell Dusty he'd like to meet in person. Dusty mulls that over and agrees to come to Dallas (while not letting on to Sue Ellen that he's talking to her husband) and JR buzzes Sly to tell her to free up his schedule by cancelling tomorrow's appointments.
At Casa Yokel, Ray is on the phone, admonishing Walter Sherr for selling him a plot of land that's not fit for construction. Walter says he had no idea that the soil test would turn out so disastrously and condescendingly reminds Ray that he should have tested it prior to purchasing the land. A few seconds later, Donna rushes over to excitedly show Ray her $50,000 advance check for her upcoming Sam Culver biography, and Ray half-heartedly says he's very proud of her, though can't help but feel wistful about his failures. Donna asks him if he'd like to take her out to celebrate her windfall, but he says he's not feeling up to it and needs to run an errand...and as he dejectedly lumbers off, Donna stares after him concernedly.
Bobby tells his Senate aides that he's decided to not run for reelection 'cause he has too many family issues that make it impossible to focus his attention on a sub-plot that the Dallas writers leaped into but now no longer have any clue what to do with. He apologizes for letting them down and shakes their hands as they file out of his office.
Vaughn Leland arrives at Afton's apartment and says he was surprised to hear from her...and she makes it clear that this is strictly a business meeting, then summons Cliff, who emerges from the other room. When Vaughn's all, "The hell?", Cliff says that since they share a common enemy in JR they should consider doing business together, then cheerily proposes, "How about Pin the Tail on the Ewing?"
JR arrives at the city's football stadium as Dusty helicopters in for their tête-à-tête. JR tells Dusty that when he got wind of his limp penis during the custody hearing, he couldn't help but wonder how long Sue Ellen would remain committed to a sexless relationship, given that she's "a lady of tempestuous moods" who finds it a challenge to stay out of hot guys' beds. Dusty advances on him, slaps him across the face, and tells him he's disgusting - but an unfazed JR insists that he speaks the truth and suggests that Sue Ellen is probably so hard up for sex these days that she's been sneaking into Clayton's bedroom in order to ride his baloney pony. Ew. As a visibly revolted Dusty whirls around and storms back to his chopper, JR bellows, "There's only one person who's man enough to keep that lady happy and on Southern Cross...and that sure as hell ain't you!", a bogus taunt that appears to crawl deep beneath Dusty's skin.
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