The honeymoon has ended for John Ross, in more ways than one.
“D.T.R.,” Monday’s (March 24) episode of TNT’s “Dallas,” opened with the newlywed Ewing (Josh Henderson) landing back home with wife Pamela (Julie Gionzalo). They immediately turned their thoughts back to business, with her wondering how his deal to acquire desired ships was going. His stalling on the answer led her to suggest she’d ask Emma (Emma Bell), but he coaxed her out of it as they got frisky in the back of their limo.
Upon returning to Southfork, John Ross checked on the temporarily stalled drilling, then threatened foreman Bo (Donny Boaz) with bringing in a replacement crew if the workers couldn’t get back to business that night. A concerned Bobby (Patrick Duffy) watched from a distance, John Ross waving mock-cheerfully upon spotting him.
Sue Ellen (Linda Gray) paid a visit to Texas’ governor (guest star Steven Weber), giving him a bottle of J.R.-brand bourbon as she tried to convince him to get the railroad commissioner to resign … knowing that would put a dent in John Ross’ efforts to secure a fracking permit.
If the politician didn’t do her bidding, Sue Ellen vowed, she’d derail his rumored run for the presidency by revealing unflattering information on him. ‘Blackmail never sours,” she informed him. He countered by asking if voters would believe her, since she was investigated for bribery not long ago. “Blackmail may never spoil, but it definitely curdles,” he reasoned.
Still, Sue Ellen deemed her mission a success, phoning Bobby and reporting that the politician “took the bait.”
Elena (Jordana Brewster) and Trevino (Juan Pablo Di Pace) met in Mexico with prison inmate Cliff Barnes (Ken Kercheval), who warned Elena to “keep an eye on” Trevino as the duo left. During a return visit later, Cliff implored Elena to convince Pamela — who’d hung up on him when he called her –that the Ewings had framed him for J.R.’s murder. He also asked Elena to start turning Pamela against John Ross.
Talking about past romances while out for a drink, Heather (AnnaLynne McCord) asked Christopher (Jesse Metcalfe) if he’d been the one to initiate conversations about “D.T.R.” — Define the Relationship. Her phone suddenly rang and she had to leave, but she felt compelled to reveal something she hadn’t before: “I have a kid.”
Driving Heather home, Christopher found that her ex was Bo, who warned him to “stay away from my family.” Heather then explained she and Bo had been married “briefly,” and the quick way her young son and Christopher took to each other both pleased and worried her.
In her office, Sue Ellen asked John Ross if he was bedding Emma. Claiming he wasn’t, he replied, “This is about you wanting to punish J.R. for the way he treated you. I’m not J.R.” Yet later, John Ross and his secretary Candice (Jude Demorest) flirted in view of Pamela and others. Bobby suggested it was “innocent enough,” but Sue Ellen maintained “there’s nothing innocent about” John Ross.
Indeed, he had brought back a necklace for Emma from his honeymoon with Pamela. Emma was pleased to receive it, and he immediately wanted her help in sealing the deal on the ships. In turn, she wanted him to get her father Harris Ryland (Mitch Pileggi) sent back to jail, and John Ross said he was working on it, trying to decrypt the flash-drive information that likely would enable it.
After seeing John Ross leave Emma’s room, Ann (Brenda Strong) went to her and said she wouldn’t let her “wreck a marriage.” Pointing out that Ann had kept Emma’s existence a secret from Bobby, Emma called her mother a “liar” and an “ex-drug addict” and added, “You can take the girl out of the trailer park, but you can’t take the trailer park out of the girl.” Ann’s reply? “Get off this ranch and don’t come back!”
After learning of the argument, Ryland called his CIA contact and asked to end his dealings with the agency. “You know that’s not an option,” he was told, then he revealed a cell-phone photo of computer files on Black Ops undertakings. Either his family would get extra protection, Ryland said, or he’d expose that information.
Judith (Judith Light) was summoned to a posh restaurant by Emma, who wanted a bigger role in the family business, including cementing the sale of the ships to John Ross. “We will not be doing business with the Ewings,” Judith responded. “Is that clear?”
Emma then produced something else she swiped when she took Ryland’s files, the “little black book” that confirmed Judith’s “side business” as a madam. “That’s half,” Emma noted. “When I see a contract for those ships, you’ll get the rest.” As Emma left, Judith advised her not to let John Ross manipulate her: “He degrades you. If you think that’s love, then you are a worthless creature.”
Getting home very late, Judith told Ryland she was worried about John Ross’ deployment of Emma against them, and she wanted Emma back at their residence. However, Ryland changed his mind about that and told Ann he was going to leave Emma with her at Southfork — where Emma had returned, under the pretense of apologizing and still under the influence of John Ross. “You’ve been a better parent to her than I ever was,” Ryland said to Ann.
Looking at the police file on J.R.’s murder, which they’d acquired via a state’s attorney who had been one of J.R.’s many victims, Trevino pointed out to Elena what appeared to be “an incision” on the late Ewing’s body that hadn’t been mentioned in the medical examiner’s report. (More will come on that, for sure.)
The bottle of bourbon Sue Ellen had given the governor turned out more than a gift, since she had planted an electronic bug in the cork. It paid off when she and Bobby were able to eavesdrop on a conversation the governor had with the railroad commissioner about accepting illegal campaign contributions. “The family that blackmails together stays together,” Sue Ellen told Bobby.
She then used a recording of the conversation to get what she wanted from the governor, the resignation of the commissioner … and she had “the perfect candidate” as a replacement. She texted John Ross, who’d just received a Judith-signed contract for the ships (with an “xoxo” note attached), and told him she “couldn’t look the other way.”
She also told him to turn on the television, and he saw the commissioner announcing he was leaving and naming his replacement: It was none other than Bobby Ewing, who surely would make John Ross’ efforts to get the Southfork fracking permit much tougher, if not impossible.
A furious John Ross then called Sue Ellen, who let him go through to voice mail, though she listened. “Now I know I’ve got another enemy I’ve gotta look out for,” she heard, then pulled out her flask and took a substantial drink.
When Bobby and Christopher got back to the office, John Ross opined that Bobby’s move would harm the entirety of Ewing Global, but Bobby declared himself “the steward of Southfork, and I will not forsake it.” Christopher then pronounced John Ross more selfish than J.R. ever was, and the seething John Ross replied, “I’m as bad as my father ever was — and I’ll blow right past him.”