“He’s a chip off the old block.”
Was that not fun!? I toldja! Oh, goodness — the lying, the cheating, the backstabbing! And somehow it all seems so classy, no? There was a point while I was watching the Dallas premiere where it sort of just clicked for me and I realized “Oh, this is the kind of show this is.” And it was kind of liberating. I could just watch. It’s something that’s hard to do as a person who tries to micro-analyze everything on television.
That’s not what this is (and if you try to analyze, you might spoil yourself for the upcoming twist). And there’s nothing wrong with that. My favorite thing about Dallas is just how easy to watch and entertaining it promises to be. To me, that sounds like the definition of summer guilty pleasure. And I’m ready!
So, a lot of stuff went down tonight in these two hours. It can be hard to figure out who’s who and what happened when. Allow me to help with that. Let’s begin with the characters as they appeared:
This is Elena. She is the housemaid’s daughter but grew up with both of the boys, John Ross and Christopher, since she was a little girl. Over time, she and Christopher fell in love…and they were even supposed to get married. But dun dun dun SOMEONE sent her an email posing as Christopher basically saying “Thanks about the marriage stuff, but no thanks, y’know?” And so she got furious and fled to su ¡patria de México! Soon thereafter, John Ross followed — and they’ve been hookin’ up ever since. Which is kind of gross, but let’s not think about it. Also, she’s very science-y and knows about oil and stuff.
Oh! And also, I know she’s not actually saying it but it feels like she’s always mentioning that she’s been in The Fast and the Furious all the time. She’s like “I ain’t need this. Where mah fast cahh at?” Plus, Chuck as Jill! I was so happy to see that she was on the show, because I actually had no idea. And I love Jill Roberts!
And this is John Ross, who is with (not really) Elena. He is son of infamous J.R. and Sue Ellen. And just like them, he wants the oil. He wants all of the oil. To get it, he needs to own Southfork. And there are about zero things he won’t do to get it — including cozying up to conservancy dealmakers and maybe even planting a fake woman to make the deal? Interesante! Also, he’s at odds with Christopher, whom he doesn’t classify as a real Ewing because he’s adopted. So much so, he may even be that someone that sent the email. Who knows?
Plus, did I mention he really loves oil? Because he loves oil.
This is Bobby, J.R.’s brother, John Ross’s uncle, and Chris’s father. He’s married to Ann. And he believes in his son’s green energy strategies so much that he wants to sell Southfork (which has been in his family for a century and a half) to fund him. Or is it because he doesn’t believe Chris could run Southfork, hm? He’s at odds with John Ross, who drilled on his land when he wasn’t supposed to and will soon enter a legal battle, but is going ahead with selling to the conservancy. What he doesn’t know is that the not-conservancy people are in cahoots with J.R. and John Ross!
And also, he’s dying but he seems really relaxed about it, like “Yeah, just gonna die. No biggie. Why tell anyone? OH MY GOD THAT PAIN IN MY STOMACH FELT LIKE HELL ITSELF THIS IS THE WORST. Whatever.”
This is Christopher (or Chris), Bobby’s son. He is really hung up on methane being the future of energy and then some. However, those strategies have proven to be a big dud. And he somewhat doesn’t want his father to sell Southfork for him. He’s in love with Elena, but that’s really not going to work out for him well since he just married Rebecca. Which brings us to…
Christopher’s wife, Rebecca (sigh Julie Gonzolo I miss you) — WHO IS DOUBLE CROSSING HIM. Oh, my goodness! I did not see this coming! She and her brother appear to be some sort of scam artists and apparently want to take Chris and the Ewings for all they’ve got! But there’s a catch, Rebecca has actual feelings.
Poor Rebecca, she should have known that emotions are a liability in Southfork.
This is Ann, Bobby’s wife. And she’s sort of just the most perfect wife in the history of the world. (Or IS she? It’s only been two episodes.) Also, she’s kind of a badass. Did you see her with that shotgun? Homegirl don’t play.
J.R.! The very infamous J.R.! He’s all glum and sad and then his son visits and he hears the word oil and he goes bonkers. So now he wants all the oil too. And he’s in cahoots with John Ross to get Southfork. Except what he doesn’t know is that John Ross is double crossing him. Well, he does now.
This is Sue Ellen. And she might very well be the best. I seriously think (okay, I haven’t watched the show previously so I’m just guessing) she’s going to rise out of nowhere and become the character to root for. She’s got that “bitch please” attitude just boiling beneath the surface.
She apparently pitted John Ross and J.R. against each other, therefore causing their growing apart. She’s helping Elena fund her own side businesses — but for what motive? And she’s hoping to become the next governor. The stakes have just been raised. Oh, and she clearly loves J.R., as does he. And I meant himself. Hahahaa! No, I also meant Sue Ellen. But also himself.
This is “Martha Del Sol” from the Sol Conservancy. Her father is old friends with J.R. and so that’s why he thinks he’s safe. But as we just found out, she’s not who she says she is. And supposedly she has a side deal with John Ross — but what was up with drugging him? Questions, questions…
And then enter Tommy, Rebecca’s brother, who obviously had something up his sleeve from the very moment he walked onscreen! He’s in cahoots with Rebecca to take everything from the Ewings. And also, I sort of got affair vibes with Ann in this scene.
And lastly, J.R.’s eyebrows. Because oh my goodness how do I not mention them. I’ve named them J.R.brows and I hope they rise to power.
And those are our key players!
A looooot happened in these two hours, so let’s try to recap it really quickly. Deal?
John Ross and Elena were drilling for oil on Southfork and struck really big to the point where they thought they were going to be extreme billionaires.
“We’re rich, bitch!”
“You ain’t rich, bitch.”
So, then, someone breaks into Bobby and Ann’s house to steal information about Christopher’s failures. And this is where Ann is a total badass.
She doesn’t get to shoot him, but she does find out that Bobby has cancer.
Anyway, it’s the day of Christopher and Rebecca’s wedding and the stakes are pretty high because everyone is sort of feeling like crap. Bobby is dying. John Ross wants his oil. Elena loves Christopher. Christopher is a failure. And so on. But whatever, it’s still happening.
J.R., in the form of a waiter, delivers the information about Chris that was stolen to John Ross. And once he reads it, he decides to blackmail Chris. That’s when Chris thinks it was Elena who told him because supposedly know one else knew about his failures even though it was plastered all over CNN and stuff.
I don’t. What? This was very confusing. Anyway, he tells her that John Ross is basically the worst and that’s when this happens:
YUS! It’s not a soap opera unless someone gets slapped. So I’m glad it finally happened. And this is where we learned that the reason they broke up is because Elena received an email.
AN EMAIL. An email!? What is this, 2001? No. People don’t read emails! Please. But whatever. They’re really broken up about it. And that’s when Jesse Metcalfe puts in work on his acting skills.
So now Chris thinks John Ross sent the email that broke them up (and it’s his wedding day, y’all!), so he goes over to beat him up!
“I am so mad, I could grab your blazer!”
Then, Martha del Sol from the Del Sol Conservancy comes over to view Southfork. And she REALLY wants to buy it.
Anyway, episode ends with Chris and Rebecca married and as it turns out, Martha and J.R. are in cahoots. But wait! As it turns out, JOHN ROSS and Martha are in cahoots! Let the backstabbing begin! Now on to episode 2…
The episode begins with Chris and Rebecca consummating their marriage. And then we cut over to Elena reading the email in which not-Chris broke up with her in. She doesn’t want to speak to John Ross, because she thinks he sent it. So John Ross, who is scheming with J.R. and Martha to takeover Southfork but secret scheming with just Martha decides there are plenty of fish in the sea.
And that’s when J.R. gets a slight hint that something might be up. And it’s not just John Ross’s libido.
Chris and Rebecca are set to leave for their honeymoon, but Rebecca is like “Uh NO we shouldn’t do that NO NO NO uhhh NO! Can you see through this?” but I actually COULDN’T see through it. She wants to stay because she and her brother are actually scheming themselves to takeover Southfork. It’s ridiculous! And Chris agrees, because he thinks the pressures of his father selling Southfork to fund his business practices is too much pressure and also just plain wrong since PEOPLE HAVE BEEN DYING or whatever.
This is when Ann decides to confront Bobby about his cancer.
And she basically tells him that he should, like, tell his son but Bobby just replies “Nah that’s cool” about seven times this episode.
Elena also decides to confront John Ross about the email, and John Ross denies all allegations. And he seems quite genuine. But even though he tells her he wants to be with her (and even though his tongue was just down Martha’s throat), she’s not buying it (hm, I wonder why?). So he leaves all pissy.
Over at Southfork, Tommy, Rebecca’s brother, comes in the picture and he’s totally shady but Ann doesn’t get it. And Chris tells his dad he doesn’t want him to sell Southfork at all. And Bobby tells him that if he dies, he just doesn’t want John Ross and him to fight over it like he and J.R. did in the 80s. Even though that’s basically what’s happening. And Chris tells him that it’s not like he’s dying.
And that’s when Bobby has the thirteenth opportunity to tell his son about his cancer.
But he doesn’t.
Meanwhile, John Ross goes to meet with the family attorney about helping him backstab his uncle, and the attorney is like “$2 mil o’ no deal, suckahhh!” So John Ross drinks because this attorney is freakin’ nutso! Sue Ellen is making arrangements for a charity event tonight (in hopes to get her name for the race for governor out there) when Elena walks in all “Woe is me I have no cash!” and so Sue Ellen gives her money to buy oil leases. Hmm. Just like that!
At the event, J.R. makes a grand entrance.
And everyone is sort of just dumbfounded. Even the family attorney is like “Okay, I am NOT going to play this game.” And that’s when John Ross decides to drown his Elena sorrows in Martha’s bedroom. But she spikes his drink! And she’s recording their recreational activities! DUN DUN DUN!
Chris and Elena decide to work together because “[science stuff]” in a work-related sense. And so they do. And you just know that’s not going to end well for his sham of a marriage. That’s when John Ross hires a PI to dig up dirt on the attorney so that he doesn’t have to pay him $2 million. AND he wants him to find out who sent the breakup email. So it obviously wasn’t him. Then WHO?
No one knows, but J.R. decides to go to Mexico to visit Mr. Del Sol, owner of the conservancy who’s buying Southfork, and meets the REAL Martha. That’s when he realizes his son is backstabbing HIM too! But the fake Martha might be backstabbing John Ross ANYWAY. It’s CRAZY.
Whoa! Okay, so I hope that small-ish recap helped just a tad. It was a crazy fun two hours, for me at least. And it feels like a season worth of twists have already happened! My goodness. J.R. found out about TWO secrets in just one scene. That’s insane.
So here are our questions going into week 2:
… Who sent the email?
… What will happen during Bobby’s operation?
… What is Sue Ellen’s motive?
… What exactly does Rebecca and her brother want?
… Who is the fake Martha? And who is she working for?
And a lot more, I’m sure! But those are the ones that stick out. Did you guys like the Dallas premiere? And was your allegiance a liability in the Rise to Power game? Discuss below!
I was selected to participate in TNT’s Dallas Roundup Network. I was not compensated for writing this post, but have received a screener of the first two episodes.
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