Sins of the Father
Original Air Date: Feb 4, 2013
Karen Belgrad – Senior Editor
For an hour long show, Dallas really does seem to fly by in a matter of minutes. No scene is too long, no dialogue is lacking for camp. There were no major surprises tonight, but it was definitely an (almost entirely) enjoyable hour of television.
There’s a sense of foreboding with every minute, knowing that the delicious J.R. Ewing scenes won’t be around much longer. But it’s the joy in which lines such as “I can make a body appear in a church social without anybody knowing how it got there” that make us relish the time we do have left. And what’s also great… Josh Henderson is doing his damndest to carry on his television papa’s legacy.
Because was there anything for fun (and sleazy) this hour than John Ross and Pamela (no longer referred to as faux-Rebecca) trying to show their upper hand by declaring that they like being on top? The gruesome twosome spent the hour trying to manipulate everything around them, but are really quite enjoyable when they’re working off each other.
John Ross’s big power play this evening was to get his mother to call in the loan she gave Elena to drill oil on a neighboring property. He plays his “broken heart” to the hilt, using the puppy dog eyes he allegedly inherited from his father, to manipulate his mother to get back into the business game. Despite her self-proclaimed awareness to being played, Sue Ellen falls for her son’s machinations and goes all “bitch on wheels” on Elena, giving her a month to strike oil or pay up the loan.
Elena’s been sidetracked with Ewing Energies and now the reappearance of her brother Drew (played by Kuno Becker). He’s claiming to have gotten his previous wild ways under control and is determined to honor his father’s legacy by drilling for oil on some land that Bobby now owns. Elena instead gets him on board with the Henderson property, which John Ross immediately undercuts by bribing the rig guy to not find oil until he gives the say-so.
Pamela is having her own troubles trying to reign in Becky Sutter, who is now demanding one million dollars or she will help the police and Christopher take her down. She enlists Frank to dispose of the Becky problem, just as Christopher gets word from the police that they found Tommy’s blood in Pamela’s old condo. Frank (somehow) takes care of the Becky problem and she doesn’t show for court, but J.R. appeals to Frank’s insecurity about being a Barnes employee (not family) and plants the seed to nail Pamela for Tommy’s murder.
Elsewhere, in the non-campy portion of the hour, Ann is still trying to make headway with her estranged daughter Emma. She admits that she was a drugged out, depressed mess when Emma went missing, but that she never gave up hope on her. Emma isn’t interested in any meaningful reconciliation and Ann is devastated. Bobby is further chagrined when he gets news that it’s not considered kidnapping, but custodial interference, and the statute of limitations has expired. He goes to J.R, for help in making Ryland pay, but it might be a non-issue. Having overheard the legal dilemma, Ann pays Ryland a visit, where he taunts her about all of the moments in Emma’s life that he took from her. His whole motivation was to make her miserable for planning to leave him, and he clearly succeeded. So Ann pulls out her trusty gun (cause as she said in pilot, someone’s always packing in Texas) and blows a hole in Ryland’s chest. He lies there bleeding out as she walks out the door.
The whole Ann-Emma plot has the possibility to be as delicious as the others, but the problem is that it’s just been so weepy. It needs a few more one liners and a lot less Kleenex if it’s going to live up to the soapy good legacy of Dallas. Right now it’s definitely the Debbie-Downer of the landscape. And the whole oedipal between Ryland and his mother is just creepy, especially when you factor in that Judith Light is just three years older than Mitch Pileggi!
So what are you most enjoying here in season two? Is it the campy goodness, the fake back drop view from everyone’s offices? But I must say, I’m really anxious for a Cliff Barnes appearance… and soon!
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