Holy shit, why wasn't there ever a spinoff called Ewing Mysteries starring Sue Ellen as a private investigator, featuring guest stars like Charles Napier and Lee Grant? It's not too late, someone get Hollywood on the phone! Ugh, enough about my perfect dream ideas...let's get to this week's episode, shall we?
Things kick off in downtown Dallas at Ewing Oil HQ, where everyone is on edge because of a noisy remodel going on in Bobby's office. Julie decides it's lunchtime, and as she and J.R. flirt their way through his lunch order, we learn what he eats every afternoon: roast beef on rye with mustard and mayonnaise. This lends credence to my long-standing belief that you should never, ever trust anyone who enjoys rye bread. It's the worst bread. The worst! Even worse than the bread I bit into that time and I was immediately all "This is weird in a terrible way!" and I looked and there was mold on the bottom. Yes, rye bread tastes worse than that.
Ugh, enough about my superior taste in breads...the point here is that we've learned something about J.R., and it's not the last thing we'll learn about him today.
"Ooh, tell me more about your condiment choices, lover."
Bobby totally can't handle the incessant construction noise in his office, so with a "That tears it!" he's off to work at home. He and Julie walk out together, making small talk about his new position in the company and how's the new marriage going and blah blah and Bobby says:
"You know, it probably would have been a lot easier on Pammy if J.R. had married you instead."
WHAT. First of all, what is this "Pammy" shit? "Momma", "Daddy", "Pammy"...why does Bobby feel the need to infantilize everyone--ohhhh, is it a manifestation of his resentment over everyone calling him "Bobby" despite the fact that he's a grown man? I'm going to say YES and let my wild speculation color my viewing of every future episode.
At any rate, Julie insists that J.R.'s choosing to marry Sue Ellen instead of her is "ancient history" and she's just fine and dandy and happy being relegated to a life as his secretary/kept woman/sandwich fetcher.
Bobby leaves and Cliff Barnes strolls up. He asks Julie out to dinner for I guess the millionth time and she refuses for I guess the millionth time because after all, he's an enemy of the Ewings and therefore and enemy of her. Look, to be honest, I kind of stopped paying attention to what they were saying because I became enthralled with all of the "background artists" who couldn't keep their eyes off of the camera. The rest of the scene was like a Where's Waldo of awesome people!
At Southfork, Jock entertains a crony with drinks and a game of Gin Rummy like a proper Old Person. It turns out that the crony is a longtime friend and a senator to whom Jock loaned $50,000 years ago. No demands have been made regarding repayment, but the senator has voted in favor of Ewing Oil every time the opportunity has arisen. Imagine that! Cliff Barnes smells corruption and is closing in, but Jock teaches us an important lesson: corruption is okay as long as the scheme involves a friend. What a slimeball he is! Still, though, that hair.
would it be weird to make a sweater out of it
Bobby gets a whole two hours of work done before Pam insists on a boink break in "the little house", which you'll be happy to know is not a euphemism. They actually live in a little house right off Southfork's main driveway, and on the walk there, we are treated to a taste of what is perhaps the biggest injustice in Dallas's history.
Okay, so we know that Jock drives a Cadillac, J.R. drives a Mercedes sedan, and Bobby drives a Mercedes convertible. Miss Ellie doesn't seem to drive because she's an entitled twat who needs chauffeuring. If I recall correctly, later on in the show both Pmadam (typo that stays) and Lucy end up driving Porsches, which leaves us with Sue Ellen. The Ewings have all the money in the world and don't shy away from using it on fancy cars...so what does Sue Ellen drive?
A fucking battle wagon! The most glamourous Ewing of all drives a giant GD woody! I don't care who makes it, this is a travesty of the highest order. Any problems that Sue Ellen may have or cause throughout the years can be directly attributed to the fact that she's made to drive this enormous, ugly, Family Truckster piece of shit.
Lucy needles Sue Ellen, asking if she's jealous that Bobby and Pam are engaging in a little Afternoon Delight whilst J.R. never comes home early for daytime sexnanigans. But today, J.R. does come home early! Sadly, this is only due to the overwhelming noise at the office and not some sudden desire to, like, sleep with his wife. In fact, he's somehow completely turned off when he spots the sexy negligee Sue Ellen bought earlier in the day, and when she puts the moves on him he tells her to knock it off. She's not acting like a lady at all, which he attributes to Pam's influence. Not even a pleading "We don't make love anymore!" from Sue Ellen will change his mind, and with a "That tears it!", J.R. is out the door. Sue Ellen, bereft and alone, leans on the mantel and cries. I would be sadder, but I was really excited about this second use of "That tears it!". Sorry, Sue Ellen.
How dare you try to seduce your husband, stand here and think about what you've done!
As you might suspect, J.R. has jumped right into Julie's arms...or he tries to, anyway. She tells him he ought to go home and be with his wife, that this lifestyle doesn't work for her anymore and she's oh so tired of waking up to another breakfast alone. J.R. insists, "You're the only one that ever turned me on...the only one that ever knew how."
Before I can stop shuddering at the direction this scene is taking, Julie replies, "You taught me how. You told me what you liked." At the risk of driving you to close your browser window and never read Dallas Reviewed again, here's what I decided in light of that conversation: J.R. likes a finger up his ass during sex! Right? I'm going to say YES and let my wild speculation color my viewing of every future episode.
Julie tries to stay strong, but ultimately she can't resist J.R.'s...well, smushing and crushing of her, or whatever this method of seduction is called.
Once again, Julie is left alone with her thoughts. I know she's thinking about how shitty she's been treated, but I wish she were thinking about all the future eyeshadow-and-bedsheet color coordination possibilities she can engage in now that she's $100 richer.
J.R., how many bare-shouldered women must you leave in your wake?
The cad has gone too far, and now it's time for...Julie's Revenge! She calls Cliff Barnes and finally takes him up on his dinner offer.
The next day, Bobby gets to work and realizes that he left some very important- and very incriminating- paperwork about that big senator loan deal thing at home. He calls Pam, who finds the folder, brings it to Ewing HQ...and leaves it with Julie. Big mistake- Julie is still in a revengenin' mood! She gives the documents to Cliff, who holds a press conference later that day to shine a light on the corrupt senator and the Ewings' involvement.
During breakfast at Southfork (breakfast is a big theme in this episode), J.R. receives a call about the press conference and promptly accuses Pam of being a spy; she was the last one with the paperwork, after all, and Cliff is her brother. Everyone just looks at each other for a while before Pam, an indignant vision in beige, storms out.
Pam asks Cliff to reveal his source so she won't shoulder the blame for the leak, but he won't give it up. Jock, meanwhile, refuses to do his own dirty work and makes Bobby confront the senator, who resigns his seat since he can't immediately pay back the 50k loan.
Because of all the tension at home, Pam and Bobby shack up at a hotel for the night. He's angry that no one else came to her defense, that they all automatically presume she's guilty. Pam isn't angry, though. She's apologetic! "I hate coming between you and your family." Why oh why doesn't she see that coming between Bobby and his family, or between herself and all of them, is the best possible outcome? Distance yourself from that fuckery, gurl. Sigh. Instead, she slowly connects the dots that Julie must be the leak, as she also had access to the documents.
The next morning, Pam and Bobby snoop around and find evidence in Julie's Rolodex: Cliff's brand new, unlisted phone number! An amateur mistake, Julie, tsk tsk...and yet I must say I'm thankful for it, because this scene has caused my desire for that Ewing Mysteries spinoff to flare up again.
my bursitis is also flaring up again, but I think it's unrelated
Julie is with Cliff when he learns that the senator has resigned. While a marginally less-corrupt governing body is lovely, he can't celebrate- in fact, he gets all angry- because the Ewings managed to avoid implication once again. Julie finds his monomania off-putting, and she realizes that she's being used by a man yet again. Cliff insists that while yes, he is using her, he told her he was going to, which makes it okay! Oh, Cliff. I think it's high time you dusted off some Nietzcshe for a refresher because that Ewing abyss is gazing into you, my friend.
Outside of Cliff's apartment, Pam confronts Julie. She ignores the bigger issues of corruption and everyone being terrible, and instead makes everything about herself, lashes out, brags about her wonderful Ewing marriage, and throws it all in Julie's face: "What've you got now, Julie? Nothing. Not even your self-respect." I hate everyone on this show. I love it!
Julie storms into Ewing Oil, tells J.R. that she slept with Cliff and gave him the papers, and quits. As she takes that long-overdue walk out of his life, J.R. almost has a feeling.
Back at Southfork that night, J.R. is the only one to apologize to Pam for thinking she was a big traitor. Once again, everyone else just looks around silently. What a bunch of assholes! And again once again, Pam makes excuses for these assholes, saying she would have thought the same thing had she been in their shoes. Lucy makes it weird by insisting that J.R. and Pam kiss and make up, and the episode ends on this exquisite freeze-frame after he kisses her on the cheek:
Ah, it's wonderful: Sue Ellen shooting eye daggers at Pam, Lucy doing that thing with her eyes that she always does, that thing that's the equivalent of dastardly moustache-twirling, and Miss Ellie...eh, who gives a shit about Miss Ellie? I, for one, have already had enough unpleasant thoughts thanks to this episode!