It's just another Manic Whateverday at Southfork! Jock drinks his aforementioned juice, Pam and Bobby both scramble to get to work, and Lucy and Sue Ellen argue about whether or not Lucy should have her own car. This argument doesn't work out in Lucy's favor, but oh, it so does work out in mine. First, their harping on each other so early in the morning nets us a glorious Pam eyeroll, performed daringly on-the-fly...with juice.
Then a few moments later, as Lucy whines to Jock, Linda Gray nearly breaks character.
She pulls it together, but the whole scene is really strange. It's seemingly one long, continuous take as actors move in and out of frame and the camera pans around trying to catch it all; it's both very theater-feeling and very modern-feeling, and it's jarring. Way more jarring (and depressing), though, is that the bulk of the scenes at Southfork are filmed on a soundstage. Why, those fields, they're not fields...they're matte paintings! Sure, sure, it saves costs. But I care not for costs! I care because everything feels flimsy and fake and it sucks.
But enough about that, it's lunchtime! You know what that means: Cliff is having lunch. Or, more to the point, he's waiting for someone to join him before he lunches. Pam is having lunch at the same restaurant with some girls from The Store, and as she and her brother chat a bit, in walks Sue Ellen. GASP this is person Cliff was waiting for! Pam then chats with her for a bit, and it's super awkward, not least of all because what in the Grimace hell is Sue Ellen wearing.
Sue Ellen pulls the ol' "I was just leaving" bit, but she and Cliff exchange some meaningful "Aw dang, we were gonna do it" looks before she leaves.
Meanwhile, Bobby is engaged in some meeting and something something business funds blueprints business it's all too much for my woman brain. But I don't even care because Bobby's meeting with Nicolas Coster, who of course played Lionel Lockridge (son of Minx Lockridge) on Santa Barbara.
Santa Barbara was the shit! Hmm, maybe I should start a Santa Barbara blog next...
*sees there were 2137 episodes*
J.R. is off to Washington, D.C. for a few days to look after the Ewings' political interests somehow. Later that night, after everyone is asleep, Sue Ellen calls Cliff Barnes to let him know that come the next morning they'll be free to enjoy several days' worth of...of...well, I'm not sure exactly, but the saxophone music that plays hints that it will be something sexy!
The next day at Ewing Oil, Bobby is something something businessing again, but this time I can understand some of the words: he's going to throw a party at Southfork to impress someone who has money or something, and Pam absolutely, onehundredpercently must be the hostess. The whole deal hinges on it, which makes total sense.
I was right! Sue Ellen and Cliff are totally engaging in sexnanigans! Sue Ellen pulls out all the stops, including booze and a black negligee. Also, they have apparently been meeting in secret and gettin' it on for six weeks now, what the heck!
(Aside: did you know Mrs. Robinson's famously sexy leg on The Graduate movie poster actually belongs not to Anne Bancroft, but to Linda Gray? It's true, dazzle your friends with trivia!)
Pam is freaking out over the very important party because she's never thrown a very important party before. She asks Sue Ellen to lunch to ask her advice, but Sue Ellen is cranky. She's wasting valuable doin' it time having lunch with Pam! She consoles herself with some booze, but not before being snarky with Pam. Sue Ellen needs to relax...she's been Cliffmatized and if she keeps acting up, it's only gonna be a matter of time before someone finds out.
In D.C., J.R. is having his own weekend tryst with an anonymous blonde and OH GOD HE'S WEARING A SATIN SHORTIE KIMONO WHY
Sue Ellen and Cliff take a little walk and try to assess this affair they're having. Do they really like each other, or are they only canoodling to get back at J.R.? Cliff picks her a hideous flower and tells her that's what she can expect from him because he ain't rich. Sue Ellen agrees ("You Barneses are disgustingly poor!") but she's into it regardless.
Over at The Store, Pam gets a promotion, hooray Pam! She's a buyer now, see, which means she absolutely must go to Paris for a few days to see some fashion shows. In a shocking twist, she has to leave for Europe two days before Bobby's very important party. "Uh oh," I assume Pam thinks to herself.
The dinner table is half empty that night. J.R. is away
Pam tries to talk to Bobby about the impending trip to Paris, but then she remembers that the very important party is very important and she wimps out.
Sue Ellen visits the doctor the next day because she's been feeling out of sorts. Perhaps her Cliffmatization has led to difficulties and/or complications! Yes, we all know that the blood test results will reveal that she's come down with a case of the babies, but this shit has to get dragged out so we wait.
Bobby goes to see Pam's boss Liz at The Store and asks for her assistance in picking out a dress for Pam, for she has a very special occasion coming up. In a classic Three's Company-style mix-up, Bobby thinks Liz is talking about the very important party, and Liz thinks Bobby is talking about Paris. Of course, Bobby doesn't even know about Paris...until Liz tells him when they're leaving. "Uh oh," I assume Bobby thinks to himself.
Back at Southfork, Lucy is still bitching about her lack of wheels. Well, I should say her lack of a car...I don't mean she laments that she does not have wheels on her person, but holy shit that would be so awesome if she did.
Sue Ellen gets a phone call. It's the doctor and SURPRISE she's pregnant. Yup, after allllllll this time of fruitless fornication with her husband, she's become a human nesting doll. Everyone is happy, it's finally happened! Jock calls J.R. and when Sue Ellen tells him, even he seems happy about it, promising to book a flight home in the morning.
"I love you, J.R.," Sue Ellen says.
"Take care," he replies.
Pam and Bobby have a chat that night. He hopes that the baby will ease tensions between him and J.R., that maybe they can act like brothers for once. Then they talk about how much Pam loves her job. She says it makes her feel good, like a real person, and that next to him it's the most important thing in her life. This time, Bobby might just get it, you guys. Progress.
The next day, Sue Ellen takes another stroll with Cliff to tell him about the baby and to break off the affair. He's not convinced that the kid isn't his, but he says that it doesn't really matter. She ain't gonna give up those sweet Ewing dollas for the likes of him, but he does really care for her regardless. And she totally cares for him, or at least she cares for those GD awful flowers.
That night, Bobby presents Pam with the dress he bought her for...her trip to Paris! Yes, he wants her to go to Paris. But Pam is all "Thanks, but I want to stay here for the very important party." Wow, this is some O. Henry shit!
Meanwhile, Sue Ellen celebrates her pregnancy in the traditional manner by having some booze. Like Cliff, J.R. finds the whole timeline dubious. Now she's pregnant? Now, after all this time? When they hardly even fornicate anymore? She assures him that heh heh heh, she's been "just as faithful" to their marriage vows as he has, and really, the only thing he cares about is a Ewing heir anyway.
J.R. slaps her (!) and when he tells her that he'll do whatever he wants, Sue Ellen counters with an oh yeah, motherfucker?, saying "I finally have something that you want." Whether or not it's his baby, he's stuck claiming it as his own to save face. "Chances are it's yours, J.R.," she says and walks out. Aww yeah, Sue Ellen's got the power. Finally. It won't last long, but man is it nice to see a freeze frame on J.R.'s face when he's put in his place. "Uh oh," I assume J.R. thinks to himself.