Here are the questions we’re pondering as we await tonight’s telecast of “Ewings Unite!,” TNT’s latest “Dallas” episode.
• Who killed J.R.? In “J.R.’s Masterpiece,” last week’s episode, the Ewings learned J.R. was shot and killed in a cheap hotel in Nuevo Laredo, Mexico. The police investigation concluded he was a robbery victim, but Bobby (Patrick Duffy) knew better. For more, check out my list of eight potential suspects, as well as the five burning questions surrounding “Dallas’s” latest mystery. Who do you think is responsible for J.R.’s death?
• What’s in J.R.’s will? It isn’t clear what J.R.’s estate includes, but this much we know: the Southfork mineral rights were split equally among him, Bobby and Gary (Ted Shackelford). The surviving brothers recently joined forces to suspend pumping oil out of the ranch, which is part of Bobby’s effort to oust Sue Ellen (Linda Gray) from Ewing Energies. Now that J.R. is gone, who will inherit his share of the mineral rights and how will it affect the battle over the company?
• Will Sue Ellen recover? In the aftermath of J.R.’s death, Sue Ellen continued to cozy up to Gary, hoping he’d side with her in the fight for Ewing Energies. Her ambition offended John Ross (Josh Henderson), who told her, “My father’s barely cold and you’re talking about already going to seduce his brother? Could you at least pretend to mourn him for five minutes?” Little did John Ross know how much his mother was hurting: On the night before J.R.’s funeral, she broke down and got drunk, then confessed her relapse during her eulogy for her ex-husband. Will Sue Ellen get the familial support she’ll need to climb back onto the wagon?
• Will Gary and Val reconcile? It’s unlikely anything lasting will come of Sue Ellen and Gary’s flirtation since “Ewings Unite!” marks the end of Shackelford’s three-week guest stint on “Dallas.” Also, keep in mind: Tonight’s episode brings back Joan Van Ark, who’ll reprise her iconic role as Valene, Gary’s now-estranged wife, and Charlene Tilton, who’ll make another appearance as Lucy, their daughter. The question is: Will Gary and Val leave Southfork together or separately?
• Will Bobby and Ann make up? J.R.’s death put additional stress on Bobby, who lashed out at Ann (Brenda Strong) for keeping so many secrets from him during their marriage. When she apologized and asked what she could do to “make things right,” he turned away. Meanwhile, Harris (Mitch Pileggi) arrived at Southfork in his sleek Lamborghini and pleaded with Emma (Emma Bell) to come home with him. When she refused, Harris told Ann, “Tell your husband that he has no idea what he started.” What will Harris do?
• How will Emma shock us next? Speaking of Emma: That girl has gone wild! During J.R.’s memorial service, she ducked into a cloakroom and popped pills with John Ross. Later, they shared a bottle of booze and retreated to the backseat of a car, where he, um, welcomed her to the family. But John Ross isn’t the only man in Emma’s life: When Harris tried to persuade her to leave Southfork, Drew (Kuno Becker) helped Ann run him off the ranch. Could Drew be next on Emma’s hit list?
• Is Pamela fed up with Cliff? When John Ross spotted Pamela (Julie Gonzalo) at J.R.’s memorial, he criticized her for reneging on her promise to share her piece of Ewing Energies. “John Ross, please. I care about you,” Pamela said. His response: “The only thing you care about is yourself.” Later, when Cliff (Ken Kercheval) showed up at the memorial, ranting and raving about the Barnes/Ewing feud, Pamela made him leave. “Daddy, that’s enough. Let’s go,” she said. Between Pamela’s feelings for John Ross and her anger at Cliff, could she be rethinking her role in the Barnes/Ewing feud?
• Who’s minding the store? We haven’t heard much about Ewing Energies since “The Furious and the Fast,” when the company-sponsored racecar scored a big victory at the track. This prompted flirty transportation official Alison Jones (Annie Wersching) to hint Christopher (Jesse Metcalfe) will be awarded the contract to fuel the city’s municipal fleet. Meanwhile, with Elena (Jordana Brewster) out of a job, Drew persuaded her to help him drill their father’s land, although first they need to buy it back from Bobby. Will he sell?
What “Dallas Burning Questions” are on your mind? Share your comments below and watch TNT’s “Dallas” tonight.