TNT’s Dallas Recap: ‘D.T.R.’

Bobby Ewing, Dallas, D.T.R., Linda Gray, Patrick Duffy, Sue Ellen Ewing, TNT

Ewings united

Here’s what happened in “D.T.R.,” TNT’s latest “Dallas” episode:

• Sue Ellen struck back (part 1): Sue Ellen (Linda Gray) visited Governor McConaughey (Steven Weber) and gave him a bottle of J.R. Ewing Bourbon, hoping it would persuade him to replace Stanley Babcock, the corrupt railroad commissioner, with an appointee who would agree to revoke John Ross’s Southfork drilling permit. Of course, the wily McConaughey was in no mood to grant Sue Ellen a favor and rejected her suggestion. Dumb move, governor: It turned out Sue Ellen had bugged the bottle, which allowed her and Bobby (Patrick Duffy) to eavesdrop on McConaughey’s conversations — including one with Babcock (Currie Graham), who promised to illegally funnel money to the governor’s 2016 presidential campaign. “The bug in the bourbon cork. I think J.R. would see the humor in that,” Bobby said.

• Sue Ellen struck back (part 2). After John Ross and Pamela (Josh Henderson, Julie Gonzalo) returned from their honeymoon, Sue Ellen told her son to stop cheating on his wife, but he paid Sue Ellen no heed. “This is all about you wanting to punish J.R. for the way he treated you. Well, guess what, Mama? I’m not J.R.,” John Ross said. Dumb move, junior: Once Sue Ellen played McConaughey her recording of his conversation, he agreed to replace Babcock with a new railroad commissioner — Bobby. (Said the governor upon discovering Sue Ellen’s scheme: “This is why politicians should never accept gifts — especially gifts with J.R.’s name on them.”) Sue Ellen let her son know she was behind the appointment when she sent him a text message that read, “I couldn’t look the other way.” He responded in kind, leaving her a nasty voice mail message in which he shouted, “Now I know I’ve got another enemy I’ve got to look out for. I ain’t going to forget this.”

• Emma gained the upper hand against Judith. John Ross returned from his honeymoon with a gift for his mistress: a necklace, which he gave to Emma (Emma Bell) during one of their clandestine meetings in her bedroom. When Ann (Brenda Strong) saw the jewelry, she and Emma got into a fight and Ann kicked her off the ranch. But Emma wasn’t down for long: She told Judith (Judith Light) she knows all about her prostitution business and used the information to blackmail Grandma into agreeing to give John Ross control of Ryland’s ships for his Arctic drilling venture. After Judith gave her granddaughter some advice (“Never let a man screw you for nothing”), Emma told John Ross she wants a piece of the “Arctic play,” but that’s probably the least of his worries: Judith, fuming over being blackmailed, let Harris know she was frustrated with the slow pace of his scheme to frame John Ross for a sex crime. “How hard is it to get that Ewing boy to drop his pants?” Judith asked.

• Harris gained the upper hand against the CIA. After Ann told Harris that Emma left the ranch, he worried for his daughter’s safety and told CIA agent George Tatangelo (Gino Anthony Pesi) that he wanted out of the agency’s sting operation against the Mendez-Ochoa drug cartel. Tatangelo told Harris it was too late to walk away (“You bought the ticket. You take the ride.”), so Harris threatened to expose expose the illegal “black ops” operations Tantangelo has been conducting on the side. “If you won’t stop the ride, the least you can do is re-route some of those resources and get my family a little extra protection,” Harris said. Meanwhile, Harris and Ann continued to soften toward each other during their search for Emma, who eventually came home to Southfork and told Ann she would stop seeing John Ross — a promise Emma had no intention of keeping.

• Elena and Nicolas got a clue. Pamela was unsettled to see Candace (Jude Demorest) flirting with John Ross, but that was nothing compared to the distressing phone call she received from Cliff (Ken Kercheval), who tried unsuccessfully to mend fences with her. Cliff realized his daughter believes he really did kill J.R., and so he huddled with Elena and Nicolas (Jordana Brewster, Juan Pablo Di Pace) and urged them to tell Pamela the truth. “Turn her against John Ross and she will help you get your justice … and mine,” Cliff said. He also warned Elena to keep an eye on Nicolas. Meanwhile, Nicolas persuaded Peter Bedford (Todd Terry), the state’s attorney whom J.R. once blackmailed, into showing him and Elena the files from the Mexican police’s investigation into J.R.’s murder. While examining the autopsy photos, Nicolas noticed an unusual incision on J.R.’s body.

• Christopher grew closer to Heather — and clashed with John Ross. Christopher and Heather (Jesse Metcalfe, AnnaLynne McCord) grew closer, and he learned her secret: She was once married to Bo (Donny Boaz) and the two of them have a young son, Michael. Christopher and the boy bonded over Transformers when they met, but Bo made it clear he doesn’t think much of Christopher. Or maybe Bo was just stressed because John Ross, his boss at the Southfork drilling site, has been riding the crew so hard. Buckle up, Bo, because things aren’t going to get any easier: After John Ross found out about Bobby’s new position on the railroad commission, he vowed to keep fighting until he taps the oil under the ranch. As John Ross told Bobby and Christopher, “You want to build a roadblock between me and drilling Southfork? Go ahead. If I’m as bad as my father ever was, then I’ll blow right past it.”

What did you think of “D.T.R.”? Share your comments below and look for Dallas Decoder’s critique later this week.


  1. Great episode! Linda Gray was on fire!

  2. Love seeing Sue Ellen wheeling and dealing but I don’t like her taking to the bottle.

    • Dan in WI says:

      This is largely the return of my Sue Ellen these last couple episodes. My favorite Sue Ellen was the shrewd businesswoman who debuted with the purchase of Valentine Lingerie. But I too just wait around for that other shoe (drinking) to drop and destroy her. It’s not something I’m looking forward too.

      Now here is my question: How can Bobby be the Railroad Commisioner while working at Ewing Global? Isn’t that a conflict of interest? I see to recall Donna Krebs had to divest herself of the short lived Krebbs Oil when she was named the head of the Texas Energy Commision.

  3. Garnet McGee says:

    Good but not great episode. Linda was great and so were her scenes with John Ross but there is too much Emma and not enough Pamela. I’m getting bored with Pamela being dumb. Luckily she is starting to wise up. I’m hoping we see more scenes of her and Trevino together. All the blackmail in one episode starts to seem repetitive. I like that Emma thinks she’s playing Ann but Ann doesn’t really believe her. Should we believe Harris and his flattery?

  4. This episode was very good. My wife and I watch several shows and so many shows are so predictable these days that we will look at each other and say what’s going to happen in a given show 10 minutes before it does happen. Dallas, amazingly is not one of these. This show surprises me all the time. Harris working for CIA, Bobby Taking over railroad commissoner, Heather ex being Bo, etc…This show keeps me guessing and continues to surprise…we all know that’s a sign of good writing. This season is looking to be the best yet. Now we just need Cliff out of jail, and just wait til Pammy realizes that the Ewings did frame her father.

  5. Sue Ellen was MVP last night. Loved her tangling with the governor and scheme to make Bobby a state official.

  6. Despite the Ewings framing Cliff, he’s still responsible for causing Pamela to lose her babies.

  7. Best Episode This Season C. B., “The Empire (Miss Texas) Strikes Back.”

  8. Another powerful episode! I liked the bug in JR’s bourbon bottle. Something that JR would’ve done. Real sneaky.

    • Dan in WI says:

      Correction: It’s something McSween or Ratigan would have done. JR never dirtied his hands with that type of thing.

  9. Judith Ryland- Pimp.

    It think Christopher should take it easy on the little boy’s father. He works for John Ross and needs the boy’s mother to watch their child while he works. It must be difficult to have this sort of situation. I think this storyline will evolve and I am sure Christopher and the child’s father will become fast friends. The show seems to have a way of making you think one way about something on the show and then reversing it.

    • Dan in WI says:

      You never know who will become allies in the future. That is true. Is Bo currently being pinched by John Ross? That is also true. But we also know he has dealt drugs to Emma in the past and John Ross had nothing to do with that. So I like to think of this as karma. He’s not a great guy and in a way he had it coming. Just not necessarily from Christopher.


  1. […] Synopsis: Sue Ellen blackmails McConaughey into removing Babcock from the Railroad Commission and replacing him with Bobby. Emma blackmails Judith into giving John Ross access to Ryland Transport’s ships and tells him she wants a piece of the Arctic drilling venture. Harris blackmails the CIA into giving his family extra protection. Cliff urges Elena and Nicolas to turns John Ross against Pamela, and when Nicolas examines photographs of J.R.’s autopsy, he notices an unusual incision on his chest. Christopher learns Heather is divorced from Bo and that they have a young son, Michael. […]

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