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.