TNT’s Dallas Recap: ‘Playing Chicken’

Dallas, Emma Bell, Emma Ryland, John Ross Ewing, Josh Henderson, Playing Chicken, TNT

Home to roost

Here’s what happened in “Playing Chicken,” TNT’s latest “Dallas” episode:

Christopher searched for the truth about Nicolas. Christopher (Jesse Metcalfe) went to the federal prison in Nuevo Laredo, where he questioned Cliff (Ken Kercheval) about his connection to Nicolas. Cliff didn’t supply any answers, but Christopher fared better when he tracked down Nicolas’s ex-business partner, whom Nicolas cheated on his rise to the top — and who told Christopher that “Nicolas Treviño” isn’t Nicolas’s real name.

Later, several armed men approached Christopher outside his hotel and brought him to Nicolas’s compound, where he met a beautiful woman (Angélica Celaya) with two small sons. When Christopher asked the woman what she knows about Nicolas, she responded: “I can tell you quite a bit. I’m Lucia Treviño, his wife.”

Nicolas and Elena searched for the truth about the Ewings. Back in Dallas, Nicolas (Juan Pablo Di Pace) tracked down Rhonda Simmons (Emily Kosloski), the woman whose testimony helped convict Cliff for J.R.’s murder, and offered her $25,000 to admit she lied. The next night, Nicolas met with Rhonda again, expecting her to talk, except she brought along a surprise guest: Bobby (Patrick Duffy), who insisted Rhonda was being honest when she implicated Cliff. “Sometimes the truth hurts,” Bobby told Nicolas.

Elena (Jordana Brewster) fared no better: She went to the firing range where Cliff used to practice, hoping to find the surveillance video that would prove his gun was stolen, only to discover the footage had mysteriously vanished. Elena felt defeated, but Nicolas assured her the two of them will ultimately beat the Ewings — and to demonstrate his dedication, he revealed long-hidden feelings for her. “I never wanted a woman more than I want you, and if you’ll allow me, I want a chance to make you happy,” Nicolas said. He and Elena kissed — and then they did much more.

Sue Ellen found out the truth about John Ross. After Sue Ellen (Linda Gray) saw Emma flirting with John Ross, she confided in Ann her suspicion that John Ross and Emma are having an affair. Ann (Brenda Strong) didn’t reject the suggestion. “You were right about her drug use. Maybe you’re right this time too,” she said. Ann later urged Emma (Emma Bell) to stop wearing skimpy bikinis around Southfork, while Sue Ellen went to work on Bum (Kevin Page) to determine if he told the truth about John Ross being faithful to Pamela.

Sue Ellen’s plan worked: After she laid a major guilt trip on Bum, he showed up on her doorstep and confessed everything. “I lied to you, Sue Ellen. You were right about John Ross and Emma. I’m sorry,” Bum said. Sue Ellen’s response: “Not nearly as sorry as I am.”

Bobby and Ann dealt with the truth about Harris. Bobby and Ann struggled to wrap their heads around the fact that Harris is secretly helping the CIA try to bring down the Mendez-Ochoa cartel. Bobby beefed up security at Southfork and told Ann that she shouldn’t worry about their family’s well-being. “You and Emma will always be safe on Southfork. Always. You can count on it,” Bobby said.

Later, while Pamela (Julie Gonzalo) and Emma went shopping for lingerie for Pamela’s honeymoon, Ann went to see Harris (Mitch Pileggi) and told him she fears their daughter is “acting out” against her father by sleeping with John Ross. Ann urged Harris to come clean to Emma about his CIA connection, but he refused. “I wish I could trust her with that, but I can’t,” Harris said. He added: “I never meant to put the people that I love in danger, Annie. As awful as you think I am, I do love our daughter.”

John Ross learned the truth about chickens. John Ross (Josh Henderson) blackmailed Bo (Donny Boaz) into joining his Southfork drilling venture by threatening to expose the ranch hand’s drug-dealing past. But John Ross’s scheming was for naught: Bobby shut down the project when he revealed the state would refuse to issue John Ross a drilling permit because the project endangered the lesser prairie chicken, a threatened species in Texas. Later, when John Ross came home after cavorting at the office with Emma and found Pamela wearing the same teddy that his mistress had been wearing, he felt an attack of conscience and headed for the shower, leaving his wife looking more than a little hurt.

This might be the least of John Ross’s problems: When Harris told Judith (Judith Light) that Emma gave John Ross the Ryland files — which Harris said contain “unflattering” information about Judith — Mama Ryland narrowed her eyes and began plotting. “I’m sure we can find something to compromise young Mr. Ewing enough to convince him to return those files,” Judith said. “And by ‘we,’ of course I mean ‘me.’”

What did you think of “Playing Chicken”? Share your comments below and look for Dallas Decoder’s critique later this week.

Love to Discuss ‘Dallas’? Join Our #DallasChat on March 11

Dallas, Juan Pablo Di Pace, Nicolas Trevino, Playing Chicken, TNT

Hiding much?

Did you enjoy “Playing Chicken,” this week’s episode of TNT’s “Dallas”? Let’s discuss it during my next #DallasChat on Twitter, which I’ll hold Tuesday, March 11, from to 9 to 10 p.m. Eastern time.

Leave your suggested questions about “Playing Chicken” in the comments section below, tweet them to me @DallasDecoder or post them to my Facebook page. I’ll choose one or more questions and ask them during our discussion.

If you’re new to #DallasChat, here’s how it works: For one hour, I tweet a series of questions to my fellow “Dallas” fans. Each question is numbered and includes the hashtag #DallasChat, so your answers should do the same. Please include the show’s official hashtag, #DallasTNT, in your tweets too.

Here’s a sample exchange:

Q1. Do you trust Nicolas Treviño? #DallasTNT #DallasChat

A1. No way. I bet his closet is full of skeletons. But he’s still hot as heck! #DallasTNT #DallasChat

Here are two tips:

• During the discussion, enter #DallasChat in Twitter’s search field. This will help you watch the search results so you can follow the conversation. Click “All” to see all the related tweets.

• Be sure to include #DallasChat in your tweets. This allows the other participants to see your contributions to the conversation.

This will be a fun chat. Don’t miss it!

Dallas Burning Questions: Season 3, Week 3

Dallas, Emma Bell, Emma Ryland, Linda Gray, Sue Ellen Ewing, TNT, Trust Me

Confronting the truth

Here are the questions we’re pondering as we await tonight’s telecast of “Playing Chicken,” TNT’s latest “Dallas” episode:

Is Harris telling the truth? In “Trust Me,” last week’s episode, Bobby and Ann (Patrick Duffy, Brenda Strong) were stunned to discover Harris (Mitch Pileggi) was released from jail. When Bobby and Ann began investigating the circumstances of his release, they were summoned to a darkened warehouse, where a mystery man who identified himself as a CIA agent ordered the Ewings to stop snooping into Harris’s business. Harris emerged from the shadows and explained why: He’s secretly working with the CIA to bring down the Mendez-Ochoa drug cartel, and if Bobby and Ann keep asking questions, it could blow his cover and jeopardize lives. “They have pictures of our daughter — and you, Annie,” Harris said of the cartel. “Now if they find out who I’m working for, they’ll kill both you and Emma.” Should Bobby and Ann believe him?

What will happen to Judith? Earlier in the episode, when Harris learned Emma (Emma Bell) had agreed to give the Ewings access to Ryland Transport’s new drilling and cargo ships, he wondered if his daughter was still taking drugs and threatened to send her to a “secure therapeutic setting.” Emma retaliated by springing Judith (Judith Light) from the rehab hospital, and before Harris knew it, Mama Ryland had seized control of the family business. Judith made Harris take her to Mexico, where she met with the drug lord Luis (Antonio Jaramillo), negotiated a new deal to smuggle his cocaine into Texas — and then sampled the product herself. “Hot damn! Mama like,” Judith said after snorting Luis’s coke. Little did she know Harris was secretly recording the meeting. What will he do with the evidence?

Will John Ross “frack” Southfork? To finance the Ewings’ new Arctic drilling venture, John Ross continued to insist on tapping the oil under Southfork by using an environmentally questionable process known as “fracking.” He claimed the ranch’s oil-rich “shale formation” falls within his surface rights, so Christopher (Jesse Metcalfe) asked seismologist Howard Rieder (Christian Clemenson) to investigate, hoping to prove his ambitious cousin wrong. John Ross tried to bribe Howard to make sure the test came out his way, but Howard confessed all to Bobby, who told him to keep the money and give him the test results straight. When the results came in, they showed the shale is indeed with the surface rights. “That settles it. … We’re fracking Southfork,” John Ross said. Will he?

What will happen to the ranch hands? When Heather (AnnaLynne McCord) heard the Ewings might frack the ranch, she angrily confronted Christopher and explained it would put many ranch hands out of work. Christopher explained that he and Bobby want to protect Southfork and invited Heather to the Ewing Barbecue, where she kissed him and told him she’d like to see more of him in the future. If the fracking occurs, will she still feel that way? And what will happen to Southfork’s other ranch hands, including Emma’s onetime beau, Bo (Donny Boaz)?

• Will Sue Ellen and Pamela discover the truth? Sue Ellen (Linda Gray) asked Bum (Kevin Page) to follow John Ross to confirm her suspicion that he’s cheating with Emma. Bum photographed John Ross and Emma cavorting in John Ross’s penthouse, but Bum lied and told Sue Ellen that her son “never went near” Miss Ryland. Instead, Bum showed the pictures to John Ross and told him to wise up and stop cheating on Pamela (Julie Gonzalo), who also began to notice her husband’s wandering eye. Will Sue Ellen and Pamela’s suspicions be proven correct?

Are Elena and Nicolas closing in on the Ewings? At the Ewing Barbecue, Elena (Jordana Brewster) snooped around Bobby’s laptop and came across an email to Carlos del Sol in which Bobby wrote, “Talked to Rhonda Simmons. She agreed to play ball with us about JR.” Elena showed the email to Nicolas (Juan Pablo Di Pace) and explained that Rhonda (Emily Kosloski) was the witness whose testimony placed Cliff in Nuevo Laredo, Mexico, on the night J.R. was killed. “That’s got to mean something,” Elena said as she studied Bobby’s email. Meanwhile, when Elena realized Nicolas would run into Carmen (Marlene Forte) at the barbecue, she reluctantly told her mother she was plotting against the Ewings but didn’t offer details. Carmen was aghast. Will she keep Elena and Nicolas’s secret?

• Are the Ewings closing in on Elena and Nicolas? Elsewhere, Christopher quizzed Nicolas about his business dealings with Cliff (Ken Kercheval) and realized the details didn’t add up. Christopher shared his suspicions with Bobby, who told him to go to Mexico to see what he could find out about Nicolas’s past. What will Christopher learn when he goes south of the border?

What “Dallas Burning Questions” are on your mind? Share your comments below and watch TNT’s “Dallas” tonight.

New ‘Dallas’ Episode Titles Surface

Ann Ewing, Bobby Ewing, Brenda Strong, Dallas, Patrick Duffy, TNT

What’s in a name?

The titles and airdates for the first six episodes from “Dallas’s” new season are starting to pop up on TiVo and online TV listings. Stop reading now if you don’t appreciate breathless speculation about even the tiniest “Dallas” tidbits.

Here are the titles and dates: “The Return,” February 24; “Trust Me,” March 3; “Playing Chicken,” March 10; “Lifting the Veil,” March 17; “D.T.R.,” March 24; and “Like Father, Like Son,” March 31.

The listings also include a brief synopsis for “The Return,” the season’s first episode: “Sue Ellen plans a wedding for John Ross and Pamela; John Ross and Bobby dispute their joint ownership of Southfork; Elena returns to Dallas with a secret agenda; a mysterious stranger arrives.”

Keep in mind: This kind of stuff is subject to change, so take all of it with a grain of Southfork soil. Nevertheless, it’s worth considering what we might glean from this minutiae. For example, doesn’t “Lifting the Veil” seems like a good bet to be the wedding episode that brings Ray (Steve Kanaly), Lucy (Charlene Tilton) and Afton (Audrey Landers) back to Southfork? As for “D.T.R.”? Urban Dictionary tells us this expression is slang for “define the relationship,” although I wouldn’t put it past those crafty “Dallas” writers to give the acronym its own twist.

Thanks to Dallas Decoder reader Joe Siegler for tipping us off to the titles and airdates.

What do you think of the new “Dallas” episode titles? Share your comments below and read more news from Dallas Decoder.