I've said it before and I'll likely say it again, but some actors are just born to play a certain role. Patton would not have been the same without George C. Scott, no one but Humphrey Bogart could've played Rick in Casablanca and Larry Hagman inhabits J.R. Ewing in such a way that if I ever met the man in person, I might shoot him on general principles.
The exchange highlighted above, coming in a chilly conversation between J.R. and Elena (Jordana Brewster) about John Ross's childhood, reminded me of Hagman's magnificence, and why I'm loving to hate the man all over again.
J.R., scoffing at John Ross's ineffective P.I., turns up Lobell's son, who has two strikes on drug charges. He wants John Ross to use Marta to set the kid up to blackmail Lobell. The younger Ewing has his reasons for keeping distant (Marta's been uncomfortably "clingy" of late), so J.R. suggests Elena (or, as he calls her, "that Mexican girl"). John Ross (Josh Henderson) goes with his third option, the newly compromised Rebecca (Julie Gonzalo).
Bob, J.R.'s own investigator, tells him Marta's real name is "Veronica Martinez." And she's bipolar. That will probably come in handy.
Tommy (Callard Harris) sucks up to Ann (Brenda Strong), who's trying to pack up for the move to her and Bobby's new condo. For his part, Bobby (Patrick Duffy) seems a bit chippy (maybe he had a bad dream). Meanwhile, Elena comes in to give Christopher (Jesse Metcalfe) some bids for his methane...thing. Fingers brush, sparks fly and then Rebecca Buzzkill shows up, obviously not looking forward to her meeting with John Ross.
J.R. drops in on Sue Ellen (Linda Gray) and runs into none other than Cliff Barnes (Ken Kercheval), who's taking her out for lunch. J.R. seethes predictably while we try not to visualize these dessicated ghouls in a threesome.
John Ross meets with Rebecca, who denies sending the e-mail, poorly. He's unsympathetic, and assigns the task of framing Lobell's son to her, promising he'll leave her alone after that. She buys it, making her the most naive con artist to have ever walked the earth.
Elena goes to meet John Ross at his bar and asks him to talk to some Mrs. Henderson about getting drilling rights to her land (Bob is there as well). Mrs. Henderson turns out to be a pushover, leaving John Ross and Elena plenty of time for a water fight. Bob takes some pics and calls J.R. to report in. Looks like Daddy wants some leverage against his son with crazy Marta. The couple then go to get some seed money from Sue Ellen, and mother and son share a nice mother-son moment. And by "nice" I mean "uncomfortable."
Bobby tries to give advice to Christopher about his relationships, that is, until a hand drives by with news about a pregnant cow in trouble (wasn't "Pregnant Cows in Trouble" a skit from Kentucky Fried Movie?).
Christopher comes clean with Bobby about the Elena e-mail thing while they stand over a laboring cow. There's a metaphor here, but I'm too drunk to make it. Anyway, Bobby advises Christopher that he has to ditch Elena for good if he's truly in love with Rebecca. Then he shoves his hands into a cow's vagina.
I can say "vagina," right? I mean, this isn't the U.S. Senate.
Christopher's one true love, meanwhile, decides to make her move on Lobell's son. At a Narcotics Anonymous meeting. Man, that is despicable. I love it.
Marta's back, and she is cray-cray. Popping yet more pills and brooding in sinister fashion over John Ross's failure to return her calls. On one hand, she's mentally unbalanced; on the other, she's really rich and hot and buys him Piaget watches. A man could make some adjustments.
Rebecca really isn't very good at this shit at all, allowing herself to be convinced by Lobell's son not to do anything. Worse, she gets back and finds Tommy installing the program onto Christopher's computer. Worse worse, John Ross is displeased with her failure. "Lucky" for him, Marta is more than up to the task.
J.R. and Elena have their little discussion, and he tells Elena to invite John Ross to the big farewell barbecue at Southfork. She does so, meaning he has to stand up to Marta/Veronica. Lucky for us, J.R. pays her a visit and drops off the photos of John Ross and Elena. He wants to bring her on board for his bid to take over Southfork. Yes, J.R., let's enlist the pillhead manic-depressive in our cause.
This creepy metaphor of the cow (you have to make a difficult choice) really seems more like an allegory for Christopher's own entrance into the Ewing family. He "does the right thing" with Elena, cutting her a $5K check and accusing her of doing anything for money. Yes, Christopher, let's send the smart one howling back to John Ross.
Ray Krebbs (Steve Kanaly) and Lucy (Charlene Tilton) make another cameo at the barbecue. I think they were wearing the same outfits from the pilot.
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J.R. goes to Lobell with Marta's pics and tells him to redraw the deed so he ends up with 100 percent of the cut. Cutting your own son out of his own deal. Man, that is despicable. I love it.
We end with Rebecca about to come clean to Christopher about the e-mail. I have a feeling she'll be interrupted.
Lots of maneuvering this week, with Tommy taking matters into his own hands and J.R. positioning himself to take over Southfork once and for all. What monkey wrench will Sue Ellen throw into the works? And how is Marta going to try and kill John Ross? I'm opting for running him down in her car.
Next week: fisticuffs! Bobby's hair! J.R.'s eyebrows!