The End of J.R. Ewing was the tagline for this episode. J.R.’s final moments were upon us and though I knew that good tv meant we would not see his final scene until the very last moment, I still watched, holding my breath the entire time, anticipating that moment when J.R. Ewing and Larry Hagman would be gone forever. I tried explaining to someone who does not watch the show why this moment was so sad. Besides the fact that J.R. Ewing is one of the most iconic characters in television history, besides that fact that I just love his dastardly ways and will miss those bushy eyebrows and devious smile… all of that is so sad, but what makes it most upsetting is that this is not just another show killing off a character. J.R. Ewing and the amazingly talented, wonderful man who portrayed him is gone for real. I think for most fans, the death of Larry Hagman didn’t seem completely real until this moment. We, unlike his family and friends, have been able to live in “Dallas Land” where he’s still alive. The reality of his death comes home here for those fans who have welcomed Mr Hagman into their living rooms for generations. You will be sorely missed Mr Hagman, not just because you were J.R. Ewing, but because you were a beautiful person.
Ok sad stuff aside, I was so impressed with the way they infused J.R. into this episode. It kicks off with him calling John Ross, checking in from Abu Dhabi. John Ross lets him know that they’ve won, but he’ll wait until J.R. returns to tell Bobby and Chrisopher that daddy’s getting the corner office. J.R. tells John Ross he has something to take care of and will be back soon… hmmm what could he be up to? We were then treated to what was a little campy, but I totally loved it, scene of John Ross and Sue Ellen, Christopher and Bobby, and then Pamela walking into the boardroom. Captain Whiny Pants otherwise known as Christopher produces a document claiming that Bobby and Gary are pulling the mineral rights to Southfork so there will be no more drilling until Bobby and Christopher regain control. Pamela (who seems to be the only sensible one in this conversation) reminds them that doing this will bankrupt the company. John Ross just says they’ll sell off the methane patent, therefore putting Pamela in a position to have to be the deciding vote. She sustains from making a decision until Christopher’s race car makes its debut. He takes her to the track to see Ricky Rudd and tells her that they will end up signing a multi-million dollar deal with the city if the car wins the race they’re putting on for the City Council committee.
Sue Ellen tells John Ross that J.R. told her (omg they talk on the phone, swoon) that without the revenue from the oil, he cannot close the deal in Abu Dhabi. John Ross isn’t worried about Pamela siding with them and he leaves, finding Uncle Gary in the front of the office. He is quite snarky to him, taking up for the chiding J.R. would normally give Gary and then off he goes. Gary visits with Bobby and takes all of 30 seconds before asking for money. Val left him because he fell off the wagon and he needs to know Bobby’s plan is going to work because he desperately needs the money coming in from the oil profits.
Once again we were tortured with the same conversation we’ve heard at least 3 times now wherein Drew boohoos about not being able to save Papa when he was all of 11 years old. Elena assures him that their father would be proud and she isn’t mad at him anymore, after all he saved her from Vincente. He wants them to test the land that their father died drilling. She will talk to Captain Whiny Pants about it.
John Ross pays Pamela a visit to ensure that their deal was still on, and she informs him that her and her father agree that Ewing Energies is stronger with both methane and oil. If she had to decide right in that moment, she’s going with Christopher. She was totally Team John Ross until the cousins decided to play chicken with the company. I can’t really blame her, deal or no deal, at the end of the day this is business and acting like a 5 year old isn’t going to help anyone.
There appears to be some trouble with the race car, but Christopher assures Ricky that they’ll have it fixed by the time he has to race. They linger the camera on one of the pit crew members and basically foreshadow the idea that he either is or will be sabotaging the car at John Ross’ pursuing. While this car chat is going on, Bum and John Ross meet up. Bum has some info on Denny Boyd, our camera lingerer, who has some massive debt at the horse races.
Christopher returns home to someone in the shower (Bobby? haha)… it’s just Elena. Future Mrs Whiny Pants hates that Pamela still has power in Christopher’s life, but he assures her that eventually all will be right with the world again once he gets back Elena’s shares. Over at the Addam’s Family house, I mean the Ryland’s, Harris and Judith inform Emma she is shipping back to England ASAP. She clearly wants to stay but they are having none of it.
Sue Ellen flirts with Gary by way of the coffee machine and apologizes for John Ross’ attitude earlier, assuring him that taking Elena’s shares was something she did for herself. After all, she has the right to protect her investments and so does Gary when it comes to Bobby possibly bankrupting the company over this silly oil rights nonsense. Gary is skeptical of her sweetness and Sue Ellen suggests they go to the race together Nice to see Sue Ellen using her feminine wiles on Gary to get what she wants! Love this Sue Ellen!
Emma decides to visit Ann. She pulls up and tells her mother a story about the time she wanted to cut her hair short and her grandmother made her feel stupid for asking or even thinking it because she had the wrong shaped face for short hair. Obviously the highlights story Ann told her hit home and Emma is beginning to realize the manipulations. Ann asks her to go for a ride with her and they have some mother/daughter bonding time via horseback.
This next scene over at casa Ryland was nothing short of spectacular and beyond freaking creepy. This mother/son duo are getting stranger by the minute. Harris saunters into Emma’s room where mother is packing her things to tell her that Emma never showed up for her lesson that day. He kicks a chair across the room in anger and Judith says, “even as a little boy, your temper always got the best of you. Now. Pick. That. UP”. AND HE DOES!!!!!! HE PICKS IT UP!!!!!!!!!! Like a 10 year old getting chastised for breaking a vase. What in the hell?!?! Judith deduces that Emma has gone to see Ann and that Harris better squash her curiosity, “I won’t let you lose our daughter”. Ummmmmmmm Judith is the creepiest lady on the planet.. this is some Norman Bates type shizzz.
Over at the track, Christopher has suddenly become a car mechanic (who knew) and while he and the head guy are fixing up the car, Denny is lurking in the background. As soon as they leave, Denny gets to work on his sabotage mission.
Daddy the creeper aka Harris is staring at Emma while she’s sleeping waiting for her to wake. When she does, she asks if she can tell him anything and he tells her of course. She wants to get a trainer in Dallas and stay so she can get to know Ann. He reminds her that Ann shot him and she would eventually hurt Emma. “I have a right to know my mother, ” Emma protested. “NO YOU DON’T” he basically bites her head off. Emma cowers like a mouse about to get swooped on by a hawk! God these people are so sick! He asks her if she’s been taking her medication, I mean that’s the only possible reason she might suddenly be having opinions. She gives him a look and he practically forces a pill down her throat, telling her she needs consistency, rules and boundaries because of her anxiety. Maybe she has anxiety because you’re a psychopath???
Drew and Elena test their old patch of land and apparently good ole Papa just didn’t drill deep enough. Elena thinks it looks promising but it could go either way as far as being able to access the oil. Drew still wants to buy the land back from Bobby and he and sissypoo can go into business together (and I still don’t care one iota about this story line).
This next scene sent my heart all aflutter! Sue Ellen is holding some letters when John Ross walks in. She tells him that J.R. knew she was flirting with Gary and “He’s jealous”, she lights up when she says this like a school girl realizing a boy has a crush on her. Apparently, J.R. has sent her all the old love letters she wrote him back when they were courting (awwwww) accompanied by a new letter. Sue Ellen can’t believe he’s kept them all these years (yes I am sobbing). She thinks he’s trying to manipulate her so she doesn’t open it (WHAT! OPEN THE DAMN LETTER!).
We are treated to another J.R. scene via phone call. Bum tells him that John Ross talked Denny into sabotaging the car and as far as everything else, “it’s all falling into place”. Hmmmm cryptic!
Race time has finally arrived and everyone is in attendance. Pamela snarks at John Ross that she isn’t fond of being put in the middle of him and Christopher… oh hunny… you put yourself there. Elena is waving the green flag to start the race and here’s where I completely missed the plot point that this race was specifically for the City Council’s benefit. I was all like, where’s all the spectators? Clearly I wasn’t paying attention but there we are. The race seems to be going great and then there is a malfunction in the pressure gauge and Ricky has to come in. Captain Master Mechanic Whiny Pants grabs a new regulator off the prototype and fixes Ricky right up. He’s behind a few laps but is able to make it up and winds up winning the race, much to the chagrin of Sue Ellen and John Ross. I’m not certain what John Ross is more upset about, loosing to Christopher or the verbal lashing he knows he’ll be getting from J.R. later. The City Council lady, who is very flirty and gets uncomfortably close to Christopher when she’s talking tells him that the committee is ready to push the deal through as soon as they know that he has enough methane to support their fleet. Pamela tells Christopher that she’s with him because it’s what is best for the company. Captain Master Mechanic Whiny Pants puffs up his chest and marches over to John Ross and Sue Ellen, telling them they either give back Elena’s shares or he and Bobby will leave the oil off. I pictured him following that with a “nannynannypoopoo” while sticking out his tongue. John Ross and Sue Ellen are calling his bluff.
Judith finds Emma and all her things missing and frantically screeches for Harris. She blames Harris for all of this because he insisted on bringing her back there and using Emma to get the tape back from Sue Ellen and Ann. She harasses him in her best Mommy Dearest way and prods him to tell her what was so bewitching about Ann in the first place. Harris, clearly fed up with her nonsense, grabs her and says, “I loved her because she wasn’t you” and shoves her to the ground. Judith is clearly hurt, in the way a jilted lover would be… not your mother.
Ann and Bobby arrive home to find Emma there with a suitcase, “can I stay?”… “Welcome home”, Ann embraces her daughter and everyone collectively cheers for Ann’s victory over Harris. How is it that I feel more invested in Emma’s story line than Elena’s???
Now. The moment we were all waiting for….
John Ross is sulking into a bottle of liquor when he gets a phone call from J.R…. he reluctantly tells him that Christopher won the race, but to skip the speech because he thinks there may be a play with flirty City Council lady. J.R. tells him not to worry, he also has a plan… and it’s going to be his masterpiece, John Ross shouldn’t have to pay for his sins. John Ross is confused and asked what he means… “Just remember, I’m proud of ya, you’re my son, from tip to tail” (who’s crying? me, definitely me). John Ross gets a little teary eyed and tells his father that it means a lot. We hear a door open and heavy footsteps… J.R. lowers the phone. We then see John Ross’ face as he hears two gunshots go off, “J.R.? Hello? Dad! Dad!” John Ross yells, then in a half crying, half frightened voice, “Dad?” OMG I’M BAWLING!!!!!!!!!!!
I have to give the producers, cinematographer’s a lot of credit for splicing together that final J.R. scene. Those of us who have seen every episode (more than once) knew that we had seen and heard all those moments before, but they were beautifully crafted for one final J.R./John Ross moment. There are many speculations about who, what, where, when, and why J.R. has seemingly been shot and killed. My personal guess is that this all has to do with his Masterpiece, maybe he was terminally ill and he sets someone up to take the fall? I cannot wait to watch this story unfold in the coming weeks and I will have my tissue box handy for the funeral next week.