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For a brief moment, I felt like Dallas and I were finally on the same page. As you might remember from last week’s review, I am pining for the epic love triangle of J.R., Sue Ellen, and Cliff Barnes to be given a chronologically gifted revival. And early on in tonight’s episode, it appeared that Dallas was magically moving in this direction, with Sue Ellen slinking off to lunch with the rickety Barnes against the vocal objections of J.R. “Are you really gonna break bread with this low-life?” J.R. demanded, his eyebrows spitting fire and recriminations. Later, J.R. and Sue Ellen had their own lunch date at Southfork, and you could cut the mix of jealousy and undying attraction between them with an adequately sharp but nursing home-safe plastic knife.


But alas, nobody was climbing into any twin bathtubs looking out over a lusty mountain vista just yet. Much of “The Last Hurrah” dealt with the other, younger, much less interesting love triangle that Dallas is trying (and failing) to make the most compelling reason to watch the series. John Ross and Elena spent time drilling for oil on Mrs. Henderson’s land, roughhousing with water hoses, and embracing just close enough for J.R.’s private investigator Bum to snap some incriminating photos to arouse the fury of that “crazier than an outhouse rat” Marta. And Christopher practically accused Elena of being a ho for alternative energy, offering to buy her off for the input she’s given on that methane project he’s been working on—zzzzzzz. But what Christopher was really doing was attempting to get Elena out of his life, so he can finally focus on his relationship with Rebecca. Who by the way, was blackmailed by John Ross (over that Christpher/Elena wedding-ending email) into getting photos of Lobell’s drug-addicted son doin’ drugs.

So, John Ross still likes Elena, Elena appears to still like Christopher, Christopher probably still likes Elena but he’s sticking with Rebecca, and Rebecca is being pressured by her brother to finish off the long con they’ve been pulling on Christopher even though she now actually likes Christopher. (She might be on the verge of coming clean to Christopher, but don’t bet on it). Does that about cover it? Oh yeah, and J.R. and Marta are now teaming up, as J.R. used those druggie-son-doin’-drugs photos to persuade Lobell to stop his extortion scheme and re-do the Southfork transfer papers to put the deed to the ranch solely in J.R.’s name. Meanwhile, Barnes is angling to get into Sue Ellen’s gubernatorial campaign, among other precious areas. And Bobby may or may not have long to live.

All of this is usual Dallas stuff. And while I haven’t been exactly wowed by any of it yet, this show has accomplished the task of being mindlessly diverting summertime entertainment thus far. My concern lies with where Dallas goes once it comes back in two weeks. I have screeners of the first eight episodes, but I’ve opted thus far to watch them one at a time, just like you guys. So I honestly don’t know what’s in store for the next month or so. As a veteran viewer of these sequel-reboot hybrids, though, I have a gnawing suspicion that the veteran cast members will eventually be elbowed out once the show has some legs, and it will just be about John Ross and Elena and Christopher and their baby schemes. Perhaps these characters will eventually develop into something worth investing in by then. But man, I hope that doesn’t happen. Dallas runs on an engine of oldsters spitting insults at each other through clattering teeth.


Stray observations:

  • Lobell’s son was played by Jason London, right? There aren’t any credits listed with my screeners, and I can’t find any info on IMDB. But that’s gotta be a London twin. If it’s Jason, it is sad to know that living like Dazed And Confused as a kid in Austin leads to being a drug counselor as a grown-up in Dallas.
  • Who among us hasn’t had a heart-to-heart chat with dad over a laboring cow?