In real time, new “Dallas” episodes left off 10 months ago. In Southfork time, it’s only been 12 hours.
That was explained in the opening scene of ‘The Return,” Monday’s (Feb. 24) Season 3 premiere of the TNT series, as Bobby Ewing (Patrick Duffy) visited his family’s burial plot. “I’m the only one left,” he said at the gravesites of brother J.R. and their parents, Jock and Miss Ellie. “I’ll try not to disappoint you.”
J.R.’s son, newlywed John Ross (Josh Henderson), was geting on with business in his own way by continuing his extramarital dallying with Emma (Emma Bell), who had the power to make decisions for her father Harris Ryland’s (Mitch Pileggi) company while he was in prison — an incarceration she engineered.
Later, John Ross’ wife Pamela (Julie Gonzalo) met him outside Southfork, where he wanted to make good on their elopement by placing on her finger “the biggest diamond in Texas.” He then got down on his knee to make “a proper proposal,” which came down to his declaration, “I can’t promise you smooth sailing, but I promise I’ll give you the ride of your life.”
Bobby is likely to be in for a ride, too, since John Ross produced J.R.’s plans for remodeling Southfork — something Bobby was set against. “It’s time you respect the past,” Bobby advised. “The past is what holds us back,” John Ross retorted.
Christopher (Jesse Metcalfe) also found that as he thought of ex-fiancee Elena (Jordana Brewster) while chopping wood, but he then got a possible glimpse of his future in Heather (AnnaLynne McCord), an attractive ranch hand he saw giving a difficult foreman as good as she got. Introducing himself, Christopher offered to help if she ever ran into trouble again, but she assured him she could handle herself.
Elena also could, as she demonstrated while meeting in a Mexican prison with Cliff Barnes (Ken Kercheval), who’d been framed for murdering J.R. He told her that as his proxy in Barnes Global, she was going to get him out, so they could take back the company from the Ewings … and also take Southfork from them in the process.
Recounting the wrongs she felt they had done to her and her family, she told Cliff, “I’m not thinking about this as revenge. I’m thinking about this as justice.”
Proving herself a good actress, Elena returned to Southfork and “apologized” for earlier behavior as the Ewing women discussed plans for a formal wedding for Pamela and John Ross. Emma did her own feigning, offering to help with the planning though she was secretly sleeping with the groom.
Surprised to see Elena back at the ranch, Christopher asked to speak with her and said, “I want to try to make things work with us.” She pulled away, explaining, “I think we’re still broken.” After she left the room, her steely, determined look indicated she was committed to her new agenda against the Ewings.
Christopher wanted to acquire new oil leases for Ewing Energies, and when Bobby explained the company would need ice-breaking ships for those plans, John Ross revealed he already was working on buying those — from Ryland’s company via Emma, prompting Bobby to reflect that having John Ross around was “like having J.R. back in my life.”
Still pretending to make peace, Elena sought a job with the Ewings, which they readily agreed to. As soon as she had an office, a desk and a computer, she began accessing files — then called Cliff and reported, “I’m in.”
Feeling triumphant about apparently selling Barnes Global’s consumer division to fund the oil-lease bid, the Ewings were stunned by the sudden barging-in by a stranger: Nicolas Trevino (Juan Pablo Di Pace), who declared he was the proxy for the shares of Barnes Global that Cliff still owns — and that legally, no part of it could be sold without “a super majority” agreeing to it.
“No sector of Barnes Global will ever be sold,” Trevino vowed. “Cliff Barnes would rather destroy this company than see the Ewings profit.”
John Ross then came up with an alternate way to finance the bid, something Bobby always has been against: drilling on Southfork. Bobby countered that John Ross didn’t own the shale deposit in question, but John Ross reported it had risen into an area of the ranch he did have half the rights to.
Christopher cautioned the situation was playing into just what Cliff wanted — Ewings turning against one another — but the unswayed John Ross stated, “I’m fracking.” Bobby angrily responded, “I stopped J.R. I stopped you once. You’re not half the man your daddy was.”
Trying to step up his acquisition of the needed ships, John Ross paid an amorous late-night visit to Emma’s room, which his mother Sue Ellen (Linda Gray) then saw him leaving. She implored him to be “reasonable” with Bobby: “We’ll all be stronger together fighting Trevino.”
They’ll evidently have someone else to fight again soon, too, since Ryland was released from prison through bargaining by forces who told him to control Emma. Otherwise, they would “have to teach your daughter a lesson.”
Returning to Mexico, Elena arrived at a meeting with someone who turned out to be Trevino, with whom it turned out she has a past. Suspecting Cliff was framed by the Ewings, he told her, “You saved my life when I was a boy. Now it’s my turn. We will get justice for your family. For our family.”
What did you think of the “Dallas” Season 3 premiere?