Saucy Southfork Antics

TNT's Dallas defines some relationships: Sue Ellen loves her flask

TNT's Dallas defines relationships: Sue Ellen loves her flask

Linda Gray and Patrick Duffy in season 3 of Dallas
Linda Gray and Patrick Duffy on Dallas. Photo by Skip Bolen
Annalynee McCord and Jesse Metcalfe in season 3 of Dallas
AnnaLynne McCord and Jesse Metcalfe get acquainted on Dallas. Photo by Skip Bolen
Linda Gray and Patrick Duffy in season 3 of Dallas
Annalynee McCord and Jesse Metcalfe in season 3 of Dallas

The title of this week's Dallas episode is "D.T.R.," Internet-ese for "defining the relationship." And that's what all the characters tried to do, with most of the Ewings ganging up against J.R. and Sue Ellen's son John Ross (Josh Henderson) and his desire to drill on Southfork and "frack it dry if I have to" to get enough capital together to buy some arctic oil leases.

Lots of relationships need defining around Southfork. Here are some that got DTR'd on the cable series this week:

John Ross and his bit-on-the-side
Emma Harris (Emma Bell) is the little ginger-blond temptress who conveniently lives across the hall at Southfork from John Ross and his new wife Pamela (Julie Gonzalo). Pamela is Cliff Barnes' daughter. Emma is the long-lost, once-abandoned-at-the-State-Fair biological daughter of Bobby's wife Annie (Brenda Strong) and her ex, Harris Ryland (Mitch Pileggi).

John Ross is always DTF when he's around Emma, and wife Pammy so far is none the wiser. But after Emma's evil-eyed grandma, Judith Ryland (Judith Light, more glorious by the week), tells her, "Never let a man screw you for nothing," Emma convinces John Ross to cut her in on his big arctic lease deal. Then they fall back on the bed for a little personal frackage.

Sue Ellen and her flask of booze
Sue Ellen (Linda Gray) has been hitting it pretty hard for the past few episodes. Even with a blood alcohol level in the double digits, however, Sue Ellen's swellin' with good ideas for how to keep her kid, John Ross, from getting too powerful at Ewing Global.

Using a bugging device planted in the cap of the bottle of bourbon she handed to the governor (Steven Weber) during a visit to Austin, she gets the goods on the kinky bedroom antics of the Texas Railroad Commissioner (Currie Graham), who controls oil drilling rights. "So what if you like to have sex with a girl dressed up like a dog? Nothing criminal about that," says the gov to the railroad commish.

Oh yes there is, if that girl is a sex worker in a Swiss Avenue brothel operated by Judith Ryland. The commish resigns rather than be blackmailed, to be replaced in office by — wait for it — Bobby Ewing! Who promptly calls a halt to the fracking in his own backyard.

John Ross is foiled again. Says Sue Ellen, licking her lips, "The family that blackmails together, stays together." Let's cross-stitch that on a tea towel.

Emma and Annie
Like Sue Ellen, Annie's pretty perturbed about Emma doing the horizontal two-step with John Ross under the same roof as his new wife and the other half dozen relatives crowded into the mansion at Southfork. So Annie tells Emma either to stop the affair or move out.

Emma calls out Annie for her double standards of behavior, reminding her birth mom that she's a "lying ex-drug addict who shot her ex-husband." "Get out! Get out!" shouts Annie, who then bursts into tears, as she's wont to do. If face water were as valuable by the barrel as oil, Annie could buy Southfork and run them all off.

Emma, as conniving a vixen as grandmother Judith, returns to Southfork later to offer an empty apology that weepy Annie accepts. Back Emma goes to the spare bedroom and her hot set of sheets.

Christopher and Heather, the saucy filly down at the barn
These two shared some smooch time after John Ross and Pammy's wedding last week, so this week saw Christopher (Jesse Metcalfe), Bobby's kid, sauntering down to the corral and asking Heather (AnnaLynne McCord) out for a drink. Over tequila shots they swap personal histories.

Christopher's admissions are that he was on the high school basketball team and was head of the science club. Heather tops that by suddenly blurting, "I have a kid." She doesn't mean a baby goat.

Judith Ryland and her son, Harris
"I would turn you into a newt if I could," she growls, boring holes into her son's bald head with her beady eyes. Judith doesn't know that Harris is working with the CIA to break up a drug cartel that's trying to bring down the Mexican government.

There's something about an encrypted flash drive holding all sorts of CIA banking secrets, but at that point in the episode, all I could hear was Judith Light saying the word "newt" like one of Macbeth's witches casting a spell.

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This week's episode was written by Aaron Allen and directed by Rodney Charters. Catch it in rerun at TNT online. New episodes of Dallas air at 8 pm CST every Monday, with a rerun on the cable channel right after.