With a nearly five-month break between the first half of this season of Dallas on TNT and the episodes running now, some plot elements and characters have faded into the mists of time. Who was Candace again? And Hunter McKay?
These two popped up in one or two episodes last spring and they reappeared, if only briefly, in this week’s installment of the nighttime soap, now winding up its third season. Well, to be precise, only some of Candace made a comeback. Details are grisly, so pause your reading now if you haven’t digested breakfast yet.
“Victims of Love” was the title for an episode written by Taylor Hamra and directed by Ken Topolsky. But hate and revenge, not love, were the dominant motivators for some sizable shakeups among the Ewings.
So Ewing Global is out of the hands of Ewings, thanks to John Ross, and the guy who bought the most shares is dead. That’s a fine howdy-do.
The biggest doin’s were about Ewing Global, the multinational corporation run by the feuding heirs of ol’ J.R., and its initial public offering of shares. But J.R.’s kid, the sniveling John Ross (Josh Henderson, the actor whose lips don’t move) tried to throw a wrench into the deal by blackmailing an old family friend, Calvin Hannah (Jonathan Adams), and making him promise to snatch up 48 percent of the stock, which he’d then hand over to some sheik in return for $10 million cash.
That plan misfired when Nicolas Trevino (Juan Pablo di Pace), the handsome villain who took off last week with Christopher’s galpal Elena (Jordana Brewster), suddenly appeared in Calvin’s office doorway, fired Calvin and set in motion a plot to get 51 percent of the Ewing’s biz for the Mexican drug cartel he’s part of.
Trevino’s double-dealing involved aforementioned Hunter McKay (Fran Kranz, the Cabin in the Woods actor who looks like a young Bill Gates), one of those characters we hadn’t seen since around Easter, before Dallas went on its momentum-killing hiatus. Hunter was an Internet zillionaire who founded an app called “Gitit.” (We know that because he wore the logo on his T-shirt.) Somehow Hunter buys up 51 percent of the Ewing Global IPO shares, which upsets Bobby (Patrick Duffy), John Ross and Bobby’s kid Christopher (Jesse Metcalfe, sporting a teensy jazz patch under his pouty lower lip).
Bobby heads over to Hunter’s swanky Southside condo to find out why this whiz kid has suddenly taken over the Ewing family energy bidness, and he finds Hunter swinging from the end of a rope. Dead. Deader than actor Kranz’s hopes of a recurring role with heavy residuals. Was it suicide or murder?
So Ewing Global is out of the hands of Ewings, thanks to John Ross, and the guy who bought the most shares is dead. That’s a fine howdy-do. John Ross’ wife, Pamela Barnes (Julie Gonzalo), slaps him hard and lets her hubby know what she thinks of his business acumen: “Lying and cheating were the only two things you were good at, and now you’ve failed at them too!” Zing!
When did talking into tiny rectangles become more interesting than humans conversing face to face on television? Never, that’s when.
Jump to the bad guys in that Mexican drug cartel. (At some point, let’s get into how this show makes all the baddies Latino, just not right now.) The godfather of this cocaine-exporting syndicate is El Cosolaro, played by terrific character actor Miguel Sandoval, whom you’ve seen in a jillion movies and TV series. His character is plotting not just to put the Ewings into the poorhouse but to take over the entire Mexican government with the help of several cartel assistants, one of whom, played by Gino Anthony Pesi, bears a strong resemblance to Benicio del Toro.
This brings us back to Harris Ryland (the always interesting Mitch Pileggi), who, you won’t recall from earlier this year, is working secretly with the CIA to bring down said cartel. But he hasn’t told his own mother, the evil Judith Ryland (Judith Light, an expert at the high level of smell-the-fart acting this show requires), that all the drugs she’s moving into the U.S. via the family trucking firm are part of a CIA-controlled plot to save Mexico from being taken over by the guy who co-starred with Johnny Depp in Blow.
Somehow the “wayward whore” named Candace (Jude Demorest) is brought back into the picture. She worked for Judith Ryland’s brothel but wasn’t of legal age. This information is somehow going to be good blackmail currency, but then the Benicio-looking guy arrives at the Ryland mansion with a lovely gift-wrapped box containing … second warning here of grisly details … Candace’s now-wayward hands.
She, too, is deprived of future residuals. Damn, this show is hard on its cameos. Watch out, Wolf Blitzer, seen in a brief bit delivering the news of the Ewing Global IPO glitch.
As always, voicemail is the unseen character on this series. Not since 24 have TV drama characters spent so much time with cellphones to their ears. Such a boring device for delivering exposition. When did talking into tiny rectangles become more interesting than humans conversing face to face on television? Never, that’s when.
Bobby shouts into his cell. Christopher whispers voicemail warnings to Elena. Voicemail warnings! He’d be better off sending a telegram. The only hands without a cellphone in them this week were Candace’s chopped-off paws in that gift box.
This episode ended with a glimpse of Ryland’s daughter Emma (Emma Bell) and Bobby’s wife, Annie (Brenda Strong, whose character is also Emma’s long-lost mother), bound and gagged, being held in some spooky basement by the Benicio guy. Guess they won’t be getting their voicemails.
Catch repeats of episodes of Dallas on TNT online. New episodes air at 8 pm on Mondays, with a repeat at 9.