DALLAS – Season 1, Episode 5: “Barbecue”

I miss the 70s and its version of athleisure wear.

After the distasteful events of last week’s episode, this starts out much better, with Bobby jogging in some short 70s gym shorts that wouldn’t be out of place in an International Male catalog.  Then it goes south quickly. The caterers are setting up and there is a horrible display of tokenism, as Tilly tells “Mistuh’ Bobby” that she’s been catering these things for 12 years and nobody’s gone hungry yet. WOW, Dallas, you are killing me.

Oh, stereotypes … 🙁

Bobby then drops the bomb that Digger’s coming, and Jock ain’t happy about that. Bobby even suggests that Jock and Digger might bury the hatchet, which is as laughable as those shorts.

Pam is helping Digger with a tie and from out of nowhere, cousin Jimmy, who we will never see again, is going with them to the barbecue, since Cliff won’t be invited. Digger sends Pam to the ranch ahead of him and he sniffs a bottle of off-camera booze. Foreshadowing!

Not the real Digger.

The Secret Origin of Jock and Digger’s Feud is revealed: Digger found oil and Jock sold it. Jock “stole” Digger’s fortune as well as his sweetheart … Miss Ellie.

“I’ve read the script. I’ll need a tray of drinks right here.”

Back at the ranch, Sue Ellen is large and in charge, telling the caterers what to do and telling Pam to move her car. Pam delegates the car moving to Lucy. Lucy is excited to meet cousin Jimmy. I realize this wouldn’t be as incestuous as Ray, but really, Lucy needs to tamp down on this thirst for men in her family.

“Maybe I can get Cousin Jimmy in the hayloft where Uncle Ray and I made out …”

Pam passes J.R. brusquely, and he responds with one of his great lines  – “What kind of a cannon was she shot out of?” Lucy doesn’t care, she’s thinking about Cousin Jimmy’s cannon.

That’s just bloating, Pam.

Pam heads to their room and Bobby is in the shower. NOT THAT SHOWER. That’s seven seasons ahead. She calls the doctor’s office and finds out she’s pregnant. She’s giddy and looks at herself in the mirror, as if you can see visible signs of pregnancy five minutes after hearing the test results. Though seeing Bobby in his tight towel wraps could make me pregnant.

FINALLY some Shirtless Bobby Ewing!

Pam plays coy with her reveal to Bobby, talking about a riddle that she has two possible answers to – what do you get when you cross a Barnes with Ewing? The answer, of course, is Dallas, but we go with “a boy or girl.” I feel like she’s had that one in her pocket for a while.

What is the dance floor on the lawn constructed from? I want to know.

The Barbecue is in full swing, and I so want to hear a square dance version of the Dallas theme. It’s only fair, after the disco version a few episodes back. Sue Ellen walks a senator around, and she says he must know their foreman Ray Krebs. Oh, yes … senators and ranch foremen often pal around.

“Senator, our ranch foreman … and his nameless date.”

Bobby immediately starts telling non-castmembers the news about Pam’s pregnancy. Because Miss Ellie can find out your big news whenever, Bobby. Speaking of Miss Ellie, after she Tokens with Sam the Beverage Manager, Digger walks up with Cousin Jimmy, who I would like better if he were covered in hair like Cousin It.

Miss Ellie calls him Willard and they do some old people flirting. It’s never clear who’s son Jimmy is, but no one really cares. Pam is worried about Digger’s sobriety, so good thing she invited him to a barbecue on his arch-nemesis’ ranch. That wasn’t a recipe for falling off the wagon.

Why does this guy have a camera and why is he less happy than Digger?

Sam points out to Bobby that everyone is talking about him and Pam’s pregnancy. Bobby claims it’s the worst-kept secret at the party. BECAUSE YOU TOLD NON-CASTMEMBERS, YOU IDIOT. They have no lines to learn, or future appearances. Of course they’re going to talk. Get it together, Bobby.

Bobby! #SPOILERS!

Ray’s broken leg has healed enough for him to dance and to be spied on by Lucy. Lucy wants to be the one to break the news about Pam having a baby to Ray. Guess Ray’s broken heart didn’t heal as fast as his leg.

Sam and Tilly talk about Jock not mingling with the guests. Sam knows why – Digger’s here. I could watch a whole series of Sam and Tilly putting on parties for these insane rich people and talking shit. Tilly wonders who’s going to get into a fight first. Tilly tries to push Jock back into the socializing saying she’ll keep an eye out for Digger.  I demand we get a spin-off of Tilly and Sam. 

She has some tea to spill.

Miss Ellie and Digger walk along the fences. She explains that in 1930 she married Jock to save the ranch. Have these two not talked since 1930? Miss Ellie says they better get back before they get tongues a-wagging.

“Then, I married Jock for money. Well, let’s get back to the party.”

Lucy also gets to break the news to Sue Ellen about Pam and Bobby. This may be Lucy’s happiest day on Earth. Sue Ellen fake congratulates Pam. Sam brings Sue Ellen a much-needed two cocktails. Sue Ellen breaks the news to J.R. in a scathing – there is no other word – rebuke.

Better get another tray, Sam.

Sue Ellen tosses back some more cocktails as Lucy moves in for the kill on Cousin Jimmy. Sadly, Cousin Jimmy likes shooting pool more than girls. Lucy questions if he’s gay, but he doesn’t even understand the question. Lucy leaves Cousin Jimmy to play with his stick by himself.

The greatest drunken rant, ever.

Sue Ellen is holding drunken court with a bunch of older women. She talks about her unfulfilled needs and propriety. The women are shocked, but don’t get up and leave. Sue Ellen claims she keeps herself “nice,” which feels like code for something. She also licks her lips a lot at these women, which makes all of this less believable and creepier at the same time.

Doesn’t believe Sue Ellen is really keeping herself “nice.”

Finally, Miss Ellie and Digger have finished their walk, and Jock and Digger meet for the first time in years. Bobby and Pam spill the beans on the pregnancy. Digger is less than enthusiastic. Miss Ellie wants to know when it’s due and really … they haven’t been married even a month as far as I can tell. Eight months is the answer, Miss Ellie.

Sure, have drinks in front of an alcoholic.

Pam wants the old rivals to be nice and Miss Ellie demands a handshake. Digger and Jock walk off together and you know this won’t last.  Jock says this calls for a drink and to his credit, Digger is happy with soda pop. It’s when Jock starts telling Digger the kid will be spoiled, that frictions start up again. Digger starts talking about forgiving Jock for swindling him, which is really a word we need to bring back in this day and age.

Jock wants to tell everyone the “swindling” was not what Digger has always claimed it was. Jock put the oil deeds in his name since Digger was a drunk and a gambler. Pam gets huffy and Miss Ellie steps in.

Parents, amirite?

Digger says Miss Ellie lied to him and starts chugging whiskey. After the commercial break, Digger has an audience of non-castmembers for his singing and dancing number – including at least one lady who sat through Sue Ellen’s rant. That lady totally lucked out accepting the invite to THIS Ewing Barbecue!

Bobby and Jock fight and Bobby stalks off. Pam breaks through the circle to see Digger’s performance, which begs the question, where has she been since Point A of Digger slamming shots and Point B, a terrible karaoke version of “Yellow Rose of Texas.” However, people clap and nod awkwardly.

As Pam and Bobby try to get Digger out of there, J.R., also drunk, but not singing or dancing, starts making jokes. Pam goes to find Jimmy and since Lucy was giving him a tour, there’s only one place they could be … in the hayloft.  Pam drives over and seems confused to be hearing laughing. Surprisingly … they are clothed. Pam decides to stay in the hayloft and catch her breath.

Now, I need to see a Dallas Cirque du Soleil show.

Outside, Drunk Sue Ellen is cantering around on a horse. She’s happy to see Bobby, and even J.R. I hadn’t noticed until now that Bobby is wearing a cream scarf thing, which is not the most manly thing he’s ever donned, and that includes his bizarre terry cloth wraps.

Bobby’s Odd Neckwear, #2 of 300, collect ’em all!

Drunk Sue Ellen has more dialogue in this episode than she had in the previous four and you finally see a little of the odd chemistry between her and J.R.. When J.R. calls Pam trash, Bobby decks him and Drunk Sue Ellen laughs. I should probably keep a count of Bobby’s punches to J.R.’s face. Drunk Sue Ellen needs to go to the house and J.R. heads towards the barn and sees Pam wisting out the window. I’m unsure if wistful can be conjugated that way, but it should be.

I wist, you wist, we wisted …

Drunk J.R. climbs up into the hayloft and spooks Pam. How she couldn’t hear him is a little beyond comprehension. J.R.’s drunkenness is far more believable than Digger’s or Sue Ellen’s and that’s odd – did Jeannie make him that many cocktails back in the 60s?

Pam needs to stay out of that hayloft, nothing ever good happens there.

Pam backs away from J.R.’s creepy discussion on working things out and then falls backwards out of the loft. She does land on a lot of hay, so you’d think everything would be okay, but this is Dallas, so the next scene is Pensive Bobby telling the family they lost the baby. Pam’s okay, but she’s never going to have babies now. Another punch looks like it’s about to be thrown, but Bobby’s too pensive.

Jock wants them to stay and he’s super nice to Pam. That does the trick, so we’ll end the mini-series with Bobby and Pam deciding to stay at Southfork … which is good or they’d have to build more sets.

However, that’s not the Capice Moment we need, and really, Bobby’s not the star. So we head outside.  Sue Ellen asks J.R. if he pushed Pam and they silently agree neither is sorry she lost the baby.

Their relationship in one photo.

Capice Moment – Sue Ellen asks J.R. if he’s coming in and he says in a minute and we end on J.R., the crickets and the nighttime backdrop of Southfork.

That’s a wrap on Season One/the mini-series! For the first Ewing barbecue, I give this a four out of five Sue Ellen cocktails! See you next week for stripped-down sets and the real beginnings of the Dallas Phenomenon!

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