Lucy gets engaged … but not for long! It’s a very special afterschool special edition of Dallas!
So, I don’t remember seeing this episode when it aired. I’d be surprised if my parents knew what was coming (homosexualism!) but I also wouldn’t be unsurprised. I applaud Dallas and Bobby’s character in particular for not treating it as any more scandalous than last week’s “Financier in Love Nest” headline.
However, I feel like I would have remembered this if I saw it back then. As a young gay boy who barely understood what he was, much less knowing the words to call it, I think Kit’s struggle would have opened my eyes. Now, of course, it feels dated and I would have found it more believable had Kit made a move on Bobby the Often Open-Shirted, but it was the 1970s. Let’s dive in!
It’s hard to say how long it’s been since two episodes ago, where we met Kit Mainwaring, heir to Mainwaring Oil and a company that has what J.R. wants … a refinery. But Kit and Lucy are out at Jimmy’s Disco (honest! J.R. calls it by name later) and the dancing from Kit is BAD. If I didn’t
I know he was supposed to be gay, I would feel certain he was straight, because he can NOT dance.
I know … cliché, trope, whatever. But my experience is, straight boys can’t dance and gay boys can. So, it is more of a scandal to me that he is so awful at DISCO! It’s the easiest dancing of all!
They head to Kit’s apartment, where Jesus the butler (!) makes them drinks. I am even more floored by a butler in an apartment by gays on TV in the 1970s. Lucy is completely into Kit and rambles on about college and marriage and all he wants to do is play backgammon. CLUE #1. Lucy!
But then, that’s all the Ewings seem to play, so perhaps this is normal behavior. I’d like to see how this started in the Dallas writer’s room … “What do rich people do all day? Hunt humans? Make servants perform flash mobs? Well, we can’t show hunting and there’s no budget or concept of flash mobs yet … maybe they can just play backgammon a lot.”
Lucy is horny and Kit responds by calling out her age and asks does she want him to “treat her like she’s cheap?” Low, Kit. So, he takes her home.
Right after they pull up, J.R. pulls up and is actually nice to them. Which, of course, he is only nice because he wants some of that sweet, sweet Mainwaring refinery. He goes inside and in one I consider CLASSIC Sue Ellen, she is passed out cold on the bed from drinking. J.R. takes the bottle and pours himself a drink. Rich people – they have problems just like us!
At breakfast the next morning, Sue Ellen has a “little headache.” Lucy is singing and happily putting food on her plate until J.R. starts seeding ideas to make sure Kit’s intentions are honorable. Suddenly, she’s not hungry. J.R. and Sue Ellen are all into Kit, and J.R. suggests they have a double date. Sue Ellen’s face says it all — she has zero desire to hang out with teenagers.
Pam drives the insecure Lucy to school and makes the radical claim that Kit is probably “crazy” about her, too. HMMMMMM, not really, Pam. Still at breakfast, Miss Ellie says she wants to pressure on Lucy just because J.R. wants her to marry people that own a refinery. Jock reminds Miss Ellie SHE married him for “business reasons” and look how that turned out. WOW.
At Fancy Dinner with J.R. and Sue Ellen, Kit reveals he wanted to be writer, not an oilman. CLUE #2, Lucy! As talk turns to the refinery, Lucy pushes back. J.R. wineblocks Sue Ellen (rude) and says the kids are probably tired of the old folks.
J.R. says he’ll “fold up” Sue Ellen (WOW) and he’s already called Jimmy’s Disco so go party on, kids. Fold up … the level of sexism is unbelievable.
Next day, at Mainwaring Oil (did you know they have a refinery?) Kit has a much more luxurious office than J.R.. Kit’s dad comes in and is proud of Kit – he’d been a drinker and gambler (and sodomite, but we don’t hear that) and now everything seems to have turned around. Mr. Mainwaring pulls out an invite for a party at the Ewings and says they are going to attend — even though he’s not overly fond of J.R. Mainwaring pushes Kit a little on his “relationship” with Lucy … he’d like to see Kit settle down, but Kit pushes back. But we know they are ALL going to the party.
The party is NO Ewing BBQ! None of Lucy’s friends are there, because, who wants teens running around. There is some odd cardboard duck decoration on the wall … who planned this event? Miss Ellie needs to fire them, stat!
Sue Ellen, drunk, is flirting with some guy and Pam attempts to get her to come inside. Sue Ellen resists, but Miss Ellie steps in. You don’t say no to Miss Ellie, certainly not in her house. Ray and Lucy share a nice moment, where she says she is madly in love with Kit and Ray is happy for him.
Kit, on the other hand, is talking to Bobby and asking about Ray and Lucy’s “conversation.” I know Pam knew about Ray and Lucy, but I don’t think she told Bobby, as he says Lucy always “tagged around” Ray as a girl. HMMMM, this is new slang for me. Bobby asks if Kit is jealous and he thinks he is … I’m betting he’s more jealous that Lucy banged a real cowboy.
Kit’s parents, who OWN A REFINERY, show up. They love Lucy and Mr. M asks her to dance with an old man. Kit’s mom pushes him more on how she’d love to have her as a daughter. Somehow, this pushes Kit over the edge, and he cuts in on his Dad and Lucy’s dance.
J.R. has his Resting Party Face on and tries to talk about something Mainwaring owns … I can’t possibly remember what it is … OH, YEAH, A REFINERY! Mr. M doesn’t want to chat until they have something to chat about, you non-refinery-owning Ewing. As Lucy starts pulling Kit through the crowd and yelling happily, J.R. says he thinks they won’t have long to wait to chat.
Kit has popped the question and he and Lucy are engaged.
By breakfast, the Dallas News has a giant article on the engagement and Sue Ellen is wistful over all the accoutrements of wedding planning. Lucy wants to write Valene and Gary to make them come. Miss Ellie says she’ll write too, to make sure there’s no misunderstanding. THEY DON’T HAVE PHONE NUMBERS?!?
Lucy wants a small wedding, but J.R. says they have social obligations. He offers to take her to school and is going to buy her a car for graduation. Lucy knows he expects to gain something out of this, she’s not dumb. J.R. laughs and says of course not … she’s too much of a Ewing. Why shouldn’t they ALL get what they want … oh here, drive a real car, and she forgets to be mad.
During a meeting with the Cartel, J.R. is cocky and they are pissed, they were trying to get their OWN refinery and Cliff and the OLM will never let there be two so now they need Mainwaring and J.R..
Back at Jimmy’s Disco (that name!) Bobby and Pam talk about how NICE Kit is. CLUE #3, Lucy!
Pam says she doesn’t understand the rumors about him from a few years ago. Dallas is a MUCH smaller town than I imagined!
Lucy and Kit are having a drink, when an attractive man stops and says hello. Kit looks worried and introduces Lucy to his “college roommate,” Sam Gates. CLUE #4, Lucy! Sam congratulates Kit on his engagement, and walks sadly away.
At Kit’s apartment that night, Lucy is resigned to more backgammon, but suddenly, Kit is ready to prove his manhood. They go to the bedroom and the next thing we see is Lucy asking how “it” happened. You would be forgiven for thinking Kit failed to perform, but no, she’s talking about sex itself. I thought Kit might answer, “I thought about Sam the whole time,” but he doesn’t. Lucy has one of the nicer monologues she’s ever had, about growing up spoiled and now she really cares about someone else. This makes everything doubly-sad.
Kit shows up at Ewing Oil to see Bobby. UH OH! He wants some advice on Lucy. In a clever exchange, Bobby points out he gave Kit his advice weeks ago – get out if you’re not serious. Kit says they have to call off the wedding – “I’m a homosexual.” Now I am SURE I never saw this episode in its’ first run! Pretty ballsy for a primetime soap opera in the 70s!
Kit explains running into Sam only made him want to change more, but sleeping with Lucy didn’t change him. He’s still gay and that’s that. Bobby is pissed, but only because he brought Lucy into the whole mess. He believes Kit’s story or he would have knocked him into next week. I SO appreciate Bobby being woke, even then!
Lucy is at home cackling over all the gifts she’s already gotten. Marilee Stone and some other lady are there to have lunch with Sue Ellen, who has a dizzy spell. In one of HER better lines, she says she’s not a woman “with whom pregnancy agrees.” When Miss Ellie suggests she rest, Sue Ellen snaps at her, saying she’s tired of resting. OH MY!
Mr. Mainwaring and J.R. are sealing the deal on what … oh yeah … A REFINERY, great balls of fire, I’m tired of hearing it! Bobby comes in as Mr. M leaves and he tells J.R. if the marriage is the reason for cementing the partnership, he better think again. J.R. doesn’t care about Lucy’s feelings and says women marry homosexuals all the time and are happy with it.
I do a double take, thinking I missed something, but Bobby questions it – and yes, J.R. knew all the time. He makes it his business to find out about his partners. WOW. He tells Bobby Lucy will be fine, and Bobby says Kit is more of a man than J.R. ever will be. BURN!
As Jesus vacuums the apartment (WTH!) Kit calls Lucy to come into town and have dinner. Jesus keeps on vacuuming, and I know he knows what’s up. There’s a knock at the door and guess who — it’s J.R.! He takes a bourbon and water and they pan over to the other side fo Kit’s apartment we haven’t seen and HE CAN’T BE GAY, THAT WALLPAPER OMG! It’s worse than Amber’s last episode.
J.R. is there to make sure Kit considers all the options. J.R. lets Kit know he knew all the time and he needs a woman to keep him on the (ahem) straight and narrow. And if he goes through with it, he’ll never be shamed, since he’s in the family and J.R. would NEVER shame a Ewing. Right ….
Lucy shows up later and rambles on … Jock let her borrow the car, she should go to college, she doesn’t want kids right away … and then Kit leads with, “Remember Sam?” He explains they weren’t just roommates and Lucy is devastated. Kit wanted to be accepted, and finding Lucy was like finding a life raft. It’s quite deftly handled and I feel awful for both of them.
He knows he won’t be able to change and asks Lucy if she could really handle him sleeping with other men. She knows she can’t. Kit warns her J.R. is going to make this a scandal, but a resolute Lucy tearfully says she knows how to deal with J.R..
Meanwhile, back at the ranch, Jock is out on the porch having a drink, as one by one, everyone comes home. They DO all have to be there for dinner, you know! J.R. is gloating that the REFINERY DEAL is coming through and Jock says they needed someone like Mainwaring all along.
Bobby and Pam come home. They are stunned Jock let Lucy drive his car. Sue Ellen and her committee women come home and talk about Sue Ellen’s dizzy spell.
Finally, Lucy walks in. She plays it all off, perfectly … Kit was too possessive and they got into a fight when she flirted with another man. She called the wedding off, saying she wasn’t ready to settle down now, anyway. She goes inside and J.R., kind of helplessly, wants Jock to tell her to marry Kit. He gets shut down and Pam wants to go in, but Bobby knows he needs to be the one to console Lucy.
Capiche Moment: Lucy didn’t go to her room, but the study. Bobby says Kit should be grateful for her performance and that she’s quite a lady. She wants to know why kit did it, and Bobby replies he was trying to change his life, but that’s a tall order. Bobby does know, if he didn’t love you, he would have gone through with the wedding. She wants to know when the pain will stop, and I’m think it’s around Season Three.
Better than I remembered, a good four out of five Sue Ellen martinis. I appreciate that the gay thing was handled so well. Next week … Ray falls for a new woman from Star Trek … with Captain Janeway out of the picture, he falls for an Original Series Klingon, Mara … otherwise known as Donna Culver!
See you then!