Whoo-boy! Sue Ellen heads to the sanitarium for the first time. Lucy kicks drugs after one heartfelt talk with Bobby. Miss Ellie reads J.R. for filth. It’s a doozy of an episode, so let’s dive right in!
Sue Ellen pulls into a parking lot of the clinic and pulls out a flask before her OB-GYN appointment. Holy Crap. That is some next-level drinking there. But that’s all we need to see for now. We cut to The Store where Lucy is buying the most expensive gold chain they have ($50 … does that indicate where 1970s pricing was, or The Store’s taste limits?). Pam comes up, decalring Lucy is early for their prom dress fitting.
Lucy, hooked on unnamed pills, forgot all about that. She’s just here to buy a necklace for “Muriel’s birthday.” This is my new excuse for EVERYTHING. I wasn’t understanding why she was so intent on a necklace, until her next scene. She blows Pam off and heads out.
Sue Ellen’s doctor KNOWS she is drinking and says they don’t yet know what large amounts of alcohol can do to a fetus. She wants Sue Ellen to have no more, not even wine at dinner. Sue Ellen is having none of it, and wants her to shut up or she’ll find a doctor with more “understanding.” I think Sue Ellen would NOT be wearing a mask these days.
Lucy is at a pawn shop. In fact, I think it’s the same one where Bobby found Julie Gray’s briefcase. Lucy has a credit car, but no cash … so she is buying things and pawning them to buy her pills. She gets only $25 but she’ll take it. She has to go meet her dealer in a school parking lot. He is drinking a Pepsi can with the logo blacked out by electrical tape. He sells her some pills and tells her about a party at someone’s house. This will end well.
Things aren’t so rosy for Cliff and Pam right now. Pam shows up at Bobby’s office to go get some Italian food, and Bobby mentions the problems the OLM is giving him and that Pam has to call her brother back someday. She’d rather discuss Lucy’s odd behavior, but Bobby thinks that Lucy is still getting over Kit and she’s fine.
As they are leaving, Sue Ellen shows up. J.R. is “at a meeting” which is usually her code for J.R. banging some women of ill repute. He is supposed to meet her at the office to go to a fundraiser at the hospital. Bobby and Pam offer to wait with her, but she already has a buddy in J.R.’s office … his liquor cabinet.
J.R. actually DOES have a meeting for a change. He’s getting some senators interested in disbanding the OLM. He’s about to leave to meet Sue Ellen, but they encourage him to come to dinner with the head of appropriations committee.
Minutes later, Sue Ellen is drunk. She J.R.’s phone and calls Cliff, who appears for all of 30 seconds in this episode. He tells her not to come over … and she realizes he has “company.”
It’s about to be a rough night for Ray Krebs. As he is settled in for the evening in his culturally-appropriated house, a Garnet McGee hit song comes on radio. He turns off the radio and as he shines his boots, High-As-Balls Lucy barges in.
Ray instantly knows she is on pills, which is kind of observant, even for Ray Krebs, Roughneck P.I. He makes her coffee to sober her up and wants to try to get her into the house without anyone noticing her. She rightly remarks, “No one ever notices me.”
We cut to an out-of-focus Sue Ellen driving, which I thought was an artistic camera choice to show her drunkenness. She pulls off the road and passes out.
Then Bobby and Pam drive by in their separate cars, and they are ALSO out of focus, so the artistic choice was simply poor visibility. They see Passed-Out Action Sue Ellen and get her home.
Bobby totes her in and of course, Jock and Miss Ellie are right there. Jock doesn’t quite get it and thinks it may be a pregnancy thing. Miss Ellie, as usual, knows what’s up. Do not eff with Miss Ellie Ewing, I tell you.
Bobby and Pam get her to bed. Pam is quite nice to the groggy Sue Ellen, who begs Pam not to leave her. Downstairs, Bobby tells his parents it’s time to stop pretending things are all right. Miss Ellie asks where J.R. is and says that Sue Ellen was drunk.
Finally, J.R. walks in. He claims no responsibility for Sue Ellen’s poor choices, and that his marriage is not everybody’s business. Jock claps back and says “We’re family, J.R. Like it or not your marriage is the business of everybody in this family.” Truer words!
Miss Ellie has a shining moment. She tells Jock and Bobby to leave and tells J.R. he was too young when she stopped interfering in his life. Jock molded J.R., and J.R. is power-hungry, just like Jock. She smacks him down, saying Jock has redeeming qualities … “I don’t know that you have any redeeming qualities, J.R. “
It is a masterful, if understated moment, in the show. “Is there anyone you love?” Miss Ellie asks. He claims he loves Sue Ellen. She whips around and tells him she knows all that he is. That he’s neglected Sue Ellen from the day he brought her home. He never bothered to be discreet. Now, Sue Ellen is in trouble and his child’s life is in danger. She insists he do something about it.
And J.R. does. He takes a drink and says, “It’s too late.” After he walks out, Miss Ellie sadly reflects, “I gave you up too soon, J.R. “
Lucy is slightly more sober, and Ray tells her to stay put while he goes to get Bobby to help him take Lucy to the house. DOES HE NOT OWN A PHONE? As soon as Ray leaves his house, Lucy is out of there.
Ray and Bobby return to Ray’s now-empty house. D’uh. Ray mentions Ann’s house, where he’s picked Lucy up before. I really wonder if this is how rich kids live … shuttled around by their parents’ employees all the time. Wouldn’t that impact employee productivity? I welcome any rich kid comments below.
They go to Ann’s house and see a 1970s Hollywood producer’s idea of a teen party. Lucy is making out with some rando guy and Bobby and Ray get her out of there. Ann is worried about Bobby telling her parents about the party she threw while they are out of town. He says he has to. No, Bobby, you don’t.
Outside, they search her car and find the pills in her purse. They drive her home, and Bobby tells Ray to store the car until he tells him. Lucy is grounded.
Bobby gets her inside and LIES to Miss Ellie, that Lucy is tired from all the “studying” she’s been doing. Ri-i-i-i-ght.
Next morning, J.R. wakes Sue Ellen up by dropping her whisky bottles in a trash can and breaking them. He is a class act. Also, I think Teresa is going to have a lot of broken glass shards to clean up. They fight and he tells Sue Ellen she can’t leave the ranch and she is gonna dry out. He leaves and she heads right to the closet where she is keeping more of her stash in shoe box. Not the Manolo Blahniks!
Sue Ellen isn’t the only one with a hidden stash … Lucy gets left home alone and gets high. She does some … odd things with the backgammon board as she giggles ridiculously and wanders around.
Sue Ellen comes downstairs and the two meet. They kind of stare at each other glassy-eyed and then Sue Ellen falls down the stairs. Again, in a Hollywood producer’s idea of what the effect of pills are, Lucy giggles and acts like Sue Ellen is playing around.
Thank heavens Ray decides to walk into big house and see what’s up. He calls 911 and tells Lucy to leave Sue Ellen alone. It is weird weird weird how Lucy acts. That is some next-level stoned. What ARE these pills?
Bobby and an associate are looking at plans that will never get past Cliff and the OLM when Ray calls. Sue Ellen is in an ambulance on way to Dallas Memorial Hospital. Bobby tells J.R. and they head to the hospital.
The gynecologist reads some squiggles on a graph, so I guess that WAS how we did medicine back in the 70s, kids. The baby AND Sue Ellen are okay, but the doctor says J.R. needs to make Sue Ellen stop drinking by any means necessary. She recommends a clinic and he says the Ewings take care of their own. She retorts, “So far, the Ewings haven’t been doing a very good job of it.” BURN!
Jock and J.R. talk. He lays down the law … he never regretted the boys having a “good time.” Hell, he did. DID HE CHEAT ON MISS ELLIE? (Obvs, but more on that in coming seasons). But now, he wants Sue Ellen and the grandkid to be happy and be proud to be a Ewing.
In the most amazing pep talk ever, in the space of two minutes Bobby convinces Lucy to kick the drugs, telling her Sue Ellen could have died. She doesn’t want to feel pain anymore, and Bobby says, “If you don’t feel pain, you don’t really feel anything. That’s not living.” Lucy says she’s scared and he lets her know that’s how it is for everybody.
At the hospital Sue Ellen tries to blame the fall on her high heels. RIIIIIGHT. “High heels.” Sue Ellen is ready to come home, but J.R. has signed her up for a clinic. Miss Ellie, continuing her trend of blindsiding Sue Ellen, supports it. Then Jock does as well.
Sue Ellen maintains there’s nothing wrong with her. They drive to the clinic, and it’s a heartbreaking scene as Sue Ellen falls apart, begging J.R. not to do this. He argues she can’t take care of herself, her child or all of their secrets.
Capiche Moment: As they drag Sue Ellen into the clinic, she vows she’ll get back to Southfork and J.R. almost looks remorseful … for a second.
Wow! A 4 out of 5 martini glasses for this episode. I might have graded it higher, except Lucy’s overly-quick drug addiction was dumb. Next week … Sue Ellen busts out! Join us as we enjoy the Season 2 finale!