It’s the season finale and Linda Gray shines in some moving monologues and crazy-eyed drinking! Let’s not waste any time!
We pick up a few days after the end of Part 1. J.R. drives to the sanitarium to see Sue Ellen. When the doctor lets him in Sue Ellen’s room, it’s clear what to doctor told J.R. is true – she is resisting treatment and she is pissed. So pissed, she hurls a glass at J.R.!
Meanwhile, back at the ranch … Lucy drives Miss Ellie home and Miss Ellie says Lucy drives to fast. They have a lot of wrapped boxes, which apparently are not gifts but dresses for her prom and graduation. Do rich people have to have everything wrapped? Bobby and his momma discuss Sue Ellen. Miss Ellie always thought Sue Ellen was strong enough to handle J.R. and she doesn’t know what’s happened.
Cue Cliff going into The Store to find Pam. She’s not been returning her calls and he hasn’t seen her in weeks. Pam is pissed about Sue Ellen, which Cliff had no idea she’d been paced in the sanitarium. D’uh, because Pam won’t return your calls. Incidentally, The Store is clearly located in Century City Mall where we keep seeing the Ewings show up and will one day be the site of the great Ape Revolution, prompting me to REALLY want a Dallas/Planet of the Apes crossover. Can someone in comic books make this happen? Or do I just need to write the fanfic?
Cliff argues he can’t erase the past, but Pam insists he used Sue Ellen and never loved her, he was more worried about his career. This is absolutely true and good for Pam for throwing it in his face. She ends with a “if you can’t give it all up for love, stay the hell away” talk.
J.R. comes hom and the family wants to know how Sue Ellen is. Instead of saying, “She threw a glass at me,” he says she didn’t want to talk. Fair enough. He decides to have dinner upstairs.
The story is different the next day when Miss Ellie visits the sanitarium! Sue Ellen acts like she’s on vacation, and claiming they need to hire the chef for Lucy’s graduation party. She goes on to claim she was “tired” from allthe charity work and even when Miss Ellie presses her to ask if she was drinking because of J.R., Sue Ellen doubles down – she was TIRED! She leads a SATISFYING and FULL life, Miss Ellie!
She’s enjoying the rest and will be back in a few days to help with the party. Miss Ellie sadly leaves the delusion behind. Sue Ellen presses her call button and a Creepy Nurse comes in. Sue Ellen wants her meds, but it’s not time. Creepy Nurse fingers Sue Ellen’s pearl necklace and says Sue Ellen is a rich woman and there are OTHER ways to get things. Creepy Nurse also points out that aside from medication, she can get what Sue Ellen really needs … BOOZE! Sue Ellen tells her to take a hike, but the Nurse says when it gets tough enough … you’ll call me.
At school, Lucy passes all her classes! Yay! She and Muriel talk for a moment about some girl Muriel wants at the party that Lucy doesn’t like. I suspect there is a lesbian undercurrent here. Lucy then passes by her former drug dealer and friend. They berate her and say the next time a guy dumps her, she’ll have to pay double. POOR CUSTOMER RETENTION TACTICS!
Sue Ellen is doing her therapy and explains to the sanitarium’s doctor that you, see, we have QUITE a successful marriage. Oddly enough, he doesn’t believe it. He must have seen this show before. He pushes her, asking doesn’t she get angry when J.R. doesn’t come home. She pushes back, of course they have DISAGREEMENTS, oh, occasionally they RAISE THEIR VOICES, but they are just perfect, damn it.
She thinks everyone is blowing this drinking out of proportion. Sure the last few months were stressful, but she’s tired, dammit and needs a cocktail at the end of a long day of charity luncheons and wondering who J.R. is sleeping with that night.
Back at SouthFork, Lucy and Miss Ellie are mailing invites to the graduation party and Lucy questions her own confidence and feels she is out of control of her own life and she doesn’t want to end up like Sue Ellen. Miss Ellie admits everyone feels out of control sometimes.
The conversation turns to why Sue Ellen ended up a drunk … especially when she appeared to have everything she wanted.
Lucy heads off to mail the invites and Miss Ellie reminds her to drive at a reasonable speed. Jock sits down and wonders why anyone would be upset about being rich and having the Ewing name. He’s been one all his life and hasn’t ended up in a sanitarium. Great point, Jock! Thanks for playing! Miss Ellie says she didn’t need the Ewing name, she was a Southworth. Plus, she felt secure in Jock’s love … except once or twice. FORESHADOWING!
Before dinner, Jock has a talk with J.R., reiterating his grandson needs to be happy, rich, and proud to be a Ewing. He wants to know why Sue Ellen fell to pieces. J.R. blames those pregnancy hormones, because women. J.R. tries to talk about what he’s doing to stop Cliff and the OLM, but Jock isn’t having it. “The life of my grandchild is involved,” he says. J.R. says he’s always tried to be the man his daddy expected him to be. He asks what else Jock wants and when Jock says a good husband and father, J.R. says he will. RIGHT.
J.R. heads to the sanitarium. Sue Ellen is chipper and polite and says she’s ready to come home now. J.R. has brought the Magic Dallas Newspaper, which is always relevant to Ewings. He says he’ll take Sue Ellen home after her romantic illusions are gone. He shows her a photo of Cliff out on the town with some floozy.
Of course, Sue Ellen’s first response is that this is faked. J.R. leaves and as she fingers her pearls, she calls the Creepy Nurse Drinking Hotline.
Some time later, Sue Ellen is passed out on the bed. Creepy Nurse tells her Bobby is here to see her. She hides Sue Ellen’s bottle and tells her to freshen up. Sue Ellen meets Bobby outside and he’s brought her flowers. She tries to get excited about being home for Lucy’s graduation, but Bobby rains on her parade. She throws the flowers at him and dashes out onto the lawn. He catches her and the orderlies want to take her to her room, but Bobby demands he do it. He’s a Ewing, dammit, you WILL listen to him and not do your jobs.
The next scene is long and heartbreaking. Sue Ellen describes the loneliness and the void in her life. All she does each day is try to figure out how to spend each long hour before going to bed alone. Bobby admits he’s embarrassed by this talk, but she doesn’t stop.
Sue Ellen smells the perfume of all J.R.’s whores at night when he comes to bed, and she pretends to be asleep. Bobby wonders why she doesn’t confront J.R. She laughs and says that does no good. J.R. knows how to find an achilles heel and rip into it. Bobby asks what her heel is.
Sue Ellen monologues and it’s a good one. She knows everyone thinks she loves the money and prestige of the Ewing name. That she loves Southfork. No, the cruel irony is, she actually loves J.R. … and he doesn’t care about her. She wishes she met Bobby first, and kisses him. She admires how strong and kind he is.
Finally, Sue Ellen tears off the bandage. She says J.R. isn’t the only man to abuse her emotionally. She wanted a baby so bad, and when J.R. prevented her from adopting one, she decided to get herself pregnant. Bobby is shook. He wants to know who the father is and she says there’s a chance it is J.R. … but it’s probably Cliff Barnes.
As she dissolves into tears, Bobby has ALL the emotions. We cut to Cliff’s outrageously tacky 70s bachelor pad and Bobby rings the doorbell and punches Cliff in the face. Bobby has to do SOMETHING with all these emotions and Cliff gets the brunt of it. Bobby says Cliff knew he was taking advantage of a vulnerable woman. Cliff claims he fell in love with Sue Ellen, but Bobby says, “The only time you fall in love is when you look in the mirror.” BURN!
Bobby threatens him, saying the rest of the family can never know. Cliff surprises him and lets him know J.R. already knows. It barely fazes Bobby, who knows that’s not something J.R. is likely to talk about . He heads out, telling Cliff he is a lucky man today.
Creepy Nurse is complaining that Sue Ellen can’t keep her room clean. Sue Ellen tells her to leave the door unlocked, she will pay her anything. Creepy Nurse says no, and so Sue Ellen clocks her with a coffee pot, which I find brilliant.
She takes her liquor bottle, pocketbook and gets the hell out of the sanitarium. She manages to find the one car in the driveway with keys in it and heads out. She drinks and drives herself right into a telephone pole.
At Dallas Memorial, Sue Ellen’s doctor checks her out. The baby is okay, but has to be delivered by C-section, immediately. As they prep Sue Ellen for surgery, the doctor tells J.R. and Bobby Sue Ellen was drinking. We find out she is seven months pregnant, so things are really not going to be good for this delivery.
The anesthesiologist puts her (sort of) under and says they have 2 minutes to deliver that baby. TICKING CLOCK!
Bobby and Pam get coffee at the vending machine and discover each knows about Cliff being the potential dad. Bobby says he paid Cliff a visit, so I think Pam knows what that means.
While Sue Ellen is bleeding and not clotting, the Magic Dallas TV Station has the scoop. Cliff listens to the TV in his apartment to find out Mrs. J.R. Ewing is in surgery. They don’t get into details, but if they had chryon scrolls like today’s news stations, it would probably say, “Blood transfusion now being attempted.” Cliff races to the hospital
Luckily, Jon Ross Ewing III is born. He is tiny, but stable and he and Sue Ellen will be touch and go for several more days. More than enough time for drama!
J.R. goes in to see Sue Ellen and Bobby goes with him. Pam see Cliff and says he shouldn’t be there. He sees the baby in the maternity ward and gets all emo … and he vows he will raise that boy as a Barnes.
Capiche Moment: As J.R. and Bobby sit by the unconscious Sue Ellen, J.R. wonders where it all went wrong. He used to love her and she is still so beautiful. He declares she has to live … and then starts crying.
J.R. crying! It is the Seventh Sign of the Apocalypse for sure! A great episode, 4.5 out of five. Sue Ellen was wonderful and this is why I love Linda Gray so much.
Next time – we kick off Season Three, which is where we end with the shot heard round the world! I can’t wait! Still, we will be on a short hiatus, and back around Labor Day. Take care and see you down on the Ranch!