Pam was married before Bobby? Oh, hell we better dive right in!
We start with Pam massaging Bobby, which I am not mad about. He points out that years on the road, followed by a short stint in the office, have not prepared his muscles for 14 hour days on the ranch.
Imma point out, that nobody is MAKING you work 14 hours. I’m pretty sure Ray stays employed since no one WANTS to work 14 hours a day on a ranch. No wonder Pam wants to take a job, if he’s out in the field all day.
Plus, cows smell. This is just a fact, and one that would send me back to the corporate politics and J.R.’s conniving after hour one of working on that ranch.
Pam’s happy Bobby is okay with her working, and she plans to keep it that way by seducing him a lot. They kiss, and we cut to some dramatic music and a guy in a car staking out a house. He reads a paper that has a photo of the Ewings at a gala.
Pam’s Aunt Maggie opens the door to the house and as she leaves, says something to Digger inside. She remarks to herself that Digger has apparently has fallen asleep standing up with his eyes open. This is called “death,” Maggie. Will Digger not be in this episode? Perhaps they are between Digger actors, and so the character “sleeps” this one off.
The stranger with an extremely unbuttoned shirt, asks Maggie if Pam is around, and claims he’s not selling encyclopedias, it’s personal. Maggie says Pam’s a Ewing now and won’t want any “personal” business anymore. Aunt Maggie does have that Southern way!
Meanwhile, back at the ranch … it’s family outdoor breakfast time. Jock complains everything tastes like library paste when you can’t have salt. The continuity freak in me is glad of these little callbacks to his heart attack episode.
Jock is rarin’ to get back to work, but Miss Ellie reminds him the doctor doesn’t want him to even talk about work. Jock rightly remarks that if Doctor Danvers wants to get paid, he has to do some work!
Everyone discusses a building deal for a church that Sue Ellen is on the committee for. This is one of those weird projects that popped up all of a sudden, that the audience has no context for and yet, feels like we should have been hearing about the church building for the last three episodes.
Sue Ellen remarks that they are building a school for wayward boys. Lucy takes this as her cue to ask if she can visit. Everyone but Miss Ellie and Sue Ellen laugh. J.R. is excited about the tax break, which is extremely J.R.
Jock thinks Bobby is going to leave ranching to start building apartment complexes, which would have given us a VERY different show. Jock wants Bobby to settle down. Bobby claps back, not having it. He has every right to carve out a place for himself. Right on, Bobby! Unless, you know, you’re your wife, who wants to have a career. She needs to stay at home.
Oddly enough, J.R. acts like the peacemaker, telling Bobby to use some contractors he likes. Nothing good can come of that!
We cut to Digger Barnes, stumbling along the street! He IS alive! A fellow drunk greets him and offers him a swig of booze. Digger just got a paycheck so he’s ready to treat his buddy to some fancy liquor! They go in the bar and Extremely Open-Shirt Man watches from behind his car.
Bobby and some church folk are out in the Home for Wayward Boys lot, which is one of the wackier lines I have written about this show. The Reverend reminds Bobby that the Ewing donation of the land didn’t come with a guarantee Bobby would be the builder. Suuuuure, it didn’t.
A prim woman with architectural plans asks why there’s no bars on the windows. The reverend jumps in and says he hasn’t seen Bobby or his wife in church lately. THE EWINGS GO TO CHURCH? My mind is boggled. Bobby deflects them by showing them where he’s going to build the chapel.
In the bar, Digger drunkenly boasts about his oil-sniffing super power. There is an old lady at the bar near them, and while I’m sure this happens IRL, it’s just a tad disturbing to see her with these barflies. Perhaps Bobby can build a chapel in the bar later.
Digger’s out of money, but Extremely Open-Shirt Man buys him a drink. Open-Shirt butters Digger up, saying a girl he loved had an oil wildcatter for a father. Digger goes off on an anti-Ewing rant, and so Extremely Open-Shirt Man knows he has hit paydirt, or payoil, in this case. Somehow, despite not having seen or talked in probably months, Digger knows Pam works at The Store, and accidentally divulges this to Extremely Open-Shirt Man.
Back at the ranch, Bobby’s in the pool. He turned the corner on the church folk, but he tells Pam they have to go be churchgoers until the contract signed. Bobby, you are getting shadier and shadier.
Extremely Open-Shirt Man gets Digger home. He wants to leave Digger there, but Digger wants company … and the flash of whisky in Extremely Open-Shirt Man’s back pocket. He invites EOS Man in.
Extremely Open-Shirt Man heads to The Store and asks for Pam. He stops her right before she leaves on an errand and asks if she knows him – and that she should – he’s her husband! Cut to commercial!
I can’t wait to see why she didn’t recognize Ed (as that is now what we have to call Extremely Open-Shirt Man). She says it’s been ten years, but this is a level of non-recognition that ten years doesn’t quite cover.
Pam denies that they are married and asks what this is all about. He pulls out a copy of a marriage license that they got in Mexico. She claims she was underage and he says she wasn’t underage in Mexico. He was shipped out to ‘Nam the next day and she says she annulled the marriage. He never got the letter as he was busy being in a North Vietnamese prison camp.
He plays dumb, asking how she could be married to two people at the same time. She explained that ten seconds ago, Ed! He claims to still be in love with her and that he’s at the Sagebrush Motel.
Pam calls the ranch looking for Bobby. He’s not there, so she decides to call Cliff. She heads over to his election headquarters, where he doesn’t remember anything about her marriage. She refreshes his memory – a cheerleading trip to El Paso, Digger along as a chaperone, her first trip away from home, Ed was going to ‘Nam … it was all romantic, even if she claims she was just a “baby” at the time.
Now, I did crazy stuff when I was in high school. But getting MARRIED …. I don’t think I would forget what the person LOOKED like even 20 years later.
When Pam recounts how Aunt Maggie handled the annulment procedure, Cliff wants to joke about what if she’d done that with Bobby. Time and a place, Cliff!
Cliff says there’s no problem that Ed never got the papers – they will be on file at the Records Department. Pam’s ready to get them now, but they are closed. She’s anxious and Cliff guesses Bobby doesn’t know. Well, hello! You didn’t know and Pam didn’t even recognize the guy! Hell, even Ed doesn’t know he’s not married.
They head to Aunt Maggie’s – she’ll have a copy, of course! If she did, we wouldn’t have anything to watch for 30 more minutes.
Meanwhile, Ed shows up at Ewing Oil. Uh-oh! His shirt is even more extremely open as he goes into … J.R.’s office! Wrong Ewing! When Ed explains Pam is his wife, and all he wants is her back, J.R. is to put it kindly … schemey. He assures Ed the Ewings would never turn their backs on a veteran.
Aunt Maggie opens up the box that she’s SURE has the papers. Shock – they aren’t there. Digger claims to have them … upstairs. He rummages through boxes of old photos, including one with Cliff in a sailor suit. Except … remember after Ed came over and drank with him … they’re gone! That means is Ed is (wait for it) lying!
The family is outside having cocktails in an extremely blustery wind. J.R. is cool, laying in wait for Pam. Sue Ellen says the reverend likes Bobby‘s plans, but was concerned about Pam’s background – specifically Digger’s drunken past.
Bobby says he quoted a few scriptures and the reverend was fine. Huh. Bobby’s magnificent chest is not preventing me from seeing how shady he actually is!
Pam drives up and you can see she wants to speak to Bobby alone, but the whole family, except Miss Ellie, is tired of drinking in the breeze (does this mean they are all … three sheets to the wind?) and trot after Bobby as he greets Pam.
J.R. strikes. He tells them all about Ed’s visit and tells them Pam’s a bigamist. She tries to bluff her way through it. Bobby acts like he knew, but only because Sue Ellen is snarky. Pam cries that she’s not still married, saying it was annulled.
Then, J.R. insinuates that the church group is not going to like this. J.R. also did some research and can prove Ed is telling the truth.
That night, after what must have been an AWKWARD dinner, Bobby and Pam go their room. Bobby undresses angrily and I’ve never found him more attractive. She explains the loss of the annulment papers and Bobby says he’s going with Cliff and Pam to get the records.
The old-timey computers are awesome at the records department, but they don’t have the her annulment. Bobby wants to bribe the guy and Cliff is the amazing voice of reason here. Pam is in total damsel in distress mode, asking them to tell her what to do.
Cliff explains there are four copies and one would have went to Digger’s lawyer, who’s dead but his secretary is still in Fort Worth. Cliff will go over there a bit later and Bobby stalks off to meet someone.
He goes to meet Ed! It’s the battle of Shirtless Bobby Ewing and Extremely Open Shirt Man! It’s not really a contest, and Bobby offers to buy him off. Ed won’t budge. Bobby almost hits him, and Ed wants him to – because that would look good to the cops. Tension!
As soon as Bobby drives away, another car pulls in … it’s the guy Bobby tried to bribe at the records department! He is in cahoots ( a word I never get tired of) with Ed! It was supposed to be a small con for a couple of hundred bucks in shaking down Pamela Barnes. Now Ed sniffs out the potential for a hundred grand.
That night, is in the study calling people, trying to clear things up. Sue Ellen slinks in, wine in hand, and snarks that they missed him and Pam at dinner. She claims to be concerned about the wayward boys school, and that if the reverend can’t be sure Bobby can handle his family ( i.e. his wife, good lord we are back in the 1950s now) how can he handle a building project.
Cliff shows up at the ranch, which … oh my. As Bobby goes to get Pam, Sue Ellen flirts with Cliff. Lucy comes out and claims Cliff looks “not bad.” He couldn’t find the papers and now all Pam can do it get an attorney.
Bobby, Pam and Cliff eat breakfast with Digger. Bobby discovered Ed got out of the VA hospital two years ago, so he knows it’s not “love” that brought him after Pam. Digger wants to talk to Ed, man-to-man, which, really is more old-drunk-to-Extremely-Open-Shirted-man, but whatever.
Bobby heads off to meet with Reverend Barracuda, as he calls him and Digger asks Cliff to drive him to Ed. Pam calls Ed as Digger and Cliff drive over to Ed’s hotel. Digger tries to convince him and Ed calls him a drunk.
This makes Cliff wonder why he called Digger a drunk … and suddenly Digger remembers!
Bobby loses the building deal. Sue Ellen has told them about Pam. Digger knows Ed stole the copy of the annulment papers. Bobby shoves Digger into J.R.’s office and says to make himself at home. Suddenly, I like Bobby again.
Pam meets Ed at a park. She’s acting all seductive and claims they kicked her out and got no settlement and now she needs him. Okay, Pam I rarely like you, but this was a rather inspired gambit.
Ed’s shocked. He clearly doesn’t want Pam. She says she’ll come to him at the motel tonight, and he says he’ll be waiting.
Cliff and Bobby intimidate the records clerk. He pretty much threatens to leave the guy out in the desert. Holy mackerel! The guy cracks and spills the beans, and he made a copy of the annulment papers.
The motel manager lets Cliff and Bobby into Ed’s room and he’s gone. At dinner, Sue Ellen lets on the reverend gave Bobby the contract. Miss Ellie tells Lucy she can learn something from this and good lord, Miss Ellie wait till next episode!
Capiche Moment: J.R. is pissed Digger was asleep on his couch and asks what he was doing in there in the first place. Bobby claims he couldn’t have left him with Sue Ellen’s church group. Everyone laughs and J.R. mutters, “I don’t see why not.” BWAH HA HA HA!
I love this show! Fun episode and I give it four and a half annulment papers out of five! Next week, Lucy wants Valene at her birthday party and ends up in a hostage situation! See you on the ranch!