Wow. What a week. With the global news and the COVID outbreak so dire, I have one bright spot – this week’s Dallas recap. And it may be the second or third best episode ever!
Better than “Who Shot J.R.?” you ask? Did that episode have a van with a total shag carpet interior? Nope. Did it have Lucy wanting a band called the Coffins playing at her birthday party? No, it did not. Did it have Greg Evigan as a psycho drifter robber driving the aforementioned shag-filled van trying to make Lucy the Bonnie to his Clyde? Nope.
Drift back with me to the halcyon days of yore as we let our cares fade away and enjoy some Dallas!
As Bobby dives into the pool, Lucy is practicing guitar by the pool. WHAT? When did we decide she was all into music? Or guitars? Suddenly she’s the 70s’ Billie Eilish?
Sue Ellen and Miss Ellie are planning Lucy’s upcoming birthday party. Sue Ellen has a great idea for the band – Forester and his band. They “still play music you can dance to,” according to the former Miss Texas. Lucy wants a band from Austin (clearly it was weird even then), like the Coffins. Miss Ellie is not having a band with that name.
Poor Lucy. All she wants is to take control of her own birthday party. Sue Ellen tells her to just mind her own beeswax. Pam passes Jock on the way out to the pool, where she wants to show Bobby her new frock. Jock puts the mail down and we see a letter addressed to Lucy … and some ominous background music!
Pam has picked out some dresses for Lucy to choose from. She’s not happy about that, either! As Lucy tries on her dresses, she overhears Jock and J.R. planning to make business deals at her party. The nerve! She tosses the dresses on the floor and stares pensively out the window.
Pam understands but over the loud country music in the background, Lucy can’t deal with any empathy. She lashes out and claims she is old enough to pick out her own clothes. She cries and runs out of her room, but damn that lip gloss stays on perfectly.
At breakfast, Lucy gets her letter and reads it. It’s from Valene! She tells Lucy J.R. lied about paying her off. Lucy runs to Ray to tell him her plan – she’s gonna invite Valene to her party. He cautions her against that, but she’s determined.
At dinner, she tries to butter up Jock (which, upon typing that sentence does NOT sound good) and get him to allow it. He refuses. She gets upset, calls J.R. a liar to his face and runs out.
Later, she steals J.R.’s car, his gas station credit card and heads out with her guitar! J.R. discovers the theft and the only thing to say about this scene is that he is wearing some TRULY unfortunate neckwear.
Lucy ends up at a diner, where she and her guitar have a nice meal. Outside, its BR minus the Bear himself, Greg Evigan in a van with every possible surface covered in shag or faux fur.
Oh, 70s … I suspect perhaps the adults of the time may have been more afraid of the tastelessness of shag carpeted vans than mere juvenile delinquency … I know I would have been … but in he comes for some flirtatious looks with Lucy.
When cops looking for the EWING 3 license plate (perhaps Lucy should have ditched those plates) trap the car in the parking lot, Lucy (and her guitar) bolt out the back. BJ picks up the money she left and goes to the counter to pay for her meal and what … pockets the change?
BJ is a small-time operator, for sure.
On the road, he sees her (AND her guitar, don’t forget … this is a CRUCIAL plot point for later) hitchhiking and picks her up. She’s now Lucy “Clements” (Valene’s maiden name) and she and BJ (his name is will, but whatever) head out to San Antone.
Meanwhile, back at the ranch … all the family except Jock are in on the search for Lucy. They guess she’s headed to see Val. J.R. wants some of his “boys” to pick her up and teach her (and Valene) “the facts of life.” Bobby isn’t having it and heads down to go get her.
BJ and Lucy go to the Hickory Pit Bar B-Q Restaurant to find Valene. When Lucy questions the owner, we find Valene has quit. We also learn Valene has already moved from her apartment – where presumably she wrote the letter to Lucy from and gave her a return address. My question becomes … WHERE IS VALENE?
We have no time for that – BJ robs the cash register while Lucy has distracted the restaurant owner. Now Lucy is wishing she hadn’t run into this guy and his shag van, no matter how cute he is. He yanks her out and oddly pushes her into the van from the driver side.
They speed away and he giggles maniacally. BJ gets angry when she tries to protest and he pulls off the road. He knows he has a bad temper and I bet she wishes he’d had some anger management classes.
While the cops investigate The Hickory Pit, Bobby is there doing his Hardy Boys act. He convinces the restaurant owner that by identifying herself, she wasn’t involved. Bobby bribes the owner with a lot of cash to not press charges and the cop smiles knowingly. The owner tells Bobby that Valene liked Austin, so off he goes.
That night, Lucy and BJ have parked and camped in the woods. She tries to get away, but he laughs maniacally … and he doesn’t like to be alone. The next day, they drive onand the forecast if for uncomfortable silence, followed by partially crazy.
Back at SouthFork … THEY ARE HAVING HER BIRTHDAY PARTY WITHOUT HER! Clearly, Lucy was right about all this and she is less critical to the family than the opening credits would have us believe.
Things are normal, despite the lack of the birthday guest and the excuses they are throwing out to guests. Sue Ellen is claiming Lucy will show up in a dramatic entrance, Pam’s saying Lucy will love the gifts and Jock is lying to Miss Ellie about his drinking.
Also, Tillie the caterer from the last Ewing barbecue is not in evidence. HAS SHE RUN OFF WITH VALENE? Inquiring minds want to know!
Sherlock Bobby buys gas and discovers there’s another gas station down the road and BJ and Lucy may have used J.R.’s credit card there! By the time he gets there, BJ has already clocked the station attendant and stolen 30 bucks. However, Bobby pays this guy to call the Austin police department for him.
Bobby totally gets the value of money!
As BJ and Lucy hit Austin, they see that the Overcomer Club (???) is having an amateur talent show with a (wait for it) … $100 prize! They’ll be rich! Lucy will no doubt be discovered and BJ will be her sleazy manager and we will be in for a Kesha-sized scandal in six months.
EXCEPT … Lucy claims not to be able to sing. BJ tells her “Yes you can.” in a menacing stage-mothery growl. She walks out without her guitar and BJ throws it at her. WOW, BJ you are a dick.
Bobby is hot on their trail and really, lot of their problems would be solved if they’d had cell phones. Sue Ellen is flirty with the congressman J.R. invited and she is encouraging him to support Cliff Barnes. I do like that all this is being seeded so creatively. J.R. thinks Sue Ellen is helping HIM!
At the Overcomer Club (WTF kind of name is that?) it’s Lucy’s turn on stage. She goes up and performs “Silver Thread and Golden Needles” and the person she’s lipsyncing from sounds good. Also SHE IS NOT PLAYING GUITAR! Her guitar is NOWHERE. WHY DID IT TRAVEL ALL THIS WAY?
It feels this was the only way to visually show the audience that Lucy was musical. Don’t worry. We’ll never see it again.
Bobby and the Austin police are converging on the bar. BJ robs the bartender as Lucy “sings” and they head out the back door. There’s a standoff and Bobby demands he be allowed to use the bullhorn to “negotiate” (i.e., offer BJ $2000 in cash and swap him for Lucy as a hostage).
As BJ is about to take the deal, Lucy scratches his face, Bobby punches him and the cops rush him. It’s all over but the phone call to the ranch. An ecstatic Miss Ellie tells everyone they’ll be back tomorrow.
Now. San Antonio is 4 hours southwest of Dallas. Austin is 3. They go all the way to San Antonio, then back to Austin … halfway back to Dallas … AND THEY CAN’T GET HOME IN A DAY?
Capiche Moment: Pam looks on, adoring Jock and Miss Ellie’s love. Why? Is this setting up something?
Four out of five Sue Ellen cocktails for this one! I loved every shaggy minute of it except for the lack of Valene and Tilly. Next week, Pam is caught in the middle when the Ewings play dirty political tricks on Cliff Barnes! See you next time at the Overcomer Club!