The cat’s out of the bag … and J.R. finds out about Cliff and Sue Ellen – and we see Kristin for the first time and it’s NOT the Kristin we’ll grow to love/hate. And we meet Sue Ellen’s golddiggin’ momma! Buckle up … the broncos are kickin’ down at the ranch!
It’s breakfast and Sue Ellen’s mom calls. Ostensibly, she wants to visit SouthFork, but really, she wants to get little sister Kristin a hook-up. Pimp it out, Mrs. Shepherd! However, Sue Ellen’s off to Fort Worth for some lady lunching, so she can’t pimp Kristin out today.
Cliff is at The Store, getting a suit. I had no clue The Store sold men’s clothes. If this is so, why can’t Pam do something about all the Unfortunate Neckwear the Ewings insist on displaying? The suit won’t be ready for a couple of days, and Pam promises to bring it to the impatient Cliff.
At her Ladies Who Lunch In Fort Worth lunch, Sue Ellen is having a martini as everyone around her is Southern and bitchy … which is almost the same thing. She tries to turn a dig about J.R. ‘s dedication to his job into a brag, but this falls flat … especially since we’ve all met J.R. She does explain Momma and Kristin have moved to Dallas to help with the baby. Ri-i-i-i-ght.
Cliff’ last campaign fizzled out due to scandal, and now, a group of mysterious businessmen with an architectural model of a south Dallas. Rezoning project offer to get Cliff appointed to the Bureau of Land Management. He’s not sure what that does, but it does mean all ranching … and DRILLING projects go through him. Oh, boy! Conflict!
Cliff is such an upstanding citizen, he wonders who exactly is behind this. His answer? “We are the ones who want to, and can help you.” Of course, he’ll only get the appointment if he agrees to one teeny-tiny thing … get rid of a bunch of “low-cost, low-class” housing developments through eminent domain.
He declines, but Mr. Maxwell, the head shadowy businessman, says to give Cliff time.
Back in Fort Worth, the Ladies are leaving lunch and see J.R. with some PYT (Pretty Young Tramp). Sue Ellen is fit to be tied, which is an old Southern thing which I guess means you go so crazy they have to tie you down. I can relate.
That night at the ranch, Sue Ellen drinks some more as she waits for J.R. to show up. He doesn’t even have the “grace to deny” her accusations. While they fight, she tries to enforce that he not sleep around on her anymore, saying he’s embarrassed her for the last time. He says he ain’t changing even if he has to accept the little “bastard” she’s carrying.
She threatens to leave J.R. if he cheats again and so Sue Ellen flees to … Cliff’s house? Oh, Sue Ellen! Cliff’s décor is awful, but those ceiling lamps! I’ve never seen the like! Cliff reiterates a conversation they’ve had before – that she can’t do this to him. She gets seductive and reminds him it could be his baby and she just wants some of his … time.
Did people in the 70s not know what condoms were? All this could’ve been avoided … ah well. Sue Ellen turns down the lights and we know where she’s sleepin’ tonight!
Next morning, Miss Ellie innocently wonders where Sue Ellen has gone so early in the morning. Morning, right. J.R. says she’s probably visiting her momma and Kristin. Miss Ellie thinks the Shepherds should come to SouthFork and visit … after all Kristin is near ’bout Lucy’s age.
Lucy’s only scene is to express disgust and give an excuse as to why she can’t hang out with Sue Ellen’s golddiggin’ sister – which she does. She’s mighty busy. LOL.
J.R. trots over to Mrs. Shepherd’s to see if Sue Ellen, is in fact, there. When he discovers she’s not, he imagines she’ll be over soon, but not her momma wants to have coffee with J.R. He is not into it, until Kristin comes down.
I’m super glad they recast the part. Not that this actress is bad, but Mary Crosby definitely made that part her own. Fake Kristin flirts with J.R. under the approving eye of her momma.
Meanwhile, back at the ranch, Sue Ellen has packed two (only two?!?) suitcases and is sneaking out in the middle of the day. Bobby sees her and asks what’s up. Sue Ellen can’t believe he cares … after seven years, she thought all she was to him was “just someone you say hello to in the morning.” He counters that Sue Ellen doesn’t make a relationship easy, which, I hear you Bobby.
He naively thinks that the baby might end up helping, but Sue Ellen makes it clear the baby is only making it worse. A little while later, J.R. gets home and Bobby butts in, asking why a baby is making Sue Ellen move out. J.R. is indignant, and says if he ever needs Bobby’s help, he’ll ask.
J.R. heads inside to call one of his legion of private investigators (sadly, not Ray Krebs, Roughneck P.I., which is a show I hope still runs in some alternate dimension) and says he has a job for him.
At Mrs. Shepherd’s house, she’s not surprisedf to see Sue Ellen with a suitcase (after all, it’s a very expensive one, she points out), but as she says, ever since Sue Ellen’s daddy died, she’s devoted her life to making her daughters be golddiggers. Not in so many words, but almost.
Sue Ellen has another drink and when Kristin comes in, tells them Momma forgot to teach her something … what to do when her man is off with some floozy. Kristin feels this is a silly transaction – why leave him because you want exclusive rights to him? WOW you just got your summa cum laude in Advanced Golddigging, Kristin!
Sue Ellen calls Cliff, because of course she does.
Next day, Jock storms into the Ewing Oil offices to berate J.R. and make sure he brings Sue Ellen home. He says Teresa ratted them out, seeing Sue Ellen leave with suitcases. Ouch, Teresa! J.R. says he’s going to work it out, and Jock wonders why they had seven years to work it out their problems and NOW things are suddenly bad.
J.R. claims it’s the pregnancy making Sue Ellen act unreasonable. Jock says Miss Ellie is worried sick and he’s not gonna stand for any more foolishness. It’s odd to me that even before the advent of cell phones, this was a conversation Jock couldn’t wait to have until J.R. came home that night. And how soundproof are those offices? Did Louella and Connie just hear all that?
Meanwhile, Sue Ellen the Unreasonable has gone to Cliff’s to tell him the good news that she’s left J.R. He asks what kind of reaction he’s supposed to have and she fires back with a “’Hooray? Good girl?’” He knows they have little to no chance they will make it but she is persistent and bullies him. She asks if he’s going to let J.R. raise his baby and she can “try” to live without all that sweet, sweet Ewing cash.
The PI shows up at J.R.’s office and it’s a masterful scene when J.R. finds out who the baby daddy might be. He figures it’s time to do something about ol’ Cliff Barnes.
Pam shows up at Cliff’s door with his newly-tailored suit. The Store has a hideous logo! Pam quickly smells $100 perfume and as she tells Cliff she’s going to tidy up, she finds … dun-dun-DUN!!! Sue Ellen’s scarf! The discovery escalates into a fight and Cliff tells Pam to get the hell out of his apartment. If I were Pam, I’d take the suit back, but you can’t return altered garments, even if you are a Ewing.
She leaves and we see Sue Ellen come out of the bedroom! WOW!
Pam comes home and takes a drink. She’s so evasive as she tells Bobby she’ can’t tell the Barnes/Ewing players without a scorecard. Now, it’s pretty easy, but we’ll let her slide on this. She doesn’t want to hang out at family dinner tonight, so they split.
The shadowy businessmen have sent the model town to Cliff’s office for some FORESHADOWING! Meanwhile, Sue Ellen goes to her momma’s house and turns pensive as she sees her wedding photos.
Suddenly, J.R. is at Cliff’s office and threaten to derail his political career. He calls it a “cheap little romance” and that Cliff is a “cheap little man” with “little man’s dreams.” OUCH!
Cliff counters that it’s his baby and how will Jock feel about that? J.R. admits he’d be embarrassed by a scandal, but he’ll survive. Cliff’s career won’t. He knows Cliff wants power and he wants that more than he wants Sue Ellen.
J.R. leaves and Cliff (rather predictably) pulls a Godzilla on his city model.
J.R. shows up at Momma Shepherd’s, Momma is happy to let him in. She gets Sue Ellen a J.R. looks at their wedding photo, but there is no pensiveness there. Sue Ellen and he fight, but he has the upper hand – he’ll have “some boys” take her to a hospital and then she’ll get a messy divorce and not get a penny. He encourages her to call Cliff and see what he thinks.
They meet at the park, and sadly, Cliff IS a cheap little man. He knows he has to try to get the power he craves and if he didn’t get it because of their relationship, he might resent her.
Sue Ellen equates all this between Cliff and J.R. to a game of marbles to play and take home and asks if she is just the marbles. Well, honey, you ARE about to lose them in the next few seasons …
J.R. is waiting in the car, and is cruelly controlling – telling Sue Ellen to get in his car and he’ll send someone to get her car later. They’re going home to SouthFork for a nice family dinner. Then, with some EXTRA salt for the wound, he has a “late meeting” in Dallas and she doesn’t need to wait up for him. RUN, SUE ELLEN, RUN!
Capiche Moment: Cliff finally calls the shadowy businessmen and SELLS HIS SOUL to get the BLM appointment. DUN-DUN-DUNNNNN!
A fun, high-drama episode! 4 out of 5 Sue Ellen alcohol-free martinis (she IS pregnant, you know). Next Week – Julie Gray returns! Will we ever see an actual Red File? Will she survive the next two episodes? Can she possibly be sleeping with … JOCK?!? Join us next week!