Episode 105 "Truth and Consequences"
All the obvious cards are now on the table; J.R. has control of Southfork. He touts it as the return of Ewing Oil, though I'm very unclear about that since the last I knew, that business name was still in the legal control of Cliff Barnes. I'm also fuzzy on just how easy it is to get approval to drill for oil and start shipping and selling it. Even in Dallas for someone like J.R. Ewing it can't be that easy to begin pumping and distributing oil just because he now owns property where oil has been identified. I guess government regulations are like cancer; only as dreadful or easily overcome as is convenient for the purpose of an episode's story arc.
What I took away most from "Truth and Consequences" was a reinforcement of my admiration for Bobby Ewing. However much fun it's been to see J.R. back in action, it's been just as thrilling to watch Bobby become the assertive leader he always shied away from being. Everyone forgets, but when pushed to the test, Bobby really did best J.R. for control of Ewing Oil in the past...and he did it his way.
I couldn't help but catch Bobby's rejection of Christopher's fight-fire-with-fire insistence: "That's not who we are." That's one of the obvious drinking game phrases of President Obama, and I have to think that's not coincidence. It strikes me that the President would do well to study this episode very closely; Bobby gives the kind of red meat here that many of Mr. Obama's supporters have publicly demanded of him since his election.
Moreover, though, I'm also acutely aware that the end of this episode sets up at least two important subplots going forward. The absence of J.R. forces John Ross into the next stage of his growth, while also allowing the aged Larry Hagman to sit out some of the demands of a weekly TV series. Plus, I think it's best that J.R. loom over everything without necessarily being shown often; it gives him a sort of "Dr. No" kind of mystique that way.
The other thing is that we have the chance to finally begin getting to know Anne. Watching her interact with both Rebecca and her ex-husband in this episode was about the most insight into her that we've had since the series debuted a month ago. I'm inclined to like her, but to date she hasn't had the chance to really win me over. She started to do that in this episode and I hope to see more of that.
On a personal note, I had to catch the 11:00 encore airing to see the entirety of everything from J.R. revealing his ownership of Southfork to Bobby to J.R. leaving Dallas because my baby brother stopped by. Late last night he took his girlfriend fishing and while they were were out, he proposed to her! I had no idea he was even considering proposing, so I was taken by surprise. I haven't gotten to spend a whole lot of time around her, but I like her and I think she's good for him. He seems to be happier and more active than he was with any of his ex's, and that's more than enough to win my endorsement.