Monday, February 24, 2014

REVIEW: 'Dallas' - The Ewings Plan a Proper Wedding & Debate Drilling on Southfork Again in 'The Return'

TNT's Dallas - Episode 3.01 The Return

Sue Ellen starts planning a proper wedding for John Ross and Pamela; John Ross gets into conflict with Bobby over their joint ownership of Southfork Rank, while continuing his illicit liaison with Emma; Elena returns to Dallas with her own secret agenda for justice; and the arrival of a mysterious stranger puts everyone's plans at risk.

"The Return" hedges its bets on the surprise reveal that Nicolas Treviño, the businessman sent as Cliff Barnes' new proxy, is also Joaquin, Elena's childhood friend who she went to see at the end of the second season finale and who is working with her to take down the Ewing family. It's a well-crafted reveal. Elena's surprised when he walks into that boardroom declaring himself as proxy but she's also subtly acting too surprised. It also smartly keeps her in the good graces of the Ewings for the time being as they waste time investing him as she finds the evidence against them.

The hour quickly works to set up a meaningful backstory for Nicolas. In his youth, he was homeless and Elena brought him home to live with their family. There, she and her brother made a pact with him to always protect one another. Her dad was like a father to him. So, he feels the same animosity towards the Ewings as she does. Thusly, another branch is added to the Ramos family - which makes me wonder why none of the Ewings ask Carmen what ever happened to that third kid living with her family.

And the Ewings were enjoying their livelihoods for a good portion of this episode - up until Nicolas' arrival throws a wench into all of their plans and they returned to the scheming greats they all are. They all were happily working together to be the biggest company in the oil and methane industry. Now, they can't sell part of the company to invest in their business plans. So of course, the subject of drilling on Southfork is brought up once again - with John Ross eager to do it and bring the ranch into the 21st century with Bobby and Christopher actively against it. It's the trivial stuff. It's been done before. So don't be surprised by my willingness to support and enjoy the other interesting parts of the new season above that debate again.

Some more thoughts:
  • "The Return" was written by Cynthia Cidre & Robert Rovner and directed by Steve Robin.
  • It's been a long time since new episodes aired. That 2-minute "Previously on Dallas" segment was a smart move.
  • A proper ring? That thing is huge!
  • The most interesting thing about Christopher is the fact that he grew that beard in just over a day.
  • I loved the Elena looks at a computer shot - even though it was just copying from what Scandal does.
  • Elena: "I will find the strength because I'm not thinking of this as revenge, I'm thinking of this as justice."
  • Sue Ellen: "Trust me, you won't be the first bride to have had multiple weddings here."
  • How in the world did Cliff manage to get a phone in prison?
  • Emma: "Hey I'm not the only girl in the room who's put her father behind bars. What are the odds?"
  • John Ross: "What's the matter, mama? Looks like you just seen a ghost."
  • John Ross: "I'm fracking."