Last week, Ann pulled the trigger on her revenge against kidnapping ex-hubby Harris Ryland, and that's where "False Confessions" opens. Harris's uber-creepy mama comes home to find her baby boy splayed out in the living room, bleeding profusely from a bullet wound to the chest. Ann is returning to Southfork at the same time, where Bobby finds her in the bathroom, washing her hands, with a gun on the sink beside her. Yep, I shot him, she tells Bobby, as the Dallas police are knocking at the front door.
Bobby to the police: "I shot Harris Ryland," taking the blame for Ann, because, as he tells her in a great example of the kind of rationale that only happens in primetime soaps, her daughter Emma will definitely never forgive her if she finds out Ann is really the one who shot her father. But she'll be totally fine with Ann's husband having shot him? Yeah, soap logic.
The Orange Jumpsuit Adventures
From Southfork to BeckyPam's penthouse, we find BeckyPam doing a Web search for info on the Tommy Sutter death investigation. Sidebar: Even J.R. is so caught up in modern times that we saw him using a tablet last week to Google himself and chuckle at his own shenanigans, yet, with her freedom on the line and her father supposedly one of the most powerful men in the world, BeckyPam turns to a simple Internet search to get info on a murder case?
With the Interwebs failing to provide the info she needs, BeckyPam goes off on family whipping boy Frank, who's newly arrived at her home. Just then, John Ross comes out of the bedroom, walks by Frank and orders two OJs and some strawberry pancakes. "Sorry Frank, you looked like the butler," John Ross says, on the heels of all those "poodle" remarks J.R. had been throwing at Frank.
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Frank's getting the business from everyone this morning, as BeckyPam then tells him he better find out what's happening with the investigation, because if she goes down for Tommy's murder -- whichwastotallyanactofselfdefensebecausehewasgoingtothurther! We know, we know, BeckyPam -- BeckyPam's papa, Cliff Barnes, will not be happy with Frank.
Know what Frank isn't happy about? Those poodle/butler remarks from father and son Ewing, and having to put up with BeckyPam when he feels he's the one who should be in charge of the Barnes empire. So Frank, making a mistake that many men have made throughout the years and lived, or not, to regret: he gets into bed with J.R.
Frank digs up Tommy's body and calls J.R. to tell him he's ready to make a deal and give up Tommy's body. Oh, and while Frank's getting into bed with J.R., he tells J.R. that John Ross is in bed with BeckyPam. Snap!
At the courthouse, Bobby's bail is set at $1 million -- chump change to the Ewings. And it's important to note that Patrick Duffy is still such a handsome figure that he rocks that orange jumpsuit Bobby's sporting for the few minutes it takes to get that bail cash.
Also at the courthouse is Mama Ryland, who tortures Ann about Bobby's potential prison future. It should be your son who's in jail for what he did to me, Ann tells her, before Mama Ryland whispers in her ear, "Then how unjust it must seem to you that Bobby will be the one rotting in prison."
John Ross arrives at Southfork just as J.R. gets a phone call about Bobby's legal troubles. When John Ross learns his uncle is in the hoosegow, he wants to know if this will help get Bobby out of Ewing Energies.
"You've got a lot to learn, boy. When the family's in trouble, we don't take advantage," J.R. says, which we could probably dispute with dozens of examples from "Dallas" history, but J.R.'s trying to be a good big brother, some of the time, in his golden years, so we'll let it pass.
Besides, J.R.'s got other pressing concerns. Like how Frank told him that Junior is double dealing with BeckyPam. It's all part of a larger business scheme, John Ross assures J.R., though we're starting to wonder of John Ross and BeckyPam's daddy issues haven't bonded them to the point that the Ewing player is starting to have genuine feelings for BeckyPam. J.R. wonders the same thing.
"You let that Barnes girl get a piece of our company, you're inviting a vampire into our home and she'll suck the life out of us," J.R. warns. And, see, told ya, ol' J.R. is not only up on technology, he's also clearly up on the fact that vampires continue to be a hot topic in pop culture. Wonder if he's been reading the "Twilight" books on that tablet of his?
John Ross, concerned about what his daddy and Frank are planning to do to BeckyPam, goes to his mama for help. He wants Cliff Barnes's number.
Why, Sue Ellen wants to know. After all, going to Cliff Barnes behind his daddy's back is a dangerous thing, and no one knows that more than Sue Ellen. "Be careful, because this could change everything," she warns. John Ross tells her "what I'm protecting is worth it." Hmm, the John Ross has real feelings for BeckyPam plot thickens.
And, because one dirty deal at a time just isn't enough to slake his thirst (big ups to J.R. for that line in the season premiere) for dirty dealing, John Ross calls his P.I. Clyde and tells him to dig up dirt on Elena's brother Drew, who's thrown a wrench in John Ross's plan to shut down Elena's oil drill.
Someone else's father/someone else's son chat
John Ross meets up with Cliff at what looks to be the Dallas fairgrounds, and tells Cliff that his boy Frank is a fink. Whuuuuuut? Cliff says. That can't be. "Frank is like family," Cliff says. "He's been with me for over 25 years."
"Then he's about to forfeit one hell of pension," John Ross fires back (ha!), before telling Cliff that he's been a bad daddy -- having been on the receiving end of one himself, John Ross reminds -- and that he needs to check Frank's plot, with J.R., against BeckyPam.
Meanwhile, back at the ranch ("Dallas" is the only show, along with "The Biggest Loser," where you can use that phrase literally), Ann and Sue Ellen are discussing Bobby's case and the possibility of Ann reuniting with Emma. She worries there's nothing she can ever do to make her daughter love her and see that she's not the monster Harris made her out to be.
Don't give up, Sue Ellen urges. She knows a thing or two about dealing with a kid who hates you. John Ross once tossed a toy truck at her head, she says, and she still has the scar to prove it. Um, OK …
It hits the fan
Christopher goes to a bar to threaten Elena's fired foreman when he sees the news on TV: Tommy Sutter's body has been found in the park by a couple of joggers! He heads home to Southfork, where he pours himself a libation and stands drinking it in front of a mirror. It's as if the fact that he showed such poor judgment in marrying lying BeckyPam has made him doubt how pretty he is. He must stand in front of the mirror to remind himself.
Speaking of BeckyPam, she's seen that news report, too, and she is freaking out, first speed dialing Frank and then her father.
BeckyPam's downfall for murder would be good news for Christopher on the divorce/getting custody of his unborn children front, but the legal news for Bobby only gets worse. He already assaulted Harris, which is on record, and then he recently threatened Harris again. Harris filed a report on the threat, which Bobby's lawyer Lou witnessed, meaning a) there's more evidence that Bobby's shooting of Harris was premeditated, and b) since Lou witnessed the threat, he has to recuse himself from representing Bobby, just as the good Ewing brother is facing 20 years in the slammer.
That Harris! Causing all kinds of trouble, not to mention making us witness the relationship between him and his mama, who's visiting him in the hospital. She strokes his head -- much the way Dr. Evil strokes his cat -- and tells him she will make sure Bobby and Ann pay for hurting him. He'll wake up, recover and "will be king" once more, she promises. And then perhaps the two of them can celebrate with a vacay at the Bates Motel?
BeckyPam is still freaking out, by the way, but refuses to take help from John Ross when he shows up at her building. A nifty montage of forensic investigating leads into a scene of the police heading off to arrest someone for Tommy's murder, and just as BeckyPam has packed a bag to split town, the cops arrive at a fancy apartment …
The elevator to BeckyPam's door opens and it's … Cliff! So, where were the police going to make an arrest, then? Frank's!
The Orange Jumpsuit Adventures, Part Deux
Frank's now sporting an orange jumpsuit himself when Cliff visits him in jail. Why, why did you betray me and my family, after I took you in when you were a child and raised you as my own son and planned for you and BeckyPam to take over my empire one day, Cliff asks.
"Ever since you left [BeckyPam] in charge, she's treated me like a dog," Frank says, pathetically, proving J.R. really did get inside his head with all those "poodle" and "lapdog" comments.
Cliff assures Frank his family will be well cared for, but that he is dead to him, and that Frank should do the "honorable thing." Uh, oh. Bye bye, Frank.
Christopher is also trying to convince his father to do the right thing, and 'fess up that he isn’t the one who shot Harris. Christopher, having regained his confidence from his time with the mirror, obviously, logically points out that lying isn't going to help Ann reunite with Emma. The truth always comes out, he says, and when Emma inevitably finds out that Ann lied about shooting Harris, she'll be even angrier at Ann.
But it's a moot point, as it turns out, because Harris has awakened from his coma and is talking to the police. He tells them who shot him … Bobby! Well played, creepy Mama Ryland.
Finally, Christopher hears the news that Frank has confessed to killing Tommy. He rushes off to Frank's arraignment, where BeckyPam and John Ross are also waiting. Frank asks to make a statement, and tells the judge he killed Tommy. Not only that, but he also killed Real Becky Sutter!
Christopher causes a ruckus, shouting that Frank didn't really do it, that it was BeckyPam, and now she's going to get away with murder! But while the judge tells the bailiff to remove Christopher, Frank slips a pill out of the collar of his orange jumpsuit, swallows it, and drops to the floor where he slowly and painfully writhes to his death.
Now, for this week in other "Dallas" quotables:
- Christopher asked his secretary to try to keep tabs on John Ross. When John Ross is rushing out of the office, Chris's secretary asks where he's headed. "None of Christopher's business," John Ross says. Yep, he's at least one step ahead of almost everyone.
- J.R. to Bobby, after Bobby asks his big bro if he's going to try to talk him out of taking the blame for Ann shooting Harris: "Trying to talk Bobby Ewing out of doing what he thinks is right? I got a better chance of winning the Good Samaritan award."
- John Ross to Elena's fired drill foreman, about his cousin Christopher: "Just 'cuz he's a p---- doesn't mean he ain't smart." Oh, John Ross, you do love that word, don't you?
"Dallas airs Tuesdays at 9 PM on TNT.