'Dallas' returns with a bang in 'Denial, Anger, Acceptance'

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Image Credit: Skip Bolen/TNT

Dallas resumes its third season with an episode that brings everyone to their knees—and, in the words of Judith Ryland, you feed the hurt until it’s powerful enough to take vengeance on those who’ve wronged you. This is Dallas, so people are hungry. Here we go…

Biggest Bastard: Definitely Nicolas. Although it’s too soon to tell if he’s gotten Elena pregnant by punching a hole in her diaphragm, he agrees to have Drew shot and killed because he won’t let his vendetta against the Ewings go. The cartel find him with a letter addressed to a local newspaper detailing how J.R. screwed over his dad—and Nicolas’ true ties to Elena. The cartel can’t risk Drew ruining Nicolas’ deal with Elena because they need to acquire Ewing Global to fund their takeover of the Mexican government (sure, why not), since Drew apparently lost the $600 million they trusted him to invest. Drew knows he’s dead the moment the cartel capture him, so he stupidly threatens to tell Elena that Nicolas is using her. Bang. A cartel trigger man shoots him in the head. But Nicolas may still be in trouble with Elena because she knows he sent the video of John Ross and Emma to Pamela.

Best Return: Badass Pamela. She survives her overdose, and when a weepy-eyed John Ross implies she’d been trying to kill herself, she flat-out laughs. No, she just wants him to picture her eyes rolling back in her head anytime he thinks about having sex with Emma. That is crazy, but brilliant. Wouldn’t it be amazing if John Ross has an impotency story line now? It’s not inconceivable for Dallas, just unlikely because John Ross has no intention of sleeping with Emma again and will probably keep his pants zipped, for the time being, trying to win Pamela back.

Best Twist: Sue Ellen, who was rescued from the fire by Bobby, spends the episode having flashbacks to that night. While roaming the hospital’s gift shop in her robe, she sees a wedding card that reminds her she set John Ross and Pamela’s wedding invitation on fire right before she passed out from her bender. Rather than drink the aftershave she shoplifts, she marches to Ann and Bobby and finally admits she’s an alcoholic. Ann hugs her, but Bobby still seems to be thinking, “Did you have to burn down part of Southfork?”

The answer is no, actually. We later find out Drew snuck in and started the fire by screwing with an outlet. How convenient for him that Sue Ellen went pyro at the same time!

Worst Twist That We Don’t Actually Care About: So it seems like Christopher is letting Heather go, after watching Heather and her son make nice with Bo in the hospital. Turns out Southfork was on fire when Bo got there, so he went inside to look for anyone who needed help. A beam fell and broke his back. Christopher got him out. His surgery went well, but they haven’t said for sure if he’ll be able to walk again. We’re just supposed to forget that Bo probably went to Southfork looking to do some damage himself? Perhaps the writers are getting Heather out of the picture so Christopher can get close to Elena again while Nicolas gets cozy with Pamela…

Worst Twist That We Do Care About: Ann gives Emma the long-overdue boot from Southfork, and when grandma Judith comes to pick Emma up at the hospital, she tells Bobby about Ann and Harris kissing. Bobby says he’s not mad about the kiss so much as he is about Ann’s lame lie—that she’d been grocery shopping earlier. In the end, Bobby tells Ann he’s going to stay at Southfork supervising the construction. She’s not. Emma admits to her grandmother that it hurts that John Ross rejected her and her weak “we’re still business partners, we can do great things together” proposal. Judith feeds Emma that line about vengeance, and finally, Emma’s ready to hate John Ross.

Best exchange: After Judith catches Harris looking at a photo of a young Ann (or, as she calls her, “a grasping succubus”):

Judith: “I hadn’t realized you were such a masochist. You want pain from a whore, I can set you up with one of those girls in the brothel.”
Harris: “If I wanted pain from a whore, I’d just stay home.”

Can we get a Judith spin-off? TNT could use a brothel drama.

Poor John Ross: He’s the second-biggest bastard on the show, but when Josh Henderson gets tears in his eyes, he wins us all back. With Pamela tossing her plastic Vegas wedding ring in the garbage and Sue Ellen telling him to get out, will he start acting like a better man or feed the hurt? If the show wants to continue, it better be the latter.

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