March 18 Dallas Episode Recap: “Ewings Unite!”

Val's return

Lucy and Bobby welcome Valene (Joan Van Ark) back to Dallas.

It’s a new day on Dallas as the Ewings deal with the ramifications of J.R.’s death, their arch enemies join forces against them and Sue Ellen reaches into the past to get Gary out of her present. Bobby, Christopher and John Ross attempt to decipher J.R.’s message about needing to find Pam as a way to undermine Cliff’s plot to destroy them. The document J.R. left Christopher reveals that Barnes Global, in its former identity as Wentworth Industries in the 1980s, was split evenly between Cliff, Pam and their half-sister Katherine Wentworth. Bobby says Katherine is dead, so if Pam is still alive she would be a silent partner in Barnes Global. Christopher vows to launch a search for his mother. First, the Ewings deal with the reading of J.R.’s will, which shows J.R. in top form, even in death. He leaves his prized boot collection to Bobby, a bottle of scotch to alcoholic Gary, a copy of The Prince by Machiavelli to Christopher to teach him how the ends often justify the means, and divides his oil drilling rights on Southfork between John Ross and Sue Ellen. A sealed letter from Bobby and J.R.’s mother Miss Ellie is opened, revealing that she left half the deed to Southfork to John Ross. Bobby looks like he’s about to puke. Cliff speeds up his plot to bring down the Ewings on all fronts. He makes a competitive bid on the DCT deal and recruits Harris into an unholy alliance by offering to help him get out from under his mother’s thumb at Ryland Transport. Cliff’s bid makes Allison Jones, the comely liaison to the DCT who has political aspirations, put pressure on Christopher to “sweeten” his offer with fringe benefits. When Chris doesn’t play along, she gives him one week to bring in his methane rig or else Barnes Global gets the DCT deal. Chris fills in Bobby and John Ross on the latest wrinkle in the methane project and the trio hatches a plot to put Mrs. Jones in her place, J.R.-style. John Ross picks up where Chris left off, and after some heated innuendo about long-distance running and big finishes, he and Mrs. Jones cut their own deal in bed. When John Ross lures her to the balcony for some after-sex kissing, Bum takes compromising pictures and emails them to Christopher, telling him his cousin welcomes him to the dark side. Christopher lowers the boom on Mrs. Jones, showing her the photos and she caves. His victory comes at a price, however, when Elena voices her disapproval over his decision to compromise his morals by resorting to blackmail. Christopher has a bigger problem, namely, Harris Ryland, who takes a break from pissing off his mother to set up Drew, who’s been making time with Emma when she’s not busy grabbing a quickie with John Ross. That girl gets around! Drew is on a high after Bobby agrees to sell him the land his father wanted to drill on before his death. His happiness is short-lived, however. Harris sends his lackey Vickers to arrange Cliff’s sabotage of the Ewing methane rig through Drew. When Drew refuses to plant a bomb on the rig, Vickers hints at killing Elena if he doesn’t cooperate. Drew has no choice!

Sue Ellen (Linda Gray) lets Gary (Ted Shackelford) go.

Sue Ellen (Linda Gray) lets Gary (Ted Shackelford) go.

Sue Ellen gets a visit from Gary, who refuses to believe her recent drinking episode was a one-shot thing. She calls his wife Valene to reclaim her man and get him out of Sue Ellen’s hair. With a wink to J.R.’s photo, she takes a drink to celebrate her craftiness. Joan Van Ark has what amounts to an extended cameo when she arrives as Val at Southfork, accompanied by Lucy. Bobby is pleased to see his sister-in-law. Gary, not so much. Valene then barges into Sue Ellen’s office at Ewing Energies and accuses her of manipulating Gary. She vows not to leave Dallas until she has pried Gary from Sue Ellen’s claws. Luckily for Val, Sue Ellen doesn’t want Gary around, despite his good intentions, and convinces him to return to California with his wife. At the Ryland house, Judith bids her disrespectful son adieu but not before telling him she’s cutting him off from the money tree and removing him as head of Ryland Transport. In the ensuing argument, Mother Ryland takes a bad tumble down a long flight of stairs! At the Ewing methane rig, the Ewings, joined by Pamela, who sided with them against her father, gather to seal the deal with the DCT. Vickers is set to detonate the bomb Drew planted the night before but hesitates when he notices Pamela’s baby bump. He calls Cliff to let him know she’s on the rig but Cliff, needing witnesses to the explosion, refuses to wait until they’ve left the rig to blow it up. He coldly orders Vickers to proceed!