In one fell swoop, Dallas has turned the tables on the naïve Ewing faction, and all the machinations in place for a piece of Southfork (or, by extension, Ewing riches) are either successful, or partially revealed. It’s a necessary move for the series, since the back and forth between J.R. (Larry Hagman) and his son John Ross (Joss Henderson) was getting a bit tiring – as if J.R. was content in perpetually dangling the concept of victory in front of his son without ever showing it to him. But the shift is one that fans of the original run are well accustomed to. New status quos emerge in a heartbeat in the soap opera world, and, like J.R., vanish just as quickly.
‘Truth and Consequences’ isn’t so much concerned with an interpretation of the title, that may imply some sense of finality, but rather serves as an unofficial end of Act 1.
The action picks up immediately with a half-confession by Rebecca (Julie Gonzalo) about where the now-infamous break-up email originated. The truth – as far as anyone should believe – is that it came from Tommy (Callard Harris) after he’d picked up word about Christopher (Jesse Metcalfe) and Elena (Jordana Brewster) from his roommate – a fact that makes the already creepy Tommy exponentially creepier. Of course this is all part of Tommy’s incredibly complicated con to steal Christopher’s methane patent that hasn’t even proven completely viable yet. Come to think of it, Tommy isn’t just a creeper willing to put his sister on the line; he’s also a really shoddy flimflam man.
The Ewings handle the news of Rebecca and Tommy’s deception with relative grace (as long as you think Tommy had the beat-down coming), seeing as the family probably shares stories about all the times they were nearly swindled out of millions of dollars like they’re reliving the good old days. Nonetheless, Tommy and Rebecca soon find themselves once more on the outside of Southfork looking in. But Tommy, in his steadfast creepiness, remains undeterred in swiping Christopher’s methane patent – you know, just as soon as he gets around to actually making one.
Still, the cracks seen in Rebecca’s resolve over the past few episodes begin to widen, and it’s clear her heart is no longer in the con, but with Christopher. Will he ever be able to trust the woman who was apparently complicit in all the deception that essentially altered his life forever? Yeah, he probably will – this is Dallas, after all. If one good thing were to come out of the Rebecca fiasco, it’s that Elena now sees she was wrong about John Ross’ involvement in the email scandal, which makes it totally okay for them to rekindle their totally believable romance.
Finding out your marriage was a scam would normally send most families into a temporary tailspin, but in Dallas, the Ewings kind of shrug, glance at one another with a “that was weird” look on their faces and continue packing up Southfork. That is until Bobby (Patrick Duffy) gets an envelope informing him the deed to Southfork is now in J.R.’s name. To his credit, Duffy manages to avoid rolling his eyes and saying something like, “Here we go again,” and instead responds to the news with a more appropriate mix of annoyance and exhaustion – like he now has one more chore to take care of before he can relax.
Christopher, on the other hand, is ready to scorch the earth and begin playing by J.R. and John Ross’ rules – the only thing is, even John Ross is caught unaware the deal has actually gone through.
As noted earlier, ‘Truth and Consequences’ feels more like the end to Act 1, as J.R., in his apparent victory, decides he’s going to put the fate of Southfork in his son’s hands, and skips town (perhaps even the country) after graciously allowing TNT a little product placement in the form of Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones. By leaving so mysteriously, it’s almost as if J.R. were some kind of supernatural force, acting as a guide for John Ross until he found his way. Except, John Ross didn’t really find his way, his way sort of dropped right into his lap. Still, armed with his father’s power of attorney, John Ross is ready to claim the same birthright that J.R. had spent his whole life chasing, and has a heart-to-heart chat with his uncle Bobby just to lay down the new law on Southfork. With that, Dallas makes its first real attempt in putting this new generation at the forefront of the story. The only trouble is, as J.R. and his classic nastiness exit the picture, so, too, does any real intrigue the show may have.
In an attempt to make up for a distinct lack of J.R., Dallas introduces us to Harris Ryland (Mitch Pileggi), who is handling the oil coming out of Southfork, and also happens to have an intimate, and none too pleasant history with Ann (Brenda Strong). The meeting between the two is short, terse and possibly creepier than Tommy’s relationship with his sister, but reveals the lengths Ann might be willing to go, in order to save Southfork – which seems to include giving Mitch Pileggi an undisclosed amount of hugs.
Even with the ownership of Southfork changing hands, the most intriguing part of ‘Truth and Consequences’ – because this is a soap opera – is Christopher getting his hands on the little smut film Veronica/Marta (Leonor Varela) produced while John Ross was drugged out of his mind. This damning piece of evidence could serve to ensure justice for Southfork, but Christopher is first tempted to use it as a means by which he may win back Elena (a.k.a. the most uninteresting woman in Texas), or, at the very least, play spoiler in John Ross’ attempts to have a relationship with her. But after drunkenly appearing on Elena’s doorstep, Christopher’s good judgment wins out and he chooses to use the video as leverage to procure evidence of J.R.’s involvement in the fraud behind Southfork’s sale.
What Christopher doesn’t know is that if he were to release the video, John Ross and Veronica would become famous and end up with their own show on E! – choose wisely Christopher, choose wisely.
Dallas continues next week with ‘The Enemy of My Enemy’ @9pm on TNT.