Episode 7: Collateral Damage
By: Carlos Uribe
Dallas is a show about the wealthy, powerful, and scandalous Ewing family. It's a continuation of the 1978-1991 CBS series of the same name.
The previews for this episode hinted that a character was going to die and that a Ewing was going to get arrested. Who died? Who got arrested? The sad news is that neither Christopher nor John Ross died. I noted previously how the characters from the old show didn't really get introductions. The series acts as if the viewer has already been introduced to them. They have been developed prior to the series and as this remake has moved along, they have become the only characters who I really enjoy. This two young kids are generally too smug and annoying to be likeable. There's nothing I want more than to see John Ross' smug smile be wiped off his face. While Christopher isn't as smug as his cousin, he comes pretty close. In essence, these are two characters who I don't really care for. They're currently involved in a love triangle, but I don't find myself cheering for either team simply because they're both dull and smug. The good news is that John Ross did get arrested at the end of the episode because the police suspect him of the murder. He didn't actually do it, but it sure adds to his list of problems. A list of problems that simply don't keep improving.
J.R. remains in Las Vegas, continuing to let his son deal with the Southfork situation. A situation that John Ross is trying to solve, but he doesn't seem to come any closer to getting the mineral rights. He tried to go to his uncle through his aunt, but that tactic failed. He also can't seem to get any movement in the legal front. This situation is causing the drug lords to get even more annoyed with him. He tries to kill two birds with one stone by buying time with the drug lords by giving them information. He reveals to them that Marta cheated them money and that he wants her gone. The drug lords decide this information is solid and agree to give John Ross a week and to deal with the Marta situation. Marta ends up dead, the series hinting that it was the Venezuelans. I wouldn't be surprised if there's some other person who is responsible for Marta's death. Since John Ross was seen fleeing the crime scene, he's immediately arrested for her murder. If that's all the evidence that the Dallas court needs, then their standards are very low.
There is another Ewing who got arrested this episode and that was Bobby. He had punched Ryland, and now that man is pressing charges. He's willing to drop them if Bobby apologizes. Realizing that his wife doesn't need a trial, Bobby apologizes and is rewarded with an envelope that contains his wife's secret. He burns this envelope before opening it, because he loves and trusts his wife. The viewer doesn't have to wait to find out what the secret is: his wife had a baby when she was younger! She either gave it up or was responsible for it's death. This is an interesting development that makes Bobby's wife more interesting and the series did it in a way that revealed part of the secret, but left the whole story to another episode. It'll be great drama to see how this secret will not only come out, but affect the relationship between Bobby and his wife. That relationship seems to be solid for now, but is the secret big enough to shake the foundation?
While this is all going on, Christopher finds out that he's going to be a father. He doesn't believe Rebecca at first, thinking that it might be some ploy. While fake pregnancies aren't rare in television, it's odd how Christopher quickly jumped to that conclusion. It almost seems meta, a comment on how this show is ultimately a soap opera. He's forced to eventually recognize that Rebecca is being honest after getting a paternity test. He also finds out that he's not having one baby, but twins. I somehow called this twist. I also had called Marta's death, simply because she was the most logical choice for the writer to kill off. She was the most expendable and the most unhinged character currently on the show. It makes sense that she would die.
This was a pretty good episode of Dallas. It wasn't that great, but it was entertaining enough. While I'm sure that John Ross needs to be questioned for fleeing a crime scene, I still don't think that the cops have enough to actually arrest him. That made the plot feel a bit less realistic. While I thought the love interest was interesting a couple episodes back, I'm getting tired of it by now. The characters don't have enough sexual chemistry to pull it off, and neither character is likeable enough for me to root for. This is ultimately a series that continues to work thanks to the more mature characters and a good plot-but the new characters ultimately hold it back.