Dallas Review: "The Price You Pay" (Episode 1.03)
It’s easy to understand why someone would have wanted to shoot J.R. during his prime. Hell, it might even be easier to understand why someone would do it now. He’s an old, conniving bald man with the most evil-looking eyebrows ever.
The third episode of this reboot opens with a rousing speech where J.R. mentions his “daddy” more times in a monologue than Bobby said “mama” in an entire episode. Clearly these children loved their parents (J.R. only enough to screw over his family to sell all of the oil, however). While he threatens his son in an overly fancy barbershop (seriously, that pool table in the middle doesn’t seem safe), he doesn’t actually slit John Ross’ throat. He just lets his son know that he can.
But in “The Price You Pay” it’s evident that good ol’ J.R. doesn’t like being screwed, and he lets everyone know about it. He’s even conned his way out of his care center and moved back to Southfork. Bobby, fresh from getting an almost complete clean bill of health, notes how fun it would be having a rattlesnake live in the house.
Of course there has to be a shadowy meeting someplace in a Dallas episode, and this one features J.R. and John Ross scheming. If the clichéd scene wasn’t enough it also features some real terrific advice: “Power isn’t earned. Real power is taken.” Cue the dramatic music.
Let’s take this time to discuss Jesse Metcalfe portraying a scientist for a moment. Maybe the John Tucker Must Die star might be able to stretch his acting chops, and I give him the benefit of the doubt. But is it just me, or does he still comes off as the stereotypical dumb jock instead of a college graduate—let alone a man who understands how to extract methane from the ocean floor?
Even so: he’s at least reasonably smart enough to know Uncle Cliff (who basically looks like a creepier J.R.) is trying to screw him over. I never knew a family to turn down so many million dollar offers via a stainless steel briefcase.
This episode boils down to a lot of backstabbing. After all, Bobby lets his son, and to some extent the viewers, know that backstabbing was encouraged in the Ewing family and we can expect it to happen scene after scene. It’s even revealed that Christopher’s innocent wifey might not be the picture-perfect girl she appears to be and may actually be a mastermind behind getting Southfork all for herself.
Gasp. Guess we’ll have to stay tuned to see how it all plays out.