Episode 2 blog - 'He's a chip off the old block'

J.R. returns to the cut-throat world of business as he saddles up for battle against an unsuspecting Bobby, not reckoning on his own son's plans to get ahead.

Episode 2 blog - 'He's a chip off the old block'

Spoiler warning: This blog contains details of Episode 2 storylines

There's nothing like the sweet smell of, err, crude oil to lift J.R.'s spirits, and this week he's back to the cut-throat world of business as he saddles up for battle against an unsuspecting Bobby. Little does he realise that John Ross is one step ahead, and Marta's briefed to do everything she can to keep him away from dad Carlos, who heads up the Del Sol Conservancy.

Half-way between Texas and Tahiti, Christopher and Rebecca's honeymoon is off to a shaky start, with the sale of Southfork weighing heavy on their minds. As back at the ranch Bobby swears Ann to secrecy over his impending surgery, Rebecca successfully convinces Christopher to return home and renew his efforts to halt the sale. But it seems she could have an ulterior motive...and, though she seems quite happy to accept Ann's gesture, it has nothing to do with getting her hands on the Ewings' book of family recipes.

Meanwhile, Mitch Lobell, Bobby's lawyer of 30 years, has decided to put his loyalty on the market, having accepted $500,000 in return for helping John Ross with his plan to outfox both Bobby and J.R. Although, with two billion barrels' worth of oil hidden under Southfork, that sum is starting to look like small fry - and a bill of $2 million, along with a hearty dose of blackmail, now seems to him a more fitting fee.

By the time of the Cattle Baron's Ball, J. R. has broken free his care home, picked out his best stetson and belt buckle, and polished off his walker ready to charm, dupe and threaten his way back in to the fold: for Bobby and Ann, a dose of sentimentality does the trick; for Sue Ellen, a well-earned compliment; and for Mitch Lobell, a demand for a rush on the Southfork paperwork, else risk taking a hit below the belt.

John Ross, on the other hand, is busy trying to scrape together some money to keep Lobell sweet, and - given that his relationship in Elena is in tatters over the e-mail that effectively ended her engagement with Christopher - he has no qualms about turning to Martha, nor passing up an opportunity to mix business with pleasure. She in turn fails to resist the opportunity to spike his drink and record their steamy encounter, which will no doubt make for some handy blackmail later.

As we head towards the end of the second episode, the bribes, money and tensions are flowing freely: Sue Ellen hands over a hefty chunk of cash to fund the purchases of old oil leases for Elena, who agrees to lend her expertise to Christopher's hunt for a safer way to harness alternative energy; and, tired of his lawyer having the upper hand, John Ross turns to a private investigator in the hope of digging for dirt on Lobell - not to mention finding out the author of that much debated e-mail.

Elsewhere, having made it as far as the ball, J.R. decides to venture a little further afield for his next outing, jetting off to Mexico for a face-to-face meeting with Carlos Del Sol - who, while glad to catch up with an old friend, denies all knowledge of the Southfork deal. Carlos is happy to have his daughter come in to explain, but this Marta doesn't look quite the same as the one good ol' J.R. has come to know...

Now it's over to you: what did you think of tonight's episode? Can John Ross really beat J.R. at his own game?