Episode 3 blog - 'Real power is something you take'

After a close shave at his father's hands, John Ross joins forces with J.R. to seize control of Southfork - but will all go to plan?

Spoiler warning: This blog contains details of Episode 3 storylines

If John Ross only knew what we knew about J.R., we very much doubt that he'd be looking quite so relaxed while enjoying a professional shave in the barber's chair, especially with his not-so-proud papa grabbing the blade and using him to try out his own styling skills - all the while threatening a valuable lesson in what happens when you betray a Ewing.

Fortunately for John Ross, as the blade draws alarmingly close to his jugular, J.R.'s in a forgiving mood - or, at least, he's willing to rope his son into his plot to take over Southfork - and agrees to make up for lost time by teaching him the ins and outs of the oil business. He also has an inside tip on Lobell's weak spot: his son, for whom the lawyer paid off a witness to a fatal crash he caused while driving under the influence. (Oh, and fans of J.R.'s eyebrows, you'll be pleased to know they survive the visit to the barbers unscathed.)

With that settled, father and son head off for a round of introductions with John Ross's Venezuelan contacts - an opportunity for J.R. to make sure that, after buying Southfork under the Del Sol name, they're willing to sell it on to him for 14% of all profits received from the oil recovered from the wells. After some squabbling over numbers and an exchange of threats, the meeting ends with forced laughter, a reluctant handshake and J.R.'s warning for a by-now pill-popping Marta that she'd best end her gameplay. J.R.'s takeover of Southfork is a safe bet by now, surely?

Well, not quite. The tycoon is dealt another mild setback when Bobby, having undergone surgery and committed to a new cancer treatment, shows faith in his recovery by putting on hold the sale of the ranch. But, with an eager volunteer wanting only a rib-eye and a date in return, it isn't too much of an effort for J.R. to arrange a call from his 'physician' recommending his return to live among family, in the familiar surroundings of Southfork. And how can Bobby refuse? It's what the doctor ordered after all.

After returning home to find Bobby deep in conversation with Cliff Barnes (who sets his sights on funding nephew Christopher's research into alternative energy), J.R. clears his nostrils of 'the smell of brimstone and crazy', and sets in motion the rest of his plan: retrieving Miss Ellie's journal and passing it off to John Ross, in order for him to use its contents - including the fact that the Ewing matriarch was treated for mental illness - to blackmail Bobby back into the sale. Now all that's left to do is find $2m for Lobell (else that missing witness). Oh, wait, make that $5m!

Meanwhile, still recovering from the shock of Bobby's cancer diagnosis, Christopher continues his bid to prove himself a Ewing - and, after first getting caught in a clinch with Elena and then celebrating a breakthrough in his research into alternate energy, it looks as though he's well on his way. Back at home, Rebecca's umm-ing and ahh-ing over whether or not to give scheming brother Tommy remote access to Christopher's laptop, and it seems not even photo evidence of her husband kissing his ex is enough to completely make up her mind.

Still, any hopes of Rebecca playing happy families with Christopher are likely to be short-lived when John Ross meets with his private investigator, who might have failed to find anything on Lobell - the witness they need died 10 years ago - but has managed to identify the author of the e-mail that ended Elena's engagement. Rebecca, anything else you'd like to confess?

What did you think of Episode 3?

  • How will John Ross and J.R. get the upper hand over Lobell?
  • Can Bobby really bear to let go of Southfork?
  • And, with her secret under threat, how far will Rebecca be willing to go to keep the truth from Christopher?