Episode 4 blog - 'It's time for me to claim my birthright'

As Bobby and Ann prepare for a family barbecue to farewell Southfork, J.R sets into motion the final stages of his plans to claim Southfork as his own.

Spoiler warning: This blog contains details of Episode 4 storylines

As Bobby and Ann pack up the worldly possessions and prepare for a good ol' Ewing family barbecue to farewell Southfork, John Ross and J.R. put their heads together to come up with a plan to rid themselves of the final obstacle standing in their way of claiming ownership - the high price of Mitch Lobell's silence.

With a private investigator digging up the fact that the lawyer's son - a recovering drug addict - has two felonies to his name, J.R. realises they only need push him into committing a third to cook up some leverage, and so he calls on John Ross to check his little black book for someone willing to indulge their target's so-called 'weakness for pretty ladies'.

After last week's bombshell about the author of the e-mail sent to Elena on her wedding day, there can be only one choice - Rebecca, particularly given that Marta seems to have become 'a little clingy'. One blackmail threat later and Rebecca, through adamant she didn't send said e-mail, is on her way to an addicts anonymous meeting ready to claim a one-to-one chat with Lobell's son, the session leader - only to get cold feet when he opens up to her about his family.

Meanwhile, J.R.'s PI is busy pulling up dirt on his own son, and has realised that Marta - otherwise known as Veronica Martinez - hasn't been entirely upfront with him: she has bipolar disorder, and has twice before been arrested for stalking ex-boyfriends. She may not take too kindly to the fact that John Ross only has eyes for Elena, eh, J.R.?

Blissfully unaware of his dad's manipulation, John Ross takes a break from propping up the bar to accept an offer from Elena, who finds herself in need of a charmer capable of convincing local land owner Mrs Henderson to allow drilling for oil on her property. His efforts pay off when, having cracked out his best one-liners, he and Elena get what they want - and, while looking rather cosy celebrating, provide a perfect photo opportunity for J.R.'s spy.

Having promised to succeed where Rebecca failed, Marta/Veronica is understandably rattled when, having thought she'd ironed out John Ross's time-keeping problems by buying him a watch, she awaits their date only for J.R. instead to turn up on her doorstep - bearing photos of his son with Elena, and news that the couple has partnered up for Bobby and Ann's last hurrah at Southfork. Still, her efforts with Lobell's son aren't entirely wasted: grabbing the incriminating photos, J.R. offers her a new deal, before rushing over to the lawyer demanding he cease his demands for more money and draws up a new deal for Southfork, cutting out John Ross completely. That just leaves Sue Ellen's friendship with Cliff Barnes to unpick, then.

Meanwhile, as Tommy amps up his plan to get hold of Christopher's patent, Rebecca is on tenterhooks over her failure to deliver for John Ross; her guilt would only be compounded if she knew that her dearly beloved had also just decided to commit to their marriage by cutting all ties with Elena. With Ewings old and new gathering at Southfork for Bobby and Ann's farewell party, there's a growing audience for any revelations John Ross is willing to divulge. Cracking under the pressure, Rebecca pulls Christopher aside to confess all...