Review: Dallas TNT : S2 E5 Trial and Error

Trial and Error opens with Ann storming into Harris’ hospital room demanding to know why he would blame Bobby for shooting him when he knows full well she’s the one who did it. Harris gloats a bit, Judith threatens Ann, and Emma overhears the whole thing. As Ann is leaving the hospital, she drops her keys, looks down at her cowgirl boots and realizes there are blood smatterings on the them. She marches into the police station, slams the boots on the counter and says “I’m Ann Ewing and I shot Harris Ryland”. Emma asks her father why he lied to the police, he and Judith lie and say it was the coma and medication, he was confused.

Cliff is ripping into Pamela about her dealings with John Ross. He says she’s looking for love with only men who use her. Considering that Cliff is using his own daughter to bring down the Ewings, he shouldn’t be so surprised by this, what’s that saying, women look for men that are just like their fathers.  Pamela assures him that no more emotions will be getting in the way of the ultimate plan; which is as Cliff reminds her, Ewing Energies as a whole, not just the rights to the methane.

Lou shows up to tell Ann that they charges have been dropped for Bobby and she is being indicted. They are going to go with a “sudden passion defense” which will make Emma have to hear her side of the story.

The next scene some of us have already seen, JR and Cliff’s final conversation. JR is being very mod while checking out his tablet, sipping on coffee, when his phone rings. It’s Cliff, calling to clue him in that it was John Ross that snitched about his deal with Frank. JR looks fit to be tied. This will be the last time we see these life long adversaries speak.


I imagine this happens for several reason… A) it makes Ann going to trial seem more realistic, unlike other shows where the defendant is tried the next day. B) it allows for Pamela’s pregnancy to move along as now she’s showing. C) it gives some leeway in the JR story. Since we know Larry Hagman is leaving us in the next 2 weeks, this month of the audience being absent from the story affords the writers to surprise us later on by what JR was up to. The rest of the episode takes place at the court house as Ann’s trial kicks off. Judith testifies that early in the marriage, Ann was spending money, staying out late, and picking up men. Her son thought that a baby would tame her, but Ann wanted to get an abortion. After much protesting by Ann’s lawyer, the judge makes Judith step down.

Everyone is heading into the courthouse and Sue Ellen and John Ross catch up in the hallway as Chris and Elena head to the elevator. She remarks that they don’t seem to have a problem flaunting their relationship. John Ross tells her, “you should see them at Ewing Energies”. She tells him, “you have my full support.” How I love Mama Bear and Baby Cub scenes! Clyde calls John Ross to update him on the Drew situation (oh yeah I’d forgotten about that, its so boring). He tells him that Drew has made four runs in that big truck of his. Apparently theres a moral clause in Elena’s contract with Sue Ellen… if Drew is doing something shady, this would void the contract. Clyde breaks a taillight on the truck, causing the cops to pull Drew over. They look inside the truck and Drew is smuggling, handbags? shoes? That was disappointing… it couldn’t have been little Mexican children he was sneaking over the border? Too CSI? Ok so Elena gets the call and heads down to the police station where Drew swears up and down he had no idea what was in the truck.

Back at the court house, apparently Ann has asked Pamela to be a character witness… huh? I think the audience was just as befuddled as Christopher. Pamela assures Chris she will do right by Ann since she’s the only Ewing who never turned on her. She tells Christopher that she understands why Ann would do something like this and that if he keeps trying to vilify her, she’ll pack up the twins and Barnes Global and move to Bermuda. She steps outside and meets up with John Ross. She thanks him for going to her father about Frank (wait they haven’t talked in a month?). He tries to grab her hands with that puppy dog John Ross look, but she pulls away. He asks her to grab dinner and she refuses. She needs to protect their business arrangement, nothing personal. (Hmm is it me or did John Ross seem smitten with Pamela? Kinda makes the Elena/Chris revenge rant pointless now doesn’t it?)

JR, who is not in this episode nearly enough, is shooting daggers at John Ross when Sue Ellen marches up to him and tells him to “forgive your son, because that’s what father’s do.” She also tells him it was her that connected Cliff and John Ross. Again, is this scene JUST happening? It’s been a month, further evidence that I feel this time jump is all because of Larry’s sudden death. JR finds John Ross in the bathroom and we get a Bum sighting! Where’s he been! John Ross says he doesn’t need his forgiveness, “you don’t need my wrath either. We dinosaurs are known to bite.” As they’re hashing out this father/son moment, Clyde calls to tell John Ross about Drew’s arrest. JR and John Ross are back on the same team!

There is a lot going on at the courthouse today as Bobby and Christopher run into Vincente who is being escorted to his extradition hearing as a courtesy to the Venezuelan consulate. He makes sure to let them know he still has a score to settle (and as per next week’s preview, it appears he is the one who is taking Southfork hostage). Pamela testifies that Ann is a kind and caring woman and she believes the only way she would have taken a shot is if she was provoked.

Harris arrives, clad in a sweatsuit and oxygen tank, to testify against Ann. He weaves a web of what I’m sure are exaggerated truths about how Ann left Emma alone in the house to go out with friends. He would come home and find her hungry, dirty, and crying. He says he watched as Ann left her alone in her carriage at the State Fair. That’s when he took the opportunity to save his child from her mother. Ann takes the stand and Brenda Strong delivers a beautiful performance here. She explains that she grew up awkward, she was very tall and grew faster than the other kids, making her feel un-pretty. They didn’t have much and Harris came along. He made her feel beautiful, took her out to nice dinners, bought her nice things. They were madly in love and then his mother started to interfere. Judith put ideas in Harris’ head about Ann, saying she was a gold digger and seeing other men. Harris started controlling Ann the way his mother controlled him. He would tell her to change if he didn’t like her outfit, fix her hair is it displeased him. She was a mess and after giving birth to Emma was diagnosed with postpartum depression and put on medication. The night Harris says she left Emma alone, she had asked Judith to stay with the baby, while she sought legal counsel to get a divorce. Judith manipulated Harris into believing that Ann had left Emma all alone. He made her see a psychiatrist who put her on all kinds of medications. She had taken one too many pills the day of the State Fair, but she needed to get out of the house. She remembers feeling really hot and so she left Emma alone in her stroller for just a moment to go get a drink. She says it was only a couple of minutes, she turned around and Emma was gone. Her story was touching and I really felt for Ann… but couldn’t she have passed out due to heat exhaustion? Why wouldn’t she just take the stroller with her to the soda stand?

Christopher finds Emma outside and he urges her to tell her truth. This may be the only chance she has to get to know her mother. Later on the stand, when asked if she overheard Ann saying she shot Harris and wished he was dead at the hospital, she hesitates for quite a while before finally saying yes. This would have been her opportunity to express how cruel of a reaction her father had, instead she says she loves her father and he is a wonderful man. Emma says she wakes up everyday grateful that her father rescued her from her mother. She is clearly distraught and you get the feeling she doesn’t really believe what’s coming out of her mouth. However the death looks that grammy is giving her would be enough to scare anyone into a lie. Ann mouths “it’s okay” when Emma looks over at her mother.

For the first time I think in the entirety of Season 1 and 2, Christopher wasn’t the least bit annoying. There was no whining, no temper tantrums, no harassing of Pamela. In fact, the trial makes him realize what kind of pain his twins will go through if he and Pamela continue their fighting. He agrees to mediation and Pamela thinks that best. The babies kick and the two share a tender moment as she lets him feel her tummy. Chris tears up a bit, do I see a reunion on the horizon? No matter what John Ross feels for Pamela, she clearly still loves Christopher. Cliff congratulates Pamela for working Christopher… he is some kind of evil! Using his daughter and grandchildren to take down the Ewings.

The jury finds Ann guilty, Emma runs out of the courtroom, and Bobby assures her, “we’ll figure it out”.

JR and Sue Ellen were sitting together at the verdict reading! It’s the little things that make me happy. I feel badly for John Ross as it appears both the ladies in his life are all about Chrissypoo… though God only knows why, I’d take John Ross over that pansy in a heartbeat! Stellar performances from everyone this week, especially Emma Bell and Brenda Strong. Larry Hagman is always screen time gold and Josh Henderson kills it in every scene! Jesse Metcalfe did a good job of making me dislike Christopher a little less, sadly Elena is still a wet mop, which upsets me because I love Jordana Brewster. I say this every week, but please, spice her up!

Review by MimiC

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