Now the whole family has gathered around. Bobby is regaling them with how he and Gary reunited, though Jock is in the foreground looking a bit... I don't know the right word, but I'll wait and see what he says and does. Bobby is kind've exaggerating what really happened, but oh well. That's all part of good storytelling. Miss Ellie looks radiantly happy, and Lucy is all curled up under her father's arm. Sue Ellen looks... looks like Sue Ellen, heh, as she makes a polite inquiry about Gary keeping up with his writing. Gary tells her that Lucy told him that Sue Ellen is the best writer in the county. Jock decides he's had enough and announces he wants to "clear the air in this room." Ellie tells him no, but Jock can't stand any more of this. Bobby points out you can't clear 16 years worth of air (oh hey, Gary was gone for 16 years! Just like Alexis!), but Jock disagrees. He even invites someone to punch him in the mouth. ^^ JR, reminding me very much of Pete Campbell from "Mad Men" in this moment, says he agrees with Jock on principal, and would like to get the ball rolling. And JR gives the most bullcrap speech about how grateful he is for Gary being so forgiving, blah blah blah. "Its alright, JR," says Gary. "You hear that? He was always the kindest of us all." Oh JR... Let me shake my head at you. JR shakes Gary's hand and welcomes him back. Well! JR sure was in a hurry to establish himself as an innocent party here. I wonder if it will last. Well, its bedtime now, and oh, is Gary in that one house that was built for him? The way he's looking around suggests it... or maybe not. The fridge is fully stocked, he must still be in the main house. Hah, he gets out a carton of milk and drinks from it. I always thought that was a disgusting thing to do. Bobby catches him in the act. They split the milk, and reminisce. Gary notes how Bobby is all grown up. Bobby says Gary never made him feel like a little brother. Gary says Bobby (and Ellie) was the only one who took him seriously. Miss Ellie joins them and smiles adoringly. She too has old memories. Bobby goes back to bed. MIss Ellie asks her favorite son if she can get him anything. Then she tells him how much she missed him. He smiles and says he's glad he came back for a visit. "Not a visit, son." Uh oh, I sense drama... Miss Ellie pulls Gary into a suffocating hug and says its a miracle he's back, and she'll be grateful for it, "Till the day I die" she adds in almost creepy sort of way. And going by the look on Gary's face... yeah, he's not gonna stay. Its the next day, and we're gonna get a one-on-one scene with Gary and Lucy. Wonder how this'll work out. Wow, Lucy looks like she's dressed like Dorothy Gale, only minus the blue. Ooooh, she wants him to meet her mother! That's gotta be it! Ooooooooh... Yep, they're goin'. Uh oh, is Val not there anymore... oh no wait, there she is. Lucy and Gary go up to the counter, and Lucy goes, "Mama?" Val turns around and looks pleasantly surprised. At first she doesn't notice Gary. Then she does. A lot of silence, a lot of soft background music, a lot of looking, Gary says, "Hello, Val", and Lucy says of her father, "He's still pretty!" No he's not, Lucy, but he's your dad, so I'll let you think that. Val looks like she's caught between crying and smiling and can't decide which one to do. Ooh, great shot of Southfork with a pack of horses (or is it "herd"?) running across it. Pam's received an early morning phone call. I think it was from her aunt, but her father's in the hospital. "How bad?" asks Bobby. Pam is silent for a moment before saying, "Same as usual, I guess." Oh. ^^ So this has happened before? Bobby wants to go with Pam, but she points out his presence will only make Digger worse. So Pam goes alone. Back at the diner... Val's rather flustered and clumsy as she picks up dishes to be served. Lucy playfully notes to her father that that must be a sign she still cares. Gary says she's just nervous. Lucy explains how she found her mother - or rather, how her mother found her. Val just started hanging around the school when it was out, and Lucy somehow felt that the mysterious woman was there to see her. "Daddy, is Mama gonna come back to the ranch with us?" Oh Lucy, what a little girl thing to say. Gary doesn't seem so hopeful. And over at the counter, Val spills something on a customer. Her boss tells her to go sit down, he'll cover for her. So she goes over and sits with her (ex?) husband and daughter. Lucy excuses herself, leaving them all alone. They talk for a bit. Gary says he's amazed by how things are on the ranch. He also says Val looks terrific. She calls him a liar, but he says he's not. He also tells her that Lucy wants her to come back to the ranch with them. Val immediately says no. Gary says it would mean a lot to Lucy. "Yeah, and to JR," Val says bitterly. But Gary says he thinks JR has changed. Plus Jock and Ellie keep him in line. Val admits that Lucy's told her that last part. Gary tries to coax her. Val again says no. Gary talks more about how things have changed. Val says she doen't know. Uh oh, she's weakening... Lucy comes back, and asks her mother if she's coming back to the Ranch with them. Adding in a desperate, "Please?!" she even turns to "Daddy!" for help. I'm very much reminded of when Mathew Blaisdel convinced his waitress wife Claudia to come home with him and Lindsay. Only while Lucy eagerly wanted her mother back, Lindsay was uncharismatically crybabyish. "Its settled," says Gary. He wants to call ahead and let the house know they're coming. "Can we make it a surprise?!" gushes Lucy. "CALL, Gary," says Val. Smart woman. Oh gosh, this is gonna be good... The rest of the family looks like they're about to lunch out on the patio. Miss Ellie asks Sue Ellen where Gary and Lucy are. Sue Ellen first offers her coffee, then tells her they took the truck and left a couple hours ago. She says it in a tone of voice like she barely cares where they are. Jock figures Gary went to see his old hangouts, and Ellie relaxes. Jock then asks Bobby where Pam is. He tells him Digger's in the alcoholic ward. "Same old Digger Barnes," Jock huffs. WHOA. Bobby just *tears* into Jock (verbally, that is) about how Digger was brave enough to come to the barbecue and bury the hatchet and left alcoholic and broken "because of you." Um, no, Bobby. Digger left that way all on his own. He got himself alcoholic. That's not Jock's fault. Bobby goes on about how Digger won't speak to Pam, but Jock barks, "THAT'S ENOUGH!" All goes silent. Sue Ellen pours Bobby some coffee, and after he walks off, she goes over to kiss up to Jock. "I don't see why Bobby has to be so hostile." Jock, however, proves himself to be classier than Sue Ellen by pointing out Bobby has a right to defend his wife from his family. "Even from me. ...As long as he's got the guts." Sue Ellen doesn't look pleased, although JR looks over with the stupidest grin on his face. Was that a blooper that was kept in just because? Aha, Miss Ellie's back from taking Gary's phone call. She announces to the family that Gary and Lucy are with "Lucy's Mama." JR is the first to react: "What?" Sue Ellen wonders how they ever found her, and Miss Ellie explains Lucy's been seeing her. JR says he's going to put a stop to that, but Miss Ellie says no. They're bringing Val to the ranch. JR says he told Val never to set her foot in Texas again. Bobby asks JR to forget the past. "Never means never, Bobby," says JR, irritated. Ellie says she told them to bring Val. She wants her family back together again. Jock says he saw last night Gary with strong level head on his shoulders. If he thinks its okay for Val (I notice they never mention her by name) to come to Southfork, then its okay. Miss Ellie smiles. Sue Ellen, with barely concealed venom, says she thought this was supposed to be a visit. Somebody slap her. Miss Ellie proudly and happily says her son is back for good. JR says Val is nothing but a tramp. Similar to what he said Pam was, only he said "trash", and he was alcoholic at the time. And later on caused her miscarriage. Plus JR has repeatedly cheated on his wife. So he's the tramp. And the trash. So there. X) JR goes in when he realizes he's been out-voted (though Sue Ellen never technically said anything for either side). Now he's on the phone. Oh, he's making arrangements for Gary to end up running a "loser company." Sue Ellen asks JR what he's going to do about Gary. JR says he's going to be his brother's keeper, and laughs. And that, ladies and gentlemen, was the premiere episode of season 2! I found this premiere much more impressive than last season's. And I was surprised that this episode wasn't episodic like last season was. So far I like Val, I think she's a good addition. I'm mixed on Gary, though. I honestly thought he was going to turn out to be a fraud, but nope, I was wrong. Its the real deal. ^^ I wonder how long he's going to stick around, though, because while I've heard the names of all the other characters thrown around a lot, I don't really recall Gary's. So I can only assume he leaves after a while. Unless I'm wrong, again? I both hate and love Sue Ellen. I want somebody to slap her a few dozen times, but I'd also like for her to be happy. JR's a douche, though. Through and through. I would have disowned him long ago. But he is shaping up to be an interesting villain. I think the most boring and useless character out of all of this is Ray. Why is he here again? Does he ever become interesting? Does he go away and never come back? Pam's still probably my favorite. X) Lucy's still a brat, but she's got her good points. I hope she ends up maturing, without losing her charm. Not like what they did with Fallon in season 4. Bleah. And so... yeah. That's all I got, folks. Until next time!