On Bobby's side of the family, his adopted son, Chris Ewing, is going whole hog into the alternative energy bidness, specifically harvesting methane hydrates. That's ice that burns, as demonstrated — maybe with a chunk of some dry ice doused with Red Devil or Ronsonol or something — in the first episode.
Now, I know nothing about methane hydrates, but a friend of mine who does told me that the problems Chris and his experimental harvesting crew encountered — seaquakes in the China Sea, I think — are entirely plausible, since methane hydrates are extremely volatile and harvesting them would be fraught with explosive danger.
In the second episode, Southfork itself, the ranch, was the thing. Bobby abandoned plans to sell it to a nature conservancy, of all things. J.R., pretending to be a doddering old fool from his years in an “old folks home,” sent in his boy, the dastardly J.R., to grab the place so fast in a finely tuned hornswoggling of hornswogglers that it left me dizzy.
Will “Dallas” continue to engage the energy business and land-use issues, however faultily? Or will awl wells and hats and cows soon become no more than props for another nighttime horse opera? We'll find out. Here's hoping the writers at least try to keep the show and its already preposterous plots plugged into the real world.
And it's a shame the show isn't set in Oklahoma City, where the real action is in energy.