Tread Perilously begins a month of primetime soaps with the 1980s classic Dallas and an episode called “Shadow Games.”
J.R. Ewing realizes a land deal his mother has been working on is being brokered by a shadowy bank. He is also trying to take control of Ewing Oil from Pamela, who’s gone to South America with guest star Marc Singer. And somehow, he finds the time to keep his cousin Jack out of trouble. Meanwhile, Sue Ellen plans a charity auction, Clayton Farlow’s worthiness comes into question and Donna Krebbs tells Miss Ellie an important secret. Back in South America, Pamela gets kidnapped. Also, Jenna Wade isn’t over Bobby Ewing.
Justin tries to avoid talking about Dallas by invoking Twin Peaks. Erik points out the show’s obsession with master-closeup-reverse. Both turn into budget-minded TV producers as they notice the cost-cutting methods of the show. Larry Hagman’s subdued performance surprises them both. The conspicuous consumption of the characters leads to a treatise on economics. Justin finds a shocking darkness within the soul of Miss Ellie. Both try to determine why Victoria Principal was mostly absent from the episode. Justin also decides retroactively declaring the season a dream was a good idea and Erik recalls Jock Ewing.