Lone Star Episodes

2010, TV Show

Lone Star Episode: "Pilot"

Season 1, Episode 1
Episode Synopsis: The series premiere introduces Bob Allen (James Wolk), a second-generation con man who wants to leave the family business and go straight while keeping his two identities---and two relationships---intact.
Original Air Date: Sep 20, 2010

Lone Star Episode Recap: "Pilot" Season 1, Episode 1

"You're a con man son; and you're better at it than anybody I have ever met." This line is uttered from father to son in an effort, I think, to help suspend the disbelief that one man can successfully and happily maintain two lives with two women in two different cities. In the season premiere of Fox's new Texas drama, we'll meet both beautiful ladies (Houston-based Cat and Midland-based Lindsay), see the mess our con man, Robert/Bob, has created for himself and oddly, not want to smack him with a cattle prod by the end of the hour.

Couple of things first: 1) I hail from Houston, born and bred, so I'm biased and want this show to succeed. 2) I've recently, albeit belatedly, jumped on the Friday Night Lights bandwagon (good God, is that show amazing!!), so I love Cat (Adrianne Palicki, whose Cat is from a different side of the tracks than her FNL character) and have an immediate soft spot for Robert (relative newcomer James Wolk) because he looks like what I imagine the younger brother of FNL's Coach Taylor would look (j'adore me some Coach T).

OK, enough FNL swooning, y'all are here for Lone Star drama! We open on a young Robert/Bobby frantically packing his things as his dad (skillfully portrayed by David Keith) tries to prevent someone from breaking down their apartment door. Amidst the frenzy, Dad reminds Robert that he's got to "keep [his] life in the case, not in the closet." Clearly they've had to cut and run many, many times.

Flash forward 20 years and we open on Midland, Texas, with a grown-up Robert attempting to pack a suitcase while being completely distracted by his beautiful blonde, towel-clad girlfriend, Lindsay. Their wistful kisses are the very picture of domestic bliss.

Robert then hits the road, going door-to-door successfully selling oil leases. Clearly Robert is a skilled salesman, knowing and dressing for his audience and keeping a trustworthy smile plastered on his face. His trip brings him to Houston and as he phones Lindsay to tell her he's at his hotel, he switches out his cell phone and wallet for identical versions. He waltzes into this "hotel," which is his Houston-based home.  Cat, his gorgeous brunette wife greets him with a smattering of kisses and if any of us have missed the previews showcasing his double life, we're all in on the action now!

After Bob (as he's known in Houston) and Cat have a roll in the hay, they're summoned to brunch by Cat's Daddy Warbucks, Clint Thatcher (played jovially by Jon Voight). Brunch begins with Cat's two brothers Tramm (a Ken doll clone a--hole) and Drew (family f----up) bickering over Drew's latest screwball idea. Bob and Cat make an effort to support Drew, but then Clint shows up, commanding attention. (Oh y'all, I loved Clint's outfit — I can honestly picture my dad in this role!)

Clint's verbal rant identifies him as a self-made man: "If you want to make something that lasts, you gotta make it with your own two hands." Clint, who respects Bob's on the road, in-the-trenches approach, lauds him with praise and shocks him with a job offer, the opportunity of a lifetime, at his beleaguered oil giant company.

A reeling Bob heads over to an abandoned strip mall to share the news with his dad, who could not be more thrilled that they've conned their way into a multi-million dollar company. But Bob is excited for another reason: He wants to take the job for real, not just run a con.  Dad won't hear of it and we see Bob's smiling exterior start to crack when he asks, "What about Cat?" Dad harshly reminds him, "I am your family... I'm the one who loves you for who you are, not who you pretend to be." Cat's just the mark; she was the way into the money. But it seems Bobby Boy feels a little differently about that.

Dad and Bob go on the road as a team, selling (swindling!) a good ol' boy out of thousands of dollars at a cleverly faked oil site. Bob retires to his hotel, where he's forced to wait in the lobby while his room is readied. An attractive woman approaches and propositions him. It looks like he's going to sleep with her — I mean, why be faithful to two women when you aren't being faithful to one — but he doesn't. Bizarrely, Bob wins points for not cheating even though he's a two-timer. What?!

Back in Midland, Bob and Lindsay host a cheery neighborhood BBQ party. Bob's smiling façade crumbles again when Lindsay's parents effusively thank him for the investments he's gotten them involved in. (Really, Bob? You've got your honey's parents involved in your scheme?) They lay it on thick and Bob's intense reaction makes me wonder if this is the first time he's had a crisis of conscience?

After the party, Bob goes to his car and gets the shock of his life because not only is his dad outside, but their cover is blown and everyone in Midland is going to find out they've been duped. Dad urges, even pleads, with him to leave. "This is a house of cards... you don't get to live in it." But Bob's in too deep and can't walk out on Lindsay. Oh wait, yes he can, as we see him slip out all teary-eyed before dawn. We assume he's done with Lindsay when he angrily tosses his "Lindsay" wallet and cell phone in the trash.

We're back in Houston as Clint walks Bob around the glitzy office on his first day of work. Bob pours over stacks of documents and unearths a Wind Farm deal that Drew had flagged. Bob's brain starts cooking up a new scheme that maybe, just maybe, could get him out of his Midland mess. Bob, knowing people as he does, understands that no one's ever taken Drew seriously — he knows he'll have an ally in Drew if Drew feels like someone believes in him — so Bob tells him they're going to invest in his Wind Farm idea. Drew is floored, and we have to assume it's the first time anyone in the family has actually taken him seriously.

Bob meets his dad in a diner and tells him he's going to give this a shot — he's going to do the job for real and not fake it anymore. Dad reminds him: "You can play any character you want; never play yourself. That's what lets you walk away." But Bob's tired of pretending; he wants to be himself and create something real that lasts.

Our next shot is at a swanky party where Tramm confronts Bob. Tramm checked up on him — apparently Bob's never been in the high-class hotel he's claimed to stay in for the past year. Bob, always on his toes, explains that he's been saving money by staying in motels — he knows how much appearance means to the Thatchers so he never told them. Damn, Tramm, you look like such a snot! Clint hears this and is even more impressed with Bob; however, he also makes it clear that no one, not even family, gets away with conning him (my oh my, what did he do to his dear brother, Roy, who's six feet under?).

On the heels of this great opportunity/threat, Bob has a semi-panic attack, but it's Cat to the rescue as the strong, supportive wife who believes in him. She pumps him up: "You make your own luck, Bob... that's why I married you." Ah ha, so she likes that he's a self-made man and not someone riding on the family money coattails. Oh Cat, if you only knew!

We next see a montage of shots showing blueprints near Midland — Bob's going to buy that land for Drew's Wind Farm. This solves his Midland investment problem because he'll be legitimized as the landowner when Lindsay's parents (and many others) look into their investments. "So you're going to steal from your real job to pay back the debt from your imaginary one?!" says Dad as Bob tells him about this solution. Bob, on the phone, is in yet another hotel room looking dapper in a tux. Lindsay surprises us by walking out in a wedding gown, admonishing him for seeing the bride before the wedding, to which he replies, "I make my own luck." Oh, Bob, I hope you do because you're going to need it if you're quoting one wife to the other!

So what did y'all think? I am very interested to see how this goes and how long Robert/Bob can juggle his worlds. Not going to lie, I got a little annoyed at the smile plastered on Bob's face, but he is awfully charming and I think I can get past that. Bob kept talking about wanting something real — do you think either of his relationships are real? As much as I don't want to buy the whole "he can love two women at once" thing, he's kind of selling me already. Also, did anyone else notice they had three Mumford & Sons songs?  Amazing!

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"You're a con man son; and you're better at it than anybody I have ever met." This line is uttered from father to son in an effort, I think, to help suspend the disbelief that one man can successfully and happily maintain two lives with two women in two different cities. In the season premiere of Fox's new Texas drama, we'll meet both beautiful ladies (Houston-based Cat and Midland-based Lindsay), see the mess our con man, Robert/Bob, has created for himself and oddly, not want to smack him with a cattle prod by the end of the hour.
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Premiered: September 20, 2010, on FOX
Rating: None
User Rating: (111 ratings)
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Premise: Drama centered on a second-generation con man who's trying to go straight while still juggling two identities---and two women, in different parts of Texas.

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