Lone Star, "Pilot": a new bright star shines

Quick Take: Lone Star, "Pilot" 
"Play any character you want. Never play yourself" - John Allen 

lone star

Review: Lone Star, "Pilot" 
(S0101) Like father, like son. So begins Lone Star as young Bob flees his home with his father (David Keith) as the police are at the door. The pilot then fast forwards 20 years with Bob (James Wolk) continuing the family trade. Beginning in Midland, Texas, Bob is living a humble, simple life with a beautiful girlfriend, Lindsay (Eloise Mumford). Bob leaves her to "work" in which he sells fake shares of nonexistent oil and gas leases. He calls Lindsay to tell her he has just pulled up to his hotel. Instead, he switches wallets and cell phones and walks into his Houston mansion to greet his wife Cat (Adrianne Palicki). After foregoing charity obligations for a night of passion, Bob and Cat meet her two brothers, Trammell (Mark Deklin) and Drew (Bryce Johnson), as well as the patriarch of the family, Clint Thatcher (Jon Voight).

Clint offers Bob a job in the family oil business, despite Trammell's objections. Bob cooly asks to "sleep on it" and then pulls into a rundown strip mall and enters a seedy office. His father awaits him. Bob tells him Clint has offered him a job. Clint congratulates him on being given the key to the safe. Bob says he wants to do this job right. His father reminds him he is no more a an oil and gas man than "that escalade is a real drilling rig" and that his wife is nothing more than a mark and a way to get into a multi-million dollar company to clean it out. 

Bob is a totally smooth scammer yet seems to have doubts of continuing the family business. We want to like Bob despite his cheating ways. In a hotel bar a beautiful woman joins him for a drink and invites her to her room. Bob tells her he is married and she replies, "Studies show couples are never nicer to one another then when one of them has something to hide." He goes to his own room alone, as even a guy living a double life has rules it seems. But even if Bob is planning on going straight, Trammell is already looking to undermine him despite being family. Apparently there was an Uncle Roy who also crossed the family and is no longer around to defend his honor. 

Despite Midland being played out, Bob returns to his girlfriend. There he mows the lawn, hosts a backyard barbecue where he becomes uncomfortable after Lindsay's parents express their gratitude for ensuring their retirement with his investments. He even defends Lindsay's honor by punching out her ex-boyfriend. What a guy! Not only does he do the dishes and take out the trash, but he even refuses to abandon Lindsay after his father warns him there is an investigation into his oil and gas lease deeds. In the middle of the night, a teary eyed Bob tells Lindsay he has to go to work and leaves in the middle of the night. 

Back in Houston, Bob appears to really be trying to be the person he had always scammed to be. Wins points with Drew as he reopens a wind farm project Drew had wanted to develop. Trammell is clearly studying Bob, but he has his father in law and his wife believing in him.

But just when we believe in him too, and he calls his father to tell him he is going to make everything right, we see he is in Vegas dressed in a tux and Lindsay is in a wedding gown. He is in love with his fake wife and his fake girlfriend who is about to be his other wife. 

The pilot had moments that felt like Dallas all over again. A tough old patriarch that established his millions by digging his first well with his own sweat. Whatever Clint says goes. But James Wolk is completely charming. Bob is a liar, a cheat, and a scammer yet we are going to root for him. And the writing keeps the story twisting. Both of his love interests are beautiful supportive women. So far they both are innocent victims under Bob's spell. Luckily for Bob there are over 500 miles between Midland and Houston. 

By cstet

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