Blood and Oil Season 1 Episode 4 Review: The Birthday Party

at .  Updated at .

Happy Birthday Jules!

Jules is getting older, and she needs to make a decision about with whom she wants to be in bed.

On Blood and Oil Season 1 Episode 4, Wick stepped up to bat for Jules' affection, although he doesn't realize that he's in a competition at all, let alone that the other man in his lady's life is his own father. 

Cody: He's falling in love with you, and you're still hung up on the guy you told me about. The one you can't get out of your system.
Jules: And that's why I should learn to keep my mouth shut.
Cody: My advice? Light another birthday candle, and wish that guy out of your head, so you can move on with the one who's toasting you.

While many aspects of this show fall flat for me as the weeks go on, the only character whose story I remain completely invested in is Jules' because India de Beaufort is completely amazing in her role, standing out in a cast full of performances that never quite hit the mark, week after week. 

Jules is torn between two loves. One, that she knows is wrong, will lead her back down a road where she'll be crushed to pieces and ultimately lose herself (and then make a lot of money). 

The other is a road that will lead to happiness, but a happiness that will always remain her second choice. 

While Jules seems to have made a choice for now, once Wick's involvement in the murder and siphoning comes to light, I'm sure Jules will reevaluate that decision. Hell, Hap could send her roses and she'd rethink her decision. Hap is a powerful man who doesn't take no for an answer. 

You have everything, man. But that's not good enough for you, is it? I mean, no one else can have anything. No wonder you're despised by half this town.


Speaking of Hap, he's created every one of his enemies and potential downfalls; his bad deal with Clifton, his animosity with Billy, the rivalry he's created between Wick and Billy, his failing and confusing marriage with Carla, and now we know, Jules' wealth and power.

Should all of Hap's scorned decide to join forces, as Billy and Clifton already seem to have done, Hap could find himself completely screwed. 

The rivalry between Hap and Billy feels very manufactured. I understand Hap doesn't want a kid who got lucky to own land. That's fine in terms of that McCutching Ranch, but why is Hap continuing to focus so much energy on this kid? He could back off and just let Billy makes mistakes and fail naturally. Billy is naive and stupid as Hap has already seen.

So why does Hap seem so afraid of Billy acquiring any wealth? Is he honestly just that greedy? Something doesn't add up there.

Billy joining forces with Clifton makes perfect sense, though I'd rather see him team up with Wick and turn the tables on Hap. For now though, Billy seems to have found himself a good partner in Clifton, even though I get the feeling that Emma will soon turn her attention to Billy into affection and possibly throw a wrench into his partnership with the old man. 

This is the oil business. They don't hand out trophies just for playing the game. For every gusher there's a thousand dry holes. And for every me, there's a million you. That's the way it works.


The cracks are starting to show is the Lefever's marriage as Billy lets oil take over his life. He's not connecting to his wife, clearly. It seems almost certain that he and Emma will have some sort of affair, much as it appeared in Blood and Oil Season 1 Episode 3 that Cody had her eye on the new cook in town, Finn.

Billy's downward descent into obsession with oil and besting Hap Briggs is disappointing to me. I had hoped that watching him be seduced by oil would be more, I don't know, seductive? All we ever see Billy do is brood, talk about what he needs to do, make a deal, get screwed by Hap, and the cycle starts over. Hopefully this new partnership will make me root for Billy again. 

Someone I'm not rooting for at all is AJ, Hap's driver and Lacey's lover. Until the big Saudi Arabia announcement, I had no idea what he's spent the last two episodes doing. In fact, that entire "shocking" reveal scene felt like it should have been on a Spanish telenovela, complete with raised eyebrow camera close-ups and organ music playing a "Dah Dah Dum!" tune.

With all of the family drama occurring between the Briggs' already, I just can't bring myself to care about AJ, or see how his story can fit in. I think they could just as easily remove him, and tighten up the family stuff. Stop wasting screen time on this boring guy, or give me a reason to be invested in what he's doing. 

We're family.

Carla [to Wick]

Seeing Carla suddenly change her tune about Wick was sweet but I still can't figure out what to make of her. She sees everything, but shares nothing. What is she waiting for? What is her endgame? I'm even wondering if she knows about Hap and Jules. Her sudden interest in the bartender was a little out of character.

I grow to enjoy Sheriff Tip more and more every week. He's setting up a nice trap for Wick, one that he knows Wick will crawl into willingly because of his paranoia. I have no doubt that Wick will be his own undoing.

The fourth installment of Blood and Oil Season 1 was slightly better than last week, but I'm still not as enthusiastic as I once was. This oily soap needs to tighten up, because right now it's just a bit too slippery for my tastes.

Oil Spills: 

  • Can we all take a second to appreciate Gary's bitchin' belt buckle?
  • Emma Lundegren with a sick burn about that guy's penis! Take note, for the next time you find yourself being harassed by a drunk guy in a bar in oil country.
  • Is AJ a candle lighting ninja? It takes me forever to light one candle, let alone THAT many, and under pressure!
  • Did anyone else feel a little sexual tension between Carla and Wick when she said, "We're family"? That would just be weird. 
  • Why do all computer hacks look so easy on TV? When I can't remember a password, it never pulls up a black screen with all of those weird letter hieroglyphics. 
  • I don't get it...why was Billy dressed up when Cody got home? Seemed like an excuse to put Chace Crawford in a nice suit.

What's going on with Billy and Emma? Is Hap really going to let Jules go? When will Tip catch Wick slip up? Join in on the conversation, and hit up the comments below!

Don't miss a minute! You can watch Blood and Oil online right here at TV Fanatic, and don't forget to tune in to Blood and Oil Season 1 Episode 5, "Rocks and Hard Places," next Sunday at 9/8c on ABC!

The Birthday Party Review

Editor Rating: 3.5 / 5.0
  • 3.5 / 5.0
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
User Rating:

Rating: 3.1 / 5.0 (9 Votes)
Show Comments
Tags: ,

Blood and Oil Season 1 Episode 4 Quotes

I'm never gonna let you go again.

Hap [to Jules]

We're family.

Carla [to Wick]