Critique: ‘Dallas’ Episode 161 — ‘End Game’

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The “End Game” cliffhanger is still powerful, especially when you watch the entire episode. In scene after scene, we’re led to believe everyone is gunning for J.R., just like they were four years earlier. The momentum builds until the final moments, when an unseen figure steps off the Ewing Oil elevator, enters J.R.’s office and fires […]

Critique: ‘Dallas’ Episode 160 — ‘Hush, Hush, Sweet Jessie’

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What do I love about the final scene in “Hush, Hush, Sweet Jessie”? Oh, pretty much everything. The Ewings stand in the Southfork driveway, panicked because no one knows the whereabouts of Miss Ellie and Jessica, whose murderous past has finally come to light. Suddenly, Donna arrives in Ray’s pickup truck. She gets out, bloodied […]

Critique: ‘Dallas’ Episode 159 — ‘Love Stories’

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I don’t remember how I felt about Mark Graison’s death when I saw “Love Stories” as a kid, but I’ll be damned if it doesn’t move me now. John Beck’s character was never one of my favorites; his shameless pursuit of Pam while she was still married to Bobby was a turnoff during Mark’s earliest […]

Critique: ‘Dallas’ Episode 158 — ‘Turning Point’

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Am I the only one who feels sorry for Katherine Wentworth in “Turning Point”? At the beginning of the episode, she’s elated when Bobby invites her on a tour of the property he bought from her father’s old company. After plotting for more than a year to make Bobby her own, it’s the strongest sign […]

Critique: ‘Dallas’ Episode 157 — ‘Blow Up’

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“Dallas” delivers its share of camp over the years, but “Blow Up” manages to pack more silliness into a single episode than virtually any other. Donna runs around the Southfork patio, snapping Polaroids of the Ewings; Lucy gets stewed to the gills and airs the family’s dirty laundry at a poolside soiree; and Lady Jessica […]

Critique: ‘Dallas’ Episode 156 — ‘Strange Alliance’

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“Dallas” is at its best when J.R. is at his worst. In “Strange Alliance,” our hero schemes against virtually everyone: Sue Ellen, whom he wants to punish for cheating on him; Bobby, whom he wants to keep from reconciling with Pam; and Cliff, whom he wants to teach a lesson for having the nerve to […]

Critique: ‘Dallas’ Episode 155 — ‘The Unexpected’

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Lady Jessica Montford makes her memorable debut at the end of “The Unexpected,” sweeping into the Southfork living room on the arm of brother Clayton Farlow and introducing herself to her future in-laws as only she can. Jessica is brazen, asking which Ewing husbands “play around” on their wives, and a little baffling, gifting J.R. […]

Critique: ‘Dallas’ Episode 154 — ‘Fools Rush In’

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One reason Larry Hagman is so damn good is because he knows what the audience wants and how to give it to us. Take “Fools Rush In’s” most entertaining scene, when J.R. chews out Katherine for inadvertently making a Bobby/Pam reconciliation possible. It’s somewhat ridiculous to see a grown man so consumed with his brother’s love life, […]

Critique: ‘Dallas’ Episode 153 — ‘And the Winner Is …’

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Is Cliff Barnes the most lovable jackass in television history? I can think of no other character who manages to remain so endearing despite being such a jerk. Exhibit A: “And the Winner Is ….” In this episode, Cliff wins the auction for the government’s offshore oil leases, but only after J.R. has tricked him […]

Critique: ‘Dallas’ Episode 152 — ‘True Confessions’

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In “True Confessions,” Pam brings Christopher to Southfork to visit Miss Ellie, who bends down and greets the child with a hug and kiss. If I had watched this scene a few months ago, I probably wouldn’t have given it a second thought. Seeing it now, with Christopher’s recent death on the “Dallas” sequel series […]

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