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 […]

Critique: TNT’s Dallas Episode 40 — ‘Brave New World’

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Throughout “Dallas’s” third season, John Ross strives to honor J.R. without becoming him. He wears Daddy’s wristwatch and belt buckle and embarks on one ambitious scheme after another, hoping to emulate J.R.’s business successes without repeating his personal failures. Nothing goes according to plan, of course, and by the end of the season’s final hour, “Brave […]

Critique: TNT’s Dallas Episode 39 — ‘Endgame’

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In “Endgame,” does John Ross go to Mexico to save his company or his mistress? He later tells Emma his rescue mission was strictly business, but I’m not convinced. John Ross seems to genuinely care for her, which makes his decision to take her place as Luis’s hostage seem surprisingly selfless. It brings to mind […]

Critique: TNT’s Dallas Episode 38 — ‘Boxed In’

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No one who watches “Boxed In” will forget the scene where Ann, Harris and Judith are overcome with grief after hearing Luis fire the gun he’s been holding at Emma’s head. It’s the most harrowing moment I’ve witnessed on television since last year, when Walter White abducted his infant daughter while his wife kicked and screamed […]

Critique: TNT’s Dallas Episode 37 — ‘Victims of Love’

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“Victims of Love” puts the emphasis on corporate wheeling and dealing, but look past all the chatter about IPOs and SECs and you’ll see this is really an episode about the characters and their daddy issues. Pamela punishes Cliff by leaving him in prison, John Ross loses control of the family business by repeating one […]

Critique: TNT’s Dallas Episode 36 — ‘Hurt’

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Bobby Ewing is the steward of Southfork, but Patrick Duffy is the steward of Bobby Ewing. In “Hurt,” Duffy steps behind the camera and directs his first “Dallas” episode in more than two decades, demonstrating how well he knows both his character and the mythology that defines this franchise. This is an hour rooted in […]

Critique: TNT’s Dallas Episode 35 — ‘Dead Reckoning’

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“Dead Reckoning” is another episode about loss and how the “Dallas” characters cope with it. In this one, John Ross suffers the demise of his marriage to Pamela and his dream of “becoming” J.R., while Christopher bids farewell to his latest love and the Ramoses mourn Drew’s death. This is the TNT series’ strongest hour […]

Critique: TNT’s Dallas Episode 34 — ‘Denial, Anger, Acceptance’

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By “Dallas” standards, “Denial, Anger, Acceptance” is a relatively low-key episode. It includes an action sequence at the top of the hour, when Bobby and Christopher rescue Sue Ellen and Bo from the Southfork fire, as well as a trademark fake-out and unexpected death in the final scene. Mostly, though, the characters bide their time […]

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