Critique: Dallas Episode 193 — ‘Rock Bottom’

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“Dallas” fans will always remember Sue Ellen drinking with the bag lady and winos at the end of “Rock Bottom.” Like J.R.’s shooting and Bobby’s “death,” this is a scene that sticks with us for the right reasons. Step back and consider what happens here. A beautiful and wealthy woman, dressed in soiled designer clothing, […]

Critique: Dallas Episode 192 — ‘The Family Ewing’

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“The Family Ewing,” the first episode of “Dallas’s” ninth season, chronicles the immediate aftermath of Bobby’s death. Miss Ellie, sad but sturdy, tries to plan the funeral while holding her family together — a task complicated by J.R.’s anger, Sue Ellen’s drinking and lingering questions about why Bobby and Pam were together when he was […]

Critique: ‘Dallas’ Episode 191 — ‘Swan Song’

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“Swan Song” is a masterpiece. This is the best “Dallas” episode ever made because it dares to set aside so many of the show’s conventions — wheeling, dealing, double-crossing — to focus on what matters most: the characters and their relationships. Mostly, “Swan Song” tells the story of Bobby and Pam’s long-awaited reunion, which is […]

Critique: ‘Dallas’ Episode 190 — ‘Deliverance’

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“Deliverance” is the next-to-last episode from “Dallas’s” eighth season, but if you didn’t know better, you might think it was the finale. By the end of the hour, the year’s two major storylines are resolved: Cliff and Jamie’s lawsuit to claim two-thirds of Ewing Oil ends in humiliating defeat, while Jenna gets out of prison […]

Critique: ‘Dallas’ Episode 189 — ‘Deeds and Misdeeds’

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Sue Ellen’s scenes in “Deeds and Misdeeds” aren’t easy to watch. The previous episode ended with her taking her first drink in almost two years, and in this hour, she continues slipping back into her old habits. Sue Ellen leads everyone to believe her relapse was only temporary, yet she swipes a bottle of vodka […]

Critique: ‘Dallas’ Episode 188 — ‘The Ewing Connection’

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No matter how many times I see the “Dallas” characters come together during a medical crisis, it never seems to lose its dramatic punch. In “The Ewing Connection,” John Ross’s appendicitis produces one chills-inducing scene after another: Miss Ellie rushing upstairs after hearing the little boy screaming in pain, Ray bursting through the emergency room […]

Critique: ‘Dallas’ Episode 187 — ‘Terms of Estrangement’

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Jack Ewing is a bad boy who makes a good impression. “Terms of Estrangement” introduces the character, a long-lost cousin who comes to town offering to sell J.R. information that could undermine Cliff’s efforts to snag a piece of Ewing Oil. Is Jack telling the truth? Who knows, and who cares? The newcomer, played with […]

Critique: ‘Dallas’ Episode 186 — ‘Sentences’

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Do you hate to see the judge send Jenna Wade to prison in “Sentences”? I do. Not because I think it’s unfair to punish Priscilla Beaulieu Presley’s character for a crime she didn’t commit. No, I’m sorry to see Jenna go to jail because I know she’ll be free by the end of the season. […]

Critique: ‘Dallas’ Episode 185 — ‘The Verdict’

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Bobby Ewing fights to save Jenna in “The Verdict,” but the real man of the hour is Patrick Duffy. After an unusually long stretch of disappointing episodes, Duffy takes his 12th turn in the “Dallas” director’s chair and helps get the series back on track. His understanding of what the audience wants to see — […]

Critique: ‘Dallas’ Episode 184 — ‘Trial and Error’

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Jenna Wade has her day in court in “Trial and Error,” although I’m not sure why we should care. Now that Pam’s search for Mark Graison has come up empty, “Dallas” clearly is paving the way for her to reunite with Bobby. This episode is full of hints: J.R. tells Sly he’s worried “that Barnes […]


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