The Dal-List: 19 Reasons to Love ‘Dallas’s’ Ninth Season

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Dallas Decoder will soon begin critiquing the original show’s ninth season, which aired from 1985 to 1986. Here are 19 reasons to love it. 19. Mama returns. We never needed her more. 18. J.R. says goodbye. Does anyone do the single tear thing better than Larry Hagman? 17. Sue Ellen relapses. Linda Gray’s tour de force. […]

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 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 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 177 — ‘Winds of War’

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In “Winds of War,” J.R. insists he’s been faithful when Sue Ellen accuses him of cheating. He’s lying, of course, but why? Is he trying to spare his wife’s feelings, or is he trying to spare himself the embarrassment of another marital implosion? Does he want Sue Ellen to stay at Southfork because he fears […]

Dallas Scene of the Day: ‘Maybe We Ought to Work Together’

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In “Déjà Vu,” an eighth-season “Dallas” episode, J.R. (Larry Hagman) enters a seedy bar and sits at a table where Cliff (Ken Kercheval) awaits him. J.R.: Your making money hasn’t improved your spending habits. Where’d you find this dive? CLIFF: I didn’t want to pick anywhere we’d be noticed. J.R.: Well, you got the right […]

Critique: ‘Dallas’ Episode 174 — ‘Déjà Vu’

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What could be unholier than an alliance between J.R. Ewing and Cliff Barnes? In “Déjà Vu,” the sworn enemies agree to work together to keep Bobby and Pam apart. The scene where J.R. and Cliff meet in a dive bar and toast their partnership is one of the episode’s highlights, and not just because it’s […]

Critique: ‘Dallas’ Episode 173 — ‘Do You Take This Woman?’

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“Do You Take This Woman?” marks the moment “Dallas” turns into a Lifetime movie. The hour begins with Jenna Wade happily planning to marry Bobby, but by the time the closing credits roll, her daughter has been kidnapped and Jenna has been forced to leave her fiancé stranded at the altar. In the episodes that […]

Critique: ‘Dallas’ Episode 172 — ‘Barbecue Five’

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“Barbecue Five” ranks among “Dallas’s” best barbecue episodes because it delivers almost everything we expect from a Ewing hoedown. There’s a fight, a dunking in the Southfork swimming pool and a dramatic revelation, along with crowds of people dancing, drinking and sweltering under the Texas sun. The only thing missing is a scene of two characters […]


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