‘Swan Song’: Making a ‘Dallas’ Classic

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Ask “Dallas” fans to name their favorite episode and many will say “Swan Song,” the 1985 segment in which Bobby dies heroically after saving Pam’s life. Although the death was later written off as a dream, the episode remains moving and memorable. To mark its 30th anniversary, I spoke to eight “Dallas” insiders who had […]

Dallas Scene of the Day: ‘Be a Family’

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In “Swan Song,” “Dallas’s” eighth-season finale, Bobby (Patrick Duffy) lies in a hospital bed, surrounded by Pam (Victoria Principal), Jenna (Priscilla Beaulieu Presley), J.R. (Larry Hagman), Miss Ellie (Donna Reed), Clayton (Howard Keel), Donna (Susan Howard) and Ray (Steve Kanaly). RAY: Bob. BOBBY: Hey, Ray. [Sees Ellie] Oh, Mama. I’m sorry. ELLIE: No. No, Bobby. BOBBY: All […]

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 […]

Dallas Scene of the Day: ‘This is No Gentleman’s Game’

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In “The Brothers Ewing,” an eighth-season “Dallas” episode, J.R. (Larry Hagman), Bobby (Patrick Duffy) and Ray (Steve Kanaly) stand in the Southfork living room. J.R.: Well, gentlemen, I don’t know what you two are thinking, but I figure we got a good chance of losing this lawsuit that’s coming up. RAY: It sure seems like […]

Critique: ‘Dallas’ Episode 181 — ‘The Brothers Ewing’

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In “The Brothers Ewing,” J.R., Bobby and Ray join forces to protect the family business from the increasingly dangerous Cliff Barnes. You’d think by now we’d all be used to seeing the Ewings unite against their enemies, and yet it never seems to lose its punch, does it? Consider how the events of this episode […]

Critique: ‘Dallas’ Episode 176 — ‘Lockup in Laredo’

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Jenna Wade goes to jail in “Lockup in Laredo,” which is cause for celebration as far as I’m concerned. This is when Stephen Elliott arrives as Scotty Demarest, the high-dollar super lawyer who defended Jock Ewing against murder charges during “Dallas’s” third season and returns here to do the same for Priscilla Beaulieu Presley’s character. […]

Dallas Scene of the Day: ‘Be Nice to the Little Orphan’

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In “Do You Take This Woman?,” an eighth-season “Dallas” episode, J.R. (Larry Hagman) is ranting in the Southfork living room, where Miss Ellie (Donna Reed), Clayton (Howard Keel), Bobby (Patrick Duffy), Sue Ellen (Linda Gray), Ray (Steve Kanaly) and Donna (Susan Howard) are gathered. J.R.: I knew it. I knew that girl was trouble the […]

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 […]

The Dallas Decoder Interview: Patrick Duffy

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Patrick Duffy is everything you would expect him to be: smart, thoughtful, funny and above all, kind. I was honored to interview him recently, and I’m excited to share our conversation with my fellow “Dallas” fans. It’s been eight months since “Dallas” was canceled. How’s life treating you? Well, it’s been more than a year […]

The Dal-List: 18 Reasons to Love ‘Dallas’s’ Eighth Season

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Dallas Decoder will soon begin critiquing the original show’s eighth season, which aired from 1984 to 1985. Here are 18 reasons to love it. 18. Whenever Pam throws shade. She does it a lot this season. 17. When Bobby stops wearing shades. Those things are as big as Southfork! 16. Dr. President David Palmer. Babe’s […]


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