‘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 […]

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 165 — ‘Jamie’

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Jamie Ewing arrives and Katherine Wentworth departs in “Jamie.” Is this a fair trade? I’ll reserve judgment on Jamie’s end of the exchange until I’ve revisited more episodes that feature her character, but there’s no doubt in my mind Katherine is leaving at the right moment. A little camp goes a long way on “Dallas,” and […]

Critique: ‘Dallas’ Episode 164 — ‘If at First You Don’t Succeed’

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The final scene in “If at First You Don’t Succeed” is another example of how music helps tell the stories on “Dallas.” As Bobby sleeps in his hospital bed, Katherine enters the room, fills a syringe with poison and prepares to inject him. This is supposed to be the moment the audience realizes Katherine fired […]

Critique: ‘Dallas’ Episode 162 — ‘Killer a Large’

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“Dallas’s” seventh season winds down with half the cast once again gunning for J.R. In the final scene, an unseen assailant enters the darkened Ewing Oil offices and fires three shots into the back of J.R.’s chair, except he isn’t sitting there — good-guy brother Bobby tumbles to the floor. It’s one of “Dallas’s” greatest […]

Poll: Which ‘Dallas’ Episode is the Best?

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Here’s a list of some of “Dallas’s” most memorable episodes. Vote for your favorite or share other choices in the comments below.

The Dal-List: 37 Reasons to Love ‘Dallas’

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“Dallas” debuted 37 years ago today. Here’s why we still love the Ewings. 37. “Digger’s Daughter.” Bobby marries Pam, Lucy and Ray take a roll in the hay and Jock calls J.R. a jackass. Could this show have gotten off to a better start? 36. Southfork. To a lot of us, the white house on Braddock […]

You’re Invited to Our ‘Who Shot J.R.?’ Party on March 16

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Dallas Decoder is throwing a party to mark the 35th anniversary of the “Who Shot J.R.?” cliffhanger — and you’re invited! On Monday, March 16, at 9 p.m. Eastern, let’s all watch “A House Divided,” the classic 1980 episode that ends with J.R. getting shot. While we’re watching, let’s share our memories and observations during […]

CBS, Here’s Your Chance to Save ‘Dallas’

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MEMORANDUM To: Leslie Moonves, president and chief executive officer, CBS Corporation From: Dallas Decoder Re: #SaveDallas Mr. Moonves, have I got a deal for you. You know better than anyone how hard fans are fighting to save “Dallas” after TNT canceled the show last week. There’s an online petition calling on CBS to pick up […]

‘Dallas’ is Bringing the Heat. Now Let’s See Some Heart.

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Did “Dallas” go too far by showing John Ross, Pamela and Emma’s three-way in last week’s midseason finale? I say no. The scene put a fitting punctuation mark on a storyline that’s been building all year while continuing some longtime “Dallas” traditions, including the original show’s practice of pushing the envelope in its depiction of […]


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