Dallas Styles: Jock’s Bathrobe

‘Ellie Saves the Day’

Is it a coincidence Jim Davis wears a bathrobe during some of Jock’s most vulnerable moments on “Dallas?”

In “Survival,” Jock is clad in a beige terrycloth robe when he overhears Miss Ellie’s confrontation with a Dallas Press reporter and learns the plane carrying J.R. and Bobby has crashed. The usually rock-like Jock crumbles upon hearing the news. “Damn it, Ellie,” he says with wet eyes. “Both of them. Why?”

In “Ellie Saves the Day,” Jock is wearing a different robe – this one appears to be dark blue with white dots – when he learns J.R.’s risky Asian oil deal has brought the Ewing empire to the brink of collapse. It’s a moment of reckoning for Jock. At one point, he buries his face in his giant hand and tells Bobby, “I trained J.R. and taught him everything he knows. Gave him the fever for big business. But I never taught him when to stop.”

The bathrobes are crucial props in both scenes. Davis cuts such an imposing figure, it’s hard to forget he was almost 70 when “Dallas” began. The robes help the actor humanize his character, reminding us Jock is in his twilight, even if he doesn’t look or act like it.

Appropriately, the bathrobe also helps Ellie – and “Dallas” viewers – come to terms with Jock’s loss. In the fifth-season episode “Acceptance,” Ellie finally stops denying Jock’s death and walks into his closet, where she tenderly touches his clothes. Hanging among them: that blue-and-white-dotted robe, reminding us once again that Jock really was mortal.

Trackbacks

  1. […] “Dallas” wardrobe, including the powder blue suit he memorably sported in “Runaway” and the white-dotted bathrobe he wore during the third […]

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