Dallas Scene of the Day: ‘I Should’ve Fought Them’

Barbara Bel Geddes, Dallas, Miss Ellie Ewing, Return Engagements

Don’t you tell her what she has to do

In “Return Engagements,” a third-season “Dallas” episode, Miss Ellie and Bobby (Barbara Bel Geddes, Patrick Duffy) help Gary and Valene (Ted Shackelford, Joan Van Ark) prepare for their wedding.

ELLIE: Bobby, have you got the tickets?

BOBBY: No, Pamela’s bringing them with the judge.

GARY: Uh, what tickets?

ELLIE: Well, you wanted to settle in California, didn’t you?

GARY: Yeah, but you don’t have to pay for the plane fare.

ELLIE: Don’t you tell me what I have to do. Anyway, the tickets aren’t your present. [Hands him photos of houses] Bobby’s going to fly to California and show you the houses.

They sit.

GARY: I, I don’t get it. [Looks at Val]

ELLIE: Whichever house you like best is yours.

GARY: No, Mama.

ELLIE: And if you don’t like any of them, find another.

VAL: Miss Ellie, we, we couldn’t.

GARY: Mama, we wanna be on our own.

ELLIE: Did you wanna be on your own when you left Southfork? Or did your daddy and J.R. drive you off? You tried to stand on your own feet when you had Lucy – and your family kicked your heels right out from under you.

VAL: But Miss Ellie, we owe you so much. You raised Lucy.

ELLIE: Yes, I raised her. I raised her because the Ewings made it impossible for you to raise her. But I shouldn’t have. I should’ve fought them. I didn’t. I did nothing. Do you think my giving you a house is fair payment? I don’t. If you want to refuse it, refuse it because the gift is small. Otherwise, take it. Please take it.

Gary takes her hand and squeezes. 


  1. […] This series of clipped, matter-of-fact pronouncements reminds me of Bel Geddes’ wonderful monologue in “Return Engagements,” when Ellie acknowledges her failure to help Gary keep his family […]

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