Critique: ‘Dallas’ Episode 44 – ‘Love and Marriage’

Bobby Ewing, Dallas, Love and Marriage, Pam Ewing, Victoria Principal

The louse and his spouse

In “Dallas’s” second-season episode “Black Market Baby,” Pam gets upset when Bobby declares he doesn’t want her to get a job. She memorably tells him, “Sometimes you show a lot of your daddy’s cussedness – and this is one of those days.”

This is another.

Throughout “Love and Marriage,” Bobby fights with Pam because he believes she’s thrown herself into her work at The Store to avoid dealing with their fertility problems. He has a point, but he sure comes off like a jerk while making it.

The couple’s biggest argument erupts when Pam arrives home late after another long day at the office and tells Bobby she’s been offered a big promotion. “That job is four times the work and six times the travel,” Bobby says, adding he can’t believe Pam would “even consider taking it.”

There’s no doubt Pam’s new position would be demanding, but at least she waits to discuss the opportunity with Bobby before accepting it. Earlier in “Love and Marriage,” when Jock asks Bobby to return to Ewing Oil, he accepts the assignment on the spot.

Bobby’s “cussedness” is also on display in the scene where he unexpectedly pops into Pam’s office with a bouquet of roses and offers to whisk her away to dinner and a movie. She’s busy and suggests they spend the next evening together instead. This seems like a reasonable request to me, but it ignites Bobby’s temper. “How do you suppose this company got along without you before you came to work?” he sniffs.

Maybe Bobby doesn’t understand how the real world works – unlike him, Pam isn’t her own boss, so she can’t come and go as she pleases – or maybe he simply doesn’t value her career. Neither scenario makes him seem very appealing.

Of course, Bobby and Pam aren’t the only couple in turmoil in “Love and Marriage.”

Jock struggles to connect with Miss Ellie, who is suddenly distant again (didn’t they put their problems behind them in “Mastectomy, Part 2”?), while J.R. and Sue Ellen remain at war with each other.

“Love and Marriage” also brings newly widowed Donna back into Ray’s life. They reunite and she agrees to marry him, but only after waiting six months out of respect for her deceased husband’s memory.

I’m happy for Ray and Donna, but I wonder if they’ve thought this through. I mean, they see how miserable the other married couples at Southfork are, right?

Grade: B


Dallas, Donna Culver, Love and Marriage, Ray Krebbs, Steve Kanaly, Susan Howard



Season 3, Episode 15

Airdate: December 21, 1979

Audience: 20.2 million homes, ranking 3rd in the weekly ratings

Writer: Leonard Katzman

Director: Alexander Singer

Synopsis: To keep Jock out of the office, J.R. has him bring Bobby back into Ewing Oil. To drive Bobby and Pam apart, J.R. arranges for her to get a big promotion. Ray reunites with the newly widowed Donna, who agrees to marry him in six months.

Cast: Barbara Babcock (Liz Craig), Barbara Bel Geddes (Miss Ellie Ewing), Jeff Cooper (Dr. Simon Elby), Barry Corbin (Sheriff Fenton Washburn), Mary Crosby (Kristin Shepard), Jim Davis (Jock Ewing), Patrick Duffy (Bobby Ewing), Mel Ferrer (Harrison Page), Tom Fuccello (Senator Dave Culver), Linda Gray (Sue Ellen Ewing), Larry Hagman (J.R. Ewing), Susan Howard (Donna Culver), Steve Kanaly (Ray Krebbs), Jeanna Michaels (Connie), George O. Petrie (Harv Smithfield), Randolph Powell (Alan Beam), Victoria Principal (Pam Ewing)

“Love and Marriage” is available on DVD and at and iTunes. Watch the episode and share your comments below.


  1. Bobby comes off as a real chauvinist and a hypocrite in this episode, which really bothered me, because in prior episodes, he’s portrayed as more well-adjusted than that.

  2. Yikes. Watching this episode forces me to look into the mirror a bit more than I’d like. I have to raise my hand and admit to doing the exact same thing as Bobby. What can I say? In both cases the intentions are good but the execution stinks…

  3. richhandleytrek says:

    This episode highlights why Bobby is one of the show’s weakest characters, played by one of the show’s weakest actors.


  1. […] 8. Stud finder? If there was sexual tension between J.R. and Pam, it was strictly one-sided. When he suggested her demanding job at The Store might prompt lonely Bobby to reclaim his reputation as Dallas’s top stud, Pam declared that Bobby “isn’t standing at stud anymore. … He left the field wide open for you. Of course, from what I hear, that still leaves the field wide open.” J.R.: “Anytime you want to find out, it can be easily arranged.” Pam: “Don’t bother, J.R. Even if I weren’t married to Bobby, you aren’t man enough.” OK then! (“Love and Marriage”) […]

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