Dallas Scene of the Day: ‘You Were Jock’s Girl All Along’

Barbara Bel Geddes, Dallas, Miss Ellie Ewing, Jock's Trial Part 2

She had to be taken care of

In “Jock’s Trial, Part 2,” a third-season “Dallas” episode, Miss Ellie and Bobby (Barbara Bel Geddes, Patrick Duffy) join Pam (Victoria Principal), Cliff (Ken Kercheval) and Maggie (Sarah Cunningham) at the hospital bedside of Digger (Keenan Wynn), who is dying.

DIGGER: Ellie.

ELLIE: Hello, Digger.

DIGGER: I wanna talk to you. Cliff?

CLIFF: I’m right here, Daddy.

DIGGER: Cliff, I wanna know if everything I say now is legal.

CLIFF: [Perplexed] I don’t know what you’re trying to say.

DIGGER: Ellie, I wasn’t gonna say anything. I was gonna let Cliff get his final revenge against Jock for me. He’ll probably ask, do I still love you? [Smile and nods his head, weakly] I do. [She smiles.] Even though I do, and you were Jock’s girl all along.

ELLIE: Digger.

DIGGER: I can’t let Cliff do this to you.

ELLIE: What do you mean?

Digger recalls how he discovered his wife Becky had been impregnated by her lover Hutch McKinney, who pulled a gun on him. After a struggle, Digger shot and killed Hutch and buried him on Southfork. The Barneses moved to Corpus Christi, where Becky died.

ELLIE: Digger.

DIGGER: I couldn’t let Jock for what happened to Hutch. Ellie [struggles to breath] … you had to be taken care of.

PAM: Daddy, what about the baby?

DIGGER: Baby?

BOBBY: The baby McKinney fathered.

DIGGER: I always loved you, Pam.

PAM: [Crying] Me?

DIGGER: Just like you were my own.

He takes his last breath and the hospital monitor flatlines. Cliff closes his eyes, Ellie turns away, Maggie ushers in a nurse and Bobby holds Pam.

Comments

  1. This entire development was quite odd. Everyone did a great job, and Victoria was believable and impressive in her scenes at the end (except for the terrible flashbacks). But the decision to kill off Digger seems out of the blue- perhaps they did not want to deal with an aftermath of him being charged and another trial for murder because of his confession, but the plot would have worked just as well with no admission of Pam not being his daughter. That seemed like soap opera excess and still does today- and it was almost a slap in the face to the audience who had invested in hearing (and putting up with) Pam’s season long hysterics about her possible genetic disease from Digger. A couple of seconds wiped all of that out and I felt a lot of time was wasted on nothing- it didn’t help that Hutch was almost never mentioned again. Pam now looking for her birth mother though did pay off and brought a lot of great developments to the show- though that could have been achieved with just Digger’s death, the added confession was not needed. It still comes across as bizarre even today.

    • Once again, you’ve hit the nail on the head. As much as I appreciate Digger’s deathbed scene, I *really* don’t like the idea of him not being Pam’s real father. On the one hand, it’s nice to think Digger was willing to raise her, even though she wasn’t really his flesh and blood. On the other hand, the plotting feels kind of sloppy. You also make a good point about Hutch McKinney not being mentioned again. I wonder if Pam has some half-siblings out there?

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