TNT’s Dallas Scene of the Day: ‘I Feared My Daddy’

Dallas, John Ross Ewing, Josh Henderson, J.R. Ewing, Larry Hagman, Price You Pay, TNT

It’s a cutthroat business, son

In “The Price You Pay,” a first-season “Dallas” episode, J.R. and John Ross (Larry Hagman, Josh Henderson) are each seated in barber chairs getting shaved. A towel covers John Ross’s eyes.

J.R.: Feels good, doesn’t it?

JOHN ROSS: Almost sinful.

J.R.: [Chuckles] Your granddaddy Jock took me here the day I closed my first big deal. That man taught me everything I know about business. [Rises from the chair, tips the barber, tells him to “get going,” walks toward John Ross] When I was 8 years old, I asked my daddy for a horse, and he says when I came up for the money, he’d sell me one. [Snaps at John Ross’s barber, who gives him his razor, takes J.R.’s money and leaves] So, all that summer, I worked in the oil fields, digging trenches and such, 12 hours a day. [Begins shaving John Ross] And true to his word, daddy sold me a horse. Now, I learned quick enough, that horse was blind. Now, I loved my daddy, and I respected my daddy, but most importantly, I feared my daddy. [J.R. pulls away the towel covering John Ross’s eyes; John Ross sees J.R. is now holding the straight blade to his neck] I went down to Mexico and talked to Mr. del Sol about the Southfork deal. I know Marta is not Marta. Were you going to cut your daddy out of 2 billion barrels worth of oil? Hmm?


  1. Canyon340 says:

    This scene ranks alongside the very best of the original series. JR’s little parable was utterly compelling in the way that it oozed menace. Hagman is turning in a career topping performance as the octogenarian version of his alter ego. Gone are the campy grinning asides to camera that defined much of Hagman’s pantomime villain performance throughout the second half of the 80s. This is pre-83 JR who bristles with a dark, unpredictable energy. If the TNT show was cancelled tomorrow, this scene alone redeems the excesses of the later years of the original show and demonstrates yet again (if anyone still needed convincing) that Larry Hagman is an actor of the first rate.

    • Thank you for these thoughtful observations. I agree with everything you’ve said here. This was a spine-chilling scene and it’s wonderful to see Larry Hagman take J.R. back to his sinister roots. Hagman is staging one of the all-time great comebacks. I hope more people will sit up and take notice.

  2. Now that I’ve seen Season 1 and a handful of season 2 episodes of the original Dallas so far, I agree with the first post about JR’s dark energy. He is the personification of the oil he covets.


  1. […] fantastic as J.R. and John Ross’s tense-then-tender “shaving scene” was in “The Price You Pay,” nothing wowed me like Ann’s sting against smarmy ex-husband […]

  2. […] folksy charm. In J.R. speak, the word “motorcycle” becomes “motor-sickle.” Next to the parable about the blind horse that J.R. shares with John Ross during an early episode of TNT’s […]

  3. […] these sequences: the “shaving scene,” where J.R. confronted John Ross over his attempted betrayal in the plot to steal Southfork; the […]

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