Dallas Scene of the Day: ‘We Have Four Sons, You Know’

Saving the day, again

Saving the day, again

In “Dallas’s” fifth-season episode “Starting Over,” Miss Ellie (Barbara Bel Geddes) summons Ray (Steve Kanaly) to the Southfork living room, where they sit across from each other.

ELLIE: I know that in the past, you and Jock used to have these conversations, but in his absence, I, I guess I’ll have to be the one to do it.

RAY: I’m not sure I understand, Miss Ellie.

ELLIE: Well, Donna feels that you’re in some kind of difficulty. And you won’t talk to her about it.

RAY: Well, no disrespect to you, Miss Ellie, but I don’t think it’s anything we ought to talk about either.

ELLIE: But you would talk to Jock.

RAY: [Looking down] I guess.

ELLIE: Do you feel it’s a sign of weakness to talk to a woman about your problems?

RAY: [Smiles sheepishly] No, it’s not that, exactly.

ELLIE: Ray, you know how much I care about you. If you’re in some kind of trouble, why, why won’t you let us help you?

RAY: It’s kind of complicated. I know you and Jock think of me as a Ewing now. But I still think of myself as Ray Krebbs. And I’ve never really done anything to prove that I was as good as the rest of the Ewings.

ELLIE: There’s nothing to prove, Ray. We care about you because of what you are. And above all of us, Donna loves you for yourself.

RAY: But don’t you see? I have to prove it to Donna more than anyone. Look who she was married to: Sam Culver. He was a great man in this state.

ELLIE: You know that Sam’s and Donna’s marriage was for different reasons than yours.

RAY: I know that. But, I mean, look at Donna. She can sit down and in her spare time, she can write what looks like a bestseller. Now how could she be happy married to a cowboy?

ELLIE: You’ve talked about all the reasons for not talking to anyone, but you still haven’t said anything about your problem.

RAY: Well, I guess I just plain got in over my head. You know, the San Antonio deal that Punk and I set up? Well, when he went to South America, I went ahead on my own. I found out I didn’t know half of what I thought I did. Now I’m in danger of losing the whole thing.

ELLIE: And what do you need?

RAY: [Sighs] Another $3 million. Most of what I have invested at this point is Donna’s money. Now how could I go to her and say, “We’re going to lose the whole thing unless you give me another $3 million?”

ELLIE: Your not thinking enough of Donna to tell her hurts a lot more than losing the money would.

RAY: It’s not like I didn’t want to tell her. I just couldn’t. I still can’t.

ELLIE: Will you accept help from me? It’s the same thing I’d do for Bobby or Gary or J.R. if they needed it. [Smiles] We have four sons, you know. And you’re one of them.

RAY: Yes, ma’am. I’d be very grateful. I don’t know how I could ever thank you.

ELLIE: You don’t have to thank me. And if you like, no one else needs to know about this. I think Donna should, but that’s up to you.

RAY: Well, I’d rather try to get out of this mess myself before I tell her anything. I really would like Donna to be proud of me.

ELLIE: All right. Tomorrow morning, you and I will go to see Franklin Horner. I’m sure Ewing Oil can lend you the $3 million. [Ray smiles]


  1. Beautiful scene! I love the quiet strength of Miss Ellie and Ray. Poor Ray always feeling so inferior to everyone. He was one of the best characters!

    • But I feel so bad they split him and Donna up. They were probably the most believable couple on the show. Somehow throwing Jenna on him later was like handing him sloppy seconds and he deserved much better than that. But nothing against Jenna, I really liked her, just the way they handled the character.

      • I enjoyed his relationship with Jenna, but my heart always belonged to Ray and Donna. Sigh. Here’s hoping the new show will reunite them one day!

  2. Margaret Krebbs says:

    The best part of this scene is that it’s essentially a heart to heart talk about what’s wrong, why Ray can’t open up to Donna, and Ray sits there respectfully, like a little boy, answering respectfully. Miss Ellie is being generous and openhearted and calling him out on his sexism all at the same time. And then suddenly BLAM – it’s about money. $3 million to be exact – not small chump change. .And Ellie doesn’t even flinch, just offers him the cash like that. Doesn’t ask him any questions. Just gives. A different kind of generosity.

  3. It always struck me how in this scene Miss Ellie says “we” have four sons and later she introduces Ray to Horner as her son. Thus ends the wishy washy I accept Ray/I’m bitter at Ray for taking Gary’s place flip flopping. This was when you knew it was for good.


  1. […] favorite scene of all comes at the beginning of “Starting Over’s” third act, when Miss Ellie summons Ray to the Southfork living room and gently gets him to admit: a) he’s bitten off more than he can […]

  2. […] control. Or the time she suggested the newly divorced Sue Ellen stop dating Cliff. Or the time she pressured Ray – gently, of course – into confessing his financial failings. Did the Ewings mind Miss […]

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