The Dal-List: Jock Ewing’s 15 Greatest Moments

Dallas, Jim Davis, Jock Ewing

We still miss you, Daddy

Last month, Dallas Decoder critiqued “The Search,” the episode where “Dallas” bids farewell to the great Jim Davis. Here’s a look at 15 memorable moments featuring the actor and his mighty character, Jock Ewing.

Dallas, Jim Davis, Jock Ewing, John Ewing III Part 2,

Naming rights

15. Naming John Ross. The Ewings are in a waiting room at Dallas Memorial Hospital, where Sue Ellen has gone into labor. A nurse enters and tells J.R. his wife has given birth to a son, prompting a beaming Jock to declare, “John Ross Ewing III!” Did it ever occur to the Ewing patriarch that J.R. and Sue Ellen might want to choose their child’s name themselves? Do you think it would’ve mattered to him if they did? (“John Ewing III, Part 2”)

Charlene Tilton, Dallas, Jim Davis, Jock Ewing, Lucy Ewing, Prodigal Mother

Grandaddy knows best

14. Advising Lucy. The Ewings didn’t always want to hear Jock’s opinion, but usually he was right. Example: When Lucy (Charlene Tilton) was brooding after a spat with Mitch, Jock told her, “He’s a nice enough boy [but] you can do a lot better.” Lucy ignored Jock’s advice – she and Mitch got hitched – but she probably should’ve heeded Granddaddy’s wisdom. After all, the marriage lasted just 12 episodes. (“The Prodigal Mother”)

Dallas, Jim Davis, Jock Ewing,  Julie Grey, Julie's Return

Friends with no benefits

13. Leaving Julie. After Jock suffered a heart attack, the Ewings began treating him like an invalid, causing him to turn to flirty ex-secretary Julie (Tina Louise) for comfort. It looked like their relationship might become a full-fledged affair – but Jock knew his limits. “I appreciate your friendship,” he told Julie, adding that things couldn’t go further because it would “hurt Miss Ellie too much.” Smart man. (“Julie’s Return”)

Barbecue, Dallas, Jim Davis, Jock Ewing

Family man

12. Comforting Pam. During her first few weeks as a Ewing, poor Pam (Victoria Principal) was bullied, blackmailed, offered a bribe and held hostage. By the time J.R. caused her miscarriage, Bobby and his bride were ready to get the hell off Southfork – until Jock persuaded them to stay. “I want to keep my family together,” he told Pam as he sat at her bedside. It was our first glimpse of the tough Texan’s tender side. (“Barbecue”)

Bobby Ewing, Dallas, Jim Davis, Jock Ewing, Pam Ewing, Patrick Duffy, Victoria Principal, Reunion Part 2

Best. Screencap. Ever.

11. “Buying” Pam. Jock was chilling on the Southfork patio when drunk Digger roared into the driveway, demanding $10,000 for Pam. “Ten thousand! There’s a hundred,” Jock huffed as he tossed a C-note at his ex-partner, who eagerly scooped it up and pronounced his daughter “sold.” If Pam felt insulted, she shouldn’t have. When a Ewing is willing to negotiate your purchase price, you know they truly care. (“Reunion, Part 2”)

Barbara Bel Geddes, Dallas, Jim Davis, Jock Ewing, Miss Ellie Ewing, No More Mr. Nice Guy Part 1

You were thinking it too, Mama

10. Scolding Sue Ellen. Sue Ellen (Linda Gray) has just arrived at Dallas Memorial, where the Ewings are keeping vigil after J.R.’s shooting. Surely Jock will comfort his frantic daughter-in-law, right? Um, no. He accuses Sue Ellen of “gallivanting” while her husband is dying, prompting Kristin to defend Big Sis. “Sue Ellen was sick,” she says. Snaps Jock: “Sick? You mean drunk!” Harsh, but not untrue. (“No More Mr. Nice Guy, Part 1”)

Dallas, Dove Hunt, Jim Davis, Jock Ewing

Stare master

9. Confronting Owens. On a hunting trip, the Ewing men were ambushed by Tom Owens (Richard J. Wilkie), a farmer who claimed Jock ruined him decades earlier. Owens cocked his gun and aimed it at his wounded enemy, who didn’t blink. “If you’re gonna do it, do it!” Jock shouted, moments before the defeated Owens lowered the weapon and declared, “I’m not a killer.” You’re also no match for Jock Ewing, mister. (“The Dove Hunt”)

Dallas, David Wayne, Digger Barnes, Jim Davis, Jock Ewing

Frenemies forever

8. Destroying Digger. When Bobby and Pam announced her pregnancy at the Ewing Barbecue, Jock and Digger (David Wayne) shook hands and called a truce – which lasted all of three minutes. Digger broke the peace by criticizing Jock’s parenting skills, which prompted the Ewing patriarch to deliver a devastating takedown of his ex-partner (“He’s been a loser every day of his life.”) Yeah, it was cruel, but remember: Digger started it. (“Barbecue”)

Dallas, Jim Davis, Jock Ewing, J.R. Ewing, Larry Hagman, Silent Killer

Guts and glory

7. Joshing J.R. Jock spent a lot of time chewing out J.R. (Larry Hagman), but they had nice moments too. During one cocktail hour, when J.R. joked baby John Ross was becoming a “little fatty,” Jock playfully patted his eldest son’s belly and said, “Just like his daddy.” It was a reminder: Not only was Jock the only Ewing capable of reigning in J.R. – he was also the only one who could get away with razzing him. (“The Silent Killer”)

Daddy Dearest, Dallas, Jim Davis, Jock Ewing, J.R. Ewing, Larry Hagman

Ghost writer

6. Inspiring J.R. Virtually every “Dallas” episode after Jim Davis’s death seems to depict one Ewing or another taking inspiration from Jock’s memory. In one instance, J.R. stands in front of his daddy’s portrait and reads one of his old letters, which offers classic bits of wisdom like, “Never let the bastards get you down.” This is what makes Jock so cool: He doesn’t need to be alive to keep his family in line. (“Daddy Dearest”)

Dallas, Jim Davis, Jock Ewing, Survival

Call waiting

5. Dispatching Ray. Another glimpse of Jock’s softer side: When the Ewing plane went down in Louisiana swampland with J.R. and Bobby aboard, the Ewing patriarch sent ranch foreman Ray (Steve Kanaly) to find his sons. The family kept vigil at Southfork until Ray finally called with good news: J.R. and Bobby were alive. “Bring them home,” Jock said. Davis’s eyes were wet when he delivered the line. So were ours. (“Survival”)

Dallas, Fourth Son, Jim Davis, Jock Ewing, Ray Krebbs, Steve Kanaly

Daddy issues

4. Accepting Ray. In another beautiful performance from Davis, Jock tells Ray he just found out he’s his daddy. The humble cowboy offers to keep this a secret to spare Jock grief from his family, but instead Jock summons everyone to the living room and proudly announces Ray is his son. This was a hard truth for some to accept (cough, cough J.R.), but it demonstrates how Jock never took the easy way out. (“The Fourth Son”)

Dallas, Gary Ewing, Jock Ewing, Jim Davis, Return Engagements, Ted Shackelford

Hug it out, fellas

3. Celebrating Gary and Val. When Jock learned Gary and Val (Ted Shackelford, Joan Van Ark) were getting remarried, he declined to attend; there was too much bad blood between father and son. But moments before the ceremony began, in walked Jock. “I believe I have a son getting married here today,” he said. “I’d like to attend … if I’m welcome.” Awww. You’re always welcome, big guy. (“Return Engagements”)

Bobby Ewing, Dallas, Executive Wife, Jim Davis, Jock Ewing, Patrick Duffy

Power tip

2. Teaching Bobby. When Bobby (Patrick Duffy) felt Jock was undermining his authority at Ewing Oil, he loudly reminded his daddy that Jock “gave” him the power to run the company. In one of the all-time great “Dallas” scenes, Jock set his “boy” straight: “Nobody gives you power. Real power is something you take!” With those 10 words, Jock established the creed that would define the Ewings for generations to come. (“Executive Wife”)

Barbara Bel Geddes, Dallas, Jim Davis, Jock Ewing, Mastectomy Part 2, Miss Ellie Ewing

Jock the rock

1. Loving Ellie. Few things move me more than the way Jock stood by Ellie (Barbara Bel Geddes) when she had her mastectomy. While Ellie struggled to deal with the loss of her breast, Jock never left her side, offering her the support and comfort she needed. Jock may have been a rich oil baron and a stern father, but above all, he was a devoted husband and Ellie’s best friend. The way he loved her made us love him. Ellie never stopped missing him. Neither have we. (“Mastectomy, Part 2”)

What do you consider Jock Ewing’s greatest moments? Share your choices below and read more “Dal-Lists.”

Comments

  1. This is a great list! I’m at the beginning of season 7 now, and reading this makes me miss Jock. The show isn’t the same without him. It’s particularly problematic to have lost his ability to reign in J.R.

  2. I love this list! You really handle all these posts with class and humor. I adore the humor. Oh, these are the greatest Jock screencaps!

  3. barbara fan says:

    Nice review, thanks for compiling it – some great Dallas moments there
    Me! not a Jock Ewing fan – never warmed to him, didnt like how he treated people, was a chauvinist and was never quite sure why Miss Ellie stuck with him and his bully boy tactics. Always wished she met Clayton when she was 20
    However his death (RIP Jim) gave Dallas some of its finest moments
    BF x

    • Jock will always be one of my favorite characters. I love how he stood by Ellie. I love Clayton too. One of the best “replacement” characters in TV history, and Howard Keel was fabulous in the role. He had wonderful chemistry with BBG.

      Thanks for commenting BF!

      Chris

      • Kyle Willson says:

        Totally agree with this…The producers were SO smart to go against type in replacing (if that term can be pardoned) Jock with Mr. Farlow. Even though Clayton was a very different character, he still held a lot of the same qualities (and some of the same lovable faults.cough cough..pride!) that made us love Jock. Reminds me of another successful cast replacement on MASH with Col Potter stepping in for Lt Col Henry Blake. Damn I love that show too! Chris…there’s your next fansite! 😉

      • I love that comparison, Kyle. I have the complete “M*A*S*H” DVD set sitting on my shelf. I only have nine more seasons of classic “Dallas” to go. “M*A*S*H Decoder”? “M*A*S*H Memories”?

  4. Kyle Willson says:

    Jock: A man’s man, thru and thru….Jock ingrained into me this: A real man is judged not by wealth, possessions or even machismo, but by how he treats his significant other. I really hope Jim and Larry (and Barbara) have caught up with each other at the big Southfork in the sky.

  5. Jock is my favorite.
    Jim was a very good actor.

    Jock’s greatest moments?
    i don´t can say it.
    He have so many good moments….

  6. The scene where, I am not sure which episode it is, but it’s early on in season 2 (season 3 as identified in the dvd selections). The episode, where a just-released from the hospital Sue Ellen runs into J.R. and Kristin downtown. Back at the ranch, Jock is on the patio, contemplating how to to Ellie about Amanda, his first wife who had a nervous breakdown. Ellie asks him “What’s the matter?” or “What is it?”, “I’d like to help”. Jock says “What time is it?” Ellie says “about 3 o’clock”. Jock says “It’ll take a long time”. Ellie responds “I have the rest of my life to listen/talk to you”. Jock says “I love you Ellie, I always will”. Then they hug. Priceless and unforgettable scene that was later featured in season 4 (season 5 on dvd); the farewell-to-Jock episode called “The Search” that features the flashbacks of the late great Jim Davis.

  7. Anonymous says:

    I agree! Love these memorable mpments of Jock Ewing!!

  8. Marie Kinsey says:

    Every episode that features Jock was my favorite…let me confess I love the Show DALLAS…there fore I loved everyone on there…Was so glad when they started the new Dallas…So sad to see JR gone…I bet they have started a new Dallas in Heaven with Jock, Miss Ellie & JR. I hope when it’s my time to go to heaven I get to meet them all!

  9. Why is it C.B. that a man dead since 1981, that is 33 years ago now still inspires the confidence, & respect from his family & friends? Even from family members who never met him! Jock Ewing was a marvel. Jim Davis was pure class!

Trackbacks

  1. […] was no fan of Pam when she arrived at Southfork, but he movingly persuaded her to stay at the ranch when Bobby threatened to take her and leave after her first miscarriage. […]

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