TNT’s Dallas Scene of the Day: ‘It’s the Ewing Way’

Blame Game, Bobby Ewing, Dallas, Linda Gray, Sue Ellen Ewing, TNT

Life’s cycles

In “Blame Game,”second-season “Dallas” episode, Bobby and Sue Ellen (Patrick Duffy, Linda Gray) sit together in the Southfork living room, where the Ewings are being held hostage.

SUE ELLEN: Even if Christopher does get here on time, I don’t see this coming to an end without somebody getting hurt. Or worse.

BOBBY: J.R. and John Ross brought this on us, Sue Ellen, by getting mixed up with these guys. Bad begets bad. It always has. It always will.

SUE ELLEN: J.R. does bad, you do good. And repeat. A vicious cycle that our sons seem destined to continue. It’s the Ewing way.

BOBBY: It doesn’t have to be. If we get out of this, you could break the cycle.

SUE ELLEN: By giving Elena her shares back?

BOBBY: It’d be a start.


  1. Lloyd Ferrigon says:

    I love Bobby’s selective memory. JR and John Ross would not have gotten in to bed with that lowlife if Bobby had not decided (on his own) to sell Southfork and not first go to JR, Gary, Ray, or Lucy first.

    As for Elena, she is getting what she deserves. When she remarked about her and John Ross’s breakup, she failed to mention her callous sending her mother to give John Ross the engagement ring to him which was wrong on so many levels.

    • I don’t think that is quite right. John Ross was already in bed with Marta/Veronica who was connected with Vincente by the time of the series debut. JR was the one who joined up with Vincente post sale of Southfork.

    • I think Bobby has always suffered from Selective Memory Syndrome, Lloyd. I also agree his decision to sell Southfork was out of character and that it was super duper wrong of Elena to send her mom to do her dirty work.

      Thanks for commenting, Lloyd!

  2. This scene becomes an absolute heartbreaker. How can Bobby and Sue Ellen have this exchange and yet Sue Ellen still goes on to escalate the war by doing John Ross’ bidding. I’m torn here. On one hand I get the momma bear thing. But on the other hand you would think Sue Ellen had been manipulated by JR enough over the years to recognize it when John Ross does it…

    • Yes, I agree. Though the writers seem to be trying to mitigate the feeling that Sue Ellen is being played by having her self-reference that every so often, her actions speak louder than words, and in the end, John Ross’s original scheme with Marta was all about lies, his lies ruined the relationship with Elena, and Sue Ellen doesn’t even know about any of that, and she’s blindly falling into his trap. It’s sad to watch, though Gray is doing fine work with what she’s been given. I don’t see this new Sue Ellen as strong at all, sadly I feels she’s more blind and vindictive.

      • Good points, although I think Sue Ellen does know about John Ross’s relationship with Marta. Didn’t he confess his connection (and affair) with her when Sue Ellen visited him in jail last season?

    • I know what you mean, Dan. I feel a little torn too.

  3. I almost liked this scene, but I had real trouble with Sue Ellen’s line about the “vicious cycle”. It doesn’t really make any sense to me. She’s saying that JR always does bad, and Bobby does good, and somehow the entire cycle is therefore bad? Um, no, mostly it’s J.R. (and now John Ross) who even she admits here, are causing the problems. It just doesn’t make sense that she’s saying “doing good” is part of the vicious cycle.” There are several scenes in this ep. where I feel the writing for Sue Ellen is incongruent, even just within this episode alone. Her current zigging and zagging feels rushed and random to me these days.

    • I interpreted Sue Ellen as lamenting the “bad” part of the cycle, but I see what you mean. If you take her comment at face value, it feels like she’s lamenting the whole thing. I wouldn’t think that’s what she means, but who knows?

  4. Sue Ellen likes power and so i dont find it odd at all that shes willing to seize the moment by going along with her son…if Elena would have concentrated on fulfilling her agreement with Sue Ellen then none of this would be happening.though Sue Ellen has been blurring the lines of good & evil this season,i feel like theres something coming from all this that we dont understand yet. Sue Ellen has always been a storm and i like her that way…it looks like Sue Ellen may be stepping into the role in John Ross’s life that JR had filled..

    • Good insight, Todd. Thank you!

    • I agree that Sue Ellen likes power. It is one of the many reasons she was attracted to JR all of those years. Plus, lets face it. No one runs for governor of any state, much less Texas, who doesn’t like power. I do have to say I do believe that part of the reason she is continuing with the plan is love for John Ross. She would go along with JR’s crazy stuff over the years because she loved him blindly at times. Sue Ellen has a lot of guilt over the way JR3 got caught in the crossfire of hers and JRs battles. When he is feeding her stories about the one sidedness going on and plus he is giving her tons of attention, you know she is soaking it up. She is very aware of what he is doing. But I think she believes that she is doing what is right and best. She feels she was done wrong by Elena in the agreement. Plus, she feels resentment over the way her baby was treated. In addition, we all know that Sue Ellen is flawed and love blinds her.

      I am looking forward to how she will react when she disagrees with JohnRoss and he pulls one of his bratty routines on her or worse betrays her. She doesn’t do well with betrayal. She knew how JR would react to JR3 betraying him. and she gave JR time (a month or so) to seethe before gving him the what for. But without JR around to do the same for her, who knows?

      BTW… I usually agree with your scene of the day. But this time, I don’t. 🙂 My favorite scene is the Ann and Emma scene. You know, a certain other fan site has a group that continually complains about the ineptitude of the writing. Some gave this scene as examples of poor writing. They felt it was another excuse for Ann to give for shooting Harris or a way for her to try to poison Emma. But I so disagree. I think it was a very touching and insightful scene.

      Ann clearly had a hard time living with a contolling Harris and Judith. I think she knows beyond certainty that Emma has lived a similar life (which is why she has continually told Emma it is okay when Emma testified against her). I thought it was a interesting and thoughtful tack for Ann to tell a simple story about how even getting her hair highlighted made her leary and afraid. The instant Emma, all wide eyed, asked how Harris reacted…it became beyond clear that she knows exactly what Ann is talking about. It provides us a little more insight into how Ann was years ago and into why Emma has reacted to Ann the way she has. It was a simple, oblique (?) way for Ann to say to Emma ‘I know what your life is like’ and to bond with her. BTW…when Emma breaks away from Harris, do you think she is going to go a little wild???

      • Hel, after I read this comment the other night, I went back and watched the Ann/Emma jailhouse scene. You’re right: It was very good and probably deserved “Scene of the Day” honors. I always tend to go with old favorites like Bobby and Sue Ellen by default, but the Ann saga has been really compelling. As far as Emma going wild: I’ll be curious to see if your prediction comes true.

    • Lloyd Ferrigon says:

      Elena is an opportunist. Who goes to their then boyfriend’s parent for a loan? Did she think that the good will she had from Sue Ellen would continue even after the crappy way she treated Sue Ellen’s son?

      • It does feel like Elena should have thought a little harder about the implications of taking money from Sue Ellen. When will these characters ever learn?

      • I think it was okay to get a loan from Sue Ellen. But she should have bent over backwards to get it paid back and she should have been giving Sue Ellen feedback on the status of her project all along the way. AND OMG if you dump your boyfriend/fiance, you should really do what ever it takes to get the loan paid back ASAP. You certainly shouldn’t ignore the project and ignore the person who loaned you the money. I don’t know of many people who wouldn’t be scrambling to pay that money back.

      • Yes! Couldn’t have said it better myself.

  5. I feel that this line “By giving Elena her shares back?” was sarcastic. I think Sue Ellen felt that she was being manipulated by Bobby.

  6. i agree with hel that the scene with Ann & Emma was very touching.i also wonder if Emma will let loose when shes finally at Southfork, will she be the new Lucy who was always so good at being bad? theres alot of potential in Emma’s fact,so far, i like her much better than either Elena or Pamela..though Pamela is growing on me.. Elena hasnt been fleshed out enough to care about her but Jordanna Brewster is a good actress so hopefully theyll give her a better storyline than just being the plaything of Chris or John Ross..however i dont like Drew in the least. i still feel that the writers are focusing too heavily on outside really wouldnt hurt to have more Ewings around.even if they dont wanna bring alot of the originals back maybe they should consider the family tree…certainly Lucy couldve had a child or two by now and theyd be the right age to be causing havoc.Lucy is a fan favorite so including her more often in some way at least would be nice…

  7. I too was disappointed about how easily Sue Ellen was manipulated by John Ross but that willingness to go to bat for John Ross was foreshadowed in Elena and Sue Ellen’s original conversation about the business in season 1. Sue Ellen says her boya has a good heart which clearly says she is biased about her boy. Elena acted appropriately after being lied to by John Ross. She was wise enough to understand that forgiving him would only allow him to believe that he could continue to lie. I don’t blame her for dumping him although I loved those two as a couple. She brought out his open, boyish sweet side which is completely absent with Pamela.

    • It’s interesting: I love John Ross and Pamela, but I like John Ross and Elena too. Similarly, I like Christopher with both women too. Guess I’m easy to please.


  1. […] lady, giving Linda Gray some of her best material yet. I love the scene where Sue Ellen and Bobby lament the rivalry between their sons, as well the jailhouse pep talk Sue Ellen gives Ann. The friendship between […]

  2. […] come a long way. Witness the recent scene where she seemed to echo Ellie’s concern about the destructive patterns within the family […]

  3. […] we really don’t see in “Winds of Vengeance.” In one exchange, Sue Ellen sits with Bobby and laments his rivalry with J.R., calling it “a vicious cycle that our sons seem destined to […]

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