TNT’s Dallas Scene of the Day: ‘You Were the Love of My Life’

Dallas, J.R.'s Masterpiece, Linda Gray, Sue Ellen Ewing, TNT

Requiem for a heavyweight

In “J.R.’s Masterpiece,” a second-season “Dallas” episode, Sue Ellen (Linda Gray) stands at J.R.’s gravesite and addresses the mourners.

SUE ELLEN: When I was Miss Texas, and I met J.R., I didn’t know what hit me. I fell in love. Madly, passionately, hopelessly in love with the most infuriating, charming scoundrel I think I’ve ever known. It’s enough to drive a girl to drink. I spent the night in J.R.’s room last night. I needed the courage to read a letter that he had sent before he died. I was terrified about what the letter might say. So I told myself that I would have a drink. Just one, to help me get through. So I had that one drink. And then I kept on going. I’m a bit drunk now. And I wanted to share the letter that J.R. wrote. [She pulls the letter from her coat pocket.] “My dearest Sue Ellen: Old age has a way of humbling men. For me to apologize now for all the wrongs I’ve done you would take up all the time I’ve got left. So I’m hoping it will suffice for me to say that I was never worthy of you. That I loved you the moment I saw you. And that I love you today, more than I ever did. It is my greatest hope in life to earn a second chance with you. So what do you say? When I get back to Dallas, will you have dinner with me?” [Folds the letter] Yes, yes J.R. [Sobs] The answer is yes. [Kneels, touches his casket] You were the love of my life.

As she cries, Bobby (Patrick Duffy) escorts her to her seat.


  1. Oh where to begin? Sue Ellen reduced me to a weeping mess during this scene, absolutely slayed me. I was very struck by her total honesty at the grave site – from her monumental love for JR, past and present, to her drinking relapse to her raw and unbridled grief. Just heartbreaking and so splayed wide open. I was relieved when Bobby went to her because it looked like the frigid lot of them were just going to sit there until she collapsed on the coffin. At least John Ross finally took her hand when she sat back down goodness sakes. I am conflicted about her relapse admission, though. Sue Ellen is a private person who doesn’t warm easily to others. She takes a lot of pride in her sobriety so I’m not convinced she would admit relapsing to a group of people who include strangers like Emma and business foes Elena and Christopher. Don’t think they won’t use that against her. I would have liked for her to hide it and eventually confess to John Ross, or maybe Ann. But her scene tonight was that much more powerful by her admission of losing her way and I loved it in that sense. At least John Ross got to see his mother’s truth and hear his father’s and know he was born out of magnificent love. I will just end by saying that amazing scene was one-third writing and two-thirds Linda’s magic. A brilliant performance indeed.

    • Dan in WI says:

      Regarding the business rivals using her drinking admission against here: I would hope this falls under the category “When the family is in trouble the Ewings don’t take advantage.”

    • I really liked reading what you said Team Sue Ellen Ewing. I think Sue Ellen was very public about her drinking again because she does not really care anymore.

      • Me too, Jump. Thanks again Team Sue Ellen!

      • Thank you jumpsteady. Yes you hit the target with Sue Ellen. JR’s death has sent her into orbit, untethered and flailing. She doesn’t have the strength right now to care about sobriety. She just wants to stop the hurt. Wait until regret sets in though. omg.

    • Oh, Team Sue Ellen, how I love what you wrote. Everything you shared here is wonderful. You know Sue Ellen so well! And I’m so glad you noticed that John Ross took his mama’s hand. I missed that.

      Thank you so much for your comments!


      • Thanks very much Chris! John Ross’s resentment toward Sue Ellen seems to have grown during this episode and I’m curious about where it’s going. He was very cold to her, even before he screamed at her for still working Gary and ‘dismissing’ JR’s death. In the morgue Christopher comforted her. Wha? The only tenderness I saw between mom and son was that quick hand hold at the grave site. It almost felt like he was disgusted by her for something beyond the relapse. No like!

      • Great observations, Team Sue Ellen. Thanks!

      • Team Sue Ellen, I think that John Ross is like JR in the sense that he holds his emotions close to the vest. I think that he is wound up tight and is in pain and is just holding it in. (reminds me of how JR was after Jock died.) That is why he also didn’t talk at JR graveside. I don’t think it is directed at her in particular. I think it is directed at the world in general. he is just flat out wounded.

  2. Lloyd Ferrigon says:

    Loved Sue Ellen and Bobby’s eulogies. Linda and Patrick were wonderful.

  3. “So I had that one drink. And then I kept on going. I’m a bit drunk now. ” The woman behind the man. Linda Gray delivered an AMAZING performance! Oh Sue Ellen Ewing, every time you get friendly with J.R. he hurts you. This time around he died and left you. The old expression, ‘Hell hath no fury like that of a woman scorned’. It may take well over a season for Sue Ellen to get over this.

  4. I wasn’t interested in Dallas when I was a kid. My Friday night line up was The Incredible Hulk and Dukes of Hazzard. Dallas was the show I had to endure with my parents. When I was older they showed some reruns from the classic early seasons on a local channel and I realized I wanted to be like J.R. Larry Hagman played it so well that when you switched the channel to I Dream of Jeannie, it was hard to believe it was the same man, though I have seen traces of Major Nelson in J.R. I then began watching the later seasons of Dallas until it left the air ways. Last night’s episode was like losing a family member in many ways because his character has been around for such a long time. Even Gary seemed like one of those relatives you’re familiar with but only see at a funeral or wedding. I liked the scene where he greets Bobby when they come home to Southfork, it made J.R.’s death seem more real, than if he had not been there. I thought it was a very well done episode, we were mourning J.R.’s loss like we were part of the family. I cannot think of any film or tv show that has ever made feel that way before. Definitely a rare moment in television.

  5. You know someone has started an effort to get an Emmy nod for Linda for this episode. #emmyforlLG On twitter.


  1. […] wiser, more confident, more aware. We see this during the episode’s other great moment: her mesmerizing eulogy at J.R.’s gravesite, where she confesses her relapse to the other Ewings. “I’m a bit drunk […]

  2. […] his mother was hurting: On the night before J.R.’s funeral, she broke down and got drunk, then confessed her relapse during her eulogy for her ex-husband. Will Sue Ellen get the familial support she’ll need to […]

  3. […] Sue Ellen getting drunk in J.R.’s bedroom the night before his burial, or her heartbreaking eulogy? What about the poignant final scene, when Bobby spots J.R.’s hat and tearfully declares, “I […]

  4. […] at his funeral, where Sue Ellen took a heartbreaking tumble off the wagon, then delivered a mesmerizing eulogy for the man she called “the love of my life.” It was a magnificent, unforgettable performance […]

  5. […] when the Ewings gather at the cemetery to bury J.R., Sue Ellen confesses her relapse and delivers a haunting eulogy for the man she calls “the love of my life.” Gray is mesmerizing in these scenes, which draw […]

  6. […] we were able to express our own grief over the death of our hero. When Sue Ellen called J.R. the love of her life and touched his casket, it wasn’t just the climax of a great performance. It was a moment of […]

  7. […] The two funeral scenes also share similarities, although the differences might outweigh the parallels. Bobby’s burial takes place in a Southfork pasture and includes all of the Texas Ewings, except for Lucy. (Charlene Tilton had departed the series at the end of the previous season and wasn’t invited back for “The Family Ewing.”) J.R.’s burial also takes place on Southfork, and even though the crowd at his funeral is smaller than Bobby’s, I’m less surprised by who’s absent (James, Cally), than by who’s present (no offense Carmen and Drew, but you’re not family; I’ll give Elena and Emma a pass since they’re linked to Christopher and Ann). Also, we don’t see any of the eulogies for Bobby, while J.R.’s mourners deliver one memorable tribute after another, including Sue Ellen’s heartbreaking speech. […]

  8. […] killed, sending the grief-stricken Sue Ellen back to the bottle. She confesses her relapse while eulogizing her ex-husband, but when Gary confronts her after the funeral and tells her it’s time to get back […]

  9. […] Christopher offers his older cousin much-needed moral support. Meanwhile, Sue Ellen’s tearful eulogy at J.R.’s gravesite evokes memories of Miss Ellie’s moving tribute to Jock at the first Oil […]

  10. […] TNT’s 2012 revival of the series, proving that she hadn’t lost a step. Her scene where Sue Ellen breaks down at J.R.’s funeral still brings me to […]

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