Dallas Burning Questions: Season 2, Week 8

Oh, mama!

Oh, mama!

Here are the questions we’re pondering as we await tonight’s telecast of “Ewings Unite!,” TNT’s latest “Dallas” episode.

Who killed J.R.? In “J.R.’s Masterpiece,” last week’s episode, the Ewings learned J.R. was shot and killed in a cheap hotel in Nuevo Laredo, Mexico. The police investigation concluded he was a robbery victim, but Bobby (Patrick Duffy) knew better. For more, check out my list of eight potential suspects, as well as the five burning questions surrounding “Dallas’s” latest mystery. Who do you think is responsible for J.R.’s death?

What’s in J.R.’s will? It isn’t clear what J.R.’s estate includes, but this much we know: the Southfork mineral rights were split equally among him, Bobby and Gary (Ted Shackelford). The surviving brothers recently joined forces to suspend pumping oil out of the ranch, which is part of Bobby’s effort to oust Sue Ellen (Linda Gray) from Ewing Energies. Now that J.R. is gone, who will inherit his share of the mineral rights and how will it affect the battle over the company?

Will Sue Ellen recover? In the aftermath of J.R.’s death, Sue Ellen continued to cozy up to Gary, hoping he’d side with her in the fight for Ewing Energies. Her ambition offended John Ross (Josh Henderson), who told her, “My father’s barely cold and you’re talking about already going to seduce his brother? Could you at least pretend to mourn him for five minutes?” Little did John Ross know how much 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 climb back onto the wagon?

Will Gary and Val reconcile? It’s unlikely anything lasting will come of Sue Ellen and Gary’s flirtation since “Ewings Unite!” marks the end of Shackelford’s three-week guest stint on “Dallas.” Also, keep in mind: Tonight’s episode brings back Joan Van Ark, who’ll reprise her iconic role as Valene, Gary’s now-estranged wife, and Charlene Tilton, who’ll make another appearance as Lucy, their daughter. The question is: Will Gary and Val leave Southfork together or separately?

Will Bobby and Ann make up? J.R.’s death put additional stress on Bobby, who lashed out at Ann (Brenda Strong) for keeping so many secrets from him during their marriage. When she apologized and asked what she could do to “make things right,” he turned away. Meanwhile, Harris (Mitch Pileggi) arrived at Southfork in his sleek Lamborghini and pleaded with Emma (Emma Bell) to come home with him. When she refused, Harris told Ann, “Tell your husband that he has no idea what he started.” What will Harris do?

How will Emma shock us next? Speaking of Emma: That girl has gone wild! During J.R.’s memorial service, she ducked into a cloakroom and popped pills with John Ross. Later, they shared a bottle of booze and retreated to the backseat of a car, where he, um, welcomed her to the family. But John Ross isn’t the only man in Emma’s life: When Harris tried to persuade her to leave Southfork, Drew (Kuno Becker) helped Ann run him off the ranch. Could Drew be next on Emma’s hit list?

Is Pamela fed up with Cliff? When John Ross spotted Pamela (Julie Gonzalo) at J.R.’s memorial, he criticized her for reneging on her promise to share her piece of Ewing Energies. “John Ross, please. I care about you,” Pamela said. His response: “The only thing you care about is yourself.” Later, when Cliff (Ken Kercheval) showed up at the memorial, ranting and raving about the Barnes/Ewing feud, Pamela made him leave. “Daddy, that’s enough. Let’s go,” she said. Between Pamela’s feelings for John Ross and her anger at Cliff, could she be rethinking her role in the Barnes/Ewing feud?

• Who’s minding the store? We haven’t heard much about Ewing Energies since “The Furious and the Fast,” when the company-sponsored racecar scored a big victory at the track. This prompted flirty transportation official Alison Jones (Annie Wersching) to hint Christopher (Jesse Metcalfe) will be awarded the contract to fuel the city’s municipal fleet. Meanwhile, with Elena (Jordana Brewster) out of a job, Drew persuaded her to help him drill their father’s land, although first they need to buy it back from Bobby. Will he sell?

What “Dallas Burning Questions” are on your mind? Share your comments below and watch TNT’s “Dallas” tonight.


  1. Dan in WI says:

    My burning question ties into Chris’ Emma and Drew point. We have this brief exchange during the Harris visit to Southfork:

    Harris: You don’t want to get in the middle of this son.
    Drew: I’m already in the middle Mr. Ryland

    What does this mean? Chris seems to theorize there is already something between Emma and Drew. I suppose that’s possible. On the one hand Emma hasn’t been the states very long and has only been on Southfork a week or two. That doesn’t give her a ton of time to meet and move on Drew. Then again it sure didn’t take long for her to move on John Ross…
    I still think Drew’s moonlighting career as a truck smuggler might tie into Harris somehow. The question is do they actually know each other. If they are connected through the smuggling I’m sure Drew knows who Harris is. But Harris may not know Drew. To him Drew could be a faceless employee. Or I suppose it’s also possible Drew was the chief smuggler and they do know each other. The only clue we have is the scene where Drew picks up the first truck. In that scene the guy dropping of the truck doesn’t treat Drew like anyone who would have a relationship with Harris. He just treats Drew like the “new guy.”

    Comments on Chris’ questions:
    JR’s will:
    It would seem from the first season that JR has very little to bequeath at this point. The throw away line that Bobby’s turning off the Southfork oil hampered his ability to do business in Abu Dabbi seems to support that. 1/3 of the Southfork mineral rights (and custody of Bum) may be all he has to give right now. Can anybody out there see that going to anybody but John Ross? The only other possbility is a three way split with John Ross, James and the unnamed Callie child. But if that were the case we’d likely have heard (one way or anther) about Sasha Mitchel reprising his role. Besides, assuming Gary leaves town remaining a Bobby allie it wouldn’t make much sense to further dilute John Ross’ share of the mineral rights.

    Will Sue Ellen recover:
    I’ve made it clear I’m opposed to her going off the wagon. But it appears from last week’s previews she’s not done drinking yet. At this point I can see it lasting the balance of the season. I hope it doesn’t go much beyond that.

    Bobby & Ann:
    We could be in for a rocky road here. Harris has shown the ability to manipulate Ann in the past and he likely will try to stir that pot.

    Pamela & Cliff:
    I wouldn’t say she’s fed up with her father. But she is still torn on who she loves more.

    • “Custody of Bum” — love that. Good questions about Harris, Emma and Drew too. Thanks Dan!

      • Dan in WI says:

        I guess I could add to my burning questions, my continued desire to see Clyde and Bum together in the same room.

      • Maybe Clyde’s a suspect in J.R.’s killing. Clyde was angry that J.R. gave all the juicy assignments to Bum. Watch your back, Bum! Clyde could be coming after you next!

      • You know last season Bum, at JR’s direction worked for JohnRoss. Plus, he helped out Chris as well. Clyde seems to be totally JohnRoss’. LOL…I do love the phrase ,Dan, ‘custody of Bum’. Bobby seems to be giving orders right now. But it could be anyone..LOL

      • Forgot about how Bum helped Christopher last season. Good memory, Hel!

  2. ooooooh, some great questions. Highly interested in them all! Plus, one more: will Bobby and Sue Ellen make up? They both seemed very entrenched and unwilling to budge. I would think they would put their fight aside in light of JR’s death and the ensuing war. But it was not clear from the previews. It did look like SE was in scenes with the 3 guys at one point. And she was telling someone ‘either you are on our side or you will be a casulty’. Yet, in other scenes it is only Bobby and the boys. Some still photos for the episode show Elena with the EE folks on a rig with no SE. I want SE to stay in EE. I also want Elena to go into business with Drew. So, Bobby is very unhappy with both Ann and Sue Ellen right now. Poor Bobby.

    You know, re: JR’s will. You never know what all JR owned. How many times was he buying some unrelated (from Ewing Oil) company or just squirrelling money away to avoid issues? (For example, in your new Valene section, you mentioned he bought her publishing company to get the profits from her book.) I know JR was no longer a billionaire….but a broke billionaire is not the same as a broke you and me….lol. Because they never have come straight out and said he was penniless, we cannot assume he was. They could make up anything he owned and it would be quite plausible. I know some have said that since he was living at SF, he must be broke. But, I think he was at SF simply because he loved it.

    • Dan in WI says:

      Nobody is saying he is penniless. But I do think he is the Ewing equivalent there of. Again I’ll point out he couldn’t get his Abu Dabbi oil leases with the Southfork oil turned off. Furthermore, last year he had to borrow the $1 million buy in for the Cliff poker game. So if he had to borrow that money he can’t have too much squirreled away. Now he probably has more than a million now based on the Southfork oil already pumped prior to the shutoff but not enough to close an oil lease.

    • I think you’re right about J.R.’s reason for living at Southfork. By the way: The Bobby Ewing character just tweeted that Sue Ellen has been sleeping in J.R.’s bedroom since his death. I think that’s a promising development. It could be a lot of fun if she took up permanent residence at Southfork.

      • Dan in WI says:

        It’s promising for the story telling. But if Sue Ellen is living in JR’s bedroom that is not good for character. That spells off the deep end to me.

      • If she sobered up and moved onto the ranch, I wouldn’t mind.

      • hmmmm….that is interesting. I think both of you are right. Great storytelling and that Sue Ellen is far more shook up by JR’s death than we realized. But, when one thinks abou it, I can’t imagine her just getting over it all that easily. Jumpsteady had a nice point last week about her reaction.

      • You know, I just realized the other implication of Sue Ellen staying there. I had joked with my friends what would happen if one or more of the Ewings just showed up and moved into SF, what would Bobby do? Would he throw them out? And can you imagine him sending in the ranch hands to drag them out? OMG…..drag Sue Ellen out of the house? (not that it would ever happen….just us chatting about the fact that the family as a whole no longer lives there. One of the ladies at work had stopped watching the original show after Pam’s dream. She was surprised that it was just Bobby’s home now.)

      • I’m recalling that great scene from the second-season episode “Bypass,” where Sue Ellen is drunkenly sashaying around Southfork, pretending she is the lady of the manor. What are the chances we’ll get a replay tonight?

  3. joesiegler says:

    Well, we already know we don’t find out who kills JR until the last episode of the season, so that’s kind of a non issue for this episode. I’m just eager for Sue Ellen’s really creepy flirting with Gary to be over.

    Of course Bobby & Ann will make up, although with the Spectre of “Pam” floating around, his mind could wander. I keep hoping for an April reference in here somewhere.

    • Dan in WI says:

      The spectre of Pam could very well be further trouble for Bobby and Ann. Remember when that Pam look-a-like real estate agent came between Bobby and April?

      • joesiegler says:

        Actually, I had forgotten about that. Been ages since I’ve seen the last couple of seasons of old Dallas. 🙂

      • Break out the season 13 DVDs, Joe!

      • While we’re on the subject: Am I the only one who thinks Margaret Michaels didn’t look that much like Victoria Principal? I mean, from a distance, maybe. But otherwise? Not so much.

    • “The Spectre of Pam” — sounds like a horror film. I’d appreciate an April reference too. Thanks Joe!

  4. Great questions to ponder. I think Ann will reach out to Sue Ellen more than anyone else in the family since they have the common demon of addiction. Plus all the men are preoccupied with being detectives right now. I would like it if John Ross were to tend to her though. He’s been so frosty.

    Emma is radioactive. She’s lighting everyone up she comes in contact with. I wish she’d go back and live in her daddy cave but it sure is good for dramatic tension to have her at Southfork!

    • joesiegler says:

      Interview I read with Charlene Tilton compared Emma to what Lucy was when she was younger. I never made that connection on my own, but she’s right. The character seems (so far) to be doing the same kind of stuff.

    • I think it actually might be Gary that chats with Sue Ellen about the drinking. 2 reasons: one, they have already had discussions about it, two, he just recently fell of the wagon after a long bout with sobriety…… But, I would not be surprised if Ann chatted with her about it. She is the only person SE told about her temptation after the election fiasco.

      Yes, and I, too, hope that JohnRoss makes an effort with Sue Ellen. It was nice when he went with JR to visit after the big loss. But I think JohnRoss is too self absorbed right now with his own pain to help her…..but i do so hope I am wrong.:)

    • Yes it does. Thanks Team Sue Ellen! Here’s hoping our gal has a big night tonight.

  5. As far as your questions go, Chris:

    J.R.’s Will: Won’t help with the series going forward and the mystery of who killed JR honestly.

    Sue Ellen: I think she’s going to have her good and bad episodes going forward, just like many real-life addicts.

    Bobby & Ann: Maybe that’s why everyone has the theory of Pam (Victoria) coming back, because it appears to me that Ann & Bobby’s marriage is very much on the rocks. So pairing Bobby and Pam up again (much to the late J.R.’s chagrin) might shake things up in a major way going forward.

    Emma: I hope she isn’t the one pulling the strings behind the scenes, because I’ve grown to like her character. A lot.

    Pamela Rebecca and Cliff: PRB is one very torn young lady. I am interested in seeing where her character goes. She actually surprised me greatly in the way she turned around in first season, but she has started to give me a Katherine Wentworth vibe in that she is a crazy lady.

    Ewing Energies / Who’s Minding the Store: We had a 1-wk break from that whole storyline to focus on J.R.’s farewell, so maybe things are going to start moving in a more generally positive forward direction with this week’s episode, but I don’t know how it’s going to go or where it’s going to go, but I want to see it.

    Who Killed J.R.: I hope we get some movement on this mystery in this week’s episode. I also hope the red herrings will be kept to a minimum on this one, but I dunno. Also, my theory is probably that Kristin is the one who pulled the trigger and that Pam is only involved in that she was the lady that J.R. was meeting in Nuevo Laredo? I don’t know that one for certain, though.

  6. I can see Emma going off the deep end because of problems she faces as a result of the emotional and mental issues acquired as a result of having head-case Harris Ryland as her father.

    Exactly which “mother” of Christopher was J.R. looking for? Pam or Kristen?

    What does J.R. have in store for Harris Ryland? What did J.R. do to Barnes? This has to be serious because J.R. left a gun for John Ross and let him know that he is going to need it.

    • Jump, I think tonight might be the make or break moment regarding the Pam or Kristin thing. I’m hopeful we’ll hear definitive proof that J.R. was searching for Pam.

  7. It’s not clear if this is going to be important, but take a close look at the scene at JR’s visitation in which John Ross takes Emma’s pill bottle and we see a close up of the bottle. First of all, it shows Emma Ryland, not Emma Brown. Second, it shows her address as being in Laredo, TX, which is on the other side of the border from Nuevo Laredo. I’m wondering if there’s any type of connection. It would certainly be a valid reason for Emma to be down in that area at the time of JR’s shooting.

    • joesiegler says:

      That is a seriously epic clue if true.

      I still maintain whoever killed JR is “new series”, not someone from the past like Pam or Kristen or something – that would require setup to explain. I think they’re gonna go with someone or something we know from “new series only”.

      If that is true about Laredo / Mexico, and it does turn out to be Emma, it would be interesting if all of this turns out to be part of Ryland’s plan to take them down – infiltrate using “divide and conquer”.

    • You are right. We noticed that last week while viewing the show as well. Very interesting tidbit of information, isn’t ‘t it? One of my friends is convinced that Emma is a plant to snoop. She is adamant that Ryland wanted her to move to Southfork to spy. I am of the opinion her Dad might try to use her to snoop on the Ewings now that she is there….but that he never wanted her to go there initially. Lol…we all told her she has conspiracy theory-itus.

      • Oh my, my head is spinning now!

      • joesiegler says:

        I do recall thinking that during the actual funeral scene that Emma was there. She seemed out of place there. Granted, I recognize the practical realities of the funeral and Hagman’s death, but they could have just as easily NOT put her in that scene.

    • Good eye, Frank! I noticed the name “Emma Ryland” but not the Laredo address. This might turn out to be a good clue!

  8. i dont think Emma has anything to do with JRs death. i do think shes the new Lucy which has been discussed here by a few different people. tonights episode was very exciting but i have to say that the writers seem to throw curveballs out of nowhere just to spice it up…like Miss Ellie’s will. Honestly,if she wouldve amended her will concerning Southfork in the event of JRs death to include John Ross as part owner then i believe she also wouldve included Gary who was her favorite and whom she always said was more of a Southworth than Ewing. now i know Gary has a drinking problem and she wouldve worried that hed be irresponsible but thats why hed only own a third…and while i loved Sue Ellen being hardnosed to Gary and trying to make him leave her alone concerning her relapse, i thought it was somewhat rushed that Gary said he cared too much for her to let her keep drinking etc…that being said,I loved seeing Valene and was hoping that she wouldve delivered on her threat to Sue Ellen in some way as opposed to just storming out of the office and episode with no real closure. i was on pins and needles though when Harris and his mother struggled and also when the rig exploded.Nice weekly cliffhanger! and oh yea, i know Cliff is willing to do anything to bring down the Ewings but this is too much for even him….

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