TNT’s Dallas Scene of the Day: ‘This Drink … is For You’

Dallas, Guilt by Association, Linda Gray, Sue Ellen Ewing, TNT

Set ’em up, Sue

In “Guilt by Association,” a second-season “Dallas” episode, Governor McConaughey (Steven Weber) is seated at his office desk when Sue Ellen (Linda Gray) enters.

MCCONAUGHEY: Sue Ellen, what brings you in from Dallas, huh?

SUE ELLEN: Actually from the Cayman Islands, where I had a lovely breakfast with Ken Richards.

MCCONAUGHEY: Good old Ken. [Throws his pen on the table] So how is he enjoying his retirement? Boy, I hope he’s wearing sunblock down there. As I recall, he gets burned easily.

SUE ELLEN: [Smiles] I gave him the news of the rig explosion that was sabotaged after all. And you know, he wasn’t surprised. I’m sure you weren’t, either.

MCCONAUGHEY: Sue Ellen, you know, I’ve got a charity function I need to attend so if you just kind of move it along –

SUE ELLEN: [Ignoring him, pulls out file] He also gave me a copy of a rather interesting document. It’s the initial findings report that was submitted to your office from TESHA’s investigation of the rig explosion. [Tosses the file on his desk, walks to bar, pours a drink] What I find very interesting is that there’s proof that there were two explosions. Proof that your office redacted and then refused to publish.

MCCONAUGHEY: Yeah, that is interesting, Sue Ellen. It’s very interesting. But you know what I think is even more interesting than that is why Ken would bring this to you when he knows that if he were to do that, he’d find himself in some serious trouble of his own?

SUE ELLEN: I gave him my word that I’d protect him.

MCCONAUGHEY: Well that’s very nice of you. I mean, it’s completely delusional, but it’s very nice. [Leans forward] Now you damn well that if you do anything with this report – anything at all – there’ll be nothing stopping me from taking Ken down.

SUE ELLEN: [Holding drink] I do.

MCCONAUGHEY: And yet you’re still here. [Leans back, notices Sue Ellen smiling] Oh, I see. Boy, Ken should’ve known better than to ever trust you. Because you can never trust a drunk.

SUE ELLEN: That’s right. And I have been a drunk most of my life. I used alcohol to allow myself to do things I could never do sober. Like lie and get taken advantage of by men like you. But today, I don’t need a drink. [Sets the drink on his desk] This drink, governor, is for you. You’re going to need it. Because now that I have the goods on you, you’re going to do what I want. [Sits across from his desk, smiles] So, let’s discuss eminent domain.


  1. One of the best scenes this season.

  2. Sue Ellen brings it again. I feel that next season the rest of the cast will step up too. This season, Linda Gray set a perfect example of what Dallas fans want. the message to the audience before season two started was so sincere. This scene shows the dedication to the show and clear respect for Larry Hagman and the character J.R..

  3. Best scene of the season! Linda Gray rocked every scene she was in this season. The writers really got the character of Sue Ellen right. I hope they truly keep it up and keep Sue Ellen front and center next season!

    • Frank, I knew you’d love this scene. Between this one and Linda Gray’s big scenes in “J.R.’s Masterpiece,” I don’t know what to choose as my “Scene of the Season.”

  4. MCCONAUGHEY: And yet you’re still here.

    After this line it’s important to add:

    “Sue Ellen: [Smiles]”

    to make this part of the Gov’s line better understandable:

    MCCONAUGHEY: [Leans back] Oh, I see. Boy, Ken should’ve known better than to ever trust you. Because you can never trust a drunk.

    Great scene. Glad you chose it. 🙂

  5. this scene just rocked. so perfectly written…and perfectly played by both Linda and Steve. I like Weber. He does smarmy very well. I hope they have him return. It is nice to know Sue Ellen has a governor in her pocket!

    I am glad we got a payoff with the drinking. When she first poured that drink, I was like OH MY GAWD…what is SHE doing? I was transfixed on that glass. Had to kinda crow when she gave it to him!

    Again,,,,, this scene was fantastic. There is a lot of subtext here…..especially knowing all of Sue Ellen’s history.

    Sometimes I think that Sue Ellen could be even more powerful than JR. Why? First, JR often went too far in how he dealt with people. I remember Jock yelling at him about being so heavy handed. He often would go beyond just beating someone…he would make them hate him. (I don’t think he cared if they hated him…..he enjoyed going over the top.) Second, she does know most of JR’s tricks. She watched him for years, she listened to him for years, and she saw the results…good and bad for years. Third, Sue Ellen is less likely to be heavy handed. I think by watching JR she knows when to put the screws to someone, but also learned from JR’s mistake that trouncing them often results in blowback. So I would think she would go with a softer, but effective touch.

    But…I don’t know if she has the stomach to truly put the fear in someone. Luckily, she CAN reference JR and her knowledge learned from him. LOL…I think enough people who knew him would waver then…wondering if she is willing to go as far as JR. JR wove such a path of destruction that people could be scared of her by association.

  6. I’m sorry but Sue Ellen drinking and demeaning herself by her past behavior with it really is an insult to all the hard work Linda Gray did to get her off of it in the first place – pathetic!

  7. Sue Ellen drinking again has been quite controversial.some people love it and some people hate it. i personally think it has given Linda Gray most of the best scenes this season and as well as in the original series. its part of what makes Sue Ellen so real, but this has been talked about quite a bit so ill just say that i think this was Sue Ellen’s season…. no disrespect to Larry Hagman who is the soul of Dallas! Sue Ellen went from being barely present in the first season on TNT to being an unstoppable force in season 2.. Linda Gray has chemistry with every person she shares a scene with and thats not an easy thing to do. i love the friendship between her and Ann,the mother & son relationship she has with John Ross and in some ways,shes like a sister to Bobby – they may not always agree on things but they still got each others back and most of all,the love she had for JR. i sure hope they keep Sue Ellen in the spotlight for season 3!!

  8. Dan in WI says:

    Now this is my Sue Ellen. This is the Sue Ellen who bought Valentine’s Lingerie just to go after Mandy Winger and get back at JR. This is the strong Sue Ellen who has beaten alcohol in the past I think she just did it again.


  1. […] other highlight of “Guilt by Association:” the sly, sexy confrontation where Sue Ellen marches into the governor’s office and blackmails him into easing up on his […]

  2. […] with Gary and later Ken, proving a woman in her 70s could still be playful and alluring, and blackmailed Governor McConaughey with a smile, demonstrating just how much she learned from her ex-husband. […]

  3. […] Ewings in the investigation into their rig explosion, she glides into his office, pours a drink and announces she’s going to expose his malfeasance. McConaughey is not pleased. “You can never trust a […]

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