TNT’s Dallas Scene of the Day: ‘I Shot Your Father, John Ross’

Bum, Dallas, Legacies, Kevin Page, Steve Jones, TNT

It was you, Bum

In “Legacies,” “Dallas’s” second-season finale, Bobby and Bum (Patrick Duffy, Kevin Page) visit J.R.’s gravesite.

BOBBY: Thank you, J.R., for taking care of all of us. Even from the great beyond.

A Southfork pickup truck arrives. John Ross and Christopher (Josh Henderson, Jesse Metcalfe) exit.

JOHN ROSS: Don’t you think it’s about time you told us what really happened to J.R.?

BOBBY: What do you mean?

CHRISTOPHER: You’ve been pulling our strings since the funeral, Dad. It’s time you trusted us.

BOBBY: You know basically what I know. Cliff Barnes is responsible for J.R.’s death.

JOHN ROSS: I’m not buying it, Uncle Bobby.

BOBBY: The Barnes/Ewing feud is over. You two can reset your futures. Never worry about Cliff Barnes again. What else do you need to know?

CHRISTOPHER: J.R.’s whole master scheme was in that letter. And you haven’t even come close to telling us what it really said. We’re out here now, all alone. It’s time.

BOBBY: [Looks at Bum, removes the letter from his coat pocket, begins to read as John Ross and Christopher walk closer] “Bobby, Doctors say I’ve only got a few days left. Damn cancer. I should have told you earlier, but you know how I detest pity.

JOHN ROSS: [To Christopher] My father was dying?

BOBBY: “The feud Digger Barnes started with our family caused more heartbreak than either of us has time to recount. Well, I guess you do have the time. Use it. Put an end to this feud, once and for all. I had Bum steal Cliff’s gun. That malignant little troll Barnes comes to Mexico every year for a Marlin fishing competition. I’m going to damn well stay alive long enough to be here when he arrives. Carlos del Sol will smooth out the rough edges in Mexico for you. And talk to Bum. He’s the final and most important piece of the puzzle. And the best friend I didn’t deserve to have. So remember the time that you got grounded for “borrowing” Daddy’s favorite shotgun? You swore up and down it wasn’t you but Daddy said there was no point in lying because he found those extra shells in your room. Well, we both know it was me who planted those shells. Now it’s time to play that card again. I can – ” It just goes on.

He turns away. Christopher embraces his father, takes the letter and resumes reading it.

CHRISTOPHER: “I can never make up for all the terrible, hurtful things I did to you, Bobby. And I have no excuses either one of us will believe. But I hope in the quiet place in your heart, where the truth lives, that my jealousy, as powerful as it was, was nothing compared to my love for you. Goodbye, baby brother. I guess I’ll be duck hunting with Daddy. I’ll tell him I was the one who borrowed his gun.”

JOHN ROSS: I’m sorry. I’m confused. Who shot my father, Uncle Bobby?

BUM: I shot your father, John Ross. He only had a few days left and he asked me to do it. He said that’s the way it had to be. It was the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do. Please believe that J.R.’s last act was an act of love. For his family. And for you.

John Ross walks toward Bum.

JOHN ROSS: The only person who could take down J.R. … was J.R.

John Ross shakes Bum’s hand. Bum wipes away a tear and leaves. Bobby hands John Ross the letter and walks away, leaving John Ross to kneel by the headstone.

JOHN ROSS: Thank you, Daddy, for watching over us. I love you.


  1. It was a great scene with the boys., and even J.R. in spirit. I am happy with this. The interesting thing about the letter is that J.R. still blames Digger Barnes entirely.

  2. I have a group at work I discuss Dallas with. This scene was all of the ladies favorite scene. Every one of them were blown away by the writing and by Patrick’s performance. They repeatedly said that JR’s letter was beautifully written and they loved the fact that JR turned out to be the answer to the big question. They were amazed at the intensity Patrick brought to that scene. I have to concur. This scene combined with the one in the hotel room with Cliff…..great, great.

    • Patrick Duffy was great in the last four episodes and especially so in this one. I think to some degree there is an analogy between what is said on the show and in real life. When Bobby says he is unable to be like J.R. and has a difficult time thinking and acting like him, I feel in a way it is Duffy saying, I am not Larry Hagman, I can not think and act like him.

      • Dan in WI says:

        Interesting theory Jump. I’m not sure I agree. I’ll have to think about it. My first gut impulse is it was only Bobby the character talking with no Duffy the man creaping in but you might be right.

  3. barbara fan says:

    Its the one scene in the final episode which I enjoyed, found moving and reminded me of old Dallas. I thought that Pat D and actor who plays Bum were great and it was emotional.


  1. […] episode’s best scene takes place in the Southfork graveyard, where John Ross and Christopher listen as Bobby finally […]

  2. […] loyal private eye Bum (Kevin Page), who charmed me in his scene with Sue Ellen and moved me when he confessed his role in J.R.’s master plan. Season 2 also introduced two promising additions to the Ewing […]

  3. […] loyal private eye who helped J.R. execute his master plan (which included – spoiler alert! – executing J.R.). I recently spoke to Page about his role on the show – and his place in TV […]

  4. […] note the parallels between Jock’s will, which leads to the high point in their rivalry, and the letter that Bobby reads at the end of the new “Dallas’s” second season, which effectively brings their warring to an […]

  5. […] more prominently than ever. His character, Steve “Bum” Jones, will go down in TV history as the last guy to shoot J.R., but Page’s greatest contribution to the show might be the way Bum has become John Ross’s […]

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