Knots Landing Scene of the Day: ‘The Crown Stays in Dallas’

Abby Cunningham, Daniel, Donna Mills, J.R. Ewing, Knots Landing

The king’s speech

In “Daniel,” a fourth-season “Knots Landing” episode, Abby and J.R. (Donna Mills, Larry Hagman) are in his hotel room, where she gives him the missing chapters of Val’s book.

ABBY: As promised, chapters 2, 5, 6, 11 and 18. [Places each chapter on a table]

J.R.: [Pouring two glasses of champagne] Good, good.

ABBY: Now, the will?

J.R.: You don’t think I brought a copy with me, do you?

ABBY: Well, I guess I can wait until tomorrow.

J.R.: Honey, you’re going to have to wait until it’s read. I don’t even have a copy.

ABBY: [Angry] Wait a minute!

J.R.: [Reassuring] I know what’s in the will — generally speaking. And generally is all you need to know, isn’t it? [Abby sighs.] Gary’s coming into money. Big money. Valene’s got nothing to do with it. Now, feel better? [Hands her a glass of champagne]

ABBY: [Giggling] Oh, yes. [They clink glasses and each take a sip.] Yes, indeed.

J.R.: Oh, my poor little baby brother. You’re just going to eat him alive, aren’t you?

ABBY: [Sits on the sofa] What makes you think I want to do a thing like that?

J.R.: Well, drink’s not the only thing he can’t handle.

ABBY: He handles me very nicely, thank you.

J.R.: [Chuckles] That’s not what I’m talking about. You know, when Gary was 16, he somehow got it into his head that he wanted a motorcycle. And our family spoiled us boys rotten. But on this issue, my daddy put his foot down. He says, “You want a motorcycle? You’re going to have to earn it.” And by God, he did. Before dawn, up every day, mucking out the stables and pitching hay. Working on the rigs in the blazing sun. He just never missed one single day. Come September, my daddy took him down to the showroom. Gave him a slap on the back and a blank check. And of course, Gary had read all the brochures and motorcycle magazines. He knew exactly what he wanted. And he signed the check and revved that old motorcycle up. He drove straight through that plate-glass window. [Chuckles] I tell you.

ABBY: Some people take longer to grow up.

J.R.: Well, that’s true. [Sits next to her] And then of course some people never grow up at all. Are you really going to marry him?

ABBY: I love him.

J.R.: You mean that? Hmm? [He tries to kiss her. She resists.] Well if you do mean it, keep him out of my showroom.

ABBY: Your showroom?

J.R.: Keep him out of Dallas.

ABBY: What makes you think that I want to be in Dallas?

J.R.: You’re not Valene. When they were together, he wouldn’t come within spitting distance of me. But you’re different. You want to be queen of the Ewings.

ABBY: [Smiles] No. I’ll settle for princess.

J.R.: All right, you’ve got it. You get the ermine and the jewels. But the crown stays in Dallas. Because the crown is mine.

ABBY: If I do keep Gary out of Dallas, what do I get in return?

J.R.: [Strokes her hair, grins] My blessing.


  1. […] is one of several terrific scenes in the “Knots Landing” episode “Daniel,” although my favorite moment comes later, when Abby returns to J.R.’s hotel room with the missing chapters from Val’s book. […]

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