Dallas Scene of the Day: ‘Sue Ellen, I’m in Trouble’

Dallas, J.R. Ewing, Larry Hagman, Legacy, Linda Gray, Sue Ellen Ewing

Present tense

In “Legacy,” a sixth-season “Dallas” episode, Sue Ellen sits alone at the breakfast table on the Southfork patio as J.R. (Larry Hagman) paces and reads the newspaper.

J.R.: I tell you, I’ve never read such depressing news. Rebecca’s poor old husband must be spinning in his grave. He worked his butt off all his life building a fortune under the Wentworth name, and two-thirds of it now goes to some family named Barnes.

SUE ELLEN: Darlin’, get yourself some breakfast and sit down.

J.R.: [Slaps down the newspaper in front of her, points to the article] Look here, look there. The oil company Barnes-Wentworth goes to Cliff Barnes outright. I should have stayed with the funny papers.

SUE ELLEN: I don’t know why you’re so concerned about this.

J.R.: With Pamela an heiress, Barnes wielding major power? When Rebecca was alive, she could at least temper his idiocy. Now that she’s gone, he’s free to do any fool thing he wants to.

SUE ELLEN: I think Rebecca was very wise, the way she took care of her children.

J.R.: [Exasperated] Giving Barnes complete control of that company is like giving John Ross a loaded gun to play with.

SUE ELLEN: [Laughs] J.R., Rebecca’s will shouldn’t concern you at all.

J.R.: Well, Barnes is Bobby’s brother-in-law, you know? And Bobby’s not too far behind me in this little contest we’ve got going.

SUE ELLEN: Cliff’s not going to help him. He hates all the Ewings now.

J.R.: Well, who knows what that lunatic’s going to do? And look where Pam came out on this deal.

SUE ELLEN: Bobby and Pam are separated.

J.R.: Yeah, let’s just hope it stays that way.

SUE ELLEN: I don’t hope any such thing.

J.R.: Sue Ellen, I just mean until I win Ewing Oil. [Snatches back the paper, sits]

SUE ELLEN: Darlin’, you really seem to be worried about all this. Are you afraid we’re going to lose? [Gets up from her seat, sits on the arm of his chair, rubs his shoulders]

J.R.: Sue Ellen, I am in trouble. I lost my variance. Bobby made a killing on that Wellington deal. Pamela inherited a fortune. If they ever get together again, if she starts to help him, they could wield a frightening amount of clout. Really.

SUE ELLEN: I’ve never heard you talk like this before.

J.R.: Like I said Sue Ellen, I’m in trouble. I’ve just got to find a way out.


  1. […] but he does a nice of reinforcing what we’ve come to expect from them. I especially like the scene where J.R. paces on the patio, ranting about the outcome of Rebecca’s will reading. It’s […]

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