Dallas Scene of the Day: ‘She Died and I Lived!’

Brothers and Sisters, Cliff Barnes, Dallas, Ken Kercheval, Pam Ewing, Victoria Principal

The survivors

In “Brothers and Sisters,” a sixth-season “Dallas” episode, Pam and Cliff (Victoria Principal, Ken Kercheval) are in his living room, where she sits on the sofa and tells him about a potential business deal as Cliff leans against the back of a chair, not facing her.

PAM: So we went down and took a look at it. Now it’s a small division of Graisco Industries.

CLIFF: What’s that got to do with me?

PAM: Well, Mark thinks it could be a great buy for Barnes-Wentworth.

CLIFF: What, am I supposed to be honored because he wants to sell me something?

PAM: [Angry] No, you’re supposed to get off your butt, go down there and take a look at it and make a decision!

CLIFF: Forget it.

PAM: You mean you won’t even go and look at it?

CLIFF: You got it.

PAM: Cliff, listen to me. Do you know why Mama gave you that company?

CLIFF: [Walks up the steps, begins collecting laundry hanging off the bannister] That doesn’t make any difference.

PAM: Yes, it does. She left it to you because she loved you and she believed in you.

CLIFF: [Raising his voice] Look, how could she? All the times I disappointed her while she was alive. And in the beginning when you first found each other, I was the one that didn’t accept her. And you were worried, you remember? You were worried because you were afraid that I was only after her money. Well, maybe you’re right because the first chance I got, I embezzled from the company!

PAM: She forgave you!

CLIFF: [Screaming] Oh, doesn’t anybody hear me? Doesn’t anybody understand? [Tosses the laundry] I was supposed to be on that trip! [Takes a step down] She died and I lived!

PAM: That’s right, you are alive! You can’t just shrivel up and die!

CLIFF: Yeah, but what right do I have to be alive? [Sits on the stairs] You know, I wasn’t even in the hospital when she died! You think she forgave me that?

Pam’s mouth drops as Cliff buries his head in his hands. She moves toward the steps, kneels and pulls his hands away, making him face her.

PAM: [Softly] Cliff, she didn’t blame you. All she ever did was love you.

CLIFF: Oh. She loved me?

PAM: Oh, yes. She wanted you to carry on. She wanted you to continue what the two of you started together. And she asked me to take care of you. And I’m trying, if you’ll just let me.

CLIFF: She loved me?

Pam looks at him, pulls his head onto her shoulder and strokes his hair.

Comments

  1. I absolutely hate that god-damned Barnes family. But this scene is frankly raw emotion at its best! Notice it took J. R. Ewing, a Ewing to direct it! Thats why it was & is so good!

    • I think you may be on to something, R.J. I’m discovering that Larry Hagman isn’t just my favorite “Dallas” actor — he’s also one of the show’s best directors.

Trackbacks

  1. […] the best scene from “Brothers and Sisters,” Pam watches as Cliff finally unleashes the guilt that’s been […]

  2. […] heels clicking and clacking help make this scene so effective.) More great moments: Cliff comes to terms with his guilt over Rebecca’s death (this is Ken Kercheval at his most brilliant) and three […]

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