Dallas Scene of the Day: ‘I’m Gonna Drink Myself Into Oblivion’

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

Who’s afraid of Sue Ellen Ewing?

In “Ewing Inferno,” “Dallas’s” sixth-season finale, J.R. (Larry Hagman) comes home and finds Sue Ellen (Linda Gray) seated on the living room sofa, drinking.

J.R.: Sue Ellen, what are you doing down here? You need your rest, honey.

SUE ELLEN: How solicitous.

J.R.: You feeling better?

SUE ELLEN: You mean am I still drunk? [Smirks] Well, not enough. Somebody thoughtfully locked up all the liquor. But I just happened to find this lovely little bottle of burgundy in the kitchen. [Holds it aloft] Theresa tried to protect me from it. It seems like everyone’s protecting me, except my loving husband.

J.R.: Let me have the bottle, Sue Ellen. You shouldn’t be drinking. You know that.

SUE ELLEN: Don’t you lecture me on what I should and shouldn’t do. [Takes a drink]

J.R.: All right, all right. I won’t.

SUE ELLEN: My, how agreeable you are. [Gets up, walks toward him, still holding the glass and the bottle] Wonder why you’re so agreeable, J.R.? Hmm? Did you find someone new to sleep with you today? Or did you have to rely on one of your old mistresses? Maybe, just maybe, Miss Holly Harwood made herself available to you. Maybe the two of you were out wildcatting.

J.R.: That’s all over, Sue Ellen. It was a big mistake. I thought I explained that to you.

SUE ELLEN: You know, you are a terrific explainer. In fact, you do that better than you do almost anything. You know, you even explained away the 10 years of hell I went through during our first marriage. And you know what? I believed you so much that I married you for the second time. What an idiot I was.

J.R.: Sue Ellen, I love you. What do I have to do to prove it?

SUE ELLEN: You don’t have to do anything. You’ve ruined my life, J.R. You have destroyed me. Like you destroy everything you touch. [Moves closer] Now, why don’t you do one kind little thing for me, hmm? Unlock the liquor, because I’m going to drink myself into oblivion.

J.R.: We’ll talk about this when you calm down. [In the distance, John Ross calls for his mother.] I’ll see to the boy. [J.R. turns and heads toward the stairs.]

SUE ELLEN: Don’t you dare touch that son of mine. He’s mine.

J.R.: Well, I’ll get Mama to take care of him. Where is she, anyhow?

SUE ELLEN: She went away with Clayton. She can’t stand the sight of you either!

John Ross calls again.

J.R.: I’ll take care of him myself. [Climbs the stairs]

SUE ELLEN: Keep away from him.

J.R.: You stay here Sue Ellen.

SUE ELLEN: No! [She steps forward and throws the bottle at J.R. It smashes against the wall.] You stay away from him.


  1. One of the most quoted scenes in Dallas history…at least in our house! (not literally of course.)


  1. […] conversation, but no matter. There’s no doubt J.R. has been humbled. Consider the third act’s final scene. After ordering Teresa to lock up the liquor, J.R. finds Sue Ellen getting drunk in the living […]

  2. […] lashes out at John Ross and blames him for her problems (“You did this to me!”), just like she used to do with J.R. I’ve gotten so used to seeing Gray play Sue Ellen as a functional alcoholic, it’s […]

  3. […] clash before he was shot? The time they reminisced about their courtship? Their confrontation after she caught him in bed with Holly Harwood? The time she gave him a taste of his own medicine? […]

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