Dallas Parallels: Stand by Your Women

Bobby Ewing, Dallas, Patrick Duffy, TNT

On the surface, Bobby Ewing’s taste in women seems to run the gamut. Blondes, brunettes, redheads — he’s loved ’em all. But dig a little deeper and a common denominator emerges: Most of the women in Bobby’s life need rescuing from one thing or another, whether it’s salvation from their own neuroses (Pam), their scandalous pasts (April) or their psychotic, homicidal mothers (Jory). Bobby’s attraction to ladies like this should come as no surprise. He has the biggest hero complex on “Dallas,” so of course he’s going to be drawn to women in jeopardy.

Indeed, no matter what kind of drama Bobby’s wives or girlfriends bring into his life, you can always count on him to stand by them — even when they run afoul of the law. This has happened twice on “Dallas.” During the original show’s eighth season, Bobby’s on-again/off-again fiancée Jenna Wade goes on trial after being accused of shooting and killing her on-again/off-again husband, Naldo Marchetta. History repeats itself during the second season of TNT’s “Dallas,” when Bobby’s wife Ann goes on trial for shooting her ex-husband, Harris Ryland.

There’s a major difference in the two storylines, of course, which is this: Jenna didn’t actually shoot Naldo, while Ann most definitely shot Harris. But no matter. What counts is how Bobby supports Jenna and Ann throughout their ordeals. In both storylines, we see him console the accused women, give them pep talks and help their lawyers devise defense strategies. He also testifies in both trials, although he’s called as a witness for the prosecution during Jenna’s proceedings. (Awkward!)

Both storylines also demonstrate how Bobby is willing to — gasp! — lie to protect his women and their children. When Jenna is convicted and sentenced to prison, Bobby falsely declares he’s the father of her daughter Charlie to prevent the judge from making the little girl a ward of the state. Meanwhile, when the police arrive on Bobby and Ann’s doorstep to question her about Harris’s shooting, Bobby falsely confesses to the crime. His reasoning? He wants to make sure Ann and Harris’s daughter Emma doesn’t get mad at Mom for shooting Dad.

In fact, if the two storylines achieve nothing else, they showcase Bobby’s paternal side. Not long after Jenna is found guilty, Bobby goes home and finds Charlie worried about her mother’s fate. Bobby sits with the girl and sweetly assures her that she’ll always have a home with the Ewings. “You’re going to stay right here on the ranch,” he says. Twenty-eight years later, after Ann is convicted, Bobby visits Emma and tells her, “You have another family at Southfork. If you ever need anything, we’re there.”

See? Good ol’ Bobby is even willing to rescue young women in jeopardy. Would we expect anything less from him?


‘You’re Going to Stay Right Here on the Ranch’

Bobby Ewing, Charlie Wade, Dallas, Patrick Duffy, Setences, Shalane McCall


In “Sentences,” an eighth-season “Dallas” episode, Bobby (Patrick Duffy) enters a Southfork guest room and finds Charlie (Shalane McCall) sitting in the window.

BOBBY: Well, I was wondering if you were going to bed or not.

CHARLIE: Bobby, I can’t sleep.

BOBBY: I understand, honey.

CHARLIE: I’m really scared. [Bobby puts his arm around her.] My father’s dead, my mama’s in jail. I know she didn’t kill him, Bobby. Mama couldn’t kill anyone.

BOBBY: Of course she didn’t kill him. And I’m going to do everything I can to help her too.

CHARLIE: Mama really loves you, Bobby. She didn’t want to marry anyone but you.

BOBBY: I know, I know.

CHARLIE: [Sighs] I bet he was really mean to her.

BOBBY: Hey, now. Don’t think about that. You just remember that your mama would never hurt anybody.

CHARLIE: But I feel so funny now.

BOBBY: Funny how?

CHARLIE: Kind of lost. Like I don’t belong anyplace. I thought I was going to live at Southfork and you’d be my daddy. Now I don’t have anybody.

BOBBY: That’s not true. You’ve got me. And you’re going to stay right here on the ranch.

CHARLIE: I can stay here?

BOBBY: Of course you can.

CHARLIE: Yeah, but will they let you keep me?

BOBBY: Well, I don’t see any way they can stop me.

CHARLIE: Yeah, but nobody thought Mama would be convicted and she was.

BOBBY: Charlie, I swear to you, nothing is going to happen.

CHARLIE: [Embracing him] Oh, Bobby, please help her.

BOBBY: Now, come on. You get in bed and get some sleep. You need your rest. [He walks her to the bed and tucks her in.] OK. Good night, honey. [Kisses her, turns off the lamp]

CHARLIE: Good night.


‘You Have Another Family at Southfork’

Blame Game, Bobby Ewing, Dallas, Emma Bell, Emma Ryland, Patrick Duffy, TNT


In “Blame Game,” a second-season “Dallas” episode, Bobby (Patrick Duffy) approaches Emma (Emma Bell) at the stable.

EMMA: What do you want?

BOBBY: I thought I’d drop by and see how you’re doing, check on you. And to remind you of something: You have another family at Southfork. If you ever need anything, we’re there.

EMMA: I won’t be needing you. I promise. [She pushes her hair back. Bobby smiles.] What? What are you smiling at?

BOBBY: That thing you did with your hair. It’s just like your mom. So like I said, if you need anything.

What do you think of Bobby’s support for Ann, Jenna and their daughters? Share your comments below and read more “Dallas Parallels.”


  1. Jennifer Irons says:

    One of the big reasons Bobby was and is my favorite Dallas character is because of Patrick Duffy! Patrick is so very convincing as the All-American hero/good guy always coming to the “rescue” of the women he loves and cares about! It is not surprising to me that Bobby would be supportive of not just Ann and Jenna but of Emma and Charlie too! Bobby is just a very compassionate guy by nature and I sense that about Patrick as well.

  2. garnet mcgee says:

    will bobby be protective of emma when all her misdeeds surface? I suspect he will even though she doesnt deserve it.

  3. Yes Brother Bobby James was &is compassionate & helpful for women. But C. B., have u ever noticed that many of the many (including Ewing men) have to stick by their women at different points throughout both series as the females are actually stronger. Look how Jock relied so heavily on Miss Elly & J. R. on Sue Ellen at points for business meetings just as two examples. Bobby relied heavily on Pamela for p.r. & feel good enterprises such as Ewing branch off businesses just as John Ross is relying on his Pamela to stay strong with the Ewings b/c of her murder ordering father Cliff Barnes! Superb parallel C. B. U r an excellent writer & I hope u don’t mind me using your intials! Its meant as a tribute to Brother J. R.!

    • YES! R.J., you’re very correct: The women on this show are often stronger than the men. I’m not sure Jock could have survived without Miss Ellie. And I surely don’t mind you using my initials. I’m honored. I just hope people don’t mind that I have the same initials as that rat Cliff Barnes! 😉

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