Dallas Scene of the Day: ‘I Wonder What It Is?’

Dallas, J.R. Ewing, Larry Hagman, Past Imperfect

Who shoved J.R.?

In “Past Imperfect,” a seventh-season “Dallas” episode, J.R. and Sly (Larry Hagman, Debbie Rennard) stand in the Ewing Oil reception area, reviewing papers.

J.R.: All right, Sly. I’ll check these out. You can work on them tomorrow. Good night.

SLY: Thank you, J.R.

She grabs her purses and approaches the elevator as the doors open. Clayton (Howard Keel) steps out and brushes past her.

CLAYTON: Where’s J.R.? Is he still here? [Heads toward J.R.’s office]

SLY: Uh, I don’t know. Mr. Farlow, you can’t go in there.

CLAYTON: The hell I can’t.

J.R.: [Begins to exit his office] What’s going on our here anyhow?

CLAYTON: I’m going to see you. [He smacks the papers in J.R.’s hand, sending them flying and marches into the office, forcing J.R. to walk backwards.] Now what the hell do you mean, poking around in my life?

J.R.: What are you talking about?

CLAYTON: Sending people to San Angelo to investigate me.

J.R.: I didn’t send anybody anywhere.

CLAYTON: You are a liar. [Grabs J.R.’s jacket lapels] Now I got a call from the sheriff that somebody’s been snooping around in my affairs. And the only person that could be is you.

J.R.: Now, Clayton, please. Let me explain.

CLAYTON: I was a fool to fall for that line of yours at lunch yesterday. You’re just as devious as you ever were. [Pushes J.R. onto his couch]

J.R.: Just give me a chance to explain, would you please? You would’ve done the same thing under the circumstances. I told you at lunch I love my mama and I’d do anything in the world to see that she’s safe.

CLAYTON: And you don’t think that she’d be safe with me, huh?

J.R.: Look, Clayton, you’ve been around the family a long time. But we really don’t know that much about you. The only reason I was having you checked out was to make sure that Mama didn’t have any surprises after she married you. That’s all.

CLAYTON: [Leans forward] When are you going to get it through that thick skull of yours that I love your mother and all I want is a chance to make her happy? And I’m going to have that chance, whether you like it or not.

He turns and leaves, walking past Sly, who stands in the doorway.

SLY: J.R., are you all right?

J.R.: I’m fine.

SLY: That is a very angry man.

J.R.: He sure is. And a man who gets that angry over a little snooping around must have something interesting to hide. [Chuckles] I wonder what that is?


  1. Wasn’t it that his supposed “son” Dusty Farlow was actually his “nephew” & the real son of his crazy & deranged sister who later on held Mama hostage?!

    • Yes, indeed. I believe Dusty’s father is Atticus or Arlen Ward. I’m rolling my eyes as I write that. Not one of my favorite “Dallas” storylines.

      • Dan in WI says:

        The Atticus/Arlen storyline was a case of running out of things to do with with Clayton and Ellie. The “Ewings” in Montana was even worse.

      • I’m looking forward to the Atticus/Arlen storyline. I’m hoping it’s better than I remember. I have no desire to see the Montana Ewings story again, however.


  1. […] “Past Imperfect’s” best scene, Clayton Farlow storms off the elevator at Ewing Oil, barges into J.R.’s office and shoves him […]

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