#DallasChat Daily: Can Cliff be Redeemed?

Cliff Barnes, Dallas, Ken Kercheval, TNTCliff Barnes was no angel on the original “Dallas,” but he’s become downright evil on the new series. Among his crimes: using daughter Pamela to infiltrate the Ewings, conspiring with Harris and McConaughey to seize Ewing Energies, telling Frank to kill himself, ordering Roy’s jailhouse assassination and, worst of all, blowing up the Ewing Energies rig, which caused Pamela to lose his unborn grandchildren.

Your #DallasChat Daily questions: Can Cliff be redeemed? Should he be redeemed?

Share your thoughts in the comments section below. Remember the “Miss Ellie Rule”: Keep it civil. Have a great discussion!


  1. Ronnie Papke says:

    No, that would destroy J.R.s masterpiece!

  2. Most of the things Cliff does is just business. All people are worthy of redemption. Even if I could find a way to forgive him for ordering the explosion, I would never trust him. He will always be a bad man for what he did. How can you replace a loss of two lives? He ordered the explosion and he knew that his pregnant daughter was on the rig. I just do not know if Pamela will ever trust him again. Pamela called Sue Ellen weak. I wonder if Pamela will be so weak as to return to her father and find a way to look past what he did.

  3. Jennifer Irons says:

    I don’t know if Cliff can ever be redeemed because he killed his and Bobby’s grandchildren with that rig explosion! He knew Pamela was on there and he still ordered the explosion so I don’t think he can redeem himself after that! Plus him telling Frank to kill himself was a monstrous thing to do, if he truly loved him like a son!

  4. Anonymous says:

    The cynic in me says everyone is redeemable in television. It’s hard for me to be objective here because CBS Cliff (especially of the later years) was one of the two characters I most closely identified with. He was quirky and had that lovable loser quality going. Plus, despite his faults which were legion, he was a man who could do the right thing when need be. See the commission he headed up over the Ewing/Westar tanker collision. Finally I really liked Bobby and Cliff as allies.
    I’ve gone on record many times in saying I just don’t recognize TNT Cliff. He has so many continuity problems and there is just no good known reason for the good friend of Bobby and man who made his peace with all Ewings not named JR as a result of the Dandy Dandrich epiphany to become the man of TNT Dallas.
    So I guess if I look at TNT Cliff in a vacuum then I’d say he’s irredeemable. I just refuse to recognize him as the one true Cliff.
    Now if you want to talk irredeemable what about JR? If you set aside all the mystique and aura about him (so much of which should be credited to Larry Hagman not JR) he did a ton of bad things to many, many people. Occasionally he attempted to make right the odd misdeed perpetrated on his family but off the top of my head I can’t think of a single instance he’s ever tried to make amends to a non-family member. About the only thing JR never did was have a hand in killing unborn children. But that is not to say he didn’t have an indirect hand in other people’s death. (See Walt Driscall or the countless innocents who must have died in the government change change in southeast Asia)
    Then take the examples of Harris Ryland or Nicolas Trevino. There are those who are beginning to see Harris as a human as things thaw between him and Ann. As for Nicolas, here’s a guy who’s yet to do a single good thing yet there are those who see JR in him and others who are enthralled with him for the skin deep reason of he’s hot.
    What I’m trying to say here is if one has a rooting interest in a character, any character, then that character is probably always redeemable to that fan…
    To make my point I see Elena Ramos as irredeemable at this point. But that is also a character in general which I have little use for.

  5. I think he is beyond redemption!

  6. Regardless it won’t be redeemed because the series won’t permit it. He is still the #1 nemesis to the Ewings, and because of that his character cannot be redeemed. I think what has happened to his character has been somewhat surprising to see, but I think if we use our imagination, I can see it ended up where it is. In the original, Cliff was the loser that you rooted for. Truth is, he wasn’t always the loser we think of, he rose to power in Dallas through many different positions including (Office of Land Management – OLM), then politics. The other truth that people forget was that Cliff beat JR a lot of the time. He gave JR scare after scare and then eventually won the war when he took over Ewing Oil. Even during that series Cliff was so focused on winning that he hurt people that he loved all the time, so I suppose that one can imagine that now 25 years later as his power has become immense that his personality could have turned a bit darker. That’s one of the things that I think Cidre takes unnecessary criticism for…everyone expects these characters to come back to Dallas TNT as they very same people they were in Dallas CBS…are we not to believe that people develop over the course of time and become different versions of their old selves? I think that was part of Cidre’s job with these characters – to sit down and say how has Bobby developed, how has Sue Ellen developed, etc….it’s ok where this character has gone, and I think it’s not necessarily unreasonable based on the 30 year history that we know of.

    • Dan in WI says:

      First off, while Cliff would occasionally win a battle or two he only won one war/storyline (unless I’m forgetting something) over JR and that was his getting Ewing Oil in the final CBS episode. Any other war/storyline had JR the victor in the end.

      I won’t argue the people change part at all. But I’ll always say there has to be a reason. In this case with no reason given at all it seems so out of character. Look at the facts we do know. When we last saw Cliff he had in fact won and Ewing Oil was his. The next thing we are aware of is JR spent some undetermined but apparently long period of time in a nursing home and he appeared to be pretty non-responsive during that time. And again, post Dandy Dandrich, I’d argue Cliff was pretty well redeemed from the many wrongs he committed against the people close to him (chief among them Afton and Pam) which he hurt. So what here supports something happening to Cliff to turn him back down the bitter path?

  7. Of course not, but getting Cliffy out of jail would boost the ratings!

  8. Garnet McGee says:

    I fear the writers will attempt to have Pam side with him for the sake of the plot even if it does not make sense. I think they will have her forget or minimize his causing her to lose her babies. I hope I’m wrong but I got the feeling the wrongs he did to her would be minimized because we didn’t see Pamela’s involvement in the storyline involving Drew’s return. We also didn’t hear her accuse her father of killing her babies when he called her on the phone.

    • Dan in WI says:

      Exactly. And I don’t know about you but I’m already experiencing vertigo from Elena’s drastic loyalty changing. We don’t need another character doing the same thing.

  9. Yes, Cliff Barnes can be redeemed. We lost the great Larry Hagman but we still have the great Ken Kercheval and he should be well-utilized. And Pamela needs her daddy after all John Ross has put her through.

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