Dallas Parallels: Turning Tables

Carter McKay, Dallas, Fran Kranz, George Kennedy, Hunter McKay, TNT

Who says you can’t beat a Ewing?

As the original “Dallas” neared its end, two Westar board members invited J.R. to become the company’s new chairman. J.R. found the offer too good to refuse, so he sold his share of Ewing Oil to Cliff Barnes and accepted the offer to join Westar — only to have the rug pulled out from under him by Carter McKay. In “The Decline and Fall of the Ewing Empire,” J.R. discovered the Westar job was a ruse; Carter’s minions had dangled the offer in front of J.R. long enough for him to sell Ewing Oil, and then Carter snatched Westar away, leaving J.R. with nothing.

History repeated itself, sort of, as TNT’s “Dallas” sequel series drew to a close. Carter’s grandson Hunter encouraged J.R.’s son John Ross to take Ewing Global public, making shares of the company available to outside investors. In “Victims of Love,” Hunter, with help from partner-in-crime Nicolas Trevino, purchased all of Ewing Global’s shares during the company’s initial public offering — seizing control of John Ross’s company in a single swoop. Once again, a McKay had beaten a Ewing.

The parallels between these storylines aren’t perfect. Carter merely tricked J.R. into giving up Ewing Oil, while Hunter took over Ewing Global. Nevertheless, there are similarities between the scenes where J.R. and John Ross each realize the tables have been turned against them. Both sequences feature surprise reunions — J.R. and Dusty Farlow (!) in “The Decline and Fall of the Ewing Empire,” Christopher and Hunter in “Victims of Love” — and J.R. and John Ross use similar language. J.R. to Carter: “You son of a bitch. You set me up.” John Ross to Hunter: “You and Nicolas were setting me up.” There are also important differences: cool-as-a-cucumber J.R. keeps a stiff upper lip after Carter’s victory, while hot-headed John Ross attacks Hunter.

It took a while, but J.R. eventually clawed his way back to power. Will John Ross do the same? More importantly, how long will we have to wait to see it?

 

‘You Son of a Bitch. You Set Me Up.’

Dallas, Decline and Fall of the Ewing Empire, J.R. Ewing, Larry Hagman

Like son

In “The Decline and Fall of the Ewing Empire,” a 14th-season “Dallas” episode, J.R. (Larry Hagman) is sitting at his office desk when Rose (Jeri Gaile) enters the room.

ROSE: Mind if I come in?

J.R.: What do you want?

ROSE: Thought maybe there was an office you wanted me to bug. [Looking around] Oh, this is nice. This is very nice. Oh, yes. I especially like your desk. [She sits on it and strokes the lamp.] It’s so … big. Use it much?

J.R.: How the hell did you get in here?

Carter (George Kennedy) enters.

CARTER: Your assistant seems to have vacated her post. Hello, J.R. Rose is right. It’s a very nice office.

J.R.: I thought you left Dallas for good.

CARTER: Only to find Rose. [Puts his arm around her] We decided to come back here for a while. Just to see how things were doing. [Sits in a chair]

J.R.: You heard, huh?

CARTER: Heard what?

J.R.: That I’m going to be the new chairman of the board of Westar. You come here to stop me?

CARTER: I did receive a few phone calls about it. Frankly, J.R., I think you’d make a terrible chairman of the board. [J.R. smiles.] I do have some affection for Westar. I’d hate to see you destroy it.

J.R.: Well, that’s too bad. Because I now have the voting rights. [Rose smiles coyly.]

CARTER: Oh, that’s right. Clayton gave them to you, didn’t he? They carry a lot of weight.

J.R.: [Chuckles] That’s an understatement.

CARTER: Maybe, but maybe the voting rights aren’t enough. Don’t you have to have the shares to go with them?

J.R.: Oh, don’t you worry about that. [Stands, moves from behind the desk] I’ll get ’em. In time, I’ll get them.

Dusty (Jared Martin) enters.

DUSTY: I wouldn’t be too sure of that, J.R.

CARTER: You do remember Dusty Farlow, don’t you?

J.R.: Like I remember athlete’s foot. Well, I don’t know what rock you had to turn over to find him, but those voting rights are legally mine.

DUSTY: You haven’t changed, have you? You’re still plottin’ and schemin’ and one-uppin’ everyone you can.

J.R.: [Chuckles] Well, some people are easier to one-up than others — as I’m sure you remember.

DUSTY: Oh, I remember J.R. Except this time, I don’t think your little schemes are going to work.

J.R.: You going to try to stop me?

DUSTY: I already have. You see, those shares were more trouble than they were worth. I was happy to sell them to Mac.

J.R.: [To Carter] You son of a bitch. You set me up.

CARTER: True, and I didn’t think it would be that easy. I’m the majority stockholder now, J.R., and tomorrow, I’m putting my own man in. And you can kiss your dreams of becoming chairman goodbye. [Rose blows him a kiss, and then she and Carter exit.]

DUSTY: So long, J.R. Give my regards to Sue Ellen. Oh, that’s right. I forgot. She dumped you. [He smiles and leaves.]

 

‘You and Nicholas Were Setting Me Up’

Dallas, John Ross, Josh Henderson, Victims of Love, TNT

Like father

In “Victims of Love,” a third-season “Dallas” episode, Hunter (Fran Kranz) is in his apartment when he answers a knock at the door, revealing John Ross and Christopher (Josh Henderson, Jesse Metcalfe)

HUNTER: John Ross, Christopher. What’s up guys?

CHRISTOPHER: Hunter, we were hoping to have a little chat.

HUNTER: Yeah, no problem, of course. Come on in. Come on. [The cousins follow him into the apartment, where he pauses a video game and picks up a beer bottle.] All right. Man, Christopher. It’s been a minute, huh? [Laughs] Last time I saw you must’ve been … high school. [He takes a potato chip from a bowl and eats it.]

JOHN ROSS: And last time you saw me, you and Nicholas were setting me up so that you could steal our company.

HUNTER: Whoa, guys, I-I-I don’t want there to be any hard feelings. It was all just business.

CHRISTOPHER: Except what you did was illegal. You see, we know the money you used came from the Mendez-Ochoa cartel.

HUNTER: I don’t know what you’re talking about. [Sips his beer]

JOHN ROSS: I think you do.

CHRISTOPHER: And we’re filing a suit with the SEC, and when we do, you’re going to find yourself in jail.

HUNTER: [Sets down his beer] Guys, let’s just be honest. If you already had proof of where that money came from, you wouldn’t be standing in my apartment. [Chuckles] I think I win.

CHRISTOPHER: [To John Ross] Let’s go. [They turn and head for the door.]

HUNTER: You know, John Ross, Nicolas wasn’t so sure you’d take the bait. But then I told him how J.R. fell for a similar move when my grandfather tricked him into giving up Ewing Oil. That’s sort of poetic justice, right? You losing your company the same way your daddy did?

John Ross lunges for Hunter and grabs him by his sweatshirt.

CHRISTOPHER: John Ross!

JOHN ROSS: We’re going to find out where that money came from, McKay, and when we do, you’re finished!

CHRISTOPHER: [Pulls John Ross away] Let’s go! Come on.

What do you think of the Ewings’ losses to the McKays? Share your comments below and read more “Dallas Parallels.”

Comments

  1. These tricks make 4 better ratings b/c you know that ol’J.R. 2 & 3 will come back out on top eventually! Its the chaos, the drama, & the glory that is DALLAS!

What do you think?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: