Critique: ‘Dallas’ Episode 190 — ‘Deliverance’

“Deliverance” is the next-to-last episode from “Dallas’s” eighth season, but if you didn’t know better, you might think it was the finale. By the end of the hour, the year’s two major storylines are resolved: Cliff and Jamie’s lawsuit to claim two-thirds of Ewing Oil ends in humiliating defeat, while Jenna gets out of prison […]

Critique: ‘Dallas’ Episode 189 — ‘Deeds and Misdeeds’

Sue Ellen’s scenes in “Deeds and Misdeeds” aren’t easy to watch. The previous episode ended with her taking her first drink in almost two years, and in this hour, she continues slipping back into her old habits. Sue Ellen leads everyone to believe her relapse was only temporary, yet she swipes a bottle of vodka […]

Critique: ‘Dallas’ Episode 188 — ‘The Ewing Connection’

No matter how many times I see the “Dallas” characters come together during a medical crisis, it never seems to lose its dramatic punch. In “The Ewing Connection,” John Ross’s appendicitis produces one chills-inducing scene after another: Miss Ellie rushing upstairs after hearing the little boy screaming in pain, Ray bursting through the emergency room […]

Critique: ‘Dallas’ Episode 187 — ‘Terms of Estrangement’

Jack Ewing is a bad boy who makes a good impression. “Terms of Estrangement” introduces the character, a long-lost cousin who comes to town offering to sell J.R. information that could undermine Cliff’s efforts to snag a piece of Ewing Oil. Is Jack telling the truth? Who knows, and who cares? The newcomer, played with […]

Critique: ‘Dallas’ Episode 186 — ‘Sentences’

Do you hate to see the judge send Jenna Wade to prison in “Sentences”? I do. Not because I think it’s unfair to punish Priscilla Beaulieu Presley’s character for a crime she didn’t commit. No, I’m sorry to see Jenna go to jail because I know she’ll be free by the end of the season. […]

Critique: ‘Dallas’ Episode 185 — ‘The Verdict’

Bobby Ewing fights to save Jenna in “The Verdict,” but the real man of the hour is Patrick Duffy. After an unusually long stretch of disappointing episodes, Duffy takes his 12th turn in the “Dallas” director’s chair and helps get the series back on track. His understanding of what the audience wants to see — […]

Critique: ‘Dallas’ Episode 184 — ‘Trial and Error’

Jenna Wade has her day in court in “Trial and Error,” although I’m not sure why we should care. Now that Pam’s search for Mark Graison has come up empty, “Dallas” clearly is paving the way for her to reunite with Bobby. This episode is full of hints: J.R. tells Sly he’s worried “that Barnes […]

Critique: ‘Dallas’ Episode 183 — ‘Dead Ends’

The title “Dead Ends” refers to Pam’s fruitless search for Mark Graison, but it also describes “Dallas’s” final batch of eighth-season episodes. This show is now killing time. The writers don’t have enough story to fill 30 hours of television, and so the material they’ve come up with is getting stretched thin. There are occasional […]

Critique: ‘Dallas’ Episode 182 — ‘Shattered Dreams’

It’s probably safe to say no “Dallas” episode would perform well on the Bechdel test, which some critics use to gauge sexism in movies. (To pass, a film must have at least one scene where two women talk to each other about something other than a man.) Nevertheless, there are times the series manages to resist […]

Critique: ‘Dallas’ Episode 181 — ‘The Brothers Ewing’

In “The Brothers Ewing,” J.R., Bobby and Ray join forces to protect the family business from the increasingly dangerous Cliff Barnes. You’d think by now we’d all be used to seeing the Ewings unite against their enemies, and yet it never seems to lose its punch, does it? Consider how the events of this episode […]