Critique: ‘Dallas’ Episode 195 — ‘Resurrection’

“Resurrection” brings Mark Graison back from the dead and Sue Ellen Ewing back from the brink. His revival is the more surprising of the two, although hers is more satisfying. In the episode before this one, Sue Ellen went through a harrowing detoxification after her drinking landed her on skid row. The audience never doubts […]

Dallas Scene of the Day: ‘Bobby’s Dead’

In “The Family Ewing,” “Dallas’s” ninth-season opener, J.R. (Larry Hagman) is drinking in the Southfork living room when Sue Ellen (Linda Gray) enters the foyer and runs into Clayton (Howard Keel). SUE ELLEN: Hello, Clayton. It’s a lovely evening, isn’t it? CLAYTON: What? SUE ELLEN: Oh, I had the best day. J.R.: Oh, you had […]

Critique: ‘Dallas’ Episode 192 — ‘The Family Ewing’

“The Family Ewing,” the first episode of “Dallas’s” ninth season, chronicles the immediate aftermath of Bobby’s death. Miss Ellie, sad but sturdy, tries to plan the funeral while holding her family together — a task complicated by J.R.’s anger, Sue Ellen’s drinking and lingering questions about why Bobby and Pam were together when he was […]

The Dal-List: 19 Reasons to Love ‘Dallas’s’ Ninth Season

Dallas Decoder will soon begin critiquing the original show’s ninth season, which aired from 1985 to 1986. Here are 19 reasons to love it. 19. Mama returns. We never needed her more. 18. J.R. says goodbye. Does anyone do the single tear thing better than Larry Hagman? 17. Sue Ellen relapses. Linda Gray’s tour de force. […]

The Best & Worst of Dallas: Season 8

“Dallas’s” eighth season had its share of ups and downs. Here are the highs and lows. Performances Victoria Principal does her best work during “Dallas’s” eighth season, a.k.a. The Year Pam Gets Her Groove Back. The actress displays her old fire during Pam’s clashes with J.R., but nothing beats her performance during Bobby’s season-ending death. […]

Critique: ‘Dallas’ Episode 191 — ‘Swan Song’

“Swan Song” is a masterpiece. This is the best “Dallas” episode ever made because it dares to set aside so many of the show’s conventions — wheeling, dealing, double-crossing — to focus on what matters most: the characters and their relationships. Mostly, “Swan Song” tells the story of Bobby and Pam’s long-awaited reunion, which is […]

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 […]

Critique: ‘Dallas’ Episode 171 — ‘Charlie’

On “Dallas,” children are seen and heard. The series often involves its youngest characters in major storylines, unlike other 1980s prime-time soap operas where kids are treated as little more than props. (Does Krystina Carrington ever do anything other than smile sweetly at Mommy and Daddy?) Of course, even when “Dallas” puts kids front and […]

Critique: ‘Dallas’ Episode 169 — ‘Oil Baron’s Ball III’

“Dallas’s” Oil Baron’s Ball episodes are fan favorites, and for good reason. Not only do they show the cast dressed to the nines, we also get to see the actors together in one place. (The Southfork barbecue and wedding episodes are pretty much the only other occasions where this happens.) The balls often are remembered […]

Critique: ‘Dallas’ Episode 168 — ‘Homecoming’

Even after all these years, it’s still strange to see Donna Reed play Miss Ellie. Reed’s first episode is “Homecoming,” and as soon as she enters the frame in the famous scene where Ellie and Clayton arrive at their airport upon returning from their honeymoon, you can see how different the newcomer is from the actress […]