Critique: ‘Dallas’ Episode 131 — ‘Ewing Inferno’

“Ewing Inferno” famously ends with J.R., Sue Ellen, Ray and John Ross trapped inside Southfork as fire sweeps through the house. I wonder: When this episode debuted in 1983, did anyone doubt all four characters would escape the blaze? After all, three of them appear in the opening credits and the fourth is a child; […]

Critique: ‘Dallas’ Episode 121 — ‘Requiem’

Rebecca Wentworth swept into “Dallas” like a character from a Douglas Sirk movie, so it’s only fitting that she leaves in the same manner. Her death in “Requiem” is pure soap opera. In the scene, Rebecca lies in a hospital bed after being injured in a plane crash, but except for the white bandages that […]

Critique: ‘Dallas’ Episode 85 – ‘The Split’

Sending J.R. and Dusty to the Cotton Bowl for their big showdown at the end of “The Split” doesn’t make a whole lot of sense, but who cares? The sequence is a logistical feat, and Larry Hagman and Jared Martin deliver terrific performances. This is one of those moments from the classic “Dallas” series that […]

Critique: ‘Dallas’ Episode 74 – ‘Ewing vs. Ewing’

Jim Davis makes his last appearance as Jock in “Dallas’s” 75th hour, “New Beginnings,” but it’s more of a cameo than anything else. His final, “real” performance comes at the end of “Ewing vs. Ewing,” and no matter how many times I watch it, it never fails to move me. Davis was diagnosed with inoperable cancer […]

Critique: ‘Dallas’ Episode 61 – ‘The Fourth Son’

In “The Fourth Son’s” third act, Jock tells Ray he’s his father, a fact the Ewing patriarch didn’t discover until earlier in the episode but a truth he’s probably always known, deep down. The scene is beautifully written and performed, and no matter how often I watch it, it always moves me. “Dallas” simply doesn’t […]

TV Critics Had Little Love for the Ewings at First

Television critics never loved “Dallas” – especially in April 1978, when CBS introduced the series as a late-season replacement for “The Carol Burnett Show.” The New York Times’ John J. O’Connor dismissed “Dallas” as a “daytime soap opera gussied up with on-location Texas settings.” He called the show “enervating” and made the curious observation it […]