Dallas Scene of the Day: ‘Do You Want Anything?’

Dallas, Pam Ewing, Quandary, Victoria Principal

Tea for two

In “Quandary,” a ninth-season “Dallas” episode, Pam (Victoria Principal) enters Bobby’s office, followed by J.R. (Larry Hagman).

J.R.: What the hell are you doing here? Don’t you have any respect at all? This is my brother’s office. Nobody’s supposed to be here.

PAM: Calm down, J.R. If you want me to go to another office, I’ll —

J.R.: I don’t want you in the building.

PAM: Well, that’s too bad, because you and I are partners now.

J.R.: That may be so, but I don’t want you hanging around here.

PAM: I’m not hanging around! I’m going to be working here right by your side, every day of the week.

J.R.: You can’t be serious.

PAM: What did you think I meant last night at the ball?

J.R.: I don’t know what you meant, but I’ll tell you what I mean: I don’t want you in my sight, much less my offices. And I always get what I want.

PAM: Your threats aren’t going to work. I’m here to stay, so get used to it. [Sits, punches the intercom] Phyllis?

PHYLLIS: Yes?

PAM: I’d like a cup of tea. A cup of herbal tea, please. [To J.R.] Do you want anything?

J.R.: This is no sentimental game, Pam. You’re in the big leagues now. And you better hope you can handle the heat, because you’re going to get plenty of it. And that’s no threat. It’s a promise.

He exits as Phyllis (Deborah Tranelli) enters with the tea.

PHYLLIS: Will there be anything else?

PAM: No, Phyllis. Not right now. Thank you.

PHYLLIS: Okay. [Smiles, exits]

Watch this scene in “Quandary,” available on DVD and at Amazon and iTunes, and share your comments below.

‘Swan Song’: Making a ‘Dallas’ Classic

Bobby Ewing, Dallas, Pam Ewing, Patrick Duffy, Swan Song, Victoria Principal

End of the road

Ask “Dallas” fans to name their favorite episode and many will say “Swan Song,” the 1985 segment in which Bobby dies heroically after saving Pam’s life. Although the death was later written off as a dream, the episode remains moving and memorable. To mark its 30th anniversary, I spoke to eight “Dallas” insiders who had a hand in making the classic.

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Changes were afoot as production on “Dallas’s” eighth season neared completion in early 1985. The CBS drama was still popular, but the ratings had slipped. The show also was getting ready to bid farewell to star Patrick Duffy, who had been playing Bobby Ewing since 1978.

PATRICK DUFFY I left not for any negative reason. I was at the end of my contract, which was for seven years. I thought, if ever there was going to be an opportunity to try something different, this was it.

STEVE KANALY People who worked on the show were talking about it, wondering what was going to happen. Larry [Hagman] was probably the most upset because he wanted to keep everybody together. That’s how he saw the show succeeding. On the other hand, Larry and Patrick were very, very close, and you want your friend to have his shot. You can’t blame Patrick for wanting to see what’s on the other side of the fence.

MICHAEL PREECE (“Dallas” director) I can understand why he wanted to leave. He got to the point where he said, “I don’t read the scripts. I know what my character is going to say.” Patrick is a very bright guy, and he would look at a long speech — a one-minute speech — and say, “Yeah, yeah. I’ve said this before. I know what to say.” And he would be pretty right on.

Duffy wasn’t the only member of the original cast preparing to exit. The producers decided to not renew the contract of Charlene Tilton, telling the actress they had run out of storylines for her character, Lucy Ewing.

CHARLENE TILTON At the time, they told me to make a statement saying that I chose to leave because I wanted to pursue other ventures, and I said, “Nope. You guys let me go and I’m going to tell the truth.” And I did. In all the interviews I did, I told the truth. I never would have chosen to leave the show, I didn’t want to leave the show. I was heartbroken, devastated, shocked.

LINDA GRAY I felt it was a mistake [to let Tilton go]. When people tune in to see a family drama, they want to see the family. Fans don’t like it when that dynamic is interfered with. As dysfunctional as the Ewings were, the audience wanted the family to stay together.

Bobby Ewing, Dallas, Patrick Duffy, Swan Song

Bobby Ewing, Dallas, Patrick Duffy, Swan Song

Irreplaceable

“Dallas” producer Leonard Katzman decided to write out Tilton by having Lucy leave town. Duffy’s character would receive a more dramatic exit, however. Believing the audience would not accept another actor in the role — and since it was unlikely Bobby would leave Southfork — the decision was made to kill off the character.

DUFFY I never intended to come back, and the death of the hero is a pretty powerful way to [end a season]. It made sense from a dramatic perspective.

DAVID JACOBS (“Dallas” creator) They didn’t want to leave anything open. They wanted the death to be final. The audience is very smart. They’ve been manipulated so much through the years that if they didn’t see the body, they would have expected it was just a ploy, like the show was giving [Duffy] a year off to make a movie or something. But he wasn’t planning to come back.

Katzman — after spending years clashing with executive producer Phil Capice — was quietly preparing to leave “Dallas” too. He was developing his own series at ABC.

JACOBS This is me speculating, but I think Leonard was getting a little tired of it. He was tired of the conflicts with Phil. I also think it annoyed Leonard that when something big happened on “Dallas,” like the “Who Shot J.R.?” episode, that I would get so much press because I created the show. He wanted to develop a show that could be his from the get-go. Leonard had something to prove, just like we all have something to prove.

PREECE Lenny did everything [on “Dallas.”] He wrote it, directed it, produced it. The crew, the cast — everyone was sorry to see him go.

DEBORAH RENNARD (Sly) Every organization is colored by the person at the top. They set the tone, and even if Leonard wasn’t directing an episode and wasn’t literally on the set, somehow his presence was there. … When we found he was leaving, it was like, “How do we go on without him?”

Dallas, Ray Krebbs, Steve Kanaly, Swan Song

Reflections

In March 1985, cameras rolled on the eighth-season finale, which Katzman wrote and directed himself. Details were shrouded in secrecy.

DEBORAH TRANELLI (Phyllis) It was like guarding military secrets for fear that things might leak out to the media before the airdate.

Although the script was titled “Swan Song,” the focus isn’t exclusively on the departing characters. The episode also features a moving scene in which Ray pleads with his estranged wife Donna (Susan Howard) to return to him. In another memorable exchange, J.R. accuses Sue Ellen of drinking again. Her response: “Joan of Arc would have been drunk if she had been married to you.”

KANALY I can recall the scene I played with Susan, outside the house in the dark, next to the pool. From the perspective of an actor in an ensemble, I remember thinking, “Okay, it’s my turn now.” Those scenes don’t come every week. Sometimes they never come. But I had some big moments, and that was one of them.

GRAY I remember [the Joan of Arc line]. I loved all those great lines. Those are like gems. You see those on the page, and you think, “Yes, bring it on.”

Charlene Tilton, Lucy Ewing, Swan Song

Charlene Tilton, Dallas, Lucy Ewing, Swan Song

Goodbye girl

Another emotional high point: Lucy’s second wedding to Mitch Cooper (Leigh McCloskey) in the Southfork living room. The scene ends with Tilton’s character telling the Ewings, “I’m going to miss you all. I’ll never be the same again.”

TILTON I remember filming that like it was yesterday. I was saying it from the heart, but I was also saying it from a point of maturity. I wasn’t taking it personally. They didn’t know what to do with my character. I get that. So that line was very genuine, because these people had become my family.

Tilton also remembers the white suit she wears in the scene, which was filmed shortly before Easter.

TILTON I told [the producers], “I want to wear this to church on Easter Sunday!” And they let me do it. I didn’t wear the veil, though. [Laughs]

Bobby Ewing, Dallas, Pam Ewing, Patrick Duffy, Swan Song, Victoria Principal

Til death

Although “Dallas” usually filmed in Los Angeles during the winter and spring, Katzman secretly took a skeleton crew to Texas to shoot the pivotal scene in which Bobby pushes Pam (Victoria Principal) out of the path of a speeding car being driven by vengeful Katherine Wentworth (Morgan Brittany). The scene ends with Pam crawling to Bobby and cradling him in her arms — a move Principal later said was improvised.

DUFFY I totally understand that. I don’t think she thought, “Oh, this would be charming if I crawled to him.” I think she was in the moment, and I think that’s why she screamed so loud. I know she wouldn’t have done that had she thought about it ahead of time. And it was loud! It made my ears ring. But that’s because it was real for her.

That night, Duffy and a friend from the crew went out to dinner.

DUFFY He had a couple of beers. But I drank more than I normally would, and I know it’s because [the driveway scene] affected me. I had just filmed what I thought was going to be the end of Bobby, other than the death scene at the hospital. It was a there’s-no-going-back-now kind of thing.

Dallas, Deborah Tranelli, Phyllis Wapner, Swan Song

For real

In another touching sequence, J.R. is visiting mistress Mandy Winger (Deborah Shelton) when he calls the office to tell the secretaries he won’t be coming into work that day. When Sly answers the phone, Phyllis is in tears.

TRANELLI It’s a very simple scene. I don’t speak a word. Someone once said to me, “The tears look so real.” I jokingly said, “Well, of course they were. I thought I was out of a job!” [Laughs] But the truth is, I loved Patrick, and Phyllis loved Bobby, and I was losing both. So the tears were genuine.

RENNARD She did lovely work on that scene. She always did excellent work on the show.

TRANELLI Deborah and I were good friends. So it was very touching to have someone that I trusted, as a friend and an actor, there sharing that very vulnerable moment with me.

Bobby Ewing, Dallas, Leonard Katzman, Patrick Duffy, Swan Song

Dallas, J.R. Ewing, Larry Hagman, Swan Song

Trail of tears

Scenes in each “Dallas” episode often were filmed out of order and then edited together before broadcast. With “Swan Song,” Katzman insisted the final scene shown — Bobby’s hospital deathbed farewell — should also be the last episode filmed. It was shot Friday, March 29, 1985.

DUFFY There was no way to film that scene and then shoot a scene of Bobby at the office, and then do J.R. coming home from work. [The deathbed scene] was the last scene of that episode, and we filmed it on the last day of production. Leonard knew that after that, everybody was going to be gone emotionally.

Bobby dies surrounded by his family, but there are two notable absences: Sue Ellen and Lucy.

GRAY I didn’t take it personally like, “Oh dear, Sue Ellen should be at the deathbed.” When you work on a show like “Dallas,” the hours are long, and so when you get a day off, you’re thrilled. And I was never one to go to Leonard and say, “I should be there.”

TILTON I was disappointed, but that’s the business.

The scene is filled with tears — especially from Ray, who holds Donna and sobs.

KANALY I was feeling both the pain of Bobby Ewing dying and the pain of losing my friend Patrick Duffy from the show. Those are real tears on my part. Reality and acting get all mixed up for awhile. I think that’s where I was. We all had a big cry.

Katzman arranged the actors around Bobby’s deathbed, placing the character’s two love interests — Pam and Jenna Wade (Priscilla Presley) — side by side.

DUFFY Leonard did that intentionally, because when Bobby says, “We wasted so much time,” you never know which one he’s talking to. It was brilliantly directed.

When Bobby takes his last breath, the monitor near his bed flat lines. The sound jolts Principal and prompts Hagman to step forward and deliver J.R.’s tearful plea, “Don’t do this to me, Bobby. Don’t leave me.”

DUFFY When the flat line happens, they actually had the sound on stage because Leonard wanted everybody’s reaction to that piercing, monotone note. And I knew the sound would go on for a while so Leonard could pan to each person for their reaction. But [the sound] kept going, and it kept going, and it kept going. And that’s because Leonard was crying and couldn’t cut the camera. He couldn’t bring himself to say the word “cut” and end the scene, and end his association with the show. He was the life of “Dallas.”

Dallas, Ray Krebbs, Swan Song, Steve Kanaly

Bobby Ewing, Clayton Farlow, Dallas, Donna Krebbs, Donna Reed, Howard Keel, Jenna Wade, J.R. Ewing, Larry Hagman, Miss Ellie Ewing Farlow, Pam Ewing, Patrick Duffy, Priscilla Beaulieu Presley, Ray Krebbs, Susan Howard, Swan Song

Death be proud

“Swan Song” aired May 17, 1985. The episode earned critical raves and was the week’s most-watched show — the last time “Dallas” ever hit No. 1 in the ratings.

DUFFY A day or so after it aired, I trucked off to the local supermarket to do my shopping and got accosted in the parking lot by a weeping, wailing woman. She was straddling two worlds of reality, telling me how sad she was that I was dead, and yet she was standing there in the parking lot, talking to me. She couldn’t, at that moment, divide herself and say, “Boy, what a devastating scene that was. I’m really going to miss your character.” No, she was actually talking to dead Bobby. And I realized television can be a very influential thing in somebody’s life. A lot of people responded that way to his death.

The following season, “Dallas” dropped out of Nielsen’s top 5 while Katzman’s new show, “Our Family Honor,” was canceled after 13 episodes. By the spring of 1986, Katzman agreed to return to “Dallas,” this time replacing Capice as executive producer, and Hagman persuaded Duffy to return as Bobby.

JACOBS When Leonard told me the [dream scenario] idea, I said, “That is horrible. I think that’s terrible.” And Leonard said, “Okay, give me a better one. He’s no good to me except as Bobby Ewing.” I knew from experience that he was right.

DUFFY [Fans] invested in that moment, and they were told that what they invested in wasn’t real. So they feel cheated a bit. But they stayed with us as an audience. And there was no other way to bring Patrick Duffy back on the show “Dallas” as Bobby Ewing. There was no other way.

Today, “Swan Song” is seen as a watershed moment for “Dallas.” Audiences continue to admire the performances and Katzman’s writing and directing.

KANALY If you look at all the episodes, I think it’s probably a real standout. It had everything that made the show so popular.

DUFFY “Dallas” was so big then. I felt very proud — and I don’t know, fulfilled — to take part in something that was as big as the death of Bobby Ewing. I don’t mean that in an arrogant way. It’s just that as huge as “Dallas” was, we knew this was going to be a big deal. And it was kind of fun to be a part of it.

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What do you love about “Swan Song”? Share your comments below and read more features from Dallas Decoder.

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

Bobby Ewing, Dallas, Patrick Duffy, Swan Song

Exit the hero

“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 cut short when he sacrifices his life to save hers. It’s pure soap opera, yet the performances from Patrick Duffy, Victoria Principal and the other actors are so heartfelt, every emotion rings true. Even though it’s 30 years later, and even though Bobby’s death later turned out to be a dream, “Swan Song” still moves me.

Like “A House Divided,” the 1980 segment that kicked off the “Who Shot J.R.?” phenomenon, “Swan Song” deserves to be remembered as a watershed moment for “Dallas.” Not only was this supposed to be Duffy’s final appearance as Bobby, it also was intended as the last hurrah for producer Leonard Katzman, who wrote and directed the episode before departing to run his own show on another network. Both men eventually returned to Southfork, which would have been unthinkable when the cameras were rolling on this episode in March 1985. (I examine the backstage drama in a companion post, “‘Swan Song: Making a ‘Dallas’ Classic.”) Watching it today, you get the impression everyone involved wanted to send Duffy and Katzman off on a high note. Did they ever.

More than anything, “Swan Song” is remembered for two scenes: Bobby pushing Pam out of the path of the speeding car and his deathbed farewell to his family. Neither sequence would pack as much punch if weren’t for two earlier, quieter moments. First, Pam summons Bobby to her home to discuss their future. The couple has been divorced for years, and now he’s engaged to Jenna Wade, one of the show’s other long-suffering heroines. Bobby tells Pam he still loves her, but she says it will destroy Jenna if he doesn’t go through with the wedding. “As much as I love you, you have to marry her,” Pam says. It’s a line straight out of a Douglas Sirk movie, but it’s crucial to our understanding of Principal’s character — and Duffy’s, for that matter. Bobby and Pam have always been willing to sacrifice their own happiness to spare the feelings of others. That’s what makes them perfect for each other.

Later, Bobby returns to Pam’s home and tells her he’s decided it would be wrong to marry one woman when he’s in love with another. This is something the audience has known for a long time, but “Dallas” fans are always one step ahead of the characters in matters of the heart. Finally, Bobby asks the question Pam — and the audience — has longed to hear: “Will you … marry me … again?” Duffy delivers the line with a sweet, almost nervous enthusiasm, while Principal responds by simultaneously bursting into tears and laughter. The characters kiss, and she elegantly reaches behind her head to turn off the lamp. It’s “Swan Song’s” most romantic moment — until Katzman kills the mood by cutting to the scene outside, where the mysterious driver who’s been following Bobby silently pounds her fists onto the steering wheel.

End of the road

Bobby Ewing, Dallas, Pam Ewing, Patrick Duffy, Swan Song, Victoria Principal

Scream queen

“Swan Song’s” climactic action sequence begins the morning after Bobby’s proposal. A landscaper arrives at Pam’s house and parks his vehicle next to Bobby’s (this will be important later), while inside, the happy couple are beginning to plan their future together. After carrying little Christopher downstairs to breakfast — eggs and toast, not that you need to be reminded — Pam walks Bobby outside. She tells him how bad she feels for Jenna. He reassures her they’re doing the right thing, kisses her goodbye and walks to his car. In the distance, the stalker starts her ignition. Through her windshield we see Pam run over to give Bobby one more kiss, and then the stalker’s car begins moving. The motion slows, our hearts race. Bobby spots the speeding car and shouts Pam’s name. As she turns, he pushes her out of the way, allowing the vehicle to strike him. He rolls over the hood, the roof, the trunk. When he finally hits pavement, we hear the thud.

What happens next is seared into the memories of “Dallas” fans. Pam — dressed in that beautiful white sweater and pants — crawls to Bobby, turns him over and rests his bloodied head on her lap. It’s not unlike Jackie Kennedy cradling her husband in the moments after his assassination. Our point of view switches to the stalker’s car, which has slammed into the landscaper’s truck. He rushes over, reaches inside and pulls off the woman’s blonde wig, which turns her head toward the camera. Katherine Wentworth’s eyes — lifeless, yet still crazed — stare back at us. We then return to Bobby and Pam, who emits a guttural scream. In my behind-the-scenes post, Duffy says the sound she produced made his ears ring. I believe it. Principal has ceased being an actress at this moment. She is Pam Ewing, clutching the hand of the man she loves as he lay dying.

‘It’s Bobby’

Dallas, J.R. Ewing, Larry Hagman, Swan Song

Last call

If “Swan Song” had ended here, we’d still remember it as a great hour of television. But “Dallas” doesn’t let us off the hook that easily. The episode now shows us the characters finding out what’s happened to Bobby. Cliff is standing in his living room, arguing with his new wife Jamie and her brother Jack, when a radio bulletin announces the “bizarre turn of events” that’s caused Bobby to be rushed to the hospital. (This is the same radio voice that announced Bobby’s shooting at the beginning of this season, by the way.) When the newsman says the incident occurred at the home of “Mr. Ewing’s ex-wife,” Ken Kercheval closes his eyes and winces. The announcer may be puzzled by what’s happened, but Cliff knows.

Across town, J.R. is awakening in the home of his mistress, Mandy Winger. He’s decided to spend the day with her, so he calls Ewing Oil to let the secretaries know he won’t be coming into work. At the office, Phyllis is hunched over her desk, sobbing. Sly answers the phone and tells J.R. that everyone has been trying to reach him. He asks why she’s upset, but we don’t get to hear Deborah Rennard’s character break the news. Instead, Katzman holds the camera on Larry Hagman as J.R.’s face falls. In the background, we hear a few solemn notes of the “Dallas” theme. “It’s Bobby,” J.R. says as he puts down the phone, grabs his hat and rushes out the door.

This is one of the most powerful moments in the episode. Much credit goes to Hagman, whose reaction is flawless, and composer Lance Rubin, who was smart enough to use the theme music to signal the gravity of the situation. But don’t overlook Deborah Tranelli, the actress who plays Phyllis. More than anyone else in this episode, she serves as a stand-in for the audience. Bobby was Phyllis’s boss, but she also knew him the way we do — as a friend. Phyllis’s tears are ours. Without saying a word, Tranelli delivers one of “Swan Song’s” most haunting performances.

Death is but a dream

Dallas, Ray Krebbs, Steve Kanaly, Swan Song

Sob brother

The deathbed farewell is a familiar trope in drama, but the “Dallas” cast infuses Bobby’s goodbye with heart and grace. This was a company of actors who cared about each other and their work, and in this scene, it shows. Steve Kanaly’s sobbing is touching, and so is the single tear that streams down Hagman’s face. This also is one of Donna Reed’s best performances as Miss Ellie. Yes, Bobby’s death would have been even more memorable if it had featured Barbara Bel Geddes, but Reed looks believably stricken. Of course, nothing gets me like the moment Bobby’s monitor flat lines, jolting Pam. I don’t know if Principal did this instinctively or if she was following Katzman’s direction, but seeing Pam almost jump out of her skin makes the shock of Bobby’s death palpable. I also love what Principal does next, throwing back her head in quiet agony. It’s an exquisite performance.

Perhaps no one rises to the occasion, though, quite like Duffy. It would have been easy to overplay a scene like this, as we’ve all seen actors in other movies and TV shows do. But Duffy strikes every note perfectly, from his groggy greeting upon waking up (“Hey, Ray”) to the break in voice when he addresses Ellie (“Oh, Mama, I’m sorry”). Duffy brings to bear all the years he spent creating this character; if Bobby’s death feels like the loss of a real person, it’s because of the actor playing him. It’s also worth noting how smartly Katzman wrote this scene. He injects a little mystery into the exchange by having Bobby declare, “All that wasted time. We should have been married.” Is he speaking to Pam or Jenna? It seems clear now, but I can remember debating this with my mom in 1985. On the other hand, when Bobby says, “Be good to each other. Be a family,” do we have any doubt which Ewing that line is directed toward?

Never the same

Bobby Ewing, Dallas, Patrick Duffy, Swan Song

Bye, Bob

There’s much more to love about “Swan Song.” This episode also gives us one of the great bedroom fights between J.R. and Sue Ellen (“Joan of Arc would have been a drunk if she had been married to you”); another touching moment from Kanaly when Ray pleads with his estranged wife Donna to come back to him; and Lucy’s sentimental farewell to the Ewings after remarrying Mitch. “I’m going to miss you all. I’ll never be the same again,” she says. I have no doubt the line describes Charlene Tilton’s own sentiments as much as it does her character’s. (Although this was Tilton’s swan song too, she eventually returned, like Duffy and Katzman.)

And yet “Swan Song” isn’t flawless, is it? During the proposal scene, the shadows on Duffy’s face are distracting, Katherine’s wig and her tomato juice throwing scene are undeniably campy, and there’s at least one glaring continuity error: On the morning of the accident, we see Bobby putting on brown boots — but when he’s run over in the driveway a few minutes later, he’s wearing black shoes. The show also gives away quite a bit of the plot in the pre-credits roll, although I suppose that doesn’t matter now that we know how the story ends. Some fans also gripe that “Dallas” was foolish to kill off Bobby in the first place since Duffy ended up returning, but I admire the boldness of his death. Killing major characters is common on television today, but it didn’t happen so much in the 1980s. And let’s face it: “Dallas” handles Bobby’s demise much better than it did Jock’s, which dragged on far too long.

Does it matter that the most memorable parts of “Swan Song” later turned out to be one character’s dream? Not really. Yes, Bobby’s death has gone down in television history with an asterisk next to it, but that doesn’t diminish the quality of the production and the amount of heart that went into honoring the character by giving him a meaningful sendoff. It brings to mind something I learned reading comic books as a kid: So what if this is an imaginary story. Aren’t they all?

Grade: A+

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Dallas, Pam Ewing, Swan Song, Victoria Principal

Death becomes her

‘SWAN SONG’

Season 8, Episode 30

Airdate: May 17, 1985

Audience: 23.3 million homes, ranking 1st in the weekly ratings

Writer and Director: Leonard Katzman

Synopsis: Sue Ellen asks Dusty to help her get sober. Donna tells Ray she’s pregnant. Cliff contemplates ending his marriage to Jamie. Lucy and Mitch are remarried. Bobby proposes to Pam and she accepts, but a vengeful Katherine mows him down in the driveway. At the hospital, Bobby bids farewell to his family before dying.

Cast: Mary Armstrong (Louise), Morgan Brittany (Katherine Wentworth), Roseanna Christensen (Teresa), Pat Colbert (Dora Mae), Patrick Duffy (Bobby Ewing), Walker Edmiston (Parson Carson), Eric Farlow (Christopher Ewing), Linda Gray (Sue Ellen Ewing), Larry Hagman (J.R. Ewing), Jenilee Harrison (Jamie Barnes), Susan Howard (Donna Krebbs), Steve Kanaly (Ray Krebbs), Omri Katz (John Ross Ewing), Howard Keel (Clayton Farlow), Ken Kercheval (Cliff Barnes), Jared Martin (Dusty Farlow), Shalane McCall (Charlie Wade), Leigh McCloskey (Dr. Mitch Cooper), Priscilla Beaulieu Presley (Jenna Wade), Victoria Principal (Pam Ewing), Dack Rambo (Jack Ewing), Donna Reed (Miss Ellie Farlow), Debbie Rennard (Sly), Deborah Shelton (Mandy Winger), Charlene Tilton (Lucy Ewing), Deborah Tranelli (Phyllis), David White (Mark)

“Swan Song” is available on DVD and at Amazon and iTunes. Watch the episode and share your comments below.

Dallas Scene of the Day: ‘You’re Babbling Like a Lunatic’

Dallas, J.R. Ewing, Larry Hagman, Legacy of Hate

Mr. Misunderstood

In “Legacy of Hate,” an eighth-season “Dallas” episode, Phyllis and Kendall (Deborah Tranelli, Danone Simpson) are in the reception area at Ewing Oil when Pam (Victoria Principal) storms off the elevator.

PHYLLIS: Pam?

PAM: Is J.R. in his office?

KENDALL: Uh, yes, he is but — [Takes a step toward her]

PHYLLIS: No, Kendall.

J.R. (Larry Hagman) is seated, facing the window. Pam enters and slams the door behind her.

PAM: You filthy snake.

J.R.: I take it this is not a social visit?

PAM: Why? Just tell me why. I was out of your life, out of your family’s life, off your precious Southfork. Why would you pull such a ghoulish trick on me? Do you really need to hurt me that much?

J.R.: [Turns to face her] What are you talking about? You’re babbling like a lunatic.

PAM: You know what I’m talking about! The trip to San Serrano! The trip to Jamaica! The trip you manipulated me into taking so that I’d look for Mark Graison.

J.R.: What?

PAM: You know how much he means to me. What kind of sick pleasure did you get out of sending me island-hopping around the Caribbean with Gerald Kane?

J.R.: Who? Who are you talking about?

PAM: [Slams her fist on the desk] You know who, damn it! The pilot that you hired to lead me on that wild goose chase!

J.R.: Now just slow down. Some nut’s been telling you stories about me and you’re believing him.

PAM: He’s not a nut and I believe him.

J.R.: I never liked you a hell of a lot, you know that, Pam? But I never thought you were stupid until now.

PAM: Stupid? [Pause] Maybe. Maybe because in the past when I’ve threatened you, I haven’t followed through. But this time it’s different, J.R. Because this thing with Mark disgusts me more than anything you’ve ever done before.

J.R.: Pam, there’s been a misunderstanding.

PAM: Shut up! Just sit there and listen! [Leans in] Cliff and your cousin Jamie want to split up Ewing Oil. And they asked me to join their fight, but I said I wouldn’t because of Bobby. Well, that won’t stop me anymore. You have no heart. You have no feelings. You can’t be hurt like other people. But you have one soft spot, one weakness — and that’s Ewing Oil, the only thing you’ve ever really loved. Well, I’m going to join Cliff, and I’m going to back him up all the way. And Cliff and Jamie and I are going to take your company away from you. And then I’m going to watch you hurt. [Turns, leaves, slams the door behind her]

Watch this scene in “Legacy of Hate,” available on DVD and at Amazon and iTunes, and share your comments below.