Critique: ‘Dallas’ Episode 178 — ‘Bail Out’

Bobby springs Jenna from jail in “Bail Out,” while Sue Ellen liberates her own tongue. After discovering J.R. has cheated on her yet again, she stops playing the dutiful wife and begins speaking her mind, even if it means telling loved ones things they don’t want to hear. This isn’t the first time we’ve seen […]

Critique: ‘Dallas’ Episode 177 — ‘Winds of War’

In “Winds of War,” J.R. insists he’s been faithful when Sue Ellen accuses him of cheating. He’s lying, of course, but why? Is he trying to spare his wife’s feelings, or is he trying to spare himself the embarrassment of another marital implosion? Does he want Sue Ellen to stay at Southfork because he fears […]

Critique: ‘Dallas’ Episode 174 — ‘Déjà Vu’

What could be unholier than an alliance between J.R. Ewing and Cliff Barnes? In “Déjà Vu,” the sworn enemies agree to work together to keep Bobby and Pam apart. The scene where J.R. and Cliff meet in a dive bar and toast their partnership is one of the episode’s highlights, and not just because it’s […]

Dallas Scene of the Day: ‘Be Nice to the Little Orphan’

In “Do You Take This Woman?,” an eighth-season “Dallas” episode, J.R. (Larry Hagman) is ranting in the Southfork living room, where Miss Ellie (Donna Reed), Clayton (Howard Keel), Bobby (Patrick Duffy), Sue Ellen (Linda Gray), Ray (Steve Kanaly) and Donna (Susan Howard) are gathered. J.R.: I knew it. I knew that girl was trouble the […]

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 […]

Dallas Scene of the Day: ‘You Can’t Do It, Mama’

In “Shadows,” an eighth-season “Dallas” episode, Miss Ellie (Donna Reed) stands in the Southfork living room, where J.R. (Larry Hagman) is seated and Bobby (Patrick Duffy) stands. ELLIE: Bobby, J.R., ever since Clayton and I returned from Greece, I’ve been doing a lot of thinking. It’s not easy for him to move into this family. […]

Critique: ‘Dallas’ Episode 170 — ‘Shadows’

The final scene in “Shadows” trembles with tension. Miss Ellie summons J.R. and Bobby to the Southfork living room, where she tells them she’s going to take down the painting of Jock that has hung there since his death. Ellie wants to make her new husband, Clayton Farlow, feel more comfortable in their home by […]

Dallas Scene of the Day: ‘That Blue Thing’

In “Oil Baron’s Ball III,” an eighth-season “Dallas” episode, Miss Ellie and Clayton (Barbara Bel Geddes, Howard Keel) exit their car in the Southfork driveway, where Raoul (Tony Garcia) is signing a deliveryman’s paperwork. ELLIE: That’s for me, Raoul. RAOUL: Yes, ma’am. ELLIE: Thank you. [Signs paper] Thank you. Uh, for us. CLAYTON: Hm? ELLIE: […]

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 […]