Dallas Styles: Lucy’s Wedding

Sue Ellen’s dress, part 1

Lucy’s wedding in the fourth-season episode “End of the Road, Part 2,” gives the “Dallas” cast a chance to dress up and show off like never before. No one rises to the occasion quite like Linda Gray, who gets to wear two outfits.

When the ceremony begins, Sue Ellen wears a brownish-gray satin dress with shoulders so wide, it makes Gray look like she’s been wrapped in a king-sized bedspread.

… And part 2

This might be intentional. During the reception, a waiter spills a drink on Sue Ellen, and when she retreats to her bedroom to change, she discovers J.R. has been sleeping with Afton – in the same bed he shares with Sue Ellen.

Old-fashioned girl

Until this point, Sue Ellen has been resisting the charms of her old college boyfriend Clint Ogden, a guest at the wedding who has been shamelessly flirting with her. Once she knows J.R. is cheating on her again – and with her “bedspread dress” stained – Sue Ellen apparently decides she has nothing to lose.

She changes into a much different outfit: a form-fitting pinkish-orange garment with three big white flowers printed on the front.

The u-shaped neckline swoops down across Gray’s chest and leaves her shoulders exposed, making this dress much sleeker and sexier than the bedspread. Sue Ellen seems to be letting the world know she’s available again.

Lucy’s wedding gown is also revealing – figuratively, that is. She gets fitted for the dress in “End of the Road, Part 1,” when we learn Miss Ellie wore the gown during her wedding to Jock a half-century earlier.

This seems appropriate. Lucy is a modern girl in almost every sense of the word, but she harbors some pretty outdated ideas about marriage.

In “Start the Revolution with Me,” a later fourth-season episode, Lucy suggests she’d like to drop out of school so she can become a full-time wife to Mitch. At that point, it becomes clear: Lucy didn’t just inherit a wedding dress from the 1930s; she got a Depression era mentality to go along with it.

The Art of Dallas: ‘End of the Road, Part 2’

Lucy (Charlene Tilton) is seen wearing her bridal gown in this 1981 photograph from “End of the Road, Part 2,” a fourth-season “Dallas” episode.

Dallas Scene of the Day: ‘He’s a Hell of a Son’

Family business

Family business

In “Dallas’s” fourth-season episode “End of the Road, Part 2,” Bobby (Patrick Duffy) summons Jock and J.R. (Jim Davis, Larry Hagman) to the Southfork living room.

BOBBY: Daddy, I want out of Ewing Oil. It’s all yours, J.R.

JOCK: Just what are you talking about?

BOBBY: I want out. I almost did something today that I never would’ve been able to forgive myself for.

J.R.: Almost? [Walks toward the bar] Does that mean you didn’t sign with Westar Oil? [Pours himself a drink]

BOBBY: So you know about Westar, do you? Well, I can’t say I’m too surprised.

J.R.: [Pouring himself a drink] Well, Bobby, I built Ewing Oil into a power because I knew everything that was happening in Dallas. I still do. That’s how you run a successful business. [Turns to face Bobby and Jock]

BOBBY: Well, maybe you’re right. And maybe you can’t care for the people. [Turns to Jock] But I wanted to run this company on the up-and-up, Daddy. Only after awhile, the deals became more important than the people. I was borrowing from Peter to pay Paul, all the time pretending it was for the right reasons. And then I realized, after awhile, that you can only lie to yourself just so long, that I could pretend that whatever was good for Ewing Oil was alright, but it’s not. It’s not all right for me.

J.R.: Well, if you didn’t sign with Westar, that means you blew the deal with Jordan Lee and the cartel. And on top of that, we still owe them $12 million – money we don’t have.

JOCK: Is that true, Bobby? Did you go back on your word at the cartel?

BOBBY: [Sighs] I hate to disappoint you, J.R., but we’re just fine with the cartel. [To Jock] I phoned Jordan Lee and told him why I couldn’t go in on the deal with him. Then I put him together with Nick Hammond. Hammond Oil? Nick agreed to take over our part of the investment – completely – with the blessing of the cartel. We’re in real solid with them, Daddy. Till they find out J.R.’s back.

J.R.: You’re crazy, Bobby. You lost us millions of dollars.

BOBBY: I’m sure you’ll find a way to get it back. You’re very good at that sort of thing – a lot better than I wanna be. [Turns and leaves]

J.R.: [Turns to the bar] Well, if that don’t tear the rag off the bush. [Pours himself another drink] He almost bankrupts us. He leaves, and I gotta cover his tail. [Chuckles] I tell you. [Drinks]

JOCK: Just what are you talking about, J.R.? Nothing wrong with the company. We got a refinery we didn’t have before. Plenty of product. We’re even back in with the cartel. I’m proud of the way Bobby acted. He showed people the Ewing name stands for something. He’s a hell of a son – and a hell of a man. [Turns and leaves]

Critique: ‘Dallas’ Episode 66 – ‘End of the Road, Part 2’

Big fat Ewing wedding

Big fat Ewing wedding

“End of the Road, Part 2” aired three days after President Reagan’s inauguration, and as if on cue, the episode ushers in a bigger, glossier version of “Dallas.” The show has always been about big things (big homes, big business, big egos), but this hour seems to mark the moment the producers decide even bigger is even better.

This episode’s centerpiece is Lucy’s wedding, which demonstrates how much “Dallas’s” cast has ballooned during the fourth season. In addition to the main characters, the wedding is attended by Alex Ward, Clint Ogden and the Coopers, none of whom were around just a few episodes ago. It’s odd to see these newcomers get so much screen time at a Ewing family event.

To make matter worse, some of the familiar faces act like people we don’t know. I get that Pam feels vulnerable after her mother’s rejection, but would she really allow herself to be tempted by Alex? Likewise, Miss Ellie’s sudden resentment toward Ray feels forced, especially in light of the warm embrace she gave him in “Trouble at Ewing 23.”

It also doesn’t help that the wedding scenes are filmed on “Dallas’s” Hollywood soundstage, which looks even faker than usual. To create the illusion this is a large affair, the producers squeeze dozens of extras onto the set, but this only succeeds in making everyone look claustrophobic. In the scene where Sue Ellen and Clint sit at a table and chat, I find myself worrying the couples on the dance floor are going to waltz right over them.

Yes, there are a handful of nice moments in “End of the Road, Part 2,” including the scene where Jock, J.R. and Bobby duck out of the reception to talk shop in the living room. It evokes the opening of “The Godfather,” when Don Corleone does business on his daughter’s wedding day.

I also like how director Irving J. Moore allows us to hear the murmuring in the crowd when Lucy comes down the aisle (“Look at that dress!”), as well as when he switches perspective and shows the attendees from Lucy’s point of view.

Still, I can’t help but notice how “Dallas” seems to lose a little perspective of its own with this episode.

Grade: B


Stare and stare alike

Stare and stare alike


Season 4, Episode 12

Airdate: January 23, 1981

Audience: 28.3 million homes, ranking 2nd in the weekly ratings

Writer: Leonard Katzman

Director: Irving J. Moore

Synopsis: Mitch and Lucy marry. During the reception, J.R. sleeps with Afton, while Sue Ellen flirts with ex-boyfriend Clint Ogden. Bobby salvages his big deals but resigns as Ewing Oil’s president.

Cast: Barbara Babcock (Liz Craig), Barbara Bel Geddes (Miss Ellie Ewing), Karlene Crockett (Muriel Gillis), Jim Davis (Jock Ewing), Patrick Duffy (Bobby Ewing), Joel Fabiani (Alex Ward), Anne Francis (Arliss Cooper), Meg Gallagher (Louella), Ted Gehring (Brady York), Linda Gray (Sue Ellen Ewing), Larry Hagman (J.R. Ewing), Susan Howard (Donna Culver), Steve Kanaly (Ray Krebbs), Sherill Lynn Katzman (Jackie), Ken Kercheval (Cliff Barnes), Audrey Landers (Afton Cooper), Monte Markham (Clint Ogden), Leigh McCloskey (Mitch Cooper), Jeanna Michaels (Connie), Victoria Principal (Pam Ewing), Robert Rockwell (minister), Ted Shackelford (Gary Ewing), William Smithers (Jeremy Wendell), Don Starr (Jordan Lee), Charlene Tilton (Lucy Cooper), Joan Van Ark (Valene Ewing)

“End of the Road, Part 2” is available on DVD and at Amazon.com and iTunes. Watch the episode and share your comments below.