Dallas Scene of the Day: ‘You Bastard’

Dallas, Linda Gray, Lockup in Laredo, Sue Ellen Ewing

What goes up …

In “Lockup in Laredo,” an eighth-season “Dallas” episode, J.R. (Larry Hagman) comes home from work and enters the Southfork foyer, where Jamie (Jenilee Harrison) is ending a phone call with Bobby.

J.R.: Did I just hear you say you talked to Judge Samuelson?

JAMIE: Yes. Bobby needed to get in touch with him.

J.R.: Well, the judge is a very important man. I should have done that.

JAMIE: I know, and Bobby wanted you to. But you weren’t there so I called him myself.

J.R.: Well, listen young lady, you don’t just pick up a phone and call people like that. You should have waited for me. [Puts down his hat, enters the living room]

JAMIE: Waited for you? I did more than that. I went out to try and find you.

J.R.: [Stops in his tracks] Find me?

JAMIE: I called the restaurant where you were at, but you left specific orders that you did not want to be disturbed. So I went there myself because it was so important. And there you were, hugging some tall, gorgeous blond who seemed to know you pretty well.

Sue Ellen (Linda Gray) comes down the stairs in the background.

J.R.: That woman happens to be a business associate.

JAMIE: Ah, another business associate. Like the one you were hugging at the barbecue? Only this time, you weren’t just hugging her. You were groping her and kissing her, and you probably spent the rest of the afternoon in bed with her.

J.R.: That’s a hell of an assumption on your part.

JAMIE: You didn’t come back to the office all afternoon. J.R., how could you do that to Sue Ellen?

SUE ELLEN: I’d like to know the answer to that question myself.

JAMIE: Sue Ellen.

SUE ELLEN: You bastard. I knew things between us were too good to last.

J.R.: It’s not what it looks like. This girl saw it wrong.

SUE ELLEN: Groping and kissing? That’s hard to see wrong.

J.R.: She’s lying.

JAMIE: I’m so sorry, Sue Ellen. I didn’t mean for you to hear this.

J.R.: Well, it seems like there’s a lot of things you don’t mean but you go ahead and do them anyhow, and people get hurt.

JAMIE: I’m not the one hurting people. You are.

J.R.: You’ve got a lot of gall, young lady.

SUE ELLEN: Don’t you dare twist it around. It’s not Jamie’s fault.

J.R.: Well, then whose fault is it? She sees something she doesn’t understand and then broadcasts lies all over the place.

JAMIE: I’m not lying.

J.R.: The hell you’re not. You’ve been lying ever since you first got here — and I’m sick and tired of it. I want you out of this house and off this property right now.

SUE ELLEN: She’s not going anywhere.

J.R.: She’s a troublemaker, Sue Ellen. I want her out of this house tonight.


JAMIE: That’s okay, Sue Ellen. I don’t want to stay here anymore anyway. I’ve had all that I can take. And you know, J.R., I told you I wasn’t going to use that document. I never wanted to hurt the family. But maybe now I will. Maybe now I’ll show you how real a Ewing I am. [Runs upstairs]

J.R.: You heard what she said. I told you we couldn’t trust her.

SUE ELLEN: It’s happening all over again, isn’t it? The sneaking around, the cheating.

J.R.: I’m not cheating on you.

SUE ELLEN: Shut up! I don’t want to hear any more of your lies.

J.R.: She’s the one who’s lying.

SUE ELLEN: I doubt that very much. Jamie and I have built up a wonderful friendship over the past several months, and she cares about it as much as I do. You’re the one who ruined it. I told you to leave her alone, stay away from her, but no. You had to destroy that friendship — just like you’ve destroyed everything else in my life.

J.R.: [Steps forward] Sue Ellen, would you listen to me.

SUE ELLEN: No, I will not listen to you! [Smiles] Congratulations. You had a wonderful day for yourself, didn’t you? You got rid of Jamie, and you got rid of me. [Begins climbing the stairs] I hope she fights you for Ewing Oil, and I hope she wins. Because then you’ll know exactly how I feel tonight.

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

Critique: ‘Dallas’ Episode 176 — ‘Lockup in Laredo’

Dallas, Jenna Wade, Lockup in Laredo, Priscilla Beaulieu Presley

Caged beauty

Jenna Wade goes to jail in “Lockup in Laredo,” which is cause for celebration as far as I’m concerned. This is when Stephen Elliott arrives as Scotty Demarest, the high-dollar super lawyer who defended Jock Ewing against murder charges during “Dallas’s” third season and returns here to do the same for Priscilla Beaulieu Presley’s character. With his flamboyant style and thick drawl, Elliott makes Scotty a Texas version of Johnnie Cochrane. He’s a joy to watch and one of the best things about the Jenna-in-jeopardy storyline that dominates this era of the show.

Elliott shines every time he appears in “Lockup in Laredo,” although his best moment comes when Scotty questions Jenna in the jailhouse conference room. The scene begins with Jenna tired of rehashing the events that preceded her arrest and confident she didn’t fire the shots that killed her ex-husband, Naldo. But Scotty’s relentless questioning makes her re-consider everything she thinks she knows about the creep’s demise. Elliott, who honed his talent on the New York stage, forces Presley to keep up with him, bringing out the best in her performance. The contrast between his bulldog theatrics and her quiet, exhausted frustration makes their almost five-minute exchange a scene to remember. (Or “re-mem-buh,” as Scotty would say.)

“Lockup in Laredo” is the 10th “Dallas” episode helmed by Patrick Duffy, who once again demonstrates his knack for visual storytelling. In one scene, Bobby and Scotty examine the evidence found in Naldo’s car. This conversation could have been staged in a conference room too, but Duffy instead brings the characters to the impound lot, filming himself and Elliott inside the vehicle as they poke around the backseat and glove box. It helps the audience feel part of the action, and it’s always nice to see the actors in a new environment. In that spirit, I like the scene that shows Jackie relaxing at home when Cliff calls her, marking one of the few times we see a “Dallas” secretary in her own living space.

Duffy also does a nice job staging “Lockup in Laredo’s” pivotal final scene, which pulls together multiple narrative threads. We’ve been waiting several episodes for Sue Ellen to realize J.R. is getting bored in their marriage. We’ve also been waiting to see what Jamie will do with the legal document that could divide control of Ewing Oil among Jock, Jason and Digger’s heirs. Both storylines come to a head when J.R. arrives home and is confronted by Jamie, who spotted him cheating with Serena earlier in the day. When Sue Ellen overhears the conversation and questions her husband, he accuses Jamie of lying, prompting her to threaten to use her document against him. Sure, this is convoluted plotting, but you have to admire “Dallas’s” ability to advance two subplots in one swoop.

The other reason I like this scene is because it backs J.R. into a corner, which is where he’s always at his best (or worst, as the case may be). Let’s face it: As much as we all love Larry Hagman’s character, he’s gotten a little dull this season. David Paulsen’s script acknowledges as much when Miss Ellie and Clayton stand on the Southfork patio and discuss how troubled everyone at the ranch is these days — with the exception of J.R., who is being downright princely. “Isn’t it funny when everything else is going so badly, he’s the one bright spot in the family?” Ellie says. The moment these words pass her lips, you know she’s going to regret them.

I also enjoy seeing Ray and Donna take another turn as this show’s version of “McMillan and Wife,” this time combing through Sam Culver’s old legal papers to find evidence to refute Jamie’s claims about Ewing Oil’s ownership. This feels a little more organic than their investigation last year into Edgar Randolph’s past, although I’m always bewildered by this show’s inability to give Steve Kanaly and Susan Howard a storyline of their own. (By the way, what’s going on with the oil company Donna bought a few episodes ago?) Likewise, I have mixed feelings about Lucy’s storyline. I wish she had stuck with waitressing a little longer, although I’m intrigued by her foray into the real estate business in “Lockup in Laredo.” It’s not what I would have expected from her, but hey, at least she isn’t being kidnapped again.

Grade: B


Bobby Ewing, Dallas, Lockup in Laredo, Patrick Duffy, Scotty Demarest, Stephen Elliott

Backseat driver


Season 8, Episode 15

Airdate: January 4, 1985

Audience: 22.3 million homes, ranking 3rd in the weekly ratings

Writer: David Paulsen

Director: Patrick Duffy

Synopsis: After Jenna is arrested for Naldo’s murder, Bobby hires Scotty Demarest to defend her. Jamie catches J.R. cheating with Serena and confronts him, unaware that Sue Ellen is eavesdropping. Mandy grows tired of Cliff. Ray and Donna find evidence that Jamie’s document is real. Pam finds no trace of Mark in Jamaica. Lucy suggests she and Eddie go into the real estate business.

Cast: Beau Billingslea (Dr. Miller), Stephanie Blackmore (Serena Wald), Roseanna Christiansen (Teresa), James Cromwell (Gerald Kane), Val De Vargas (Patrick Wolfe), Patrick Duffy (Bobby Ewing), Stephen Elliott (Scotty Demarest), Eric Farlow (Christopher Ewing), Linda Gray (Sue Ellen Ewing), Larry Hagman (J.R. Ewing), Jenilee Harrison (Jamie Ewing), Susan Howard (Donna Krebbs), Steve Kanaly (Ray Krebbs), Omri Katz (John Ross Ewing), Howard Keel (Clayton Farlow), Ken Kercheval (Cliff Barnes), Fredric Lehne (Eddie Cronin), Priscilla Beaulieu Presley (Jenna Wade), Victoria Principal (Pam Ewing), Donna Reed (Miss Ellie Farlow), Sherril Lynn Rettino (Jackie Dugan), Deborah Shelton (Mandy Winger), Charlene Tilton (Lucy Ewing)

“Lockup in Laredo” is available on DVD and at Amazon and iTunes. Watch the episode and share your comments below.