Critique: ‘Dallas’ Episode 195 — ‘Resurrection’

“Resurrection” brings Mark Graison back from the dead and Sue Ellen Ewing back from the brink. His revival is the more surprising of the two, although hers is more satisfying. In the episode before this one, Sue Ellen went through a harrowing detoxification after her drinking landed her on skid row. The audience never doubts […]

Critique: ‘Dallas’ Episode 193 — ‘Rock Bottom’

“Dallas” fans will always remember Sue Ellen drinking with the bag lady and winos at the end of “Rock Bottom.” Like J.R.’s shooting and Bobby’s “death,” this is a scene that sticks with us for the right reasons. Step back and consider what happens here. A beautiful and wealthy woman, dressed in soiled designer clothing, […]

Critique: ‘Dallas’ Episode 189 — ‘Deeds and Misdeeds’

Sue Ellen’s scenes in “Deeds and Misdeeds” aren’t easy to watch. The previous episode ended with her taking her first drink in almost two years, and in this hour, she continues slipping back into her old habits. Sue Ellen leads everyone to believe her relapse was only temporary, yet she swipes a bottle of vodka […]

Critique: ‘Dallas’ Episode 186 — ‘Sentences’

Do you hate to see the judge send Jenna Wade to prison in “Sentences”? I do. Not because I think it’s unfair to punish Priscilla Beaulieu Presley’s character for a crime she didn’t commit. No, I’m sorry to see Jenna go to jail because I know she’ll be free by the end of the season. […]

Critique: ‘Dallas’ Episode 183 — ‘Dead Ends’

The title “Dead Ends” refers to Pam’s fruitless search for Mark Graison, but it also describes “Dallas’s” final batch of eighth-season episodes. This show is now killing time. The writers don’t have enough story to fill 30 hours of television, and so the material they’ve come up with is getting stretched thin. There are occasional […]

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 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 […]

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 154 — ‘Fools Rush In’

One reason Larry Hagman is so damn good is because he knows what the audience wants and how to give it to us. Take “Fools Rush In’s” most entertaining scene, when J.R. chews out Katherine for inadvertently making a Bobby/Pam reconciliation possible. It’s somewhat ridiculous to see a grown man so consumed with his brother’s love life, […]

The Dallas Decoder Interview: Margaret Michaels

Dallas, Margaret Michaels, Pam Ewing

Margaret Michaels occupies a unique place in “Dallas” history. In 1988, one year after Victoria Principal left the original series, Michaels played Pam Ewing in two scenes designed to give the character closure after her fiery car crash and disappearance from Southfork. The following season, Michaels returned for a few episodes as Jeanne O’Brien, a […]