Critique: ‘Dallas’ Episode 142 — ‘To Catch a Sly’

One of the reasons J.R. Ewing is so entertaining is because he’s always a few steps ahead of the “Dallas” audience. We watch him plot and scheme, never knowing what trick he’s going to pull out of his sleeve next. That’s why the show’s seventh-season corporate espionage storyline is so unusual. From the beginning, viewers […]

Critique: ‘Dallas’ Episode 138 — ‘Ray’s Trial’

I always remembered the mystery surrounding Mickey Trotter’s death as boiling down to a single question: Did Ray or Lil pull the plug on him? Last week, when I re-watched “Ray’s Trial” for the first time in a few years, I realized “Dallas” also poses a second, more complicated question: Did Mickey want to live […]

Critique: ‘Dallas’ Episode 108 — ‘Jock’s Will’

At the end of “Jock’s Will,” the Ewings gather in the Southfork living room to hear Harv Smithfield read the family patriarch’s last will and testament. Everyone is present — even Gary, who has flown in from “Knots Landing” for the occasion. The scene is tense, dramatic and historic. Besides being one of the few […]

Critique: ‘Dallas’ Episode 104 — ‘Changing of the Guard’

“Dallas” shakes things up in its sixth-season opener, “Changing of the Guard.” Miss Ellie ousts J.R. as president of Ewing Oil and installs Bobby in his place, the company’s executive suite gets a much-needed makeover and Sue Ellen suddenly begins sporting shorter hair. This episode also introduces an intriguing newcomer: Holly Harwood, played by Lois […]

Critique: ‘Dallas’ Episode 102 – ‘Acceptance’

The scene everyone remembers from “Acceptance” is the one where the grieving Miss Ellie goes on a rampage in the Southfork kitchen, smashing every dish in sight before tearfully collapsing onto the floor. This is a big, dramatic moment and it never fails to give me chills, but it’s not the only great performance we […]

Critique: ‘Dallas’ Episode 100 – ‘Blackmail’

In “Blackmail,” J.R., armed with newly obtained evidence that suggests Christopher is his biological son, comes home to Southfork and enters the nursery. It’s a dark and stormy night, and the little boy is whimpering in his crib as thunder crackles outside. J.R. doesn’t comfort the child, though. He merely watches him. “Hello Christopher,” J.R. […]

Dallas Decoder Asks: How Should J.R. die?

J.R. Ewing’s funeral will be seen in the “Dallas” episode that airs Monday, March 11, TNT confirmed yesterday. But how should the legendary character die? And what’s the best way to honor Larry Hagman, the actor who portrayed J.R. for more than three decades? Dallas Decoder asked four members of the original show’s creative team to […]

The Dallas Decoder Interview: Michael Preece

No one “shot” J.R. Ewing more often than Michael Preece, who directed more than 60 episodes of the original “Dallas” series. He graciously agreed to share some of his memories of working on the show and with its biggest star, Larry Hagman. You probably worked with Larry Hagman more than any other director. How much […]

Critique: ‘Dallas’ Episode 76 – ‘Full Circle’

The famous scene from “Full Circle” – when Cliff tearfully offers his estranged mother a bowl of licorice, her favorite candy – is one of my earliest “Dallas” memories. I was 7 when this episode debuted, and I remember watching it and feeling sorry for Cliff. All these years later, the moment still moves me. […]