Critique: ‘Dallas’ Episode 164 — ‘If at First You Don’t Succeed’

The final scene in “If at First You Don’t Succeed” is another example of how music helps tell the stories on “Dallas.” As Bobby sleeps in his hospital bed, Katherine enters the room, fills a syringe with poison and prepares to inject him. This is supposed to be the moment the audience realizes Katherine fired […]

Critique: ‘Dallas’ Episode 160 — ‘Hush, Hush, Sweet Jessie’

What do I love about the final scene in “Hush, Hush, Sweet Jessie”? Oh, pretty much everything. The Ewings stand in the Southfork driveway, panicked because no one knows the whereabouts of Miss Ellie and Jessica, whose murderous past has finally come to light. Suddenly, Donna arrives in Ray’s pickup truck. She gets out, bloodied […]

The Dal-List: Classic ‘Dallas’s’ 13 Most Harrowing Kidnappings

The Ewings discover Ann and Emma (Brenda Strong, Emma Bell) have been kidnapped in “Boxed In,” TNT’s latest “Dallas” episode. Fortunately, our favorite TV family has plenty of experience dealing with this kind of thing. Here’s a look at the 13 most harrowing kidnappings from the original series. 13. Lucy (1978). When the Ewings refused to let […]

Critique: ‘Dallas’ Episode 150 — ‘Where is Poppa?’

No matter how many times I see the Ewings rush to the hospital when one of their own gets sick or injured, it always moves me. Besides generating drama and suspense, these scenes also remind us that the characters care about each other, despite all their squabbling. Consider what happens in “Where is Poppa?” At the […]

Critique: ‘Dallas’ Episode 148 — ‘Eye of the Beholder’

At the end of “Eye of the Beholder,” Miss Ellie tearfully tells Clayton that she had breast cancer and underwent a mastectomy years earlier. It’s another moving performance from Barbara Bel Geddes, although when I try to explain why she excels in scenes like this one, I always come up short. Is it her ability […]

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 130 — ‘Penultimate’

“Penultimate” is an hour of misery and pain, but it contains love too. The story begins where “Dallas’s” previous episode ends, when Sue Ellen drives drunk and crashes J.R.’s car. The accident leaves her with a broken arm and some scrapes and bruises, while passenger Mickey Trotter fares much worse: He slips into a coma after […]

Critique: ‘Dallas’ Episode 124 — ‘Caribbean Connection’

The final moments in “Caribbean Connection” set up one of “Dallas’s” best week-to-week cliffhangers. J.R. is in a seedy cocktail lounge, delivering $100,000 in cash to Walt Driscoll, along with instructions for him to use the money to pay off the middleman in their scheme to sell oil to Cuba. Little does J.R. know that […]

Critique: ‘Dallas’ Episode 110 — ‘Hit and Run’

To fully appreciate how much composer Richard Lewis Warren contributes to “Hit and Run,” I challenge you to an experiment. First, turn off the volume and watch the sequence where reckless driver Carol Driscoll strikes the pedestrian. Without music, it plays like a series of disjointed shots: Here’s Carol leaving the beauty parlor, there she […]

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. […]