The Best & Worst of Dallas: Season 4

“Dallas’s” fourth season was the show’s most-watched. Is it also the best?


Dallas, J.R. Ewing, Larry Hagman

Lows and highs

In Season 4, J.R. recovers from an assassination attempt, learns to walk again and suffers a humiliating exile from Ewing Oil. Through it all, Larry Hagman never misses a beat. The actor takes us deeper into J.R.’s psyche, revealing vulnerabilities we never dreamed the character was capable of. If you love Hagman’s complex performance on TNT’s “Dallas,” re-watch the classic show’s fourth season. This is where those seeds are planted.


Dallas, J.R. Ewing, Larry Hagman, Leslie Stewart, Susan Flannery

Blonde ambition

“Who Shot J.R.?” turned “Dallas” into a global phenomenon, so you might expect the show to spend Season 4 playing it safe. Instead, it takes a creative risk by tackling sexism. This theme is best personified by pioneering PR whiz Leslie Stewart, but the gender wars are also seen when Miss Ellie calls out chauvinistic Jock, Lucy gets a career and Donna emerges as the top choice for a state senate seat. Who says “Dallas” isn’t progressive?

Season 4’s weakest subplot: Mr. Ewing goes to Austin. I love the idea of “Dallas” delving into politics, but Bobby’s conduct as a member of the state senate strains credibility. Shouldn’t Senator Ewing have recused himself from the legislature’s hearings into his parents’ fight over the Takapa Lake development – or its inquiry into J.R.’s foreign affairs? Where’s an ethics committee when you need one?


Dallas, Jim Davis, Jock Ewing, Ray Krebbs, Steve Kanaly

Here comes the son

“The Fourth Son” is one of the finest hours of “Dallas” ever made. The episode, beautifully written by Howard Lakin (his first script for the show) and directed by Irving J. Moore, officially brings Ray into the Ewing fold and reminds us why Jock is such a revered figure in the “Dallas” mythos. Father-son relationships are integral to “Dallas” – especially on the TNT series – and no episode explores that theme better than this one.

To demonstrate how uneven episodic television can be, one week after “The Fourth Son” debuted, “Dallas” gave us “Trouble at Ewing 23,” which is easily my least-favorite Season 4 entry. I never know what’s worst: the cringe-inducing special effects when the oil field goes up in flames – or the fact Luther Gillis sheds not a single drop of blood after J.R.’s hired guns pump him full of lead.


Dallas, J.R. Ewing, Larry Hagman, Linda Gray, Sue Ellen Ewing

Scene from a marriage

How do you know when a “Dallas” scene is classic? When you only need one or two lines of dialogue to describe it. By that standard, the show’s fourth year probably offers more great moments than any other season: “It was you, Kristin, who shot J.R.” “He’s not your daddy. I am.” “You are my mother.” “Real power is something you take.” “Don’t make me see myself in your eyes.” “Mama, you didn’t take any licorice.”

Any one of these scenes qualifies for “best of” honors, but my sentimental favorite remains the “New Beginnings” moment when J.R. and Sue Ellen reminisce about their courtship. Next to J.R. and Bobby’s sibling rivalry, J.R. and Sue Ellen’s love affair is “Dallas’s” most enduring relationship. If you want to understand why these two can’t stay away from each other, watch this scene.

Supporting Players

Dallas, Leslie Stewart, Susan Flannery

Pioneer woman

No surprise here: I love Leslie. The oh-so-cool Susan Flannery was the ideal choice to play the character, whose business savvy, scheming ways and unapologetic sexuality make her J.R.’s equal and the template for prime-time divas like Abby Cunningham and Alexis Carrington. “Dallas’s” writers seemed to lose interest in Leslie after awhile, but before her storyline peters out, no character in Season 4 is more fascinating.

At the other end of the spectrum lie Alex Ward and Clint Ogden, the utterly forgettable characters who romance Pam and Sue Ellen during the second half of the season. Don’t blame Joel Fabiani and Monte Markham, who are both fine actors; blame the writers, who colored Alex and Clint in shades of plain vanilla.


As much as I love the iconic dresses Sue Ellen wears in “Who Done It?,” nothing compares to Jock’s lion’s head medallion, the perfect accessory to symbolize Jim Davis’s role as father of the Ewing pride.

Some might consider Pam’s perm to be Season 4’s worst fashion choice – but those people are wrong because that ’do is awesome.


Best: “If you were on the side of the angels, you wouldn’t need Leslie Stewart.” – Leslie’s droll observation during the well-written scene where she persuades J.R. to hire her.

Worst: “My own son, letting some little no-account alley cat swing you by your big toe.” – The most memorable line during the tongue-lashing Jock gives J.R. after Leslie costs Ewing Oil a big deal. Watch it, Jock! That’s our Leslie you’re talking about.

What do you love and loathe about “Dallas’s” fourth season? Share your comments below and read more “Best & Worst” reviews.

Critique: ‘Dallas’ Episode 77 – ‘Ewing-Gate’

He done it?

He done it?

In “Ewing-Gate,” J.R. finally beds hard-to-get Leslie Stewart, but the experience turns out to be less than he expected. “It wasn’t worth the wait,” J.R. tells her in a flash of post coitus candor. After watching this episode, I know how he feels.

Although “Dallas’s” fourth season is much better than I remembered overall, the “Ewing-Gate” finale is a letdown – and the resolution to Leslie’s storyline is one reason why. Susan Flannery’s midseason debut was smashing, but somewhere along the line, the show’s writers seemed to lose interest in her character. This is a real shame: Leslie’s combination of business smarts and unapologetic sexuality made her a television breakthrough; she deserved a better sendoff.

“Ewing-Gate” has other flaws, including the scene where J.R. is hauled before the state senate committee investigating his Asian coup. It’s not just the ridiculous notion that the Texas legislature has jurisdiction over what happens in a foreign country. Or that Bobby wouldn’t be asked to recuse himself from a hearing into his brother’s activities. Or that Cliff, Bobby’s aide, would be allowed to sit on the panel and question the witnesses.

No, it’s also the length of this scene: It clocks in at a little more than 13 minutes – consuming almost the whole third act. Perhaps audiences found this more interesting in the years after Watergate, when televised government hearings were still a novelty, but the scene plays today like “Bad C-SPAN Theatre.” (Along these lines, “Ewing-Gate’s” title probably seemed clever three decades ago, before the press wore out the practice of attaching “gate” to every scandal.)

More gripes: “Ewing-Gate” marks the first time Kristin faces J.R. since she confessed to shooting him at the beginning of the season – yet their eagerly awaited reunion is flat. Also, even though the confrontation occurs in J.R.’s office, no one bothers to note this is Kristin’s return to the scene of the crime. Not giving Mary Crosby and Linda Gray a scene together represents another missed opportunity.

My biggest “Ewing-Gate” complaint has to do with the episode’s final sequence, when Cliff discovers the dead woman’s body in the Southfork swimming pool. Although the scene is nicely produced – thanks in large measure to Richard Lewis Warren’s driving score – the cliffhanger feels like something the producers tacked on at the last minute. The contrast couldn’t be sharper with the previous season finale, “A House Divided,” which rhythmically built toward J.R.’s climactic shooting.

And is there any doubt whose body Cliff discovers? The woman’s dark hair suggests it could be one of three characters – Sue Ellen, Pam or Kristin – yet even when I saw “Ewing-Gate” as a child, I was smart enough to know two of those suspects could be ruled out. While watching the episode more recently, I also noticed the unfamiliar car in the Southfork driveway when Cliff arrives – another clue the victim floating in the pool a few feet away is a visitor to the ranch.

So even though I appreciate the nifty symmetry this episode offers – one year after “Dallas” leaves us asking who shot J.R., we’re left to ponder who J.R. might’ve killed – there’s no denying the fact “Ewing-Gate” isn’t a cliffhanger as much as it is an exercise in poetic justice.

Grade: B


Together again

Together again


Season 4, Episode 23

Airdate: May 1, 1981

Audience: 25.6 million homes, ranking 1st in the weekly ratings

Writer and Director: Leonard Katzman

Synopsis: Afton helps J.R. sneak a peek at Cliff’s evidence against him, allowing J.R. to persuade the state senate to clear him of wrongdoing in the Asian coup. J.R. also sleeps with Leslie, refuses to give into Kristin’s extortion scheme, kicks Sue Ellen off Southfork and vows revenge when Pam takes John Ross to his mother. Cliff arrives at the ranch and finds a dead woman floating in the swimming pool.

Cast: Tyler Banks (John Ross Ewing), Barbara Bel Geddes (Miss Ellie Ewing), Len Birman (Claude Brown), William Boyett (Gibson), James L. Brown (Harry McSween), Mary Crosby (Kristin Shepard), Patrick Duffy (Senator Bobby Ewing), Fern Fitzgerald (Marilee Stone), Susan Flannery (Leslie Stewart), Tom Fuccello (Senator Dave Culver), Meg Gallagher (Louella), Linda Gray (Sue Ellen Ewing), Larry Hagman (J.R. Ewing), John Hart (Senator Carson), David Healy (Senator Harbin), James Hong (Ambassador Lanh Thon), Susan Howard (Donna Krebbs), Steve Kanaly (Ray Krebbs), Sherril Lynn Katzman (Jackie), Howard Keel (Clayton Farlow), Ken Kercheval (Cliff Barnes), Audrey Landers (Afton Cooper), Jared Martin (Dusty Farlow), Leigh McCloskey (Mitch Cooper), Byron Morrow (Emmett Walsh), Victoria Principal (Pam Ewing), William Smithers (Jeremy Wendell), Don Starr (Jordan Lee), Charlene Tilton (Lucy Cooper), Deborah Tranelli (Phyllis), Jay Varela (Senator Arvilla), Joseph Warren (Senator Dickson), Morgan Woodward (Punk Anderson)

“Ewing-Gate” is available on DVD and at and iTunes. Watch the episode and share your comments below.

The Art of Dallas: ‘The New Mrs. Ewing’

J.R. and Leslie (Larry Hagman, Susan Flannery) watch Bobby’s televised victory speech in this 1981 publicity shot from “The New Mrs. Ewing,” a fourth-season “Dallas” episode.

Critique: ‘Dallas’ Episode 69 – ‘The Quest’

Not what she seems

Not what she seems

Things are never quite what they seem in “The Quest.” Several characters go through this episode under false impressions, usually because they’re being duped by the people closest to them.

Consider J.R., who continues to pursue Leslie, not just because he finds her sexually desirable, but also because he believes she has his best interests at heart. This is established during the previous episode, “Start the Revolution with Me,” when J.R. tells Leslie she could “run the world.” Her response, delivered perfectly by Susan Flannery: “No, J.R. But I’d be delighted to help you run it.”

What J.R. doesn’t know is Leslie is secretly tape-recording their conversations. Why? The audience doesn’t know, but it seems safe to assume Leslie is looking out for herself, not J.R.

The idea that Leslie isn’t quite what she seems is also symbolized when J.R. arrives unexpectedly on her doorstep and finds her wearing a bathrobe. He’s confident she’ll let him spend the night, but she tells him she has another date and removes the garment, revealing she’s fully clothed. “I always put it on when I put my makeup on,” Leslie says. You can feel J.R. deflate.

Other example of deceptions and false assumptions in this episode: Mitch is impressed with Lucy’s domestic proclivities, unaware she has secretly hired a maid to clean the condo while he’s in class. Cliff believes Donna is going to help him get appointed to the state senate, only to discover she’s recruited Bobby for the job. Sue Ellen suspects J.R. is having her followed, only to learn he couldn’t care less how she spends her time.

Miss Ellie is the victim of the biggest deception of all. She continues to lead the campaign against the Takapa development, unaware Jock is behind the project. Then again, it’s not like Jock has much of a chance to tell his wife. Ellie has barely spoken to him since Lucy’s wedding, when she lashed out at him for neglecting Gary.

Yet “The Quest” also includes a sweet scene where Ellie comes home late, finds Jock asleep in a chair and tenderly covers him with a blanket. The gesture lets us know she still loves Jock, despite her angry outward attitude.

On “Dallas,” sometimes when things aren’t what they appear, it’s a good thing.

Grade: B


Another Ewing cover-up

Another Ewing cover-up


Season 4, Episode 15

Airdate: February 13, 1981

Audience: 23.8 million homes, ranking 1st in the weekly ratings

Writer: Robert J. Shaw

Director: Gunnar Hellström

Synopsis: J.R. continues pursuing Leslie, while Alex gives up on Pam. Donna persuades Bobby to run for Dave’s state senate seat, infuriating Cliff. After confronting the man who has been following her, Sue Ellen makes a shocking discovery.

Cast: Barbara Bel Geddes (Miss Ellie Ewing), Len Birman (Claude Brown), Claudia Bryar (cleaning lady), Jeff Cooper (Dr. Simon Elby), Jim Davis (Jock Ewing), Patrick Duffy (Bobby Ewing), Woody Eney (Appleton), Joel Fabiani (Alex Ward), Susan Flannery (Leslie Stewart), Anne Francis (Arliss Cooper), Tom Fuccello (Senator Dave Culver), Meg Gallagher (Louella), Linda Gray (Sue Ellen Ewing), Larry Hagman (J.R. Ewing), Ron Hayes (Hank Johnson), Susan Howard (Donna Culver), Steve Kanaly (Ray Krebbs), Sherrill Lynn Katzman (Jackie), Ken Kercheval (Cliff Barnes), Audrey Landers (Afton Cooper), John Lehne (Kyle Bennett), Monte Markham (Clint Ogden), Leigh McCloskey (Mitch Cooper), Victoria Principal (Pam Ewing), Charlene Tilton (Lucy Cooper), Martin West (Phil McKenna)

“The Quest” is available on DVD and at and iTunes. Watch the episode and share your comments below.

Critique: ‘Dallas’ Episode 68 – ‘Start the Revolution with Me’

No truth in advertising

No truth in advertising

“Start the Revolution with Me” feels a bit like a 1980s version of “Mad Men.” Not only does this fourth-season “Dallas” episode feature lots of talk about advertising, it also shows the Ewings wrestling with changing gender roles, just like the “Mad Men” characters do.

In the episode’s first act, Leslie Stewart, J.R.’s new public relations guru, pitches him some proposed advertising slogans (sample: “Ewing Oil: People Before Profits”), which he scoffs at. “Do you think anybody’s gonna buy that?” J.R. asks with a chuckle. Leslie reminds him the ads will be published in newspapers in New York and London, not his hometown. “J.R., you’re not going to need Dallas. Ewing Oil is going to be an international power,” she coos.

I fell for Leslie during her debut in the previous episode, “Making of a President,” and she continues to fascinate me here. Like all the women on “Dallas,” Leslie is beautiful and feminine, but as “Start the Revolution with Me” demonstrates, she also has all the ambition and confidence of the Ewing men.

With Leslie, it’s important to not just pay attention to what she says, but also how actress Susan Flannery moves. In one of my favorite moments in this episode, Leslie sits at her desk with her arms outstretched behind her head. This confident pose brings to mind a real-life ’80s ad slogan (“Never let them see you sweat”), although Leslie probably doesn’t perspire to begin with.

J.R. doesn’t quite know what to make of Leslie – he flirts with her shamelessly, while she ignores him without apology – and the other women in his life seem a bit bewildered by her too. When J.R. sleeps with his secretary Louella and is unable to perform, she seems to blame Leslie, telling him, “J.R., you shouldn’t let Miss Stewart get to you like this.”

Sue Ellen also puts J.R. on the defensive. “You know, darling,” she quips, “I find it very interesting that you hired a woman to tell you how to run your business. It’s always been a Ewing creed that women were seen, not heard.” His response (“Leslie Stewart is a highly qualified professional. She’s doing a brilliant job.”) demonstrates the sheepishness he feels about handing control of his image over to a woman.

With so much emphasis on female empowerment, you have to wonder if the “revolution” cited in this episode’s title refers to J.R.’s cockamamie scheme to overthrow a foreign government or to the sexual revolution, which began in the 1960s and was still lingering when this segment aired in 1981. Indeed, Leslie’s arrival seems to herald a deliberate attempt by the “Dallas” producers to show how women were making progress as the show – and its audience – moved into the new decade.

In another telling scene in “Start the Revolution with Me,” after Dave Culver announces he’s going to accept the governor’s appointment to the U.S. Senate, Dave and his advisers agree Donna should replace him in the state legislature. Talk about revolutionary: This might not seem like a big deal today, but in 1981, just 12 percent of state lawmakers were women. (That number has since doubled.) Donna ultimately demurs, but it’s nice the producers showed her being considered.

Of course, not all the “Dallas” women are role models. This episode also shows Sue Ellen moving closer to an affair with Clint, another example of how the character seems only to find fulfillment in the arms of a man, while Pam continues to contemplate an affair with Alex.

Meanwhile, Lucy tells Mitch she wants to quit school so she can be a full-time wife to him. To Mitch’s credit, he urges Lucy to reconsider. “School’s important,” Mitch says. “You have to have something in your life that makes you feel complete and satisfied.”

Leslie couldn’t have said it better herself.

Grade: A


Cool heads

Cool heads


Season 4, Episode 14

Airdate: February 6, 1981

Audience: 24.6 million homes, ranking 1st in the weekly ratings

Writer: Rena Down

Director: Larry Hagman

Synopsis: J.R. begins engineering a revolution in the Asian nation where Ewing Oil’s wells were nationalized. Leslie resists J.R.’s advances. On a business trip, Pam almost sleeps with Alex. Sue Ellen suspects someone is following her. Dave accepts an appointment to the U.S. Senate and suggests Donna replace him in Austin, but she declines.

Cast: Barbara Babcock (Liz Craig), Barbara Bel Geddes (Miss Ellie Ewing), Len Birman (Claude Brown), Jeff Cooper (Dr. Simon Elby), Jim Davis (Jock Ewing), Patrick Duffy (Bobby Ewing), Joel Fabiani (Alex Ward), Susan Flannery (Leslie Stewart), Tom Fuccello (Senator Dave Culver), Meg Gallagher (Louella), Linda Gray (Sue Ellen Ewing), Larry Hagman (J.R. Ewing), Ron Hayes (Hank Johnson), Susan Howard (Donna Culver), Steve Kanaly (Ray Krebbs), Sherrill Lynn Katzman (Jackie), Ken Kercheval (Cliff Barnes), Monte Markham (Clint Ogden), Leigh McCloskey (Mitch Cooper), Warren Munson (Paul Winslow), Victoria Principal (Pam Ewing), Charlene Tilton (Lucy Cooper), Martin West (Phil McKenna), Morgan Woodward (Punk Anderson)

“Start the Revolution with Me” is available on DVD and at and iTunes. Watch the episode and share your comments below.

Dallas Scene of the Day: ‘J.R., You’re My Kind of Man’

Sitting pretty

Sitting pretty

In “Dallas’s” fourth-season episode “Making of a President,” J.R. and Leslie (Larry Hagman, Susan Flannery) dine in a Japanese restaurant.

LESLIE: I was certainly surprised to hear from you so soon, J.R.

J.R.: Well, things have happened, and I thought maybe we ought to talk a little business.

LESLIE: [Noticing his use of chopsticks] You handle those very well.

J.R.: When I was in the service, I spent a lot of time in Japan. You’re doing pretty good yourself. You ever been to the Far East?

LESLIE: No. The first time I ever used them was in Chinatown, New York City.

J.R.: [Laughs] How about a little sashimi? What do you say? [Places food on her plate]

LESLIE: Thank you.

J.R.: And that yellowtail looks real good. Yeah. [To server] Arigato gozaimasu.

LESLIE: Any octopus?

J.R.: Well, I’ve never really acquired a taste for octopus. You like it, do you?

LESLIE: Oh, I adore octopus. I think it’s unusual and exotic … and dangerous.

J.R.: Well, I like a lady whose tastes run to the bizarre at times. Besides octopus, what else?


J.R.: You find me bizarre, do you?

LESLIE: [Laughs] No. Dangerous. [Sips from a cup]

J.R.: Well, should I take that as a form of flattery or –

LESLIE: Not really. If it’s flattery that you want, then I would suggest that we just finish our meal, say goodbye and I’ll pick up the check.

J.R.: Leslie, what’s your angle?

LESLIE: Honesty. At least with my clients. All I’ve ever heard about since I reached Dallas is J.R. Ewing. The more I heard about you, the more I wanted to meet you.

J.R.: Why?

LESLIE: Because they said that you are the biggest cheat, the bigger liar and the biggest double-dealer this town has ever seen, and I think that must be going some.

J.R.: You’re getting closer to picking up that check.

LESLIE: Really?

J.R.: You better think of something to say fast.

LESLIE: J.R., you’re my kind of man. Besides, if you were on the side of the angels, you wouldn’t need Leslie Stewart.

J.R.: [Smiles] You are some kind of woman, you know that?

LESLIE: You put your image in my hands, J.R., and I’ll build you a halo so big, your shoulders will buckle just trying to carry it around.

J.R.: [Chuckles] You know, I’m beginning to believe you can do what you say you can do.

LESLIE: People will come from all over the country – all over the world – begging to do business with you.

J.R.: Well –

LESLIE: Just leave it to me. Trust me. I’ll guide you. I’ll be at your beck and call, day and night.

J.R.: Why don’t we work on those night calls, right about now. What do you say?

LESLIE: Oh, I think I ought to draw up a tentative contract and bring it to your office tomorrow.

J.R.: Now, I still think we ought to seal the deal, right about – [Using her chopsticks, she puts a piece of sushi in his mouth.] What’s that?

LESLIE: Octopus. I can’t think of a better way to seal a deal with you.

Critique: ‘Dallas’ Episode 67 – ‘Making of a President’

She'll drink your milkshake too

She’ll drink your milkshake too

“Making of a President” introduces one of my favorite “Dallas” characters: public relations whiz Leslie Stewart, played to perfection by Susan Flannery. Leslie only sticks around for a half-season so she might not be remembered by some fans, which is a shame because she’s one of the most intriguing women ever seen on this show.

Leslie is J.R.’s equal in every way. To begin with, both are schemers, as we see in the “Making of a President” scene where she charms Bobby into meeting with her, even though he’s trying to keep a low profile with his new alternative energy division. Later, we learn Leslie wasn’t really after Bobby’s business after all; she was just using him to meet J.R.

Leslie and J.R.’s other similarities are on display in the wonderfully written scene where they dine together in a Japanese restaurant. Here, we learn Leslie is just as worldly as J.R. (he learned to eat with chopsticks during the service, she did in New York), just as outspoken (she suggests he’s a “liar,” a “cheat” and a “double-dealer”) and also just as ambitious (she promises to build him “a halo so big, your shoulders will buckle just trying to carry it around”). Best of all, I love how Leslie refers to herself in the third person (“if you were on the side of the angels, you wouldn’t need Leslie Stewart”), just as J.R. is prone to do.

Like J.R., Leslie is also unapologetically sexual. At the end of “Making of a President,” she sleeps with her friend Justin Carlisle, then kicks him out of bed so she can focus on her business dealings. “I need room to maneuver,” she says.

From this perspective, Leslie resembles two other 1980s icons who were often described as “female versions” of J.R.: Alexis Carrington of “Dynasty” and Abby Cunningham of “Knots Landing.” The comparisons are apt, but remember: Leslie came along almost a year before Alexis arrived and a long time before Abby made her mark. Miss Stewart is the real trailblazer.

Not surprisingly, the Ewing men aren’t quite sure what to make of Leslie. During their Japanese dinner, J.R. hints he wants to sleep with her, while Bobby can’t resist commenting on Leslie’s physical appearance when he meets with her in his office. “You’re very knowledgeable and extremely attractive,” Bobby says. In both instances, Leslie smiles politely and changes the subject. Thirty years ago, what else could a woman do?

It might be tempting to feel sorry for Leslie, but the character is far too cool to want anyone’s sympathy, which is why casting Flannery in the role was genius. The actress joined “Dallas” after a lengthy run as heroine Laura Horton on “Days of Our Lives” and watching her in “Making of a President,” I get the feeling she’s thrilled to be playing against type. In many ways, Leslie was Flannery’s warm-up for Stephanie Forrester, the controlling matriarch she’s played on “The Bold and the Beautiful” since its 1987 debut.

As groundbreaking as Leslie is, she isn’t “Making of a President’s” only device to expose the rampant sexism in the Ewing family. This episode also includes a scene where Jock dismisses the threat to his development project posed by the Daughters of the Alamo. “By the time those ladies finish sipping their tea and making sure their hats are on straight, we’ll have a permit,” he says.

We’re also treated to an amusing moment where Miss Ellie, still distressed over Jock’s relationship with Ray, comes home a little tipsy after having drinks with Donna.

“Miss Ellie, where in the hell have you been?” an agitated Jock asks. “Teresa’s been holding dinner for 45 minutes.”

“Well, then,” Ellie responds matter-of-factly. “I guess we better eat it.”

It’s the perfect response – delivered with aplomb by Barbara Bel Geddes – and a nice reminder that Leslie isn’t the only woman who knows how to handle the Ewing men.

Grade: A


Mama's home

Mama’s home


Season 4, Episode 13

Airdate: January 30, 1981

Audience: 27.1 million homes, ranking 1st in the weekly ratings

Writer: Arthur Bernard Lewis

Director: Gunnar Hellström

Synopsis: J.R. returns to power at Ewing Oil but finds his friends don’t want to do business with him, so he hires public relations executive Leslie Stewart to rehabilitate his image. Bobby starts an alternative-energy division. Clint tells Sue Ellen he still loves her.

Cast: Robert Ackerman (Wade Luce), Tyler Banks (John Ross Ewing III), Barbara Bel Geddes (Miss Ellie Ewing), Ivan Bonar (Milton), Jeff Cooper (Dr. Simon Elby), Jim Davis (Jock Ewing), Patrick Duffy (Bobby Ewing), Joel Fabiani (Alex Ward), Susan Flannery (Leslie Stewart), Anne Francis (Arliss Cooper), Tom Fuccello (Senator Dave Culver), Meg Gallagher (Louella), Linda Gray (Sue Ellen Ewing), Larry Hagman (J.R. Ewing), Jerry Hardin (Elroy Askew), Ron Hayes (Hank Johnson), Susan Howard (Donna Culver), Steve Kanaly (Ray Krebbs), Ken Kercheval (Cliff Barnes), Audrey Landers (Afton Cooper), Monte Markham (Clint Ogden), Leigh McCloskey (Mitch Cooper), Victoria Principal (Pam Ewing), Robert Sampson (Senator Pascomb), Paul Sorensen (Andy Bradley), Don Starr (Jordan Lee), Charlene Tilton (Lucy Cooper), Deborah Tranelli (Phyllis), Noble Willingham (Justin Carlisle), Morgan Woodward (Punk Anderson)

“Making of a President” is available on DVD and at and iTunes. Watch the episode and share your comments below.