Dallas Styles: Jock’s Medallion

Lion king

In the famous painting of Jock that hangs at Southfork (and later, Ewing Oil) after the character’s death, he wears his signature gold medallion. The lion’s head, which dangles on a chain around Jock’s neck, reminds the world of his role as father of the Ewing pride.

When Jock was alive, sometimes his own family needed the reminder.

Jim Davis is first shown wearing the lion’s head in the fourth-season episode “The Venezuelan Connection,” when an enraged Jock chases down Bobby in the Southfork driveway after discovering his youngest son has bought a refinery.

“Why in the hell didn’t you check with me first?” Jock demands.

“There wasn’t time, Daddy. I had to move fast,” Bobby responds.

“Move fast? So fast you didn’t have time to talk to me?”

Similar scenes unfold in other fourth-season episodes. In “The Prodigal Mother,” Jock is wearing the medallion when he makes a dismissive remark about Mitch and Lucy stands up to him, and in “Executive Wife,” the lion’s head is hanging around Jock’s neck when Ray suggests he should check with Bobby before taking millions of dollars out of the company to invest in a land deal.

In that instance, Jock lets Ray know he’s still top dog (er, cat) at Ewing Oil.

“Let me tell you something, Ray,” he says. “Ewing Oil is mine. I started it. I worked it. I made it what it is today. And if Bobby or anybody else don’t like the way I do things, they know what they can do.”

As Jock speaks, the medallion around his neck catches the Texas sunlight, drawing the viewer’s attention and helping to illuminate the Ewing patriarch’s message. There’s no doubt: Jock may be a lion in winter, but he’s still a lion.

The Art of Dallas: ‘The Venezuelan Connection’

Jock and Ray (Jim Davis, Steve Kanaly) attend a Fort Worth cattle auction in this 1980 publicity shot from “The Venezuelan Connection,” a fourth-season “Dallas” episode.

Dallas Scene of the Day: ‘You’re the One Who’s the Snob’

Charlene Tilton, Dallas, Lucy Ewing, Venezuelan Connection

Telling it like it is

In “The Venezuelan Connection,” a fourth-season “Dallas” episode, Lucy (Charlene Tilton) talks to Mitch (Leigh McCloskey) while he puts away dishes in his kitchen.

MITCH: Lucy, look, it was nice of you to come here, but you’ve gotta understand one thing: being rich is a way of life for you. I’ll never have that kind of money.

LUCY: Well, I don’t care about that.

MITCH: Well, I do!

LUCY: Well, why should you?

MITCH: I can’t compete with your fancy friends with their automobiles and their trips off to Acapulco.

LUCY: Well, why do you have to compete with them? They live like that. So what? Can’t you just accept it? They accepted you.

MITCH: Because I was with you!

LUCY: Well, so wouldn’t it be the same way with your friends? They’d accept me only because I was with you. Look, things will change. It’ll be different when they get to know you better. They’ll accept you.

MITCH: Look, I don’t give a damn about their acceptance!  [Slams his fist on the table]

LUCY: You know what? You’re the one who’s the snob. With all that medical stuff you study in school, you sure don’t know much about people. [Walks toward the door, turns back to face Mitch] You know, it’s funny. I came here to apologize because I thought we had a good thing going on. But now I wonder if we do. Because if you can’t like me the way I like you, without caring about anything or anyone else, then I don’t even want to know you. Maybe you’re not the man I thought you were.

She leaves, slamming the door behind her.

Critique: ‘Dallas’ Episode 60 – ‘The Venezuelan Connection’

Bobby Ewing, Dallas, Patrick Duffy, Venezuelan Connection

Gone with the window

“The Venezuelan Connection” feels like the first half of one of “Dallas’s” two-part episodes. There’s a lot of setup here but not a lot of payoff.

In the main storyline, Bobby hires May-December power couple Eugene and Sally Bullock to ship Venezuelan crude to Ewing Oil’s new refinery, only to learn the tanker sank en route. This is a well-executed plot twist – and there’s much more to the sinking than Bobby realizes – but he won’t discover that until the next episode.

(Quick aside: While I’m delighted to see “The Venezuelan Connection” bring back the Bullocks, who make their first appearance on “Dallas” since their debut in the third-season episode “Return Engagements,” I’m disappointed the show recasts Sally with Joanna Cassidy, who isn’t as deliciously brazen as Andra Akers, the actress who originated the role. Similarly, E.J. André isn’t quite as amusingly cantankerous in this episode as he was during his first go-round as Mr. Eugene.)

Jock and Ray’s storyline in “The Venezuelan Connection” feels incomplete, too. In the third act, a mystery man spots the Ewing patriarch and his foreman in a Fort Worth saloon and quizzes the barkeep about them, but we don’t learn the stranger’s identity – or the reason for his curiosity – until the next episode, which by the way is entitled “The Fourth Son.” (Hint, hint)

Fortunately, “The Veneuzeluean Connection” offers one genuinely satisfying moment: Lucy’s confrontation with Mitch over his abrupt departure from the Southfork pool party she threw in his honor.

In the scene, working-class Mitch tells Lucy he fled the shindig because he felt he couldn’t “compete” with her wealthy friends – an idea she finds ridiculous. “Why do you have to compete with them? They live like that. So what? Can’t you just accept it?” she asks.

This response feels mature and logical, two qualities we don’t always associate with Lucy. I also appreciate how scriptwriter Leah Markus allows the character to recognize Mitch for what he really is. As Lucy tells him, “You’re the one who’s the snob.”

Charlene Tilton is terrific in this scene, which ends with Lucy suggesting she and Mitch break up. This might make their fight seem like another one of “The Venezuelan Connection’s” unresolved plot points, but not really. For Lucy and Mitch, this is turning a point, not a cliffhanger.

Grade: B


Dallas, Joanna Cassidy, Sally Bullock, Venezuelan Connection

Not the same


Season 4, Episode 6

Airdate: December 5, 1980

Audience: 29 million homes, ranking 1st in the weekly ratings

Writer: Leah Markus

Director: Leonard Katzman

Synopsis: Bobby taps Eugene and Sally Bullock to ship crude to his new refinery. Jock is impressed by Bobby’s initiative, while J.R. seethes. Pam’s detective continues searching for her mother. Mitch feels uncomfortable around Lucy’s friends. Bobby learns the Bullocks’ tanker sank en route to the refinery.

Cast: E.J. André (Eugene Bullock), Tami Barber (Bev), Barbara Bel Geddes (Miss Ellie Ewing), Joanna Cassidy (Sally Bullock), Jeff Cooper (Dr. Simon Elby), Jim Davis (Jock Ewing), Patrick Duffy (Bobby Ewing), Meg Gallagher (Louella), Ted Gehring (Brady York), Linda Gray (Sue Ellen Ewing), Larry Hagman (J.R. Ewing), Jerry Haynes (Pat Powers), Richard Herd (John Mackey), Susan Howard (Donna Culver), Ken Kercheval (Cliff Barnes), Leigh McCloskey (Mitch Cooper), Jeanna Michaels (Connie), Victoria Principal (Pam Ewing), Charlene Tilton (Lucy Ewing), Janine Turner (Susan), William Windom (stranger), Morgan Woodward (Punk Anderson)

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