Bobby and Pam's Marriage During The Contest

Discussion in 'Dallas - The Original Series' started by Kenny Coyote, Aug 30, 2019.

  1. Kenny Coyote

    Kenny Coyote Soap Chat TV Fanatic

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    Let’s take a look at what happened in Bobby and Pam’s marriage during the contest for control of Ewing Oil.


    Pam left Bobby because she claimed he had changed. During the contest, Bobby did change in the way he did business. He became the harder, more aggressive man he had to become in order to not just survive, but flourish in a cutthroat business and to win control of Ewing Oil. Do you blame Bobby for becoming what the conditions at that time necessitated he had to be in his professional life? Was it reasonable for Pam to blame him for that?


    Bobby’s adaptation to the conditions in his professional life had never impacted the way he treated Pam or Christopher. He always treated them extremely well. When he was with them he was still just as good a husband and father as he’d been before. Bobby had to work very long hours during the contest, so he didn’t have as much time at home with Pam and Christopher, but when he was with them, how did Bobby treat Pam or Christopher any less well than he’d always treated them?


    Bobby said words to the effect of: There is no new Bobby. I’m the same man I’ve always been. I’ve never been a saint. I’ve never wanted to be one!


    It was disappointing to see that Pam didn’t show more loyalty to Bobby during a time in his life when he needed a supportive, loyal wife. Pam excused her refusal to be supportive of Bobby at that time by saying that money didn’t matter very much to her. Well how about what mattered to Bobby? She can’t be supportive of her husband going after a goal that was so important to him? How self-centered can you get?


    Whenever Pam was going after something important to her, Bobby had been right there for Pam. Now he’s going after something important to him and when he needs a supportive wife the most, she turns her back on him.


    Pam even blamed the contest for Rebecca’s death! Unreal. The terms of Jock’s will didn’t cause her mother’s death. The plan crashed because of pilot error. We don’t know if her pilot made the error or if the other pilot did. One or both of the pilots caused the crash, and Rebecca’s death. If Rebecca had been flying to New York to visit Katherine and the plane crashed, who would say Katherine is to blame for Rebecca’s death?


    Rebecca wasn’t flying to that refinery because it was something she wanted to buy. She was going there to deliberately interfere in JR’s deal with the refinery owner. Not because Cliff wanted to buy it instead, but just to try to ruin JR’s deal so he wouldn’t win the contest. It was so petty of her. It was none of her business. Somehow I just don’t see any situation where Miss Ellie would be flying somewhere to try to ruin one of Cliff’s deals just for the sake of hurting Cliff. Do you?


    Do you remember how supportive Bobby was to Pam when she was going through her “I want a baby” phase? What if he’d told her: “You’ve changed Pam. You’re no longer the Pamela I married. Children don’t mean a whole lot to me. I love you and I love my career. We don’t need children to be happy”!


    I’m going to go out on a limb and guess if Bobby had said that to Pam, people would say that Bobby was being a self-centered, uncaring, lousy husband. Why should the standards for what being a good husband or wife change when the situations are reversed?


    When Pam found out she couldn’t have children, she changed. Having a baby was all she thought about. She became cold and distant towards Bobby. He responded by being as supportive as he could be. Whatever might help Pam, Bobby did.


    Think of what Bobby did regarding Christopher. He was willing to go to the extreme of buying JR’s baby and then not turning the baby over to JR but giving it to Pam. Just because Pam wanted a baby that badly. He had every reason to believe Christopher was JR’s baby but he was perfectly willing to hide the baby’s identity from JR.


    Bobby told Pam he’d found them a baby to adopt. Bobby was willing for he and Pam to raise his brother’s baby as their own child and never tell his brother the truth. If Pam needed something to be happy, any behavior necessary to acquire it was justified. When Bobby needed something to feel fulfilled in his life, Pam expected him to act like a choirboy.


    Isn’t interesting how any level of duplicity, dishonesty in Bobby was acceptable to Pam as long as it was being done to achieve her desires and goals in life, but entirely unacceptable when it was being done to further Bobby’s achievement of his desires and goals in life?
     
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  2. Billy Wall

    Billy Wall Soap Chat Active Member

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    She definitely could have been a little more supportive and her walking out on Bobby after her mother died was flat out wrong. She was just looking for any excuse to leave Bobby at that point.

    But I do think that she was afraid that Bobby was becoming more like JR before her very eyes.
     
  3. Chris2

    Chris2 Soap Chat Active Member

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    Pamela had all the power in that relationship. They always say that the one who loves the least is the one with the power. She decided when they’d be apart (multiple times) and she decided when they’d be together. She even walked off Southfork with their son, with not so much as a whimper of protest from Bobby.
     
  4. Jimmy Todd

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    I agree. I always felt that in a superb season the one aspect that seemed a bit contrived was Pam leaving Bobby. I always thought there needed to be something more that would be the impetus for her to take such a life altering step.
    In fairness to Pam, she did admit in the following season that a lot of what went wrong with their marriage was her fault
    However, instead of this being a detriment to the season, it adds to it. The characters are multilayered and the contest brought them into the light, "warts and all." I love the character of Pam, but she could be selfish and self righteous as all of us can be at times.

    Another wonderful scene, in a season rich in them, is when Pam slaps JR after he calls her out for her behavior. She slaps him not so much because what he said was offensive, but to shut him up because she didn't want to hear the truth.

    Great posts on season 6. @Kenny Coyote!
     
  5. Kenny Coyote

    Kenny Coyote Soap Chat TV Fanatic

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    If she did, what did it get her? Happiness?

    That sounds like a great way to go about having a marriage, each trying to love the other less so as to keep more "power." Must be fun.

    Christopher was a baby then, so that was the right thing to do.

    Excellent point.

    I've never thought of it from that perspective but you're right. It's great when someone points out a way of looking at something that when you go back and look at it, makes you appreciate it even more.

    Thanks!
     
    Last edited: Aug 31, 2019
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  6. Billy Wall

    Billy Wall Soap Chat Active Member

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    I’ve never heard that, but after thinking about it, it makes perfect sense.
     
  7. Laurie!

    Laurie! Soap Chat Member

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    I don't think it's right to blame the woman for not standing by her man in this case. What normal woman would choose to stay at Southfork with a young, impressionable child, while her husband and his brother are constantly at each other's throats and even literally coming to blows? Plus JR was constantly verbally abusive to Pam. Imagine going home to relax (supposed to he your safe zone) and having to deal with that BS. Pam was practically a saint to put up with it as long as she did...albeit there wouldn't have been much of a show without that drama.

    Bobby should have been a good husband and left his Mama's house with his wife and son in tow. Bobby also was a selfish ass when Pam was left to find her mother on her own. To say nothing about the way he ignored her entirely when he was running Ewing Oil after JR was shot.

    Very strange the different way a male viewer sees the show, compared to a female viewer.
     
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  8. Jimmy Todd

    Jimmy Todd Soap Chat Fan

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    These are good points. I guess because Pam was putting up with JR's remarks and Bobby and JR bickering for so long it seemed a bit forced that the writers made her leave for the reasons she did. Also, when she did leave I don't remember her pointing out the the things you stated. Still, your points are perfectly valid.

    It is very interesting how differently men and women can view things. I wonder if all the writers on season 6 were male?
     
  9. Kenny Coyote

    Kenny Coyote Soap Chat TV Fanatic

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    How much of a problem was actual fistfighting between JR and Bobby? Did we ever see JR punch Bobby once??? I don't recall JR ever landing a punch on Bobby or anyone else, do you? As for Bobby, he liked to take things to a physical level to grab someone's attention. Bobby had been that way from day one, so apparently that was part of the charm Pam saw in Bobby when she married him.

    There was a lot of arguing, no doubt! There always had been, though, from day one. I don't recall the arguing being either of the main things that Pam cited as her reason for leaving Bobby during the contest. As I remember it, Pam said the two reasons she was leaving Bobby were that Bobby changed and that she blamed the contest for Ewing Oil on Rebecca's death.

    You're right, Pam didn't point out those things as her reason for leaving in season six. Pam left in season six for two reasons - Bobby changing and the contest causing Rebecca's death.

    Then we wouldn't have Dallas. Part of the greatness of Dallas was seeing the interactions of the family at Southfork at meals, when they had drinks before dinner,
    and any other time and place in their home. We know it's not realistic that they'd all live in the same house, but would any of you have wanted Dallas any other way?

    This whole genre is based upon certain concepts that the viewer accepts when he decides to watch the show and Dallas is no different.

    Dallas is based on the idea that the viewer accepts that the Ewings live together at Southfork; it's just what they do. That's why even Pam, as unhappy as she was, never said: Our marriage won't last unless we move to our own house. You don't have a character complain about the concept upon which your TV series is predicated!

    You see this as male perspectives vs. female perspectives. I'd be interested to know what your female viewpoint is regarding: "Isn’t interesting how any level of duplicity or dishonesty in Bobby was acceptable to Pam as long as it was being done to achieve her desires and goals in life, but entirely unacceptable when it was being done to further Bobby’s achievement of his desires and goals in life?"
     
  10. Jimmy Todd

    Jimmy Todd Soap Chat Fan

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    Wow, @Kenny Coyote , that's a great last comment! Pam had no moral qualms with Bobby tampering with Christopher's birth certificate so she could get and keep a baby without ever telling the true father he has a son. Yes, JR turned out not to be the father, but they didn't know that at the time.
    As Kenny has pointed out before there's a certain level of suspension of disbeliefe in which the audience willingly engages. This is true whether it's Dallas or Shakespeare. The key is how well executed the plots are and how well the actors perform, so that, for me, the suspension of disbelief isn't an eye-rolling struggle.
    Sometimes when it flirts with the eye-rolling stage, it might still be offset by other factors, such as chemistry. The cast and the chemistry they shared on Dallas was so good, I rarely thought about the fact that they all lived under the same roof. Over on Dynasty, season 2, I often thought, regarding Alexis sauntering in and out of the Carrington mansion. Why dosen't Krystle, uh, lock the door? However, Alexis and Krystle's scenes together that season were so great, it didn't mar my experience as a viewer. When Jeff decides to stay in the mansion after he married Kirby, and barely a comment is made about the awkwardness of his living with his ex-wife and new wife, that was eye-rolling territory. There was no valid reason given for this, and Fallon and Kirby were NOT Alexis and Krystle. I would have been happy if there was just a few scenes of the maids snickering and gossiping about it, but the writers didn't even throw us that bone.
    Ultimately, Kenny is right. We have to overlook certain things or we wouldn't have soaps, plays, movies, etc. Imho, the writers, directors, etc., have to compensate by distracting from such things with quality and intelligence.
    I do like @Laurie! post though, because different perspectives add to the intelligence of the discussion:dance:

    Knots Landing had an interesting little storyline with Mack and Karen on which I'd be interested in hearing @Laurie! view. A woman, Jill, gives Mack her hotel room key, inviting him for a tryst. He doesn't go, but keeps the key. Karen finds it and hits the roof. Mack's point is, I didn't do anything so it's no big deal. Karen's point is, he should have told her and not kept the key. In her mind, it was almost as bad as if he did go to Jill's room. As a man, I can see Karen not being thrilled, but Mack didn't do anything. I also understand his point
    that it was nice knowing a woman besides his wife still finds him desirable and he could have a trust if he was so inclined. Karen was still not amused.
    I've brought this scenario up with friends and women usually side with Karen. When I raise the question of the roles being reversed, Karen keeps a key and Mack finds it, many women have said that would never happen because a woman is too smart to let the man find the key in the first place:eck:
     
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  11. Billy Wall

    Billy Wall Soap Chat Active Member

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    They did finally give JR his old elbow to the gut to escape Bobby in the later seasons. Lol And interesting that this is a topic because just yesterday I saw an episode where JR was holding his own against Dusty Farlow when Sue Ellen was at that detox center.

    And as for JR not being violent/physical. How many times did we hear JR threaten someone with “sending some good old boys over?” We all know that JR was the type to have his handprints all over everything but will never be at the scene of the crime. Bobby on the other hand would occasionally put his hands on somebody.
     
  12. Kenny Coyote

    Kenny Coyote Soap Chat TV Fanatic

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    Did we ever see JR actually "some good old boys over"? It seemed like the threat worked well enough for him without ever having to really do it.

    I remember that detox scene you mentioned. He held his own with Dusty there because he was motivated. JR would really only respond physically if his family was threatened from an outsider. It wasn't in JR's nature to strike a family member, but Bobby would and did, with JR usually on the receiving end of it.

    For JR, hitting somebody was serious, but to Bobby it was more of a routine thing. I remember once when Christopher did something to John Ross, JR remarked something along the lines of: Isn't that just like his daddy? Using brawn over brains.
     
    Last edited: Sep 1, 2019
  13. Billy Wall

    Billy Wall Soap Chat Active Member

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    And as if Bobby didn’t have good reasons to attack JR. JR once caused his wife to fall out of a hayloft that led to her miscarriage. I don’t know about you, but there wouldn’t have been enough ranch hands on Southfork to pull me off of JR that night.
     
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  14. Jimmy Todd

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    JR also paid Christopher's paternal aunt to file a custody claim. After all Bobby had been through, that was particularly cruel.
     
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  15. Taylor Bennett Jr.

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    I posted this in the wrong thread yesterday, but at least Bobby laid it out straight for Pam that his competitiveness was going to override his good nature during the competition, and she was pretty straight with him that she couldn’t tolerate that.

    It’s consistent with Bobby’s character. He wasn’t as passionate about the oil business as JR, of course, but he was Jock’s son and very competitive. Unless you’re just preposterously talented, you don’t even sniff the field for the Texas Longhorns, let alone be the starting QB and make all-SWC, without being a very strong competitor.
     
    Last edited: Sep 1, 2019
  16. J. R.'s Piece

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    With Pam and Bobby, I always keep thinking that she was the one who encouraged him to become an executive in the first place. Then leaving him once he is in charge/part running it.
    Well, he did when he grabbed Lucy from Valene with the help of other men . Valene ended up on the ground.
     
    Last edited: Sep 1, 2019
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  17. Kenny Coyote

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    Bobby told Pam that he was going to have to use rougher, dirtier tactics in competing against JR if he were going to be able to win control of Ewing Oil. He described them as things Jock taught him early on, as "things I hated doing but I learned them and I learned them well." It would be naive of Bobby to think he could win otherwise. It's a cutthroat business, but then, who pressured Bobby to quit his job as "The B Man" and get into running Ewing Oil in the first place? That's his professional life. It didn't impact his personal life with Pam and Christopher. Bobby remained as good a husband and father as ever. He had less time during the contest, but he'd have more time again after that year.


    I remember Pam saying she was frightened. Had she said she couldn't tolerate it, that would have been quite a statement, coming from her. I'm not sure how she would have been able to say that with a straight face. Bobby could pretty much go to any level of dishonesty and illegal behavior in getting her a baby, and that was alright with Pam. But when Bobby's going after something for him to feel fulfilled in life, he's gotta act like a choirboy?
     
    Last edited: Sep 1, 2019
  18. Laurie!

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    It' s been a while since I've watched those episodes but as I recall, Pam didn't find out about Bobby tampering with the birth certificate until later. Then they went to LA to learn the truth about Christopher's paternity.

    Pam seemed fine with Bobby working at Ewing Oil and even encouraged it to keep him from being the company pimp, dealing the 3 B's when they first married. However, when he planted a gun on Walt Driscoll to get caught at the airport, had a hooker plant cocaine on JR's pocketed lobbyist (whose name escapes me), was paying off Jeff Farraday to get Christopher, etc. I think he went way beyond the line of comfort for Pam. He was now playing JR's game.
     
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  19. Laurie!

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    Just because JR couldn't fight and needed thugs to be the "balls" of the business, doesn't make his verbal abuse and dastardly deeds any less heinous. I mean the same as Donald Trump who likes to pretend to be a tough guy, neither could fight their way out of a wet paper bag. We all know that.

    I said we wouldn't have much of the drama if they didn't live under the same roof, but that goes for Bobby and Pam's marriage too. It would be boring for them to be happy all of the time so they had Pam leave. As it turns out, those seasons where they were pining for each other, both thinking the other didn't love them back, were my favourite. It just sucked that by that point, the females weren't allowed to go toe-to-toe with the males. I so longed for the day Pam would battle JR with Victoria's fiery, well acted scenes after Bobby "died". Instead, she just asked Jackie for an herbal tea.

    Perhaps that if nothing more can make you understand why female viewers such as myself, see things differently.
     
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  20. Kenny Coyote

    Kenny Coyote Soap Chat TV Fanatic

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    You're going to bring our President into it. Really? That is just so...classy.

    I think everyone here understands you a lot better now, but don't think you're speaking for women in general.
     

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