Pam And Cliff

Discussion in 'Dallas - The Original Series' started by Kenny Coyote, Dec 11, 2018.

  1. Kenny Coyote

    Kenny Coyote Soap Chat Well-Known Member

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    Pam and Cliff had an unusual relationship in that Cliff claimed to love her, and he probably did in his own way, but when she needed his help, he didn't come through for her. When Cliff was being tried for the murder of Julie Grey, the lawyer asked Pam: When you needed your brother's help, did he help you? She said "No." Cliff was ready to let Pam be thought of as a traitor. He could of easily exonerated her of all suspicion but chose not to.

    Cliff asked her to loan him money and then used it to hurt her husband's business.

    She only ever made one substantial request of a favor from Cliff - to drop his feud with her husband's family. Cliff refused Pam's request.

    It was a give and take relationship. Pam gave and Cliff took. Pam helped Cliff whenever he needed help no matter what the reason, but Cliff didn't reciprocate. Do you think that Pam accepting that and keeping on helping Cliff despite it is admirable or do you think she should have stood up for herself and refused to be continue to allow her brother to treat her so poorly?
     
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  2. Michael Torrance

    Michael Torrance Soap Chat Dream Maker

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    Pam was the one betraying Cliff when she married a Ewing, so her request was self-serving. She crossed the biggest of all red lines. And it's not like the feud was one-sided. J.R. created the fake committee to promote Cliff as a candidate for Congress and make him resign his current position, and then when Cliff left his powerful position as Chief of the Office of Land Management, funds (all provided by J.R.) stopped.

    Cliff was often a loser, and became too obsessed with the feud to the detriment of even his own good, but the other side kept refueling the fire when the embers were close to dying. Ironically, in the last episode of Dallas, it is J.R. himself who dreams how good Cliff's life would have been if J.R. had not been around for them to keep dragging each other into the feud.
     
  3. Kenny Coyote

    Kenny Coyote Soap Chat Well-Known Member

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    I don't see Pam marrying the man she loved as an attempt to betray or injure Cliff. If anything Bobby treated Cliff better because he became Bobby's bother in law. It protected Cliff because had Cliff not been family I think Bobby would have stomped a mudhole through Cliff for some of the things he did to his family. We can discuss that in another thread if you like but I don't want to derail this thread.

    I'm not sure where you stand regarding the question posed in the OP. Do you think that Pam accepting being treated so poorly and keeping on helping Cliff despite him only taking from her and never giving is admirable or do you think she should have stood up for herself and refused to continue helping Cliff if he didn't begin to reciprocate?
     
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2018
  4. Justine

    Justine Soap Chat Active Member

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    I think Pam should have cut Cliff off when he refused to end the feud with J.R., but it's also understandable why she didn't. He was older brother, they shared the same experience of an absent mother and alcoholic father; and, she must have known Cliff would only use that as fuel to the fire. Cliff was also kind of a life-line to Pam, while she was at Southfork as Bobby's wife. Without him, or any support outside of the family she married into, she would have been isolated like Sue Ellen.
     
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  5. Richard Channing

    Richard Channing Soap Chat Enthusiast

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    Although many thought that Rebecca died too soon, her death was a pivotal moment and ingenious in how it moved the story forward in a variety of ways. She was the first of many casualties in the fight for Ewing Oil and her death signaled the end of Bobby and Pam's marriage and also added fuel to the flames in the Barnes-Ewing feud. But also, on her deathbed it was her dying wish the Pam look out for Cliff, which was kind of brilliant because, of course Pam was going to honour her mothers dying wish, but in doing so it also drove an even bigger wedge between Pam and the Ewings and put them more firmly on opposite sides. Anyway, the point being that from then on, whether she liked it or not, Pam felt a duty to look out for Cliff, as she promised Rebecca she would do.
     
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  6. Michael Torrance

    Michael Torrance Soap Chat Dream Maker

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    I brought up the feud because, per your post, that was the one substantial request of a favor she asked Cliff for, and I am explaining that her request was ridiculous given how much they were actually after Cliff. Once she started having sex with Bobby, the families' past were bygones for her--that was not the case with him. I think her request would have taken on greater significance if she and Bobby had a child in the early seasons.

    Cliff was selfish, and I certainly would not have stood for his behavior, but Pam was caught between a rock and a hard place: stop helping Cliff and cow tow to the Ewings, or keep helping him knowing that he is never really satisfied.
     
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  7. Michael Torrance

    Michael Torrance Soap Chat Dream Maker

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    I did. I agreed with what you said about the pivotal moment, but I think it could have happened a year later at least. It was the same way I felt about Jacqueline Perrault on Falcon Crest.
     
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  8. Kenny Coyote

    Kenny Coyote Soap Chat Well-Known Member

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    You remember why they were after Cliff, right? He got a job in the OLM and shut down every single one of their oil wells in Texas. They were so desperate for money that even though Bobby was going to Austin to get Cliff thrown out on abuse of power charges, Bobby was taking too long and every single one of their wells was mortgaged. Think abut that. A company worth hundreds of millions of dollars is abut to go under because Cliff couldn't handle that Digger became a useless alcoholic and blamed Jock for all his failures.

    It's telling that if Digger had that tremendous skill he claimed to have, who else did he ever make money for except when working under Jock's guidance? Nobody. Digger could have told Jock to go to hell and gone to work for any number of oil companies using that "amazing talent" of his. Why do you suppose none of them hired him? He was unemployable! Miss Ellie said once they'd strike oil Digger would disappear for weeks on a massive drunken binge. The man had no self discipline. It's not as if Jock could have had Digger blackballed from the oil business. If word gets out that you can find oil, you will get hired! Unless you're such a liability that nobody, not just Jock Ewing, but nobody would employ him anymore because he's more of a liability than an asset. He even tried to shoot Jock but he missed. Jock was gracious enough to not press charges or Digger would have been in prison.

    In fact even well before Cliff ever acquired that OLM position, in the mini series that started Dallas, there's a scene where Jock and JR and I think Bobby too are in the Ewing Oil building na they're talking about how Cliff is going after them to hurt their company in a political way. So naturally they weren't gonna let him just ruin their company. Had he just minded his own business and been a lawyer which is what he claimed he went to to school for anyway, they wouldn't have gone after Cliff. There was no need to go after Cliff if he'd minded his own business but he kept trying to destroy them.

    What Pam should have done is said to Cliff "Our mother asked me to look after you because she thinks you need it. So I'm going to help you. But if I ever hear if you using my help to stop the Ewings from drilling, or if you lie to me with the intention of hurting the Ewings, or if you re-start the Barnes-Ewing feud (saying this in a time when it died down for a while) by going after them unless they go after you first, I'll stop helping you. I'll tell Mark Graison not to do business with you. I'll stop being your financier. I'll do that because if you re-ignite the feud, they're gonna destroy you and I refuse to enable suicidal behavior."

    Well, it just so happened that while Pam was dating Mark Graison and she had divorced Bobby ( so if you believe he had the right to tell her she couldn't marry Bobby - it had become a moot point anyway) Cliff decided to reignite the feud. He blackmailed Sly to help him steal deals from the Ewings. One day at breakfast Cliff announced to Pam and Mark he'd just bought a great company. He said: Even better, guess who I stole it from? The Ewings!" Pam threw out her champagne, disgusted that Cliff had gone back to his self-destructive behavior. At that point she could have said "I helped you. I looked after you like momma wanted me to. I convinced Mark to help you in business. Well, you've lost all that. You've shown me your hatred for my son's family is greater than your love for me and you're gonna get yourself killed trying to avenge a dead man for things he did to himself. I can't stop your self-destructiveness but I'm not enabling that behavior. I'm done with you."
     
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  9. Snarky's Ghost

    Snarky's Ghost Soap Chat Oracle

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    It is actually true that JR mostly left Cliff alone as long as Cliff left JR alone -- which was almost never. And whenever Cliff was in a position to help Bobby (who never did anything to Cliff, for the most part) Cliff would side with JR because Cliff preferred playing with his nemesis, instead of his boring ol' brother-in-law, Bobby.

    But it's been said that Pam was the least developed core character this side of Lucy; structurally, Pam was obviously Juliet to Bobby's Romeo, and Victoria's acting became downright excellent four years into the series. But Pam's motivations would change based on what the writers needed her to do.

    [​IMG]
     
  10. Mustard

    Mustard Soap Chat Fan

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    Pam said Cliff was her hero when they were kids. Back then, she was the one hating the Ewings openly like Digger, and committing some vandalism on Ewing property, and getting away with it, while Cliff was all great with his education, going into law, politics etc. with a steely determination. This seemed to flip flop somewhat as the TV series went on, with Pam the more sensible one, while Cliff regularly lost the plot as J.R. bested him on most occasions.

    In Season 10 DVD, she said "I'm resigning as your personal banker, Cliff". Cliff's behaviour at the time was at its worst ever.
     
  11. Kenny Coyote

    Kenny Coyote Soap Chat Well-Known Member

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    I liked Pam. I thought she was very kind hearted and generous. I didn't like to see Cliff taking advantage of her generosity, doing things like asking her for a loan and then using it to hurt Bobby and the rest of the family. He honestly didn't seem to care about whether Pam loved Bobby and that she would have rather lived a more peaceful life, which is why she kept doing things to try to end the feud. Ironically, after she disappeared, Cliff finally admitted to Miss Ellie "Revenge is a waste of time. What would have made this day just about perfect is if Pam had been here to see her brother learn his lesson."
     
  12. Mustard

    Mustard Soap Chat Fan

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    Cliff likes the Barnes-Ewing feud and wants the Barneses to win. Largely nice Bobby is a threat to Cliff's whole philosophy in this regard. Cliff thought Pam saw things the same way, as she did even before Cliff did, but then Pam married Bobby Ewing.

    J.R. wants the Ewings to beat the Barneses, but in J.R.'s mind they've already done that decades ago, so Cliff is like an annoying irritant, like a fly annoying a wild cat.
     
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2018
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  13. Kenny Coyote

    Kenny Coyote Soap Chat Well-Known Member

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    I don't remember that. When was that explained?
     
  14. Mustard

    Mustard Soap Chat Fan

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    In the first episode, wasn't it? It was certainly early on. Cliff couldn't believe that Pam had married Bobby, and said that Pam used to be worse than he was (with the hate of the Ewings), and mentioned property damage that she did.
     
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  15. Mustard

    Mustard Soap Chat Fan

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    Having recently done a Dallas marathon, it's amazes me how nice Cliff was in Season 12 DVD. He was never that nice at any other time, not even in the early episodes before "Election".
     
  16. Kenny Coyote

    Kenny Coyote Soap Chat Well-Known Member

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    I think he was the nicest around the time he had that talk with Miss Ellie in the park - season 11. He had to lose Pam to become nice. It took that much to make him realize his priorities in the past had been all screwed up.
     
  17. Lastkidpicked

    Lastkidpicked Soap Chat Fan

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    I think Pam knew the reason Cliff treated her poorly was that Cliff used all of his time and energy fighting the Ewings. So much time and energy that he had none to spare for his little sister.

    You are spot on when you say that Cliff's obsession with beating the Ewings was to his own detriment. He is one of the many characters who I used to yell at the screen, "You have plenty of money! Why not move out of Dallas and start a new life somewhere else!"

    That scene makes me wish there could have been more reasons for Barbara Bel Geddes and Ken Kercheval to interact together. Watch it again and notice how each actor unselfishly interacts with the other. Each powerful actor underplaying the scene.
     
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