Re-watching Season 7

Discussion in 'Dallas Season Reviews' started by James from London, Feb 24, 2017.

  1. Presea

    Presea Soap Chat Addict

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    Ugh. Almost all of this stuff reminds me why I disliked season 8 (dvd) so much.

    I did really like Jack. Especially in this season. I loved how he had the whole sexy, mysterious con man vibe going on. And he saved Ewing Oil! I really believe that they just should have introduced Jack in the beginning of this season and not even bothered with Jamie.

    Just the fact that Sue Ellen was going to a support group and being verbally abused by JR showed that it was time for them to end their sorry excuse of a marriage. JR was a jerk to Sue Ellen about John Ross. I saw him doing absolutely nothing to take care of John Ross when he first started getting sick, so blaming Sue Ellen made him look like a hypocrite. And it's not like she left him alone. I mean, someone was there to take him to the hospital.

    It was quite sad and pathetic that all the writers were able to do with Katherine in this season was make her totally nuts. First she wanted to kill Bobby, and then she DIDN'T want to kill him, but just wanted Jenna in prison? Ooookay. That more than anything proves just how far gone Katherine became. If they were sticking with crazy, the writers just should have made Katherine hire her hitman to kill Bobby. It would have spared me all of those stupid trial and weepy Jenna scenes.

    I was never able to figure out what actress played the blonde woman with the paper. I know it wasn't Morgan Brittany, but I can't remember who was listed in the credits. Or even if it was in the credits. I'm guessing that if it was, it would have been listed under "Woman tearing up newspaper", or something like that. Does anyone know who that actress was?
     
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  2. James from London

    James from London Soap Chat Dream Maker

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    "Swan Song"

    Written and directed by - who else? - Leonard Katzman.



    This really is unlike any other DALLAS instalment. Most obviously, there's its odd 65 minute shape which leads to a different sense of pacing throughout the episode. Also the camera work is unusually good for this late in the season (most season finales concentrate more on narrative momentum than fancy visuals). And Bobby's death means the year ends with a definitive full stop rather than a cliff-hanging question mark ("Who shot JR?" "Who killed who?" "Who will survive the fire?" etc). So it really feels like the end of an era, if not of the series itself. Certainly, it offers more sense of closure than the actual finale of Season 13. Indeed, there's a strong retrospective feel to "Swan Song"; this episode might almost be called "DALLAS's Greatest Hits" in the way it re-enacts story-lines and situations from the previous seven years: Lucy and Mitch's wedding, Sue Ellen turning to Dusty for help after JR threatens to send her back to the sanatarium - and Bobby proposing to the woman he brought home as his bride when the series began brings the saga full circle. His death even fulfils what was (supposedly) originally intended to happen at the end of the mini-series.



    There are echoes of other previous end-of-season story-lines, in particular those focusing on Sue Ellen. When she passes out at the Oil Baron's Club party and has to be carried home and put to bed, it is her most public display of drunkenness since "John Ewing Part 1" (Season 1) when Bobby finds her unconscious by the side of the road and carries her into the house in full view of Jock and Ellie, and "Wheeler Dealer" (Season 2) where Bobby and Ray drag her back from a bar where she believes she's seen Dusty. She think she's seen him in this episode as well. "Did I really see Dusty?" she mumbles to Clayton having being lain down on her bed. At least she doesn't try to drunkenly seduce Clayton the way she did in his hotel room in "Things Ain't Goin' Too Good at Southfork" (Season 5) although her line "Dusty, the only man I really loved" is reminiscent of what she told Clayton on that occasion: "You're the only man that ever loved me." In the penultimate instalment of Season 1, Miss Ellie instigated a discussion with JR about what should be done to solve Sue Ellen's drink problem and they have a similar discussion in this episode. And the choice JR offers his wife, "You either leave on your own or you're gonna be driven off [via] another trip to the sanatarium" echoes the Season 1 finale where he had her placed in a sanatarium, the Season 2 finale where he intended to have her placed in a sanatarium, and the Season 3 finale where he had her thrown off Southfork.



    There's also a call back of sorts to Cliff's overdose at the end of Season 4 when JR asks Sly and Phyllis if "we'll read about his suicide in tomorrow's papers, huh? No no, that'd make life too sweet." This is the second season finale in a row in which JR has wisecracked about Cliff taking his own life. Last year he suggested he "do the honourable thing--get in the elevator, go up to the roof and jump off.” Pam is also repeating herself, packing her bags just as she did in the previous year's finale after learning of Bobby and Jenna's engagement. Now it's because their wedding plans are back on that she plans to leave town.
    Also adding to the retrospection are references to neurofibromatosis, Mickey Trotter and even Mitch and Afton's mama.



    While the primary factor in making this A Very Special Episode is Bobby's demise, Patrick Duffy's isn't the only departure. Dream or no dream, Donna Reed, Charlene Tilton and Eric Farlow are all booked on a one way trip to Has Been City. (Heck, even Uncle Lenny's going part time.) With that in mind, this instalment contains some cruel ironies. "You were the star of the evening, Mama," JR tells Reed at the end of the party. "This star is fading fast," she replies prophetically. Meanwhile, poor Charlene Tilton must pretend to be overjoyed at being unceremoniously bundled off the show after seven years. "I guess miracles really do happen!" she marvels in one scene. "This is the most wonderful day of my life!"" she declares in another. 



    As well as echoes of the past, there are indications of what we can expect from a Bobby-less Season 8. To start with, there's the tail end of the Ewing victory celebration at the Oil Baron's where everyone is disturbingly happy, ("It was a wonderful party!" says Sly. "It was fun!" adds Mitch. "It was real neat!" squeaks Charlie in agreement) and JR is being weirdly agreeable. "I can't tell you how happy I am that you've come back into Lucy's life," he tells Mitch. "You really mean that, don't you?" Lucy replies. "Yes honey, I do. I really do." Enough with the niceness already! It's reassuring therefore to spot future best buds Ray and Jack sitting uncomfortably together at one table, and Sue Ellen, wearing what looks like a dead emu, sprawled face down at another. Ellie's casual suggestion to JR--"Why don't you wake up Sue Ellen and we'll all go home, hm?"--might just qualify as Donna Reed's funniest line of her DALLAS career.



    While JR makes his excuses, ("I just need to be alone and do some thinkin'. Maybe I can come up with a way of helping her," he insists before surreptitiously sniffing the button hole flower Mandy gave him in last week's episode) the rest of the Ewings exit the party. Miss Ellie leads the way, followed by Clayton and Ray half-carrying, half-dragging Sue Ellen, with Donna bringing up the rear. They enter the Southfork hallway in exactly the same order, giving an impression of having walked from downtown Dallas to Braddock County in a kind of procession.

    While Clayton and Miss Ellie tend to Sue Ellen, Uncle Lenny employs the same convention as at the end of "The Homecoming", the episode in which Donna Reed and Clayton returned from their honeymoon, by visiting each of the remaining couples in turn--Donna and Ray, JR and Mandy, Bobby and Jenna--as they reflect on recent events ("Quite a night, huh?") and contemplate the future. 

The first and best of these scenes is between Donna and Ray in the Southfork living room. It's rare to see these two characters have such an intimate interaction outside of their own modest bungalow, and thanks to the extra loving care taken over the camera work in the episode, the living room looks unusually impressive here, larger than normal somehow. The feeling of grandeur is augmented by the characters' clothes - Ray in an evening suit, Donna in that striking red backless number. All of which contrasts nicely with the sense of reality and emotion the two actors bring to their roles. 

Ray comes down the Southfork staircase to find Donna noodling a jazzy little number on the living room piano. She sardonically suggests playing "a rousing one for the good guys? Finally put old Cliff Barnes in his place once and for all." How interesting that Donna, ordinarily the most righteous member of the family, should be the one cutting through Ewing smugness over their court victory the way Sue Ellen would have done in the early years. "You don't have to be so sarcastic," Ray tells her. She apologises then declines his offer of a drink. "Unfortunately Sue Ellen did enough drinking for both of us. Another win for JR?" Wearily she turns to go, and he asks her again to join him in a drink. "I can't drink alcohol," she says with her back to him. "I'm pregnant." Having taken three episodes to break this news to Ray, she makes up for lost time by repeating the line twice more. He runs up to her, a big smile on his face: "Well that is great! That is just wonderful! I can't believe it! ... Don't you see? This is the answer to all our problems. We can be a real family now, Donna ... What better reason could we have to get back together again?" She is unable to match his enthusiasm. "Solving what's really wrong with our marriage would be a better reason and we haven't even started to do that," she tells him. 



    Upstairs, Bobby and Jenna watch Charlie sleep. "It still doesn't feel quite real to be here," sighs Jenna. If she thinks this is unreal, wait until next season. "We could always arrange to have you put back on bread and water," jokes Bobby inappropriately. "While I was there," she explains, "I had to put all thoughts of being free out of my mind. I had to adjust to being in prison for seven years. I couldn't think about Charlie or you, or I might have gone out of my mind." Again, wait until next season. "That's why I told you you were free," she continues, "I didn't want you out of honour or obligation to feel that you owed it to me to wait [but] if you still love me ... I can't wait to finally become Mrs Bobby James Ewing." That these were the first three words spoken on DALLAS only to adds to the sense of the series coming full circle. 



    Regarding Jenna's pregnancy, which she'll learn about on the other side of the dream season, there's been occasional speculation on the forum about when such a conception could have taken place. I've always presumed that this night would have been the night. If this were the case, it adds an extra irony to Ray's situation: on the very same night and in the very same house that he learns about the existence of his forthcoming biological child, the child he will end up raising as his own is also conceived. 



    JR, meanwhile, having finally consummated his affair with Mandy, (their date-rape-by-any-other-name seduction scene fifteen episodes earlier notwithstanding) is in an unusually reflective mood. "You know, there's something very strange about our relationship," he muses as he lies in Mandy's bed sipping champagne. "All my life, the chase has been the most important thing to me. I'd be infatuated with someone for a while and when I achieved my goal, I couldn't wait to get away." This idiosyncrasy of his is a well established one, ("I've never met a man who enjoys the chase as much as he does - even more than winning," observed Patricia Shepherd as far back as the beginning of Season 2) but it's the first time we've heard JR himself acknowledge it. "It's different with you," he continues. "I want you now more than ever. I can't tell you a wonderful feeling that is!" It's interesting to hear JR make this distinction between Mandy and all the other women he's slept with: it adds a significance to their relationship which isn't necessarily evident from their on screen pairing. Mandy responds with a line from the same hymn sheet she's been singing from for the past half season: "No matter how I try to rationalise it, you're still married." 



    Each of these three scenes ends on an uncertain note for DALLAS's three principal couples: "You're pregnant, we're separated. So what the hell are you gonna do now, Donna?" Ray asks his wife. "I don't know," she admits. "I gave Sue Ellen every chance to be a good wife," JR tells Mandy, "but the die is cast now. There's no going back." And as Jenna happily embraces Bobby, she fails to see the troubled expression on his face. We then cut to Pam, looking equally unhappy as she lies in bed, a copy of the same edition of the Dallas Press shredded by the Mystery Blonde at the end of last week's episode in front of her, i.e. the one announcing Bobby and Jenna's reunion on the front page. As Pam sighs wistfully, we will her not to fall asleep just yet.



    Speaking of the Mystery Blonde, she makes her first appearance of the episode - or at least her evil red fingernails do - as she pours what appears to be a can of blood into a glass in the kitchenette of her apartment/hotel suite/padded cell/whatever as KZAL EARLY MORNING NEWS ("The earliest news programme in the metroplex!") plays in the background. KZAL means the return of the dazzlingly incompetent blonde reporter who popped up first in Season 2 and then throughout Season 5 to thrust a microphone in Larry Hagman's face while failing to string a coherent sentence together. Now occupying the role of newscaster, this is (perhaps mercifully) her last appearance. According to imdb, the actress playing her, Bobbie Ferguson, now works for NASA, which is comforting. 

In one of those DYNASTY moves that prefigure Season 8, the Ewings have been promoted from mere Texas oil barons into fully fledged local celebrities, so much so that their victory celebration at the Oil Baron's qualifies as a leading news story on KZAL, complete with party footage of JR propping up a zonked out Sue Ellen as Susan Howard practices her sign language in the background; Lucy gurning at the camera "with a gentleman we have learned was her ex-husband Dr Mitchell Cooper"; and "the happiest celebrants of the evening ... Bobby Ewing and Jenna Wade, seen with their daughter Charlie." (A nice continuity touch there, as Bobby is now widely believed to be Charlie's father following his outburst at Jenna's sentencing.) "The long delayed wedding of Miss Wade and Mr Ewing is expected to take place in the very near future," concludes Bobbie Ferguson before hanging up her microphone and donning her NASA space helmet. Back in Fingernail Woman's apartment, Lance Rubin's plinky-plonky "going mad" music (the same score heard earlier the same year on both DALLAS and DYNASTY) begins, as she hurls her glass of blood at the TV screen. Given that our own TV screens will soon be awash with Bobby's blood (sorta), this is kind of a meta moment. Whoever Fingernail Woman may turn out to be, she's certainly got a grudge against the media. In her two scenes to date, she's already ripped up a newspaper and thrown a glass at a television. Had the internet been around in 1985, she'd have probably taken axe to her laptop.



    Midday at Southfork finds Miss Ellie and Clayton in Stepford Farlow mode. "I know everything tasted a little better to me today!" sing songs Donna Reed as she gets up from the dining table. "Now that the fight for Ewing Oil is over," says Clayton, "we can get back to leading normal lives." "Whatever that is," Ellie replies cutesily. (Clue: it's a world in which you're played by Barbara Bel Geddes for starters.) Speaking of not knowing what normal is, a hung-over Sue Ellen then appears, sporting her widest shoulder-pads to date (the better to illustrate that she carries the weight of the world on them) and twiddling a long stemmed rose for no apparent reason (unless it's the alcoholic's equivalent of the white flag of surrender). She doesn't look bad exactly, just kind of ridiculous. This is one of those scenes where she talks openly to the family about her drinking, and so comes across as high pitched and silly. "I'd like to explain about last night," she begins. "I was so depressed about my not being here when John Ross had to go to the hospital. I blamed myself so much. I just took that drink to erase it. And like any alcoholic, once I had that first drink, I couldn't stop." This is the first time Sue Ellen has described herself as an alcoholic. The closest she's come before is in Season 2 when she conceded to Dusty that she might be an alcoholic, but usually she just talks in vague terms about having had a drinking problem. 

Most of the rest of her conversation with Miss Ellie and Clayton consists of meaningless reassurances on both sides. First Sue Ellen swears off the bottle for the 874th time. "I'm in control. I'm through drinking," she insists, failing to realise that an alcoholic, by definition, has no control over their drinking. "Well that's fine, dear," simpers Ellie in response. "We're here for you." This line reminds me of two fine pieces of dialogue from KNOTS LANDING, one delivered by Harold Dyer in Season 11, ("I wanna gag when I hear somebody say they're always gonna be there for you. I wanna ask them, where are they gonna be--on the corner of 3rd and Hudson?") the other by Paige Matheson in Season 12 ("Where's 'Here for me'?" she asks the sycophantic Mort. "Does that mean you want to help me in my time of need, or does that mean you want a roll in the hay?").

    Sue Ellen then asks about Dusty: "Is he here? Did I really see him?" Clayton assures her that she hasn't started hallucinating just yet: "There's a rodeo in Fort Worth. Ellie and I had lunch with him the other day." "... Does he have any children yet?" she asks - a rather an odd question given that she and Clayton have lived in the same house for almost a year. Does she think he would have forgotten to mention becoming a grandfather? 

The scene becomes more interesting with the arrival of Lucy and Mitch. (Now there's a sentence I don't type every day.) Still dressed in last night's party outfits having watched the sun came up on Lake Ray Hubbard, they announce that they're "getting married tomorrow." While on the surface Lucy and Mitch's wedding exists primarily as an efficient (if dramatically uninspired) method of getting Charlene Tilton off the show as quickly as possible, Katzman uses it to create an interesting juxtaposition between Lucy's bright new future and the fates of those she is leaving behind, most notably Sue Ellen and Bobby. While Ellie and Clayton cluck over the not-so-newlyweds-to-be, a forgotten Sue Ellen wanders in the direction of the bar still carrying that stupid rose. "You haven't congratulated us, Sue Ellen," observes Lucy. Unless I'm very much mistaken, this is the first communication between the two women since before Christopher Atkins skateboarded off the show. "I am happy for you, Lucy. I really am," Sue Ellen assures her with more sincerity than she was able to muster during Mitch and Lucy's previous engagement, when she would smirk sardonically at JR's wisecracks about Mitch's lowly financial status. "It's hard to think of leaving Southfork," sighs Lucy. "Hard. She doesn't know how lucky she is," murmurs Sue Ellen as the rest of the characters wander outside. The scene ends with with an extreme close up of Linda Gray's face, a decidedly cinematic flourish particular to this episode.

    

Another distinguishing mark is the fact that the crew have returned to Texas for the season finale to shoot a handful of scenes in the driveway of Pam's Antioch Drive house. (I think the only other time location shooting has taken place so late in the year is for the Season 5 sequence where Sue Ellen sees JR's car outside Holly Harwood's house.) The first of these shows Bobby pulling up in his car and Pam inviting him inside. It's a brief scene, in some ways unremarkable (save for the makes-sense-in-hindsight glimpse we get of that brown car lurking in background), but there's something lovely about it. Lance Rubin's score manages to be both poignant and foreboding, and the filming, even as we move inside the house, feels somehow wide and spacious. The episode's additional twenty minutes has resulted in a different sense of pace: not leisurely exactly, but the characters and scenes have more room to breathe.

    Pam's mood is serious. It transpires that she has invited Bobby over to ask him something: "I know Jenna's out of prison. Is she back at Southfork?" "Yes," he replies, sounding surprised that Jenna's return to the ranch was ever in question. "I thought for a while," Pam continues, "that maybe we might get married again, but no matter what we've talked about or how we feel, Jenna still expects to marry you, doesn't she?" "Yes," he says again. "She's been through an awful lot, Bobby." "Pam, we all have. After all, we've been living in a prime time soap opera for the past seven years." "You know, one of the things I love about you the most," she tells him, her voice shaking, "is your sense of honour. I mean how could you not marry her? You're really obligated to." "Even though it's you I really love?" he asks. "How could we marry knowing the pain it would cause Jenna and Charlie?" she argues. "I'm not trying to be noble. I lived with the idea once before and somehow I'll do it again. As much as I love you, you have to marry her!" Tremulous and on the verge of tears, Pam exits the room leaving Bobby alone and stunned. The mournful score turns ominous and eerie as shaky, hand held camera work tracks Bobby leaving the house and getting into his car. Suddenly we're inside the car of the Fingernail Woman as she starts her engine. It all feels so ... different. In a good way. A really good way.



    We're on more familiar territory as the action shifts to Barnes/Wentworth. The episode chooses not to dwell on Cliff's recent courtroom defeat, which in narrative terms took place only the previous day. Instead, Cliff provides the episode's light relief as he grapples with his latest conundrum: how to extricate himself from his marriage to Jamie without losing half his assets in the process. It's fun to watch him asking a divorce attorney (played by that funny guy from BEWITCHED) about community property laws while still insisting that he's a happily married man. "The longer you're married, the stronger her claims to your assets would be," he is informed. "The cleanest way of all would be if there were grounds for an annulment. Then just maybe a quick cash settlement and no claim to Barnes Wentworth at all."



    Like fellow supporting actors Deborah Shelton, Dack Rambo and Jared Martin, Jennilee Harrison appears only twice in this episode. The first time is when Cliff cobbles together a confession he hope will end their marriage: "I found out a few years ago that I have this disease called neurofibromatosis ... I could pass it on to my children ... A while back I had a vasectomy ... I should have told you before we were married ... Despite the fact that I love you very much, I would understand it if you wanted to get an annulment." This is the first onscreen mention of a vasectomy so it's reasonable to assume Cliff is lying, especially bearing in mind the later discovery that he managed to impregnate Afton before she left town. Mind you, soap opera vasectomies are notoriously unreliable - just ask Richard Channing, Greg Sumner or Ian Beale. In any case, Cliff's scheme backfires amusingly. "Oh Cliff!" Jamie gasps sympathetically. "I understand how hard that must have been for you to tell me. It only makes me love you more. I really respect your honesty!" "You do?" he asks, nonplussed. "Yes," she replies. "When the time comes to have children, we can always adopt ... Cliff, I know a lot about the oil business and I'm gonna stand by your side all the way. I'm gonna help you make Barnes Wentworth the biggest independent oil company in the whole state of Texas ... I really feel as though part of that company belongs to me!"



    Clayton and Ellie are then each given a scene with their respective eldest son where the topic of conversation is Sue Ellen. First Dusty and Clayton have their first one-to-one scene of the series when they hook up for drinks at the Oil Baron's Club. (Rumour has it there was no love lost between the actors as strait-laced Howard Keel disapproved of Jared Martin's hippy-dippy ways.) The subject of Dusty's homicidal aunt-cum-biological mother stashing Miss Ellie in the trunk of a car a year earlier is studiously avoided. Instead, Dusty explains his now-you-see-him-now-you-don't appearance at the end of last week's episode. "I couldn't stay. I saw Sue Ellen drinking. I saw that pompous ass JR ... Obviously they're still having problems and I didn't wanna add to them." Clayton enquires about Dusty's wife Linda: "She's divorcing me ... I could never get over Sue Ellen ... I still love her ..." "So what do you do now?" Clayton asks. "I don't know," he admits. "Seeing Sue Ellen again kinda changes everything." Clayton frowns, as well he might.



    Given that this is such a memorable and well-executed season finale, it's kind of surprising that the most under-performing character should be JR. During a more conventional cliff-hanger, he would be the character driving the action, but instead he spends most of this extended episode on the sidelines living up to Dusty's all too accurate description of him as a "pompous ass ... strutting around around like some cock of the walk." In the opening party scene where Sue Ellen's drinking is discovered by the rest of the family, it's frustratingly unclear whether his concern for his wife ("I'm so sorry about this, Mama ... Maybe it was my fault ... I guess I just forgot how weak she is ... I was tryin' to keep it from everybody ... I didn't wanna embarrass her in front of you all") is genuine or if he is just try to enlist support for his plan to get rid of her. As a result he comes across as wimpish and mealy mouthed - another indication of where the character is headed in Season 8. 



    Hagman manages one funny line delivery when Miss Ellie stops by his office for a private chat. "Sounds serious. You and Clayton having any problems?" he asks hopefully. This scene is significant for a couple of other reasons: It's the first time Ellie has visited Ewing Oil since her "We're Ewings, we stick together and that's what makes us unbeatable" speech 103 episodes earlier, and it's the last and better of Hagman and Reed's two one-to-one scenes of the season. Instead of Donna Reed naively attempting to empathise with her temporary son as she did during their kitchen scene in "Legacy of Hate", the Ellie we see here adopts a more no nonsense attitude. "No, we're not," she replies curtly to JR's enquiry about her marriage, "but Sue Ellen is ... I'm very worried about her." She goes on to explain how she found Sue Ellen "passed out in her room, drunk" only hours after hearing her swear off the booze for good. JR floats the idea of having Sue Ellen put away. "JR, I hate the thought of her going back to that sanatarium," Ellie protests before conceding: "As much as I dislike it, maybe you're right."


     
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  3. James from London

    James from London Soap Chat Dream Maker

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    More "Swan Song"

    Last time they got married on the fake patio, this time Lucy and Mitch have to make do with a wedding ceremony in the living room. It nevertheless makes for a good looking scene. As Lucy prepares to bow out of the show, the rest of the family line up to pay tribute. "You can take the girl out of Texas, but you'll never take Texas out of the girl," says Donna. "Listen honey, it's gonna be awful empty around here without you," adds Bobby. (It will? This as much as he's said to her since the beginning of Season 4.) Even JR finds something nice to say to his niece: "I never thought I'd say this, but I'm really gonna miss you, honey. It won't be the same without you to fight with." He'll say something equally uncharacteristic during Ray's farewell scene of Season 11. In both cases, one gets more of a sense of Larry Hagman bidding farewell to a fellow cast member than of JR being relieved of a thorn in his side. All very nice of course, but how much more dramatic if Lucy's exit from the show had been a result of JR running her out of town just as he did her parents all those years ago? (My preference would have been to have Lucy rather than Sue Ellen befriend Jamie upon her arrival at Southfork, and then side with her and Cliff during their fight for Ewing Oil, thus alienating her from the rest of the family.) "I'm gonna miss you all. It'll never be the same again," she sighs, as a future of panto in Portsmouth, milking cows with Ron Jeremy and squeezing into Madonna's conical bra on STARS IN THEIR EYES beckons.

    

"I hope the second time around works better for her than it did for me," murmurs Sue Ellen, declining a glass of champagne as the family mill around after the exchange of vows. "At least she'll be away from here," replies Clayton with unusual candour--could it be that he too secretly longs for a life free from the confines of Southfork? As we glimpse a preoccupied Bobby hovering in the background, Sue Ellen asks to see Dusty. "Do you think it would be wise?" Clayton replies. "Just knowing that he's here changes everything for me," she insists.



    What does change everything is the small but pivotal exchange that then occurs between Bobby and Lucy. "You're next, Bobby," she chirrups. "I'm gonna be at your wedding!" "My wedding. All right," he replies, smiling weakly. As they part, Jenna turns in time to see Bobby close his eyes and shake his head. To the untrained eye, he looks a little bilious, perhaps still feeling the after effects of Pam's killer chilli in last week's episode, but Jenna sees deeper than the rest of us. She is rewarded with a big close up as the scene fades to black.



    Lucy and Mitch wave good-bye on the fake patio amidst much confetti and hugging, but their final appearance for three years is merely a backdrop for the latest development in the story of Bobby's love triangle. As the newlyweds drive away, Jenna observes him stealing quietly back into the house and follows him inside where he pours himself a glass of champagne. "Quite a wedding," she says. "Everyone seems to think that we'll be next ... It seems so long ago that we were getting ready to get married ... So much has changed since then. I'm carrying around a lotta scars, gonna take a long time to heal ... Maybe it's me, but something feels different ... I love you. I guess I always have. Do you know what it's like being my age and to have loved only one person all that time?" This has always struck me as a poignant line, not least because it's one of the rare instances of a DALLAS woman acknowledging she is no longer in the prime of youth. "There was a time that I was absolutely sure our getting married was the right thing to do," she continues, "but I'm not so sure anymore. Maybe we're just letting people tell us it's time we were married. Maybe we're just too much in a rush ... Maybe we need a little time to think it over, to make sure we still love one another. I really would understand if things weren't the same anymore." Bobby starts to reply, but she cuts him off. "Would you just leave me alone for a little while?" she asks, smiling bravely even as her voice begins to falter. God love Jenna: after allowing herself to be pushed from pillar to post all season long, she finally takes matters into her own hands and behaves pretty darn heroically if you ask me. Priscilla Presley's not half bad in this scene either. And she looks lovely.



    Sue Ellen's hair, which has grown progressively bigger and wilder throughout this instalment, reaches its Echo and the Bunnymen zenith on the evening following Lucy's wedding. Having remained sober throughout the day, she paces restlessly in her room before caving in and heading for the bottle of vodka stashed in her dresser. Before she can take more than a sip, she is interrupted by a knock on the door. It's JR. This is the first time the couple have spoken to one another on screen since she resumed drinking four weeks ago, and is the only time that JR's customary malevolence surfaces in this episode. A threat of physical violence aside, this scene contains all the ingredients of one of the classic JR/Sue Ellen confrontations of the early years: name calling ("We both know you're a lush"), insults ("that Winger tramp") and ultimatums ("Save yourself another trip to the sanatarium"). "All through the wedding," JR begins, "everybody spent more time lookin' at you than they're lookin' at Lucy ... They all wanted to see if you could make it through the ceremony without passin' out." This observation again underlines how Lucy's big day functions more as a framing device for other people's story-lines than as an event in its own right. "I'm gonna stop drinking just like I did before," vows Sue Ellen yet again, but JR ain't buying it: "Don't bother with that story on my account, honey ... Face it, Sue Ellen. You're a drunk." "Joan of Arc would have been a drunk if she'd have been married to you." "But she isn't. And you are. I don't want a drunk for a wife." I love that line. So cruel it's comical, it's right up there with "Whoever it is has got to be more interesting than the slut I'm lookin' at right now" and "You're a tramp, a drunk and an unfit mother." "End this marriage now," he continues. "Why?" Sue Ellen snaps. "So you can be with that Winger tramp?" She will revive this insult when she and Mandy come face to face in the first episode of Season 9. "Why don't you leave me and John Ross and Southfork and inflict yourself on somebody else?" he suggests. "You're gonna leave on your own or you're gonna be driven off, but one way or another, you're outta here because this marriage is over ... I'll get Teresa to bring you up another bottle of vodka."

    After JR leaves, the scene continues for another minute and a quarter as we observe, really for the first time, Sue Ellen struggling with her inability not to drink. First, she puts down the glass of vodka (which she has been holding during her conversation with JR) and turns her back on it, moving across the room and sitting down on the bed. With the character slightly out of focus in the background, the camera concentrates on the tumbler of vodka on the dresser. Just as it is in the forefront of the shot, the drink also remains in the forefront of Sue Ellen's mind. When she stands up a few seconds later, the actress's head is cut out of shot and we instead watch her twitchy body language as she walks back to the glass and picks it up, in that slow, idiosyncratic way of Linda Gray's which makes it appear as if it's really heavy. She then downs the drink in two gulps. The scene ends with another extreme close up of Sue Ellen smarting against the taste, a look of angry self loathing on her face, as the screen fades to black. It's an unusual little sequence for DALLAS, the kind of "character in isolation" moment one would be more likely to find on KNOTS LANDING. Again, it's the extra running time that allows the space to explore the character's dilemma in such a way. Speaking of which, if this were a regular sized instalment, it would end here as the episode reaches the forty-five minute mark.

    As "Swan Song" moves into extra time, there follows two more pivotal marital scenes: one between Bobby and Pam, the other between Ray and Donna. Whereas the couples' earlier discussions each focused more on the female side of the argument, ("A baby shouldn't be a solution to our problems!"; "You have to marry her!") the men are now given their right to reply.



    First, Bobby shows up at Pam's house: "I've been drivin' around for a long time. I finally had to come and see you ... Lucy got married today." "Oh?" replies Pam, Victoria Principal's line reading making her sound politely disinterested. It's hard to believe how close she and Lucy were just a few years earlier. Maybe Charlene Tilton got out just in time. "To Mitch Cooper. Again," Bobby adds. "Oh," she repeats with more interest this time, as she begins to see the relevance of what he is saying. "The Ewings seem to make a habit out of marrying the same person more than once, don't they?" she observes, smiling. Indeed they do: by this point, Gary and Val, JR and Sue Ellen, and Lucy and Mitch have all tied and re-tied the knot, with Bobby and Pam, JR and Cally (sorta), and Gary and Val (yet again) still to follow. Nevertheless, Pam is the first person to make such a brazenly meta observation. After all, if characters start commenting on this sort of thing, what else will they notice? That "the Ewings seem to make a habit of getting kidnapped and/or nearly being murdered by their deranged sisters-in-law"? "I can't marry Jenna," Bobby continues. "It would be wrong. It's you that I wanna marry ... I think she knows how I feel and she's just gonna have to understand. It'll be better for her than bein' married to a man who's in love with someone else." It's hard to argue with that statement. Of course, if Bobby had used that reasoning in reply to Pam's "You have to marry her" line forty TV minutes earlier, we wouldn't have needed such a long episode, but their reunion is all the sweeter for being delayed just that bit longer. "If you'll have me, I wanna marry you," he tells her. "We don't have to live at Southfork. It can be anywhere you want as long as we're together. Will you? Marry me? Again?" Pam laughs in reply. "Yes, oh yes!" she exclaims. "I want to! So much. I thought I'd lost you forever!" The music wells up joyously as they hug and kiss. "I love you," they tell each other. There's not a dry eye in the audience - nor outside Pam's house as the Fingernail Woman sobs into her wig as she observes the downstairs lights go off.



    How to follow this crucial moment in DALLAS history? With an equally tender (if more low key) scene between Ray and Donna. It being the second of two comparatively lengthy scenes between the couple, this is a rare episode indeed that puts the Krebbses' relationship on an equal footing with the other Ewing marriages. (This is another harbinger of Season 8 when Donna and Ray become front burner characters, with questionable results.) This scene takes place at night on the fake patio which, in keeping with the visual quality of the rest of this episode, has never looked better or more atmospheric. Donna's foray into petty vandalism, i.e., dropping rose petals in the pool at the scene begins, looks particularly pretty and plaintive. Ray joins her from inside the house and delivers a moving speech: "I want you to come back to me ... You love me. You know I love you ... You know I wanted you back before I knew you were pregnant. So the pregnancy is not all of it." Tears well up in Steve Kanaly's eyes as he continues: "You know how I feel about kids. I always felt that was one thing I was missing in my life. Mickey, for a little while, was like a son to me. I still think about him all the time. The thought of losing you is bad enough, but just thinking about having a little son or a little daughter and not being able to be a full time father would just about kill me. You know how I grew up. You know how I feel about a kid havin' a proper father and mother." Interestingly, prior to this scene we don't know how Ray feels about kids, as he and Donna have never discussed them, but we do know how he grew up, and how this has subsequently coloured his perception of himself and the people around him. Perhaps this is why Ray's need for a child feel more specific than Donna's. "This little baby's gonna need us, both of us," he continues. "Don't you think I know that?" replies Donna, her voice tight with emotion. "I don't expect you to make up your mind about anything tonight," he tells her. "You have a lot to think over. Mostly I just want you to remember everything that's ever been good between us and what a wonderful family we could make."

 An understated scene this may be, but it too earns its place in the DALLAS history books as the last to take place outside of Pam Ewing's subconscious for the next thirty-one episodes. (It's also the scene which Steve Kanaly and Susan Howard re-enact-cum-reminisce about so endearingly seventeen years later for the UK documentary AFTER DALLAS.)

    But now, people, it's time to embark on the longest dream in television history. (Well, apart from the five year one in ST. ELSEWHERE and whatever that was that happened to Bob Newhart.) It begins how it will end: "Good morning," says Bobby to Pam, albeit pulling on his cowboy boots in her bedroom as opposed to working himself into a lather in her shower. "I forgot how beautiful you look in the morning," he continues before throwing her back onto the bed and tickling her. As Victoria Principal erupts into that gorgeously dirty laugh of hers, the musical score soars rapturously. Is there a happier moment in all of DALLAS? "I'm happy to see you!" Eric Farlow informs Bobby, before launching into his classic eggs and toast speech: "Eggs and toast!" Bobby tells Pam he's going back to Southfork and they agree to meet for dinner that evening. "Good-bye, Daddy," says Christopher. "I love you," Bobby tells him. "I wuv you too, Daddy." Bless; those the last words father and son will ever exchange ... except that they're not really, because Bobby's death will turn out to be a dream ... except that they are really, because by the time Pam wakes up, Christopher will have been replaced by an older, perkier, frecklier impostor.

    

"I'll call you as soon as I talk to Jenna," promises Bobby as he and Pam walk arm in arm out of the house and into the driveway. "I feel so bad for her," Pam replies, "but I'm so glad that it's me you want to marry." They kiss, then we watch from a distance as he breaks away and moves towards his car. She calls him back for another embrace, which we observe from even further away. The camera pulls back and we realise we're watching from inside the Fingernail Woman's car, still parked in the same position as in earlier scenes. She starts her ignition. The pinky plonky "going mad" music begins again. The car careers down the driveway, heading straight for Pam, but somehow Pam, facing in the opposite direction as she watches Bobby walking towards his car, doesn't notice it. We glimpse her and Bobby from inside the car again, but this time with the kind of jerky, stop motion effect like you used to get in old Ray Harryhausen monster movies. Then there's a more conventional slow motion close up of Bobby as he turns to see the car driving towards Pam. It's only a few feet away from her at this point, but she stands frozen to the spot, looking at Bobby uncomprehendingly as he runs towards her in slow motion, calling her name: "PA-A-A-AM!" It's like ... a dream. (Oh how could we not have realised?) Finally becoming aware of the danger she's in, she turns oh so slowly and sees the car. Bobby pushes her out the way at the last second, taking the full impact of the hit himself as he is thrown over the car in stop motion. The car crashes into an (in)conveniently placed gardener's truck. Fingernail Woman head-butts the steering wheel causing the car horn to blare out. (Nice detail!) Abruptly, we're back in real time as Pam scrambles over to Bobby's prone body, repeating his name and cradling his bloodied face in her lap. "Oh no, no, no," she whimpers. As the gardener pulls Fingernail Woman's face back from the wheel, her blonde wig falls off to reveal ... a very dead Katherine Wentworth, eyes staring blindly like a ghoulishly attractive waxwork. "Bobby, Bobby, please," continues Pam, before letting rip with that scream. In spite of the later revelation that "none of that happened", that scream remains one of the few genuinely spine-tingling moments of DALLAS's entire run. The gardener's lawnmower, the car horn, the use of slow motion, Pam's scramble, that scream ... it's hard to think of another DALLAS scene where so much attention is paid to audio and visual detail. It's one of the main reasons it still managed to shock and move back in 1985, despite the fact we all knew it was coming. Fade to black.



    Lights up on an early morning diner scene between Sue Ellen and Dusty. It's like Season 2 all over again, except he doesn't order a six egg omelette and she's now wearing humungous shoulder-pads. "It's so bizarre that you're here in Dallas," she tells him. It's even more bizarre that Dusty's inside Pam's head, but all discrepancies pertaining to Pam's dream containing knowledge her character wouldn't possess can be explained away by my theory that she developed precognitive powers after visiting Lydia the psychic earlier this season. The rest of Sue Ellen's dialogue in this scene has a familiar ring to it. In fact, it could have been delivered at almost any point in the show's history: "My whole life is falling apart. I'm so afraid ... I need you to help me ... I may turn into a hopeless drunk shipped away to a sanatarium." "That's not gonna happen," smiles Dusty, riding to the rescue once more.

    

Over at Mandy's place, JR is still boringly, blandly happy. "The sun is really shining on me today," he tells her. "I've destroyed Cliff Barnes, I've got you ... I feel like a twenty year old kid again! ... Why don't we go to Paris for a couple of days?" Why indeed? Because almost every time someone plans an innocent vacation in DALLAS, the grim reaper comes a-calling. Just ask Ray and Donna, on their way to New York in Season 5 when they get the news of Amos Krebbs's death. Even when characters do make it out of the country--on a first or second honeymoon, say--there's no guarantee they'll make it back in one piece; Jock and April, anyone? Sure enough, JR calls the office to cancel appointments so he can whisk Mandy across the Atlantic for a quick baguette, only to hear Sly and Phyllis drowning in an ocean of tears. "JR, where are you?" wails Sly. "We've been trying to reach you!" On the other end of the line, JR's face falls flat. "Oh my God, it's Bobby," he tells Mandy as he heads for the door. We don't hear what Sly actually tells him over the phone, but from Phyllis's inconsolable sobbing, you'd be forgiven for thinking that Bobby was already dead.



    For their second scene of the series, Jack once again shows up uninvited at Jamie's door. Just as before, she tries to get rid of him - "You Judas!" - but to no avail. "I have to talk to you," he insists. There, alas, the similarities between the two scenes end, for the sexy, cocksure, dangerous Jack who barged his way into his sister's old apartment has been replaced by a slushy, soft-spoken wimp. "I love you," he coos in that pseudo-intense whisper Dack Rambo will employ throughout Season 8. "You're the only family I have." Their tentative reconciliation is interrupted by Cliff who gives his new brother-in-law short shrift: "What the hell are you doin' here? ... There will be no more Ewings in my house ever!" "... You're married to one," Jack points out. "No, she's a Barnes now," Cliff replies. "And if she doesn't think so, you can have her back!" They are interrupted by a news-flash on Ewing FM. "In a bizarre [that word again] turn of events," announces the radio reporter, "Bobby Ewing, one of the owners of the Ewing Oil company, has been rushed to Dallas Memorial Hospital after being struck by a car driven by his ex-sister-in-law Katherine Wentworth. Miss Wentworth, still wanted by police after skipping bail for the shooting of Mr Ewing ..." Jeez, just imagine being an ordinary Dallas listener unrelated to the Ewings who has never stepped inside the Oil Baron's Club trying to make head or tail of this news report "... was declared dead at the scene of the accident." This is too much for Jamie who collapses into Jack's arms. As with Phyllis's reaction in the previous scene, it's as if she's already been told that Bobby is dead. (I guess they figured that if the audience at home know what's coming - and we did - then there's no point dragging it out.) "Mr Ewing is currently undergoing surgery for massive internal injuries," adds the reporter. "The incident occurred at the home of Pamela Barnes Ewing, Mr Ewing's ex-wife." Upon hearing this, Cliff shuts his eyes in pained empathy with his sister. 



    And so to a darkened hospital room where the Ewing/Farlow/Krebbs clan (minus Sue Ellen) are clustered around bloody Bobby's bed. The positioning of family members is revealing. As the two great loves of his life, Pam and Jenna are at his side. As an unsuccessful mother substitute, Donna Reed is relegated to the foot of the bed, Clayton behind her. (Such was Reed's lowly status on the show by this point that on first viewing, I never even questioned why mother and son should be so far apart.) JR hovers uncertainly by the door. Not only does this create a nice receding three way shot of from Bobby's point of view of Pam in the foreground, Jenna next to her and JR in the background, but it's also a nice illustration of JR's fear. Just as he was the son unable to face Miss Ellie when he and his brothers returned home empty handed from their search for Jock in South America, he remains perhaps the family member least equipped to face death. The half breed Krebbses are next to Ellie and Clayton, a genuinely tearful Steve Kanaly giving arguably the most moving performance of the scene. They're all waiting for Bobby to open his eyes, which he eventually does. "Bob," says a choked up Ray. "Hi, Ray," acknowledges Bobby before looking at Miss Ellie: "Oh Mama, I'm sorry." "No, no, Bobby," she replies. And here it becomes clear that they all, Bobby included, know he's about to die. He turns in the direction of Pam and Jenna. "All that wasted time," he weeps. "We should've been married." It's silently apparent that each of the women thinks he is talking solely to her. Alas, this moment will have all the subtle ambiguity bludgeoned out of it in Season 8 when it becomes a key plot point in the Jenna-goes-nuts story. "Take care of Christopher, Charlie," Bobby tells them in turn. "Tell 'em I love 'em." We cut to a close up of JR in tears. Then Bobby's EKG thingy starts pinging. Ellie looks alarmed. Bobby sighs. "Be good to each other," he tells them all. "Be a family." (Oh no, don't do that! That's the last thing we want. If you all start being nice to each other, we'll end up with, well, the second two thirds of Season 8!) "I love you so much," he concludes, then duly flat-lines. The noise of the machine makes Pam jump. "No no no no," whimpers Donna Reed - her last line of both the show and her career, and a credible job she makes of it too. "Don't leave me," pleads JR, "don't do this to me, Bobby." Pam lets out a strange guttural cry of despair. (What an emotionally rich vocal performance Victoria Principal delivers in this episode. In almost every scene, she delivers lines, or simply makes sounds, in a way we've never heard before.) As with Jamie and Jack in the previous scene, Ray and Donna put their differences to one side to comfort one another in their grief. A doctor suddenly emerges from nowhere. While Clayton and Ellie, and Ray and Donna hug each other and cry, JR, Pam and Jenna stand motionless looking down at Bobby's dead-but-not-really-dead body. It really feels like the end.
     
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  4. Victoriafan3

    Victoriafan3 Soap Chat Fan

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    Best episode EEEVVVAA!!!
     
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  5. Ms Southworth

    Ms Southworth Soap Chat Dream Maker

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    Excellent review of "Swan Song"!:spinning:

    James, I especially love your comments about how this particular episode
    (1) feels like the end of an era, if not the series itself;
    (2) offers more sense of closure than the actual finale of season 13;
    (3) might almost be called "DALLAS's Greatest Hits" in the way it re-enacts story-lines and situations from the previous seven years (and James ... you give us lots of examples);
    (4) adds to the sense of the series coming full circle, when Jenna repeats the first three words spoken in the very first episode of Dallas ("I can't wait to finally become Mrs Bobby James Ewing.");
    (5) brings the saga full circle, since Bobby proposes to the woman he brought home as his bride when the series began; and
    (6) fulfills what was (supposedly) originally intended to happen at the end of the mini-series, i.e. Bobby dies.
    Brilliant, James! :clap: Simply brilliant! :best:
     
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2017
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  6. Ferney

    Ferney Soap Chat Member

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    My favorite part of "Deliverance" is when JR is talking to Cliff and he says "You'd tell the cartel about our private conversation?" as if he is stunned by the breach in etiquette. Hagman is the master of that kind of thing.

    Yes, the honorable Jock thing is quite a turn from what he was, it kinda makes him more boring as a character.. But nothing tops the effort to make him a Saint in a later season by having him save Jews from the Holocaust in WW2. I mean, wow!

    Unfortunately when writers have run dry, they tend to reach back to when the show was good, and try to put a "twist" on it instead of coming up with an actual great new storyline. It rarely succeeds.

    And for the blubber of "this fight for Ewing Oil" would be the toughest yet, no, there are no repurcussions and everything does revert to where they were before. The first fight broke up Pam and Bobby's marriage, Rebecca was killed, Mickey was paralyzed, lives were ruined- here almost nothing comes from it. Even Sue Ellen's situation had no tie in it.
     
    Last edited: Mar 17, 2017
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  7. Rove

    Rove Soap Chat TV Fanatic

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    "Swan Song" is my exclamation mark on Dallas. It's where my DVD Collection finishes. I have never felt the need to purchase the remaining seasons since I believe the "Dream Season" hurts the Dallas brand beyond recovery. The writers may have thought it courageous but it was THE insult many viewers were not prepared to forgive - me included. It was the "JUMP THE SHARK MOMENT."
     
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  8. Rove

    Rove Soap Chat TV Fanatic

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    On a lighter note...I have watched this scene many times and I'm still bewildered how Victoria's magnificent assets managed to be contained by her bra. :embarrass:
     
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  9. Rove

    Rove Soap Chat TV Fanatic

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    Because it felt so bloody raw. Nothing else in Dallas history (and that includes J.R.'s funeral in TNT Dallas) came close to this episode. In one scene we're witness to carnage, the next we watch Bobby die surrounded by family. It had it all.
     
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  10. Rove

    Rove Soap Chat TV Fanatic

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    My only regret about "Swan Song" was not seeing Barbara Bel Geddes in that hospital scene. I can only imagine how that would have played.
     
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  11. Ms Southworth

    Ms Southworth Soap Chat Dream Maker

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    My Dallas DVD collection also ends at "Swan Song"! :gotcha:

    The presense of Barbara Bel Geddes in "Swan Song" would have been so sweet! :clap:
     
    Last edited: Mar 17, 2017
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  12. Rove

    Rove Soap Chat TV Fanatic

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    I wonder if anyone won an Emmy for the editing of this scene. The slow motion effect reminds me of a similar tactic used in "The West Wing" when Leo McGarry informs the President, Zoe has been kidnapped. The choreography, the lighting, the camera angles was sublime.



    I can only imagine the day in question when shooting began of Bobby being run down required a huge effort from everybody. Looking closely at the scene again Victoria had placed a lot of faith in the stunt person driving that car down the driveway and that driver wasn't going at turtle pace I might add.
     
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  13. yago

    yago Soap Chat Member

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    Mandy's sexual reactions to JR being all over her was a great indication to how wild she was in bed. JR wanted her badly, and then had sex with her for the first time after they had that intense moment. JR went to see her in the next episode, horny and eager for more sex with her, and he neck kissed her to express that sexual desire he had for Mandy. In "The Verdict" Mandy dressed to expose herself so JR would possibly swing by, get even more aroused, and want her badly. Those 2 played games with one another. JR obviously sexually starved for her much much more, but she enjoyed every bit of that kind of attention. She loved entertaining and satisfying JR in ways that other woman was able to do.
     
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2017
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  14. Seaviewer

    Seaviewer Soap Chat Addict

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    It was not the "Dream Season" as such but the dream reveal. In many ways the "real" Dallas ends immediately before the infamous shower scene but my DVD collection includes everything (damned "completist" streak! :lol:).
     
  15. Rove

    Rove Soap Chat TV Fanatic

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    Yeah, I meant to go back and edit that since it didn't read correctly. My only issue with the dream season was Angelica Nero and her cronies. There were some bright moments here and there but on the whole I didn't enjoy the season as much as I should have, post Bobby's death.
     
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  16. Lastkidpicked

    Lastkidpicked Soap Chat Active Member

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    BWWWAAAAA! That is quote of the day, right there.

    You are right about that! It's fun to rewatch that scene wondering how close a call it really was.
     
  17. Rove

    Rove Soap Chat TV Fanatic

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    I've just watched this episode. I have to say Arthur Bernard Lewis was really off his game. As noted in your critique viewers had become more sophisticated thanks in part to how well Dallas had been written. And as mentioned the sequence of events was all over the place. Ray and Donna are standing around in down town Dallas waiting for Edgar Randolph - thankfully there would have been a number of fans on the sidelines itching to get autographs to fill in their time. They then notice Bobby on a television in the shop window. Clearly 12 hours had passed since Bobby was shot and no one thought to phone the Krebbs's house? And Jenna? Poor Jenna. Why did the Ewing's wait until next morning before phoning her? Oh wait, so Charlie could get another day off school.

    And as for that wibble/wobble scene (are we meant to be hypnotized) of Bobby having to explain in detail how he came about to be in JR's office just smelt of laziness on Arthur's writing. Can someone explain to me how Bobby thought of removing the phone thingy to check for...well whatever he thought he might find.

    I really hated how we were being spoon-fed the details. Did we suddenly become dumb between seasons? I see Travilla is already working his magic on some of the characters but dressing Katherine (in a turban) like he did when visiting Bobby in hospital just reeked of desperation in an attempt to fend off Nolan Miller's work on Dynasty.

    With just a few episodes in I'm not enjoying this how I remembered. There are moments of gratification. Marilee prancing around in her one piece certainly got the loins active.

    You are right when you say;
    The writing in my opinion is at fault here. Nothing seems organic. The story is not allowed to have a natural flow to it. A few episodes in and it appears the writers were given instructions to to be rid of Katherine and Afton. In the case of Katherine I find this odd since it appears she is relocating to Houston. And don't get me started on the softening of JR. It may have served a purpose to get Sue Ellen to change her attitude towards her husband but I think the scene between JR and John Ross besides the Southfork pool would have had a more desirable effect if it was just those two - without Sue Ellen eves dropping.
     
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  18. Lastkidpicked

    Lastkidpicked Soap Chat Active Member

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    And this is exactly the problem with the later seasons. What did Charlie's character add to the show?

    It seems as if in the early seasons, each character was created and developed so that they could move the plot along. Digger Barnes, Von Leland, Punk Anderson all had a reason to be on the show. But the later years, they just randomly added characters that added nothing to the show.
     
  19. yago

    yago Soap Chat Member

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    JR was ALWAYS kissing on Mandy. The man never gave her any space to breathe. I really wonder how Mandy truly tolerated that. A middle aged man constantly aroused, horny and all over her nonstop. Every night they went to bed she would always have to entertain him with sexy lingerie and then multiple hours of sex. The only times JR wasn’t all over her while together was when they were eating food or actually sleeping.
     
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