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Re-watching the Ewingverse ... alphabetically!

Discussion in 'Dallas - The Original Series' started by James from London, Jan 8, 2020.

  1. James from London

    James from London Soap Chat Winner EXP: 18 Years

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    The Block Party (KNOTS, 30 Dec 82) v Blocked (DALLAS, 20 Nov 81)

    In these two episodes, Karen and JR are, in very different ways, each attempting to turn the clock back to a more rose-tinted, harmonious time. “Kind of hard to recognise the neighbourhood,” Karen remarks on KNOTS. “That’s why I wanted to give this block party … for us to all get together as a community, a neighbourhood.” “When you get home, John Ross’ll be here and we’ll all be one big happy family again,” JR assures Jock when he calls from South America, as he explains his scheme for pressuring the Farlows into evicting Sue Ellen and John Ross from the Southern Cross.

    Block Party has a similar vibe to the first Barbecue on DALLAS, with all the cul-de-sac residents involved in setting up the party and the arrival of a significant character’s father. Then it was Digger Barnes, now it’s Pete Mackenzie. He and Mack are so utterly convincing as father and son you don’t even notice how good they are. Theirs is a fascinatingly uneasy relationship — for all the joshing and backslapping, there’s an underlying tension which means you’re just waiting for it all to turn sour.

    “I used to knock you around,” Pete admits after a few drinks. “Big deal, didn’t hurt that much,” shrugs Mack. There’s a direct line between Mack's reply and the moment eight years later where he tells Jason Lochner, “It’s hard for me to say out loud that he abused me and it was wrong, and he was wrong.” Mack is touched that his father wants to make up for the past, but it turns out he has an ulterior motive. Like Miss Ellie’s long lost brother Garrison in Home Again (DALLAS Season 1), Pete is terminally ill. More pertinently, he wants Mack to help him die. Mack is hurt and reacts angrily.

    It’s only been three weeks since The Best Kept Secret (aka The One Where Karen Finds Out Mack’s Been Sleeping With The Woman Down The Hall) and this ep seems partially designed to show Mack (who is, of course, being groomed as St Sid’s replacement) in a more sympathetic, vulnerable light.

    Just as the focus in The Block Party is on the future Sid, it becomes apparent during Blocked that JR’s real adversary at the Southern Cross isn’t Sue Ellen or even Dusty, but the future Jock. It’s still early days for Clayton — he and Ellie won’t be on first name terms for another year — but when he and JR come face to face at the end of the episode, he cuts an impressive figure. He remains calm and unruffled by JR’s threats and ultimatums, and he gets the last word: “By the time your Daddy gets back from South America, there just might not be a Ewing Oil.”

    Cool and collected Clayton is everything in the final scene of Blocked that Mack isn’t during the final scene of The Block Party where he and Pete have a messy, emotional reconciliation and end up doing a jig together. We don’t hear what happens to Pete after this ep, just as we didn’t Garrison after Home Again, and KNOTS won’t return to the subject of euthanasia until Alex Barth shows up to blackmail Claudia Whittaker in Season 12.

    The Ewingverse’s two songbirds, Cathy and Afton, sing two songs apiece in these eps. While Chip urges Ciji to sign 25% of her earnings over to him, JR tries to strong-arm Afton into sleeping with Vaughn Leland, and both seem powerless to resist.

    Elsewhere on DALLAS, Bobby is worried that Pam is headed for “a full-blown psychotic depression” and tells Miss Ellie that adoption might be the only solution. Mama is a lot more circumspect about the subject here than she was in Black Market Baby. “If a child can help your marriage, you do what you have to,” she recklessly advised Sue Ellen back then. “Do you think that Pam’s well enough to care for a baby?” she asks Bobby more warily now.

    And the winner is ... The Block Party

    BONUS BEATS:



    This is the first time I've watched New DALLAS since it ended so it's almost like watching a brand new show.
     
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2020
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  2. Jimmy Todd

    Jimmy Todd Soap Chat Addict EXP: 1 Year

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    Season 4 of KL was sublime, imho. It's when my Knots devotion became firmly rooted. I loved the addition of Mack and how he interacted with everyone.
    Similarly, over in Texas, Clayton was another great addition, imho. Strong, noble, and honorable, like Mack. The only difference was Clayton had the southern charm while Mack had the Queens, N.Y....charm? Not exactly sure if that's the right word but Mack was definitely likable, even when he was yelling.
    Thanks for posting these, @James from London!
     
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  3. Willie Oleson

    Willie Oleson SoapLand Battles Moderator EXP: 18 Years

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    I envy you!
     
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  4. James from London

    James from London Soap Chat Winner EXP: 18 Years

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    Blow Up (DALLAS, 06 Apr 84) v The Blushing Bride (KNOTS, 11 Feb 88)

    Blow Up has an interesting mixture of styles. A lot of it is really funny. You’ve got JR on high, manipulating the likes of Sue Ellen, Peter and, through Vaughn Leland, Cliff, until they’re all a bunch of twitching nervous wrecks, while also turning Lucy into a human time bomb who explodes drunkenly at Lady Jessica’s party at Southfork. Meanwhile, Pam is engaged to a man who doesn’t know he’s dying, but she does, which is a plot straight out of a three-hankie women’s picture from the 1940s or ‘50s. And then there’s Lady Jessica herself, who has wandered in from a schlocky horror flick and is shown caressing carving knives and defacing polaroid photos from a variety of creepy camera angles. Somehow it all slots together perfectly — the moment where Sad Pam tells Cartoony Cliff to stay away from Mark is particularly lovely — and it all looks gorgeous.

    The Blushing Bride has lots of different plots going on, but feels tonally more consistent. Determined not to let Gary have any legal claim to the twins, Val insists he’s not their father, which puts Karen and Mack right in the middle of things because they know he is. The history of all four characters’ relationships with each other is in play and it all feels very emotional and serious. The same sense of gravity is applied to the Mackenzies’ mysterious new neighbours, Frank and Pat. Karen’s nosiness about them could easily be played for comedy, but the show is eager to impress upon us how much the Williamses have at stake. (However, this is slightly undermined by the geography of the cul-de-sac where, all of a sudden, it seems as if Karen can see into the Williams’ house from her kitchen and bedroom windows, which doesn’t really make sense.)

    Just as Mack rolls his eyes at Karen’s suspicions about Frank and Pat, Ray does the same at Donna’s regarding Lady Jessica, but by the end of their respective eps, Mack has come round to his wife’s way of thinking and we know Donna is bang on the money about Lady J.

    Like Mark Graison, Abby Ewing is engaged to someone who’s keeping A Big Secret. But whereas Mark remains blissfully ignorant, Abby smells a rat when she learns that Charles has had designs on her marina, so to speak, since before he came back into her life. In the same way that Blow Up begins with Pam trying to talk Mark into a fast wedding (lest he finds out he’s dying before the big day), The Blushing Bride ends with Abby just as eager to tie the knot. “The sooner the better — I don’t want Charles to get away,” she says ominously.

    The architect who inadvertently lets Charles’s cat out of the bag isn’t given a name, but is played by Kathryn Leigh Scott who must qualify as minor soap royalty: she was long-suffering Maggie Evans in DARK SHADOWS, Cecil Colby’s English secretary Jennifer in the first season of DYNASTY (her plummy pronunciation of “peanit butter” is a particular highlight) and the loud American tourist (and secret West Star agent) who befriends Cally during her and JR’s European honeymoon on DALLAS.

    Paige doesn’t appear until the final third of KNOTS and brings a more playful element to the ep as she flirts with Johnny Rourke in order to make Greg jealous. Johnny and JR share a distaste for May/December romances — at least those involving women they covet for themselves. “What kind of a woman does she think you are?” JR asks Sue Ellen following Lucy’s hilarious outburst. “Peter’s just a kid. He’s half your age. The things she said about you and him absolutely disgusted me.” “That’s your boyfriend?!” sneers Johnny when he sees Paige looking at Greg across the Lotus Point dance floor. “The man is old enough to be your father. Perhaps you like the paternal type.”

    And the winner is ... Blow Up

    BONUS BEATS
    :

     
    Last edited: Mar 23, 2020
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  5. James from London

    James from London Soap Chat Winner EXP: 18 Years

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    Bouncing Babies (KNOTS, 25 Feb 88) v Boxed In (DALLAS, 15 Sep 14)

    In C21st parlance, Bouncing Babies is a game-changing episode of KNOTS. Its main focus is on Val and Greg, each of whom eventually overcomes their own self-interest to make an irrevocable decision for the sake of their kids. For Val, that means legally acknowledging Gary as the twins’ father. For Greg, it means giving Meg to the Mackenzies to raise on a permanent basis. The two storylines complement each other neatly.

    Boxed In is very different. It’s all action, with little time for introspection or soul-searching. Whereas Bouncing Babies focuses on existing conflicts between the main characters, Boxed In places the Ewings and the Rylands in a wider context, pitting them against a common enemy in another country. The KNOTS episode Boxed In most closely resembles is Borderline — two principal characters (Paige and Michael then, Ann and Emma now) are held captive in Mexico by gangsters who threaten to kill them unless their families ensure drugs are transported across the border on their behalf.

    The stakes feel even higher on Boxed In than they did on Borderline. There’s a whole layer of artifice missing. When Karen sat by the phone all night waiting anxiously for news of her loved ones, she still managed to look glamorous, When Judith Ryland does the same thing, she looks utterly demented with fear. It’s quite a performance. The moment where she, Harris and Ann are tricked into believing Emma has just been executed is especially harrowing. Whereas Paige was able to deliver sarcastic quips in captivity, Emma is far too terrified to come up with any clever one-liners — not after glimpsing a truck full of corpses in the backyard. This is very much the Ewingverse in a post-24 world. You also get a much stronger sense of the bigger picture than you used to during international storylines in ‘80s DALLAS — whenever JR financed an overseas revolution, it felt like an abstract notion with all the violence and bloodshed occurring off-screen in some unspecified location. Here, we are shown news footage of riots and civil unrest in Mexico City which is directly linked to the bad guys’ deal with the Ewings.

    Like Mack Mackenzie in Borderline, Bobby Ewing is the would-be rescuer wading into enemy territory to find his family, but there is none of the action man heroics he used to exhibit on Old DALLAS whenever the script required it. Instead, the ep ends with his anguished expression after he is given a Sophie’s Choice by the kidnappers. He can bring only one hostage home — Ann or Emma?

    And the winner is ... Bouncing Babies

    BONUS BEATS:


     
    Last edited: Apr 2, 2020
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  6. James from London

    James from London Soap Chat Winner EXP: 18 Years

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    Brother, Can You Spare a Child? (DALLAS, 11 Dec 87) v Brotherly Love (DALLAS, 05 Feb 88)

    Two instalments from Season 10, five episodes apart.

    Brother, Can You Spare a Child? opens with the tail end of the final Ewing barbecue of 20th-century DALLAS. Given that the first barbecue in '78 centred around a failed attempt at a reconciliation between Jock and Digger (unless you count the 1951 barbecue in DALLAS: The Early Years where Digger tried to kill Jock), there is a pleasing sense of closure about this ep. Following Dandy Dandridge (aka Digger redux)’s botched attempt to kill him at the barbecue due to a business misunderstanding, Cliff has an epiphany and meets with Miss Ellie to tell her that he and Digger have misjudged the Ewings all along. And so they reconcile, ten years too late, and without Jock, Digger or Pam there to witness it. It’s a somewhat bizarre turnaround but a very nice scene. (And it’s satisfying to know at that the next Ewing barbecue, in twenty-five-years time, the feud will start all over again between his daughter and Bobby’s son.)

    This episode also sees the last appearance of Punk Anderson. His final line is a warning for Clayton: “If you keep doing nothing with your days, I promise you that old rocking chair ain’t too far away.” Ironically, Clayton gives pretty much the same advice to Miss Ellie in Brotherly Love, as he chides her for being more invested in her sons’ lives than her own. In the past, I’ve found Clayton’s pomposity a bit tiresome during this period, but there’s actually something quite touching about his I’m Not in Love doth-protest-too-much crush on Laurel Ellis, who’s kind of perfect as the young and lovely, but not quite real object of his affections.

    The highlight of both episodes is Sue Ellen. In the absence of Pam and Donna, she is the last remaining Ewing wife at Southfork and so by default has assumed the mantle of the show’s female lead. She does a great job, smouldering and scheming as she plots some as yet unspecified revenge on her husband. "Because of her, I learned to play the game just as well as JR," she tells Nicholas, referring to a sexy picture of Mandy. In Spare a Child, she has fun playing the doting wife, insisting on hosting a dinner for Kimberly Cryder and her husband, and then making them squirm as she gushes sweet nothings at JR. In Brotherly Love, she drops the facade. “You are dirt, JR!” she declares. Meanwhile, Kimberly is proving a demanding mistress. (She and JR are really fun when they’re thoroughly pissed off with each other.)

    The worst scenes of both eps are very similar. In the first, April blubbers like a six-year-old cos no-one invited her to the barbecue and in the second, Cliff sulks like a seven-year-old cos no-one showed up to his party except his secretary and his accountant. Moral of both stories: being rich don’t buy ya happiness — as if ten years of watching DALLAS hadn’t already taught us that. It’s a bit pathetic.

    However, both eps redeem themselves by ending with JR on tip-top villainous form. In Spare a Child, he smilingly reveals that he is behind Lisa Alden’s attempt to take Christopher away from Bobby. In Brotherly Love, he smirkingly blackmails April into buying more West Star stock on his behalf — or else he’ll tell Bobby that she’s his sloppy seconds.

    And the winner is ... Brotherly Love

    BONUS BEATS:

     
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2020
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  7. James from London

    James from London Soap Chat Winner EXP: 18 Years

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    Brothers and Mothers (KNOTS, 06 Nov 86) v Brothers and Sisters (DALLAS, 25 Feb 83)

    The eponymous brother/mother relationships on KNOTS are between Karen Mackenzie and Michael Fairgate, and Peter Hollister and Sylvia Lean, with a little brother on brother action thrown in for good measure — Eric finding Michael canoodling with Paige results in their very first fist-fight that leaves the Mackenzie living room in shreds and both boys crying in a heap. As with many things to do with Eric and Michael, it’s a bit strange and a tad embarrassing but ultimately very touching and endearing. Neither son lets on to Karen what the fight was about which neatly taps into her ongoing sense of feeling like an outsider in her own home, a consequence of her recent kidnapping by Phil Harbert (who this week wins the award for the Ewingverse’s most sparsely attended funeral ever, with only Greg and Mack showing up to pay their [dis]respects).

    More exciting than the Fairgate/Mackenzie stuff is Peter alternately gaslighting and poisoning fake mom Sylvia — making her believe she keeps forgetting to take her heart medication then causing her to overdose as a result. His resultant crisis of conscience, all flop sweat and wild-eyed staring at his own reflection, is almost as thrilling as his wicked scheme. And then Sylvia disappears!

    Brothers and Sisters is the DALLAS episode in which Clayton sells the Southern Cross Ranch, a milestone which is treated quite casually. At this point, the writers don’t really care about Clayton’s family history — they’re mainly concerned with establishing him as a viable suitor for Miss Ellie and having him relocate to Dallas is simply the next step. But this unthinking act will have major ramifications for years to come, serving as fuel for Jessica’s murderous resentment the following season and Clayton’s own feelings of discontent when he moves into his Laurel Ellis phase in five years time.

    This season of DALLAS, which covers JR and Bobby’s yearlong fight for Ewing Oil, is undoubtedly one that repays repeated viewings. Only with hindsight can one can fully appreciate how skilfully all the story elements fit together and are then paid off. Attempting to follow all the business-related twists and turns the first time around, however, often felt a little baffling. Likewise, dropping in on this episode out of sequence, where JR, Walt Driscoll and Holly Harwood are already knee-deep in a complicated plot about oil that’s being made to look like it’s being shipped to Puerto Rico when it's really on its way to Cuba — is pretty hard to keep track of, but on a basic soapy level, still feels quite exciting.

    As if to offset the complexity of the business plots, the characters mostly relate to each other in big broad strokes and none more broadly than Katherine Wentworth (presumably the sister to whom the episode title refers) whose eyes flash evilly and brain schemes visibly even as she flashes Pam her brightest smile.

    And the winner is ... Brothers and Mothers

    BONUS BEATS:

     
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2020
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  8. James from London

    James from London Soap Chat Winner EXP: 18 Years

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    Brothers and Sons (DALLAS, 04 Dec 87) v The Brothers Ewing (DALLAS, 15 Feb 85)

    At the start of Brothers and Sons, Cliff and Dandy are commiserating over their failed attempt to strike oil on Dandy’s land when they hear that they have unwittingly stumbled upon the biggest thingy of natural gas in the history of Texas. Cliff striking it rich in spite of himself — it’s like Gold Canyon 340 all over again, but on a smaller scale. He relays the news of his good fortune to JR via a recorded message attached to a life-sized cardboard cutout of himself.

    Three years earlier at the start of The Brothers Ewing, Cliff is still crowing, this time about Alf Brindle, the star witness the Ewing boys brought to his home in the previous episode to discredit Digger and Jason’s reputations, only for Brindle to provide evidence strengthening Cliff and Jamie’s legal claim to two-thirds of Ewing Oil. When Clayton hears about it back at Southfork, he gives JR an unusually hard time for not anticipating this turn of events. Perhaps he's trying too hard to take Jock’s place, but Clayton being unfair to JR tilts the family dynamic off its axis with Ray coming to JR’s defence and Donna then taking umbrage at Ray for siding with JR over Clayton. Things are so out of whack that by the end of the episode Miss Ellie has sided against her own sons: "I don’t want to turn my back on my family or Ewing Oil but if a choice is to be made, I choose my husband.”

    In 1987, Ray and Jenna are married in the Krebbs living room in a ceremony that one reviewer at the time described as having all the spirituality of a Big Mac. Surprisingly, Bobby being the best man doesn’t create any fireworks, but it does afford Jenna the opportunity to look from one brother to another as she’s walking down the aisle in a “here’s what you could have won” fashion. In fact, the wedding goes off without a hitch (unless you count Charlie accidentally telling Christopher that Lucas is Bobby’s son).

    Like Cliff, Sue Ellen is in a similar situation in both episodes as she comes to terms with JR’s latest infidelity. In 1985, she affects an icy indifference towards anything involving her husband. “You’re never gonna get that kind of sympathy from me again,” she vows after recalling all the previous times she has provided him with support in his hour of need. “I have no feelings about that at all,” she informs Cliff, regarding his current battle with JR. Sue Ellen freezing people out is always a sight to behold, but it’s also a dramatic dead-end — hence her hitching her wagon to Pam’s search-for-Mark storyline, tagging along with her to Hong Kong ostensibly to lend moral support but really to bag some extra screen time. In 1987, she’s more proactive — expanding Valentine Lingerie, developing her friendship with Nicholas Pearce and inviting Kimberly Cryder to the Ewing barbecue just to keep JR off balance. She even finds time to attend her first Daughters of the Alamo meeting since the previous decade. Her status is underlined by the fact that she is now dressed as a glamorous businesswoman while all other women in attendance are wearing the same matronly outfits and hairstyles they were in the late ‘70s.

    Brothers and Sons marks the final appearance of Larry Doyle, the very likeable, very nervous, very well acted private eye April has hired to dig into Nicholas’s past. Her only motive is idle curiosity yet she badgers Doyle into continuing his investigation even after his life has been threatened and he ends up dead as a result. So you might say there’s something karmic about April’s own premature death — at least Sheila Foley had a solid reason for what she did.

    In both episodes, we see a pair of tertiary characters in bed together celebrating their scheme to rip off a Ewing. In ’85 it’s Lucy’s two-timing building constructor boyfriend Eddie and Betty the waitress; in ’87 it’s Casey Denault and junior cartel member Mary Lou Lassiter (who is kind of like Marilee Stone: the Next Generation), who have just swiped a deal from under JR’s nose.

    And the winner is ... The Brothers Ewing

    BONUS BEATS:

     
    Last edited: May 7, 2020
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  9. Willie Oleson

    Willie Oleson SoapLand Battles Moderator EXP: 18 Years

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    Isn't that great, when a scheme has the opposite effect?
     
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  10. James from London

    James from London Soap Chat Winner EXP: 18 Years

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    The Buck Stops Here (DALLAS, 02 Dec 83) v The Burden of Proof (KNOTS, 03 Mar 83)

    There are a few themes linking these two episodes. The first is “Former Ewing Wives Acting Strangely”. In the case of DALLAS, that means Pam behaving moodily towards boyfriend Mark and ex-husband Bobby while being openly jealous of Bobby’s old-new girlfriend Jenna. Even the saintly Mark finally runs out of patience. “When is it time for you to give?” he snaps at her before driving off. Paradoxically, Pam’s somewhat childish behaviour makes her seem more like a relatable, recently divorced real-life adult and less like a gorgeous plot device as she often has in the past. KNOTS, meanwhile, has Val confessing to a murder her ex-husband has already been arrested for. She insists that she caused the head injury that killed Ciji, yet cannot explain how Ciji’s body subsequently ended up in the ocean.

    The reason for Pam and Val’s behaviour, it is suggested by other characters, is that they are each still in love with their ex. Mark reckons Pam is “still emotionally tied to Bobby” while Abby sees Val’s confession as a desperate attempt to win Gary back: “She’s never given up hope of that.”

    “This is so Val I could scream,” Abby mutters. “Jenna Wade has always bothered me,” Pam snaps.

    In each case, a female relative acts as an advocate: Katherine, allegedly on behalf of her sister, offers to set Jenna up with a swanky new job in Houston if she breaks things off with Bobby; Lilimae, worried sick about her daughter, publicly accuses Abby of committing the very crime Val has confessed to.

    Whereas Jenna casually refuses Katherine’s money, Abby has to suppress her glee as a disinterested Gary signs over control of his fortune from the other side of the glass in the prison visitor’s room. (There’s a parallel between this scene and the one on the previous season’s DALLAS when a similarly despondent Ray handed over his Ewing Oil voting shares to JR through the bars of a jail cell.)

    The second common theme is “Older Women Trying to Disentangle Themselves From the Younger Men They’ve Become (Sort Of) Romantically Involved With.” While Lilimae finally telling Chip to pack his bags (“This all started with you”) is satisfying and sad at the same time, the three DALLAS scenes that deal with Sue Ellen’s non-relationship with Peter Richards are very interesting. An argument between her and JR contains some fun lines (“What’d you do, Sue Ellen, pick up a case of whooping cough from your teenage lover?”), but the animosity between them is real — this is one very unhappy marriage. Despite her insistence that they have no future together, Peter can’t let go of his obsession with Sue Ellen. The poor sod looks genuinely exhausted — the way one does when one is entirely at the mercy of one’s own emotions. I’m struck by the dissonance between these scenes and the way the storyline had been originally publicised in the press. As I recall, this was the first time an upcoming DALLAS guest appearance had been so aggressively hyped, complete with photos of Christopher Atkins pouting sleazily, his arms draped around Sue Ellen and Pam, amidst rumours that his character was set to seduce them both.

    [​IMG]

    These salacious hints of a “toyboy lover” scenario with its Joan Collins overtones bear no resemblance to the confused, tentative romance we were eventually presented with. No wonder we were confused — and still are. Even now, people seem to blur this actual storyline with the one they were expecting: complaints that Atkins was miscast as a stud when that wasn’t what he was playing any more than Sue Ellen is supposed to be a man-eating cougar.

    The third common theme: “Private Scenes Between Characters Played Out in a Public Arena.” In DALLAS, this means the Good Ol’ Boy Charity Rodeo, where Pam and Bobby dance under the watchful gaze of Mark and Jenna before Jenna stakes her claim by landing a smacker on Bobby's mouth in full view of the crowd. (This is the only time the charity rodeo ever appears on screen yet we’re told it’s an annual event and that Pam and Bobby have been regular attendees. Moreover, Ray and Mark both competed the previous year — even though that was before Mark’s first onscreen appearance, which is when he met Pam for the first time. Hmm, kind of feels like there are alternative timelines emerging in the Ewingverse already — maybe the one in which Mark competed against Ray is also the one where he hung out with Angelica Nero in Paris in the mid-70s.)

    The private is made public on KNOTS too where everything happens in front of the eyes of the law: Lilimae’s yelling match with Abby in the lobby of the police station, Abby laughing uncontrollably when she hears Val has confessed and then blurting out the wrong thing in front of Detective Baines, and nuttiest of all, Val and Gary running into one another in Ciji’s apartment while each is separately in police custody. Upon seeing each other, they both start screaming and shouting and going crazy and have to be restrained. It’s just NUTS. While the DALLAS gang are mostly acting like recognisable human beings for once, the KNOTS lot are completely out of control.

    The character behaving the most calmly amidst the chaos on KNOTS is Richard — but that’s only because he’s already planned his escape route. His lonely drive out of Seaview Circle, pausing to put a family photograph in his bag, mirrors Laura’s out of Greg’s ranch, Mack’s at the end of Back to the Cul-de-sac Part 1 and Heather Haversham’s out of Brookside Close. This is the “actor’s own” photo of Richard I mentioned on the Versus thread:

    IMG_7068 2.jpeg

    Both episodes end on a delicate, piano-scored point of no return: Richard leaving the cul-de-sac never to return and Mark carrying Pam upstairs to bed for the first time.

    (This episode of KNOTS is also the one where Abby has her one-sided phone conversation with Miss Ellie. To head off any possibility of a crossover appearance, she adopts the same tactic Pam and Bobby did with Gary regarding Lucy’s disappearance the previous year — she plays down the seriousness of the situation and suggests Mama’s presence on KNOTS might even be counterproductive.)

    And the winner is ... Burden of Proof

    BONUS BEATS:

     
    Last edited: May 21, 2020
  11. James from London

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    Bye Bye, Love (KNOTS, 17 Dec 92) v Bypass (DALLAS, 14 Oct 78)

    These two episodes take place at opposite ends of the C20th Ewingverse — one in the first year of DALLAS, the other in the final season of KNOTS — thereby circumventing the 1980s altogether.

    As in Buying Time, the central character in Bye, Bye Love is Mack. In the former episode, he had his hands full with the Wolfbridge Group and Karen’s shooting. In the latter, he’s similarly beleaguered by Mary Robeson getting her claws into Meg. In his desperation to be rid of her, he comes up with a cockamamie scheme to secretly film her taking a million dollars in bribe money, but ends up getting fleeced for one half of the money by Claudia Whittaker, a woman who couldn’t be more obviously untrustworthy if she had the word “devious” tattooed on her forehead, and for the other half by Mary herself, who is little more than a small-time con artist. If it’s sometimes hard to square the scared man we see here with the swaggering “Mack Solves All” version of the character who has taken down crime syndicates and crooked corporations, Kevin Dobson does a good job of conveying his feelings of fatigue and helplessness (not helped by Karen continually suggesting they turn to Greg for help and Gary urging him to consult Karen on his latest plan). There's a sense that he's a man past his prime — a small but telling moment shows him swapping one pair of glasses for another to read the instructions on a camcorder.

    Bye, Bye Love’s main subplot deals with writing out Bill the baseball player, Paige’s likeable but least memorable love interest. Having introduced the post-LA riots construction project to the Sumner Group, he does what Joseph Berringer did after getting Gary and co all excited about Tidal Energy the season before, i.e. skips town when he gets a better offer (in Bill’s case, it’s to play baseball in Japan). Whereas Joseph bailing on his investors was depicted as a shitty betrayal, Bill somehow manages to get a hero’s send-off — perhaps, at the end of the day, being a sportsman is just more wholesomely All-American than being a nerdy scientist.

    From ‘90s KNOTS to ‘70s DALLAS. At the time of Bypass, the series was still being filmed entirely on location in Texas and everything feels that bit hotter and grimier than it would later on. The bulk of the ep focuses on the Ewings going about their daily lives while Jock is in the hospital recovering from a heart attack. (His bypass operation doesn’t take place until the final minutes of the episode and is over almost as soon as it starts.) One gets the sense of the Ewingverse developing in front of our eyes. We are introduced to Willie Joe Garr, Jeb Ames (pretty much unrecognisable from his days as Dr Rossi in PEYTON PLACE — he’s as slimy here as he was heroic then) and Liz Craig, and learn about the existence of the cartel, The Store and a secret codicil to Jock’s will that will enable JR to drill on Southfork after his death. Bobby and his father lock horns for the first, but certainly not the last time about his future (“I do not want you to leave the Ewing Oil company!”) and Jock makes Miss Ellie promise that “if anything happens to me, you keep the family together.” Ellie shows how stoical she can be, only tearing up when there’s nobody else around, while Sue Ellen spends the whole episode glaring magnificently, either at JR when they’re alone or at anyone who disagrees with him when they’re in company. Poor Lucy gets told off every time she opens her mouth, either for being frightened by Jock’s attack (“Think about your granddaddy and not about yourself,” lectures Ray) or for being excited about the birth of a calf (“How about a little reverence for new life?” Bobby suggests primly). There’s even a hint of an explanation as to why JR is the way he is during a discussion between Bobby and Pam where it is reiterated that Bobby is Jock’s favourite son and that “Mama, she always liked Gary the best so …” “That left JR,” Pam concludes. “That helps explain him, but it doesn’t help much.”

    And the winner is ... Bypass

    BONUS BEATS:

     
    Last edited: Jun 6, 2020
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  12. Taylor Bennett Jr.

    Taylor Bennett Jr. Soap Chat Dream Maker EXP: 2 Years

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    hm, did we 'bypass' Buying Time and go straight to Bye Bye, Love a couple of sentences into the post?
     
  13. James from London

    James from London Soap Chat Winner EXP: 18 Years

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  14. James from London

    James from London Soap Chat Winner EXP: 18 Years

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    Oh I see what you mean! I've just changed the title.
     
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  15. Willie Oleson

    Willie Oleson SoapLand Battles Moderator EXP: 18 Years

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    That links to the Knots forum. Does that mean that not all Alphabetical Ewingverse Posts are posted on both forums?
     
  16. James from London

    James from London Soap Chat Winner EXP: 18 Years

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    Yes. I mean no. I mean Dallas v Dallas and Dallas v Knots posts are posted on the Dallas forum and Dallas v Knots and Knots v Knots are posted on the Knots forum.
     
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  17. Willie Oleson

    Willie Oleson SoapLand Battles Moderator EXP: 18 Years

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    The lesson learned here is that we should always click on the post as listed in the New Posts List to get the most recent update.
    Or, alternatively, watch both threads with the Watch Thread Watchers: 1 Function (which has a quasi-futuristic ring to it, like something from a 1970s Dr Who episode).

    I must admit, I've had my moments of confusion too!
     
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  18. James from London

    James from London Soap Chat Winner EXP: 18 Years

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    Call Girl (DALLAS, 23 Feb 79) v Call Me Dimitri (KNOTS, 14 Feb 91)

    Another 70s DALLAS/90s KNOTS double bill. On DALLAS, ex-prostitute Leanne Rees bristles with anger whenever JR calls her by her old working name of Amber. On KNOTS, current gigolo Nick Schillace pleads with Anne Matheson to call him by his working name of Dimitri. Whereas Leanne’s former profession inspires one of JR’s sleazier soapier schemes, Nick’s is the basis of a light comedy caper. In both situations, three people in one bedroom — Leanne, Pam and Ben Maxwell (a prototype Walt Driscoll); Nick, Anne and Betty (a dead extra) — proves to be a crowd.

    The Pam in Call Girl is more sleekly glamorous than the one we saw in Bypass. Given that she’s now working in the fashion industry, this makes sense. Perhaps more troubling is what the kids today would call her lack of agency. Rather than acting independently, she allows others to manipulate her into doing whatever the storyline requires of her. Despite mooning over Bobby, from whom she is now estranged, she is persuaded by Leanne to move into her apartment. There, she becomes the victim of setup — a misleading photo is taken of her in bed, Leanne and Maxwell seemingly about to join her. Her response is exactly what JR had planned: she packs her bags with the intention of leaving Dallas for good. But then an impassioned speech from Bobby changes her mind and they return to Southfork together. Passive and doe-eyed Pam might be, but Victoria Principal manages to inject her with enough personality to ensure she comes across as more than just an empty-headed doll.

    As Leanne, Veronica Hamel is the latest in a line of strong guest actresses throughout DALLAS’s first season. We’ve already had Tina Louise, Joan van Ark, Morgan Fairchild, Talia Balsam, Kate Mulgrew, Martha Scott and Colleen Camp, and Susan Howard is just around the corner. Hamel brings a cool intelligence and an edginess to a role that could easily be a tart-with-a-heart stereotype. Leanne isn’t afraid to stand up to JR, even at his most pig-like: “All I ever did was sell myself, but you, you’d sell yourself, your family, your friends — for power. JR, you’re a prize pimp.”

    Meanwhile, upstairs at Southfork, Sue Ellen, the carrier of new Ewing life, is quietly rotting away as she pours neat bourbon down her throat. A snarling JR warns her to take care of what’s inside her as it’s the only thing standing between her and the gutter, but she’s past caring.

    The reception Pam receives when she returns to the ranch contrasts with the one the family gave her in Digger’s Daughter. Instead of bemused stares and smirks, she is greeted with open arms by Miss Ellie and Lucy and, finally, acceptance from Jock. (“Do I have to explain anything to you?” she asks. “No,” he replies.) Only Sue Ellen and JR remain impervious to her charms. “You are a disgrace to this family,” Sue Ellen slurs amusingly and the episode ends with everyone else smiling knowingly at JR’s realisation that his latest plan to get rid of that Barnes woman has backfired. Having been so thrillingly, viciously cruel for most of the episode, Hagman isn’t afraid to play the butt of the joke at the end. He even bites down on the wrong end of his cigar like he’s Boss Hogg on THE DUKES OF HAZZARD. This “all’s well that ends well” conclusion — reminiscent of the corny final moments of a cheesy stand-alone cop show — is deceptive. Everything might seem OK, but it won’t be for long, not with that knocked up, boozed up time bomb of an ex-beauty queen ticking away upstairs.

    A couple of architectural notes: Leanne’s apartment will soon become Cliff’s (and briefly, David Crane’s on KNOTS), only with the front door in a different place. Also, the lighting rig above the sky on the cardboard Southfork set is clearly visible on the DVD.

    [​IMG]

    A couple of JR notes: He plays racquetball not once but twice in this ep, which is 100% more athletic than he’s ever been before or will be again. During this era of the show, I automatically assume any Scandinavian-looking bit player to be a Hagman. In this ep, I’m half-right: the blonde girl working in the Racquet Club is, but the blond photographer lurking on Pam’s balcony isn’t.

    I’m not so crazy about the equivalent gigolo plot on KNOTS — despite the actors’ best efforts, it’s just too frothy and silly — but the episode pushes the right emotional buttons elsewhere, with Kate Whittaker’s believably crestfallen response to the news that the guy she’s been secretly nursing a crush on is actually her half-brother, and Dick Lochner getting to the beat the stuffing out of his teenage son one last time. Given that this last situation is treated with the utmost gravitas, it’s kind of odd that Mort, Bob and Linda should find the fact that Paige has a black eye from being punched by one of Jason’s uncles completely hilarious.

    And the winner is ... Call Girl

    BONUS BEATS:



    You may or may not already know, but there has been another KNOTS v KNOTS post between the last two DALLAS v KNOTS posts!
     
    Last edited: Jun 27, 2020

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