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"Sue Ellen's Sister" - What Would You Do?

Discussion in 'Dallas - The Original Series' started by Kenny Coyote, Feb 24, 2020.

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Which Character Do You Sympathize With More At That Particular Time?

Poll closed Mar 5, 2020.
  1. Bobby

    60.0%
  2. Cliff

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  3. I sympathize with both characters equally

    40.0%
  1. Kenny Coyote

    Kenny Coyote Soap Chat Enthusiast EXP: 12 Years

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    "Sue Ellen's Sister" is the name of the episode in season two where Cliff finally tells Bobby exactly how he thinks about him, his marriage to Pam, and what he thinks of the Ewing family. The audience had a fairly good idea about what Cliff is about to say, but Bobby had never heard all of this directly from Cliff. I see it as a turning point in the series because finally Bobby finds out directly from Cliff exactly where Cliff stands regarding how how he feels about Bobby, the entire Ewing family, and Pam's marriage to Bobby.

    Here is that scene that shows Cliff and Bobby having this face to face conversation as soon as Bobby walks into Cliff's office after finding out Cliff convinced Pam to loan Cliff money (under the pretense it was for Digger) so that Cliff could use the Ewing's own money against them, to keep Ewing Oil from being able to drill, and to try to keep Pam from moving back in with Bobby. (Pam has already left Bobby by now and this is the episode right before the one where she moves in with Leanne Reese)


    Bobby: Alright, so you want to hurt Ewing Oil. Fine. I can't say as I blame ya, but you can find a better way to do it. I want ya to tell Kessel to settle.

    Cliff: I've got nothing to do with Kessel and if my sister wants to loan my daddy the money, I've got nothing to do with it.

    Bobby: Come on Cliff, I'm not here on a conflict of interest charge! I'm here because of the trouble you're causing in my life and in Pamela's life! Our marriage has enough problems without you adding to 'em.

    Cliff: The thought of you and my sister getting a divorce doesn't exactly break my heart. I never wanted her married to you to begin with.

    Bobby: Come on Cliff, I thought we came a long way past that.

    Cliff: You know I've nothin' against you personally, Bobby. I guess I even like you, but you are a Ewing and to date you Ewings have cost me an election, you've tried to saddle me with a trumped up murder charge, so right now my sole purpose is to cause you as much trouble as I can, even to ruin you and I'll do anything and use anybody to do it!

    Bobby: Including your sister.

    Cliff: Including my sister! I want her out of that family! I want her back on the right side of the tracks where she belongs.

    Bobby: My brother has been waiting for the chance to tear you apart and so far I've been running interference for you. Now if you don't leave my marriage alone, I'm not only gonna stop doing that, I might even lend him a hand.

    It ends there. Bobby looks very angry and Cliff looks a little bit scared.

    Up until now Bobby has remained as neutral as he could be, but here he finds out there is no such thing as remaining neutral in this feud. Cliff will stop at nothing until he hurts the Ewings. This vendetta will go on until either Cliff, the Ewing family, or both are badly, badly hurt.

    Suppose you were in Bobby's position. What would you do?
     
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2020
  2. James from London

    James from London Soap Chat Winner EXP: 18 Years

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    I don't remember feeling especially sympathetic towards either man during that scene, but it's very enjoyable watching them go at it. You can see where they're both coming from. And the fact that each of them pretty much admits to liking the other at the same time as they're threatening to destroy each other adds an extra of something (humanity? complexity? poignancy? irony?) which is really good.

    No idea. Go to the pub probably.
     
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2020
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  3. Snarky's Ghost

    Snarky's Ghost Soap Chat Oracle EXP: 19 Years

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    I liked Broughton's breezy, late-'70s score for that one.
     
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  4. Kenny Coyote

    Kenny Coyote Soap Chat Enthusiast EXP: 12 Years

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    If I were in Bobby's position, once both me and my wife had been threatened, once i'd heard that Cliff say he would even use my wife to achieve his goal of ruining us, I'd do what was necessary to nullify Cliff's ability to hurt us. Notice that he said he "might even lend JR a hand" in defending against Cliff's attacks. If I were in Bobby's decision, there would be no might or maybe about it. I'd react swiftly and efficiently to neutralize any and all threats against us.
     
  5. Kenny Coyote

    Kenny Coyote Soap Chat Enthusiast EXP: 12 Years

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    This is where Cliff makes it real easy to decide whether or not to keep leaving him alone and even helping him, or to shut down any ability he has to cause harm. If I'm in Bobby's position and somebody has just told me his sole purpose is to ruin me, that nobody is off limits, not even my wife (and apparently children too if Bobby and Pam had already had children then) then I know what I'm dealing with. It's not exactly a subtle threat is it?

    Maybe this is what makes Dallas "soap." In what kind of a real life scenario could somebody like Cliff continually cause so many problems for, and make threats that bold against a family that powferful and live?
     
    Last edited: Feb 27, 2020
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