1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.
  2. SoapLand The Final Battle

    How Will It End?

    Dismiss Notice

The First Big Rift In Bobby And Pam's Marriage

Discussion in 'Dallas - The Original Series' started by Kenny Coyote, Feb 12, 2020.

  1. Kenny Coyote

    Kenny Coyote Soap Chat Star EXP: 12 Years

    Threads:
    176
    Messages:
    2,672
    Trophy Points:
    1,098
    Occupation:
    Rock Guitarist
    Location:
    Maryland
    Ratings:
    +2,796
    Medals:
    2
    I was watching the second season episode "Election" and it's a classic episode. It foreshadows a lot of what will happen in the show.

    The scene that's the most indicative of a serious rift in their marriage takes place just over eleven minutes into the episode:

    Bobby say to Pam: I think it's time we talked about just what we're doing here.

    Pam: I have to do it Bobby. Cliff's my brother and I have to help him.

    Bobby: I knew it was gonna be difficult when you were just stuffing envelopes, honey, but this, I don't know.

    Pam: There's none else to do it - he doesn't have the kind of organization behind him that the Ewing candidate does.

    Bobby: That's the problem honey - there is a Ewing candidate and you are a Ewing! Now have you figured out how you're gonna handle it?

    Pam: Yes, I'm gonna help my brother.

    Bobby: Pamela, do you understand what this election means to my family?

    Pam: Oh I understand exactly what it means to your family - it's a way to get back at my brother!

    Bobby: Now you're being simplistic Pamela and you know it. Besides, your brother hasn't exactly had a hands-off policy when it comes to us either, has he?

    Pam: Well what do you expect him to do? If he doesn't do something, the Ewing family is gonna control everyone and everything!

    Bobby: Stop it Pamela; you're starting to sound like that knee-jerk radical brother of yours!

    Pam: If being a knee-jerk radical means being against exploitation, corruption and greed, I'm proud to be one!

    Bobby: Exploitation and corruption of who? Of what? Look, my daddy built an empire here because he was smarter than the next guy, and he worked harder, and he was luckier, but anybody with the same qualifications can do the same thing.

    Pam: That's easy to say when you're born rich! It's the others Cliff is worried about!

    Bobby: Oh, Cliff talks a great game, but when it comes right down to it, he can play just as dirty as the rest of them.

    Pam: Well, we see things differently, don't we?

    Bobby: What I see Pamela, is that this is doing to us.

    Pam: Well, we've chosen our sides.

    Bobby: No, not this time. This time I think we were born into them.

    *****************

    This conversation makes me question Pam's motivation for marrying Bobby. Was marrying him truly a response to the virtues of his character and if so, why would she so vehemently oppose what Bobby's doing and help Cliff to win so that he can have more power to try to hurt Bobby and the rest of his family? Pam's words here tell me she sees Cliff as far more virtuous, and therefore deserving of her cooperation than she thinks Bobby is.

    Did Pam marry Bobby on a whim, to do the most rebellious thing she could do? Bobby and Pam are the called the Romeo and Juliet of Dallas but I don't recall Juliet helping her family to ruin Romeo's family. I don't recall Juliet having contempt for Romeo's values and doing everything she could to help a man who says of Romeo: "He's not a man. He's a Montague." Is Pam just oblivious to how much Cliff hates the Ewings, including Bobby? If not, how can she justify helping Cliff, knowing how much he hates Bobby and everything Bobby stands for?

    Pam never does answer the questions: "Exploitation and corruption of who? Of what"? Is that because she sees no evidence of it being so, but Cliff said so and that makes it gospel? Pam seems to be blind to any underhanded, corrupt or exploitative thing her brother ever does. She seems to see Cliff as the ideal man, a reflection of her deepest values and a symbol of all that is good. Her actions tell me she sees Cliff as a better man than her own husband. Why would you love someone who you think is a defender of exploitation and corruption, a defender of what you despise? Why would you marry someone who not only doesn't reflect your own highest values but adamantly opposes them?

    In "For The New Intellectual" Ayn Rand wrote about love and sex:

    "Love is blind, they say; sex is impervious to reason and mocks the power of all philosophers. But, in fact, a man’s sexual choice is the result and the sum of his fundamental convictions. Tell me what a man finds sexually attractive and I will tell you his entire philosophy of life. Show me the woman he sleeps with and I will tell you his valuation of himself. No matter what corruption he’s taught about the virtue of selflessness, sex is the most profoundly selfish of all acts, an act which he cannot perform for any motive but his own enjoyment—just try to think of performing it in a spirit of selfless charity!—an act which is not possible in self-abasement, only in self-exaltation, only in the confidence of being desired and being worthy of desire. It is an act that forces him to stand naked in spirit, as well as in body, and to accept his real ego as his standard of value. He will always be attracted to the woman who reflects his deepest vision of himself, the woman whose surrender permits him to experience—or to fake—a sense of self-esteem . . . . Love is our response to our highest values—and can be nothing else."

    It looks to me like Pam's love for Bobby was not a response to her highest values. Maybe Pam wanted it to to be something else. It couldn't be something else and therefore it could not last.
     
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2020
    • Like Like x 1
    • Winner Winner x 1
    • Creative Creative x 1
  2. Swami

    Swami Soap Chat Supreme EXP: 16 Years

    Threads:
    691
    Messages:
    13,068
    Trophy Points:
    5,142
    Occupation:
    Civil Servant
    Location:
    Ballymoney, Co Antrim
    Ratings:
    +11,282
    Medals:
    7
    Member Since:
    April 2006
    Pamela - certainly early on - could never see through Cliff's blatant vendettas against the Ewings. When he was blocking all the Ewing deals through the OLM, only very belatedly did she catch on, and that was just by overhearing Cliff with Kessel. Likewise, when Digger was dying, all Cliff seemingly cared out was framing Jock for a murder he didn't commit, and Pam seemingly couldn't see through that.

    Swami
     
    • Like Like x 1
  3. James from London

    James from London Soap Chat Winner EXP: 19 Years

    Threads:
    53
    Messages:
    3,806
    Trophy Points:
    6,636
    Occupation:
    Actor
    Location:
    Brixton
    Ratings:
    +6,643
    Medals:
    5
    Member Since:
    Time immemorial
    Pam mostly reacted emotionally, in the moment. She married Bobby cos she loved him. She helped Cliff in the election cos he was her brother and he asked her to as a favour. Later on, she refused to join Cliff and Jamie in their fight for two-thirds of Ewing Oil, not because she did or didn't think they were entitled to it, but because she didn't want to hurt Bobby. An episode later, she changed her mind because she did want to hurt JR after finding out he'd tricked her about Mark.

    She didn't really have a fixed moral viewpoint because the writers didn't give her one because they wanted her actions to be easily influenced by external events.
     
    • Like Like x 2
    • Agree Agree x 2
  4. Pamela_E

    Pamela_E administrator

    Threads:
    33
    Messages:
    307
    Trophy Points:
    5,281
    Ratings:
    +356
    Medals:
    4
    Member Since:
    August 1998
    It's been so long since I have seen this, what is she referring to in this line? That Cliff is looking out for the less well off people?
     
  5. Taylor Bennett Jr.

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

    Threads:
    5
    Messages:
    1,975
    Trophy Points:
    892
    Location:
    one of them high rises down in Venezuela
    Ratings:
    +3,645
    I feel like they adjusted her original feisty, street-smart, morally clear character to be more naive and dithering and unsure of herself as early as the first full season. I don't think the miniseries Pam would have been caught in so many situations where she'd meekly sputter out "I need to talk to you" instead of just speaking up to head off a dramatic conflict.

    I guess the producers felt it was better for dramatic storylines, but I could also see how just living at Southfork with the Ewings and their dysfunction for a while could lead to a personality change.
     
  6. James from London

    James from London Soap Chat Winner EXP: 19 Years

    Threads:
    53
    Messages:
    3,806
    Trophy Points:
    6,636
    Occupation:
    Actor
    Location:
    Brixton
    Ratings:
    +6,643
    Medals:
    5
    Member Since:
    Time immemorial
    Ironically, by Pam asserting her independence and becoming a working woman, it actually weakens her position in the drama. Whereas she'd been at the centre of the action at Southfork during the mini-series, it then becomes Bobby who is pitted against JR most often. So the emphasis shifts from "Pammy Solves All" to "Bobby Solves All".
     
    • Agree Agree x 3
    • Like Like x 1
  7. Kenny Coyote

    Kenny Coyote Soap Chat Star EXP: 12 Years

    Threads:
    176
    Messages:
    2,672
    Trophy Points:
    1,098
    Occupation:
    Rock Guitarist
    Location:
    Maryland
    Ratings:
    +2,796
    Medals:
    2
    I believe it's just a direct response to Bobby's previous comment: "Look, my daddy built an empire here because he was smarter than the next guy, and he worked harder, and he was luckier, but anybody with the same qualifications can do the same thing."

    I hadn't seen it in a while; I was half-expecting Bobby to say: "But my daddy wasn't born rich"!

    You would hope she married Bobby because she loved him, but in this scene, for the first time, she seems vehemently against Bobby's values; she seems disgusted by what Bobby stands for. When she does that "favour" she's actively helping Cliff to get into a position where he can cause Bobby and his family real damage. She's actively helping a man who says of Bobby: "He's not a man. He's a Ewing" get into a position to be able to hurt Bobby. There's a massive conflict of interests here and when push comes to shove, Pam's choosing her brother over her husband. Everything Pam says in this scene makes it seem she considers Cliff a better, more virtuous man than Bobby.
     
  8. James from London

    James from London Soap Chat Winner EXP: 19 Years

    Threads:
    53
    Messages:
    3,806
    Trophy Points:
    6,636
    Occupation:
    Actor
    Location:
    Brixton
    Ratings:
    +6,643
    Medals:
    5
    Member Since:
    Time immemorial
    Maybe she does - in that moment.
     
  9. Kenny Coyote

    Kenny Coyote Soap Chat Star EXP: 12 Years

    Threads:
    176
    Messages:
    2,672
    Trophy Points:
    1,098
    Occupation:
    Rock Guitarist
    Location:
    Maryland
    Ratings:
    +2,796
    Medals:
    2
    They did adjust her - I agree! In the first episode she encouraged him to getting into running Ewing Oil - running the same business she later described as exploitative and corrupt! Bobby was working with JR running Ewing Oil at the time of the Election episode so apparently even with Bobby helping run it, she saw the company as exploitative and corrupt, which sends very negative message to Bobby. He did what she wanted, he got into running it, and even with him running it she saw the company as something Cliff was right to be attacking. She even lent Cliff a hand in trying to gain power he would use to further attack the company Bobby was helping run. Pam is clearly sending Bobby the message: "Your values are not my values and I don't approve of what you do for a living."

    Imagine helping your brother help gain power you know he'll use to attack your spouse's company!
     
  10. Kenny Coyote

    Kenny Coyote Soap Chat Star EXP: 12 Years

    Threads:
    176
    Messages:
    2,672
    Trophy Points:
    1,098
    Occupation:
    Rock Guitarist
    Location:
    Maryland
    Ratings:
    +2,796
    Medals:
    2

    When we describe someone as "wishy-washy" or someone who "waffles" (both of which are insulting), it means someone doesn't stand firmly for their beliefs or has never done the thinking necessary to even arrive at a set of beliefs (which seems to be Pam's situation).

    Correct. Pam wasn't very perceptive, was she? She strikes me as someone who rarely gives much thought to anything and allows her emotions to guide her i.e. if it looks like Cliff is doing something corrupt or evil, there must be a good reason for it.

    Once, Pam told Sue Ellen, that if Cliff shot JR, then Cliff had a "good reason for it." That's a similar mentality to "the ends justify the means." Sue Ellen promptly walked out on Pam, disgusted at the nonsense she had just heard. Before she walked away from Pam she did say something about it not being rational and Pam replied with the moral relativism of "if he is irrational, who do yo think made him that way"? Being wishy-washy and using moral relativism go together like peanut butter and jelly.

    The only way to avoid moral relativism is to have a fixed standard of morality.
     
  11. James from London

    James from London Soap Chat Winner EXP: 19 Years

    Threads:
    53
    Messages:
    3,806
    Trophy Points:
    6,636
    Occupation:
    Actor
    Location:
    Brixton
    Ratings:
    +6,643
    Medals:
    5
    Member Since:
    Time immemorial
    Yeah exactly, but it works for the show to have Pam ping-ponging back and forth between Cliff and the Ewings. It's fun!
     
    • Like Like x 2
    • Agree Agree x 2
  12. Willie Oleson

    Willie Oleson SoapLand Battles Moderator EXP: 18 Years

    Threads:
    288
    Messages:
    13,424
    Trophy Points:
    9,250
    Occupation:
    marriage counselor
    Location:
    Plotville, Shenanigan
    Ratings:
    +24,232
    Medals:
    15
    Member Since:
    April 2002
    It's all good and well to have that fixed standard of morality, but life has a way of challenging us. And then soap opera does a little bit more.
    I wonder how many people are able to maintain that kind of self-totalitarianism. No seductions, no conflicts, no questions.

    But what you're really saying is that you're either with or against Ewing Oil, the highest of high standards. And that never fails to amaze me.
     
    • Like Like x 2
    • Agree Agree x 1
  13. Kenny Coyote

    Kenny Coyote Soap Chat Star EXP: 12 Years

    Threads:
    176
    Messages:
    2,672
    Trophy Points:
    1,098
    Occupation:
    Rock Guitarist
    Location:
    Maryland
    Ratings:
    +2,796
    Medals:
    2
    No, I think made it fairly clear that the issue was that Pam was against Bobby in this scene - hence the title "The First Big Rift In Bobby And Pam's Marriage." If it had just been a difference of opinion it wouldn't have even made a thread. Pam was actually helping someone to try to gain power she knew would be used to attack her own husband's career. There is no reason to be married if you're willing to help someone to try to damage your spouse's way of making a living. No marriage could, or should withstand something like what Pam was doing to Bobby. They actually handled it somewhat realistically too, for a TV show, in that Bobby and Pam did end up divorced.
     
  14. Laurie!

    Laurie! Soap Chat Member EXP: 2 Years

    Threads:
    0
    Messages:
    57
    Trophy Points:
    74
    Location:
    Canada
    Ratings:
    +98
    You act as though it was only Bobby's company and forget that JR was at the helm and he deserved everything negative that ever happened to him....and often Cliff did too.

    As many times as Pam took Cliff's side, Bobby also took JR's...almost always ignoring the morally corrupt way JR conducted business.

    Having an immature, vengeance driven, morally bankrupt brother doing something awful; either to or in spite of Pam and Bobby is the foundation of DALLAS.

    I just continually find it telling that you always fail to see the flaws in the male character and single out the females.
     
    • Agree Agree x 2
  15. Kenny Coyote

    Kenny Coyote Soap Chat Star EXP: 12 Years

    Threads:
    176
    Messages:
    2,672
    Trophy Points:
    1,098
    Occupation:
    Rock Guitarist
    Location:
    Maryland
    Ratings:
    +2,796
    Medals:
    2
    JR did plenty of things at Ewing Oil to competitors and even to his brother Bobby that were highly negative, but Pam wasn't married to JR so what does that have to do with her marriage? This thread is about Bobby and Pam's marriage so whatever JR deserved is a non-issue her for the purpose of this particular thread.

    There are plenty of threads I've made where I've pointed out Bobby's flaws and JR's flaws. It's you who fails to see or comment on them. There'a thread right on the first page I titled "Missed Opportunities" that I started off by mentioning JR's incompetence and his turning into a loser. You were strangely silent then, Laurie.

    In my thread "Why Make The Women In Dallas Stronger", which I started as a response to comments I see from time to time that the women in Dallas should have been made stronger" I write this about Pam:

    "Pam: She was quite strong and had a good strong foundation of ethics. She was disciplined and obviously considered keeping her body in top physical shape to be a principal concern. She was self-sufficient, choosing to work a job when she didn't have to just because she wanted to do something productive and know that she could make her own way in the world if she had to - that's admirable! Pam was a highly principaled young lady. If you were to compare her to a typical female character in a current TV show, I think you'd find more often than not, that Pam is a far stronger woman than they are. Pam was a woman who had so much strength in her on convictions that she was willing to marry the son of her father's most hated rival! No only that, but she moved into his home! She moved into the ranch of the family her father and brother despised. That took a lot of strength! No wonder Pam is my favorite female character in Dallas."

    That looks like a compliment to me! Where the hell were ya when I was saying all those positive things about Pam? Maybe you accidentally "missed" it. Well know ya know about it, so if you want to print that paragraph out, frame it, and hang it right on your bedroom wall, knock yourself out, Laurie. You have my permission to do that. I'm giving it to you! No need to thank me, Laurie. Just knowing that's going to be adding a ray of sunshine to every one of your mornings is all the thanks I need.

    In that same thread I write this about JR's weakness:

    "Initially I saw a lot of value in the character of Sue Ellen. Her troubled marriage to JR created a lot of great drama. JR had clearly made a mistake in marrying her; I don't think JR was capable of marriage! JR was too undisciplined to be married. He didn't have the discipline and the moral fiber to remain faithful to his wife, so he never should have married. That's a horrible weakness on JR's part but I've never seen a post suggesting that it would have been better if JR had been stronger in the sense of having a greater ethical base and greater self-discipline. Why do you suppose that is? What is the fascination with making the women stronger as opposed to making the men stronger too, if strength is of such high importance to you? Ray had plenty of weaknesses, yet I've never seen a post that suggests they should have made Ray stronger. It's kind of odd isn't it? Cliff had more than his fair share of weaknesses, but again, I've never seen a post that suggested the show would have been made better if Cliff had been stronger."

    You didn't happen to comment on that either, but why would you? There wasn't anything there to complain and if you can't complain, you don't post.

    Did you comment any of the times when I've discussed Bobby being willing to steal a child he thought was his brother's and raise the child as his own? That's a felony! I don't recall Pam ever being willing to commit a felony, do you? Well, I've brought it up here a number of times over the years, so you're welcome.

    I'm really kind of tickled that whenever you happen to actually contribute anything to the forum, I'm the one you mention the most often. My threads must do something to grab your attention or you'd be addressing somebody else, wouldn't you?.That's a compliment! So whether ya love me or hate me, just make sure you keep on talking about me, Laurie!
     
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2020
  16. Laurie!

    Laurie! Soap Chat Member EXP: 2 Years

    Threads:
    0
    Messages:
    57
    Trophy Points:
    74
    Location:
    Canada
    Ratings:
    +98
    I was making the point that the reason Pam took Cliff's side wasn't to hurt Bobby...it was when JR had done something heinous and gave Pam every right to assist Cliff in retaliation. Bobby just happened to be caught up in it or vice-versa. That was the main focus of the show after all. At least while it was still a good show.

    Wow Kenny. I must have released some angry hornets in your tightie, over-starched whities to cause you to go so ballistic. I'm truly flattered that you notice when I post responses to you or when I don't. In fact, I'm downright humbled. Or I'm pretending...I'm not quite sure.
    :love1::laughs:

    The reason why I choose to ignore your threads sometimes is because I can't get past your misogynistic gems such as: "Having the women in Dallas all be high level businesswomen would have been very difficult to make work. Not even every man wants to be "strong in business."

    I mean...where do I even begin with that? Sometimes, it's easier just to let you learn on your own. But you're trying to atone...I'll give you that.
     
  17. Karin Schill

    Karin Schill Super Moderator EXP: 15 Years Staff Member

    Threads:
    101
    Messages:
    5,228
    Trophy Points:
    5,142
    Occupation:
    Journalist
    Location:
    Sweden
    Ratings:
    +10,087
    Medals:
    3
    Member Since:
    September 2004
    Yes this created a rift between Bobby and Pam but it's like he said. They were born on different sides.
    I think it's completely natural that Pam would rather support her brother than the candidate her husband's family backed. I think most of us would have done the same choice if we were in her shoes.

    Also at this point Cliff was not corrupted and as vengeful as he later turned out to be. So it's possible that if he'd won the election then he would have used his new position as state senator to champion the issues of the working class and try to help ordinary people.

    Yes that's what I think she meant. I rewatched this episode last year and at this point in the show Cliff still came across as a nice guy.
     
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2020
  18. Chris2

    Chris2 Soap Chat Fan EXP: 3 Years

    Threads:
    14
    Messages:
    470
    Trophy Points:
    277
    Location:
    United States
    Ratings:
    +741
    I’m doing a rewatch and am currently on 80-81, right after JR was shot. Pamela is considerably meeker and wimpier in this season. Bobby’s ignoring her in favor of his responsibilities at Ewing Oil. Pam has just found Rebecca, who has denied that she’s Pam’s mother. Pam needs to talk to Bobby and he’s blowing her off, with these little whimpers of protest from Pam. Sad.

    And don’t get me started on Pamela embracing the monster who abandoned her as a toddler to a drunken murderer! Pam approaches Rebecca with this pathetic little speech about how she’s always dreamed of finding her mother and how she’s so happy she has found her, blah blah blah. I’d like to think that miniseries Pam would have given that woman a piece of her mind, and maybe even blown her cover with her new family.
     
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2020
  19. Jimmy Todd

    Jimmy Todd Soap Chat Addict EXP: 1 Year

    Threads:
    73
    Messages:
    1,034
    Trophy Points:
    690
    Location:
    United States
    Ratings:
    +1,668
    Member Since:
    2019
    Humans are also inconsistent on many levels, sometimes in ways of which we may not be aware.
    Pam could have had an idea of what life would be like as a Ewing before marriage, but the reality didn't match the ideal. Also, she was coming from one less than ideal family situation to the highly dysfunctional Ewings. All of this would not make it easy to be consistent 24/7 for anyone.
    As @James from London it adds to all the fun.
     
    • Agree Agree x 2
  20. James from London

    James from London Soap Chat Winner EXP: 19 Years

    Threads:
    53
    Messages:
    3,806
    Trophy Points:
    6,636
    Occupation:
    Actor
    Location:
    Brixton
    Ratings:
    +6,643
    Medals:
    5
    Member Since:
    Time immemorial
    Yes, and it's not as if she's testifying in a court of law; she's snapping at her husband after a long day.
     

Share This Page