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The First Big Rift In Bobby And Pam's Marriage

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

  1. Willie Oleson

    Willie Oleson SoapLand Battles Moderator EXP: 18 Years

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    I know what you're saying, but people also have this uncanny capacity to surprise themselves. Just when you think you've figured it all out and you know who you are...bam! There's that monster who abandoned you as a toddler to a drunken murderer.
    Could it be that there's something so unapproachable about that image that it inadvertently-subconsciously becomes desirable? Or the desire to retroactively change that story and person, because the alternative is too painful?
     
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  2. Karin Schill

    Karin Schill Super Moderator EXP: 15 Years Staff Member

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    I think why Pam changed and why it was so important for her to find her mother was because she realized that her life was built on a lie. She was not Digger's Daughter. He had lied to her her whole life and she felt betrayed and confused about who she was. She realized that her mother was probably not dead and she wanted to find her to get the answers she needed.

    I think Pam and Rebecca is a bit like when someone is adopted and at an adult age decide to look for and form a bond with a birth mom.
     
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  3. Chris2

    Chris2 Soap Chat Fan EXP: 3 Years

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    OK - I can see that. Cliff has no excuse, though - he forgave that woman after about 30 seconds. At least he let her have it first. That’s something.
     
  4. Kenny Coyote

    Kenny Coyote Soap Chat Enthusiast EXP: 12 Years

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    I wouldn't say she's wimpier, I'd say she was beginning to develop a mental illness as a result not being able to carry a baby to term. It manifested itself as her feeling worthless - maybe you see that as "meeker", but she almost committed suicide. She was about to when Bobby arrived just in time to pull her back from the edge of the roof of the building before she went over.

    Suicide is a serious issue and it doesn't come about as a result of meekness or wimpiness. I'd think in these more enlightened times people would be more knowledgeable about just how badly suicide devastates families and that it is a mental health issue - not a character issue.

    I can excuse anything Pamela did or said at that point in her life as a result of her not being herself because of mental illness.

    Pamela's embracing of the woman who abandoned her a a baby took place more or less at around Pam's mental problems began so I think that could explain that. I don't see a level headed person thinking they are going to get any useful answers from a monster.

    Her life wasn't "built" on a lie. Yes, she was lied to about her mother being dead, but perhaps Digger thought Rebecca was dead.There 's no way to know. As for Digger not being her real father, talk to people who have been adopted and ask them who they consider their real parents. The vast majority of the time, the people who raised them are who they consider their real parents. Besides, had Pam known from a young age that Hutch was her biological father, in what meaningful way do you think that would have changed her life?
     
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2020
  5. Kenny Coyote

    Kenny Coyote Soap Chat Enthusiast EXP: 12 Years

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    Cliff's situation was quite different. His actions were not the result of a mental illness or a nervous breakdown and they contradicted his whole character. His actions in accepting Rebecca are something that fall into the category of "it won't make sense but we can get some good drama out of it." Oh, and then she just happens to be worth a billion dollars or whatever it was - how convenient! Maybe this is what they refer to when some people call Dallas trash. When they do a complete 180 with Cliff's character with no good explanation (like Pam's mental illness) and then have all these incredibly unlikely things go along with it, it takes away believability. It even turned out that Ellie and Rebecca used to be friends, and that for whatever reason nobody had ever mentioned the massive Wentworth Industries before - although even Clayton from San Angelo knew Rebecca! Everyone knew her except Pam, practically. It stretched believability too far. Apparently they didn't think so because they continued to add to it - they had Katherine become a murderess!

    I'm guessing the people who call Dallas "trash" look at the humber of highly improbable things that keep happening and say: You don't need to resort to that to tell a good story; that's taking the easy way out." For me it made no difference because I always drew a very distinct line between what happens on TV and what happens in real life. Dallas didn't have to be just like real life and shouldn't have been! It as for our entertainment and did an amazing job of keeping us entertained. Art is not an exact depiction of real life; journalism is. Art should not be journalism.
     
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2020
  6. Kenny Coyote

    Kenny Coyote Soap Chat Enthusiast EXP: 12 Years

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    I can't speak for anyone else or what "most of us" would do, but I can't imagine how anyone could feel justified in helping someone who hates your spouse and your spouse's whole family to gain power you know full well will be used against your spouse.

    Being born a Barnes was a matter of chance. Pam had no control over that. In marrying Bobby, Pam was making the conscious decision to reject the values of the Barnes family in the most defiant way she possibly could and declare: "This is my choice. I love Bobby and choose to marry Bobby because he reflects my own highest values."
     
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2020
  7. Willie Oleson

    Willie Oleson SoapLand Battles Moderator EXP: 18 Years

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    This is so ridiculous. How many people *think* in terms of morals, standards and values? She was married to Bobby, not God.
     
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  8. Jimmy Todd

    Jimmy Todd Soap Chat Well-Known Member EXP: 1 Year

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    Well, I think people do but maybe not in always exactly those terms.
    Pam was caught between two of her values: loyalty to b her brother whom she grew up with a sense of protectiveness over and loyalty to her husband. When she made her decisions to help one or the other I don't believe she was looking at in such concrete terms as helping one automatically means hurting the other.
     
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  9. James from London

    James from London Soap Chat Winner EXP: 18 Years

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    I have no idea what my own highest values are, let alone anyone else's.
     
  10. Jimmy Todd

    Jimmy Todd Soap Chat Well-Known Member EXP: 1 Year

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    Karen Mackenzie could have paid a visit to Dallas to be Bobby and Pam's marriage counselor. She would have solved this for both of them:NI: over a cup of coffee.
     
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  11. Willie Oleson

    Willie Oleson SoapLand Battles Moderator EXP: 18 Years

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    I think people's reactions and decisions are usually more primitive when it comes to big dilemmas. Pam could ask herself what is the best thing do, rather than, what should I do to make sure that my decision matches my standards and values? After all, they didn't marry to make a point, the married in spite of the bad blood. It was the best decision simply because they were in love, but technically and from a values/loyalty point of view it was a disaster. If I'm not mistaken, this plot device was used to start the Dallas story.

    But they could also do the complete opposite thing. Pam convinced Bobby not to leave Southfork in season 1 eventhough that was definitely the most sensible thing to do. But that would have been the end of DALLAS.
     
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  12. Chris2

    Chris2 Soap Chat Fan EXP: 3 Years

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    A family member committed suicide, so I’m plenty enlightened, thank you. It doesn’t make any sense to take a comment about a character from an old soap opera and use that the make unfounded assumptions about views on mental illness. I stand by assessment that Pam is meeker and wimpier in the current season I’m watching.
     
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  13. Kenny Coyote

    Kenny Coyote Soap Chat Enthusiast EXP: 12 Years

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    This is great because even though it's one of those rare times Willie disagrees with me, notice the thought he puts into his argument here. He's offering some real substance for why one might approach it his way instead of the way I've described. So you know he's not being antagonistic for the sake of it.

    Based on what you're suggesting here, Wllie, it seems that you're a big advocator of moral relativism. If I'm at all off-base on that interpretation, by all means let me know. Thanks again for being so consistent in the quality of the content you contribute to the forum, Willie! You always seem to know just what to say to get a thought provoking debate going. I guess that's what 17 years of experience on the forum will do for you.

    Look, here's another top notch post. I can tell you put the same thought into your posts as you must put into your philosophy, James. Wow, you've just gotta admire that kind of intellectual consistency!

    I think people do too, and I don't just think it; I know it. You're right-that the terms aren't always the same. Human history as shown us that man needs some type of a moral guide to life and in what they find that path to life varies greatly. Think of all the different religions people have followed and then even within one such as Christianity, you have Protestants, Catholics, Mormons, etc. Then you have all the various philosophers going back to Plato and Aristotle. People vehemently disagree on what constitutes a proper philosphy. Some disregard the intellect altogether. It's a highly personal decision.
     
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2020
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  14. Willie Oleson

    Willie Oleson SoapLand Battles Moderator EXP: 18 Years

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    I like to think that (most) people have a conscience, but it's not the answer to everything. Life is a learning process and it can take us years and years before we understand our mistakes from the past.
    But anyway, back to Dallas: when Pam married Bobby she didn't turn her back on her own family, they didn't become less important to her.
    So maybe I could use the same argument that she would have betrayed her brother if she hadn't supported him. She wasn't married to Cliff, but I don't see why the family bond of the Ewings should be more real than that of the Barneses.
    It is very possible that the situation described in this thread was the final nail in the coffin, but surely this plot development has always been a matter of "when", not "if".

    But there's a big difference. There's no reasoning, motive or source for belief. It's pure, without questions. Some people ask "how can you believe in God when there's no proof of his existence?"
    But that doesn't make sense because if you know God exists then you no longer have to believe it. Like, I don't have to believe that today is Sunday, because I know it is.
    Therefore, that kind of moral/belief doesn't fly in concrete, real-life situations. Pam loved Bobby, but she didn't blindly believe in him. And that allowed her to make decisions that would clash with her husband's best interest.
     
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  15. Kenny Coyote

    Kenny Coyote Soap Chat Enthusiast EXP: 12 Years

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    That's a considerable improvement over dismissing an idea as ridiculous without providing any substance as to why.

    If you use the argument that Pam would betray Cliff by not supporting him, my response is:

    Episodes earlier in "Spy In The House", Cliff could have come forward and cleared Pam's name but chose not to. When Pam needed Cliff, he didn't even try to come through for her. Why then, should she feel obligated to come through for him? She even testified in court regarding that situation. She was asked if when she needed her brother's help, if he tried to help her, Pam said "no" while under oath.

    Regarding "I don't see why the family bond of the Ewings should be more real than that of the Barneses", I see a world of difference. Cliff and Pam are family by chance. She was in the Barnes family because of circumstances beyond her control. It's not her fault she had a weasel for a brother. People don't choose their siblings. People do choose who they marry. One man became part of her family through something she had no control over and the other became part of her family through merit - because he was just that good of a man that she felt compelled to marry him.
     
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2020
  16. Willie Oleson

    Willie Oleson SoapLand Battles Moderator EXP: 18 Years

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    I did mention more than "ridiculous".
    But I was referring to Bobby & the Ewings vs. Pam & the Barneses.
    I feel we're back in "values" territory again. I think she just loved him, but that's only my opinion of course.
     
  17. Kenny Coyote

    Kenny Coyote Soap Chat Enthusiast EXP: 12 Years

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    Technically, you did mention more than "ridiculous." Your entire post was:

    Yes, it says more than "ridiculous, but it didn't offer any substance as to why it was ridiculous. If you don't believe love is a response to one's own highest values reflected in another then counter my argument by stating what do you believe love is a response to. The objective is to contribute content of value to the forum that stimulates discussion. Remaking that Pam isn't married to God isn't exactly conducive to that purpose is it?

    After I let you know that particular way if replying to my post wasn't in the best interests of the forum, since it didn't further a discussion of any intellectual substance, your next reply to my was much more substantial. It was a significant improvement. That's a compliment. You seem to have a policy of not acknowledging compliments or anything else of a positive nature and focusing exclusively on negatives. That's a choice. That too is a reflection of values - your particular values. Whether you think values are ridiculous, or you think that not many people ever consider them, you cannot escape them. Your values are reflected in every deliberate action you take.

    OK. Bobby's bond to the Ewings isn't any more real than Pam's bond to the Barnes family. They each have a bond to those families because of being born into those families.

    We are back in "values' territory again! It's a territory that cannot be avoided. How can you describe what love is without acknowledging values? Love doesn't exist in a vacuum; it's a response to seeing one's own values reflected in someone else. If we divorce love from values, why isn't a man who has JR's values (and is also single and available) just as attractive to Pam as Bobby? How would she choose between marrying a man like Bobby as opposed to marrying a man similar to JR if she discounts values?

    Clearly Pam sees her values reflected much more strongly in Bobby than she would in JR or even Ray. She must have found Ray physically attractive or there wouldn't have been any point in Pam dating him, but there was clearly something Bobby had Ray didn't that Pam valued highly. Bobby valued productive achievement at a high level and that attracted her to him. Not that Ray didn't do productive work, but he didn't aspire to the high level of achievement Bobby did. Ray was content with a more ordinary level of achievement. Look at who Pam fell in love with after leaving Bobby - Mark Graison! Mark was man who competed at the highest level of his industry. Even when Graison wasn't at work, he was competing, whether in polo, or some other sport. That's not just a coincidence that Bobby and Mark were both highly competitive men who wanted to achieve at the highest level, it's an indication that Pam found those values, combined with a reasonably strong code of ethics, extremely attractive in a man.

    Pam betrayed her own values when she sacrificed the greater man to the lesser man, in her choice to support Cliff instead of Bobby and as you saw it ended up causing Pam great unhappiness. That's what sacrificing a higher value for a lower value does to someone.
     
  18. Jimmy Todd

    Jimmy Todd Soap Chat Well-Known Member EXP: 1 Year

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    What if Pam's highest values are to her family? Bobby and Cliff are both part of her family. Yes, it's a different type of love she has for each of them, but it's still love for family members.
    Pam may have looked back on her decision to help Cliff and decided it wasn't fair to Bobby. She could also rationalize it as leveling the playing field. Bobby is richer than Cliff, more powerful, and has his whole family behind him. Cliff orly has her. A value Pam could have is fair play.
    She loves Bobby and chooses to marry him and he a Ewing. However, she also grew up with Cliff who also loved her. It was always a "Pam and Cliff against the world" scenario for them. If her highest values include family I wouldn't expect her to emotionally cut off Cliff. I don't think that's even possible.
     
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2020
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  19. Kenny Coyote

    Kenny Coyote Soap Chat Enthusiast EXP: 12 Years

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    If Cliff had been a good brother to her, I could see her saying "I can't help one of you because I'd helping to hurt the other. I have to say neutral on this." That would be very understandable.

    My thing is, though it's still early in the series, we saw Cliff turn his back on Pam when she needed his help in "Spy In The House." I don't know how someone could overlook that.
     
  20. Jimmy Todd

    Jimmy Todd Soap Chat Well-Known Member EXP: 1 Year

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    That's a good point about Pam overlooking that Cliff turned his back on her. It may be a character trait of hers to idealize people so much she can easily forgive and forget. She did that with Rebecca and Sue Ellen, that's for sure. She was also oblivious to Katherine's schemes until she saw empirical evidence.
    Pam may have been a person who truly believed most people are basically good at heart, and that their flaws come from being hurt more than true evil.
     

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