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Was Bobby A Bully?

Discussion in 'Dallas - The Original Series' started by Kenny Coyote, Oct 20, 2018.

  1. Kenny Coyote

    Kenny Coyote Soap Chat Fan

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    In what way?

    Parents want their children to have good quality lives; they want their children to be happy. If a man sees a weakness in his son that's bound to keep from having a good quality of life such as running from challenges instead of facing them, and he's heartbroken because until his son learns to find the courage (guts) within himself to be able to face challenges head on, he's not going to have much of a life, how is that revealing of a flaw in the father? The father is going to be heartbroken because he cares so much. If Jock didn't care about Gary so much, it couldn't affect Jock to the point where he'd be heartbroken, could it?
     
  2. Mel O'Drama

    Mel O'Drama Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Yes. But can a parent expect those things of their child? And if a child doesn't appear to have have either, what then?


    Possibly, but I think it's a little more nuanced than that.

    Jock's statement tacitly said that his son didn't meet his expectation of what it means to be a man. Or a Ewing. I don't think that expectation is so healthy for a start. Gary's perceived lack of "guts" didn't just disappoint or concern Jock. It broke his heart. Doesn't that indicate it's a quality on which Jock placed an inordinate amount of value? Perhaps unreasonably so?

    But even putting that aside, it's a parent's response to their child's imperfections that shape both child and parent. Past a certain point, Jock chose to define Gary by one characteristic - weakness. Then, rather than supporting and encouraging him to find the "guts" he felt he needed - he wrote him off and ran him down.

    What played out on-screen in Reunion and Return Engagement leads me to believe Jock knew he had let Gary down as a parent and he regretted it. The detente with his son came about not because Gary had changed but because Jock had learnt.
     
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  3. Kenny Coyote

    Kenny Coyote Soap Chat Fan

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    Since Gary ran away from any type of challenge so easily, I think it's reasonable to think that his lack of guts or courage which caused that is an important enough issue that Jock or a parent in general could reasonably believe that until Gary found that courage somewhere within him to avoid the urge to run away and instead face the challenges life will present, Gary wouldn't have much of a life. So I believe the value Jock put on guts is justified and reasonable.


    A parent's response to their child's imperfections does shape both parent and child. We agree on that statement.

    I didn't see that Jock wrote him off permanently. When Jock found Gary was returning, Miss Ellie was afraid Jock would put up walls between Gary and himself. Jock responded: "I'm not thinking about putting up walls; I'm thinking about tearing them down." OK, if there were walls between them, maybe Jock did share the responsibility for putting them up. I think it's reasonable to think Jock and Gary both played a part in building those walls. Since we had never seen them before since this was the start of Dallas and Gary's first appearance, we can only speculate that there's a possibility Jock wrote off Gary before. His conversation with Miss Ellie showed that whoever was responsible in the past for building those walls between Gary and Jock, Jock wanted to tear down those walls and get to know his son better.


    Good point. Jock's mannerisms did seem like there were things that had taken place between Gary and himself that he regretted. Sadly, Gary ran away once again so soon that he robbed himself of the chance to find out how things could be now that, as you said, Jock had learned. I would have liked to see scenes with Jock and Gary where they're trying to build a closer relationship, but the story in those two episodes when Gary had returned chose to focus on JR and Gary rather than Jock and Gary.
     
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  4. Kenny Coyote

    Kenny Coyote Soap Chat Fan

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    I also thought it was strange and out of character. I found it very disappointing as well because of the following:

    At some point either while Jock was in court over the charges Cliff brought, JR were talking about how angry they both were at Cliff for bringing these ancient charges against Jock. JR says something about how when this is over, he's going to run Cliff out of the state of Texas. Bobby replies to JR that JR is going to have to get in line because Bobby wants to be the one to run Cliff out of Texas!

    Then just 2 episodes later, Bobby completely reneges on his vow to run Cliff out of Texas. OK, maybe Bobby wasn't literally going to run Cliff out of the state. Maybe Bobby just meant he was going to make Cliff seriously pay for this. Sadly, not only did Bobby completely fall short on that promise. but when JR shut down the oil field that Cliff had half of, Bobby felt so sorry for Cliff and so angry at JR for doing that to poor, little Cliff Barnes that he announces to Pamela they're moving as far away from Southfork as they can get. Pam wanted to at least say goodbye to everyone, probably Miss Ellie especially. Bobby orders her to stay in the car and not say goodbye because only he is allowed to say goodbye!?!?

    That pissed me off. Bobby showed himself to be a hypocrite, that his word was no good, and that his loyalty to his father which seemed so strong as recently as the trial wasn't strong at all. Just two episodes earlier he wanted to run Cliff out of Texas and now he's telling Pam they're both leaving because Bobby can't stand how unfair Jock and JR were to Cliff Barnes. I thought that was just absolutely f***ed!
     
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  5. Mel O'Drama

    Mel O'Drama Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Look at Gary's siblings. At least to the extent that Gary lacked "guts", JR lacked empathy and Bobby lacked patience. Certainly enough to inform JR and Bobby's responses to life's challenges.

    Jock was irritated by this at times and chewed them out once in a while, but the lack of those qualities in his sons didn't break Jock's heart. I would hazard a guess that is because they are somewhat in alignment with Jock's own personality.


    Perhaps not permanently, but I suspect fifteen year old Gary probably didn't fully fathom that.


    Yes, although I think there are layers and lines to read in between the dialogue. That's what makes it interesting.


    Yes, but I guess the focus was because that was where the real conflict was. If JR had any say, Gary wasn't going to get close to his parents and comfortable on Southfork. History was going to repeat itself and Gary could see that. We can all have an opinion about his walking away again, but I view it that he did what he needed to do for his own survival, the only way he knew at that point in his life.
     
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  6. Taylor Bennett Jr.

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    the other thing I never understood was that, unless Jock closed the field immediately after signing that agreement decades ago, wouldn't Digger's heirs still be entitled to their share of the proceeds from the intervening years, which should be millions?

    If my theory of Bobby really leaving because he was disappointed in Jock's mendacity isn't the case, then it really seemed that Bobby was leaving not because of unfairness to Cliff, but mainly due to throwing a tantrum at JR for closing a field that "I opened (all by) myself! (like a big boy!)"
     
    Last edited: Nov 2, 2018
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  7. Mustard

    Mustard Soap Chat Active Member

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    Wasn't the Ewing 23 field shut down for decades and only recently opened up again by Bobby?

    And Bobby didn't like that Jock had sided with J.R. on the issue of Cliff Barnes and Ewing 23. Jock usually took Bobby's side, and cajoled J.R. into working side-by-side with Bobby more openly at Ewing Oil when Jock could see that J.R. was using all sorts of redtape to keep Bobby locked out of the real important things. Also, Bobby was the youngest son and was generally spoiled rotten in life compared to J.R. who had a harsher end of things from his dad. Bobby is used to being backed up in such battles.
     
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  8. J. R.'s Piece

    J. R.'s Piece Soap Chat TV Fanatic

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    Bobby mentions to Pam in the 1982-83 season that Jock turned away from Gary. Miss Ellie told Jock that he never found out who Gary was. And you have that lovely Knots Landing episode, New Beginnings, right after Jock's Will was read, where Gary says that all his life his father made him feel worthless and now that Jock was dead, Gary was still feeling worthless. Then Abby points out that who said that Jock was right. And she says that Southfork holds (bad) memories that Gary doesn't need in his life any more and he can now cut himself free. And live his own life and not have to define himself by what his father thought he was. And the day after Gary tells JR to get out of his hotel suite, Gary also comes to think that Jock was wrong about the way that he viewed Gary. And then you have that story about Gary, Jock and riding that bull (?) that Gary told Cathy, where Gary was seriously injured but Jock when visiting him was going on about how proud he was that Gary had done it.
     
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  9. stevew

    stevew Soap Chat Well-Known Member

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    He wouldn’t be Gary. We are at our very foundation the person our parents created.

    I think Jock was an impossible father - a man no one could please. Poverty does that to a man, something in his soul he never sheds even when he’s rich. He wanted his sons to be perfect in a way he never could be and with all there advantages (money), why couldn’t they be, or so he figured. They needed to be ruthless and well liked, honorable and never caught at taking what they wanted. Women should want them yet they had to be faithful to their wives. Good to their wives but keep them in their place. A man of the earth but drill for oil. Loved but not need anyone. Keep the family together but fight even your brother. Be your own man but be Jock’s definition of a man. If that had not been Jock, JR and Gary would have both been different and maybe both got along and while JR would have been inclined to build the business, he’d have been happy to see his brother with the ranch.

    Miss Ellie I think wanted to baby all 3 of them. Maybe thats natural for a mother. Jock just took over with JR and he didn’t really get in her way with Gary. If they had partnered on raising children, respected each other, each would have been a better parent. But as was Gary was weakened by his mother, let people get to him too easily, turned to drink to cope, turned to women to fill the slightest void, manipulated and confused. That’s something JR had no problem with. Jock taught him to be strong, no one gets at him, he needs nothing (drink) and no one (a woman), fill the void with power and manipulate before you’re manipulated and most of all never be confused, it’s not if your right or wrong, it’s you’re always right even if you’re wrong or have no idea what your talking about.
     
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  10. stevew

    stevew Soap Chat Well-Known Member

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    Unfortunately most parents don’t want that - they want their children to address all their personal issues, to be the people they couldn’t be. Parents seek justification in their children more than happiness - though most confuse the two.
     
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  11. Taylor Bennett Jr.

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    Ewing 23 had been shut down for a while, but it must have been operational for a number of years after Jock and Digger signed the original agreement, unless Jock did the same thing to Digger back then that JR did to Cliff this time around.

    You'd think a savvy lawyer like Cliff could have sued for those proceeds adjusted for inflation and have a good case - he was still that at this point and not the buffoonish character he became later. (Although with the Ewing resources and accesss to high-powered lawyers, he might have had trouble getting much more than a drawn-out battle for a settlement for percentage, which he might have decided wasn't worth it.)

    Yes, Jock siding with JR was definitely what upset Bobby about the 23 reopening (and how could you blame him - the guy just tried to put him away for life!), but I also remember Bobby looking disgusted when Jock bought (or at least pretended to buy) JR's thoroughly implausible assertion that he wasn't swindling the cartel boys, which led to Seth's suicide - way, way more serious than 23.
     
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2018
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  12. Mustard

    Mustard Soap Chat Active Member

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    Jock didn't see Gary for the first time until Gary was 18 months old or thereabouts, after returning from Britain following WW2, where Jock had also had an affair with Margaret Hunter and confessed it to Miss Ellie when he got back. J.R., on the other hand, was already a young kid by the time that Jock went off to Britain in WW2 and had already gotten a sentimental attachment to his daddy. J.R. was eagerly awaiting Jock's return, to learn more about the oil business. Jock and Gary were distant from the start, with Miss Ellie extra close to Gary for the same reason.
     
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  13. Mustard

    Mustard Soap Chat Active Member

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    Yes, that too. Jock asked J.R. if he knew that the Asian oil wells were going to be nationalized. J.R., as cold as you like, said "No, sir. I wouldn't do that to my friends". Bobby didn't believe him, was horrified by the extent of J.R.'s coldness, and really annoyed that even his daddy was backing J.R. on this. Therefore, Bobby says to Pam "We've got to get out of here, while I still know the difference between right and wrong". They were on their way to see Gary and Val in California when J.R. was shot by Kristin.

    I'm not sure if even Jock believed J.R., but he certainly admired J.R.'s guts and coolness under pressure, not to mention his saving Ewing Oil from losing billions with his quickness and ruthlessness behind the scenes. I wonder what Bobby would have done had he been in charge of Ewing Oil at the time when Hank Johnson came to warn about the imminent rebel victory and their policy to nationalize the oil industry without compensation? I don't think Bobby would have just let Ewing Oil take the full financial hit altruistically, somehow.
     
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  14. J. R.'s Piece

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    On the day after Jock’s Will was read, JR admitted to Abby Cunningham his fear that if Gary concentrated his energy on him, Gary could make his life miserable. On the day that Jock’s Will was read, JR tried to make sure that Gary left for California the day after the will was read. And he gave Abby and Gary’s relationship his blessing, providing Abby kept Gary out of Dallas.
     
    Last edited: Nov 6, 2018

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