Was Gary Really Weak, Or Was He Smart To Get Away?

Discussion in 'Dallas - The Original Series' started by Billy Wall, Mar 4, 2019.

  1. Billy Wall

    Billy Wall Soap Chat Active Member

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    I mean, even Miss Ellie refered to him as being weak once I recall. We know how Jock and JR felt about Gary. I believe Bobby’s the only one who never once referred to him as being weak. But was Gary really weak? Knowing the Ewings as we know them, can you blame Gary for getting far away from them? Seriously, who would want to put up with JR if they didn’t have too? Jock wasn’t much better. What Jock did to Gary in his will was just wrong. Especially considering he didn’t do that to Ray, who he had just found out he was his son.
     
  2. Mel O'Drama

    Mel O'Drama Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Although he did tell Gary...

     
  3. Billy Wall

    Billy Wall Soap Chat Active Member

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    When did he say that?
     
  4. Mel O'Drama

    Mel O'Drama Super Moderator Staff Member

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    When he visited Gary in California after Val was diagnosed with a tumour (the second season Knots Landing episode, The Loudest Word).
     
  5. Billy Wall

    Billy Wall Soap Chat Active Member

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    Oh. I never really watched Knots Landing.
     
  6. Snarky's Ghost

    Snarky's Ghost Soap Chat Oracle

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    It's, like, how did they all decide Gary and Sue Ellen were the "alcoholics" when the entire family drank like fish?

    Gary was seen as "weak" by the family because he was more sensitive and his interests weren't classically "macho" in a way bullheaded Jock could understand or appreciate.

    Indeed, Gary was smarter, and perhaps stronger, to know to get away from his toxic Texas family.
     
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  7. Lastkidpicked

    Lastkidpicked Soap Chat Fan

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    I would say part of Gary's problem was that he was naive. Gary thought that Miss Ellie could protect him. Gary also thought that J.R.'s offer to set him up in business was genuine.
    It took him a long time to realize that he would be much happier away from the Ewing family.
     
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  8. Alexis

    Alexis Soap Chat Superstar

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    I started a thread before the crash in which I stated that Gary was actually the strongest Ewing brother. He didn't need Jock, he went out and had his own life. His life didn't revolve around an Oil company, a faded portrait of his father or a ranch. He could exist outside of that in a way JR never could. How was JR or even Bobby any better or stronger than Gary, when both JR and Bobby were essentially living with their folks in middle age and had only worked for the family business. They were handed their jobs at Ewing Oil.
     
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  9. Billy Wall

    Billy Wall Soap Chat Active Member

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    Those are some very good points.
     
  10. Toni

    Toni Soap Chat Enthusiast

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    I´d say that Gary was the one who seemed to have no Ewing DNA in his blood and might have been the son of Digger and Miss Ellie, from an affair they had when Jock was in service. That would have been hugely ironic since Jock himself was impregnating his sweet nurse from the baby who´d become the foreman of his ranch...

    upload_2019-3-5_12-28-38.jpeg

    (Both): "He´s a bastard..."​

    About Gary being weak, that depends on who you ask, I guess. And probably anybody who saw him on "Knots" is aware that he only proved he was weak in the first three seasons. He became to rebel even against Abby at the end of Season 4, and he got stronger and stronger (or more and more stubborn) right after he inherited Jock´s money.

    Re Gary and Val, he wasn´t being weak while he was married to her (aside from when he cheated on her, of course). She never manipulated him, only wanted the best for him and probably treated him like a "porcelain doll" for awhile. That affected his ego and, since he seemed to have his alcoholism controlled, the only way to prove himself he was a "true man" (Texas-Style) was sleeping with next door´s slut (who turned out to be the Abster, as we all know.

    upload_2019-3-5_12-29-58.jpeg

    "Isn´t this fun? Everybody sleeping with everybody?
    Like in that TV show, "Melrose" something?"

    Weak? I think each and every Ewing and Barnes was weak in their own way because that was ideal to create conflict and drama. Even Miss Ellie was really weak before Jock died. Sometimes understandably (her reaction to her mastectomy), others not so much (her over-reaction to Julie´s return, the Takapa affaire, even her denial to Jock´s death). But it was strength what defined her, unlike what defined Gary (his mistakes).

    I´ve always thought that, in real life, I´d be like Gary if I had had a family like the Ewings. I also have two brothers, by the way, though none of us is as well-defined as these soap characters we love. I think that leaving home (as I also did), was a way to prove everybody he wasn´t the weakest in the family. We (or the writers) have hardly discussed the fact that Gary might have been somewhat traumatized by the fact that J.R. and Jock had Lucy kidnapped from Val.

    [​IMG]

    "When I´m all grown-up, I want a blond child who looks like this one...
    but not from you, mister, and take your hands off me!"

    Gary did love Val then and he might have known how deeply that event might have hurt her (and it did: "The 3 Sisters" and the Shulah incident were proof of that). In that aspect, I do think that Gary was terribly weak for not going after Val to take care of her, and also leaving Southfork and Lucy behind. He didn´t do what his folks wanted him to do, but he didn´t do the right thing either. He just started wandering around and drinking himself to oblivion (as Sue Ellen would say).

    [​IMG]

    "What about spinning me off to your show, Daddy?"
    "Try telling that to Jacobs & Filerman, sweetheart"

    Therefore his biggest weakness was that, and not what we saw him do on "Knots", which might have been, at best, morally debatable. So in hindsight, it was the lack of concern about Val what eventually became his most cruel fault. But who´s going to blame a hopeless drunk for things he might not even remember had happened during his "lost weekends"? That was the mother of all Gary-related conflicts, IMHO.
     
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  11. Mustard

    Mustard Soap Chat Fan

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    By the late 1980s and early 1990s, Gary was the strongest of Jock Ewing's sons, even with his weaknesses. Up until the early 1980s, Gary couldn't handle responsibility at all and avoided pressures, but he was also very stubborn in persisting in doing things his way. Unlike Ray, Gary did not have issues with his self-esteem, even if he did occasionally beat himself up for not being stronger. J.R. was unnerved by Gary, because Gary didn't play by the rules and thought well outside the box. J.R. therefore made it his mission to keep Gary down in a personal life, career and business sense if he was near J.R. Ewing's territory.
     
    Last edited: Mar 5, 2019
  12. Mustard

    Mustard Soap Chat Fan

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    Bobby did on Dallas, to Pam, saying that Jock turned away from Gary because he didn't really care much about all the Ewing Oil business skullduggery, and how J.R. and Bobby both embraced what Jock expected of them.
     
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  13. Billy Wall

    Billy Wall Soap Chat Active Member

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    But that’s not Bobby calling Gary weak though.
     
  14. Kenny Coyote

    Kenny Coyote Soap Chat Well-Known Member

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    Gary couldn't have fought his way out of a wet paper bag.
     
  15. Billy Wall

    Billy Wall Soap Chat Active Member

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    I can see having to go up against Jock AND JR on a constant bases would get old really fast. Heck, they almost even drove Bobby away.
     
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  16. Taylor Bennett Jr.

    Taylor Bennett Jr. Soap Chat Well-Known Member

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    probably both! I'm more familiar with the early Dallas years, so I'm only aware of how Gary progressed on Knots Landing from snippets here and there, but David Ackroyd seemed to establish the character pretty well. He seemed like a sensitive soul who fell apart pretty quickly when under pressure from JR and Jock - maybe he had something like PTSD from his teenage years before he took off!

    It seemed like he should have been able to hold his ground and tell JR he wasn't interested in running a Ewing Oil subsidiary. When he did accept the job, he just about had a nervous breakdown - literally over a glass of spilled milk - halfway through one night of trying to study the company books.

    I'd think a good parent would be able to recognize that he was cut from a different cloth from JR and let him be himself. If he wanted to do some ranching and draw horses and not bother with Ewing Oil, why not? It's not like that was going to destroy the Ewing fortune or something.
     
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  17. Kenny Coyote

    Kenny Coyote Soap Chat Well-Known Member

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    Nobody tried to drive Bobby away. Bobby did leave right before JR got shot the first time, but it was because Bobby's word was no good. Just two episodes before Bobby left he and JR were in the courthouse, awaiting the results of Jock's trial. JR said to Bobby: No matter how this turns out, I'm going to drive Cliff Barnes out if Texas for what he's done to Daddy.

    Bobby replied: You're going to have to get in line behind me, brother.

    Now maybe they didn't both mean they were literally going to drive Cliff out of Texas, but you know they meant that they were going to make sure Barnes paid for doing that to their father, and they were going to make him pay big time.

    Two weeks later, not only hasn't Bobby done jack shit to Cliff, but he's actually trying to see to it that Jock accepts Cliff as his new business partner in one of the Ewing Oil wells! What the hell? Not literally driving Cliff out of Texas is one thing but to do a complete 180 and reward Cliff by doing everything short of extortion to see to it that Jock accepted Cliff as his business partner? What do you call that? Bobby said accept Cliff as your business partner or I'll take Pam and we;ll move as far away from here as we can get. Knowing how that would affect Miss Ellie and the impact it would have on his parents' marriage, I guess you could say that Bobby did use extortion to try to get his way. All that to reward a man who had tried to put Jock in prison for the rest of his life for a murder he didn't commit. What would possibly justify that 180 degree turn from Bobby in just two weeks time?

    I thought Bobby prided himself on keeping his word, or at least that's what he spent a lot of his life trying to get people to believe. Bobby didn't live up to Jock's standard of keeping his word any better than JR did but at least JR didn't pretend that he had, and he didn't act self-righteous. Bobby acted as if his word were as good as gold Jenna Wade found out how much Bobby's word was worth when he asked her to marry him, they became engaged, and then just a few weeks before the wedding was to take place, Bobby reneged, leaving Jenna pregnant with his baby and alone.

    Bobby wasn't driven out of Southfork. Bobby's departure was the act of a spoiled child who was so used to being his father's favorite son that he just couldn't stand not getting his way for once. Since he'd opened that field by himself he felt that justified keeping it open, no matter how much it hurt his father and the rest of his family, no matter that it rewarded a man hell bent on destroying his family, no matter that it meant entirely going back on his word. I call that the action of a self righteous, holier-than thou, spoiled brat. He opened that field himself so the hell with the rest of his family. Bobby, with his childlike mentality had to make it all about himself. He didn't even let Pam say goodbye to anyone. He made Pam wait in the car while he said goodbye.
     
    Last edited: Mar 5, 2019
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  18. Lastkidpicked

    Lastkidpicked Soap Chat Fan

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    There is something we have to remember about Jock and Gary.
    Jock was away in WWII while Miss Ellie was pregnant with Gary. So Jock didn't have the chance to embrace the process of the pregnancy, the doctor's visits, buying maternity clothes, and other things that would have helped him bond with his unborn son.
     
  19. Billy Wall

    Billy Wall Soap Chat Active Member

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    Jenna acted ungrateful soon after Bobby got her out of jail. She’s the one who carried the secret of Charlie’s father a secret for years. So Jenna was far from being innocent when it comes to her and Bobby.

    As for Bobby opening that well, Bobby was the president and it was HIS decision. Not Jocks or JR’s. And you talk about “family.” When has JR given two hoots about the family?
     
  20. Kenny Coyote

    Kenny Coyote Soap Chat Well-Known Member

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    I didn't watch Knot's Landing either. I didn't have the time watch another show that required you to watch every week since its stories didn't resolve by the end of each episode the way most shows back then did.

    Since I didn't watch it, I can't say the show was good or bad, just that whatever happened on it is irrelevant to me and other people who just watched Dallas.

    It's not as if Gary got an ultimatum: Work at Ewing Oil or move out of Southfork! I don't think his parents minded him working wherever he wanted to work and from all indications Jock and Miss Ellie wanted him to stay at Southfork, Jock wasn't close to Gary but he would have wanted Gary to stay at Southfork anyway, especially since it meant so much to Ellie and Jock wanted Ellie to be happy. When Gary returned Miss Ellie was pleasantly surprised to hear Jock say: "I'm not trying to put up walls between me and my son; I want to tear the walls down"!

    I also think Gary would have enjoyed running the ranch but I got the impression that he wasn't reliable enough to run the ranch. He was a blackout drinker, a compulsive gambler, got a 15 year old girl pregnant and then didn't even stick around to be a real father. None of that suggests he was reliable enough or mature enough to run a 100,000 acre ranch.
     

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