Watching Season 11 (DVD) for the First Time

Discussion in 'Dallas Season Reviews' started by JROG, Sep 15, 2016.

  1. JROG

    JROG Soap Chat Well-Known Member

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    EPISODE 29: PILLOW TALK

    Cooky Connie stabs Ray Krebbs and they end up tumbling around the house, leaving a bloody mess everywhere (and not in a good way). Ray manages to knock Connie out and call an ambulance. Jenna returns from Paris to find blood smeared everywhere – this has got to be the best out-of-town return scenario the show’s ever done – and no Ray. After a brief stay at the hospital, Ray’s back home but can’t ignore the guilt he feels. He confesses all. Gray gets a nice, almost-touching performance out of Presley. Nobody else, except Bobby and Jenna, gives any signs of knowing Ray was stabbed.

    Speaking of surprising returns, we would have had one when Lucy sashays into Southfork, if only her name hadn’t been plastered on screen right after the credits. According to Curran’s book, however, Tilton’s return was announced as early as January of that year, so I suppose it was no secret. She looks different – mature, more secure, Tilton more assured. It’s not long before she starts boring us with her marriage woes, though. I don’t think I can sit through a second round of "Mitch works too much! Mitch is too mean!" Let’s hope they’ve got something better in store.

    Sue Ellen arrives at Southfork for another fun confrontation with J.R. This time, J.R. surprises her with his own court order and postpones the matter of John Ross’ custody for 30 days. Nicholas has to calm Sue Ellen down and convince her to take it easy for now. While all this is unfolding, one wonders what, if anything, Miss Ellie has to say about this. Naturally, she disagrees, but clearly has no more power over her son. She weakly objects to his antics before being shut down completely.

    To her credit, Sly does tell J.R. that his treatment of Casey was wrong. In the meantime, April (continuing her ‘transformation’ into saintly heroine) throws Cliff a surprise party. The whole thing strongly illustrates the pathetic state Cliff, and the show itself, is in: It’s a party filled completely (except for Cliff’s secretary) with extras. The show acts like this is all nice, but it’s mostly sad. Confusingly, April goes to J.R.’s office to thank him for making her even richer. Stevens bounces back and forth between being earnest and being sarcastic in her delivery, but sadly it doesn’t seem purposeful. Later, Cliff and April call Casey to Cliff’s office to tell him they’ve decided to give him a chance. Amusingly, April still doesn’t trust Casey, and Cliff’s motivation works: He knows what it’s like being dumped on by J.R. Joining forces with someone else who has can only strengthen his position. Hey, show: What happened to Cliff’s pill addiction? Are we done with that?

    Dave and Bobby make the final arrangements to get the Ewing Oil name back (which probably means no more Dave). Kay tells Bobby she’s not willing to exchange her high-powered stilettos for cowgirl boots, and I suppose that’s that. I like that she’s not head-over-heels, I-will-change-everything-for-you over Bobby.

    Eventually, the news of Clayton owning half of the ranch had to break, and it provides with some of the most interesting scenes in the episode: J.R., predictably, isn’t pleased that Clayton ‘conned’ half the ranch from Miss Ellie. Unpredictably, J.R. announces that he’s moving out of Southfork! That is an earth-shattering move in the show’s universe. Next we see J.R., he’s packing his things, and looking at a picture of Jock. "I see you remembered you have a brother," he says when Bobby walks in. It’s a tender, almost-loving scene between the Ewing men, and it’s a display of vulnerability from J.R. that actually works. "This is not the same Southfork," J.R. notes bitterly, a statement that can be applied, for better or for worse, to the whole show. Soon after, of course, J.R.’s back to scheming, but this brief display of genuine emotion only serves as a great contrast to his ruthless ways.

    In yet another great ending, J.R. goes to Jeremy Wendell's office to reveal that, although he owns the natural gas fields, he can’t do anything with it since the pipes have to go through J.R.’s land. The execution, once more, is lacking: Cliff must have known Jeremy is screwed but there was never any indication of him purposefully hiding this or maliciously setting Jeremy up. Still, it feels good to see the incredibly smug Jeremy brought down a peg or two. "Be at my office tomorrow morning at 10" J.R. orders Jeremy… he doesn’t want money from him… but something else! Is he going to ask Jeremy to strip for him? Sexual favors? We’ll find out!

    DDD
     
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  2. Ray&Donna

    Ray&Donna Soap Chat TV Fanatic

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    Perhaps Ray only *dreamed* of being stabbed...which is valid when you're married to Jenna. I mean, Bobby threw himself in a car to get away from her! :lol:

    Don't get your hopes up too high...
    Register or to view Spoiler content!

    Shhh! You'll just confuse people. According to Cynthia Cidre, Miss Ellie was unknown to John Ross and Christopher.

    I still find Casey to be utterly pointless. I guess he was supposed to be a blonde Alan Beam, but I can't help but think he was only hired for his looks...

    I think Dave goes missing for all of the next season, but makes brief returns in each of the final two.

    :03:

    Oh, dear...LOL. Wendell in tennis shorts was bad enough without having to consider that possibility:lol:
     
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  3. JROG

    JROG Soap Chat Well-Known Member

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    I mean, getting stabbed was the highlight of that marriage!

    Why am I not surprised?

    He's OK for me. He didn't receive stellar writing (who did, this season?) but, overall, was a pleasant addition to the show. Nothing more, nothing less.

    It's good to hear we see him again!


    I figured I should put that image in everyone's minds! lol
     
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  4. JROG

    JROG Soap Chat Well-Known Member

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    EPISODE 30: THE FAT LADY SINGETH

    What a terrific season finale. For a few minutes, one forgets the rough times we’ve had this season, and it feels like we’re back in 1984. It’s really, really good. The show spends the hour looking back at its characters’ complicated histories and using them to inform the current action.

    We start with a terrific J.R./Clayton scene: There’s a Papa Bear callback! "You still have the hots for Sue Ellen," J.R. accuses Clayton when he asks him to give John Ross back to his mother. This is where things take a surprising turn when J.R. tells Clayton that John Ross is the only person in this world that loves him for who he is, and as such he will never let him go. Not only is this very true, Clayton has no choice but to respect that, and exits with no further word, leaving behind a stunned J.R.

    Of course, Sue Ellen and Nicholas won’t be backing off that easily. With the help of a private detective, they discover where John Ross has been stashed away.

    Casey spots Mary Lou at the restaurant and goes over to gloat about not being a complete failure. She’s sitting with… Lucy! And now I see where this is going, and I like it. It’s a good idea to have Lucy know Mary Lou. It gives us a sense of community that’s been long gone. Later, during a tour of Southfork, Casey tells Lucy that he’s driven by his desire to prove himself. Aaaaw. I can’t help it: I like him. It takes a while for J.R. to learn that Lucy's back, but their brief scene is fun. J.R. calls Lucy and Valene a tramp, so you know it’s good.

    Following his affair, Ray begs Jenna to tell him where things stand between them. Ray’s backstory is put to effective use as he explains why he keeps screwing up his marriages. Unsure what to do, Jenna turns to Miss Ellie for advice. Their talk leads Jenna to give Ray another chance, but they have to move away from all the family drama and history that’s keeping them back. Well, I’d prefer it if she left alone, but she actually makes sense. For what I assume is his final scene (don’t tell me!), Ray meets with Clayton and asks him to sell off his ranch and livestock. A stunned Clayton realizes Ray never plans to return. It’s a scene of few words, but the two actors’ chemistry, history, and acting takes over the rest—a lot is left unsaid and it’s pretty sad.

    J.R. and Jeremy Wendell meet but unfortunately Wendell doesn’t strip for him. Instead, J.R. offers that annoying field that stands in everyone’s way in exchange for everything that used to belong to the Ewings. Wendell snarls and hisses, but agrees. After Wendell leaves, J.R. leans back on his chair, the portrait of his deceased father in the background, and smiles to himself as one of the most recognizable pieces of background music from the show’s early years leads us to commercial.

    Later, Bobby and J.R. arrange a meeting. J.R. thinks he’s got the upper hand as he announces that all Ewing holdings are his, but then he learns Bobby controls the name. While at the end of the first act, we saw a victorious, smug J.R., this time we go to break on J.R.’s shocked, angry face.

    At the top of the episode, we saw J.R. staring outside the window in his condo. When we come back following Bobby and J.R.’s confrontation, he’s staring outside his window again, plotting his next move. It’s a subtle foreshadowing of the events that will occur in the last two minutes of the episode. He quickly switches tactics with Bobby and suggests they work together again, but Bobby is having none of it.

    In a thrilling shocker, Jordan Lee interrupts Cliff and April as they drone on about Chinese food to tell them that he saw Pam! Cliff interrupts Bobby while he’s taking a shower in a ridiculously over the top bathroom (seriously, that bathroom is larger than the bedroom and could not possibly fit in that house) and tells him the news. Being the stubborn ass that he is, Bobby refuses to go with Cliff to search for Pam.

    A resplendent-looking Sue Ellen attempts to take John Ross out of the Ballard school, but learns J.R.’s whisked him away. She and Nicholas burst into J.R.’s condo (and I mean burst—Nicholas kicks the door down) and J.R. pulls a gun on them (I won’t bitch about why J.R. has a gun just sitting on the bar). A fight ensues, clearly between stunt-doubles, but it’s much better shot and executed than DALLAS’ action scenes usually are. It’s really a great moment when Nicholas falls off the balcony (I will not bitch about why or how J.R. was able to stand his own ground against Nicholas) and I thought that would be the freezeframe but, instead, in a totally cathartic, yas bitch moment, Sue Ellen picks up the gun and shoots J.R. three times. You can hear him slump to the ground. Yas. Double yas. In shock, Sue Ellen turns around and calls the police on herself and the man she thinks she just killed. She ends up with the season’s last freezeframe, an unexpected moment of victory.

    Honestly, this should have happened years ago – I cannot believe it took Sue Ellen 10 years to do this.

    Definitely one of my favorite cliffhangers of the show.

    This leaves me thrilled for next season, although I have no false hope it will be amazing. The show looked back at its past one last time, before throwing it all away. We now know producer Katzman would soon be announcing "a totally different 'DALLAS'", proclaiming it to be "a much more action-oriented show than it has been" before dismissively saying they’ve been "too involved with business deals and offices". In other words, DALLAS has been too … DALLASy? Thanks to hindsight, The Fat Lady Singeth really feels like a goodbye to the DALLAS most of us came to know and love. The title really says it all. It’s heartbreaking because this episode proved they could go back to the way things were at the blink of an eye… and yet, instead, they purposefully ran the other way. I am keeping an open mind, however, and I know I’ll find things to like.

    Thank you for all your contributions to this thread. I love reading your comments and they keep me going. I hope that, if I start a Season 12 thread, you’ll come with me for the ride, lovelies.

    ‘Till next time!
     
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  5. Ray&Donna

    Ray&Donna Soap Chat TV Fanatic

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    It would have been interesting, with Sue Ellen and J.R.'s marriage over for good, to see her getting close to Clayton again, perhaps leaving a jealous Miss Ellie to actually have a storyline.

    Oops, guess that school was easier to find than J.R. expected.

    Perhaps we could set Lucy up as an adversary to J.R.? No? Thanks, Katzman.

    And if you keep Ray on the show, you're obligated to do things related to the ranch--and we can't have that. :rolleyes:

    That gas field? I thought we dropped that plot :D

    Yes, but we all know that eventually Bobby will relent. Much like Sue Ellen, he never learns his lesson where J.R. is concerned.

    I'm more concerned about why Cliff goes into the bathroom in the first place :lol:

    Did you notice this is the same building/façade used for Alexis's penthouse on DYNASTY? At least Nicholas fought to the death whereas Mark got tossed off by a crooked politician in a bad Joan Collins wig :haha:

    There's a decent story in season 13, though I can't think of much from season 12 to recommend.


    Of course we'll follow you, wherever you go! After all, misery loves company ;)
     
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  6. Presea

    Presea Soap Chat Addict

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    Well done, JROG! I see you have finished. Connie was the true source of entertainment here. Lol.
     
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