Dallas: Revelations

Posted on August 09, 2012


Oh, who are we trying to kid? Yes, we, like many, many other viewers, kindasorta figured there was a connection between Rebecca and the Barnes family (the number one clue being the name Rebecca), but it was one in a number of possible theories we threw out there. Personally, we were a little disappointed Aunt Pam wasn’t on that plane. It sure sounds like they’re keeping the possibility open for her return, though. No single original character is mentioned as often as she is. Her ghost quite deliberately hangs over everything and we wonder if the show’s boffo ratings will entice her to show her frozen face next season.

So Rebecca is Cliff’s daughter. Okay. It’s a nice enough twist, but it leaves a lot of questions (like, oh… let’s say, HOW ON EARTH DID SHE HIDE THAT FACT FROM THE EWINGS?) and it doesn’t feel like quite the jaw-dropper the writers wanted it to be. Maybe if they hadn’t dropped so many hints earlier that she was a big ol’ liar and that she was hiding a major secret we all would have been blindsided by it. No complaints, though. It’s a delicious twist that opens a ton of story possibilities even if a lot of us saw it coming. Maybe it was too much to expect a “Who Shot J.R.?” -style cliffhanger right out of the gate (although it didn’t help that TNT relentlessly hyped the finale as BIGGER than the show’s most famous cliffhanger).

In other news, Bobby is well and whole again by the end of the episode! His cancer and hilariously blinky seizures now entirely forgotten until the next time they need to inject some family drama into the proceedings and get J.R. all wobbly and wooby. We didn’t mind the somewhat neutered J.R. here. To be honest, if they depicted this wizened old man as exactly the same as the 5o-year-old hotshot who got whatever he wanted, we would have found it a nice bit of fantasy and nothing else. Depicting J.R. as chastened and a little overwhelmed by how things have spun out of control actually works for us – as a one-time deal.  Like we’ve said a couple times before, the beauty of this reboot is that it took the exact tropes that worked in the original version (fathers and sons, the Barnes feud, drilling on South Fork, scheming wives) and updated them by giving them some emotional beats they never had before. John Ross and J.R.’s relationship is kind of fascinating now. The younger Ewing is a bit revolted by the fallout from all his machinations but ignores an opportunity to become a better man and instead pleads with his father to teach him the Jedi ways of Ewing bastardry. That’s gonna be crazy fun going forward.

And Elena and Christopher are back together. Yawn. He’s a tool and she lost any sort of sympathy from us when she started collecting Ewing engagement rings like Cracker Jack prizes. Honey, pick a Ewing and saddle up, but you can’t keep jumping in and out of bed with each of them as you try and make up your mind.

Also: Sue Ellen is the least likely candidate for Texas governor in the history of Texas because she almost resigned her campaign over a minor scandal. Next season, she names Santa Claus and the Tooth Fairy as her campaign managers.

BUT, Not-Pam is our new favorite character ever. In fact, we almost considered dropping the “Not-Pam” name out of respect, but now we think she should hold on to it as a badge of honor. Pam never would’ve taken out an ex-husband that efficiently, nor would anyone believe her if she threatened to get her shotgun. Not-Pam not only has a shotgun, she knows how to use it and likes reminding people of that fact while she’s unbuttoning her top. What’s not to love here? It’s about time they got her out of the long sweaters and had her put down her ever-present coffee cup. Later, she and Sue Ellen bond in that way that Ewing women bond: by meeting on a park bench and exchanging blackmail material in front of children. God bless this fucked-up family. They make the Kennedys look like the Bradys.

It was a tightly scripted perfect little wrap-up to the first season; ending certain stories (for now, like Bobby’s illness and Not-Pam’s sleazy ex), opening up new storylines, and setting up a slightly new status quo for Season 2, with some serious payback on the line. We look forward to seeing Rebecca turn full-on bitch when it comes time to keep those Barnes babies out of the hands of the accursed Ewings. We hope she gets to do those fabulously convoluted soap opera murder attempts, like pushing people out of high-rises and trying to run them over with her car instead of, you know, just shooting them in the head at close range.

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  • Kthrow

    This show is so much fun, but you guys …. you take it to a whole ‘nother level.  God love y’all, between your twitter and wrap up; I’m one happy fan of Dallas and TLo!!  Here’s to January!

  • BuffaloBarbara

    I have to admit, I was expecting someone to be dead in the new offices when either John Ross or Elena showed up.  My money was on Rebecca, as she’d managed to piss off everyone, thereby providing lots of speculation over the summer, but I’m glad they didn’t go that way.

    Yes, Elena lost my sympathy, too.  And Christopher has never really had it.  If the writers intended this, kudos–not easy to deliberately set out to make the “good guy” unsympathetic (Bobby was a chump, not a douche), while making the “bad guy” extremely likeable–but I can’t quite shake the feeling that they’re under the impression that Christopher is likeable and Elena is alluring with him.  So, after a season of no sexual tension whatsoever, they go have cardboard sex.  Yay?

    It’s too bad.  She was sort of growing on me with John Ross.

    Speaking of whom, I hope they keep going the interesting route they’ve been doing, where he’s unpredictably moral, and don’t just go the full-on J.R.-doppelganger route. Though, to be fair, J.R. was never entirely a black hat.  I seem to recall him rushing off hellbent for leather to rescue John Ross after a kidnapping attempt.

  • Love, Love, Love the fact that they’re going back to the old Ewing Oil offices!  That was a wonderful touch.  Can’t wait to see the office once it’s set up.  This was a good season.  I forgot how bad the original actors were, but they were true to form.  I really do hope Victoria Principal was just waiting to see how it panned out before signing on.  The fans are begging her to come back.  

  • I haven’t watched as religiously as you all, so the Rebecca story surprised me! I don’t get why the Ewings boys are all in a twist over Elana. She is so dull. Can’t wait until January. 

  • MilaXX

    Last night’s ep was night time soap at it’s best! I loved every minute of it. That opening sequence where you see Tommy fall to the floor, Rebecca making a frantic phone call and then her cleaning up the place with the help of an unknown someone set the perfect tone for the night. By the time Rebecca was meeting the plane, I was practically bouncing n my seat with joy.  I honestly don’t have any complaints with the plots developments, including Sue Ellen’s “I am Texas.” victory cry.

    January can’t come soon enough.

    • BuffaloBarbara

       I have to admit, those weren’t the three words I was expecting–in fact, I was sort of expecting a two word (plus gesture) answer ;p–but as a campaign slogan, it’s pretty good.

      And yes, January… please come soon!

    • Judy_J

      “I am Texas” is my new mantra.

  • Judy_J

    Last night’s finale was a blast!  Cliff Barnes was always my favorite character, and seeing him using his daughter to get back at the Ewings was classic Cliff.  The only thing that drives him is revenge against the Ewings for screwing his daddy out of his share of Ewing Oil.  I can’t wait to see what happens next season. 

    • MilaXX

       Ken Kercheval retweeted one of my tweets last night and my poor fangirly heart went all a flutter.

      • Judy_J

        Awesome!  I’m so jealous!

      • blondie65

        Wow!!! So totally envious!!!

    • Town

       Cliff needs more explanation b/c didn’t he own Ewing Oil at the end of the original series?

      • Judy_J

        Yes, but his desire for revenge goes far beyond just getting Ewing Oil.  I don’t think he will ever feel that he’s been vindicated.  It will take his or J. R.’s death to end the feud.

  • nannypoo

    Elena should have stuck with John Ross. His engagement ring was far better. Since that’s about how deep her feelings go, why not stick with the fabulous brown diamond? Besides, Christopher always looks a little constipated.

    • TheOriginalLulu

      And please, you just KNOW John Ross is better in the sack!

  • Okay, it’s been many years and I was a pre-teen/teenager when Dallas was originally on TV so I don’t remember, but…Where did Cliff Barnes get a daughter the same age as Christopher and John Ross?  I don’t recall him being married and I sure don’t remember him having any kids.  Also, I know they aren’t biologically related since Christopher is adopted but, Rebecca married her cousin.

    I thought it was a dick move of Christopher to go after Elena since it’s pretty much the one thing that’s going to piss John Ross off the most.  Bobby has repeatedly asked the boys to bring peace to the family and John Ross was totally willing but his own son is just like “Whatever, pretty girl!”

    • Lilithcat

      Cliff Barnes married Afton Cooper, whose brother, Mitch, was married to Lucy Ewing*.  They had a daughter, Pamela Rebecca.

      * A flow chart would really help, no?

      •  Yes, SO much! 

        I remember Afton, she was one of the Landers sisters, right?  Most of her and her sister’s storylines are fuzzy for me, lol.

  • Elena’s kind of a whore. She seems to think John Ross and Christopher are interchangeable.  She easily flip flops whenever one of them comes up with a “heart felt” speech.  LOVE, LOVE Not-Pam now especially after she punched the slimy ex in the face!  Love the recaps and Tweets TLo!!

  • YolandaHawkins

    My Sweet Lord, you guys had me convulsing with laughter with your tweets.  John Ross, Not-Pam and Faux-becca Barnes Ewing are going to be the ones to watch next season.  Thanks for the awesomeness of your recaps.  Here’s to January!! 

  • “Honey, pick a Ewing and saddle up”  — priceless. I have made my living as a writer for 25 years, but I am in awe of you guys and your one-liners. The one about Ewing women bonding on the bench also got me.

  • Love me some JR, and glad to see the soft side only for a moment, only to have him turn full-on JR at the end. Priceless. And Elena? Thank you! You said it all. Sounds like she just wants to land her a Ewing and doesn’t care which one. Yawn indeed. Christopher too. John Ross is great, though, and plays the wounded child of JR brilliantly. I cheered for Not Pam as well last night, but I do hope to see more of her ex as I love Mitch Pileggi!

  • Rebecca Jay

    Loved Not-Pam’s hair this episode. Also her wearing-a-wire sexy dress. Also her hot ex-hubs.

    JR’s lips gross me out.  I know, it happens as one ages, it will to me.  Women are lucky to have lipstick to cover it.

    And EW .. even though they are not blood related .. Christopher married and impregnated his cousin.

  • butter nut

    omg there is so much to love about this show.  i wish there were more episodes right now.  

    in the meantime, i hope they get a decent set designer & prop manager before next season.  i swear, in the scene where JR visits Bobby in the hospital, the nurse is looking at a computer screen that’s still installing windows.  they didnt even have the forethought to slap some generic medical graphs on it.  and those sad little tin stars in millionaire Bobby’s underwhelming floor sample of a master suite….   oh how i love this wonderful bullshit <3

  • Bridget Dierks

    LOVE this!  Excellent wrap up, gentlemen.  

  • Amy_R

    Gawd I love this show. Patrick, my first TV crush, you know how much I love you. But that blinky stroke scene was comically bad.
    Elena chose unwisely…JR Jrs ring was waaaay better. And Christopher is a tool.

  • Rita Banninger

    That Cliff Barnes (played so well by Ken Kercheval) nearing his 80’s managed to also have a child who’s what?  25?  Is that the median age of the second generation?  They go from mid-60’s (Bobby) to 80’s (J.R.) and then skip middle age (except for Lucy Ewing and Not-Pam) and there you have the young-un’s who are barely out of college (although, of course, John Ross didn’t mess with going to college).   So will Sue Ellen get pregnant next season?  (TLC’s “Pregnant at 70). 

  • Jane_Lane

    I may or may not have squealed with glee when Cliff Barnes stepped off that plane. 

  • I heard they’ve been trying to get Victoria Principal all along, but I guess she’s made so much money on her skin care line, that she’s not really that motivated.  Hope she changes her mind. The original actors have been the best part of the show.  Wow, Linda Gray looks awesome for her age!!

  • Hey guys, Are you going to pick up with Season 2? I’m intrigued to read your take on the new developments – won’t mention specifics in case your dvr is just backed up.