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Dallas Review: The Actions of Family

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Family comes in many forms. It can be gracious and loving or cruel and manipulative. "Let Me In" showed all sides. 

John Ross moved back in to Southfork, once again giving viewers the deliciously dysfunctional set up of multiple adult members of a family all living under one roof. It's one of the things that has always made Dallas such fun.

The Ewing Bond

But Bobby was gracious as he gave his nephew a photo of J.R. and John Ross when he was just a boy and welcomed him home. Miss Ellie wanted John Ross to have half of the ranch and Bobby has always respected his momma.

Bobby encouraged the boys to wait for TESHA to conclude its investigation into the explosion on the methane rig, hoping that they would uncover the saboteur. Talk about wishful thinking. Instead, they found that Ken Richards had been silenced, Ewing technology was blamed and Ewing Energies was hit with a $1 billion fine for environmental damage.

So much for insider information. Christopher found Ken and made a scene but I far preferred how Sue Ellen handled things as she told Ken that if Christopher had strangled him she would have done nothing but sat back and watched the show. Then she added in this Dallas quote

When the Ewings unite nothing can stop us. You're either on our side or you're among the casualties. | permalink

Thankfully, Ken chose the right side. Now we know that Cliff, Ryland and the Governor are all out to destroy Ewing Energies. Man, this family has certainly made its share of enemies over the years. 

Across town, Pamela was alone and grieving for her unborn children. Afton went home and Cliff sent flowers. Pamela was certainly on the losing end when it came to having loving parents to count on. 

Christopher was too guilt ridden to even check up on the mother of his children. Thank goodness she had John Ross, even if he did go over to gather information on her father. He obviously cares about her and she needs someone. 

John Ross: I ain't going anywhere until I know that you're OK.
Pamela: You'll be here a long time. | permalink

I can only imagine what her reaction will be when she finds out that her father was behind the death of her babies. 

Speaking of losing out in the parental lottery, I have a whole new level of sympathy for Emma. No wonder the poor girl is such a mess. When a horse injured her as a child, Harris killed the horse and made sure she knew it.

Now when Emma was defiant enough to date the wrong guy, Daddy had him beaten, took her to see it and threatened to have him killed if Emma didn't fall in line. I didn't think my opinion of Ryland could get any worse after he admitted to stealing 18-month old Emma from her own mother. Yet, he managed to prove me wrong. The man is truly a monster. No wonder he and Cliff are working together.

But Ryland really should reign in his horrifying control issues. From the look in Emma's eyes it wouldn't surprise me if she were the next person to put a bullet in his chest. 

Now that their oil pipeline has been shut off and Ewing Energies is on the line, I can't wait to see how the Ewings circle the wagons and fight back. The only question is, who will be among the casualties?

Review

Editor Rating: 4.4 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.6 / 5.0 (43 Votes)

C. Orlando is a TV Fanatic Staff Writer. Follow her on Twitter.

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Jigga, Just to play devil's advocate, it is possible that Katherine died since the end of the original show. It has been decades, but I agree that it is confusing to fans who remember her death in the dream season. If memory serves, Callie hid her pregnancy from JR. Her child was born off screen and may not even know that JR was his/her biological father so it makes sense that they would not attend the funeral. JR's other son, James moved back east with his family specifically to get away from JR. If they've had no contact then it also makes sense that they wouldn't attend the funeral. Since I never liked this particular character or story line I haven't minded that the new series has never brought it up.

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The accusation made that the writer of the show did not do enough research may not be entirely fair, but it cannot be denied that she is twisting the established history of the show to move along her own narrative. If she provided more allusion to the past through references of the original show, she might gain more credibility. For instance, why were 2 of JR's children missing, and/or not mentioned at his funeral? (James Beaumont and Cally's child) Also, since when is Katherine dead? That occurred in the dream season, which is supposed to have been omitted to honor the ongoing timeline. She is losing long time fans - and without them, the show will not succeed.

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CONTINUED FROM BELOW...Also, Cynthia Cidre can't be criticized for not doing research. The entire writing staff KNOWS the DALLAS history backwards, forwards & sideways. In a soap opera, however, it isn't logic or reason that drives character development. It's emotional punch. Seeing Cliff become what he hated in order to win against the Ewings would be something worth exploring. Maybe we will in time. Unfortunately, I think Ken Kercheval's health issues limit his on-screen appearances to do that in depth. Point is, Cliff is Digger's son. Digger's raging hatred toward the Ewings left him an alcoholic who abandoned his family. Cliff basically became the image of his dad minus the booze - a megalomaniac who abandoned his family in pursuit of power & revenge. It makes sense to me because he's just repeating the history of DALLAS. Once Cliff got a taste of power & success, he became addicted to it and left what really mattered behind, namely Christopher & daughter Pamela.

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IIRC, the end of the original DALLAS had Bobby & Cliff reaching a truce of sorts. Cliff even visited the ranch to visit Christopher on a regular basis. It's true that the show might benefit from a more balanced depiction of the two families. But, there aren't very many members of the Barnes clan left compared to the Ewings. I agree w/Kelly that it was Pam who was able to mellow Cliff's more selfish tendencies. Without her influence, and so close to taking all the Ewing material wealth, it's realistic IMO that he would become the shriveled amoral Gollum-like troll depicted onscreen...

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Jigga, I agree with you up to a point. Like you said, in the original series Cliff was the unlucky loser who became obsessed with righting the wrongs he felt Jock had committed against his father. That morphed into JR and Cliff becoming life long rivals and enemies. I remember when Cliff thought he was John Ross' biological father. He was never evil and his feelings for his sister were his most redeeming quality. But Cliff always had a selfish streak and became more jaded through constantly coming in second to JR. I can see how the Cliff we knew at the end of the original series could end up being the cold, heartless man we see here, especially if he didn't have Pamela's influence in his life any longer.
Just my opinion.

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As a fan of the original show, I have to air my one major complaint with the show: Cliff. The reviewer of this show, and most of the viewers, don't understand that Cliff was never an evil person. He was an unlucky loser - someone obsessed with the things done to his father (Digger), and determined to defeat the person he blamed for that (JR) and win back the company he thought should have been his (Ewing Oil). Cliff always cared a tremendous amount about his sister Pam and would NEVER have done anything to harm her. He would never put his daughter in harm's way. The writer of the show would be better off characterizing him as the accomplice with a conscience, as compared to the pure evil of Ryland. Unfortunately, I don't think the writer of the show did her research, otherwise she would understand this very important character trait (loyalty to family), which made the original show so special.

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I am loving all this Family Stuff with The Ewing's and the Barnes Family .Also Want and Love John Ross and Pamela Rebecca they need to be together

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"in terms of character development for Sue Ellen and Bobby, it's a gold mine." Yup. Delicious stuff! And can I say again that I really like John Ross and Pamela together?

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CONTINUED FROM BELOW...How ironic would it be if Bobby opposed a JRoss-Pamela relationship, just as Jock did to him & Pam all those years ago? Compared with the Rylands, however, the Ewings' troubles look fairly tame. The Rylands are a twisted morass of emotional & psychological terror with a dollop of substance abuse to keep everyone in line. I'm still not sure who is playing who in that family, and have come to believe that Emma's kidnapping was a blessing in disguise for Ann. It released her from this crazy family. No one does crazy like Judith Light though, and I hope she comes back to bring her boy DOWN. At first, I thought Emma was this series' version of Lucy. But, the girl has serious issues and I hope Ann finds out about them soon. Kind of scared for both Drew *and* JRoss. Bottom line: Bobby needs to release his inner Jock, start growling more, and release some of those Ewing/Southworth genes that got them the ranch in the first place.

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DALLAS just winds the screws tighter & tighter with each episode and is Not. Letting. Up! Great stuff! J.R.'s death was tough. But, in terms of character development for Sue Ellen and Bobby, it's a gold mine. LOVE Angry Sue Ellen! Girl, I've missed you. You tear it up, honey, just like you used to when fighting J.R. And, Bobby...he has me thinking about Jock lately with that full head of graying hair. I like how the series is circling back to the original, with a Ewing patriarch battling for both his land and his oil with two bickering sons at his side. JRoss & Christopher are the closest thing each has to a brother even via blood (through Sue Ellen). I didn't mind Pamela #2 suffer from a miscarriage, because it mirrored the events in the first series with Bobby & Pam's miscarriage. If they're going to try for a clean slate so JRoss & Pamela can become the new series' more jaded versions of Romeo & Juliet, go for it! How ironic would it be if Bobby opposed a JRoss-Pamela relationship, just as Jock did to him & Pam all those years ago?

Dallas Season 2 Episode 11 Quotes

What would make you people happy? You want me to go home and curl up in the fetal position.

Christopher

The whole family under the same roof again. Buckle up, right.

John Ross
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