‘Dallas’ Finale: J.R.’s Wit and Wisdom Has Met Its Match in Rebecca

Dallas (TNT)

Wednesday nights are not going to be the same without J.R.’s eyebrows. Wednesday’s season finale of TNT’s “Dallas” did not go the cliched route of ending with somebody shooting J.R. (Larry Hagman)  or version 2.0, John Ross (Josh Henderson). Instead it went out with a metaphorical bang, as storylines converged around one man: J.R.’s lifelong nemesis, Cliff Barnes (Ken Kercheval).

The episode began with Rebecca (Julie Gonzalo) reacting as any woman would to killing the con artist who was pretending to be her brother in self defense after he tried to rape her: she called a couple of minions who arrived to clean the crime scene, cover Tommy’s body in plastic wrap (a “Twin Peaks” homage?) and cart the body out of the apartment. Was Rebecca’s real secret that she was “Nikita”? No. During the episode’s epic ending montage we learned that Rebecca was Cliff’s daughter! He was the mastermind behind Rebecca’s long con, though it were her idea to involve psycho Tommy. Cliff warned her not to make any more mistakes. He was counting on her to help him get his hands on Ewing Energies. This means that Rebecca is married to, and pregnant by, her adopted cousin. She was also sleeping with a guy who was pretending to be her brother. It’s safe to say that if anyone ever gets their hands on Rebecca’s cloud drive, they’ll find a lot of incest porn.

Watch the “Dallas” Finale:



Speaking of cloud drives, after making an instant, miraculous recovery from the brain surgery he had last episode — which remarkably did not require him to shave any of his improbably thick head of hair — Bobby (Patrick Duffy) informed J.R. that he had a copy of Faux Marta’s cloud drive on which she had conveniently recorded not only conversations with J.R. that proved both he and John Ross were in on the scam to acquire Southfork, but her own murder by Vicente’s (Carlos Bernard) men. J.R. and John Ross agreed to testify against Vicente in exchange for immunity from fraud charges. All’s well, that ends well with Bobby back in control of Southfork and Christopher retaining ownership of his magic methane gas extractor. Well, except that Elena overheard John Ross talking about it and dumped him just a few hours after he proposed with a hideous brown diamond, “”When I saw this ring, it reminded me of how light reflects off oil,” he told her, in a romantic speech that must have been sponsored by Exxon. Elena ran straight to Christopher, who, after visiting Tommy’s motel room and answering a phone call from Tommy’s actual sister Rebecca, dumped the woman now known as Baby Girl Barnes faster than you can say “sole custody of the twins.”

In other recording related news, Ann (Brenda Strong)wore a wire and got Harris  (Mitch Pileggi) on tape discussing his plan to launder money through Sue Ellen’s PAC. For some reason, this allowed Sue Ellen (Linda Gray) to continue her gubernatorial campaign even though the coroner she attempted to both brbe and blackmail could still go to the press with his story. But, as always, J.R. was the heart and brows of the show, so, for the last time in 2012, here is tis week’s collected wit and wisdom of the Oracle of Oil.

J.R. to comatose Bobby: “Now I’m going to tell you something you’ve never heard me say before: I love you Bobby, and I don’t know who I’d be without you.”

Aww…. Deep down he’s a softie. He is self-aware enough to realize that Bobby is the yin to his yang, the Batman to his Joker. What’s interesting about their relationship is that each one of them needs the other. Bobby would be a self-righteous prig without J.R. occasionally forcing him to get his hands dirty. If he were an only child, J.R. would have been handed everything he wanted on a silver platter and been just another lazy trust fund millionaire. Envying Bobby, who had his mother’s love and, in the original series, tight jeans that made women swoon, motivated him to work a hell of a lot harder.

J.R. to a healthy, awake Bobby: “You know you’ve hit a low when even a lawyer won’t take time to insult you.”

This is a great, profound truth. No matter how sleazy or manipulative J.R. gets, there ‘s always someone worse: lawyers. Why on earth are they the heroes on procedurals?

“You should never have touched a hair on my boy’s head. Life is cheap in prison, Vicente, and I’m a very rich man.” – J.R. to Vicente

J.R. likes nothing better than screwing over his family members. He took great pleasure in screwing John Ross out of Southfork, but if anyone else comes after his son, or anyone else with the last name Ewing, and he will circle the wagons. Gloating about the size of his bank account to a man who seemingly has a few more zeros in his net worth than J.R. does is the pure, Trump-level chutzpah that is the secret to J.R.’s success. Also, the way J.R.had to pretend he knew what a cloud drive was when he probably has barely figured out email was hilarious.

“You want in on Ewing Energies, you stop teaching me about the oil business and you start teaching me every dirty trick that you know. And when I take this company from Christopher and Elena, I’ll cut you in… If you screw me, I will make sure that you don’t see a dime of that oil under Southfork, and I will put you back in that home for good, Got it?” – John Ross

“Now that’s my son from tip to tail.” – J.R.

These were the last lines of the episode, as a heartbroken John Ross, now stuck with a brown ring that even Tommy’s favorite pawn shop won’t want, decided to become his father instead of working hard to be the opposite of him. Everybody thinks the worst of me already, so why not give it to them, was his thought process. These were the words that J.R. did not even realize he’d been waiting for his son to say all along. Before, he wanted to emulate J.R.’s success. Now he wants to be the essence of J.R., to embrace the parts of J.R. that the man himself thinks is unlovable. What would have happened if Luke Skywalker embraced Darth Vader’s darkness? Okay, boring Christopher’s totally Luke. John Ross is Hans Solo. Let’s hope that the first piece of advice J.R. gives him is to find a woman who is as interesting and morally ambiguous as he is.


The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Comcast.

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