‘Dallas’: The Most Freudian Hour of Television. Ever.

"Dallas": "False Confessions" (Skip Bolen/TNT)

This week’s episode of “Dallas,” “False Confessions,” managed to make the Ewings look like the Huxtables. Compared to the Rylands and the Barnes, they are downright functional. With the exception of Christopher (Jesse Metcalfe) being conned into marrying a woman who was technically his cousin, but was not a biological relative, none of them harbor any incestuous feelings for each other. The other theme of the week was false confessions. In general, they’re a bad idea. Let the wit and wisdom of the Ewings, and Oedipal complex with a twang Angela, guide you through the highlights.

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“Take him from Ann the way she took you from me so many years ago Make her know what it’s like to look at the one you love in pain… when you wake you will be king once more.” – Angela to a comatose Harris

This week, subtext becomes text. Angela (Judith Light) really, truly is in love with her son who is the same age as her. It’s gross. Angela is the one who finds Harris’s (Mitch Pileggi) body. Despite Ann’s shooting skills, he is still alive. Angela screams melodramatically then is thrilled to realize that she gets to give him mouth-to-mouth. Ann (Brenda Strong)  goes home and washes her hands, her gun next to her on the sink. She tells Bobby (Patrick Duffy) what happened. Is it because she trusts him or because she wants him to help her avoid prison? Moments later, the police show up. Ann’s car was seen leaving Harris’s place. She is not a master criminal. Ann blurts out, “He’s not dead” when cops reveal he is in critical condition. Bobby, worried she is about to blow it, immediately says he shot Harris. Bobby’s brand of protectiveness is really pretty stupid.He is arrested. Friendly officer Derek grants handcuffed Bobby a moment alone with Ann. Christopher (Jesse Metcalfe) is there when she blurts out that she shot him. Bobby claims he needs to take the rap so she can get Emma back.  He seems awfully cavalier about the possibility of spending the rest of his life in prison. Yes, he’s a rich, white man in Texas, but there are still mandatory minimums. He is charged with attempted murder. Bail is set at $1 million, which is nothing for a Ewing.  The family lawyer Lew has to withdraw as Bobby’s attorney because Harris filed a complaint against Bobby and the prior assault charges make him look premeditated. Even Christopher tells Bobby he’s being an idiot, which is saying something.

Meanwhile, Angela lies seductively tends to her unconscious son, making the above creepy speech. So, where is Harris’s father? Did Angela kill him so she wouldn’t have to share her son? Ann finally confesses to Lew that Bobby is taking the rap for her. But, as Bobby predicts, when Harris wakes up he takes Mommy dearest’s advice and implicates Bobby.

Watch the Latest Episode of “Dallas,” “False Confessions”:


“You asked me to teach you every dirty trick I know so we could take Ewing Energies. I teach by example.”J.R to John Ross

John Ross (Josh Henderson)  gets outwitted, outlasted and outplayed by everyone this week. But J.R.’s (Larry Hagman) brand of tough love comes off as almost sweet in comparison to Angela and Cliff.  After Pamela (Julie Gonzalo) tells Frank that Cliff will blame him if she gets arrested for Tommy’s death, and he sees John Ross stroll out of her bedroom in his boxers, Frank tells J.R. that the deal to expose Pamela as a murderer is on — and that John Ross is sleeping with the enemy. Well played, Frank. He digs up Tommy’s putrid body and arranges for it to be found. Why didn’t he just incinerate Tommy’s corpse in the first place, assuming he didn’t want to use it as leverage?

When John Ross suggests that Bobby’s legal troubles could help seize Ewing Energy, J.R. sets him straight. “When the family is in trouble, we don’t take advantage.” Then he tells him that he knows that he is hooking up with Pamela, saying, “What do fathers say, I’m not mad I’m just disappointed… Well, I am both.” The final blow: J.R. reveals he is working with Frank, undermining John Ross’s plan to seduce her into getting a piece of her post-divorce  slice of the Ewing pie, with the above bon mot.

“Even when you  hated him the most, you were obsessed with being just like him, convinced that included his grudges. Sometimes I think you forget that half of you is me.” — Sue Ellen to John Ross

John Ross decides to do some double dealing of his own, asking Sue Ellen (Linda Gray) to put him in touch with Cliff. Wary, she drops the above wisdom, before agreeing to arrange the meeting. John Ross and Cliff’s discreet meeting place is hilariously in the middle of the empty Dallas Cowboys Stadium. How did they get in without numerous people noticing? Cliff is dismissive of John Ross’s claims that Frank would ever betray him.

“Do the honorable thing for me…. I love you son.” — Cliff to Frank

With these seemingly sweet words, Cliff proved that every single thing J.R. has ever said about him is true. After Tommy’s body and the gun that killed him are found, the show turns into CSI: Dallas, with bizarre shots of the coroner removing the bullet form his chest and performing tests on the gun. When it’s all done, the police show up to arrest… Frank!  There’s no explanation of how Cliff framed him. But things get weird when Cliff visits him in the interrogation room and asks why he was working with J.R. Frank says Pamela treated him like dirt. Cliff says he should have come to him. He was family. He wanted Frank and Pamela to be brother and sister. Has the show ever explained why Cliff was picking up orphans from the streets of Islamabad? It’s a bit odd. Frank says, “Father, I Love you.” “Cliff tells him to “do the honorable thing for me.” In court, Frank not only confesses to killing Pamela, but Becky. Then he takes a cyanide pill and drops dead. It’s debatable whether having a Muslim character commit “honorable” suicide is stereotypical. It is likely that the writers were inspired by the case of Michael Marin, who took a cyanide pill in court after being convicted of arson.

“Just because he’s a pussy doesn’t mean he ain’t smart” — John Ross on Christopher

It’s hard to buy Christopher as smart, but consider the source. Drew fires Brian, the foreman that John Ross bribed, when it becomes clear that he is sabotaging the drilling project. Christopher realizes that John Ross paid him off, inspiring John Ross to tell Brian exactly what he thinks of his cousin. John Ross’s P.I. caught Drew taking a job as a truck driver, and seemingly up to something suspicious.

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

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