Dallas Season Finale Review: "Revelations" – A Cliffhanger to Remember


Jesse Metcalfe and Patrick Duffy

Hyped up by some to be one of the most game changing cliffhangers in television history, hoping to rival the granddaddy of them all “Who Shot JR?,” which occurred in the second season finale of the original Dallas (in the episode entitled “A House Divided,”) tonight’s season finale of TNT’s Dallas continuation “Revelations” the game was most definitely changed, but did it live up to the hype?

Jesse Metcalfe and Patrick DuffyHyped up by some to be one of the most game changing cliffhangers in television history, hoping to rival the granddaddy of them all “Who Shot JR?,” which occurred in the second season finale of the original Dallas (in the episode entitled “A House Divided,”) tonight’s season finale of TNT’s Dallas continuation “Revelations” the game was most definitely changed, but did it live up to the hype?

Being born as the series was coming to a close, I did not get to experience the wonderful world of Dallas first hand as it aired on CBS, but living in a world where pop culture continually makes references towards what was one of the most iconic show in television history, I definitely had a working understanding of what the series was about, and what I was getting myself in for. Thus in 2010 I decided to pick up Dallas The complete first & second season on DVD, and from that point up until May 2012 I was engrossed in the lives of these characters as I watched every moment and went on a unforgettable journey with these characters. So to say I was a bit prepared for the continuation would be an understatement.

Now I completely get that the new series did not want to continue on from the mess that was created with the wrap up movies J.R. Returns and War Of The Ewings but way before that point the series seemed to decide to pick and choose what pieces of history it would continue to use (J.R’s mental breakdown for example), and what pieces it would forget (such as Miss Ellie signing over Southfork to Bobby via Clayton Farlow, James Beaumont and countless other characters existing) in order to create what one would arguably say is a good story.

While this is okay for those fans who haven’t seen the series since its initial airing and might be a bit foggy on some of the details / tuned out along the way, having just watched every episode of the series it is a bit jarring to hear John Ross blame Sue Ellen for taking him away from his daddy, when I remember clearly that it wasn’t Sue Ellen that took John Ross away, she actually LET John Ross stay with his daddy despite what it was emotionally doing to her because she put his happiness ahead of her own. It was much later that John Ross made the choice to run away to England to live with Sue Ellen because he believed his father had moved on with James, once again meaning Sue Ellen had NOTHING to do with it. In all reality Sue Ellen in one of the most poignant season finales finally got the upper hand on JR, showing him a movie she created showcasing all of his lies and manipulations, finally becoming the strong woman and future governor of Texas we knew she could become did so without corrupting or hurting her son in anyway, something JR cannot say at all.

Nevertheless all of that is now in the past, and we are here to talk about the present. Last night’s season finale kicked off with the revelation that it was Tommy, not Rebecca, that kicked the proverbial bucket, but Becks showed that this wasn’t her first go around with trouble as she quickly picked up the phone, making a call and continued to dispose of all the evidence of the murder, including Tommy’s body.

From there we learned that J.R. has a heart of gold as he told the nurse off, stating that he was going to see his brother no matter what the consequences were, and upon seeing Bobby he gave a very touching speech in which he told his biggest rival that he loves him, and that he doesn’t know where he’d be without him there. It wasn’t long after that Bobby would awaken from his coma and begin making things right with the world. But he wasn’t alone in the matter as Anne had a few wrongs to make right herself. She went after her ex-husband Harris, allowing him to say all the right things, exposing his plan like all comic book super villains do, and just as he thinks he has ‘won’ the right to a role in the hay with his ex, Anne exposed a tape recorder and put him right back in his place letting him know that the next time he ask for a hug, he will be getting the “business end of my shotgun.” Anne then rushed to Sue Ellen’s side where she let her know about the recording, and convinced Sue Ellen not to drop out of the race for Governor.

Meanwhile John Ross took Elena to an office space which he has purchased for Ewing Energies. There he explained that this was the old Ewing Oil, and how he had always dreamed of working in these offices and building a legacy for future generations, he then proposes, to which Elena accepts. Christopher on the other hand is disturbed by the bruises that have appeared on Rebecca and hunts to find Tommy and make him pay, a little bit later Rebecca’s world began tumbling down as the REAL Rebecca Sutter was trying to call Tommy, and Christopher is on the other end of the phone, from that point on he completely loses it. It’s then that Christopher, being Christopher rushes off to Elena’s side, despite knowing that she’s already engaged to his cousin, and gives her back her engagement ring and ask her to be with him, and during the closing montage we find out that she takes him up on the offer and the two begin to make love as Elena’s mother returns John Ross’s engagement ring to him.

Rebecca meanwhile has an unlikely visit from the man that helped her. She thanks him, and he says the person she really should be thanking is her father, it’s at that point that Cliff Barnes walks off the plane, and Rebecca is revealed to be Pamela Rebecca Barnes, Cliff Barnes and Afton Cooper’s daughter, the season’s final scene however was shared between John Ross and JR, as he ask his daddy to teach him every dirty trick in the book to win the company back from Elena and Christopher, to which JR replies “Now that’s my son, from tip to tail.”

So did this live up to the hype of BEST FINALE EVAH!? Sadly it did not. For me, had the cliffhanger been “Cliff Barnes is your father…and I’m your aunt” and we saw Victoria Principal as the real Pamela Barnes Ewing then YES this could have rivaled Who Shot JR levels of awesomeness, but with that said this was probably one of the best hours of television I have watched in a long time. From the fast pacing of the episode where EVERY single scene mattered, to the stunning visuals, amazing orchestral score, I simply found myself swept up into the whole environment that the creators of Dallas were trying to wrap me up in, and seriously placed all the puzzle pieces in the correct slot to make the second season of Dallas potentially one of the best seasons of television ever with a great love triangle, strong veteran characters and having a majority tied back to a period of the show that long term viewers remember, it will be really hard for the show runners to drop the ball on this one and not provide an engrossing experience when the series returns early next year.

The finale’s final moments accompanied by Johnny Cash’s God’s Gonna Cut You Down” made for some of the best dramatic synchronization between audio and visuals that have been seen in a long time, and now whenever I hear that song I will definitely be thinking of Dallas. With that said one of the things I was disappointed with was how much of a carbon copy the Tommy/Rebecca storyline was of One Life to Live’s Cutter/Aubrey, down to the final “The REAL Aubrey” / “Real Rebecca” reveal at the end. It is one thing to pay homage and respect for a storyline but to play the exact same story beats was a bit much, but hey now that Rebecca has been revealed to be Pamela maybe we will head in a more interesting direction next season. Overall I really enjoyed the season, and the finale as a whole, are there things I would have changed? Of course, but at the end of the day I was glued to my TV screen asking for more, and I for one will be anxiously anticipating Dallas’s triumphant return to my TV screen in January 2013.

Were you impressed by the season finale? Did it live up to the expectations you had for the season finale or were you a big underwhelmed with how things played out? Let us know in the comments below.

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Johnathon K.
Johnathon K. is a staff writer for TV Source Magazine. With a love of soaps, the Super Sentai Series and gaming, John's passion comes through in his writing and as a featured host of the TV Source Podcast, where he also serves as producer. In 2019, John launched his own podcast series "Our Take Media" which gives his take on various things in TV from soaps to reality television.

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  1. It was not the ball buster ending that Ken Kerchevel made it out to be, but I loved it! January can’t get here soon enough!

  2. Holding on for more DALLAS!! Ewings- Barnes Ride will be fun!

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