‘Dallas’ Review: JR’s Masterpiece

Photographer: Zade Rosenthal/TNT

Monday night’s historic episode of Dallas paid tribute to the one and only Larry Hagman and his role of the dastardly JR Ewing, in a poignant piece that was truly must see TV in the episode: “JR’s Masterpiece”.

[Editor’s Note: We chose to leave out some crucial information from tonight’s episode, but there are some “spoilers” in this review.]

Since Dallas’s inception, Larry Hagman and his role as JR Ewing have made us tune in week after week to see the scheming and manipulation be pulled off in such a flawless manner that we couldn’t help but root for him, despite some of the awful things that he could do. Tonight’s episode opened up with a newly composed opening theme by Rob Cairns, which kept the essence of Dallas while paying tribute to one of televisions biggest icons.


The episode took a lot slower pace than earlier episodes this season, with the focus being primarily placed upon that of JR’s funeral, from the family coming to terms with his death, to the planning of the funeral, to the wake (in which JR’s ex-wife Callie Harper and mistress Mandy Winger showed up to say “Hey”) and the tearful funeral scenes with performances that simply broke us down.

Sue Ellen finally opened the letter that JR had sent for her, after a little Dutch courage and falling off the wagon, and revealed during her funeral speech that JR had wanted to give it another go, and she tearfully agreed to do so.

John Ross decided to get some of his sexual frustrations taken care of as in a shocking twist he hooked up with Emma! And I have to say that with that coupling I finally started to like Emma!

Things however started to explode in the episodes final moments, as Bud comes in and tells Christopher that JR was trying to find his mother Pam! And he hands Bobby a letter with JR’s master plan, revealing who really shot him! Bobby tells Bud that the family cannot know anything about this right now, and that they will deal with it as a family when the time comes, but for now it needs to be kept under wraps.

Overall the episode was brilliant, but there were a few missteps along the way. First what was the point of all the returns? They literally had a scene and it was really forgetful. If this doesn’t build later on, then really why even bother? Yes the actors may have wanted to pay tribute to Larry, but if there isn’t a story purpose why try to shoehorn one in? For example Callie had JR’s CHILD, that child who would be in his twenties now may want to lay his claim on Southfork.

Also where was JR’s first born son James Beaumont? John Ross is up here thinking he is his daddy’s son, but the reason John Ross left South Fork to live with his mama in the first place was because James was getting all of the care and attention. So what if Beaumont and Callie hooked up, and then it was a war between JR’s sons for his controlling interest in the company?

Mandy meanwhile served absolutely no purpose, Sue Ellen should have sent her off to make another skinamax film and been done with it.

Sue Ellen finally taking a drink, and then admitting it was utterly heartbreaking, she was his Miss Texas, and now knowing that they can never be reunited it just breaks my heart. But atlas at least she knew how he really felt about her in the end.   Patrick Duffy however said he was not going to be out shined by Linda Gray’s performance and knocked the ball out of the park as you saw Bobby come to terms with the fact that this time JR will not be back from the dead, and that his brother is really gone for good. Harris Ryland thankfully only appeared in a scene, and the whole Ramos disaster didn’t take central stage, so I was overall impressed with the episode.

It accomplished most of what I was wanting from a JR tribute and after the final scene, it did leave me asking the age old question once again “Who Shot JR?.”

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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