Tuesday, March 5, 2013
So who really did kill J.R. Ewing on Dallas?
We'll have to wait until at least next week to find out.
Fans will have to wait at least one more week to find out who killed J.R. Ewing (Larry Hagman), but the TNT show’s writers sure set up a masterful cliffhanger with Monday’s episode. As “The Furious and the Fast,” ended, we saw John Ross (Josh Henderson) on the phone with his dad, breaking the news that Christopher (Jesse Metcalfe) had bested him at Texas Motor Speedway.
“Don’t worry, son,” J.R. comforted his mini-me, and in a masterful piece of editing, we actually saw J.R. in this conversation. Producers have said they had unused footage of Hagman, who died in November, that they crafted together for J.R.’s final scenes, and it worked beautifully. “I’ve got a plan,” J.R. continued. J.R.’s last words: “This is gonna be my masterpiece. You shouldn’t have to pay for my sins. Just remember, I’m proud of you. You’re my son, tip to tail.”
We see a last glimpse of J.R., looking very sad, before the scene cuts back to John Ross. Then: We hear two shots, and see John Ross crying out, “J.R.! Dad! Dad! Dad!” We have never heard John Ross call J.R. “Dad.” Sad, sad, sad. Blackout.
So … is “J.R.’s Masterpiece” (the title of the March 11 episode, which will show J.R.’s funeral) that he killed himself? Or orchestrated his own murder?
Whatever the answer, producers have said the Ewings will be “shocked to learn the cause” of their patriarch’s demise. There’s also supposed to be some juicy revelation in J.R.’s will, which may or may not be that he was behind the long-ago disappearance of old-Dallas Pamela (Victoria Prinicpal, who has said she’s not returning to the show), Christopher’s mother.
Look for the return of Steve Kanaly (Ray Krebbs), Charlene Tilton (Lucy Ewing), Deborah Shelton (Mandy Winger, a one-time J.R. mistress), and Cathy Podewell (Cally, J.R.’s early child bride) on March 11. Still no word on when we’ll see the return of Audrey Landers as Afton Cooper (she had an affair with Cliff Barnes and is the mother of new-Dallas Pamela — the original’s niece, if you’re keeping score) or an as-yet-unnamed character to be played by Lee Majors.
Dallas’ ratings have slipped, then climbed a bit, this year, but have had nothing on last year’s huge numbers. It’ll be interesting to see what Monday’s and the March 11 episode bring, ratings-wise. The show scored enormously when it premiered last year, with 7.8 million viewers. The numbers went down as the season progressed, but still stayed plenty high enough for the show to get renewed for a 15-episode Season Two (we’re seven episodes in now, and all of them are available for streaming from the TNT website).