Dallas Season 2 Finale Recap: The J.R. Mystery Is Solved (Twice) — Plus: Did Pam Ewing Return?

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Dallas Gets Premiere Date for Split Season 3
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Dallas Gets Premiere Date for Split Season 3

Warning: The following contains Texas-sized spoilers from the Season 2 finale of TNT’s Dallas.

TNT’s Dallas on Monday night sewed up its sophomore run with a pair of episodes that alternately shed light on the Pam Ewing mystery and revealed J.R. Ewing’s killer, twice.

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HOW I DIDN’T MEET MY MOTHER | Following leads to Zurich, where his mother presumably was drawing from a savings account, Christopher instead found Bernard from Lost, who ultimately confessed that Pamela Ewing Barnes was, in fact, dead. Bernard, who had been Pam’s taller/swarthier plastic surgeon after her car accident, explained that Christopher’s mother had stayed away until she could have enough surgeries to look presentable. Alas, once that day came, she realized that she was dying, and she bequeathed her third of Barnes Global to her son. But Cliff enlisted Bernard to maintain the illusion that Pam was alive, lest a Ewing lay claim to a chunk of his company. With a death certificate found in Cliff’s safe deposit box, Christopher was able to prove Pam’s passing and grab his birthright, giving Team Ewing two-thirds control of Barnes Global. And that… was that. No Pam for you!

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WHO KILLED J.R.? | En route back from his whirlwind elopement with Rebecca (which accounted for the other third of Barnes Global), John Ross gleaned — through a prolonged session with a certain brand of tablet computer! — that Cliff had been in Nuevo Laredo at the time J.R. was shot dead. Bobby then corralled the gang to reveal his plan, to prove that Cliff murdered his longtime rival by planting a duplicate of J.R.’s stolen belt buckle in Cliff’s (increasingly not-)safe deposit box, stashing Barnes’ gun aka the murder weapon in his car trunk, and then luring the old coot to Mexico to be arrested without extradition concerns.

Cliff, though, protested loudly — and convincingly — once the federales showed up to cuff him in Nuevo Laredo. Later, behind bars, he warned Bobby, “When [Rebecca] finds out that you framed me, it’ll be a third-generation blood feud.” Bobby offers Cliff a deal — ‘fess up to the rig explosion/murdering his own grandchildren in trade for the J.R.’s murder rap. Cliff, though, refuses, as he ever has, to take anything from a Ewing.

Toward the end of the second hour, Bobby and Bum are visiting J.R.’s gravesite when John Ross and Christopher show up to demand the truth about “J.R.’s masterpiece” — and Bobby gives it to them. J.R. knew he was dying of cancer, yet was determined to put and end to the families’ feud once and for all, before his time ran out. To that end, he had Bum steal Cliff’s gun and shoot him dead in Mexico, knowing that his rival was in town for some annual fishing thing. “The only person that could take down J.R…. was J.R.,” his son mused. UPDATE: Later, John Ross rendezvoused with Emma for some shtupping.

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A NEW THREAT? | With Cliff in the Mexican pokey and Harris Ryland behind bars Stateside (thanks to daughter Emma turning his drug trafficking records over to the authorities), have the Ewings run out of adversaries for any possible Season 3…?

Perhaps not. Because from the squalor of his South of the Border confines, Cliff sets up a meeting with Elena, to reveal that J.R. years ago duped her great-grandfather out of oil-rich land, by swapping deeds and saddling the Ramos patriarch with a worthless lot. We last see Elena, after much wiping of tears and driving fast — and just as I was mulling how little they give her to do, despite two seasons’ worth of some effort — pull up to a heavily fortified hacienda to see an old (and obviously powerful) friend named Joaquin….


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