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Dallas faces "Revelations"

Dallas (2011) poster

Written by : published Thursday 9th August 2012

Well, it was nice while it lasted. After things briefly looked up for many of the Ewings and assorted gal pals, it all came crashing down in the first season finale for TNT's Dallas, "Revelations." Southfork is safe, as is Sue Ellen's (Linda Gray) run for governor. But everything else, from relationships, to business deals, to shady enterprises, to family members actually getting along, imploded in spectacular fashion. What else would one expect from the legendary TV soap?

The biggest disappointment in "Revelations" is the falling out between Christopher (Jesse Metcalfe) and John Ross (Josh Henderson). All Bobby (Patrick Duffy) wants is for his family to stop fighting, and for a bit, with the creation of Ewing Energies, it looks like that might happen. After watching the cousins fight all season, it's heartwarming to see them getting along, and it proves there is affection within the clan.

Then the extent of John Ross's mis-dealings are exposed, and he's back on the outs with Christopher and Bobby, vowing revenge. Could Christopher have lasted in a happy life for very long? How soon before he began scheming again, even with their love and approval? I guess we'll never know, because the good guys in Dallas need foes, and apparently there weren't enough already without Christopher. It's just a shame this plot didn't get a season or two to play out, as John Ross has been wonderfully swaying between light and dark, and it would have been nice to give light a chance before turning him completely into his father's son.

J.R. (Larry Hagman) is delighted by this disaster. Scraping by, getting himself and John Ross off the hook for fraud charges, he seems positively delighted that John Ross has dedicated himself to taking down Christopher. After all, while we do get a chance to see that J.R. really loves Bobby in "Revelations," their feud gives J.R.'s life purpose. It drives him, and without it, he would be nothing. It's twisted, yes, but J.R. has succeeded in sending John Ross down the same path. They won't ever destroy their relations completely, as that would take all of the excitement out of their lives. But they will battle viciously. Seems the great view is not all John Ross has inherited from his father.

This leaves the fate of Ewing Energies up in the air. Christopher and John Ross are already tied together in business, apparently, seemingly too late for them to dissolve the enterprise. That's acceptable, even if it feels a little forced, because it keeps them in close contact, and gives them an arena to play their game in.

John Ross has another level of distaste for Christopher because he believes Christopher stole his girl, Elena (Jordana Brewster). It doesn't matter that Elena was with Christopher first, or that she was driven away by John Ross's own actions. The bottom line is that she switched cousins (again), and so John Ross is driven by jealousy, as much as by abandonment and neglect. This episode almost feels like the origin story of a super villain.

Christopher is freed up to go back to his first love because he learns part of Rebecca's (Julie Gonzalo) secret. She is not actually named Rebecca. This should null their marriage, since she committed fraud, stealing someone else's identity. Sadly, they do have kids on the way that are legitimately theirs, which just puts the children in the middle of a mess that will have to be sorted out next season.

But the Ewings do not realize that, while we do not yet know Rebecca's real first name, her last name is Barnes. As in Cliff Barnes (Ken Kercheval), an old antagonist for the family. Dallas has done well walking the line between reliving the glory days of its previous run, and injecting new blood into the mix. Finding out that "Rebecca" is Cliff's daughter ties the two paths even more firmly together, cementing this as a continuation of the old series, but also keeping it fresh and interesting. It should make for an expanded role for Cliff in season two, adding another alum to the lineup.

As mentioned in the opening, Sue Ellen not only survives "Revelations," but triumphs. With a big assist from Ann (Brenda Strong), she salvages her run for governor and defeats her enemies. For now. Sue Ellen, more than Bobby or J.R., has a small part in season one. Hopefully, with her involvement in politics, she will get more screen time and importance in season two. After all, this puts her in a very rich vein to mine.

Ann's own win comes when she confronts her ex, Harris Ryland (Mitch Pileggi). Yes, she is there to protect her family, including Sue Ellen. But Ann is also there for herself. Too long she has been bullied by this man, and even moving on to a second husband doesn't save her. But wearing a wire and playing him like a finely tuned piano finally lets her come out on top, and put Ryland in his place. It's a great moment for Ann, showcasing some serious strength of character, something we didn't really see until now, and it will be awhile before Ryland messes with her again.

Dallas gave a great first ten episodes, but that's surely just a taste of what they have in store. Last time, the series lasted a decade and a half. After a nice long break to recharge, how many more seasons do they have in them? Any chance of matching that old sprint? It's too soon to tell, but the early signs are positive.

Dallas will return to TNT in January.

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About the author JeromeWetzelTV

JeromeWetzelTV

Jerome Wetzel is a huge fan of stories, in both books and television. He writes TV reviews and fiction. He currently posts articles for TheTVKing, Seat42F, and BlogCritics, as well as his own personal blog, as well as writing fiction. His website is www.jeromewetzel.com Follow him on twitter @JeromeWetzelTV

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