Ever since we learned Larry Hagman, who played the number one villain in television history, passed away in November, fans were wondering how he would be written off the show. TNT had been promoting the sad moment as “J.R.’s Masterpiece,” and I’m sure whatever it is will continue to echo as Dallas continues for years to come.
A reverent version of the theme song and images of J.R. on Southfork set the tone for the episode. Kudos to the producers for giving us a haunting but touching opening where we saw J.R. in all his glory one last time. The show began with a stunned Bobby, Sue Ellen, John Ross and Christopher as they viewed the bloodstained floor of J.R.’s room in Mexico.
Of course no memorial would be complete without bringing back some of our favorites including Ted Shackleford, Charlene Tilton, Ken Kercheval, and Steve Kanaly among others. I wasn’t surprised to see Cliff Barnes show up unannounced and cause a scene, threatening John Ross. “I’m here to pay my disrespects and good riddence!” He was quick to remind Christopher that he was a Barnes, the feud is between the Ewings and the Barnes. “I’m a Ewing first”, was Christopher’s response. After his promise to bring down the Ewings, his daughter Pamela promptly escorted him out. Then it was classic Dallas when a fight broke out and the cousins defended J.R.’s honor!
One of the most heartbreaking moments was when Sue Ellen sat in J.R.’s room alone, grieving and lost her sobriety. I was surprised when she fessed up during the funeral. The most emotional moment for me was when she read the letter J.R. sent asking her to give him another chance. “Yes J.R., yes. The answer is yes. You were the love of my life”, she answered in tears.
J.R. may be gone but not forgotten, his spirit lives on! In true J.R. form, he left John Ross a gun, as well as a note that Cliff Barnes would be after him and to be prepared. But what has me intrigued was the letter that he left for Bobby. It only took one read and he ordered J.R.’s death continue to be publicly known due to a robbery- wrong place at the wrong time. He didn’t share the contents of the letter with John Ross or Christopher, which left me scratching my head. Obviously Bobby will grant his brother’s one last request, get all his ducks in a row and we’ll finally see exactly J.R.’s masterpiece!
Not only did Bobby have to deal with his brother’s death, the rift with his wife was finally voiced. He told Anne how hurt he was that she didn’t confide in him about her daughter, and that he realized he doesn’t know her at all after the trial. What does this mean? News has spread that a Charlie’s Angel is on her way to Southfork. Jaclyn Smith has been cast as the new Pam Ewing! The casting was a no brainer since she is from Texas and has a huge fan base. I have a feeling tensions will run high and Bobby’s life is about to get even more complicated!
With all the news over the past few months following Larry Hagman’s death, fans loved how they ushered out the legend. They dubbed the ending of an era as Larry Hagman Day and took to twitter to show their love”
Flo@F1698, “Just shed a tear at the new Dallas theme song in memory of Larry Hagman. The editors did a fantastic job #dallas #rememberingJR”
Roll Tide Roll@MacEDee, “Oh last nights Dallas so tough to watch RIP JR Ewing we all loved to hate you #Dallas”
Those on GetGlue voiced their sadness:
“Erick Calarco Fan beautiful, sad but haunting version of the #DallasTNT opening so nice seeing JR in it #RememberingJR #LarryHagmanDay”
“Maggie Dalton Really going to miss you JR. R.I.P. Larry Hagman wish it was Kirsten & you were alive.”
“ShayInLa I just starting watching and I’m already tearing up. Same way I did when his dad died.”
Ultimately it was clear to the audience how hard this must have been to film for the entire cast, as well as crew, having to go through the emotions again. I could see and feel their pain.
Josh Henderson really stood out in this episode and it was easy to see how much he loved Larry Hagman. “That’s my son. From tip to tail,” rippled through my mind as I saw the anguish in his eyes.
Thank you Larry Hagman for giving us the character we loved to hate and another chance to see you in action again as J.R. Ewing. We will never forget you!