Dallas season finale recap: J.R.'s Masterpiece Unveiled

J.R.'s killer is revealed, as are two new alliances we didn't see coming
Ep. 12 | Aired Apr 15, 2013

LIKE FATHER, LIKE SON John Ross (Josh Henderson) just became the guy we love to hate.

Van Redin/TNT

Roy, we found out, wouldn’t turn on Harris and Cliff. But he did recognize Pamela, who’d come with Bobby and John Ross to see if he’d struck a deal. Cliff called a meeting with Harris, who assured him that Roy would do his time like a man. The minute Harris got out of Cliff's car, Cliff called someone with a job (killing Roy in prison). Pamela visited Roy and played on his weakness as a father. She asked him if he knew she was having a boy and a girl. She told him to just tell her the truth, and he did: He told her to have other children and forget her father -- there was nothing unintentional about the rig explosion. We’d seen how conflicted Roy was the day of the blast. The writers had earned that confession. And as expected, Roy, a grandfather, got knifed in the neck as he was calling his son. Cruel!

Harris told Emma he had nothing to do with Roy's death. She pretended she didn’t care: She said she was happy Drew was gone and Roy was dead -- now they can’t hurt him. Still, the Ewings thought Harris orchestrated it, not Cliff. Regardless, Christopher came home and presented the copy of his mother’s will. John Ross handed over the death certificate. Pamela announced they were two-thirds of the way in to Barnes Global, and John Ross told Christopher and Sue Ellen that he'd married Pamela. “Surprise,” he said, awkwardly. Sue Ellen was elated, and Christopher was somewhat happy for them.

Now that they could run Barnes Global, Bobby said it was time to reveal what was in J.R.’s letter. He’d spent the last few months of his life working to protect the family, which meant taking down Cliff. Bobby took out the gun -- and Pamela ID’d it as her father's. Bobby said it was used to kill J.R., and Bum explained that J.R. had caught wind that Cliff had followed him to Mexico, got worried, and called him. By the time Bum got to the hotel, J.R. was dying. J.R. told him Cliff was using the cartel to cover his tracks and to call Carlos. Carlos bought the gun back from the cartel. That would seem like a lot for a dying man to say. I should have suspected that was a load of crap.

John Ross was angry that Bum and Bobby hadn’t told him the truth sooner, but they said J.R. wanted them to be patient to destroy Cliff. And also, John Ross would have killed Cliff. Bobby said Cliff would fight extradition to Mexico. Pamela said she’d get him there. After we saw Christopher NOT accept Elena’s apology, we found out how Pamela planned to set her father up: She told her dad that Frank had been working on a casino deal in Mexico before his death, and she wanted to finish it. Cliff was happy to go: “Talk about dancing on J.R.’s grave,” he said. Hubris!

It’s nice that it all came down to the women, in the end: Sue Ellen worked over the governor. Police found the belt buckle and the gun Pamela had planted in that safe deposit box and Cliff’s car, respectively. Emma drugged her dad while making him breakfast and found his ledger documenting all his dealings with the cartel and where he was hiding the money. She’d taken it to Ann, who turned it in to Derrick, who arrested Harris. Did Emma think that up herself? (No. Must have been John Ross.)

At J.R.’s grave (“The only deal he ever lost,” his tombstone reads), his body was exhumed to recover the bullets. Ballistics confirmed they came from Cliff's gun.

NEXT: John Ross becomes J.R.

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