TVLine Performers of the Week: Patrick Duffy and Linda Gray of Dallas

Dallas Season 2 Linda Gray, Patrick DuffyA weekly feature in which we spotlight shining stars

THE PERFORMERS | Linda Gray and Patrick Duffy

THE SHOW | Dallas (TNT)

THE EPISODE | “J.R.’s Masterpiece”

THE AIRDATE | March 11, 2013

RELATED | Dallas Corrals Season-High Ratings for J.R. Ewing’s Exit

THE PERFORMANCES | When crafting the send-off for not just a character as iconic as wily J.R. Ewing but, embedded within that, his passed-on portrayer Larry Hagman, surely it’s tempting to press play on a montage of classic clips (if rights issues don’t get in the way, that is) or scatter around a few retro snapshots. But as TNT’s new Dallas laid J.R. to rest, Gray and Duffy stepped forward as the pallbearers carrying more than 15 aggregate years’ worth of history and emotions.

After barely processing his brother’s death (under, of course, suspect circumstances), Bobby exhibited the blow he had absorbed by deflecting Ray Krebbs’ well-meaning platitude with a brusque, “Well, he’s not [coming back].” Sue Ellen meanwhile was left to ruminate over a letter J.R. had left for her before taking what would be his final trip, long eyeballing a bottle of bourbon before making a single toast to an old picture of her and her ex. At this pivotal moment in the dry doyenne’s life, Gray registered disgust at the strange-yet-familiar taste, before the character tragically imbibed again. And again.

At J.R.’s gravesite, Gray’s sometimes-icy alter ego wore her heart on her sleeve, recounting how years ago she found herself “madly, passionately, hopelessly in love with the most charming scoundrel I’ve ever known.” After acknowledging that she had given back in to  drink, she shared that J.R.’s letter was an overture to rekindle their love affair upon his return. “Yes, J.R. The answer is yes,” she directed at his casket. Through sobs, she attested, “You were the love of my life.”

Bobby’s eulogy followed, commenting on J.R.’s role as the doer of bad (if necessary) things, thus making it “easy for me to do good.” But with that familial foil now gone, “I have to figure out just what I’m supposed to do in this grand scheme of things.”

By episode’s end, Bobby had his answer, in the form of a mysterious letter left for him by J.R. With a nod to his brother’s hat hooked on a nearby chair, Bobby said, “I knew you had at least one more left up your sleeve, J.R — and it’s a good one. I love you, brother.”

RELATED | Dallas Post Mortem: Weigh In on J.R.’s Funeral and Get Scoop on Pam’s Return

HONORABLE MENTION | The Big Bang Theory‘s Simon Helberg, who delivered an emotional wallop (and landed a few terrific zingers) as Howard debated whether or not to read an unopened letter from his estranged father. We laughed, we cried, we were reminded that Helberg remains the CBS comedy’s most underrated performer.

What performance knocked your socks off this week?

Comments (44)

  • Totally agree!! Probably one of the best episodes of BOTH series! Gray and Duffy were flawless!

    Comment by MrMank – March 16, 2013 05:39 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Agree with you 100%. Linda Gray has always been perfection as Sue Ellen but her performance in this episode brought me to tears. Same with Patrick Duffy – his last scene was simply brilliant. Both Gray and Duffy reminded me of why I lived this show so much as a child and why I would sneak the TV on past my bedtime to watch it. GREAT CHOICES for this week’s performer of the week.

      Comment by Gillian – March 16, 2013 08:00 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • ????? AND OUAT!? Young and Old Cora!????Come ON!

    Comment by Maki – March 16, 2013 05:44 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Nope, nope. Nick Weschler on Revenge killed it this week! You guys totally snubbed him his award this week.

    Comment by iMember – March 16, 2013 05:53 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • AGREED!

      Comment by Hannah – March 16, 2013 02:50 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • He stinks! Terrible actor.

      Comment by Alex – March 16, 2013 07:48 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • One week does not make up for the fact that he has been the weakest part of Revenge for the last 1 and a half seasons.

      Comment by Tony – March 17, 2013 02:48 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I never cry, but Linda Gray og Patrick Duffy had me in tears. The episode was terrific in honoring the late J.R and Larry, have the story moving forward without it interrupting the emotional.

    Comment by Liam – March 16, 2013 06:27 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Linda Gray and Patrick Duffy were superb. They were both flawless and deserved this. What a great episode with great performances by them.

    Comment by Jaime – March 16, 2013 06:33 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I wholeheartedly agree!!!

    Comment by Paul – March 16, 2013 06:43 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Robert Carlyle.

    Comment by Laurie – March 16, 2013 06:44 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • They were fantastic but I would also include Josh Henderson in with them.

    Comment by Amanda – March 16, 2013 06:46 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Never. Oh god is he ever terrible. And you compare him to duffy and gray? HA! It’s like watching Rob Schnieder opposite Daniel Day Lewis. and Jesse Metcalf’s not much better….

      Comment by Smigglesby – March 16, 2013 10:33 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • WRONG! He NAILED it as a distraught JohnRoss and TOTALLY complimented not only Gray, but Duffy as well. A GREAT performance along side two of the best in the biz. Kudos to Josh Henderson!!!

        Comment by Dom221 – March 16, 2013 05:32 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
        • Huh? All he did was screw up your nose & eyes and lowered his voice a tad.

          Comment by dee123 – March 17, 2013 02:13 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
        • I agree, Josh nailed it! When you saw him, you saw a little boy who wanted to be the apple of his daddy’s eye and knew that it would never happen. The whole episode was wonderful from the opening theme song, with a person resembling JR walking the grounds. Lovely.

          Comment by chitown mimi – March 19, 2013 07:35 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
          • Mimi, that WAS Larry Hagman walking the grounds in the opening. Those scenes were filmed before the show made its debut in the summer of 2012

            Comment by Larry – March 20, 2013 03:51 PM PDT  
  • I fully agree that Linda Gray & Patrick Duffy just knocked it out of the park in this episode. However, I do not believe they were just “performing” – the emotions we saw were very raw & very real. When Linda Gray read the letter JR wrote her with him inviting her to dinner upon his return to Dallas I couldn’t help but cry for both the characters of JR & SueEllen. It actually would have been a kick seeing him actually pursue her & falling in love with her more than he would have ever thought. And did Linda Gray NOT look like a million bucks & some change with how she dressed? And I was very impressed with Josh Henderson – his many range of emotions towards his fathers death were very real as well. He may have called his father JR, which is very disrespectful, he did on occasion, call him Dad, hopefully with time, he will learn to just call him Dad & refer to his Dad as JR only in business deals. It will be interesting to see Christopher help John Ross through this. So many mysteries to solve & I cannot wait – LOVE.THIS.SHOW!!!

    Comment by soxfan – March 16, 2013 06:47 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • It takes a lot for me to cry over a tv show. But I cried so much during this episode of Dallas. Patrick Duffy broke my heart every moment. Linda Gray was incredible. And Josh Henderson really, REALLY impressed me.
    Kudos to the entire cast and everyone involved in this episode.

    Comment by bexx888 – March 16, 2013 07:54 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Linda Gray deserves an EMMY! Patrick Duffy and her nailed it in tribute to Larry Hagman! “you were the love of my life” OMG! the opening credits music…Larry Hagman in the white fade out! OMG!!! still gut wrenching ONE week later!

    Comment by dallasfan – March 16, 2013 07:54 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I totally agree with Linda Gray and was hoping that she would be POTW. But I feel like she was head and shoulders above everyone, even Patrick Duffy.

    Comment by Jake – March 16, 2013 07:56 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • ‘Nuff said.

    Comment by Winnie – March 16, 2013 10:14 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Emmy nomination for Linda Gray–PLEASE. Sue Ellen’s eulogy was unforgettable.

    Comment by TM – March 16, 2013 10:25 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Could not agree more with the choice of these two. Bobby reaming Ann about Emma and then Sue Ellen alone in JR’s room……

    Comment by mspenn1013 – March 16, 2013 10:45 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I would have went with Kerri Russell or maybe Andrew Lincoln.

    Comment by Shaun – March 16, 2013 10:56 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Linda and Patrick may have done outstanding jobs, but not all the acting on this Dallas episode was first class. Some will likely disagree, but I thought Josh Henderson as John Ross was terrible. Two-dimensional overacting isn’t easy to accomplish, but he managed to pull it off. I don’t normally watch the show, so don’t know if this was his usual style.

    Comment by Larc – March 16, 2013 11:30 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Totally agree. Josh Henderson needs to learn the art of subtely!

      Comment by Ms Big – March 16, 2013 10:22 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Linda Gray – who can tell any emotion in her acting? Her face is so stiff from Botox she can’t smile or frown or anything else. Her only expression is a grimace. The only thing worse than her stiff face was Joan Van Ark reprising her role as Valerie Ewing in the 3/18 episode. Talk about plastic surgery gone wrong!

      Comment by Melanie Goodman – March 19, 2013 05:03 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • Talk smart about TV. Thank you.

        Comment by Matt Webb Mitovich – March 19, 2013 05:11 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Couldn’t agree more….Emmy worthy performances!!!! The opening musics was a great prelude to an amazing episode!!!!!!

    Comment by Tom K – March 16, 2013 11:37 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • both were good and main one id probabky agree but i feel like the honorable mention shouldve been rose mcgowan and barbara hershey on ouat…

    Comment by courtland – March 16, 2013 11:52 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • emily and nick from revenge. both knocked it out of the.park.

    Comment by ollie – March 16, 2013 11:55 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Thank You so much for making Patrick & Linda this weeks Performers of The Week they deserved it. I really hope that Linda and Patrick get Emmy nominations for their performances.

    Comment by Randy – March 16, 2013 11:58 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Sorry but I’ve gotta go with Emmy Rossum’s courtroom plea to the judge in Shameless. How can you guys keep passing over her amazing performances?

    Comment by The Beach – March 16, 2013 12:10 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • That was last week, but I totally agree she deserved it for that scene. I find the lack of Shameless on this site really strange. It’s pretty much the only Sunday show they don’t recap, and it barely gets a mention in any of their articles. Brilliant show!

      Comment by Lauren – March 16, 2013 03:12 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • How great is that DALLAS relaunched last summer after all these years and TNT made the surprising decision to air the show in the winter/spring? If not for that timing, we would’ve missed out on well-deserved farewell to a great actor and character. I guess some things were meant to be….

    Comment by Chicago Dan – March 16, 2013 04:42 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Totally agree! Great performances! btw, the opening for this episode was extremelly beautiful and emotional!

    Comment by t86 – March 16, 2013 06:51 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I totally agree with this. They were flawless.

    Comment by Sara – March 16, 2013 10:41 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Linda Gray deserves an Emmy for this performance. I hope she is recognized.

    Comment by Blake – March 16, 2013 11:12 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Briliant choices. Gray and Duffy were especially great; the whole episode was a standout. I would have liked to have seen more characters from the past — Valene, Donna, Serena Wald (his long running paid-for mistress), Louella, Sly (!), Holly Harwood and Marilee Stone.

    I give the producers credit though for having Ray, Gary, Lucy, Callie and Mandy be there. That was good.

    Gray was brilliant…the actress was nominated for an Emmy once before (ironically, Barbara Bel Geddes won for playing Miss Ellie that year.)

    It’d be nice to see Gray get some due.

    Comment by Michael – March 17, 2013 01:25 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • and duh! how could I forget one of the best parts of the episode was Cliff Barnes, showing up at the reception for J.R. Cliff was appropriately a mix of boasting jerk and vindictive jerk. Hagman said that JR is a better character b/c he has Cliff Barnes in his life.

      Comment by Michael – March 17, 2013 01:34 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I don’t watch Dallas, but Simon Helberg is great in the Big Bang Theory.

    Comment by ef – March 17, 2013 07:26 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • and the Emmy goes to … Linda Gray! I hope we here those words at the end of this summer.

    Comment by Frank – March 17, 2013 11:18 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I believe that Simon Helberg is the most all-around actor on BBT. Everyone else is mostly one-dimensional. He has more range.

    Comment by Bob – March 22, 2013 08:05 AM PDT  Reply To This Post

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