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The Final Season of an Epic Show
on April 21, 2009
And so it ends, although there were of course two reunion sequels, one better than the other. This year was the last one for Dallas, and the cast departures for budget cuts translating to decreased ratings obviously reached it's breaking point. This season saw many players gone or with a reduced episode count, and the result was of course those viewers who were fans leaving. Despite this, I feel that anytime a soap is ending, it by definition won't be as fun as when it was going on. In retrospect, I think the only way to go was to have a sort of tragic finale where the remaining characters sort of faced their destiny. JR deals with losing everything, Bobby loses his new wife but gains Southfork, and Cliff Barnes finally gets control of Ewing Oil. The year is really about the tragedy of the two brothers as they slowly come to grips with losing much of all they ever thought was important in life-one being able to deal with it and the other not, in retrospect very well done. The series finale features JR and a devil played by Joel Grey visiting an alternate reality where JR was never born and many familiar faces from the past returned. Ultimately it is kind of a fun ride, but I must agree that it was rather unsatisfying as an ending. Fortunately we got the first reunion in 96, JR Returns, and that was a much better conclusion for fans of the show, and that will thankfully be released soon as well. So, for what it is, the last season of Dallas is really appropriate and as good as it could have been really. With Barbara Bel Geddes, Charlene Tilton, and Lesley Anne Down leaving and Barbara Stock added to the main title, also starring Jared Martin as Dusty Farlow, Gayle Hunnicut as Vanessa Beaumont, Clifton James as Duke Carlisle, and John Harkins as Control, with special appearances by Susan Lucci, Barbara Eden, Mary Crosby, Linda Gray, Joel Grey, Steve Kanaly, Jack Scalia, Ted Shackelford, and Joan Van Ark.