After giving fairly middling reviews to the last several seasons of Dallas, one thing I wasn’t expecting from this penultimate collection of episodes was some of the strongest material the show’s offered up in a good long while. With Season Thirteen, the powers that be managed to create one of the very best seasons of the latter half of the series, although it goes without saying that you can’t please all the people all of the time. There are always going to be folks who’ll instantly dismiss the last two years of the series based solely on how few of the original cast members remain. At this point, the show is down to only five major characters that’ve been around since the show’s inception – J.R., Bobby, Cliff, Miss Ellie, and Lucy. But Clayton’s been such a fixture on the series for a long time now, and it’s only fair to include him as well, so let’s bump that up to a half dozen.
In addition to the new characters of Cally Harper Ewing (Cathy Podewell) and Carter McKay (George Kennedy) that were introduced in Season Twelve, here we’re given an additional two major players in the forms of James Beaumont (Sasha Mitchell) and Michelle Stevens (Kimberly Foster); the former is the illegitimate son of J.R., and the latter is the sister of April (Sheree J. Wilson).
I know, I know – hackneyed phrases like “illegitimate son” make it sound as though Dallas is scraping the bottom of the soap opera barrel. But you can take a well worn cliché and do nothing with it, or you can take that same cliché and do something with it...
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