Dallas Q&A: Patrick Duffy Talks Jaw-Dropping Season 2 Finale
“Dallas” wraps up its wild Season 2 ride, on Monday, with a two-hour season finale, kicking off at 9/8c on TNT, and Patrick Duffy said fans should get ready.
“Hold on to your hat [on] Monday night. Actually, hold on to your jaw, because your jaw’s gonna drop out from under you,” he told AccessHollywood.com.
It’s been a big season for the Ewing family, which was thrown into chaos with the murder of J.R. Ewing (a plot line written in following the death of “Dallas” legend Larry Hagman last November).
Ewing family nemesis Cliff Barnes (Ken Kercheval) practically danced on J.R.’s grave, and he teamed up with Anne Ewing’s (Brenda Strong) ex-husband, Harris Ryland (Mitch Pileggi), and the Governor of Texas, to try and take down the family for good.
But, last week, just after Cliff swept in to take over Ewing Energies, Patrick’s Bobby handed him the keys and walked out with a knowing smirk of a grin. The Ewings may be down, but they’re not out and Patrick hinted about what’s to come in the two-hour episode – including what will happen with the search to find J.R.’s killer.
AccessHollywood.com: How does it feel to finally be at the end of this season? Geez. Wow. What a crazy rollercoaster!
Patrick: I think you’ve summed it up. ‘Geez, wow, what a crazy rollercoaster’ (laughs). To me, it’s sad. I’m still of the old school mindset and that was – a [television] season is 24 episodes and sometimes 26 or 28, and to be doing 15 seems like we’re only half way done, so I’m kind of sad. I’d like to spend a little more time with my cast family than that, but it’s so exciting and – I think it’s actually good for the binge viewers that we’re actually doing the final two episodes as [a double header]… So it’s a lot of plot and [on] Monday there’ll be this huge resolution that people have been talking about forever.
Access: Lee Majors was a guest star this season, and he was a friend of Larry’s. What was it like having him around?
Patrick: It was great. First of all, I’m a crazy, fanatical television fan and I grew up watching every show — I think — that had ever been done in the ‘50s, ‘60s and ‘70s, so I knew Lee Majors from the very first episode of ‘Big Valley.’ I didn’t know him personally, but I knew who he was, and when my wife and I celebrated – I think – our fourth anniversary, we went to a little hideaway place in Santa Barbara and we’re having dinner in this little restaurant being very romantic and all of a sudden the waiter brings over a bottle of champagne. And I said, ‘Oh, but I didn’t order it.’ And he said, ’No, this was sent over by a guest over there who just wanted to celebrate whatever you were celebrating.’ And I looked over and it was Lee Majors. I had never met him… He just looked over at me and gave me a ‘Hello’ wave… He knew that I was an actor from ‘Atlantis’ and… ‘Dallas,’ and it was the kindest gesture… It’s been 30 years. And now, to be working with him — I see him at various functions and things, but to actually have worked now with him is very cool.
Access: Bobby’s ‘good/bad’ speech at the funeral was a turning point for your character because he sort of realized he needed to take on some of those J.R. responsibilities.
Patrick: He had to perform a function, yeah. He had to figure out who he was now.
Access: What are we going to see with that as we go forward to the finale, because Bobby has taken some of this ‘bad’ on, but reluctantly.
Patrick: Right, and that’s what I love, the fact that it is reluctant, so it allows Bobby to do a few of those things for two reasons – one, he’s doing what J.R. has written out as instructions, to a certain extent. And there’s one line that we’ve used a lot, it says, ‘Bobby will know what to do.’ Well, J.R. put the burden on Bobby to not only do what I write down, but use your instincts to make it work and you have to use your negative instincts, and Bobby’s not comfortable with that, which is great for me because I can do it and I’m supposed to and I can stop doing it at the end of this season. But, I think what will happen… is it firmly puts Bobby… not just [as] a soft, mushy, smart person, but a strong, wise person as a patriarch and I think that’s been a real benefit of the last half of the season. So, it’s fun.
Access: The smile you made as you exited the last episode, after Bobby walks out of Ewing Energies [after handing Cliff the keys] was one of wisdom. What coming next? Your character said Cliff would be taken down with his own hubris.
Patrick: (Laughs) It’s so funny because I’ve gotten Tweets saying, ‘Great smirk,’ ‘That smirk was amazing.’ And it was just like I don’t know what we were doing at that moment – I mean, I know when I watched it… and I loved it as well just because it opens up a fun aspect of Bobby going down the dark side for a while. I think the audience goes, ‘Oh, it’s gonna be OK.’ So it was great, but hold on to your hat [on] Monday night. Actually, hold on to your jaw, because your jaw’s gonna drop out from under you.
Access: Do some of the moments ahead involve the first Pamela Barnes?
Patrick: Yeah, they totally involve it. We’ve been dangling that carrot now for two reasons. One… it’s always good to hang an old girlfriend or wife out in front of the hero when he’s happily married. That’s a great thing to do, but also there’s issues with sons and family and being abandoned and all that stuff, and that’s a lot of red meat for [Jesse Metcalfe’s] character. So almost everybody has a reason to be interested in the Pamela character and will she or won’t she, which also then means Victoria [Principal] — will she or won’t she? This is great stuff for the audience and great stuff for us because it’s so typical ‘Dallas,’ isn’t it?
Access: So, we’re going to find out who killed J.R.
Access: What can you hint at about that big reveal?
Patrick: Well, what I can hint at is it is so ‘guilty party paying for their deeds.’ It is a remarkable resolution to that, which is the ‘master plan.’ So the end of the show turns out exactly the way [J.R.] planned it in this master plan, but it’s a resolution that I don’t think a single audience member will say, ‘Oh, I knew that was gonna be it!’ Nobody’s is gonna know and everybody’s gonna be surprised as to who shot him.
Access: Last season ended with some resolutions and a big cliffhanger. How will it end this time around?
Patrick: We’re going to tie it up with a very neat bow the whole thing that happened because Larry died. We have to set the character of J.R. where it’s going to be for the next 10 years, we have to resolve the fact that there’s not going to be another actor coming in to play J.R., so we finish all that off. Now we can go back to original story telling. We’re not flying by the seat of our pants, so that gets done, which is on everybody’s mind, who shot him. But, by resolving it, we put so many really interesting irons in the fire with the established characters for next season that everybody’s going to immediately be saying, ‘Oh isn’t that amazing that’s who shot him. What’s going to happen with so and so and this!’ And that’s what we survived on for 13 years in the old days and hopefully it still works, ‘cause people love it.
-- Jolie Lash
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