One of the most iconic moments in television history, the shooting of JR Ewing was a national phenomenon. Not only were millions of viewers left on edge after the gripping Season Three finale, wondering who among the many who wanted JR dead actually shot him in the gut. Adding fuel to the pop-culture fire, it was nearly nine months later before Season Four premiered and the question was answered. Not only did Hagman refuse to resume filming without a raise (he got $100,000 per episode and royalties from JR merchandise), a strike by the Screen Actor’s Guild pushed production back by a few more months. So who shot JR? You’ll have to wait until Season Four.
Whatever Happened To Baby John?
John Ross is snatched right from the hospital and Bobby blames Cliff for the kidnapping. Leave it to Pam to figure it out after recalling a mystery woman lurking at the hospital who ended up being a grieving mother who lost her own child.
The Silent Killer:
Sue Ellen’s sis Kristin comes to see the new baby but is much more interested in his daddy.
Despite what the docs have told her is possible, Pam is pregnant. But her fear for the health of the baby prevents her from telling Bobby.
The Kristin Affair:
That didn’t take long! JR puts the moves on Kristin and mortgages Southfork.
The Dove Hunt:
The men folk go hunting and find themselves looking down the barrels of the guns of some old enemies of Jock.
The Lost Child:
Pam has a horseback riding accident, loses her baby and finally tells Bobby everything.
Rugged cowboy Dusty Farlow captures Sue Ellen’s attention while Digger gets a good look at John Ross, who he thinks may be his grandson.
Shocker! Jock was married before Miss Ellie. But she has bigger problems with a health scare that leads to a mastectomy. After the surgery, she suddenly has another suitor – Digger.
JR gets all up in Cliff’s business behind the scenes as he secretly backs his run for congress while embedding a spy on the inside.
Ellie Saves The Day:
The family finds out that JR mortgaged Southfork for an Asian oil venture. He’s in trouble!
Mother Of The Year:
Sue Ellen finally shows her baby some love while JR's Asian oil venture falls apart.
It's wayward son Gary's birthday, and Miss Ellie is just tickled pink that he has come back to marry Lucy's mom, Valene.
Love And Marriage:
As Sue Ellen throws herself into motherhood, Pam tries to escape by throwing herself into work. Bobby is bummed.
JR learns about Alan and Lucy's relationship and plots to bring them closer together in the hopes of getting rid of Lucy. Oh, and he visits a high-paid escort.
Still unsure of who really fathered John Ross, JR and Cliff square off in a DNA stand off. The blood test finally proves JR is the true father.
Bobby's former fiance is back in town while Pam is on a business trip to Paris, and Bobby ends up in her bed (they don't do it.) Meanwhile JR tries to put the brakes on Sue Ellen's relationship with rodeo stud Dusty.
Sue Ellen's Choice:
She has finally had it and demands a divorce from JR. He is more than happy to oblige - all she has to do is sign over custody of John Ross. She chooses JR.
JR's plan to get Lucy out of town is foiled when Jock gives Alan a job closer to home. Doesn't matter much when she dumps him later anyway. JR's plan to ruin Cliff, however, is right on track.
Divorce - Ewing Style:
Nothing says "Happy Anniversary honey!" like hiring a private investigator to get proof of cheating for a divorce case. JR finds out and pays off Sue Ellen's PI to get a clean report.
An old skeleton is found on Southfork and Jock is hauled in for the murder of former foreman Hutch. Digger confesses on his deathbed he did the deed. Plus, Dusty dies in a plane crash. Final shocker alert: Hutch was Pam's real father!
The Wheeler Dealer:
JR learns the Asian wells are going to be nationalized, so he unloads most of them on his. Plus, Cliff learns Digger’s heirs are entitled to half the proceeds from the Ewing 23 oilfield.
A House Divided:
Nearly 25 million people tuned in to watch this jam-packed finale that lined up a number of people who would want JR dead - the cartel who went broke after the Asian oil fields were nationalized, Cliff when JR shuts down field 23, Bobby and Pam who leave the ranch in disgust, off-the-wagon Sue Ellen and more. JR is shot by episode's end, but by who?
Catch up from the beginning with our Dallas Season One Highlights and Dallas Season Two Highlights.
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- Hollie Deese