Breaking up was hard to do. (Warner Brothers)
By the time the seventh season of "Dallas" premiered on September 30, 1981, Larry Hagman - and his character of ruthless JR Ewing - was firmly established as the show’s star, despite the original intention of keeping the show focused around Bobby and Pam’s relationship. That didn’t stop tensions from rising behind the scenes between Hagman and some of the producers. On screen during season seven, viewers got a bit of eye candy with the addition of "The Blue Lagoon's" Christopher Atkins as Sue Ellen's boy toy Peter and Priscilla Presley's turn as Jenna Wade.
The Road Back.
Remember the fire that burned Southfork to the ground? Bobby was able to save everyone who was trapped – JR, Ray, Sue Ellen and baby John Ross. There was still no love lost between JR and Ray, who started the fire with their argument about the crash. JR came up a little short in the gratitude department toward Bobby as well.
The Long Goodbye.
Sue Ellen kicked JR out of the bedroom while Bobby tried to convince Pam to come back, all while rebuilding from the fire. Elsewhere, Mickey regained consciousness and told Lucy he wanted to marry her. Katherine was mad when she heard about Bobby and Pam’s reunion.
With JR’s help, Katherine tricked Pam into signing a letter that made it look like Pam had told her lawyer she would be better off without Bobby. John Ross needed counseling, and the advice was for Sue Ellen and JR to end their feud. He recommended a day camp for John Ross, where they met college student Peter Richards.
My Brother’s Keeper.
Bobby and Pam were devastated by their divorce, but they were the only ones. JR encouraged Bobby to take some time off work to lick his wounds, then sabotaged the Canadian deal. Afton, Cliff and Mark took Pam out for some fun, which was spoiled by Bobby, JR and their dates. Sue Ellen chatted up Peter while John Ross had fun at camp. Mickey would rather die than live on life support.
The Quality of Mercy.
Pam moved back in with Cliff, who recruited a woman named Sly to spy on JR. Mickey slipped into a coma, and later Ray and Aunt Lil were found in his room with the respirator unplugged. JR told Sue Ellen that Peter was into her, and Mark proposed to a just-divorced Pam. A bummed out Bobby gave Katherine a shot, then ran into Holly Harwood.
Check and Mate.
Ray was arrested for unplugging Mickey, and Lucy accused him of murder. Pam was mad at Cliff when she learned he stole a deal from JR. Bobby told Holly it wasn’t going to happen and she left him alone. Sue Ellen invited Peter to a party at the ranch. Later, Punk read a letter to Bobby and JR from Jock that informed them the contest he had set in motion for the boys was to make them respect one another as businessmen. Finally, Bobby's share of the profit on the Canadian deal came in and changed the outcome of the contest.
Things got hairy when Bobby testified for the defense and Lucy for the prosecution. Bobby also ran into former fiancée Jenna, now a waitress, and stood Katherine up. Ray was charged with felony murder and the prosecution asked for the death penalty.
The Oil Baron’s Ball.
Bobby took Jenna with him to the annual ball, Sue Ellen talked Peter into taking Lucy and Pam convinced Katherine to appear. JR loved seeing Bobby with Jenna while Cliff told Katherine that Jenna’s daughter Charlie just might be Bobby’s. Pam and Jenna fought and Cliff was crowned Oil Baron of the Year. He threatened JR he would tell the truth to everyone about Jock and Digger.
Cliff made good on his threat to JR and announced the formation of the Willard Barnes Foundation, which Jock had stolen from Digger, and a Texas-sized brawl broke out. Jenna and Bobby were in love again, but Katherine confessed her love anyway and asked him why it couldn’t be her. Mark pushed marriage on Pam but she was not interested. Peter told Sue Ellen nothing would happen between them.
The Buck Stops Here.
Gratuitous mechanical bull riding dominated this episode as Pam and Jenna prepared to square off in a charity rodeo. Pam, mad at herself for mucking up her relationship with Mark, told Bobby Jenna wasn’t good for him then proceeded to beat her in the match. JR enlisted the help of a detective to find the spy in his organization.
To Catch a Sly.
JR uncovered Sly the spy as Cliff pressed her for more information, so JR used her to feed Cliff bad info. Pam told Christopher she wished she and Bobby were together but got closer with Mark anyway. Sue Ellen tried to break things off with young Peter.
Another year, another Southfork ‘cue. Katherine wouldn’t give up on Bobby. She began to dig into who the father of Jenna’s baby was and found out it was Bobby. Meanwhile, Sly learned Cliff had been lying to her about getting her brother out of jail. Ellie returned with Clayton. Lucy brought Peter to the barbecue where he kissed Sue Ellen.
JR was spitting mad about Ellie and Clayton’s engagement and decided to dig up some dirt on Clayton, which he of course found. John Ross missed Peter but Sue Ellen dumped him after he told her he found them an apartment to share. Jenna refused Bobby’s offer to buy her a boutique and they fought over it. A persistent Katherine stayed in Rome to find out more information about Jenna’s past with Renaldo.
John Ross kept asking about Peter and Sue Ellen found out he moved out of the dorm. When she found him he refused to speak with her. JR told everyone what he found out about Clayton – he had a sister named Jessica. Ellie worried Clayton would not be able to handle the Ewings. Afton walked in on Cliff with another woman, Marilee, and Pam confronted him when she found out. Jenna prepared to launch her boutique.
Lucy was loving her some Peter but Sue Ellen was not happy about it. Later, she tried to break up with him again but no luck, despite having reminded JR about their open marriage. Katherine kept investigating Renaldo in Rome but Pam refused to speak about Charlie’s paternity with her. Cliff asked Afton to forgive him, then asked Marilee to invest with him.
Blue Lagoon boy toy. (Warner Brothers)
Sue Ellen told JR another child was not happening. Later, she got mistaken for Peter’s mom – ouch. Ray eased Clayton’s apprehensions about moving to Southfork so he and Ellie moved closer to setting a date until Ellie called it off.
Eye Of The Beholder.
Like a bulldog with a bone, Katherine hired a detective to find Renaldo. Sue Ellen encouraged Clayton to not give up on Ellie, but she couldn't get over Jock. Later, JR pulled a gun on a drunken Clayton.
Twelve Mile Limit.
Clayton and Ellie's wedding was back on, but an old medical problem of hers returned so Clayton turned to Ray. JR used Sly to sell geological reports to Cliff. He was then pressured to hand them over to Marilee before she would invest. Mark asked Pam to marry him and Katherine pressured her to accept.
Where Is Poppa?
Peter demanded a commitment from Sue Ellen. She assured him she was not sleeping with JR. Later she was in an accident and hospitalized. JR and Pater both learned she had a miscarriage because of it. Mark was anxious for an answer from Pam. Bobby bought Charlie a horse as Katherine finally tracked down Renaldo. Bobby tried to get Clayton to become a partner in Ewing Oil.
When the Bough Breaks.
Bobby again asked Jenna who Charlie's father was while Katherine spoke with Renaldo. The whole family worried about Sue Ellen, who wondered who the father of the baby was - Peter or JR? Cliff wanted to team up with Pam on an offshore drilling deal.
Jenna told Bobby that Charlie loved him, when Renaldo interrupted their lunch and claimed he was the father but had a birth certificate that listed Bobby. Later, Katherine paid Renaldo while Jenna tried to explain to Bobby why she listed him as Charlie's dad. Ray discovered that JR had been blackmailing Randolph.
And The Winner Is…
JR was bummed to hear about Bobby and Jenna's problems and inserted himself in the situation. Later he overheard Sue Ellen and Peter talking about her past. Bobby spent some time with Pam and Christopher, which angered Katherine. JR used Marilee to set up Cliff on the offshore deal.
Fools Rush In.
Ellie thrilled Clayton by setting a date, then asked his sister Jessica to stay at Southfork for the big day. Charlie asked Bobby why he wasn't seeing her mommy anymore. He tried to make it work with Jenna, but they broke up again. JR found out what Katherine did and blackmailed her into making sure Pam married Mark. But Pam told her and Sue Ellen she was going to tell him no.
JR pushed for a double wedding with Ellie and Clayton and Bobby and Jenna. JR also tricked Cliff into signing loan papers for $227 million. JR also plotted to frame Peter and teach Sue Ellen a lesson. Bobby admitted to Jenna that Pam had a hold on him. Pam decided to marry Mark, which devastated Bobby. Jessica descended on Southfork with a surprise for JR.
Katherine aimed to ensure Pam went through with marrying Mark. Lucy thought something was wrong with Peter since he would not date her and was determined to find out what it was. JR insisted Peter kept working with John Ross while he had a detective do some work on him. Jenna told Bobby she wouldn't wait forever. Jessica told dicey stories about Clayton's past in front of Ellie, much to JR's delight.
Clayton asked Ray to be his best man. Sensing an ally, JR and Jessica started to conspire to stop the wedding and Donna got suspicious about it. Drunk, Luke confronted Sue Ellen and Peter about their relationship. Later, JR tried to get Sue Ellen back in his bedroom.
Clayton warned Jessica that JR could be dangerous and later JR overheard them discussing a secret. Pam was bummed Mark wanted a big wedding and Sue Ellen wondered why Pam even changed her mind and decided to marry Mark anyway. Later, Jenna told Pam that Bobby hadn't asked her to marry him. Lucy apologized to Peter. Katherine and JR had a big blowout and she vowed to kill him.
Katherine told Bobby that JR was blackmailing her and he had it out with JR. JR pressured Bobby to just marry Jenna already. Bobby asked Jenna, and she accepted. Relentless, JR kept digging into the death of Clayton's past wife. Sue Ellen posted Peter's bail after he was arrested. Mark and Pam learned Mark was dying. Cliff was financially ruined after failing to repay his loan.
Hush Hush, Sweet Jessie.
Mark died. Bobby and Jenna kept their wedding plans secret out of respect but Jenna fretted Bobby would change his mind with Mark out of the picture. Pam and Bobby reminisced about their years together and Pam learned about the letter Katherine wrote which led to their divorce. She let Katherine have it. Pam also got a letter from Mark that revealed the true cause of the plane crash. Jessica disappeared with Ellie.
In the finale the search for Ellie and Jessica ramped up while Clayton and JR fought about Jessica's instability. Bobby called JR out on working with Jessica to stop the wedding. Ellie was saved and married Clayton. Pam heard Jenna and Bobby would be married and left Dallas without telling anyone where she was going. Bobby and Katherine had a heated exchange and later gunshots were fired!
Catch up on "Dallas" from the beginning with our Dallas Season One Highlights, Dallas Season Two Highlights, Dallas Season Three Highlights, Dallas Season Four Highlights and Dallas Season Five Highlights, and Dallas Season Six Highlights.
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All screen shots courtesy of Warner Brothers.
- Hollie Deese