Trial And Error
Original Air Date: Feb 18, 2013
Karen Belgrad – Senior Editor
Apparently in Dallas you can confess to attempted murder, go to trial, and have a verdict quicker than you can get divorced. At least that’s the case in this episode, where Ann goes on trial for shooting Harris Ryland.
At this point, Ann is probably the weakest Dallas character. It’s nothing against Brenda Strong, but most of the Ann-centric plot has had her in tears, with the exceptions of the few times she’s picked up a gun. And therein lies the problem with Ann Smith Ryland Ewing… she’s kind of a wimp.
Pamela has been the strongest willed female character on this new incarnation of Dallas, but she’s mostly motivated by a longing for her father’s approval. Elena has a mind for business, but is driven by love. And even Sue Ellen, with her backbone firmly in place, seems blind to how her son is using her for his own personal gain. The show needs a strong female character, not driven by male machinations or romance, and I think the lack of it is hurting the show.
The best parts of the show are usually the John Ross related plots, with J.R.’s manipulations, disappointments, and snake oil charms playing along. This hour only had a brief glimpse of the father-son that’s driven the show so far, and it really hurt the hour. Sure, John Ross managed to get Drew busted for transporting stolen goods, which negates Elena’s deal with Sue Ellen on a morals clause. And J.R. finds out from Cliff that John Ross sold him out on his dealings with Frank, but it wasn’t enough.
We did find out something about Vincente (last season’s bad guy who killed Faux Marta) and that he is not in jail, but possibly being extradited to Venezuela. I was a bit confused, but somehow it means that he’s getting off the hook and will be around to cause some mayhem with the Ewings for sending him to jail.
And Christopher and Pamela come to an uneasy truce, agreeing to mediation regarding their never-ending divorce and custody battle. With Ann’s relationship with Harris front and center in the trial, Pamela opens Christopher’s eyes to the fact that Tommy’s death was self-defense. I don’t see a reunion in their future, but it seems that co-parenting will happen. Plus, she’s finally showing! What she’s not doing, is getting closer to John Ross, as both of their daddies don’t approve.
With that, we get to Ann’s trial, which came to fruition after she realized her blood spattered boots proved she shot Ryland, not Bobby. The trial is a big mess of he said-she said, as Judith, Ryland, and Emma all testify about Ann’s lack of character and poor mothering skills, including abandoning her daughter. Ann testifies that she was in a miserable marriage, with a meddling mother-in-law, suffering from postpartum depression, and doped up on anti-depressants when Emma was kidnapped. It makes her own family sympathetic, but it doesn’t do much for the jurors, who convict her of attempted murder.
I’m not sure how we’ll get Ann out of jail, but I doubt she’ll be there long… I know it may seem like I’m being hard on the character, but if we saw something, anything that made her assertive and not such a victim, it would do wonders for how she is perceived. Pam Ewing was a spitfire, and while she was always in harm’s way, she stood her ground. That’s the woman I want with Bobby Ewing!
Now you’ve got my TwoCents! Share your TwoCents, comments, and feedback below!