As always, please NO SPOILERS or you will be strapped down and forced to watch all Angelica Nero scenes non-stop forever. EPISODE 1: CAROUSEL Well, that didn’t take long, did it? During production of this season, Leonard Katzman stated that we’d see a very different DALLAS from that point on. It’s not hard to see what he meant: Suddenly, I feel like I’m watching a 90s soap opera. The tone is lighter. There’s a lot more humor – the type of humor that can get out of control easily and overtake the drama. I once wondered if part of the issues the show was facing is how they could move on with the times. Knots Landing certainly did it (albeit very abruptly) with Season 8, by switching from grand 80s soap melodrama to a more earthy, realistic approach. It appears DALLAS has made the switch as well. How successful it is remains to be seen. April is a little more tolerable now that Wilson doesn’t have to act vampishly. She never did pull it off. It’s touching that she goes with Cliff to find Pam. The famous Pam look-alike is finally here. I agree, she did look like her in the shadow. My blood pressure went through the roof when she said, "That part of my life is over." I thought they meant it and was massively relieved she was lying. Kercheval did some beautiful work in his reactions. I loved when he went back to Bobby and told him it was a wild goose chase. The whole thing got to me. So sad to see Pam end like this. But just imagine how heartbreaking it would have been had Principal played that scene. Clayton and Bobby are worried that the ranch isn’t doing well. Clayton meets Carter McKay, who comes into play when he asks about buying Ray’s ranch. Somehow, I don’t believe him when he says he has no interest in the Ewing ranch… It’s kind of hilarious how Bobby spends the entire episode hearing what a shame it is that J.R. didn’t die. Lucy is particularly fun as she ‘chastises’ Sue Ellen for failing. Of course, this has been orchestrated to provide Bobby with a reason to change his mind about allowing J.R. to work with him, but it also rings true that the family would be fed up with J.R. to such a degree that they don’t have much sympathy for him. "Doesn’t anybody care I was almost killed?" J.R. asks bitterly. Honestly, I cheered. Sue Ellen gets John Ross back thanks to Lucy's quick thinking. The scene where Sue Ellen, Lucy, and John Ross wave to J.R. from outside the hospital has such a MELROSE, look-at-how-scandalous-we-are vibe. Sue Ellen hires an attorney, stupidly named Gurney, and has one demand: Full custody of John Ross, but no claims to a settlement. Not that great of a change? The dumbing down. Detective Kane spends the episode ping-ponging between Sue Ellen and J.R. like a flustered mediator, while J.R. and Sue Ellen try to decide whether they want to press charges against each other. The fact that arrests in a case like this would be made regardless of whether they sue each other never comes up. It’s only at the end of the episode that Kane loses his patience, deigns to mention there’s a dead body to deal with (poor Nicholas. From manly super stud to splattered corpse), and quickly explains away that the D.A. isn’t prosecuting either party in the murder/shooting/assault/break-in. For the audience’s sake, he unequivocally states it’s over. So, in other words, following the massive events of the finale, no consequences, and it’s all wrapped up, unconvincingly at that? We’ve seen that from current soaps. When a drama/soap opera starts skimping on the resolutions and the consequences, that’s when it starts to die. Nothing can be counted on anymore.