Will the real Pamela Barnes please stand up?
That's the question on the minds of Dallas fans both old and new as the TNT reboot prepares to wrap its second season. In the final moments of last week's special two-hour episode, Christopher (Jesse Metcalfe) was alerted about a possible sighting of his long-gone mom Pamela and he subsequently jetted off to Switzerland to see if the rumors were true. The recent mentions of Bobby's first wife was not only a surprise to fans, but also to star Patrick Duffy.
"It was a very strange thing because I purposefully didn't know the end of the season," he tells TVGuide.com. "When I read that script, I just thought, 'Oh my God, they are getting so close back to bringing the Pamela character back on the show."
But will the Dallas season finale (Monday at 9/8c on TNT) follow through on its promise? Victoria Principal, who played Bobby's first wife Pamela for 10 seasons before she left the show and was briefly replaced by Margaret Michaels the following season, issued a statement back in March saying she had no interest in reprising the character on the TNT reboot. "I thought it was very interesting," Duffy says. "But when I opened that script, I thought, OK, maybe it's another reunion. Who knows?"
But would it be a romantic reunion for Bobby's Romeo and his former Juliet? "I think he's come to grips with everything," Duffy says. "So her return to the show, if it were to happen, would definitely throw a hammer in the works, but I think Bobby is not tempted any more in that direction. Plus, look at who he's married to now."
Although Bobby may not be willing to welcome Pamela back with open arms in that regard, Duffy says the more returning faces from the original series, the merrier. "It would make some sort of sense now that Larry [Hagman] is gone and it's just Linda [Gray] and myself to every once in a while bring a recognizable face from the past," he says. "We'll see what happens in the last two episodes, and with Season 3, knock on wood."
Duffy adds the "knock on wood," because the new Dallas has not been renewed for a third season. After becoming the top cable series premiere of 2012 and averaging 4.5 million viewers per episode during its first season, Season 2 has dropped to an average of 2.6 million viewers. "I'm optimistic about a Season 3, but only based on the fact that I don't believe that the directors, writers and actors and that every other person involved in making Dallas could make a better television show called Dallas," he says. "I think writing for the last episode of this show is one of the best executions of a cliff-hanger in the history of Dallas."
One cliff-hanger will be opened in the Season 2 finale, just as another comes to resolution — Who shot J.R., Part 2 — when Bobby finally lets the Ewings in on J.R.'s master plan. "I think it's interesting that ... Bobby is put in this central position to execute a plan made by a man whose very reason for being Bobby has trouble with. He literally has to walk down a path that J.R. has blazed and that's not something that Bobby would do," Duffy says. "I think now that the problem with J.R. is solved, Bobby can go back to being morally centered, which is Bobby's purpose on the show."
Duffy says he's excited to get back to Bobby's roots, but admits he enjoyed his brief walk on the wild side when he was forced to help execute J.R.'s plan this season. "For me, it was fun. Not because I want to play bad guys, but because, playing Bobby for so many years now, it's fun to play a character you know that well doing something he's not supposed to do. He was so out of his comfort zone," Duffy says. "But it's not something that I want my character to do, and I want to keep playing this character for the next 15 years. So I don't think he's going to go to the dark side very often."
It's still unclear if Dallas will be on the air for even one more year, but either way, Duffy is proud of the work accomplished on the reboot thus far. "If we were, for some strange reason, not to get picked up, I wouldn't feel bad at all because I feel so good about what we've done."
Dallas' season finale airs Monday at 9/8c on TNT.