The more things change, the more they stay the same on the third season of “Dallas,” as the death of J.R. Ewing in Season 2 has left room for his like-minded son John Ross to continue his daddy’s ornery plans to rule the world.
In the preview video above, J.R. (the late Larry Hagman) is still influencing — and stirring up trouble — for those he left behind, including John Ross, brother Bobby, ex-wife Sue Ellen, and, as always, enemy Cliff Barnes.
With the Feb. 24 Season 3 premiere still more than a month away, here’s a peek at what the Ewings and their family, friends, and foes will be up to in Season 3:
Bobby Ewing (Patrick Duffy)
With Bobby the remaining Ewing brother — brother Gary and half-bro Ray were never treated like full-fledged members of the fam — Bobby is the sole owner of Southfork, and, as he warns John Ross in the preview, he fully intends to protect the ranch from John Ross’s oil-drilling plans. “I stopped J.R.,” Bobby says to his nephew. “You’re not half the man your daddy was.”
"Dallas" executive producer Cynthia Cidre tells TV Guide Bobby’s marriage to Ann (Brenda Strong) will hit a rough patch in Season 3, with good guy Bobby even going so far as flirting with cheating on his wife, J.R.-style. Could this mean the return of Bobby’s ex, Jenna Wade (played by Priscilla Presley)?
Sue Ellen Ewing (Linda Gray)
Speaking of the late J.R. and his misdeeds, we see alcoholic Sue Ellen hitting the bottle again in the preview, and Cidre says it’s continuing fallout from her marriage to J.R. Sue Ellen finds out son John Ross has been cheating on his wife Pamela, and it reminds her of all the years she was hurt and humiliated by J.R.’s serial affairs. And that sends her right back to her self-destructive ways, ending in a midseason cliffhanger that may be another of the new series’ homages to the original CBS series.
John Ross Ewing (Josh Henderson)
He married Pamela (Julie Gonzalo), the daughter of his family’s sworn enemy, Cliff Barnes, and he seems to really love her. But, also previewed in the Season 3 trailer, J.R. Jr. is going to continue the affair he began with step-cousin Emma (Emma Bell) in the shocking Season 2 finale. As Sue Ellen is crushed to realize, John Ross learned everything from his father, including how to treat (and take advantage of) women in business and his personal life.
Meanwhile, John Ross will, like his daddy, also battle his Uncle Bobby for control of Southfork, which Bobby wants to preserve, and which John Ross sees as the source of oil that will ensure he becomes the ultimate leader of the Ewing clan.
Christopher Ewing (Jesse Metcalfe)
Christopher, like his father, Bobby, wants to lead the Ewing family, but he also wants to protect Southfork, which will have him continuing to be at odds with his cousin. Christopher and John Ross have fought over women (Pamela and Elena), power, and Ewing Energies in the first two seasons of the show, and considering the preview clip shows the two of them fist-fighting, Christopher in jail, and Christopher pointing a gun at someone, it’s safe to say the family rivalry will be very much front and center with the younger generation this season.
Christopher also revealed to his Uncle Cliff in the Season 2 finale that he now owns his dead mother’s shares of Barnes Global, meaning Christopher may have a leg up in his power struggle with John Ross. And while his cousin has more than his share of romantic entanglements, Christopher will get a new love interest, in the form of a feisty ranch hand named Heather, and played by “90210” alum AnnaLynne McCord.
Elena Ramos (Jordana Brewster)
Christopher broke up with her after she lied to him about her on-the-lam brother, but Elena found out about a Ewing betrayal that sent her reeling: Cliff told her the Ramos family had been cheated out of their own fortune years earlier when J.R. switched land deeds for a plot full of oil behind her dad’s back. The info sent her on a road trip to the estate of a friend from her past — Joaquin — a powerful friend who will help her get revenge on her new enemies, the Ewings, in Season 3.
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Cliff Barnes (Ken Kercheval)
We learned J.R. had old pal Bum shoot him, as J.R. was dying of cancer and wanted to go out on his own terms. But the Ewings framed Cliff for J.R.’s murder in the Season 2 finale, leading to Cliff’s arrest in Mexico. We see Mr. Barnes shouting his innocence in the season preview, but, given his long, bitter history with J.R., will anyone believe him? And will he have anything left when, and if, he gets out of jail, anyway? With nephew Christopher claiming one-third of Barnes Global, and Cliff’s daughter Pamela and son-in-law John Ross claiming another one-third, Cliff is no longer in charge of his own company. Of course, as even J.R. had to admit, you can never really count Cliff out …
Ann’s ex (and Emma’s dad) Harris Ryland (Mitch Pileggi), Harris’s plotting mama Judith (Judith Light), and Elena’s brother Drew Ramos (Kuno Becker) all return to stir up more drama for the Ewings in Season 3, too, and the family has another new rival, a self-made billionaire named Nicolas Trevino (Argentinian actor and model Juan Pablo Di Pace), who also pops up briefly in the Season 3 trailer.
"Dallas" Season 3 premieres on Feb. 24 on TNT.