Flashback Friday: A look back at Dallas’ most sinister sisters.
The next episode of Dallas is set to feature a hostage situation on Southfork and preview scenes suggest that Elena’s brother Drew will leap into action, tapping his military experience to take on Vicente Cano’s thugs. If Drew saves the day, he’ll win points with his sister Elena, who’s steaming over his arrest for transporting stolen goods. Elena should be relieved that it’s a brother she’s dealing with because Dallas history shows that when a sister shows up in one’s life, chances are that big trouble will follow. A trip down memory lane should prove my point nicely.
Kristin Shepard (1979 – 1980 & 1981)
When Sue Ellen’s baby sister Kristin (Mary Crosby) showed up at Southfork with their mother Patricia to celebrate the arrival of baby John Ross, she was a woman with a plan. Bored by the idea of attending college, Miss Kristin took a summer job at Ewing Oil filling in for J.R.’s secretary Louella, who was on maternity leave. Moving in on J.R. while a numb Sue Ellen ignored her husband and child after the trauma of being institutionalized for alcoholism, Kristin did more for him than take dictation. Her scheme to replace Sue Ellen (Linda Gray) as J.R.’s wife hit a snag when she got too demanding and J.R. ran her out of town on trumped-up prostitution charges. Kristin took her place in pop culture history by shooting J.R. and shielded herself from J.R.’s wrath by revealing she had his bun in her oven. Although she lost that baby when she was banished to California, she returned to town using her new baby, Christopher, to blackmail J.R. and oil man Jordan Lee, but ended up dead in the Southfork pool. Sue Ellen promptly embraced the joys of living life as an only child.
Katherine Wentworth (1981 – 1984 & 1987)
When Pam Ewing (Victoria Principal) found her long-lost mother Rebecca in 1981, she got the unfortunate bonus of inheriting a half-sister with a serious poker face and a talent for deception. Pam rejoiced in having a little sister to have girl talk with, but she didn’t realize that angel-faced Katherine (Morgan Brittany) was really a devil who manipulated Pam into abandoning her marriage to Bobby so she could have him for herself. When Katherine first arrived in Dallas, she didn’t appear so bad but as time progressed she evolved into a cold-hearted schemer intent on destroying her siblings’ lives in retaliation for their intrusion in hers. Although she succeeded in duping her trusting sister into divorcing Bobby, her plot to get him was foiled by the appearance of his first love Jenna Wade. When she slept with J.R. to enlist his help in breaking up Bobby and Jenna, she discovered he had recorded their encounter to blackmail her into becoming his convenient sex surrogate. Katherine ultimately became a raving psychopath with huge hair dressed in ugly outfits. The crazier she got, the bigger her hair would be. After pumping Bobby full of lead in an unsuccessful bid to keep him from ending up with either Jenna or Pam, Katherine skipped town to roam Europe as a fugitive from justice.
Michelle Stevens (1989 – 1991)
When April Stevens (Sheree J. Wilson) arrived on the Dallas scene in 1987, she was a schemer with an eye on nabbing half of ex-husband Jack Ewing’s share of Ewing Oil. After playing all sides against each other — flirting with Cliff, sleeping with J.R. and spying on Jeremy Wendell in the process — April made her money and quickly realized that wealth did not bring happiness. On the road to redemption, she became a true friend to Cliff and fell in love with Bobby, who was freshly abandoned by Pam after her disfiguring car crash. Unlike Holly Harwood and Katherine Wentworth, whose liaisons with J.R. ruined them in the eyes of Bobby, April managed to win him over. With April rehabilitated, Dallas writers brought in her sister Michelle (Kimberly Foster) to fill in as the resident bad girl and she rose to the challenge with gusto. Shelley, as April liked to call her, was a bimbo with an edgy cropped ‘do, wearing ultrashort skirts and a tough attitude. Like April before her, Michelle insinuated herself into the lives of the Ewings and Cliff Barnes and hooked up with J.R.’s illegitimate son James Richard Beaumont to take over Ewing Oil using their combined oil industry expertise (!) Although Michelle enjoyed some small victories during her stay in Dallas, she ultimately lost James to his not-so-former-wife Debra Lynn, who was mother to his son. Case closed. Michelle was last seen being hauled away for shooting dead Sheila Foley, the woman who embroiled the honeymooning Bobby and April in an international assassination plot in Paris that got April gunned down.
Jessica Montford (1984 & 1990)
Scheming sisters don’t always come in the form of shapely young things on Dallas. The stately Lady Jessica Montford (Alexis Smith), Clayton Farlow’s younger sister, proved just as dangerous as any of her younger counterparts in the sorority of wicked sisters. Jessie arrived at Southfork in 1984 for her brother’s wedding to Ewing matriarch Ellie Ewing. Flashing an eerie smile that resembled the snarling mouth of a hungry shark just as it’s about to devour its prey, Jessica spent a few weeks stalking Miss Ellie on the ranch, desperately looking for a way to keep the wedding from happening. She teamed up with J.R. for a while to sabotage the nuptials but even he had no idea how disturbed Lady Montford was. It was revealed that Jessica was the real mother of Sue Ellen’s former lover Dusty Farlow, whom Clayton and his first wife Amy agreed to raise as their own when Jess was shipped off to England to avoid the scandal of her unwed pregnancy. An unbalanced Jessica had set fire to the Farlow ranch — The Southern Cross – killing Amy in the process, and kidnapped Miss Ellie when she went full-on cuckoo. Fortunately, Clayton and the Ewing brothers rescued Ellie and sent Jess back to the loony bin. In 1990, Jessica reappeared as the culprit in a rash of murders of men who had crossed Dusty’s father, the wealthy Atticus Ward. Jess killed Atticus, too, so that her precious Dusty could inherit his millions. She was a real, um, mother.