Dead Reckoning

connie01starring Steve Kanaly and Michele Scarabelli

Ray (Steve Kanaly) is driving back from the airport when he spots a fellow traveller having trouble with her car. He pulls over and offers to help with the beautiful young lady’s flat tyre.

“Thank God you came by. Do you know I’ve been here twenty minutes and you’re the first car to pull over?”

Ray takes the spare tyre from the trunk of the lady’s car but delivers bad news when he determines that it is as flat as the one that’s on the car. He tells the young lady that he doesn’t live far down the road so he’ll call a garage to send someone to help. She is very grateful but asks if she can go with him as the harsh sunlight is making the temperature unbearable. Ray agrees and the young woman introduces herself as Connie.

Later, at Ray’s house…

Having cleaned up a bit, Connie is admiring the wonderful paintings on the walls of Ray’s house. Ray has, in the meantime, fixed them both a cool drink and Connie compliments him on his beautifully decorated house. By way of a subtle comment, Connie learns that Ray is married.

connie02Almost unheard by Ray, Connie says…

“Well isn’t that always the way?
The good ones are usually taken…”

Ray proudly shows Connie some framed photographs of his wife and daughter, Charlie. Apparently just making conversation, Connie learns that Charlie is really only Ray’s wife’s daughter.

“Actually she’s my wife’s daughter. She was married before.”

To which Connie replies…

“Ah, weren’t we all..?”

Ray goes on to reveal that his wife and daughter are currently on their way to Switzerland and it was from the airport that he had been driving when he met Connie. Ray is clearly in some distress as he adds that Charlie is going to a boarding school in Switzerland and that Charlie didn’t want to go either.

Connie asks how long they’ve gone for but, to his increasing sorrow, Ray can’t answer that question because he doesn’t know. At that moment the telephone rings, interrupting the conversation.

As Ray answers the ‘phone, Connie’s eyes show her to be deep in thought.

Theconnie03 telephone conversation is brief and, when he hangs up, Ray tells Connie that it was the tow-truck who will be at her car within a few moments so it’s time he returned her to her vehicle. Connie tells Ray how appreciative she is of his help and that she would like to repay his kindness in some way. Ray tells her to think nothing of it as he was only doing what anyone would have done – but Connie reminds him that no one else did.

As Connie gathers up her bag and heads to the door, Ray’s perplexed expression follows her…


Even if you’re unaware of where the characters of Connie and Ray are going, there are some knowing pointers in this episode. The first being when Ray is driving along the motorway and he sees Connie and her car. Listen to the music that’s playing over his radio. As Ray gets out of his car he turns the song off but it is clear that the singer was about to reach the line “Looking for love in all the wrong places…”.

Secondly, and perhaps not as importantly, one of the first things that Connie says to Ray is “Thank God you came by. Do you know I’ve been here twenty minutes and you’re the first car to pull over?”. However, if you take a moment to look at the situation this seems to be highly unlikely. Connie is standing at the edge of the road like the epitome of the ‘Damsel In Distress’. She’s wearing a tiny and extremely figure-hugging mini-skirt showing legs of perfection. The road is clearly extremely busy. And yet she’s been there “twenty minutes” and no one has pulled over to help? So men don’t drive down that road, then?


A most intriguing start to an interesting relationship.

At first glance, Connie Hall appears to be just a typical driver who’s had a spot of misfortune. She’s kind, gracious, beautiful (surely a huge contrast to many of the regular characters of Dallas). However, if these two scenes told the entire tale of this young woman, they would have no relevance to the on-going storyline of this popular series. We have, therefore, been given the promise of something interesting for the future.

Playing against Michele in both scenes is Steve Kanaly who would later go on to star as the malevolent J.D. in Michele’s series of Okavango. While his Okavango character appears to be much more interesting than Ray, Kanaly plays Ray with a kind of sympathetic compassion that is second to none. An example of a fine actor at work.

As Connie Hall has yet to be defined as a character, Michele plays her with a knowing glint. On the surface, Connie does appear to be just a sweet and kind young woman in a little bit of trouble – but if you have just a hint of what will happen in the future, there are some telltale signs to look out for.

It’s this multi-faceted ability at acting that marks Michele as being unique, and you won’t be able to wait until the next episode…