It really was weird what happened to that season of Dallas.
Everything seemed to be working quite well for the first half of the season, but as soon as the Angelica Nero storyline got going, it turned into a real mess.
Why was Sue Ellen suddenly happy to be working? Why did they start messing with JR's character to such an extent?
I can understand Peter Dunne trying to bring it back to more of an ensemble piece - it seemed like that's what he was trying to do, remove the emphasis on JR as the lead and spread the stories around more evenly to the other characters. But then there was that really odd excursion to Bogota and Matt Cantrell, which made no sense other than a way of writing VP out for a couple of episodes due to her "bad back" (am I the only one who thinks this was code for needing time off for some cosmetic surgery?) and then the whole Jack's double/Martinique business which was just odd, and not Dallas at all ...
And then once that storyline was done the remainder of the season seemed like a really odd patch up job ... why was Katzman suddenly back writing every second episode? That seems as if he was brought in to try to improve things, but how much leeway was he getting, how much influence in the writer's room?
It does seem like there was a lot going on behind the scenes that was having a detrimental impact on the show. Maybe once Katzman left, Capice was under pressure to assert his influence more ... Hagman did seem to blame the whole direction of the season on Capice, not anyone beneath him. I guess we won't ever know unless someone convinces Peter Dunne or Joel Feigenbaum to do an interview and put forward their side of what happened. And even then, of course, that's only one side of the story.