Dynasty Season 1 Episode 3 – TV Review
I know I’ll regret it, but I’m calling it early: Dynasty is the new Gossip Girl.
Not only have we got fabulous parties every episode and arbitrary bitchiness, but this episode cements the fact that Dynasty is also gonna give us delectable fashion.
See Fallon’s power suit up there? That wasn’t even for the ironic 80s party. This is her regular day wear.
TL;DR Fallon and Blake go at it over business stuff, and Blake apparently has Nick Wechsler’s phone; Steven also wants that phone to exonerate himself, but Blake says that it didn’t actually have anything on it and he got rid of it; but he didn’t, and it did; it does get stolen by a plan Sam enacts to get money to his mum, after Cristal fails to come through for her; Jeff doesn’t get along with Blake, or with Black Driver; the 80s party goes by without much fanfare, but damn, Cristal and Fallon break out some lewks.
Keep it coming, girls.
So we’ll start with Fallon, because this episode seems to be pushing her in a villain protagonist direction (she’s Blair Waldorf, I’m telling you). She lives the high life with her new business venture with Jeff, while still getting some D on the DL from Black Driver, but Blake suddenly sues her to stop using the Carrington name for her company. Fallon’s response, naturally, is to dig up some dirt on Blake so she can blackmail him. Enter Steven, who’s out on bail, and it seems like Blake believes he did kill Nick. But Steven finds out from Black Driver that Blake has Nick’s phone, which means it must have some incriminating shit on it. Fallon finds out, and at the 80s themed charity event, the game is on to steal it. Neither Fallon nor Steven end up with it, as Fallon finds solace in Black Driver’s arms (Jeff is jealous), and Blake tells Steven he sent it back to his police contact because it didn’t have anything on it. Meanwhile, Sam gets a call from his mum, Cristal’s sister, who needs money to escape gang violence or something. Cristal can’t use her credit card due to a meddling Alan Dale, so instead, with Sam breathing down her neck, she schemes to steal the jeweled necklace from the charity auction. Flashbacks show some nebulous backstory about how Cristal stole money to flee to America, and her sister was supposed to join her with Sam, but something went wrong. And then in the present, Cristal decides not to keep living the same mistakes, and chooses not to steal the necklace. But whatever, Sam sends a thug to burgle her and Blake’s shit for the money. Cristal is kind of disappointed, but Blake is (privately) horrified. Because among the things stolen was where Blake hid Nick’s phone, and it did indeed have incriminating shit on it.
Oh, the intrigue.
It’s been an impressively quick climb for Dynasty. The pilot was expectedly mediocre (the Blood & Oil similarities still haunt my nightmares), but in this episode, the only true problem is the dull rivalry between Jeff and Black Driver.
But even that has its own silver lining: in a world where none of the women get along and Dynasty is at risk of being a bad feminist, we also see that none of the men get along, either. So instead of being casually mysoginistic, Dynasty is just a conflict-riddled primetime soap opera.
Which is exactly what it should be.
Why I hate this episode:
Is it weird that both of Fallon’s love interests are black guys, though? Are we allowed to question that?
The Steven/Sam relationship also finds itself at odds with the rest of the show. It’s jarringly sincere and cutesy, which is weird when everyone else is backstabbing and secretly fucking and suing each other.
Oh, and I’m gonna need Dynasty to step up the boys’ fashion game. There are two gay guys in this show. If the girls get to have lewks, so should they. Remember Chuck Bass’ scarf? Dynasty needs one of those.
But it’s not all bad:
I’m half expecting Sam to go full matador at some point. You know it’s gonna happen.
Speaking of things that I said were inevitable, we get a pretty close match to my assumption that someone would get pushed into a fountain at a gala mid-catfight. At the charity ball, Jeff and Blake argue (about how Blake funded Jeff’s education and now he’s biting that hand that fed him. Pretty tame), and they get into a scrap and Blake is pushed into an ice sculpture. Hey, it’s a water feature. I’ll take it.
But enough about them. Fallon and Cristal are the stars of the show, and their 80s outfits at the charity ball are to die for. Can we have an 80s ball every season?
Fallon one-ups Cristal by also serving the above-pictured block colour power suit without any comment. Yes. Bitch.
Fallon’s solution to her Blake problem, blackmail, is sufficiently ridiculous, and fits her perfectly. She also smartly leverages her relationship with Black Driver, which may be more serious than we thought. Hot.
I also appreciated how it ties into Steven’s same quest for Nick’s phone. This subplot also ends in a touching moment between Blake and Steven, when Blake explains he’s decided he now wants to help exonerate Steven because he loves him, which Sam contributes to by telling Steven that he genuinely believes his dad cares about him. Aww.
This is also hilariously undercut minutes later when Blake melts down after discovering the phone was stolen by the burglar. Who knew the Dynasty remake would have layers?
Blake similarly makes peace with Fallon by dropping the name lawsuit.
And Cristal is the one to precipitate this kindness, counselling Blake to be nicer to his kids. Fucking layers, man.
Alexis Carrington gets namedropped again, and I’m salivating at the thought of a third entrant to the Fabulous Bitch Arena. Who would they cast? If it’s Moira from Arrow, I think I could actually die.
Dynasty also keeps up the weird, kitschy slapstick. After Cristal bests Fallon to wear the necklace at the ball, Fallon snatches a champagne glass in anger from a waiter’s tray, which causes them to drop the rest of the tray. Fallon nonchalantly tells the waiter she’s fired before strutting away. I love it, baby.
Steven’s arrest is given context: he helped fund an eco terrorist group, who is claiming responsibility for the attack on Nick at the wind farm. Steven and Blake speculate that they’re lying for publicity, though. Cool.
I like to imagine the episode title, “Guilt is for Insecure People,” is a reference to this iconic Willam line.
Oh, and if Dynasty does shit the bed and turn out not to be the new Gossip Girl, I think it could instead be in the running to be the new Melrose Place (2009). That series was bloody great, Ashlee Simpson’s acting talent be damned. Give me a bitchy, drunk Laura Leighton and an aggressively bisexual Katie Cassidy everyday.