Dynasty Season 1 Episode 4 – TV Review
Sadly, if we’re going to continue giving Dynasty the Gossip Girl comparisons, I suppose that comes with the requisite “business stuff” that later-in-life GG kept parading around.
At least there’s still plenty of sex involved.
TL;DR Fallon flubs a business opportunity due to pettiness, alienating herself from both Black Driver and Jeff; Nick Wechsler’s phone turns out to have a Nick/Cristal sex tape, which gets leaked (by Fallon), natch; Steven leverages the phone against Blake’s corrupt cop friend, who closes Nick’s murder case with more forged evidence; Sam’s robbing ways rub Steven the wrong way; Blake grows closer to Cristal, and more secrets emerge.
Shady pasts for all!
So we’ll start with Fallon, who moves ahead of Cristal this week in the “whose story is this” stakes. Fallon and Jeff are riding high on the start of their business, and Fallon assumes she’s a lock to score a city power contract. That is, until the councilwoman in charge is someone to whom Fallon was bitchy in high school and blocks her. Not one to accept defeat, Fallon rallies Jeff and Black Driver into a scheme to convince Councilwoman, but when Cristal’s sex tape falls into her lap (and she immediately leaks it), she gets distracted, and drops the ball. Black Driver, realising how little Fallon truly thinks of him, dumps her ass, and Jeff isn’t pleased with her business flub. Oops. Meanwhile, Steven manages to get Nick’s phone from Sam’s friend who stole it. He blackmails Corrupt Cop guy, who would be in serious trouble if it got out that he’d stolen the phone from evidence for Blake in the first place, into actually solving Nick’s murder. So Steven is no longer a suspect. Obviously, Corrupt Cop then arranges for Nick’s colleague’s “suicide” with a faked confession letter. Steven is exonerated, but horrified. And his day gets no better when Sam admits he set up the robbery last episode. Meanwhile, Cristal takes Blake out to a remote cabin for a delayed, makeshift honeymoon. They bicker because Blake misses having phone access for his job, and the leak of the sex tape does them no favours. But, rather sweetly, they reconcile and their bond grows. And then Blake admits the real reason he wanted Nick’s phone: Nick helped him cover up the death of a worker caused by Steven’s negligence (which Steven doesn’t know about) resulting from Blake pushing his son too fast into a job he wasn’t prepared for. Damn, dude. Oh, and the Alexis mentions continue as Fallon gets a reality check when she realises she can’t keep blaming her mum’s abandonment of her a decade ago for all her problems.
Let’s bring her out, Maury. What are you waiting for?
So after the flashiness of the 80s ball last episode, this week it’s a bit more demure, as our leads stay largely separate from each other.
And we don’t get another arbitrary fabulous party (the nightclub doesn’t count).
But is there at least fashion?
Why I hate this episode:
I’m sad to say that I don’t much care for Fallon’s 60s-inspired looks this week. And her slinky nightclub dress isn’t slinky enough, and her hair was blah. Cristal does break out some rocking pants, though.
Having Cristal and Fallon away from each other is also a problem. The pilot promised us catfights, dammit. Maybe Alexis will arrive and turn out to be Cristal’s actual nemesis. But then where would that leave Fallon?
Steven still seems to be stuck with Sam for every subplot. Even his back-and-forth with Corrupt Cop revolves around and is motivated by interactions with Sam. Steven needs more to do.
And why was he so enraged when Sam admits he was involved in the robbery? Steven didn’t bat an eye about Sam stealing money from his wallet when they first met (it was their Meet Cute). Hypocrisy.
Likewise, Sam’s indignation when he finds out Steven arranged for a police sting on his friend who committed the robbery was dumb as hell.
Oh, and I don’t care about Black Driver or his hurt feelings. You were fucking the boss’s daughter on the DL. Did you really expect it to be any more serious than that?
But it’s not all bad:
He got his own back, though, by immediately hopping into bed with Councilwoman. I relished Fallon’s dejection when she found out. Let this motivate you, girl. Call your mum.
Fallon actually shines the most this episode because of her failures. She loses Black Driver, and she twice fails on the business deal. The first time is for not remembering Councilwoman from high school and acting dismissively towards her, and then she cocks it up again by no-showing at the arranged nightclub meeting. Both of these failures stem from her bitchiness and pettiness, and although I definitely do not want to see those go away, I’m interested to see how Fallon will react to this realisation. Again, girl: call your mum. If you’re going to grow into a better person, at least get Mama Cunt out here to replace you.
Cristal, too, calms down on the cuntitude this episode, but I’ve got to admit (and yes, I am ashamed) that I do believe she genuinely loves Blake. I’m sure the money doesn’t hurt, but she cares about him. It’s nice.
It’s not quite slapstick, but it is the kind of inane subplot ripped straight from a daytime soap: Blake invites Cristal to a moonlit waterfall bush walk at the cabin, and intentionally leads them in the wrong direction so he can get mobile phone reception. Keep it kitschy, Dynasty.
The door is closed on Nick’s murder investigation for now, as Corrupt Cop stages Colleague’s suicide (murder?) and confessional note. While Steven is therefore cleared of suspicion, he is aghast that his demands of Corrupt Cop to solve the case resulted in Corrupt Cop solving it like this.
The plot thickens when Blake confides in Cristal that the phone was more valuable than a sex tape, due to Nick having covered up the worker death caused by Steven’s negligence, caused by Blake’s aggressive parenting. I also appreciated that Blake’s motivation for keeping this secret is not only due to the damage it would do to the company, but because he also wants to protect Steven from knowing he killed a man. They’ve got a long way to go before being compared to the denizens of Riverdale, but maybe the Dynasty characters do actually care about each other?
Fallon picks up the best line of the episode when Black Driver, upon being invited by her into the nightclub, worries he’s not in the appropriate attire: “You’re with me. No one will be looking at you.” See? She speaks only in insults.
Oh, and when it comes to Dynasty fashion, Cristal shows us that sometimes (wearing) less is more.