Dynasty Season 1 Episode 7 – TV Review
Dynasty continues to walk in Gossip Girl’s footsteps by saving some of its best work for the Thanksgiving episode.
It’s a shame things still feel so small in scale.
TL;DR Claudia is revealed to have been faking her illness all along and is actually the one who killed Nick Wechsler (accidentally); this all blows up at Thanksgiving dinner, but our heroes manage to stop her; Fallon works her way back into Blake’s, Cristal’s, and Black Driver’s good books (not without some pushback, though); Steven and Jeff team up to go after Corrupt Cop; Sam and Alan Dale are sequestered with a comic relief subplot; Blake proposes pregnancy to Cristal.
She, rightfully, is like uhhh.
So we’ll cut right to the Claudia chase, as things heat up over Thanksgiving. Cristal has taken it upon herself to take care of Claudia now she’s on the right meds, but in a moustache-twirling twist, it turns out Claudia wasn’t on the wrong meds. Because she was never sick, and never had a brain injury. As deduced by Fallon and kind of flippantly revealed by Claudia, she faked it to keep Nick as her doting husband after finding out about his affair. She used her engineering skills to rig the work truck to explode to punish him for later choosing Cristal, but oops he died. So she then resolved to kill/torture Cristal and the Carringtons or whatever. Some gun-pointing over the Thanksgiving dinner table later, and the gang disarms her and has her sent to the loony bin. It’s all a little blasè, though. Meanwhile, Claudia earlier locks up Sam and Alan Dale in the Carrington Manor basement rooms, and they have some lighthearted witty remarks while working out their escape. Meanwhile, Steven confronts Blake about the boxing gym money problem, but it seems Corrupt Cop isn’t stealing: Blake is paying him off. So Steven resolves to team up with Jeff to take him down. Meanwhile, Fallon’s lack of remorse over the sex tape leads to further strife with Blake and Cristal, so she hangs out with Black Driver’s family at a church volunteer event thing wherein she discovers he’s lied to his parents about his job (that he’s a partner in the company, and not her driver). She doesn’t blow up his spot, and they repair their friendship. Fallon also later patches things up with Blake and Cristal. Meanwhile, Jeff quietly spends his Thanksgiving visiting his father in prison, which is apparently a secret. And Blake caps things off by asking Cristal if she wants to have a baby.
Oh honey, no. Although, can you imagine the fabulous pregnancy fashion? Hmm.
So overall I’m kind of impressed that Dynasty so neatly wrapped up this whole murder mystery arc so quickly. We’re only a third of the way through the season, and it’s done. And I’m glad, because it was way too Blood & Oil.
The climax over a lazy afternoon in the dining room didn’t set me on fire, though.
It was a bit of a yawn.
Why I hate this episode:
Come on, Dynasty. You’re a Soap Opera, not a Soap Community Theatre. Be bigger and bolder and wackier.
Claudia is mainly the one to fuck this all up. It looks like the episode is setting up a tense dinner scene as she keeps the gun trained on a knowing Cristal, while Blake and Steven obliviously enjoy their meal. But Claudia very quickly shows her hand and then spends the remainder of the confrontation, even after Fallon’s arrival, kind of standing around in one spot. They kept calling you a crazy bitch, baby. You should have been a crazy bitch.
Now that the Claudia/Nick stuff is done, it looks like it’s time to move onto Corrupt Cop. Could we not, though? I’m already over that, too.
We’ve also got the very end of the episode with the Venezuelan gangsters coming after Cristal by spooking her money transfer contact. Again, this had already been established and was inevitable, but the last thing Dynasty needs is some gritty gang drama. That kind of thing isn’t doing Riverdale any favours, and Dynasty is much more grounded in the real world than Riverdale. So get ready to be bogged down.
Oh, and Steven still feels badly that Corrupt Cop murdered Nick’s colleague or whatever. Who cares?
But it’s not all bad:
Now that Steven’s teamed up with Jeff to take down Corrupt Cop, he’s finally got a Sam-less subplot of his own. My prayers have been answered.
Speaking of Sam, Dynasty continues to prove that the one thing it can be relied upon for is surprising comedy scenes. With Claudia upstairs swinging guns around, you’d think that Sam and Alan Dale would be more serious about their need to get free and save the family. But they instead spend their time mocking each other’s names (Alan’s middle name is Winifred?) and complaining about how long it’s taken to get out. Keep it breezy, Dynasty. That’s your sweet spot.
Fallon, ever the hero of this show, manages to do this during the Claudia gun-toting climax. She blasts in to the dinner with her deduced knowledge that Claudia, an engineer, was the one who sabotaged Nick’s work truck. So when Claudia pulls the gun on her, instead of cowering in fear, Fallon instead continues on her prepared “look how fucking smart I am” tirade, finishing on her knowledge that the gun Claudia stole from the cellar is actually faulty.
Claudia then successfully fires the gun into the turkey (Alan Dale fixed it), but Fallon still stands her ground, evidently not the kind of bitch who lets mortal danger stand in the way of a good put-down parade. I live for her.
Fallon naturally gets both of the episode’s best lines. The runner up is one of her Claudia insults during the climax, when it’s revealed Claudia faked her brain injury: “Why fake such a miserable life?” She doesn’t miss a beat.
The best, though, is earlier when everyone is preparing for the family vs staff football game, and Fallon, already on prickly terms with Blake and Cristal over her lack of remorse for the sex tape, greets a number of players from the opposing team with flirting and kisses. Cristal sets her right on up:
Cristal: “The whole team?”
Fallon: “And yet not one sex tape.”
It doesn’t go down well with Blake and Cristal, but I’ll give her snaps and a tongue pop on that one.
She also makes an insensitive remark about the church dinner event (not maliciously), and immediately apologises by writing a cheque for the “rich bitch tax” to the organiser. She’s a sweetheart.
I’m glad Fallon and Black Driver have mostly patched things up. I’m still not rooting for them as a couple (as I have made clear, he is far too bland for her), but they do work well as friends.
The reveal of Claudia as Nick’s killer was a genuine OMFG moment on par with some of Gossip Girl’s. I think I need to keep in mind that this is only episode 7 of the very first season. Gossip Girl didn’t reach the height of its powers until the end of Season 1 and most of Season 2.
Oh, and the climax may have taken place in a mundane setting, but Claudia dressed for the job she wanted, not the job that was given to her.