Dynasty Season 1 Episode 8 – TV Review
My fear that, with Claudia’s ousting, Corrupt Cop would be our new villainous focal point is quickly assuaged this episode.
It’s a Christmas miracle.
TL;DR Jeff rids himself of his scruples and rids Dynasty of Corrupt Cop; Steven learns the horrible truth about that guy he inadvertently killed, though; Fallon plays more jealousy games with Jeff and Black Driver; Cristal pays off ghosts from her pasts; Sam finds himself ill-equipped to scheme against the Carringtons (but in a harmless, playful way); Blake pretends to feel sorry for Cristal’s Venezuela sob story, but actually only wants to dig some dirt.
Whereas Cristal only wants to dig gold. Zing.
So we’ll start with Fallon, who is the only one to have any fun this episode. Except a lot of her actions seem to, oddly, be sincere and painful. Ugh. She is very clearly not over Black Driver, and her attempts this week to befriend Corey (I’ve name upgraded Councilwoman) go as poorly as expected. So instead she just parades Jeff around or whatever to make Black Driver feel jealous, I think? In the end, Corey dumps Black Driver because he, too, is not over Fallon, but Fallon finds Jeff a better prospect. I’d say a trademark “who cares” here, but Jeff is where things get interesting. Our other major plot this week is Steven and Jeff’s proposed takedown of Corrupt Cop. Blake (via fake kidnapping) tries to warn Steven off of going after Corrupt Cop, but he doesn’t listen, and after Jeff’s hacking of old case files proves fruitless, Steven sets up a bugged sting conversation. Corrupt Cop doesn’t fall for it, but he does inform Steven about that guy whose Steven’s negligence got killed. Yikes. Steven exits the episode in a coke-fuelled grief bender (and off to see his addict ex-boyfriend), but Jeff quietly saves the recording of the corruption admitted by Corrupt Cop and sends him packing. And then he hooks up with Fallon, and now I’m much more into Jeff. He’s got claws, baby. Meanwhile, Cristal is blackmailed by the guys she robbed in Venezuela, and it’s revealed she fell pregnant back then and her sister’s abusive boyfriend caused her to miscarry during a fight. She tells all this to Blake, which curiously means Cristal’s got no secrets left from him. Apart from the blackmail part, though. But Alan Dale helps her with that, and the money drop off appears to go smoothly. Blake also finds out she’s been using contraception behind his back, but the miscarriage sob story warms his heart, and he resolves to bring Cristal’s sister to the US to stay. So he can interrogate her on what else Cristal could be hiding, you know? And poor Sam gets a token subplot wherein he tries to offer his services to Blake and Fallon to help them pick out gifts for their respective companies’ clients for Christmas. A rebuff from each side sees him choosing to usurp Fallon’s gift idea to impress Blake, but Fallon easily outmanoeuvres him.
She does also later offer to teach him her ways. So that’s cool.
So in true primetime soap opera fashion, Dynasty keeps the entire Soap Wheel turning this week. I mean, look at that marathon plot rundown just above. And that’s only lightly detailed.
And it’s nice to see them chucking Sam a subplot. When even the characters in the show continually question why he’s even here, you’ve gotta worry for the kid.
I can see him becoming the Jenny to Fallon’s Blair.
Why I hate this episode:
Let’s hope that he doesn’t go full Jenny and turn into an obtuse blight on the show and sleep around inconveniently.
Because Dynasty already has a blight of its own, and that’s the Fallon/Black Driver relationship. Have I just been in denial this entire time, and the show actually was building him as a genuine love interest for her? Because, and say it with me people, he’s too darn bland. At least Jeff has finally become interesting with his villainous glint. Black Driver’s only qualities remain as “handsome” and “Blake is not a fan.” I’m tired of waiting for something more.
And the fact that so much of Fallon’s energy is spent on him continues to keep her and Cristal apart. I was promised catfights, dammit.
Part of Jeff’s steamrolling of Corrupt Cop is to call him out for being a bad black role model and ending up as a rich, white man’s lackey. Oh, Dynasty. You are not the place for that kind of commentary.
Cristal seems oblivious to the fact that when you acquiesce to blackmailers, they will come back demanding more money. Not even Alan Dale, Mr Nasty Pragmatism, brings it up. It’s distracting.
Jeff’s sister continues to hover around, but I can’t tell if she’s supposed to be a featured extra, or an actual supporting character. This is also distracting.
Fallon seems to have settled into this boring hairstyle with the half beehive. It’s too soft for her brash character. She needs more variety, and to take more risks.
Oh, and the fake kidnapping of Steven was wholly unnecessary. You don’t need to try so hard, Dynasty.
But it’s not all bad:
I admire Steven’s determination to forge ahead with his plans against Corrupt Cop, even after his own dad warns him that his life could be in danger if he proceeds. I guess Steven’s not such a moldy fig after all.
It comes apart spectacularly, though, when Corrupt Cop pre-empts the bugged meeting and then goes on to destroy Steven with the truth about that guy he kind of killed. Hey, anything that gets Steven back on the coke, back on the dick, and out of the swamp of mediocrity he’s been trudging through. Charities are boring. Drug addict ex-boyfriends have much more getting-pushed-into-a-fountain-at-a-party potential. Werq.
Jeff emerges from this subplot as the surprise winner of the episode, shedding his milquetoast presence and entering new villain territory. If Fallon hadn’t been so consistently established as actually wholesome on the inside, I’d say maybe she and Jeff could work out. Instead, I suspect she’ll figure out his shit at some point and have to work to take him down. Which I’m also here for, by the way.
Jeff not only gets rid of Corrupt Cop by buying him off, but he also secretly keeps the recording of his meeting with Steven. I mean, wouldn’t you?
Fallon is emotionally all over the place this episode, but damn, that Christmas dress is everything.
Her destruction of Sam after his oh-so-clever plan to steal her gift idea is simple but effective. She merely intercepted his order of Google Pixel phones and made the minor change to have the tags say they were from her company, and not Blake’s. Smart. And I’m looking forward to her taking him under her wing.
Cristal drags around her ball and chain of a sob story backstory, but I still find her sympathetic enough. And despite Alan Dale blowing up her contraception spot, it’s cute seeing them work together.
Oh, and Cristal’s Christmas outfit may not have the glitz of Fallon’s, but damn, she’s classy. For a gold digger.