Dynasty Season 1 Episode 10 – TV Review
Step aside, Riverdale. You were not the best soap opera on the CW this week.
Dynasty hits its most Gossip Girl-esque stride yet this episode. And there’s another extravagant party.
Sadly, no fountain shoves. But you can feel it coming.
TL;DR Sam’s not-dead father’s scheme arrives, is played out, and thwarted all in one impressively slick episode; Cristal, Fallon, and Blake prove they’re at their best when they work together; Steven languishes in threadbare subplot purgatory, but not obtrusively; Jeff hovers menacingly on the sidelines; the episode ends in a surprise kidnapping.
With chloroform. Rejoice in the camp!
So we’ll get right to the juicy triumph of the episode, and that’s the scheme at Fallon’s 25th birthday party to stop Sam’s father, Alejandro. Cristal spends most of the episode discovering he’s alive and enduring his blackmail, which forces her to endorse a business deal he wants to make between his employers (Venezuelan gangsters and/or the Venezuelan government?) and Carrington Atlantic. Cristal convinces Blake to agree to the deal because Alejandro’s men, thanks to Iris’ stolen intel, have abducted a Carrington Atlantic lawyer who could spill enough secrets to destroy the company. When shit blows up at Fallon’s birthday party, Cristal is slugged with humiliation from Fallon and Blake, while Sam covertly arranges to leave town with his now-reunited parents. Except psych, it was all a delicious, orgasmic scheme. Cristal came clean to Blake almost immediately, and Fallon, upon being tipped off about the deal by Jeff, was then brought on board by Blake. Sam also chose this family over his biological one, and by their powers combined, the abducted lawyer is freed, and Alejandro and Iris shamed out and into the night. And then Iris chloroforms and kidnaps Fallon. Oh. Mon. Dieux. Meanwhile, Jeff spends his time this episode pressuring Fallon into investing her trust fund (which she can now access as she’s come of age) into their company. She hesitates, but eventually agrees, and Jeff ends things by telling his imprisoned father that his new plan is no longer to destroy Carrington Atlantic, but to take it over. Jeff and Black Driver also decide not to be jealous of each other anymore, and Black Driver begins to enjoy his relationship with Monica. Oh, and Steven makes do this week with a subplot about avoiding going to rehab to instead steal and sell some of Blake’s watches to offer money to the widow of that guy he inadvertently killed. Sam helps him in this endeavour, and they bond.
Sam also makes out with one of the servers at Fallon’s party more or less in front of Steven, though, so this ship isn’t back afloat just yet.
So Steven’s wacky side quest aside, this is an absolutely winning episode of Dynasty. I’ve done a lot of comparing Dynasty to Gossip Girl since it began, and this episode’s scheme reveal felt just like when our old Upper East Side friends would put their petty differences aside to take down a villain. It was that good.
I guess the only downside to a tasty scheme wherein Fallon, Cristal, and Blake all team up is that it takes away potential time dedicated to infighting between them.
I’m ready for the next great catfight scene, please. I mean, really, there should be at least one per episode, no?
Why I hate this episode:
Sam, unsurprisingly, is the weakest member of the Cabal of Cunts. I admire his devotion to his aunt and her new family. but Dynasty left a lot of drama un-mined regarding his daddy issues. He could have at least taken a moment to patch things up with Cristal after finding out his dad truly is a scumbag. Let your characters live, Dynasty. Schemes are fun, but that better not be all you’ve got.
Speaking of empty, nothing wastes of time, what the hell, Steven? How is a quick $20,000 in cash supposed to absolve you of your guilt of kind-of killing a guy? You call that a hush money pay out? Fucking Claudia got a cool half million, you know. This is weak, Steven.
How does Fallon investing trust fund money in the company with Jeff precipitate Jeff’s resolution to take over Carrington Atlantic? Not that anyone cares, but there’s no chain of causation there, right?
Cristal brings up Alejandro’s abuse of Iris during the episode (Iris handwaves this as “we all make mistakes”), but Sam, oddly, never broaches the subject. Again, weird.
Oh, and Dynasty wimps out on the much better and right-there joke regarding Sam’s mouth being smeared with gold body paint from the server. He says it was from kissing his pec or something (evidenced by a smudged patch on that actor’s chest), but a fellatio joke was ready and waiting, show. Just do it. We can handle it.
But it’s not all bad:
I preferred to imagine that’s what the joke was, and it made watching the ensuing scene between him and Steven better, with that gold body paint just smacked on his mouth the whole time.
Steven’s subplot may be pointless, but I enjoyed his bonding time with Sam. They don’t get back together, but after the exhausting see-saw of their relationship until this point, I’m finding more value in this approach to take it slowly.
But enough about Steven. The star of the show is the scheme reveal in the Carrington Manor office, and it is divine. I didn’t anticipate it at all, which made it all the more satisfying. Although, I agree with Cristal’s questioning of Blake calling her a whore during their fake fight. Maybe there’s a little more truth to that than he’s willing to concede?
The true delight of the whole scheme, though, is that these characters, taking a cue from the denizens of Riverdale, actually talked to each other about their problems. And quickly. Cristal told Blake about Alejandro lickety-split. And when Fallon, having discovered the Venezuela deal independently via Jeff, confronts Blake about it, he instantly tells her the skinny and gets her on board for the scheme. Keep it up, team.
And that the final moment of the episode is Iris kidnapping Fallon is the icing on the cake. Let loose and dare to be crazy camp stupid, Dynasty. Chuck a bit of meaningful character development in there, too, and you could be great.
Alexis Carrington gets some more lip service this episode, and my anticipation continues to build.
I’m grateful for Jeff and Black Driver’s small exchange at the birthday party about ending their animosity. Though, I expect the calm will end when Jeff proposes to Fallon, as he explains to his father that this is part of his plan. Schemes, kidnappings, and now underhanded weddings? This is soap heaven.
Fallon gets the best line of the episode when someone mentions commitment: “Ugh, the real ‘C’ word.” Too real, Fallon. But I still laughed.
Fallon brings in a humongous portrait of herself for the party. I’m kind of shocked this isn’t part of the regular decor of the home, already.
Oh, and Cristal manages to eclipse Fallon in both her daywear and party attire this episode. And that hair? Oh, Fallon. You’re falling behind.