Dynasty Season 1 Episode 12 – TV Review
Much like the situation The Vampire Diaries and The Originals found themselves in, it seems like Riverdale and Dynasty, too, have ended up on the see-saw of television episode quality.
While Riverdale keeps on floundering, Dynasty’s here to make it clear that not all soap operas on the CW are in trouble.
And we’ve even got a Gossip Girl alum on the guest star list this time. Keep shining, Dynasty.
TL;DR Cristal tussles with her loyalty to Blake while trying to maintain her integrity; she, naturally, finds a third option that partially satisfies both; Fallon tries to mend bridges with Monica, who turns out to be as callous and cunty as her brother; Steven decides he wants to run for political office; Sam is hired as Fallon’s assistant.
With Fallon as his hag, will Sam finally rise to the GBF heights of our dreams?
So it’s time for another themed party, as our main characters converge on a fundraising casino night that Cristal and Blake are hosting for a senator. However, Cristal discovers that said senator is both a heinous racist, and that as a judge he ran rampant in accepting bribes. Including from Blake. An old journalist friend of Cristal’s is threatening to run the story, and Cristal is torn between her family and her integrity. Thankfully, after a timely reality check from Blake about how Cristal’s own past has hardly been squeaky clean, she chooses a third option to gift wrap a huge infidelity scandal about the senator (thanks in part to the hilarious and lushy ravings of his wife, Gossip Girl’s Kelly Rutherford) to her journalist friend, and the senator’s career is destroyed without taking Blake with it. Aww. Meanwhile, Fallon has two irons in the fire at casino night. First is her desperate attempt to win over a wind farm proprietor to keep her company with Jeff afloat (this, obviously, leads to a high-stakes poker game); and then there’s her attempt to make peace with Monica. Who this episode is told by Jeff about his nefarious plans to destroy Fallon and the Carringtons. Although Monica shows disgust for her brother’s designs, and seems to help Fallon in her poker game later, the episode closes with Monica instead deciding to join her brother in tearing down her former friend’s family. Rude. Meanwhile, Steven and Sam both search for jobs after moving out of home. Steven lands a similar charity job, but Sam is disappointed that Steven isn’t chasing his dreams or something. So Steven decides he’s going to run for political office. And Sam comes out the winner in Fallon’s quest for a new assistant.
Ah, sweet nepotism.
I thought Dynasty might hit some turbulence following last week’s bombastic kidnapping episode.
But I just can’t resist a good party episode. And almost every episode of Dynasty that doesn’t involve kidnapping is a party episode (and some have both!), so yay for me.
Wouldn’t mind a decent arc to form, though.
Why I hate this episode:
Yes, now that Alejandro and Iris are outta here, we’re back to being left only with Jeff and his evil plans. And the problem with being left with Jeff and his evil plans is that Jeff is an outsider. Once Jeff (and, now, Monica) is discovered as a villain, our heroes will rally to defeat and banish him. Nobody will miss him. Even Fallon, his one emotional connection to the show, is already ignoring him this episode now that they’re broken up. Jeff and Monica being outed as villains and being removed from the show won’t really change the show. Because they don’t really have an effect on the main characters.
Which is why we need Alexis. The stakes are a lot higher when you’re facing off against your mother/ex-wife/your husband’s ex-wife. Jeff is basically a Disc 1 Final Boss, but Dynasty thinks we don’t know there are more discs in the case. I’m not invested.
Jeff and Monica are also hard to invest in as characters, themselves. Monica is singularly unlikeable as a character, cemented this episode by her repulsive flip-flop on the Fallon situation. When Jeff first tells her he plans to marry and use Fallon to control Carrington Atlantic as revenge for what Blake did to their father, she cusses him out for wanting to hurt Fallon for something that wasn’t her fault. But then nek minnit to close out the episode, Monica’s like “nah fuck that bitch.” How about fuck you, bitch? Fuck you.
The senator’s anti-immigrant stance is a little on the nose in a Trump world. And then Dynasty uses that as a motivator for Steven to decide he actually doesn’t like doing charity work, which up until now we’ve been shown is his passion, and instead he wants to be a politician. This show just needs to admit it doesn’t know what to do with Steven.
Oh, and I hope this isn’t the last we see of Kelly Rutherford. She was a hoot.
But it’s not all bad:
She is impressively honest right off the bat with Cristal regarding how she loathes the direction her life took, and that it was all sacrificed to prop up her racist, douchebag husband. She’s got the poise and pomp of Lily van der Woodsen, but is much more fun.
And I hope this opens the door for more Gossip Girl actors to show up in cameo or minor roles. Dynasty is essentially Gossip Girl’s successor. When it’s right, it’s right.
My belated wish about Cristal and Fallon’s relationship being a Vitriolic Best Buds situation, rather than straight-up enemies, appears to be gaining steam this episode. When they both take a breather at the bar at the casino night party, they weave advice in for each other in between the requisite sniping. Now all we need is Alexis as a true Big Bad, and the dynamic will be complete.
I’ll give Cristal points this episode for handling the senator with the third option approach. Sure, it’s a cop out. But I can’t fault Cristal for getting the job done. And Blake did make a good point about how, when she was looking down her nose at him about his bribes, she seemed to be forgetting the cascade of garbage her own past carries. Business moguls don’t get the luxury of moral absolutes, Cristal. You’re learning that.
Fallon’s plot hasn’t got quite as much at stake, as I still don’t really care about her company with Jeff. Having Rex from Desperate Housewives as the sleazy investor was a cute touch, but did you ever think Fallon wasn’t going to win that poker game? But hey, it’s a casino party. And I enjoyed the (predictable) ride.
And it’s a shame about Monica’s cuntery at the end. The reveal that she prompted Fallon with a coded message during the poker game was super fun.
I hope Sam can pick up some tips on being less of a waste of space now that he’s going to be working with Fallon.
Oh, and Fallon’s party dress this episode is kinda basic. But she does rock not one, but two Business Bitch power suits earlier on. Maybe day wear is just more her style?