Dynasty Season 1 Episode 17 – TV Review
I would happily get day drunk and watch poolside catfights every day if I could.
Let me live your life, Cristal.
TL;DR Alexis shakes things up by inheriting Carrington Manor; her efforts to ingratiate herself to Fallon are not successful; because it’s pretty clear she’s largely/only motivated by the money; Liam continues to hang around; Blake is confused by his hate boner for Alexis; Black Driver abruptly quits and leaves.
I only just realised as of beginning to write this post that the Colby family did not factor into this episode. And I did not miss them.
So it’s all about Alexis, which is exactly as things should be. The major thrust of the episode comes as a result of Grandpa Carrington’s will leaving Alexis Carrington Manor, which pisses everyone the fuck off. But none more than Fallon, who is doubly offended by Alexis’ attempts to repair their damaged familial bond. Alexis does try to explain her abandonment of her children by revealing Blake’s bribery of the custody judge, which temporarily dampens Fallon’s fire. But then she and Black Driver discover that Alexis has not actually been gallivanting around Europe and Dubai for the past few months, and has in fact been living penniless in a trailer just outside Atlanta and planning her revenge. A catfight in the pool ensues, with the end result being Fallon (brandishing a gun, dramatically) proclaiming she’ll never live under the same roof as Alexis again. So Alexis instead finds a legal loophole that lets her move into the stable house (Black Driver’s apartment) for the time being. She’s crafty. Black Driver, by they way, has left because his father is sick or something. Do you really care? Meanwhile, Steven comes under fire for having been in touch with Alexis over the past few months. Meanwhile, Alexis’ sexual wiles still have an effect on Blake, but he resists her for now. Sadly, his obsession over defeating her puts Cristal offside. And Liam is sticking around, with Sam acting as his guide on all things Fallon so that Alexis doesn’t sniff out the sham-ness of their marriage and fight with her about that.
If Liam keeps his facial hair at that exact length, he can stay around as long as he likes.
This episode is not as plot or arc-heavy as other recent winners. But that’s not what it’s about.
It’s about Alexis being the larger than life bitch goddess we need her to be. And even though she plays things (or at least she says she does) a bit more genuine than expected, she’s still the swanning soap opera villainess of my wet dreams.
And clearly Dynasty’s given Alexis a bit of a Real Housewives update, as there is pulling of hair extensions in this episode.
Why I hate this episode:
The reveal of Steven’s correspondence with Alexis doesn’t really add much to the episode, save for the epic bitch slap Fallon lays on him. But it just makes him look snivelling and gross, and it begs the question as to why this was never mentioned or alluded to earlier.
Do we care that Black Driver has resigned?
Did Blake really let Alexis’ dog out? Because that’s fucked up.
Oh, and the only downside to the mega conflict between Alexis and Fallon is that Cristal doesn’t get much opportunity to fight with her. The Alexis/Cristal sniping is pretty genial and restrained, all things considered. I know not every scene can be a cartoony catfight, but I want to see what kind of punches (literal punches, preferably) Cristal can get in.
But it’s not all bad:
The joke that Alexis named her dog Cristal is lowbrow, but Dynasty does get some surprisingly solid mileage out of it. I hope it turns back up unharmed.
Being a lowbrow trashfight is everything this episode is about, and by God, it works. Fallon’s outlandish bitchiness towards Cristal was intense enough, and she didn’t even have an emotional connection to Cristal. Now that she’s got her own neglectful mother to rail against, it’s time for the hair extensions to really fly.
Yes, as predicted, the poolside catfight is the highlight of the episode. It comes on the heels of Fallon’s discovery of Alexis’ trailer of shame, and the realisation that her efforts to get back in with her children are mostly to do with needing money. Fallon enters the scene with a wordless, vicious, walking bitch slap to Steven (because he’d been corresponding with Alexis behind her back), and things only get better from there.
She then goes outside and hurls the requisite accusations of lying and betrayal at Alexis, and the scene is gloriously improved by all the other characters coming out onto the balcony to spectate and serve us reaction shots. Top marks to Cristal, natch, who evidently relishes the feud. Sam, too, shares her enthusiasm for a good catfight. And Liam, having spent his episode with Sam, also turns out to enjoy the show. Straights and gays alike know that Dynasty is a good time. This is the future.
Fallon’s escalation to pulling out Alexis’ hair comes out of nowhere, and it is perfection. The tumble into the pool comes with appropriate timing, and Alexis even retrieves her chunk of hair when she gets out and shakes it at Fallon in anger. Omfg.
Dynasty probably takes things a little too far when Fallon further ramps up the drama back inside by brandishing her gun and firing it at champagne bottles and windows, but for this show, I’ll allow it. Nobody treats it too seriously, so it doesn’t feel out of place.
But Alexis isn’t only here to catfight with Fallon. She’s also here to test just how susceptible Blake is to her sexuality. And the answer appears to be that the loin fires still burn. Although, he doesn’t take her up on the offer because he is still super pissed off about whatever it was that broke them up. He is distracted enough by Alexis, however, to rebuff Cristal’s pragmatic suggestion to simply let Alexis have Carrington Manor (Blake can afford another house, yo). And her explanation of her altruistic visits to her lawyer also falls flat because Blake obsesses over Alexis. Aww.
The one person Alexis appears to get along with is Steven. She does have to stifle her horror when he tells her he’s engaged to Cristal’s nephew, though. And isn’t stifling horror what family is really about?
Fallon gets the episode’s two best lines. The runner up is this early jab at Alexis, which serves as a backhanded compliment to Cristal: “You’d hate her (Cristal). And that’s my favourite thing about her.” Cristal is in the room, obviously.
The best line of the episode is another one to put in your Fallon Carrington Inspirational Quotes album: “I don’t say things I don’t mean. Unless it’s ‘sorry.'” Step aside, Marilyn. The Quote Queen has arrived.
Blake’s lawyers find out Alexis supposedly manipulated Grandpa into altering his will to leave her Carrington Manor, which Alexis assumes is something he’s cooked up. But Fallon later gleefully reveals she arranged for it.
Dynasty isn’t entirely without its emotional core this episode. Alexis clearly is in it for the money, but she also seems to be sincere in her proclamations that she wants to return to being a dutiful mother to Fallon (and Steven, I suppose). We will see.
Liam’s subplot that sees Sam teaching him about Fallon so that Alexis doesn’t find out their marriage is a sham seems moot now that we know Alexis has been following them long enough to figure that out. But Sam and Liam make for a fun odd couple.
Oh, and my weakness for blandly attractive white guys endures.