Dynasty Season 1 Episode 18 – TV Review
I feel comforted that my obnoxious Drag Race meme and vernacular-dropping when praising Dynasty was evidently foreshadowing the arrival of Alexis Carrington.
Watch out Gina Liano. You’re not the only biological woman in town who could snatch the crown.
TL;DR Alexis and Fallon go to war, with Sam and Steven caught in the middle; Steven incorrectly chooses Alexis; Blake crumples under the pressure of Alexis’ return; Black Driver’s dad’s illness may be caused by Carrington Atlantic business secrets; Fallon’s eye turns towards Liam as a serious love interest.
For a second there the mentions of Alexis and Blake’s kidnapped and lost first son made me think maybe it’s Liam. But I don’t think Dynasty is edgy enough to do legit incest. Not yet, anyway.
So although Nicolette Sheridan’s credit is Special Guest Star and I fear we could lose her at any minute, she’s still making sure to throw her weight around while she’s here. The major plot of this episode is Fallon’s dogged need to prove that Alexis is up to no good, and things seem to fall into place when she discovers Alexis plans to frame Sam for shoplifting. Although she thwarts her scheme, Alexis manages to put enough doubt on things for Steven to be unsure who to trust. Sam, though, believes Fallon, and together, and with Liam, they enact a plan to drug Alexis’ drink at the engagement party so she’ll spill the tea. Sam ends up with the drugged drink by accident, and Fallon manages to rally just enough bluff to keep herself out of danger, but Steven ends up pissed off at both of them. But then Alexis drops the “you have an older brother who was kidnapped and I spent all my money looking for him can I have some more” bomb. Touchè. Meanwhile, Blake gets pissed off at the Manor staff helping Alexis, so lays down the law and even fires one of the long-timers, much to Cristal and Alan Dale’s horror. Alan Dale even undercuts Blake and hires them back, also dressing Blake down for his inability to handle his feelings about Alexis. Blake tantrums even harder and fires Alan Dale, but that is quickly put to bed. Thankfully. Meanwhile, Cristal wants to know why Black Driver quit, so visits him and his ill father in the hospital. She puts her foot in it and accidentally reveals that Black Driver is actually the Carringtons’ chauffeur, but makes up for her faux pas by arranging for some special medical care. However, it is through this diagnosis that Cristal twigs that the reason for his dad’s leukaemia could be something to do with Carrington Atlantic’s shady past. Alan Dale and Blake also realise this, and intercept Cristal’s attempt to tell Black Driver’s family. Meanwhile, the Colby family’s absence continues. And Fallon and Liam kiss.
It’s a testament to how much I loved Fallon’s dress and hair styling at the party that I looked at her more than him during that moment. Because you know he’s my weakness.
You know what? At this point, even if Dynasty implodes and fucks up the rest of this season entirely, I wouldn’t be mad.
This current string of unblemished wins that we’re on is enough for me. At the outset, this show appeared to be nothing more than a retread of Blood & Oil, but with the extra handicap of being a remake of one of the most iconic primetime soaps of all time. But now it is legitimately the only show I have consistently looked forward to week-on-week.
But please, don’t let Alexis’ time be brief. She hasn’t even fought Cristal yet.
Why I hate this episode:
Alexis hasn’t fought Cristal yet, and I need this in my life.
Steven is the only real problem with this episode. We saw what he was capable of when he was playing Ted’s dad and lying to the police and stuff. But now he’s back to being the innocent, dumb one and believing Alexis’ obvious bullshit. Next episode better show Sam sobering up and telling him that Fallon was right about Alexis.
It’s a minor thing, but Blake rants to Cristal about how his firing of the Manor chef will only be temporary, because he expects she’ll come apologise later and then he’ll take her back to show everyone that he really is generous blah blah. Pretty simple plan. But then when he finds out later that Alan Dale hired her back, he goes fucking ballistic. Gurl, that’s what you were gonna do, anyway.
Oh, and I appreciate that the episode is setting up the conflict between Blake and Cristal, but there’s no way Cristal would have revealed the Carrington Atlantic stuff to Black Driver’s family. What are you doing, show? Alexis is right there if you need Cristal to fight someone.
But it’s not all bad:
I kind of like this magnanimous, high road Cristal, though. I suppose we’ve already got Fallon on the frontlines, clearly willing to do whatever it takes to battle Alexis. Cristal’s altruism is a fitting contrast and offers some variety.
But fuck variety, it’s an all out Bitch War, and I’m loving it. The escalation of the schemes is what really gets me. Alexis’ first strike is a pretty tame framing for shoplifting, that Fallon deftly intercepts. But then Alexis hits back by claiming the research file on Sam that Fallon found in Alexis’ loft is actually Fallon’s research from when she was trying to take down Cristal. It’s plausible.
Then we ramp up straight to putting drugs in champagne at a big party. Oh, you guys. Fallon is unfortunately distracted by Black Driver and Sam ends up with the spiked drink. But Fallon Carrington is not easily perturbed.
After Sam’s actually pretty impressive Broadway moment on the dinner table, he collapses, and Fallon wails that “someone” must have put something in his drink. She openly accuses Alexis, who denies it. But then Fallon proves she is Best Bitch On Top by verbally trapping Alexis into admitting the earlier shoplifting framing attempt. Werk.
Sadly, Steven remains unconvinced by all the spectacle and is rightly upset that Fallon got Sam involved and made this big fucking mess, so turns his back on both of them. But Alexis proves her own mettle with the well timed reveal of hers and Blake’s first son, which gains sympathy and cash from Steven. It’s not over.
On that juicy topic, I suspected this might have been the big thing that broke up Alexis and Blake. And I’m sure it didn’t help. But Blake again alludes to some mysterious, horrible something that Alexis did back in the day. I literally can’t wait to find out what it is.
Blake’s emotional flailing this episode pales in comparison to the major plot with Fallon and Alexis, but the conflict between him and Alan Dale felt like it had real stakes. I audibly gasped when Blake fired him. And Alan Dale reaffirms his allegiance to Blake by tipping him off about Black Driver’s dad’s illness.
The most surprising development this week is the forming of the romance between Liam and Fallon. I’m not surprised that it happened, but I am surprised at how sweet and nice it seems. I know in the back of my mind that he’s a con artist, but from Fallon’s perspective, he’s just this hot guy who’s been helping her with her problems. Even their kiss is just the right amount of chaste to be searing hot. I’m glad he stuck around.
Liam also gets the best line of the episode when he and Fallon are reading the Sam research in Alexis’ loft: “Eight shoplifting charges? Jesus, at some point he’s gotta realise he’s not very good at it.” See? He’s perfect for Fallon.
Black Driver handles the seriousness of his subplot this episode with thankful grace and emotion. His despair over his dad, his shame at Cristal’s accidental revelation of his true job, and his humility when she helps them displays some warmth he’s been missing the past few episodes. It certainly makes his campaign for Fallon’s OTP stronger.
Again, I will commend Dynasty for having so much drama going on that the fashion is so far down on the list. But that doesn’t mean it’s any less divine. Of note is, of course, Alexis’ Evil Queen dinner attire; Alexis also dons a ridiculous hat as part of her shopping ensemble that reminded me of Fallon’s similar tastes; Cristal’s dinner outfit is this billowing silver kimono/wrap dress. But my favourite would have to be Fallon’s shimmering, strapless, green dinner dress. It could just be the best thing she’s worn on the show so far. And that’s saying a lot.
Oh, and having the hair smoothed down was the icing on the cake. I’m sick of that poofy, up-do-at-the-back thing.