Dynasty Season 1 Episode 20 – TV Review
Can you imagine how heartbreaking it would be if Dynasty dropped the ball in the season’s final two episodes?
Because after this run of utter perfection, it would be such a shame.
Also, I want Alexis’ hair. Every artificial piece of it.
TL;DR Alexis secretly screws over Fallon and Cristal, and makes her play to form an alliance with Jeff; Fallon and Cristal unite to outmanoeuvre Blake on the poisoning scandal, but Blake crushes them expertly; Black Driver’s dad dies; Steven tracks down Adam Carrington; and Jeff is also a Carrington.
Just last week I said we’d have to wait until Season 2 for some incest. It’s like Dynasty heard me. And answered.
So holy moly, there’s a lot to cover this episode. We’ll start with Fallon and Cristal, as Fallon confronts her about the Carrington Atlantic poisoning scandal, and they join forces to ensure it’s handled the right way. This does not fly with Blake, though, who stubbornly refuses to admit any wrongdoing. They scheme to steal the complete deposition recording from last episode to prove Blake is culpable, but the story somehow breaks on the news and things get more complicated. Fallon makes an appeal to her father with her green energy know-how to steer through the scandal, but at the press conference, Blake viciously announces CA will be absorbing Morell Corp in their bid to indeed go green, and that Fallon will be replacing Cristal as COO. Blake is not fucking around. This explosively destroys Cristal’s and Fallon’s tenuous alliance, and when Cristal finds out Black Driver’s father has died and he’s looking for some vengeance, she offers her services. Meanwhile, Alexis continues to push her proposed team-up with Jeff, and ropes in Monica to help convince him. It is via this that Alexis learns Cecil’s house arrest is almost up, so she whispers the same in Blake’s ear. This motivates Blake to pull strings to have it extended, riling up Jeff to find himself open to Alexis’ plans, and he’s further intrigued when she reveals she’s the one who exposed the poisoning scandal behind everyone’s backs. But Alexis isn’t one to rest on her laurels, and after we get some interspersed flashbacks throughout the episode of Blake forcing a teenaged Fallon and Jeff out of a romantic relationship, Alexis drops the bomb on present day Jeff as to why: Jeff is a Carrington. Gurl, I am hooked. Meanwhile, Sam cameos in a mostly innocuous subplot about wondering what Steven is up to because he wasn’t staying where he said he would be (in between wedding planning, of course). Alan Dale suggests he place a little more faith in the purest Carrington, and also confides in Sam about an ex-wife and estranged daughter her has. Cool. And Steven doesn’t get a lot of screentime, but he makes it count by tracking down a lead on Adam Carrington, and apparently finding his long lost brother.
One sudden brother isn’t enough, Adam. They had to give us Jeff, too. It’s sublime.
I simply can’t fault this episode. Even the usually bland Steven keeps his subplot lean and to the point, and he’s already found Adam after only being on the road for two episodes.
Dynasty could be too big to fail at this point. I can’t even begin to imagine a season finale that wouldn’t live up to what’s been built up so far.
This level of optimism scares me.
Why I hate this episode:
The only subplot that falls flat is Sam’s, but it doesn’t metastasise and hurt anyone else’s goings on. In fact, it leads us to that little humbling moment for Alan Dale to admit his family failures (and with a phone call to his daughter later in the episode, the potential for a new character). My only gripe is that Sam’s worries about his wedding preparation and future house husband status are, like, basic. And Dynasty doesn’t do basic, anymore.
Nobody questions whether Blake could have made copies of the deposition recording. Cristal acts like it’s some big accomplishment to have stolen the recording device from Blake’s safe. It’s weird.
No word yet on Liam’s possible return.
Oh, and I’m not that excited about Cristal and Black Driver’s team-up. Cristal has been consistently the loser when it comes to tussling with the Carringtons, and Black Driver seems too virtuous to be much fun as a member of a scheme team. I guess we’ll see how it turns out.
But it’s not all bad:
I’ll never say no to the formation of a new scheme team.
We’ve gotta hand it to Alexis this episode. She is the queen of drama, and the queen of looks. Next to her regal blonde tresses and ridiculous coats, Cristal’s business casual and Fallon’s sweater top don’t even compare.
Alexis shines most as a result of her schemes’ successes. The leaking of the poisoning scandal wasn’t much of a stretch, but needling Blake with comments about how she feels “unsafe” with Cecil’s near-release to then make him act selfishly to arrange the house arrest to be extended not for Alexis’ benefit, but his own? That’s genius.
And the fact that she was able to turn Jeff “I said No Carringtons” Colby around to her side? Flawless.
Alexis isn’t all rich bitch outfits and wicked scheming, though. The flashbacks provide a chance to give her a little bit of humanity, as she abhors Blake’s seemingly cruel desire to keep teenaged Fallon and Jeff apart. Blake threatens to pull his and Monica’s scholarships if Jeff doesn’t back off, but Jeff is determined to live for love and tries to take Fallon to the winter formal, anyway. Alexis is forced to step in and usher Jeff away, but you can see the fear that she, too, has of Blake. And she does admonish Blake for the tension in their marriage, which started after Adam was kidnapped.
But then there’s still a cherry on the cake for Alexis, as she serves us a classic soap opera episode-closer: Jeff is a Carrington. Jeff/Fallon wasn’t the incest we were expecting, but Dynasty does love to defy our expectations.
Also, the flashbacks are set eleven years ago, which is about the same time Gossip Girl began, and the opening scene in the flashbacks includes that whistle song you hate now. As did Gossip Girl’s very first scene of its very first episode. I lived.
Now, onto Fallon and Cristal, whose own team-up is formidable. Until Alexis worked them behind the scenes and destroyed everything. I’ve come to enjoy it when Fallon and Cristal have genuine moments together, and their shared desire to have Carrington Atlantic actually do the right thing (and not just the right thing for the business) with the poisoning scandal was noble.
What wasn’t noble was Blake’s astonishingly savage press conference. It’s one thing to announce Morell Corp is being absorbed by Carrington Atlantic, but when he then declares Fallon will be replacing Cristal as COO, I literally said “Oh, fuck” out loud. That’s some good soap opera.
This of course leads to the quick dissolution of Fallon and Cristal’s partnership, as Fallon has indeed wanted that COO job all along. Fallon claims she will continue to work Blake and Carrington Atlantic from the inside, but Cristal is unimpressed.
Fallon and Cristal also snatch the best line of the episode at the beginning of their union with a trademark Fallon zinger:
Fallon: “Do you trust me?
Fallon: “Let me restate that: you’re going to have to trust me.”
I trust you, Fallon.
Alan Dale and Sam’s bond continues to grow this episode, and I’ve come to rely on these two to always warm my cold, dead heart a little. When Alan Dale calls his daughter, who lives in Australia, he’s unable to bring himself to say anything. But maybe she’ll show up in Season 2, fun Aussie accent and all.
Steven does some plot work to go find Adam Carrington, but find him he does, as it turns out he was adopted by the private investigator Alexis had hired to try to find him. Hmm.
Oh, and I’m still not sure what Alexis’ endgame is. She seems to be working far too hard to simply be after money, and she also strikes me as being pragmatic enough not to actually expect to find Adam after all this time (and her claims to want to ingratiate herself to Fallon are demonstrably impossible to believe). So why is she here? I’m hungry to know.