Dynasty Season 1 Episode 21 – TV Review
Call me a white girl, because Dynasty just keeps getting better, and I literally can’t even.
And they also somehow managed to fit in more incest.
TL;DR Adam Carrington spends the episode proving to everyone he’s legit; except it turns out he isn’t, and is part of Alexis’ scheme for money; Fallon struggles with her loyalties, but ultimately forsakes Blake to instead do the right thing, with Black Driver by her side; Jeff and Monica get confirmation that they are indeed Carringtons, and this is also part of Alexis’ plan; Nick Wechsler isn’t dead, bitches.
So Jesus Christ, Dynasty isn’t letting up. We’ll start with everything Adam Carrington, as Steven brings his big brother home. Alexis is overjoyed and believes him outright, but Blake is immediately obstinate in his refusal to accept that this is his long lost son. Fallon sides with Blake, at least out of pragmatic skepticism. But things turn around when, on a bachelor party night out for Steven and Sam, Adam punches a homophobe and a prosthetic finger of his flies off. Blake hadn’t believed him because baby Adam had a finger severed by the kidnappers, but now he’s on board. Except psych: this was all staged by Alexis, including the amputation of this poor guy’s finger. And also Alexis is fucking him and he has an Oedipus fetish or something. Hot. Meanwhile, Monica isn’t quick to believe Alexis’ claims that she and Jeff are Carringtons. They ask their grandmother if she did bang Grandpa Carrington back in the day, and despite some initial denial, she eventually admits it’s true, and her daughter (their mother) is Grandpa Carrington’s. Which makes them Grandpa Carrington’s grandchildren. Which, per the non-specific wording of his will, makes them eligible (along with Adam) for the inheritance. Alexis’ grand plan comes to light, which is to have enough allies to control Carrington Atlantic shares, and I fucking love it. Speaking of Carrington Atlantic, Fallon gets to work in her new COO position, and is determined to do the right thing with the poisoning scandal. Black Driver also shows up, having been hired by Cristal on her last official day, to whinge in her ear enough to make sure she stays the course. Blake resists, however, and Fallon realises she’ll need more ammunition. Enter Claudia, still in her psychiatric hospital lockup. Fallon bargains her release in exchange for Nick Wechsler’s files, and with this Fallon attains the power to convince the CA board that Blake is the devil, and she should be put in charge. Boom. Meanwhile, Cristal starts getting her ducks in a row to leave Blake after all the evil shit he put her through, but Alexis gets wise to the plan and alerts Blake, leading to him making even more threats against his wife. Sucks, yo. And the episode closes with what could be Dynasty’s biggest gasp-worthy moment yet, as a not-dead Nick Wechsler visits Claudia.
I don’t know how the CW did it, but this show, the low budget remake of an 80s property that was trying to be a classic soap opera in a Riverdale world, should not have worked. And at times during that first arc, it didn’t.
But goddamn, it is now perfection.
I only hope it doesn’t feel too pressured to emulate Riverdale and take a straight nosedive in its second season.
Stay you, baby.
Why I hate this episode:
I got nothing. I haven’t got a gripe in the world.
But it’s not all bad:
Seeing as everything is a positive this week, I’ll try to distill it a little to keep the love fest from rambling on too long.
The first thing I’d like to commend the episode for is the return of not only Claudia, but also of Nick. I would have jushed enough just to have the callback to Claudia for access to the files and for that to be it. But Dynasty has gone not one, but two better by having Nick be alive, and also the apparent promise of him jailbreaking Claudia. So both Claudia and Nick could show up for the finale (and we know Claudia is fun to have at the end of an arc). If this were a lesser show, I’d complain that they were desperately trying to callback for fanservice points. But the fact that Dynasty has managed to squeeze them into an already full plate is tremendous. The fact that they’re also willing to pivot and reposition characters from the weakest arc of the season for the finale fireworks is sublime. It’s not desperate; it’s confident. Which is something present day Riverdale isn’t.
Now, we can’t go much further without talking about Alexis, and what a wily cunt bitch queen she is. Adam is a fake. He’s completely cooked up by her, and evidently pussy-whipped enough to cut off part of his own finger for her scheming. This is the drama I’m looking for. The incest-lite sex they have is just the icing on the gross-out, amoral cake. I’ve praised Fallon for being a larger than life cartoon character. Alexis is the OTT villain of that same cartoon.
And I knew Alexis wasn’t here to reconnect with her children for sentimental reasons. She wants to rally enough of them (real or not) to her cause so she can use them to control Carrington Atlantic. I look forward to it.
This will collide nicely with Fallon, who herself this episode seems to already have wrested control of the company from Blake. With Alexis forming as an irredeemable Big Bad, it makes sense for Fallon to start choosing a virtuous path now.
On this path, she will hopefully join forces (again) with Cristal, who we know has been the most virtuous of the Carringtons so far. And she’s got her own cartoonishly evil villain to contend with, as Blake brings the fire and brimstone during his frankly upsetting speech to her about how she better stay put just where she is, or else he’ll send her to prison. Fuck, man.
Alexis continues to make propositions to Blake about their reunion, so I would definitely be down for Alexis and Blake to get back together and face off against Fallon and Cristal. Can you imagine?
Alexis is also responsible for Grandpa Carrington’s will having the benefactors be his “grandchildren,” and not Fallon and Steven by name. That’s some Literal Genie shit, and I am living.
I appreciated Monica’s side-eyed disbelief about her and Jeff being Carringtons. I’ve admonished Monica before for only being able to go at one, snarky speed. But this humbler version is a refreshing change. The fact that their grandparentage is indeed true is just gravy.
Best line of the episode goes to Fallon when she’s the last to arrive to the family celebrating Blake’s acceptance of Adam being real, and she’s not sure how to read the room: “If this is some sort of intervention, I’m not quitting whatever it is I’ve been doing.” The queen; goddess; my inspiration.
Steven shows us some of that (sadly) infrequent sass when he rebuts Sam’s whining about Adam planning a bachelor party:
Sam: “I’m not interested in a straight guy’s idea of what gay men think is fun. We’ll end up covered in glitter and drag queens.”
Steven: “Oh, because you’d really hate that.”
B I C T H.
Honourable mention, too, to Blake’s line when arriving to the bachelor party, which is at a rodeo themed bar: “I’m glad I wasn’t greeted by a drag queen named Helluva Bottom Carter.” He gets his straight points, but also his awesome and supportive PFLAG points by having a draq queen-based zinger like that up his sleeve. Blake is not great in a lot of ways, but he isn’t homophobic.
It looks like Cristal and Black Driver’s scheme team was only so she could hire him to Carrington Atlantic, but I’m hoping there’s a sneakier endgame involved.
Oh, and my earlier complaints in the season about killing off Nick Wechsler before we could truly appreciate his physique in a parade of gratuitous shirtless scenes seem to have been heard. He’s back, bitches. And he knows we’re thirsty.