Dynasty Season 1 Episode 22 – TV Review
Dynasty doesn’t drop the ball in its season finale.
Let your pearls be unclutched. We did it, baby.
The challenge is now on for you, Riverdale.
TL;DR It’s Steven and Sam’s wedding day, and there’s drama to serve; Fallon snatches Carrington Atlantic away from Blake; Jeff and Monica move to sell, and Adam turns coat and votes with them; but he is (kind of) exposed later on; Claudia’s out of the mental hospital and into the gun locker to take revenge on Cristal; Kelly Rutherford returns, and she’s not alone; as does Liam; the wedding goes fine, but then we end on a massive cliffhanger as the barn burns down (due to a mystery arsonist. Or is it!?) with half of our main characters still inside.
Dynasty is trashy, but it ain’t no trash fire.
So let’s get that Carrington Atlantic business stuff out of the way first, because we want to finish on the real drama. Fallon’s coup is successful, and the board votes to make her the new CEO. Her parade is immediately rained on, though, when Jeff and Monica show up to announce they are Carringtons, and they wanna sell the company. Fallon puts aside her incest ick, and a vote is taken. Despite Alexis’ change of heart now that her daughter is CEO and her demands of Adam to now vote against the sale, he defies her for that sweet dough, and the vote passes. But the paperwork will have to wait until after the wedding, gurl. Before Steven and Sam get a chance to walk down the aisle, Fallon finds out that Black Driver is leaving Atlanta, mildly breaking her heart. But things look up when Liam appears by her side and reveals his true nature, meaning that not only does she now have another love interest, but a different buyer for Carrington Atlantic. Steven, too, isn’t getting out of things so easily, as Kelly Rutherford shows up to wish him happy nuptials. Oh, and to let him know that she’s pregnant with his child. Mon. Dieux. Speaking of pregnancy, Claudia gets out of the asylum with some help from Nick Wechsler, and they infiltrate Carrington Manor. Nick only wants to confront and publicly embarrass Blake, but Claudia has more explosive plans, grabbing a gun from the cellar to wave at Cristal. Cristal, meanwhile, spends her episode taking jabs at Blake after his horrible of treatment of her, with Blake eventually conceding to Alan Dale later on that he’s decided to set her free. Cristal also stumbles upon Alexis and Adam mid-make-out (during the wedding ceremony, no less. Drama!), leading to a catfight for the ages, which ends in Cristal getting locked in Alexis’ barn loft. Luckily, Claudia arrives to open it up, but then she gets trigger happy. Nick tries to intervene and jump in front of the bullet, but it turns out he was only a hallucination, and Cristal falls to the ground, bleeding. Claudia legs it from the property, running into Adam in a similar state, and they hotwire a car together. Meanwhile, Fallon, Blake, Alexis, Steven, and Sam gather for photos, and for Fallon to announce Liam’s rich uncle is buying Carrington Atlantic, but then they get locked in, and a shadowy figure sets fire to the barn. Just as all hope seems lost, Black Driver arrives in time to get them out, but Steven is lost in the flames, and Alexis rushes upstairs to try to free Cristal, thinking she’s still locked in post-catfight (well, she is still there. But for a different, bullet wound-sized reason). As the episode closes out, only Fallon, Blake, and Sam end up on the barn’s front lawn, as Cristal, Alexis, Steven, and Black Driver possibly remain inside the burning building. Oh, and Sam invites Alan Dale’s daughter to the wedding, but then learns she is no secret to the Carringtons, and in fact used to live with them when they were younger. And she’s apparently a totally nutcase evil bitch. She greets her father near the end of the episode, so prepare yourselves for some Aussie-accented Season 2 drama.
If only this was premium cable., then she might be able to call Fallon a cunt. Could you imagine?
So bravo Dynasty, you rode out the high to the end of the season. And sure, in the world of primetime soap operas, it won’t surprise me if everyone gets out alive from the burning barn. This isn’t an Arrow Season 5 finale situation.
But I wouldn’t be mad if everyone did get out alive. Because everyone together is what’s made this show the entertaining, delicious beast that it is.
Except Steven? Yeah, I don’t think I’d miss Steven.
Why I hate this episode:
Or, sad to say it, Black Driver. The will they/won’t they between him and Fallon holds no value for me, anymore. He turns down her job offer, and he announces he’s leaving town, even after she said “I love you” unironically. And then he has the gall to jealously seethe when he sees her sitting with Liam? You had your chance, dude.
Black Driver is also, like, the only serious character on this show full of garish, larger than life cartoons. Either get a head injury-induced personality change, or just leave.
There’s a moment where Fallon, after hearing Adam say a phrase she used to hear from Jeff, and Blake clarifying that Alexis used to say it all the time, seems to get suspicious of Adam. But then shortly after that Cristal is the one to find Alexis and Adam kissing, and Fallon doesn’t bring it up again. Weird.
My renewed hope that Blake could evolve into full villain status is dashed again when he decides he needs to stop bearing down on Cristal. Boo.
Nick being a hallucination means that my renewed hope in seeing some gratuitous shirtless scenes from him next season is similarly dashed.
Oh, and while it totally wouldn’t have fit and I’m glad they didn’t, the only major element from the rest of the season that doesn’t make it into this episode is Iris. We were able to weave in the players from each other arc (Claudia and Nick, the Colbys, Alexis, Liam. Even Kirby makes an appearance after her earlier tease), except Iris. Much like Josie’s excision from this week’s Riverdale, it’s a shame.
But it’s not all bad:
Also much like Josie’s excision from this week’s Riverdale, it was the right choice. Iris would not have fit here. I’m not opposed to her making a return, but she seemed to have had some proper closure. Which can’t be said for Claudia.
Oh, Claudia. I have to apologise for underestimating her, as it turns out she is a well worth returning to. I didn’t pick Nick as a hallucination for a second, so I was genuinely shocked when he shimmered out of vision, and Cristal had indeed been shot. Claudia also keeps herself in the game by helping Adam to hotwire a car and leaving together with him from the wedding, because this means not only could she come back again next season (and beyond), but with Adam’s craziness, and mama fetish, they could be a powerful team. I’m into it.
I’ve got to give major points to Fallon for keeping everything in control this episode. She steals Carrington Atlantic right out from under Blake, and is then slapped with the revelation that she was banging her cousin, Jeff, and that Blake knew about it. I was at first upset that Dynasty didn’t milk the incest eww factor, but upon reflection, Fallon’s nonchalance about it is even funnier. She is then humbled again when Adam votes against her and Steven, and then again with Black Driver announcing his departure. But Fallon is nothing if not persistent, and when Liam lands in her lap, she wastes no time seizing the opportunity. I don’t know if she has the power to actually veto the sale to instead sell to Liam like she says, but I want to believe.
Cristal is basically irrelevant to the plot this week, but she does get her moments. The episode opens with her gleefully cutting up all of Blake’s clothes, taking a chainsaw to his hunting trophy room, smashing his wine bottles, and working on her golf swing on his sports car. Then, when the press are gathered for the wedding, she announces that Blake will be using his new free time (now that he’s not CEO, anymore) to go an expansive, globe-trotting charity trip (Blake swoops in to join her and announces Cristal will be joining him. He, too, is a sassy bitch). And Cristal gets the standout sequence of the episode with her wonderfully drawn out catfight with Alexis. Sadly, no fountains are involved. But there’s always Season 2, right?
Alexis doesn’t have as much to do this episode as she mostly just hangs around to watch her plan play out, but she’s got another exquisitely OTT black and white outfit on for the wedding. She manages to hold her own in the catfight against Cristal (neither really wins, as they kind of just both get tired), and takes Fallon’s accusations about withholding the Liam truth like a champ. But her true shining moment is when her humanity peeks through and, amid the smoke and flames, she chooses to run upstairs to rescue Cristal from the burning barn. Now, I’m not sure how Alexis will be able to have anyone’s sympathy after Cristal exposes what she did with “Adam.” But that’s assuming they both survive, isn’t it?
In addition to the “who will die” mystery, there’s also the question of who the arsonist is. All we see is a gloved hand in a black, long-sleeved top throw a lantern to start the fire (sidebar points: I rubbed my hands together expectantly as soon as Alan Dale gave that overly obvious order to the staff about putting lanterns everywhere before the wedding started. Love it). When Kirby shows up, she has a long-sleeved black leather jacket on, so it could be her.
I’m surprised they brought Kirby in already this episode. I thought we’d have to wait until next season. They evidently haven’t cast her yet, though, as we don’t see her face. But from the tales of terror Steven and Fallon weave, I’m excited.
I’m also excited for more Kelly Rutherford. Much like when Cheryl appeared to rescue Toni in Riverdale this week, I said an involuntary “yass” when she came in all chipper to see Steven at the wedding. The pregnancy is the cherry on top. Drama: can you say it?
Jeff and Monica have hilariously bizarre matching sequined outfits on when they arrive for the Carrington Atlantic sale vote. I have no problem with this.
Jeff apologises to Fallon for taking out his Blake rage on her, and proposes they rule the world as cousins. Fallon, sensibly, shoots him down. But I’m glad he said it.
Cristal gets the best line of the episode when she catches Alexis and Adam making out: “I guess incest runs in the family.” That’s a multi-layered, multi-targeted burn you got there, Crissy. Well done.
Dynasty doesn’t leave us without one of its trademark slapstick comedy moments. After Alexis returns to the wedding from her catfight, she whips her boa around her shoulders and smacks Adam in the face, with no reaction on her part. Always more of this, please.
Oh, and Dynasty had to be aware of the pun of its fiery finale setting, right?