Dynasty Season 2 Episode 9 – TV Review
More Christmas lewks always, please. Gosh.
TL;DR Fallon and Blake clash over how best to go after the kidnapped baby Matthew; Claudia is captured, but it turns out Manny actually stole him; but it ends up okay; Alexis manages to wriggle out of things unscathed; Black Driver is betrayed by BBB, and Jeff is put in mortal danger; Steven doesn’t come home for Christmas.
Because he’s missing in Paraguay or something. Really, was James Mackay asking for that much money, CW?
So let’s get ready to sleigh the house down, because it’s time for a Carrington Christmas. Which this year means everyone getting into a tizzy about this whole “kidnapped baby” thing. The race is on to find Claudia, who has gone into hiding with her little bundle of joy, but Fallon insists the investigation is done by the book, while Blake instead wants to do things himself because he’s not letting another kidnapped baby get away from him (poor Adam). After Fallon’s preference produces no results, Blake’s recklessness does end up leading to Claudia, but uh oh, she’s off her meds and only thought the doll she had was baby Matthew. So where is he? Luckily, Kirby is on the case, and she Nancy Drews her way into Manny’s apartment where he’s hiding the baby because he thinks Sam would be an unfit parent (fair point). A little struggle with a knife later, and the baby is back safe; Claudia is taken away for having now admitted to shooting Cristal; and Alexis gaslights Claudia into not revealing anything Hank told her about his dealings with Alexis. Fallon apologises to Blake, and Blake, too, apologises about earlier blaming Cristal’s death on Fallon, because by visiting Claudia in the asylum she set in motion the attack at the wedding. Aww. Oh, and Sam decides to give baby Matthew over to Matthew’s family. Because laws and stuff. Meanwhile, Alan Dale and Kirby reconcile some pettiness about whether or not she is a responsible adult. Meanwhile, Cristal 2.0 is disappointed that Claudia’s keeping her mouth shut about Alexis, because she assumed she might finally give Blake a reason to jettison Alexis. And Black Driver begins his new business partnership with BBB by delivering a load of antiques for a big payout. But psych: it’s actually a delivery to Van Kirk Industries, Liam’s family’s company. And double psych: BBB’s filled the delivery with drugs and called the feds to set them up. Jeff, who has this episode discovered Black Driver is the one who perpetrated the gas bomb stampede at Club Colby, shows up to confront him at the wrong time, and is shot in the panic. And the episode closes out as Black Driver drives distractedly and gets into a car accident, leaving Jeff bleeding out in the aftermath. Oh, and in a double cliffhanger, Steven doesn’t make it home for Christmas because he never made it out of Paraguay.
Maybe he’s getting black market eyelash implants?
You know, despite the high quality drama all around this episode, I was left at the end still feeling a little flat. And for a while, I couldn’t figure out why.
But then I knew the answer, and it was so obvious: Alexis is basically benched this episode. Her only real contributions are to snipe against the still-out-of-place Cristal 2.0, and to make some more token “cling onto Blake” advances.
Don’t underutilise Alexis, Dynasty. Don’t do to her what Blood & Oil did to Amber Valletta. Don’t joke about that.
Why I hate this episode:
Sure, it’s fun to have Alexis be so single-minded in her pursuit of winning back Blake. This is a trashy soap opera, after all. But it’s also a present day trashy soap opera, and I think I’m gonna need my villainess to have a little more going on than that. Her schemes with Hank/Adam gave her some dimension. I need her to be doing more than getting into a flap-measuring contest with Cristal 2.0 over some man’s attention.
On that note, Cristal 2.0 still remains as a distinctly outside presence on the show. Will she ever fit in?
There is a lot of talk about original Cristal this episode. And given that it’s a Christmas episode mid-season finale, I was holding out hope for her Shangela-esque, box-bursting return. But it didn’t happen. I was deflated.
Similarly but worse, Steven’s promised return also doesn’t happen because of some sudden kidnapping or whatever overseas. If I wasn’t already aware that James Mackay had been booted from the regular cast, I might think this would lead to some upcoming juiciness. But it’s clearly a way to keep him offscreen. It’s weak. Why bother promising him back for Christmas in the first place, then?
I wouldn’t say I want Jeff to die, and I don’t think he will, but I’m also not that upset that his life is hanging in the balance.
Oh, and Alexis wears a radiant, red Christmas gown in the episode’s final scene around the Christmas tree, but we never get much of a full length shot of it. That’s just cruel.
But it’s not all bad:
It is a hell of a lewk, though, baby. Complete with star-themed glittering necklace. Fallon’s little demure black number ain’t too bad, either, but it can’t hold a candle to an on-message Alexis. Cristal 2.0 need not apply.
On the subject, you know what I appreciated most about this episode? The callbacks to original Cristal. Dynasty hasn’t exactly denied her existence, but given that she was not only written out between seasons, but also replaced with another character named Cristal who is also a love interest for Blake, the show hasn’t exactly been reverent in regards to her. But this episode’s conflict between Fallon and Blake is largely about Cristal. And I’m glad.
Blake even drops it on Fallon that, now that he knows Fallon visited Claudia at the mental hospital and that’s what spurred her into action to attack the wedding, he directly blames Fallon for Cristal’s death. It’s a level of grief and anger that we haven’t really gotten from Blake, yet (the Beard of Sorrow hardly counts). And Fallon endures the accusation with a thoughtful amount of respect. It truly hits her.
Fallon is also the one to bring up that Cristal’s actions are what saved her from her own kidnapping last season. Thank you. Fallon also calls her “OG Cristal” verbatim during this scene. Dynasty really gets me.
And with Claudia’s rooftop ledge admission that she did indeed shoot Cristal, Claudia is taken away to be charged with her murder at the end of the episode. So she does a grand, operatic swearing of revenge. I hope so. Claudia can visit anytime.
The rooftop scene is requisitely cheesy, with the best line of the episode going to Claudia when Cristal 2.0 tries to reason with her: “Who the hell are you?” Agreed.
Things take a turn for pitch black darkness, however, when Claudia trips and drops the fucking baby off the goddamn roof. I literally gasped. Through Claudia’s point of view, we’d seen the baby was real. But thank goodness it turns out she was just psychotic, and it was actually a doll. Sam’s immediate, anguished breakdown before the truth was revealed was fucking upsetting.
Alexis then deftly uses this to her advantage later, telling Claudia that her entire time with Hank was just a delusion, so Claudia therefore doesn’t tell the police about anything Hank would have said about his schemes with Alexis. Smart.
Black Driver finally (finally!) appears to be done with Blonde Business Bitch. Because I don’t think there’s any coming back from this latest betrayal. What intrigued me most about this all, though, was BBB’s reveal that she’s set up a whole domino effect against Van Kirk Industries that will supposedly obliterate the company. What could that mean for Carrington Atlantic possibly coming back?
Kirby’s “I’m a big girl, now” subplot with Alan Dale is basically an afterthought, but good on her for figuring out that Manny is actually the crazy kidnapper. She is the Nancy Drew of Dynasty.
Kirby also wears a flanno shirt-dress to the Christmas drinks scene at the end of the episode. Bogan pride, baby.
Oh, and although Alan Dale arrives with a pistol as her backup, Kirby manages to overpower a knife-wielding Manny by herself, anyway.