Dynasty Season 3 Episode 7 – TV Review
It was going to be a tough ask to compete with the Thanksgiving episodes of seasons past (could anything ever out-gay the Wizard of Oz fantasy sequence?), and this episode sadly doesn’t live up to those standards.
But goddamn, the closing scene got me in what I will happily proclaim is the gag of the season.
And with dreamy bedroom eyes Liam opening the episode, it’s not a bad sandwich. The turkey’s just a little dry in the middle. That’s all.
TL;DR Fallon and Liam clash when her selfishness gets in the way of their relationship; Adam tries to pull one over on Cristal, but this cat has got some claws after all; Blake has mixed success in organising what could be his last Thanksgiving as a free man; Sam gets a new love interest; Alan Dale returns to his old job; Dominique blackmails Culhane into silence; but Vanessa goes ahead and blows up her spot, anyway.
Oh, Dominique. Can’t keep any of her kids from exposing her deceptions, the poor dear.
So gobble gobble, motherfuckers, it’s a Dynasty Thanksgiving episode. We’ll start with Fallon, who leaves the Manor behind as she pursues a magazine designer (or whatever. I don’t really know what she wanted from him) to help her with Fallon Unlimited. She plans on leaving Liam behind, but then worries his memory might backslide, so she makes up some bogus writing assignment for a magazine article to bring him along. It turns out Landon, the designer, is an old chum of Liam’s, and Fallon quickly finds herself unimpressed with their boys clubbing bullshit. And then she accidentally shoots Landon while out hunting, and Liam learns of her writing assignment lies, and things are not looking good. Meanwhile, Adam schemes to make Cristal look bad to Blake so he can earn control over the Carrington Foundation (I think that’s the thing Steven used to run, right?), and he achieves this by asking her to help him bake a pie. Nadia then sabotages it, forcing Cristal to have to go buy more pecans (no, really), and then she finds nails in her tyres and her phone not working, making her late for Thanksgiving dinner. What a diabolical, criminal mastermind you are, Adam. He does get the Carrington Foundation, but also in a shock move, some genuine compliments from Cristal. But psych, Cristal then finds out Adam and Nadia are together and declares war on his blind ass. I’m glad. Meanwhile, Sam wrings his hands over bad business at the hotel due to that soccer dude’s kneecapping. He meets with a PR guy, and they clash at first, but later kiss. Not quite as gay as Fallon kissing herself last Thanksgiving, but it’ll do. Meanwhile, Alan Dale declares his work here at the hotel is done and returns to Blake’s service. And over in Colby Country, Dominique gets her window of opportunity for swindling Monica drastically shortened when Culhane reveals he knows the truth about her and Vanessa. She initially decides to suck it up and come clean, but then gets the better idea to cut a deal with Blake: she’ll stop taking his money if he can give her some dirt on Culhane. Blake obliges, Dominique blackmails Culhane, and the stage is set for Monica to sign the recording contract. But lovely Vanessa isn’t having it, gleefully revealing the whole shebang at Thanksgiving dinner with Monica. Who reacts about as gracefully as you’d expect. Oh, and the episode closes as Fallon and Liam reconcile. And then at the very last second we get the superb reveal that Fallon is actually paying Nadia to manipulate Adam. Yes, I overuse it, but oh. Mon. Dieu.
It really is the gag of the season (so far!).
You know, I was almost willing to forgive the episode’s lack of Thanksgiving cohesion due to the hilarious sequence of characters arriving late to Blake’s family dinner and causing it be successively delayed (it was genius). But it was very slightly not enough.
I know it’s mean to have Gossip Girl Season 1’s Thanksgiving episode as the standard, but dammit, that’s what I want.
Dynasty Season 3 almost made it. Here’s hoping we get a Season 4, and another roll of the dice.
Why I hate this episode:
Apart from the dinner interruptions sequences, this does otherwise feel like any old episode of Dynasty. Which means that it’s still pretty great. It’s just not “Thanksgiving episode” great. My hopes have now been greatly raised for the Christmas episode to bring the drama.
I’m starting to get the feeling that the Fallon/Liam situation is just treading water. It feels like every episode they do a dance of him saying he needs his space, only to be reeled back in and hitting the reset button by the time it’s over. Not that I mind what I’m seeing, but where is this going?
Considering Kirby just found her own new white boyfriend, it’s a little concerning that Sam’s new love interest is also a basic white guy. Dynasty started out fairly impressive with the number of non-white characters it had, but like The Originals and its female characters, Dynasty seems to just be letting them slip away. We can’t have everyone dating a BAWG. There’s room for Blandly Attractive Non-white Guys, too, isn’t there?
On that note, Jeff isn’t in the episode, and Culhane gets fucking nothing to do.
Oh, and I’m not mad about it, but Alan Dale returning to work for the Manor feels pretty arbitrary. Why bother have him make such a big deal about quitting in the first place?
But it’s not all bad:
There’s a recurring joke this episode that a prospective replacement Blake is trialling is consistently bad at his job. It’s just a bit of light, fun humour, capped off by a pathetic dinner table photo.
Speaking of photos, one of the best bits of physical comedy in the episode (a high honour considering Fallon is out traipsing around with a hunting rifle) comes when it’s time for the family portrait Blake wanted. Sam and Fallon didn’t come, and Cristal is out due to Adam’s sabotage, so it’s just Adam and Blake. And Dominique, who happened to be at the house at the time, and she awkwardly tries to bonehead her way into the background of the shot. It’s very Amy Poehler at the Spring Fling in Mean Girls.
Dominique also brings her Hat Queen game this episode with this bedazzled black beret outta nowhere. And for a daytime look, too. Divine.
I think this episode’s Colby subplot is one of the better ones of the entire series. It’s predicated on merely a simple little lie Dominique is keeping from Monica, but it leads to a pair of back and forth dressing downs between Dominique and Culhane; Dominique having to sell out her money arrangement from Blake; and the impressive decision from Vanessa to just fucking say it at dinner with Monica. Dominique strikes me as someone who does their best work when desperate, so I am salivating over what she’ll do next. And what kind of hat she’ll pair with it.
Fallon’s attempts to woo Landon the magazine designer are pretty rote, but I did appreciate the sexism angle, especially as it also ropes in Liam. Liam does remember Landon very well, and when Landon talks about a possible writing job in London, Fallon’s fears that she won’t be able to restore his memory go into overdrive. So you’ve got her anger over the boys’ club bullshit combining with her being afraid of losing Liam. I’m starting to think the shooting being an accident might have saved Fallon from inevitably pulling the trigger herself.
Her argument with Liam over how they’ve both been injured by his amnesia is a rare bit of emotional sincerity, which helps ground things. And thank goodness they figure things out by episode’s end.
Cristal does some of her best work of the season this episode, as she takes Adam’s pranks in stride. She’s not entirely free of billowy, frilly clothing, but her hair and makeup seem to have been knocked up a notch this week. Which helps make her declaration of war on Adam more feisty. I also appreciated that she didn’t complain or whinge about having to walk from her sabotaged car, which is something I would have otherwise expected from the Ana Brenda Contreras-era Cristal Jennings.
Cristal isn’t the only one who knows about Adam and Nadia, though, as I gasped out loud at the reveal of Fallon paying Nadia get under his skin. I am so keen to find out what her endgame is.
Sam’s new love interest isn’t setting my world on fire, but I’m always happy to see Dynasty keeping things gay.
The dinner delays sequence isn’t complicated, but it is executed perfectly. Blake is disappointed to have only Adam and Nadia at the table, but just as they’re about to start Cristal finally shows up (as you would expect for dramatic timing) and has them hold off while she gets changed. They have their necessary subplot conversation, and then Sam shows up when they’re about to get started again, and again makes them wait while he gets changed. Fallon caps off the Rule of Three when she shows up and makes the same announcement, but Blake is done with it by that point and orders her to sit the fuck down. Flawless.
Oh, and with Fallon and Cristal both aware of Adam and Nadia’s games (Fallon a bit more, though), does this mean it’s time for a fabulous Fallon and Cristal team-up? They’ve gotta learn each other’s takedown rhythms before Alexis’ return.