This Dynasty review contains spoilers.
Dynasty Season 1, Episode 13
Up until now, the Colby family has generally had the moral high ground: Monica had done nothing but be Fallon’s friend and date the guy Fallon claimed to not want. Cecil was in jail, but it’s reasonable to believe Blake put him there, based on everything we know of Blake. As for Jeff, while he pisses off Blake and Colhane, he hadn’t done anything cruel or illegal.
Until this episode.
Hooboy, did the Colby family come up big on the sabotage front, especially Jeff. After being so (rightfully) mad at Blake for paying off cops and judges, Jeff went ahead and attempted bribery, tried to intimidate an investigative reporter, slept with a parole commissioner in a quid pro quo situation, used his sister to manipulate Fallon, and tried to get his cousin to become a dirty cop. Watch your behavior, Jeff. On top of becoming the man you hate, that’s some serious workplace sexual harassment, and with the recent downfall of Blake’s standby judge, those scandals are hitting the world of Dynasty, too.
Monica still seems to genuinely care for Fallon, as evidenced by the line in her voicemail about feeling bad for manipulating her, but trusting Jeff. Monica is the most likely to eventually turn on Jeff and help (or at least tip off) Colhane or Fallon. Luckily, Fallon figured out that she’s being played, but she could really use more intel. Whatever happens, her revenge better be a heavy mix of financial and social ruin for Jeff.
On the other side of the feud, Blake continues to be an unrepentant jerk, although the writers at least have the good sense to show him as accepting Steven’s sexuality. Seeing Cristal and Steven genuinely bond was a good thing, and I couldn’t help but feel that she had more passion for managing his campaign than that BS she spouted about Brexit.
This newfound closeness served to illuminate yet another dirty dealing from Blake, and I’m hoping we’ll see a sustained reaction from Cristal on that one, since her response in this episode was rather underwhelming.I would love to dig in more on Anders and his ethics – is he just as deep in Blake’s corruption as he seems? Has he learned nothing from his time with Sammy Jo? What did the Carringtons ever do to earn such loyalty? It’s clearly about more than money.
Cristal’s kiss with her reporter friend seems a bit out of character for her, though not out of character for the show, if you catch my drift. While Cristal has lied or schemed in the past, it has generally been for a good or understandable reason. If she didn’t cheat on Blake when he was icing her out, why do it now?
This seems like a weird way to take out her anger over his politics, and it is certainly less productive than making Steven’s campaign her pet project. It seems more reasonable that she’s trying to get close to him for some other aim – he has been flirtatious with her since we first met him. Aside from Cristal’s personality, it’s getting a bit tired to have her mess up in some way, lie to Blake about it, come clean or get found out, and then beg for forgiveness.
Jeff’s blazer game continues to be unreal. As in it is both awesome, and I genuinely have no idea what was embroidered onto that first one – dragons? Aloe plants? Abstract art? Jeff adds to his black and metallic blazer collection during his final scene at the prison, reminding me of Chadwick Boseman’s look for the Black Panther premiere. You better believe that in the Dynasty universe, Jeff Colby snagged an invite to Marvel’s purple carpet event.
Sammy showed off his new job with a double-breasted work number. I’m not wild about the double-breasted look, but if anyone can pull it off, it’s Sam. He really brought his a-game with the printed jogger/sweatsuit combo – casual will always be Sammy Jo’s best look. His characteristic George-Michael style solo cross earring was gone for most of the episode, in some bid for professionalism, but it made a reappearance in his final scene, just in time to be ripped out by a destructive Ted.
Finally, I loved Cristal’s fusion of the Carrington esthetic with something she might have worn in her fun, thrift store days. Her earrings were an upscale take on doorknockers, and I love that she was rocking her baby hairs with that J Lo-style ballerina bun. Can we have more of this, and more flashbacks to Cristal’s life before Blake?
Steven running for City Council in spite of his many dark dealings is some serious mediocre white dude confidence. Add in the racial politics of a white guard faking a stabbing from model-prisoner Cecil and things are looking more cringe-y than usual this week. The CW is generally among the most diverse television networks, and I appreciate that they updated the demographics of Dynasty to make it more representative, but that’s not enough.
Those demographic changes bring a whole set of issues to consider, like how much harder it is to see Cecil’s imprisonment as just a rivalry between two rival business men, considering Blake is a white guy with family money and everyone in his pocket, while Cecil is up against a couple hundred years of systemic oppression and disenfranchisement. I would love to see Dynasty engage with those issues more directly.