This Dynasty review contains spoilers.
Dynasty Episode 16 Review
Somehow Stephen sleeping with Lydia van der Woodson, Anders slapping Blake, and Fallon and Jeff’s Solange and Jay Z-style elevator fight are not even the headlines of this jam-packed episode. Dynasty continues to lean in to the kind of show it was always meant to be: a snarky ridiculous soap with some heart to take the edge off.
While Fallon and her pretend not-so-ex husband Liam are acting out the “edgy, gender-bent version of Pretty Woman,” Blake is recreating the worst part of the original, comparing Cristal to the ex-wife he despises and continually framing Cristal’s motivation to marry him and reaction to those insults in terms of money.
Blake’s dad is dead, and he is not taking it well. While Blake is being a grade A jerk to Cristal, it’s also the most real emotion and characterization we’ve seen out of him all season. His story about the last time he was at his father’s house also shows that while he and Stephen clash, he has always loved and looked out for his boy. Of course the foyer of Thomas’s house is a smaller version of Blake’s, in case his daddy issues weren’t already clear.
But this gave us a wonderful glance of drunk Blake, or as Fallon called him, Cyborg Dad. I like his sense of humor and his warmth in that scene, and whatever you call him, I hope we get to see more of that version of Blake in the future.
Cristal wants to take her money out of the prenup. While I admire her commitment to Blake and the logic is sound, a man who throws that money in your face at every turn is never going to treat his wife like an equal. Plus, as she mentioned to the divorce lawyer, women never get an equal shake in these proceedings, and now Cristal is removing any chance at that for herself. Cristal is ultimately a romantic, s she would say she’s trading the chance at the money for the chance at saving their marriage and having a partnership on equal footing. Personally, I’m hoping she’ll go off and make her own money, and make herself equal that way.
This is, and rightfully should be, a Carrington-heavy episode. But over in Colby land, Monica is still the most reasonable, and took over her father’s guardianship while telling Jeff his crusade is selfish, not in service to their father. For his part, Jeff has gone full-blown villain. I’m not sure what this means for the show – the Colby/Carrington war was fun when it seemed like everyone was right about some things are wrong about others, but who doesn’t love to hate on an absolute heel?
Funerals are always an opportunity for some particularly extra fashion, and though Fallon and her faux-beaux looked great in black on black on black, I wish we had gotten a better look at Cristal’s funeral cape. But even before we got to funeral chic, Cristal had a great new wavy bob haircut and some excellent on-trend statement sleeves in her white dress, and Fallon had some red leather thigh highs or over the knee boots. They didn’t seem very her, but I love them anyway.
This week in “rich people are weird,” we learn that Thomas once had Anders spank Blake for him by proxy, and apparently funeral masses involve no priest or minister, just various family members making declarations from the pulpit. While I was glad to hear that Sammy Jo and I have the same view of expensive wine (“I’ll pee it out in 30 minutes, but I’ll always toast to Leo”), I’m disappointed that Fallon’s high-class upbringing has led her to be unappreciative of food on a stick. That said, she did make an excellent Chili’s reference (“What do you want? Baby back ribs?”) so I’m holding out hope that she secretly loves messy chain restaurant food just like the rest of us.
This was a great episode for Anders, who stood up to Blake, learned the true nature of his original master, and helped his proxy son fix his visa issues. Anders even willingly called Cristal Mrs. Carrington to her face! Anders finally picked a side, showing his love for the newest members of the Carrington clan, and drinking some Leo DiCaprio-adjacent wine in a toast that Thomas would have hated. Aside from the driest of burns, Anders is the most fun to watch when he’s in Cristal and Sam’s corners, like in this episode.
The only thing missing was a reaction shot of Anders seeing Stephen propose to Sam – I mean come on, he absolutely learned Spanish in secret for them too. Heck, I bet Anders and Steven practiced Rosetta Stone together, until Steven convinced the old man to switch to DuoLingo.
About that proposal. I couldn’t picture anything better for Stephen and Sam, or anything that would piss off racist Grampa more! Blake looked mildly confused and mostly bored, but Cristal and Sam’s reactions were precious. Stephen learning secret Spanish is adorable and spot on for his character. For his part, Sam has shown over and over that Stephen is his priority, including in this episode when he protected Stephen’s memory of his grandfather.
And of course, the whole thing ends on what Dynasty has been building up to since the first time her name was mentioned in the pilot: the return of Alexis Carrington. This being Dynasty, her arrival to the funeral is dramatic AF, complete with birds flying from the church’s bell tower, the most intense makeout session ever to take place at church, and a cross trying to throw itself down off the wall. I’m going to attribute that last one to Alexis, but you can bet there are people who think it was in reaction to two gay men celebrating their engagement via liplock. Like all rich women on tv, she’s wearing Louboutons, and like her daughter Fallon, she has a great funeral hat.
Her arrival couldn’t come at a worse time for the other characters, which means it’s perfect for us. Blake is emotionally vulnerable and being more of an ass to his wife than usual. Stephen is running for office so under public scrutiny, and he just amplified his vulnerability with his Ted-related lies and making Sam’s visa issues go away right before proposing. Fallon’s circling the wagons, and if Liam’s being recognized and meaningful looks in the funeral are any indication, things will get worse before they get better.
Welcome back, Mrs. Carrington.