This Dynasty review contains spoilers.
Dynasty Episode 17
Everything about this episode is more than just a little bit much, and it should be. Sammy ogling Liam and then getting him @realMrFallon as a twitter handle is perfect. I don’t even care that there’s no way Blake knows what extensions are, because that line about dragging Alexis out by hers is great. The biggest boss move of this episode, though, has to be Fallon not even stopping to slap Steven as she cuts a runway walk toward her mother, and the reprise of the sweet 16 handgun, which apparently has unlimited bullets.
This episode continues to live in the very winning dynamic of Fallon and Cristal as wary co-conspirators, or temporarily cooperative frenemies. This arm’s-length relationship allows them both the opportunity to mock each other while still teaming up to aim the majority of their real animus at a more deserving third-party. It’s more fun to watch, and having them at each other’s throats was getting bit boring, not to mention it was unrealistic and contrary to the show’s…specific take on women’s empowerment.
For example, Cristal’s delight in Fallon and her mother going head to head was wickedly fun to watch, without veering into mean territory. In the end we know that Cristal is more trustworthy than Alexis, and the former certainly cares more about Fallon’s well-being. It also works particularly well for this specific conflict, since Fallon’s opinion of her mother is ever-shifting. No one wants to truly accept that their mother is terrible, and Fallon is happy to fall for even the slightest indication that her mother may not be The Worst, which means that for the foreseeable future, Fallon can throw her loyalties from one side of the Carrington Estate to the other.
I’m glad Cristal got a good laugh in during this episode (and wear a phenomenal leather jumpsuit), because her and Blake’s relationship is a mess and it’s only going to get worse with Alexis squatting in her old art studio. However one-sided the beginning of their marriage was, with Cristal continually at fault, Blake is levelling the playing field with his coldness. And he hasn’t even been honest with Cristal about the ownership of their house. Cristal, girl, you can do better.
So let’s talk about Alexis. First, naming her dog Cristal was brilliant. I like the idea of her as the influx of maximum pettiness. Her exchange telling a member of the house staff that “all this” wasn’t necessary, only for the woman to look quizzically and say, “this is what you asked for…” was perfect. I want more of this person who’s allowed to be a complete and total cartoon, because we don’t care about her at all. And then she can disappear for a while when we get bored of her, and she can always come back at unexpected times because after all, she is their mother.
Alexis’s black and gold leather halter and pants suit was a travesty. Her style is very nouveau riche, all gaudy leopard print and bad pattern mixing, which it turns out is intentional. She’s a desperate woman, trying to make a nickel look like a million bucks. But she does have some amazing long leather gloves, and it’s fascinating to see how similar mother and daughter are. It makes sense that shark like Fallon came from a barracuda, and I’m excited to see how far Alexis will go to get her family back, and the real dirt on why she stayed away all those years.
Speaking of years: can we get a timeline check? Alexis has apparently been gone for eleven years, but sometimes everyone talks about it like she left when they were children, especially Fallon. She says that Stephen doesn’t remember how it used to be. What are they, seventeen? And isn’t Steven older? I know I shouldn’t expect much in the way of continuity from a soap, but here we are.
It’s hard to know how to feel like Liam, as a human plot generator. He was obviously always going to complicate Fallon’s life more than she bargained for, but I’m hoping for more of a rom-com complication than a thriller, or even another straight up betrayal, which it looks like the show is aiming for. I want the show to hurry up and get to the part where other characters have opinions about Liam as a person, rather than just Fallon’s choice to marry him, because then they can start mocking him and telling Fallon to watch out.
In the meantime, we have to listen to him do ridiculous things like refer to colhane as “on her payroll” without a speck of irony, completely unchecked. At least when Sammy Jo has been around him enough, we’ll get some good one-liners out of his existence. That said, the head-fake that showed that Fallon was actually confiding in Colhane was an example of Dynasty at its best: a good laugh and spot-on characterization all in one go.
The revelation that Stephen was in touch with his mother was a good one. Mussing up Stephen’s reputation is a good way to make things more interesting, especially since debauchery is off the table for now. The initial attempt to steer Stephen toward darker impulses didn’t quite land, so it makes sense to try more realistic and understandable bad choices that can bite him later, like pretending to be with Ted and lying for the good of his volatile family.
I’d love to know how much money Anders has. I have a feeling that he’s doing just fine, and stays out of loyalty. We’re overdue for more Anders backstory, and Alexis, with her historical perspective, is a great way to introduce it, especially with the Carrington patriarch six feet under. Has Anders ever dated? How did he come to be with the Carringtons? Did he approve of racist Grampa’s shady dealings, or even just the mean ones, like buying up Alexis’s family farm?
So what’s next? Alexis is definitely scheming about Liam, and working her way through Anders and Blake’s exteriors. Liam’s story about his grandparents was 100% true, making it the only thing we really know about him. Colhane’s father is in the hospital and he has resigned, and there’s no way Fallon is giving him up without a fight.