This Dynasty review contains spoilers.
Dynasty: Season 1, Episode 2
This week Dynasty doubles down on its deliciously campy nature, and it pays off. The obvious comparison for this show is Gossip Girl, and like GG, it’s certainly burning through plot. The sex and scheming are still pretty low-key in comparison, but they get points for Fallon doing it funeral-adjacent and basically engaging in sex work when she refers to paying off her debt the hard way. We also see more familial sniping, with Fallon barely even moving aside to miss a glass her father throws at her and winding up in an empty grave after one too many perfectly bitchy digs at Cristal.
The Carringtons circle the wagons
Steven shows that even he has a Carrington side by talking trash about the widow to a cop in order to protect the family. Between that and his toying with Sammy Joe, it seems there’s more to the humanitarian than we saw at first glance. At least that squad of FBI guys who accused him of murdering Matthew certainly think so. It’s infinitely too early in the season for this case to be even close to a real suspect, but I think we’re still in for some more surprises from Steven.
Jeff proves his loyalty to Fallon by finding a way to delete the incriminating photo of Cristal with Matthew (from a private server, natch). It seems Jeff is pretty thoroughly caught in Fallon’s thrall. I do feel kind of bad for the guy – it doesn’t even occur to him that Blake is just screwing him over, not Fallon, and that Fallon will always come out on top. The idea of who is a Carrington and who’s not (and therefore who’s worthy or loyalty and protection, or not) will likely be a season-long thread. Poor Jeff just hasn’t figured out yet that he will never make that cut.
Blake is still the single least engaging character on the show in spite of it supposedly revolving around him as the patriarch. Even Anders out-shades him at every turn. Considering that Anders is the one who knows Cristal’s real name and is so tight with Blake’s “pocket cop”, so far the butler is more relevant to the plot.
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Cristal goes full Carrington
Throughout the episode, Cristal struggles with the cold, calculating nature of being a Carrington. After her spectacular failure to spin the news of her dead lover, she struggles to be more effective in throwing the scent off Team Carrington’s trail. She watches her husband lie to a widow, mislead herself, and orchestrate a brilliant PR move to deflect blame for Matthew’s death (hey, isn’t PR supposed to be Cristal’s strong suit? Not according to Anders, anyway…). Judging by Cristal’s pre-sex, post-Willy-firing whimpering, we’ll have at least a few more episodes’ worth of Cristal’s struggle with how vicious the Carringtons can be.
The Colbys alternate between ignoring their blackness and expressing it exactly as you would assume a white writers’ room at the CW would imagine it. The idea that Ruby is afraid of the cops because of the Carringtons, and not due to their penchant for misconduct and unfair treatment toward black men like her brother, is surprising. Are the Colbys the elusive black family of white America’s imagination, the kind that is so wealthy they are impervious to discrimination?
The plot thickens
After the explosive premiere, this episode was bound to seem a little less intense in comparison. Still, there were at least a few juicy tidbits. Sammy Joe knew who Steven was all along, but it turns out Steven knew and didn’t care. Cristal’s real name is Celia Machado, but even more surprising is the fact that Anders thinks she’s good for the Carringtons (for now). It turns out Blake warned Fallon off buying the windfarm and tried to bribe Matthew to go to China to get him away from Cristal, who we learned Mathew lied to about his marriage when they first got together. And last but certainly not least, Steven is arrested for murdering Matthew.
Shout out to Cristal’s fun-eral flower crown and Sammy Joe’s George Michael-style cross earring, and an honorable mention to Fallon’s funeral romper, complete with ridiculous hat.
Next week we’re getting an 80s dance party, so hold on to your shoulder pads!
- “Unconscious is a good look for you.” – Fallon, to Cristal
- “One little decapitation shouldn’t blow the whole deal.” – Fallon
- “It’s like the escape room of weddings.” – Ruby
- “What’s up your ass this morning?” Enter Sammy Joe.
- “What’s a little incest between friends?” – Sammy Joe
- “Everything is her fault, get on board.” – Fallon
- “She’s got some nice qualities.” “So does a Cocker Spaniel, but I wouldn’t want my father to marry one.” – Fallon