This episode of Dynasty containts spoilers.
Dynasty Episode 20 Review
Dynasty goes all in on some of its best elements, but gets thoroughly bogged down in others. Cristal and Fallon teaming up to take someone down and the father-son dynamic between Anders and Sam were definitely in the win column, while Alexis continues to be a vacant cypher and the Colbys wander back onto the scene. Anders trying to help Sam plan a multicultural gay wedding and then talking him off the ledge when he thinks Steven is cheating is a natural extension of their relationship, and one that’s fun to watch. Cristal and Fallon are always the most fun when they use their considerable talents together, and this is no exception.
Fallon and Cristal’s plan was a good one, but Cristal’s about-face was so abrupt that it would be absurd if Blake didn’t realize something was up, making him the most likely person to have leaked the news. He certainly had the tactical advantage of using the news conference to publicly demoralize his wife via demotion while simultaneously co-opting his daughter by giving her everything she’s ever wanted from a career standpoint, and nothing she actually needs or asked for.
Unfortunately, Dynasty falls back on its show’s (deeply flawed) premise, and pits Cristal and Fallon against each other once again. Of course they will inevitably team back up again in time for the finale, but it’s unfortunate to see a show that occasionally shows the promise of something more. It’s also hard to gin up much concern about Fallon double-crossing Cristal and Culhane, since it’s pretty clear by now that even if it takes her a while, she will eventually do the right thing.
This episode tests the limits of how much Dynasty can rely on the corporate machinations of a group of people who clearly never work. Corporations and titles as MacGuffins, interchangeable objects of film and television pursuit that typically cease to matter as soon as they’re acquired, feel even more ostentatiously arbitrary than when everyone chased after a moon stone on The Vampire Diaries or a party invite on Gossip Girl.
Also testing the limits? Our suspension of disbelief that Cristal and Blake ever got together in the first place, never mind the rapid decline of their relationship. It’s getting harder and harder to remember Blake’s redeeming qualities, and since Dynasty isn’t all that interested in giving him much of a backstory, it’s not like we even have a competing narrative where he legitimately does immoral and illegal things for the right reasons, like to protect his loved ones. He’s just a rich jerk with impunity. We have too much of that in real life to be entertained by it in fiction, especially on a show that isn’t even trying to say something knew about wealth, corruption, and whiteness.
Alexis Carrington appears to be on her own show, and it’s wearing a bit thin. What is her goal in meddling with the Colbys? Scheming on a soap works best when it’s structured like a heist movie: we need to know what the plan is so we can watch it go awry, or else know the objective so we can watch competing forces try to outmaneuver one another to achieve it. Without that element of dramatic irony, we’re stuck watching a none-too-thrilling mystery of what Alexis Carrington is up to with her low-stakes puppeteering of her children and the Colby clan. Is it too late to bring back Cristal the dog?
The peak into the past was interesting, and certainly made it easier to forget how awful Jeff has been, though it suffered from a lack of clear parallel to the current story. The revelation that Colby is “one of them,” as in a Carrington, seems a bit odd. We know that Cecil has been accused of sleeping with Alexis – was she secretly pregnant and no one noticed? Or did Blake sleep with Jeff’s mom?
And of course, the Carrington family can never grow by just one secret son at a time, it has to get two. Welcome Adam, now it’s time to find out if you’re for real, and what on earth you’ve been up to this whole time.