Dynasty Episode 21 Review: Trashy Little Tramp

Dynasty drops two incest sub-plots and a bunch more bombshells in the penultimate episode of the first season

Dynasty Episode 21

This episode of Dynasty containts spoilers.

Dynasty Episode 21 Review

Remember when we all thought that the writers were keeping Liam and Fallon from sleeping together because he was secretly her brother? Apparently we were giving Dynasty too much credit. In an episode with two separate incest plotlines and a new revelation before every commercial break, Dynasty has finally stepped up the level of intrigue to what we expect to see from the creators of Gossip Girl andThe OC. In a seaosn that has improved by leaps and bounds, “Trashy Little Tramp” manages to reveal a master plan and still keep us guessing. 

The headlines for this episode – and there are many – are that Fallon is doing a hostile takeover of Carrington Atlantic, the Colby kids are Carringtons, Alexis is a money-grubbing liar, brother Adam is a fake, and Matthew is alive. Oh and Cristal wants a divorce, Blake wants to hold her hostage, and Anders wears the same suits all the time, even at a honky tonk.

Finally knowing Alexis’s plan makes the show practically electric, and figuring out her machinations over the course of the episode was like putting together a very shallow, bitchy puzzle. In any other episode, Fallon’s machinations would be a bombshell, but her conniving got short shrift here, in a bid for yet another twist and in an attempt to prioritize all things Adam and Alexis.

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It was great to see Jeff Colby acknowledge that his past behavior was abhorrent, and even better to see a real semblance of the family that he always says is so important, and yet we barely see. I want Granny to come around more often – she called Jeff on his shit, makes her own choices, and still looks fantastic. I hope she makes more appearances, especially as one of the only remaining members of that generation to bring a little truth to the proceedings. And of course snaps to Monica for that sweet incest burn on her brother.

It always seemed like an odd move to get rid of Matthew in the pilot, and his Revenge pedigree makes him perfect for a frothy nighttime soap like Dynasty. Luckily, the writers were in it for the long con: Matthew survived the explosion and he’s been meeting with wife (who seems to have legit mental health issues) to plan some sort of revenge on the Carringtons and/or Carrington Atlantic.

Basically everyone has it out for Blake Carrington at this point, and with good reason. The guy is a criminal and a jerk. He is responsible for a bunch of death and disease, and he actually said that he owns his wife. What remains to be seen is how many of those forces will differentiate between Blake Carrington and Carrington Atlantic. If Fallon succeeds in her hostile takeover, will she have to answer for Blake’s crimes?

Fallon has certainly reaped the material gains of Blake’s criminal lifestyle and she’s not winning Miss Congeniality any time soon, but as far as we can tell she didn’t know about her father’s evil doings, and once she learned, she has done everything she can to work against him. Here’s hoping the show continues the Fallon and Cristal team-ups, Fallon being less crappy to Culhane, and the push toward Fallon being a real and reasonable human, rather than a walking stereotype.

One downside of this jam-packed episode was that we lost out on a few character beats, particularly for Anders. Given how close he is to Blake and the kids, he surely must have been feeling a swirl of emotions at seeing “Adam.” While it was nice to see Sammy Jo and Blake share meaningful screentime, that’s exactly the kind of conversation Blake would normally have with Anders. Even an extra moment to linger on his face when he was told Adam’s identity would have been nice. Alas, the trouble with an embarrassment of plot-churning riches.

A few amazing things this episode skates right over: about 8 million trump references from Fallon, which seem designed to piss off her father. Blake’s attempt to be a man of the people in white pants, a turtle neck, blazer, and hard hate. Sammy Jo’s studded camo jacket is back. Cristal wore a dead Muppet for the family photo shoot. Blake actually seemed human when talking about losing his son. No one questions how Adam went from kidnapped and mutilated to happily adopted. Helluva Bottom Carter is an amazing drag queen name, and are we sure Blake is straight? He also seems to know a lot about wigs…

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Finally, there is Cristal’s long-awaited change of heart about Blake. I was so happy for the brief moment when I thought she was in therapy, but at least she’s finally thinking about getting out, even if it might take her a while. I would still love to see the show go one step further and admit that this kind of manipulation and verbal abuse is abuse. Remember, Dynasty, kids are watching, and this stuff has an impact. A disgraced Blake might react like a caged animal and lash out, but he might also be powerless to stop her, especially if his kids and Anders find out what he’s up to.

Let’s end with the most bonkers plot of all: Alexis making out with her long-lost son. For two whole seconds I genuinely thought Dynasty was going with adult incest and I was gobsmacked. While they’re a little less gutsy than that, I’ve gotta admire that they had the guts to even fake us out with that. Before we had time to revive ourselves from that shock, Alexis casually drops that she got her boy toy to actually have his finger removed just for this gig. Now that’s real dedication to the craft. Next week we’ll see if she can actually pull it off.

Rating:

4 out of 5