This episode of Dynasty containts spoilers.
Dynasty Episode 22 Review
Dynasty sure knows how to go out with a bang. All the high-end, grass-fed, free-range, Swarovski-emblazoned chickens came home to roost in this season finale. You know it’s a good episode when the mother of all catfights isn’t even close to the most outrageous thing that happened. Everyone learned the truth about almost everything, so of course some new secrets had to be made in the process. And it wouldn’t be a Carrington family gathering without at least one gunshot.
The first half of the episode struggled a bit with such a heavy business focus. In spite of the title, the show has only ever lightly been about the actual machinations of the various companies. Mostly they’re vehicles for playing out existing family dynamics, like dangling promotions and hostile takeovers in front of one another. Getting into the finer points of diluting shares is pushing this show’s limits. Mad Men was only just barely able to carry that sort of storyline, and Dynasty is no Mad Men.
One of the most rewarding parts of the episode was Alexis and Cristal’s epic fight. I hesitate to even call it a cat fight, since this went way beyond scratching, slapping, and hair pulling. They threw each other and the furniture all over the place, and all to a great 80s soundtrack, as usual. It allowed for a revival of the Cristal the Dog gag, which is so dumb but so delightful, and gave Cristal the chance to make a sick incest burn, though she wasn’t the first.
Jeff Colby may have taken the prize for best dressed in his red custom wax cloth suit to drop the Carrington secret on everyone. Monica’s blue sequin jumpsuit was also fantastic, as was her “I’m a Carrington now” silver midi skirt and blue jacket, but Jeff’s red sequin bomber was…not for him. Let’s leave the sparkles to Sammy Jo, okay Jeff? Speaking of, Sammy Jo’s all black rehearsal dinner suit with Swarovski detailing was a perfect midpoint between his style and a more buttoned up look that Steven and Anders would prefer. The grooms were pretty low-key at the wedding itself in white and black jackets – I’m still disappointed that Anders talked Sammy Jo out of the snakeskin cowboy boots. Anders wore a sparkly bow tie, which is only like the tenth cutest thing he did in this episode.
Alexis had two of her only real winners, the blue suit and the white floor length dress with black side panels and nude neckline. I admire the show’s dedication to using her trashy, nouveau riche wardrobe as an extension of her character’s tacky behavior, but it’s still nice to see Nicolette Sheridan get to wear something great. All the villains got Claudia looked maternity mental health issue chic in that high-neck pink chiffon empire waist dress. Since she got it from the Carrington Estate, does that mean Cristal had it waiting? Or was it left over from Alexis? I have so many questions.
Anders was finally recognized for his stealthy role as the family’s best relationship counselor. Luckily Fallon’s love life was just a small part of the story – there’s plenty more episodes worth of love triangle between her, William and Culhane, though fan-favorite Culhane did pull ahead with that whole saving her life thing.
If only Anders was privy to Steven’s bombshell, which is Mrs. Daniel’s claim that she’s pregnant with his kid. I was really waiting for the show to come around on their version of a #MeToo moment with her – after all, she groomed Steven when he was still a minor, and their “relationship” may have even started when he was underage. I’m not convinced that she’s telling the truth, but if she is, that probably means even more dilution of the shares.
So let’s talk about that fire. The culprit could be basically anyone, since it was a white gloved hand in a black sleeve at a wedding full of dressed up guests and staff. The rescue effort was pretty contrived, with Blake and Culhane ignoring Steven and Sam, who were clearly much worse off, in favor of their one-time partners.
Poor Cristal has two different potential deaths awaiting her. Even bleeding on the ground with smoke rising and a bullet wound, Cristal looks great. While this was more suspenseful, I was sort of hoping to see what was going to happen when she and Claudia went outside to “confront” Blake in front of the press. It was definitely a way to calm Claudia, but it also sounded like there was some real truth in Cristal’s voice. Can’t-divorce Cristal was my favorite, and I’m only sorry we won’t be getting more of her. I love the BDSM and Commie overtones of the song choice (Whip It) and her attire (leather beret and olive green jumpsuit.)
As for Cristal’s fate, that looked an awful lot like where they shoot actresses when they want to have them lose an ovary or two next season. I like the idea of losing just one – you get all the melancholy of not being able to get pregnant, plus it’s not completely ridiculous when they get knocked up for sweeps.
Matthew turning out to be part of Claudia’s psychosis was a great way to pull two major fast ones on the audience two weeks in a row – if you fell for it and don’t mind some casual stigmatizing of mental health issues. I’m sure for those who felt otherwise, it felt like one cheap gag after another. But the sequence of wondering how freaked out Cristal was going to be when she saw Mathew alive, then the shock of Matthew taking the bullet for her followed by the reveal that he was fake and Cristal really was hit, is the kind of double-reverse-reveal that great soaps are built on.
Hank and Claudia teaming up for a joint getaway is perfect. It’s the kind of thing where if they simply go off into their own weird sunset, we’d never miss them, but they could easily come back as a vengeful duo if the show lasts long enough.
Kirbie arrived on the scene just in time to add to the madness and bust out a bad British accent, but without revealing her face. Here’s hoping she’s someone Josh Schwartz has worked with before, like Rachel Bilson or even Leighton Meester. Hey, a girl can dream.
With the fates of Steven and Cristal (and potentially rescuer Culhane and MIA William) in the balance, Dynasty closes out its first season on a high note and some serious cliffhangers.