Dynasty Episode 3 Review: Guilt is for Insecure People

Not even a soundtrack full of 80s covers could help this sluggish episode.

This Dynasty review contains spoilers.

Dynasty Episode 3

How did Dynasty manage to make an 80s-themed episode boring?

This episode took a step backward in terms of camp, and without the wackiness of the second episode or the non-stop reveals of the first, it felt labored and boring. The supposed twists all felt very expected, as did the beats of the murder mystery and Fallon’s love life.

Unfortunately the fashion was similarly hit and miss. Poor Cristal’s makeup aged her (and not in a sophisticated way) and her dress was trying too hard to be modern and cool to have any fun ’80s elements. Luckily Anders saved the (fashion) day with his white suit, which is not a look most old, white men can pull off unironically. The mention of Sammy Joe wearing a women’s bathrobe was a nice bit of queer gender-bending as well as a nod to the female origins of the character, but it’s too bad it was such a boring robe. Doesn’t he seem like more of fluttering silk kind of guy?

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Sammy Joe schemes to save his mom

The best part of the Flores portion of this episode was the flashbacks to Cristal’s escape from Caracas years earlier. The reality of life for immigrants and refugees raises the stakes here, and makes Cristal seem more sympathetic rather than gold-digging. An urgent need to flee was apparent, although we’ll see if that need is political or personal. I hope we learn more about the life she left behind, including her family that she throws under the bus to Anders in order to play off her whole fake name situation.

Sammy continues to be torn between his fledgling relationship with Steven and the lengths he is willing (or required) to go in order to protect his family and their secrets. Unfortunately, Sammy Joe stealing from Blake and Cristal in order to help his mother is the least surprising thing that happened in a pretty slow episode. I’m more interested in why he’s unwilling to be Steven’s alibi for Matthew’s murder.

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Blake lies. Again.

The only thing that’s less shocking than Sammy robbing the Carringtons is the fact that Blake lied to his son about keeping Mathew’s cell phone. Steven doesn’t know yet, but I wouldn’t count on that lasting very long. It seems Blake can never have both kids happy with him at the same time, although being on good terms with even one seems like a struggle. On the positive side, the creative decision to make the conflict between Blake and Steven revolve around business and politics rather than Steven’s sexuality was a smart one. It allows a 2017 audience to find Blake corrupt and conniving, rather than outright odious.

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Blake talked about his wife, Alexis, several times in this episode. We’ve heard her mentioned before, but generally as a throw-away reference. If she and her lip-plumping kits keep coming up, we could be looking at an appearance of the first Mrs. Carrington, perhaps in time for sweeps?

Fallon fights for her name

We’ve already seen Blake get up in Fallon’s face about her new business venture, saying the Carrington name isn’t hers, but his. This echoes a popular argument that women keeping their own name isn’t feminist, since the name belonged to their father, anyway, a line of thinking that assumes women never own anything, least of all their own name. Fallon, apparently named for descending from a ruler, was having no part of that kind of logic. She eventually followed Michael’s great advice that she stop wasting her time fighting her father and make a name for herself instead. Based on the fact that she got at least one investor to jump ship for her new company, I’d say she’s well on her way.

Jeff Colby realizes that Fallon has been lying to him, and while this will certainly complicate her new business, I can’t say I care. Michael is clearly a better match – if he had been the one to walk in on her it would be more upsetting. Still, playing both sides up the middle never lasts long, and there’s bound to be fallout from Jeff’s realization, no matter how hard he tried to pretend he wasn’t interested when Fallon drew some boundaries.

Was this episode an anomaly, or par for the course? The cardinal sin of a soap is to be too boring, so let’s hope it’s the former. 

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2 out of 5