This Dynasty review contains spoilers.
Dynasty: Season 1, Episode 8
Welcome to Product Placement, the latest episode of Dynasty. In case you wanted a Google Pixel ad with some drama throughout, the CW has you covered. This is also part one of Dynasty‘s Christmas episodes, which is a pretty rare thing to do. We’ll have to wait and see if this show pulls it off.
This show makes great use of interesting 80s covers in general, but this episode feature two particularly great ones: “Maneater” and “Love is a Battlefield.” But no amount of 80s music can make me forget that in this episode, a man tried to hand-pick an ob-gyn for a woman, and he isn’t necessarily considered a villain for doing so.
Blake loses faith in Cristal
You know, I was pulling for Blake. He’s still boring AF, but at least he was loyal. Now that he has told Anders(!) to dig into Cristal’s sister and their past, he’s neither. It says a lot that Blake makes Anders look warm and cuddly right now, and it really takes away from what would’ve otherwise been an episode focused on the hard-won relationships between Anders and Cristal and Anders and Sammy Jo. Not to mention, Cristal never actually said she wanted kids; Blake declared his desire, kissed her, and assumed she agreed with him. I’m sympathizing with the former Mrs. Carrington more and more all the time…how long until we meet her again?
Early on in this episode, Cristal gets a cooler full of fish heads. It’s no horse head in your bed, but it still leaves her spooked, to the point where she trusts Anders of all people, and is somehow largely rewarded for that trust. Things get worse from there, though, when Anders, Blake, and her doctor collude in some creepy, very HIPAA-disapproved conspiracy to hate on her IUD. Do Blake and the writers know that controlling a woman’s reproductive rights is a manifestation of abuse? This is all on the power and control wheel of abuse, which is the embodiment of a Bad Look, especially now. This creepy old white dude saying, “IUD” with such accusatory consternation is making me shake all the way down to my Mirena. Back off, Anders!
I have some questions about Cristal, though. Why would you go into PR if you’re trying to keep a secret identity on the down low? I thought Cristal was supposed to be smart? One thing this show definitely has in common with Gossip Girl is the fact that the characters’ intelligence level rises and falls as the ever-churning plot requires.
Fallon’s redemption was short-lived
So much for Fallon being a nice person last episode! It takes all of two minutes on screen for her to turn nasty again. And unfortunately, it turns out that the orange monstrosity she’s wearing isn’t pajamas, but real clothes. Girl, really? It’s moments like these that I miss Blair Waldorf.
Still, for the second episode in a row, Fallon out-maneuvers everyone. She locks Cori (and Colhane) out on the balcony so she can’t be present for the tree lighting, but manages to do a good thing for her anyway, by publicly “announcing” that Blake will pay to keep the lights on in the libraries for the next five years, since the budget was short. So Fallon’s slightly redeemed in Cori’s eyes, while making her father foot the bill as she tries to poach his clients, and she still gets to be the center of attention, jumping up on stage to announce it all from the podium and then pull the lever for the tree lighting. Not bad, for someone who’s wearing a pointy-collared sequin sweater.
But apparently Fallon is anti-Sammy Jo? I don’t think we’ve really ever seen her express an opinion before, and she could certainly use more fans, so this feels weird. That said, I’m happy to see Sammy Jo more involved in the main action and some serious scheming front and center. Fallon teaching him a few tricks would also be fun, so I’m withholding judgment until I see where this is headed.
Jeff and Steven take down corruption
Steven and Jeff try to hack away at corruption, but Steven keeps coming up against the same old moral quandaries. One of the weirder directions this show has taken in its short life is to have Steven not only black-bagged, but black-bagged by his own father. I guess this is the Carrington version of tossing kids into the deep end?
Steven, like a normal human being, is upset about the role he played in ending someone else’s life when Stansfield harshly reveals that to him. And for those keeping track at home, that’s two lives Steven has inadvertently had a role in ending, and literally zero times that anyone has pulled one over on Stansfield. Steven, however, isn’t as quick on the draw, because he doesn’t know that Jeff kept the recording that implicates him, or that Jeff made Stansfield an offer he couldn’t refuse, one the conveniently helps Jeff’s cousin.
Of course this all takes a toll on Steven, who starts using again. The end of the episode see him headed back to his ex, with whom he used to use drugs. How long until Blake finally notices that Steven is gone, and will he do something about it, or will he be too caught up in his own life or his blame of Steven? I’m hoping Dynasty seizes the opportunity to do a worthwhile story on the opioid crisis, which is so prevalent for so many around the country right now.
At the end of the episode, Jeff caught me by surprise by offering himself up to Fallon on a silver platter. I knew he had it bad, but damn. And while things eventually get hot and heavy between them, even Jeff just touching Fallon’s leg to tease her before they really get going is infinitely hotter than the weird, leg-centric sex that Cristal and Blake had to open the episode. Dynasty is still a sad mess when it comes to sex scenes, but if they write more like Jeff and Fallon and less like Cristal and Blake, they can still save this thing.