This episode of Dynasty contains spoilers.
Dynasty Season 2 Episode 4 Review
This is perhaps the first episode of Dynasty that felt like it could be an episode of a normal show, and I’m not so certain that’s a good thing.
The entire Carrington-Anders clan spent this episode reeling from the revelation that they are, in fact, the Carrington-Anders clan. Poor, empathetic Steven is at the center of it, and similarly human Anders is not far off. Fallon actually does a pretty good job of rising to the occasion for her beloved brother throughout the episode, although her best moment comes at the end, when she sends him away on some much-needed time for himself.
There’s been a lot of talk this season about Steven’s tendency to run away, but I think Fallon’s emotional journey this episode did a decent job of showing that sometimes, you’re not running away; you’re just getting away. While this episode is meant to show Steven’s endeavor to resolve his feelings on his parentage and his mother lying about it, he and the script wisely put that off. Shockingly, it will take more than one episode to process.
It’s Fallon who ends up having the emotional journey in this episode, which largely serves as a coda to the pilot, when she summoned Steven back to bolster her against their father. (Yes, I’m still going to call Blake Steven’s father – Steven and Blake will be doing so as well.) Fallon has always been needy, and while she’s grown a lot in the time that we’ve met her, Steven is her ultimate human security blanket. I have every confidence in her ability to live without any other character on the show…except Steven. Seeing her both give up creature comforts and play peacemaker, whipping everyone into shape, then ultimately tell Steven to leave for his own good so he could stop metaphorically accompanying her is a huge journey for Fallon.
Much of the actual Habitat for Humanity-esque shenanigans were forgettable at best, other than Fallon’s ability to have two safari-inspired outfits in one afternoon of manual labor, plus a denim jumpsuit the next day. This segment more than anything else leant to the episode’s overall feeling of ordinariness. A few details here later led back Kirbie’s ongoing feud with Alexis, but what good is a scheme if we don’t even experience the thrill of it?
Sam, on the other hand, found some great moments in this episode, starting with his George Michel-inspired passport photoshoot in black leather fringe. Personally, I hope his Instagram becomes real, a la Kevin’s on Riverdale. It feels like with his aunt gone, the writers give him all of her zingers, so he gets to deliver great line reads to Blake like, “even your hair looks mad.” Sammy’s also taking on full empathy duties for the show, and was the only one to point out that Anders lost something to: the opportunity to raise his own son. This also handily explains the lack of longing looks and foreshadowing up till now.
Back in Atlanta, it’s been hard to see Culhane, in particular, be the one wrapped up in something unethical. He and Fallon worked so hard to have honesty in their relationship, and Culhane has always been the show’s ethical center, even when we were all supposed to pretend it was Steven. On the plus side, Culhane and Jeff as scene partners is interesting, especially considering how different their relationship has been up until this point. This version of Sam – respecting Culhane for trying to make his own money – is so much more character-driven than the sad, drunken vindictive mess at the end of last season. I’m eager to see where this duo is headed next.
Getting back to the complicated nature of Steven’s parentage: I’m glad Blake was a good enough person to tell Steven that nothing has changed – he’s still his father. And he’s right; there’s more to being a parent than biology. But Steven accidentally put too fine a point on, and it threw into sharp relief the reality that Blake was a rather aloof father. Usually when people say parenthood is about more than biology, they’re referring to the act of child-rearing, something that Blake dabbled in at best. It complicates matters that we’ve always know Anders did much of the parenting, for Fallon and Steven both. I hope there’s no tidy resolution for this. I also desperately hope it interrupts Blake Time.
Steven is still getting his CA shares and while I’m not surprised Jeff is cool with it, it feels like someone should have suspected him of being greedy, to give him the opportunity to say he has more than enough, and his quarrel was with Blake, not Steven. (Side note: Jeff’s waxcloth suit is amazing.)
But where is Monica? She was never a huge part of last season, but she has essentially disappeared from a show that really can’t afford to keep losing more characters. She seems to have essentially been replaced with Kirbie in all scenes with Jeff, which is a shame. First, I still don’t understand how old Kirbie is (or Anders?!) but that vibe is creepy and I want to like Jeff. Second, Monica’s variety of alliances made her far more interesting narratively than Kirbie “I hate everyone” Anders.
Kirbie is never going to call Jeff out, and I supposed the rest of the Colby family is off the board now? But that makes about as much sense as literally having a replacement Celia. Everything about that vibe is wicked creepy.
Dynasty, where is your head at these days? Throw me a bone here.
A few observations:
I don’t know which was more satisfying: watching Fallon kick Alexis out of the manor or watching Fallon staple gun Alexis to the frame of the house. Why not both?
Blake looks legitimately heartbroken when Steven runs after Anders
“Yes, yes, we all know. Adam was the lucky one”
“It’s like Downton Abby after dark”
“She’s like a live-action Miss Piggy.”
“I’m like a ghost in Gucci.”
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