Last night, through no plan or fault of its own, CW’s “Dynasty” aired its third season finale. The Coronavirus crisis shut down production before the cast and crew could film the final two episodes of the season.
In last night’s episode, “My Hangover’s Arrived,” directed by Gina Lamar and written by Francisca X. Hu, Fallon (Elizabeth Gillies) and her “bride tribe” had to re-create their steps after a drunken bachelorette party left her convinced she had married a stranger. Back in Atlanta, Adam (Sam Underwood) tried to undermine Blake’s (Grant Show) business dealings; Anders (Alan Dale) learned troubling things about Adam’s past in Montana; and Alexis (Elaine Hendrix) moved to thwart Jeff (Sam Adegoke) from ending their marriage of convenience.
There wasn’t much of a cliffhanger – or even a dramatic stinger – but you can’t blame the cast and the crew for that. But even after three seasons, “Dynasty” still struggles to forge its own identity.
The 2017 revival of the ’80s sensation smartly shifted focus from Blake, Alexis and Krystle to rich bad girl Fallon and featured dynamic re-imaginings of such classic characters as Jeff Colby and Sammy Jo, here a man (Rafael de la Fuente).
Yet the show has struggled creatively to find a consistent tone, veering from a camp comedy about rich people behaving badly to grotesque horror (usually anything involving Adam, he who pushed mommy Alexis headfirst into a roaring fireplace). It’s toggled between new stories and old ones, to its detriment. Who doesn’t cringe every time Moldavia – site of the most notorious ‘80s “Dynasty” cliffhanger – is mentioned?
There is some good news. The show was renewed for season four back in January. Here are some suggestions to raise it to platinum must-see status:
Joan Collins was a bolt of lightning from the United Kingdom who can never be duplicated. Her Alexis ran a billion-dollar conglomerate. This Alexis hosts a podcast. This Alexis is not an adversary to the show’s true heroine, Fallon, therefore she can only be a nuisance to her. Killing Alexis is the best way of telling the audience, “This ain’t your boomer’s ‘Dynasty.’” Make Anders the killer. That’s right, the major domo did it. Motive: Reveal Alexis tricked him and Blake into thinking Anders is the biological father of Steven, which brings us to …
Bring back Steven
Anyone remember Steven Carrington (James Mackay), the moral pillar of the family, the son-in-recovery who married another man and who was still so beloved by his conservative father and his nutty family that they chased him down to South America to help build a home for the poor? Yeah, that guy.
Adam (in Sam Underwood’s introduction to the series) gaslighted him, drugged him and imprisoned him in a French asylum.
Back in season two.
He’s been forgotten by everyone. How is Fallon even functioning without her No. 1 person? In Steven’s absence, Sam has turned into a character almost as sad and pathetic as the original Steven. (Quickie offscreen wedding to a stripper notwithstanding.) What was the point of bringing back Cristal’s hot, closeted brother if not for a love connection with Sam?
Time for Steven to come home, reclaim his birthright and his soulmate and join the family business of revenge by exposing Adam.
Make Sharon Lawrence a regular
Sharon Lawrence steals every scene as Liam’s nightmare mother Laura Van Kirk. Laura has an innate disdain for those new-money Carringtons, and especially Fallon, whom she considers the equivalent of a pig in Louboutin pumps.
As teased earlier this season, Laura can be a sparring partner for Blake (Grant Show), a rival for Cristal (Daniella Alonso), and most importantly a nemesis for Fallon. Imagine if Laura somehow became the fourth Mrs. Carrington. Fallon wouldn’t just slap her if she dared to say, “Call me mom,” she’d drop a nuclear bomb on the mansion. Lawrence brings the venom, the style and the flair. She’s not the lightning, she’s the storm this Dynasty deserves.