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Dynasty - Filthy Games - Review

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The Carringtons get down and dirty on this week’s “Dynasty,” but I thought “Filthy Games” wasn’t an A-game outing for the show.

The Alexis/Blake/Cristal storyline isn’t really the A-plot of the episode, but it’s the best and soapiest so I’m starting there. So Cristal has come up with a plan concerning her WTD problem. She decides to take a DNA test, promising that she’ll come clean if the baby’s her ex-husband’s, but rationalizing that she’ll have spared Blake pain if he’s indeed the father. But given Cristal soap-stupidly brings the test into the manor, it was only a matter of time before it was spotted and tampered with. Alexis gets her claws on it by blackmailing a gardener over his affair with a housekeeper so, when Cristal (again soap-stupidly) hands off the test to said housekeeper to be mailed, he’s able to grab it. At first, Alexis tries to ensure the test comes back claiming Blake isn’t the father. But when the gardener ruins that plan by taking the doctored swab from the dog (Alexis really has a type when it comes to co-conspirators, huh, dopey young dudes), she instead intercepts when the clinic calls the manor for a replacement sample (amusingly chowing down on caviar and lobster while she waits). And with a few well-crafted words, Alexis is able to “innocently” hand the phone over to Blake, who learns about the paternity test from a third party and is pissed. It’s textbook soap, gawd was it great.

The suds keep coming when Blake storms in to confront Cristal (“You just look so serene...for someone who doesn’t know whose baby they’re carrying.” Boom!). And as they fight, we learn some intriguing new information about Mark Jennings – he was a player for a soccer team Cristal’s family partially owned, but when he refused to throw a match, it became “too dangerous” for him and Cristal to be together (no wonder Cristal feels so at home with the Carringtons!). Despite Cristal’s pleas that Blake is the only man in her heart now, it’s clear Blake is concerned she’s only with him by default, and the episode ends with them very much on the rocks. And that’s before Alexis tracks down Mark and gives him a call. See ya soon, buddy!

Elsewhere, Fallon is wallowing in bed, as many of us have done after a breakup. But because she’s Fallon, her mope sesh includes an in-room band playing sad songs and an in-room bartender passing her martinis. She snaps out of her funk to save face when Anders reminds her about a “day in the life” profile she agreed to with some fancy magazine. But because she has nothing to showcase professionally and even less to brag about personally – and because the reporter clearly has the knives out for her from minute one – it’s all very cringey and, honestly, not that fun to watch. Fallon tries to salvage things by claiming her and Culhane’s split was super amicable and inviting the reporter to dine with them, but that just leads to a nasty pre-dinner fight between the formerly betrothed about whose fault it is they broke up (which ends with Culhane leveling Fallon with a similar shot to the one Liam took last week, that she’s “not the Fallon Carrington that [he] used to love”), which the reporter overhears. Spinning out even more, Fallon commandeers Monica’s (kinda lame, sorry Mon) Game Night party at Club Colby and convinces the reporter it’s a launch for her new business, hoping to figure out something on the fly.

It’s here where Fallon’s story intersects with Sam’s so let’s back up a bit. Sam’s bummed when Steven again delays coming home (and sidebar – c’mon now “Dynasty,” Steven’s been gone for eight episodes, the season’s half over, please kick this storyline into another gear). Letting an offhand remark by Fallon that he’s materialistic get stuck in his head, he decides he needs to become a better person (a beat this show has played with Sam before) and sets out to declutter, with bestie Kirby’s help. Things go sour, however, when Sam hires an Instagram guru named Lady Monk to help (she’s played by an actress named Nicole Steinwedell, who’s got a real Marcia Cross-meets Jaime Pressly thing happening). Sam quickly falls under her spell, but Kirby is not impressed by this “culture-appropriating fake healer.” Getting her Veronica Mars on, Kirby discovers a paper trail proving Lady Monk basically pilfers people out of their possessions for profit!

Which is bad news for Fallon when Sam brings Lady Monk to her faux launch party. Zeroing in on Fallon while she’s floundering in front of the reporter, Lady Monk plays like they’ve been partnering on a lifestyle brand project, which Fallon gratefully goes along with. Fortunately, Kirby crashes the party and exposes Lady Monk before either Carrington can write this con a check. It's a victory for Sam as he gets to tell her off and ends up feeling pretty good about himself. But for poor Fallon, it’s just more negative fodder for the reporter to use in his article. She ends up going to Blake and admitting that she’s flailing and needs his help.

In the subplot basement is Blake and Culhane clashing over the direction of the Carrington soccer team (and sidebar – where is Jeff? Isn’t he also a partner in this enterprise?). While Culhane favors an inclusive community approach to promoting the team, Blake thinks all they need is flash and spectacle. But when Blake’s ideas tank in front of the board, he presents Culhane’s as his own, leading to the two arguing about credit and ego. The only interesting thing about this storyline is where it ends, with Blake giving Fallon a job with the organization, meaning the warring exes will now have to work together. That could be kinda fun, but otherwise, snore.

Did you think “Filthy Games” was good clean fun or more of a mess? Come share your thoughts on this week’s “Dynasty” in the comments section.

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