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Dynasty - Mother? I'm at La Mirage - Review

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This week’s “Dynasty” – “Mother? I’m at La Mirage” – was a fun outing for the show, full of soapy mischief.

Having been brushed off by Liam, Fallon turns her attention back to business and that, to my delight, means reviving her antagonistic rapport with Kirby. When Kirby turns down millions of dollars to sell Femperial back to Fallon, she enlists the help of Evan (and sidebar – I still think this guy is a drip. I’m cool with Fallon having other love interests besides Liam, but Evan isn’t cutting the mustard. Also, I find it weird that he’s so horny for the woman who, accident or not, had a hand in his sister’s death. Anyway...), whose lawyering finds a loophole that at least lets Fallon eject Kirby from the physical offices. But she decides to take her revenge a step further, inviting the CEO Kirby is courting to the grand opening of Sam’s hotel – the titular La Mirage – and tricking Kirby (who’s rocking a very soapy dress with a snake design, btw) into making a drunken spectacle of herself.

Humiliated, Kirby seems ready to take the money and run. But then she has an epiphany – the real reason Fallon has been coming at her so hard to get Femperial back is because she wants Liam back. “What, you think that being Liam’s boss is gonna make him fall in love with you again?” Fallon’s face falls and, satisfied she’s gotten her goat, Kirby decides to hang on to Femperial after all. Also, Evan has clocked this exchange and doesn’t want to be a pawn in whatever game Fallon’s playing. Chastened, Fallon brings Liam his stuff from the manor and, while she admits she’ll probably always love him, insists that she has to move on. But uh oh! Just as Fallon is telling Evan that she wants to explore what’s between them, Liam is finding his mask from last season’s masquerade party and it triggers his memories of Fallon. Talk about your classic soap bad timing!

Speaking of classically soapy shenanigans, time to check in on Dominique. She’s working hard this week to get her stiletto in the door at Jeff’s music streaming service. And we the audience find out why when Dominique struts into La Mirage and throws a blue cocktail all over the bartender. Because said bartender is Vanessa (Jade Payton, “iZombie”)...Dom’s stepdaughter! The two are scheming to use Jeff’s service, plus Monica’s music label, to make Vanessa a star. At the grand opening, Jeff first spots them together, and then figures out the small con they ran so Vanessa could perform in Ashanti’s place (yes, that Ashanti). Dominique lies that Vanessa is just someone she was managing in New York, but follows that up with something more truthful when she muses that the one thing that might connect her and Jeff is a love of music. Jeff has always been a soft touch when it comes to Dom, but no more so than at this moment, as her reminiscing leads him to confess about the neurotoxicity (we see him getting a treatment earlier in the episode and, conveniently for the show, learn that it might be months or years before his symptoms become noticeable). And the way Michael Michele plays Dominique’s reaction is interesting. She seems genuinely upset to hear her son is sick, wrapping him in a hug. But you can also kinda see the gears turning as she contemplates how to work this into her scheme-y plans.

Sam, meanwhile, spends the episode spinning out over the opening, particularly about the Atlanta Historical Alliance’s plaque. “Every time I walk past it, I feel it watching me,” he complains to Anders, “like a homophobic Mona Lisa.” Determined to make his compromise with (the sadly absent) Mrs. Daniels worth it, he throws himself into party planning, which is what leads him to stalk Ashanti (yes, that Ashanti) at her yoga class and talk her into singing at the opening. But when he melts down again over the mess Carringtons and Colbys have made of things, Anders refuses to coddle him, instead advising him to embrace his position as a queer, Latino businessman to make positive change. And Sam takes that advice to heart, setting up a partnership with the Trevor Project to help at-risk youths. It’s a nice coda, but I’m kinda ready to see Sam and Anders in a different storyline. Is Sam going to have a love interest this season? Isn’t Anders worried at all that Blake might drag him into his legal problems?

Finally, the Carringtons that aren’t Fallon skip the opening, though they all have pretty good reasons. Blake, of course, is still under mansion arrest and is trying to focus on his upcoming trial. To that end, Cristal was off running an important errand – framing the unfavorable judge assigned to Blake’s case as having associations with the Flores family so he has to recuse himself (and sidebar – I mentioned in my review of the season premiere that I was unsure how Alonso would fit in, but she’s really won me over. At one point while Cristal’s smoothly threatening the judge, she gives him this small but super cocky smirk that was just perfect). And after his accident last week, Adam is adjusting to being blind, a situation that’s a) possibly/probably temporary and b) definitely a classic comeuppance for a soap schemer. Adam’s at first reluctant to accept the assistance of Nadia (Kelli Barrett, “Fosse/Verdon”), a home aide hired by Cristal. But he eventually comes around on letting her teach him some life skills, and then is surprised when Nadia offers to also help him deal with Cristal. I’m liking this setup so far. Nadia is an interesting character – she seems to genuinely want to help Adam, but there’s also a hint that she wouldn’t mind hitching her wagon to a rich family like Cristal did – and Barrett showed a lot of charisma in her scenes. And Underwood did a nice job portraying Adam’s fear and frustration with losing his sight; some actors can be too cartoonish when asked to play blind.

What’s your take on this week’s “Dynasty?” Make your thoughts on “Mother? I’m at La Mirage” known in the comments section.

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