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Dynasty - The Sensational Blake Carrington Trial - Review

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As the title suggests, the “Dynasty” fall finale centers around “The Sensational Blake Carrington Trial” that the show’s been building to all season. But unfortunately, given all that build-up, there isn’t enough soapy oomph to make this a truly sensational episode.

To start with, this episode is surprisingly concerned with pivoting characters off the canvas and cutting storylines short. Monica, who often misses an episode here or there, makes a big production of announcing that she’s taking a break from Atlanta, and Dominique’s drama, to focus on her new Club Colby in NYC (which is a bummer, I want more Wakeema Hollis, not less!). Monica invites Vanessa – who she’s instantaneously forgiven for her part in Dom’s deception – along and Vanessa accepts, which seems to be the end of her, her brief pairing with Culhane, etc. Shenanigans in the A-plot lead Kirby to believe she’s been banished from the city and so she takes off indefinitely with her shady new beau, who a) we don’t see and b) is being investigated by the FBI, which is clunkily used as a red herring and then brushed off. Finally, despite them having kissed just last week, Sam exposits that Fletcher blew him off, again off-screen. I dunno if it’s to clear story runway for a certain someone (oh we’ll get there), but it feels like a lot of stuff the show was developing this half a season is just, bloop, done and that’s pretty crummy narrative planning.

Anyway, back to Blake’s trial. Despite all the confident blustering the DA is doing in the press, Blake starts his day in court cocky that things are going to go his way. But in classic “Dynasty” fashion, it doesn’t take long for it to hit the fan. A subpoenaed Culhane’s testimony is of course damagingly spikey, and he makes sure to note his belief that Blake killed her father. Fallon only makes matters worse when she admits on the stand that she thinks Blake is capable of murder. Then there’s Dominique, who finagles her way into the courtroom to steal some of the media spotlight for herself (her screaming “Objection, you skanky bitch!” at the DA made me cackle out loud). But that all pales to learning that there’s a secret witness who can place Mac at the manor the day he died. It seems like Blake might have shot himself in the foot when, erroneously believing Kirby is the mole, he goes behind Anders’ back to banish her from Atlanta and Anders’ response is to call the DA about an offer she’d made earlier in the episode. But! It’s a double-cross and, with an immunity deal in place, Anders is able to get up on the stand and claim that he killed Mac in self-defense. “I have to admit I had a moment of doubt,” Anders confesses to Blake, in a nicely acted scene between Alan Dale and Grant Show, “but I’ve always looked on you as my son. I couldn’t allow them to put you in prison.”

Except Kirby wasn’t the DA’s secret witness. And as the episode ends, she calls said ace up her sleeve to the stand. Blake scoffs when Jeff enters the courtroom, but it’s the blonde woman wearing a big hat on his arm who’s asked to state her name for the court. “It’s Alexis Carrington...Colby,” Elaine Hendrix (“The Parent Trap”) announces, to everyone’s shock. Now, it was spoiled that our new Alexis would be showing up in this episode and thus it wasn’t a huge surprise when she turned out to be the witness (it also acted as a nice nod to her introduction in the original series), but it was still so fun. Her being married to Jeff was a delicious twist (Dominique’s face upon learning that a different scheming bitch had gotten her hooks into her son was amazing) and, in just thirty seconds of screen time, Hendrix already has me sold on her version of Alexis. Cannot wait to see her vamp it up with everyone when we rejoin them in January.

The episode ends without Alexis seeing her children, but it’s looking like Adam will literally be able to see her when they’re reunited. Early on, he starts getting flashes of his vision coming back, but keeps it quiet because he wants to keep Nadia close to him. He, of course, doesn’t know what we do – that Fallon is paying Nadia to break his heart. Cristal stumbles upon their secret and is all too delighted to join the scheme. It seems, though, that Nadia has made a rookie mistake when Adam overhears her arranging a romantic tryst. But awesomely, it was all a ruse by the ladies to make him think she and Blake were having an affair, which they sell with a fake fight between Nadia and Cristal while Fallon plays selected recorded snippets of Blake. Heartbroken, Adam smashes up the wine cellar and then, upon waking and finding his sight fully returned, heads to the family vineyard to burn it to the ground.

Blake’s trial and Adam’s tribulation both end up impacting Fallon and Liam’s relationship this week. Liam is writing an article about the Carrington court case for the debut issue of Fallon’s magazine, which is every journalistic, conflict-of-interest, wanting-to-be-taken-seriously level. From this stupid jumping-off point, it’s a pretty paint-by-numbers plot. Fallon is totes cool with Liam telling the story straight until she has a meltdown on the stand. Liam is scold-ily aghast that Fallon would want him to go easy on her in print. Fallon is driven to take dramatic action behind his back, in this case staging an office break-in and trashing the entire issue. Typical stuff with these two.

But after a conversation with Blake where he proudly declares that she’s a “regular chip off the old Blake,” Fallon decides she wants to be a better person...which, c’mon “Dynasty,” nobody watching this show wants that. Not only does she apologize to Liam, she also now feels bad about what she did to Adam, her arch-nemesis (boo!). Hearing about the fire at the vineyard, Fallon correctly guesses that it’s Adam’s handiwork and she and Liam rush there to talk him down. She’s in the midst of confessing about the scheme with Nadia when she works out that Adam can see. And while the siblings argue, a flowerpot gets thrown and it triggers Liam’s memory of Adam bashing him over the head and instigating his amnesia. Furious, Liam charges Adam and the cliffhanger leaves the pair literally teetering on a ledge.

So how sensational did you find “The Sensational Blake Carrington Trial?” And what kind of drama are you hoping “Dynasty” delivers when it returns next year? Share your thoughts in the comments section.

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