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Re-watching the DYNASTY-verse ... alphabetically!

James from London

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Battle Lines (DYNASTY, 07 Feb 20) v The Beating (DYNASTY, 09 Mar 81)

I have travelled many light-years through the DYNASTY-verse this week, first into the far-flung future of 2020, aka New DYNASTY Season 3, which I haven’t actually seen, and then back 39 years to the very beginning of DYNASTY-time, aka Season 1, that primordial period before the opening credits evolved into shots of people spinning round in front of mirrors and angrily pulling off bowties and turning on a light switch while looking a bit sad.

Battle Lines 2020 is my introduction to New New New Alexis who is oddly unremarkable. She kind of looks like a runner-up on American Idol. It’s disconcerting at first, but in a show full of generic rich bitches, her ordinariness becomes kind of refreshing. New New New Cristal, meanwhile, is absent for most of the episode but is really pretty, and New Dominique, despite having been given the same bitchy personality as Fallon and Alexis (Fallon makes the same poly-blend gag in this ep that Alexis made in Season 2) is more effortlessly enjoyable to watch than either of them.

While Battle Lines ends with Dominique moving into the Carrington Manor, to the apparent dismay of New New New Cristal, The Beating begins with Steven moving out of the Carrington mansion with his father's approval. “A young man shouldn’t be confined umbilically to the place where he was born,” Blake declares. By contrast, Battle Lines makes a big thing of C21st Blake being really lonely now that his kids have flown the coup — so lonely, in fact, that he decides on a whim that he wants his company back (the same company that he decided, also on a whim, to sell the previous season). This leads to him playing convoluted power games with Jeff and New New New Alexis who are now married. It’s a business arrangement apparently, but Alexis makes it clear she wouldn’t object if it became something more. It seems she has the same yen for Jeff that ‘80s Adam accused ‘80s Alexis of having in Battle Lines ’83.

Like ‘80s Steven, C21st Fallon also decides to move into her own place, but while he is happy with a three-room apartment, she has decided she wants to a buy a much sought after fifteen-bedroom house and is willing to go to any lengths to get it. This entails lots of gags and slapstick and whatnot to deter other prospective buyers. As is usually the case with this kind of comedic plot, it falls between two stools: it’s not serious enough to care about and not funny enough to laugh at. Thank God for Liam, a believable, grounded character who helps make these scenes almost tolerable. When he finally loses patience with Fallon’s wacky self-absorption, it’s genuinely satisfying.

Things are the other way round in The Beating where it's Jeff who wants him and Fallon move out of the mansion and into their own place, while she has no interest in living independently of her father. “So why did you marry me? Why didn't you marry him?" Jeff yells. This hits a nerve, as incestuous implications are wont do in the DYNASTY-verse, and she goes running off into the arms of Michael Culhane — not the boring patsy version of Culhane from the future who gets seduced and secretly videoed by New Dominique in Battle Lines, but the chauffeur-cum-house-spy version, whom Blake has roughed up when he finds out about him and Fallon. “You just can’t go around beating up every man in Colorado I sleep with!” Fallon shouts. “Try me, Fallon, just try me!” Blake replies.

Back in 2020, Fallon attempts to win favour with the existing owner of the house she’s after by posing as a soccer mom, complete with mini-van. Conversely in 1981, Matthew Blaisdel is bemused when Walter buys him a Rolls Royce to celebrate their oil strike. As they talk, it becomes apparent that his reluctance to accept the car masks deeper concerns, specifically his ambivalence about his marriage. Matthew has two other scenes in this ep that are similarly poignant, as much because of what isn't said as what is. One is with Krystle (“I dreamed about you the other night …”), the other with Claudia whom he surprises with a weekend away. It’s his way of trying to apologise for the affair that he had and which he now knows she knows about, but which neither of them can acknowledge out loud. It’s a very moving scene, partly because Claudia carries her own unspoken guilt over her relationship with Steven.

Trees become a symbol for both Liam and Fallon’s future in Battle Lines, and Steven and Claudia’s future in The Beating. While looking around the house she wants to buy, Fallon gets into an argument with Liam about the fact that he doesn’t want children. Trying to keep up a facade of domestic bliss for the homeowner, they substitute the word trees for babies: “How can you not want trees? Everyone likes trees!” etc. "Next spring, up at the lake, when this tree I planted begins to show off her leaves, prettier and greener than any single leaf in England, I want you to be there,” says Steven to Claudia as they lie in bed in his new apartment in 1981. Yet again it’s about what isn’t said: realistically, there’s no way they’ll still be together next spring. And yet, what's remarkable is how one finds oneself rooting for each of these doomed couples: Claudia and Steven, Claudia and Matthew, Matthew and Krystle, even Steven and Ted.

To be gay in the ‘80s DYNASTY-verse is a very solemn affair. Conversely, to be gay in Battle Lines 2020 is to be automatically hilarious. Fallon’s flamboyant realtor salivating over Liam: what could be funnier than that?

And the winner is ... The Beating

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Tony

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Gosh, I didn't realise your rewatching Dynasty alphabetically would include Nu Dynasty too - my head would spin if I attempted to compare it with the OG. You made an astute observation in your interview that NuDynasty doesn't lend itself to such analysis to be taken seriously, but I applaud your efforts!
 

James from London

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Ben (DYNASTY, 26 Feb 86) v The Best Things in Life (DYNASTY, 06 Dec 17)

Ten months after Ben, inThe Ball86, someone called Randy came onto Steven by claiming to have seen him talking to Bart Fallmont at a Chris Deegan party. It sounded too repressed-gay to be true, but it turns out it really did happen: we hear Steven mention it to Bart in this ep almost a year earlier. We’re used to seeing Steven as the pent-up closeted one, but here he’s trying to coax Bart to come out into the light. Steven may not be the best example of a happily well-adjusted gay man -- he emphasises how difficult and painful the whole process is, and even when you find happiness it's often shortlived cos your lover will most likely die in an overseas massacre -- but at least he's trying. It feels like he’s carrying the torch for Luke, whose picture he keeps in a closed drawer. (At least it’s not a closet.) It reminds me of the last couple of seasons of THE X-FILES after Mulder's gone and the eternally sceptical Scully is obliged to fulfil the role of “believer” as a sort of tribute. When Bart eventually admits to having feelings for Steven and they stiffly, solemnly embrace, it's so awkwardly earnest, it's almost heartbreaking.

This was my third watch of The Best Things in Life in as many years, which is perhaps unfair on the episode and definitely unfair on me. That said, the scenes that deal with New Steven’s backfiring attempts to bring down New Blake’s crooked cop Stansfield are really good, while New Blake looking into New Cristal’s murky, grimy background is intriguing, if confusing.

Both episodes centre on a public event. In ’86, Denver Carrington and Colby Co, represented by Krystle and Alexis, donate some land as a wildlife sanctuary at a press conference. (And look at the third reporter on the left — it’s Future Rick Hawkins who’ll get electrocuted in a bathtub on KNOTS in three years time!) In ’17, it’s the annual Christmas tree-lighting ceremony in the city centre. Each event boasts a comedic centrepiece: Krystle and Alexis sliding down a muddy bank and landing on their designer bottoms in a dirty puddle; Fallon finding Culhane and his new girlfriend naked on a roof and trapping then up there. Alexis’s furious indignation is a lot of fun ("You stupid bitch!” she barks as she staggers, dishevelled, out of shot); Fallon’s farcical prank not so much.

While Blake encourages Sammy Jo in her efforts to become A Good Person in 1986 (“I know you’ve done some bad things but you can change. I’ve known it to happen”), New Blake more or less orders Boy Sam to become A Working Person in 2017 and so Sam appoints himself a kind of Yuletide double agent for Blake and Fallon, telling each of them what expensive Christmas gifts the other is buying for their clients. Said gifts include a private island, bottles of thousand-dollar-a-shot whisky and genetically engineered puppies. This storyline exists to hit us over the head with how outrageously rich these people are. When Jeff and Monica suggest to Fallon that, as theirs is a new company, they should limit their gift-giving budget to three figures per client, she is mystified. “Three figures? My haircut costs more than that.” Fallon’s continual incomprehension at the way the rest of the world lives is the source of most of New DYNASTY's humour.

I’ve recently been watching Schitt's Creek, the fish out of water sitcom about a pretentious, formerly rich family stuck in a crappy town, which covers similar territory — the spoiled twenty-something daughter even looks like New Fallon — and trying to figure out why the humour on that show works and the comedy on New DYNASTY mostly doesn't. I think it's partly because on Schitt's Creek, the characters’ pretensions and delusions are continually undermined, so they become the underdogs you route for, whereas Fallon’s are repeatedly indulged, by both the other characters and New DYNASTY itself. On the rare occasion that Fallon does learn A Life Lesson (i.e, that other people exist), she’s invariably forgotten it again by the start of the next episode, ensuring that whole tedious merry-go-round continues on and on.

Back in the '80s, Alexis has fun saying “Yaralula”, which is the name of the middle-of-nowhere spot in the Australian outback where she finds Blake’s long-lost brother Ben. In her efforts to entice him back to Denver to help her destroy Blake, she pulls the same "producing a silver service banquet complete with waiting staff and linen table-cloth out of nowhere" trick she will when she finds the equally elusive Sean Rowan in a screening room two years later. Back in Denver, Caress lurks around every corner, pouting and glowering and flirting as the mood strikes her.

And the winner is ... Ben

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Zara

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I think it's called Dynasty poetry from a brilliant fool. Think of it as upper class stories from Dynasty's own Rose Nylund.
 
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James from London

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Betrayals (THE COLBYS, 19 Mar 87) v Bid for Freedom (THE COLBYS, 04 Dec 86)

“You and I are very alike,” Sable tells Phillip in Betrayals, yet Stephanie Beacham and Michael Parks’s acting styles are fascinatingly different. She’s all exquisite diction and flashing eyes while he underplays everything; Phillip might be as vengeful a sibling to Jason as Ben and Caress are to Blake and Alexis, but it’s all internalised — he mumbles his lines and avoids eye-contact as much as possible. Consequently, you can’t take your eyes off him. He has an interesting effect on those around him too: Jeff is suddenly broad-minded and outspoken, questioning Jason’s moral authority. When he offers to help Phillip out financially, Jason tries to dissuade him, insisting that Phil “doesn’t deserve it.” “Why does he have to deserve it?” Jeff shoots back. “He’s family, he’s broke and he’s in trouble … It makes me wonder. God forbid any of the rest of us should fall out of line!” Fallon, meanwhile, is primly shocked that her husband would side with a shabby newcomer against their show’s patriarch. Following her close encounter with a cinnamon-scented alien in a couple of weeks time, their roles will reverse and she'll be complaining that Jeff’s the narrow-minded one.

Phillip’s return from the dead has also turned Frankie upside down. What kind of woman is she now they’ve gone to bed together? She’s been pushed beyond the remit of her original character description, leaving her in no man’s land. She doesn’t know what she’s doing or who she is from one moment to the next and nor does the actress playing her, and both seem panicked and out of their depth. It feels like no-one thought this far ahead when the character was being created and the fact that it's all happening in front of our eyes is just fascinating.

Thirteen episodes earlier, Bid for Freedom is all about Kolya and his amazing sister Anna who, in her own quiet way, is like a Russian version of Phillip Colby in that she breaks all the conventional rules of soap opera acting and gives a performance of such sorrowful depth and emotion that she might as well be Irina in Chekhov’s 'Three Sisters'. Meanwhile, crazy Miles follows Jeff and Fallon on their ski-lodge vacation, dragging poor old Channing along for the ride, to prevent Fallon from doing a Kirby, i.e., trying to induce a miscarriage, only by throwing herself off a snow-topped mountain rather than a horse. Instead, it’s Kolya who appears to throw himself off a hotel balcony rather than be forcibly returned to Russia in the final scene. Poor Anna!

And the winner is ... Betrayals

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Tony

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Great analysis of "Betrayals". I think the last few episodes of The Colbys was among the series strongest with the Jason-Sable - Frankie -Phillip quadrangle. All four performers give very believable backstory to show how they are so inter connected.
 

James from London

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The Birthday (DYNASTY, 04 Apr 84) v The Birthday (DYNASTY, 04 Feb 87)

It’s birthday time — for Little Blake in ’84 and Krystina in ’87. The show goes all out for LB’s big day: clowns, stilt-walkers, the works. I was especially excited to spot some Mr Men decorations — who’d have thought Roger Hargreaves would ever penetrate the DYNASTY-verse? Everyone seems unusually cheerful, at least on the surface: Alexis smiles graciously at Blake while secretly plotting his downfall with Rashid Ahmed, Fallon cracks corny jokes while secretly worrying about her mystery headaches, Kirby is all sweetness and light while secretly firing at hallucinations of Alexis at the shooting range. More overtly, Adam and Steven get shouty-shouty about the China Sea Oil leases while Krystle and Tracy get slappy-slappy over the latter making a pass at Blake in Hong Kong. Oh and Dex drops his keys in Alexis’s hummus.

While the grownups at LB’s party ooh and aah as if their lives depended on it, the children look mostly overwhelmed and miserable. “You should see what I’ve got planned for our baby’s second birthday,” Blake tells his pregnant wife. Magically, less than three years later, it’s already Krystina’s third birthday, but the festivities are on a far more modest scale, both in terms of screen time and surroundings. After she is taken sick, the celebrations end up consisting of a couple of balloons with her mum and dad in a hospital room. Nonetheless, Krystina seems to enjoy her big day a lot more than LB did his.

Jeff proposes to Fallon in Birthday ’84, Adam does the same to Dana in Birthday ’87 and both are immediately accepted. “We’re going to do it right this time, no running off to Vegas,” decides Fallon. Alexis likewise insists on a big wedding for Adam. “You and Claudia eloped and I think that all through that marriage you felt like you weren’t a part of this family,” she tells him. She is disturbingly nice to everyone in Birthday ’87, even Blake, and this time it’s not an act. Well, almost everyone. She’s still angry with Dex, who leaves her hummus alone this time but ends up in a clinch with Dominique instead.

In Birthday ’84, Alexis and Krystle recreate the circumstances of their first meeting in Alexis’s Secret: Krystle catches Alexis ordering the servants about in the kitchen and tells her off, Alexis then follows her into a grander room for some light verbal sparring. While Alexis lets something slip about a fourth pregnancy, the subject of Krystle’s miscarriage is raised yet again. (“You cost me my first child, Alexis …”) Birthday ’87, meanwhile, ends with that jaw-dropping sequence where Krystina rides her rocking horse faster and faster until she reaches some sort of deathly climax. Has Krystle lost another child in a horse-related incident?

And the winner is ... The Birthday (1984)

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Artur

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I wonder if episodes' titles were oficially known when the show was originally aired or were they revealed on the Internet years later? Since they were not seen in the opening how did the viewers get to know them?
 

Tony

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They were originally known for press billings and identification purposes.

I remember a U.K. article on season 6 which was behind the scenes on The Quarrels as well as the BBC announcer alluding to the titles.
 

James from London

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The Birthday Party (DYNASTY, 16 Mar 81) v Blake Goes to Jail (DYNASTY, 13 Apr 81)

It’s a Season 1 double bill — praise be to the alphabetical gods!

As if often the case in Season 1, The Birthday Party is all about who finds out what and when. The action is this ep is mainly driven by Blake’s discovery that Krystle pawned a necklace on Matthew’s behalf and then replaced with a fake, and Jeff’s response when Fallon admits that their marriage was part of a business deal she made with Cecil.

There’s lots of space surrounding the characters in this ep. Ted and Steven, Matthew and Krystle — you get a sense of how deep their feelings for each other run without it necessarily having to be explained in words. There’s a long scene without much dialogue where we watch a clearly preoccupied Blake being beaten at pool by Joseph. "Your mind doesn't seem to be on your game today, Mr Carrington," Joseph observes. "I seem to find myself surrounded by people I can't trust," broods Blake. Then Krystle appears. "I think we ought to have a birthday party for Cecil," he tells her. "Would you wear the emerald necklace I bought for you?" She nervously agrees. After she leaves, the men resume their game and Blake starts winning with ease. "You seem to have turned your [game] around," Joseph remarks. It’s like we’ve just watched Blake formulate his plan to trap Krystle in real-time.

While Blake does not confront Krystle directly, choosing instead to initiate a game of psychological cat and mouse, Jeff throws caution to the wind at Cecil’s party and, just as he will in Betrayals (the episode of THE COLBYS where he stands up for Phillip against Jason), sheds his mild-mannered exterior to become the outspoken truth-teller, calling his uncle a white slaver and committing the ultimate DYNASTY-verse blasphemy by announcing that “Blake Carrington I never did like very much.” (His apology two episodes later marks the beginning of his unwavering devotion towards his father-in-law.)

Andrew Laird’s wife doesn’t have many lines at the party yet she feels like a real character rather than just a bit player. When Jeff describes how Andrew gave up a meaningful career in criminal law “to shuffle papers for Blake Carrington”, she gets a silent reaction shot which speaks volumes. Likewise in Blake Goes to Jail, Ted Dinard’s grief-stricken father appears only briefly and doesn't speak yet is afforded more dignity than his equivalent will be on New DYNASTY, where the regular characters (and the show itself) treat him like a joke simply because he’s an ordinary church-going man from Middle America. (I’ve decided not to watch anymore alphabetically arranged episodes of New DYNASTY, by the way. Otherwise, I’ll just end up complaining about the same things over and over which seems a bit pointless.)

Blake Goes to Jail comes only two episodes after The Birthday Party, but a lot has happened — Krystle has walked out on Blake and he’s just killed Ted. The ep opens with Krystle returning to the mansion, aka the scene of the crime, to find both the police and Blake’s hair all over the place. There’s no sign of Lieutenant Merrill, the cop who investigated the cabin fire in Season 4 and told Blake, “I was at your house the night of that incident with the friend of your son’s, Ted Dinard,” but I’m sure he’s just off-screen.

Pretty soon, we’re plunged straight into the murder trial that Caress Morelle and Sean Rowan will still be asking questions about in years to come. While Jeff describes as the DYNASTY-verse as “an emerald studded zoo” in The Birthday Party, Blake’s trial is variously referred to as “a full-blown media circus” and “some kind of contest — it’s not a trial.”

Not only is Steven estranged from the rest of his family, but he’s kind of cut off from us too. We glimpse him brooding alone in his apartment, but only from a distance. Are he and Claudia still seeing each other? Have they even spoken since Ted’s death? We don’t know. It’s as if, with the media’s cameras suddenly everywhere, they’re too scared to say or do anything incriminating, even in private, which makes Steven’s spluttering, perspiring testimony on the witness stand at the end of the episode, where he relives the circumstances of Ted’s death and accuses his sister of perjury in the process, all the more effective.

And the winner is ... Blake Goes to Jail

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Jimmy Todd

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Your postings make me want to go back and rewatch season 1, especially since I haven't seen the complete season.
Imagine if cagey, ruthless Blake was the one who sparred with Alexis, as opposed to post Ted Dinard Blake.
 

Willie Oleson

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His apology two episodes later marks the beginning of his unwavering devotion towards his father-in-law
And imagine if there hadn't been a lasting reconciliation between Krystle and Fallon, or Blake and Dominique. Not to mention Adam's yo-yo personality.
There was (gradually) a certain niceness creeping in to re-mould the dysfunctional Carrington Clan into a more wholesome unity against the villainy of outsider characters.
I’ve decided not to watch anymore alphabetically arranged episodes of New DYNASTY, by the way.
My blunt response: good!
There’s no sign of Lieutenant Merrill, the cop who investigated the cabin fire in Season 4
How many recurring supporting characters (apart from the mansion staff and Gordon Wales) did Dynasty have? Was it always the same hospital surgeon who was being scolded by Blake or Alexis? And should they have had recurring secretaries like Connie, Sly and Phyllis?
Imagine if cagey, ruthless Blake was the one who sparred with Alexis, as opposed to post Ted Dinard Blake.
This will always be my Dynasty Paradox theory. Alexis couldn't be in season 1 but she had to be in season 2, even if her sultry, tongue-in-cheek personality affected the tone of the show (this was even more apparent in BLOOD & OIL, but not in DALLAS since Judith's unconvential behaviour never compromised her monstrosity).
Since we were having so much fun with Alexis' (initially) fascinating villainy, I think Blake #1's villainy would have cancelled it out - something that doesn't apply to Cliff and JR.
Even though I wouldn't expect Alexis to kill babies right, left and centre, a lot of that villainy was reduced to cattiness (ironically, the kind of stuff Dynasty is mostly praised for).
It's typical of the season 1 drama that Fallon's cattiness, purely based on emotion rather than plotting, and usually happening in the most awkward setting, was far more effective and jaw-dropping.
On the other hand, if Blake's ruthlessness had made Alexis appear a bit more sympathetic then there would have been more room for genuine hurt and anger, which is a great motive for villainous backlash. Like it happened in THE COLBYS.
But I'm not going to pretend that I have the perfect solution for a coulda-shoulda. I take it "as is" and cherry-pick Dynasty's greatest hits. And in that regard, Dynasty massively outnumbers NuDynasty (in my precious opinion).
 

James from London

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Blake's Blindness (DYNASTY, 03 Feb 82) v Blasts from the Past( DYNASTY, 03 May 89)

Blake is on great form in Blake's Blindness — sneeringly sarcastic, cold and angry as he rages against his invisible enemies. Just as in Blake Goes to Jail, Krystle refuses to share his bed. Instead, while the rest of the household fuss around him, she hangs back, guiltily observing from a distance, just as Rita does when Blake gets sick in Season 6. Whereas Matthew Blaisdel, her extra-marital love interest in Goes to Jail, selflessly urged her to “run, run from the both of us, Blake and me”, her present one, Nick Toscanni, puts pressure on her to leave Blake for him, even threatening to expose their relationship when she refuses to meet him in secret. The rest of the Carringtons are in similar shape to Season 1: Fallon and Jeff are still married in name only — except now she’s pregnant. Steven is still at odds with his father over his love life — except now he’s married to Krystle’s niece rather than reciting poetry to a man from New York.

Moving on seven years, there are just four faces in the opening titles of Blasts from the Past recognisable from Blake’s Blindness — and who’d’ve guessed that Steven’s teen bride would be one of them, or that instead of being married to a gay man, she’s now in love with a priest? Back in ’82, Sammy Jo overhears Alexis and Steven talking about Fallon not being Blake’s child; in ’89, Alexis publicly (and viciously) announces that Monica and Miles aren’t Jason’s children — and that’s the reason Jason turned his back on them. (This again reminds me of Jeff's line about Jason’s self righteous streak in Betrayals: “It makes me wonder. God forbid any of the rest of us should fall out of line!”) Alexis’s revelation results in a four-way scrap between Adam and Jeff, and herself and Sable in the lobby of the Carlton Hotel. Coming as it does in the penultimate episode of the series, there’s something weirdly, wonderfully celebratory about it.

Fallon might have a different face in each of these episodes, but she has the same taste in Italian-American men: Dr Toscanni and Sgt Zorelli. The final scene of both eps involve Fallon and Alexis in a small house on the Carrington grounds, Fallon’s current love interest and the solving of a mystery. In ’82, Fallon tells her mother that she’s figured out who Nick’s secret girlfriend is: Krystle! In ’89, Zorelli helps them both figure out who killed Roger Grimes: Fallon! Both end with a mommy and daughter freeze frame: "Not only are we going to get Krystle out of Nick's life, we're gonna get her out of Blake's life too.” “It was me, it was me — I killed Roger Grimes!”

And the winner is: Blake's Blindness

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James from London

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Bloodlines (THE COLBYS, 06 Nov 86) v Body Trouble (DYNASTY, 07 Dec 88)

Bloodlines is full of rapey irony: Miles is upset after learning that Channing can’t have a baby because a botched abortion following a high school rape left her barren, while completely unaware that, thanks to his own rape of Fallon (here in her squeaky-voiced, frumpy phase), there’s a fifty precent chance he could be the father of her unborn baby. And, of course, he also doesn't yet know what we discovered in Blasts from the Past: he himself is the product of a rape. While Sable was outraged at Alexis announcing Miles and Monica’s illegitimate status in the lobby of the Carlton Hotel, it could be viewed as karma for all the digging she’s done into other people’s confidential medical matters. For example, while trying (and failing) to persuade the Colbys’ resident gynaecologist to divulge if Channing really is infertile (she isn’t), Sable inadvertently discovers that Squeaky Fallon is more pregnant than she has led anyone to believe. All it takes is a quick rifle through Squeaky Fallon’s medical files and a couple of flashbacks for Sable to realise the rapey truth: “Why, Miles, it appears you’re going to be a father after all!”

Sable is just as outrageously inquisitive two years later in Body Trouble as she cross-examines a DYNASTY doctor to get the lowdown on why Krystle has been having brain scans in Los Angeles. (While Miles was miffed at Channing for keeping him in the dark about her nonexistent barrenness, poor Krystle now learns that Blake has been keeping her own "artery to brain malfunction" from her “for years.”) But as Krystle throws plates in the air and repeats on a loop that “dinner is served” like a broken down Fembot, it's good to see that Fallon has at least been cured of her squeakiness by this point, and is now perky and witty instead (but without New Fallon's smugness), even while on a date to the morgue with Sgt Zorelli.

And the winner is ... Body Trouble

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James from London

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The Bordello (23 Feb 81) v The Bracelet (DYNASTY, 27 Jan 88)

Put any two random Season 1 characters in a scene together and it'll be interesting (case in point: Fallon and Matthew’s back of the limo conversation in The Birthday Party). Here, it’s the turn of Walter and Steven who spend a sizeable amount of screen time driving out to the most wholesome whorehouse in Colorado, where the madam, Lucy, is so down-to-earth she makes Cora Van Hewson look like a John Waters drag queen, in order that Steven can get laid. Steven, while turning inside out with embarrassment, is careful not to disabuse Walter’s kindly if ever so slightly homophobic intentions.

Sadly, their friendship is short-lived. Blake arranges for Matthew and Walter’s rig to be fatally sabotaged and allows Steven to take the blame. Steven then tries to bargain with his father: he’ll go back to work at Denver Carrington and start dating women if Blake bails out Matthew. “You’ll do all that for Matthew Blaisdel, but you won’t do that for me,” Blake coldly observes.

Fast forward to Season 8 where, in place of Lankershim/Blaisdel, it’s Delta Rho that’s in financial difficulties. Sammy Jo feels she can take Jeff on as a partner without compromising her independence in a way she couldn’t if she asked Steven for help. “I don’t wanna be dependent on you anymore. I’ll never find myself that way,” she explains to him. “But you will with Jeff,” Steven replies, sounding just as cold as Blake did seven years earlier. Blake ’81 and Steven ’88 each react badly to their perceived rejection. “You be what I want you to be!” Blake orders his son angrily. “Is there more than money changing hands between you two?” Steven asks Sammy Jo snidely.

In the final scene of both eps, a piece of jewellery becomes a symbol of marital betrayal. Having witnessed the ugly exchange between Blake and Steven, Krystle hocks an emerald necklace Blake once gave her and loans Matthew the cash to save the rig. Meanwhile, Alexis returns home from the hospital after being accidentally shot on live television by her fourth husband (these things happen) to discovers the bracelet she gifted to Leslie Carrington in a flashback under her and Sean’s marital bed.

Krystle and Matthew have a good old snog in 1981, but she breaks away from him at the last minute. “I can’t give you anything else that belongs to him,” she says. “You bastard!” seethes Alexis in 1988, hurling the bracelet across the room and hitting Sean’s photo dead on. She’d have been good at cricket.

And the winner is ... The Bordello

BONUS BEATS:


 
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Jimmy Todd

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Your past two posts raise interesting ideas. The first is characters on the same show who rarely interacted, but I wish we saw do that a little bit more: Fallon and Matthew, Valene and Greg on KL.
There's also Alexis and Leslie's relationship. It would have been interesting if their "All Albout Eve" like friendship delved more into Alexis' personality(i.e. her maternal side, making up for her strained relationships with her daughters).
When she learns of Leslie's betrayal her dark side could come out in a way not seen since she caused Krystle's miscarriage. She could pretend not to know Leslie's true side, while manipulating her into an affair and marriage to Clay, only to gleefully reveal that they're brother and sister. Dynasty flirted with incest more than once. This would be the "full monty," as it were.
 

Willie Oleson

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Yeah, it's strange that they got Terri Garber based on her Southern vixen fame only to under-utilize it in Dynasty (of all tv shows).
I wonder if Leslie had teamed up with Sable - the part of Joanna Sills - if Terri Garber hadn't left?

In the final scene of both eps, a piece of jewellery becomes a symbol of marital betrayal
Could we have done a Significant Jewelry top 10 for the SoapLand battles?

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James from London

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