Over the course of four seasons, The CW’s Dynasty reboot — starring Elizabeth Gillies and Grant Show as Fallon and Blake Carrington, respectively — has had no shortage of surprises, thrills, and otherwise all-around entertaining stories. Murder, mystery, romance, and the highs and lows of life on top of the world with billions of dollars at your disposal, Dynasty truly has it all. Plus, with a revolving door of actors taking up the mantles of Cristal Carrington (née Flores) and Alexis Carrington, there’s also been plenty of intrigue surrounding the characters, as each has brought their own unique flare to the character and kept viewers on their toes, opening up unexpected avenues for the writers to go down. We’ve compiled a list of the best thirteen episodes of Dynasty thus far, before Season 5 really kicks off in March of 2022. As there have been so many changes (both on and off of the screen) since the show premiered in 2017, there’s a various selection of episodes here, showcasing the many elements that the series has excelled with at certain times during its run. But, nonetheless, all are some of the most exciting episodes.
“Pilot” (Season 1, Episode 1)
As the beginning of the story, and the reboot of a legendary TV show, the Dynasty series premiere does quite well with introducing this new take on these familiar characters. In particular, Fallon and the original Cristal (Nathalie Kelley) are introduced in such an iconic manner that it’s nearly impossible not to be invested from the time the episode ends. Their rivalry is one of the highlights of the show, and the series premiere is rife with tension between them. It’s a shock to everyone to see what these women are willing to do to compete with one another, and how far they’ll go when they feel like their back is against the wall. Additionally, the premiere introduces the murder mystery of Matthew Blaisdel (Nick Wechsler), Cristal’s lover that she relatively recently called things off with. Of all the characters, Cristal’s introduction is beautifully done and possibly one of the strongest we’ve seen from the show. Despite her flaws, she offered such a captivating energy from the very beginning, being the lead-in for many of the show’s most compelling stories in the first season. (And, it’s fun to see what changes the writers decided to make when looking at the original for inspiration.)
“Enter Alexis” (Season 1, Episode 17)
After almost the entire first season, the writers finally brought in the estranged former Carrington matriarch: Alexis (Nicollette Sheridan). Finally, we begin to see where things were when Alexis left. As the elusive figure that was so often mentioned before, it’s nice to finally put a face to the name, and Alexis comes into play in Atlanta with so many secrets in tow that it’s impossible not to be captivated by her. Her relationships with Fallon and Cristal are quite fun, especially with the latter and their sudden war over Cristal’s place in the Carrington manor. Alexis comes in swinging, ready to get what she wants, which is part of what makes her such an entertaining character. Alexis is someone else ready to do whatever it takes to get what she wants.
“Dead Scratch” (Season 1, Episode 22)
In the first season finale of Dynasty, there is war between practically every character on the show. Fallon is ready to steal the reins of the company from her father, but Jeff (Sam Adegoke) and Monica (Wakeema Hollis) have other plans after learning that they are related to the Carringtons through an affair that Blake’s father had. But, what’s most shocking is the death of the original Cristal. After being locked away and confessing to murdering her own husband, Claudia (Brianna Brown) gets help from her presumed-dead husband to escape the hospital and get her revenge against Cristal. Only, Matthew isn’t real, but Claudia’s manifestation of love and guilt over what she did. We didn’t know she would die at the time, but going back and watching again, it’s brutal how Cristal’s life came to an end. One of the most dramatic exits we’ve seen, which is fitting. This finale remains one of the series’ strongest episodes with the most powerful storylines, and it’s a shame that the series went in another direction after this.
“The Butler Did It” (Season 2, Episode 3)
This episode is a big one for the new Cristal (Ana Brenda Contreras), who realizes that Blake is using her as a replacement for the wife he recently lost. She stands her ground and demands better for herself without wrecking her new relationship. But, the biggest shock is the revelation that Anders (Alan Dale), the majordomo, had a one night stand with Alexis that resulted in Steven. So, after decades, Steven and Blake learn that they are not blood relatives… at the same time that Steven (James Mackay) learns that Melissa (Kelly Rutherford) lied about him being the father of her unborn child. It’s a rollercoaster ride, and an example of the collective drama and trauma that Dynasty does best.
“Parisian Legend Has It…” (Season 2, Episode 14)
After Alexis’ failed suicide attempt turned murder of Cristal’s ex-husband Mark (Damon Dayoub), Cristal is recovering from being dragged by her horse and losing her unborn baby. Alexis refuses to be caught, helping to implicate Blake’s go-to muscle, Mack (Jeremy Davidson), leading to Blake killing him in a fit of rage. However, this is also the exit of Mackay’s Steven, who had been out of the country since shortly after he learned about his true paternity, and the introduction of long-lost brother Adam Carrington (Sam Underwood). Pretending to be someone else, Adam convinces Steven that he is losing his mind and to admit himself to a hospital for the mentally ill. Before taking off, Adam reveals himself to Steven… which is the last we’ve seen of Steven. It’s a beautifully devious move by Adam, which really sums up the type of man he has always been on Dynasty: Ruthless.
“Motherly Overprotectiveness” (Season 2, Episode 15)
Following his successful scheme to trick Steven, Adam arrives in Atlanta to claim his spot in the Carrington dynasty, leaving everyone in the family in precarious positions. Fallon is hesitant to believe this stranger is her brother, Blake is desperate to accept him, and Alexis’ position is the most precarious of all. Since she arranged for Hank to pretend to be their long-lost son to scam the family at the end of Season 1, she can’t admit that she thinks his story is true. Considering this is only his second episode, it’s mind blowing to see how the writers had no qualms about showing how terrible Adam could be. He euthanized the only mother he had ever known after she confessed about the kidnapping, then pushed Alexis face-first into a fireplace after she apologized for the fake son mess that made people doubt his story. This episode shows how strong the story can be when all of the Carringtons are involved and dealing with the same thing. And, as Adam’s introduction to the family, it’s game-changing, taking the show in a vastly different direction.
“Deception, Jealousy, and Lies” (Season 2, Episode 22)
So much goes down on the Dynasty Season 2 finale. Adam hits Fallon’s boyfriend, Liam (Adam Huber), over the head with a flower pot, leaving him face down in the pool. In his attempt to continue destroying the family that continued on after his kidnapping, Adam also arranges for divers to go through the lake on the property where he knew Fallon’s childhood best friend’s body was. However, they also find Mack’s body. And, as Adam continues with this treachery, Jeff tries to frame Adam for his own (fake) murder… only to be thwarted by his mother, Dominique (Michael Michele), who protects Adam to continue getting money from Blake. It’s the perfect showing of how messy the lives of these characters are, and what they’re willing to do in order to get out on top… like Blake framing Culhane (Robert Christopher Riley) for his crimes, which gets Culhane arrested. It truly shows that anything can happen on a Dynasty finale.
“Guilt Trip to Alaska” (Season 3, Episode 1)
After the bodies were found in the lake, the Season 3 premiere picks up with suspicion rising about who killed Trixie and Mack. Everyone is desperate to protect themselves, but none more so than Adam, who is in a panic after what he did. The pressure is on when Liam survives the blow to the head, causing Adam to try to finish the job at the hospital. But, Adam is also terrified of losing his place in the family if Blake is charged for Mack’s murder, so Adam tries to clean that up, too. It’s an entertaining outing that tests the individual members of the Carrington family and what they’re willing to cover up to protect themselves and each other. Like, in Fallon’s case, lying about what happened to Trixie to help her father.
“The Caviar, I Trust, Is Not Burned” (Season 3, Episode 9)
The introduction of Elaine Hendrix as the new face of Alexis Carrington is only one surprise that Alexis returns to Atlanta with, as she prepares to testify against Blake in his murder trial. The other surprise being her recent marriage to Jeff Colby, Fallon’s cousin (and ex-lover). Things don’t go exactly as planned, but how can Alexis prepare for everyone to somehow come together to destroy her? Tensions are high, everyone is willing to risk it all to achieve their goals, and Blake starts to sweat about his ongoing trial. This episode is a showing of just how tangled the lives of these characters are and how things can never be simple. (Plus, Hendrix is just an incredible Alexis from her very first outing.)
“My Hangover’s Arrived” (Season 3, Episode 20)
The unplanned Season 3 finale (thanks, COVID-19) sees Fallon, Cristal (now played by Daniella Alonso), Kirby (Maddison Brown), and Sam (Rafael de la Fuente) recovering from Fallon’s bachelorette party the night before… with no memory of what happened. Together, they try to piece the night together, as someone got married during their drunken night out. While there’s a bit more seriousness with Anders investigating Adam after learning that Adam and Kirby are dating, the episode is just a fun look at the characters and the reckless lives the wealthy are afforded, something that is far too rare on Dynasty.
“Vows Are Still Sacred” (Season 4, Episode 2)
In what would have originally been the Season 3 finale, Trixie’s brother Evan (Ken Kirby) officially loses it as Fallon and Liam prepare to walk down the aisle. But, first, Alexis and Blake begin fighting as it is revealed that Jeff and Alexis have worked things out to become the owners of Carrington manor, essentially displacing Blake and the other members of the family. Many lives are put at risk, like Kirby’s after she’s stabbed by Evan, but it cannot overshadow the beautiful and intimate wedding that Fallon and Liam have at her old high school. “Vows Are Still Sacred” is an excellent depiction of how self-obsessed Blake and Alexis are, but for the first time, Alexis manages to get the upper hand, which is delightful and refreshing. Above all, though, it’s a wonderful showing of Fallon and Liam’s love, something that has become so ingrained in everything that Dynasty is.
“The Aftermath” (Season 4, Episode 3)
The aftermath of Evan’s attack begins in what would have been the Season 4 premiere. Blake is temporarily paralyzed after the fall into the orchestra pit, while Alexis is settling into her new life in Carrington manor and working on her divorce with Jeff. Alexis also has a new mission to excavate diamonds from under the manor with Dominique’s help, beginning a very interesting new partnership. Fallon, however, is traumatized by the attack, bringing out another side to her that recognizes her fragility and limitations. It’s a harshly learned lesson, but something that truly helps Fallon grow. This episode feels like the beginning of something new, a new season that is changed by COVID-19 protocols… which does help the show in some ways, by making the characters interact more with each other, giving side characters more of a purpose, and having less one-off guests.
“Go Rescue Someone Else” (Season 4, Episode 13)
After half a season of teases that someone would be meeting their untimely demise, the answer is finally revealed: It’s a funeral for Anders that we’ve been seeing. For a relationship that had been paid very little attention over the course of the show, this episode is beautiful in detailing the relationship between Fallon and Anders. While Kirby may be his daughter, Fallon always was, too. (Not literally, but in his heart.) Seeing Anders risk everything to help Fallon really shows just how much he cared for her, and makes up for some of the time that was wasted by never allowing them to interact. Sure, it’s not perfect, but it’s an episode that really shows how Anders fit into their lives as more than just a majordomo.
All four seasons of Dynasty are streaming on Netflix. The first two Christmas-themed episodes of Season 5 are streaming on The CW’s website.