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Series / Dynasty (2017)

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Blake: We need to come together to protect our family.
Cristal: You mean our business.
Fallon and Blake: Same thing.

Dynasty is a 2017 Prime Time Soap airing on The CW, and a modernised remake of the 1980s series of the same name, developed by Josh Schwartz, Stephanie Savage (The O.C., Gossip Girl) and Sallie Patrick (Revenge).

Much like the original series, Dynasty is focused on the wealthy Carrington family: Blake (Grant Show), the ruthless patriarch and founder of his company; Fallon (Elizabeth Gillies), his ambitious daughter with designs on the family business; and Steven (James Mackay), his son and the Black Sheep who resents his privilege.

The Carringtons are rocked by the arrival of Cristal Flores (Nathalie Kelley), an employee of Blake's who quickly becomes his new wife. Joining her is nephew Sam Jones (Rafael de la Fuente), who also happens to be romantically linked to Steven. Jealous of her new stepmother, Fallon plots against both her and her father with the backing of the Carringtons' business rival, Jeff Colby (Sam Adegoke). Another person who opposes Cristal is Joseph Anders (Alan Dale), the house majordomo (do NOT call him the butler) who knows about her shady past.

Cristal is later revealed to have been donning the identity of another woman, Cristal Jennings (Daniella Alonsonote ). Alexis (Elaine Hendrixnote ), Blake's ex-wife, returns midway through the first season to complicate the family drama. Aside from Fallon and Steven, she and Blake had sired two other children: Adam (Sam Underwood), who was kidnapped as an infant and is currently known as a doctor named Mike Harrison, and Amanda (Eliza Bennett). Anders' daughter, Kirby (Maddison Brown), arrives to the household in the second season, as does Dominique Devereaux (Michael Michele), Jeff's mother. Michael Culhane (Robert Christopher Riley), the family chauffeur, and Liam Ridley (Adam Huber), a writer who forms a relationship with Fallon, also have major roles.

Unlike the original series, the setting is Atlanta rather than Denver.

On May 12, 2022, the series was cancelled after five seasons.

Dynasty contains examples of:

  • Aborted Arc: Season 5 seemed to be building to a confrontation between Blake and his brother Ben over control of the Carrington empire with Ben openly promising Blake he wasn't going to stop. The announcement the show would be canceled at the end of the season had the writers dropping the plot and Ben vanishing without an explanation.
  • Actor Allusion: Jeff complains about Alexis (now played by Elaine Hendrix) putting him and Adam together on a caper with "did you really think you could Parent Trap us into liking each other?" Alexis claims to have no idea what that is. Hendrix starred in The Parent Trap (1998).
  • Actually Pretty Funny: Despite tending to be a level-headed peacemaker within the Carrington family, Cristal holds back a grin at Fallon's caustic comments about her mother, when Alexis turns up at Thomas Carrington's funeral.
    Fallon: She's still up there [by the casket].
    Blake: Doing what?
    Fallon: Shedding more tears than the crocodile killed to make her bag.
    Cristal: (presses her lips together, trying not to smile)
  • Adaptation Name Change:
    • Krystle from the original series becomes the more commonly-spelled Cristal here. Although her real name is Celia, not Cristal.
    • Sam's counterpart in the original series went by Sammy Jo, which he rejects here.
  • Adaptational Location Change: The original was set in Denver, Colorado (but filmed in Los Angeles), whilst the 2017 reboot is set and filmed in Atlanta, Georgia.
  • Adaptational Sexuality: While Sam was a heterosexual woman in the original series, this version of the character is a gay man.
  • Aerosol Flamethrower: In Episode 11 ("I Answer To No Man"), Cristal uses one against Alejandro, to hold him off while Fallon escapes.
  • Analogy Backfire: Fallon chooses "The Midas Touch" as a theme for her 25th birthday in "A Well-Dressed Tarantula". Cristal reminds Fallon that the story of Midas is about a man whose greed ruined his family.
  • Ashes to Crashes: In Episode 23, Alexis accidentally backs her wheelchair into the table holding the urn containing Cristal's ashes, knocking it to the floor and smashing it.
  • Back for the Finale: Steven.
  • Bait-and-Switch: At the end of Episode 17 ("Enter Alexis") it seems that Fallon has finally pushed her mother too far by revealing that she was the one who ensured that Alexis didn't get the estate.
    Fallon: But Daddy was wrong, to banish you from our lives. Someone like you? Needs to be destroyed.
    Alexis: And you, my dear, need to be smothered. (Beat) With love. For the first time in your life, I am going to make you care about other people. And I am going to prove to you just how loved you are. Even if it kills you, Fallon. Because I am your damn mother.
    • The end of Episode 21 ("Trashy Little Tramp") seems to show that Matthew is still alive and helping Claudia out. It even looks like he takes a bullet meant for Cristal, in the following episode. But then Cristal collapses and "Matthew" vanishes as he's still dead and this was all a delusion in Claudia's mind.
  • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: Alexis with literally every person she encounters.
  • Big Damn Heroes: In the Season 1 finale, the Carringtons are trapped in the stable loft when they are locked in, and someone sets the place on fire. They are all looking for a way out and quickly succumbing to smoke inhalation when Culhane bursts in.
  • Big, Screwed-Up Family: Just like the original series.
    • Cited when it turns out Fallon's husband Liam is really a writer who just signed a deal for a book on a famous rich family. He reveals to Alexis that the book is actually about his own family. But as he relates, having seen just how massively messed up the Carringtons are, he's realized his family isn't so bad and should give them another shot.
  • Bride Zilla: No shock, Fallon goes all out for her wedding for Jeff, including the most expensive decorations. Even better considering the entire wedding is a sham as she knows Jeff is using her and trying to trap him and just playing up appearances.
  • Calling the Old Man Out: Blake is on the receiving end a few times, but especially in Episode 15 ("Our Turn Now"): Fallon calls him out for constantly using her to protect Carrington Atlantic and their family secrets, while ignoring her sacrifices and that the fairytale wedding she has genuinely wanted since she was a little girl has become a nightmare.
  • Cast Full of Rich People: The show is about the dealings of the extremely wealthy Carrington family within and outside their high-powered big oil conglomerate. Given this, schmoozing with other rich people is part of the show's bread and butter.
  • Casting Gag:
    • Grant Show, who plays Blake, is a veteran of primetime soaps like this one. The casting of Nicollette Sheridan as Alexis also counts as this; before she lived in Wisteria Lane she was a regular on Dallas spinoff Knots Landing.
    • In Season 5, Blake meets an old friend, played by Show's former Melrose Place co-star Daphne Zuniga.
  • Cat Fight: Another aspect of the original series brought back here. Most interactions between Fallon and Cristal are this.
    • Cristal and her sister Iris get into one during Episode 9 ("Rotten Things") at Christmas. They end up knocking over the massive Christmas tree.
    • Fallon and her mother get into one in Episode 17 ("Enter Alexis"), when Fallon discovers that her mother has been lying to them about where she has been- she's been living in Atlanta for months, and is flat broke- and that she and Steven have been in contact for a year without Fallon knowing. Fallon rips out her hair extensions, and they end up in the pool.
    • Adam and Fallon get into a cat fight in "New Lady In Town" that is extremely typical cat fight behavior even if one of them is a guy.
  • Chekhov's Gun: The lighter that Steven gives to Fallon for her twenty-fifth birthday, just before Alejandro and Iris kidnap her for ransom. Seemingly subverted, since when she tries to use it to melt her restraints, she gets caught and the lighter is tossed away, but comes back later when Cristal uses it to create an Aerosol Flamethrower to hold off Alejandro while Fallon escapes.
  • Cliffhanger: Plenty of episodes end with this and a Wham Line, but the Season 1 finale takes this to the next level. Someone, possibly Anders' estranged psychotic daughter Kirby, locked the Carringtons inside the stable house, and set it on fire. Blake, Fallon and Sam make it out thanks to Culhane, but Steven, Alexis and Cristal are still inside the last we see of them. Plus Melissa Daniels is pregnant with Steven's child, and Claudia has escaped the estate with the fake Adam.
  • Conspicuous Consumption: The Carringtons embody this practically every episode. Fallon's twenty-fifth birthday party really takes the cake, though: the theme is "the Midas touch", and literally everything is gold, including the mostly-naked waiters and the edible twenty-four carat plated fruit.
  • Continuity Reboot: Unlike many of The CW's modern sequel series of primetime soaps from the 80s and 90s (90210, Melrose Place), this iteration of Dynasty is a complete reimagining of the premise and characters, rather than building on established continuity.
  • Contrived Coincidence: The show lives on this.
    • In the season 4 finale, Fallon is going to indulge in drinking over she and Liam breaking up. She heads to find a bottle she knows assistant Eva keeps in her desk...and discovers Liam's book in her drawer with photos of Eva and Liam together and realize she's secretly been stalking Liam for months.
  • Curse Cut Short: When the Carringtons find out that the estate has been left to Alexis in Thomas' will, Fallon lets out a "what the f-?!" just before it cuts to the opening title.
  • A Day in the Limelight: "I Exist Only for Me" is this for Claudia.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Most of the main characters get this at least once or twice, but the most consistent examples are Fallon and Anders.
    • Steven has a notable moment from the pilot, when he and Fallon return to the estate and walk in on Blake and Cristal half-dressed and sprawled on an office desk.
      Blake: What the hell are you doing here?
      Steven: Who the hell are you doing here?
  • Death by Falling Over: In Season 5, Laura, Liam's mother passes out from taking too many cosmetic injections and impales herself on the heel of her shoe.
  • Didn't Think This Through: Happens a lot in the various schemes with Fallon openly missing issues with her nutty plans. To be fair, most of the bunch isn't much better.
    • When Blake and Anders are held prisoner in Moldavia, Sam enlists Liam to help rescue them which involves "Plan A" being using a contact of Liam's to access the cells. Said contact turns the two into the Moldavian government in a heartbeat. When Blake asks what "Plan B" is, Adam falters and it hits Blake and Anders that Adam had no plan and, what's more, because he kept this quiet, no one else even knows any of them have been kidnapped.
    Anders: Well you said, you had a "Plan A", it indicates you had a "Plan B." Otherwise, Plan A would just be "The Plan."
  • Diegetic Soundtrack Usage: Bill Conti's famed theme music is played on a piano in a home movie seen during the pilot (the theme music doesn't get adapted for the series' main titles until episode 3.
  • Distracted by the Sexy: A common move by the various ladies of dressing up as hot as possible to throw men off.
    • In Vegas, the gang are trying to get into a strip club to recover Fallon's missing ring. When the bouncer turns them away, Fallon's seemingly-mousy assistant Allison yanks up her top and when the guy gapes at her chest, she steals his wallet and runs off to allow the others to enter. Fallon gives Allison a raise on the spot.
  • The Dog Bites Back: After constantly being abused by Alejandro and their kidnapping plot falling apart, Iris finally turns against him and shoots him to protect her younger sister, Cristal.
  • Establishing Character Moment: Alexis' introduction. At the end of Episode 16 ("Poor Little Rich Girl") she shows up to Thomas Carrington's funeral late, making a double-door entrance into the church during the eulogy, wearing an inappropriate amount of white- and quips about traffic being a bitch. At the start of the next episode (Episide 17, "Enter Alexis"), she has been melodramatically weeping over the coffin for a while, and when she goes to meet her family (who she hasn't seen in eleven years), she goes straight to Blake, walks straight past Fallon to dote on Steven, and when Fallon calls her out on her abandonment, Alexis makes a jab about Blake getting Fallon's teeth fixed. She then asks Cristal if she is a friend of Fallon's.
  • "Eureka!" Moment: Seeing a girl at a soup kitchen making a toy model of a catapult, Fallon tells her she can be what she wants and "there are girl engineers." That comment suddenly makes her remember how Claudia has an engineering background and thus Claudia killed Matthew.
  • Everyone Went to School Together: Just about everyone from the "younger" generation who isn't a new arrival or an employee went to Penwood, the elite private school the Carringtons went to. This includes the Colbys (who went there on a scholarship from Carrington) and even the city council members Fallon has to deal with.
  • Failed a Spot Check: Sam is upset he's not invited to "Lance Bash," a major gay pride event going on. He decides to throw his own party but loses it at Kirby and Michael for not doing enough to make it work. A humbled Sam later apologizes to the pair and offers a bottle of champagne someone dropped off at his place a few days ago. It takes the pair five seconds to notice what Sam didn't, which is the bottle quite clearly says "you are cordially invited to Lance Bash" on it, meaning Sam just blew a few thousand dollars on a party that wasn't needed.
  • Fake Pregnancy: Subverted. When Melissa is pregnant by Steven, Alexis is convinced she's faking the whole thing. She and Sam break into Melissa's house to find padded bellies and lots of wine. They storm into a lamaze class with Alexis tearing open Melissa's shirt...and seeing a pregnant belly. She explains the paddings are to try out dresses for a party when she's more pregnant in a few months and the wine is for a party.
  • Fanservice: You bet, plenty from both genders.
  • Flashback: Used a few times for exposition or backstory.
    • Cristal has most of the first few, revealing how she first met Matthew and glimpses of their relationship, and of how and why she left Venezuela.
    • Fallon has one showing how she met and married Liam, while revealing that her marriage to Jeff is invalid as a result.
    • Alexis has a couple, revealing some of her time while still married to Blake, and the latter's attempts to keep Jeff away from Fallon while they were at school together. We also get to see why Jeff stood Fallon up for the Winter Formal, an event referenced very early on.
    • Kirby also has a couple, showing that she knew about Alexis and Anders' affair.
  • Foreshadowing: In Episode 12 ("Promises You Can't Keep"), Fallon unwittingly foreshadows that the Colbys are related to the Carringtons- albeit they're actually half cousins, not siblings.
    Monica: I've known you for so long, it's like you're my sister.
    Fallon: Well, that would mean me sleeping with Jeff was incest.
    • Before her wedding to Jeff in Episode 15 ("Our Turn Now"), Fallon tells Steven that she can't help but wonder what their mother would say about all of it. Steven predicts that she would probably show up wearing white. In the next episode, during Thomas' funeral, Alexis indeed arrives- wearing a somewhat inappropriate amount of white.
    • In Episode 18 ("Don't Con A Con Artist"), after Alexis moves into the loft, Blake says that the only time he'll set foot there again is to burn it down. In the Season 1 finale, someone sets fire to the loft with the entire Carrington family, including Blake, still inside.
  • Frame-Up: It's revealed that the fire Kirby started that got her kicked to Australia was actually started by Alexis, to have an excuse to banish Kirby because she knew about Alexis and Anders' affair.
  • Freudian Excuse Is No Excuse: Fallon credits her mother abandoning the family as reason for why she was such a bitch in high school. Michael tells Fallon that as sad as that is, it doesn't justify the way she treats people in the present.
  • Friendship Moment: Despite disliking each other intensely at first, Fallon and Cristal have a couple of moments.
    • When they end up kidnapped together by Cristal's sister Iris and her husband, Fallon assures Cristal that despite her flaws, she is not responsible for her sister's actions, and Cristal chooses to protect Fallon and ensure she escapes.
    • Cristal also takes Fallon's side concerning the sham marriage to Jeff, after Fallon finds out he was playing her. Cristal apologises for not doing more to stop it sooner, commiserates over being used by Blake repeatedly, and offers to go out and call the whole thing off is that's what Fallon wants. Fallon actually accepts her help, and even has Cristal walk her down the aisle.
    • When Alexis returns to the estate, Fallon comments to Cristal that she's putting up with her marvellously, and that she's very impressed.
  • Gaslighting: Since they first met, "George" has been secretly messing with Steven's life, causing Fallon and Sam to think "George" is just made up, and that Steven's going insane, despite Steven's assertions to the contrary.
  • Gender Flip: Sammy Jo, originally played by Heather Locklear in the original series, is a male character here.
  • Gilligan Cut: A kidnapped Fallon remarks that "at this very moment," everyone she knows is on the hunt for her and searching. Cut to Blake and Cristal at a spa, Steven and Sam sharing donuts and Culhane working out. It takes the kidnappers calling for the ransom for them to even realize Fallon is missing.
  • The Ghost: Blake's former wife Alexis is often referred to, but does not appear until Episode 17. This was also the case of her counterpart in the original series; she didn't make her debut until the second season.
  • Gold Digger: Cristal is frequently accused of being one, but repeatedly states that her motivation for marrying Blake wasn't his fortune. She even goes so far as to have her end of the pre-nuptial contract changed- previously, she would have gotten seven million dollars for every year they were married, in the event that they were divorced, but Cristal changes the contract so that she gets nothing if she and Blake split.
    • Alexis, when she returns, is accused of being this, and of trying to get back together with Blake as the money from the divorce settlement and his payoff ran out. Turns out she does want Blake's fortune, but has another plan to get it.
  • Group Picture Ending: The entire series ends on this trope, with the Carringtons having their family photo taken.
  • Honesty Is the Best Policy: In "Company Slut", Cristal promotes a woman named Kylie to Head of Public Relations because she respected her honesty. Kylie, the other candidate for the position, had pretended to be supportive of Cristal only to bad mouth her to Blake behind her back.
  • House Fire: Season 1 ends with the Carrington's stable set on fire and burning down.
  • I Never Got Any Letters: The series finale has Steven returning to confront Adam, having found out Adam's nurse accomplice kept all the letters the family has been writing Steven to make him think they'd forgotten him. He'd also forged letters from Steven asking them to stop writing, but they never did.
  • Idiosyncratic Episode Naming: Another member of the "episodes named after lines of dialogue" club. See also Shout-Out below.
  • Idiot Ball:
    • Steven grabs it when it comes to Alexis. Despite the fact that he has only been in contact with his mother for a year, and that Fallon hired Sam as her personal assistant and has been increasingly warm towards him and Cristal, Steven still believes Alexis when she claims that her dossier on Sam is actually Fallon's research.
    • Alexis forces a gardener to mess with a DNA test by getting some "non-Carrington DNA". Naturally, she's in utter disbelief when this moron submits the DNA of a dog.
  • Imaginary Friend: A long-absent Steven is found in Paris talking of how his friend George has been pushing him into wild stuff like giving up his money and some crazy escapades. When George fails to show up at planned events, Fallon and Sam are convinced Steven is having a breakdown and made George up. Steven denies it but soon admits they may be right and checks himself into an institution. Only subverted as the audience discovers that not only is "George" real but he's actually Adam, who plotted to get Steven out of the way so he could move into his spot in the family.
  • Insult Backfire: Alexis snaps that Kirby will never fit into society as "you can't make a silk purse out of a sow's ear." Kirby openly notes she has no idea what that means.
  • Instantly Proven Wrong: In season 5, Blake gloats to Cristal on how he just sent his brother Ben packing and "I broke him." Cue a process server delivering Ben's attempts to get half the Carrington estate.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Played with constantly, with plenty of characters. Fallon is the most prominent example: she's a ruthless businesswoman and manipulates people to her own benefit, but she's not incapable of empathy- she's just not very good at it. She does pay attention to what people care about, using it for acts of kindness: she buys Monica their favourite club, knowing that she's wanted to own one since high school, she tells Liam that she hopes he has fun at his Aunt Lydia's barbecue (despite trying to pay him 250K to go with her to her grandfather's funeral instead), and she brings Culhane his favourite pastries when his father is hospitalized.
  • Kansas City Shuffle: Happens a few times such as Blake setting up Fallon to think he only had one bag of drugs to plant on Michael but it was several.
    • Alexis plans to trick a drunk Kirby into making a scene at a party to impress Adam's bosses. Kirby instead uses this to goad her dad into confirming to Adam that his mother is trying to break up him and Kirby. Kirby then hints that she did something to the sushi so Alexis goes around the party, smacking plates out of the hands of the rich donors...and then sees Kirby munching on the perfectly good sushi with folks wondering if Alexis is drunk.
  • Kick the Dog: Almost literally. Alexis finds that Blake has broken into where she is staying in the trailer, and he gloats that Alexis' claim to Carrington Estate has been deemed invalid. He then adds that her dog, Cristal, ran out when he opened the door and he hopes that the coyotes don't get him.
  • Kissing Cousins: Accidentally, as it turns out that Jeff and Monica Colby's mother is Blake's half-sister, making Fallon and Jeff half-cousins. Fortunately, they had already broken up by the time they find out, but they're still pretty disgusted by it.
  • Laser-Guided Amnesia: Happens to Liam in the third season when he wakes up from a brief coma, having totally forgotten ever meeting Fallon, let alone engaged to her. Naturally, his ex-girlfriend is all too happy to make Liam believe they're still together.
  • Like Father, Like Son: Fallon and her mother, Alexis, are extremely alike. Highlighted in Episode 17 ("Enter Alexis"): in the opening, they are shown going through an almost identical beauty routine, and Fallon even states this trope verbati] during their Cat Fight in the pool.
    • Fallon also has a lot of her father's ruthless tendencies, according to Alexis: Fallon was actually the one who paid an anaesthesiologist to lie and render the changes to the will that gave Alexis the house invalid.
  • Loophole Abuse:
    • Mentioned by Fallon when she gets into a card game with an investor. The man says he'll give millions to her company if Fallon spends the night with him and they play a poker game for it. Fallon is able to bluff her way to victory but tells a friend that even if the guy had called her bluff, it would have been okay. After all, the deal was for him to "spend a night in my bed. There was nothing about my having to be in it."
    • During Fallon and Jeff's "marriage", Fallon reveals that she's already married to Liam Ridley, which renders her and Jeff's marriage void, so Jeff doesn't get 25% of Carrington Atlantic as contracted. However, Jeff neglected to include a wedding clause in his contract, so Fallon still manages to secure 25% ownership of Jeff's company and full ownership of Morell Corp.
    • The family think they've gotten rid of Alexis after revealing she'd faked the will leaving her the mansion (or, rather Fallon pays off an anaesthesiologist to say that Thomas had surgery on the same day that he changed his will to give Alexis the mansion, rendering the changes invalid, as Thomas wouldn't legally be in his right mind). They're thus thrown to find her moving into the loft over the barn. Alexis points out that the barn belonged to her family and was left to her as a wedding present from Blake's father which means she has a perfectly legal right to stay there.
    • The wording of Thomas Carrington's will gives equal shares of Carrington Atlantic to each of his grandchildren. His will apparently doesn't list his grandchildren by name, but since Monica and Jeff are both his grandchildren through to an affair he had with their grandmother, they are both entitled to shares in CA.
  • Luke, I Am Your Father: It's revealed in "The Butler Did It" that Steven is actually Anders' son, the product of an affair he had with Alexis.
  • Maintain the Lie: On Thanksgiving, Fallon tracks Michael down to where he's helping his parents run a soup kitchen for homeless people. Fallon discovers Michael's parents are under the impression he's a vice-president at the company. It seems that they had huge plans and sacrificed so much for him and Michael doesn't have the heart to tell them that he's just the driver. In a rare show of help, Fallon covers for it by talking of Michael's help with the company and keeping his parents happy.
    • When his disturbed boyfriend Ted nearly kills himself, Steven claims to be "his true love" to see him in the hospital to cover things up. When it gets out to the press, Steven has to continue to act like he and Ted are lovers despite how he's been shacking up with Sam.
  • Magic Plastic Surgery: Alexis has gained not one, but two new faces since her debut, and has been played by three actresses.
  • Man Behind the Man:
    • Liam is convinced Senator North is behind an insider trading ring responsible for the murder of Liam's father. He confronts the man at a party with North claiming Liam's dad died in an accident. When he's kidnapped, Liam meets North's chief of staff, Katy. When he assumes she was sent by her boss, Katy laughs that North "couldn't organize a bridge game" and she's the one behind everything.
    • Fallon wants to get dirt on rival Patty but it's hard given her clean reputation. Fallon plans to embarrass Patty and her family at a party by shutting down the solar power grid powering the building. She and Jeff shut down the grid...but it barely does anything as the building gets power from somewhere else. Fallon leaps to the conclusion that Patty's dad is pulling a big scam and can use that for blackmail material. But when she tries to confront him about it, she realizes the man has no idea about this company he supposedly owns. It turns out Patty is behind it, openly laughing to Jeff on how her father hasn't been able to do anything with the company in years. Too bad for her Jeff is taping the whole thing..
  • Meet Cute: In a Flashback, we see that this is how Cristal and Matthew first met: he bumped into her, spilling her coffee over her white blouse, and gave her his sweater as an apology.
  • Mistaken Nationality: One episode has the Venezuelan Cristal mistaken as Mexican.
  • Ms. Fanservice: Both Fallon and Cristal, unsurprisingly.
  • Mundane Solution: Fallon follows Liam to a ski resort in a wild plot to win back Liam from his new girlfriend. She lays out a wild plan to the other women complete with a map and pointer as she explains her frankly insanely complex plan to "spend alone time with Liam" by following him on his skiing lesson. When Kirby points out how crazy this is, Fallon snaps "can you do better?" Kirby instantly gets on the phone to the front desk, pretends to be Liam's girlfriend and gets the clerk to give up their planned itinerary so Fallon knows exactly where they'll be and how to time getting Liam alone.
    • Sam is out to find out who leaked a photo of Fallon and Liam kissing to TMZ. He goes through the various photos of the party, trying to see through the right suspects and figure out who was where before analyzing the angle from where the photo was taken. Anders dryly offers to simply call TMZ and ask who sold them the photo.
  • Musical Episode: "Something Desperate" in Season 3. It turns out most of the musical numbers are actually Fallon hallucinating due to a gas leak in her room.
  • Obfuscating Disability: It turns out Claudia was faking her brain injury to make sure her husband never left her. When Fallon asks why she would keep it up after his death, everyone realizes how "no one's going to suspect the brain-damaged widow."
  • Oh, Crap!: When Claudia holds the family hostage with a gun, Fallon scoffs that it used to belong to her mother and "the firing pin hasn't worked for years." In response, Claudia fires a shot at the table and Blake explains Anders had the gun cleaned and fixed. Fallon's reaction is a combination of this and a "now you tell me?!" glare at her father.
  • Odd Friendship: Anders and Sam seem to be developing one of the Vitriolic Best Buds variety.
  • Out-Gambitted: In the first season finale, Fallon pulls off a move to become CEO, cutting Blake out of the company as the will stipulates the shares go to Thomas' grandchildren. At which point, Jeff and Monica enter to reveal how they are also grandchildren of Thomas, making them equal partners and thus capable of tearing the entire company apart.
    • In season 2, Jeff and Culhane attempt to manipulate Ada into making a confession, only for them to discover that the henchmen they believed to have turned against her was actually still loyal to her, and erased their evidence.
    • Try to follow the final scene of season 2: Blake and Cristal pretended to split up when it was only a ruse to frame Michael. Fallon confronts them at their wedding to say it won't work as Anders told her so she and Michael got rid of the bag of money. At which point, Blake asks "oh, did you say bag or bags?" Sure enough, the FBI find more money and evidence to arrest Michael. Fallon then announces she's sold all her shares in the company to Michael so if he goes to jail, Blake ends up with nothing. Blake brings up how he has a stake in Fallon's publishing house but Fallon gloats she already sold it off to Kirby for one dollar so it's not affected by the deal and once Kirby sells it back for the same amount, Fallon has all the money. At which point, Kirby announces she has no intention of selling back to Fallon as she thinks she can run the publishing house much better. This family...
    • Before all that Jeff decides to fake his own murder and make it look like Adam is responsible. After setting up the evidence, he gives his mom the final piece, a cufflink from Adam to put at the main "crime scene." But after Jeff leaves, his mom calls up Blake to tell him about the whole thing and thus Jeff is out of the picture while Adam remains free.
  • Parent with New Paramour: Blake, much to Fallon's chagrin.
  • Pity the Kidnapper: Big time in "Answer to No Man" when Fallon is abducted and soon driving her kidnappers nuts by doing everything from complaining about them only asking $15 million for her to crying over a haircut and screeching about the surroundings like it's a hotel. And then they also get Cristal and tie them together so the two women bitch at each other constantly.
  • Poisoned Chalice Switcheroo: At Jeff and Fallon's wedding, Jeff drinks a poisoned glass of liquor that his father, Cecil, intended for Blake. Only it turns out that Jeff switched the poison out with water beforehand, knowing what Cecil was planning.
    • After being distracted by Culhane's unexpected presence, Fallon accidentally gives Sam the drugged drink she intended for her mother. Hilarity Ensues.
  • Pretty in Mink: Fallon, Cristal and Alexis each own a few fur coats.
  • Put on a Bus and The Bus Came Back: Steven, as James Mackay was let go as a regular following season one, but did recur throughout season two to explain his absence.
    • Put on a Bus to Hell: Steven's last major appearance in season two ended with him locked in a (possibly corrupt) insane asylum in France after being gaslit by "George" (actually Adam, seeking to replace him in the family). He hadn't appeared in a present-day scene since. However, the series finale reveals Steven has been posing as the new butler, Graham. It seems the sanitarium burned down, killing Adam's nurse accomplice and without the drugs pumped into him, Steven realized what happened and the family had been writing letters all this while. After beating Adam down, Steven reunites with his overjoyed family.
  • Quiet Cry for Help: Held captive by enemies, Liam calls Fallon to apologize for not coming home as he was busy "but it went well, just like your bachelorette party started." Fallon remembers her party started with her being "kidnapped" by friends. There's also how Liam calls her "sweetie" which he knows Fallon hates and realizes what's happening.
  • Race Lift:
    • The Colbys were a white family in the original series, but they're black here.
    • Cristal and Sam are Latin American, but their counterparts in the original series were white.
    • This version of Culhane, who was white in the original series, is black.
  • Related in the Adaptation:
    • Anders is Steven's birth father here, while Steven was always Blake's son in the original.
    • Cecil (changed to Cesil) Colby is now Jeff's father instead of his uncle.
    • In the original series, Dominique Devereaux was simply Blake Carrington's half-sister. Here, she's both Blake's half-sister and the mother of Jeff and Monica Colby (in the original, Jeff and Monica were simply cousins, had different mothers, and weren't biologically related to Dominique).
  • Replacement Goldfish: After the death of the first Cristal, a second Cristal is brought on to quickly get romantically involved with Blake.
  • Revenge: It turns out Jeff's romance with Fallon is just a part of his plan so he can take over Carrington Atlantic by marrying her, which is done to avenge for his father, Cecil, who's been incarcerated for 11 years, due to an incident involving Blake's affair with Cecil's wife. His sister, Monica, later also goes along with his revenge plan.
    • Alexis' motivation is apparently this. She wants revenge on Blake for taking everything from her- her house, her money, and her children- so she plans on selling Carrington Atlantic out from under him, using the fact that Thomas Carrington left equal shares in CA to each of his grandchildren: the Colbys are his grandchildren through an affair with the Colby's grandmother, and Alexis hires "Hank Miller" to pretend to be hers and Blake's kidnapped firstborn son, Adam, giving the three of them a controlling majority.
  • Sanity Slippage: Jeff seems to go on this after Fallon reveals their wedding was a scam to get control of the company, constantly drinking and acting up in public. Fallon is convinced it's an act.
    Fallon: Have you never heard of faking a death spiral to lower the takeover value of a company?
    Sam: That sounds more like a one-percent problem.
    • Blake seems to suffer this in season two. Not only does he cut the family out of his will but he makes it clear he's going to spend his life spending every cent he can and whatever is left will literally be buried with him.
  • Saying Too Much: When Michael's father is in the hospital, Cristal meets him and his mother. During the talk, she lets it slip that Michael is just the chauffeur and Michael's mother realizes she's been lying all this time about being an executive at the company.
  • Shout-Out: As well as naming the episodes after lines of dialogue, each title is a line of dialogue from the original series- the pilot episode is called "I Hardly Recognized You".
  • Sins of Our Fathers: Fallon deconstructs this when Jeff rants about how her family has ruined his, simply asking him what the hell did she do.
  • Skewed Priorities: When she's kidnapped, Fallon is shown sobbing, as her abductors have... cut her hair so they can send some to her dad.
    Fallon: How can I live like this? Bangs? You should have shot me.
    Kidnapper: Keep talking, I'll turn it into a mullet.
    • At the end of the episode, after rescued, Fallon remarks at least one person wasn't harmed and "not all of us were so lucky" as she brushes her hair. The rest of the family just give her seriously?! looks.
    • Fallon accuses Blake of this as, when she reveals that Jeff bugged the house and that she got engaged to him as part of a plan to take him down. Blake's main concern is that Fallon has been dating Jeff Colby without telling him. Subverted as it later turn out that Blake knows that the Colbys are half-cousins to Fallon and Steven, and that his attempts to keep Jeff away from a romantic relationship with Fallon for years has been because of this.
  • Spanner in the Works: Hank Miller, a.k.a. Adam Carrington. Being a con man working with Alexis, posing as the firstborn Carrington who was kidnapped as a baby, he is the only one privy to Alexis' complex plan to sell off Carrington Atlantic from under Blake. When Fallon usurps Blake as CEO, however, Alexis wants to postpone selling CA, and tells Hank to vote no on selling- as the long lost Carrington son, he would be the tie-breaker between the Carringtons and the Colbys. However, Hank just wants his payday and votes to sell anyway, ruining Alexis' plan.
  • Spot the Imposter: Why is Blake so adamant that Adam isn't really his son? Because, as he explains to Sam, the kidnappers cut off one of Adam's fingers, a secret he kept from everyone. Given that "Adam" is boasting all his digits, it's obvious he's not the real deal.
    • It seems subverted as, during a bar fight, Adam punches a guy and reveals he has a prosthetic finger, making Blake realize this could be him. But then the end of the episode reveals that this is an imposter working for Alexis who actually cut off his finger to make the con work.
      • When another person claiming to be Adam appears in season two, it's quickly observed that he has ten fingers. This Adam claims the kidnapper snipped a finger off of a cadaver. A DNA test (this one undoctored, unlike the one given to Alexis' lackey) reveals this is in fact the real Adam, and makes the very idea of a severed finger this trope in hindsight.
    • When he meets the real Cristal with a lookalike con artist, Blake is able to figure out who's who by asking what the real Cristal said after they renewed their wedding vows. The fake talks about a declaration of love but the real Cristal proves it's her with her quote "I can't believe you wore those shoes."
  • Spotting the Thread:
    • Ticked after a fight with Alexis, Fallon wants to get dirt on what she's been up to. She's talking to her driver but notices how his windshields are dirty and no professional rich person's driver would allow that. She starts to press him on which hotels Alexis was picked up from and when he names one, Fallon fires off that hotel doesn't exist and he's just an Uber driver. This leads her to the revelation that Alexis is dead broke and been living in a trailer outside Atlanta for the last year.
    • Alexis is hit by a lawsuit after a woman used her radio show advice and crashed her car. Fallon aids Alexis meeting the woman who has her arm in a sling and leg in a cast. It goes badly with Alexis accidentally kicking the woman. Just as they're about to leave, however, Fallon notes how the woman's doormat has marks that match a high-heeled shoe which she couldn't be wearing with a broken foot. She and Alexis also realize that the woman had raised her "broken" arm in defense and figure she's faking the whole thing for a lawsuit.
  • Stalker with a Crush: Fallon's season 4 assistant, Eva, proves to have this on Liam.
  • Surgical Impersonation:
    • A downplayed example in Season 2 when Alexis has her face burned off in a fire. Adam arranges for her to get a new face...which is a dead ringer for Fallon. Amazingly, the vain Alexis only sees "me five years ago" and it takes the entire family reacting for her to realize how she looks like her own daughter. She later figures out that Adam did this himself as part of his twisted plan to make everyone think it was Alexis' own ego rather than Adam's plot.
    • Played straight in Season 5 when Cristal's brother gets a con artist altered to a dead ringer for her as part of a scheme.
  • Surprise Incest: Happens to Fallon when she discovers Jeff and Monica's grandmother had an affair with Thomas, making them Carringtons as well. Lampshaded by her screaming at Blake for letting her sleep with her own cousin and he dryly points out "only half".
  • Tampering with Food and Drink: At Jeff and Fallon's wedding, Jeff's father Cecil attempts to murder Blake by poisoning his drink. Jeff ends up drinking it instead- and then reveals that he knew about Cecil's plan, and replaced the poison with water.
    • Fallon attempts to spike Alexis' drink during Steven and Sam's engagement party in an attempt to make her leak her manipulation plans. It doesn't work out.
    • Fallon tries to drug Adam's lobster toast to make him look like a drug addict. It doesn't work.
  • Teeth-Clenched Teamwork: Cristal and Fallon occasionally engage in this, most prominently when they steal the evidence Blake has of Cristal admitting knowledge of the Carrington Atlantic creating deadly environmental issues in Clarke County.
  • This Is Reality: Invoked in the 100th episode.
    Jeff: Only Fallon Carrington could turn her mother's wedding into an episode of Succession.
    Fallon: Please, this is real life, that show is like a comic book.
  • Title Drop: Fallon drops the series title in the season one finale.
    Fallon: Carrington Atlantic is not just a family business. It is a dynasty.
  • Uncanny Valley: Invoked with the plastic surgery midway through Season Two that leaves Alexis looking like a blonde Fallon. Adam and Alexis herself are the only ones pleased with it; all the other characters react with shock and discomfort, as did the audience.
  • Villain Has a Point: One of Fallon's kidnappers points out that Fallon quit her company so she wouldn't answer to a man like her father... only to go on to form a new company with another guy.
  • We Named the Monkey "Jack": Alexis' terrier is named Cristal- despite being a male dog- and she marvels at the coincidence. She makes a point of going on about how he was a stray, practically eating garbage out of her hand, and is a "smelly little freeloader".
  • Wham Line: Anders in 2X3: "Fallon isn't my child...Steven is."
  • Wham Shot: Blake meets his new business partner- it's Sam's father.
  • What Did I Do Last Night?: The third season finale has Fallon, Kirby, Cristal, Allison and Sam heading to Vegas for a bachleorette party with Fallon promising "no drama." Cut to the next morning with Sam waking up with a snake, Cristal with a black eye, Kirby in a fancy dress and diamond necklace and Fallon discovering she got married to a stranger she has no recollection of meeting. As they retrace their steps, they discover that they robbed a clothing store (which gets them arrested) and that Allison is now in the hospital. It turns out Sam was the one who got married to a stripper.

  • "Where Are They Now?" Epilogue: The series finale ends with Fallon having managed to take back the company to rename it Carrington United. Meanwhile, Liam came clean on his late professor writing the book so the man is credited with it, while Liam realizes he has a gift for writing children's books. The gang gathers at Michael's wedding to Nina with Steven and Sam back together; Kirby is moving to London to be with Amanda, Jeff is heading to Nigeria to head up his company; and Alexis and Dominique realize they have competing shops on the same street in New York. Meanwhile, it's revealed Adam is now working in a veterinarian.
  • You Have GOT to Be Kidding Me!: The reaction of the family when they discover the long absent Alexis has inherited Carrington Estate, meaning not only is she staying but she can easily kick them out if she chooses.