Dynasty Season 1 Episode 1 Review: I Hardly Recognized You

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"I Hardly Recognized You" seems like an apt title for Dynasty Season 1 Episode 1 considering many millennials, including myself, are too young to recall the original series. 

That being said, I won't be comparing the two much but rather reviewing it as a brand new CW show.

Although I will say, the catfight between Fallon and Cristal was lacking in comparison to the one I watched on Youtube between the OG Alexis and Krystle. They just don't make them like that anymore, do they?

Step-mother To Be - Dynasty

Alexis was briefly mentioned but has yet to make an appearance. And I bet it'll stay that way until midseason when she has to come deal with the new Mrs. Carrington. 

The premise hasn't changed much from the original. On the surface, Dynasty is a show about a super wealthy billionaire, Blake Carrington, who charms like the men in the old soap operas and uses the word fracking a lot. 

But it's all about what's beneath the surface; a drama that's vigor stems from his daughter, Fallon, and his much younger bride-to-be, Cristal. 

Let's start with Fallon. The opening scene with her chatting up some mansplainers in an effort to get the dirt is reminiscent of Serena van der Woodsen arriving at the train station to kick off the journey of Gossip Girl. It's the beginning of our journey with the "it girl."

As the series hails from the same creator, I couldn't help but get whiffs of Upper East Side while trying to indulge in the oil business in Atlanta. That's definitely not a complaint by the way – I miss all those provocative scenes. 

Fallon has spent the last five years working toward getting the COO position. And while she's irreplaceable in the company, she's also underappreciated by her father. 

Forgive my sister. She thought she was getting a promotion, not a stepmother.


Her anger only intensifies when she realizes he's marrying a woman from the company right as the position opens up. 

Almost immediately, Fallon becomes defensive. She tries to sabotage her mother-to-be and gets in bed with the enemy, James Colby, a billionaire music mogul. We all do that when we're threatened, right?

As Fallon takes on more of the 'mean girl' role, Cristal seems to be level-headed and truly into Blake. Well, as into it as a girl who has been dating a rich dude for four months can be.

From the promos, it seemed like Cristal was going to be the bitchy gold-digger, but I was surprised she wasn't interested in the heaps of wealth, the ballrooms, or the crates of champagnes, which by the way, I would have gladly accepted. 

But as with most enemies, these two are more alike than they'd like to believe; they both have explosive personalities, a drive for success, and the ability to backstab anyone who does them wrong. That's a recipe for disaster, which makes for some good television. 

Dynasty Episode 1 Season 1 Episode 1

Still, Cristal has normal friends who know all of her secrets and genuinely want her to be happy. They're even worried about this impending marriage because they think she isn't over Matthew. And she isn't.

Heck, he didn't even know they broke up until she told him while breaking the news of the engagement. That alone says that she still cares about him.  

Initially, I was indifferent about this dude until we got the backstory of his wife. Or well, we inferred. All we really know about Claudia is that she's been living in his house for 13 years and has some kind of memory loss. It's fair to say he's been living with her, but due to her condition, he'd moved on with Cristal. 

Of course, when Fallon shows her father pictures of Cristal and her ex-taken the night she was supposed to be out with her girls, he's distraught. But unlike normal people who just talk their problems out, he invites Matthew for a meeting during their engagement photo shoot.

It was at this moment I realized in order to survive, you have to be willing to play dirty.

Still, I didn't know that "dirty" meant killing someone. I guess you can do that when you're rich. Matthew, who for the short time that we knew him seemed decent, probably didn't deserve to die. Maybe he wasn't an "angel" as Fallon sarcastically called him, but he seemed decent enough. 

Dynasty Episode 1

The only question I have about that is this: how did she know who Cristal was? Did news of the accident snap her out of her amnesia? Was she just faking it?

And all that happened during Cristal's picture-perfect wedding day. A wedding day they sped up after Blake realized he might lose her and during which he offered her the coveted COO position. 

I appreciate Cristal's honesty when she said she wasn't going to take it, but after she got burned by Fallon decided to steal her thunder. She, too, learned that betrayal was the foundation of survival. 

Fallon: Bite me, Cristal.
Cristal: Please, call me mom.

Blake truly loves her; you can see it by the way he looks at her and how he goes out of his way for her. But does love justify doing horrible things to your ex? Probably not.

And when Cristal talked about her superstition of "ringing away" the devil was juxtaposed with Matthew literally being killed by her new husband, it set the tone for the type of "OMG" scenes the series will deliver. 

There's also a lot to be said about Steven and Sam, previously Sammy Jo. The two meet after Steven met with a client only to realize his dad pimped him out to make a deal. 

Steven is a liberal, cares about the environment, and protests against his father's company. But he's rebellious in other ways, like sleeping with dudes that his father would disapprove of. 

Coincidentally, Sam is also Cristal's nephew, and he's come to stay at the Carrington's for awhile. She seems pretty worried about that, which leads me to believe that he intentionally picked out Steven knowing who he was. 

Dynasty Episode 1  Season 1 Episode 1

For a premiere, there was a lot of character development, and really, it barely scratched the surface of who these people are and what their motives are. I'm sure the answers will come out in time, but there were also some really good cliffhangers. 

Aside from Matthew's wife blaming Cristal for his death, we also have Anders, the suspecting butler, digging up Cristal's past. What did he find that was riveting?

Spoilers reveal that she's Venezuelan and that her ties will play some kind of role. What could be so terrible she'd rather Anders never bring it up again, especially to her husband? 

What did you think of the series premiere of Dynasty?

You can watch Dynasty online and share your comments on the episode with me below! 

I Hardly Recognized You Review

Editor Rating: 4.0 / 5.0
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Rating: 4.6 / 5.0 (5 Votes)

Lizzy Buczak was a staff writer for TV Fanatic. She retired in June 2021..

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Dynasty Season 1 Episode 1 Quotes

Like it or not, we live in an age of dynasties. Who else can you trust to run the family business?


Forgive my sister. She thought she was getting a promotion, not a stepmother.