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Another look at Season three

Discussion in 'Dynasty' started by Michael Torrance, May 8, 2018.

  1. Michael Torrance

    Michael Torrance Soap Chat Addict

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    After re-watching season 3 on CBS Drama, I must say it is a lot better than I thought. There are about 3-4 episodes that are just piles of stupidity, but the rest (and that accounts for over 80%) are good. The major flaw we have all talked about on this forum is Alexis’ transformation into an oil business savvy CEO when by her own admission after Cecil’s will she knew nothing about the field. But that is not actually the only one—the second one (though perhaps not unintended) is her moving into the penthouse apartment rather than the talked-about but never seen Cecil Colby mansion—the one she would steal Tony for as a bribe in season two. Thus while in business Alexis is, unbelievably, a titan to rival and eventually overwhelm Blake in the season, in her personal life she is now even less relevant to the family than she was in season two. While Blake has a mansion and the family estate, one that even divorced Jeff and new wife Kirby bizarrely live in, Alexis and Adam live away from the rest of the family on the outside looking in. Alexis’ apartment never becomes a home, and nowhere is that more obvious than when Steven decides to move to La Mirage while looking for a place—even Alexis does not mention the possibility of him taking quarters there. Now on to the rest:

    The best element of the season: how the writers anticipated what the audience would think given the history and context of the show and included it on screen. When Alexis is saying she would never want to harm Jeff, Adam laughs at how much her conscience must have toiled over Krystle’s child. When Blake is acting like a bigoted tyrant again against Steven, Krystle reminds him that he had promised that he would make things different if given another chance. Adam also calls Alexis on her mutually exclusive desires regarding him and Steven: treat him like a brother, but help me in a plan to deceive him away from Blake.

    Speaking of Adam, this is his season. He is presented as a Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde kinda persona, though the Dr. one is seen too rarely. After presenting him as a sociopath, the show does make an effort to explain his murderous streak on psychotropic drugs (in Billings, Montana, no less). His obsession with Kirby is also presented as his belief that they had the same outsider upbringing. His reaction to his and Fallon’s mutual attraction is actually believable: since he never had siblings, he can’t be horrified that he unwittingly almost had sex with one. Her reaction is also coming from a deeper issue than the almost incest: the newcomer is coming to claim Blake at a time when Steven is gone. Adam’s pain when Steven rejects his efforts to come close to him is really touching.

    The new Steven, in retrospect, has gotten quite a free pass from DYNASTY fandom. Not only is Jack Coleman a subpar actor, but the writers have also changed his persona to that of a jerk. He treats both Adam and Blake with suspicion and hostility, while both actually make an effort to come close to him. Amazingly, he does not do the same with the person who did manipulate his life, Alexis—instead he goes to work for her and he too is a shoe-in for an exec position same as Adam, even though the former has a law degree and he studied literature. Maybe that is why she constantly favors Steven over Adam. And in a moment of karma, he gets treated lousy by Claudia even though he has good intentions—I loved that scene. What is great about his story is how his disappearance and re-emergence affect others, and how well they timed each for maximum effect.

    Blake explains that he cannot accept Steven is dead like others did, because he is the one who drove him away and has to carry the guilt. All the unspoken but present hurt in the father-son relationship from season 1 surfaces here with Blake in a wild rage like King Lear realizing how terribly he treated his son. The side effect of Fallon and Krystle finally burying the hatchet is also satisfactory, but years of suspicion are then magically swept under the carpet—quite the missed opportunity especially with the potential of Mark around. Krystle also gets a great story with becoming a mother to little Danny and then losing him when Steven comes around—a mixed joy of Steven back and sorrow of losing the chance to be a mother.

    Krystle has two weird situations in the season handled badly by the show: one is Mark---the show wants to show she has feelings for him but then refuses to go there. Then when Krystle leaves Blake and moves to La Mirage, she does it on a spur of the moment tantrum. The next day she gives Blake a more believable explanation—he will talk with Alexis about his children but not her, he will talk with Alexis about business, so what is her function in her life—but the timing is screwy--leave first, decide on a reason later. Linda Evans also starts exaggerating Krystle’s mother earth moments, and she is now more grounded in scenes that involve Alexis or characters other than Blake and Mark: Adam, Jeff, Kirby. We also get a gem of a scene, a rare instance of Alexis and Krystle being nice to one another when Alexis hears Steven is alive.

    Fallon is seen as a businesswoman early in the season, and she has an interesting relationship with Mark, which Alexis promptly ruins. But overall, both Fallon and Jeff are not front line characters this season: this belongs to Alexis, Blake, and Adam and to a degree Steven. Speaking of characters, Mark is, as I have often mentioned, someone the show does not know what to do with. He is clueless early on, then a pest, then naïve enough to believe Alexis will have a relationship with him, then really decent to Fallon, then an aimless tennis pro again. That he hooks up with all three Carrington women and still ends up a loose thread at the end of the show is one of the season’s weakest points.

    Moving on to Kirby: I think the actress was a poor choice. The character is also given a past we never really find out, any more than we truly find out her personality except that she was obsessed with Jeff and understood she was reliving Sabrina. Why she accepted to go on a trip with Adam after he had raped her is another one of the Kirby mysteries—I think the were going for a complex character but ended up with a mess instead.

    Finally, if we accept Alexis’ instant transformation (a tall order) then we have a slow build up showing us that she is becoming more and more of a target to people with her inconsiderate actions. By the time the cabin fire happens, the show has slowly built on the McVane arc and also on how she has treated Mark like dirt. Joseph is a bit of a last minute throw-in, not that that there was ever any love lost there. What I found interesting was Alexis’ early seductive hints toward Jeff, coupled with her later strong aversion to harming him—I wonder if the writers simply wanted to leave this as an undercurrent or they were planning to maybe exploit it in the future.

    So, I think it is overall a strong season built on a weak foundation, that of Alexis suddenly becoming Mrs. Colbyco. Given how so many other elements are well planned, I wonder why that one and the Mark storyline are so shabbily constructed. Also, as others have written in more detail, the show starts being more inconsistent in terms of direction and sets--on the latter I need to only mention two words: La Mirage.
     
    Last edited: May 8, 2018
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  2. GillesDenver

    GillesDenver Soap Chat Active Member

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    Yes, in the seasonal bible, Alexis tries to seduce Jeff and after he rejects her she goes along with Adam's plan to poison Jeff. This plan was scrapped, just like the original idea that Blake would merge Denver Carrington with ColbyCo (it is not Alexis' plan), or the fact that Fallon would petition the court to name her as Jeff's conservator - after Jeff has attacked her (and Jeff attacked her not because he thought Fallon slept with Mark but because she did sleep with Mark!).
     
    Last edited: May 8, 2018
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  3. GillesDenver

    GillesDenver Soap Chat Active Member

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    I agree that season 3 is overrated season. But some things were really messed up.

    For Fallon it is a true shame because she was still a great character in the bible : she slept with Mark only when she was married to Jeff, not after (on the show, she refuses to sleep with him every time she thinks it’s « wrong »), she thought of divorcing Jeff because she saw him as a pain in the ass (in the show it’s because she thinks she hurt him) and then she changed her mind after she learnt Adam’s plan related to L.B.’s shares of Denver Carrington. Also, she did not reconcile with Krystle and even though I think the idea was OK – and the timing was perfect – I just hate that they suddenly become the best friends after that. It has no subtility and that is the main problem of that season : no subtility at all.


    I don’t have problems with Alexis becoming a great CEO but someone shoud have helped her with that (maybe Dex should have showed up earlier and teach her). As for Steven’s hostility to Blake and Adam, I understand for Blake but not for Adam. It should have been motivated by some jealousy about his relationship with Alexis.

    Oddly, Krystle is also too much hostile with Adam. To me the scene where she summons him up to the library is out of the character.

    Finally, the explanation about Adam’s behaviour caused by drugs is just useless. He is just a psychopath and it’s ok.


    I guess Mark and Kirby are badly defined characters because when the bible was drafted they were supposed to have little presence (especially Kirby who was was just identified as the majordomo’s daughter - she was not related to Adam for instance !) But I think Kirby works better than Mark. Sure, she should have had a more grounded personality but her stories worked with me. I just regret that the writers did not developed some animosity between she and Fallon (actually, it seems that they were going for it when Kirby married Jeff but it was quickly forgotten).

    Mark just does not work for me. At least not as Krystle’s husband. Why did she marry him ? Was she pregnant ? Or drunk ? I like to imagine that her grandmother (the one who gave her the locket) was dying when she met Mark and she married him – the first man avalaible – to please her garndmother (as her grandmother was conservative and thought a woman can’t do anything without the man’s help). Once she was married, Krystle did her best to make the marriage work but it failed.

    As a gigolo, Mark works better and I think he should have been no more than that. Fallon and Alexis’ male tramp. He did not create much problems between Krystle and Blake and when he did, it dit not rang true.


    I think the bible was weak and that’s why the season started weakly too, even thought the Pollocks worked hard to fix the problems. They edited their initial stories pretty well – except for Fallon.

    I’ve read that the writers had to reduce Pamela Sue Martin’s appearances in the second part of the season because she was ill and if it’s true, that could explained some changes (but not everything).


    Also, I regret that the writers did not follow the idea of Krystle trying to prove that Alexis killed Cecil. I think it would have worked very well in the last episodes, the same way it was eventually developed in season 8. Blake would have forced her to stop her enquiry, which would have given Krystle’s more reasons to leave Blake in the penultimate episode.
     
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  4. bmasters9

    bmasters9 Soap Chat TV Fanatic

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    What was wrong w/La Mirage?
     
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  5. Michael Torrance

    Michael Torrance Soap Chat Addict

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    Thanks--I remember reading about Fallon and Jeff, but I have either missed or blocked out the part about Alexis seducing Jeff.
     
  6. GillesDenver

    GillesDenver Soap Chat Active Member

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  7. James from London

    James from London Soap Chat Enthusiast

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  8. Willie Oleson

    Willie Oleson drilling for soap

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    I watched this scene a few days ago (because I wanted to make a snapshot) and it's better than I remembered.
    To me it always seemed like "oh let's be friends from now on", but it's actually a very awkward/vulnerable scene - and through Krystle's eyes we see that Fallon is suffering too, she has lost her brother and her father is going mad.
    Krystle walks out and Fallon is still sitting there and there's a sense of "I just don't know what to do with myself" and somehow it just feels like their feud is over.
    Of course there was the possibility of having Fallon bounce back and treat Krystle like dirt again but I'm not sure how convincing that would have been.
    As Krystle's other man, like Matthew before him, he didn't suffer enough. It's not that I don't like the losers but he was usually too comfortable with everything that happened or didn't happen. And if he doesn't care then why should I?
    I think it got better just before he died, being "trapped" inside Alexis' tower.

    I think the only way to appreciate Kirby is to see her as a complete nutcase, yes, nuttier than Claudia. Trying to make sense of it is torture.

    Seperating the two nemeses in such an extreme way, he in the hills/she in the city, was probably not a very good idea. The shadows of the enemy neighbour is far more interesting imho.
     
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  9. Ked

    Ked Soap Chat Dream Maker

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    Agreed. I always liked that scene... but I think they become too cozy with each other afterwards. Well, except the very next scene they share (unless I'm mistaken) is actually pretty good too: its where Blake has summoned the entire family to show off his new grandson. At first, Krystle and Fallon are seated on the couch, just quietly waiting, with the servants gathered behind them. Then enters Alexis and Adam; the former asks to know why they've all been summoned. Both Krystle and Fallon ignore Alexis in a subtle show of solidarity, which I can appreciate because at that time, both of them were fed up with her.

    But then we get the scene where Fallon says lovingly, "No, thank YOU, Krystle, for bringing our family together!" or something along those lines. And its like... no. Too much, too soon. If anything, Krystle and Fallon should have started off uneasy (but polite) with each other. They're both willing to start a better relationship with one another, except Krystle is all too aware of the chance that Fallon could turn on her again, and Fallon doesn't have much of a clue on what to do with her once-hated-now-appreciated stepmother. Though I still like the idea of Fallon pretending to be great pals with Krystle whenever Alexis was around.

    I've wondered if Mark should have started off with him telling Krystle he wants her back, and he gets her to remember all the "fun times" they've had. This would include flashbacks of a much trashier-looking Krystle in order to sell the idea that these two were once married. And of course, Krystle is tempted, but ultimately she tells him no, they must divorce so they can both properly move on with their lives... except Blake, jealously noting how easy Krystle and Mark get along, at first tries to bribe Mark into signing the divorce papers... and then having him beat up. That enrages Krystle, who tells him, "I was handling things on my own!" "I'll bet you were!" snarls Blake.

    Eventually Mark does sign the papers, but by this time he's become involved with both Alexis and Fallon, so he still sticks around, but as a recurring character. He'd spend the rest of his time this season as a sleazy freeloader, openly enjoying himself at the expense of, well, everyone. He could even play the part of an audience member, where he overhears conversations from all the other characters, thus giving him as much knowledge as us; and what does he do about it? Either he sits back and enjoys the fireworks, or he plants a few seeds to get things going.

    I would have had her and Adam be like two peas in a pod. Both greedy, ambitious, and willing to step on anyone who gets in their way. Kirby would still want Jeff, but she wouldn't be so desperate and pathetic about it. Instead, she'd be more patient and savvy. However, she mostly wants Jeff just so she can have respectability; so she can cast off the shackles of "servant's child" and become "The Grand Mrs. Colby." But when she meets Adam, its like flint striking steel. The two are obviously thirsty for one another, but Kirby decides to hold off, as she's met Adam's "type" before ("I've been down this road before. Once you've had your fun, you'll run off and leave me.") and doesn't believe it when he insists his love is real.

    And he doesn't rape her. Perhaps he does get aggressive in that one scene, and Kirby does tell him to knock it off, but the more he kisses her, fondles her, the more she starts to enjoy it. She kicks him in the shin, knocking him down... but she doesn't try to get away. Instead, she jumps on him and... well, yeah. :lol: Of course, afterwards, she still regrets it, but she figures now Adam will leave her alone, "now that you've got what you wanted." Except he doesn't. Which confuses, annoys... and intrigues her.

    Are you talking about Blake and Alexis? Cuz yeah, I can agree with that. They should have had Alexis convert her art studio into a mansion a lot sooner... or just remodeled the studio into a "vacation house" where she occasionally goes to relax from the business world.
     
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  10. Michael Torrance

    Michael Torrance Soap Chat Addict

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    Yeah it was, though Pamela Sue Martin was very natural, and Linda Evans (either through direction, make up, or her own decision) seems exaggerated.
    However, this episode stands out for me for the tour de force performance of John Forsythe as Blake at the Blaisdel oil rig shouting for Steven to come to him. It is so chilling and unlike what DYNASTY and Forsythe himself had done before--or after.

    No, certainly not that, but people just don't turn a page 180 degrees like that either. More something like that would make sense:
    Yeah, maybe I need to accept that. And considering that Dana had her unstable moments too, Adam sure knew how to pick them. He went through all three nutcases.
     
    Last edited: May 9, 2018
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  11. Alexis

    Alexis Soap Chat Superstar

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    That scene never bothered me the way it did some. I thought the timing was right for them to become friends, it was 3 seasons in. And they were essentially good people. It showed progression for Fallon too.
     
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  12. Alexis

    Alexis Soap Chat Superstar

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    Yes. Yes indeed.
     
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  13. Willie Oleson

    Willie Oleson drilling for soap

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    It's a very special place in SoapHell.
    I have mentioned an Alexis/Jeff romance quite a few times but I had no idea the writers had actually considered it.
    But maybe it's better that it didn't happen. I like it when a few soap characters are on good terms with eachother because there's no close emotional relationship.
    These scenes are sort of chill-out moments and show that they can still appear as "normal" human beings which is a nice counterbalance to the otherwise non-stop hatred and agitation.
    Dex and Krystle was another duo that had good chemistry but not too much chemistry. There's no need to turn everything into something sexual or romantic.
    I agree. I imagine Fallon would be the one feeling the most uncomfortable with it and even try to avoid Krystle for a while.
    Although both companies should have had these luxurious suites in case they decided to stay in town.
    Alexis had a nice flat but the building itself was a bit ordinary, I would have preferred her flat being located on the top floor of the ColbyCo building (like Anne Baxter in HOTEL).
    Not just because, but the situation made it the right timing and eventhough I opposed to the idea that this new friendship/understanding was created at the expense of the snobbish-catty Fallon we all loved/loved to hate, I think the story and characters should be allowed to progress.
    And progress is usually a mix of sacrifices and new opportunities.
     
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  14. Ked

    Ked Soap Chat Dream Maker

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    Excellent points. :D

    I like that idea, only I'd keep the triplex apartment (which is where she holds cocktail parties and such), and have there be a separate suite on top of ColbyCo (where she sleeps with her handsome male secretaries :lol:). I think it would fit Alexis' "nomadic" lifestyle in that she never really has a set home.

    I don't know, I don't think Fallon's snobbish cattiness had to be let go once she made nice with Krystle... because there were still plenty of *other* people she hated: Adam, Alexis (I would have kept Fallon taking them to court) ... heck, she even could have been angry at Kirby - but not for 'stealing' Jeff, no. I would have had it so that Fallon didn't mind in the least bit that Jeff and Kirby get engaged (and only engaged; I'd never have them go through with it). But then Jeff decides he doesn't want to be separated from his son, so Kirby casually says "Then we'll get full custody." This enrages Fallon, who does the whole, "I'm HIS mother!" thing, only for Kirby to say, "For only an hour every other day! *I'm* the one who's been looking after L.B. day after day, week after week, month after month! *I'm* the one who's in love with his father! *I'm* the one L.B. calls 'Mama'!"

    Cue a b*tch-slap from Fallon, and possibly a catfight between the two. :lol:
     
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  15. GillesDenver

    GillesDenver Soap Chat Active Member

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    Personnally, I like the idea that Fallon was jealous of Kirby because it shows how spoiled she is : she does not want Jeff but if another woman has him, she is unhappy with it.

    That's how her night with Jeff in the first episodes of season 4 should have been I think : she sleeps with him because she is jealous of Kirby but once she knows he still loves her (even though he married Kirby), she does not care of him and is looking for another man. Alas, it was presented like she has done a mistake and regrets it. The Fallon of the earlier seasons was shameless.
     
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  16. Ked

    Ked Soap Chat Dream Maker

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    I love that. :D Its true to Fallon's spoilt nature, but also shows character growth.
     
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  17. Willie Oleson

    Willie Oleson drilling for soap

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    I guess she and Sammy Jo weren't ready to become friends yet, but Sammy Jo wasn't always around.
    But overall I think she matured, she had her hotel and she took it rather seriously and she was no longer the young woman who thought that being a Carrington was the most important thing in the world and everyone else only existed to please her.

    There was definitely room for a significant animosity between her and Kirby, and that could be any reason e.g. accusing Kirby of being a social climber. Unfortunately the show established a childhood friendship right from the start which undermined most of the negative feelings Fallon could have had for Kirby. Maybe that was a missed opportunity.
    And Kirby was introduced with too much information eventhough I couldn't make head nor tail of it. The writers made it very hard for Kirby to develop and that's also why her relationships with the Colbys and Carringtons almost never made sense.
     
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  18. Ked

    Ked Soap Chat Dream Maker

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    Here's how I would have explained their relationship as kids: all her life, Kirby lived on Fallon's hand-me-downs, and she *hated* it. Wild-child Fallon got everything handed to her, while Kirby had to sit still and be quiet, and be grateful for any meager scrap that came her way. So its been life-long resentment and jealousy on Kirby's part, whereas with Fallon, she took it for granted that she and Kirby were friends; she was too self-involved to take into account how the other girl could really feel about her situation. So its a bit of a wake-up call once Kirby finally reveals all this to Fallon.

    Two things could happen: either Fallon feels a little guilty and sympathetic towards Kirby... or she denies any wrong on her part ("I'm not going to apologize for the life I've been born into!") and now views Kirby in a whole new light ("I see you for what you really are, Miss Anders. A two-faced, jealous, social-climbing viper!").
     
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  19. Snarky's Ghost

    Snarky's Ghost Soap Chat Oracle

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    I still say it's too perfunctory. And the swelling music just made the forced nature of the scene harder to ignore -- although we're all used to the score by now.

    The idea for the scene is fine, but it's just another one of those S3 sudden switcheroos I found so tiresome.
     
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  20. Willie Oleson

    Willie Oleson drilling for soap

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    But there's nothing sudden about the scene itself, it's a little bit to and fro. Fallon reaches out to Krystle, she refuses and walks away and then she realizes that she can't turn her back on the person who's hurting for the very same reasons. She walks back, awkward and kinda regretfully and then it's Fallon who accepts Krystle reaching out to her.
    Sure, this could have been stretched out to several episodes but the result would be the same. And this was an intense moment, why wait?
     
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