Dynasty, brought to you by Google Pixel

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TV shows aren’t cheap to produce, especially hour-long dramas with large casts. And even though some people have snarkily referred to Dynasty as “Dollar Store Dynasty,” the show still has a lot of people to pay (not sure they pay much for the clothing though). So to help offset the costs, sponsors pay to have their products featured in certain episodes. Survivor has been called out the past for the obvious product placement episodes but sometimes those things make sense (and a recent one with an Outback Steakhouse reward was particularly egregious since the show had seemed to back off after the criticism). Scripted shows have a harder time with it because the show could become an infomercial. Some shows can work the product in subtly, like characters drinking Coke, or every character just happens to drive the same brand of car.

And then some are not so subtle, like this week’s episode of Dynasty. Last week was Thanksgiving and this week we’re jumping into the Christmas season with Carrington Atlantic trying to come up with gift ideas for the corporate clients that featured a parade of non-specific items like caviar, watches and booze. Catching wind of this, Fallon decides her new company needs to shower their clients with lavish gifts as well, and she goes completely off the deep end with trips and other high ticket items. Jeff and Monica Colby reign her back in, making the decision that as a new company they need to keep the gist price tag to three figures. Since they’re a tech company, Monica comes up with the brilliant idea to give their clients (including those who aren’t yet actually clients) the latest sought after piece of technology — the Google Pixel. And then the first commercial break was a Google Pixel ad. Nothing subtle about this at all.

I couldn’t believe how many time the Google Pixel was mentioned during the episode. During the gift giving idea frenzy, Sammy Joe decided that he would submit his resumé to Blake, not because he has any business experience, but because he can shop for the perfect gift. Knowing Blake was struggling to find something new — and deciding to go with the usual bourbon and cigars — Sam overheard Fallon’s Google Pixel plan and proposed the same idea to Blake, hoping to help knock her down a peg or two since she’s not been very nice to him.

Blake likes the idea and Sam gets on the phone, securing the order but … this is Fallon he’s dealing with and finding out what he’d done, she still managed to turn the tables and get the Google Pixels for herself. But she appreciated Sam’s skills and attempts to undermine her and offered to take her under his wing and show him the ropes. I already like the alliance between Anders and Sam, so it will be interesting to see if anything comes of this new connection between Fallon and Sam.

Speaking of alliances, Anders has finally decided that Cristal is a member of the family, securing the money she needed to pay off the people she’d stolen from before she came to America and driving her to the drop-off location. Finally coming clean to Blake about everything, including the fact that she’d been pregnant and suffered a miscarriage (which is why she’s been reticent to have a child now), Blake is totally supportive and even offers to bring Cristal’s sister to America. This can’t end well, can it?

Where Blake isn’t supportive is with Steven’s attempts to expose Stansfield. Stansfield confronted Blake about Steven’s attempts to cut off the foundation money he’s been receiving for his services to the family, making a vague threat that he has too much dirt on Blake that could send him to prison and put the Carrington family in mortal danger. But Steven and Jeff continue their digging into Stansfield’s operation. And it appears Stansfield’s threat comes to pass as Steven is kidnapped one night.

Except the kidnapper is Blake, attempting to teach Steven a lesson about who he should not be messing with. Not learning his lesson, Steven meets with Stansfield who then reveals it was he who covered up the accident that had happened under Steven’s watch. It was Stansfield who took Matthew Blaisdell’s phone because he had evidence that Steven was responsible for the accident that led to an employee’s death. He was working with Blake to protect Steven. Later, Jeff makes Stansfield an offer — an early retirement to the Bahamas and he leaves the Carrington’s along. It’s a sweet deal that Stansfield accepts, but what Steven doesn’t know is that Jeff has kept a recording of the conversation he had with Stansfield that implicated him in that accident.

With Stansfield out of his hair, Steven makes a call to Ted Dinard in New York, telling him he’d like to come for a visit. After hanging up, we get a pretty shocking moment when Steven takes a couple of hits of cocaine! Wait what?! Could this be the reason Steven was responsible for someone’s death? He was high on coke?! Oh, Steven, we thought you were better than that.

Things also got a little messy for Fallon as she took Jeff to the annual Christmas tree lighting sponsored by Carrington Atlantic since her usual date, Michael Culhane, was off with his real girlfriend Kori. Going to her and Michael’s usual spot at the top of an office building, she was startled to find Michael and Kori there … and they weren’t there for the view. In a rage, Fallon took their clothes and threw them into the bushes below and then locked them out of the building. Fallon had tried to make peace with Kori earlier, but she just really does not have good people skills. Learning that the city’s budget is going to have to be cut, shutting down the libraries for two weeks, Fallon makes an announcement at the tree lighting in Kori’s place — Carrington Atlantic will keep the power on in the libraries not for two weeks, but for five years, her way of atoning for what she did to Michael and Kori, and a way to get back at Blake for trying to steal her (say it with me) Google Pixel gift idea. Jeff finally admits he likes Fallon and the two make up for lost time.

What did you think of this episode? Tell us what you think!

 

 

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