It has been a wild five seasons for the Carrington clan on The CW’s Dynasty, led by Elizabeth Gillies and Grant Show as Fallon and Blake Carrington, respectively. Marriages, pregnancies, kidnappings, long-lost children, and repeated felonies are just a few of the interesting activities we’ve seen from this bunch of characters. But, unfortunately, the end of the fifth season also marks the inevitable end of the show — yet another casualty of The CW’s mass cancellation earlier this year. Thankfully, though, there was enough time to turn this into a makeshift series finale and wrap up a lot of loose ends, so this incarnation of the Carrington family (and those that surround them) are able to end things with relative closure.
In the penultimate episode, we leave off on the majordomo-in-training Graham (Dan Amboyer) knocking Adam (Sam Underwood) out and stuffing him in the trunk of his car, but not before promising to get revenge for all the people that Adam has hurt. Meanwhile, Sam (Rafael de la Fuente) calls things off officially with Ryan (Lachlan Buchanan), Jeff (Sam Adegoke) discovers his research has been stolen, Liam (Adam Huber) is being blackmailed over the manuscript he stole, and Fallon is in jeopardy of losing her company after the Morell Green Energy mess. Oh, and Blake and Cristal (Daniella Alonso) are on the outs, made particularly worse after one of their planes goes missing, and Alexis (Elaine Hendrix) has no idea her husband was one of those unlucky passengers on Blake’s plane. Finally, Kirby (Maddison Brown) and Amanda (Eliza Bennett) repairing their relationship is complicated by Amanda’s ex showing up on the Carrington doorstep. Obviously, there is quite a bit of story for this finale to tackle, showing exactly how last-minute this cancellation was. Let’s break it down.
Picking up on the heels of the last episode, Adam is tied up in a shed on the Carrington property with his captor — the interim majordomo — taunting him. However, lo and behold, Graham pulls off a mask to reveal that he is actually long-lost brother Steven Carrington (James Mackay), who has been absent since Adam convinced him he was losing his mind and got him locked away in a sanitarium all the way back in Dynasty Season 2. So, Adam’s kidnapping isn’t about the millions of terrible things he’s done since he arrived in Atlanta; it’s about the first terrible thing he did upon his introduction on the show. It turns out that Adam had been paying a nurse to keep Steven drugged up and hold all of his letters, while Adam had sent letters to the family as Steven telling them to never contact him again. Meaning Steven was effectively all alone for years until the sanitarium burned down with the nurse in it.
Once the drugs wore off, Steven became free and started to plot his revenge, culminating in this moment. In the shed, after Steven tells his story, Adam throws a few verbal hits about how the family didn’t even notice Steven’s absence and preferred having Adam around — though it’s easy to doubt that even Adam bought his own lies. Then, the brothers fight, and Adam nearly gets the drop on Steven, but Steven grabs a weapon and nearly impales Adam. But, ultimately, he doesn’t let Adam turn him into a murderer. Instead, Steven threatens Adam to never show his face again, essentially pruning Adam from the Carrington family tree forever (especially once he reveals what Adam did to him off-screen).
Fallon’s Next Moves
At the end of the previous episode, a member of the Fallon Unlimited board, Ellen (Grace Junot), masterminded a plot to remove Fallon as CEO of the company. Fallon’s goal this season has been to create a legacy for her soon-to-be-born child, which came to life as Fallon reinvesting in Morell Green Energy and bringing it into the Fallon Unlimited sphere. Now, Ellen is trying to take all of this away from her, and the vote to remove her as CEO is just a day away. So, Fallon is desperately trying to think of new ideas about how to win this unwinnable fight. To start, Dominique (Michael Michele) quits her show on Fallon’s shopping network — an attempt to have Fallon bring her back and show what an asset she is as CEO. Unfortunately, this doesn’t work out as planned and Dominique pulling out only gives the board an excuse to get rid of the shopping network altogether, which has already taken a hit after Alexis left. What is Fallon to do?
Luckily, she gets some clarity when she comes home to find Steven playing the piano, a reunion far too long in the making. Fallon wipes away Steven’s fears about being forgotten as she tells him that she’s thought of him every single day. Though we don’t get to see the would-be satisfying reveal of Adam’s treachery, Fallon understands immediately that Adam played a role in what happened to Steven. The two sing a song, showing off the beautiful bond that we didn’t see nearly enough of, and are then interrupted when the long-awaited moment finally arrives: Fallon and Liam’s surrogate is in labor.
After heated preparations at the hospital — like Fallon having the ceiling painted to look like the night sky — all three are ready for this moment… only they could not have anticipated being stuck in traffic on their way to the hospital when the time came. Giving up, they turn back around to deliver the baby at home after flying the doctor out on a helicopter, as their loved ones wait for news. In the end, their baby is delivered happy and healthy, and the two reveal her name to the bunch: Lauren Morell Carrington-Ridley. And, in true Fallon fashion, the birth of her daughter and return of Steven give her an idea of how to handle her work crisis. So, though it is confirmed Fallon would be voted out as CEO by the board, Fallon’s loved ones step in and buy the board members’ shares at double the value with their excessive wealth to turn Fallon Unlimited back into a private, family business.
Sam, Culhane, Kirby, Amanda, and Jeff
With Culhane (Robert Christopher Riley) getting married, changes are afoot at the hotel. Culhane and Nina (Felisha Terrell) are moving to Los Angeles, so he needs to give up his share in Sam’s hotel, which throws a wrench into Sam’s plans to franchise. But, Sam freaks out and purposely tanks the meetings with potential investors, causing some drama before he gets a much-needed visit from Steven. While Sam still thinks Steven is Graham, Sam confides in him about his abandonment issues that resulted from his ex-husband leaving. Then, Steven gives some advice and reveals himself to Sam, rekindling the spark between them after Steven tells Sam what Adam had done to him.
With Kirby, her relationship with Amanda is on rocky ground. Things don’t get any better when Amanda’s ex Florence gives her a dream job offer back in London, causing Kirby to spiral as the two already couldn’t agree on what their future together would look like. But, in a bold showing of growth for Kirby, she encourages Amanda to go after her dreams no matter the cost. Elsewhere, the information on Jeff’s stolen hard drives is leaked, but he also reveals to Dominique that he released other information, too. His goal? Watch how people use and improve on his projects to recruit the best to work for his company.
Blake, Cristal, and Alexis
Dex (Pej Vahdat) is missing in the Appalachian mountains after one of Blake’s planes went down and lost contact, so Blake and Alexis head out to search for him. However, Blake’s parting with Cristal is tense, and it seems like a separation could come at any minute if they don’t start working together instead of against one another. In the mountains, Blake and Alexis are having no luck when night begins to fall and an intense storm sets in, but Alexis isn’t giving up on her new husband. She continues searching with Blake right behind her, despite the thunder and lightning, as the rest of the search party returns to camp.
As Blake continues to try to get Alexis to give up, she exclaims that she’ll never quit looking because she can’t live without Dex. It’s a rare depiction of Alexis’ loyalty (in her own special way), but also gives Blake two interesting moments of growth. First, he tells Alexis that, for better or worse, they are family, putting the two on better ground than they’ve been on since the early years of their marriage. Second, Blake realizes that he feels the same about Cristal. Back at home, knowing Blake is in danger gives Cristal the same realization, so the two are able to work through their issues off-screen. Shortly thereafter, Dex is found and all is right in the world again.
Six Months Later
We pick up in the future with a number of changes for the Carringtons and those around them. With Fallon Unlimited fully owned by the family, Fallon has a name change in the works. The company would therefore be known as Carrington United. But, before we can see that finalized, Fallon, Blake, and Liam have to rush home from the office to prepare for a wedding. Back at the manor, Steven and Sam are back together and preparing for the big day… of Sam officiating the wedding. What a fakeout! Sadly, Steven and Sam aren’t walking down the aisle again (yet), but everyone is gathered for Culhane and Nina’s wedding.
Before the wedding, we learn Amanda ended up accepting the job offer and going back to London to pursue her dream, breaking things off with Kirby to make things easier. But, when the two women see each other again, it’s clear that nothing is easier. While they were unable to put their separate lives on the same track before, six months apart has changed things, for Kirby at least. She proclaims her love for Amanda and reveals that she doesn’t want to be in Atlanta anymore if Amanda isn’t around, so the two make plans for Kirby to come to London and then share a heartfelt kiss.
As for the others, Jeff’s plan to rebuild his company was a complete success, Dominique is opening her first store in New York, Alexis is also opening her first store right next to Dominique’s (ensue catfight), Steven wants to run Fallon’s foundation, and Blake is already wanting to plan a hostile takeover of Fallon’s company. Meanwhile, we catch up with Adam who has officially been cut out of the family completely. Adam is now living under a false identity, in London, working as a veterinarian, a callback to where his life was in Montana before he figured out his true parentage. Some things never change, and the finale ensures we know that as we imagine the rest of these beloved characters’ lives.
Dynasty is now streaming on Netflix.