Between 1981 and 1989, “Dynasty” was the soap opera of choice for an entire generation. If you didn’t follow everything well or if your memory challenges you, we tell you the end of the series.
Warning, spoilers. The following article reveals key plot points of “Dynasty” as well as its ending.
At its peak, Dynasty (or Dynasty in English) was one of the most popular shows on television. Revolving mainly around the wealthy Carrington family, residing in Denver, the series was a real soap worthy of the name – romances, scandals and incredible intrigues included.
Originally designed by ABC to compete with CBS hit Dallas, the first season of the show created by Richard and Esther Shapiro and produced by Aaron Spelling fails to achieve this goal. It will be necessary to wait for the arrival of Joan Collins in the skin of the famous Alexis Carrington in the first episode of season 2 so that the series does not take off.
And there, it is the consecration: the series appeared in the top 10 of Nielsen during most of its 9 years of diffusion, reaching the first place in 1984. It was also nominated for the Golden Globe for the best drama series televised annually from 1981 to 1986, winning the prestigious award in 1983. Building on its success, the soap spawned a line of fashion and luxury goods, as well as a short-lived spin-off, The Colbys (1985- 1987).
However, in its final two seasons, viewers began to tire of the outrageous storylines, leading to a significant ratings drop in Season 7. Reduced budget, departing cast, less viewing time for Joan Collins: so many reasons that led to its cancellation in the spring of 1989 after 9 seasons and 220 episodes.
A 2-part TV movie, called Dynasty: The Reunion and broadcast in October 1991, will provide some answers to an unfinished finale, while a reboot with a new cast will be released on the CW in October 2017.
It was therefore on May 11, 1989 that ABC broadcast the last episode of Dynasty (9×22), entitled “Catch 22” (or “La cachette” in VF). And here is its plot… and cliffhanger!
In previous episodes, the body of Alexis’ (Joan Collins) ex-lover, Roger Grimes (J. Eddie Peck), was found in a lake at the Carrington estate. Fallon (Emma Samms), troubled by nightmares from her childhood, finally remembered an event she repressed: Years ago, Alexis had an affair with Roger. He wanted to leave and she begged to go with him. But he got angry, started beating her and knocked her out. Young Fallon saw her injured mother, took a gun and killed her. Blake’s father arrived afterwards, convinced her it was a bad dream, and so hid Roger’s body deep in a cave in the frozen lake. The cave also contained Nazi artwork, also hidden years earlier by Blake and Dex’s fathers.
Blake (John Forsythe) is framed for a murder by William Handler (John Brandon), the captain of the police, as well as a mysterious group that wants to find the Nazi treasure.
After a turbulent evening full of shocking revelations, Alexis and Blake say goodnight to a distraught Fallon: she can’t believe she killed a man when she was little. Her parents reassure her by telling her that she mainly saved her mother’s life before letting her rest.
Meanwhile, still at the mansion, Dex (Michael Nader) tries to talk to Sable Colby (Stephanie Beacham) about her child she is carrying but she refuses. Indeed, although he is still in love with Alexis, he had a brief affair with Sable who is now pregnant. However, she decided to raise the child on her own and left the place. Jeff Colby (John James) and Dex then offer John Zorelli (Ray Abruzzo) – who has left law enforcement – to take him back to the cottage and there, end up asking for his help in uncovering information about the rogue. Captain Handler and the person he works for.
Blake and Alexis decide to bury the hatchet and go to talk to each other in private. They reminisce about the past in a rather civil fashion…until Alexis ends up blackmailing him for half the looted treasure! She feels that since the treasure remained hidden under their house for the duration of their marriage, she is entitled to her share. If he doesn’t give her what she wants, she’ll make it public: the fact that the treasure belonged to the Nazis would publicly kiss her last name… which she doesn’t have since she’s a Colby now!
During the night, Fallon dreams of the lullaby she heard her little sister Krystina (Jessica Player) sing. She remembers that the song came from a music box that was part of the Nazi treasury. The next day, she asks Krystina to show her the secret place where she found the object in question.
Alexis, meanwhile, visits Sable. Previously, the latter had made him a proposal: to end his prosecution against Alexis if Alexis no longer tried to arrest Blake. Today, it’s Alexis who has a proposal: she tells him that she knows about the Nazi treasure that could tarnish Blake’s reputation, she won’t tell anyone if Sable drops her lawsuit against Colbyco.
Later, in Blake’s office, Sable tells her of Alexis’ threats and tells her that she will accept, due to her genuine affection for Blake. Meanwhile, Jeff and Zorelli investigate Handler and break into his home.
In a more minor storyline, Krystle’s (Linda Evans) niece, Sammy Jo Reece (Heather Locklear), is working to help found a new teen center. She soon finds herself drawn to the handsome Tanner McBride (Kevin Bernhardt), only to learn that he is about to become a priest. She tells him she loves him and he hesitates. Finally, he gives up the priesthood to live a romance with the young woman.
After school, Krystina leads Fallon to the small cabin near the cottage, where there is a secret underground tunnel leading to the hidden treasure. Both are unaware that Dennis Grimes (Jeff Kaake), the son of Roger Grimes who was in prison but has been released, has followed them. Grimes then takes Fallon and Krystina hostage.
Blake, Zorelli and Jeff come to realize that Grimes is after Fallon and become concerned. Because Fallon confided in Zorelli, they figure out that she went looking for the music box with Krystina.
Meanwhile, Handler meets in private with the mysterious woman pulling the strings and from whom he gets his orders, but we don’t see her face: he tells her that Dennis Grimes has found the treasure and taken the Carrington girls hostage. Although she wants the treasure and goes after Blake, she doesn’t want him to touch her daughters. Dex, he visits Alexis and tries to reconcile. The latter, however, criticizes him for his affair with Sable, his worst enemy.
In the cave, Dennis Grimes is about to sexually assault Fallon in front of Krystina when Fallon manages to grab a candlestick and hits him with the object. Then, she grabs her gun and, as he gets up, shoots him in a panic, causing part of the tunnel to collapse and trapping them all. Later, Fallon and Krystina have regained consciousness and are trying to get out, while we see Grimes starting to wake up behind them.
Handler and several police officers then raid Blake’s mansion. He announces to the latter that he has found the treasure and that Grimes has taken Fallon and Krystina hostage to ensure his cooperation.
Shortly after, Sable, her daughter Monica (Tracy Scoggins), Alexis, and her son Adam (Gordon Thomson), meet upstairs at the hotel to sign the deal and end Sable’s lawsuit. Dex arrives angry and announces that he is going to be a father, whether Sable likes it or not. Adam finds this funny and insults her once too often. Dex then punches him and, furious, Adam throws himself at him in return. Dex bumps into Alexis and together they destroy the second floor railing and fall into the void. The three witnesses are horrified.
Back at the mansion, Blake and Jeff overpower Handler and lead him out of the house with a concealed weapon. Zorelli arrives, and not knowing the situation is under control, tries to alert the other police officers about Handler. In the confusion, the latter seizes another officer’s weapon and he and Blake shoot each other: they are both shot. Jeff screams, calling the police and servants for help and an ambulance as the camera rolls back, leaving Blake bleeding to death on the stairs of the mansion… Dynasty’s End.
The final episode had already been filmed when the series was canceled, which is how the show ended with those storylines unresolved. Note that if the series had continued, Alexis and Dex would probably not have survived their fall since their interpreters had announced that they were leaving the series.
As for cliffhangers, viewers got some answers in 1991 thanks to a 2-part special event, called Dynasty: The Reunion. Many actors – old and new – have thus made their comeback. While the reunion didn’t directly resolve the show’s final cliffhangers, we did learn that it all ended pretty well.
Krystle came out of her coma and went home. Blake, recovered from his injuries, went to jail for 3 years before finally being released once the courts realized he had been framed by Handler. The “Consortium” was revealed to be the organization behind it all, with the goal of seeing Blake eliminated and ruined. Blake and Krystle end up dancing and happy.
Fallon and Krystina, meanwhile, made it out of the cave safely, and Sammy Jo resumed her modeling career, now living a romance with her boss. So Tucker gave up the priesthood for nothing.
Alexis, for his part, survived his fall by landing on Dex, while the latter would not have come out as well: his fate, however, is left in suspense… True end of Dynasty.