Krystle Carrington (maiden name Grant; formerly Jennings) is a fictional character from the American TV series Dynasty, created by Richard and Esther Shapiro. Originated by actress Linda Evans, the character was introduced in the series' pilot episode in 1981 and served as one of the long-running soap's primary protagonists. Evans left the series after appearing in only six episodes at the beginning of its 22-episode final season, though she reprised the role for the 1991 miniseries continuation, Dynasty: The Reunion.
Linda Evans as Krystle Carrington
|Portrayed by||Linda Evans|
|First appearance||"Oil" (1981)|
|Last appearance||"The Wedding" (1989)|
|Created by||Richard and Esther Shapiro|
|Dynasty: The Reunion (1991)|
Nathalie Kelley as Cristal Flores Carrington
The character of Krystle Carrington was depicted as the dutiful wife to the series' anchor and protagonist, patriarch Blake Carrington (John Forsythe). The character was born in Dayton, Ohio. Blake's marriage to his former secretary Krystle is the central event of the serial's three-hour pilot episode, "Oil." Krystle's character is outlined by Dynasty co-creator Esther Shapiro:
|“||Krystle is a woman who wants her husband Blake more than anything else, for richer or for poorer. It pleases Krystle to [...] share the frustrations and challenges of Blake's life. She still greets each day with bright-eyed vitality and a zest for living. Her goodness and concern for others are stabilizing factors in the Carrington family, ones that have earned her the admiration and respect of all. Krystle Carrington is a tender, loving, woman — a passionate romantic living the life of every girl's dream, yet, bringing to it common sense, compassion and seal of approval. She is truly a beautiful human being.||”|
Krystle has been described by Christine Geraghty, author of Women and soap opera, as the moral center of her family, "a constant reminder to the [male characters] of the need for integrity, humanity and domestic harmony." Esther Shapiro has added that Krystle is a person who "always believed in her heart" and family-oriented. According to Shapiro. Krystle acts as the show's moral compass, "trying to bring decency to the strange and often sinister world of the rich, where the rules are often very different."
Actress Evans described the similarities between herself and her character, commenting: "We both care for people; we both used to seek peace at any price, tried to work out things in the family and felt tremendous joy and happiness in having a relationship. And she (Krystle), like me, learned to stand up for herself at a late time in life ... But I stand up for myself a lot more than Krystle does."
Geraghty critically compared Krystle to her screen rival Alexis Colby (Joan Collins), Blake's former wife, highlighting the differences in characterization: "[Krystle] is clearly the counterpart to Alexis in moral stature and attitude. The contrast is presented vividly through appearance and style. When she and Alexis compete [...] the contrast could not be more marked. Alexis is artificial, with white make-up, red nails and lips, black curls, while Krystle is 'natural' with fair hair, blue eyes, free hair [...] Krystle is normally seen at home and she welcomes into it anyone who needs comfort and support. She accepts without resentment Blake's children and she is frequently called on to ameliorate his patriarchal harshness and his castigation of himself."
As Dynasty begins in 1981, Krystle is set to marry oil tycoon Blake Carrington, but receives an icy reception from both Blake's daughter Fallon and the Carrington majordomo, Joseph. She soon makes friends with Blake's sensitive son Steven, but her relationship with Blake is threatened by the advances of her married ex-lover Matthew Blaisdel and Blake's own volatile personality. Their marriage is strained by her discomfort as she learns about Blake's ruthless side, especially in business. Blake rapes Krystle when she is reluctant to have sex with him. Later, Blake is arrested and charged with murder. Krystle must testify whether Blake has ever shown a violent temper. In the season finale, a mysterious witness enters the courtroom. Visibly agitated, Blake turns to his lawyer and asks, "What's she doing here?"
The mystery witness is Blake's ex-wife, Alexis. She testifies to Blake's violent temper. He is found guilty, but given a suspended sentence. Krystle also learns that she is pregnant. Krystle loses her baby in a horse riding accident. Blake suggests that Krystle meet with his friend, psychiatrist Nick Toscanni. Krystle suspects that Alexis may have caused her accident. She confronts Alexis, and the women have a vicious fight. Krystle feels alienated from Blake with Alexis around, and Nick tries to seduce her. Blake accuses her of having an affair with Nick, but Krystle has been faithful. Blake goes to confront Nick but does not return. Worried, Krystle goes to find him.
Krystle finds Blake and gets him to safety. Later in the season, Krystle tries to help Blake and his long-lost son Adam form a father-son relationship.
Krystle also learns that her divorce from her first husband Mark Jennings was never official when he comes back to Denver in the hope to have her back. Not long after Steven is missing and presumed dead, his ex-wife, Sammy Jo, (who is also Krystle's niece) appears with a baby named Daniel, that is hers and Steven's. Blake and Krystle offer to keep the child. When Steven returns to Denver, alive, Krystle is heart broken to give up little Danny but is thrilled Steven is alive and back home. In the third season finale, Krystle meets Alexis at a remote cabin, where Alexis offers her one million dollars to leave Blake's life. Krystal refuses but then they discover they have been locked inside the cabin which is quickly engulfed by a fire.
Krystle and Alexis are rescued by Mark. A few months later, Blake and Krystle remarry. Krystle goes to work for Denver-Carrington in PR, much to the dismay of Tracy Kendall who was hoping to get the job herself. Tracy pretends to be Krystle's friend, but secretly decides to seduce Blake.
Though told she could no longer have children after the riding accident two years earlier, Krystle is overjoyed to discover she is pregnant again.
Krystle has a baby girl, whom she names Krystina. Although Krystina is fragile at first, she survives and thrives.
Krystle encounters a man from her past, Daniel Reece. He turns out to be Sammy Jo's father. Blake grows jealous of their friendship. Daniel is in love with Krystle, and they kiss. Meanwhile, Lady Ashley Mitchell attempts to seduce Blake. Someone has photos taken of both Blake with Ashley and Krystle with Daniel and has them sent to each other. However, both Blake and Krystle declare their love for each other. When Daniel is later killed, he bequeaths his entire fortune to Sammy Jo, but names Krystle as executor of the estate which makes Sammy Jo furious.
When Blake's daughter Amanda falls in love with Prince Michael of Moldavia, the entire Carrington family go to Moldavia for the wedding. However, during a coup, Moldavian rebels storm the wedding chapel and shoot everybody in it.
Blake and his family survive the attack, although Steven's boyfriend Luke, and Lady Ashley Mitchell are killed, while King Galen is badly hurt. Upon returning to Denver, Krystle goes to visit Sammy Jo and is shocked to find her own double there. She is knocked on the head and held hostage by Joel Abrigore, while the look-alike, Rita, impersonates Krystle as part of a scheme Joel and Sammy Jo concocted to gain clear access to Sammy Jo's inheritance. As Rita infiltrates the Carrington mansion for several weeks (where not even Blake can tell that she is an imposter), Joel becomes obsessed with the captive Krystle. Eventually, Krystle and Rita have a confrontation in the attic where Krystle is being held. As Krystle tries to escape, she and Rita fight. In a change of heart, Sammy Jo knocks Rita out so that Krystle is freed. Rita and Joel then disappear and Krystle returns to the Carrington mansion just in time to save Blake whom Rita had slowly been poisoning. In the season finale, Krystle and Blake learn that Alexis now owns their mansion and throws Blake and Krystle out. Furious, Blake grabs Alexis by the throat and starts to strangle her.
Krystle pulls Blake off of Alexis before he kills her. Blake learns that his hotel, La Mirage, has burned down. A grief-stricken widower blames Blake for the fire and forces Blake's car off the road. Krystle is severely injured, but recovers. Later, Blake and Krystle move back to the mansion when Blake thwarts Alexis' plans and throws her out.
Blake, Alexis, and Ben are in southeast Asia visiting an oil rig when it explodes. Krystle arrives on the scene only to learn that Alexis has taken Blake out of the hospital as he suffers from amnesia and believes he is still married to Alexis. When Krystle finally finds them, Blake doesn't recognize her. Heartbroken, Krystle prepares to return to Denver alone. However, moments later Blake's memory returns and Krystle takes him back home, much to Alexis' chagrin.
Blake and Krystle's daughter, Krystina, falls ills and needs a heart transplant. A donor is found, Krystina is fine, but the donor's mother kidnaps Krystina. However, she is found unharmed. In the season finale, after Adam's wedding, Krystle's presumed-dead former lover Matthew Blaisdel takes the Carrington family hostage at gunpoint, stating he has come back for Krystle.
After several days in captivity, Steven stabs Matthew and the family is freed. Blake runs for governor against the incumbent and Alexis running as an independent. Krystle takes an active role in the campaign, including researching the sudden death of Alexis' second husband Cecil Colby. Although she doesn't have hard evidence, she has enough to cast doubt on whether Alexis murdered her husband. She threatens to leak her story to the press if Alexis doesn't stop spreading lies about Blake. Alexis complies. Despite their best efforts, Blake loses. Not long after, he returns home to find his bedroom trashed and Krystle missing. He cries out: "Oh, Krystle, I thought we had more time!"
Krystle has a serious brain tumor and must have risky surgery. They fly to Switzerland, where the surgery is successful but Krystle is left in a coma.
Three years later, Krystle has recovered from her coma, which is revealed to have been medically induced to allow an evil international consortium to brainwash her into killing Blake. A sympathetic nurse helps Krystle escape from the clinic and return to an overjoyed Blake. When her "programming" kicks in, she pulls a gun on Blake, but their love is too strong and the plan fails.
A pilot for a Dynasty reboot for The CW was announced in September 2016, and Nathalie Kelley was cast as Cristal Flores, a Hispanic reimagining of Krystle, in January 2017. The new series premiered on The CW on October 11, 2017. Tierney Bricker of E! Online dubbed Kelley "this season's breakout star".
Noting that Krystle, in the original series, "was pure and the moral center of the show", executive producer Josh Schwartz said of the reboot version of the character:
With this new Cristal, we liked the idea of not letting her be quite as pure and raising some questions about her past and having her stir the pot—making her more formidable. That really let us lean into this rivalry between Fallon and Cristal.
In the premiere episode "I Hardly Recognized You", Cristal is engaged to her billionaire boss Blake Carrington, but is immediately disliked by his willful daughter Fallon. Fallon plots to drive a wedge between them by giving her father photos of Cristal with her former lover Matthew Blaisdel, but Fallon's plan backfires, pushing up the wedding and securing Cristal the promotion Fallon wanted for herself. Meanwhile, Anders, the Carrington family butler, makes his dislike for Cristal (and his knowledge of her past) known, and the arrival of her shady nephew Sam—who has just slept with Fallon's brother, Steven—puts her in further jeopardy. Matthew is killed, and his wife Claudia accuses Blake of murder. In "Spit It Out", a devastated Cristal puts aside sentiment to prove her loyalty to Blake and help him protect her new family. In "Guilt is for Insecure People", Sam's mother—Cristal's sister Iris—is in trouble, but Anders has made it impossible for Cristal to send her money. Cristal remembers her past as Celia Machado, when the sisters stole a fortune, but only Cristal escaped Venezuela. She is tempted by a diamond necklace worth millions, but Sam takes the initiative and secretly arranges the theft of Cristal's engagement ring and other valuables during a charity gala. While Cristal takes Blake on an impromptu honeymoon in "Private as a Circus", Fallon leaks a sex video of Cristal and Matthew from Matthew's phone.
In the book Cultural Theory and Popular Culture, Christine Geraghty has likened Krystle to the characters Deirdre Barlow from Coronation Street, Pamela Ewing from Dallas and Kathy Beale from EastEnders as they are associated "not merely with moral values but also the capacity to speak out when necessary in defence of the truth."
Notes and referencesEdit
- "Dynasty: The Complete First Season DVD Review". TVDVDreviews.com. December 3, 2007.
- Season 9 episode "A Touch of Sable" (November 10, 1988)
- Holbrook, Morris B.; Hirschman, Elizabeth C. (1995). The Dynasty Years: Hollywood Television and Critical Media Studies. Routledge. ISBN 978-0-415-08598-4.
- Christine Geraghty (1991). Women and soap opera. Wiley-Blackwell. ISBN 978-0-7456-0568-5.
- Morris B. Holbrook and Elizabeth C. Hirschman (1993). The Semiotics of Consumption. Walter de Gruyter. ISBN 978-3-11-013491-9.
- Goldberg, Lesley; O'Connell, Michael (September 30, 2016). "Dynasty Reboot in the Works at The CW". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved October 6, 2016.
- Andreeva, Nellie (September 30, 2016). "Dynasty Reboot Set At the CW With Josh Schwartz & Stephanie Savage". Deadline.com. Retrieved October 2, 2016.
- Petski, Denise (January 30, 2017). "Dynasty: Nathalie Kelley Cast As Lead In The CW Reboot". Deadline.com. Retrieved May 11, 2017.
- Goldberg, Lesley (January 30, 2017). "The CW's Dynasty Reboot Casts Its Star". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved January 31, 2017.
- Andreeva, Nellie (June 8, 2017). "The CW Sets Fall 2017 Premiere Dates For Dynasty & Valor And Returning Series". Deadline.com. Retrieved June 8, 2017.
- "Rapid-Fire Reviews: All Hail Dynasty's Soapy Return on The CW!". E! News. September 14, 2017. Retrieved October 8, 2017.
- Champagne, Christine (August 23, 2017). "At First Sight". Emmy. 39 (7). Retrieved September 13, 2017.
- Swift, Andy (November 1, 2017). "Dynasty's Rafael de la Fuente Defends Sammy Jo ('He's Not a Bad Guy!'), Recalls His 'Epic' Horror Story Death". TVLine. Retrieved November 1, 2017.
- Nguyen, Hanh (August 2, 2017). "Dynasty: 4 Ways CW's Reboot Has Updated the Series to Be More Inclusive and Tolerant". IndieWire. Retrieved October 12, 2017.
- Wagmeister, Elizabeth (August 2, 2017). "10 Ways CW's Dynasty Reboot Will Be Different From the Original". Variety. Retrieved September 23, 2017.
- John Storey (2006). Cultural Theory and Popular Culture. Pearson Education. ISBN 0-13-197069-0.