Linda Evans as Krystle Carrington
|Portrayed by||Linda Evans|
|First appearance||Episode 1
|Last appearance||Episode 206
|Created by||Richard and Esther Shapiro|
|Dynasty: The Reunion (1991)|
Former secretary at Denver-Carrington
Krystle Grant Jennings Carrington is a fictional character born in Dayton, Ohio; on the American TV series Dynasty. The role was originated by Linda Evans in the first episode of the series in 1981; she left early in the final season but returned for the 1991 miniseries Dynasty: The Reunion.
The character of Krystle Carrington was depicted as the dutiful wife to the series' anchor and protagonist, patriarch Blake Carrington (John Forsythe). 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, feminine woman — a passionate romantic living the life of every girl's dream, but bringing to it common sense, compassion and cachet. 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 has critically compared Krystle to her screen rival Alexis Carrington (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 help. They learn that Fallon's son, his namesake "Little Blake" has been kidnapped. Blake and Alexis make a televised plea for the return of their kidnapped infant grandson L.B. Colby. While on the air, Alexis confesses a dark secret from their past: their firstborn son, Adam, had been kidnapped as a baby and never recovered. Traumatized by the event, they had hidden his existence from their subsequent children Fallon and Steven. Weeks later, an attorney from Billings, Montana, approaches Blake and claims to be Adam. Blake does not believe him, but eventually accepts him as his son - especially when Alexis does. Krystle tries to help Adam and Blake form a father-son relationship.
Krystle learns that her divorce from her first husband was never official. Krystle and Blake separate.
Not long after Steven is missing and presumed dead, his ex-wife, Sammy Jo, (who is also Krystle's niece) appears with a baby that she says is 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. In the third season finale, Krystle meets Alexis at a remote cabin. As the women fight, they are horrified to see flames surrounding the building!
Krystle and Alexis are rescued by Krystle's ex-husband, 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. Krystle figures out her true motives and sends Tracy packing.
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 Amanda falls in love with Prince Michael of Moldavia, Blake's entire family joins him for the wedding. Unfortunately, rebels storm the wedding and spray the chapel with bullets.
Blake and his family survive the attack, although Steven's boyfriend and Lady Ashley Mitchell are killed, while Galen is badly hurt. Upon returning to Denver, Krystle goes to visit Sammy Jo and is shocked to find a woman who looks exactly like her! She is knocked on the head and held hostage by Joel Abrigore, while the look-alike, Rita, impersonates her. Joel becomes obsessed with Krystle. Eventually, Sammy Jo releases Krystle, who then has a cat fight with Rita. When the truth is exposed, Rita disappears and Krystle returns.
In the season finale, Krystle and Blake learn that Alexis has bought their house. Furious, Blake grabs Alexis by the throat and starts to strangle her.
Krystle pulls Blake off of Alexis. Blake learns that his hotel, La Mirage, has burned down. A grief-stricken widower blames Blake for the fire and forces Blakes car off the road. Krystle is severely injured, but recovers. Blake is charged with arson, but eventually the charges are dropped. 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. When she finally discovers them, Blake doesn't recognize her. Heartbroken, Krystle prepares to return to Denver. However, moments later Blakes memory returns.
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 takes the family hostage.
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.
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 references
- Season 9 episode "A Touch of Sable" (November 10, 1988)
- "http://www.tvdvdreviews.com/dynasty1.html Dynasty: The Complete First Season DVD Review". tvdvdreviews.com. 2007-12-03.
- Morris B. Holbrook and Elizabeth C. Hirschman (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.
- John Storey (2006). Cultural Theory and Popular Culture. Pearson Education. ISBN 0-13-197069-0.