On Wednesday, March 30, 1988, the prime time soap opera Dynasty ended its eighth season on several memorable cliffhangers.
The season finale episode, “Colorado Roulette,” didn’t gamble on maintaining viewer interest with its intriguing plots.
Has it really been 28 years since this particular season finale aired? I can remember it like yesterday. I was finishing my first year of law school at the University of Pennsylvania. Law school was so intense that I welcomed the delightful diversion of the Carringtons and the Colbys.
This particular season had so many interesting plots. Blake Carrington (John Forsythe) and Alexis Colby (Joan Collins) were running for governor of Colorado. Jeff Colby (John James) proposed to Sammy Jo Carrington (Heather Locklear) yet he couldn’t get Fallon Carrington (Emma Samms) out of his heart. Leslie Carrington (Terri Garber) continued her unholy alliance with maniacal Sean Rowan (James Healey). Adam and Dana Carrington (Gordon Thomson and LeAnn Hunley) were embroiled in a bitter custody battle with their surrogate Karen Atkinson (Stephanie Dunham). Krystle Carrington (Linda Evans) was dealing with a mysterious illness.
This season finale also marked the last appearance of Terri Garber on Dynasty. Having been a Terri Garber fan since her appearance on the day time soap opera Texas and her amazing work as fiery Southern vixen Ashton Main in the remarkable television miniseries North and South, I was sorry to see the character of Leslie go. Surely, Leslie made some questionable decisions because of her relationship with Sean. But in Garber’s very capable hands, we felt sympathy for Leslie. She was infatuated with Jeff but there wasn’t a likelihood of a relationship. She fell in love with Clay Fallmont (Ted McGinley) but his father’s interference doomed their romance. She was used by Sean. Leslie was a vibrant and intelligent woman who became a victim in the Carrington machinations.
In the end, Leslie sacrificed her physical well-being to protect Adam’s son from Sean. She was a hero.
Dynasty ended its network run a year later on May 11, 1989. Yet, this season 8 finale “Colorado Roulette” full of cliffhangers left many characters destinies to chance.