Reboots, remakes, and revivals are all the rage on the small screen nowadays, and The CW got in on the reboot game in a big way in the 2017-2018 TV season with a new version of Dynasty. While the new take on the legendary primetime soap opera updated a lot of the characters and plots from how they might have been handled in the original series' run from 1981-1989, the heaping helpings of melodrama remain the same. The CW ordered a second season of Dynasty back in April, but it now seems that the show won't have the full cast on board when it returns in the fall. Yes, Nathalie Kelley has stated that she won't be back for Season 2, saying this:
I haven't read anything for season 2. I know that I end up with a gunshot wound and in a fire at the end of season 1, and I know that I won't be filming season 2. I won't be returning for season 2...I don't know storyline[-wise] what they'll do. Is it a coma? Is it death? Is it who knows? I actually don't know. But I know that I'm not going to Atlanta in July, that I'm staying here [in L.A.], and I've got my life back.
Fans of the Dynasty reboot will undoubtedly remember the huge cliffhanger surrounding Nathalie Kelley's formidable character Cristal. In the Season 1 finale, Cristal was shot in the abdomen as revenge for the Carrington family's misdeeds over the years, with the gun fired by Claudia. Since this is a primetime soap opera we're talking about, a character being shot isn't always a sign that death is on the way, but Cristal was in a bad way due to her location. Shot and bleeding, Cristal was trapped in a fire set by somebody currently unknown. When last viewers saw Cristal, her life was very much in jeopardy, and Nathalie Kelley's comments to E! Australia (via E! Online) may indicate that Season 2 will reveal that Cristal died in the fire.
That said, Nathalie Kelley was clear that she hadn't read any of what is going to transpire in the second season, so she doesn't actually know whether or not Cristal was killed in the fire at the end of Season 1. That said, she also sounds very definitive in her statement that she "won't be returning" for Season 2, so even if Cristal survived, we shouldn't expect her up and about as fabulous as ever at any point in the season. At least, Cristal presumably won't be up and about and still being played by Nathalie Kelley.
Nathalie Kelley didn't reveal why exactly she's not on board with Dynasty anymore. If it was her choice rather than a decision by the show to write Cristal out for the sake of the story, it's entirely possible that the show will simply recast the role. Recasting a role after only one season has aired isn't the most bizarre idea in the world, especially for a soap opera like Dynasty. Maybe Cristal needs facial reconstruction surgery after the fire that makes her look (and sound?) like somebody else entirely. Maybe Dynasty will pull a Friends and state that Cristal's brain needs to be transplanted into another body. Fans may not need to say goodbye to Cristal, even if they do need to say goodbye to Kelley.
Unfortunately, we may have to wait a while to find out. The second season of Dynasty doesn't premiere until Friday, October 12 at 8 p.m. ET on The CW, ahead of the fourth season premiere of Crazy Ex-Girlfriend. If you need some shows to pass the time during the wait, check out our summer TV premiere schedule.