Mark Hill/The CW
March 08, 2018 at 09:30 AM EST

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Alexis Carrington is back. And she’s brought her big hat with her.

Thirty-seven years after Alexis (played by Joan Collins) shook things up on the original Dynasty, the CW reboot is hoping to inject that same magic into the end of its freshman season, and this time, the iconic villain will be played by Nicollette Sheridan. “I have always been attracted to playing the naughty girl,” Sheridan tells EW. “And for some reason, my audience loves seeing me in that role. It’s challenging to make that person likable, and I get to do it again [with Alexis].”

EW has an exclusive first look at Alexis’ arrival, which will take place during Dynasty‘s March 23 episode. And although the circumstances around Alexis’ entrance are being kept quiet, showrunner Sallie Patrick does admit, “You only get to bring her in once.” And for the writers, Alexis’ debut was something they’ve been planning from the very beginning. “We knew Alexis was coming before we even started shooting the pilot, which allowed us to pave the way for her,” Patrick says. “We started by having an Easter egg in the pilot — glimpsing Alexis in a mirror — and then throughout the season, we hear Blake, Steven, and Fallon’s memories about the woman who abandoned their family. So by the time she actually enters the series, we’ve established expectations about her character… which Alexis will happily break.”

Fans of the original will remember that Alexis’ arrival involved sauntering her way into a courtroom to testify during Blake’s murder trial. “We’ve found our own way to pay tribute to Alexis’ OG entrance and that fabulous outfit,” Patrick says. “Just as in the original series, Alexis will shake up familiar dynamics and threatens relationships — Blake and Cristal, Blake and Fallon, even Fallon and Steven. And while she says she’s back for her children, with Alexis you always have to wonder if what she says is true.”

Speaking of her children, Alexis’ arrival is going to present a new challenge for Fallon. “Fallon Carrington is fierce, and upon mama’s return, she has met her match tenfold,” Sheridan says. “Alexis has the experience and the wisdom that comes with age. So as brilliant as her daughter is, she’s in trouble now. [The writers] are really exploring the mother-daughter relationship, which to me is the most complicated relationship on the planet, so I love that.”

Mark Hill/The CW

Patrick adds, “It’s been a blast writing for Alexis, who in our version is part Mildred Pierce (willing to do anything to help her daughter), part Blue Jasmine (delusional on the verge of a nervous breakdown), and Nicollette is perfect for the role. When she goes toe-to-toe with Fallon, it’s electric.”

That said, Alexis “truly is a loving mother,” according to Sheridan. “Just sometimes she gets a little lost in her quest for power or manipulation.”

Dynasty airs Fridays at 8 p.m. ET on The CW.

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