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Episode 530: Requiem for a Dream

“For a moment, when I first saw him, I felt a stirring in me.”

Looking back, I think the thing that really matters is that we did it together, you and I. It was hard, of course; anything that’s really worth doing is hard. But we stuck with it, day after day, and we were strong, and now we’re reaching the end of this journey together.

This is the last week of the Dream Curse, Angelique’s three-month battle with story progression. The witch’s spell created a chain-letter dream which passed from one person to another, until practically every character on the show had the same slow, pointless dream sequence. Then they had to describe the dream, in detail, and tell us all about how petrified they were of this entirely unscary experience.

But finally, after almost three months of this tedious nonsense, we’ve reached the final week, where we’ll see the last two iterations of the dream. And then the Dream Curse will be over, thank goodness, and there will never be another boring storyline on Dark Shadows ever again.

Continue reading Episode 530: Requiem for a Dream

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Episode 529: Missing Adventures

“I must throw them off the track! The secrets which are mine must remain buried within me! Ahhh… darkness!”

“I know this is going to sound incredible,” Maggie says to Joe, “but tonight, I saw a ghost!”

Joe says, “Don’t you think you’re letting your imagination play tricks on you?” because Ron Sproat wrote the script today, and in Sproat’s world, characters never learn anything, or accumulate experiences in any way.

It’s a recap-heavy show today, in a way that they haven’t really done in a while. Maggie and Joe cover the Dream Curse and Angelique’s portrait, and then we go over to Stokes’ place, where we get a lengthy recap of Adam’s entire storyline, in the form of a word association exercise.

So, forget it. If Sproat’s not going to bother writing an actual episode today, then I’m going to go read the first issue of the Dark Shadows comic book.

Continue reading Episode 529: Missing Adventures

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Episode 528: This Tawdry Affair

“My dear Cassandra, how commonplace you have become, like some suburban housewife with little human worries.”

Jeff and Vicki are in the drawing room at Collinwood, just chattering away about old business. Jeff can’t figure out whether he’s Peter Bradford or not, and he grumbles that Barnabas is in love with Vicki, and he doesn’t understand why Professor Stokes thinks this Dream Curse is so dangerous. It’s a pageant of every boring B-plot we’ve been looking at for months.

Meanwhile, out in the gazebo, Nicholas Blair is entirely over it. “All the time you have wasted, Cassandra,” he says, summoning her to the gazebo. “Weeks are minutes to you.” And we fall in love with Nicholas all over again.

Continue reading Episode 528: This Tawdry Affair

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Episode 526: Nothing But Vengeance

“I will concentrate on vengeance, and nothing else!”

You know, I’ve been throwing the word “exorcism” around a lot lately, but I’m not sure that’s the correct term for what’s going on here.

This is the situation: A witch was murdered in 1795, but then her restless spirit moved through time to be reincarnated in 1968. A group of well-meaning occult experts held a séance to call on the ghost of an 18th-century witch hunter who was sealed up behind a wall in their basement, and that ghost tied the dead witch to a tree and said a prayer over her to cast out the demons possessing her, which made her crumble into ashes and disappear.

I don’t think there’s a word for that, because it has never occurred to a single person in the history of the world to even imagine that such a thing could take place. Except for the writers of Dark Shadows, obviously, who can’t think about anything else.

Continue reading Episode 526: Nothing But Vengeance

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Episode 525: The Blair Witch Project

“She believes she fell into the hands of a witch hunter, a fellow who roamed the countryside exorcising witches and hobgoblins.”

His name is Blair — Nicholas Blair — and he’s in Collinsport on His Dark Majesty’s Secret Service, to rescue a comrade who’s fallen into the hands of an enemy combatant.

The fallen agent — code name, Cassandra Collins — has been working undercover at Collinwood, as Roger’s innocent new bride. Her mission was compromised a week ago, when she was tied to a tree and exorcised by the spirit of Reverend Trask, an 18th-century witch hunter.

Nicholas is now staying at Collinwood, posing as Cassandra’s brother, and his mission — if he chooses to accept it — is to locate the tree where the witch was burned, and bring her back.

Continue reading Episode 525: The Blair Witch Project

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Episode 524: Dead Man Walking

“What’s impossible is that you can’t remember something that just happened a minute ago.”

Well, that was fun while it lasted, wasn’t it? It’s been seven weeks since the last time we saw Jeff Clark, going all the way back to early May, before Adam the patchwork Frankenstein man was even a guy.

Jeff’s been in Portsmouth all this time, apparently, trying to track down information about his past. It didn’t go that well, by which I mean that he came back and now he’s on my television show again.

Continue reading Episode 524: Dead Man Walking

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Episode 523: The Devil You Know

“I can sentence you to walk the Earth in an agony of loneliness for the rest of time.”

“The Reverend Trask, I presume!” says Nicholas Blair, to the skeleton chained up in the cellar of the Old House. “Where is Cassandra? What have you done with her?”

Nicholas just arrived on Dark Shadows yesterday, and he’s been strutting around like he owns the place, and by “the place”, I mean the planet Earth. It’s not clear what he is, exactly, but he’s introduced himself as the brother of Cassandra, the Collins family’s personal nightmare. She was cast into darkness recently by the spirit of an 18th-century witch hunter, and now her dear brother has come to her rescue.

Nicholas raises his arms, and makes malevolent hand gestures towards the skeleton. “I command you to come back!” he cries. “Back from the grave… Appear before me in this room as you really are! NOW, Reverend!”

So that’s what we know about Nicholas, so far. He’s a dude that threatens skeletons.

Continue reading Episode 523: The Devil You Know

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Episode 522: Brother From Another

“Angelique has no blood brother. But a brother spirit, a brother devil…”

Here’s where we are: Cassandra, the lunatic sorceress from Martinique posing as Roger’s new wife, has been cast into darkness by the spirit of Reverend Trask, an 18th-century witch hunter raised from the dead — or from the Old House cellar, which is more or less the same thing. She hasn’t been seen for a couple days, and Barnabas and Julia have just discovered that her magic portrait has turned white and faded. Ding dong, presumably, the witch is dead.

But things are never that simple, especially on this show. There’s a knock at the door, and a dapper man in a hat introduces himself as Nicholas Blair — Cassandra’s brother.

So the question for today is: Who the Hell is this guy?

Continue reading Episode 522: Brother From Another