“There were even those who would like to have considered Barnabas Collins dead. But he lived on. He lived on, and outlived all his enemies.”
Yesterday, we left Jason creeping up to the mausoleum, saying, “Willie?” And that’s where we pick up again today, except now he goes inside and says it some more. This is a seriously committed game of Where’s Willie. Jason spends a whole minute pacing around the small mausoleum set, then stops and whispers, “Willie?” Look, dude, unless Willie is a foot and a half tall and invisible, I’m pretty sure he’s not here.
So now we go over to Collinwood, where Liz and Roger are talking in the drawing room. There’s a knock at the door, so Roger leaves the drawing room, closes the double doors, then crosses the foyer and opens the front doors.
And who should show up but Barnabas, and he’s wearing a hat. He didn’t have that on just a second ago when he was posing in the cemetery. I guess this is his special visiting hat.
Barnabas asks if Elizabeth is here. Roger says yes, and now he has to go and open the drawing room doors all over again. It’s good old-fashioned Dark Shadows door acting; if it wasn’t for doors, every episode would be ten minutes long.
Barnabas has a proposal for Elizabeth — he’d like to live in the Old House, the spooky wreck of a house where David likes to play. Liz and Roger are surprised, and they ask why he’d want to live somewhere like that.
To answer them, Barnabas crosses the room, stands with his back to them, and delivers a lengthy monologue about his deep connection to the family history.
Liz points out again that she’s surprised that Barnabas even exists; she thought that the “original” Barnabas died in England, unmarried. Barnabas explains that the family was bitterly divided in those days:
Barnabas: There were even those who would like to have considered Barnabas Collins dead. But he lived on. He lived on, and outlived his enemies. And so you can understand why I would like very much to live in that house.
Which is an utterly peculiar thing to say. Naturally, they’re baffled, so Liz says that she wants to think it over for a few days.
Jason comes back to the house, and he and Liz have another game of Where’s Willie in the library. Move on!
Then Roger goes off to get something, leaving Barnabas to stand in the foyer, just hanging out under the boom mic with nothing to do and nobody to talk to.
I wonder if they have any spare calves around for him to drink. Even a half calf.
Jason wanders by, and meets the newcomer. He says that he recognizes Barnabas from somewhere, but can’t put his finger on where. As Jason says those words, the portrait is directly behind Barnabas, in Jason’s line of sight. Barnabas has to walk over to the portrait and pose next to it before Jason notices it.
Then Roger joins Liz in the library, and they sit around with the Ralston-Purina lamp and talk about Barnabas and the Old House. This whole episode is just hanging around the house with nothing to do.
Finally, we get a slow pan through the cemetery. Barnabas pauses in front of the mausoleum and looks sad, which also doesn’t count as an ending.
Tomorrow: Addled Quacks.
Dark Shadows bloopers to watch out for:
When Jason approaches the mausoleum at the beginning of the episode, the squeaking-door sound effect starts before Jason touches the door.
Tomorrow: Addled Quacks.
— Danny Horn