Episode 231: Bedside Manners

“How did you happen to come by these wounds in your throat?”

Maggie’s not feeling very well after her trip to the graveyard last week, and by not feeling well I mean she’s unconscious and somebody’s perforated her jugular vein. Sam and Joe hover around her bed, fretting and recapping. A dog howls, and Maggie starts moaning restlessly.

For a minute, it looks like the entire episode is going to be Sam and Joe standing around looking at Maggie. (Spoiler alert: That kind of is the entire episode.)

231 dark shadows worried sam joe maggie

Maggie regains consciousness, but she doesn’t remember anything, which is a good excuse for more recap.

Sam:  Don’t you remember going out of the house?

Maggie:  Out of the house? Where did I go?

Joe:  Sam, maybe you’d better not.

Maggie:  What do you mean, better not? I want to know. I’ve got to know!

Sam:  We’ll wait till you’re more rested.

Maggie:  Tell me!

This is actually breaking new ground in the field of recaps. They’re doing a very slow plot synopsis of the last two episodes, with an argument at the end of every sentence about whether to say more.

Suddenly, Maggie says she’s cold — “colder than I’ve ever been in my life!” So that’s the news and the weather at the top of the hour.

231 dark shadows phone woodard maggie

Then Dr. Woodard shows up to make a house call. This is the same doctor that we saw last week, but he’s played by a different actor — he’s regenerated, apparently. The second Doctor is definitely a better actor than the first was. Doctor-wise, it’s probably a tie.

New Woodard has kind of a gruff vibe; he’s approximately 90% kindly uncle, with 10% Danny DeVito as the Penguin. To be fair, Maggie’s not being a very helpful patient — she’s pulling away the whole time, and not really answering his questions.

Frustrated, Woodard says, “You know, Maggie, you’re one of those patients that doctors moan about at medical conventions.” Maggie protests that she didn’t call him, and he snaps, “Well, I know you didn’t, your father did — and rightly too, you’re a very sick young woman.”

This is not amazing bedside manner, and here he is at her bedside, exhibiting it.

231 dark shadows woodard maggie sam

Then we recap the dream again. Woodard examines the punctures in her neck, and he seems annoyed that she can’t say how she got them.

He says, “Maggie, you didn’t stick a pin in your neck by any chance, maybe a piece of costume jewelry?”

Women of the world: Is that a thing you do, stick pins in your neck? I’m not an expert in this area, but that doesn’t sound right to me.

231 dark shadows plunging down into shock woodard

I’m having trouble illustrating today’s entry with screenshots, because honestly there’s not a single visually interesting thing that happens all day. It’s just three guys standing near Maggie’s bed and talking about how worried they are. They could do this episode on the radio, and you wouldn’t miss a thing.

Woodard walks out of Maggie’s room, and all of a sudden it’s critical that she get a blood transfusion right away. Then he stands around for a while and explains some more about how much of an emergency it is. He shakes his head and plays with his glasses.

“I want to get that blood flowing into her right away,” he says, not moving.

“I’m afraid that she’s going to go into shock. Terribly afraid that she’s going to go plunging down into shock.

Sounds good, doc — maybe we could dial back on the Six Monologues for Young Doctors, and try to focus on the medical care, yeah?

231 dark shadows blood drive

But New Woodard follows through. Pretty soon, he’s got Joe all wired up to Maggie, and they’re giving her a jump start.

There’s more dognoise outside, and Maggie starts to moan and howl along with the dog. Everyone just stands there watching her; they must be plunging down into shock.

Suddenly, Maggie tries to rip the needle out of her arm, screaming, “Don’t take his blood! DON’T TAKE HIS BLOOD!”

It’s out of control. This is definitely the shoutiest episode so far.

231 dark shadows don't take his blood maggie

Once that’s all over, Woodard gives Sam a prescription for tranquilizers, and makes him promise to get the script filled. He says that Sam has to watch over her: “No matter what Maggie says, no matter what she does — don’t let her out of your sight.” This new Woodard is a lot more intense and scoldy than the last one.

The episode’s almost over, so they give us one more big dose of dognoise to tide us over. Don’t worry; there’s plenty more tomorrow.

Tomorrow: Just Add Water.

Dark Shadows bloopers to watch out for:

Sam refers to the French windows as doors again. He also refers to the cemetery “up on Eagle’s Hill.” (It’s actually Eagle Hill; Maggie says it correctly.)

Tomorrow: Just Add Water.

231 dark shadows next doctor

Dark Shadows episode guide – 1967

— Danny Horn

8 thoughts on “Episode 231: Bedside Manners

  1. The slow pace of the early shows drove some folks crazy, but the slow pace does allow for certain things: One of them is the agony of being the victim of repeated attacks like this.

    John Karlen and Kathryn Leigh Scott both did good turns showing isolation, confusion and hopelessness.

    As the show went on, being the victim of a vampire bite became a very routine thing. But with Willie and now Maggie, it’s mysterious, frightening and agony.

  2. Dr. Woodard says Maggie’s temperature is “five degrees below normal,” which would put it at 93.6. Hypothermia sets in at 95 degrees. Maggie should be much sicker if her temperature were in fact that low.

  3. Well, the new Doctor (Robert Gerringer) starts his rounds today and, boy, is it one painful episode to sit through! Whew! That examination of Maggie seems to go on forever culminating in Joe being hooked up to her for a Blood Type-A Transfusion. I am not sure what was going on over at GENERAL HOSPITAL at this time but we can assume it’s a sure bet that they weren’t doing bedside transfusions and analyzing vampire puncture wounds.

    Hey, and we have to give the new Doctor some credit here: at least he’s capable of taking her blood pressure, pulse and monitoring her other vital signs. That’s a marked improvement over the dude that was in here prescribing pills last week.

    And the line: “I’m afraid she’s plunging down into shock.” Yeah, well, that’s about the size of it. Aren’t we all plunging down into shock by the end of the episode?

  4. Danny: “shoutiest episode ever.” Beyond hilarious and totally spot-on. I had to turn the volume down a number of times in this episode. I was afraid my neighbors might think I was giving someone transfusions and trying to take their blood.

  5. And for the record, if you’re in the mood for a stiff cocktail while watching this episode (and who wouldn’t??), I recommend a strong TRANFUSION–equal parts Tito’s vodka, with grape juice (or cranberry) and ginger ale. Makes for a colorful and delicious libation while watching Maggie squirm, scream and shout.

  6. Hope the new and improved Woodard tested Joe to be sure his blood type is okay to give to Maggie (oh, what am I saying – – this is a soap opera! Of COURSE it’s okay. )
    Wonder if Barnabas will notice the difference?

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