Episode 235: The Waiting Room

“I had a dream. I can’t remember what it was.”

So basically Vicki is freaking the hell out, and who can blame her? Maggie’s bedroom is under siege, with a pack of vicious, snarling dogs battering at the French windows, howling for blood. Vicki and Burke are pounding on the door, desperate to save their friend.

Burke tries to break the door down with his shoulder. One! Two! Three! And they bust through the door — and find Maggie, drained, blood flowing from the bite marks on her throat. Outside, in the darkness, a triumphant dog howls with savage pleasure.

I mean, a lot of this is sound effects. But still, it’s pretty cool, yeah?

235 dark shadows woodard vicki maggie

Dr. Woodard comes over to provide his usual brand of conceptual medical care. He’s not sure how it happened, but the wounds on Maggie’s neck look like bite marks, possibly from a large dog. Or from a small elephant, I guess, or a medium-sized Canadian character actor. It’s too soon to tell.

The doctor sighs and mumbles for a minute. Then he says he has to call an ambulance right away, and get Maggie to the hospital. So apparently Vicki called the doctor, he came over and examined Maggie, and now he wants an ambulance? Why didn’t they do that first?

235 dark shadows sam burke vicki

While we’re waiting for the ambulance, Vicki, Burke and Sam sit around in the living room and recap. It turns out this is all very mysterious and perplexing.

This actually used to be what all TV dramas were like. Bad news, in real time.

Dr. Woodard comes out of Maggie’s room, and closes the door behind him. Haven’t we already covered the concept of Don’t Leave Maggie Alone in Her Room?

235 dark shadows collinsport hospital

But we finally move to the Collinsport Hospital, where the doctor stands over Maggie’s bed and fusses around with his stethoscope, just like he’s been doing all week.

235 dark shadows backseat sam woodard

Woodard examines Maggie, while Sam does some backseat doctoring.

Sam:  I think there’s a little more color in her cheeks, don’t you?

Woodard:  Yeah, there could be.

Sam:  Are you… a little more hopeful about that?

Yeah, dude, she’s about to win the gold medal for speed skating. Could you clear the room, please?

Then Joe comes in.

Joe: How is she?

Sam:  Very weak.

Joe:  She’s going to be all right, isn’t she, doctor?

Yes! Obviously everything is phenomenal. Hey, Sam, why don’t you tell him about the color in her cheeks? I’m trying to be a doctor over here.

235 dark shadows remember maggie sam joe

Maggie wakes up. She can’t remember anything, which I guess is another cue for everyone to recap their heads off.

Things are going to happen soon, I promise. Let’s just get through this episode, and things are going to get crazy on Monday.

235 dark shadows ferns joe sam

So now we’re hanging out with Sam and Joe in the waiting room. Nice ferns. We might as well pay attention to the foliage, because there is seriously nothing happening on this television show right now.

235 dark shadows miss jackson

Suddenly — Maggie stiffens, and cries out. The nurse rushes to her side, and she’s horrified to discover that Maggie isn’t breathing. She checks Maggie’s pulse, and there’s no heartbeat.

The nurse goes into the hallway, calling for Dr. Woodard. He rushes into the room — and the bed is empty! Through the open window, they hear a dog howling, triumphantly.

And Maggie is gone.

Monday: Extreme Makeover.

Dark Shadows bloopers to watch out for:

Burke hits his shoulder against Maggie’s bedroom door three times, trying to bust through. The sound effect is synced with his actions for #1 and #3.

An inappropriate music cue starts to play as Woodard examines Maggie after the opening titles. The cue is a dramatic sting, typically played at the end of a scene. It fades out quickly before it finishes.

Sam hovers over an unconscious Maggie, saying “Maggie… Open your eyes. Look at me. It’s me! Can’t you see me?” Then he remembers his line: “Can’t you hear me?”

Behind the Scenes:

The nurse is played by Frances Helm, who only appears in two episodes — this one, and Monday’s. Helm made supporting appearances on a lot of 1950s and 60s TV shows, including The Edge of Night, Perry Mason, Gunsmoke, Hazel and Kojak.

Monday: Extreme Makeover.

235 darkshadows maggie gone

Dark Shadows episode guide – 1967

— Danny Horn

9 thoughts on “Episode 235: The Waiting Room

  1. First off, Danny, like your description of the opening scene. (And the whole blog, as always).

    The first time I saw this storyline was back in the late ’70s. This particular storyline was airing around November/December. I would watch it on a black and white TV in my parent’s bedroom. The show came on at either 4:30 or 5. Either way, the late afternoon sun tended to cast long shadows into their westward facing room, enhancing the effects of the show.

    This particular episode brought back a very deep memory of those curtains blowing in the empty hospital room at the end. Gave me the chills then; did last night too. After the show was over, I’d go wandering my small town as twilight came, then dark. (And then I had to be in for dinner). It was a great way to watch and experience the show.

    My other thought, new to 2016 and not to the late 1970s. Lord, how irritating is Sam Evans going to get? I like him less and less each episode. I actually liked him back in the day; I now see him as spineless, miserable waste. Somehow, Joel Crothers rises above the fisherman-next-door blandness of Joe Haskell, though.

    Lordy, I wish Laura’s fire had finished the job on Sam though!

    1. William, I agree with your thoughts on Sam. And to be honest, Vicki is on my nerves too.

      And Maggie…well, she gave the best death bed scene ever…except she didn’t die. I am looking forward to things picking up as mentioned in the blog. I am over recap city.

      The pissy doctor does crack me up though. The current doctor seems to be irritated if you are the least bit sick. He takes it out on the patient and everyone taking care of the patient. Awesome bedside manner. At least he is good for a few laughs.

  2. And I forgot to mention that I was surprised the annoyed doctor didn’t slap the nurse silly when he realized the nurse opened the windows against his orders. I was waiting for it.

  3. Love these older episodes when DS was still a true soap opera, but with supernatural elements. The Barnabas/Josette storyline is, in my opinion, is what made the show a success.

  4. I’m not so sure the music cue after the opening title was a blooper. It sounded appropriate enough to me, and while it did fade out, I heard the sting until its conclusion, and it didn’t seem to me as if it was fading out too quickly. Sounded to me just like an unusual use of the music for a dramatic start to the scene.

  5. So now we’re hanging out with Sam and Joe in the waiting room. Nice ferns. We might as well pay attention to the foliage, because there is seriously nothing happening on this television show right now.

    Well, Sam does get in the tearjerker touch of mentioning that he was sitting in the exact same place in the waiting room when Maggie was born; I got a little verklempt.

  6. Good thing Maggie was on the first floor of the hospital so that she could climb out the window without hurting herself. Or was she? Oh, wait. Maybe Barnabas and the dogs came and helped her out? Are the dogs ever fully explained? Or do we have 5 years worth of episodes of dogs constantly howling whenever Barnabas is thinking about going outside?

    What is it with everyone having so much trouble with pluralizing Eagle Hill Cemetery and whether the doctor has an additional “W” in the second part of his name? As in “Doctor Woodward.” I am waiting for Sam to call him “Dcotor Woodwind” which would really bring the house down.

    And the Nurse–God love her. She let Maggie talk her into opening the window “just a crack.” I am really surprised Woodard didn’t throw the Ralston-Purina lamp at her (it can’t be far).

    If we hear anymore about “how is she feeling” or “what her diagnosis” is, I may have to fast forward once and for all to the color era. Medical stories on soaps are fertile ground for mad amounts of recapping because virtually everyone who appears on the scene at a hospital or waiting room inevitably asks as their first question, “How is he/she?” It’s enough to send one straight to the sanitarium of one Dr. Julia Hoffman.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s