Monthly Archives: November 2013

Episode 275: The Last Normal Day

“Then it’s over! It’s all over!”

So, you know that blackmail storyline where Liz had to do everything that Jason said, because otherwise she’d go to prison and her daughter would hate her forever?

Well, guess what? Liz finally told everybody that she killed Paul, and now she’s going to prison, and her daughter hates her forever.

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Episode 274: The Bachelor

Wherever I am, I’ll be laughing at you, Vicki Winters, and don’t you forget it.”

In the Old House drawing room, Willie is lighting some candles as Barnabas comes downstairs.

“You’ve been up there a long time,” Willie says.

Barnabas replies, “I wasn’t aware of time.”

Then the guy who wasn’t aware of time looks out of the window, and says, “The sun sets, and the sun rises. If only night could become eternal, the blackness with us always.”

In other words: Ladies and gentlemen, will you please put your hands together and welcome back our returning champion, Barnabas Collins!

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Episode 273: All These Years

“I’ve been a prisoner because of this room!”

I’ve noticed a bunch of new readers showing up on the site this week, which is fantastic, but not necessarily the best timing. This is the final week of the last non-supernatural storyline, and it’s taking a minute to wrap up. The last time we saw the vampire was over a week ago, and all he did was talk to Liz about suicide.

So, new readers — stick around! The vampire comes back tomorrow, and next week he’s going to throw a costume party. Seriously, that’s the next storyline.

Continue reading Episode 273: All These Years

Episode 272: Bourne Yesterday

“I seem to remember doing time for a certain manslaughter charge.”

Personally, I don’t watch a lot of police procedurals. In my opinion, if there’s a crime on a TV show, they should either tell us who did it, or just admit that they don’t know and stop wasting everybody’s time.

So there’s a lot that I don’t know about how a police investigation should run. But even I know enough to say that pretty much everything that they do in today’s episode is wrong, and every character who appears on screen ought to be brought up on charges, up to and including the sheriff.

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Episode 271: I Killed Paul Stoddard

“I killed Paul Stoddard, and that man was my accomplice!”

We open this week with everybody standing in a line and facing forward. On Friday, Liz interrupted her wedding with Jason to confess that she killed her first husband. Now everyone has to stay very still, because there isn’t enough room for them all to react on camera.

They don’t usually have seven characters in the same scene, and this is why. They’ve only got three cameras. They’re using one for the front of the room, one for the side, and the third is dedicated to helping us keep track of the handgun Carolyn just dropped on the floor.

Continue reading Episode 271: I Killed Paul Stoddard

Episode 270: Here Comes the Bride

“I think that’s where I’ll go for my honeymoon. I think I’ll go crazy!”

It’s the next morning, and Carolyn is rummaging in Jason’s room. Apparently, this is one of those episodes that features people rummaging. She finds a locked journal, cuts it open, and scans the pages. Then Jason enters the room, and finds her there. Rummaging is not for everyone.

But today is a happy occasion for us all, because after weeks of swimming in circles, the grand day has arrived — Elizabeth and Jason’s wedding day.

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Episode 269: Loving the Monster

“You’re doing a wrong thing!”

Comforting thoughts, courtesy of Dark Shadows: Any time you think you’re having a run of bad luck, think of Elizabeth at this moment. She’s being blackmailed into marrying a man that she despises, and the only way out is to throw herself off the cliff at the top of Widows’ Hill. And who shows up to talk her down off the ledge? Her screeching, judgemental, charm-free governess, Victoria Winters.

But I’m sure it’ll work out, because there’s no sense of real threat here. I don’t care how many times Liz walks up to the edge; there’s not a single person in the audience who honestly believes that she’s going to jump. Even if you don’t watch a lot of soap operas, anybody can spot this as a narrative dead end. It’s just not going to happen.

So, for me, the real question is: Why do I love this show so much, when I can’t stand the main character?

Continue reading Episode 269: Loving the Monster

Episode 268: Suicide Is Painful

“All right, mother, I’ll tell you. I was out with Buzz. And what’s more, I had a ball.”

We take you now, live, to Elizabeth Collins Stoddard, who’s sitting in her bedroom with a seriously bewildered look on her face.

Her gaze darts across the room to the Collins Family Bible, which is sitting on a nearby credenza, apparently calling to her in a fairly urgent way. She stands up, leafs through the book until she finds the Family Register page, and stares at her own birthdate.

Suddenly, she slams the book shut, looks around, and says, “What am I doing?” Then she pauses, waiting for an answer. I thought that was a rhetorical question, but she might actually be asking the director.

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Episode 267: The Least Torment

“Death is fascinating, when one considers the wide possibilities that it offers.”

It’s a new day, bringing another opportunity for Liz to wander over to the cliff on Widows’ Hill. She looks down and sees the waves crashing against the shore, just like in the opening titles. It kind of looks like she’s come outside to watch an episode of Dark Shadows.

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Episode 266: Jump Start

“The sea is my grave. My grave is the sea.”

At the beginning of today’s episode, Vicki’s introductory voiceover tells us that Liz is dreaming about her own death, and I don’t blame her one bit. We’re starting on a full week of Liz/Jason blackmail episodes, so I can see how things might seem pretty hopeless.

You can tell that today is going to be an action-packed barn burner, because we start out with a dream sequence that involves a woman in her nightgown walking around in the woods. At least, I think that’s what she’s doing. There’s so much vaseline on the lens that there’s hardly any lens.

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