Episode 300: The Other Woman

“I know what you were planning to do there. I know what you are.”

Today’s episode begins with Vicki standing at the drawing room windows, looking aimlessly at the sunset. There’s a distressingly large number of episodes that start with Vicki staring into space, in one direction or another. It’s like nobody’s ever told her that television exists.

Julia strolls in, and Vicki mentions that last night she dreamt that someone was in her room. When she woke up, her music box was playing. Obviously, Julia knows that means that a vampire was sneaking around Vicki’s room at the end of the last episode. I probably should have mentioned that in yesterday’s post, but I had other things on my mind.

300 dark shadows vicki julia dream

And besides, that was the third time since July that Barnabas stood over Vicki’s bed and wimped out. He did the same thing in Maggie’s room the other day. I didn’t mention that one either, because if he’s not going to follow through on his nighttime assaults, then he might as well be Burke. We already have boring dudes on the show who don’t do anything. You’re a vampire. Bite something.

Julia tries her best to put Vicki off the track, which is kind of fun; she’s become a spy for the other team. But she doesn’t really have to work very hard. This is another one of those vague dread conversations where somebody says, “I don’t know, but I think that someone was there, and it frightens me.” Also: “I’m not worried. It’s just strange, that’s all.” I think if they don’t have real dialogue to say, then they should just admit it, and let us listen to the incidental music until they come up with something.

300 dark shadows barnabas portrait

Then we go over to the Old House for some more Great Moments in Time-Filling.

We start with a closeup on Barnabas’ portrait. The only sound we hear is a clock chiming the hour.

300 dark shadows barnabas clock

Then the camera slowly pulls back, revealing the clock, which is still chiming.

300 dark shadows old house

The camera keeps pulling back, showing more of the room. The clock finally finishes striking. Apparently it’s 9:00, not that that makes any difference.

300 dark shadows candles

Then we cut to a shot of some candles, for no particular reason. This scene has been going for thirty seconds so far, and we’re still doing establishing shots of the decor. It’s like a TV spinoff of I Am Legend that takes place in a part of the world that Will Smith isn’t in.

300 dark shadows boring

Barnabas finally shows up, emerging through a door and walking into the center of the room.

He calls for Willie. There’s no reply.

300 dark shadows barnabas stairs

Barnabas walks over to the stairs, and calls again: “Willie!”

Willie says, “I’m comin’, Barnabas,” and he hustles downstairs.

Then Barnabas says, “Why didn’t you come when I first called?” which makes me want to punch somebody in the face. It’s just one of those episodes.

300 dark shadows blood structure

Julia shows up eventually, so this isn’t a complete waste of time.

She tells Barnabas, “The injections are beginning to take effect. The structure of your blood is beginning to change.” And it says a lot about this episode so far that my response is, Oh, thank goodness. They’re finally talking about something interesting. It’s probably the first time I’ve ever looked forward to a discussion about blood structure.

300 dark shadows other woman

The examination goes well, but there’s some unpleasant business to attend to, so Julia fixes Barnabas with a stern look, cocks her head at an absurd angle, and starts getting real.

She tells him, “You broke your word to me. You were in Vicki’s room last night.”

He tries to act casual, like it’s no big deal. She asks why he was there, and he says, “I merely wanted to look at her,” like that’s a totally normal thing to do.

300 dark shadows julia barnabas fight

But she’s on a roll now.

Julia:  I know what you were planning to do there. I know what you are.

Barnabas:  I admit to the temptation… but I withstood it.

Julia:  Suppose you were found in her room. How would you have explained your appearance there?

Barnabas:  Fortunately, there was no necessity to explain anything.

Julia:  But it could happen the next time, and there must be no next time, do you understand? Stay — away — from Vicki.

300 dark shadows loses her cool

It’s pretty great; this is the first time we’ve seen Julia lose her cool. She keeps rolling.

Barnabas:  I’m not used to taking orders.

Julia:  In this case, you must do as I say. If anything happened to Vicki, everyone would ask questions, and you I would have a hard time finding the answers. If you want to survive, if you want to live a normal life — stay away from Vicki. Is. That. Clear.

300 dark shadows guilty

He looks down, like a guilty little schoolboy who was caught stealing chalk. It’s adorable.

So that scene wraps up, and then there isn’t much left to talk about. There’s a long scene with Burke and Vicki on the terrace, and he proposes to her, and then they make out for a while. But honestly, who even cares.

Monday: Burke Devlin Must Die!

Dark Shadows bloopers to watch out for:

We come back from commercial to the Barnabas and Julia scene, but it looks like they started a little early. The first line we hear is Barnabas saying, “What does that mean?”

After Julia listens to Barnabas’ heartbeat, he stands up and buttons his jacket up, but he misses the top button. It stays unbuttoned for the rest of the episode.

Julia struggles a little with her lines during her fight with Barnabas. I quoted her line as “How would you have explained your appearance there?”, but what she actually said was, “How would have you explained your appearance there?”

Monday: Burke Devlin Must Die!

300 dark shadows bd must die

Dark Shadows episode guide – 1967

— Danny Horn

26 thoughts on “Episode 300: The Other Woman

  1. i’m genuinely confused. i thought barnabus enjoyed being a vampire and had no interest in becoming human again.

    1. I don’t know the arc of the whole series, like this blogger does; I just react to what I’m seeing as I watch the episodes in order. But it looks to me as if Barnabas has mixed feelings. He felt sad when David talked about seeing the sun rise over the ocean. It looked like he felt not only worried but sadly left out when Vicki talked about making a picnic in the daylight. At the same time, he thinks being a vampire is better than getting old and dying, or so he says. In terms of the development of the show, I’d imagine the writers are trying to sort it out — if he actually wishes he weren’t a vampire, then the audience can forgive a bit more of his shenanigans. But in terms of the character, I think he has a pretty good time being a vampire but misses some aspects of being human, so he’s intrigued by the idea of a cure but he’s also willing to let that idea go — note how he keeps threatening to kill Dr Hoffman, rather than saying “I can’t possibly harm her — she’s my only hope.”

      1. They redeem Barnabas by turning his plight into a Shakespearean tragedy, which is one reason why Shakespearean actor Jonathan Frid is so perfect in the part.

        1. Can anyone tell me why this episode is in black and white? If this is a Friday episode, where is the cliffhanger?

          1. This might be during a strike, or maybe they lost original footage. I remember those circumstances occurred during DS. I’m just not sure if it applies to this particular episode.

            1. When they started syndicating episodes, they found that some of the master videotapes were missing or damaged. Luckily, for almost all of them, they had a black and white “kinescope” version that they could use. (Kinescope means that somebody pointed a camera at a TV set and took a film of the original broadcast, so they could send copies to ABC affiliates who aired the show at a different time. 1960s television was a different world.)

              So there are 26 episodes that they only have kinescope copies of. For the first 7 kinescopes, the show was taped in black and white anyway, so you don’t really notice it except for a drop in video quality. You only notice it starting with episode 296, and this one, because by now the actual show is in color.

              There’s one actually missing episode — episode 1219, which doesn’t exist in either videotape or kinescope form. It is the missing step in the ritual.

              1. Thanks Danny, your knowledge is amazing and THE reason why I watch DS on Decades. I’ll pause it and read the blog for the current episode. The fire on the set post was the best. Point being is I really would not have known about the fire because it is subtle and I have to watch it with captions and the volume down. I really look forward to the bloopers to see if I can spot them first.

          2. I found this on the ds fandom site: Production Edit
            This episode was recorded out of broadcast sequence. The previous episode to be recorded was 302.
            The videotaped color master of this episode is lost. However, a monochrome kinescope film copy does exist.
            There is a tape edit as Victoria and Burke embrace on the back garden. During Burke’s proposal to Victoria, their positions change slightly from different takes. This is likely due to the video tape being damaged or broken, and being spliced back together, losing a few frames in the process.

    2. There’s an episode when he talks to Dr. Woodard about the person assaulting Maggie, and he says two important things. One is something like “He must be at once both more than a man and less than a man.” Dr. Woodward says, “You almost sound as if you admire him.” And then Barnabas says, “I loathe him very, very much.” So yeah, Barnabas is conflicted way, way back, but the writers are really spinning his rehabilitation much harder now, knowing as they do that if the series is going to continue (along with their jobs), Barnabas will have to as well.

  2. Nitpick:
    Vicki says the music box was playing when she woke. Did Barnabas sneak into Vicki’s room just a few moments before she woke, or does the music box have a super all-night wind-up spring?

    Oh, uck! Vicki and Burke having another snog on the terrace. I know it’s a soap staple, but uck. And there’s a jump of an edit during the scene, when the couple sits on the bench; we suddenly go to a different camera angle, and both actors have moved slightly.

    Was there only ten minutes of script on this one? Seems like there are huge pauses between lines, and the pauses get longer in the last two scenes.

    1. Good nitpick, they are hard to look at making out all over the place. I’m not a prude, it’s just that they are a weird couple and Burke is kind of gross.

      1. Third time watching this episode and I always find myself trying so hard to swap in Mitch Ryan for Anthony George. I don’t think I was in the minority in hoping that Burke and Vicki would get together. They had great chemistry..

        1. As someone who watched from day one, I too wanted Vicki and Burke to get together, at least Mitch Ryan Burke. They did have great chemistry, IMHO.

  3. I think Barnabas is beginning to evolve as the writers realize he is going to be the main character for awhile. As Danny wrote earlier, they were running with the Seaview house storyline, hence the ongoing Liza Minnelli-David Gest copycat kissing scenes, while trying to figure out how to develop Barnabas.

    My guess is they have realized by now that Frid’s vampire is more sympatico than scary and are trying to sell him as a man trapped in a monsters body. The writer’s were probably pushing for that storyline to win out, knowing that Vicki and Burke were a weak link. Thankfully Dan made the right choice.

    1. To be fair, Vicki/Burke only became a weak link once Mitch Ryan left. My little 14 year old heat shipped V/B madly right up until he became Anthony George. It’s hard to say what would have happened if they had picked a good recast, although Mitch Ryan would have been hard to replace in any case.

      1. I agree. I heard a podcast interview with Kathryn Leigh Scott where she said, “Mitch was magic.” He was. I would have loved to watch Mitch’s take on Burke’s softening toward Elizabeth. James Hall to John Karlen? Great recast. George Mitchell to Thayer David? Great recast. Mitch Ryan to Anthony George? Not so much.

    2. I can agree with that. Barnabas is trapped mentally and physically and doesnt quite know what to do. Then Julia and Willie jack slapping him with reality that he refuses to see right now. How humiliating is it, that the woman he is trying to get, is on the terrace busting slobs with her boyfriend?

    3. “the ongoing Liza Minnelli-David Gest copycat kissing scenes”. Oh, eww! What a comparative vision THAT brings up (along with my lunch. Lol – j/k!)

  4. “He calls for Willie. There’s no reply.”

    Story of my life.

    Words cannot express my hatred of that proposal (at least, not family-friendly ones). Every episode and a half Vicki’s been reminding us, often apropos of nothing, that she’s an orphan on a quest to find herself, that she can’t know who she is until she knows who her parents are. I admit I have trouble grasping why discovering the identity of a couple that shagged that one time should have any bearing on the, ahem, “personality” she’s developed through actual life experience, but at least she was proactive – she had a goal and was determined to do something about it.

    But now, some utter Burke proposes, and suddenly she’s all “I don’t need to know who I am – I’m going to be Mrs Burke Devlin.” It’s horrible. Even a gaping fun-void like Victoria Winters deserves better than that.

  5. What an absolute shame that a hallmark episode like #300 and it’s a complete klunker except for the last scene. Add to that the awful resolution of the kinescope (probably the worse one we have seen yet, in terms of quality) and all of the excellent points that Danny makes hilariously above, and we are looking for the nearest exit.

    The last scene is really kind of a histrionic mess, however watchable. Grayson Hall really brings the heat to Barnabas like never before as he quivers, and cowers, and runs behind the chair. Julia’s delivery is pretty startling and illustrates how Machiavellian she has already become. There is no doubt that moving forward she is definitely Barnbas’ handler. I would like to hear more about how Barnabas is able to stay alive when he must be clearly malnourished from all of the non-biting he’s been doing. Are there anymore missing cattle in the area? Or, as Danny called it, “perforations.” Seems like the vampire needs to find some fresh protein intake.

    Finally, I LOVE when Julia is taking Barnabas’ vitals and listening to his heartbeat. We could get so confused here if we really thought long and hard about it. “I’m really a doctor but I am covering right now as a historian and therapist and mad scientist.”

    1. I wondered about that too. How is Barnabas surviving? He didn’t drink his drink at the Blue Whale and he never eats, well actually no one ever eats on the show.
      I just eat for them while watching the show.

      Julia is definitely in charge! And I love how Willie speaks the uncomfortable truth.
      Attention Barnabas you are outnumbered.

  6. A few episodes ago Julia was just beginning to furnish her lab and now suddenly she’s giving Barnabas injections? Seems like the writers skipped over some major territory there.

    I’m not opposed to kissing scenes per se but AM and AG just aren’t good at it. It looked like they were smooching each other’s chins. As a side note, can you imagine what kind of dull children Vicki and Burke would produce?

  7. Julia: “Haven’t you ever done anything when you were half-asleep and then you didn’t remember it later?
    Vicki: Yes.

    Wait….If she didn’t remember it, then how does she know it’s happened before?

  8. If a vampire’s heart doesn’t beat, how does all that filched blood circulate through his body.

    I don’t understand Vicky’s feelings toward the beach house. Did she really intend to buy it for herself, or was that all posturing so a man (Burke) would come along and buy it FOR her? But that can’t be the case since she’s playing coy about marrying said man. If she didn’t want to marry, wouldn’t she be just a tad disappointed that someone else snatched her dream house? Or is the idea that she’ll play coy and Burke will GIVE her the house, no marriage required? See, if you squint and imagine her to be manipulative, Vicky’s actually kind of interesting.

    “Then Barnabas says, ‘Why didn’t you come when I first called?’ which makes me want to punch somebody in the face. It’s just one of those episodes.” ~ that observation alone made it worth watching this rather do-nothing episode.

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