Episode 303: The Back of My Mind

“I’d like you to tell me a little more about Maggie’s neck wound.”

Okay, everybody pipe down; Burke Devlin is on the phone. He appears to be conducting business from Dr. Woodard’s office today, because they don’t have a set for Burke’s office. All he has is a hotel room, and we haven’t even seen that for months. Lately, he’s been doing all his business from the pay phone at the Blue Whale, so I guess we should be glad he’s still indoors.

We only get this end of the conversation, so it’s all questions and no answers. “Any word from London yet?” he asks. “Who’d you talk to? Is the guy you spoke to the last word on birth records in London?”

So, assuming that the answer to that question is “yes” — then today’s spine-tingling rollercoaster of suspense involves talking to somebody who talked to somebody who’s the last word on birth records in London. Although I suppose it’s possible that the answer is “no,” in which case it might be the second to last word.

303 dark shadows burke woodard review

Dr. Woodard walks in, scribbling prescriptions on a pad, and asks Burke what’s up.

Burke:  I came here to talk to you about Maggie Evans. I’d like to review her whole case with you, from the beginning. Do you mind?

Now, whether Woodard minds or not, I’d like to raise my hand and say that if you guys want to stand there and recap the last four months of this storyline, then I’d rather you do it on your own time. As it happens, Woodard says that he’s busy with patients today anyway.

So Burke has another bright idea: he asks if he can go through Maggie’s files. Woodard says no, a patient’s files are confidential. And then obviously he shows Burke the door, and tells him to pound sand.

303 dark shadows burke woodard pound saand

Except he doesn’t. Instead, he sits down and starts reviewing the case.

Burke says, “I’d like you to tell me a little more about Maggie’s neck wound,” which unleashes a series of unlikely postulates, including this one:

Woodard:  We’re still faced with the fact that the wounds on Maggie’s neck were not the bite of any animal indigenous to this area.

Burke:  You’re absolutely sure about that?

Woodard:  One hundred percent.

Now, in my opinion, that is a statement that’s just begging to be challenged. If you’re going to act like you have the double-platinum Cub Scout badge for animal bite identification, fine, but then I expect to hear that the wounds were the bite of a Canadian stage actor whose first name begins with a J.

Woodard asks why Burke is so interested in reviewing Maggie’s case, which leads to several minutes of dodging the question. Didn’t Woodard say that he has patients this afternoon? Apparently his patients can go to hell; I hope they’re not suffering from anything that’s time-sensitive. You know how the doctor is never ready to see you at your appointment time? This is what they’re doing, they’re talking to Burke.

303 dark shadows burke woodard no game

Woodard refers to Maggie’s kidnapper as a “maniac”, and Burke says that he thinks they’re making a mistake thinking of him as a deranged monster.

Burke says, “Suppose the man we’re looking for is an outwardly calm, sane, respected member of the community? Someone we see and speak to every day.  Someone we’d never suspect.”

Woodard refers to that theory as “pretty far-fetched,” which I think says everything that needs to be said about why this investigation has not made a lot of progress. It’s nice that they’re finally working on making Burke a little smarter, so he can present some kind of credible danger to Barnabas and Julia, but they’re doing it at the expense of Dr. Woodard, who’s starting to sound a little Fox News-y, if you know what I mean.

303 dark shadows burke maggie afghan

Next, Burke heads over to Maggie’s place, and guess what he wants to do? Review the goddamn case.

And the fun part of a recap scene with someone who has amnesia is that you get to tell them everything they did. Burke is basically just recapping Maggie back to Maggie, who sits on the couch and looks puzzled.

303 dark shadows maggie tinkling

Finally, Maggie looks off into space and makes acting faces, which means that something is breaking through the magical memory-erasing whammy that Julia put on her last week.

Maggie:  I just remember something that keeps going through the back of my mind. It’s music.

Burke:  What kind of music?

Maggie:  I can’t identify it. But it’s like — a light, playful tune. A soft tinkling sound.

And hey, if that’s all she can remember from her vampire abduction, that’s not so bad. I’ve had “Get Lucky” in my head since mid-July; you don’t hear me complaining about it.

303 dark shadows burke music box

Finally, Burke goes to Collinwood, where Vicki’s just sitting around, listening to the damn music box again. She’s like a Top 40 DJ who can’t remember what she did with the other 39.

Burke wants to hear the music, and guess what, it tinkles. He cycles through a set of acting faces, and then slams the lid shut. It’s not much of an ending, but it beats having Barnabas muttering that he wants to kill Burke for the fourth episode in a row.

Tomorrow: Scooby-Doo Must Die!


Dark Shadows bloopers to watch out for:

Woodard garbles a line, saying, “A patient’s files are confidential… strictly.”

Burke tells Woodard, “Dave, you just referred to the kidnapper as ‘that wild maniac we’re after’.” He didn’t, actually; he just said “that maniac”.

Tomorrow: Scooby-Doo Must Die!

303 dark shadows vicki burke tinkles

Dark Shadows episode guide – 1967

— Danny Horn

6 thoughts on “Episode 303: The Back of My Mind

  1. Hey, thanks! From now on, when I’m waiting for the doctor to finally get around to me, instead of seething about the time I’m missing from work, I’ll just tell myself that he’s busy talking to Burke.

    1. Next time I find myself alone in a doctor’s office, I’m going to use his desk phone to make international calls. Oh, doctors probably don’t have land line phones any more.

  2. Dr. Woodard has script pages on the clipboard on his desk.

    C’mon, Joe can’t at least take Maggie out to lunch in broad daylight?
    And if only we could have had THESE two doing all that kissing that Burke and Vicki have been going at!
    Joe’s hair is growing out of that ‘Ken doll’ coif that he had before – his little ‘Superman forehead curl’ is ever so cute. (Yeah, I am crushing on Joe lately – a lot, so sue me. It’s what binge watching does.)

  3. Joe: Well, I don’t see how the sound of soft music could have anything to do with the… well, the kind of terrifying experience Maggie’s been through.

    Sometimes Joe makes Vicki look like a genius.

    1. If I were Maggie I would be irritated that people are still coming to me trying to make me remember with far-fetched ideas about it. That would get on my last nerve.

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