Episode 307: Total Recall

“Until we know it doesn’t exist, it exists!”

We kick off today with a real stop-the-presses moment — Maggie Evans puts a sweater on. This is more controversial than you might imagine.

She tells her father that she’s going out, and he says that he can’t allow it — it’s too dangerous. Sam has been protecting her for the last two weeks by keeping her indoors, and she’s going out of her mind. I know exactly how she feels; I’ve been watching this storyline.

This is actually a moment when there’s a perfect correspondence between the character and the audience. She’s bored; she wants to go outside and do something exciting. Her over-protective father is the enemy of the audience — he doesn’t want her to leave the house, because something might happen.

307 dark shadows sam joe maggie backacting

You see, Maggie was kidnapped by a vampire around the middle of May, and locked up in his spooky haunted house for a month and a half. Then she was recovering in a sanitarium for another five weeks, and now she’s back home and she still isn’t allowed outdoors. Now it’s late August, and she’s wasted the entire summer. And this is Maine, where you have to take summer pretty seriously while it’s available.

Her boyfriend Joe comes over, and the situation does not improve. She treats him to some furious backacting, which leads to a philosophical discussion.

Maggie:  Danger! Danger! I am so sick of hearing that word! We don’t know what the danger is, we don’t even know what it looks like! We don’t know if it’s a man, a woman, a beast! We don’t even know if it exists any more.

Joe:  Until we know it doesn’t exist, it exists!

307 dark shadows the treachery of images

That’s a rather bold conceptual statement, but Maggie is not impressed. With fire in her eyes, she shouts, “You’re both against me, and I’m not going to stand for it any longer! Now, I’m getting out of this house tonight, if I have to fight my way out!”

Then she stomps off to her bedroom and slams the door.

307 dark shadows sam joe afghan

Joe’s frustrated. Maggie’s in danger — why can’t she understand that they’re protecting her from the madman who’s probably still out there, waiting to pounce?

But Sam says that she has a point; she’s been kept in the house for too long. He suggests that they all go down to the Blue Whale together — she should be safe enough if they’re all together.

At this point, the audience says — wait, hold up a second. Did that idea seriously not occur to you before this minute? Because now I want Maggie to come back and hit you.

307 dark shadows sam goldfish

At the Blue Whale, they meet up with Vicki, and they all settle in for a four-handed recap session about the strange little girl that seems to be at the center of all the mystery.

Joe tells Vicki that just after Maggie came home, a strange little girl visited her and said that she wanted her doll back. Vicki says that Maggie was talking about a little girl when she ran away from the sanitarium and stumbled into the bar.

Vicki:  If you go over everything that’s happened to Maggie, you’ll find that this little girl named Sarah keeps cropping up at the most unexpected times. She was the one who told Sam where to find Maggie, and about two weeks ago, when everybody thought Maggie was dead, David met a little girl named Sarah who told him that she was still alive.

This is a fairly epic overview of the last two months of the show. A daily soap opera needs this kind of in-depth recap every once in a while, just to make sure the audience is still following what’s going on.

307 dark shadows sam scapegoat

In many ways, sitting around a table and recapping is a soap opera ritual, and this ritual requires a sacrifical goat. This is the character elected to be the one in the group who doesn’t remember anything, and needs the events of his own life to be explained to him several times, at the expense of all audience sympathy. Today, it’s Sam on the sacrificial altar.

Joe:  How did a little ten-year-old girl know what nobody else in this town knew? I’m sure none of us told her, so how’d she find out?

Sam:  Who’s to say she did find out? You know how kids are; she might have just made it up out of her head.

Joe:  She might have, but I don’t think she did. Sam, that day you did a sketch of her, Maggie was still missing. Sarah told you where to look for her, right?

Sam:  Yes, yes… but are we sure it’s the same little girl?

It’s amazing. It’s like watching goldfish having a board meeting. Everything is new business.

307 dark shadows goldfish meeting

This goes on approximately forever; we get through two commercial breaks, and they’re still having the same conversation. Eventually Burke shows up, and they explain everything all over again.

Tomorrow, we’ll get to see round two of The Recap That Wouldn’t Die, when Sam and Joe talk to David and Carolyn about the strange little girl. This will be followed by round three.

Tomorrow: In Circles.


Dark Shadows bloopers to watch out for:

When Maggie stomps away from Sam and Joe, she says that she’s going to her bedroom, and we hear the door slam. But she’s walking in the wrong direction — we usually see her bedroom door immediately to the right of the living room set, but today she walks straight ahead, as if the door is located on “the fourth wall”. We don’t see the right side of the set, so it’s possible that they were using that space for another set today.

When Sam sits down at the Blue Whale, he forgets what he’s supposed to order from the bartender. He says, “I’ll have, uh…” Then he makes a gesture with his hands, and says, “My usual.” The other actors all chuckle, so either this is a line flub, or the hand gesture is an inside joke between them.

Vicki says that on the night that Maggie left the sanitarium and walked into the bar, she was calling for a little girl named Sarah. Maggie never actually said Sarah’s name; she only said “little girl”. In fact, I don’t think that Sarah ever told Maggie her name until two weeks ago, when she visited Maggie at home.

Tomorrow: In Circles.

307 dark shadows maggie fights

Dark Shadows episode guide – 1967

— Danny Horn

12 thoughts on “Episode 307: Total Recall

  1. The brainstorm that they could ALL GO OUT TOGETHER has only just now occurred to Sam and Joe. After weeks of keeping Maggie cooped up. What are we gonna do with these goldfish?

    OMG! The jukebox at the Blue Whale actually is playing a recognizable pop tune! (Okay, it was a cheesy cha-cha Muzak version of ‘Strangers In The Night’, but still!) And they appear to serve REAL beer, no wonder Mitch Ryan liked the place! Joe is really worked up, I think this is the first time we’ve seen him smoking.
    Burke isn’t getting very good service tonight, he has to finish Maggie’s cocktail. Any chance that somebody will refill that bread basket? And who do you have to sleep with to get an ashtray emptied?

    1. Actually the music at the Blue Whale was the theme from the 1966 French film ” A Man and a Woman” it was semi popular and yes cheesy good catch, A distinct change from the Blue whale music featuring that terrible guitar work .

      1. Unclegilly is correct about the first music selection at The Blue Whale. Theme song from “A Man and a Woman” written by Francis Lai. There were a couple of other selections played, but I did not hear Strangers in the Night. I had to laugh, because it was a nice change up from the usual schmaltz used at the Whale.

    2. Oh, good catches, Mr. Comelately! Now I kind of wish I still had this one. I laugh myself to pissy-pants reading Danny’s entries, but finding this in the comments was a nice treat! Was there a mention of his finishing Maggie’s drink or did AG just fck up again? My money’s on fck up. I have to talk about this episode because I don’t have it anymore. See, I have high-quality digital copies of nearly all of the eps uncut (including 1-209; in case any of you didn’t know, those include all the shooting slates – I’m as nerdy about production details as Danny). And even though I’m generally OCD over complete collections of this or that TV series, I simply will not view mountains of pointless soap minutes or have them swallow up hundreds of megabytes – this being the only daytime soap I will ever care enough for to keep a huge collection of (though I’d like to see the cheap-ass scum at Proctor & Gamble and elsewhere beaten bloody for wiping away the recordings of live TV history of The Edge of Night from the late 60s, early 70s. I was only age 4 when DS premiered, but by 7 & 8 I enjoyed it. And TEON was pretty damn chilling at times, too.). Anywho, from time to time I’ll edit out time-wasting scenes (lots of Vicki & post-MR Burke, for instance). But, on occasion, I’ll delete a whole episode, and this is one I tossed. My rules for deletion are rather flexible, choosing to err on the side of caution; If there’s some kind of novelty or sweet blooper in an otherwise snoozy scene I’ll usually leave it. And I considered keeping something of this episode ONLY because of their use of a tune that requires a royalty check. But in the end, I tossed it. It’s just too damn maddening. And, like another has said a few pages back, I wish they had written some Maggie/Joe suckface, some real interaction between them, even a mini-story line, instead of this endless Vicky/Burke round robin. I couldn’t care less about them. OH! If Mitch Ryan continued as Burke, my deletion rules wouldn’t be the same. He made his scenes interesting regardless of dialogue and dopey doe-eyes. And for goodness sake, I’m still puzzling why they felt they were stuck with AG, as if their only casting pool really was a seaside village in Maine. They’re taping in New York fckn-City! Damn, cruising the bookstores would have found them a better Burke!

      1. Henry indeed…I have become obsessed with Danny’s blog and I sit here at work and at home and read his blogs and laugh my ass off. He is so entertaining with episodes!

  2. Joe IQ Watch: Joe and Vicki are talking about Sarah, and Joe is as skeptical as he was in episode 303 about how significant it is that “a little kid keeps popping up at odd times and saying weird things.” He still doesn’t see how how that could have anything to do with what happened to Maggie. After a commercial break, however, when Sam arrives, thick-headed with skepticism, Joe completely turns around and argues that they can’t discount the possibility that the little girl is significant even if there is little evidence.

  3. What cracked me up is Sam saying Maggie should be safe to go to town if they stay together, and in the next breath splitting up by sending Joe off to go to get a table at the Blue Whale.

  4. Hi y’all. I’ve been re-watching DS since EPISODE 1. Yes, Ep 1. Do I deserve a medal? I just LOVE this blog Danny. I also love how everything is mint green at the moment (a throwback to the b&w days of filming I suppose). The candles are green, the lab coats, the table cloths…..

  5. Always thought it amusing that in all the visits Sarah made to Maggie at the Old House, Maggie never thought to ask her what her name is. I believe that’s one of the first things both David and Sam do upon seeing Sarah, which she readily offered, so it’s not like she wouldn’t reveal the name to Maggie.

  6. At this point, has Dark Shadows already retrofit Barnabas’ origin story from 1830 to the 1790’s? Sarah’s coffin marker says she died in 1790-something.

    But the dialogue spoken by Burke and Julia in the recent episodes still utilizes the ‘130 years ago’ mantra in reference to Niall Bradford and Barnabas Collins.

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