“In order to be his bride, you must die.”
Julia looks up from her book. “Carolyn?”
“Yes?” Carolyn says, sorting the mail.
“Is it really necessary to follow me around?”
Carolyn shrugs. “Is that what I was doing?”
Julia gets up from her chair with a sigh. “Well,” she says, “You came into the dining room while I was having my breakfast. I went for a walk, and saw you in the distance. Then I went into the study for a moment, and you wandered in. And now, here you are.”
In other words: We’re not going to get a lot accomplished on the show today. So we might as well relax, and have some fun.
Because they’re wonderful, these two. I had issues with yesterday’s episode, and I’ll have very similar issues with today’s, because we’re really just stalling until Friday. But I have no issues with the runway competition currently underway in the drawing room.
Carolyn: I went to the study to get a book, and I came in here to put the mail on my mother’s desk. Isn’t that all right with you?
Julia: (another heavy sigh.)
Carolyn: Or do you think I should be restricted to certain rooms in my own house?
Carolyn is phenomenal. She’s been fantasy-metaphor raped, by the way. A lifeless ghoul pretending to be her cousin attacked her, drank her blood and took up residence in what used to be her immortal soul, but if they feel like playing that as a comedy, then that works for me.
And Nancy Barrett is clearly having a good time. This is the best material she’s had in months. She gets to be funny, and scary, and secretive.
After Julia goes upstairs, Liz and Roger come into the drawing room, and they tell Carolyn that they’re sending David away to Boston for a little while. Liz wants to make sure that Carolyn’s okay with the decision — a few days ago, she was convinced that they shouldn’t send David away.
Liz: You even said that some of the things he was saying might not be in his imagination.
Carolyn: Of course they’re his imagination. They must be.
And she gives a dramatic eye roll.
Vicki’s going to Boston with David, and Roger suggests that Carolyn join them. Now she gets a moment to play desperate, trying to come up with an excuse to stay here and keep helping Barnabas. She’s all over the map, and it’s really fun to watch.
And then the bad thing happens. Julia gets a moment alone with Vicki, and darn it if she doesn’t pull some pieces of crystal out of her pocket. That’s your cue to go and get a sandwich, or maybe take up gardening.
Because this is the third time they’ve done this scene. Julia used one of these crystals to hypnotize Vicki last week, and then take her over to the Old House to plant a subliminal fear of Barnabas in her subconscious. They did the second round just two days ago, and now we’re doing it again; an eight-minute sequence smack in the middle of the episode that involves walking over to the Old House, standing in front of a coffin, and talking really slowly.
“In order to be his bride, you must die,” Julia says, showing Vicki the coffin in the Old House basement that Barnabas plans for her. Vicki protests that she’ll never be his bride.
Julia says, “You must resist him — no matter what he says, no matter what he does. You must resist his will.” Yeah, cause you’re clearly amazing at that.
But Carolyn has followed them, wearing an outstanding trenchcoat and acting super sneaky. Seeing that is almost worth the whole sequence. Except it isn’t.
But now we’re going to get somewhere. Carolyn tells Barnabas about what she saw.
“So, Julia has finally turned against me,” Barnabas says. “I never thought her capable of being so foolhardy.”
Carolyn grins, like the mad woman she is. “Are you going to kill her?” she asks.
Barnabas grimaces. “Perhaps. Or perhaps, she will meet a worse fate. Much worse!”
Okay! Finally. It took us all week, but we got there at last.
Tomorrow: Julia Hoffman Must Die!
Dark Shadows bloopers to watch out for:
At the very start of the show, Barnabas and Carolyn are standing in the Old House foyer. The camera is shooting from lower down, to keep the tiny Nancy Barrett in shot, and you can see the top of the set and the studio lights.
Roger asks Liz why Vicki would object to leaving Collinwood. Liz says, “Because they know — she knows that they’ll notify her if there’s any news about Burke.”
When Vicki and Julia are talking in the drawing room, Carolyn comes by to tell them that she’s going into town for a while. There’s some loud studio noise; it sounds like something falls over.
Barnabas pronounces the word “foolhardy” with a T sound — “foolhearty”.
Carolyn is in the hall, listening to Vicki and Julia talk in the Old House basement cell. When Julia turns to leave, we can see Carolyn dashing past the window grate to hide, and she’s clearly in Julia’s line of sight.
Behind the Scenes:
Roger urges Carolyn to go to Boston with David, saying, “I’m sure Aunt Catherine would arrange for you to go out to dozens of parties while you’re there.” This is the only time on the series that we hear of Aunt Catherine, or any present-day Collins family members who live outside of Collinsport.
There’s a 2012 Big Finish audio play called A Collinwood Christmas, which features a character named Catherine Collins, but she’s the wife of Jamison Collins, and Roger and Liz’s mother. So if that was supposed to be a Dark Shadows nerd reference, then they got it wrong anyway. But I suppose it wouldn’t be a Dark Shadows project if you got everything right.
Tomorrow: Julia Hoffman Must Die!
— Danny Horn