Episode 363: Anyone But You

“She’s lonely, very lonely. She’ll talk to anyone… anyone but you.”

The vampire, the doctor, the lawyer, the governess, the niece and the little boy who talks to dead people. For months, they’ve been scrambling around each other — a little chaos engine that chews its way through anybody who gets too close.

And now we’ve gotten to the point where it just can’t go on. Barnabas is the most popular character on the show, but he’s radioactive — every character that he touches ends up murdered, hypnotized, lost in the jungle, or packed off to an insane asylum.

So far, we’ve killed off Jason, Burke, Dr. Woodard and Willie. Pretty soon, we’re going to start losing members of the Collins family, and that gets expensive, story-wise. If you kill one of the kids, that’s a hard stop on any other plot development; the show just becomes one long funeral.

In fact, my estimate is that this storyline has about three more days left in it, and then they’re going to have to come up with a whole new idea.

363 dark shadows tony carolyn hat

Act One: Lawyer vs Niece. Carolyn is supposed to be on a date with Tony Peterson, the hard-boiled lawyer with a hot notebook locked in his safe. Carolyn’s working for the vampire now, and Barnabas needs to get his hands on the red notebook with the details of Julia’s vampire-cure experiments.

Yesterday, Carolyn talked her way into Tony’s apartment, stole his keys, and then broke into his office to rifle through the safe.

This kind of thing happens to hard-boiled people all the time; it’s one of the hazards of the hard-boiled lifestyle.

363 dark shadows carolyn tony explanation

Carolyn tells Tony that she’s got a very good reason for breaking into his safe. Then she has the difficult job of figuring out what that very good reason might possibly be.

This is a great scene, because you can watch Carolyn coming up with the story on the spot. She starts out with “I can’t tell you, so you might as well turn me over to the police” — and when he pushes her, she hits on, “I don’t want you or anyone else to be in a position to judge the Collins family.”

363 dark shadows carolyn tony thinking

That’s good. She can work something up from that. She crosses to the desk, and says, “Whether or not you believe me is beside the point. If I tell you, you’ll know something about the family that I’d rather no one knew.”

Okay, she’s getting somewhere. You can see her struggling to put something together, stammering and flirting to buy another few seconds to think.

And we are completely on her side, because the audience always likes smart characters. Stupid people get caught and confess, which doesn’t give the story anywhere to go. Smart people come up with plans and schemes. The thing that we like most of all is watching smart people who think on their feet, coming up with something clever and unexpected.

363 dark shadows tony carolyn nailed it

And she nails it. Here’s what she comes up with:

Years ago, her mother had an affair with a young man who worked for the family. He left town before Carolyn was born; she never knew him.

Carolyn:  And then Julia Hoffman came on the scene.

Tony:  What did she have to do with it?

Carolyn:  She came to us pretending to be a genealogist, but the only history of the family she was interested in was recent history… about my mother and me.

Tony:  You mean she knew about the incident?

Carolyn:  Sometime before she came to us, she met a man who told her about a love affair he’d had with a very prominent married woman. He found out that she had a child, and he said that he could prove that I… that it was his child.

Tony:  I still don’t see how Julia Hoffman fits into the picture.

Carolyn is still thinking furiously, struggling to make the last piece fit.

Carolyn:  It’s very simple, really. The man died… but before he did, he gave Julia Hoffman his personal diary. So, although he didn’t live to blackmail my mother… Julia did.

363 dark shadows tony carolyn smile

And that’s it, a story that explains everything. The relieved smile on Carolyn’s face as she takes it across the finish line is irresistible. She’s been pretty nasty lately, since she switched over to the vampire’s team. But in this moment, she is triumphant, and we love her completely.

Carolyn:  So, take me to the police if you don’t believe me. Or take me home if you do. But either way — take me someplace, away from here.

Dark Shadows is not a perfect work of art. It’s messy and scatterbrained, and sometimes it misses by a mile. But sometimes it hits a scene so perfectly that it’s all you can see. Today is a good day.

363 dark shadows julia tony blackmail

And then, because we’ve been very good and deserving children, we get to see the mirror image of that scene, with Tony telling Julia that she should take her notebook back, and stop bothering Carolyn.

Tony:  She’s been through a lot. And so has her mother — but, of course, you know all about that, don’t you?

Julia:  What do you mean?

Tony:  Do me a favor, Miss Hoffman. Don’t play dumb with me.

Julia:  I’m not playing anything. I’m merely trying to find out what you’re talking about.

363 dark shadows tony julia baffled

She pulls him into the drawing room, and tries on several of her most quizzical expressions.

Tony:  I happen to know what’s in that book, and I realize why it’s so valuable to you.

Julia:  You do?

Tony:  Yes, but it’s not valuable to me, or to anybody else. Only to you, and Elizabeth Stoddard.

363 dark shadows tony julia face

Then we see why they pay Grayson Hall money to appear on television, and make like she’s a vampire doctor. She is absolutely baffled.

And now we find ourselves rooting for Julia, because she’s being smart, and she’s refusing to allow the story to get less interesting. If Tony gives back the notebook, then there’s no reason for him to be part of the story anymore. Things are a lot more lively when he’s around, and we don’t want him to go.

So the script — this is Gordon Russell, by the way, who’s getting better now that there’s another good writer around — is structured like a tennis match, with our loyalties switching back and forth, in favor of whoever’s swinging the racket at the time.

363 dark shadows julia barnabas discussion

She wins, of course, because we want her to win, and today is a day that we get everything that we want. To prove it, Julia goes over to the Old House to have the face-off that we’ve been waiting weeks to see.

Julia:  Your — what shall I call her? — your little helper tried to get my notebook from Tony Peterson. Her plan didn’t work. He still has the notebook, and he’s going to keep it.

Barnabas:  I see. Apparently, Carolyn isn’t the experienced criminal that you are.

363 dark shadows julia barnabas out

And that’s it, as far as my participation is concerned. I’m done for the day. There’s nothing else that I can say about this episode; the only thing I can do is leave you with the incredible hotness on display.

Julia:  I’m not a criminal.

Barnabas:  You mean murder is no longer a crime?

Julia:  I’m not a murderer. Dave Woodard was my friend. It was the circumstances.

Barnabas:  Oh, yes. It’s always the circumstances.

Julia:  Not with you. Your kind kills for the sake of killing.

363 dark shadows barnabas julia good night

Barnabas:  Have you finished with what you came here to tell me about?

Julia:  Yes.

Barnabas:  May we say good night?

363 dark shadows barnabas julia one more thing

Julia:  Well, I haven’t quite given you all the news. There is one more thing.

Barnabas:  Oh?

Julia:  Yes, I spoke to someone the other day — someone that you might be interested in.

Barnabas:  I don’t think so.

Julia:  I do.

363 dark shadows barnabas julia with whom

Barnabas:  Very well. With whom did you speak?

Julia:  Sarah Collins.

363 dark shadows barnabas julia yes

Barnabas:  You spoke to…

Julia:  Your sister, Sarah. Yes, I saw her.

Barnabas:  Where?

Julia:  At the mausoleum.

363 dark shadows barnabas julia don't bother

Julia:  Don’t bother going there, Barnabas. She won’t appear to you.

Barnabas:  You didn’t talk to her, you’re lying!

Julia:  No, I’m not lying.

363 dark shadows barnabas julia anyone

Barnabas:  Why should she want to talk to you?

Julia:  She’s lonely, very lonely. She’ll talk to anyone… anyone but you.

Barnabas:  Don’t you talk to me that way!

Julia:  Anyone but you!

363 dark shadows barnabas julia too much

He lunges, and grabs her by the throat.

Barnabas:  No more words, Doctor! You’ve done too much…

363 dark shadows sarah barnabas appear

Then the door slams open, as a gust of wind blows through the house.

Barnabas turns… and there’s his sister, Sarah, finally — standing in front of her brother, for the first and last time.

Tomorrow: Boom Goes the Dynamite.

Dark Shadows bloopers to watch out for:

Tony is wearing a hat in today’s teaser, which he wasn’t wearing in yesterday’s version of the same scene.

At the end of the teaser, the camera zooms in on Carolyn’s face, completely out of focus.

When Tony talks to Julia in the Collinwood foyer, he completely loses track of his lines at one point. It happens when Julia says, “What do you mean?” — he pauses, smiles, looks at the teleprompter, and then continues the conversation.

There’s a Chromakey effect at the end of Sarah and David’s scene — they exchange a few lines, and then she disappears. But the Chromakey image is slightly too low, so she doesn’t match David’s eyeline. It looks like he’s having a discussion with her hat.

When the wind blows the Old House doors open and Barnabas drops Julia, someone can be seen passing by at the bottom left of the frame.

Tomorrow: Boom Goes the Dynamite.

363 dark shadows sarah barnabas boom

Dark Shadows episode guide – 1967

— Danny Horn

17 thoughts on “Episode 363: Anyone But You

  1. This was a fantastic cliffhanger (and it isn’t even a Friday!). For weeks Barnabas has been longing to see Sarah and BOOM there she is, and she doesn’t look happy. Fantastic. Also, love the bit right before Barnabas strangles Julia where she realizes she’s pushed him too far and gives out a little “oh” and backs away.

  2. About the hardboiled lifestyle, there was a radio detective known as The Falcon and he never locked his door because he figured if someone really wanted in they’d get in and he was tired of paying to replace broken locks. 🙂

  3. Funny thing about Carolyn’s story about her mother’s indiscretions. Carolyn might not realise it, but she could be telling something like the truth (see: the parentage of a certain governess!)

  4. Barnabas once again gets Strangley with Julia, without really strangling her. I think it’s their ” thing “

    1. Attempting to continue to strangle Julia because he doesn’t like her checking him with the truth, is his only defense since he is too egotistical and krass to tell her what he thinks. She is proving him right. He would just as well kill her rather than to deal with her.

  5. Grayson Hall does a really good job in this episode. She comes off believable rather than playing dumb when she says she doesn’t know what he’s talking about.

    And yeah, it is a great cliffhanger. And the part about the indiscretion paralleling Vicki’s parentage – it may be that the writer was thinking about this potential storyline when he included it in. And it’s possible that Carolyn had heard rumors about it before and that’s how she was able to grasp for the idea so easily.

  6. This is the best episode since Julia’s confrontation with Barnabas in her bedroom when she told him she knows what he is.

    Carolyn’s little story to Peterson, although hard to believe she could make it up on the fly so easily, is classic Carolyn. Brings back the Carolyn of the Burke or Buzz days, willing to do whatever it takes to get what she wants.

    Julia finally gets her mojo back, taking on Barnabas on his home turf, without even knowing how he may react. This is her best quality, ballsiness with a hint of cockiness. Any resemblance to the wimpering, needy, helpless Julia we’ve been dealing with lately is simply inconceivable.

    Barnabas too is in great form. First being cordial to Julia when he thinks he has the winning hand. Then becoming angry and violent, when she taunts him. Finally you see his tortured self when he finally comes face to face with Sarah, and she doesn’t seem pleased. The trifecta of emotions in about two minutes.

    After a week that started with that tortutous Julia one-woman show, this just reignited the fire that brought me back to this 50 year old quirky, kooky, classic.

    Is it Thursday yet?

    1. Well Barnabas is a motherfucker right here and Julia has pointed that out to him on many levels. He was standing up there crying because his little sister read him the riot act in front of Julia. It must have cut like a knife the horrible things he said to her. You see how he attempts to totally crush her spirit, as if he got it going on. A 200 year old dead ass…lol. To ground her nose in his arrogance and fear, to attempt to belittle her because of his own fucked up demeanor. If I were her he would not see me anymore. He would not have to worry about seeing me ever. Problem is, he does have to come back and kiss her ass though. The irony of it all…lol.

  7. I was really, really hoping that Barnabas would say to Julia (in the Sarah conversation today), “Very well, I’ll bite…with whom did you speak?”

  8. About Tony’s hat. Yesterday Lela Swift directed. She evidently preferred Tony hatless. Today John Sedwick directed, and he must have thought Tony needed to look even more like Bogey than usual. To me, the mismatch was too jarring.

  9. Does Julia know yet that Barnabas was being less than honest with professing his affection for her?! Did that pretense last for less than an episode?! What with him trying to drive her insane and have her institutionalized, trying to get her diary out of a locked safe and the latest in an endless number of attempted strangulations, I guess anything is possible! 😉

  10. This is a corker of an episode from start to finish no doubt! The curtain cliffhanger with Sarah FINALLY appearing at the door when yet another faux Barnabas-Julia strangulation was about to occur is one of the best yet! I am hopeful that Sarah’s plot arc will have her continue to be attached to Barnabas but someone has suggested that Sarah’s run may be short-lived and that she may ghost soon (sorry, couldn’t resist).

    The cat-and-mouse she said/she said with Tony Peterson and Julia/Carolyn was really fun to watch. It is very cool to see the addition of a brand-new character take Center Stage in such a short period of time as Tony does. The only detraction to that is that a new character tends to take a LOT of time away from the other players and some of the plot points of even a few weeks ago tend to fall by the wayside (i.e. I thought someone would discover Carolyn’s neck bite wounds at some point).

    However, there are some hilarious deer-in-the-headlights moments for Mr. Peterson on a number of occasions in this episode as he literally goes blank and you can see the panic set in as he has virtually NO IDEA where he is in the script. That painstaking search for the Teleprompter ensues and it is uncomfortable to watch at times. I feel like prompting them myself from the comfort of my own sofa.

    That said, Carolyn is never better and the new actor and the script changes of late are really playing to her strengths. This is the best two weeks she’s had since the beginning of the #210 run.

    One last thought: this business of sitting on the edge of the attorney/detective’s desk seems a tad unorthodox to me in the age of #metoo. So does the somewhat violent way that Peterson manhandles Carolyn. I don’t think that would really fly in today’s culture but 1967 sometimes does seem like a few millennia ago.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s