Episode 370: A Woman Scorned

“You, and one handkerchief, are all I need to make him regret what he’s done to me.”

Vicki has traveled in time — she’s trapped in 1795, and so are we, for the foreseeable future. We’re here to learn the secret history of how Barnabas became a vampire, and how he lost Josette, the woman that he loved.

In the last episode, we met Angelique, a beautiful young maid who works for Josette’s family. She had a love affair with Barnabas in Martinique, before he knew that the wealthy Josette returned his affections. Josette is traveling to Collinsport for her wedding to Barnabas… but Angelique isn’t done with him yet.

370 dark shadows angelique jeremiah

At the top of the episode, Angelique has found a toy soldier. We’ve actually seen this toy before; 172 years from now, Sarah’s ghost gives it to David as a protective charm.

Angelique asks Jeremiah about the toy, and he tells her it’s “a member of the regiment,” the set of toy soldiers that Barnabas played with as a boy. Angelique is delighted to hear this, and says that she’d like to look at it for a while before she returns it to the playroom.

Because this is a soap opera, and we know that Angelique and Barnabas were romantically involved, we know what’s going to happen — she’s going to keep this toy, as a weird little obsessed-lover fetish object, and at some point, someone will see her carrying it, and realize that she’s in love with Barnabas. Once you know how soap operas work, you can see a plot point like that coming from a mile away.

370 dark shadows angelique suffering

When Jeremiah leaves the room, Angelique smiles at the toy, and clues us in on her plan.

Angelique (thinks):  So, it did belong to Barnabas. Good; it’s just what I need. And no one will ever know that such a harmless-looking little plaything will cause Barnabas more pain and suffering than he has ever known.

And… oh. Okay. I guess she’s going in a different direction with this.

370 dark shadows angelique soldier

This episode is pretty much the moment when the show falls in love with Angelique. It’s the day that she casts a spell on the toy, and on us.

There are really only four characters on the Dark Shadows all-star team. These are the characters that reinvent the show on arrival — and once they enter the story, they’re never allowed to leave. There’s Barnabas, obviously, who popped out of his mystery box seven months ago and stole the show. There’s Julia Hoffman, who hypnotized the audience five months ago and basically warped the entire storyline to focus on her, and there’s Quentin Collins, who we’ll meet in 1969. And then there’s Angelique.

370 dark shadows angelique evilly plotting

Soap operas are a competitive environment; the characters are always fighting to attract the audience’s attention. It’s a natural selection process, and given enough time, the strongest characters win. They get the most air time and central positions in the most important storylines, and if they leave the show, fans clamor for their return.

Angelique is perfectly adapted to the soap opera environment, and we’re about to see why.

370 dark shadows vicki angelique

Angelique tucks the soldier away in her pocket as Vicki enters the room, and introduces herself.

Angelique:  You’re Sarah’s governess?

Vicki:  Yes, I’m Victoria Winters.

Angelique:  I’m Angelique Bouchard.

Vicki:  Yes, you arrived here last night, with Miss du Prés’ aunt. I expect you won’t have very much to do until Miss du Prés gets here, will you?

Angelique:  Oh… I manage to keep myself busy.

370 dark shadows angelique smart

Vicki:  Do you know, I think we have several things in common. We’re both servants in this house, and we’re both in a place that’s foreign to us.

Angelique:  You’re not an American?

Vicki:  Well, yes, I am.

Angelique:  Then why do you say this place is foreign to you?

Vicki:  It would be much too difficult to make you understand.

Angelique:  Some of the things I understand… might surprise you.

370 dark shadows angelique understand

And that’s basically it; now we love her. She’s a smart character, and she has secrets, and we’re suckers for that.

Smart characters move the plot along. A stupid character can go in circles for months, but a smart character sees through other people’s deceptions, and they make decisions that advance the story.

Vicki’s trying to be bold and friendly here, and she doesn’t mean to sound as patronizing as she comes across. But Angelique knows more than Vicki would ever suspect, and at the moment, that’s a secret that she only shares with us.

370 dark shadows toy soldier

Oh, and she’s crazy. Absolutely out of her mind. When she gets to her room, she starts talking to the toy soldier.

Angelique:  You have an important duty to perform, little soldier. Shall I tell you what it is? No. I’ll let you be as surprised as everyone else.

370 dark shadows angelique handkerchief

She takes a handkerchief out of a drawer.

Angelique:  Do you know what this is? It’s a handkerchief, and it belongs to Barnabas.

The soldier doesn’t say anything, but she’s definitely got his attention.

Angelique:  You, and one handkerchief, are all I need to make him regret what he’s done to me.

Which is just bonkers. Nobody else talks like this.

370 dark shadows barnabas angelique mistake

And then Barnabas Collins makes another in a long series of life-altering mistakes. He comes to Angelique’s room, to apologize for what happened in his room last night. It doesn’t go that well.

Barnabas:  I see no reason why we can’t be good friends.

Angelique:  Merely good friends?

Barnabas:  Anything else would be quite out of the question. You can see that, can’t you?

Angelique:  I can only see one thing, Barnabas.

Barnabas:  And what is that?

370 dark shadows angelique barnabas reason

Well… this, basically.

Angelique:  You cannot resist me, Barnabas, just as I cannot resist you.

Barnabas:  You don’t understand now, any more than you did last night.

Angelique:  Oh, yes. I do understand. Our destiny was sealed those nights in Martinique. You haven’t forgotten those nights, have you?

Barnabas:  I will never forget them.

Angelique:  Nor will I. What me meant to each other those nights… that is the only reality.

370 dark shadows angelique barnabas kiss

And then it goes into this area.

370 dark shadows angelique barnabas resist

Now, this really is pretty much the same scene that they had in the last episode. She wants to pick things up from where they were in Martinique; he has a hard time saying no. But even when he acknowledges her charms, and the time that they spent together — he has to resist her. He’s going to marry Josette.

It’s totally worthwhile to do the scene twice. Angelique’s fury is going to be the engine driving the next several weeks of the story, and it’s important for the audience to understand that Barnabas is not an innocent victim in this situation.

370 dark shadows angelique barnabas innocence

This is his fault. He used her. He was a wealthy American visiting Martinique to do business with the du Prés family, and he was attracted to two women — the daughter of the house, and her lady’s maid. But you only propose marriage to the rich girl.

Those nights in Martinique — the intimacy they shared, the promises he made — that’s Dark Shadows’ original sin. When she told him that she loved him, she meant it, with all her heart. Now all she has a handkerchief, and a toy soldier, and the white-hot rage of a thousand suns.

370 dark shadows vicki josette hat

After all that, the long-awaited arrival of the bride hardly feels like a big deal at all. At the start of the week, you would have expected that this was the big moment — after months of Josette-related melodrama, she finally walks in the door. This is what we thought we were waiting for.

But after a day and a half of Angelique? Josette is just another girl in a stupid hat.

370 dark shadows josette smile

She hardly even speaks. She says “oui,” and “oh, Papa, please be patient,” and then she just stands there smiling. She’s very charming, because she’s Maggie and we love Maggie, but it’s hard to believe that this is the enchanting creature who inspired Barnabas’ crazy obsession.

370 dark shadows josette barnabas reunited

Josette and Barnabas finally get a moment alone, but it doesn’t have the same spark.

Barnabas:  It seems like three years since we’ve seen each other.

Josette:  It’s been only three months.

Barnabas:  I know, but I was afraid I might never see you again.

Josette:  Did you think I’d forgotten you in that short time?

Barnabas:  No. But your ship was so late arriving, I began to think something had happened to you at sea.

Josette:  Well, it was a very unpleasant voyage, but it’s all over now.

You see what I mean? Weather reports. There’s no way this could match the forbidden passion of those nights in Martinique.

370 dark shadows angelique strangle

So, yeah, let’s go to Angelique’s room and throttle the living daylights out of a toy. She ties the handkerchief around the toy’s throat, and then she pulls it tight — and in the drawing room, Barnabas suddenly clutches his throat, and falls to the floor.

And that, children, is why you should never leave your toys scattered around the house. I’m pretty sure that’s the lesson.

Monday: Damn the Torpedoes.


Dark Shadows bloopers to watch out for:

At the beginning of the episode, when Jeremiah walks downstairs, the camera tilts up too far, and you can see one of the studio lights. This is especially noticeable because we’re not supposed to have electric lights in 1795.

Jeremiah trips over his tongue when he tells Andre, “Mr. du Prés, I’ll be happy to show you to your room now.”

When Barnabas and Josette are just about to kiss, something in the studio falls over with a crash.

Monday: Damn the Torpedoes.

370 dark shadows barnabas choke

Dark Shadows episode guide

— Danny Horn

36 thoughts on “Episode 370: A Woman Scorned

  1. Angelique is a brilliant antagonist, especially because — and this is something over adaptations tend to forget — she succeeds. She eventually marries Barnabas, becomes Mrs. Collins, and they are briefly happy, until it all falls apart.

    Her tragic flaw is her rage. As you say, she is a smart character. When she’s cool and calculating, she gets what she wants — manipulating Barnabas, Forbes, Abigail, Trask, and framing Victoria for her own crimes. When she givss in to her rage, she almost kills Barnabas, which she doesn’t want, or worse puts a curse on him that due to imprecise wording makes her his first victim.

    Barnabas often sparks this rage, so he’s often her dumb kryptonite (see her single-minded actions during the dream curse). But when she puts that aside, she reigns supreme, pulling the rug out from under Nicholas Blair.

    By 1897, she is a marvel to watch. “We’re all on the same side — my side.”

    1. I also love when Nicolas Blair turns Angelique into a vampire who then proceeds to victimize Barnabas. Nice to see him on the other end of the ‘blood drive’ for a change 🙂

  2. Well, this is awkward. As one of the kids who ran home from school every day (some of us really are that old), I felt many things for Angelique, but never love. She is DS’s most powerful story engine. She makes bleep happen. She is also insanely one-dimensional, unlike Barnabas and Julia) And for a gal over 100 years old (hello, awkward 1692 retcon), deeply stupid about men.

    There’s always something magical for me when KLS shows up as Josette. Josette was DS’ first supernatural creature, and a tremendous force for good in the early days. It’s a crime this triangle is so one-sided. KLS could have played so much more, but the writing fails to give Josette any spirit.

  3. Don’t feel a bit sorry for Angelique. Barnabas only turned to her because, for some reason, Josette didn’t make her love for him clear and, feeling rejected, he turned to her maid. A maid who was obviously a bit more free with her favors. Considering this was a time period when wealthy men usually got their itch scratched by a woman of a lower social station–because marriage would not be expected–I don’t feel that Barnabas committed that big of a crime. And he was an innocent victim, in my opinion, if only because he didn’t know that he was dealing with a witch given to childish tantrums when she didn’t get what she wanted. So cry me a river, Angelique.

    1. According to Lara Parker’s novel Angelique’s Descent Barnabas did love Angelique, but fell head over heels for Josette. What he underestimated was that hell literally hath no fury like a woman scorned, and that Angelique never stopped loving him, nor would she accept that Josette did. Since the book is from the perspective of Angelique, best to take it with a grain of salt. It’s possible the truth is that while Barnabas was attracted to Angelique, that Josette was a safer option and would have been approved by his family. Maybe he’s attracted to women who are as they appear, or at least he thinks so.

      Since Josette was characterised as an innocent naive noblewoman she wouldn’t even conceive the notion that Barnabas and Angelique could be together until it was spelled out to her. The waters are muddied by the audio Final Judgement, where in the Dark Lord’s court Josette is made out to have known about Barnabas and Angelique. But like with Angelique’s Descent there’s a big use of unreliable narrator at play, with external forces implied to have been at work in the events recounted in the testimonies.

  4. According to some sources, the origin of all the bad karma of the Collinses was their participation in the slave trade (and what might the duPres family might be buying via the Collins fleet? Sugar planters had a very specific commodity they were interested on). Then, tney decided that it was “too strong” for these days, so they changed to the “woman scorned” angle and then they pulled Judah Zachary out of their asses.

    Still, Lara Parker does go back to the slave trade angle in her novels. And…er..(modestly). I did the same myself in my fan fiction, when after Barnabas has to deal with a “flying Dutchman” ship that belonged to the Collins fleet, and allows it to rest, he gets the manifest of the crew and there he finds the same last names of those he killed… That basically he killed their descendants as part of the curse that stranded the ship….

    1. I think the idea was that the Collins ships would carry the sugar. I’ve never heard anything about the Collins family and the slave trade; where would that come from?

      1. They sing about it “1796” They carried rum to Africa to buy slaves, they sold slaves in the Caribbean Islands, carried molasses to New England, distilled the molasses into rum, and then, back to Africa. Rum,molasses, and slaves..

  5. I don’t think the Martinique encounter could have been a relationship of any substance. In Angelique’s first episode (when she comes to Barnabas’ room), she asks him if he remembers her. I can’t think why she would have asked that if there had been any words of love or promises from Barnabas. Later on, Angelique refers to it as a one night stand.

    1. I think “Do you not remember?” is teasing. She admits at the start of that scene that it’s bold of her to come to his room — but she’s absolutely certain that he’ll be thrilled to see her.

      A one-night stand is less impressive now, in 2014. I think it meant a lot more in 1967 — not to mention 1795. He treated her like a servant that he could play with and make promises to, and then ignore her when it’s no longer convenient.

      Her response (in this episode and all the craziness to come) is obviously the most extreme over-reaction possible — but, in my opinion, she has a legitimate grievance.

      1. As you correctly point out, Barnabas is a self-obsessed jerk at times. If we think for a moment about his personality type, it would make sense that if he is in love with Josette but feels like Josette is not in love with him, he would not seek out Angelique for meaningless sex. No, someone likes Barnabas, the self-absorbed romantic, would want to feel ADORED. I think his offense against Angelique is less using her for sex but that he manipulates her, perhaps somewhat deliberately, to make her fall in love with him.

  6. I may have to disagree with you, when you say “There are three characters on Dark Shadows who are universally loved by everyone who watches the show.” I have never “loved” Angelique. Sure, she’s incredibly important to moving the plotline along, and at times I’ve felt SORRY for her, but mostly, I see her as a bully, the too-pretty and too-popular girl in Jr, High who uses her attributes to make everyone else miserable.

    I can’t imagine Dark Shadows without her, and for THAT I love her, for all that she brings to the show, but I wouldn’t say I like her or feel any sort of affection for her. But yes on Hoffman—she’s always such a hoot! And Quentin figured into a good part of my adolescence, so I think of him fondly, even now.

    1. Okay, haters — I rewrote that paragraph. 🙂

      The thing that I was trying to express — and admittedly I didn’t express it very well here — is that “love” doesn’t necessarily mean “agree with” or “approve of”.

      I love Barnabas, because he’s always interesting and worth watching. The show wouldn’t work without him — and the few periods when he’s off screen for a while feel like they’re just filling time until he comes back. But I also think he’s a self-obsessed jerk, and practically every choice he’s made up to now has been selfish and thoughtless.

      We’ll be getting into this a lot more as the 1795 story develops — in a way, this whole four-months storyline is an examination of what makes a character “likeable”…

      Thanks for posting your thoughts on this — it’s really exciting to see everybody thinking and writing about these episodes.

      1. Actually Barnabas suffers from a tendency to make BAD decisions. When he says “I got a plan” you better start running. It is as much a harbinger of catastrophe as Curly Howard’s “Sointanly”. It got to the point that I had to write fan fiction in which someone at last tells him “Vampirism is NO excuse for stupidity”.

        Which means that I stopped making moral judgements about him following the Three Stooges rule (“Ask yourself what the result would be if the Three Stooges were in charge. If the answer is “more or less the same’, don’t waste time making moral judgements. Just get out of there before the next explosion”)

        Which gives me a strong desire to Gibbs-slap him (actually in one of Tanya Huff’s stories, a Franciscan monk does get to Gibbs slap the vampire when he says something stupid).

  7. I’m just going to avoid the whole Angelique discussion and zero in on Josette. I think you raise a good point about her underwhelming entrance and honestly I was less than enamored with her throughout the 1795 storyline. In fact, I much preferred Josette the ghost to Josette the person (I thought ghost Josette was nicer).

    Not sure if this was intentional, but certainly feeds in to the idea that Barnabas has raised her onto such a ridiculously high pedestal that he’s blind to her many faults.

    1. I think that the Josette that Barnabas chased was a product of his own mind, as a symbol of everything he had lost. Josette would be no more adequate to fill the role he envisioned than Maggie was. I imagine that being locked in the coffin for so many years gave him a lot of delusions…

      1. Barnabas and Angelique are very similar in their rage-fueled irrationality when “betrayed.” And both perhaps will do anything for an idealized love.

        Angelique is smarter and more of a survivor. She has to be because she doesn’t have the benefit of Barnabas’s aristocratic background.

        1. There is some fan fiction that speculates that Barnabas and Angelique get together, only for Angelique to find out that he’s got so many neurosis and scars that he has become insufferable – and that he bears no resemblance to the man she imagined he was…

          1. I don’t think that Barnabas should receive any blame for what ultimately transgressed. When he had his fling with Angelique it was before he had any true involvement with Josette. Exactly how he left it with Angelique was never mentioned, but it was just dumb bad luck that it was his fiancee’s maid servant that he had the relationship with

      2. Barnabas is a man out of his own time. He’s working to restore the Old House (or at least directing Willie on what to do while he goes chandelier crystal shopping) so it makes sense he wants Josette to be with him. Love can make you blind to peoples flaws. Don’t forget Barnabas hosted the costume party and claret cup event, the perfect opportunity to get back into his old clothes.

        It’s possible that as you say, Barnabas in 1967 was more in love with the idea of Josette, what she represented. Back in 1697 it was traditional for a young man to find a wife and continue the family into the next generation. That should have been with Josette, and Barnabas is trying to reach a compromise between his past and present.

  8. MINOR SPOILER ALERT

    So, nobody thinks that Angelique (the witch who’s gonna start brewing up love potion number nine and spiking Josette’s parfum & Jeremiah’s postprandials) might POSSIBLY have slipped Barnabas a little something during his island visit? That seems to fit her character, better than the ‘youthful indiscretion’ of Barnabas, given his ‘prevamped’ character. Did DS ever go into detail about this? (If we have to take Angie’s word about it, I’m not buying.)

    And I though the DuPrez chapeaux tres charmant! Now Millicent’s millinery is another story. I leave it to the costume experts to say if any of them is historically correct.

    1. THOUGHT, not though! Damn spellchecker!
      Say, maybe that’s why Angelique’s witchcraft sometimes misses! She has her “Spell Check” on!

      1. Lol! I can relate, John E. My thing is when I’m purposely mis-spelling a word or using a somewhat uncommon word, and the darn spell-checker changes it on me. I usually leave an auto-spellcheck off whenever possible.

      2. P.S. John – Seems to me that occasionally Angelique had her “spell-checker” ON when it should have been OFF, and vice-versa. 😉

  9. Another moot point if you watch any of the DS episodes up to this, you know what Josette meant to Barnabas. Love as it never is in real life, his total, his everything, his reason for doing practically everything, now we find out he screwed around on her? even with Parker being as pretty as she is, we now must believe it was only looks that mattered ? this throws the whole Josette thing out of whack for me. I have one episode left on this volume and was debating on whether or not to get more…. meh .

  10. Not being a DS expert, as most of those who comment here are, I can only say that I understand now how this show became so popular. I always thought it was the vampire story, I see now it is the family story. It seems as if we the audience are being brought into the family history and knowing what we know already are free to enjoy the ironies of these new characters and their relationships.

    It’s not just Liz and Roger’s flip-flop, or Joe and Mrs. Johnson’s sudden depth. How about Barnabas trying to gain favor in Julia’s eyes or even more ironic, Barnabas and Maggie embracing , totally in love. The kids probably liked the vampire, but the moms must have loved the intertwining of present and past.

    If these writers knew what they were doing, they were light years ahead of their time.

    1. Ed, as a 6th grader, I LOVED Barnabas as he was so handsome, suave, and just plain cool (I also was a fan of Universal classic monsters back then, too). And after all this time, he’s still got part of my heart. 😉

  11. I love Angelique – always have, ever since I laid my eyes on her as an 8 year old kid in 1969. She’s Blofeld – Dark Shadows’ “Supervillain,” only much much sexier. Plus, she’s smart…far smarter than Barnabas, almost as smart as Julia Hoffman.

    1. Angelique is also versatile enough to be what the story needs her to be without making it too much of a stretch for the character. No matter how inconsequential the storyline makes her she’s still the Angelique we all know, love and fear.

  12. Always loved Angelique, and it was her misfortune to fall for the most indecisive man in Maine. Couldn’t decide between Josette and Angelique, tried to have them both, and in the end, had neither…

  13. Slap a couple of attempts to seem French on these actors, and then forget about it. David Ford doesn’t even bother. He just keeps on channeling Orson Welles or whatever it is that he does best.

    We are back to recapping like mad. There is even more recapping in this episode than I remember. For the past week, we only needed to recap the fact that Vicki is in the past and she doesn’t realize that everyone she meets is not the same character she knew from 1967 but the same actor playing an entirely new character. In truth, this is beginning to get tiresome, but, over four days, enough new plot points have accumulated that they need recapping. Thank goodness we have Angelique to propel the plot forward in no uncertain terms.

    We also understand now that Barnabas is not a very good man who was turned into an evil vampire, he is rather a man with ordinary foibles. He may be a little too carefree (perhaps that is the attraction between Barnabas and Nathan) and he thinks little of dallying with his lady’s maid (another bad influence from Nathan, perhaps). Barnabas did not deserve to be turned into a vampire for his all too ordinary sins, but he made the fatal mistake of scorning the wrong woman.

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