“If the Devil has blinded me, Abigail, I consider it curious that he lets you in on all his plans.”
You know, everybody likes to talk smack about Abigail Collins, but when you think about it, every single thing she says is exactly one hundred percent correct.
Let’s run through some of her pet theories.
Abigail believes that Phyllis Wick, Sarah’s real governess, was replaced by Victoria Winters in some unnatural way. This is true.
Abigail thinks that the clothes Vicki was wearing when she arrived were shockingly immodest. According to the standards of the 1790s, this is true.
Abigail thinks that Vicki’s lying when she claims that she doesn’t know where she came from, that Vicki has uncanny knowledge about the future, and that the world would be a better place with one less Victoria Winters in it — check, check and check.
She’s basically nailed it, all the way down the line. Is it too late to go back and make this a television show about Abigail?
Abigail’s even right about the cat. As the episode opens, Naomi is sitting alone in her room, working her way through the 10 Signs That You Might Have a Problem with Alcohol.
Behind her is a stray cat that apparently walked into the house one day, and so far nobody’s worked up the nerve to ask it to leave. The cat’s just sitting on an armchair, like it owns the place — although the cat’s actually an enchanted Joshua Collins, so I guess technically it does own the place.
Abigail comes in, and she has the normal, understandable reaction to finding a random animal squatting in your home — she chases it away.
Abigail: How can you allow that cat in this room?
Naomi: I didn’t know he was in here.
Abigail: Surely, even you know that that cat is a sign that the Devil is laughing at us!
Now, I’m a dedicated cat person myself — I’ve got two cats, and I love them both very much — but it’s true, they are a sign that the Devil is laughing at us. Personally, I don’t have a problem with that, so that’s where Abigail and I part ways, but I can’t fault her on accuracy.
But the real item on the agenda is Josette, who was just about to marry Barnabas, and apparently ran off with his uncle instead.
Naomi: I’m sure there’s some explanation for why Jeremiah and Josette left this house.
Abigail: Desire! That’s why they left. Desire for each other.
And, yeah, she’s right again. Abigail’s on a hot streak.
But what good is it having a baffling problem like this, if you can’t find someone to blame? Soon, Natalie joins the party, and says that she’s sure there’s an agent of the Devil in this house — the mysterious governess, Victoria Winters.
Naomi thinks they’re both being ridiculous, but it’s already been three and a half minutes since her last drink, and she needs to wrap this up. She agrees to question Vicki, and Abigail hurries off to the servants’ quarters.
Meanwhile, Vicki’s currently in her room, sitting on the bed with the cat. And can you guess what she’s doing?
Yes, of course — she’s reading the Collins Family History book that she brought with her from 1967. She’s turning the pages, and looking at the pictures of the people she’s living with now, and she’s reminding herself that she has to be extra super double-dog careful to make sure that nobody finds this book.
If anyone knows that she has it, it could have very grave consequences — for her, and for the entire space-time continuum — so it’s very important that she take it out and look through it at every opportunity, so she doesn’t forget about how secret it is.
I mean, honestly. Why doesn’t she just order a subscription to Witches’ World Weekly and get it over with?
Abigail tells Vicki that Naomi wants to speak to her. Vicki leaves, but Abigail stays behind to snoop around.
Abigail is under the impression that if she hangs out in Vicki’s room for a couple minutes, she’ll find some evidence that implicates Vicki.
And what do you know? She’s alone in the room for forty seconds, and the cat explodes.
When the smoke clears, there’s Joshua — back in human form, dazed, sitting on Vicki’s bed, with no memory of anything that’s happened in the last seven days.
I mean, you can say that Abigail got lucky here — she wasn’t in the room specifically looking for Housepets of Mass Destruction — but she’s got a damn good track record today.
And there’s another lucky strike a couple scenes later, when Natalie joins her in rummaging around through Vicki’s quarters. They find the strange 20th-century clothes that Vicki was wearing when she arrived, and there’s something in one of the pockets.
Abigail: A bracelet!
Natalie: Look at all these figures… all the signs of the zodiac.
Then they both gasp. We don’t get a close-up of the bracelet for some reason, so for now we’re just going to have to trust their eyewitness account.
Natalie: A devil!
Abigail: The Prince of Evil himself!
She drops the charm bracelet like it’s a poisonous snake.
Abigail: I must send for the Reverend Trask. He’s very good at dealing with witches. I will write him tonight; he will come from Salem immediately!
And honestly, at this point, I am absolutely convinced that Abigail is correct, and she’s the new protagonist from now on.
I mean — a bracelet with the signs of the zodiac, and a figure of the Devil? I know that Vicki’s from the 20th century, but I used to be from the 20th century, and I never had a Satanic charm bracelet. What the hell?
So, yeah. This is ridiculous; we have got to put a stop to this nonsense. Bring on the witch trials.
Tomorrow: The Newlywed Game.
Dark Shadows bloopers to watch out for:
In the beginning of Act 1 and Act 2, the scene begins with the cat relaxing on the furniture — the armchair in Naomi’s room, and the bed in Vicki’s room. In both scenes, Abigail knocks on the door, comes in, and reacts with disgust to the cat’s presence. But both times, the cat is startled by the knocking, and runs off the set. The camera has to just focus on the actors, who pretend that the cat is still sitting there.
There’s a nice Drunk Naomi moment when she’s talking to Abigail: “I’m sure there’s some explanation for why Jeremiah and Jer– and Josette left this house.”
Tomorrow: The Newlywed Game.
— Danny Horn