Episode 382: A Witch in Time

“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?

382 dark shadows naomi cat

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.

382 dark shadows naomi abigail laughs

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.

382 dark shadows naomi abigail foreign

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.

382 dark shadows natalie naomi questions

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.

382 dark shadows joshua bed

Meanwhile, Vicki’s currently in her room, sitting on the bed with the cat. And can you guess what she’s doing?

382 dark shadows vicki history

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?

382 dark shadows vicki abigail snooping

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.

382 dark shadows catsplosion

And what do you know? She’s alone in the room for forty seconds, and the cat explodes.

382 dark shadows joshua abigail smoke

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.

382 dark shadows natalie abigail bracelet

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.

382 dark shadows natalie abigail devil

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.

Abigail:  Look!

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.

382 dark shadows joshua uncat

Dark Shadows episode guide

— Danny Horn

19 thoughts on “Episode 382: A Witch in Time

  1. Natalie and Abigail made a strange team, as in theory, both women should detest each other. Natalie also regularly practices the Tarot. Although, I don’t know if the intent is to demonstrate aristocratic hypocrisy. Abigail at least is not a hypocrite. She lives a life of no joy and is suspicious of anyone else who does. She’s not that different from her brother Joshua.

    1. I did find that strange – I think even Trask skirts the issue of Natalie’s tarot cards. I think it’s definitely a status thing – Abigail and Trask would be understandably wary of accusing someone like the Countess due to her wealth and position.

      Abigail’s failing is that, despite being correct in her assumptions, she is blinded by her fanaticism and inability to show compassion, and therefore unable to use common sense or logic to get to the bottom of the situation. Joshua at least will prove he’s more of a rational thinker and ultimately demonstrates compassion.

      1. True, Abigail insisted she is always right but he is correct in that Abigail is right there is a witch she just had the wrong person.. As for joy, both Abigail and Joshua have a cooler temperature so they may be less unhappy in life than Naomi is. Joshua changed because of death, finding out his son is a vampire and a blackmail by Nathan Forbes.

    2. Yeah, they’re strange bedfellows for sure. That relationship is going to get even more complicated when Reverend Trask shows up in a few days.

      But I think it’s worth noting that Natalie is also correct in almost everything she’s saying here. There really is a witch in the house, who’s specifically targeting Barnabas and Josette’s relationship. Vicki does know about the future, and when Natalie talks to her about it, Vicki lies.

      There’s even a moment in this episode when Natalie accuses Vicki of moving her tarot cards around when she was out of the room, and Vicki claims that she didn’t. But she did, and Natalie’s instincts are pretty reliable here.

      The witch hunt is going to get out of control soon, but for now, I can’t really fault Natalie for believing what she does.

      1. Natalie’s character makes no sense to me.

        On the one hand, she’s an acidic aristocrat, sort of the 18th century Auntie Mame to Josette, someone who has seen the world twice over and looks down on everyone else. On the other, she’s just as much a superstitious lout as Abigail. Yet she dabbles in the supernatural herself with her handy Tarot cards.

        And while the witch hunt is about to practically burn down the estate, no one considers motive. Why would a stranger target Barnabas and Josette?

        1. Vicki’s motive would be the same as Angelique’s — she’s in love with Barnabas and wants to do anything possible to get him. Her initial behavior around Barnabas — as if she knew him — was strange and unseemingly familiar. She later suggests that Barnabas and Jeremiah weren’t close (what did she hope to gain by saying that out loud?) and now, lo and behold, Jeremiah and Barnabas aren’t that close. If I were Jeremiah, I’d be suspicious of Vicki. Angelique’s has a stronger alibi — she is close friends with Josette and possesses a functioning brain stem, which helps greatly in avoiding implication in witchcraft.

          1. But Vicki possibly being in love with Barnabas is never brought up (from what I remember, though I could be wrong) even at the trial. The attack is primarily she’s out to destroy the Collins family because she’s the devil’s pawn. I mean, don’t get me wrong, I would suspect her too because she acts like an idiot, but the belief seems to be she’s doing all this just to be evil and not working to a specific end like Angelique is.

            1. That’s actually consistent with the way the real Salem witch trials happened. The “afflicted girls” accused people of tormenting them with no motive beyond doing the Devil’s work.

      2. Natalie would later describe Angelique as having been an “uninteresting child,” which demonstrates how bad people are successful — by fading into the background and being beneath suspicion.

        Vicki, however, is an idiot, and Angelique has not actually attempted to frame her yet, which might arouse our sympathy. She is overtly hostile to anyone who might aid her (Lt. Forbes) and clueless around potential enemies. Even Abigail did not target her out of outright malice. She showed up at the house dressed insanely and behaved like a lunatic… and proceeded to continue doing so.

        Nicholas Blair will later remark about Cassandra Collins that she had managed to alienate everyone and made no allies, unlike Nicholas himself. It is not that different from Vicki here. Naomi’s faith in her seems like a symptom of the DTs rather than compassion. If there was one moment to show a reason for the family to trust Vicki, that would help.

        Note that defending Vicki solely on the grounds of “there are no witches and Trask is a fraud” results in denying the obvious: There is a witch. And all evidence points to Vicki. In a way, priggishly rejecting the supernatural and fantastic are arguably elements of both Barnabas and Joshua’s tragic flaws.

        1. Barnabas shows that he is genius material in not wavering in his jostility to Trask because “there are no witches” even when he finds out that Angelique is one.

          So what does he do? Swallow his pride, and run to Trask, apologize to him, and tell him that the real witch is using a deluded woman as a pasty? Get on his good side and tell him that Angelique has a motive?

          Nahhh… That’s the smart thing to do. He’ll just poison her…

          Even as a human, it seems that Barnabas’ idea of solving a problem involves killing…

  2. I think it’s hysterical that the first place Joshua the cat runs to when he’s chased out of his wife’s bedroom is into the room (and onto the bed) of the new governess. The writer’s must have been having some fun with that scene.

  3. The charm bracelet of astrological signs is not a stretch at all. The standard pickup line in the 60s was, “What’s your sign?” I’ve seen bracelets like these. It wouldn’t be hard for Abigail to be shocked at Capricorn, Aries, or Taurus (goat, ram, and bull) since they all have horns. I even saw a pendant on a vintage necklace that is Aquarius the water-bearer who is depicted with a trident, so there’s a pitchfork for Abigail. You’ll probably think Vickie is too square for that sort of jewelry, but it could have been a gift from Carolyn.

    1. That sounds totally plausible..despite breaking new ground in daytime television, Dark Shadows was ultimately a product of its tumultous times..

    2. That’s what I assumed it was, a goat or something that could be mistaken for a goat if done poorly enough like on a cheap bracelet, like a poorly rendered bull. The devil is often symbolized by an image of a goat.

  4. A shame that the writers don’t put a couple of ‘in-jokes’ into the next few episodes with Joshua; he could be talking to Barnabas and suddenly be utterly fascinated by a bird outside the window, or make a sudden swipe at a ball of yarn while Abigail is knitting, or declare to Naomi that he doesn’t care for the dinner menu, as she’s not serving fish. I bet Big Lou would have got a real kick out of that! 🙂

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