“Do you remember when this mark was the only sign we belonged to each other?”
And this is it, this is how you end a love story. Ladies and gentlemen, please join me in toasting the happy couple, as they enjoy their first and only dance as Mr. and Mrs. Jeremiah Collins. This is their moment.
It lasts for exactly two minutes and twenty seconds.
The newlyweds stare into each other’s eyes.
“Jeremiah,” coos the bride, “we’ll never forget this room, this inn… or you.” They kiss, and then she smiles as she gazes lovingly at the Satanic pitchfork mark on her husband’s hand.
“Do you remember,” she giggles, “when this mark was the only sign that we belonged to each other? How angry and frightened you were, that first day when you saw it?”
“We were both afraid,” she says. “So afraid that everyone would notice that we shared this mark! Jeremiah, my darling, why did we care?”
He smiles. “Because we were going to live by the rules,” he says. “You and I were going to fight what we felt. You were going to marry, because — it had been planned.”
“And instead I married you!” she grins, and they embrace.
And really, apart from the demonic tattoo, what’s the difference between this scene and any other happily-ever-after fantasy? Yes, they’re technically under a spell, which means that Cupid had a little extra assistance from an angry voodoo soap vixen. But there are lots of couples who’ve hooked up while they’re under the influence of one thing or another, and some of those marriages last for weeks, so who are we to judge?
I mean, sure, there’s carnage. If you look back to where they came from, you can see a tangled snarl of burning wreckage — two lifetimes of love, duty, honor, respect, friendships and promises, doused with lighter fluid and casually set ablaze. But that’s what a honeymoon is all about.
Because the Newlywed Game is a zero-sum activity. For every happy, united couple, there’s a whole string of might-have-beens, discarded along the way. Every wedding is a little funeral for somebody else’s dream.
So, yeah, it’s pretty much a bummer for Barnabas, and the whole Collins family. This is the moment when the wicked little lady’s maid with the big blue eyes grabbed a box cutter and tore a chunk out of the Collins family history, leaving a deep and permanent scar that they’re going to feel all the way up through 1967 and beyond. This is the original Dark Shadow, and it haunts the family for as long as Collinwood stands.
But what the hell. You only live once, probably. Kiss me. Tell me that you love me. We’ve still got eighteen seconds; let’s enjoy them.
Tomorrow: Life After Love.
Dark Shadows bloopers to watch out for:
In the study, Andre tells Barnabas, “You see, I am determined to clean the air completely. And clear it.”
Joshua tells Barnabas, “If we are wrong about Miss Winters, then the Reverend Task will find her innocent.” He means Reverend Trask.
When Andre walks in through the front door, he closes it behind him, in Joshua’s face.
Josette is still credited as Josette du Prés, although her name is now Josette Collins.
Behind the Scenes:
The famous Collinsport Afghan makes another appearance today, on the bed in Jeremiah and Josette’s room. It was last seen on Vicki’s bed in the Old House, in episode 367.
This episode is the first appearance of Riggs, a Collins family servant of no great consequence. He appears in four episodes, and he’s played by Dan Morgan, who’d performed in some of the very early days of television. His credits read like a fossil record of early TV — The Philco-Goodyear Television Playhouse, Stage 13, Lux Video Theatre, Inner Sanctum, Studio One in Hollywood, Kraft Theatre, The Robert Herridge Theater, Armstrong Circle Theatre. There were a lot of these “theatre” shows back in the day, because originally people thought of TV as live stage shows performed in front of a camera.
Tomorrow: Life After Love.
— Danny Horn