Episode 384: Life After Love

“Then I have reason to hate you. Because if you do not love her, you’ve ruined all our lives for nothing.”

So, it turns out there’s no such thing as magic after all. Angelique doesn’t cast spells; she’s just a superstitious girl who plays make-believe voodoo games. The “visions” are just dreams; the “enchantments” are just bad choices.

Josette and Jeremiah didn’t break Barnabas’ heart because they were under a spell. You can’t blame the magic rose water, or the spiked hot toddy. They’ve both been walking around saying things like “we couldn’t help it” and “we didn’t know what we were doing”, and Barnabas treats those excuses with the frozen contempt that they deserve.

And then Barnabas asks the one devastating question that they simply can’t answer, the question that blows the whole family to pieces.

384 dark shadows angelique barnabas gun safety

But let’s start at the beginning, with the guns.

Yesterday, Jeremiah and Josette came home from their impromptu honeymoon, and told everyone that they got married. It didn’t go over that well. Barnabas challenged Jeremiah to a duel — and since he’s currently holding his gun upside down, I’d say there’s a better than average chance that he won’t even survive long enough to get up out of that chair.

I’d say this was a good opportunity for Angelique to learn not to screw around with other people’s feelings, but it’s Angelique and she never learns anything.

384 dark shadows barnabas angelique prompter

It’s a super intense episode today; everybody’s boiling over with drama and tension. So it’s kind of a shame that not a single person knows their lines today. It looks to me like they had Anthony George’s going-away party last night, and it ran kind of late.

Barnabas:  You still believe in love?

Angelique:  Why not? I enjoy believing in it — just as you enjoy your self-pity. And you must enjoy it — or you would not be willing to fight a duel!

Barnabas:  I must!

Angelique:  Yes. You must do something.

That was not the correct cue. In fact, I’m pretty sure that was his line. Barnabas looks at the teleprompter, trying to catch up.

Barnabas:  I… will be… not sit here, accepting this! Hating to be with anybody because I know whoever it is will be thinking, poor Barnabas! I will not be poor Barnabas. I won’t even think of what’s right or wrong. I must move! Act! I must… do something.

It’s a great scene, very dramatic. I wonder what the script was like?

384 dark shadows barnabas angelique you would

But they manage to pull themselves together, just in time for one of the big questions.

Angelique:  Do you think she will marry you if he dies?

Barnabas:  I know she would not.

Angelique:  And yet… you would have her.

Barnabas:  Yes.

It’s a gorgeous moment, just pure, undiluted soap opera heartbreak.

384 dark shadows david ford acting

And then David Ford comes in, which is always a mistake.

Andre:  Yesterday, you loved my daughter.

Barnabas:  Don’t ask me how I feel today.

Andre:  I have more tact. But if you loved her, some small part of her wishes happiness for her.

Barnabas:  How can you say that?

Andre:  Because it’s troom.

That’s not a typo; that’s exactly what he says. “Because it’s troom.” It’s the most clearly articulated “troom” you’ll ever hear in your life. If you ever need to explain to somebody how to say the word “troom”, this is the example you should use.

384 dark shadows josette jeremiah questions

Then it’s over to Josette and Jeremiah. Luckily, they haven’t given him a pistol to play with, because Anthony George has a history of hazardous gun acting. But he’s got his embroidered leaf jacket on, and he’s asking difficult questions.

Josette:  We didn’t really love each other. Don’t deny it, Jeremiah. For a moment, we shared a kind of madness, but it wasn’t really love. We don’t really know each other.

Jeremiah:  You still love him?

Josette:  If I did, I wouldn’t even admit that to myself.

384 dark shadows josette jeremiah prompter

It’s a good moment. Then he gets up, strikes a dramatic pose and reads off the teleprompter. Seriously, it’s like an epidemic today.

Jeremiah:  You must stay out of this.

Josette:  But how can I stay out of something that I started?

Jeremiah:  We ran away without considering the cost. We both knew without thinking that eventually we would have to pay. The payment is simply due sooner than we expected.

Josette:  You want him to kill you.

Jeremiah:  Perhaps that is the cost.

Josette:  You want to die?

Jeremiah:  It is not what I want. It is what Barnabas wants.

384 dark shadows barnabas jeremiah injuries

It’s gorgeous, right? Somehow, going to 1795 has given the writers the confidence to pull off mid-century American drama on afternoon TV. It’s like a production of Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, where everyone has head injuries and can’t quite remember what they’re supposed to say.

Jeremiah:  What do you want me to say? That I’m sorry?

Barnabas:  How sad, if you are.

Jeremiah:  I am sorry. I am.

Barnabas:  Then I have reason to hate you. Because if you do not love her, you’ve ruined all our lives for nothing.

384 dark shadows barnabas big question

And then Barnabas asks the big question, shooting a hole through their flimsy excuses.

Jeremiah:  I should have gone away. I tried, when I realized what was happening.

Barnabas:  Why didn’t you come to me then?

384 dark shadows barnabas jeremiah duel

And… that’s a good point, actually. Why didn’t they come to him?

It’s not like they were under Angelique’s spell the whole time. The incidents would only last for a few minutes; they were constantly coming to their senses and fighting off the enchantment. They had several explicit conversations about being confused and scared by their feelings, and determined to resist them.

384 dark shadows barnabas jeremiah why

So why didn’t they tell Barnabas? It would have been awkward, and painful, but they had plenty of time to warn him before things got out of control. He could have helped. They could have figured out what was happening, together. But Jeremiah and Josette kept it secret.

384 dark shadows jeremiah power

Angelique has some good tricks, but she’s not all-powerful, not by a long shot. Her spells worked because she tapped into Josette and Jeremiah’s flaws — pride, cowardice, a reluctance to face the problem directly and take responsibility for it.

In his last moment before Barnabas shoots, Jeremiah closes his eyes, and accepts his punishment. He finds the strength to love Barnabas again. If Barnabas was strong enough to do the same — to remember that he loves Jeremiah, and might even forgive him someday — then Angelique wouldn’t have any power at all. Maybe she never had any in the first place.

Tomorrow: The End of History.


(More) Dark Shadows bloopers to watch out for:

In the teaser, Josette tells Andre, “Please don’t joke with me now.” Andre responds, “Well, to ask as old a young man as I to change is impossible.”

After that, he makes a sarcastic crack to Josette, and then completely blows his line:

Josette:  I just don’t want any more ill feeling between them.

Andre:  Well, you should have thought of that before you married Jeremiah.

(She looks at him.)

Andre:  I’m sorry, that was not necessary. Well, I do not, uh, maintain to be the greatest, uh, thinker in the world. Naturally, I have some irritation over knowing that — not knowing what happened in your mind when you left, when you ran away.

Barnabas and Jeremiah agree to walk ten paces, turn and fire. But there isn’t enough room on the set for ten paces; they both manage about five and a half.

After the duel, when Barnabas kneels down next to Jeremiah, you can see the edge of the burlap representing the forest floor.


Behind the Scenes:

This is Anthony George’s last episode on the show. We’ll see Jeremiah again, but from here on it’s all body doubles and fill-in actors.

In a 1995 interview for TV Collector magazine (quoted in the excellent Barnabas & Company: The Cast of the TV Classic Dark Shadows), George said, “I was the romantic lead in [Dark Shadows]. I hated it. I couldn’t have hated anything more. I was really put off by television. It was almost like a stigma to do soaps [in those days]. When I was first asked… I should’ve said, ‘Nope, I’m not going to do that,’ because it wasn’t really what I wanted to do. But my thought was, maybe I should do this in order to get to where I really want to go. The end result was that I never really got to go where I wanted. But I’ve had fun and I’m not bitter about it. I’ve had an awful lot of friends in the business and friends that I’ve had for 30 or 40 years. I’m grateful for a lot of things.” In the 1970s and early 80s, George appeared on two more soap operas — Search for Tomorrow (as Dr. Tony Vincente), and One Life to Live (as Dr. Will Vernon). He also had guest roles on Wonder Woman, Police Woman and Simon & Simon.

Tomorrow: The End of History.

384 dark shadows jeremiah dead

Dark Shadows episode guide

— Danny Horn

25 thoughts on “Episode 384: Life After Love

  1. Ehhh, I’m going out on a crazy limb here and say that people enchanted by Angelique don’t make the best decisions because, you know, Angelique cursed them.

    While the love spell may wax and wane like a pesky fever, the person afflicted just isn’t in their right head.

    This is all on Angelique.

    The tragedy here is that Angelique actually manipulates Jeremiah’s and Josette’s nobler natures against them. If they were anything like her, they wouldn’t feel a fraction of the guilt. They want to see themselves punished for their betrayal of Barnabas. And so Jeremiah sacrifices himself at the duel because he thinks he deserves to die for what he’s done.

    And Angelique gloats as her puppets tumble and burn.

    1. Also because Barnabas is a ‘hothead’. Jeremiah and Josette could have run to Martinique and not come back at all to face the family. They ultimately tried to do the right thing when Angelique’s spell had finally lost it’s effectiveness after several days. I don’t think suggesting a duel to the death was an adult thing for Barnabas to insist upon. Maybe he’s not the man Josette thought he was when she fell in love with him. Even Joshua protested against having this crazy duel. I guess Barnabas also forgot his own lapse in judgement when he ‘fell under Angelique’s spell’ while courting Josette in Martinique.

      1. Joanne, we see how Barnabas’ fatal flaw is a tendency to make lousy decisions. And the idea that you can solve problems by killing someone. It gets carried over when he becomes a vampire, with predictable results

      2. Joanne, you raise a fascinating point: Not one person in this triangle – Josette, Barnabas, Angelique – can see the other person for who he or she truly is. Throw in witchcraft, and this triangle is about to go flying over Widow’s Hill.

        1. Also I agree with Danny about the spells tapping into the character’s flaws. Josette was an impressionable young girl coming from a sheltered existence. She seems happy with Barnabas however this relationship was somewhat ‘arranged’ by the respective families and sub-consciously she may have rebelled against that. Jeremiah was probably a lonely man (I seem to remember from a later storyline that he was previously married to Laura the ‘Pheonix’?) who would have been subconsciously susceptible to Josette’s attentions. Adriana is correct in saying that this trait of Barnabas to want to kill anyone that disrupts his plans is the character flaw that gets expanded when he becomes a vampire. BTW – where is Vicki when her doppelganger Burke is getting knocked off ? 🙂

  2. I actually never felt bad for Barnabas over this. In fact, I think Angelique did him a favour. Barnabas has some pretty real feelings for Angelique, and I think if this whole thing had happened in a time where there were no servants and “proper” ladies, that Barnabas would have been smart enough to be with Angelique, not arrange to marry Josette. Sure, he has feelings for Josette too, but to marry her after he let Angelique fall in love with him, and most probably he fell in love with her? That wouldn’t have been right either. It wouldn’t have been fair to Josette, and not to Angelique, and not to Barnabas himself. People should marry only for love, and I think Barnabas having feelings for Angelique should have been enough to make him reconsider what he was doing.

  3. Pride is the fatal flaw in this storyline. Barnabas murders Jeremiah rather than simply letting go of his anger and humiliation. The scenes with Angelique and Andre are telling because they demonstrate that Barnabas’s feelings are more important to him than Jeremiah and Josette’s. Barnabas leaves Josette a widow, devastating her, because of his own pride. Those aren’t the actions of someone with a mature love for Josette (and we’ll see later that Barnabas is not capable of mature love for Josette even in death).

    1. Yeah, I’ve always thought about 1795 as the storyline that reboots Barnabas’ character and makes him loveable and sympathetic — but going through it closely like this, he’s not really that loveable.

      I totally agree with Adriana’s point about Barnabas’ tendency to jump to murder as the solution to every problem. It’s remarkable that they’re establishing the through-line to his thoughtlessness and cruelty here.

      It’s possible that the only reason we all think of Barnabas as “sympathetic” is because he stops trying to kill Julia when we get back to the 60s.

      1. Barnabas is a fascinating character, isn’t he? I mean, on paper, we should really detest him and yet he manages to repeatedly gain the viewer’s sympathy and empathy. Much of this is definitely down to Frid’s portrayal, of course, but I do think there’s something about the character – this sense of being compelled to do things you know are wrong and the constant inner struggle – that people can relate to. You root for him when he does the right thing and you’re disappointed and frustrated when he doesn’t because you know he CAN do the right thing. Not surprising he can still capture people’s imaginations almost 50 years after he was created.

        1. Also, we know that Barnabas is basically clueless. And he is badly in need of a Gibbs intervention (I can fantasize Gibbs slapping him on the back of the head, telling him “Stupid is NOT an option”) You want to se him straighten up, for a change. Or see what next screwup he causes…

  4. ‘because its troom’ ROFL what the hell-??! oh david ford you are too much!

    am I just noticing they’re starting to put guyliner on barnabas, and he’s wearing black now that things are not so cheerful as they were when we first got to 1795. when we first met young barnabas he was quite clean-faced and brightly-dressed.

    great background on his character.

  5. Hmm. Despite everything, I’m still on Barnabas’s side — much more so than before we went back to 1795 (I really was getting worn out by the blood-soaked psychopath). OK, so calling for a duel was a hotheaded thing to do — but not at all unheard of for the time period. And it’s easy to imagine him being in so much pain that he didn’t care if Jeremiah died, if he himself died, etc. True, it would’ve been better if they all could’ve talked things out more, but considering what he’s been through — I just feel for him. The thing I had a hard time with was Josette’s suddenly declaring that Jeremiah was the only man she ever loved. Surely she knows she’s talking nonsense; presumably she only wants to hurt Barnabas. But it seems crazy.

    And yeah, clearly they’re moving Barnabas’s wardrobe and makeup in the darker direction.

    1. Surely Josette’s declaration was due to Angelique giving her another “rose water” treatment in the previous scene.

  6. Here’s the thing I have to let go: Angelique’s powers. All of a sudden, she’s not a witch today. She sets things in motion, but now, all she can doing is some good ol’-fashioned human pleading.

    Of course she can stop the dual. Just turn them into cats. Cast another spell. Anything. This lots of powers one day, none the next really drives me to distraction.

  7. I meant duel. Argh. Her waxing and waning powers are still driving me crazy. How can she be so powerful one day and so ordinary the next? Like I said, turn one or both of them into a cat. Problem solved.

  8. When it’s suggested that Josette romanticised her perception of Barbabas, it’s actually the other way round. We know from how he treats the memory of her in the 60’s that he’s more in love with the concept rather than the person, someone who’d fit his idea of a perfect bride. What makes this ironic is that this make them otherwise perfect for each other in concept.

  9. It’s the last time we see actual Anthony George. So, I need to, erm, “point” this out:
    All the other high-breeched males seem to have noticeable assets.
    AG has a fabric expanse like the Great Plains. Was he wearing a dance belt, or did he just know the secret of how to ‘tuck’? (Please, no ‘grow-er, not a show-er’ excuses.)

  10. I agree with Karen. I believe Barnabas’ reaction was understandable based on the situation and the time period. What were his options, allow his uncle and best friend to parade around with his wife. That would be unheard of. This is where Barnabas probably began to hate Jeremiah and hence his continued animosity 170 years later although at one time they were like bros.

  11. Sometime in 1966 my mom and I went to see “Funny Girl” at the Helpful and theatre in So.Cal. Anthony George played Nicky Arnstein. It was after Burke disappeared but before the 1795 episodes. After the show we went backstage and talked to him for a while. He was very clear about not liking Dark Shadows, which broke my 9 year old heart.

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