Episode 411: Other People’s Blood

“That’s what happened to me, isn’t it? I was in that coffin because I was dead.”

It always starts with a box.

The local nobility are up to their usual tricks — keeping secrets, shooting each other, sleeping with the help, generally making a nuisance of themselves — and it comes back to haunt them, as it always does.

So here we are, opening another mystery box, and something terrible is loosed upon the world again, for the first time.

411 dark shadows box angelique

Because this is the same box we opened two hundred episodes ago, and it hasn’t lost its capacity to surprise. In fact, opening Barnabas’ coffin is so much fun that they’ll end up doing it five more times over the course of the series. After a while, they start putting him back in the box every time the storyline gets stale, just to see the look on everybody’s face when they open it again.

So here’s where we are: Last week, Barnabas shot Angelique, his sorceress-vixen wife, because he was planning to run off with his ex-fiancee, and you don’t want to leave loose ends just lying around.

In retaliation, Angelique cursed him, turning him into the living dead, plus he’s got the extra bonus curse that everyone who loves him will die.

411 dark shadows standard barnabas angelique

But this time, the joke is on Angelique. She wants to stake Barnabas before he rises, but she gets there just a smidgen too late. You really can’t leave something like this until the last minute; it pays to book early and plan ahead.

411 dark shadows coffin angelique barnabas

What follows is pretty much your standard soap opera “what kind of a monster have I become” scene, like they do all the time on afternoon television. I think Barnabas took his fangs out during the opening titles, but he’s still talking like he has them in; his voice is all gruff and monster-y.

Barnabas:  Why was I in this coffin? What have you done to me?

Angelique:  Barnabas, I want to get away from this place.

Yeah, no kidding. This has got to be on the top ten list of places you don’t want to be after dark, like Gotham City, or The Arsenio Hall Show.

411 dark shadows yes angelique barnabas

But it’s too late; Barnabas is already monologuing.

Barnabas:  I remember… being in bed… delirious with fever… I was afraid I would die. And that’s what’s happened to me, isn’t it? I was in that coffin because I was dead. Wasn’t I? Wasn’t I?

There you go, he’s been out of the box for less than sixty seconds and he’s already doing a soliloquy.

411 thunder angelique barnabas

And then the most amazing thing happens. Angelique chokes out a strangled, “Yes!” and Barnabas stares off into the distance.

Here’s what he says:

“I’ve returned…” — thunderclap — “… from the dead.”

Which is so deeply Count von Count that I can’t even deal with it. He might as well finish with, “That’s vun! Vun person returned from the dead! Ah ah ah aaaahhh!”

411 dark shadows bat angelique barnabas

But this is no time for preschool television. He remembers the curse, and the bat coming straight for his throat.

Barnabas:  You knew I was going to die, and then come back to life again, didn’t you?

Angelique:  I tried to prevent your death, Barnabas. I did everything that I could!

Barnabas:  But you failed!

Angelique:  Yes.

Barnabas:  And, having failed, you came here to try to prevent me from returning.

And oh my God, are you guys recapping right now? Soap characters! There is no situation, however dire, when people on a soap opera will violate their prime directive to keep endlessly narrating their own lives.

411 dark shadows afraid angelique barnabas

But they’ve got work to do; there’s serious dramatic emoting to be done. A newly-risen vampire is about to murder his sorceress wife in a candle-lit, windowless chamber, with a thunderstorm raging outside. If you can’t work up the energy to chew the hell out of this scenery, then you might as well turn in your AFTRA card and go back to waiting tables.

And Barnabas and Angelique — bless them forever, and build them a monument in soap opera heaven — they are taking full advantage of the situation.

Barnabas:  But the question is why! Why did you try to prevent me from returning? What are you afraid of?

Angelique:  Nothing!

Barnabas:  Oh, yes. It is me you’re afraid of. Or, rather… what I have become.

411 dark shadows barnabas angelique

And now all the pieces slide into place. It finally makes sense why we’ve spent the last two months with Angelique absolutely dominating the entire show.

They had to make Angelique the Biggest Bad they’ve ever had, because now they can establish that Barnabas is even scarier than she is.

Just look around, at all of the chaos and heartbreak she’s responsible for, all the innocent blood on her hands… and he’s even worse.

As I realized a couple weeks ago, contrary to popular fan lore, 1795 is not the storyline where Barnabas becomes sympathetic and cuddly. It’s the storyline where he becomes an unstoppable engine of pain and destruction.

411 dark shadows tell me barnabas angelique

They finally pull the trigger.

Barnabas:  Angelique, look at me and TELL ME!

Angelique:  The curse has made you… one of the living dead.

This is punctuated by another delicious Count von Count thunderclap.

Angelique:  But you can live only at night. When the sun rises, you must return to your coffin, until the sun sets again.

411 dark shadows other part barnabas

But Barnabas just remembered the fine print.

Barnabas:  And what about the rest of the curse? You said that anyone who loved me would die.

Angelique:  I tried to lift the curse, Barnabas! I did everything in my power!

Barnabas:  But you could not. So the curse is with me yet, and will remain with me. Now I know why you tried to prevent me from coming back to life. You knew you would be the first victim of your own curse!

Angelique:  No, no! That’s not true!

Barnabas:  Of course it is, Angelique! Or were you always lying to me when you told me how much you love me?

411 dark shadows strangle angelique barnabas

And then he just goes ahead and strangles her, on camera in a tight two-shot, actually gripping her neck until we see her lose consciousness before our eyes.

411 dark shadows floor angelique

And he lets go, and she tumbles to the floor like a broken doll. And that’s the television show that we’re watching.

Now, under ordinary circumstances, that would be the end of today’s blog post, because after a scene like that, just 24-karat soap opera dynamite, you’d think that there would be nothing else that could top it.

411 dark shadows birdemic joshua

And then they do this. Barnabas’ father comes by to check that nobody has disturbed his son’s final resting place, forcing the newly-minted vampire to turn into a bat and fly away.

411 dark shadows chromakey ben barnabas

After Joshua takes off, Barnabas comes back, appearing to his servant in a cheerfully broken Chromakey effect that makes it look like Barnabas is suddenly six inches taller than Ben.

“It will be dawn soon,” Barnabas says. “We must go into the mausoleum.” I bet at this time last year, Jonathan Frid had no idea he would be saying lines like that pretty much ever single day.

411 dark shadows bloody barnabas

Once they’re inside, we get the breathtaking and unprecedented sight of the main character of a soap opera with an enormous blood mustache. I’m prepared to bet that this was the first time that had ever happened on television.

It’s way more graphic than anything they did a few months ago. Even when Barnabas bit into his niece Carolyn, they just showed the fangs, and then Carolyn woke up with a scarf and a dazed expression.

They’re really going for it this time. They’ve made us wait two months to see Barnabas turned into a vampire, and it’s built up an audience demand that they’re now happy to satisfy.

411 dark shadows drama barnabas ben

Ben is astonished.

Ben:  What happened to you?

Barnabas:  To me, nothing… but to some unfortunate villager. You see, I learned something else about my new existence tonight. I learned that… I cannot survive without blood.

And then they do another thunderclap, just to put a period on the end of that sentence.

411 dark shadows devoured barnabas ben

But even after a meal like this, Barnabas always has room for another monologue.

Ben:  Without what?

Barnabas:  Without blood, Ben. Without other people’s blood! You will begin to hear talk tomorrow, about an attack that took place in the village tonight. They will probably think, from the marks on the woman’s throat, that it was done by some wild animal, but it wasn’t. I am the guilty one.

Ben:  But, why?

Barnabas:  Because I have need for BLOOD!

411 dark shadows murder barnabas

Oh, it’s delicious. More thunder, more shouting, more self-pity.

Barnabas:  I should have let her go through with it. I should have let her kill me.

Ben:  Mr. Barnabas, you mustn’t talk like that!

Barnabas:  Ben, I would rather be dead than have to go through eternity as what I am… what I have become.

Incredible. There will be dull moments ahead, as there always are, sooner or later. But once again, the mystery box turns out to be a gift-wrapped present in honor of Barnabas’ special day. Happy birthday!

Tomorrow: You’ve Got to Believe Me.

Dark Shadows bloopers to watch out for:

There’s one of the great accidental guest appearances today — during the secret room scene, the shot goes wider than expected, and we see a stagehand in a blue shirt, sitting just offstage. He gets up and moves out of the shot.

411 dark shadows barnabas angelique and friend

Also:  In yesterday’s episode, Angelique is wearing a cloak that falls from her shoulders as she raises the hammer and stake. In today’s reprise, they don’t bother with the cloak.

As Angelique opens the coffin, you can see a stage light on the floor illuminating the coffin.

There are lit candles in the secret room that weren’t there yesterday. In the teaser, two of the candles have blown out. When we come back after the opening titles, all the candles are lit.

When Barnabas is challenging Angelique to use her powers, she says, “I have no reason to!” He assures her, “You will have in a minute. Only this time you will use them… for the right… purpose.”

Just before Joshua enters the mausoleum, Barnabas tells Ben, “I’m going to find a way to hide the body. If anyone comes into the mausoleum, tell them that I’ve… that… no one is to come in here.”

When Barnabas appears in Chromakey, there’s some background talking and a couple of beeps; it sounds like some other audio feed is bleeding through.

Tomorrow: You’ve Got to Believe Me.

411 dark shadows credits barnabas

Dark Shadows episode guide

— Danny Horn

58 thoughts on “Episode 411: Other People’s Blood

  1. And this is the end of 1795 Angelique — or rather the compelling character she was. She’ll return as a floating head and a portrait vandal and a surprise witness for the prosecution, but she is no longer the horribly flawed human being with the comprensible goals. Her tragedy, like Macbeth, ends here with her death. Now, it is Barnabas’s story, and we see him and Nathan Forbes become monsters. And we see Joshua Collins almost become our protagonist.

    We always knew Barnabas became a vampire unwillingly and unhappily. We do learn that he was a decent human being (horribly flawed but who isn’t on a soap opera?) and that will inform the human he becomes while cured. The show will not attempt to depict him as a “good” vampire until 1897 (although his body count there is higher than it was in 1967).

    As for Angelique, she is never this wonderful again until 1897 and even then she doesn’t dominate the plot as she does here.

    1. Actually as a vampire, Barnabas carries all his human flaws. Let’s put it this way. Before he became a vampire he was lousy at crisis management, and afterwards it does not get any better….

      On the other hand, seeing him in action as a human puts 1967 in perspective. He did not kidnap and try to brainwash Maggie because he was a vampire, but because he was an habitual hatcher of loopy plots.

      Which means that he gets our sympathies, and also a strong desire to Gibbs-slap him…

      1. I’m curious–do folks think that Barnabas’s terrible decision-making and loopy plans were conscious parts of his character or just bad plotting on the writers’ part?

        1. My vote is: conscious bad plotting. They’re making Dark Shadows up as they go along, and the only rule is that this week is supposed to be more interesting than last week. They never really plotted more than two or three weeks ahead.

          So the survival-of-the-fittest natural selection process favors impulsive, passionate characters who can turn on a dime, and always have something new to do. That’s how you end up with four lunatics like Barnabas, Julia, Angelique and Quentin as the stars of the show.

          1. Vun! Vun lunatic! Ah ah ah aaahhh!
            Two! Two lunatics! Ah ah ah aaahhh!
            Three! Three lunatics! Ah ah ah aaahhh!
            Four! Four lunatics! Ah ah ah aaahhh!

    2. Smoky good point here.”And this is the end of 1795 Angelique — or rather the compelling character she was. She’ll return as a floating head and a portrait vandal and a surprise witness for the prosecution, but she is no longer the horribly flawed human being with the comprensible goals. Her tragedy, like Macbeth, ends here with her death. Now, it is Barnabas’s story, and we see him and Nathan Forbes become monsters. And we see Joshua Collins almost become our protagonist.”

    3. I’m watching the 1897 storyline now and it seems that there are so many different plots going simultaneously that the only character who had enough screen time to make the same impact as 1795 Angelique is ‘new guy on the block’ Quentin.

  2. I don’t know about anyone else but these images of Barnabas with blood running down his mouth costs him to lose more sympathy points with me. I know this scene was included to horrify and thrill the increasingly younger audience however the blood on his clothing and hands could have conveyed the message that he had attacked somebody. Someone of his ‘refined’ upbringing would have wiped the blood off of their face instead of letting it drip down their mouth for others to see. He always presented himself as dignified and well mannered so this portrayal of him seems out of character, even as his ‘new vampire’ self…

      1. That’s how I took it, that he’s too freaked out to worry about clean-up. Also he’s a newbie vampire — his feeding technique no doubt gets a bit more refined as he goes along.

        1. He doesn’t know how he looks to other people.

          It’s not like he can use a mirror.

          And waiting for Sam Evans or Charles Delaware Tate would take FOREVER.

          And his face here….is a flavor saver.

    1. I’d say cut Barnabas a little slack here: this was a new, unbelievable horrific experience for him, his very first night as a vampire. He was probably in too much fright and shock to bother with his usual good grooming habits; all he could probably think of was getting the hell outta Dodge (or Collinsport, in this case).

  3. So why didn’t he drink Angelique’s blood and is there something about the coffin that wards off this curse? I mean if he REALLY had to continue to have human blood to live, wouldn’t he have crumbled to dust or whatever at some point? 200 years without eating is a HECK of a diet. And if Angelique really wanted him dead, why she’d spill all the rules so he knows how to stay alive? I’d have said “You bet you can go along out in sunlight, in fact you need a bit of a tan to hide the undead thing.” 🙂

    1. “Why didn’t he drink Angelique’s blood”?
      I guess he wasn’t thirsty yet. It was only hours later, after Angelique was dead, that he discovered the bloodthirst thing.

      I don’t know all the vampire lore, but in the DS context, it could be that he becomes totally dormant – dead for all intents and purposes – when he’s in the coffin. The need for blood only comes when he’s up and about.

      It does make me wonder where he was getting his blood from in 1967. After the first few weeks of his resurrection we didn’t hear any more about dead animals. And he didn’t bite Maggie that often. Was he getting the odd sip off Willie every evening?

      1. There’s never any indication of how much blood the vampires need in order to survive. Some of the DS vampires feed every couple days, but Barnabas seems to go a long time without it sometimes.

        I’m starting to think of it in sexual terms, rather than food. You don’t die if you don’t have sex, but you get more and more “hungry” for it. If you have the opportunity, you could have sex three times a day, and then go for weeks without it. That model is much closer to how DS vampires actually behave.

  4. “The show will not attempt to depict him as a ‘good’ vampire until 1897 (although his body count there is higher than in 1967).”

    And then there are the questionable things done by him as a NON-vampire! This is a big SPOILER –

    In one scene he causes the “stooge” of the current villain to kill himself, and instead of doing it in self-defense, he does it mainly to “rattle” the villain! That left a funny taste in my mouth.

  5. great death by lara parker there! well done with the ragdoll tumble to the ground and the terrified deadeye stare! she’s a keeper, that one.

  6. It is marvelous that a show willing to spend multiple episodes where characters argue whether or not to open a door that this episode would be so packed with plot. Barnabas figures out what has happened with remarkable speed–guessing at his situation accurately and then moving on from there. He doesn’t get to almost any of the Kubler Ross stages of grief, which you think he would, as it’s his own life he’s grieving.

  7. Also, the show loves to give Barnabas an Igor (or Renfield) figure. Willie, Carolyn, now Ben. This shows up in the novel of “Dracula” but are there any other or earlier examples?

    1. I think that’s actually the adventure-story trope where every important character (hero or villain) needs a sidekick to talk to. That’s especially relevant on a soap opera, a medium that’s mostly talking, interrupted by an occasional plot point.

  8. So it appears that Barnabas’ preferred method of choking his victims has its own origin story too 🙂 I wonder if it was due to a lingering knowedge in his undead mind of how it was also the method used by Angelique in the only time she attacked him directly and not through someone he cared for.

    And even with her death curse, it was a bat who did the damage, but the throat was once more the target. Hmmm……

    1. Yes, this episode and those that closely follow, are what sealed the deal for me. Dark Shadows was in my blood, forever. I think this and several others to follow in 1795 are what Jonathan Frid must have had in mind when he said that occasionally, the writing, the acting, the music, costumes, sets, everything, coalesced into something wonderful. Something Brigadoonish, he said.

      I can still conjure the goosebump feeling, sometimes, but I can’t describe it fully or accurately. To summon it, I flashback to Barnabas and Ben in the mausoleum, and those mournful laments.

      Partly, I think, it was that Barnabas and his tale bought the vampire legend home. There was no Transylvanian accent, no tuxedo or opera cape. Barnabas wasn’t just the first reluctant vampire, he was the first American vampire. He may have been the upper crust of the American pie, but he wasn’t the aloof, castle-dwelling aristocrat from an exotically foreign land; he was ours. He wore the same clothes the founding fathers wore. His secret crypt was built to hide weapons during the revolution. His faithful servant was indentured returning from the war.

      His newly cursed existence was still adjacent to his human life. He had a family he cared about enough to try to remain in the shadows, and a sweetheart he intended to avoid in order to protect her from himself, and a beautiful, evil, dead witch of a wife who wasn’t through tormenting him.

      This was the American horror story. Gothic, poetic tragedy; unique and legendary.

  9. It struck me as stupid for Barnabas to tell anyone who comes into the mausoleum that they mustn’t come into the secret room. The only other person who knows about the secret room is Joshua who would not be dissuaded from going in by Ben. And guess who comes into the mausoleum.

    This episode should be called “Josette is an Idiot.” She knows that Barnabas’ death is supposed to be a secret; yet she blabs the truth in front of the town jailor (er, I mean, “gaolor”). The fact of the death should be all over town by dawn. (We know from a previous episode that Collinsportians gossip until at least two a.m.)

    The narrator (who happens to be Moltke herself) has emphasized the idea that Vicki Winters is learning that the history in her book from the future is not true, but has she learned that yet? It is only in this episode that she learns that Barnabas died and so must not have gone to England, and that might not be the only instance in this episode of someone finding out something they did not know and not having any question about it. Why BTW does Peter not pipe up and tell Josette that he heard Barnabas say that he believed in Vicki’s innocence and promised that he would work on Vicki’s defense? Has Vicki got an idiot for an attorney who is passing up a free opportunity to argue a prosecution witness out of testifying?

    Maybe he is just that dumb.

    Lunatic plot alert: Peter, the gaolor, is going to walk down the street with his prisoner but without authorization to do so. Does he not need his job?

    Also, Vicki is actually going to take action after being completely passive for two hundred or so episodes? Can we say, “out of character”? And how does she know where the book is since she previously gave Josette ample opportunity to move it?

  10. So much I could post, but most has already been observed and posted at this late date. One thing I keep noticing, is how much younger and better looking Jonathan Frid was sans the vampire make-up. It added 10 years to him! I don’t remember much of this 1795 time plot from when I was a kid, running home from school to catch the last 10 minutes of DS. (Wintertime was not an easy time to be hustling home from school.) 1795 has been a pleasant surprise to this, almost senior.

    For me, 1795 really did lend sympathy to Barnabas in telling who he was and how he became the vampire. However, this is coming from one of those 9-10 year olds who crushed on Barnabas and was too young to care or know about evil. It simply didn’t “click.” Teen mags had features on Jonathan Frid for giggling young girls. We liked vampire films back in the day, whether it was the original Dracula or Christopher Lee’s interpretations. Every Saturday night we watched horror films, like “Creature Features” or the original Svengoolie. We liked horror movies and DS was just good horror, with an immensely popular vampire as the main character. I guess I still embrace that young girl’s thoughts on the horror genre and don’t analyze it as an adult.

    I have mixed feelings about going back to, what is now, 1968. (I thought time froze when they zapped Vicki back in time.)

    The sets for 1795 are exceptional. I don’t know if the furnishings are exactly from that time period, but I’m sure that the furniture being used are genuine antiques. Another aspect I’ve enjoyed, although I know some of the pieces are in both the new and old houses in “modern times.”

    My first reaction to the burial clothes that they had on Barnabas was they echoed the original Nosferatu.

    Thanks again to Danny for presenting this log of DS episodes. It continues to be fun to read and occasionally participate.

    1. “When Barnabas is challenging Angelique to use her powers, she says, “I have no reason to!” He assures her, “You will have in a minute. Only this time you will use them… for the right… purpose.”

      No blooper here. He says the line correctly. Again, looking for bloopers that aren’t there.

    2. “I have mixed feelings about going back to, what is now, 1968. (I thought time froze when they zapped Vicki back in time.)”

      This whole concept of time freezing is ridiculous. The writers didn’t know how to explain it correctly. Time never froze in 1967/8. We just didn’t see 1967/68. The amount of time Vicki spent in the past was the amount of time Phyllis Wick was in the present. Then they switched places again, although it isn’t explained why Phyllis Wick was accused of witchcraft and why Peter Bradford still knew who Vicki was. But just because it wasn’t explained doesn’t mean there was no explanation.
      But time didn’t freeze in 1967/68 any more than if you watched a random episode on DVD, then four months later watched the next episode.

      1. No, incorrect. Time DID freeze in 1967/1968. We see the family frozen at the beginning of episode 461 when Victoria returns to the present and then unfreeze. The opening narration of 461 says, “For time has been suspended here. The clock’s hands have stopped as a result of a séance….And now two moments in time are parallel, during one tick of a clock in 1968 months have passed in 1795. Now only seconds remain.” It was just an inconvenience to the writers that the calendar had proceeded and now must say it is 1968 instead of 1967.

  11. One other element I adored about this episode: the relationship between Barnabas and Ben. On the page, their first scene could just be Barnabas threatening to kill Ben, and Ben coming up with anything he can think of to save his life, Willie Loomis style… but Thayer David plays Ben as sincere. Yeah, Mister Barnabas has just been turned into an undead inhuman creature… but he was always kind to me. Ben wants to help him. He wants to help him deal with whatever that witch has put him through now, no matter how bad it is. And Barnabas, the newly-minted fiend who has just cold-bloodedly strangled the witch who put him there… is gentle with Ben after that. I don’t know if it goes as far as kindness, but it’s a wonderful glimpse that there is still a humanity to this character. One which we never got with Willie the first time around.

    I think that might be the turning point in 1795 which makes Barnabas look eventually redeemable…

    1. Great insight into the relationship between the two. Thayer David greatly impresses with his understated acting amidst all the extremely theatrical characters he’s playing against. His Ben is a humble soul with lots of rough edges, but you can sense the humanity within. Ben seems the sort of man who would prefer to do the right thing if circumstances would allow, but he’s overwhelmed and at the mercy of an unfair world, first by being indentured to Joshua Collins, then under the spell of Angelique, and now as accomplice and witness to all that Barnabas is up to. Everyone else in 1795 is a “character” of some sort, while Ben comes across as an actual human being, and I think you’re right, it’s the sincere way that Thayer David plays Ben that’s responsible for that.

  12. This episode single-handedly brings virtually ALL of the show’s genre’s and motifs together in one big, glorious, blood-stained-mouth episode. The camp, the gothc, the quintessence of melodrama as purely defined by Dark Shadows is all residing in these 21 minutes.

    And how ironic that #410 and #411 mark the 200th Episodes of the Barnabas arc. You can feel that the writers may have actually PLANNED this out more so than in most of their fly-by-the-seat-of-their-pants episodes. I would definitely put this in my Top 10 DS episodes thus far.

  13. As I’ve expressed before, Frid is never better than when he’s playing Barnabas as a menacing figure, and he’s in absolute top form today. Everything about this episode clicks except the stupid animated bat, but we can live with that.

    Something has been bugging me, though. When does the famous portrait of Barnabas get painted? I haven’t see it hanging in either house, and it seems unlikely he’s going to have the opportunity to pose for it anytime soon. So where does it come from?

  14. OK, here’s another nagging question. Since Naomi, Joshua, and Sarah are all still alive, why are there three coffins in the outer chamber? If they were “pre-ordered” for the family (which sounds a bit morbid) shouldn’t there be a fourth one, for Barnabas?

    1. Forgive my late reply;
      The outer chamber’s occupants were likely meant to be Joshua, Naomi and Abigail. Barnabas would have been expected to make his own arrangements, and Sarah would have been interred with her husband in their family’s vault. The unexpected deaths switched up the family’s plans.

  15. Re-watching this on Decades I’ve got to agree that this episode hit on all cylinders. All the participants on the show were at the top of their game. Frid was particularly good, appearing to relish a situation he could play to with gusto. The emotions and the grim realization of his fate did bring pathos to Barnabas in my estimation.

  16. This is, too, one of my favorite D S episodes. The dialogue is so memorable and powerful, and Jonathan Frid’s acting is his best yet. I have watched and re-watched this episode endless times, and each time I relive those same thrills, goose bumps, and sadness as the greatest most tragic, yet, paradoxically, most ruthless vampire in pop cultural history.

  17. I meant, ” . . . at the greatest, yet paradoxically, most ruthless vampire in pop cultural history.” Wish we could edit our posts!

  18. The one thing I would question about this episode is why Angelique’s powers fail her because she’s unable to protect herself against Barnabas. Hell, she was able to stop Ben in his tracks from killing her, why couldn’t she have done that with Barnabas?

    Speaking of Ben, I totally sympathized with his struggling to understand the type of monster his friend, “Mr. Barnabas,” has become. When Barnabas tries to tell him that he needs blood and asks, “Can’t you understand that?” he answers, “I’m trying to!*–very poignant.

    1. I wonder if she has created another creature she cannot control. Probably why she was desperate to “kill” him with the stake. She knew from the beginning that she had made a terrible mistake, but love and passion is the number one reason for most domestic violence and murder, any episode of Forensic Files will tell you that! She went way too far, and she knew it, and she was desperate to stop it. Too little too late.

    2. Yes, it seems she can’t control Barnabas because he’s a supernatural creature. Even Barnabas tells her she can no longer control him. We saw a bit of precedent for this with the ghost (or zombie, or whatever he was) of Jeremiah. While Angelique “created” the ghost/zombie by calling him from the grave (perhaps similar to how she created the vampire Barnabas), and even though she did control Jeremiah for a time, soon she lost control of Jeremiah, even to the point where he almost killed her by burying her alive.

  19. I always enjoy Stephen’s comments, and I agree with his point about Barnabas’ “good vampire” qualities during the 1897 storyline.
    However, even then, he could be utterly ruthless when he felt he had to be, even towards sympathetic qualities, in order to keep his secret. To go into more detail right now would be to divulge spoilers.

  20. “When Barnabas is challenging Angelique to use her powers, she says, “I have no reason to!” He assures her, “You will have in a minute. Only this time you will use them… for the right… purpose.”

    No blooper here. Line was spoken correctly. Again, looking for bloopers that aren’t there.

  21. So Angelique can be shot and come back from the (apparently) dead, but strangling kills her? Very odd that she didn’t use her powers to stop Barnabas. Did she think vampires outrank witches on the supernatural powers scale? Spoilers: This won’t be the last of her in 1795 but I think she’s a ghost? when she returns to testify against Vicki.

    1. Angelique might not have powers that she can use against supernatural creatures; remember that she created the zombie Jeremiah and then wasn’t able to keep him in line.
      I guess witchcraft is trickier in actual practice than it is in theory.

  22. Another fun recap and comments. Poor Ben, having constantly to come up with explanations on the fly for situations other people create, and never really being appreciated for it. HIs character seems to be among the most fully realized, both in the writing and the acting.

  23. This is without a doubt one of my favorite TV show episodes of all time. So much going on. One of my favorite parts is the relationship established between Ben and vampire Barnabas. Ben is so loyal that even the reality of what Barnabas has become can’t break his devotion. Lara Parker crumpling to the floor in that way was truly superb. Her contribution to DS can’t be overstated. Alexandra who? I still want to know whose idea Barnabas’s shark bite hairstyle was. Massive kudos.

    1. If only Angelique would have stayed dead. All the rest of 1795 could have played out very well without her interference. I think she got off really easy considering how much suffering she created for others.

    2. Re: Barnabas’s “shark bite” hairdo–The portrait of Barnabas was mostly painted before Frid was cast. Robert Costello sat for the portrait, and the face was left off. It was filled in with Frid’s likeness when he was cast. One of the stories is that because Costello was balding and had a receding hairline (which he did), the “shark bite” hairdo was created out of his paltry bangs, and once the character was cast, the actor was stuck with that hair style. I don’t know if that’s true or not, and I’m a bit skeptical of it, but if it is true, there’s an explanation.

  24. I feel so sad for Barnabas as he realizes what a monster he has become. His need for other people’s blood goes further into a realm of terrifying horror than any Frankenstein’s Monster or Wolf Man. They too were the unfortunate victims of other’s mad science or magic, never having asked for what became their fate, but those monsters didn’t kill as a necessity for survival the same way a vampire must feed on fresh blood in order to “live.” With the Monster and Wolf Man, it was always in self-defense that they killed. The Vampire is on a completely different level from the other so-called monsters. The Vampire kills in order to live, not just to survive.

    The beautiful and powerful witch Angelique who started the whole thing from her warped idea of what is love, lies dead on floor in a heap. She is a completely unsympathetic character at this point. I am reminded of the show Grimm (one of my guilty pleasures), and the beautiful witch Adalind Schade, when she attacks Burkhart’s aunt, she sets into motion the very events that eventually lead to her own death as a witch. And as with Angelique, Adalind’s meddling has a profound effect on the guilty along with the innocent. No one is safe with a love crazed witch around. Without Angelique, you don’t have Adalind Schade. Bravo, Lara Parker.

  25. I don’t think anyone ever thought of Barnabas as “cuddly,” and I don’t believe that “sympathetic” and “ruthless” are necessarily mutually exclusive. Barnabas is a COMPLICATED character, and that’s much of what people respond too. He is BOTH “sympathetic” and a horror. We even see it in this episode. He has moments of remorse and anguish over what he has become AND he ruthlessly kills Angelique and tears a villager apart. And that seems to me what he’s always been and always will be as a vampire. He’s never one or the other.

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