Episode 424: Pursued By a Bear

“Doesn’t it disturb you that the last thing she was able to say was your son’s name?”

You know, I don’t care how it looks on TV — I bet there’s a downside to murdering any random person you come across. For one thing, there’s all the mess to clean up, and it certainly won’t make organizing the neighborhood softball league any easier.

I mean, at a certain point I think you just need to say to yourself, I bet that person’s probably in the middle of something. Then you say excuse me, and you go find something else to do. Join a book club or something. It’s just not that difficult.

424 dark shadows csi joshua nathan

But try telling that to Barnabas; he never listens. Yesterday, he was lurking in the Old House when Suki Forbes happened to stop by, and what with one thing and another, he ended up strangling her to death. Suki’s husband Nathan heard her scream, and he rushed in just in time for her to gasp Barnabas’ name before she died.

Nathan ran over to Collinwood to tell Barnabas’ father Joshua what happened, and now they’ve come back to the Old House for a quick round of CSI: Collinsport, the police procedural show where nobody understands police procedure.

The first thing Nathan does is pick up Suki’s body and dump it on a chaise-longue in the back parlor. Then they stand around in the drawing room and look for another crime scene to contaminate. Shouldn’t they be searching for fibers? I’m not totally sure I know what a fiber is, but the people with flashlights on TV always get super excited when they find one. Maybe you can only find them at crime scenes; I can’t remember the last time I said to myself, Aha, a fiber. But there’s a lot I don’t know about forensics.

424 dark shadows fiber nathan joshua

The big question Nathan wants answered is: why did Suki say Barnabas’ name? Everyone knows that Barnabas went to England a few weeks ago, and Suki never even met him. Now, Joshua knows that Barnabas didn’t actually go to England — he died, and they just told everybody that — but he also knows that Barnabas’ coffin was empty when he checked on it yesterday. It’s a complex situation, and all Joshua can do is stand there and make a series of impossibly grumpy faces.

Joshua is actually a great soap opera character, because he’s a very deliberate thinker, and that helps to pace out the story. He’s not one of the Goldfish People who need to hear the same information every day or they forget it — he’s retaining all of these weird clues, and he’s mulling them over.

424 dark shadows mystery joshua josette

And then a mystery just comes along and solves itself right in front of them, which is super helpful because they aren’t making any headway with the other one. They’ve been searching for Josette for a couple episodes, since Barnabas appeared in her bedroom and led her out through a secret panel. And now she just wanders down the Old House stairs with a dazed expression on her face, calling for Barnabas.

Now, I thought it was funny in 1967 when Barnabas let the girl he was holding prisoner just wander around the house during the day. It turns out he’s been doing the same thing for centuries. You’d think that he’d be better at this; he’s had a lot of practice.

424 dark shadows anyway millicent josette

Anyway, back at Collinwood, Millicent and Naomi are talking about how worried they are, and then Joshua and Nathan come in practically dragging a near-comatose Josette between them. First they have to explain how they found her, and then they have to break the news about Suki’s murder, too. It’s absolute chaos around here, subplots ricocheting all over the place.

424 dark shadows aunt nathan millicent

While Josette is getting settled upstairs in her bedroom, Millicent decides to help by writing a letter to Suki’s relatives in Baltimore, to inform them about her untimely death.

This is a sweet gesture, but it’s inconvenient for Nathan, who’s currently most of the way through his scheme to marry Millicent and get his hands on her outrageous fortune. Millicent thinks that Suki is Nathan’s sister, but she’s going to learn otherwise in about a minute and a half.

424 dark shadows license millicent nathan

Looking through Suki’s papers, Millicent finds a wedding license, and that pretty much shoots this subplot entirely to pieces. It turns out that Suki’s brief run on the show was never intended to last; she was just a plot device to set off this particular cluster bomb.

424 dark shadows wife nathan millicent

And, oh, what a wonderful noise this explosion makes.

Millicent:  She wasn’t your sister. She was your wife.

Nathan:  All right, Millicent, now just let me try to explain —

424 dark shadows deceit nathan millicent

Millicent:  She was your wife!

Nathan:  Yes, but —

Millicent:  And you’ve been deceiving me! Everything you said to me was a lie!

Nathan:  I swear to you, Millicent —

424 dark shadows lies millicent nathan

Millicent:  Don’t say anything else to me, Nathan, please! I don’t want to hear any more of your lies!

Nathan:  Look, I wanted you to know, but there was no way for me to tell you. It was a marriage in name only. I wanted to end it, but Suki wouldn’t let me.

425 dark shadows near millicent nathan

Millicent:  No! No! I don’t want to hear it! I don’t want to hear you, or see you, or be anywhere near you!

424 dark shadows bolts nathan millicent

And she bolts for the door.

Nathan:  Millicent, wait!

424 dark shadows run nathan

Nathan:  Millicent! You must listen to me!

424 dark shadows door

And they run out through the front door, out into the night, and we don’t see them again for the rest of the week. So how was your day?

Tomorrow: Jump Street.

Dark Shadows bloopers to watch out for:

In act 1, as Nathan enters Collinwood to talk to Joshua, he pushes the door closed behind him, but it swings wide open again.

In act 3, when Nathan puts his cloak down on the table in the foyer, it falls to the floor and he has to pick it up again.

Tomorrow: Jump Street.

424 dark shadows josette participating

Dark Shadows episode guide

— Danny Horn

14 thoughts on “Episode 424: Pursued By a Bear

  1. Josette is a real mess..I hate to say this but there are several similarities between her and Bella Swann, the mopey ‘heroine’ of Twilight fame: They both came from warm sunny climates (Martinique and Arizona) and wound up in gloomy, desolate areas (Collinsport, Maine and Forks, Washington). Then they both fell for their respective vampire beaus (Barnabas COLLINS and Edward CULLEN). They both had other potential suitors (Jeremiah Collins and Jacob Black) who may have made them happy in a somewhat ‘normal’ life. Then they both turned into pathetic obsessed characters who tossed everything else in their lives away while they endlessly pined for their ‘biting beaus’. Both of these ladies jumped off a cliff and the only difference was that Bella survived to marry her beloved and Josette became a legend (of which she certainly not deserve).

  2. Joshua can do is stand there and make a series of impossibly grumpy faces.Actually, I liked grumpy Joshua, an interesting character to say the least.

  3. I absolutely LOVE the “fiber” angle.

    Danny Horn, you da bomb.

    I know, I don’t keep pace with the rest of ya’all.

    I do 2 or 3 eps per day.

    4th time through.

    And the local Library must think I’m NUTZ.

    I don’t own the set. Just three. But…

    I’ve been doing it since Johnny Depp.

    Ooh, I’M sorry……that is a fire starter.

  4. Nathan is a very entertaining character. He’s a complete bounder in his love life, of course; abandoning Suki, romancing Millicent for her money and very nearly becoming a bigamist. But he genuinely tried to protect Vicki from Trask and that’s real grief and horror he showed over Suki’s death (when you’d expect it would be the answer to his dreams!)

  5. Nathan is so sorry, look at that ‘hanging his head in shame’ screencap! But look how he bounces right back, with the classic soap opera line – “Wait, I can explain!”
    And that’s pretty much the end of the fun side of Lt. Forbes – he gets darker from here on.:-(

  6. So the whole Suki deathscene is incredibly incredulous. First off, she clearly puts the deadbolt on the door when she runs in to get away from the bat. Somehow, Nathan is able to get in without breaking down the door or damaging the lock. Secondly, if her death is caused by strangulation, which it apparently is, even M. E. Forbes declares as much to Joshua, how does she utter a dying declaration of who killed her. Did she catch her breath enough to speak but not enough to breathe?

    As for Josette, enough already. She wants to be with Barnabas but she wanders downstairs to be discovered. Too much!!

    1. Suki is the only one I know of in 1795 or 1967 to even the lock the door in the first place. Barnabas never locked the door. Willie never locked the door. Matthew never locked the door. But, now we know the lock doesn’t even work? Weird…

  7. I’m going to cut Josette some slack. In two months, she has been: bewitched, married a man she never knew, broke a man’s heart, wrecked a family, watched her husband die, and watched Barnbas die, professing his love and that he would come back to her. Of course, she is a mess.

  8. I also like Joshua’s “impossibly grumpy faces.” Louis Edmonds does a great job of portraying Joshua’s inner intensity in trying to cope with this recent shocking turn of events.

    On a different note, how convenient it was for Josette to just wander down the staircase at the very moment Joshua and Nathan happen to be searching the Old House. Can we all say “contrived?”

  9. Millicent, don’t run out the door, run up the stairs. You are in a giant house and Forbes can’t enter the family quarters. What are we going to do with these girls who run out into trouble?

    1. I said exactly the same thing. “Why are you running out of the house? Why didn’t you run directly into your own upstairs bedroom where he definitely isn’t allowed and probably wouldn’t try to go, especially with Joshua in the house?” I know she’s a silly airhead, but every woman knows how to retreat into their own quarters.

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