“How did this blood get on your arm?”
Hey, who’s up for a good old-fashioned teens on the run story? And it’s genuine old-fashioned, too; you can’t get more old-fashioned than the 18th century.
Unless it’s the 17th century, I guess. Or any of the other ones. Anyway, let’s ride.
TOO DUMB TO LIVE! TOO YOUNG TO DIE!
Action EXPLODES across the small screen as our lovestruck runaways make their escape from — hey, watch where you’re pointing that gun!
For Pete’s sake. Actors and their guns; I don’t know what to do with them. It’s amazing that anyone survives from one episode to the next.
And these two already have more bullet wounds than they need, thanks to Peter’s foolproof jailbreak scheme, which involved handing the gun to Vicki for two seconds.
So things went awry, obviously. He should know that you don’t hand Vicki anything more dangerous than a pool toy. It was only a matter of time until she shot herself in the shoulder, which was not an amazing strategic move. That’s lesson #1 for any future crime sprees: The shooty end points that way.
But somehow they’ve managed to stumble all the way out of town without being apprehended, probably because the show can’t afford to pay any actors to play police officers.
Meanwhile, back at Collinwood, Lt. Nathan Forbes is apparently taking an in-office vacation day today. He showed up for work, but he’s decided not to act if he doesn’t have to, and he mostly doesn’t have to. The character has pretty much everything he wanted — he’s married the occasionally wealthy Millicent Collins and successfully gaslighted her into a nervous breakdown, without even breaking a sweat. True, he still needs to figure out a way to get control of the money, which is in her little brother’s name, but how hard could that be?
Right up until the marriage, Nathan was a happy-go-lucky comedy scoundrel. But we’re getting close to the end of the 1795 flashback, and all the other villains are dead, so now Nathan has to play the role of the heavy, and he doesn’t seem to be enjoying it much. Frankly, Joel Crothers looks disappointed and bored.
And that’s a shame, because this would be a really good time for him to remind the producers that he can be a lot of fun. We’re about to go back to the 1960s, where Crothers plays Maggie’s square boyfriend, Joe, who wears turtlenecks and gets excited about cake.
He’s been so much fun as Nathan, sexy and scheming and resourceful, just a perfect soap opera character. But that’s about to come to an end, and he’s not going to get another chance like this again — at least, not on this show, and I think he knows it. He looks like he’s updating his resume in his head.
Anyway, back to Bonnie and Clyde, who have made their way to the Old House. This is a weird choice for a hideout, but they don’t have that many sets to choose from. Their options are either the town’s only bar, somewhere on the Collins estate, or just go back to the jail and hide out in Vicki’s cell.
It’s not like it matters, because Peter’s using his gun hand to close the latch, so it’s only a matter of time before they exterminate themselves. I’d imagine that somebody tried to explain holsters to Peter at some point, and he thought they were just kidding.
They’re in the house for less than twenty seconds before somebody finds them. Luckily, it’s Ben, who wants to help them, but seriously, you guys need to get better at hiding. I just don’t know what to do.
So, here’s the current state of the dialogue.
Ben: What are you doing here? What do you want?
Peter: We need your help, Ben.
Um, yeah. “We” meaning me and the bleeding girl who is practically in your direct line of sight.
Peter says, “I brought Miss Winters here,” and indicates Miss Winters.
Ben turns his head slighty and says, “Miss Winters!” It’s just that kind of episode today. Nobody is any good at anything.
Ben examines Vicki’s wound, and Peter, watch what you’re doing with the open flame, okay? I’m serious; somebody needs to baby-proof the Old House.
Young Daniel comes over and knocks on the front door, calling for Ben. Startled, they have to find a hiding place in a hurry, and again with the gun. Peter is really not going to be satisfied until he seriously injures someone.
Ben opens the door and tries to shoo Daniel away, but this kid doesn’t shoo easily. He walks in and starts talking, and he’s in the house for about thirty-five seconds before he notices Vicki’s torn, bloody sleeve sitting there on the armchair.
He spots a trail of blood on the carpet, and follows it…
… Right to the secret room behind the bookcase where Vicki and Peter are hiding.
So I don’t even know how to talk about the things happening in this episode. Every single scene is about somebody who tries to do something and is instantly foiled. Ben tells Daniel to leave, so he can bring Vicki to a new hiding place — the secret room in the Collins family mausoleum. But Daniel was watching them as they left, and he follows them to the mausoleum.
Then Daniel goes back to Collinwood, and Nathan asks where he’s been. Daniel tries to play it cool, but now Nathan is the crime scene investigator, and he immediately spots the bloodstains on Daniel’s sleeve.
So everyone is bad at hiding anything, and Peter is still waving that gun around, and then Vicki falls asleep and the episode is over. The end.
Tomorrow: Mission: Impossible.
Dark Shadows bloopers to watch out for:
Vicki dreams about a man strangling Daniel. At the last second, as the camera pulls up from Daniel to reveal Nathan’s face, Daniel crosses his eyes and makes a silly face.
Also, why is Angelique’s portrait still hanging in the Old House drawing room? (Thanks to prop-spotter Prisoner of the Night.)
Tomorrow: Mission: Impossible.
— Danny Horn