Episode 462: No Place Like Home

“I think I expected a haircut to make me feel all new. It doesn’t.”

Victoria Winters is back from her trip to the 18th century — and like all young people coming back from break, she has a bullet wound in her shoulder, a barely coherent memory of what happened, and a new boyfriend who she doesn’t know how to contact.

Now, Julia Hoffman — who has just revealed that she’s a doctor — is providing some unorthodox therapy, spinning a medallion in Vicki’s face and interrogating her under hypnosis. Let the healing begin.

462 dark shadows medallion vicki

Julia wants to know whether Vicki learned that Barnabas is a vampire while she was away, but Vicki’s being cagey.

Vicki:  If only Barnabas were here. If only I could see him! He’d help us.

Julia:  Do you know what has happened to Barnabas?

Vicki:  He would get Peter out of jail.

Poor Julia. For about two seconds, Victoria Winters was out of her life, and she didn’t even have time to enjoy it.

462 dark shadows helmet julia

As usual with anybody spending more than fifteen minutes in Vicki’s company, Julia is seized with an impulse to go somewhere else, so she gives Vicki a sedative and heads into town.

Vicki — who just got back from vacation, and is now apparently taking a personal day — drops off to an uneasy sleep.

462 dark shadows hand jeremiah

Happily, her dream takes her right back to one of the 1795 highlights — a guest appearance by zombie Jeremiah, who reaches out from the grave with a public service announcement about trusting Barnabas.

“COME TO ME!” he bellows, as he digs his way out of the ground. “DO NOT BE AFRAID! I WILL HELP YOU! I AM THE FIRST HE KILLED!”

This doesn’t go over as well as he seems to expect, but he’s already ten slides in on a thirty-slide PowerPoint deck, so he might as well commit to finishing it.

“MANY WILL DIE AT HIS HANDS!” he screams, rushing through his presentation. “I HAVE HEARD THEM CRYING IN THEIR GRAVES! SO SHALL YOU!”

Meanwhile, she’s turned her back and put her hands over her ears, trying to block him out. I swear, I have had so many meetings like this.

462 dark shadows zombie vicki

So this is a welcome confirmation that the show isn’t going to forget everything they learned from 1795. Over the last few months, Angelique’s witchcraft inspired the producers to explore the boundaries of crazy spectacle, including zombie attacks, tying Vicki to a tree for an exorcism, Joshua turning into a cat, and Bathia disappearing in a sheet of flame.

But now the show has intentionally taken a step backwards, returning to the 1960s and picking up exactly where they left off four months ago. It would be understandable for them to back off from some of the more outrageous stunts, for fear that what looked cool in the fantasy world of the past might look silly when you inflict it on modern-day characters.

It remains to be seen whether they can commit to that heightened level of reality-shaking spectacle outside of the dream sequences, but it’s a good sign that they’re bringing Z-Jay out for an encore, just two days into the present-day storyline. The spirit of ’95 is still with us.

462 dark shadows eyeball jeremiah

And really, the best part is that Zombie Jeremiah seems to think that he’s a trustworthy advisor who Vicki might turn to for advice about her social activities.

“I AM NOT THE ONE FOR YOU TO FEAR!” he yells, reaching out to her with his dirty, bloodstained claws. “LOOK AT ME! SEE THE TRUTH!”

So he’s trying, bless his heart, but there isn’t much of a chance that he’s going to turn this around. I think Vicki needs to find a less intimidating guardian angel, that’s all there is to it.

462 dark shadows hairstyle julia

One commercial break later, all of that graveyard malarkey fades into the background, because here is the event I’ve been looking forward to for nine months — possibly the most important single event on Dark Shadows since Barnabas climbed out of the mystery box.

Julia gets a haircut.

462 dark shadows smile julia

Okay, you’re still sitting upright, so obviously you didn’t hear what I just said:


It is seriously impossible for me to overstate the importance of this plot point. If this was a soap opera magazine, the cover would say “THE BOMBSHELL THAT CHANGES DS FOREVER!” — and for the first time in the history of the soap opera press, that would not be an exaggeration.

462 dark shadows no barnabas julia

This is actually the hairstyle that Grayson Hall has had all along; she’s only been wearing that stiff hair-helmet wig because Dan Curtis thought this style was too sophisticated for Dr. J. Hoffman, the calculating ice-queen.

By now, she’s developed into something a lot more interesting than that tired woman-in-a-man’s-world stereotype. She’s become a complex space-time event, with full authorial powers to rewrite the storyline any way she chooses.

Barnabas is compelling and fun, but emotionally and strategically he’s a complete mess — constantly tripping over the worst choice he can find, on his way to an even bigger disaster. But as far as the show is concerned, Julia is always right.

From now on, the writers speak through her character, and as we saw yesterday, the show needs her to take Barnabas down a peg, throwing him off balance.

When Barnabas is in full control of the storyline, he can be dull and complacement. When he’s caught off guard, he snaps into focus again, and he’s forced to come up with new crazy schemes. That’s Julia’s job now, to make sure that he’s uncomfortable.

And she couldn’t do that while operating from underneath a frumpy hat. She needs some space to spread out, and come up with creative new facial expressions.

Also, she looks awesome. It’s a really good hairstyle, is what I’m saying.

462 dark shadows protect barnabas julia

Anyway, while I’ve been nattering on with bulletins from the barbershop, they’ve been doing a scene back there. Barnabas is upset that Julia’s keeping him away from Vicki, just at the moment when he needs to make sure that Vicki doesn’t know his secret.

He proposes a bargain that’s exceptionally lame, even for him — “Help me, and I’ll leave Vicki alone.” Julia just openly chuckles. Dude, check the hairstyle. Her ears aren’t covered up anymore; she can actually hear the words that you’re saying. You need to keep that in mind, and review your strategy.

462 dark shadows past barnabas julia

They segue into a discussion of time travel theory, with Julia in the role of Science Detective. Students of science fiction, listen up: This is the most coherent explanation that we will get of the implications of Vicki’s time travel.

Barnabas:  You don’t know the panic that I felt when I saw that girl in Vicki’s chair, and I realized that it was Phyllis Wick.

Julia:  You knew her, of course.

Barnabas:  She was Sarah’s governess, until she was tried for witchcraft.

Julia:  Was she hanged?

Barnabas:  She was to hang the day my coffin was carried to the mausoleum, and chained.

Julia:  Barnabas… Vicki took her place!

Barnabas:  The past is constantly being relived.

Now, possibly the strangest thing about that very strange explanation is that Phyllis and Vicki didn’t just share the same fate — Vicki actually managed to nail the correct day of her hanging. Even with the jailbreak and the gunshot wound and the spoiler-filled Collins family history book — and without even trying — Vicki synched the execution date, on the fly.

But if you have questions about why Barnabas remembers Phyllis and not Vicki, the best answer that you’re going to get is “The past is constantly being relived.”

That’s not a very rigorous theory, but I can hang some timey-wimey Doctor Who technobabble on top of it, if it’ll make you feel better.

Here are some useful make-believe science phrases that you can try: chronic hysteresis, causal nexus, Blinovitch Limitation Effect, infinite temporal flux, Charged Vacuum Emboitment. There, that should be good enough for now.

462 dark shadows back barnabas julia

And then something happens that makes being a Dark Shadows fan worthwhile: Barnabas actually gets down on one knee and begs for Julia’s help.

Barnabas:  Julia… Help me, like you did before. Can’t we go back to the time when we were friends, when we worked together?

Julia:  I don’t know.

Barnabas:  Surely, you see that my life completely depends on what she knows. If you won’t let me… you must find out.

Julia:  I’m trying to.

462 dark shadows entirely barnabas julia

Naturally, he pushes his luck.

Barnabas:  And if you succeed, will you use it to help me, or hurt me?

Julia:  That depends entirely on you, Barnabas.

And then she smiles — a secret new-makeover smile that only people with fantastic haircuts can access — and she changes Dark Shadows forever.

Tomorrow: Meanwhile, in the Past.

Dark Shadows bloopers to watch out for:

Jeremiah’s gravestone still says “Jerimiah Collins”; we first saw the misspelled stone in episode 392.

In the dream, as Jeremiah’s hand reaches up from the ground, a shadow cross the shot — it’s Vicki, getting into place for her scene.

There’s a great haircut-related dialogue blunder, when Barnabas first sees Julia’s new look.

Barnabas:  Why, Doctor Hoffman.

Julia:  Good evening, Barnabas.

Barnabas:  I almost didn’t recognize you.

Julia (primping):  Oh… an impulse. I’m sure I’ll regret it.

Barnabas:  Well… I, uh, must tell you how much I like your hair.

Behind the Scenes:

It’s Timothy Gordon playing Jeremiah’s body in this episode, and Addison Powell doing the voice, as they did in December. Powell, who happens to be The Worst Actor Who Ever Appeared on Dark Shadows, played Judge Matigan in January, and we’ll see him next week as Dr. Eric Lang.

Tomorrow: Meanwhile, in the Past.

462 dark shadows count barnabas

Dark Shadows episode guide

— Danny Horn

54 thoughts on “Episode 462: No Place Like Home

  1. The thing that begs the question is, what was it about Phyllis Wick that so turned Abigail against her enough to summon Reverend Trask to set her on the path to being convicted and hanged for witchcraft? Originally, she wouldn’t have arrived at the then not so Old House in 1960s attire like Vicky did, nor would she have arrived there with a book on the Collins family history printed in 1965 and likewise she wouldn’t have known of future events and tragedies in the Collins family providing her with knowledge that would lead to others becoming suspicious if she said the wrong thing and revealed what she knew would happen. Or… maybe she did.

    If the past is constantly being relived, then the future is constantly being foretold.

    1. I would assume that once the craziness brought on by Angelique started, she would have started to point the finger at Phyllis, most likely because she was a stranger and lower class. Phyllis was most likely unable to defend herself (and perhaps Angelique threw suspicion her way like she ultimately did with Vicky) and just ended up being a convenient scapegoat.

      1. Another thing is that Phyllis is YOUNG….VERY ATTRACTIVE well educated. ABIGAIL. .On the other hand is an old maid….bitter….her biological clock. ..well mommy time ran out….a story i read was she was left at the alter and being a religious evangelical ISIS EXTREMIST warped sicko…jealous mind, such young nubile women are sinful evil….witch!….all yo often pretty sweet girls eere falsely accused…convicted executed for witchcraft back in those days…bu jealous plain or homely old…or young biddies….missusing God as justification for their pathetic plight in life.

    2. Abigail was mention to have not like the governesses at the begging of 1795. Usually I think she just managed to get them fired. Angelique might have still turn Joshua into a cat and Josette and Jeremiah might have still married as well as some of the other bizarre things still might have happen that lead to Phyllis being tried as a witch.

  2. So on Barnabas will move on to bigger and crazier schemes…

    I found this on the web, and he might as well hang it on his wall

    “Everything happens for a reason. Sometimes the reason is because you are stupid and make decisions.”

    1. …lol..Adriana if Barnabas could have kissed Julia at this moment and not have it look like he liked it, he would have. Julia is irresistibly beautiful here.

  3. Phyllis Wick was guilty of the same thing as Vicki – being a young, pretty, single woman in the Collins house. That alone would set off cranky spinster Abigail’s Puritanical senses.

    While she didn’t arrive with a book from the future, she certainly had pretty eyelashes and a comely figure. Who knows, perhaps Phyllis had a bit of a crush on Jeremiah. Angelique no doubt threw evidence in her direction as she did with Vicki. The details might be different, but the end result the same.

    But the show now suggests that Vicki was a substitute for Phyllis and that time cannot be changed, merely relived.

    if so, that means that Peter Bradford fell in love with Phyllis Wick and that she saved Daniel Collins’ life and thus the entire family line. So Vicki’s jaunt in time robbed Phyllis Wick of her great romance and her heroism.

    Damn you, Girl Governess!

    1. I think Abigail wanted to date Rev Trask. Even he drew the line somewhere..lol. Perhaps Abigail needed a wardrobe and hair change.

    2. Mark: I agree with what you and your fellow bloggers are saying about the still unaltered 1795 storyline and outcome, regardless of the differences in details caused by Vicki’s having taken Phyllis’ place.

  4. One thing that’s maddening is how the show completely forgets the whole purpose of the seance to begin with: to contact Sarah and learn if David is telling the truth about Barnabas. When Vicki returns to the present, David’s fear of Barnabas is gone and no one ever mentions it again.

    1. I guess that plotline was dropped so they could focus on ‘Frankenstein’ and ‘The Body Snatchers’ – another loose end they thought the viewer would conveniently forget – I don’t think the writers would get away with this sloppiness as much with present day audiences and program viewing technonogies.

    2. Right and who from the dead wanted to destroy them? Was it Sarah who whisked Vicki off to the past? What happened to Sarah’s ghost? Is she just over it?

      1. Good question about Sarah’s ghost now evidently having completed left the scene. In fact, except Vicki (and only in reference to her having met the child in the past).

    3. Good point! The writers evidently felt that that storyline would no longer interest readers, and tht there was now bigger fish to fry.

      1. Also, just not mentioning Sarah anymore and hoping that viewers would just forget about her was, the writers felt, probably the best way to deal with Sharon Smythe’s having left the show and more or less retiring from show business while still a child.

  5. Did Barnabas actually meet Phyllis Wick? If we go with the scenario that Vicki switched places with Phyllis, I didn’t think the family actually even saw her. I thought (?) that only Joshua saw her when he hired her in Boston to come to Collinsport to act as Sarah’s governess. In the first 1795 episodes when Barnbas and Sarah saw Vicki they assumed that she was the NEW governess, not someone already working there. Sarah had drawn a sketch of what she may have thought Phyllis may have looked like, probably from descriptions from her father. So based on this scenario Barnabas would have not known either one of then when Vicki stumbled onto the property..

    1. Barnabas: You don’t know the panic that I felt when I saw that girl in Vicki’s chair, and I realized that it was Phyllis Wick. The quote implies he knew her by sight. At the very least he knew that the governess’ name was Phyllis Wick. He certainly knew her name wasn’t Victoria Winters. Now as has been noted, trying to keep track of timelines doesn’t pay in Dark Shadows. But I’m pretty sure that Barnabas remembered a different governess.

      1. After Phyllis was in the house but barnabas wouldn’t have known her when she first came. As much as he wouldn’t know Vicky.

    2. I’m assuming that 1968 Barnabas still remembers the past HE lived, which included Phyllis Wick. The “new 1795” with Vicki was not the one 1968 Barnabas lived; the past didn’t get changed, just relived, so I guess it created a parallel time stream (and DS will introduce the idea of parallel time down the road.) Obviously you can’t press DS too far on making time travel stories make complete sense.

    3. Time travel stuff always gets a little bit confusing. Wouldn’t he know Phyllis Wick from the first time he lived these days? We have to assume that history played out once for Barnabas with Wick there, otherwise there is no history to change or not change. So, he would have known her and known that she was the one accused of witchcraft. I think…

  6. I have to say one more thing – regarding Jeremiah trying to protect Vicki this may have shon that either Jeremiah was developing feelings for Vicki when he was still alive or this could have been a subtle ploy by the writers to also have this character symbolize a form of Burke Devlin (Jeremiah’s ‘doppelganger) trying to help Vicki get through her sorrow and confusion.

    1. Maybe Jeremiah thought it was his moral resonpability to protect Vickie. He did like her when he was alive.

  7. Why in 1795 and in present-day dream did they not have Anthony George play zombie Jeremiah? Why the different actor/different voice for zombie ghoul Jeremiah? Was it for ghostly effect or was Anthony George the actor committed to other projects at the time? Anthony George did come back on the show later, maybe in other roles, right?
    BTW, I can’t tell you enough how I’m enjoying watching the post-452 episodes on hulu right now (most of which I am watching for the first time) AND reading your day-by-day blog insights/analysis, sometimes having them both on my computer screen at the same time. Thanks also to the great comments by other DS fans!

    1. No, Jeremiah was Anthony George’s last role on Dark Shadows. It was his decision to leave — he didn’t like working on a soap opera, and he quit to find other work. As it turned out, he never really broke out of soaps — he was on Search for Tomorrow for five years, and then One Life to Live for seven.

      I’m sure they would have liked it if George stuck around for the ghost appearances — that’s what they did with other characters, later on — but apparently he wanted out.

  8. Hmmm, I could have sworn Anthony George was back on the show during the Leviathan storyline (I truly only caught DS eps once in a while on Sci Fi channel). I remember him out on the courtyard porch, kissing Maggie Evans, and somehow they both had the trident symbol on their hand, which I guess symbolized the Leviathan. Guess that must have been a different actor kissing Maggie Evans with a “Leviathan”/trident symbol on his hand? So zombie Jeremiah’s re-cast was driven more by Anthony George wanting to quit the show, huh?

    1. The trident wasn’t the Leviathan storyline, it was part of the spell Angelique used to make Jeremiah and Josette fall in love. Your memory is right, just in the wrong timeline.

    2. Oh, that was Quentin and Maggie during the Leviathan story. At that point, Barnabas and Maggie are getting close, and Angelique casts a love spell on them. Same spell, same mark, different guy.

  9. Also, I apologize if this has been asked and answered before (if you have talked about it, please direct me to the right blog post), but have you talked about the apparent different types of vampire bites? Sometimes Barnabus will bite someone on the neck and they will gradually over time lose blood and maybe, unless thwarted by Willie or Julia or a good ghost (Sara), will become his vampire bride? Other times Barnabus will do a bite on the neck, where it’s not to turn the person into a vampire bride but more “you are now in my power” bite — like what he did to Carolyn? Then there’s the vampire bite that completely drains the victim of blood and they die (is that what really happened to the Collinsport prostitutes or were they in fact just strangled and then drained of blood?). Then there’s the 4th vampire bite – you get bitten, apparently drained of blood, you die, and then that person becomes a vampire (sort of like spreading a disease). In HODS, Carolyn did become a vampire — I’m curious to see how the Barnabus/Carolyn “you are in my power” bites plays out and am glad to see her standing up to him. And now we’re even seeing Vicki becoming more resistant to Barnabus’s “you are in my power and I want you to be my bride” bites (and she even seems to have no memory that Barnabus has in fact bitten her [unlike Carolyn]) but apparently that resistance on Vicki’s part maybe has more to do with Angelique’s interference — maybe not wanting to necessarily destroy Vicki, but certainly wanting to thwart Barnabus’s somewhat unrequited romantic interest in Vicki?

    1. “True Blood” created its own reality for these things and did seem to better establish the various ways a vampire attack could go down:

      Attacked and killed.
      Attacked and turned (and becoming the new vampire’s maker).
      Attacked and simply drained of enough blood to become the vampire’s slave (to various degrees).

      “True Blood” implied that it’s mostly within the vampire’s control how it goes, but sometimes they get excessive and do more damaged than intended.

  10. If Big Finish haven’t done a story set in the Collinsport hair salon, I think it’s definitely time they did. Presumably they do housecalls, as Liz’s intricate updos can’t have just happened by themselves in those 18 years she didn’t leave the house.

  11. Still making my way through the older posts, and…good lord. Dare I admit that I recognized every single bit of temporal technobabble, including the first episode each was used in? Christ. And people who haven’t met me ask why I’m still single…

  12. Even if Vicki inhabited Wick’s body (Quantum Leap style or Stargate communication stone style) Barnabas would still have remembered that she called herself Vicki and claimed to be from the future. I’m content to leave it to magic and not give it a scientific explanation, since Dark Shadows is fantasy.

    But if we’re going to use Doctor Who explanations, I’m going to also throw in “You can’t change history, not one line!”, though of course, you can learn that those lines were falsely written. And maybe other characters could change history, but not the one and a half dimensional character that Vicki has become.

  13. I love Julia’s new hair. Learning that her original ‘do was a wig is the biggest betrayal I’ve felt since learning the sweet redheaded nun’s singing voice was dubbed in Sister Act.

    It reminds me of the first episode of each new season of Paige-era Charmed, where they felt the need to explain her haircut, like it was somehow a massive plotpoint the audience wouldn’t otherwise understand.

    Oh, and some of that technobabble is just silly! As if a CVE could be responsible for altered history… tsk.

    1. Well she is really getting to Barnabas now. He is starting to crack, trying to act like he never said and did horrible things to her before going back in time. I guess he expected her not to remember. She played him off well.

    2. Yes. Julia breaks slamming in her short hair cut, bringing out her beautiful eyes and sweet face. Barnabas is besides himself, finally taking a good look at her and maybe for the first time, is feeling things…lol…notice how he thought he could do a bygone-bygone slick interjection thinking Julia was gonna immediately buy in like she has in the past with his silly ass. Barnabas heart is a-flutter now. He doesnt know what to do but get down on bended knee and beg.

  14. I’m in the minority as I am not a fan of Julia Hoffman. She irritates the hell out of me expecting everyone to trust her and let her do whatever she wants, especially her dumb hypnosis tricks. I will, however, say I love that new hair do and even more so that the characters acknowledge it. On “Bewitched” when Louise Tate went from brunette to redhead no one batted an eye. I think maybe just the new hair do might endear me to Julia as I feel that Grayson Hall is more comfortable with it. And speaking of “Bewitched”, Ms. Hall reminds me so much of Agnes Moorehead aka Endora that had “Bewitched” gone on for the ninth and possibly tenth seasons like is rumoured to have been planned, I might’ve been good with Ms. Hall stepping into the role of Endora….oh, what I’m saying! Nobody could replace AM however GH might’ve been able to.

  15. As for Julia’s been haircut, I was surprised to learn that her previous hairstyle had been a wig. For all these years, I had wondered how she would possibly have had the time to get her hair cut during taping!

  16. Yes, the haircut was a Big Deal. Julia may not feel new, but she is. She’s not the frightened woman whimpering on the floor of her bedroom or the desperate woman willing to take her chances with a seance that might reveal her own sins. She’s not Miss Hoffman anymore either. She’s Dr. Hoffman again and she’s got her strength back. She’s not afraid but she is cautious. She’s blocking him but she’s not trying to destroy him.Their adversarial relationship will be totally gone soon and the new Barnabas-Julia dynamic that defines Dark Shadows for me is about to begin. I also love that he gets down on one knee! The visual symbolism is perfect. They’re going to be a couple now.

  17. That new hairstyle totally rocks! It frames her face perfectly and smooths out some of the sharp angles. And hooray! The smart girl is back. This time it’s: “You rejected me and dumped on my feelings, you twit. We’ll see about the friend thing after you grovel a bit and mend your ways.” You go girl!

  18. I like Barnabus’s thinking he can get traction with Julia by asking if they can go back to when they “were friends.” Well, maybe. If you consider a friend someone you can put in a choke hold every five minutes.

  19. They couldn’t let Julia have this hairstyle coming out of the gate. That would have toppled Barnabas from his pedestal immediately, and they wanted him to be the main character. The sheer power that she seemed to gain from ditching that grotesque helmet head wig was palpable. No, they had to start her at the bottom and build up to it. I personally put “Julia’s new haircut” on the list of Most Important Plot Points.

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