Episode 474: You Only Live Twice

“We cannot be inundated with people you have met in the past!”

Angelique Collins — soap vixen, she-devil, champion of evil and destroyer of worlds — has torn the veil asunder and returned to this mortal plane, to bring ferocious plutonium-studded revenge to the family that wronged her. She accomplishes this by dropping a not-very-convincing black wig on her head, changing her name, and showing up at the house to see if anyone recognizes her.

This is not exactly the silliest thing that she’s ever done — she turned a dude into a cat last year, which is hard to beat — but it’s in the top three. It’s kind of like robbing a convenience store, shooting the cashier, and then showing up the next day to apply for the vacancy. I’m pretty sure they remember what you look like.

474 dark shadows wife roger cassandra

But Angelique — or Cassandra, if we must — has a capacity for recklessness usually reserved for the protagonist of a Grand Theft Auto game. And since Barnabas isn’t on the show today, she gets the whole episode to herself, and she takes the opportunity to establish how deeply scary she really is.

She’s hypnotized Roger and convinced him to marry her, even though they’ve just met and she’s at least 190 years old. That gives her a backstage pass to Collinwood, and a front-burner storyline. The thing that’s so reckless and marvelous about this plan is that it’s the opposite of stealth.

She could have found her way into the house in a less ostentatious way. She could have befriended Carolyn, for one thing, or snuck back in through the servants’ quarters again. Or she could have introduced herself as a family historian who’s writing a book about the Collins family; I hear that’s practically a ticket for a lifetime membership in the Collins houseguest hall of fame.

But no, she had to put herself in the one position where she was sure everyone would be staring at her — Roger’s mid-life crisis, in a sleeveless lime-green dress.

474 dark shadows isn't liz cassandra

The clever thing about this plan is that Angelique is covering her tracks by pretending to be in a normal soap opera storyline. She’s Cassandra, the trophy wife, using her youth and beauty to ensnare a wealthy older man.

When Liz grimaces at Cassandra’s obviously exaggerated naivete, she thinks that she understands the shape of this story. She has no idea that she’s looking at the creature who practically exterminated her ancestors.

474 dark shadows scary julia cassandra

So here’s an example of how scary the new Mrs. Collins can be. Roger’s determined to take her away on a lavish honeymoon trip, which she has no intention of participating in. She’s here to torment her first husband, not sightsee with the second; the last thing she needs is to go on a round-the-world cruise, while Barnabas has a quiet month to stock up on anti-witch cream.

Roger refuses to listen, so guess what she goes and does: she arranges an accident, and sprains her own ankle. That’s how hardcore she is. Ankles mean nothing to her.

474 dark shadows sincere julia cassandra

But that’s not the scary thing. The really scary thing about Cassandra’s plan is that Julia bandages her ankle, and as far as we can tell, she doesn’t suspect a thing.

Think about that. It hardly seems possible. Julia is the mythopoetic trickster figure who lies every time she opens her mouth; she practically invented getting into Collinwood under false pretenses. And look at her face! That smile is completely sincere; she’s delighted with this conversation. This is the most fun she’s had in months.

474 dark shadows scary roger cassandra

Although I suppose that’s not really scary, either — it’s thrilling, like doing a high-wire act over Niagara Falls, but there’s nothing to be scared of yet. Nobody’s in danger; nothing is really at stake. There’s just a happy pair of newlyweds, enjoying the beginning of their lifelong union.

He’s pouring some wine, so they can toast their first night together as husband and wife. When she complains about a twinge from her sprained ankle, he hurries to the other room to get her some painkillers.

474 dark shadows ring cassandra

And, naturally, while her doting husband is occupied, she drugs his wine with I don’t even know what kind of powder, which she keeps inside her ring.

You heard me. She’s wearing a ring full of secret voodoo knockout party mix, so she can drug her husband on their wedding night. This is the kind of crazy that Angelique brings to the table every god-damn day.

474 dark shadows knockout cassandra roger

Once he’s had a taste of the knockout juice, things start to go downhill for Roger’s evening. He feels a headache coming on, and he goes to the window to get some air.

474 dark shadows night roger

Looking out into the night, his head foggy, Roger — the real Roger, the one that we like — starts to break through.

Roger:  I don’t believe it.

Cassandra:  What?

Roger:  Oh… nothing, nothing.

He takes another gulp of wine.

Cassandra:  You said something. What?

Roger:  I… I don’t remember.

474 dark shadows past roger cassandra

He turns to face his new bride.

Cassandra:  It sounded like, you don’t believe it. Did you see something outside the window?

Roger:  No… no. What were we talking about?

Cassandra:  Our plans.

Roger:  Oh, yes. Of course. Well, we must decide where we’re going to live, whether here, or…

474 dark shadows suffering roger cassandra

He staggers, and leans against the mantelpiece, staring into the distance.

Roger:  … Why did I do it?

Cassandra:  Why did you marry me? Is that what you’re asking?

Roger:  Well, yes, I suppose it is. Why did I? It’s insane. We barely know each other.

474 dark shadows shiver roger cassandra

He turns to face her. He’s shivering.

Cassandra:  Roger… come here.

Roger:  I’m sorry, my dear, to be so open, but all of a sudden, it’s… as if this entire day has been some sort of a dream, that I’ve just remembered.

474 dark shadows resistance cassandra roger

It doesn’t last. She looks at him, and she reasserts control. But just for a moment, Roger looked directly into the cold, savage eyes of the creature that just tore a hole in what used to be his life. He saw the truth. He knew.

They walk through this world like lonely gods, Barnabas and Angelique, using the people around them as pawns in their endless, destructive, unfathomable game.

This isn’t thrilling for Roger. He is not thrilled. This isn’t silly, or camp. Roger is a good person, we like him, and he’s terrified. He’s suffering. And then she touches his face, and takes control of him again.

Tomorrow: Witch Doctor.


Dark Shadows bloopers to watch out for:

Liz walks into the drawing room to tell Roger, “There’s a long-distance phone for you, on the, uh, private phone in the study.”

When Julia bandages Cassandra’s ankle, you can hear footsteps and paper rustling in the studio.

When Julia sits down to talk to Cassandra, the boom mic pokes into the frame at the top left.

At the beginning of the scene with Vicki waiting in the garden, someone can be seen moving in the bottom left of the frame.

In Act 4, starting when Roger leans against the mantelpiece, there’s a reflection in the oval picture frame of the camera light moving back and forth.


 

Behind the Scenes:

Resident prop-spotter Prisoner of the Night says: “It seems that Roger and Cassandra’s room must be a redressed version of the Collinwood study. The fireplace has the same design with the pillars framing the hearth, the door and window are in the same location, and the wall at stage right has the same paneling. By episode 519, the bathroom door to the right of the bed is at a different angle, and the Ralston-Purina lamp is on a table to the right of the window in episodes 519, 521 and 522.”

Tomorrow: Witch Doctor.

474 dark shadows control cassandra roger

Dark Shadows episode guide

— Danny Horn

15 thoughts on “Episode 474: You Only Live Twice

  1. Angelique’s Cassandra plan is totally in keeping with her ego. She’s tired of skulking in the shadows or acting as a servant – she’s a Collins and she’s going to be treated like one! Of course, this arrogance and somewhat reckless attitude will get her in trouble later on….

  2. In fairness to Angelique’s “disguise,” there’s no reason for anyone to recognize her as the first Mrs. Barnabas Collins — she was stricken from the history books. I loved the look on her face when Julia tells her that Barnabas is a bachelor. Lara Parker does an excellent job of displaying Angelique’s rage but keeping it just underneath the surface.

  3. About the obvious wig – it’s totally over the top for today’s viewers but I believe these wigs were very ‘in’ around this time – I remember my mother having a whole collection in different colors. They were probably convenient too since you didn’t have to spend time styling your hair. These were as common back in the early 70’s as dying your hair purple or blue would be today..

      1. If you can get hold of some old mail order catalogs of the era you’ll usually find a couple of pages dedicated to selling similar wigs. Usually made from “Dynel”(TM) or a related synthetic.

  4. I wish they had gone in a different direction with this storyline and character.

    I wish Cassandra was REALLY Cassandra — a student of Professor Stokes and a woman of dubious motives who is assumed to be Angelique but really isn’t. She’s definitely dazzled by the Collins wealth in a Suki Forbes kind of way but also genuinely lonely and in her own way fond of Roger though she doesn’t really love him. And she also has dabbled in the “black arts” but has no real powers. She makes a couple of witchcraft attempts that show a proclivity for it but don’t really have any real effect.

    She gets treated pretty roughly by Liz during a quick (but not instant) courtship with Roger, and Barnabas (falsely) accuses her of being Angelique with Victoria’s reluctant help.

    Turns out they are partially wrong about her (and totally wrong about the Angelique part). But in a rage over her treatment, that’s when Cassandra becomes vulnerable and calls on the spirit in the painting — the one that looks like her — to help her.

    Angelique does respond to the call — but then takes over Cassandra. So by now, everyone feels sorry for Cassandra, they think they’ve done her wrong, and now possessing Cassandra’s body but no longer suspected, Angelique is free to wreak her havoc.

    1. I like that idea. It would have made a compelling story. I have to admit, however cheesy it is at time, I am thoroughly enjoying watching this series, and reading Danny’s blog and other reader’s/viewer’s comments is highly entertaining.

  5. I love the scene with Liz and Cassandra – both of them shift gears and mood smoothly several times, and the whole thing just sparks. And the ending with Roger is so dark – it’s the same crap Barnabas pulled with Maggie, except it’s working, and it’s out in the open – not locked away in an empty house.

    Obviously I’m using the word ‘locked’ metaphorically there, because… well, you know.

    My only irritation with the storyline so far is Vicki – but not for the usual reasons.

    I just feel the whole thing would work better if she knew about Barnabas. It would lend an urgency to her recognising Cassandra; she could’ve revealed her secret knowledge to Julia in the garden, and then it would be the three of them together against the witch – the vampire, the trickster, and the ordinary girl caught up in events she can’t quite understand.

    But as it is, she just keeps getting in the way, caught on the fringe of the plot – convinced Cassandra is Angelique, but unable to connect to the story since she doesn’t know she’s involved with the same Barnabas. It’s frustrating.

  6. I had a photo once if me and two friends wearing plastic wigs just like Cassandra’s. They came in a box and were blond Brown and red. It was circa 1968 or so. A play on what the adults were doing.

  7. Just to say — Joan Bennett is incredibly beautiful — those eyes! Even with 30 years on her, she gives Lara Parker a run for her money.

    1. Joan Bennett is absolutely gorgeous! Lara is beautiful in real life. Her character of Angelique/Cassandra/Valerie makes her ugly. Her flaming blue eyes would scare the dickens out of anybody in those characters she portrays.

  8. Cassandra’s black wig is possibly the greatest hair & make-up fail in DS history. Even the fake muttonchops visibly pasted onto all the men’s faces in l795 look real next to this thing. It’s like a KMart wig dogs have been fighting over.

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