Episode 573: This Strange Way That You’ve Been Behaving

“This house has some hold over you, and I want you to resist it!”

This entry is a couple of days late, I’m afraid. The blog is called Dark Shadows Every Day, but to be honest, sometimes it’s more like Dark Shadows Five Times a Week at Irregular Intervals. But Dark Shadows Every Day is easier to fit on a T-shirt, if I ever had time to make T-shirts, which apparently I don’t.

I’d like to explain to you why this entry is so late, but I can’t. All I can say is that there’s some force trying to control me, to make me do things I shouldn’t do, make me go places that I shouldn’t go. I know that’s hard for you to accept, but I want you to try.

573 dark shadows joe maggie anguish

Or, at least, that’s the line that Joe is handing Maggie, and it seems to work, so I might as well give it a shot.

Lately, Maggie’s dreamboat fiancé has been behaving in a decidedly odd way. He’s been calling in sick to work, and breaking dates with no warning, and he says cryptic, contradictory things. Their method of coping with the strain on their relationship is to strike an anguished soap opera pose, and say dialogue to each other.

Maggie:  Joe — this strange way that you’ve been behaving — there’s got to be some reason for it. Can’t you tell me what it is?

Joe:  All I can tell you is that it has nothing to do with the way I feel about you.

Maggie:  Can’t you tell me more than that?

Joe:  No, Maggie, please — don’t ask me to. I wish I could, but I can’t, so I just… Don’t ask me to. Now, I know that’s hard for you to accept, but I want you to try.

She says that she will, but honestly, he’s not giving her a lot to work with. This is one of those audience-participation games where they give you the character’s reaction, and it’s up to you to figure out what she’s thinking. What could she possibly imagine is going on?

573 dark shadows joe hypnotized

The options that I think would spring to mind are: he’s having an affair, he’s on drugs, he’s committed a crime, or he’s witnessed something terrible and is afraid to go to the police.

Or he’s suddenly gone insane, I suppose. At one point, he tells her, “Let me stay here tonight — in this house, with you. Sit up with me all night — don’t let me out of your sight. If I want to leave, don’t let me. And lock the front door. Lock all of the doors.” She says all right, because you can’t really argue with this expression.

573 dark shadows joe maggie crazyface

So they hang around the house for the afternoon, until the sun starts setting, and he suddenly panics again.

Joe:  Wait a minute. We’re getting out of here.

Maggie:  What?

Joe:  Now. Out of Collinsport. We’re just going to get in my car — and leave.

Maggie:  Well, Joe, you know I’m expecting Mr. Blair.

Joe:  Maggie, I’m asking you to leave Collinsport with me now, forever! It’s the only thing we can do, Maggie, it’s the only solution!

573 dark shadows maggie joe haunted

But then there’s the sound of a dog howling outside, and Joe assumes another of his new line of haunted facial expressions.

Maggie says, “Joe, tell me what’s going on. Maybe I can help you.”

“No one can help me,” Joe replies. “I have to leave.”

573 dark shadows maggie ground

She tries to stop him, but he throws her to the ground and bolts out the door. So that settles it: Joe is having an affair with a dog.

573 dark shadows joe maggie intermission

He comes back a few hours later, but his time off doesn’t seem to have done him any good at all. He’s still staring and panting and not telling Maggie things. He tells her that there’s a force that’s trying to control him, and he needs her help to resist it.

Joe:  You’ve got to watch me tonight. Be with me. Don’t take your eyes off me. Don’t let me get away like I did this afternoon. If I start to leave, just take something — hit me over the head. Do anything you have to, to keep me here with you!

573 dark shadows maggie joe garfield

So we get one of those scenes where a character is communicating with a mysterious voice that nobody else can hear. This leaves some gaps in the conversation, which from Maggie’s point of view is kind of a live version of Garfield Minus Garfield.

Joe:  No. Please. No! NO!

Maggie:  Joe! What is it?


Joe:  The voice —

Maggie:  What’s the matter?

Joe:  Maggie… It’s started.

Maggie:  Well, what is it?

Joe:  Hold on to me.


Joe:  Don’t let go of me, Maggie! I need you now.

Maggie:  I won’t, Joe, I’m right here beside you.


Joe:  No. I’m going to fight this time! Maggie, don’t let me leave!

Maggie:  I won’t!


Joe:  NO!

So, yeah, it looks like “suddenly gone insane” is definitely still on the table.

573 dark shadows joe maggie couch

But Joe hits on an idea — if he can sleep through the night, then maybe he’ll be able to escape whatever it is he’s trying to escape from. He asks Maggie for some sleeping pills, and then stretches out on the couch.

He tells her that once he’s fallen asleep, she should try to wake him up — and if she can’t, then he’ll be okay, and she can get some rest too. This is not one of the all-time great plans, but at least it’s something.

573 dark shadows couch

A couple hours later, of course, the mysterious voice calls back, and he gets up off the couch. Maggie’s asleep in her bedroom, so she doesn’t realize that he’s gone until it’s too late.

So, the moral of this story is that they should have been sleeping in the same bed. If Maggie was sexually active, she wouldn’t have lost her fiancé to a devastatingly seductive dog. That’s a terrible moral, but I’m afraid it’s the only one we have.

Tomorrow: Trade Secrets.

Dark Shadows bloopers to watch out for:

The credits roll starts in the wrong place today. They usually begin with the cast list, and then the production crew, and they end with the “Dan Curtis Productions” copyright notice. Today, the credits start over a black background, with the words “produced by Robert Costello”. The camera fades up on Nicholas’ drawing room, and it runs through the crew and past the copyright notice, then loops back and does the cast list.

Tomorrow: Trade Secrets.

573 dark shadows robert costello

Dark Shadows episode guide

— Danny Horn

15 thoughts on “Episode 573: This Strange Way That You’ve Been Behaving

  1. Danny, just the other day i was thinking your blog wasn’t dark shadows everyday, it was dark shadows 5 days a week at weird times during the day. And now you have addressed it, sort of.
    Well it’s OK with me. Its a lovely surprise when your blog shows up at 4 am when im having my morning coffee, or 11 pm when im climbing into bed.
    It keeps things interesting. Like most of dark shadows.
    Call it whatever you want, but don’t stop doing exactly what you are doing.

  2. It seems very out of character for Maggie to refuse to leave with Joe because of Nicholas. Maggie has always been extremely caring when it came to those important to her. She doted on her father and Joe was the one she ‘fought for’ when he was being played for a fool by Carolyn. Maggie and Nicholas as a couple was as disturbing as Maggie and Roger as a couple in the 91 series revival.

  3. You’re late. Maybe you were walking in the woods, near Widow’s Hill? Care for a brandy? Maybe you met someone while you were walking? Who? Who did you meet in the woods? Tell us! You must tell us the name of the person you met in the woods! Why are you wearing a scarf? Is it too bright in here? Why are those dogs howling? Wait! Come back! We want a look at your neck!

  4. The opening narrative for this episode, which is read by Kathryn Leigh Scott, tells of the “sunset in the small town of Collinsport” but in the previous episode when Joe is urging her to drop everything and pack up so that they can leave right away, Maggie refers to Collinsport as “the ‘city’ I’ve lived in my whole life.” If Maggie refers to Collinsport as a “city” then she is certain to be susceptible to the worldly charm and sophisticated manner of someone like Nicholas Blair.

    As groundbreaking and unconventional as Dark Shadows seemed, the point about Joe sleeping on the couch whenever he spends the night at Maggie’s, when they’re supposed to be engaged, speaks of a not very adult-like relationship when they seem to go no further than the average grade schoolers would and the show displays the same puritanical restraint in this area as other shows of the time like That Girl. Whenever Don stays over at Ann’s apartment or they are away and sleeping under the same roof, Don is sacking out on the couch, even though they are allegedly engaged, and this was already 1967. What sexual revolution?

  5. The sexual revolution was a long time ‘coming’ (sorry) to television. There were producers and sponsors (ESPECIALLY sponsors) who didn’t want loose morals on shows with their name connected, so even married couples had separate beds. It wasn’t until the ‘younger generation’ got behind the desk that things changed, and sponsors lost their grip on individual shows. I don’t think there are any shows with corporate sponsors any more, certainly not with the kind of power that they used to have in the 1940s-60s.

  6. If his turn as Nathan Forbes didn’t prove it, then Joel C’s transformation from Good Guy Next Door to Strung Out Vampire Victim shows what a good actor he was.

    I know the Angelique/Joe Haskell thing won’t turn out to be a big deal in the long arc of DS, but it could have been.

    I also like the interaction between Nicholas and Angelique. She’s much more interesting as a vampire under Nicholas’ thumb than as Cassandra.

    I am curious though — she seems to rather enjoy being a vampire. She has little of the angst Barnabas had. Seems like going from witch to vampire would be a big demotion.

  7. Just to point this out, they show an image of a clock and it ticking at different times but you can see that the second hand isn’t ticking at all. It is obvious that they just move the hand manually, why couldn’t they get an actual working clock and set it?

    1. Weirdly I think that would look less realistic. Since the time is literally being adjusted in the few seconds the camera is focused on random bits of the room, if the clock was actually working then each time they cut back to it the hours and minutes would have changed drastically but the second hand would change by just the same few seconds each time. It’s almost easier to believe the second hand is just broken on Maggie’s clock.

  8. Maggie continues to get the short end of the fashion stick with that awful green “pocket dress.”

    The devotion of Maggie and Joe is played very well today and serves to emphasize by contrast the venality of Nicholas and Angelique.

    Maggie leaving Joe alone after he falls asleep is really dumb and inconsistent with the character. Vicki would do something stupid like that, but not Maggie.

  9. Maggie does ask Joe if he has committed a crime. I think his reply is a bit of a missed opportunity. He simply says “No, nothing like that,” and clearly means it.

    But it isn’t that simple. What he did in Tom Jennings’ hospital room could easily be classified as a crime, there are crimes going on all around him, and everything about what he’s been doing since Angelique bit him is very much like a crime. It would have been interesting for him to start denying that he has committed a crime, then stumble over his words and get confused. Granted, “stumble over words and get confused” is something we see a lot of on the show, but this would have been a different kind of stumbling and confusion..

  10. Danny:
    I am thoroughly enjoying your blog, though I’m a late starter. I have been a DS fan since its stint on SyFy in the 90s and am now subjecting my spouse to it nightly.

    One thing about this episode that no one mentioned is the mysterious cloaked figure in the window; I had never noticed it before last night. My spouse thought it might be the unexplained spectre Vicki saw in the early days, but I am wondering if it is supposed to be Nicolas’s “true” form — similar in appearance to Diablo. I wondered if anyone else ever noticed it and had an opinion about it.

  11. After this episode, my wife declared a dislike for Nicholas. His sneering and manipulation is too much for her, and she stated she can’t remember the actor’s name. I suggested that that proves Astredo’s characterization is working in the storyline, and that if she can’t stand him, we could cue forward a few dozen episodes. She decided against it.

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