Episode 575: Crazy Talk

“I think it’s time you knew how revolting and disgusting you really are.”

And now we have come to another installment where I honestly do not have the power to adequately describe how thoroughly certifiable this television show has become. It has broken free from its keepers, and is, at press time, rampaging through the streets, barking and snapping and uncoiling reality as it goes.

My only recourse as a commentator is to use William S. Burroughs’ cut-up technique, because I don’t have access to the acres of marijuana that the 1968 teenage audience was smoking at the time.

575 dark shadows adam jeff filthy

What else has to be done here?

575 dark shadows jeff mate

What I have discovered could have everything to do with you, and you know it.

575 dark shadows stokes jeff red

He does not know that a woman has also learned the secret.

575 dark shadows jeff success

In the strictest sense, Lang’s creation wasn’t a creation at all.

575 dark shadows oscilloscope

My name isn’t important.

575 dark shadows angelique evil

Do you think he just took a nice, new clean slab of flesh, and just sort of carved you out of it?

575 dark shadows nicholas vile

Preferably, the most evil woman who ever lived.

575 dark shadows vicki nothing

Shall I go back and drag him here?

575 dark shadows angelique course

The spirit of evil can be made to live again.

575 dark shadows nicholas handle

He did it the only filthy way it could be done.

575 dark shadows angelique description

Ambitious, cunning, devious, unprincipled, decadent!

575 dark shadows adam drag

I already know all about this experiment, and why it’s being conducted.

575 dark shadows nicholas cha cha

It would save a great deal of wear and tear on his visitors.

575 dark shadows stokes body

Well, that’s great. Oh, that is great. I’ll definitely think in terms of success.

575 dark shadows nicholas mirror

Please tell me how all this electronic equipment functions.

575 dark shadows red light

I’m going to be falling asleep every five minutes.

575 dark shadows adam lurking

Who has spoken the truth to me?

575 dark shadows angelique bite

To know that on this table, an artificially created, inanimate body will be brought to life.

575 dark shadows stokes equipment

I just knew. From the description.

575 dark shadows angelique vampire mirror

And this rotten collection of death, he put together to make you.

575 dark shadows angelique green

What if he doesn’t get his mate?

575 dark shadows adam jeff house

I’ve been very busy, preparing for the fall term.

575 dark shadows jeff rotten

Yes, I was his grave-robber.

575 dark shadows adam window

Nothing is wrong, and nothing has happened.

575 dark shadows jeff stokes term

We’ll find out right now. Come on.

Monday: When They Think I’m Dead.

Dark Shadows bloopers to watch out for:

During Nicholas’ mansplaining scene in the first act, he and Angelique talk over each other:

Nicholas:  So he found a way of draining the life force from a living human being —

Angelique:  And he used —

Nicholas:  — and placing it in the inanimate body he had created.

Angelique:  And he used Barnabas.

Nicholas:  Exactly.

In the Old House basement, when Jeff is looking Adam over, a fly buzzes around between them.

Once again, Adam throws Jeff around the set at the end of act 2 — and in act 3, it looks like Roger Davis actually got hurt. Jeff is rubbing his right arm through his entire conversation with Stokes in the Collinwood foyer.

Angelique is a vampire, and shouldn’t show up in a mirror, but they set up a shot in act 4 so that we see her reflection.

Also, pictured below: Dark Shadows’ only Hidden Mickey.

Monday: When They Think I’m Dead.

575 dark shadows hidden mickey

 Dark Shadows episode guide

— Danny Horn

32 thoughts on “Episode 575: Crazy Talk

  1. This is the episode where Nicholas runs hard with the idiot ball. He is insistent on Adam’s mate having the lifeforce of the most “evil woman who ever lived,” as this will make it easier for him to control Adam. He seems to forget two things: He easily manipulates Adam because the latter is naive and gullible. And his experience with Angelique, who if not the most evil woman in the world would have easily placed, should demonstrate how impossible it is to trust her. She will always have her own agenda. And this is precisely what happens with Eve. Any other life force (even Carolyn’s) would have been preferable. Corrupting innocence is far better than controlling pure evil.

    I could buy this as a fatal flaw on Nicholas’s part due to arrogance, but it is such a predictable course of events that it just makes him look like a fool.

    1. True. You can add picking someone who had a mad crush on Peter Bradford, but really, who could have predicted THAT? Most of the time I want him to go away, not to have him come closer.

    2. The weirdest thing is that the only current example of a “life force” transmission doesn’t match the model that Nicholas is proposing. Barnabas has literally no influence over Adam — in fact, quite the opposite.

      1. What I find the most fun and simultaneously most frustrating about DARK SHADOWS is that the series seems to just go full speed ahead and despite a relatively small writing staff, they never seem to take the time to determine “how things work.”

        That’s a big problem with the whole Eve experiment because we never truly know what the stakes are. When Adam demands that Barnabas and Julia create a girlfriend for him, does that just mean they’ll have to stitch together dead body parts and infuse it with life (recycling through graverobbing) or will they actually have to sacrifice an innocent life because Adam’s lonely?

        The Adam experiment itself was unclear. It seemed like Barnabas was going to transfer his mind and spirit into Adam, leaving a lifeless husk behind. (This also implied that Lang was perfectly willing to kill to achieve his ends.) But Barnabas survived, though it’s uncertain whether that was a fluke or a result of Barnabas’s vampiric state (he had more “lifeforce” to give in a way).

        Anyway, we have no idea what it means to provide the lifeforce for Eve. Based o what we’ve seen, the volunteer will either die and their “mind” transfer to Eve or she’ll survive but will be forever linked to Eve (neither option is ideal).

        The writers never look at it from this perspective. We only know that there’s a “risk” — rather than any concern about the known effects occurring. And then Nicholas cheats and just brings Danielle Roget back to life. Later, it becomes a plot point that Eve must be created “artificially,” despite Nicholas having used supernatural means to bring her to life in the first place.

        1. The only rule on Dark Shadows is that they should do whatever is most surprising/interesting at the moment.

          They proposed the “leave Barnabas’ body behind” idea because they knew it would be exciting if they teased the audience with the possibility of Jonathan Frid leaving the show. (I wrote about this in the entry for ep 485.)

          Obviously, they weren’t actually going to recast Barnabas — Frid’s big publicity tour was already scheduled for two weeks after 485 aired.

          The “if they both live” option was a last-second save that kept Frid on the show, and still gave us a Frankenstein monster to play with. There was no intention at the time that they would do a “Bride of Frankenstein” story, because they didn’t know if Adam would work out at all. So this wasn’t supposed to be a replicable process.

          The Bride storyline came up because both the Cassandra/Dream Curse story and the Adam story were running out of juice, plus Dan wanted to hire Humbert Allen Astredo as an all-purpose smooth-talking devil, so they wrapped it all up by having Nicholas take an interest in the Adam story.

          You can tell that that wasn’t the original idea for what Nicholas was going to do, because Nicholas talked for a few weeks about his “plan” that was going into effect once Cassandra was done with the Dream Curse. Then he learned about Adam, and went off in that direction. They never said what his original plan was, because they hadn’t thought of one.

          Open-ended serialized narratives always have gaps and weird tangents like this; it’s part of the game. If it’s super important to have a crisp, coherent story, then that’s going to happen in a novel or a play. For serialized narratives — including superhero comic books, soap operas, summer movie sequels and most modern TV shows — there’s a messier and (in my opinion) a more interesting aesthetic.

  2. Can’t Adam and Jeff just get it over with and kill each other already! The ratings had to have been falling off during this storyline – these are two of the most irritating characters in the history of the show – At least Don Briscoe will be returning soon and David Selby can’t be coming soon enough.

  3. It seems doubtful that Adam could be sincere or thinking ahead about his promise to leave town once he gets his mate. After all, he needs “Food!” and “Music!”, neither of which are possible without “Friend!”. There’s also the issue of one simple word he has not incorporated into his vocabulary: “Work!”

    1. Isn’t it Nicholas who’d telling Adam that once Eve is created they’ll all go away together? Ultimately, I think Adam just wants a mate and doesn’t really have any aspirations – good or bad – beyond that. And I’m sure he doesn’t think about work – mostly because he’s surrounded by people who DON’T work, so that’s probably a completely alien concept to him.

      1. You may be right, but I don’t remember if Nicholas has told him so this early. Nicholas’ plan overall seems a bit sketchy, as by this point he has only just come up with a name for the creation and found out the role of the life force in the experiment.

  4. By the way, for people who care: This week’s entries are going to be super late, even more than usual. It’s an All-Staff meeting week at my job, so my life is all booked up for the first few days of the week. So Monday’s entry is going to show up on Thursday, and then I’ll catch up over the weekend.

    The obvious question is: Why don’t I think ahead and prepare for things like this, so that I have a backlog of posts already written and ready to publish? The answer to that obvious question is even more obvious than the question was.

    1. Thanks for the heads up Danny – yesterday I was snowbound and anxiously awaiting your posts – I guess this gives me no excuse for not digging out the driveway..

  5. Don’t worry, no one is going anywhere. Vicky is locked up in Adam’s room, Willie is holding Maggie in the secret room, Reverend Trask is sealed in the basement of the old house, Angelique has Dr Hoffman trapped in the basement of Collinwood, Liz is under a spell in her coffin, Barnabas has been buried alive and the werewolf is in jail. No one is going anywhere. We have Dr Hoffman’s medical bag and are helping ourselves to all sorts of delicious sedatives and Roger’s brandy. We also have Josette’s music box, Quentin’s gramophone and the jukebox from the Blue Whale, so we can rock out with Buzz and Carolyn, until the moon and stars line up, and you are with us, once more.

    1. Oh, good. It actually looks like this just isn’t happening this week, which is a damn shame but it’s how things are. First time I’ve ever skipped a week, and it feels weird. But it means that next week will be The Most Awesome Of All Time. Every entry a winner. Probably. I’ll work on it.

      1. Danny!!! Are you ok,? Going through withdrawal without your dailyish posts. No pressure but hurry up😁😁😁

  6. I did a spit take when Nicholas made his Lucretzia Borgia joke. Almost died laughing. The moment was made perferct with that zoom-in shot of Lara Parker’s face, with a look that screams “What the heck just came out of your mouth?” xD

    Speaking of evil dead women, its a crime the writers never used Elizabeth Bathory as a character. She was lots of vampire-esque legends that would have made her a perfect fit. Just imagine Marie Wallace as an undead Bathory stalking Carolyn, Maggue, and Vicki as she tries to get them to donate for her virgin blood bubble bath.

  7. Speaking of logic, and how it doesn’t apply here, I keep wondering why they have to use body parts from multiple corpses. Wouldn’t one fresh corpse be easier to prep and more likely to hang together properly?

    The original Frankenstein was, I think, supposed to be made of the best or ideal limbs and pieces, to create a supremely magnificent physical specimen, though the result was strong but disappointing in the looks department. With the plot here in DS, it keeps insisting you need many separate pieces to do the job, but no coherent reason for that.

    Loved Jeff’s “let me tell you what you are really made of” speech…punctuated by Stokes saying “hold it, Jeff…this isn’t a good idea”.

    And DS hit a High Gothic high note here: “this rotten collection of death, he put together to make you.”

  8. I’m pretty tired of Adam at this point but if he’s going to keep beating the hell out of Jeff Clark then I’m fine with him appearing in every episode.

  9. I’ve been wondering about the super Frankenstein race. How many years is it supposed to take? How big an army is planned before the first shot is taken to rule the world? I imagine the Bride of Frankenstein is going to have as many babies as possible with the gestation period of 9 1/2 months still the going pregnancy length. After those babies grow up to be able to reproduce as teenagers, are they going to want to have sex with their siblings? It seems to me Nicholas is playing an extremely LOOOOOONG game. This so-called super Frankenstein race will NOT be composed of sewn together body parts. They’ll be indistinguishable from the average NON-super Frankenstein race. How will they know which side they’re on? I get the feeling Nicholas didn’t think his plan through very well.

  10. We finally get the explanation of electricity in the cellar…Stokes had to ask it. I had a quick vision of Julia scrambling around wiring up the cellar with all the necessary boxes, pulling wires and capping off with wire nuts to hitch it all up to a generator outside. Did I hear someone make a reference to calling the Old House when earlier Stokes turned down a wager with Vicki when a phone would go in?

  11. Why is it that the monsters are stitched together from various corpses? Why not just bring a single corpse back to life?

  12. My OCD really can’t handle seeing Angelique’s reflection, especially after such a big deal was made out of Julia not seeing Barnabas in the mirror…And, crikey, but I wish they’d bury Liz alive already, just to shut up her whining…

  13. I am really growing weary of this Adam storyline. Petulant Shouty Adam is not entertaining. Pair him with Shouty Roger Davis and it’s just irritating. It was such a relief to have the Tom Jennings / Julia and Angelique / Joe Haskell vampire storyline the last few days, much more entertaining.

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