Episode 592: And The Walls Fell Down

“I felt it in that room! I felt LIFE being drawn out of me!”

Oh, thank God you’re here.

Seriously, I’m really glad you showed up to read the blog today. Every once in a while, I get scared that everyone will stop reading at the same time, and I’ll be all alone here, just me… and the episode.

592 dark shadows carolyn adam experiment

Because right now, we’re in that weird twilight period of a not-entirely-successful storyline, when negotiations have broken down, and it’s obvious that they’ve taken this particular idea about as far as they reasonably can. If this story doesn’t get a whole lot better, then it’s going to get a whole lot worse. Those are the available options.

If you’re joining us late, then well done; I am seething with envy. We’re currently watching a girl who’s strapped to a table in the basement of a haunted house, having her élan vital forcibly wrenched from her body, using all of the powers that weird lighting and sound effects can bring to bear. I forget exactly why they’re doing this. It’s probably not important.

592 dark shadows barnabas julia equipment

The mad science experiment falls to pieces, obviously, because that’s what they’re for; there aren’t a lot of A-plus students in the mad science graduate programs. At a certain point, you just shut all the machines down, and try to remember where you put everyone’s dental records.

592 dark shadows adam pissed

And, hey, check it out — Adam’s pissed off. That’s a new twist.

Adam is a full-size Frankenstein monster, and he used to be a real sweetheart, but for the last month or so, he’s just been stomping around and getting angry at everybody. He wants Barnabas and Julia to create a mate for him, and he’s threatened to kill the entire Collins family if they don’t.

It’s all super complicated, and I got tired of explaining it a while ago. If you’re not completely up to speed on the details of this particular storyline, then honestly the chance of that ever impacting negatively on your life is vanishingly small. Just take my word for it.

592 dark shadows adam carolyn petulant

So Adam is standing around being aggressively petulant, which at this point is pretty hard to take. This whole situation is clearly his fault, and all he can do is growl at everyone. He keeps making up his own fantasy version of what’s supposed to happen, and then he gets really mad when it doesn’t come true.

Now, just for the record, I want to be clear — I’m not upset with Adam because he’s unreasonable. I love unreasonable characters, because they do irrational things that contribute to story progression. The writers flipped Adam’s switch to “villain” a while ago, so I’m not objecting to the fact that he’s doing villainous things. The problem is that he’s become repetitive, which is intolerable.

592 dark shadows adam carolyn bed

Bringing Carolyn upstairs to rest, Adam tries to tuck her life force back into her body, but it’s like trying to get toothpaste back in the tube. This is a one-way street.

So as Adam sits by and grumbles, Carolyn just goes ahead and has an unscheduled experience.

592 dark shadows carolyn psychedelic

 

I was alone, somewhere… in a room. A cold, empty room. No way out! I cried out for someone… No one could hear me!

 

592 dark shadows carolyn walls

 

And then — then the walls began to crack! Big cracks, all around! And the walls fell down.

 

592 dark shadows carolyn dream

 

The walls fell down… and disappeared.

 

592 dark shadows carolyn hands

 

At this point, it becomes clear that this isn’t just another one of those run-of-the-mill psychedelic deathbed monologues. Something special is happening.

 

592 dark shadows carolyn monologue

 

Outside… there was a fog. I couldn’t see anything. The fog was so thick.

 

592 dark shadows carolyn frightened

 

I was frightened. I tried to run… I couldn’t move!

 

592 dark shadows carolyn fog

 

Then I saw something in the fog.

 

592 dark shadows carolyn forms

 

Hazy forms… floating in the air. They began to take shape…

 

592 dark shadows carolyn shape

 

A collection of dead things.

 

592 dark shadows carolyn skull

 

Disconnected… coming toward me. Wanting something from me! Wanting life! MY life!

 

592 dark shadows carolyn life

 

THEY WANTED TO TAKE MY LIFE FROM ME!

 

Tomorrow: Missing Persons.


Dark Shadows bloopers to watch out for:

In the reprise of yesterday’s experiment sequence, the camera pointing at the oscilloscope is out of focus. Julia asks Barnabas to keep an eye on the “sine waves” to make sure they don’t collapse. This only barely made sense yesterday, when you could actually make out the wavy lines on the readout. Today, it’s positively baffling.

Julia checks on Carolyn, and says, “Her pulse beat is decreasing.” She’s said this before; I think she’s trying to make “pulse beat” a thing.

When Carolyn is lying in bed, Adam says, “Carolyn — I should never have let you go with… it.”

In the bedroom sequence, when Carolyn says, “Then it didn’t work, and you don’t have your mate,” there’s a lot of studio noise, with people shuffling around.


Behind the Scenes:

There’s an extra treat for the prop-spotters today: When they’re upstairs in Josette’s room, Adam drapes the Collinsport Afghan over Carolyn. This brightly-colored knitted shawl is usually seen at Maggie’s house, but it’s also turned up recently in Liz’s bedroom, and on Joe’s bed.

Tomorrow: Missing Persons.

592 dark shadows oscilloscope

Dark Shadows episode guide

— Danny Horn

17 thoughts on “Episode 592: And The Walls Fell Down

  1. Truly this story arc is torture. We can say how it should Have been, or rewrite it as it could have been, but the reality is it’s awful.
    Always was always will be.
    Danny kudos to you for making it entertaining.
    Only the leviathins are worse. I’m done.
    Till tomorrow.

    1. I dont care for this episode either. Its just too bizarre and does not add value to the series. The Leviatins was horrible as well…lol. Those two little awful boys…children of the corn kids.

    1. I would guess that’s largely due to the fact that the past, time travel, etc., was where Dan Curtis’ heart really was in terms of story.

      1. It’s interesting that the average person doesn’t think of DARK SHADOWS as a time travel series in the same sense as DOCTOR WHO. But the characters in DS didn’t just travel in time but the majority of the time travel storylines* involved actively changing history. This is something we rarely see on WHO with its constant allusions to “fixed points in time.”

        Roughly half the series in set in the past — even more so if you exclude the pre-Barnabas episodes.

        *Victoria Winters is such a passive character that 1795 almost becomes more a “flashback” than an actual time travel storyline where history is altered. I think an eleventh hour attempt is made to justify her presence there by having her save Daniel Collins from Noah Gifford.

  2. I agree, with prisoner and Stephen. However now that I am slightly less cranky, I will say DS is still an amazing experience.
    I guess like all experiences,you can’t fully enjoy the fabulous times,unless you experience the less than fabulous.
    I’m guessing Dan Curtis didn’t plan it that way, but as Danny has schooled us, Dan didn’t really plan anything.
    Thanks for listening,see you guys tommorow.👀

  3. I totally agree that Dark Shadows eventually becomes a time travel show, but it’s not one yet. As of late ’68, it’s still an open-ended serial that had one weird four-month flashback to the past. We now think of “1968” as a specific phase of the show bounded on one side by 1795 and on the other by 1897, but there’s no reason why they would see it that way at the time. It’s kind of like the first ten months of the show — while they were making it, they didn’t realize those were the “pre-Barnabas episodes”; you can only see that with hindsight. 🙂

    One thing I’m hoping to figure out as we go along is the point where they realized that that’s the structure of the show — periods in the present, alternating with periods in the past/parallel times. As they introduced the Quentin/Beth story in early ’69, they knew they were building up to an 1897 trip, but I’m not sure that even then they would have said “this is the way that Dark Shadows works.” It might not be until the run-up to 1970 Parallel Time that they started thinking of it that way.

    1. I think we’re seeing how the open-ended serial format doesn’t work for a series that’s ultimately about one person (Barnabas Collins) and his supporting cast. Other soap operas have at least three or more major families (e.g. Abbotts, Newmans, Chancelors, Winters, Baldwins…) and that allows for multiple ongoing storylines that don’t all have to connect with each other.

      My favorite “present-day” storyline is probably Quentin’s ghost haunting Collinwod: It is genuinely spooky and creepy like the b&w episodes tried to be. I could see Burke Devlin fitting in. Human Barnabas is proactive and even heroic. And although in hindsight, it builds up to 1897, I’d be curious if that was always the plan. It could have resolved itself satisfactorially entirely in the present or with one “flashback” episode.

      It still has the present day problem of the non-Ghouls having nothing much to do. Another great thing about the flashbacks were the great roles offered to the cast.

  4. I think one of the reasons the time travel stories are so strong is because most of the characters can change, grow or die. So they can make stronger story choices with them. In the present everything has to remain relatively stable. Also, the period costumes and candles add a lot of interesting atmosphere. I’ve read, (but I don’t recall where) that 1897 was not expected to last 9 months, but was extended when it proved so popular. Perhaps that’s when they began to realize “that was the way Dark Shadows works”.

  5. Is it soon that the lead off to almost all new story arcs is that Barnabas identifies a threat to a Collins and goes off into time and space to save the day. And if I am correct in this broad description, then that constituted a plan or at least the beginning of a structure.
    Again it’s hard not to bring 40 yrs of tv’s evolution ,since DS was first aired,and
    many viewings of this show by all of us into our comments and gripes.
    Their is no doubt that show can still pack a punch in this day and age ,even after the 3rd or 4th viewing.

    or 4th viewing.

  6. At least the time travel stories don’t have to justify Barnaba’s wacky non-electricity lifestyle – honestly wouldn’t the 1967 Collins family have thought something was off kilter with this oddball character (supposedly wealthy) who shows up out of nowhere and wants to live in a decrepit musty old mansion with no civilized amenities. Wanting to experience the novelty of living like the ancestors did should have worn off after a few months.

    1. The Collins family seems to suffer from many things, presumed murder,vampire attacks,ghosts,possession,werewolves, strangers just showing up and moving in, without ever thinking ANY of it was strange.and always being SHOCKED with disbelief and completely dismissive of all supernatural suppositions each and every time. So why would they think Barnabas not having electricity was weird.
      Nothing was weird in the show. I guess that’s what kept it grounded ?

  7. Hey, just wanted to notify you that I cannot seem to see articles about episodes 593-598 on the Episode guide page. I’m not sure if that’s a blog-related issue or my technical one, but it looks like this:

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