Episode 608: You Are My Someone

“Is that what you’ll do with me, when you don’t want me anymore? Will you have someone carry me to the woods, and kill me?”

“You are my slave,” Angelique says, staring directly into the camera. Try not to take it personally. She probably doesn’t mean you, specifically.

“You must come to me,” she adds. “Hurry!” Then she says it again, in an increasingly urgent tone. “Hurry! HURRY!”

I need to point out that this is not what normal television usually looks like. I feel like I have to say that every once in a while, just to remind myself that normal television exists.

608 dark shadows joe barnabas hero

The guy she’s actually summoning is our hero, more or less — Barnabas Collins, former vampire. The tables have turned recently, and now Angelique is the vampire. Barnabas is her slave and emergency consigliere, and don’t think she doesn’t take every opportunity to remind him about it. He’s only been on the job for two days, and he’s already been bitten twice. Now she’s sending out distress signals when she needs to clean her carpets.

The current housekeeping crisis is that Joe Haskell is lying on the Oriental rug, with a letter opener piercing his midsection. Joe’s been Angelique’s blood slave for the last several months, but she’s decided to replace him with Barnabas, and Joe’s taken it kind of hard.

Joe is actually the second guy in the last couple months to attempt suicide by stabbing himself in the stomach. I didn’t realize that seppuku was so popular in 1968. You don’t really see people killing themselves like that on TV anymore, so I guess it was one of those passing fads of the late 60s, like tie-dyed T-shirts and civil rights.

608 dark shadows barnabas angelique how long

Barnabas checks Joe’s neck, and finds the marks of a vampire bite. “How long, Angelique?” he says. She says, “Barnabas, get him out of here,” but he persists: “How long?”

Then there’s a melancholy little slice of drama that couldn’t really happen anywhere else. It’s a Sam Hall script today, and he’s got two of the show’s most interesting characters. This is what he does with them.

608 dark shadows barnabas monologue

Barnabas sighs. “I should have remembered,” he says. “Anyone. A stranger passing, a friend, an enemy… it doesn’t really matter.”

608 dark shadows angelique no

“No,” Angelique smiles, “just as long as it’s someone. And that someone obeys orders, have you forgotten that? Because you are my someone, and you will do as I say!”

608 dark shadows joe barnabas sales

So that’s who we’re dealing with here — a person who sees this as an opportune moment for another sales pitch.

That’s the power of the Barnabas/Angelique supercouple, a gravity well that distorts every storyline into another round of their eternal kaiju battle. Angelique has only been on the show for eleven months so far, but their story is so intense and dramatic that it feels like Dark Shadows couldn’t exist without her.

608 dark shadows angelique barnabas body

“Now take him to the woods,” she says, “and leave him there.”

Barnabas objects, “But he’s dying!”

She smiles. “Then you will have to kill him, won’t you? Yes, Barnabas. I want him far from this place, where none of us will be blamed… where even Nicholas will not realize what has happened here tonight.”

He looks up at her, the beautiful servant girl who turned his head on that warm, reckless night in Martinique.

“Barnabas,” she says, “now that I have you… I don’t want him anymore. He couldn’t bear it.”

608 dark shadows angelique barnabas supercouple

Barnabas rises.

“Is that what you’ll do with me, when you don’t want me anymore?” he asks. “Will you have someone carry me to the woods, and kill me?”

608 dark shadows barnabas angry

He scowls. “You would, wouldn’t you? If you had someone beside me.”

608 dark shadows angelique hurt

So, there. That’s what Dark Shadows can do, on a good day when the wind is right. There are probably a lot of television shows that could do a scene like this just as well, but I dare you to find one that does it better.

Tomorrow: Nobody Understands Dark Shadows But Me.

Dark Shadows bloopers to watch out for:

Angelique is staring at the audience, saying, “Hurry! Hurry! Hurry!” The camera cuts to Joe lying on the floor, and it looks like someone in the studio is hurrying — a shadow passes over Joe, although the only person in the room is Angelique, and we can see in the next shot that she hasn’t moved.

I fixed the quote above, but what Angelique actually says is, “Then you will have to kill him, will you?”

For a guy who’s supposed to be bleeding to death from a stomach wound, Joe is remarkably clean. While he’s got the letter opener in his gut in act 1, there’s no blood at all. In act 2, when Barnabas has carried Joe all the way to the Old House and Julia has cut up his turtleneck, there’s still only the lightest suggestion of pink around Joe’s midsection.

While she’s cutting up Joe’s turtleneck, Julia tells Barnabas, “Perhaps you should go and get Maggie.” Barnabas stumbles, “Well, why should — what would that do?”

Once Joe’s chest is exposed, Barnabas and Julia both seem to find it difficult to remember their lines. Barnabas looks at the teleprompter, and says, “Julia, we — we — we can’t just keep him here.” This is probably the wrong cue, because Julia stammers Joe’s name a couple of times before she responds: “Joe… Joe… well, we can’t tell the police, of course, they’ll ask too many questions.” She dabs at Joe’s wound, and then follows with: “Who knows what will happen.” Barnabas cries, “Exactly!”

Then it looks like Julia decides to just take over Barnabas’ lines altogether. She comes up with the whole plan to catch Angelique, which was probably supposed to be Barnabas’ idea, and he just stands there and says “Yes!” and “Perhaps that’s true!” Then he says, “We must –” and looks at the teleprompter for more assistance. He finishes, “We must hope for the best! We must keep guard!”

Then Joe moans, “Where is she?” and Julia says, “Barnabas, get Julia — get, get Maggie.”

Later, Barnabas pronounces “imagination” as if the second syllable is “mage”.

The episode ends at a moment of high drama — Joe realizes that Barnabas is the one that Angelique dumped him for. Crazed, he grabs Barnabas by the lapels, and says, “I’ll kill you. I’ll KILL you!” Tomorrow’s episode begins wih Adam chatting with Harry at Nicholas’ house, and we don’t see Barnabas and Joe again until next Tuesday.

Tomorrow: Nobody Understands Dark Shadows But Me.

608 dark shadows barnabas joe kill you

Dark Shadows episode guide

— Danny Horn

22 thoughts on “Episode 608: You Are My Someone

  1. I know Ascots were in vogue at the time, but I wonder if they were trying to suggest, Barnabas’ 1795 look slightly with this outfit?

    1. Oh yes, I forgot to mention the ascot–the gay theater director look that Barnabas has acquired post-bite. There seems to be a dress code on the show that states that after you have been bitten by a vampire you must wear a scarf or ascot to cover your neck–but Barnabas’ collar and tie would have done an even better job of it than the ascot, which could be easily removed or become dislodged. This is perhaps the only instance where the 20th century Barnabas is seen without a buttoned collar and tie (apart from the costume party he gave at the Old House the year before). Julia should have noticed the symbolic meaning behind his neckwear immediately, since she had taken to wearing something similar following her nocturnal meetings with Tom Jennings.

    2. I’d say it was both, and the fact that Barnabas lived in 1795 certainly doesn’t hurt.

      I love DS for the clothes, past and present. Of course, it’s all vintage, now. It’s funny to occasionally see certain fashion mysteries that are better left unsolved, like Damien Edwards curious collar-less “swinger” suit or Maggie’s Crazy Colored Quilted Culottes. Aside from that, lots of great clothes.

  2. This is not the first time on the show someone’s life has been threatened with a letter opener (recall episode 428 when Millicent flies into a rage and sets upon Nathan with one), nor will it be the last (Quentin’s ghost will make an attempt on Liz with one some months ahead). It seems whenever someone is furious or desperate and wants to kill someone else or themselves, there’s always a letter opener handy. But I wonder,… has anyone ever actually been killed by a letter opener?–I mean, outside the fictional realm of a murder mystery. It just seems comical. A letter opener. I’m sure they’re fine for stabbing tables and such, but couldn’t Joe just have rushed to the kitchen and found a real knife? It seems so half-hearted, no wonder Angelique reacts with such casual disdain–that and the fact that she’s a cold, unfeeling, undead psychopath, but still. They’re intended for opening flaps on envelopes (and stabbing tables), as opposed to a steak knife, which is sharpened and serrated especially for slicing through thick chunks of bovine muscle fiber once they’re off the grill or out of the oven. Perhaps, if like Dr. Lang, Nicholas had a harpoon collection on display in the front room it might have been more interesting.

    1. There’s a scene in yesterday’s episode that opens with Adam reading a book, and using the letter opener to slice open two pages. The shot lingers on this rather mundane action, so it’s basically waving a flag that says “someone will be hurt with this object later on today!” By the end of the episode, Joe is casting around for something to injure himself with, and guess what’s sitting right there.

      If that wasn’t lying around, then there’s probably a desk drawer that has a dagger and a crossbow and a flask of poison and a glass box filled with scorpions. In Collinsport, they call that a junk drawer.

  3. I think without the distracting ascot Barnabas would have had a classic, timeless look with his burgundy velvet jacket. Of the shows character wardrobe styles I think Nancy Barrett as present day Carolyn has the clothes that would be most fashionable and could carry over into present day – she had some really nice tailored suits and her coats always looked custom fitted – Vicki had more of a ‘potato sack’ dress style (so eloquently described by someone in another DS article on fashions worn on the show). And of course Liz has the look that screams wealth and style icon for the ages.

  4. Torn from the pages of Collinsport Confidential:
    Shady late-nite activities at local mansion riles Collinsporters!

    Neighbors were disturbed late last night, by howling dogs, shouting, and finally a loud male scream, coming from the seaside residence of local broom-rider, Nicholas Blair.
    No shots were heard, but plenty of other strange sounds were reported. Eye-witnesses say that Playboy Bachelor Barnabas Collins was seen carrying a lugubrious Joe Haskell out the front door of the Blair estate and into a waiting car, aided by an unidentified man, dressed as a woman, in a red wig.
    Witnesses also recounted seeing a beautiful blonde with sharp nasty, pointy teeth, who kept saying “Look into my eyes! Look into my eyes!”
    Doughnut enthusiast Sheriff Patterson says no laws were broken, but several eyebrows were raised, maybe some feelings were hurt, and there may have been some giggling, back at the station. Whether whatever unfortunate fiasco unfurled by this debacle will cause the parties implicated to be further besmirched remains to be seen.
    Excessive drinking is believed to have been a factor or maybe a drug-crazed game of “Twister!” gone wrong, plus the fact that it was way past bedtime.

  5. If Joe is really dying why would Barnabas have to kill him? Let him expire, move the knife without leaving fingerprints and you’re good. Even if you move the body first you’re probably good. They’ve proven the only doctor in town who’d even see bite marks on the next means vampire is dead. 🙂

  6. We have seen the letter opener in several episodes.
    Its general dimensions are familiar.
    There is one reason, ONLY ONE, why letter openers (or harpoon collections) are in soap operas – the same reason that straight razors are in horror films. Nobody shaves with a straight razor! And nobody opens letters with letter openers! These objects are only ever put there for venal use. (I call it ‘murderosity’.)
    And it OBVIOUSLY has not even penetrated through Joe’s jacket, much less inflicted a life threatening injury.

    The Props people couldn’t come up with a ‘half knife’ to use? Knowing full well that sooner or later that letter opener would be shown sticking out of an actor, and it might need to look as if it were actually STUCK IN, rather than standing on?

    And Julia (despite the fact that this ‘wound’ is at Joe’s waist) feels the need to cut that shirt ALL THE WAY to the neck?
    Do not imagine that I don’t appreciate it, I applaud Dr. Hoffman’s dedication in this dire medical emergency. And she is doing something that I have wanted to do since the first time I laid eyes on Joe Haskell – get him out of whatever he has on, as quickly as possible, preferably while he’s semiconscious on a bed. Not necessarily using scissors, of course, but this IS a crisis. Maybe she should cut those slacks off him, too, that laceration should be unobstructed! I’m taking bets on whether Joe goes boxers, briefs, or commando…

    1. About the letter opener in Nicholas house by the sea, one wonders what use he would have for it? Was he getting correspondence from Beelzebub?

      Great comment about why Julia would cut Joe’s turtleneck all the way to his neck, when the wound she was supposedly concerned about was in his tummy.

    2. Cough, cough. I open letters with a letter opener, and a sharp one too. But that’s because my fingers don’t work as well as they used to. Now, why don’t you have a seat and I’ll pour us some sherry.

  7. “Once Joe’s chest is exposed, Barnabas and Julia both seem to find it difficult to remember their lines.”


    This episode includes both Joel Crothers’s unobstructed torso, and Angelique’s incredible gown taking on a life of its own as she hurries to the door. It is my favourite episode in the entire series to this point.

  8. Also, that last scene is the purest distillation of the weird, mad, monster show/soap mashup DS has yet produced; two guys in a hospital room about to come to blows over a dramatically-revealed classic love triangle, which just happens to revolve around a centuries-old vampire witch that’s been controlling them both with her mind. Sublime.

  9. I seem to recall Joe having blood on his right hand while still on the floor at Blair House.
    A letter opener is never a good idea. Perhaps he should have used a Ginsu.

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