Episode 613: Joe Haskell Must Die

“Then why didn’t that someone give him the medicine?”

Man, after a solid week of sifting through the Danielle/Eve/Jeff/Peter boondoggle, it’s nice to get back to a simple, straightforward hypnotized rape victim flip-flop murder-revenge conspiracy. I mean, some of us still appreciate the classics.

613 dark shadows joe sleep

Joe Haskell, ex-fisherman and the current title holder for Only Hot Guy on the Show Right Now, is taking up bed space at the Old House, recuperating after a vampire bite and a self-inflicted wound to the gut.

Now he’s having kind of a stressful evening, because he’s convinced that Barnabas has taken his place as vampire soap vixen Angelique’s secret sexytime blood-slave. Joe believes this preposterous idea because that is exactly what’s happening.

613 dark shadows barnabas medicine

So here’s the scenario: Joe has spent the last couple months being hypnotically seduced and snacked on by Angelique, and now she’s tossed him aside for someone else. Abandoned and on the verge of madness, Joe tried to kill himself with a letter opener.

Angelique called her ex-vampire ex-husband Barnabas, bit him on the neck, and told him to get rid of Joe. Rather than drag the boy out into the woods and leave him to die, Barnabas brought him back to the Old House to recover.

This is where it gets a little complicated.

Nicholas Blair says Joe Haskell Must Die, because he’s in love with Joe’s fiancee Maggie, and he wants to get rid of the competition.

Harry Johnson says Joe Haskell Must Die, because Nicholas is hypnotically controlling him, and gave him some poison to put in Joe’s medicine.

Angelique says Joe Haskell Must Die, because she’s crazy and she just likes killing people.

So now Barnabas says Joe Haskell Must Die, because Angelique lured him from the house again, bit his neck, and told him to go back home and finish the job.

That makes a grand total of five people who want Joe dead, including Joe himself. You’d imagine that would make things pretty easy, but nothing’s easy in this town.

613 dark shadows julia barnabas joe

Just at the crucial moment, who should walk in but Dr. Julia Hoffman, the actual hero of the show.

As always, Julia is the audience identification figure, because she does everything that we’d want to do. She’s the one who cut Joe’s turtleneck in half — death to turtlenecks, may they be banished to hellfire for eternity — and now she’s interrupting Barnabas in the act of exterminating the cute guy.

613 dark shadows barnabas julia medicine

So she takes the spoon from Barnabas’ hand, and gives him a scolding as she pours it back into the bottle. Julia is a rock star.

Julia:  I told you, it isn’t time to give him his medicine now.

Barnabas:  Yes, it is! The time has come!

Julia:  No, I told you that he wasn’t to get any more dosage tonight.

Barnabas:  You said that?

Julia:  Yes, you know very well that I said that.

613 dark shadows barnabas julia long

As always, Barnabas has a cunning plan for allaying her suspicions.

Barnabas:  Yes, yes — you did.

Julia:  Then why were you giving it to him?

Barnabas:  Well, I don’t know — I must have thought the morning had come.

Julia:  Well, how could you think that? It’s still dark out.

Barnabas turns, and does an exaggerated take to the window.

Barnabas:  Yes! Yes, it is, isn’t it? Dark. Very dark.

Obviously, he’s acting super weird, but Julia doesn’t realize it, because Barnabas’ normal baseline for acting weird is extremely elevated. This is maybe one percent weirder than usual.

So she tells Barnabas to keep watch over Joe, to make sure the vampire doesn’t show up and kill him before anybody else gets a chance. She pointedly takes the medicine bottle, saying, “I’ll take this with me, in case you get confused again. An extra dose would be very harmful to him now.”

What is this medicine, by the way? It appears to be some kind of controlled-substance stomach juice.

613 dark shadows barnabas joe chest

Anyway, Julia leaves them alone, and Barnabas spends the night staring at Joe while he sleeps, which to be honest is not that bad of a job.

613 dark shadows joe shirtless

So I know that once again, I’m hitting the “leering at the cute boy” note pretty hard, and I hate to sound like a broken record, but look at the guy. He’s all sweaty and unshaven and dirty and helpless. This is a brand new development in Dark Shadows entertainment, and it needs to be documented. Besides, I’m only human.

613 dark shadows julia barnabas joe again

When morning finally comes, Julia returns to take Barnabas’ place at the bedside, and she’s got some further questions.

Julia:  Why were you trying to give him the medicine, just as I walked in?

Barnabas:  You asked me that, and I told you. I was tired. Almost as tired as I am now. I must have been confused about the time of day.

613 dark shadows julia analysis face

Julia:  I’m afraid I can’t completely accept your reason.

Barnabas:  What are you talking about?

Julia:  I’ve just made an analysis of this medicine.

And then she just gives him a look. This is her I’ve-just-made-an-analysis face.

Julia:  Barnabas — this medicine is poison. Deadly poison!

613 dark shadows joe wakes up

Oh, by the way, Joe’s awake. They are currently located zero feet away from him.

Julia:  You were trying to poison him, weren’t you?

Barnabas:  Of course I wasn’t! Why would I want to do that?

Julia:  I don’t know, Barnabas.

Barnabas:  I was the one who found him, and brought him here. If I hadn’t, he would have died! Now, if I wanted to kill him, would I have brought you over here to take care of him?

And Julia sighs, like she’s thinking, I don’t know, dude. I can’t explain you to you.

613 dark shadows barnabas julia excuse

As usual, Julia is entirely alone in a world of madmen.

Julia:  Someone put poison in this bottle — and you were giving it to him!

Barnabas:  I didn’t know there was poison there. I wouldn’t want to put poison in that medicine.

Julia:  But who else could have, Barnabas?

Barnabas:  Well, when I went out — when I heard the dogs howling, and went out to see if there was any danger. Someone could’ve come in then. You yourself thought there was someone in the house, when I was out tonight.

613 dark shadows barnabas julia gone

Julia:  Yes, that’s something that puzzles me too.

Barnabas:  What?

Julia:  Why did you leave him for such a long time?

Barnabas:  I wasn’t gone for long!

Julia:  Yes you were, Barnabas!

Barnabas:  Well, maybe long enough for someone to have come in and, and — put the poison in his medicine.

Julia:  Then why didn’t that someone give him the medicine?

Barnabas:  I don’t know, Julia! I’m sorry, but I’m tired.

Julia:  All right, Barnabas. Go downstairs and rest. All I know is that someone almost succeeded in killing Joe Haskell.

613 dark shadows killing joe haskell

So that’s what we call bedside manner around here. It’s amazing.

Julia dismisses Barnabas, while Joe lies there and engages in thinks.

Joe (thinks):  He tried to kill me! He wants to kill me — to get rid of me! Because of her. He wants to MURDER me!

I know, I’m doing a lot of quoting today, but sometimes, you just have to get out of the way and let Dark Shadows do its job.

613 dark shadows joe up

Eventually, everybody clears the room, and Joe is left alone. Julia goes back to Collinwood to get some less aggressively toxic medicine, and Barnabas is resting downstairs.

Joe begins an extended thinks drum solo.

Joe (thinks):  I’ve got to do it — before he kills me! I’ll kill him first. I don’t have a choice!

He staggers to his feet, and looks wildly around the room.

Joe (thinks):  But how? How am I going to do it? I’ve got to find something — anything!

Dude, this is not that hard. This house is owned by the Collins family; there are murder weapons everywhere. Open a drawer.

613 dark shadows joe my bare hands

He does a quick inventory of his assets.

Joe (thinks):  My bare hands — I’ll choke him to death! No… There’s no strength in them.

This is actually a little audience participation moment, like on Blue’s Clues. I bet the kids at home are coming up with all kinds of helpful suggestions.

613 dark shadows joe curtain

Finally, the audience yells, “The curtain, Joe! Go for the curtain!” as Joe figures out how to weaponize the decor.

613 dark shadows joe barnabas choke

So yesterday we were talking about an article in The Saturday Evening Post, which included a list of Dark Shadows merchandise hitting stores in time for the holiday season.

Let’s take a moment to think about the target demographic for those products, as we watch a lust-crazed, half-shirtless Joe throttle a sleeping man with a rope: board games, posters, Halloween costumes, masks, capes, coloring books, bubble-gum cards and plastic fangs. Thank you, and good night.

Tomorrow: Curtains, Foiled Again.

Dark Shadows bloopers to watch out for:

In the teaser, when Barnabas approaches Joe’s bed, he rests his cane against the bed so that he can pick up the medicine bottle. The cane doesn’t want to balance properly, and it takes Barnabas a couple seconds to adjust it.

In act 2, Maggie and Joe engage in an extended battle over how much of his chest should be exposed. When she approaches him, he’s passed out, with his chest bare. She starts to cover him up with the blanket, and he wakes up with a start. She sits down, and Joe breathes heavily as he answers. Something strikes her as funny — apparently his insistence on playing the bare-chest scene so vividly — and she barely suppresses a smile as she tries to tug the blanket up a little bit more.

A minute later, he does some more heavy breathing, and turns his chest toward the camera again. Once again, Maggie is not successful in suppressing her smile. She’s about to leave, and he calls her back, and starts breathing heavy again, telling her that Barnabas tried to kill him. She takes the opportunity to tug the blanket up a bit.

In act 3, Julia says, “Barnabas, I’m… got to go back to the house, and… (looks at the teleprompter) fix the — get some more medicine.”

Mrs. Johnson tells Julia, “Funny — for a minute, I didn’t think you knew a thing about what I’m saying, about what I’m talking about.”

Behind the Scenes:

They’ve changed the curtain ties in Josette’s room today so that Joe can scrounge up a murder weapon. Up until yesterday, the curtains have been tied with a sash made of the same material. Today, they’re tied with a convenient rope, suitable for a garrote.

Tomorrow: Curtains, Foiled Again.

613 dark shadows maggie joe battle

Dark Shadows episode guide

— Danny Horn

13 thoughts on “Episode 613: Joe Haskell Must Die

  1. Poor Joe Haskell, should a got out a Dodge while the gettin was good. I can’t wait til he has the most awful awful horrible wonderful fabulous horrible terrible horrible dream ever, where he says “Of all the things I’ve lost, I miss my mind the most”
    Then he goes off to live with cousin Eddie, from Leave It To Beaver.

    1. Right. Tony Peterson had the right idea. Get threatened by a monster? Head for the hills and never show your face again!

  2. Barnabas has just seemed so PASSIVE since the beginning of the Adam and Eve storyline – not so much physically as emotionally – he really doesn’t ‘get his groove’ back until he falls through the looking glass into 1897…also a sad twist in the Maggie/Joe story – they were so manipulated and abused and the viewer never had the privledge of seeing them receive any justice or vindication…

    1. Yes, I agree completely about Maggie/Joe. Both characters receive “unhappy” endings — perhaps “reunited” at Windcliff. It frustrates me, though, that Maggie never understands (or at least remembers) why Joe’s life is destroyed. He was… just in the way. Nicholas had no issue with him beside that.

      Let’s take a moment, though, to consider the fates of the characters from the pre-Barnabas days who didn’t make it to the end of the series: Vicki winds up in the past with Peter Bradford (and is later killed by Carolyn’s soon-to-be husband ?). Maggie winds up a meal for a vampire and is taken away from Collisport. Joe discovers his cousin is a werewolf and goes insane. However, Burke just… dies in a plane crash. It’s a rather normal and unsatisfying ending for the character, and he never fully comprehends the “post-Barnabas” world. He’s suspicious of Barnabas, but no more than he was of Roger Collins. He remains on the outskirts of the supernatural, never really touched by it at least not permanently.

      1. Those are exactly the kind of unsatisfying dangling plot threads that just cry out for some kind of post-series explanation, perhaps woven by an overseas team of audio drama experts?

    2. Well Julia has to wonder what the hell is wrong with this dude trying to act like he is not trying to poison Joe. And Barnabas was clearly stepping on his dick at every turn, stammering like he got caught with his hand in the cookie jar and can’t even explain it.

  3. That afghan covering Joe has shown up in a coule of different places lately. It’s kind of the younger, plainer sister of the older, flashier “Collinsport Afgan.”

  4. Right there with you on Torso Joe, Danny!
    I especially like that Julia has left the shredded turtleneck ON him, just to remind the viewers that the time of that kind of shirt has past (and leave Mr. Haskell with some dignity…)
    But is rather, erm, telling, that Barnabas lodges our Only Hot Guy On The Show in…Josette’s boudoir, n’est-ce pas? I mean, why not Jeremiah’s room, or Joshua and Naomi’s suite?

    And while I think of it, why didn’t Nicholas just put a whammy on Joe and make him forget that he and Maggie were ever an item? Or does Nicky’s power have no effect on true love?

  5. I noticed that JF’s makeup was lacking, as though he hadn’t the time to sit in the chair before he went on. He looked very pale and his eyes, which are usually lined with eye-liner, we’re make up free.

    But then when you look at GH and KLS, maybe they took up all the time in the makeup chair because their makeup was on point!

  6. Okay–is the bandage on Joe’s tum-tum new? Because I don’t remember it seeing it until today. In fact, I’d been wondering why they’d use a whole drugstore’s worth of first-aid tape to cover up his two little neck pricks–that weren’t even bleeding–and completely ignore his plundered mid-section.

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