“Every day, he becomes more like a mortal man… and no mortal man can spoil my plans.”
Barnabas Collins, drained of blood and low on get-up-and-go, has fallen to the earth. His ex-wife Angelique has been all up in his neck recently, and he’s got to get away before she turns him into the living dead for like the third time in a row. So we’re in the middle of a tense low-speed chase through the woods, as he tries to drag himself to safety before the sun sets.
Girl governess Victoria Winters finds him, because they suddenly have some kind of deep mental bond, and why not? Vicki’s standard emergency protocol kicks in, which means that she parks herself eight inches away from the patient and hollers reassuringly at him.
“I have to get you to Collinwood, and then we’ll find Julia!” she cries, but he insists that won’t help.
He moans, “I want you to take me someplace where no one will find me,” and guess where that turns out to be.
She says, “There’s a secret door to the west wing of Collinwood, which no one’s used for years!” And, for Pete’s sake, didn’t he just say that they shouldn’t go to Collinwood? This television show may need to invest in a few more locations. You can’t keep treating the west wing of Collinwood like it’s Mexico.
So where do they end up, after going through this secret magic door that no one’s used for years? Adam’s room! This is the place where they spent the whole summer pretending that it was completely isolated and abandoned, while a long line of visitors filed in and out, up to and including the exact person that Barnabas is currently trying to hide from. Everyone has used this door. I’m surprised Mrs. Johnson isn’t here dusting right now.
I mean, they moved one of the walls and put the bed in a different spot, but it’s the same damn room. I spent too much of my life staring at that tore-up window shade not to recognize it now. I know this room better than the house I grew up in.
But they did rearrange things a little bit, so here’s Vicki leaning against a little slice of brick wall that doesn’t appear to be attached to anything. In fact, if you look just past the bricks to the right, you see that there’s wood paneling on the wall. Who builds little brick outcroppings in front of the wainscoting?
Once again, Dark Shadows is engaging in conceptual interior design, assembling a room entirely based on what they want the shot to look like.
And this isn’t the only architectural oddity we’ve seen lately. Two days ago, Angelique was keeping Barnabas in a space that I’m not sure I’m able to describe.
This little hideaway combined stone walls, occasional brickwork, a wooden support beam, what looks like a dirt floor strewn with boulders, and that wall on the left that doesn’t appear to be anything in particular. I guess this is what they mean by mixed-use development.
And the mystery deepened yesterday, when Nicholas demanded some answers from Angelique.
Nicholas: Where is Barnabas Collins?
Angelique: I left him in a hut.
Angelique: In the woods, between Collinwood and the Old House.
So — really? For one thing, I don’t know how that black-box theater space counts as a “hut”, but never mind about that.
The real problem is that Angelique told Barnabas that they were “near the sea, far away from anyone who may want to find you.” I’m not sure how the woods between Collinwood and the Old House counts as far away; it’s the busiest thoroughfare in town.
Even Nicholas appears to be living in a mobile home. Here’s today’s opening voiceover:
A moonless night at the great estate of Collinwood, and a secret drama takes place — a drama which, if known, would shock and horrify every member of the family. For Barnabas Collins has disappeared, the victim of a vampire, and the two who know fear for his life.
This night, a lonely figure waits, shielded by the trees, staring at the most mysterious house on the property. She is positive that somewhere in this house is the answer to all of her questions.
Well, I have a question — Nicholas’ house is “on the property”? As in, part of the Collinwood estate?
I swear, these people need to go outside their corridor once in a while. It’s too hard to maintain a suite of hideouts within easy walking distance of the people you’re trying to hide out from.
So I think it’s clear at this point that the current storyline is just running in circles. It’s time to wrap this up, and find a new place to play. I wonder what’s in the east wing?
Monday: Better Than Medicine.
Dark Shadows bloopers to watch out for:
When Barnabas falls to the floor unconscious, the camera pulls back and reveals that Angelique has been watching him through the magic mirror. At that moment, there is a ton of studio noise — people walking around, moving things, creaking doors. Something squeaks, and something knocks against metal.
Barnabas tells Angelique that Nicholas will be “angry enough to come to our coffins with a hatchet, and a mallet.” He means a mallet and stake.
The set design gets even shabbier when we see Adam enter the west wing room — the hall outside is now just a couple of plain beige walls.
Monday: Better Than Medicine.
— Danny Horn