“If you marry me, it’ll be like marrying a corpse.”
Ladies, I get it. The dating scene is hard. Sometimes, it feels like a guy is stringing you along, and maybe the relationship isn’t going anywhere, but it’s hard to know when it’s time to just cut your losses and move on.
Jeff: Oh, Vicki. I wish I had your faith. We’ve got so little time together.
Vicki: Don’t say that!
Jeff: But it’s true. Even though you can see me and touch me, and I can hold you in my arms — I don’t exist, here and now.
That, right there? That’s your cue to re-evaluate, before you wind up as another chapter in He’s Just Not That Into Time Traveling With You.
I mean, there has to be a guy out there who, at the very least, has a better excuse.
That’s all that I can say right now, in regards to Jeff and Vicki’s sad little shotgun wedding, conducted at 3:00 in the morning by a day player Justice of the Peace during a raging thunderstorm, and witnessed by a gloomy-looking matron in a housecoat. I mean, what can you even say about it, besides I hope Liz didn’t spend a lot on the catering?
But we’ve got a bigger problem to discuss today, namely: who are “They”?
Sorry, I’ll back up a step. Vicki’s fiancee Jeff has figured out that he’s actually the displaced spirit of Peter Bradford, the 18th century lawyer who won her heart, and lost her case.
When Vicki was transported to 1795, locked in jail and accused of first-degree deviltry, Peter was the one guy who believed in her, who stood up for her and offered to defend her in the trumped-up kangaroo court witch trial.
As it turned out, Peter was a terrible lawyer, and he blew the case to such an extent that they both ended up getting hanged. It was a pretty epic fail, even by the low standards of the Collinsport justice system.
As she was taken to the gallows, Peter promised that he would find her again, that somehow their love would transcend time, and death, and malpractice, and they would be united once more. And now he’s here. Ta-dah!
But what do you know, spontaneous supernatural destiny manipulation comes with a dreadful cost, go figure, and there are a lot of unanswered questions about what actually happened that night, and who’s responsible for it, and what their sinister motivations might be.
So Jeff’s had a lot on his mind as the wedding day approaches, and yesterday, he organized a little bachelor party for himself over at Professor Stokes’ place.
Stokes promised to get some special “herbs” for Jeff, to expand his consciousness and help him understand who he really is.
So instead of going to a strip club and buying each other awkward and emotionally unsettling lap dances like guys are supposed to do on the night before the wedding, they sat around in the dark and ate magic leaves, trying to shake a few answers out of the infinite universal consciousness.
Now, if I know Jeff, this courageous leap into the unknown is going to end up with him in the back seat of a police cruiser, with no pants, a busted trombone and a brand new rap sheet, so we might as well leave him to it, and see if we can find something more productive to do.
This would be a good time to review some of the important questions that we still need to figure out. Here’s a few that immediately spring to mind:
- Who was responsible for bringing Peter Bradford forward in time?
- Why was there a witch trial in 1795, a hundred years after people stopped having them?
- Why were the judges so obviously incompetent and whimsical? Were they under orders to engineer a specific result?
- How do you find a Justice of the Peace willing to marry you at three o’clock in the morning?
Okay, let’s check back in with Jeff, who’s established contact. Whatever the hell it is that he’s doing, it appears to be working.
Jeff: I can see it all… I can see the road… No! I have to see her again! Please, help me! Let me see her once again! They’re — they’re pulling at me!
Jeff: The hangmen are outside… the noose is ready for her… I told her, I’ll follow you… I’ll find you.
Jeff: No! NO! Don’t come for me now! Just give me one chance — to talk to her, that’s all! Just one chance! And I’ll be willing to go!
Okay, here’s some more questions:
- Where did the name “Jeff Clark” come from?
- Why did Jeff have rope in his pocket, when he first arrived in 1968?
- Why does Barnabas remember Phyllis Wick as his little sister’s governess, after Vicki took Phyllis’ place in the timeline?
- Who is Jeff talking to?
Vicki runs in, and hangs onto her fiancee. Jeff is still negotiating with the powers that apparently be.
Jeff: Let me talk to her, let me explain to her! Please, don’t come for me now! All I need is time!
Vicki: Jeff, listen to me!
Jeff: No — they’re calling me!
Vicki: Your love made you follow me — your love brought you here — well, my love will keep you here! Commit yourself to this life, to this time! Say you will, Jeff — and they will let you stay!
And Jeff does, and they do. The vision passes, and Jeff can stay.
So there are a few more questions to consider, as the newlyweds get busy with the champagne:
- Why did everyone forget about Sarah’s ghost, once Vicki returned to 1968?
- How did Dr. Lang cure Barnabas in less than a day?
- Why did Danielle Rogét travel from France to Collinsport?
- Who is Jeff referring to, when he says “They’re pulling at me”?
- What does Vicki mean, when she says “They will let you stay”?
- Who are They?
Oh, hang on — we’re getting some late-breaking news from the bridal suite.
Jeff: It was in the old Collinsport gaol… and you couldn’t get anybody to defend you. Nobody in the whole town had courage enough to do it.
Vicki: Only you.
Jeff: But it wasn’t courage… You know something? I didn’t know the first thing about the law.
Yeah, no kidding. Come on, let’s make with the spooky.
Jeff: Those were awful days, weren’t they? Awful days… the jurors who wouldn’t listen, pious… and the Reverend Trask. What an evil man.
Vicki: Oh, Jeff.
Jeff: But we put up a good fight, didn’t we? We kept each other going.
Vicki: Jeff, I don’t think we should talk about this anymore.
Jeff: Remember when we were waiting for the jurors to bring in the verdict? Boy, I thought they’d believe me. Sure… reasonable, honorable men… oh, they’d believe me, sure. They wouldn’t let us be separated. They’d give us a life together, that’s for sure. They wouldn’t take you away from me!
Jeff: But they did. And now they’re taking me away. Vicki… it’s happening again!
Vicki: Oh, Jeff, hold me! You resisted them before when you held me, you can resist them now!
- Is this the same They that found Vicki guilty?
- Why does Jeff remember a jury, when there wasn’t one?
- Who were those “honorable men”?
- Were they men at all — or were they something else?
- Why is there a jail cell in the basement of the Old House?
- Who took Dr. Lang’s body away?
- How did Danielle Rogét die?
- Where is Ned Stuart right now?
- Who was Mr. Wells working for?
- Who owns Maggie’s soul?
- Who sent Vicki to the orphanage?
- Why does everybody have the same lamp?
- Who has Julia’s red notebook now?
- Did Vicki return to the same world that she left?
- Why are there cameras and hidden microphones all over the place?
- Who is listening to these people?
- Where is Paul Stoddard?
- What happened in Fort Wayne?
- Who was F. McA. C.?
- Why is Amy so determined to explore the west wing?
- Who brought Edith back to life?
- Who were the old ladies in Providence and Boston?
- What was Jeb doing in 1796?
- What happened to the pen?
- Who are They?
- Why are They manipulating time?
- What do They want?
- And what really happened to Dr. Julian Hoffman?
Tomorrow: Win a Date with Jonathan Frid.
Dark Shadows bloopers to watch out for:
There’s a little tape edit in the last scene, as Vicki is holding Jeff. It’s much more subtle than their previous occasional edits — they’re in the same general position, and the music doesn’t jump too much — but it’s still noticeable.
Something went terribly wrong with the Chromakey in the final scene; there’s a huge dark blue smudge down the left side of the frame.
Behind the Scenes:
The Justice of the Peace was played by Thomas Spratley, in his only appearance on the show. According to IMDb, Dark Shadows is his first screen credit, at age 54. After this, he played small roles in a bunch of well-known TV shows and movies, including Dallas, Dynasty, Charlie’s Angels, The Sunshine Boys, The Stepford Wives, Little House on the Prairie, The Day After, Highway to Heaven and Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.
Tomorrow: Win a Date with Jonathan Frid.
— Danny Horn