Episode 637: Bury Me a Little

“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.

However.

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.

637 dark shadows vicki jeff wedding

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”?

452 dark shadows blah peter vicki

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.

637 dark shadows jeff promise

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.

637 dark shadows stokes jeff hookup

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.

637 dark shadows jeff leaf

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.

637 dark shadows stokes jeff questions

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?

637 dark shadows jeff pulling

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!

637 dark shadows jeff noose

Jeff:  The hangmen are outside… the noose is ready for her… I told her, I’ll follow you… I’ll find you.

637 dark shadows jeff vision

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?

637 dark shadows jeff vicki night

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.

637 dark shadows jeff vicki champagne

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?

637 dark shadows jeff vicki courage

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.

637 dark shadows vicki jeff fight

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.

637 dark shadows jeff jurors

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!

637 dark shadows jeff they

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!

637 dark shadows vicki jeff resisted

  • 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?

637 dark shadows jeff vicki late

  • 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?

637 dark shadows vicki jeff questions

  • Who was Mr. Wells working for?
  • Who owns Maggie’s soul?
  • Who sent Vicki to the orphanage?
  • Why does everybody have the same lamp?

637 dark shadows vicki phone

  • 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?

637 dark shadows vicki jeff chromakey

  • Where is Paul Stoddard?
  • What happened in Fort Wayne?
  • Who was F. McA. C.?
  • Why is Amy so determined to explore the west wing?

637 dark shadows vicki jeff disappear

  • 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?

637 dark shadows vicki jeff time

  • 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.

637 dark shadows vicki strings

Dark Shadows episode guide

— Danny Horn

29 thoughts on “Episode 637: Bury Me a Little

  1. I do not know about the other questions, but I can tell you what happened to Julia’s notebook. Peterson kept it and READ it – since Julia had not paid him a retainer there were no ethical concerns to stop him. He thought about how to use it to his advantage. He contacted Barnabas’ victims and/or their families and built a solid CIVIL case. He dragged both Barnabas and Julia through the courts. He engineered a deal in which, after damages were paid, the plaintiffs signed a non-disclosure agreement. It was a steep payment and Elizabeth paid, grumbling, after forbidding Barnabas or Julia from ever setting foot within two miles of Collinsport. Julia was forbidden to practice medicine, and since they ended up penniless, now they are working minimum wage for a diner owned by Maggie and Willie…

  2. Vicki has the gall to spend her wedding night with her new groom in the same Collinsport Inn suite that her ex-fiancee lived in prior to his ill fated flight into the Amazon (and Barnabas was the mastermind behind a grand scheme to get Burke out of the way, there is no doubt in my mind about that). And how did Jeff get out of jail after he was arrested for Eve’s murder? I can’t remember how he was sprung.

    1. Somehow, these plot holes that so infuriated me for years bother me less than that I just view it as “The Great 1968 Wrap-Up (thanks, Danny!). I even hear the Benny Hill theme song when I see screen captures from this period.

      “Let’s get rid of Jeff Clark! Right now! And we’re gonna say there was a Jeff Clark whose body Peter Bradford possessed — though that wouldn’t make sense given the empty coffin… but who cares! Let’s move on to Quentin!”

    2. In this episode, Vicki tells Jeff that Roger has gone to the police and gave Jeff an alibi. Roger and Jeff were together at the time of the murder — digging up Peter’s coffin at the Eagle Hill cemetery. Jeff has a moment of, did he tell them what we were doing, and she says nope, and then they move on.

      But that doesn’t really explain how he got out of jail in the first place, the Roger thing is kind of a hurried explanation a couple episodes later. The whole “Jeff in jail” thing was handled very poorly — as we saw several times last week, Vicki was just perking along and didn’t seem to be concerned at all.

          1. Or maybe the Collinsport sheriff personnel were trained in Mayberry and left the keys hanging outside the cell within reach (so Otis could let himself out in the morning).

      1. I thought in Moltke’s last episode – which is the one where Jeff went to the police and got arrested – she mentions going to talk to Roger so he coul bail Jeff out. I believe that’s where she was going when she walked up the stairs for the last time…

    3. Also, I don’t think Barnabas had anything to do with Burke’s plane going down. I forget the exact scene when he’s told about the plane crash, but I noted at the time that he seemed genuinely surprised. Also, it’s not like Barnabas knows how to sabotage an airplane; he probably hadn’t even seen one by that point.

      That being said, I agree that wasn’t a random accident. Somebody wanted that plane to crash. It could be Judah Zachery, or the Leviathans, or They, whoever They are. At the moment, I’m keeping an eye on They.

      Unless Ben Linus from Lost was alive in 1968? Could’ve been him.

      1. A story I always wanted to see: Burke Devlin survives he plane crash and has something profound happen in the jungle while trying to find the way out. I don’t know anything about the gods and demons of the Amazon, but when Burke eventually returns to Collinsport, he seems perfectly the same, but isn’t.

        Maybe a curse or a possession. Maybe he’s now the Leopard Man. Whenever the moon looks like a saucer of milk, he transforms into the dreaded hairy Leopard Man and scratches up Mrs Stoddard’s favorite davenport. After 13 weeks, he’s cured by love and catnip.

      2. I waver between Burke’s plane crash being a “OH CRAP” moment that ramps up tension or the least dramatically satisfying end of a character imaginable.

        The “oh crap” moment comes from the part of me who identifies with David — first Woodward dies and now the other person who believed in you is dead.

        But dramatically, Burke’s death was otherwise lame. Why not just have Barnabas kill him? Or were they committed to keeping Barnabas on the show at that point and thought that killing a popular character (even as played by Anthony George) would be too much?

        1. I think they wanted Burke out the door, and the plane crash was the fastest way to do it. They hadn’t figured out the “I’m being drawn back in time for some reason” technique yet.

          On soap operas, I think it’s very rare for a character to leave the show because that’s the next logical step for the story. If the storyline is working and the character is popular, then they can pull off a last-minute save that keeps the character on the canvas.

          There’s basically six reasons why a character is written out of a soap: the actor quit, the actor got fired, the storyline is tanking, the audience doesn’t like the character, getting rid of this character frees up a romantic partner to go hook up with someone more story-productive, or there’s a new head writer/executive producer and they’re cleaning house. It’s never a story-centered choice.

      3. I think that Burke’s death was payback for his having betrayed Laura, when he went over to Vicky. Notice that he was high up on the sky, close to the sun, and that his body was burned…

        Yeah, it was Ra, punishing him for abandoning Laura…

      4. Sarah’s ghost also said that no one was to blame for Burkr’s death, and as she has some kind of pipeline to the supernatural powers that be, I guess she knew what she was talking about.

    4. Collinsport Inn is the only place in town, and that’s their only set for it. Jeff was sprung because Roger provided Jeff with an alibi – Roger and Jeff were at Eagle Hill cemetery.

      1. I guess the police don’t realize that Roger is a practiced perjurer. He’s telling the truth this time, but who’s to know that?

  3. wow, that was over 8 months of this storyline. But it was worth it, because now the writers have learned from their mistakes, and we’re about to embark on almost 1 solid year of great stuff. Sure, it get’s a little wonky towards the end of next November ’69, but what a great ride coming up!

  4. I cannot believe they brought back Anthony George for 1795 Jeremiah. Thang Gawd he didn’t play his ghost. But Shit. Addison effing Powell????

    P.S. Yes, I KNOW Barnabas thought they looked like twins….but who cares when you’ve got a Burke Devlin who decides, now that he has the job, to overact every line after ABC goes color.

    He’s Right Up There with Addison Powell and Craig Slocum…..except he didn’t go up.

    Still, I’ll have a group of Four Unpardonable cast members…..the final being Tom Happer.

  5. I may have misheard, but it sounded like the Justice of the Peace got Jeff to vow to obey Vicki during the wedding ceremony.

  6. Since all eps are now on Amazon Prime (yippee!), I went back to where I left off in watching the Barnabus era episodes (and this was shortly before I ended what has been called Collection 12 or Season 12 on DVD’s which have about 39 eps each). Anyhow, I just noticed that, when Jeff and Vicki are in their honeymoon suite, there’s a very cool shot of the two of them as if the camera is looking at them from inside the fireplace! I don’t know if they literally put the camera inside the fireplace or have it more as a super-imposed chromakey or other effect. Whatever – it totally looks real to me, and it’s just a super-cool frame of a shot. We did see the fireplace going, but to see J&V apparently sitting near the fireplace with the camera looking at them from inside the fireplace, it was both unexpected and quite creative.

    While Vicki was a bit over-the-top and over-dramatic at times in these love scenes with Jeff, there was just enough of a flicker of a spark between them both to make me at least see just a hint of chemistry between the two. The way Vicki laughed when Jeff popped the champagne cork – it was all very cute and left me at least hoping they might find some “happily ever after,” which is of course the undying and usually unrequited hope that we have for all soap couples. It just makes Vicki’s agony and distress over Jeff’s disappearance back in time all the more distressing …

    And now I’m curious to see if that Justice of the Peace did have Jeff vow to obey Vicki — that would be interesting!

  7. I had to literally LOL when Jeff told Vicki that marrying him would be like marrying a corpse. Truer words never spoken.

  8. Also …what happened to Josette’s earrings (after Willie anonymously gifted them to Maggie)?

    I like to imagine they ended up being passed around to various ladies in need… the Sisterhood of the Traveling Emerald Earrings…and they would imbue their wearer with special insight, assertiveness, and just enough bitchiness to provoke their jealous lovers with zingers like “We probably shouldn’t go out tonight unless we find a restaurant that serves babyfood.”

  9. Tim’s observations are valid insofar as I understand them. J&V do have some chemistry. Back in the day, I thought Alexandra’s Vicki had more chemistry with him, but now I think maybe Betsy has more. What I am surprised that nobody else has commented on is that kiss by the fireplace – the one that goes from nine minutes and six seconds to nine minutes and nine seconds.When their lips part, there is a long and disgusting stringy complex of saliva that links their lips. It almost seems impossible that it is natural saliva rather than made of soap bubble mixture or glue or something. Eww!

  10. This seems to be the first Durkin episode without the “part of Victoria Winters is played by…” announcement – so I guess this is technically the point where Moltke has been recast, rather than just having another actress fill in a la Bodysnatcher!Carolyn.

    Of course, it could just be because she’s in the teaser, which would make an announcement at the end of the titles sort of redundant.

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