Episode 697: The Young and the Restless

“It seems that when there is a full moon, legend has it that possessed children are extremely restless.”

On this night, the great house of Collinwood stands deserted, more or less. The Collins family has fled the premises, driven away by the spirit of Quentin Collins, an ancestor with an attitude problem. Now they’re all crashing at Barnabas’ place, as Quentin lures them back to Collinwood one by one, for some hypnotically-enforced steampunk cosplay.

I’ll give you a for instance. Barnabas is currently on a recon mission in the spooky old mansion, looking for young David. He opens up the drawing room doors — and there’s Maggie, the Collins family governess, wearing a complicated Victorian dress and an even more complicated Gibson girl hairstyle. She’s sitting alone in the dark room, posing decoratively on a chair and doing needlepoint, just Gibsoning away.

When she sees Barnabas enter the room, she’s startled, and acts like she doesn’t know who he is. “I know no one named Barnabas,” she says, “now please leave here at once!” He insists, “Maggie, I know what’s happened to you,” which says a lot about how Barnabas’ mind works.

She says that’s not her name, but when she tries to remember who she is, she gets confused, shrieks, and crumples delicately to the floor.

When she regains consciousness, Maggie is herself again, and she has no idea what happened. “These clothes,” she gasps, “where did they come from? And my hair! Barnabas — why don’t I remember?” This must have been a pretty action-packed evening for her; you don’t forget a hairstyle like that in a hurry.

So it turns out that Quentin is really, really good at this. He must have a master’s degree in whatever the hell this is.

677 dark shadows maggie barnabas clothes

And now, at long last, Quentin’s vague Turn of the Screw plan is coming together. T of the S is one of producer Dan Curtis’ favorite stories, but it isn’t much of an inspiration for a soap opera storyline, because essentially nothing happens in the entire book.

The governess in the novel sees sinister spirits hanging around near the children, but the ghosts never speak and they never actually do anything. They don’t have a plan, and they’re not even characters, really; they’re just metaphors for the governess’ fears of a bad influence corrupting the children. At the end of the novel — 1898 spoiler alert — the little boy dies in the governess’ arms, but it’s not clear that the ghosts had anything to do with it.

So this storyline has kind of rambled a bit, as the writers tried to figure out who Quentin is, what his motivations might be, and what he plans to do. Is he trying to kill everyone in the house, or does he just want them to leave? Is it just the family that he hates, or any random person who enters the house? Why is he angry at Chris, who isn’t a Collins and doesn’t live at Collinwood?

697 dark shadows barnabas maggie name

But now there’s been a huge change in the status quo, exiling the entire family to the Old House, and the writers are taking the opportunity to rebrand Quentin, and give him a coherent plan.

Barnabas:  Did he speak to you?

Maggie:  Yes… he called me by another name!

Barnabas:  What name?

Maggie:  It was a name he chose — a name that made these clothes seem right!

Barnabas:  What was the name?

Barnabas is getting frantic, and no wonder, because this used to be his plan. Quentin is stealing his material.

697 dark shadows barnabas maggie dress

When Barnabas joined the show two years ago, his first arc was about kidnapping Maggie, dressing her up in old-fashioned clothes, and trying to hypnotize her into thinking that she was Josette, his lost love. He’s not doing that kind of thing anymore — at least, not in the last few months — but he’s an expert on the subject of recreating dioramas of the past, using living people as his props. Quentin is playing on Barnabas’ home turf.

But here, he’s at a disadvantage for the first time, encountering a part of the Collins family history that he doesn’t know by heart. All he knows about Quentin is his name and his birthdate, but he doesn’t know who the other ghost is, or who Maggie’s dressed up as. He really has no idea what’s going on.

685 dark shadows quentin ezra silly

So far, Quentin has done an excellent job at keeping everybody else in the dark. Barnabas managed to get his hands on one tangible clue — a silver pentagram, which was around the neck of a dead child buried in the woods.

But Quentin stole the necklace almost immediately, and when Barnabas tried to get information about the item from a local silversmith, Quentin killed the guy and destroyed the relevant part of his ledger before Barnabas could see it. The investigators really have almost nothing to go on; they’re just scrabbling around for any little scrap of information.

697 dark shadows roger barnabas detectives

Things have gotten so bad that Roger’s deputized himself as a new member of the Junior Detectives League. Last week, Roger didn’t believe that ghosts were responsible for the children’s behavior, but now he’s homeless, and his son is missing, presumed playing dress-up.

Roger tried calling the police to search for David, but they’ve found nothing, of course, because they’re the Collinsport police. Failing at something off-screen is their specialty. Now he needs a new strategy.

I telephoned Professor Stokes before I left Collinwood,” Roger says. “He said that he would meet me there. He may have some ideas, he must have! He does have a most curious theory, one that I dislike even thinking about. It seems that when there is a full moon, legend has it that possessed children are extremely restless.”

Barnabas looks surprised, and gasps, “Will there be a full moon tonight?”

697 dark shadows roger barnabas moon

So that’s how out of touch Barnabas has become. Roger and Stokes are about to have an off-screen seance, because Barnabas has to scurry off and deal with his werewolf friend. Apparently, he’s been so busy worrying about the ghosts that he’s let another full moon sneak up on him while he wasn’t paying attention.

Barnabas rushes over to Chris’ place and locks him up before the transformation, and then he’s got to go to see the guy who may be on the verge of learning Chris’ dark secret. He doesn’t have a plan for that either; he’s just going to show up, and hope for the best.

697 dark shadows roger maggie dress

That leaves Roger as the lead investigator, and he comes back from another scouting trip with another worthless clue — part of the dress that Maggie was wearing when she had her Gibson girl makeover, burned in the fireplace in Elizabeth’s room. Roger tries to reach for a deduction.

Maggie:  Who would burn it?

Roger:  I don’t know. But whoever did it wants to erase Maggie Evans, as she exists.

Maggie:  Why?

Roger:  He wants you as you were dressed when Barnabas found you.

697 dark shadows maggie roger time

Maggie frowns. “Yes, I guess you could be right, Edward,” she says, “but what kind of power does this man have?”

Startled, Roger asks why she called him “Edward,” but she doesn’t know.

And like a good Junior Detective, Roger figures out what it all means. He  declares, “Edward Collins was my grandfather. Quentin Collins was his brother! Maggie, Quentin is trying to bring you back to his time! He’s failed with you — but has he succeeded with David?”

Now, I wouldn’t be so quick to label Quentin’s plans for Maggie as a failure. She’s still got some post-hypnotic problems going on, and Quentin’s got an excellent track record so far.

So this point in the storyline really is thrilling. This feels like the worst trouble the Collins family has ever seen. When the problem was Cassandra, or Adam, or the ghost of Reverend Trask, the protagonists had somewhere to start. If they didn’t know the full extent of whatever nefarious plan was hatching, then at least they knew who the suspects were, and they could come over and have a conversation about it. Quentin is playing with the inhabitants of Collinwood like they’re dolls, and he’s even remote-controlling them now, all the way over at the Old House.

This is bad. If Barnabas, Julia and Stokes are going to pull this together, they need to try something rash and desperate. And thank goodness, that’s exactly what they’re going to do.

Tomorrow: Sister Act.

Dark Shadows bloopers to watch out for:

Barnabas has a noticeable suntan; he must have gone somewhere sunny for a vacation. This isn’t as big a gaffe as it might be — Barnabas isn’t a vampire anymore, so it’s okay for him to get some sun — but the show takes place in Maine, and it’s February.

Barnabas gets kind of mixed up when he’s questioning Maggie in act 1 — it’s a long list of questions, and she just says “No” and “I don’t remember,” so after a while it seems like he’s just firing off questions at random.

When Roger sees Maggie in the dress, a boom mic can be seen overhead.

Maggie says, “Roger, don’t stay here! Something terrible may happen to you, if you stay here alone!” Barnabas responds, “Come, Maggie. Something may happen, uh, to you, later, if we let you stay.”

Barnabas tells Chris, “Oh, if we could only find out the curse — find out a way to end it.” Later in the conversation, he says, “I’ll talk to Stuart. I believe that — I will try to get them to leave town.”

Tomorrow: Sister Act.

697 dark shadows david is mine

Dark Shadows episode guide

— Danny Horn

39 thoughts on “Episode 697: The Young and the Restless

  1. I’ve always wondered if they had originally planned for KLS to play a different character in the 1897 storyline than Rachel Drummond. That’s a pretty fancy dress for an impoverished Victorian era governess. And her manner when she speaks to Barnabas is very regal.

    1. I’ve always thought that the Wardrobe department was a star of the show as much as any actor.

      It’s real eye candy.

      Also why 1897 is the Golden Age, better than 1795.

      Any time they go back in time…….

      It’s a real kick to see what the Costumers do.

      1. The costumes were awesome and I am thinking that it had to be uncomfortable with them having to wear corsets. Corsets are bullshit. Why did women have to wear them? I thought Judith/Nioami wore the most beautiful. Julia wore a couple of nice ones.

        1. Corsets have been maligned. They provide bust support from below (think about not having weight on your shoulders) and excellent back support. Contrary to popular opinion, they could be laced as loosely as you wanted, very loosely if you were pregnant. The tiny waist silhouette was achieved by bustling the hips. It’s an optical illusion. Try one sometime; you might change your mind about bras!

  2. I love the Quentin is stealing Barnabas’s material. It also kind of shows that Julia hasn’t even been making an attempt to ACT like she’s writing a book if she needs a scorecard to keep track of the players.

    I don’t think Maggie’s hair is very Gibson Girl-y though. Definitely Victorian, but Gibson Girl hair is poofy. https://www.google.com/search?q=gibson+girl&safe=active&espv=2&biw=1280&bih=899&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=0CAYQ_AUoAWoVChMIxoK1pO2UxwIVSI6SCh27rAks

    And the dress isn’t cut right, but I know that isn’t the point. 🙂

  3. I have become so accustomed to reading multiple entries per day, and now I’m jonesin’.

    The Maggie/Rachel thing always baffled me as well. It does seem likely she was intended to play someone else, a love interest of Quentin’s perhaps? But none of his love interests are regal ladies….

    And of course, this episode has the ultimate moment of Barnabas trying to convince Maggie she’s Maggie. We’ve done at least a 540° turn on him.

    1. Does Barnabas have electricity in the old house at this point or is his sunlamp candle powered.
      Hey – too bad they didn’t have spray on tans back then – Barnabas could have had a healthy glow year round – even when he was dead.

      1. I think QT had some kind of spray-on tan back then, but it was probably more prone to “streaking” or didn’t look as good as now. Having a tan was such a huge deal in the 60’s. Ever seen photos of Elizabeth Taylor from 1968?
        Then In the early 1980’s, being being pale and looking dead was very in with rock bands like Bauhaus and The Cure. It was a big thing, for a while.
        Looking back, i think there was more emphasis on having a tan in the 60’s than at any other time.

        1. The history of the “tan” is interesting. It was originally a sign of wealth to be pale, as the common folk were out working in the sun and looked like it. Then came the industrial revolution and the working class spent all day in dark factories, while the wealthy played sporting games or traveled to exotic locations. Much is made in GATSBY of the title character’s tan.

        2. The early 1960’s were a very sandi, with an “i”, fun in the sun, Beach Blanket Bingo kind of time. Then, around 1967, Simon & Garfunkel introduced being gloomy and withdrawn. Curled up in a comfy old leather chair, reading Mary Shelley by the crackling fireplace, wearing a turtleneck. The cat is sleeping on you. The rain outside is pouring and the lightening is like hell’s paparazzi.
          What were we talking about?

        3. Yes, this thread of replies made me think of QT, too. As a kid in 1969, I thought Magda and Sandor looked to me as though they’d spackled too much QT on themselves. I wanted their storyline to end quickly just so Grayson Hall and Thayer David could shower all that gunk off and go back to their Julia / Eliot shades.

  4. Nothing we see in 1897, even during the first couple weeks, connects with what we’re seeing now other than Quentin’s relationship with Jamison, which explains his interest in David. And the Quentin we learn to love would never, even in death, put a young woman in more clothing. As has been pointed out, it’s a very 1967 Barnabas scene.

    The scene of Maggie in the Victorian dress is alternately creepy and hilarious. Creepy when you consider that Quentin undressed her and burned her clothing. It’s implied physical violation. The hilarity comes when we imagine Quentin’s ghost styling Maggie’s hair.

  5. Well – Quentin must spend a lot of time styling his own hair, too. He’s definitely good with a teasing comb.

    1. Quentin was extremely hairy. I mean the sideburns took up half of his face. Also during that time, big hair for men must have been the style. Both Quentin and Aristede/Laslo had big hair on the top.

  6. As far as “who Maggie is supposed to be” goes, I think they are just throwing spaghetti at the wall, at the moment. And the hair is funny, if you think about it.

    “And there, hidden in the back of Quentin’s closet, they found the skeletal remains of the cursed hair-dresser, who once knew Count Petofi’s creepy magical touch….”

    1. Count Petofi certainly SHOULD have killed his own hairdresser – or at least have demanded a refund. Talk about a BAD perm.

      1. Whenever Count Petofi felt a little “low on juice”, he would simply stick his tongue in any available electrical socket. He said it really kept him on his toes. Unfortunately, it caused his hair to become french-fried, and fricasseed.

  7. I don’t know why but I never really bought the ‘Barnabas the Savior’ as far as Maggie was concerned. He was just so MEAN to her in the early days and those memories had a deep impact as far as the characters go – when Barnabas was determined to turn Maggie into Josette he genuinely thought he was doing her a favor by ‘upgrading’ her life (and that’s putting it in a diplomatic way) – he has that inbred sense of entitlement that can’t be shaken off by turning him into a mortal man. I can more easily believe his concern for David and the other members of the Collins family because they are of his ‘stock’ – sorry but that’s the way it comes across to me.

    1. That’s why the 1967 Barnabas is mostly incompatible with the character we’re seeing now. The 1967 Barnabas who kidnapped Maggie was an outright snob and definitely not someone who would have spent his free time teaching a servant how to read.

      1. 1967 was indeed a mean-spirited, only out for himself Barnabas. If he wasn’t killing women and animals, he was trying to get the girls that didn’t want him. He was very miserable.

        1. Yes, but remember that 1967 Barnabas was also likely half-insane after spending 175 years in a box without any blood or light or companionship–and he was a vampire with a curse. There’s a reason 1967 Barnabas is a different person, and it’s a justifiable one. Once he’s cured, all that goes away because the curse is no longer affecting him.

  8. Also another example is when he and Willy are exploring Collinwood and they come across Maggie’s dress and Barnabas tells Willy to ‘pick that up’ – hey Barnabas f*(&ing pick it up yourself!!

  9. KLS and bubble gum, mocking Barnabas, good.

    Funny how we’re talking about Petofi…jonesin’ for 1897……the image of Thayer staring into the camera with those thickass glasses burned into my memory….much more than the hair……and just how can he read a score with THOSE on, anyway…..

    But in the present, Selby has to be getting pissed, not speaking, because when he does, eventually, he takes over the show from Frid.


    A real Leading Man.

    Who doesn’t have a problem with lines.

    And funny, too.

    An antiBarnbas.

    Too young for poor Julia…….

  10. It says a lot about our expectations watching Dark Shadows that when I heard KLS call Roger “Edward” that my immediate thought was that it was a fluff!

  11. They should drop Sabrina off at Collinwood for a few hours with Quentin – I’m sure he could help her with her hair and makeup. Also, it’d give her a merciful break from her insufferable brother.

  12. It’s SERIOUSLY unlikely, but…
    maybe Quentin was trying to make Maggie into Kitty? (I know, the writers hadn’t even thought of Kitty yet, much less Rachel.)

    And why oh why did the costume person put that awful GREEN waist on that pretty blue frock?

  13. Yeah I don’t think they had decided on who Maggie was supposed to be. Could be Judith, could be Jenny even. It doesn’t really matter; the point is to control her so she stops trying to protect the children from him.

  14. This run of episodes is so much better than the Adam/Dream Curse/Nicholas Blair storyline that it’s almost like a different show.

  15. Speaking of hair, seven years later: what the hell is going on with Ned Stuart’s? It sticks up at the back so much that his head looks like it’s shaped like a cone.

  16. I think they probably did have an assignment in 1897 for Maggie/KLS by this time even if Maggie didn’t know her “new” name.

    1897 is just a week away. They clearly know Roger/LE is going to be Edward, and that Quentin was Edward’s brother. There’s no reason to think they hadn’t figured out Maggie’s counterpart by now; she’s introduced pretty early into the 1897 storyline.

    I know they flew by the seats of their pants, but you’d have to think the early 1897 characters were assigned by this week.

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