Episode 741: Lunch Date with Destiny

“What if he found out what I believe to be the truth?”

Barnabas and Sandor are on the trail of Laura Collins, a renewable resource who has spent the last several centuries marrying into the Collins family, having a kid or two, bursting into flames, and then coming back a hundred years later and doing it all over again. It seems like a fairly pointless lifestyle, but maybe there’s a tax break or something.

In the last episode, Barnabas and Sandor broke into the crypt of Laura Stockbridge Collins, a previous incarnation, and discovered that her coffin was empty. This was kind of a wet slap of a Friday cliffhanger, because it tells us nothing and goes nowhere.

Now Barnabas and Sandor are standing around, trying to figure out why there’s no body in the casket. It doesn’t seem to occur to them that there’s nothing there because she died in a fire. You know, I think it’s time they try branching out from grave-robbing as an investigation tool. Honestly, every time with these people.

741 dark shadows sandor barnabas crypt

Sandor objects that the Laura Collins that they know can’t be a ghost. “I have seen ghosts!” the gypsy says. “They don’t breathe! They don’t eat! They don’t live on this earth, like people do!”

“But the portrait!” Barnabas cries. “It showed us there was a duplicate of this woman living when I was a boy. Pure coincidence, Sandor?”

Sandor mutters, “I don’t know,” and starts putting out candles. For all I know, this might be the only television show where you can win an argument by saying, “But the portrait!”

741 dark shadows barnabas sandor fire

Checking the files in this musty old mausoleum, Barnabas finds the record of Laura’s death. “Cause of death: Fire!” he says. “Fire… How could I have forgotten that?”

That’s a good question, because he already said she died in a fire a couple episodes ago. But they’ve let Barnabas off the chain today, sticking him in a crypt with moody lighting, which always gets him extra motivated. He starts laying on the Fridspeak.

“Or did my father change the course of history again?” he wonders, moving around the set and conspicuously not finding his light. “Was there something about her? — about her death, which made him conceal the cause?”

741 dark shadows barnabas sandor blocking

“How can I discover the truth?” Barnabas wonders. Then he brightens: “Quentin! Quentin can tell me!” Sandor asks what he’s talking about, and Barnabas says, “What happened when they went away together, wherever it was.”

“Alexandria?” Sandor asks.

Barnabas says, “Egypt?” Sandor nods, and Barnabas cries, “You know that!” I swear, sometimes when Barnabas talks, you can almost tell what the original script must have been like.

“What if he found out what I believe to be the truth?” he muses. “What if he left her there?”

Sandor chuckles. “You don’t think he’d tell you!”

“No,” Barnabas admits, “but he may say something he didn’t intend to. That is my only hope.”

That’s not much of a plan, but if anybody can make it work, Barnabas can. People saying things they don’t intend to is pretty much his specialty.

741 dark shadows barnabas quentin strut

So Barnabas heads for Collinwood, where he catches up with Quentin.

“Well!” Quentin says, as he struts toward his guest. “The elusive cousin Barnabas!” And then things go kind of super amazingly impossibly gay. Seriously, check this out.

Barnabas says, “Good evening, Quentin,” and Quentin says, “I never will understand your life.”

“Nor I yours,” Barnabas counters.

741 dark shadows quentin roguish

Quentin grins. “But I am home sometimes. You never are! I was just at the Old House. You’re always out — night and day.”

Barnabas smiles, “Well, I’m fortunate, I don’t need much rest.”

“Oh,” Quentin says, “I envy you.”

Yeah, I do too. I’d envy anybody at the receiving end of a roguish Quentin smirk.

719 dark shadows quentin judith murder

Now, as an actor, one of the many positive qualities that David Selby brings to the table is that he always acts like he’s about to kiss everybody that he talks to, up to and including his own siblings, so it’s not like this is a rare event. Still, this does seem like an especially charged encounter.

741 dark shadows barnabas interest

Barnabas cocks his head to the side, and says, “You know, you interest me a great deal.”

Another grin from the muttonchops. “I’ve gathered that.”

“It’s too bad that we started off so badly,” Barnabas sighs, “because you could be so much help to me, in adjusting myself to my new surroundings.”

741 dark shadows barnabas quentin secrets

We pull back for an intimate two-shot. “Everyone here is so… secretive,” Barnabas twinkles.

“With reason,” Quentin agrees.

“But you are so… open with your friends,” says Barnabas.

Quentin says, “Too open, my sister thinks,” which doesn’t mean anything. At this point, they’re both kind of swept away in the moment.

741 dark shadows barnabas quentin flirt

Then Barnabas says, “What do you know about Laura Collins?” and it’s like one of the great moments in flirting history.

He’s caught Quentin by surprise, getting him to drop his guard for a moment, and he isn’t usually that guarded in the first place.

741 dark shadows barnabas cable

Quentin tries to get back on his feet by denying everything — “I wouldn’t have forgotten, Barnabas, now would I?” — but it doesn’t last.

Barnabas picks up a paper from the table, and says, “Here is a cable from Alexandria. Perhaps that will refresh your memory.”

This is a strong enough moment for an “oh snap!” music cue and a commercial break, because this is a television show where, rhetorically, the only thing that packs a stronger punch than “But the portrait!” is “Here is a cable from Alexandria.”

741 dark shadows barnabas quentin cinderella

And darn it, wouldn’t you know, the grandfather clock strikes five, which reminds Barnabas that he’s got to get back to his coffin before dawn. And we were just getting somewhere really exciting, too.

“What if I decided to find out everything I could about you?” Quentin smiles. “You’re much more mysterious than Laura.”

“I don’t mean to be,” says Barnabas, mysteriously.

“You know, I don’t even know what business you’re in.”

“Investments,” Barnabas offers.

“Oh, really. Is that why you travel to Bangor so often?”

“Yes, I have connections with a banking firm there.”

“Really,” Quentin says. “Well, tell me, are you going to Bangor today?”

741 dark shadows barnabas quentin thunder

Barnabas puts on an adorably thunderstruck expression, which Quentin clearly finds amusing.

Barnabas makes some vague excuses, and then our old friend Convenient Rooster makes his presence known, greeting the dawn from that invisible farm that’s apparently next door to everywhere.

741 dark shadows quentin barnabas lunch

Disappointed that Barnabas seems to be rushing off, Quentin says, “My questioning has made you nervous.”

“Not at all,” Barnabas mutters.

“Then why are you in such a hurry to go? The cook will make us a marvelous breakfast.”

“I’m afraid I don’t eat breakfast.”

“Well, if you don’t go to Bangor today, then why don’t we have lunch together?”

741 dark shadows barnabas lunch

Barnabas turns around, and Quentin says, “You do have lunch, I presume?”

And Barnabas has the saddest look on his face, because Quentin has finally asked him out on a date, and he can’t go.

But don’t worry, Barnabas, you’ll get another chance. You’re bound to run into Quentin again, sooner or later; it’s not that big of a cast.

Tomorrow: Home Alone.

Dark Shadows bloopers to watch out for:

Barnabas tells Sandor, “There was never anyone, or anyone to — that opened that coffin.” Sandor responds, “What does it mean, then?” which is a fair question.

Tomorrow: Home Alone.

741 dark shadows barnabas quentin kiss

Dark Shadows episode guide

— Danny Horn

27 thoughts on “Episode 741: Lunch Date with Destiny

  1. Where is the caretaker when you need him? He could have explained everything since he was the ‘official’ (?) keeper of the family archives for more than 20 years in the 20th century. WHY would the Collins family have hired a keeper of the archives anyway – can you see Liz actually doing that – I guess it was her father Jamison who hired the old boy and he just stayed and stayed and made sure that all of the deceased members of the family were getting their proper rest.

  2. The writers go to great effort to impose Barnabas into a storyline that was primarily Quentin-centric. The 1795 backstory is altered again to accommodate a personal connection between Barnabas and Laura: Jeremiah was stated to be the same age as Barnabas during 1795 but now suddenly, he’s much older (as he was in all the pre-1795 references to him).

    For a standard soap opera, this is not a great move. Usually, you have separate storylines going so that you don’t need your lead actors in every episode. 1897 at this point had the opportunity to branch out: Barnabas/Angelique/Rachel/even Charity in one storyline and Quentin/Laura/Jamison in another. However, DS is no longer a standard soap opera. The lead characters must be involved in every major storyline. The same thing will occur when Jenny returns.

    I think this is wonderful, by the way. The redeeming point of the Laura storyline is that it brings Barnabas and Quentin together.

    1. It’s a little too convoluted. There really didn’t need to be a direct connection between Barnabas and Laura at all in order for him to get involved. All that was needed was for him to realize that Jamison’s life was in danger and he would be forced to save him to ensure that Liz and Roger are born. Granted, his past association with Laura raises his suspicions faster, but it’s a rather complicated way of getting him involved.

  3. I got the strangest looks reading this installment on the bus. Was that the reaction you had intended, Cousin Danny? Or were you hoping for setting altogether entirely… different… indeed?

  4. “But the portrait!” Barnabas cries. “It showed us there was a duplicate of this woman living when I was a boy. Pure coincidence, Sandor?”

    Now seriously, one might suggest, and I do, that Barnabas should be the very last person at Collinwood sharing adamant corollaries between Laura’s 18th century painting and the person who lives among them in 1897. Perhaps if Barnabas’ own 20th century cousins were as suspicious as he, then … oh never mind; it’s all far too complicated for my own little mind. And I’m guessing Barnabas’ own portrait was being kept in some storage closet back in 1897. Certainly Edith wouldn’t have had it out and about on display — would she? It’s just better to assume that Barnabas’ portrait is tucked away in the east wing or perhaps, a basement closet where Paul Stoddard’s clothes will live in the future.

      1. Thanks Danny. I got a good laugh out of that. Also, the portrait of PT Angelique is a favorite. I found it mesmerizing in the same way that the 40’s film noir “Laura” used Gene Tierney’s painting to establish character. I always assumed that the parallel time story was a mix of both “Rebecca” and “Laura.”

        1. This summer I picked up an amazing cross-stitch of Barnabas’ portrait at a comic con – completely unexpected and I stood there in shock for a couple of minutes just staring. You can see it here: https://twitter.com/PCabezuelo/status/607600926514421761

          It’s since been framed and now hangs in my foyer (actually, just right next to my apartment front door) – no glowing eyes or hearbeat noises yet. Now I’m hoping there are cross-stitch versions of Quentin and Angelique’s portraits somewhere out there.

  5. Barnabas Collins knows all about the magic of portraits.
    Not only is he a member of Murder Club,
    he’s also a member of the rather exclusive group,
    The Painted Damned.
    I can think of four members.

        1. I didn’t think of PT Angelique, but that is a good point.
          A case of similar, but different.
          I figure PT Angelique is only as old as Lara Parker,
          and a separate person, so she counts.
          Two Angeliques, each one has different portrait,
          plus Barnabas, Quentin and Laura.

          Betty Probably wasn’t sinister enough for the Painted Damned,
          then again, you never know…..

      1. Supposedly the portrait hanging over the present day Collins fireplace is that of Jeremiah Collins, back when he was supposedly a bada** and before his face morphed into that of Anthony George – after all the guy was married to both Josette (and now Laura) and is credited with building Collinwood. I agree with Stephen and don’t lie having all characters/stories revised to suit Barnabas..

  6. Well she haunts her portrait beyond the grave pre-Barnabas years- wallowing in her torment-
    I think that counts as damned.
    (Amanda Haris doesn’t count because she’s boring ab noxious and unwanted).

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