Episode 769: Crazy Ex-Boyfriend

“I will not let him, nor what he knows, step in the way of what I must do.”

Oh, I know what I have to do! And I’m doing it, right now! I’m doing just what she says! Laura! Yes! She told me to give this letter to you! Now, you have to read it very carefully! Very, very carefully! Because it’s about — Barnabas Collins!

769 dark shadows dirk problems

That’s right! Just open it! You don’t have to understand, just open it! See? That’s right! Yes, she said that it was very important, that you read it! That you’d know what to do after you’d read it! You see, Barnabas tried to kill Laura, but she was clever, and she managed to escape, but you don’t have to worry, Miss Collins. She’s coming back!

769 dark shadows dirk pulsing

You know, Miss Collins, you’ve always hated Laura, didn’t ya? You know, I used to look at your eyes! I used to watch the way you watched her! And when you did, I noticed there was a little pulsing, kinda tight pulsing thing in your neck! You know what I wanted to do? I wanted to choke you!

769 dark shadows dirk call

No, you’re trying to fool me! You’re trying to fool me, just like you tried to fool Laura! Laura said right from the first that you hated her! Yeah! You were one of the reasons that she had to go! You know? I made a vow! You know what that vow was? Huh? I hated you, and I vowed that I was going to avenge it sometime! And I think the time is now!

769 dark shadows dirk dolls

Oh, listen, you don’t have to bother. All dead things look the same! Oh, but he’s dead all right! Yeah? I did it because of Laura! That’s why! Because she wanted revenge! Don’t you see? It was so simple! And, Laura — Laura, wherever you are, I’m not through yet! This is just the beginning! Why, before I’m through, I’m gonna get ’em all!

769 dark shadows dirk cottage

I’ve been looking for you! Ever since she left, I’ve been looking for you, but they wouldn’t let me see you! The enemies of your mother, Jamison! That’s why she had to leave, because of her enemies! But listen, Jamison, you don’t have to worry anymore. Because tonight your mother’s going to be happier than she ever has been before!

769 dark shadows jamison dirk promise

Now, he’s dead, and he’s in the cellar in his coffin at the Old House! That’s where he keeps his coffin! Because of what he is! Because of his secret! The secret that he hurt your mother with! Look, you can’t go, you cannot go until you promise me that you won’t tell anybody!

769 dark shadows dirk long

Laura? Laura, it’s all finished for Barnabas! What he tried to do to you! All the ways he wanted to hurt you! No more! Does that make you happy, Laura? The way I told Jamison? I know it did. Is that what you want from me? Laura? Laura! If it is, please give me a sign! Just give me a sign, one little sign, and make yourself known to me! Just be right here with me, now! Laura! Laura, is that you?

Tomorrow: Clockwork.

Dark Shadows bloopers to watch out for:

Barnabas opens the coffin while Beth is in the basement. As she says, “No, it can’t be!” there’s the sound of a zipper.

When Dirk bends down to address the flames during Barnabas’ scare attack, a couple of Dirk’s lines pick up the reverb effect intended for Barnabas.

Barnabas tells Dirk, “No one else will ever know that you’ve been in this house!” Except they’re standing in the cottage, and Barnabas is talking about the Old House.

At the Old House, when Jamison peers through the grate of the basement door, you can clearly see a crewmember standing there, wearing a white shirt. He makes a hand gesture, obviously not aware that he’s currently on camera.

Beth knocks at the door of the cottage. Barnabas can see through the window on the door, but he asks “Who is it?” anyway.

Tomorrow: Clockwork.

769 dark shadows dirk face

Dark Shadows episode guide

— Danny Horn

24 thoughts on “Episode 769: Crazy Ex-Boyfriend

    1. Thank you! I find him only slightly less annoying in this role. Although today I found myself shouting at him, “Allright already with Laura and how much you love her!” Jeesh!

  1. I was so excited watching this episode as a kid cuz I thought it meant Laura, who I adored, was coming back. I was so disappointed.

  2. Got to give it up for Roger Davis – he can crazyface with the best of them. Too bad we never got a scene with Jenny, Laura, Angelique & Dirk; but maybe that might be too much…

  3. I’m confused about the following line, spoken by Dirk to Jamison, in the cottage:

    “The reason that I killed your mother is because she wanted me to. Because of this secret.”

    I expected to see it listed in the ‘Bloopers’ section of today’s blog entry. & when I didn’t find it, I figured surely somebody would have mentioned it in the comments. Nope. So I went back & listened to that scene again. And again. Multiple times. I thought maybe I had misheard or misinterpreted what he said. Then I googled the phrase. The only place it showed up was in a Dark Shadows wiki, but even it had the line listed as a ‘Quote’ and not a ‘Blooper.’

    Surely, he meant to say “The reason I killed him (Barnabas) is because your mother wanted me to.” Otherwise, wouldn’t Jamison have reacted much differently? e.g., “You killed my mother!?!? Why did she want you to kill her?!?”

    Besides, I would think the credit for killing Laura would be a three-way tie between Ra, Angelique, and Time.

    But since I can’t find any reference (on the internet, at least) to this line being a blooper, then there must be some other explanation. Help an idiot girl governess out? “I just don’t understand.”

    1. I had the same reaction, and I think we are right. That should have been “I killed Barnabas” not “your mother.”

    2. I was waiting for it to come up, too. I’m certain it was supposed to be “the reason I killed Barnabas was because she wanted me to”.

      Davis’s crazy performance seems to be winning a lot of praise, which I absolutely do not understand. He’s been messing up cues left and right for the last couple of days, garbling lines and throwing off the other actors (David Hennessy has absolutely no idea what to do after that “the reason I killed your mother” bit). It’s a fairly mediocre crazy-by-numbers performance anyway, without any of the interesting shifts we got with Jenny for example – but he seems to be focusing on it to the detriment of actually saying what he’s meant to be saying, which is a really selfish way to behave when there are other actors in the scene. Not as selfish or grotesque as his general man-handling, which also makes an unwelcome return this week (Beth at the old house, and poor Jamison must’ve had bruises the way he was squeezing the kid’s arms), but it’s still irritating as hell. I was so disappointed to discover he survived being messily dumped in the servants’ entrance.

        1. Haha yes, “tediously silly” is the perfect way to describe it. Of course one can’t help compare his performance to Marie Wallace’s, which was much more nuanced. But I’d much rather be alone in a room full of sharp instruments and Crazy Jenny than anywhere near Crazy Dirk, and not because of the danger that I’d be manhandled, but because listening to his ranting grates on my very last nerve.

          1. I amuse myself during weak bits by wondering how characters would have come off if played by other actors. A character as well-written as Dirk, played by an actor as competent as Robert Rodan? Second only to Quentin Collins among the fans! Played by David Groh? Bigger breakout star than Barnabas! Played by Harvey Keitel? Such a hit the show is still in production!

            Who knows how they would actually have done- maybe they would have made some kind of unfortunate choice and bungled it. And who knows what effect they would have had on the rest of the show- maybe if Dirk had been a massive hit and they’d rebuilt Dark Shadows around him, the result would have been a less interesting show. But the imaginary show in my head is good enough to get me through some pretty dire segments.

  4. Why did Dirk go so completely crazy after Laura died? Was he still hosting the life flame used previously to save Laura? Where did he go the three days he was missing? Where are his gloves? How did he remember the basement after being made to forget? Dirk was interesting enough today for me to care. And yes, he should have said to Jamison that he killed Barnabas, not “your mother”.

  5. I’m confused. Dirk’s first bite in the forest (when Barnabas stopped delivery of the letter to Judith) should have made the secrecy pact between him and Barnabas, but now he’s blabbing. I’ve searched and can’t find an answer. Did the writers just decide to forget that in the interest of plot?

  6. Maybe Roger Davis was so convincing because he wasn’t acting.

    Barnabas is apparently able to repair bullet holes in his clothes as well as his body.

    Minor blooper: When Barnabas opens his coffin while Beth sits nearby, the creaking sound begins before the lid begins to rise.

    1. I wondered if anyone would mention the lack of bullet holes in the clothes. It’s all part of the illogic of the cinematic vampire, who can’t be seen in a mirror (and neither can his clothes), can dematerialize and rematerialize somewhere else (along with his clothes), or turn into a bat (which wears no clothes) and back into a (clothed) humanoid again. The only way to make sense of this that I can see is that the vampire is an apparition, but one that can manifest physically, and the clothes are part of the apparition, which he can choose to manifest as any attire he would like to be seen in. Of course, that doesn’t really explain the cane…

  7. Dirk reminds me very much of Gollum from Lord of the Rings when he was shaking the shit out of Jamison. I’m tired of him.

    I also thought Barnabas and Beth were going to kiss. Do they not know what personal space is?

    I loved Barnabas messing with Dirk. I also thought it an interesting camera shot to focus on Barnabas’ mouth.

    Is this the first time there are red candles in the coffin room? I love it! Makes it more spooky.

  8. RD seemed to be trying to imitate Dwight Frye’s madman Renfield in the 1930s “Dracula,” but he falls short of the mark. Mighty short.

  9. It’s not unreasonable for Barnabas to have asked who was knocking at the door. There was a storm which would make it difficult to see outside.

  10. Here’s another vote in favour Crazy Dirk. I was also interested how he changed his performance between episodes — in the end of 768 he was already incoherent and babbling and barely functional, at the start of 769 he’s turned it down a notch, to about a 9, and seems like an actual threat rather than a completely random Loony Toon. Presumably that’s to give him space to have somewhere to go later in the episode… 768 is a classic example of what Doctor Who stars called “end of episode acting”!

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