Episode 781: The Hunt

“I will tell you an old gypsy saying. Walk fast, and misfortune will overtake you. Walk slow, and misfortune will catch you!”

How to Not Catch a Vampire, lesson one: In order to not catch a vampire, you have to not think like a vampire.

781 dark shadows trask hunt

Vampire hunting is not for everyone. For example, it’s probably not for you.

You are a middle-aged religious fanatic who bullies children and recently blackmailed somebody into poisoning your wife. You run a bad school and you have bad manners. You’re also single, so why you’re hanging around haunted houses glowering at things I don’t know.

The first thing you’ll notice when you begin your unsuccessful vampire-hunting career is that vampires are pretty good at not being caught. You think you’ve got him trapped in his house just before dawn, but he is made of Chromakey and he can disappear whenever he feels like. That is because he is a vampire and you are you.

781 dark shadows barnabas bookcase

Lesson two: He’s behind the bookcase.

Seriously, dude. He has a secret coffin that is literally five feet away from where you’re currently standing, and you have no idea. You are not the main character of this television show.

781 dark shadows edward telephone

Lesson three: Do not involve the authorities.

The police would only hamper your investigations. Why not go ahead and hamper theirs first? They’ll never see it coming.

781 dark shadows trask magda slap

Lesson four: Beat up on a gypsy.

Gypsies are mouthy and untrustworthy, and almost certainly in league with the Devil. You can smack them in the face and they will probably not plan revenge. P.S. You know the deadly nightshade that the guy used to poison your wife? Guess where that came from? Maybe don’t beat up on gypsies after all.

781 dark shadows trask edward books

Lesson five: Hit the books.

He’s got to be somewhere in that house! Spend the day looking at blueprints until you’ve found all the secret passages where he might possibly be hiding. Obviously, you shouldn’t do this in the house where you believe the vampire is. Go to a different house. The light is better over there anyway.

781 dark shadows trask edward timing

Lesson six: Timing.

Drat! He’s gotten away again. Well, we’ll get him next time.

781 dark shadows trask edward return

Lesson seven: Don’t give up.

Sure, things haven’t gone quite as smoothly as you’d hoped. But now that you’ve found his coffin, he is practically at your mercy. All you have to do is wait for him to return at dawn, and then you can destroy him forever. Just hang out next to the coffin, and wait.

781 dark shadows edward listening

Lesson eight: Don’t sweat the small stuff.

I mean, you don’t have to actually be there yourself, standing next to the coffin all night. Take a break every once in a while. Just make sure that your partner is standing by, ready to pounce as soon as he sees the vampire return to his lair. Remember that the vampire can silently evaporate at will, so you might want to keep eyes on the coffin at all times. Or just wait on the other side of the bookcase and listen, that’s probably just as good.

781 dark shadows charity barnabas seduce

Lesson nine: You are not alone.

Sure, while you’re screwing around with blueprints, the vampire is probably off seducing your teenage daughter, ensnaring her in his impenetrable web of evil. But there’s probably tons of guys who never caught a vampire. George Washington never killed a vampire. Fats Waller probably didn’t either. Frida Kahlo, Ludwig van Beethoven, Marie Curie, Fred Astaire — zero vampire kills. There’s a lot more to life than killing vampires, you know. I don’t know why everybody keeps talking about killing vampires, anyway; it’s not even that big of a deal.

Tomorrow: Don’t Leave Home.

Dark Shadows bloopers to watch out for:

Magda tells Trask, “I will tell you an old gypsy saying. Walk fast, and the Devil will overtake you. Walk slow, and misfortune will catch you!” I’m not sure if that’s a blooper, but she stumbles in the middle of it, and it doesn’t make any sense.

When Trask opens the lid of the coffin, you can see part of the camera in shot on the left side of the frame.

Charity asks Barnabas how she can help him, and he says, “Your father would look for me here, so — at the school.” A moment later, they cut to a camera that isn’t centered on the actors; it has to move quickly to get them both in shot.

Tomorrow: Don’t Leave Home.

781 dark shadows edward trask confused

Dark Shadows episode guide

— Danny Horn

30 thoughts on “Episode 781: The Hunt

  1. “This is your moment, Trask. Make the most of it. We will meet again, and I will deal with you then as I dealt with your ancestor before you.”

    Sure, that’s a swell badass line, and Trask is just an ass, but in the context of this moment, Trask is not in the wrong — Barnabas has killed Carl and he’s snacked on Trask’s daughter.

    Another great Barnabas moment is when he tells Julia that Edward has become his sworn enemy after “learning his secret.” This just paints Edward as having a prejudice against vampires, as opposed to wanting vengeance against the fiend who strangled his brother in cold blood. Did he expect Edward to have him over for tea.

    1. Considering Trask is a serial child abuser and sexual predator who hides behind God to get away with his behavior, I’d take pretty much anyone’s side over his in any dispute.

      1. True, Barnabas has not threatened to kill a child since David Collins in 1967, but he’s far more advanced a sexual predator than Trask — Charity and Beth are both under his control and he’s forced both to act against their own interests and free will.

        1. Even if I didn’t believe that there’s a different standard between someone living under a curse and someone acting as a man of God, there’s still no comparison between Barnabas and Trask. Barnabas is dangerous, short-sighted, and sometimes very stupid. But sometimes he tries to do the right thing. I can’t think of a single instance of Trask doing anything for anyone but himself.

          1. Yes, that’s why Magda who is the closest we have to an audience identification character states her preference for Barnabas over Trask. I also think Trask’s abuse of Magda was to even further distinguish him as the clear villain.

          2. Amusingly, he did in the episode I JUST watched! Trask vowed before God (with no one in the room, so it wasn’t a scam) to save Carl from delusions because he felt bad for him. 🙂

      2. Absolutely! It was courageous of the writers to depict a member of clergy who is a sexual predator and pedophile. I got that he was mean to kids and abused them back when I was a kid and saw this, but it’s through my renewed viewing in the last two years that it became clear that he’s a pedophile and a sexual predator and psychopath. I say writers, but it was the efforts of the directors and actors to make it subtly clear that he was a sexual predator too. He’s even worse than the literary characters on which he was based. Very daring for 1968-1969, as no one was talking about clergy abuse at all. Any children who reported abuse to their parents back then were beaten by their parents, pretty much every time: “How dare you say such horrible things about Father So-and-so?!” WHACK!!!!! We only started hearing about this in the media with the Gauthe case in the 1980s, and later thanks to the Spotlight team and the Irish Commissions.

        Dan Curtis’s very last work was a made for Showtime movie called “Our Fathers”, a story that overlaps with the movie Spotlight about the efforts of attorney Mitchell Garebedian to help adult abuse victims fight the Roman Catholic Church in Boston and about the lives of some of the adult victims. Ted Danson plays Garebedian, and Christopher Plummer plays Cardinal Law. Brian Dennehy plays one of the priests that challenged the archdiocese as the news broke there, especially about Stanley and Geoghan. Excellent movie directed by Curtis with music by Bob Cobert (as usual!). Curtis died months later 20 days after his wife died (which I also didn’t know).

        I stumbled on this information only yesterday when chatting with a friend about the subject of clergy sex abuse, specifically about Rev. Tom Doyle, who is depicted in the movie dropping a huge briefcase of documentation on the Spotlight reporters, and also the “Deep Throat” type caller in “Spotlight” who was Richard Sipe and who accurately predicted that the team would uncover that 6% of the priests will be revealed to be pedophiles. I started looking up “Our Fathers” and discovered that Curtis and Cobert were involved in the production. I had no idea even though I had seen the movie in 2005. Thank you, Dan and Bob!❤️✊

        1. @Carol- You say “but it’s through my renewed viewing in the last two years that it became clear that he’s a pedophile” in reference to our dear old Reverend Trask.

          Can you cite any evidence for this view? I’ll admit Trask can be a hard taskmaster, believed in withholding food from children as a character-builder, and he clearly had carnal aims with Amanda Harris. I see no hint of pedophilia, however.

  2. This Trask is a true villain. The 1795 Trask was a religious zealot who, though not a very pleasant man, really didn’t deserve to get bricked up behind a wall. This Trask’s fate though – so, so delicious. I absolutely loved it as a sadistic little seven year old.

  3. I’m tired of the women on this show gettin’ the Hell slapped out of them by MEN.
    I don’t remember this bothering me so much back in 1969 but it bothers me now.

    1. This blog has often illustrated for me how much has changed since 1969. Despite all the things that were wonderful about that time, it was a harsher, more dangerous time in many ways. Definitely harsher for women, gay people, people who weren’t white.
      I never really thought about how dangerous kids toys used to be, until Danny pointed it out. I don’t know anything about today’s toys, but I’m sure they’re not the dangerous fire/chemical hazards that were so exciting when I was a kid.

      If it’s any consolation, the progress has been amazing. Any why not have more women slapping men? Those bastardos!

    2. I’ve always hated almost ANY kind, except in slapstick comedies and all-out melodramas (think Joan Crawford films and things like that). That’s because to me, slapping IS a kind of melodrama, it’s just that people don’t like admitting it. It’s melodrama pretending that it’s drama, so to speak.

  4. “I will tell you an old gypsy saying. Walk fast, and the Devil will overtake you. Walk slow, and misfortune will catch you!”

    Maybe it’s the gypsy version of “You’re damned if you do and you’re damned if you don’t.”

  5. I think Grayson’s reading is the error.

    Emphasis should be on “misFORTUNE,”

    With the pitch going down at the end of the sentence.

    You are doomed by either.

    Might as well retire.

  6. A better line would be, “Walk fast, and the devil will overtake you. Walk slow, and a GYPSY will catch you!!”

  7. This episode has to be one of the prime entries for Trask as Barnabas’ worst enemy. In the context of the “vampire=satanic creature” tradition, it made all the sense in the world for B., resident vampire, to be plagued and hunted by a religious authority figure. I personally loved Trask, and Jerry Lacy seemed to relish playing him.

    As for completely blowing the lid off your covert mission in the past, that moment when Trask tells Edward about B. being the head vampire, and Edward accepting that truth, is one of the all-time great cover-blowing moments. It still gives me that child-like feeling of having been found out in some misdeed by the parents. How B. could possibly entertain the notion that he hasn’t already changed future outcomes out of all recognition, I don’t know. If he messes up too badly, I guess he could grab some I Ching wands and jump back to where he came in earlier that year. A flashback within a flashback.

    And poor Grayson Hall must have had black and blue marks all over her arms during this timeline. Someone is always grabbing her (hard) by the arms and shaking her. Gal was a trouper I guess so. I hope she got a little something extra in the pay envelope.

    1. I don’t think he really shook her- I think he just put his hands around her arm and she shook herself. Contrary to what Roger Davis may have thought, you don’t have to actually beat people to make it look like you are!

  8. Wasn’t the saying, “Walk fast, and misfortune will overtake you, walk sliw and misfortune will catch you?” Anyway, Gypsy Rose is Grayson Hall’s best character by far in the series.

  9. I don’t think Magda’s gypsy saying is a blooper. She doesn’t actually say “devil”; it’s misfortune both times. So it’s “walk fast and misfortune will overtake you; walk slow and misfortune will catch you”. As in, you can be quick but it’s quicker; and if you’re slow, you’re screwed.

  10. If you’re going to build secret passages in your house, I think it kind of defeats the purpose to include them in the blueprints. That’s something the builder should do “off book.”

  11. I felt the same, but as to exactly why…When we see Rachel she’s more grown, not sure what age she’s supposed to be but 18 is conceivable since Charity’s supposedly a “teenager.” But he talks to her and treats her with such a casually possessive air seemingly borne of years of familiarity with taking liberties such as touching her face, stroking her hair, etc. And he straight up confessed that he was tormented with desire for her (which if course he blames on her, and satan.) It really does strongly suggest that he has not been pure and decent in how he treats youths and children though they couldn’t be more explicit back then.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s