Episode 850: Proof of Your Perfidy

“When I have proof of your perfidy, I will make your life miserable!”

Hey! Trask’s back. It’s been a month since we’ve seen the rotten Reverend Gregory Trask, and I’ve missed him terribly. Sam Hall wrote today’s episode, and he loves writing dialogue for Trask. I love listening to it, so today I’m just going to sit back and enjoy some Trask trash talk.

850 dark shadows quentin trask pissed

Trask:  You know something about this, Quentin! What have you done with her?

Quentin:  Her?

Trask:  Don’t play dumb with me, Quentin! From the moment you first saw her, I knew you would try something like this. Where is Amanda Harris?

Quentin:  Well, if she’s not in her room…

Trask:  Her clothes are gone, there is no sign of her!

Quentin:  Hmmm, so I’m the villain.

Trask:  I am no fool, Quentin! I can see through your deviousness, your arrogance! Where is Amanda?

Quentin:  Well, when I find her, I’ll tell you.

Trask:  Where are you going?

Quentin:  To my room. Am I allowed, teacher?

850 dark shadows trask quentin stairs

Trask:  I am not satisfied with your answers!

Quentin:  That’s too bad.

Trask:  When I have proof of your perfidy, I will make your life miserable!

Quentin:  You make my life miserable, just by existing.

850 dark shadows trask stairs

Trask:  I see through you, Quentin Collins! Don’t you forget it! I know you are the source of evil in this house! And I will find Amanda Harris, and I will rescue her from your evil!

850 dark shadows trask will see

Trask:  You will see, Quentin! YOU WILL SEE!

850 dark shadows nora trask woods

Trask:  So, Nora! You were going out to the garden!

Nora:  I had something else to do, too.

Trask:  No, Nora! It grieves me very much, but you have lied to me! Who lives in that house?

Nora:  I don’t know.

Trask:  You don’t know? Then what are you doing here? What is that you have in your hand?

Nora:  Please, Reverend Trask!

850 dark shadows nora trask evil child

Trask:  You lie so easily, Nora! We will correct that in time! Now, give me that envelope!

Nora:  No!

Trask:  You are an EVIL CHILD, Nora! You know it, and I know it, and you will PAY for it!

850 dark shadows amanda trask sin

Trask:  My dear child!

Amanda:  Don’t start that, Reverend Trask.

Trask:  I cannot let you commit this sin!

Amanda:  What I’m doing is no sin!

Trask:  You’re running away with Quentin Collins! Do not deny it!

Amanda:  I won’t.

850 dark shadows amanda trask lies

Trask:  When you first came to me, you were in the depths of despondency because of a man. Surely you can see that Quentin is no better! I have seen what effect he has on women!

Amanda:  I don’t want to talk about Quentin. I want you to understand me. I came to you with a lie. It was a trick. I wanted you to fall in love with me. It was cheap, contemptible, and I hated myself. But then I saw the way you looked at me.

Trask:  I looked at you with acceptance, with forgiveness!

Amanda:  Revered Trask, you’re a hypocrite! And I don’t have time to listen to your lies.

Trask:  LIES! MY LIES!

Amanda:  You live them!

850 dark shadows amanda trask betrayal

Trask:  I live to help others! I want to save you from misery, from sin! Don’t you realize the path down which Quentin will lead you? Do you believe for one minute he’s meant what he told you?

Amanda:  Yes, I do.

Trask:  Do you know where he is right now?

Amanda:  Yes, he’s leaving Collinwood to meet me.

Trask:  Oh, indeed! Is he going to bring Angelique with him?

850 dark shadows amanda trask repay

Trask:  When I left Collinwood, they were together in the drawing room, LAUGHING! Were they laughing about you?

Amanda:  I don’t believe you!

Trask:  I did hear them making their plans for the evening.

Amanda:  It’s not true!

Trask:  The carriage was waiting outside!

Amanda:  To pick him up for the station.

Trask:  No, my dear! To take them to the inn! They’re having dinner there tonight. I am not telling you this because I enjoy it. You have hurt me, but I will not be guilty of trying to repay in kind.

850 dark shadows trask your only friend

Trask:  Amanda, surely you must face the fact that Quentin is incapable of compassion, of morality! You must never speak to him again!

Amanda:  Get out. Get out!

Trask:  My dear! You must control yourself! I AM YOUR ONLY FRIEND!

Monday: Dry Ice Burns.

Dark Shadows bloopers to watch out for:

Quentin packs a white Hanes T-shirt, which I’m pretty sure is an anachronism. Wikipedia says that cotton undershirts with no buttons became popular during and after the Spanish-American War of 1898.

When Quentin tells Nora that he loves Jamison, somebody in the studio coughs.

As usual when Denise Nickerson leaves a set, you can hear her running to the next set. That girl seriously needs to invest in quieter shoes.

When Tate falls to the floor after his fight with Quentin, he’s squashed up against the couch. A second later, somebody — clearly not Quentin — jerks the couch out of the shot, so that Tate can stretch out on the ground.

It takes a second try for Amanda to close the door behind Reverend Trask.

I cleaned up one of the quotes above. Trask actually says, “Amanda, you must face the fact that Quentin is uncapable of compassion, of morality!”

Behind the Scenes:

The railroad station master is played by John Hallow, in his only Dark Shadows ep. Hallow had a lengthy career on Broadway as an understudy and occasional stage manager, from 1954 to 1983. This was his first television role; he also had small roles on Kojak and Fame, and in a 1982 TV-movie called The Royal Romance of Charles and Diana.

Monday: Dry Ice Burns.

850 dark shadows nora trask caught

Dark Shadows episode guide

— Danny Horn

22 thoughts on “Episode 850: Proof of Your Perfidy

  1. The Trasks are such fun. So much so, apparently, that when Jerry Lacy reappears in 1970 Parallel Time they call him “Trask” and not “Peterson,” which would seem like a more appropriate name for his face in 1970. It’s a shame, because it would be doubly ironic that our Dr. Hoffman and Attorney Peterson have both made life choices in that time-band that have led them to become domestics and not to have pursued their respective learned professions.

    But Lacy really delivers the Trask, as witnessed here, so it’s no surprise they forget all about Tony Peterson.

    1. My favorite moment was a few weeks ago, when Charity-turned-Pansy called for Gregory by leaning out the drawing room doors and shouting “Trask!” Laughed loud and long at that one.

  2. Quentin must get so tired of coming in the foyer, only to be ambushed by the dreaded Large-Mouth Trask, It’s the one fish that’s never fresh, already gone bad, before you even catch it. They used to swim the waters of New England, but they are most extinct, now. Speaking of which, when’s Judith coming back?

  3. Up north of Boston, in the township of Danvers (formerly Salem Village, where the 1692 Salem witch trials took place), there is a Trask Lane. Even more interesting, the Town Archivist for Danvers, also a leading authority on the Salem witch trials, is a historian named Richard Trask — incidentally, two of his ancestors were hanged as witches.


    The Dark Shadows writers chose well the surname when researching colonial New England names, as this one syllable comprised of just five letters seems to summon the very essence of Olde New England in all its puritanical hysteria not to mention its self-righteous hypocrisy, which is given more weight in being played to the hilt by Jerry Lacy.

    The Trasks are a formidable lot, and despite the unethical leanings of Gregory Trask, they should be the heroes of the show. No other mortals present such a threat to the very existence of Barnabas (and Angelique for that matter); in essence, they are the Van Helsings of Dark Shadows. In a 90-minute movie, where good must triumph over evil to make the story complete, it would be so; but in the upside-down world of Dan Curtis serialized narrative, instead evil is good (for the perpetuation of story) and the viewer is encouraged to side with the lesser of two evils, and the hero is the one with a cause to protect. In a “vampire soap opera”, the star vampire is the life blood of the series, the very reason that the show must go on.

    1. The 1795 Trask is a complex character. He’s actually not wrong that a witch is responsible for all the evil taking place at Collinwood. He’s sort of a religious Fox Mulder contending with skeptics who think he’s a fraud and a loon. Unfortunately, he goes after the wrong person, but he doesn’t do this out of malice: Angelique manipulates him as much as she does everyone else, and actively frames Vicki for her crimes. Vicki is an idiot who practically begs people to believe she’s a witch. And even the sainted Josette thinks she’s guilty. Trask’s tactics are brutal, yes, but on the other hand, modern audiences applaud when a version of Batman brands criminal suspects. The worst that can be said for him is that his desire to “play to win” in convicting Vicki might have crossed ethical lines, but again, that makes him no worse than a particular zealous A.D.A. on LAW & ORDER. I’ve heard it argued that Trask likely condemned many other innocent women but the evidence we do see (Vicki’s trial) is unique in that Vicki is from the future and Angelique is not just an actual witch but very clever.

      1897 Trask is pure evil. He is worse than Petofi because of his hypocrisy and desire to “present” himself as a man of God. 1795 Trask is a fanatic but we see no evidence that he’s a hypocrite. 1897 Trask is a repulsive sexual predator who actively plots and commits murder.

      1840 Trask is a combination of the two, but one who veers closer to 1897 Trask in villainy while being manipulated like 1795 Trask. Once again, he is also right that something is wrong about Barnabas Collins.

      1. Good assessment.
        The first Trask is a bit of a “Jessica Rabbit”; maybe he’s not bad, he’s just drawn that way.
        I agree with everything you said, but there is the matter of his jet black hair, and heavy black eyeliner. Those things have a tendency to be perceived as “incriminating”, but he does have the virtue you described: sincerity.

        If he is a villain, he doesn’t mean to be, unlike the Trask of 1897, who really puts the “gory” in Gregory. He’s a rat-bastard werewolf-of-a-different-color. A real wolf in sheep’s clothing. The original sinister minister. He means to be a villain.

        Too bad Quentin couldn’t just transfer the curse from himself, to Trask. That would have been amusing. All the more reason for Judith to….hey, I just realized why Tim Shaw MUST stick around: his all important alliance, with Judith.

      2. We revel in Reverend Trask’s interment in the Old House basement of 1796, but we like Reverend Trask upon his return to 1968, because he finally is pursuing the right person for witchcraft, and we want to see him complete his mission and find peace. The writers like him by now as well, as his powers are not only more formidable than Angelique’s, but he is also able to evade Nicholas Blair and makes a stylish and graceful exit while leaving Blair completely flummoxed.

        The Trask of 1840 merely wanted to right the wrong that was done to his father, but if that means destroying Barnabas then he will have to be dealt with.

        Speaking of Barnabas, we don’t seem to mind that he kidnapped and nearly killed Maggie Evans as well as murdered Dr. Woodard in cold blood. Not even family lineage was sacred to Barnabas, as he was even contemplating killing his own 10-year-old cousin at one point — because Woodard and David knew too much. That was the same reason that Matthew Morgan was contemplating killing Vicki Winters in 1966 — because she knew too much. If you’re Matthew Morgan it’s not okay, but if you’re Barnabas Collins it is. You can say that Barnabas was the victim of a curse and was compelled to act as he did, but what about Julia, who is mortal and acts according to conscious choices, and who is also complicit in all the above crimes of Barnabas, but who is also likewise forgiven because she and Barnabas make the perfect “couple”.

        Ultimately, it doesn’t matter to us that Gregory Trask is a hypocrite, a sexual predator, or even a murderer (we didn’t care all that much for Minerva anyway) — in the end his greatest crime is that he is an agitator whose actions present a hostile force to our favorite “good-guy predators/murderers” Barnabas and Quentin.

      3. I do agree that 1897 is far more evil than 1795 Trask, lacking any convictions whatsoever, but I think the earlier Trask is evil also, just for different reasons. Yes, he believes in what he’s doing – but his search for what he believes to be “the truth” has blinded him to reason, pity and compassion. He’ll do whatever it takes – let’s not forget that he blackmailed Nathan Forbes into committing perjory, despite Forbes claiming Vicki was innocent. To me, his motives are not altruistic or for the common good – he’s motivated by pride and self-righteousness. I feel if he were truly trying to help people, he’d show some kind of pity. And when Barnabas finally reveals the truth to him, he shows no remorse for condemming Vicki to death.

        His failure to recognize Angelique as the witch, or that he might be manipulated, indicates to me that he’s probably never run into a real witch before and all the girls he’s condemmed were most likely innocent. And yes, Barnabas and Julia have done awful things, but they are also capable of empathy and kindness – traits we never see in Trask.

        (and for the record, I do not applaud Batman being turned into a psycho killer by that idiot Zack Snyder)

  4. I thought, when Trask grabbed that letter from Nora, he was going to tear it open, and read “Dear Kellogg’s, Here’s my 15 proof of perfidity coupons….”

  5. I just got to this episode! What did you think of the fist fight (o’sorts) between Quentin and Charles Tate? It’s great! Roger Davis looked like he was about to bust out laughing.

    There’s an episode where Jerry Lacy looked like he was giggling when he was casting out devils or something on Angelique. He tied her to a tree, she’s screaming, and he looks like he’s got a huge grin on his face. I loved that scene! 😀

  6. I’ve just reached this episode, and for what it’s worth, here’s my two cents worth on why we hate the Trasks, but love Barnabas, Quentin and Julia in spite of their crimes. The thing about Barnabas, Quentin and Julia is they are capable of caring for other people. The Trasks, on the other hand… well, as you’ve said, Danny, to be liked a new character must make a joke and make a friend. The Trasks seem to be incapable of both!

  7. When Quentin told Nora to tell Jamison that he loves him, David Selby had a baby named Jamison at home. It was sweet.

  8. Man, I really hate this Trask. He makes the 1795 Trask look like a saint, which is quite the achievement since I hated that Trask. While Count Petofi is an example of a villain I love to hate, 1897 Trask is a villain I just hate. It’s like the difference between Voldemort and Umbridge in Harry Potter.

  9. The fight between Quentin and Tate was interesting but I would’ve preferred it if Quentin had hit Tate with something other than a candy glass bottle. An anvil, for instance.

  10. This is a great episode. Tate gets handsy with Quentin only to have his ass handed to him (even though Quentin needed to fight dirty in order to accomplish this), and then Trask gets a right proper dressing-down from Amanda… but alas, even after you’ve cut off the head of a venomous snake it can still bite, as one unfortunate chef discovered in 2014.

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