Episode 1056: The Parallel Sky

“Well, at least there’ll be no more murders.”

Angelique returned from the dead to destroy her ex-husband Quentin, and between you and me, she’s done a kick-ass job. Quentin’s on the run from the law, accused of several murders that he’s only partially responsible for, all of his friends are dead, and a minute from now, either he’s going to murder his second wife or she’s going to murder him. This is about as destroyed as a person needs to be.

We’re down to the last week of the Parallel Time storyline; there’s just a few more people to kill, and then Barnabas and Julia can go back to their own dimension, satisfied with a job well done. Everything Must Go, says the sign in the front window, and here it is: everything. Let’s see how it goes.

Angelique herself is only seconds from destruction — her vitality depends on sucking the life force out of a woman named Roxanne, and if the mysterious Claude North can get Roxanne to speak, then it’s lights out for Angelique.

But Barnabas offers the witch one last shot at redemption, handing her a confession to sign that would clear Quentin’s name. She won’t even touch it. Screw you, she says, if you people don’t appreciate me, then I’ll go down, and I’ll take the whole goddamn show down with me.

Then Roxanne speaks — and Angelique dies with a curse on her lips, as Angeliques should. Really, at the core, she’s saying: I don’t want to live in a world where Roxanne has dialogue. You’ve got to admit she has a point.

Angelique falls, and the world falls with her; this Parallel Hell that they live in is shuddering to a stop. It’s a simple question of thermodynamics: does this universe have enough narrative heat-energy to sustain a story?

Bruno died, and Will, and Carolyn, and Liz — each one a butterfly that flapped its last, and stirred up a twister in Texas, a typhoon in Taiwan.  Around the world, people feel the tectonic plates beneath their feet shifting restlessly into uncomfortable positions.

They know in their bones that they live in a world that’s exactly the same, except that people have made different choices. Maybe they weren’t different enough.

The Parallel Dave Woodard feels a chill in the air — unseasonable for July, even in Maine. The Parallel Tom Jennings wonders, for the thousandth time, why he jumps when the phone rings, expecting a call from a twin brother he never had.

At the radio station, the Parallel Eric Lang sets a record spinning on the turntable, sending “Ode to Angelique” out into the night, traveling on invisible waves that could someday reach the stars, if they keep shining. But they won’t. He understands that, somehow.

Meanwhile, the Parallel Quentin comes bouncing down the stairs, pretty spry for a guy whose wife just pointed a gun at him, and then screamed and fell over. He thinks Maggie’s the one who’s caused all the turmoil, because everyone around him has strategically withheld any information that would help him to understand the tiniest bit about his own storyline.

We’re four days from the end, and finally Barnabas tells Quentin what’s been going on for the last four months. Quentin’s supposed to be the second male lead in this soap opera, but the whole storyline has been built around him being completely wrong about every single thing that’s happened.

By act 3 today, Quentin’s going to be arrested by that idiot Inspector Hamilton, and that’s practically the last we see of him. For the rest of the week, Barnabas and Maggie and Roxanne are going to run around in circles, coming up with increasingly bizarre ideas for how to prove Quentin’s innocence. The best one is that an autopsy of Angelique’s body will prove that she’s really Angelique, not her identical twin sister. This strategy works — the autopsy actually does discover that, somehow. I guess parallel medical examiners make different choices, too.

Meanwhile, Quentin sits quietly offstage, waiting in the jail like a good boy. By Wednesday, Maggie’s going to tell us that Quentin’s given up hope, that he wants her to close up the house, and let him go to prison for ridiculous, impossible crimes. We’re then expected to care whether everything turns out okay for him.

When the Parallel Matthew Morgan wakes up from his fevered dream, he walks out to the beach in the middle of the night and digs in the sand, until he finds the fountain pen. Everything that he writes with it will burst into flames within 48 hours, burning his cottage to the ground.

The Parallel Jeff Clark spends his evenings standing at the side of the road, waving at motorists, and waiting for them to suddenly skid, and crash. So far, it hasn’t happened, but he’s still out there, seven hours a night.

“Quentin, there is another world,” says the Parallel Magda, and the thought brings her no comfort.

And standing in the basement, among the tangled test tubes, Roxanne is triumphant.

“You want to stay here,” Claude observes. “Why?”

And Roxanne smiles — that terrible, forced shark’s smile, baring her teeth as she talks about the man we love.

“Because I know he’ll come back,” she coos.

“Barnabas?” Claude asks. “Well, he means nothing to you.”

“He was kind and good to me,” she simpers, “even though I was unable to communicate with him. I could hear him when he spoke to me, and the things he said.”

Claude is baffled by this baffling woman that he loves. “What things? What did he say?”

“That he wanted to know me, as I really am.”

“There is only one man who knows you as you really are,” Claude insists, “and I am that man! I love you, and you love me!”

“I love him!” she smiles. “I love him, in a way that I didn’t think was possible.” She’s right. It’s not.

This isn’t love, obviously, it’s shameless social climbing. Roxanne is a wannabe insta-Josette, who captivates the most popular character on the show without the benefit of character traits. It’s the most cynical, destructive round of Stand Next to Barnabas we’ve ever seen.

This is Parallel Angelique’s curse, her final judgment on a show that wasted her talent and time. If she can’t be the one who loves Barnabas, then this is our punishment — this toxic, empty-headed Mary Sue. Barnabas grows weaker in her presence. We cannot allow her to get too close.

The Parallel Nicholas Blair tugs nervously at his mustache, wondering who took all his black candles. The Parallel Charles Delaware Tate sits rigidly at his desk, refusing to paint. The Parallel Tim Shaw licks every corner of every page of every book, and he’s still hungry, why is he so hungry?

And what about the eleven women in Parallel Fort Wayne, which occurs in this and every other universe? Infinite, spiralling iterations of the Glenbrook Shopping Mall, anchoring all of the dying dimensions.

The screaming was unbelievable. Eleven women fainted, there were 58 lost children, one broken arm, a broken leg and $1,500 damage to trees and shrubs… and Angelique is dead.

This world is dying for the sake of Angelique, and nobody knows that better than the man who could have saved her: the Parallel Mr. Rumson, the successful, unmarried New York publishing tycoon. The love of his life is gone, and he never had the chance to meet her. They could have lived, and loved each other. They could have grown old together, laughing at hatpins, and the world would be whole, and safe.

They could have been happy, if she’d only looked for him, if she’d made those different choices that would have made all the difference. We have lost Angelique, says the Parallel Sky, trembling in the eerie silence.

Tomorrow: Infinite Jest.

Dark Shadows bloopers to watch out for:

In the teaser, Maggie’s walking upstairs with the gun as the scene fades to Claude — but it doesn’t fade quickly enough, and we see Maggie turning to walk back downstairs.

At the end of the teaser, Barnabas is clutching the confession and urging Angelique to sign it. When the scene fades to Maggie holding the gun, we still hear Barnabas messing with the crumpled paper.

When Quentin walks away from Barnabas at the end of act 1, we can hear someone in the studio telling Hamilton and Barnabas to take their places for the next scene.

Barnabas and Hamilton talk over each other:

Hamilton:  I’ve not yet seen one shred of evidence indicating that he did not kill Bruno Hess —

Barnabas:  Well, the least you —

Hamilton:  — and who knows how many of the other deaths he may have been responsible for.

In the basement, Barnabas tells Hamilton, “He must have taken away — her away from here.”

Behind the Scenes:

There’s an unusually long teaser today, re-enacting the last three minutes of Friday’s episode, including Angelique telling the hypnotized Maggie to take the gun, Maggie walking upstairs, Claude urging Roxanne to speak, Barnabas telling Angelique to sign a confession, Maggie standing in Angelique’s room holding the gun, Angelique refusing to sign the confession, and Maggie raising her gun to point at Quentin. I guess you can’t really summarize all of this nonsense in thirty seconds.

Tomorrow: Infinite Jest.

Dark Shadows episode guide

— Danny Horn

53 thoughts on “Episode 1056: The Parallel Sky

  1. I can’t decide which PT note I liked best: DJ Eric Lang (“The Doctor of Rhythm”) or the notion of parallel Fort Waynes (in some dimension, what happened is shrubberies were trimmed and maintained, and the only people who showed up were a few afghan salesmen.)

    1. DJ Lang lasted into the 90’s, where he was eventually outed because he kept talking over the end of songs. Listeners recording the Top 15 rejoiced.

    2. But one Parallel Fort Wayne event went apocalyptic –
      Over a thousand children went (and to this day still are) missing;
      Hell’s Angels were hired as security;
      Two dozen women were killed with hatpins;
      Fredda Lee is still in a trance, thinking herself a showgirl named Pansy Faye;
      $589,114.86 worth of landscaping in the greater Fort Wayne area destroyed;
      22 stabbings, 45 shootings, 9 strangulations, and one drowning;
      The mall itself was incinerated;
      And Jonathan Frid never actually appeared, as the hearse meant to bring him had a problem with its brakes (later revealed as missing bleeder valves).

  2. And Parallel Bill Malloy looks deeply into Parallel Mrs. Johnson’s eyes and asks, “What do you do with a drunken sailor?”

    1. Meanwhile Parallel Harry is the bartender at the Eagle when Buffie Harrington left, handing pints and good advice.

  3. She’s a psychic medium who ain’t afraid of no ghost. She’s the spirit of a witch who dabbled in black magic at the end of the 19th century but has since reformed. They fight supernatural crime. Who ya gonna call? Findley and Mapes!

  4. I take it all back – I liked Roxanne way, waaaay better when she just laid around and displayed her “Cross-Your-Heart” support.
    I wonder what the Real Time counterparts of Roxanne, Claude, Cyrus, and Dameon are like?

  5. At least Parallel Donna Friedlander will be alive and well to do the interior design if they decide to rebuild PT Collinwood.

  6. I’m in the minority but I liked PT Roxanne. But alas she came too late in the game. I wish they had established that when Roxanne was up and about AND talking this merely put Angelique into that same deep comatose state that Roxanne was in. Then they could have better explained why Roxanne and Barnabas had this immediate love connection.Maybe she was the reincarnation of PT Josette? Instead Roxanne is a tool to give an forced ironic twist to Barnabas’ adventures in parallel time

  7. Once PT Roxanne started talking, all she did was whine “Baaaarnabas” over and over. At least she wore a sheer nightgown or flesh-colored minidress to compensate for her lack of character. OTOH, RT Roxanne was much more interesting.

    1. After years of lagging behind this blog, I’m now ahead and into 1840. I have to say RT Roxanne 1970 and RT Roxanne 1840 are good characters, even though 1970 Roxanne is in a secondary story line.

    1. PT Vicky was a Full Professor in the Neurobiology Department at Harvard because she really did know.

      1. Didn’t Alexandra say she might have considered returning to the show if Dan Curtis had made Vicky evil? PT would have been an excellent chance to introduce a villainess Vicky into the mix.
        Or – since PT Carolyn was such a downer, Vicky could have been the PT version of Pansy Fay.

        1. You know, PT might have had a very different feel with the following changes:

          Alexandra takes the role of Quentin’s evil first wife, Victoria Stokes Collins. There is no nice twin. She dabbles in “the black arts” but is not a full-on witch. She and Quentin have a son, David.

          Lara Parker takes the role of Quentin’s new wife, Angelique “Angela” Evans. She’s kind-hearted and traditional and a romantic. She has no witchcraft powers. But not quite the pushover as time goes on.

          And Kathryn Leigh Scott plays Margaret “Maggie” Evans still, but she’s now Angela’s sister and Cyrus’ lab assistant. She’s a modern woman — middle class, educated, confident, reluctant in matter of love.

          Maggie and Angela are different — Maggie is the more confident, assertive, cynical of the two — but they are close and both “good” girls. Maggie doesn’t like Quentin.

          Lisa Richards is looking for other work.

          So in this version, there was a seance two years ago but instead of a murder, Victoria just simply vanished when the lights went out. They never learned what happened. There is no portrait. No one mentions her by name.

          When Barnabas enters parallel time, Quentin has just brought Angela home, with Roger and Hoffman treating her like crap.

          After about two weeks of establishing all these new relationships, they recreate the seance.

          The lights go out, and when they come back on, there’s Victoria in clothing from the late 1700s. She has no memory of what happened — and doesn’t really care. She wants her rightful place as mistress of Collinwood back. (Explanation for her vanishing and returning: Daddy Stokes playing with I-Ching wands. Victoria kills her father when she learns he did that).

          Can you imagine the shock for the audience to have “Vicky” just show up like that? And in the same manner RT Vicky did. And then to be evil?

          That really could have been fun.

          1. Ooh, that just gave me goosebumps! If only we could go back in time so you could tell Dan Curtis your brilliant idea!

          2. I like it! And making the girls who look like Josette and Angelique sisters would be a great twist, and would confuse the heck out of Barnabas.

            1. I’m glad y’all liked that. It could have played off the previous story lines and relationships in interesting ways.

              1. Oh lord, YES! How much more fun would it have been to watch Quentin tangle with EVIL Vicky?! Even more fun would have been watching Barnabas’ chin hit the floor everytime she did something naugh-tee!
                Hell, all our chins would have been on the floor.

      2. LIndy Mumade – thank you for this comment – really made me laugh like an idiot this morning 🙂 !

  8. I have it on good authority that PT Danny is going to circle back on his blog and cover PT episodes 1-209, given his total adoration of all things PT Vicky.

    Lord have mercy, I’m going to be sorry when this blog exits PT. I’ve had the most fun with PT and Classiques. The show isn’t at its best, but the blog has never been better!

  9. Thought Angelique’s “I don’t want peace!” was way better last episode. One of Lara Parker’s best moments in the series in fact. She lost the fire in it when she replayed for the teaser.

    1. She might have been worried, income wise. She was such an icon on the show, but would disappear for periods of time. I suppose she was wondering when her character would return to the show.

      1. It’s true. Angelique was an icon but a difficult one to use because she was for the most part a time displaced character. There’s an argument to be made that her journey from 1795 to 1968 to 1796 to 1897 to 1970 and to 1840 is a contributory factor to the time anomalies

  10. I was hoping that Angelique was going to be present when the show returns to 1970 RT. She could have helped Barnabas and Julia prevent the destruction of Collinwood.

      1. They also never addressed post-Sky Angelique when Barnabas and Julia returned to RT Collinwood after preventing said destruction. Perhaps they all joined Professor Stokes Wednesday Afternoon Time Travel Discussion Group, now that they are all allies. Would Quentin be allowed to attend since, though he never traveled backwards in time, he transcends time with his immortality portrait?

      2. I think she would have. Fans liked her teaming up with Julia in 1897 to save Barnabas.

        Wasn’t she showing signs of wanting Barnabas back toward the end of the Leviathan story? She put a spell to draw Maggie and Quentin together because Barnabas was having feelings for Maggie.

        I think she would have helped to impress Barnabas, if for no other reason.

        1. I cannot say enough how much I love reading this blog and these comments amidst watching all these episodes for the first time. It’s like having a group of awesome DS fans in the room with me, offering adorable witty jokes and intriguing asides/details. And I especially love all the fun extras you add, Danny, like the fan memorabilia, news and magazine articles and ads, behind-the-scenes quotes, glimpses of what was happening in 1968- , etc.

          Can you or someone else here explain why there was a specific mention in the Fort Wayne WPTA Meet Barnabas’ ad that he would be offering signed autographs “(in ink)”? Was that supposed to be a joke, as in “(not blood)”? …or a special perk, as in “not pre-printed autographs”? Just curious!

          1. yeah that was wacky! Also, at 4:30 pm….wouldn’t it still have been LIGHT outside?
            Oh well, DS fans are VERY well versed in suspension of disbelief.

  11. There’s a moment during Quentin and Maggie’s “reconciliation” scene when he grabs her by putting his hands on either side of her head and pulls her towards him. It’s meant to be affectionate, I guess, but he comes off looking like the first deputy to the Boston Strangler.

    Speaking of that scene, you don’t have to be Ruth Bader Ginsburg to cringe at the way Maggie falls all over herself to apologize to her abusive husband for having completely reasonable questions about his behavior.

  12. because everyone around him has strategically withheld any information that would help him to understand the tiniest bit about his own storyline.

    Yep. Quentin was one right shouty bastard, but to be completely fair, Angelique had lots of practice playing him like a fiddle, and Barnabas/Hoffmann/Carolyn/Will* never said anything along the lines of oh, by the by, your sister in law is your dead wife come back from the grave, you might want to think twice about any advice she gives you.

    Not Maggie, though, she’s just an idiot. Barnabas warned her multiple times and she neither listened nor told Quentin about said warnings. Those two dinks deserve each other.

    Now, Carolyn and Will were blood thralls, so they didn’t have too much choice, but honestly.

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