Monthly Archives: November 2017

Episode 1101: The Super Determined

“You are to do nothing to Carrie’s dollhouse!”

The night of the sun and the moon, she said. The night Rose Cottage was destroyed, she said. The unfinished horoscope, the night I sang my song, the picnic and the murder, she said. I want to help you fight Gerard, she said. And now it turns out most of those clues don’t matter, and she’s on Gerard’s side anyway. Well, live and learn.

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Episode 1100: Gang Aft Agley

“I must not allow him to be let loose in the world again!”

This was supposed to be simple. All Gerard had to do was wangle an invite to his friend Quentin’s house, get the family’s governess to fall in love with him, make sure that he died along with the governess and the two children in the house, wait a hundred and thirty years until there was a pair of descendants who looked exactly like the dead kids, fill their bedrooms with haunted hypnoclothes, force them to perform a ritual in their bedroom that brings the governess back to life, and then force all three of them to perform another ritual, which will bring Gerard back to life. Easy-peasy, mes amis.

But there’s a teensy snagette in this plan, namely: what if Willie Loomis comes in at the last minute and interrupts the second ritual? It turns out even the best-laid schemes o’ mice an’ men gang aft agley; maybe we need to get a couple more mice up in here.

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Episode 1099: Damsel of the Damned

“You know, there’s enough weird stuff going around on this house without you two spookin’ around.”

The spirits that live in the rafters of Collinwood have been more uppity than usual lately. The children of this haunted house, possessed by the ghosts of previous children, have been conducting secret chalk-and-candle rituals in the small hours, trying to bring even more ghosts into the house, and then those ghosts are going to want a turn. This is why everybody talks about immigration reform.

“We could be so happy if Daphne was here with us,” says one of the dreamers. “This house is so different.”

“It’s the same house we once knew,” says the other.

“Oh, no, it’s so strange, so ugly,” says the first. “Do you remember how it used to be, with the candles, and the sound of the spinnet?”

So that’s where I draw the line, really. Nobody asked these people to move in. If they’re not interested in participating in our century, then they can feel free to go back to whatever hell realm they crawled out of.

The sound of the spinnet. I mean, honestly.

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Episode 1098: The Lie Lock

“This possession is only part of a larger plan.”

Dark Shadows is trying to fracture the cosmos, I think; that’s the only possible explanation. Their movie just came out and they don’t really want to be on TV anymore, but they’re too proud to admit it, so they’re going to burn down the world and take everything else with them. Somebody ought to do something about this. Not me, obviously, I’m too busy arguing with my television.

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Episode 1097: Dawn of the Honey Badger

“Why can’t I understand my own behavior?”

They died young, is the problem. I don’t know what they died of, but the leading cause of death for children at Collinwood is ghosts, so I assume that Tad and Carrie were probably possessed by a matching set of identical ancestors from the 1720s. Eager to pay it forward, they’ve lurked in the crawlspaces and hidey-holes of the great estate, waiting for another pair of gullible travelers to happen by. And so the cycle of life continues, in a way.

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Episode 1096: Rose Cottage Was the Sled

“We’re only going to die so we can live again!”

Here’s what’s supposed to be scary today: Evil scheming ghost pirate Gerard Stiles leads young David Collins out of his house, and across the lawn to an undiscovered country house that’s located within easy walking distance.

David follows Gerard through the woods, asking where are we going the whole time, and then they reach a clearing, and Gerard brushes a bush away so that David can check out the destination. “It’s Rose Cottage!” David says. “It’s real! It really exists!” Which it does, so they keep walking and eventually they get there.

Meanwhile, back at the main house, there’s Hallie Stokes, the show’s other ghost-addled teen, who the adults are trying to protect. Julia tells Quentin to keep an eye on Hallie, and Quentin says okay, but when Julia goes upstairs, Daphne the ghost governess appears, and she distracts Quentin, and Hallie runs out into the night.

So now Hallie is following Daphne through the woods, and saying where are we going, and so on. Then we return to Collinwood, where Julia is asking Quentin what happened, which we already know what happened, because it just happened, a minute and a half ago.

Then Gerard brings David inside Rose Cottage at last, and it turns out Rose Cottage is just a disappointing little hallway, with some drywall and a door and a curtain and a chair. They’ve been talking about Rose Cottage for weeks, and now that we’re here, it is profoundly depressing. There isn’t anything surprising here at all — we do eventually see more than just this little corner, but the other room is just as sad and empty but with more chairs in it, and everything that they do there could just as easily have been done back at Collinwood, in the playroom or the dollhouse or a dream sequence, or all of the above. In fact, they’ve already done everything that they’re about to do, in various visions and assorted daydreams, it’s just that now everybody stops asking where is Rose Cottage, and they start saying, well, here we are in Rose Cottage.

So David goes to sleep in a chair, which he might as well, and then we see Hallie and Daphne in the woods, behind exactly the same bush, and Daphne moves some of the foliage away. Hallie peers through the underbrush and says, “It’s Rose Cottage! It’s a real place!” And yes, we get it. It’s Rose Cottage, and Rose Cottage is real.

They want us to pretend like that’s scary, but obviously it’s not. This is the opposite of scary. The thing that’s actually scary is that I have to write one hundred and fifty more blog posts, and is this really what I want to be doing with my life right now?

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Episode 1094: An Evening of Champagne and Whist

“How do I remember all those lovely times we used to have?”

Gerard touches you, and you remember a life you never knew, a life of short concerts and strange hats, with impossible, inevitable rooms full of rocking horses and despair. The ghost has been systematically working his way through the Collins family, touching faces and changing lives.

Currently, things are about as bad as things get. As of this morning, six people at Collinwood are now possessed by malign forces — David, Hallie, Liz, Quentin and now Carolyn are working with the ghosts, and Maggie’s under the spell of a vampire. We haven’t seen Roger or Mrs. Johnson in months, so the unpossessed are basically surrounded.

So consider this: Barnabas and Julia are the only normal people left in the house. Shit just got unreal.

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