“Julia, you were doing more than just sleeping.”
Hey, do you remember Maggie Evans? There used to be a character on Dark Shadows called Maggie Evans. She used to be pretty important, and there’s actually a whole Dark Shadows movie about her. But she’s been having a rough couple weeks, and I think we ought to take a minute to check in on her.
The excitement started back in episode 1090, when Maggie went out to dinner with fraud astrologer Sebastian Shaw. The date went fine, as far as we can tell, but after he brought her home, she went outside for a walk, and walked back in with a problem.
So Maggie falls into Julia’s arms, exposing the bite marks left behind by some late-night snacker, and things go downhill from there.
At the start of episode 1091, Julia parks Maggie on the drawing room couch, so she can think things over.
“In the woods…” Maggie gasps.
“No, no,” Julia says. “Don’t try to talk.”
Not that she gets much of a chance, because then Hallie comes in, and nobody gets much of a chance at dialogue with Hallie around. Seeing that Maggie’s unwell, Hallie gets all worked up into a lather, convinced that she’s actually responsible for Maggie’s illness. Julia barks at her to pipe down and go upstairs, and then the show can continue.
“The woods…” Maggie says, as Julia walks her toward the stairs. “I was walking in the woods…”
“No, no,” Julia repeats. “Don’t try to talk, Maggie. Please.”
And that’s the issue, really, for the next couple weeks: Maggie, not trying to talk.
So I’m going to go ahead and give you all of Maggie’s dialogue for the rest of the episode, just to establish a baseline. You’ll see why in a minute.
“I’m going to be all right, Hallie. Yes. You and David keep up your lessons. You’re a wonderful girl, Hallie. Did you know that? Yes, of course you are. I wouldn’t like it if you were perfect. I don’t know what you’re talking about. You’re not making any sense, Hallie. Hallie, whatever happened to me has nothing to do with you. Hallie, I was attacked in the woods by something. And I’m going to be all right. What happened to me has nothing whatsoever to do with anyone else, only me. I’m going to be all right, Hallie. Very soon.”
And then here’s her dialogue with Julia:
“I’m really not as sick as everyone seems to think. Julia, there’s no need for you to stay with me all the time. Really? I thought you and Barnabas were so terribly busy searching for clues to the coming catastrophe. Things that seemed so important once don’t seem as important now. Of course not. I’m sorry, I didn’t mean that. Perhaps it’s just my illness.”
With David, she says:
“I don’t remember. Yes, David, I’ll tell her.”
“What is it, Barnabas? I’d be a whole lot better if people would leave me alone. Yes. You can tell Julia to stop hovering around me. I’m really quite well. Does she? I doubt that. This particular case, I doubt that very much.”
And then with Julia again:
“No. No. I’m not weak at all! Don’t try to stop me! I’m not sick! I’m not a child, I can do whatever I wish! Really, I have no obligation to you. I’m well now, doctor, I won’t need your help any longer!”
And then Maggie’s on the move! She hears the dogs howling, and she stumbles out into the night, trailed by Julia and the audience.
So that’s a total of 270 words that Maggie says during episode 1091. That’s not a lot, considering how talky things can get on Dark Shadows, but in this case, we’re going to treat 270 as a high score that Maggie’s going to try to beat.
Episode 1092 starts with Maggie on her own, wandering through the woods, following the dognoise. Julia’s lost her somehow, despite the fact that Maggie’s wearing a bright pink and orange nightgown and “the woods” is only about two feet by three feet.
But Barnabas finds her unconscious on the ground, and they haul her back to Collinwood and all the way up the stairs.
They put her to bed, and then they have one of those cover-your-ass conversations about what they’re going to tell the family, and what they’re going to tell the police. They come to the usual decisions, namely “very little” and “nothing,” and then Julia leaves to grab some plasma that she keeps in a mini-fridge in her bedroom.
Alone with Maggie, Barnabas asks her who’s responsible for the attack, and she says, “Oh! No!”
Once the transfusion’s set up, Barnabas and Julia have a long, self-incriminating conversation about Maggie as if she isn’t in the room. She’s probably unconscious, so Barnabas and Julia just jabber away about being a vampire as much as they like.
Julia takes a pass at connecting this subplot to the main storyline. “I keep thinking about why this should happen now,” she wonders. “Perhaps we misread some of Carolyn’s clues in 1995. Isn’t it possible that it’s linked up with that?”
Barnabas’ response: “I don’t see how.” He’s right. It has nothing to do with anything.
To take their minds off things, they start talking about Quentin’s diary and Rose Cottage and the ghosts and the future and everything. Maggie takes a nap in the background for the rest of the episode.
Total dialogue in episode 1092: 2 words.
In 1093, Maggie starts to regain her powers of chat. Carolyn asks how she’s feeling, and whether Barnabas and Julia called the police. Maggie says:
“Yes. The light, it’s so bright! It hurts my eyes! It’s making my head ache. No. No. I don’t know.”
Downstairs, Sebastian stops by, hoping to talk to Maggie. He’s her new love interest, apparently, so it would be nice to put them together for a minute, and see if we could get some kind of a conversation going.
But Carolyn says that Maggie’s sick and can’t see anyone, and they go into the drawing room to discuss it. This doesn’t lead to anything in particular.
Going back upstairs, Carolyn tells Maggie that Sebastian came over, to no avail. There’s some more dognoise outside, and Maggie actually gets up out of bed, but she only gets as far as the chair.
“I have to get up. No! No, Carolyn! I have to get up. Carolyn, what time is it? I’ve got to leave!”
There’s not much else to do, so Maggie transitions into a talk-to for Carolyn’s possession sequence. Carolyn starts to sing the carousel theme, and Maggie gets to say a few words on the subject:
“What is that? You were humming a tune. It was lovely.”
In another burst of activity, Maggie reaches the window.
“No. I don’t feel like it. I see no reason why I should stay here. Carolyn, what was that tune you were humming?”
And then Carolyn hums some more, and eventually she gets possessed.
Total dialogue in episode 1093: 76 words.
Sebastian returns in episode 1094, and asks to see Maggie again. Julia goes upstairs to check while Sebastian talks to Carolyn about second sight, and then Julia comes back downstairs and says that she’s asleep.
Episode 1095 is all playroom stuff.
Episode 1096 is about Gerard and Daphne bringing David and Hallie to Rose Cottage.
Episode 1097 is more Rose Cottage.
Episode 1098 involves a candlelight ritual for two.
Episode 1099 brings an extra governess to Collinwood.
And we catch up with Maggie again in episode 1100, when Willie catches her heading for the front door.
“Don’t stop me, Willie! Don’t stop me! Don’t you hear them calling me, Willie? I’ve got to go! No! No, Willie! No! No! No! No!”
It doesn’t work. He takes her upstairs, and then Tad and Carrie talk about her for a while.
Upstairs, Willie tells Maggie not to listen to the dognoise.
“I can hear nothing else. Leave. Just go, Willie. Why are you trying to stop me? No, you don’t, Willie.”
Then Tad and Carrie bust in and start telling Maggie about their spoiled rich-kid problems, and all of a sudden Maggie has all kinds of things to say.
“Wait a minute. Sorry, I don’t understand. What are you talking about? Why do they want to send you away? David, you must have misunderstood. Perhaps they planned a trip for you. David, where did they want you to go? Windcliff? Why do they want you to go there? David, you’ve been to Windcliff. Don’t you remember? Julia drove you to Windcliff, more than a year ago. I remember, don’t you? David, why do they want to send you there? You’re both feeling all right, aren’t you? I don’t understand, it doesn’t make any sense that they’d send you there. David, I’m going to go and talk to them. Willie, they’re not bothering me. David, you go on ahead, I’ll be down in just a minute. I promise, David, of course. Willie, what’s going on in this house? I’ve got to be, they need me! David and Hallie!”
Willie tells Maggie what’s been going on with the kids, and she gets another line:
“It’s all my fault. If I’d been well…”
And that’s it. Total dialogue in episode 1100: 201 words, with 53 about her own storyline and 148 about David and Hallie.
Maggie’s onscreen a lot in episode 1101, but mostly passed out. The nice thing about a part like this is that you can catch up on your rest. In her first scene, she’s got Carolyn as a babysitter, but then Carolyn gets a premonition about something else, and she leaves.
And then a squeaky bat appears at the window, which is Maggie’s cue to get out of bed, and see if she can get all the way across the room.
She can’t, as it happens. Julia and Barnabas rush in, and drag her back to bed where she belongs. She gets her first line of the day:
“No, let me go! Let me go! Please, I’ve got to go! I must!”
Julia says that her condition is even worse than it was last night, which is alarming, because she was already pretty worse to begin with. There’s some more dognoise, and she gurgles a little, and then people start talking about other things.
First, Barnabas and Julia stand on the other side of the room and talk about Rose Cottage for a while.
Then Julia gives Maggie a sedative, because obviously what she needs is to be even more unconscious, and Maggie rallies for a minute:
“No! You can’t keep me here! I don’t want to stay! Please! Please! No! No! No!”
They knock her out cold again, so that Barnabas and Julia can continue their conference about Rose Cottage. Barnabas decides to go out and hunt the vampire, so at least they’re not forgetting about Maggie completely.
And then the vampire magically vamps Julia to sleep, and Maggie gets up out of bed again and takes a few steps toward the window, end of episode.
Total dialogue in episode 1101: 30 words.
And then here we are in episode 1102, which starts with Quentin coming into the room and interrupting Maggie’s date with the vampire. She screams:
“Gone! You caused it! You caused it!”
Which is kind of a mysterious way to put it. Then she collapses in his arms. As he puts her to bed, there’s some more dog howling outside, and she yells:
“Come back! Come back to me! Come back!”
But the vampire doesn’t come back. Nobody pays the slightest attention to anything that Maggie says, these days.
Maggie gets one more word in edgewise, when Quentin yells at Julia, “What did that creature do to her?”
And then she’s unconscious again.
Quentin shakes Julia awake, and she doesn’t understand how she could have fallen asleep. “Julia, you were doing more than just sleeping,” he says, but he doesn’t elaborate on that idea.
Then there’s Maggie’s big scene, in which Julia gives her another damn sedative.
“Oh! Let me go! Let me go… Please! I’ve got to go! They’re calling me! Calling me! Got to go! Why do you stop me? Got to go! No! Please! Please, let me go! Please! No!”
And then Quentin and Julia talk about the children for a while.
Quentin does a thinks monologue about Daphne, and then Barnabas comes in, and they talk about Rose Cottage some more.
Once Quentin leaves, Barnabas hears the dognoise, and he has a nice little thinks monologue about Maggie: “Oh, Maggie… how often I used to think of you. How I wanted to make you mine. And now… now I know how much suffering I caused you.”
It’s a nice character moment. Maggie’s still got her eyes shut.
Total dialogue in episode 1102: 52 words.
So in her last five episodes, Kathryn Leigh Scott has had an average of 72.2 words to say per day, and if you don’t count the David and Hallie stuff, it’s 42.6.
You know, she’s going to leave the show next week, because she felt like Dark Shadows wasn’t a super fulfilling experience anymore. I wonder why?
Tomorrow: The Center of the Light.
Dark Shadows bloopers to watch out for:
When Julia prepares a hypo for Maggie, she and Quentin talk over each other.
Quentin tells Barnabas, “I saw the vampire in this room! I could have at least tried to discover who it was!” Uncomfortable, Barnabas mutters, “You couldn’t,” and looks at the teleprompter. Then he says, “Quentin, I want you to go downstairs.” Quentin points out that Barnabas is exhausted, from searching all night. Barnabas says that he found Rose Cottage. Quentin says, “You found it?” and Barnabas notes that it sounds like Quentin knows where it is. Quentin says, “That’s ridiculous, how could I?” and Barnabas replies, “Exactly. Well, you go downstairs. It’s the old McGruder place. Carrie calls it Rose Cottage, for one reason or another.” There’s another twenty seconds of dialogue, and finally Quentin says, “Look, I think I’ll go downstairs and wait for Julia’s call.”
Also, why do Barnabas and Quentin act like the only phone in the house is downstairs?
When Quentin leaves Collinwood at the end of act 1, he shuts the front door behind him, but it starts to open again.
There’s an abrupt edit in act 2, between Daphne shouting at Gerard and Julia examining David.
Julia tells Quentin, “You stay here with him. I’ll go and check — and check Carrie — Hallie — to see if she’s all right.”
When David starts drawing the pentagram on the floor with chalk, there’s already lines from a previously erased pentagram.
Quentin tells Julia, “I think we ought to go back to your office and phone Stokes. He may know some way of baffling this supernatural thing.”
Behind the Scenes:
This is writer Joe Caldwell’s last episode on Dark Shadows. Caldwell wrote 63 episodes, working on the show in two very different periods – from June to October 1967, and from April to September 1970. Nobody replaces Caldwell, so the three-person writing team becomes a two-person team for the remainder of the series.
David’s room in Windcliff looks like a mansion’s guest room with fencing on the windows. There’s a four-poster bed, a fireplace with knickknacks on the mantel, a hardwood floor and an Oriental rug. I think not leaving Collinwood very often means that the set designers have forgotten what the rest of the world looks like.
Tomorrow: The Center of the Light.
— Danny Horn