Episode 1106: Lady Is a Vamp

“Are you serious about trusting your secret to her?”

You know that your climactic vampire reveal is not all that it could be, when you raise the lid of the coffin and do the dramatic music cue, and then one character turns to the other and says, “Who is it?” That can’t be what they were going for.

Because it’s Roxanne!

Who, if you happen to have watched the two count ’em two scenes that Barnabas has had with her over the last five weeks, you immediately recognize as the latest iteration of the love of his life.

Now, technically, Barnabas hardly knows Roxanne, because he’s spent a grand total of about six minutes in her presence, but she happens to be the spitting image of Parallel Time Roxanne, the girl who was entirely unconscious up to and including the moment that he decided he was in love with her. Then she woke up and imprinted on him like a baby duck, and followed him around for four days until she died in a fire. And that Roxanne had the same name and hairstyle as this Roxanne, which means that love is real.

But now we have to come to grips with the fact that Roxanne is the fiendish creature of the night who lurks in the shadows, wearing a hat and preying on the young and innocent, specifically Maggie. Roxanne has been slowly killing the Collins family governess for the last three weeks, apparently because she was jealous that her bloodstained love slave Sebastian took Maggie out on a dinner date. And that is why Barnabas loves her.

I have no diegetic way to explain the hat. The hat is an artistic choice that Roxanne has made for reasons of her own.

But now we know, at least, and all the mysteries have been cleared up, like why we never saw Roxanne during the day, which I never noticed but apparently Julia did, and why we never saw Sebastian during the day, which is absolutely not the case. I’m not going to bother to go back and look for evidence that we’ve seen Sebastian during the day plenty of times, because it’s unnecessary and it would cheapen us both.

Well, okay, maybe one. A few weeks ago, David left the house at 9:30 in the morning, and he went straight to Sebastian’s horoscope shop to buy a glimpse of the future. Then Sebastian decided to go to Collinwood, where he met Maggie, and invited her out to dinner.

Although I have to admit that when he returned to his astrology center later, Roxanne was angry with him for going out during the day. “I think it was unwise for you to leave today,” she snapped, “and in the future, you will exercise more caution.” So that implies that he was supposed to stay at work all day, guarding the coffin.

But now we know that the coffin is in this old mausoleum, where Tad and Carrie took shelter after they escaped from Windcliff last week. They saw the coffin, and then they watched from a secure hiding place as the lid opened and a caped figure emerged into the night, and there was no sign of Sebastian. Also, Julia and Willie just walked into the crypt with a hammer and a stake, and once again, Sebastian is not among those present.

Still, if you were wondering what Sebastian was doing during the day, then you have your answer. He was here.

But that’s just nitpicking, which doesn’t matter in the least. The important thing right now is that Julia is about to participate in one of the all-time amazing scenes of Dark Shadows.

Willie holds the stake in position and raises the hammer, but just at the last moment, Julia wrestles them out of his hands, and walks over to a corner of the set where she has some room to emote.

“Julia, we gotta do what we came for!” he shouts, but she just tightens her grip on the props. “Barnabas said, whoever it was didn’t matter!”

She shakes her head. “He didn’t know. He never suspected!”

“But the Roxanne he loved was in another time!” Willie retorts. “She was no vampire, this one is! He don’t even know who this one is!”

“He thinks he does,” Julia says, warming up for a whole series of pained facial expressions. “We can’t do it, not without his knowing.”

Then she does all of these expressions, one after another, in less than a minute.

“She’s who he always wanted,” she says, skidding her way through fear, guilt, satisfaction, self-reproach, grief and resignation. “Someone with whom he could share eternity.” And then her lip quivers. Grayson Hall has been preparing for this moment since basically birth.

“But this one ain’t like him,” Willie says. “She’s vicious! That’s what he said, I heard him!”

“Julia, I’ll take the blame,” he offers, and she smiles at him, with affection and gratitude.

“Willie, you didn’t even want to come here.”

“But I am here,” he says. This is an amazing Willie scene, too. “Because Barnabas told me — Julia, you just walk out of here. I’ll do it. I’ll do it for Barnabas.”

She starts to hand over the hammer and stake, and then pulls back, cycling through several more facial expressions.

“No, I can’t, Willie,” she quavers. “I can’t! There’s got to be a better way!”

She makes a decision. “Close the coffin, Willie.”

He doesn’t move.

She looks him in the eye. “Close it!”

So this is why we do it, why we watch this insane, slapdash monster movie soap opera.

Now that this scene has happened, you realize that it’s obvious this was always going to happen. Julia’s deep love for Barnabas, and his affection for her, combined with his reckless and nonsensical amatory obsessions — of course there’s going to be a plot point when Julia is willing to sacrifice anything, for a chance to help him find the happiness that he thinks he wants. This is where the Barnabas/Julia relationship was going, all this time, right up to this moment and this heartbreaking choice.

I mean, ultimately it doesn’t mean a hell of a lot, because Roxanne is an absurd nonentity, and there are no lasting consequences to any of this. But it’s worth digging, if there are still diamonds like this scattered around.

Tomorrow: You Must Stop What Is Happening.

Dark Shadows bloopers to watch out for:

In the opening narration, Sebastian says that Barnabas discovered the vampire’s resting place. He didn’t; Willie found it.

Julia says that she and Elizabeth were wondering what Sebastian did during the day; we’ve seen Sebastian during the day lots of times.

Sebastian’s weak on his lines in his scene with Julia at the Old House. He says, “I thought we could talk honestly, Doctor.” “Oh, about what?” she asks. Then he says, “And I thought you’d return the compliment.” She just looks at him, perplexed, and he continues, “The subject is Maggie Evans, Doctor…”

Sebastian asks Julia, “Why do you keep Maggie here, at Collinwood?” They’re in the Old House. He asks if he can go upstairs and see Maggie, who’s upstairs somewhere else.

As Sebastian sneaks into the crypt, there’s a lot of studio noise; it sounds like they’re opening the secret bookcase and getting the props ready for the next scene.

Julia coughs, as Barnabas leaves the basement in act 2.

Barnabas says, “Julia, she did shave our lives in Rose Cottage!”

Tomorrow: You Must Stop What Is Happening.

Dark Shadows episode guide

— Danny Horn

76 thoughts on “Episode 1106: Lady Is a Vamp

  1. Love the pic at the end! Is Roxanne funny or something? Honestly I wish they developed 1970 Roxanne more. She seemed more interesting than parrallel Roxanne, who I found extremely annoying when rewatching the series.

    1. I thought the way Roxanne became the vampire was back when Barnabas bit her in the last parallel time, and she did not burn in the fire. So if the question how did she become that way, didn’t he make her that way but forgot?
      Alice I do agree Roxanne was aggravating as hell over Barnabas…lol.

    2. “Imprinted on him like a baby duck” had me giggling like a fool. That was it, exactly. It’s not every show that can enrage me with an actress whose big scenes involve lying in a catatonic state while Barnabas moons over her.

  2. Good god — Julia please stake Roxanne, burn Angelique, throw Josette off of Widow’s Hill(once and for all) and claim Barney as rightfully yours. This is your time girlfriend (snap, snap).

    On another note I’m betting Roger Davis is the next celebrity who’ll apologize for inappropriate behavior with female cast members (given most of it was caught on camera).

    1. I would not welcome any harassment from Roger Davis as he is a dull square. I would probably turn him in…lol.

      1. Since this comment, I haven’t seen anything about Roger Davis, but I’m not surprised. He’s not currently relevant–not in the public eye in entertainment–and he was always a fairly secondary celebrity anyway. I’m sure, sadly, that there are innumerable men in the entertainment industry who are guilty of sexual harassment who will not be called out or exposed.

  3. Most people would vote for Grayson as the show’s Best but, I think John Karlen might actually deserve the first runner up prize. He never fails to elevate the quality of the show with his presence.

    1. My Dark Shadows MVP award is tied between Nancy Barrett and John Karlen. Nancy always puts everything into her varied cast of characters, while John Karlen is the glue that keeps Barnabas together. He is consistently watchable, giving his performances intense character. He’s reliable and I like how his final characters are given Nancy Barrett characters as a love interest, the two have amazing chemistry as we saw in Parallel Time. Willie is like John, you can depend on him.

    2. Yes; John Karlen, Nancy Barrett, Grayson Hall, and Thayer David did a lot of the heavy lifting over the course of the show.

      1. A LOT.

        For me one of the great lost storylines was the friendship that formed between Julia and Stokes while Barnabas was farting around in the I Ching Path Past and they had to sit around dusting his corporeal being or whatever. What I wouldn’t give for a scene showing a late night brandy fueled gab session between those two.

    3. Julia and Willie are by far two of the most significant characters with Barnabas being in his own category. Julia and Willie are sensible in their approaches particularly in keeping Barnabas in line. Both of them deserve first prize.

  4. Grayson became such an important part of Dark Shadows. I disagree with her husband Sam’s idea of killing off Dr. Julia Hoffman; in many ways I think she became more of a central character than Barnabas.

  5. That smile that Julia gives Willie is exactly like the smile my high school French teacher used to give us when we asked a question but didn’t query “en Francais”. (And only Grayson Hall could pull it off while holding a hammer and wooden stake, standing in front of a coffin.)

    Okay, I can see moving the coffin, chaining it (definitely); but why not put a cross on her BEFORE you chain it up? But I do like that they took the bier along with the coffin – like a coffin by itself wouldn’t have been ungainly enough for Willie and Quentin to cart through the woods to the old house.

    The pillars in that crypt must have some sort of invisibility shield; there is NO WAY Sebastian could ‘hide behind’ one so that Willie wouldn’t see him – the shine on those leather pants would have been visible from outside the door! Same with the scene where Tad and Carrie were ‘hiding’ behind the pillars a few episodes ago.

    Wow! Roxanne got some F-A-N-G-S! But I kind of expected Barnabas to just push her back down and say, “Oh, please. I’m already undead. THAT won’t work on ME!”

    And not to point out the elephant in the room, but WHO’S WATCHING MAGGIE? Sebastian seems to have just walked on in to visit her, from what he said. Everyone else at Collinwood is working for Gerard. And I thought the big deal the other day was that only Barnabas could protect her…

    (And where is Julia getting all the transfusion blood from? Her personal stash? Or does she do blood drives?)

    If Willie had slacked off on his coffin guarding duties as much as Sebastian has, Willie would have been dead like five times over. I’m hoping Roxanne’s going to give Sebastian some serious hell about THAT.

    But the biggest question is, where does Roxanne put that HAT when she gets in her casket?

      1. I checked back to Tom Jennings’ episodes (partly to answer your question, but mostly to look at Don Briscoe, Sexy Boy Vampire); they seem to have used some elements in both sets – mainly the columns – but not the same set. Evidently there’s a lot of abandoned crypts in Eagle Hill, which is ever so convenient for the creatures of the night and other various ghouls. Immediate occupancy, free coffin in every chamber. (Cobwebs, candles and fog extra.)

        1. Don’t forget abandoned farms. We hear about dead cows and see abandoned farms from time to time, but never anything more about Collinsport’s agricultural community.

      2. Seems like that was a different crypt. I could be wrong though. I love how Julia so cool with the vampire paradigm. When Barnabas opened the coffin and Roxanne sat up with her fangs ready to taste Barnabas, Julia calmly walks in with the cross, and lays it gently on Roxanne, forcing her to lie back down and be quiet.

        Serious Julia in action. MVP!!

    1. Sebastian joined the Coffin Guarders Union Local 97 out of Collinsport. That’s what Willie should have done and he’d have gotten loads of benefits.

      1. Evidently he gets more time off than Willie ever did; wonder if he had to do a lot of gratis home renovations for Roxanne, the way Loomis had to do for Barnabas? (Personally, I would have liked to see Barnabas reacting in jealousy, the way Roxanne did, when Maggie was dating Joe or Vicki was stepping out with Jeffpeter – get to some guy-on-guy biting. Fair’s fair, after all, blood for the goose is blood for the gander…)

          1. Sebastian spent his days accessorizing. Willie didn’t have time to worry about his appearance that much – except for trying to hide the bruises.

          2. Melissa Julia should have received an Emmy or People’s Choice Award for Magda. She was exceptionally brilliant in this character.

    2. My question is; how in the unholy hell do two vamps not recognize each other? How have they not bumped into each other before now, down at the docks or looking over the local bovine wine menu?

  6. Danny, now (I think) I finally got the “Her?” joke in the last blog photo — How in Arrested Development the father of Ann Egg’s boyfriend would never remember who the hell Egg was, and the puzzled Dad would always respond “Her?” — but if Danny or anybody else cares to give a fuller explanation of the Ann “Egg” Veal / Mae Whitman reference as it relates to Dark Shadows, then I’m all ears …

    I have seen only a couple of episodes of Arrested Development so please understand that I am not very familiar with that show at all. However, I suppose that a DS viewer, upon learning the shocking dĂ©nouement that the vampire is Roxanne, might jump up and exclaim, “Her???”

  7. Whatever else you say about Roxanne, she has the most flawless skin I’ve ever seen. I have a hunch Barnabas has some well covered acne scars from his teenage years and that could explain his instant–probably evolutionary–instinct that she is The One.

  8. There was a lot unrealized potential with Sebastian / Roxanne / Maggie / Barnabas / Julia / Willie. I’m sorry that wasn’t a front-burner story. Having Maggie menaced by a lady vampire who happens to be Barnabas’ love interest could have given us a great storyline for months.

    We all loved the 1995 two-week arc, but if we had never gone there and simply had returned to Classique Collinwood 1970, the Gerard story could have been the sneaky B-plot and Roxanne the Vampire the A-plot.

    But there would have been no way to put Gerard on the backburner having done 1995 and setting up those clues.

    1. Gerard as the b-plot would mean less time spent with Hallie. I’m sure Kathy Cody was a wonderful girl back then, but her material was that of a discount Amy, without the hot relative (I’m sure Stokes is sexy to somebody out there).

      1. Stokes is hella sexy to me; love me some smooth charm, sardonic delivery, and professorships. He became one of my undying favorites back when he looked at some chair or other at the Old House, declared to Barnabas that it was by a famous furniture maker, then rounded off his comment with “too bad he was drunk when he made it.”

  9. Yeaaaahhhhh, it crossed my mind that having Maggie stalked by a lady vampire could have been an edgy direction for DS to take. (Was this before Stonewall?) That said, I agree with Slocum – for gosh sakes, give me the freakin’ stake and i’ll do it myself. Julia, you need a support group to break this habit of supporting Barnabas!

    1. After Stonewall, but still before homosexuality was removed from DSM, which I think was in 1972 or 1973 – so still considered a mental illness.

      1. Also, consider that although Stonewall decriminalised homosexuality in New York, the rest of the world was still a long way from catching up.

  10. It would’ve been edgy for TV. I don’t know them well, but I’m pretty sure that by ‘ 70, that kind of vampire story was already almost a cliche in the movies!

    1. Yeah, the movies by then even had male vampires gnawing on guys (infrequently, and like the original Dracula, only to incapacitate them so the ‘brides’ could feast). Girl bloodsuckers were actually starting to get away from biting other girls, because it was becoming passĂ©.

  11. This storyline could have used some Angelique. She got things done and would have handled Roxanne in a very fitting manner. Imagine Angelique and Julia in a verbal sparring session or even a girl fight. That would turn Barnabas on.

    1. I know we’re between two Angelique heavy storylines, but she’d liven things up. Sebastian would be so much more fun as a cat. Also, Barnabas hissing her name never gets old.

      1. I agree, JB. Angelique and Roger were very much needed during this period. Barnabas, Angelique, Julia and Quentin had teamed up to fight the Leviathans before we left for parallel time. Where did Angelique disappear to when we really needed her?

        1. Roger too! Good catch. He could have been an emotional anchor for David, showing how far they’ve come since David was a willing participant in patricide.

          According the audios after the Leviathans and Sky she returned to the Cassandra Collins identity, stealing things and attending parties. This is where we find her in the Tony and Cassandra stories starting with the Death Mask.

        2. Not sure what Lara Parker was doing at the time, but whenever Roger goes away for one of his extended “business trips” to Boston or Europe, etc., it means that Louis Edmonds is off doing a play somewhere.

          1. Prisoner, maybe Mrs. Johnson was correct in 1995 when she said the Liz was living in London and Roger was with her. Maybe Roger returned after the zombie pirates did their thing, searched for Liz who was hiding in the East Wing of Collinwood, and they decided to head for London. Or not.

          2. Was there ever an explanation given for why Roger would be on business trips for the Collins enterprises? Liz runs it all, and, yes, for years she never left the house but it seemed like they were able to function without leaving the area for business concerns.

            1. I don’t think any explanation was ever given for these business trips; it was just understood that he would take them from time to time, perhaps as a company representative — and why not? After all, he is a Collins. We know of Mrs. Johnson’s “boiled dinners” because of what Roger says after coming home from a trip to Boston with a recipe for Indian pudding. It’s during the Jason blackmail period and Carolyn tells Roger that Willie has left Collinwood and Roger replies, “Bravo! You can’t keep the jet set down… Or could he just not stand another one of Mrs. Johnson’s famous boiled dinners?”

              And then recall in 1968 when Jeff Clark and Vicki are to be getting married and Roger offers to help by enlisting Jeff in an upcoming sales training seminar taking place in Boston. Of course, Jeff can’t go because he already has a job, working the graveyard shift in the Old House basement.

            2. RE: Roger’s business trips –
              we can guess that he may have been trying to expand to an international market, where Liz had been able to run the business “locally” from Collinwood. (And besides, he could write off trips to Europe as business expenses! French cuisine beats Mrs. Johnson’s menus…)

            3. The first time Liz was incapacitated, she left the management of the business to Carolyn. But later on, has her mental and emotional health grew more frail and Roger proved himself more trustworthy, she shared more managerial duties with him. If business travel was required in the past, Ned Calder or Bill Molloy probably made the trips.

        3. Angelique is never around when a ghost is haunting Collinwood for some reason.
          Roger is the same, though he did return near the end of Quentin’s haunting.

          1. Wasn’t that just after the Adam storyline, where Angie ratted out her probation officer to their boss? I’m trying to remember how she left that storyline. I do know the Werewolf storyline ran concurrently with that of Quentin’s ghost.

            1. Once the stories of Quentin haunting Collinwood and the werewolf started, Angelique just disappeared. Yep, she ratted out Nicholas and I think Diablos agreed to remove the vampire curse from Angelique.

              1. Diablos was pissed with her.

                She wasn’t effective in any pursuit, to his wants.

                Sure, she was evil, selfish, conniving.

                A woman after his own heart.


                She was a rat.

                She asked to be “human”.

                She wanted human love.

                He, knowing she would fail, and laughing behind her back,
                said okay, try it. Get out of my face, you weary me. If you can make a human love you, and damn, I hate that word, go try. But you may not use your Satan-given powers to do it. Like you could ever. As a human. But go ahead, try. Get out of here. Just leave. And she did.

                And then he sent her a man named Sky.

                And he couldn’t stop laughing. She even screwed That up.
                She could have had any man….
                She wanted normal, but chose one of His.
                No honor among thieves, they say.

                Remember, I brought you into this Underworld, and I can take you out.
                Of the upper world, too.

                And he uses Judah Zachary to take her out by proxy in 1840.

                Not that we see Diablos Do it. But who’s the boss, hmmm?

                Of course, none of this subtext made it to a script for air.

                There’s some great stuff in 1840!

                1. So Chris, do you think that Diablos did the same thing to Judah in 1840 after Angelique (sans powers) exposed Judah, resulting in his defeat and ultimately preventing the destruction of Collinwood in 1970? Did Diablos say, “You were given a second chance in 1840 and failed. I’m finished with giving you anymore chances – especially since you were defeated by Angelique.”

          2. I think it was actually a good idea to have Angelique on hiatus during major “present day” ghost hauntings. Think about if she had been there. She could do one of three things:

            Banish the ghost. Then your storyline is over just like that.
            Try to banish the ghost and fail. Then what? Either the ghost does her in or she’s just left there with mission unaccomplished.
            Be there and just simply not be interested. Then what? Angelique rarely took an interest in events that didn’t connect directly to her. So you have Q or G haunting Collinwood and threatening everyone. And there you have Angelique — doing what exactly? Also threatening some other portion of the very limited cast and splitting our attention?

            To me, one thing that made the Q haunting so great for me was it was a non-Angelique / non-Barnabas threat. The Q haunting in particular had a spooky quality that Angelique — turning people into cats, forcing them to have coitus, choking them with dolls — couldn’t match.

            On the other hand, Roger’s presence was very much missed.

            1. Good points, William. I just wondered what happened to her back in the day watching the original broadcasts at this point in the story. Maybe she found a guy who was cuter than Sky Rumson and created a new life with him.

              1. She stole magical items and went to fancy parties before bumping into Tony Peterson and started getting into scrapes with him while solving mysteries.

            2. Another option:
              Angelique is there and IS interested – she’s also wanting to destroy the Collins family, and joins forces with Gerard.

            3. Roger had a way if grounding each story in some kind of reality. And that made it scarier, because it made you feel like those kinds if hauntings really could happen in the real world.

  12. A couple things brought up here. Again I must disagree with you that Roxanne dies in the PT fire. Remember Quentin saw here in the parallel time room and never mentioned flames, just smoke. For all we know the fire that Stokes started might have petered out or the CFD came to the rescue..As for Angelique I think she went to New York and had to settle her late husband’s estate.I don;t think Sky had the time to change his will so she inherited the bulk of his holdings. Undoubtedly she would have had to sell things to pay off his debts but was probably sitting pretty after a few months. She probably returned to Collinwood only to discover the place in ruins. She decided to chase after Barnabas and make a deal with Diabolos to go back in time. He granted her request with one stipulation..she would have no memory of anything that happened in 1897 or 1970

    1. There have been a couple of DS fans who have averred that Angelique became a rich widow after Sky died, but that doesn’t sound right to me. Angelique informs Sky (while he’s alive) that his businesses have failed — as a result of the Leviathan meltdown. I think that means there is no wealth for her to inherit.

      1. I agree that his businesses have failed but there are assets nonetheless (the house on Little Windward Island for example) . And there’s still an estate to settle that would have taken Angelique away from Collinsport

        1. And I just know Angelique probably had a few ‘little trinkets’ stashed for a rainy day. Not just CD Tate paintings, either.
          (“Oh, Sky! Look – isn’t it LOVELY?”
          “Do you want it, Darling?”
          “Oh, I couldn’t ask; it’s so expensive.”
          “It’s worth every penny, if it makes you happy.”

          I just know those two were always doing that stuff on the phone, too:
          “You hang up first.”
          “No, you.”
          “No, you.”)

      2. According to Big Finish, she adopts the Cassandra identity again and goes into partnership with Tony Peterson in a detective agency!

    1. God, he’s a moron when it comes to “love.” Julia’s RIGHT THERE but he only associates love with longing and betrayal, not friendship and steadfast loyalty.

  13. I loved Julia in this – it shows she hasn’t lost her bite. Whether she’s describing Roxanne as someone Barnabas “thinks” he loves (Ha! Thanks for that one, Julia) or sparring with Sebastian Shaw, she’s at the top of her game. If only she wouldn’t indulge Barnabas so often!

    1. Yes Christine. However, she never disrespects him, even it it does hurt her. I wish she would have dated Stokes for some other interest. Nothing personal, just as you say, to not be beholden to Barnabas all the time. It would drive him crazy…lol. Look how he acted when Tom bit Julia. He almost lost his mind..lol.

  14. Donna Wandrey looks so much like Grayson Hall that it’s a real shame they didn’t do something with the resemblance. If they had revealed that PT Roxanne was Housekeeper Hoffman’s daughter, they could have had a scene where that Hoffman tearfully explains to Angelique that she sacrificed her own child to bring her back. Once Dr Hoffman found out about that, her reactions could be interesting- seeing the extremes to which her counterpart had gone to serve her beloved monster, she might be both protective of Roxanne and critical of own relationship to Barnabas. That could really have added a lot of depth to the whole story.

  15. Barnabas goes through so many bad times? Wow, he’s really brainwashed Willie, hasn’t he? It’s interesting that Willie wants to protect Barnabas still and that it’s not out of fear but out of sympathy!
    I love Julia and Willie scenes. They show more genuine concern and friendship for each other than I think one sees in any other two characters on the show. Barnabas doesn’t deserve them!

  16. You know, John Karlen was cute and had a great butt (much better than Quentin’s). There, I said it.

  17. It’s great that the old house comes with that handy body storage area behind the bookcase. You don’t see that in modern construction any more.

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