Episode 1188: Don’t Panic

“Why do you think I brought you here? Why do you think I didn’t kill you?”

“Gabriel, something terrible’s happened,” Daphne pants, sprinting into the drawing room. And she’s right, something terrible has happened; it’s been happening for four years.

“What is it, what’s wrong?” says the orange man, startled. It’s been a bad few weeks for Gabriel, what with the debate disaster and his covid diagnosis and losing the suburban women. He doesn’t need any more October surprises; he’s had plenty.

“It’s Edith,” Daphne cries. “She’s dead. She’s been murdered!” Well, not murdered per se, but she’s been hanging out with Republicans, and none of them wear masks. “Gabriel, you were right, it was Gerard. He was out to dispose of her, and he nearly killed me, just now, in Edith’s room!” Gerard didn’t do any such thing, actually, but Daphne’s been the target of a disinformation campaign, and she’s got things all mixed up. She figures it’s either Gerard, or Hunter Biden; either way, it’s the second biggest political scandal in our history.

“I knocked him out with a candlestick,” Daphne continues. “I locked the door. I’ll get the carriage, and go for the police!”

“Now, wait a minute!” Gabriel tweets. “Now, wait, we’ve got to do this right.” He doesn’t mind that she’s going for the police, he’s all for law and order. It’s just that he can’t stop himself from interrupting women.

“Now, don’t panic,” he says, searching for the teleprompter, so that he can stay on message. This is what he’s been telling people all along, that there’s no reason to panic. Edith’s murder is going to disappear; all she needs is the miracle cure that he got at Walter Reed. The one thing that narcissist psychopaths can’t abide is when anybody feels uneasy.

Gabriel asks, “He’s up in the room, and the room’s locked?” Apparently all those “lock him up” chants finally worked.

“He’s in the room,” Daphne agrees. “Gabriel, aren’t you even shocked by all of this?”

“Of course I’m shocked by all of this!” says Gabriel. “I tried to warn Edith again and again, but she didn’t listen!” Sadly, that’s true; nobody listens to public health warnings anymore.

“Now, how are you sure it’s Gerard?” he asks.

“I’ve got proof!” says Daphne.

Gabriel frowns. “What kind of proof?” He’s skeptical, because he doesn’t think much of things like scientific evidence, which the lamestream media keep chattering about.

“This!” she says, handing over exhibit A. “It’s a cufflink with the letter G on it. I found it in Edith’s room; they must have struggled, and Gerard must have lost it.” She’s also got a whole bunch of emails that she acquired from some Russian guy that she met at a computer repair shop.

“You’re quite right, my dear,” he smirks. “You know, it’s rather frightening to think that something as small and insignificant as a missing cufflink could condemn a man.” Then he shows her that the cufflink matches the one that he’s wearing.

If you’re not familiar with the concept of monogrammed cufflinks, they’re what people used to use, before they invented Twitter. You could only send two characters at a time back then, and only to people in the same room. It was terribly inefficient.

And then Gabriel suddenly stands up from his wheelchair, and rips open his vest to reveal a Superman t-shirt. He feels great — perfect, even. Better than he did twenty years ago!

“You’re right, Daphne, you’re going somewhere,” he says, advancing on her in a menacing manner, “but you’re not going to the police.” This is a classic example of voter suppression.

So this is where we are, you and me and Daphne, in late October 2020: struggling with our bonds and desperate to break free, as a supervillain narrates every crazy thought that goes through his head.

“Why did you kill Edith?” Daphne gasps. She still thinks there are logical answers to questions like that.

“Because she was rotten,” explains Gabriel, securing her to the chair. “No one deserved to die more than Edith did.” Everything with him is always the most of anything.

What he means is that Edith was disloyal to him, because she wouldn’t investigate everyone that he wanted investigated, or distribute Russian intel talking points. Ultimately, everyone is disloyal to Gabriel one way or another, because they dare to imagine that their own lives or careers or consciences are more important than whatever it’s convenient for him to believe at the moment. Everyone who works for him ends up degraded and humiliated and ultimately discarded, and the only thing that’s important is his own pathetic, fragile ego, and his personal hold on the levers of power. Everything that he touches dies, and all we can do is hope that he won’t poison our nation any more than he already has.

Gabriel, I mean. I’m still talking about Gabriel.

“And I killed Randall Drew, too!” he blabbers. He’s always saying the quiet part out loud. “I think it’s quite all right that you know everything now. It was all part of my plan, to get rid of Quentin… and it worked!”

So he’s monologuing now, actually monologuing like a Bond villain, explaining everything to the helpless captive who’s supposed to admire how clever he is.

Every day, he’s gathering thousands of people together, in tightly-packed cheering crowds who don’t wear masks or think very clearly, spreading the disease and carrying it home to their families, both medically and metaphorically. He delivers hour-long monologues, where he talks about how great he is, and how sinister and underhanded his enemies are, and they applaud, and he believes that every crowd is a significant enough fraction of everybody to make him feel good, for a little while. Then they tell him about the latest polls, which must be wrong, because — all those people at the rally!

“You actually thought you would become master of Collinwood?” Daphne spits.

“Well, I didn’t think it would be Gerard,” he admits. “I tried to dispose of him, too, but he seems to have had more lives than a cat.” In other words, can you believe that I’m losing to the worst candidate in the history of politics?

“However, his time will come,” vows Gabriel. “I’m going to see to that.”

“What do you mean?” Daphne cries, and then he just goes ahead and tells her the entire plan.

The really remarkable thing about this clown’s nutty monologues is that he thinks he’s speaking in a language that smart people can’t hear. He’s spent weeks giving us all step-by-step instructions for how he’s going to steal the election. He’ll start by slowing down the postal system, so that mail-in votes aren’t delivered by election day. Then he’ll demand a final result by the end of election day, before all of the mail-in votes are counted. Then he’s going to claim that the mail-in votes are fraudulent, because they were mailed out to all citizens. Then he’s going to say that all of the genuine votes for him were dumped in a river. Then he’s going to get his attorney general to seize uncounted ballots and disrupt the tally, because the other side can’t be trusted to count them properly. And then he’ll say that it’s all rigged, and refuse to abide by the results, and he’ll count on all the conspiracy-theory nutcases to back him up.

And meanwhile, we’re like, dude, why are you telling everybody your stupid plan, months in advance? If you’ve got a master plan to steal the election, then you’re supposed to keep it a secret. That’s how sinister plans work.

So now everybody knows what he’s planning to do, and that’s why you see people lining up for early voting all over the country, and using drop boxes, and making sure that their votes count. Even people who don’t usually vote are coming out to vote against him, because he’s announced that he’s going to cheat, and if there’s one thing that people can’t stand, it’s cheaters. So we’re going to vote, and we’re going to get everybody else to vote, so that he’s defeated in such a landslide that he won’t be able to declare victory and get away with it.

I mean, Gabriel won’t. Obviously. This is a blog post about Gabriel Collins.

“You’re the only one that Gerard is capable of loving,” he says, lurking loudly in the shadows. “You’re his weakness, my dear. And you’re also my bargaining power. Now, Gerard is going to pay everything he owns in the world, just to see you alive, and I’m going to get it! I’m going to be financially independent for the rest of my life! And then I’ll go far away from here, and then I’ll notify Gerard as to where you are.”

And then he’ll get Mexico to pay for it, I guess. That’s usually how these stupid campaign promises work.

So we’re all crystal clear on the concept. Gabriel is going to tell Gerard that he’s got Daphne concealed somewhere, and he’ll kill her unless Gerard gives him everything that he owns in the world. That is the next step of his incredible plan.

When he gets downstairs, Gerard asks if he’s seen Daphne, and he says no, I have no idea where she is. Gerard says maybe I’ll go and see if she’s gone to Rose Cottage, and Gabriel says what a good idea, and Gerard leaves the house. So I guess Gabriel isn’t such a genius deal-maker after all.

Tomorrow: Action in the Afternoon.

Dark Shadows bloopers to watch out for:

When act 1 begins, Daphne is clearly waiting for her cue to start struggling with Gabriel.

Instead of tying a gag on Daphne, Gabriel just stuffs a handkerchief in her mouth.

Gerard tells Gabriel, “I looked over the, all over the house for her, upstairs, all over.” Then he says, “There has nothing been going on, Gabriel, between you — me and your precious little wife.”

Gerard stumbles over his line when he tells Samantha, “The last time I did see her, she — she was in a — in a st — hysterical state.”

When Gabriel tries to open the front door, it bounces off his wheelchair and starts to close in Joanna’s face.

Gerard tells Samantha that he’s heard about Tad’s departure, saying, “I just wanted to know what that was true or not.”

In the basement, when Gabriel says, “Do you know the strange room you talked about?” a shadow moves behind him, across the bed.

Behind the Scenes:

Today’s episode is the first appearance of Stella Young, who’s played by Gaye Edmond. She previously appeared on the show a few months ago, in episode 1131, as the ghost of Harriet Collins, who Angelique summons up to intimidate Daniel. Edmond will play Stella in four episodes total, until 1204.

Her only other screen credit is an episode of the 1969 show N.Y.P.D., and I don’t know a single other thing about her.

Tomorrow: Action in the Afternoon.

Dark Shadows episode guide

— Danny Horn

40 thoughts on “Episode 1188: Don’t Panic

  1. You seem preoccupied by…oh, I dunno, something? Do you need to talk, buddy?

    All kidding aside, I never thought to draw these parallels between Gabriel and He Who Must Not Be Named, but Buddha preserve us, they’re all there. We can only hope that…the aforementioned comes to the same sad! bad! ends that Gabriel does. Bigly.

  2. So Gerard is clever. He’s just bidin’ his time waiting for Gabriel to self-destruct through his own insane plan. Then everything Gerard wants will come his way.

  3. So – if Gerard is possessed by the all powerful, all knowing Judah Zachary, why doesn’t he know Gabriel can walk, that he killed Edith, and that he has Daphne tied up.
    He should also be knowing there’s a parallel time room upstairs – which is a lot more intriguing than anything else going on right now.

    1. Samantha Harris wrote: “So – if Gerard is possessed by the all powerful, all knowing Judah Zachary, why doesn’t he know Gabriel can walk, that he killed Edith, and that he has Daphne tied up.
      He should also be knowing there’s a parallel time room upstairs – which is a lot more intriguing than anything else going on right now.”

      Exactly! In 1995 (and I guess also in 1970), Judard’s ghost could kill just by touching someone (such as Mrs. Johnson, Carolyn, and Prof. Stokes). He was also able to raise zombies to kill Liz and destroy Collinwood in 1970. (And then, I suppose he raized the zombies? “Nice job, now go back to bed!”)

      So yes, he should be all-knowing in 1840. At least Charles Dawson did say that he could still die if Gerard’s body died. But still…

    2. I don’t remember JZ being omniscient, but TBH, I am not sure why he didn’t use his powers more effectively to destroy the Collins (that was his p;lan, right?).

    3. Hell, Judah’s as useless as a Wednesday cliffhanger–warlock, pah. The only witch with powers to speak of is Ang, and she refuses to get out of her own damn way.

    4. Hell, Judah’s always been as useless as a Wednesday cliffhanger–all powerful warlock my buttcheek. Angie’s the only witch with any real power to speak of and she refuses to get out of her own damn way.

  4. I read this blog (which I’ve enjoyed until today) to get away from politcal cheap shots, and the inevitable hate comments that follow. Thanks for the wonderful entertainment you’ve provided me for so long. Unsubscribing now.

    1. The sensitivity of an infant with diaper rash, and a drama queen to boot. Farewell, “John,” good luck as a contestant on “What A Drag” Race.

  5. SOMEBODY is venturing into uncharted territory. Ah, we should long for the simpler days, when we could focus only on our friendly neighborhood bloodsuckers.

  6. Gabriel will be gone soon, but his replacement, Parallel Time Gabriel, is the exact same character. Please, please, let this comment only be about Gabriel.

  7. I am still just entering the 1st parallel time and that’s just in the time band of my watching the show for the first time since 2002 which was the first time I watched it ever except for that brief couple of months in 1969. And I am also in a Time band of watching the show while reading Dark Shadows everyday and in that time band I am just at the beginning of 1795. I mean really Vicky is standing in the woods outside the house and Jeb fell off the cliff and then the last episode in which he played Jeb ended. I looked over to the side and saw that you had written another post and it said don’t panic and I thought maybe I’ll just peek in and see if there is something that I might want to read even though this is not the part of the show that I am looking at it now and it would be spoiler riffic for sure. But I could choose I mean I could sure use something uplifting today. And lo and behold it looks like there might be something uplifting up there that I should read. So I’m going to do that. And if my friend ever comes home from her walk I will probably call her back and read it to her as well because she could use hearing it as much as I can use reading it.

  8. First of all thank you for this

    second, for the person who got annoyed oh, I guess he didn’t read the Leviathan storyline, which I just did and Jeb was very scary and wanted to take over the world. Thankfully back in 1970 that didn’t happen

    Also, I remember back in 2000 Chris and Quentin were competing to see who could win the cover of 16 magazine and one night in November I went home from work and just watched VHS tape all night and then I went back to work the next morning and asked who won and they said we don’t know. And I was surprised. I guess I won’t be surprised this time. But we can always hope.

    To that end, I have signed up for my very own subscription to 16 magazine for the very first time, which is amazing because I’m 61 – honestly I’m not just inverting digits 🙂 – and I never felt the need to subscribe before. Gloria Stavers was always doing a great job with those covers all by herself without any help from me.

    Perhaps I should watch the local news today. Drive-through subscribing starts today in this state.

  9. Thinking about your analogy, does that make Barnabas and Julia, Biden and Kamala Harris? Let’s hope they take over the White House, er Old House, er Collinwood soon!

      1. Other candidates on the ballot:

        Jason McGuire and Willie Loomis.
        Dr. Eric Lang and Adam.
        Burke Devlin and Tony Peterson.
        Angelique Bouchard and Magda Rakosi.
        Garth Blackwood and Leona Eltridge.
        Frank Garner and Buzz Hackett.
        Sheriff Davenport and The Caretaker.

        1. I’d vote for Frank Garner. And also what was the name of the second sheriff? The one played by Dana Elcar? I liked him. He didn’t jump to conclusions even when Roger pushed him

          1. I was thinking Lieutenant Nathan Forbes and Tim Shaw, but your way is just fine. Joe and Chris have a very good “pro-shirt removal” platform, anyway.

        2. Frank and Buzz. That gets my vote! Frank was polite, kind, smart, acted sensibly, and got results. Buzz was the perfect anti-Collins, and he can speak to the youth of today.

          1. Frank Garner was a triumph of the most literal kind of naturalism. He seemed exactly like the kind of guy you’d expect to meet in a law office in a town like Bangor, Maine in 1966. Since the post evokes the 2020 presidential election, I suppose we can reflect on the fact that the winner of that election spent 1966 as a young lawyer in Wilmington, Delaware.

  10. Another brilliant post. I’m always astounded by these mash-up (for lack of a better word) type posts. Thanks for another entertaining read.

  11. I mean, Gabriel won’t. Obviously. This is a blog post about Gabriel Collins.

    It never ceases to amaze me, Danny, that you can take a going-nowhere, campy soap opera and bring out something worth listening to! You pull it off so effectively that we have learned things while covering pseudo plots.

  12. I’ve just returned to 1968 from 1795. This blog and all the comments have provided such a fun enhancement to my experience of viewing these episodes for the first time since I was 10 years old that I just had to jump ahead in time (both DS time and blog time) to see the latest entry and …

    Orange Man Bad. What a disappointment. Sharp and cleverly conceived, written, and presented, as always, and certainly a lot smarter than the average Evil Drumpfler screed, but I so value every little oasis I have from all of that these days and now it’s here, too.

    It’s your blog and absolutely your right to present whatever content you choose to create in whatever way you wish. No question about that. And I’m not gonna make any dramatic statements about never returning here again, because in every other case I’ve seen you’ve done such a beautiful job with this material.

    But yeah, I find this entry disappointing as someone who just wants to enjoy the unique gift you’ve provided of giving me such wise and entertaining company (in the form of both yourself and all the other wonderful commenters) on my trip back through time to a much more innocent, wide-eyed, and forever gone period in my life.

  13. “Instead of tying a gag on Daphne, Gabriel just stuffs a handkerchief in her mouth.”

    It’s obvious he had trouble tying it, so he just left it around her head. I think he may have hoped the camera wouldn’t catch it. However she had to act like she was struggling to untie herself. When she did, the handkerchief fell in front of her. The funny thing is she’d held it with her teeth. The handkerchief continued to hang from her mouth for awhile until (I guess) she realized how silly it must have looked. At that point, she let it drop!

    That and Gabriel’s confession were the funniest things in the episode.

    btw I’m all for keeping current political events and leanings out of these reviews. I only came upon this site earlier this year. I found nearly all of the reviews were rather timeless. Many of the comments are separated by years, yet it’s difficult to know that without looking at the date/time stamp. Once comments about current events are added, the date becomes intrusive. Now one has to try to understand what was going on that specific date to understand the context of the statement. I think it’s nice to learn about direct influences on the show itself from then-current events of the 1960s and 1970s, but today’s events don’t have a bearing on the show at all.

  14. It’s not just “Dark Shadows.” Other programs use the gag gag quite a bit as well, and it always amuses me. The heroes and heroines struggle and squirm but never simply push the untied gag out with their tongues. Guess it’s a union thing.

    The other thing that strikes me as funny in this episode is when Gabriel comes upon the PT room, and rather than duck out of sight to avoid being seen on two feet, he screams at Flora to answer him. Psychosis is a wonderful thing.

  15. Yawn. Oh brother…. You (Danny) jumped the shark awhile ago. You should have ceased doing this blog. It been obvious that it’s a chore and you’ve descended into your own personal anxiety ridden disdain PT, right along with the path DS was on. Pity. Most would have had the good sense to leave on a high note.

  16. Parallel time basically means that every poor female at Collinwood gets to be abducted and tied up not just once, but in several alternate time-bands as well. On top of that, they get to be tied up INEPTLY. For Pete’s sake, all Daphne has to do to get out of that chair is to stand up.

  17. Someday future historians may look back on this blog entry and wonder if Danny had some sort of crystal ball or maybe a stairway through time, because the events he described turned out exactly as he predicted. But no, it really was that “Gabriel” spent weeks giving us all step-by-step instructions for how he was going to (try to) steal the election.

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