“I just want to get out of this room! I’ll go insane if I have to stay in here any longer.”
Let’s look into the future, just for a moment. We’ll jump ahead to June 1968, one year after today’s episode aired.
In episode 515, Barnabas has been chained up in the Old House basement, and trapped behind a brick wall. His friends, Julia and Willie, are looking for him, and the audience is on edge, hoping that they can find him in time.
I’m bringing this up to demonstrate the unbelievable 180-degree turn that happens over the next twelve months of Dark Shadows. By summer 1968, Barnabas Collins will be the show’s romantic hero, the brave protector battling the supernatural horrors that threaten his family.
But that’s a year from now. At the moment, Barnabas is completely batshit insane.
Continue reading Episode 255: Job Interview with the Vampire
“That guy looks like about as much fun as a bag full of spiders.”
Carolyn’s been acting out this week, punishing her mother for getting engaged to Jason.
But Carolyn’s rebellion is PG-rated at best, especially for 1967. The sum total of her transgressions are that she’s dating a guy who wears a black leather jacket, and they go for motorcycle rides. Buzz only drinks beer, and he doesn’t even like it very much. There’s no sex, no drugs, and only the loosest association to rock ‘n roll.
Continue reading Episode 254: The Summer of Love
“Why are you so frightened of me? It’s I who should be frightened of you.”
Well, Maggie’s still being held captive in her prison cell in the Old House basement, and she’s finally changed out of the wedding dress. Her new look is a lot more subdued, just some shapeless dark robe.
So that goes straight to the top of my list of Scenes I Wish We’d Gotten to See — Maggie changing her clothes in the cell. Do you think Willie brought her the robe, and asked her to return the wedding dress? Did he have to remind her to give back the diamond necklace? That must have been one of the Great Awkward Moments in History.
Continue reading Episode 253: Alive and Someplace
“I don’t have to think about you. I know we swing, and that’s all I have to know.”
This week, we’re going to alternate back and forth between vampire episodes and blackmail episodes. That means that the cliffhangers can’t really be that compelling — if I can wait two days before I see the resolution, then I’m probably not that worried.
On the positive side, this schedule accentuates the contrast between the interesting ghoulish-madman story and the dull 18-years-ago-murder story, and challenges the writers to up their game on the Collinwood side. And today, they deliver. Let’s meet the new man in Carolyn’s life.
Continue reading Episode 252: How to Ruin Your Life
“He was going to turn me into something inhuman!”
Friday’s cliffhanger was kind of a game changer — Maggie broke free from the hypnotic trance she’d been in, and tried to drive a stake into the vampire’s heart. But it was too late; he woke up.
Now Maggie’s standing there with a stake in her hand, and what are you going to say at that point? I think you might have dropped this, I was just giving it back? It’s not easy to pull that off.
Continue reading Episode 251: Close to Killing You
“She was here for a while, but now she’s gone forever.”
Hey, is anybody sick of Maggie just floating around the Old House, telling everyone that she’s Josette Collins?
Well, guess what: so is Maggie. That ends right now.
Continue reading Episode 250: Exit Strategy
“This is what you wanted, and you’re having it.”
Okay, you remember when Carolyn decided that she was going to get the key to the locked room in the basement? Well, that was exactly four weeks ago, and since then the story has not progressed a single step.
We’re going to learn a lot about suspense today. Specifically, we’re going to learn how to not generate it.
Continue reading Episode 249: That Room with Those Things
“Every time something happens around here, there’s always a dog hanging around!”
Previously, on Dark Shadows: Huge awesome surprise cliffhanger, with the kidnapped and mostly-hypnotized Maggie sneaking out of the Old House, and showing up right outside her father’s window.
Today, the still-surprising but mostly-confusing resolution: All of a sudden, Maggie is wandering around in the Eagle Hill cemetery. Which means they’re really just making this up as they go along, just like Lost and The Hunger Games.
Continue reading Episode 248: Damsel in This Dress
“No, I can’t be Josette Collins. I’m someone else.”
It’s been two months since we were introduced to Barnabas Collins, and we’ve gotten to know a lot about him, including his hobbies, his diet and his refreshingly straightforward approach to dating.
But you can’t say that you really know a guy until you’ve seen the dungeon in his basement. That’s gonna happen today.
Continue reading Episode 247: I’m Someone Else
“Well, I’ve got some news for you. Either your mother has taken leave of her senses, or I have.”
Well, we should’ve seen it coming. On Friday, we had too much fun with the vampire, switching blood slides and generally getting up to mischief, so today we’re back in detention with Liz and Jason.
Continue reading Episode 246: Family Planning