Category Archives: November 1968

Episode 624: Lost and Foundling

“I have no control over human emotions.”

A year and a half ago, I wrote an entry called “The Last Normal Day“, about the end of the final non-supernatural storyline. Liz and Carolyn talked about how Jason had been blackmailing Liz, and they agreed to never let anything come between them again. And then Jason went off and got killed by a vampire, which pretty much put a period at the end of that sentence, and since then it’s been wall-to-wall crazy.

But here we are again, with Liz and another daughter (kind of), pretending that they’re having a normal soap opera wedding.

Continue reading Episode 624: Lost and Foundling

Episode 623: This Is Happening

“All we know is, she was hanged. But whether she died or not is something everyone in Collinsport is still wondering about.”

Gosh. So much to cover, and I can’t explain any of it. The Great 1968 Wrap-Up is in full swing, and I don’t have the energy to take care of bystanders today. If you aren’t completely up to date on the ins and outs of the spine-tingling nonsense they’re passing off as a storyline these days, then there is honestly very little that I can say that would help.

If you’re super brand new to the blog, then you might be better off reading yesterday’s post. Wait, sorry — yesterday’s was even goofier than today’s. I don’t know, there’s a lot of posts to read. Pick a number between 210 and 623. Okay, now put it back in the deck. Was it 497? Damn it! I suck at card tricks.

Continue reading Episode 623: This Is Happening

Episode 620: Sets and Violence

“Every day, he becomes more like a mortal man… and no mortal man can spoil my plans.”

Barnabas Collins, drained of blood and low on get-up-and-go, has fallen to the earth. His ex-wife Angelique has been all up in his neck recently, and he’s got to get away before she turns him into the living dead for like the third time in a row. So we’re in the middle of a tense low-speed chase through the woods, as he tries to drag himself to safety before the sun sets.

Girl governess Victoria Winters finds him, because they suddenly have some kind of deep mental bond, and why not? Vicki’s standard emergency protocol kicks in, which means that she parks herself eight inches away from the patient and hollers reassuringly at him.

“I have to get you to Collinwood, and then we’ll find Julia!” she cries, but he insists that won’t help.

He moans, “I want you to take me someplace where no one will find me,” and guess where that turns out to be.

She says, “There’s a secret door to the west wing of Collinwood, which no one’s used for years!” And, for Pete’s sake, didn’t he just say that they shouldn’t go to Collinwood? This television show may need to invest in a few more locations. You can’t keep treating the west wing of Collinwood like it’s Mexico.

Continue reading Episode 620: Sets and Violence

Episode 619: The Gunslinger

“No matter how dangerous it is, I’ve got to have a showdown with Nicholas Blair.”

Really, the thing that everybody wants to know is: why can’t the Stormtroopers shoot straight in Star Wars? It turns out there are three simple answers.

#1. Stormtroopers shooting laser bolts are more interesting to look at than Stormtroopers who stand around complaining.

#2. Shooting Luke Skywalker in the head halfway through the first movie is going to leave a rather obvious gap in the trilogy.

#3. “Strong Guy Kills Weak Guy” is not headline news.

This ends the lit-crit theory portion of today’s post; we will now spend the rest of our time watching Dr. Julia Hoffman act like an unbelievable badass.

Continue reading Episode 619: The Gunslinger

Episode 618: Stop Trying

“I hope I disappoint you, and die before dawn.”

Barnabas Collins looks around, and tries to focus.

“Where have you brought me?” he moans. “What is this place?”

His wife, Angelique, drifts to his side.

“You’re near the sea,” she says. “Far away from anyone who may want to find you.”

Unimpressed, he surveys the room, clearly thinking: Near the sea? Dude, we live in Maine. Everything here is near the sea.

Continue reading Episode 618: Stop Trying

Episode 617: Roger to the Rescue

“I was just having one of my moments of inexplicable hysteria.”

Here’s what the world sounds like before Roger shows up:

“I don’t understand you, Jeff, really I don’t!” says girl governess Victoria Winters, starting off the episode inexplicably petulant.

Jeff flashes a casual grin. “Well, I don’t know what could be plainer. I think we should get married next month, at the latest.”

“You know what I mean,” she frowns, and he doesn’t, and neither do I.

How exactly could you get yourself into this particular conversational logjam? Jeff comes bounding in, all smiles, and she’s just staring daggers at him. Jeff says, Hello, Vicki! So happy to see you. He gives her a kiss. She glowers at him. He says, Guess what I’ve been thinking about. She sighs and frowns. He persists: I think we should get married next month, what do you say?

And that, apparently, is where we came in. I can’t really picture it. It’s possible that I’m over-thinking this.

Continue reading Episode 617: Roger to the Rescue

Episode 616: The Great 1968 Wrap-Up

“I said you were my friend, and how I wish that were the truth. But I am past the point when friends are possible.”

Signs that your life may not be going the way that you hoped: You walk into your best friend’s house, and you find him moaning in an armchair. You reach out to touch his collar, and you see bite marks on his neck, and the only thing that you can say is, Oh, man. Not this again.

Barnabas Collins has been chewed on by his ex-wife, vampire soap vixen Angelique, and now his friends Julia and Willie have to figure out what to do about it. They stand around the scene of the crime and spitball ideas for a minute — they want to hide Barnabas someplace, but the next time the vampire summons him, he’ll go. They need to store him someplace safe, where she can’t get at him. But where?

Then Julia says, “Downstairs, Willie — the cell!” like that’s suddenly the greatest idea ever. So they hoist Barnabas to his feet, wrangle him downstairs to the basement, and lock him up in the dungeon cell, because today’s episode was written by Ron Sproat, and he never does anything else. God damn it, Sproat!

Continue reading Episode 616: The Great 1968 Wrap-Up

Episode 615: The Truth About Cats and Dogs

“What difference does it make who catches the vampire?”

Hey, look who’s come over for a social call — it’s Sheriff George Patterson, the three-time winner for Least Effective Police Officer in the Dramatic Arts. In the two years that he’s been on Dark Shadows, Collinsport has grown from a gloomy little seaside town into a nightmarish hellscape ruled by demonic mob bosses, who never get prosecuted or even questioned very hard. We’re not going to see another law enforcement losing streak like this until the Pink Panther movies in the mid-70s, and even Inspector Clouseau managed to catch the bad guy once in a while.

As we’ve seen this week, there’s been a massive conspiracy to kill that nice young Joe Haskell, with four characters directly involved in a plot to poison his medicine. Furious, he decided to take the law into his own hands, and there’s an eyewitness alleging that she watched Joe strangle Barnabas Collins while he was innocently napping in an armchair.

Joe is not technically in custody at the moment, because he’s in the hospital, recuperating. But he never gets booked, and nobody else in the crime syndicate does either. Sheriff George Patterson lives in the law-breakiest town in the world, and he never even makes a goddamn arrest.

Continue reading Episode 615: The Truth About Cats and Dogs