Episode 1236: Infrequently Asked Questions About the Collins Family Curse

“It’s not difficult to die! Did you know that?”

#1: Why is it still happening? Brutus Collins, invoking the curse in 1680 after murdering two family members and his best friend, said: “It shall not end, until that time that someone spends a night in this spot, and survives with his sanity!” Well, Morgan spent a night on that spot three weeks ago, and he’s alive and sane, judging by the local standards for sanity. He’s currently parked on the sofa, drinking his morning tea. That means the curse is over, it’s been over for weeks, it wasn’t that big of a deal in the first place, and nobody has to listen to Brutus Collins anymore.

Continue reading Episode 1236: Infrequently Asked Questions About the Collins Family Curse

Episode 1234: Last Call

“I see a room, with a coffin and a woman!”

“Something’s happening!” says Carrie.

“I can see it!” says Pansy.

“The vibrations — very strong vibrations!” says Carrie.

“Where the music’s coming from, I can see it!” says Pansy.

“An image is beginning to form!” says Carrie.

“There ain’t no doors in my mind, honey!” says Wanda.

Continue reading Episode 1234: Last Call

Episode 1233: You Make Me Sick

“That may be true, but I have an odd feeling it isn’t.”

Previously, on Dark Shadows:

“Every minute you live is mine,” Bramwell urges, “just as every breath I take is yours! There is no Morgan. There never was! Other people are only shadows that we use to hurt each other with, to frighten each other with! That’s true, isn’t it?”

“Morgan did it for me!” Catherine cries. “He went into that room for me!”

“You and I are the only real ones,” he insists. “You and I!”

It turned out Bramwell’s wife Daphne was hiding in the bushes during this exchange, drinking in every word, and as she lies now on her deathbed, irreparably poisoned by his toxic disregard for other people’s feelings, Bramwell has to wonder, Is there anything that I could have done differently?

Continue reading Episode 1233: You Make Me Sick

Episode 1232: My Coffin World

“Absurd! Ha ha ha! Children’s chatter!”

Thanks to the flashback in yesterday’s episode, the Collins family of 1841 Parallel Time now knows that the terrible curse under which they live was invented by their terrible ancestor Brutus, who was mad at his wife and a guy that he worked with, who he killed and then was still pretty mad at.

Question: How does this information help the story progress forward? Answer: It does not do that at all.

Continue reading Episode 1232: My Coffin World

Episode 1231: The Curse of Collinwood, or How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying

“Knowing about your strange preoccupation with the occult, nothing would surprise me. I can imagine you using some strange powders and potions, and doing strange chants to do anything you want.”

It must be a curse, obviously, from way back in the past, some asshole in a previous generation who screwed this up for you. I wonder what they did. It must have been pretty damn bad, because you are a mess, and there is no other way to explain it.

Continue reading Episode 1231: The Curse of Collinwood, or How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying

Episode 1230: Mortal Engines

“I’m thinking that the spirit of James Forsythe has gradually retrogressed.”

One-time parallel pop idol Quentin Collins manhandles his older brother Morgan into a bedroom at gunpoint, an eventuality which under other circumstances could be the starting point for an intriguing afternoon.

Morgan Collins, currently a wholly-owned subsidiary of 1680 power-broker James Forsythe, was found throttling his aunt Julia with a garotte under the impression that she’s Constance Collins, also of 1680, which she clearly isn’t, so I’m not sure where he got the idea. Morgan was stymied, but he plans to try again, and he’s going to keep on trying until he runs out of aunts.

So Quentin locks Morgan in the bedroom, with a pair of armed servants guarding the room, one in the hall and the other outside the window. This is how the Collins family of 1841 Parallel Time deals with civil unrest; they’ve also got brother Gabriel locked up in the tower room for exactly the same reason.

Morgan pounds on the door fiercely, with both fists. “Let me out of here!” he shouts. “Do you hear me? I’m going to get out somehow, and when I do, I’m going to kill you! I’m going to kill every Collins I can get my hands on! Do you hear me?” They do, but they don’t find his argument compelling. They’re already aware that he wants to kill them; that’s why they’re locking him up in the first place. This is not going to go over well at his pre-trial detention hearing.

So now there are two people whose response to this storyline is to become a crazed, ranting lunatic with violent tendencies, and neither of them is me, which is a miracle.

Continue reading Episode 1230: Mortal Engines

Episode 1229: Catherine the Not-So-Great

“Sleeping is not one of the safest things you can do in this house.”

When you think about it, isn’t there a fine line between passion and obsession? Isn’t true love a kind of madness, in which nothing else really matters beyond your shared feelings?

“Morgan went into that room to save me!” Catherine cries. “That’s why I must stay here and help him, even if it takes the rest of my life!”

Bramwell glowers at her. “You’re remarkably generous with the rest of your life, considering it belongs to me!”

She turns away, her mind a whirl.

“Every minute you live is mine,” Bramwell urges, “just as every breath I take is yours! There is no Morgan. There never was! Other people are only shadows that we use to hurt each other with, to frighten each other with! That’s true, isn’t it?”

“Morgan did it for me!” Catherine cries. “He went into that room for me!”

“You and I are the only real ones,” he insists. “You and I!”

So the answer is no, there isn’t a fine line between passion and obsession, true love is not a kind of madness, and these people are psychopaths.

Continue reading Episode 1229: Catherine the Not-So-Great

Episode 1228: The Unlovables

“No, I couldn’t have, but she could have — that demon inside me, she could have, and she did!”

“I don’t know how to bring my son back,” declares Flora Collins, “except to wait.”

Her daughter-in-law Catherine looks at her in surprise. “Wait? Wait for what?

“I don’t know.”

“And how much longer must we wait?”

“I don’t know that either.”

So if you’re looking for a way to sum up what’s happening on Dark Shadows these days in ten seconds, then that little excerpt from Waiting for Godot ought to do nicely.

Continue reading Episode 1228: The Unlovables