Tag Archives: convenient rooster

Episode 787: The Dog Pound

“I don’t think that two supernatural creatures appearing simultaneously at Collinwood could be just a coincidence.”

A metaphor for masculine hunger and violence is loose in the dark forest, a bottomless appetite for carnal destruction preying on the weak. Faced with this upsetting symbolic rejection of civilized cultural norms, Collinsport Animal Control sets up a traffic stop and hopes for the best.

And now we’ve got a new kind of juvenile in detention, a crossbreed nightmare on two legs dressed in grown-up clothes, snarling and clawing at anyone foolish enough to approach its cage. So here’s my question: How do you think they got him out of the bear trap and into a jail cell?

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Episode 780: The Establishment Vampire

“I’m always with fear, Barnabas, but we don’t have time to think about that.”

Okay, I get that it’s a rough way to wake up. It’s dusk, and Barnabas gets up out of his coffin, and the door to the secret room in the mausoleum is wide open. Someone’s been sneaking around his coffin, and obviously that’s an unpleasant surprise.

But then Quentin appears at the door, which is pretty much the best case scenario. If somebody’s going to suddenly appear in your bedroom, then it ought to be Quentin Collins, right? You can’t improve on that.

And this is how out of control things have become for Barnabas: he opens his mouth and bares his fangs. Dude, seriously. What are you planning to do? Put that back in your mouth, and try, for the first time in your long and ridiculous life, to be a grownup.

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Episode 741: Lunch Date with Destiny

“What if he found out what I believe to be the truth?”

Barnabas and Sandor are on the trail of Laura Collins, a renewable resource who has spent the last several centuries marrying into the Collins family, having a kid or two, bursting into flames, and then coming back a hundred years later and doing it all over again. It seems like a fairly pointless lifestyle, but maybe there’s a tax break or something.

In the last episode, Barnabas and Sandor broke into the crypt of Laura Stockbridge Collins, a previous incarnation, and discovered that her coffin was empty. This was kind of a wet slap of a Friday cliffhanger, because it tells us nothing and goes nowhere.

Now Barnabas and Sandor are standing around, trying to figure out why there’s no body in the casket. It doesn’t seem to occur to them that there’s nothing there because she died in a fire. You know, I think it’s time they try branching out from grave-robbing as an investigation tool. Honestly, every time with these people.

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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.

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Episode 571: Raising the Stakes

“Did someone ever look at me, as I now look at you? No… or I would not be alive now.”

We open the week with a fight to the death between the already-dead, as ex-vampire Barnabas Collins battles with still-vampire Tom Jennings, in order to free Barnabas’ best friend, Julia, from Tom’s hypnotic spell.

It’s a crucial step in Barnabas’ development from villain to hero, a Jungian transformation of the psyche. Barnabas is both prince and dragon here — wrestling with his own demons, confronting and rejecting the darkness in his own soul. It’s also one of the goofiest things you’ll ever see on television.

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Episode 417: Too Soon

“What if last night happens all over again?”

Today’s episode begins with a reprise of yesterday’s strange anti-cliffhanger, where the psychotic monster who’s been terrorizing the people of Collinsport for the last nine months talks his best friend into driving a stake through his heart.

“No matter what you are, no matter what you done,” Ben tells the vampire, “you’ve been my friend.”

“Think of it this way, Ben,” Barnabas says. “You’ll be performing an act of friendship. My destruction will be the only way to save me, my only salvation.”

Barnabas also tells Ben to make sure he helps Vicki escape from jail. After that, Ben should take some money and start a new life, somewhere far away from here.

Ben says he’ll never forget Barnabas, and Barnabas adds, “If you do remember me — remember what was good about me, as I hope others will.”

And oh my god, can you stop micromanaging this whole experience? I’ve never seen someone backseat driving their own suicide like this.

Continue reading Episode 417: Too Soon

Episode 312: Search Party

“Be quiet, you fool!”

I know it’s not politically correct to say it, but this is why you can’t trust vampires.

Hysterical governess Victoria Winters is out on the terrace, terribly concerned that her young charge, David, has wandered off into the night. Barnabas stops by, and she pours out all of her fears and anxieties. She begins to sob, and he comforts her, holding her close and making soothing sounds.

And then, apparently, he decides to just go ahead and rip a new hole in her neck. For the last several weeks, he’s been carefully positioning himself as a trusted friend and advisor, setting up the early stages of a long-term seduction plan. This moment is an uncharacteristic lapse, a gentleman jewel thief about to smash a piggy bank.

But what the hell, he must be thinking. You only live once, approximately.

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Episode 296: United Stakes

“Is this really happening, or am I imagining it?”

We’re not good people, I think is the main thing. Every few years, somebody notices that there are a lot of popular TV shows where the protagonist isn’t a very nice person. The current list includes Don Draper, Walter White, Dexter Morgan, Jax Teller and assorted Bluths. In earlier days, it was Tony Soprano, Amanda Woodward, Bart Simpson, J.R. Ewing and Basil Fawlty, in a fictional rogues’ gallery that stretches all the way back to Falstaff and Tom Jones. (From the Henry Fielding novel, not the guy who sang “What’s New Pussycat”. Well, maybe him too.)

The disturbing thing — or, at least, the thing that disturbs people who are disturbed by things like this — is that after a while, you find yourself rooting for the bad guy. You want them to evade the police, to get away with murder, to swindle and seduce and blackmail and crush the opposition.

So, apparently, we’re not good people, at least as far as our television loyalties go. There’s a very short list of things that a fictional character can do that would make the audience actually turn against them. The only ones that I can think of are hurting a young child, or being cruel to cute and/or endangered animals.

Amazingly, in the female-focused world of the soap opera, a popular protagonist can even bounce back from committing rape, as fans of General Hospital’s Luke Spencer and One Life to Live’s Todd Manning know. That also applies to fantasy-metaphor rape, see also: Angel and Spike and Eric Northman and Damon Salvatore and every other sexy vampire in fiction.

Which brings us to Maggie Evans, who was fantasy-metaphor raped in a fairly comprehensive way, and now we’re rooting for the monsters who are trying to conceal their crimes.

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Episode 222: Whom It Was

“Hello, Miss Evans. The expression on your face is one of surprise.”

It’s evening at the Evans’ house, and it’s time for more acting. We hear running feet, and then Maggie comes through the front door, panting. She locks the door behind her, and then looks around the room. She takes a few careful steps forward, breathing heavily, and turns on a lamp. Then she looks back over her shoulder at the locked door.

Now, I’ve seen people acting before, and in my opinion, what Maggie is trying to express is that she’s afraid of something outside.

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