“The spirits don’t care. They don’t care, they just want a sacrifice!”
The portal is open; the dark work is complete.
There is a haunted chamber in this mansion, made of hurt feelings and eternity, and it demands to be fed. At least once in each generation, the Collins family chooses the relative that they like the least — they say it’s a random lottery, but guess who gets chosen every time, go figure — and they throw that irritating uncle to whatever happens in this room after dark. Nobody knows what ordeal these luckless loners undergo, while they inhabit this solitary torture cell.
“Look at his eyes, filled with fear,” says Flora Collins, shuddering. “Yet now, this room is like any other room!” Sure, except that it sucks.
Continue reading Episode 1215: The Not Gabriel
“Then we shall simply have to change the course of history, and find him.”
Let’s face it: 1840 has been letting us down on the visual spectacle. There used to be a monster in this storyline, split into two parts: the Head glowering in a glass case, and the Body roaming the woods like a murderous pantomime horse. There used to be vampires, feeding on the blood of the innocent. There used to be a guy in a wheelchair, which isn’t a monster but at least it’s something to look at. Now the only monster is a smooth-talking warlock, who rigs court cases, and casts spells that make governesses fall asleep.
These days, the show is dominated by people wearing old-fashioned clothes, gossiping with each other about who’s responsible for what. Oh, what I wouldn’t give to have a zombie, or a skeleton, or even a severed hand flying around the room. Think back: isn’t everything better when there’s a mischievous, floating severed hand?
Continue reading Episode 1177: The Unfinished Dream
“We’ll have to use trickery, or force!”
“I think it would be appropriate that we seal our agreement with a drink,” says Barnabas, which is the sneaky code that fictional people use for I am about to poison you.
So he goes into the back room of the antiques shop, which has no functional furniture except for a flat surface that’s holding a decanter and two glasses. This is the alcoholic equivalent of the radio on Gilligan’s Island that only has news reports about Gilligan’s island related material.
Barnabas pours out two glasses of whatever liquid that happens to be, and then adds a generous measure of deadly nightshade that he’s carrying around in an inside pocket for just such an occasion.
Stepping back out into the open air, Barnabas hands the poisoned drink to Jeb Hawkes, the negasonic teenage warhead currently threatening everything that he holds dear. Jeb proposes a sinister toast and raises the glass to his lips, and then we go to the opening titles.
When we come back, Jeb gulps down the poison and says mmmm, yummy, and he doesn’t die or get sick or even notice that anything’s amiss, and everyone just forgets about it, because Jeb is the new hotness and shut up.
Continue reading Episode 940: Those Whom the Gods Would Destroy, They First Give an Ascot
“I already know how and where. What I want to know most of all is when.”
That — creature! I’ve never seen anything like it. It’s a vicious animal — but it wears clothes, like a man! It also runs like a man, wears shoes like a man, and uses doorknobs like a man. Somebody get me a man, so I can double-check. Get one for yourself too, if you want one. I mean, as long as you’re out.
Continue reading Episode 765: Rabbit Season
“If we fail, well… then we must go through with it anyway.”
Yesterday, in my round-up of the Collinsport fashion scene, I neglected to mention the one guy on Dark Shadows who’s been breaking all the wardrobe rules — Adam, the patchwork Frankenstein.
Last week, mad scientist and artisanal monster enthusiast Dr. Eric Lang tried to bring his creation to life, squeezing Barnabas’ life force out of his vampire-cursed body, and using it to jump-start the new guy.
In a town with a mandatory “ties or turtlenecks” rule, Adam has brazenly flouted convention, clearly going full commando under his sheet. This bold sartorial statement has made him an eye-catching addition to the landscape, but it was also kind of a clue that he wasn’t planning to get up off the table until somebody found him something in extra-extra-large.
But in this episode — as Julia and Barnabas prepare to give the experiment one more try — Adam’s sheet is pulled all the way up to his chin, which means that he might have some clothes on under there. I think this might be the day we actually get this dude up onto his feet.
Continue reading Episode 490: What to Expect When You’re Expecting
“I’ve often thought it’s very sad that we live in two worlds that are so far apart in time from each other.”
Last night, assistant jailer and aspiring lawyer Peter Bradford sprung accused witch Victoria Winters from the Collinsport Gaol, so she could break into somebody’s house and steal a key piece of evidence in her case. Then he lied to opposing counsel about it, and indicated that he would perjure himself on the stand if required.
This morning, he feels bad about lying, so he’s planning to go to Reverend Trask and apologize.
I think it’s time for somebody to communicate to young Peter that he should stop coming up with new ideas, possibly through the medium of a prison sentence.
Continue reading Episode 413: The New Black
“When that time comes, and it will be very soon, my dear Josette will come to me quite willingly.”
Burke Devlin is dead. We might as well get that out of the way.
We’re about four seconds into the episode, and a breathless Mrs. Johnson runs into the drawing room to tell Elizabeth, “I just heard a report on the radio. They said Mr. Devlin’s plane went down over the Amazon.” Apparently, Mrs. Johnson listens to the Top 40 plot-point station from Gilligan’s Island, and the drive-time news roundup covers South American business-class mishaps.
They can’t find the body, so if you’re familiar with soap opera narrative tropes, you know exactly what happens next: Vicki and Barnabas are at the altar, and the justice of the peace says, “Should anyone present know of any reason –”
Then the doors swing open, and there’s Burke Devlin — shaggy hair, unkempt beard, torn clothing, deep tan, possibly accompanied by a macaque. He’s just in time to stop the wedding, and reclaim the woman that he stayed alive for.
So, to be clear: Not gonna happen. Burke’s dead, he never comes back, and you can feel free to forget that he ever existed.
Continue reading Episode 345: Rest in Pieces