“Something kept you from disobeying the book!”
So we’re killing Julia again, apparently, that’s still a thing that people on Dark Shadows say they’re going to do.
David and Elizabeth are going over their secret evil world domination plans, and they’re doing it in a hallway, for some reason. “Barnabas asked me to remind you,” David says, “that Julia Hoffman is your responsibility.” David is thirteen years old.
She tenses up. David asks, “What are you going to do about her?” and Liz takes a moment to think. Then she says, “KILL her!”
That’s the right answer, so she gets a big closeup and a dramatic sting, followed by the opening titles. That’s how you know that your staff meeting is a success.
Continue reading Episode 918: Too Big to Fail
“You can’t let sentimentality make you careless!”
For the last six weeks, Barnabas Collins has been behaving oddly, even by eccentric millionaire standards. He’s been freezing out his friends, and striking them with cars. He’s revoked his Murder Club membership by warning his family that werewolves are dangerous. He’s appeared unbidden in other people’s dreams, and he’s arranged for the remote involuntary circling of dates on calendars.
But we finally have an explanation for everything. He was being sarcastic!
Continue reading Episode 915: The Walkback
“I am the keeper of the book, and the protector of the baby.”
Sitting alone in his hotel room, waiting for his daughter to call, itinerant sperm donor and faux-father Paul Stoddard finds his attention drawn to a calendar hanging on the wall. Then he finds his hand drawn to a pen lying on the desk. Then a circle finds itself drawn around December the 4th.
As the pen falls from his nerveless hand, Paul says to himself, “What made me do that? December 4th! What does it mean?”
What it means, I’m sorry to say, is that the pen is yet another convert of the bewildering demonic cross-time conspiracy that’s currently wreaking havoc in the Collinsport small business community. We knew about the antique shop, of course, and I’ve long had my suspicions of the local Orbach’s, but I thought at least they’d have the decency to leave the school supplies out of this. Those monsters!
Continue reading Episode 898: Executive Child
“You oughtn’t to go, until you take something more to them than what you’re taking now.”
They opened the box, and read the scroll, and lost the book, and had the dream. And now they have a baby, which is not how it works.
Continue reading Episode 894/895: Love of Chair
“The sealed room — that’s my room! And the skeleton is my skeleton!”
There’s a special guest star on the blog today: eccentric millionaire Stephen Robinson, a long-time reader and commenter who I wanted to hang out with and watch Dark Shadows.
Danny: Hello, Stephen! I’m speaking with you through my time television, which is built into a cupboard that I wasn’t using anyway.
Stephen: Hello! It’s great to talk to you.
Danny: You too! Now, I have to warn you that this may actually show you a vision of your own death.
Stephen: But probably not.
Danny: Yeah, most of the time it’s okay.
Continue reading Episode 828: It’s My Skeleton
“Perhaps I have an innate fondness for gypsies who’ve fallen by hard times.”
Frankly, it’s dawn; it was dawn four scenes ago. But Barnabas saunters downstairs to the basement, where Magda is tapping her foot and shooting meaningful glances at her wristwatch. Then he takes the time to give her a full briefing before he gets into his coffin, because apparently today is casual day in the crypt.
Continue reading Episode 713: The Staff Meeting
“It was the moon! I’m afraid of the moon, Barnabas, and I don’t know why!”
We’re in the dying days of the Great 1968 Wrap-Up, when all of the year’s dangling plot threads are finally resolved, and we can move on with our lives. Today’s episode aired on Christmas Eve 1968, and there’s just a couple more shoes to drop before the clock strikes midnight and we start a new year.
One of the last remaining storylines is the curse that Cassandra put on Elizabeth in a fit of pique, condemning her to do nothing but ruminate obsessively about her own death. This is an incidental story thread that’s been dragging on for more than six months, and for a while it seemed like they might forget all about it. But now Cassandra’s revenge is back with a vengeance, and we’re just going to have to deal with it.
When we left Liz yesterday, she’d wandered out of the house and walked to the graveyard, where she collapsed and pretended that she was dead for a minute. Barnabas went out to retrieve her, and now he’s scooped her up and brought her back home.
The interesting thing, as we close up these remaining story threads, is that Barnabas now appears to be in charge of everything. Liz’s collapse has left Collinwood with a bit of a power vacuum — Roger’s away on business, Vicki’s run off with her husband, and Carolyn has stepped off screen and won’t be back unti Friday. So Barnabas steps in, spending all of his time this week just fussing around and taking care of everybody.
This may be the point in the show when Barnabas the serial killer turns into the redeemed character that people remember — a cross between kindly uncle, butler and babysitter.
Continue reading Episode 652/653: Kill the Moon
“I summon you in the name of the charred and blackened stars that reigned at my beginnings!”
Angelique has had enough. She lights a candle.
Prince of Fire, she says, I call upon the flame to summon you. I call up all the dark creatures of nature to summon you here to me.
I summon you in the name of the seven plagues, in the name of the charred and blackened stars that reigned at my beginnings, to rise out of the darkness of the earth!
I call you forth from the mouth of the dragon, and of the beast, and of the false prophet! I call you forth from the subterranean rivers of blood, from the smoke of torment which rises forever and ever!
In the name of every evil spirit — evil, and obedient only to you — I invoke you! Appear to me NOW!
And then she erupts into a furnace of psychedelic Chromakey flames, screaming and pleading for her life.
This is Wednesday, by the way. This is what we do on Wednesdays now.
Continue reading Episode 628: Horrible Bosses
“I have things for you to do, other than to make preposterous statements.”
Two days ago, Barnabas killed Willie’s best friend, and then grabbed Willie by the throat and made him bury the corpse in an unmarked grave. Today, Willie is helping Barnabas unpack vintage dresses from a trunk, and they’re making plans for their upcoming costume party.
This must be one of those Great Moments in Human Resources, because the improvement in Willie’s workplace environment is simply off the charts. I know that working in the service industry can be unpredictable, but that’s got to be one of the fastest turnarounds in history.
Continue reading Episode 278: Of Course! A Costume Party!
“This is gonna be soft and soothing. And you’re gonna listen to it, and you’re not going to hear anything.”
Here’s today’s supervillain human resources moment: Barnabas has promised Dr. Woodard a sample of Willie’s blood. I guess it’s basically the same concept as a mandatory drug test, but Willie’s taking it pretty hard; he’s shaking and sweating and begging Barnabas to reconsider. The doctor saw a “skirmish” going on in Maggie’s vampire-infected blood, and Willie’s convinced that his blood will reveal the same thing.
Now, I’ve seen television before in my life, so the fact that Barnabas is clearly not concerned about the situation means that he probably has some kind of plan in mind.
The interesting question is: Who are we supposed to be rooting for?
Continue reading Episode 245: Tragic Malady