Tag Archives: information management

Episode 1052: Ouroboros

“If she’s trying to destroy me, why doesn’t she go ahead and get it done with?”

“Where is Barnabas right now?” Angelique snaps at her lieutenant, Hoffman the housekeeper.

“He’s somewhere in the house,” Hoffman offers.

Angelique narrows her eyes. “Are you sure that you’ve been following him everywhere he goes, as I told you to?”

“Of course, every opportunity I get.”

“Well then, why haven’t we been able to discover his secret?”

“Well, for one thing, I’m a housekeeper,” Hoffman replies, “and this is an enormous fucking house. What is the matter with you?”

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Episode 847: … And Carry On

“Having Charity Trask drive a stake through his heart was a stroke of genius.”

They say that the DEATH card in the Tarot deck doesn’t really mean death — not the actual literal physical death, as in: this card means that you’re going to die. In the deck, Tarot enthusiasts say, DEATH is sort of a generalized shorthand for change, or transition, or the end of something old, which brings new life in the spring. DEATH means quitting your job, or ending a relationship, or selling your couch. Or changing your mind. It’s a metaphor. DEATH is a magazine subscription about to expire, or finally dropping that karate class you never go to. DEATH is giving up on the idea that Joss Whedon will ever make another decent television show. DEATH is running out of coffee, but Starbucks is closed, because there was a gas leak and all the baristas died. Wait, that’s a bad example.

They’re wrong, of course; Tarot people are idiots. DEATH means death. You know what death is; it’s the thing that you mean when you say the word death. If you’re talking to someone who’s passionately explaining why death isn’t really death, you should probably remove sharp objects from their immediate vicinity, just in case they want to demonstrate.

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Episode 846: Plan Meets World

“I have powers, I guess. I didn’t used to have, but I do now.”

On Friday afternoon, fluorescent floozy Charity Trask followed Quentin along the shoreline, until he entered a cave. She waited until he left, and then investigated the cave herself — and discovered the coffin of fugitive vampire Barnabas Collins, asleep and unprotected.

Picking up the hammer and stake that Quentin had conveniently dropped on the ground, Charity opened the coffin, and stared at the unholy ghoul who’d killed the only man she’d ever truly loved. And then she got down to business, hammering the stake through the creature’s heart, and putting an end to him once and for all.

As Monday’s episode opens, she staggers into the Blue Whale, vaguely traumatized and entirely thirsty.

“I done it,” she moans, a single tear trailing down her heavily rouged cheek, and then she bangs on the bar. “I need a drink!”

Tim Shaw, doing some work at a nearby table, suggests, “Why don’t you try getting some sleep instead? You can’t carry the party on indefinitely, you know.”

“Party!” Charity giggles, cuddling a bottle of bourbon. “It wasn’t no party, luv, believe me!” And then she laughs and laughs, until she collapses into sobs, and never recovers.

So: Mondays, huh? I guess they’re tough on everyone.

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Episode 819: War and Peace

“Instead of showing your own death, it may be showing you mine.”

And then something about Woodstock, I guess, although honestly I don’t have a lot of energy for it right now. There’s so much happening in the summer of 1969 — the moon landing, and the Manson Family, and the Haunted Mansion, and the MGM deal, and here it is August and I haven’t even talked about the green gum cards yet.

And then this weekend, there’s this super critical three-day Aquarian Exposition of Peace and Music, which is obviously integral to the entire 1960s, and I just don’t feel like doing the research. So maybe I’ll be like the other one hundred percent of kids in August ’69, who stayed home and watched Dark Shadows.

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Episode 809: Twice Burned

“She called your name, and then she became unconscious again.”

One nice thing about being a soap opera character — and overall the benefits are not numerous — is that every once in a while the writers need you to figure something out in a hurry, so they hand the entire solution to you on a platter, whether it makes sense or not.

For example: the Dark Shadows writers have decided that straight-laced Charity Trask needs to know that Quentin, her prospective fiancé, is a werewolf who murders people on the regular. So they’ve arranged an educational tableau for her to discover, on her morning walk through the woods.

Lying on the turf is the unconscious Quentin, with his shirt all ripped up and decorated with blood spatters. A couple feet away, there’s a young woman who we haven’t seen before and aren’t likely to see again, because she’s sporting the telltale fang and claw marks of a werewolf victim.

Feebly, the girl mutters Quentin’s name, and Charity finds the crucial piece of evidence in his hand — he’s clutching a piece of taffeta, torn from the young lady’s dress. There isn’t a sign that says WEREWOLF with an arrow pointing to Quentin, but Charity’s a bright girl. She can put two and two together, especially if one of the two is currently bleeding out on the green burlap that everybody’s agreed to pretend is the ground.

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Episode 770: Clockwork

“Do you have any objection to my looking at your cellar?”

There are rules about these things, apparently, even on a show like this. A vampire bite is primarily a sexual act, and therefore only to be used upon ladies and members of your personal domestic staff.

In 1967, Barnabas could bite Maggie, Vicki or Carolyn on the neck. He could bite Willie on the wrist to gain control over him, in the same way that he was also preying on cows at the time, because domestic servants are basically just cows with jobs. But he couldn’t bite Burke, or Dr. Woodard, or Sheriff Patterson, no matter what the danger or provocation. It simply wasn’t done.

Those rules are still more or less in effect here, in 1897. So far, Barnabas has bitten Charity and Beth, and he’s using Sandor as a servant. He’s also going into town occasionally to feed on drunk women, who are basically cows without jobs.

But it feels like the standards are loosening a smidge. Yesterday, Barnabas bit Dirk on the neck, basically just because Dirk was being an asshole, and now he’s brought the guy home, with no real idea of what to do with him. Barnabas doesn’t need Dirk for anything in particular. I think what we’re looking at here is a second date.

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Episode 765: Rabbit Season

“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.

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Episode 753: Dog Days

“On this night, with the rising of the full moon, a young woman finds out the terrible thing he is destined to be.”

Incipient lycanthrope Quentin Collins was supposed to be standing inside the pentagram drawn on the floor when the change took hold, but guess what? He had other ideas. Now Beth is in a room that has a werewolf in it, which is not a comfortable position to be in.

And so we get one of the most stunning cliffhanger resolutions they’ve ever done, as Beth jumps inside the pentagram, and the werewolf does a little mime act around the perimeter, trying to get at her.

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Episode 671: The Phone Book of the Dead

“You know how girls are, they’re always having dizzy spells.”

Carolyn’s heading out for a moonlight stroll over to her mother’s private mausoleum. Elizabeth died three weeks ago, but Carolyn insists on paying regular visits to the crypt, just for old times’ sake.

Before she clocked out, Liz was convinced that she would be buried alive — everyone would think she was dead, but she’d really be lying in a comatose state, trapped in a coffin and unable to call for help. So she built herself a state-of-the-art mausoleum, complete with a push-button at her fingertips that she could press if she suddenly got better.

So Carolyn goes to visit every day, wondering if her mother will ever revive. Maggie tells her that it would be better if she could just accept her mother’s death, but Carolyn says that she still keeps hoping.

Maggie finally blurts out, “It’s not possible for someone to come back from the dead,” except on Dark Shadows, of course, where they never do anything else.

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Episode 487: Precious Moments

“What gave you the idea that you had homicidal tendencies?”

Oh, great, a Dream Curse episode. Because we haven’t had enough of those lately.

If you’re joining us late, the Dream Curse is a magic spell that Angelique made up a couple weeks ago, and they’re trying to make it a thing. Maggie had a fairly tame nightmare that included Jeff; she told Jeff about it, and then he had the Dream. Jeff’s dream sequence included Dr. Lang; he told Lang the story, and then Lang had the Dream. It’s going to go on like this until it runs through the entire cast, which will take approximately forever.

You know, they say that there are no new ideas in Hollywood, but then somebody has one, and you kind of wish you’d never brought it up in the first place.

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