“We should leave this house, and let it stand deserted!”
Today’s situation report: Roger, who killed Angelique, has killed Liz, and is hiding her in Angelique’s room, while Angelique is hiding Julia, who killed Julia, in the basement. I literally cannot make it any plainer than that.
We’re currently living in the end times of Parallel Time, a rickety storyline staggering towards a finish line that’s been buried in the sand like the Statue of Liberty in an ape movie. Almost everyone is dead, and the cast list is getting shorter by the day. There are three more murders coming in the next two episodes, as everyone settles whatever scores they have left, without the assistance of law enforcement or common sense.
Collinwood of Parallel Time is a post-apocalyptic landscape, where War Boys and Smokers and Postmen deal out frontier justice from their supersonic speedcycles. And we can’t count on the main characters to help, because one of them is locked in the basement, and the other one is busy trying to half-wake a comatose girl using electricity and face-touching. I know what Tina Turner said, but we do actually need another hero, and if anyone has one, please direct him or her to Parallel Collinwood immediately.
Continue reading Episode 1054: Another Day in the Desert
“The evil here always follows you, doesn’t it? The evil here never stops.”
As today’s episode begins, eccentric millionaire Barnabas Collins emerges from the basement, and wouldn’t you know it, the gypsy’s on the fritz again.
“You should leave tonight,” she mutters. “Tch, I am not permitted to tell you what to do, am I? What do I care what you do?”
She sighs, and throws her hands in the air. “I should not have said that, I should go and talk to Sandor, and say, let us hitch up the wagon and go! But you have taken Sandor from me. When they find you in your coffin down in the cellar…”
See? This is what happens when you leave your gypsy running all day. He needs to get an EnergySaver or something.
Continue reading Episode 740: Local Parlor Tricks
“I have feelings, Ben. I can hate. And I can do something about that hate.”
Henchmen. Right? It’s a complicated relationship.
Barnabas wakes up today and climbs out of his coffin, and the first thing he says is, “Good evening, Ben. Did you see Trask today?” That’s the kind of boss he is. Not a lot of small talk, just straight to business.
Continue reading Episode 439: Something About That Hate
“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
“I believe you can do anything — and the meaner it is, the better you can do it.”
So there we were, all set up for the big royal wedding — Barnabas, the young prince of the wealthy and powerful Collins family, marrying Josette du Prés, the ravishing heiress of the Martinique sugar plantations. Young and beautiful and desperately in love, embarking together on their life’s journey.
And then, at the last moment, the bride runs off with the groom’s uncle, which is pretty much the exact reason why you need to hire a competent wedding planner. Have we learned nothing from reality TV?
Continue reading Episode 381: Runaway Bride
“He’ll go down there in that cellar, and he’ll find a coffin. And he’ll want to know about it.”
Last week, the tall, dark and vaguely handsome Burke Devlin proposed to Victoria Winters, the Collins family governess. She needs some time to think about the proposal, although there doesn’t seem to be any reason why she should say no. They’ve been dating for a while, he’s immensely rich, and she doesn’t really know that many guys.
Of course, I’m not saying that I particularly care about whether these two get together or not. I’d be much happier if they both went to a World Peace Conference in Geneva and never came back, like the original Mighty Morphin Power Rangers.
Continue reading Episode 301: Burke Devlin Must Die
“This house isn’t empty. Not with the secret it holds.”
Willie and Barnabas are having another staff meeting today, and that’s always worth watching. I’m glad they’re still investing screen time in these two, because it’s the most complex relationship on the show.
The subject of today’s meeting is Barnabas’ plans for Vicki. Willie, ever the optimist, seems to think that he can talk his boss out of whatever cockamamie plan he’s hatching to win Vicki’s love and turn her into his dead girlfriend.
“I wish you’d leave her alone,” Willie says, still fighting the good fight.
Barnabas arches an eyebrow. “Willie,” he purrs, “you do get to be a bore. No wonder I seek other company.”
You can tell that Barnabas is in a good mood today, because he’s being arch and formal. Barnabas in a bad mood can get kind of strangly.
Continue reading Episode 293: Untouched
“This has the terrible sound of a family disintegrating.”
Happy birthday, Dark Shadows! Today’s episode aired on June 29, 1967, which is just a couple days past the show’s first anniversary. It’s an exciting milestone, because until very recently, it looked like the show was going to get cancelled at the end of the first year. The ratings were declining, and they’d never been that great in the first place. The end seemed inevitable.
And then they introduced a vicious, psychotic madman to the show, and America fell in love. Dark Shadows was renewed, and now they have the interesting problem of coming up with a new storyline for the undead creature that they never intended to keep around for this long.
This episode takes the first steps toward a new direction for Barnabas. When we saw him last, he was the vicious monster relentlessly pursuing Maggie through underground tunnels, determined to end her life.
But that was three days ago. Today, he’s… something else.
Continue reading Episode 264: Unconscience
“He was going to turn me into something inhuman!”
Friday’s cliffhanger was kind of a game changer — Maggie broke free from the hypnotic trance she’d been in, and tried to drive a stake into the vampire’s heart. But it was too late; he woke up.
Now Maggie’s standing there with a stake in her hand, and what are you going to say at that point? I think you might have dropped this, I was just giving it back? It’s not easy to pull that off.
Continue reading Episode 251: Close to Killing You