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Episode 532/533: In Darkest Hour

“If I had known you were going to pursue your usual nonsense, I would never have come downstairs.”

Okay, there’s just one more week of the Dream Curse, one of the most tedious storylines in all of Dark Shadows. When I started this blog, I knew that the Dream Curse was going to be a hard period to work through. The problem for me isn’t really that the episodes are bad — some of my best entries are for bad episodes — it’s that they’re so repetitive. There are only so many ways that you can talk about a three-month storyline where exactly nothing happens.

But soap operas are resilient beasts; they rise on stepping-stones of their dead selves to higher and better things. Probably. I’m pretty sure we’ll get to cool stuff at some point.

So here we are, in the darkest hour, fidgeting and waiting impatiently for the dawn. But what the hell. Let’s have some fun.

Continue reading Episode 532/533: In Darkest Hour

Episode 526: Nothing But Vengeance

“I will concentrate on vengeance, and nothing else!”

You know, I’ve been throwing the word “exorcism” around a lot lately, but I’m not sure that’s the correct term for what’s going on here.

This is the situation: A witch was murdered in 1795, but then her restless spirit moved through time to be reincarnated in 1968. A group of well-meaning occult experts held a séance to call on the ghost of an 18th-century witch hunter who was sealed up behind a wall in their basement, and that ghost tied the dead witch to a tree and said a prayer over her to cast out the demons possessing her, which made her crumble into ashes and disappear.

I don’t think there’s a word for that, because it has never occurred to a single person in the history of the world to even imagine that such a thing could take place. Except for the writers of Dark Shadows, obviously, who can’t think about anything else.

Continue reading Episode 526: Nothing But Vengeance

Episode 508: Dream Beater

“Why am I not opening your doors?”

What, when you get right down to it, is magic?

In the context of a story, anyone can have magic powers, and there really aren’t any hard and fast rules about how they work. Take Angelique, for example — a ladies’ maid from Martinique with reality-warping abilities, apparently granted to her by Beelzebub, the Lord of the Flies.

Angelique started out with some rather modest household voodoo, choking a toy soldier to make Barnabas gasp for breath. But pretty soon, she was raising zombies from their graves, and turning people into cats, and generally wiping the floor with the Collins family.

By this point, she has a baffling assortment of abilities, including the power of getting really super old when somebody paints over her portrait. She doesn’t use that one very much, because it’s hard to weaponize.

Continue reading Episode 508: Dream Beater