Tag Archives: point of view

Episode 1223: The Carrie Diaries

“Of course, you all think that I’m mad, but I’m going to use that to my advantage.”

February the 17th.

I got the strangest feeling today, just before Father left the gatehouse on his early morning rounds. Father kissed me on the top of my head and told me to be a good girl, as he does every morning, and then suddenly I became aware that there was some kind of presence in the room. I could see a great, winged bird, sitting by the fireplace, and it was humming a tune.

The music was sweet and gentle, and it seemed familiar, like it was a song that I’d heard many times, a long time ago. The bird was very beautiful; it seemed to shine with the brightest light I’d ever seen, in a thousand shades of yellow and orange, tinged with red.

The feeling only lasted for a few moments, and then it was gone. They rarely stay for very long, and most of them are nice, like the bird. I didn’t say anything to Father about it, because I know that he worries, sometimes.

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Episode 1219: The Missing Step

“The fact remains that every time there is a crisis involving Bramwell, you seem to have the most extraordinary emotional feeling!”

So here’s where we are: if you read yesterday’s post and it made any goddamn sense to you, then you’re aware that you and I are currently perched just outside the event horizon of the Great Unwinding, a long-prophesied series finale extinction event that threatens to erase Dark Shadows, and send us all tumbling back into the 4pm timeslot’s previous occupant, a dreary and unremembered soap opera called Never Too Young.

Never Too Young was a nine-month-long daytime soap flop about a group of rambunctious teenagers in Malibu Beach, aired every afternoon as a kind of eternal Beach Blanket Bingo. The show was told from the point of view of Alfy, who owned the local teen hangout, the High Dive. It included a lot of swinging music, both on the soundtrack and with frequent guest performers at the High Dive, including the Castaways and Paul Revere & the Raiders. The star of the show was Tony Dow (Wally from Leave It to Beaver), and his costar was the original kid from Lassie. Just thinking about Never Too Young is fairly grim, especially when you consider that this sun-and-fun beachside adventure was broadcast from September 1965 to June 1966, pretty much missing summer altogether.

And now we are threatened with the almost-certain obliteration of Dark Shadows from history, and an eternal plunge backwards into a timeline where there’s no such thing as a vampire soap opera. This will be a safer, sunnier, more predictable world, where late 1960s television was uniformly up-tempo and unsurprising, and it will be a hell on earth. The stakes could not be higher, and you know how vampires feel about stakes.

And this imminent, reality-crushing catastrophe has something to do with episode 1219, which does not, in fact, exist. So that’s a bit of a puzzle.

Continue reading Episode 1219: The Missing Step

Episode 1218: The Great Unwinding

“It’s just that sometimes when I look at someone, I can almost see beyond them.”

Daphne Harridge has a big decision to make, and rather than think it over and really wrestle with the pros and cons, she’s decided to turn things over to a subcontractor, namely junior soothsayer Carrie Stokes.

“I’ve heard about your unusual gifts,” Daphne says, fishing for a free trial. “And I was wondering if you might be able to help me.”

Carrie smiles. “What do you want me to do?”

“Well, I’d like you to help me make a decision. You see, Bramwell and I are to be married.”

“Well, that’s wonderful! Congratulations!”

“Thank you, Carrie. But — the decision concerns the future. I know you can see into the future,” Daphne says.

“Well, I can,” admits Carrie, “but I can’t always do it at will.”

“I know that, but — Carrie, could you try now for me? Because it’s very important that I know whether or not Bramwell and I will be happy.”

“Well, I’ll try,” Carrie says, always willing to help out when she can. “But you must understand: whatever I see in the future, I have no control over.”

Once Daphne signs off on that clause in the contract, Carrie obediently takes a few steps forward, opens her eyes as wide as she can, and makes contact with the infinite.

“An image is beginning to form!” she announces, and

Continue reading Episode 1218: The Great Unwinding

Episode 1185: Meanwhile, in 1971

“The screaming was unbelievable.”

There is another world.

There is a better world.

Continue reading Episode 1185: Meanwhile, in 1971

Episode 1162: The Tribulations

“Counselor, I do not need you to tell me the laws of this state that I am honor-bound to withhold!”

A death, a dream, a Trask yelling witchcraft — yep, just another episode of Dark Shadows.

Today, Trask finds Quentin kneeling over a dead body, just like he did in episode 1156, a little over a week ago. Then Gerard casts a spell that sends Daphne a sexy dream, just like episodes 1146, 1151 and 1158. And Desmond says that the evidence against Quentin is circumstantial, just like he did yesterday and the day before, and for all I know he’s going to say it again tomorrow, and every day for the rest of our lives.

Man, I wish something would happen today that we haven’t seen recently, and I’m sure I will never regret making that wish.

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Episode 1125: Things You Say to Otis Greene, Deceased

“What does it all mean? Why did you have to die before you could tell me?”

I kept telling them, death is only an extension of life. Then I killed them. Even then, they didn’t really get it. I guess it’s one of those jokes that’s only funny from one direction.

Continue reading Episode 1125: Things You Say to Otis Greene, Deceased

Episode 960: Time and Temperature

“Well, the spirit’s certainly acting in a very strange way.”

So, let’s say you’re a Leviathan. Not the hooded sparkle-face kind, or the secret transforming alien octopus kind, just the regular human type Leviathan, who was given a ring and a membership card by an occult entity who promised that you would get power and money and revenge on your dad if you agreed to work seven days a week for no salary, performing dangerous assignments that you don’t understand.

Look, you’re stupid. Let’s just say that you’re stupid.

And here you are, in the middle of the night, in a drafty crypt, in some fish-factory town in Maine. You read in a book that your boss is vulnerable to werewolves, which you didn’t realize there were any, but guess what, there are. Also, there’s vampires, you just found that one out too. Apparently there’s everything.

You met some spooky girl with white hair a month ago, who seemed like she knew who the local werewolf was. You just happened to run into her again tonight, and you shadowed her to her boyfriend’s house. You broke in, you found some clues, you found the werewolf. And there’s going to be a full moon tomorrow night, so you’ll know for sure that he’s the wolfman before you shoot him in the head with a silver bullet. It’s hard to call that a lucky break, but you might as well try. This is some nightmare version of “lucky” that’s basically all you have to look forward to.

Continue reading Episode 960: Time and Temperature

Episode 949: The Last Days of the Guthrie Brothers

“It’s an incredible story — incredible and horrible!”

There’s a rap at the door, interrupting Laura’s fireside reverie. Laura Collins has been living in the cottage on the Collinwood estate for two months now, periodically ensorcelling people, as she prepares to enter the furnace with her son, and char for all eternity. Laura has a vivid interior life.

But the rap, as I said. She glides to the door, and finds a Dartmouth professor in glasses and turtleneck, standing at the threshold.

“Mrs. Collins?” he inquires, and Laura says yes.

“I’m Peter Guthrie. I’ve been wanting to meet you.”

“I was just thinking about you,” she smiles, quietly. “Wondering what you’d be like.”

And now I can see what you’re like, she thinks. Oh, well. You can’t win them all.

Continue reading Episode 949: The Last Days of the Guthrie Brothers

Episode 945: My Sweet, Sweet Moves

“I don’t understand any of it — or maybe I’m afraid to.”

She had these golden yellow protuberances all over her head, that was the first thing I noticed about her.

I mean, it’s called hair, obviously I know that now, but I was only three weeks old, and I didn’t know all the words for human components yet. I just liked the way that they fell around her face, these tiny tendrils, golden and moist, like she’d dominated a thousand jaundiced worms and made them cling to her head, shaking and sweeping every time she moved, always dancing, sighing in ecstasy at their chance to serve her. She looked like the queen of clotted fluids, empress of all the seeping things that pool in clumps. But she wasn’t, obviously. Not yet.

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Episode 862: Z-Jay

“Why did you come out here at this hour, and why are you wearing that gown?”

As you know, I hate to speak ill of the dead, especially when they’ve gone to a lot of trouble and they’re only trying to help, but I don’t think that I’ve ever seen a ghost successfully deliver a coherent warning to anybody. Either they moan a person’s name and nothing else, or they issue a bunch of unheralded pronouns and don’t explain the context. They put all this spectral energy into piercing the veil between the living and the not, but when they get through, it turns out they haven’t really figured out their messaging.

The current example is even more baffling than usual. Kitty Hampshire — known Josette lookalike and alleged reincarnation — finds a note in her bechamber that says, “Know yourself. Be who you must be.” Then she hears the hypnotic chimes of a music box, which direct her to a vintage gown hidden in the cedar chest. Putting it on, the damsel in this dress drifts down the stairs, and out to the cliffs atop Widow’s Hill, a popular nightspot for the young and doomed. This is all standard practice for gothic heroines who are gradually becoming aware that they’re somebody else.

Arriving at the rendezvous point, Kitty finds the specter of Jeremiah Collins, who was shot in the face a hundred years ago. “YOU MUST LEAVE THIS PLACE!” he bellows. “LEAVE COLLINWOOD, AND NEVER RETURN! IF YOU STAY — HE WILL KILL YOU!”

So Kitty just stands there, and screams her head off. And Jeremiah, honestly, what did you think was going to happen? You’re an undead creature with an untreated head wound. You are scary. That is a thing that you are now; you need to recognize that, and adjust your strategy accordingly.

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