““Why do you keep insisting, despite the fact that there’s no evidence, that Maggie was kidnapped or something?”
New Stokes says he’s stolen some life force, but who hasn’t, right? Barnabas drinks other people’s blood, Yaeger gets off on other people’s fear, and television exists to take your time and attention, and turn it into commercials. Now we find out that Angelique’s got a psychic hook-up that drains some rando in the back room. What’s the difference?
Continue reading Episode 1031: The Last Day of Parallel Time
“Not anything’s going to keep me from destroying you!”
More than once upon a time, there was a little lost princess…
Continue reading Episode 967: Vicki Ruins Everything, part 3: The Way It Happened
“It wasn’t an ordinary dream, it took place at the antique shop.”
You can always tell when a new actor feels comfortable on Dark Shadows, because all of a sudden there’s a lot more noise coming from that direction. Chris Pennock has been on the show for a few weeks now, and he’s getting one of those full-court-press episode streaks that they sometimes do for new villains when they’re just getting started. Overgrown teen tyrant Jeb Hawkes appears in 18 out of 20 episodes in his first four weeks, and in the ones where he doesn’t appear, they spend the whole time talking about him anyway.
And it’s here, in his thirteenth episode, that they’ve managed to convince him to stop worrying about his sense memory and animal work. You’re a villain on Dark Shadows. Just start shouting.
Continue reading Episode 948: War Games
“As I was going through the portrait, I thought I knew what it meant.”
Barnabas looks grave. But he’s in a graveyard, so that’s appropriate.
“What did happen on that night?” Julia asks.
Barnabas says, “It was the most tragic night I have ever experienced,” and coming from him, that means a lot. This is a guy with a lot of candidates for most tragic night.
Continue reading Episode 938: The Dunwich Cuckoo
“I like being the way I am right now, and I don’t want it to end.”
“Since Barnabas Collins returned from the past,” says a disembodied Nancy Barrett, “his actions have been a mystery, and a matter of concern, to many who had once been close to him.” Yeah, no kidding. We’ve had a front-row seat to both the mystery and the concern for a couple months now.
She continues, “No one has known of the strange force that has compelled him to do the things he has done — the people of the Leviathan, who hold his beloved Josette hostage, and threaten him with the return of the curse of the vampire. He has become desperate to find a way of stopping the menace that threatens Collinwood.”
Oh, well, that explains everything. Why didn’t you say so?
Continue reading Episode 929: Les Disposables
“We became friends in the past. Please, let us be friends now.”
Mrs. Rumson arrives at her palatial beach mansion on Little Windward Island, and greets her husband of six months, the handsome publishing magnate. She’s found peace at last, after so many years of struggles and schemes. She’s going to go straight, she said, and everyone laughed. But she’s on the level, this time. The dead past will bury its dead.
But nothing ever stays dead, not on this show. At least, not with Dr. Julia Hoffman around.
Continue reading Episode 924: Pretty Woman
“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 also know that whoever took it must pay for it — with his life.”
And then, just when you least expect it, Dark Shadows turns back into a soap opera, just to mess with you.
Continue reading Episode 893: The Night of the Big Lie
“We have no time for your gypsy feelings!”
Hey, do you remember that plot contrivance that you don’t remember from like six weeks ago, when Jamison had a prophetic dream about Quentin’s death? In the dream, the ghost of Quentin appeared to Jamison’s grandson David, and gave him a handful of story points.
“Three things happened,” the ghost said, in the imagined future. “If I could have changed any one of them — if I could have known what they meant, while they were happening — maybe I wouldn’t have died when I did.’
David asked what the three things were, because he has good manners, plus what else are you going to say.
“The first was the discovery of a silver bullet at Collinwood. And then the one person who could have helped me — who could have kept me alive — was murdered.”
“What was the third thing?”
“Ah. That — that was the worst. The one person in this world that I truly loved turned against me. After that happened, there was practically no time left for Quentin Collins.”
So that was extremely informative, as prophetic dreams go. It’s not the thing I would have done, if Quentin showed up in one of my dreams, but I suppose people have different priorities.
Continue reading Episode 797: Meanwhile, in the Present