“Only the spirits of those that we’ve killed would dare to harm us this way!”
They all lay in stone houses in their great city of R’lyeh, preserved by the spells of mighty Cthulhu for a glorious resurrection when the stars and the earth might once more be ready for them.
The time would be easy to know, for then mankind would have become as the Great Old Ones; free and wild and beyond good and evil, with laws and morals thrown aside and all men shouting and killing and revelling in joy. Then the liberated Old Ones would teach them new ways to shout and kill and revel and enjoy themselves, and all the earth would flame with a holocaust of ecstasy and freedom.
But not today, obviously. They’re busy today.
Continue reading Episode 959: Do No Harm
“I am the keeper of the book, and the protector of the baby.”
Sitting alone in his hotel room, waiting for his daughter to call, itinerant sperm donor and faux-father Paul Stoddard finds his attention drawn to a calendar hanging on the wall. Then he finds his hand drawn to a pen lying on the desk. Then a circle finds itself drawn around December the 4th.
As the pen falls from his nerveless hand, Paul says to himself, “What made me do that? December 4th! What does it mean?”
What it means, I’m sorry to say, is that the pen is yet another convert of the bewildering demonic cross-time conspiracy that’s currently wreaking havoc in the Collinsport small business community. We knew about the antique shop, of course, and I’ve long had my suspicions of the local Orbach’s, but I thought at least they’d have the decency to leave the school supplies out of this. Those monsters!
Continue reading Episode 898: Executive Child
“I’m a monster! I have no choice but to kill!”
Megan is alone, on the display floor of her antique shop. Her husband left to buy cigarettes a few moments ago. The room is dim, and cluttered with scattered relics.
Megan is worried. Earlier today, she was suddenly overcome with the unshakeable feeling that someone is coming to kill her. She’s correct; somebody is actually coming to kill her. It’s been a weird day.
What follows is a five-minute solo spaz attack of epic proportions. When I was younger and less discerning, I thought of this as The Worst Scene In Dark Shadows. I’m not sure what I think about it now. I’m still trying to work that out.
Continue reading Episode 897: You’re the Worst
“I’d advise you to start running. Don’t stop, because those sounds will always be close behind you.”
Aristede has displeased his employer, the mad Count Petofi, for reasons that I don’t feel like discussing right now. Intent on tormenting Aristede to the grave, Petofi has summoned a demonic prison guard, Garth Blackwood — a man that Aristede murdered, years ago. Now Aristede’s on the run, with the implacable Blackwood following close behind, stomping and growling and rattling a chain.
This doesn’t help Count Petofi achieve any of his goals, but he does it anyway. I don’t really know why.
Continue reading Episode 878: Flight of the Conquered
“We have both faltered, Edward, and a mad child has finally done our work for us.”
Kitty: Ah! Good evening, Edward.
Edward: Good evening, Kitty.
Kitty: What a dump!
(Edward ignores her.)
Kitty: Hey, what’s that from? “What a dump!”
Edward: How would I know?
Kitty: Oh, come on, what’s it from? You know. What’s it from, for Chrissake!
Edward: What’s what from?
Kitty: I just told you. I just did it. “What a dump!” Huh? What’s that from?
Edward: I haven’t the faintest idea.
Kitty: Dumbbell. It’s from some damn Bette Davis picture, some goddamn Warner Brothers epic.
Edward: Kitty, I can’t remember all the pictures that came out of Warner Brothers.
Kitty: I’m not asking you to remember every goddamn Warner Brothers epic. Just one. Just one single little epic, that’s all.
Continue reading Episode 852: Who’s Afraid of Violet Welles?
“I’m not going to jail for anything I didn’t mean to do!”
Well, it’s all fun and games until you throttle someone to death, isn’t it?
Poor little rich boy Quentin Collins has been all wound up lately, because he learned that the wife he’d thought he discarded was still living in his house, jilted and angry and mad as a moonfly. So he did what any high-spirited guy would do, namely carry a garrote around in his pocket and tell absolutely everyone that he sees that he’s planning to murder Jenny the first chance he gets.
Continue reading Episode 748: The Misunderstanding
“We’re all on the same side, aren’t we? My side.”
I address myself and those here with me to the powers of darkness, he said.
I call upon the flame to summon you, he said.
I call upon the raven and the viper and all the dark creatures of nature to draw you like a rising mist from out of the darkness of the earth, he said.
And he said it over an active hellmouth that spews out vengeance-vowing fire demons on the regular. What could possibly go wrong?
Continue reading Episode 711: Let’s Twist Again
“It’s been my experience that death causes as much ill-feeling as life.”
Time-tossed vampire Barnabas Collins is stuck in the year 1897, lost behind enemy lines on a ghost-hunting recon mission. For all he knows, he’s here to stay, so he’s trying to make friends with the locals.
At the moment, he’s in the Collinwood study with Edward, the putative head of the household, in front of an open casket containing Edward’s grandmother. The old lady spent the last several decades telling everyone that she had a family secret that she would pass on just before her death, but it turns out that’s a tricky deadline to plan around. Now Barnabas is the only one who knows the secret, which was: Don’t let Barnabas get out of his coffin and hang around Collinwood. So that worked out great.
Grasping at straws, Edward harangues Barnabas for a while, begging him to tell the secret, but Barnabas just stonewalls and that’s pretty much all they can do.
Frustrated, Edward grouses that Edith even kept the location of her will a secret. She left instructions with Judith in a sealed envelope, and now they have to find it.
And that’s the last time anybody mentions the secret. From this moment on, the story is all about finding the will. It’s the most blatant MacGuffin relay race handoff you’ll ever see.
Continue reading Episode 708: Will Power
“I don’t know how you came back, and I don’t care!”
As we’re settling into this 1897 time travel story, the thing that’s really remarkable is how much the writers have learned about setting up dramatic conflicts within the core Collins family.
It’s early 1969, and by this point in the show, the present-day family has been entirely nerfed. All of their secrets have been exposed, explained and apologized for, and any future story-driving difficulties have to be imported from the outside.
Last year, we spent some time with the 1795 family, and they were actually pretty well grounded too. Naomi was a drunk, Joshua was a grouch and Abigail was a fanatic spinster, but they were a functional family who would have carried on pretty well, as long as they could avoid having sex with pretty French vengeance demons.
But the Collins family of 1897 is absolutely out of their goddamn minds. At the start of today’s episode, Judith walks into her dying grandmother’s bedroom, and finds her brother Quentin strangling the old lady, and demanding to know the family secret.
This is the second time in two straight episodes that Judith enters a room and interrupts Quentin in the process of murdering a family member. She doesn’t even have that big of a reaction, she just shoos him out the door and gets on with her day. That’s how insane this family is; a murder attempt means nothing to these people.
Continue reading Episode 705: Prisoners of Emily Post
“And then suddenly, he seemed to burst into flames!”
So then the whole show just goes to Hell. I mean, they did already. They went to Hell, and they talked to the devil. It happened last week.
Continue reading Episode 635: One Damned Thing After Another