“I can feel the vibrations of his fear!”
Petulant homeowner Quentin Collins is a fugitive, accused of crimes that he’s only partially responsible for. With nowhere to go and no one to trust, Quentin goes upstairs and hides in the attic, which in Collinwood means the tower room. It’s a pretty safe hiding place, because everybody knows to keep away from the tower. The only things that happen here are history-wrecking mythological catastrophes.
Searching for Quentin, Will Loomis makes his way up to the tower, keeping an eye out for tragic irony as he goes. Will enters the tower room, and finds evidence of Quentin’s presence — his tie, his watch — but the man himself is gone.
So Quentin must be amazing at this. You have to be pretty seriously committed to the concept of hiding out to not even be in your own hideout.
Continue reading Episode 1045: We Belong Dead
“I’ve always wanted to at least not hurt you in any way.”
Welcome back to another week of Dark Shadows, the pop culture sensation that’s been gaining in popularity as its storylines grow progressively darker. It’s August 1968, and this crazy little daytime horror show is the success story of the summer.
Lately, we’ve been following Adam, the love-struck Frankenteen who’s hiding out from the police in an abandoned wing of Collinwood. He’s been there for a couple weeks, reading poetry and developing a full-scale crush on Carolyn, who just wants to be friends. Adam’s finally been told that he was created in a mad science lab, and there’s no chance that Carolyn will ever love him.
Left on his own, Adam picks up the knife from his breakfast tray, and considers ending it all. I believe the headline would be: World’s Largest Man Kills Himself with World’s Smallest Knife.
Continue reading Episode 551: Cruel World
“And for your own reasons, you remained silent. You remained silent for reasons.”
Roger is pacing in the Collinwood foyer when Julia enters, bright as a button.
“Good morning, Roger,” she chirps. “Such a beautiful morning, I decided to go for a walk before breakfast.”
Yes, she’s currently engaged in a life-or-death struggle with an undead sorceress. But this is Dr. Julia Hoffman, and she does not give a shit.
Continue reading Episode 520: What Dead People Do
“There was so very little meaning to our lives before tonight — and now there’s none. We exist, that’s all.”
Naomi runs into the house, and flies into Joshua’s arms. “I saw him,” she gasps. “He’s like an animal!”
She’s just come from the garden, where she saw her dead son bite his cousin Millicent on the neck. “Barnabas…” she cries. “Why didn’t you tell me? Why?”
Now, here’s the thing that she doesn’t say: “Help! Millicent is being attacked. Let’s all run outside and help her.” She doesn’t even mention Millicent until sentence five, at which point Joshua says, “Millicent — My God!” and rushes out to find her.
I mean, I get that Naomi’s upset — who wouldn’t be, under the circumstances — but she’s burying the lead here, to the detriment of grievously wounded family members. Can somebody remind me why we like her again?
Continue reading Episode 458: Don’t Love Me
“I would not let them be together in life… and they shall not be together in death.”
So far, there have been lots of surprises in the 1795 flashback storyline — some of them pleasant, and some not so much. I think the most disappointing surprise has been the characterization of Josette. She’s supposed to be the heart of the whole story, but as I’ve talked about this week, there’s not much there to hang on to.
Josette is basically just a spoiled rich girl. She never shows any real maturity, or makes any difficult decisions. She’s the blank slate that other characters write on — and not just the supernatural characters. There was that episode where Reverend Trask talked her into a weird, borderline-sexual exorcism ritual, and he didn’t use hypnosis. He just told her what he was going to do, and then he did it.
So, standing here at the precipice, the real tragedy is that Josette’s tragedy doesn’t feel like much of a tragedy. It’s the end of the girl as we know it, and I feel fine.
Continue reading Episode 425: Jump Street
“Why wouldn’t you let me bury them in the earth?”
As we open a new week on Dark Shadows, Joshua comes home from a business trip and finds Naomi in the drawing room, hip-deep in sherry.
He responds as he always does, with bitter sarcasm. “Well, I’m happy to see you up and busy at such an early hour,” he growls. “This was well worth the whole night’s journey, to be welcomed by this charming bit of domesticity.”
Naomi looks off into the distance.
“A little bird flew to the window,” she says, so apparently it’s going to be one of those conversations. “It hovered there for a moment, and then flew away. The first bird of the morning.”
This newsflash from the aviary is Naomi’s way of leading up to the breaking news story — on Friday, their little daughter Sarah died of pneumonia.
Wait, Sarah’s dead? God damn it, did somebody let her get outside again? We have got to start locking the front door, and this time I mean it.
Continue reading Episode 416: Stone Cold
“All right, mother, I’ll tell you. I was out with Buzz. And what’s more, I had a ball.”
We take you now, live, to Elizabeth Collins Stoddard, who’s sitting in her bedroom with a seriously bewildered look on her face.
Her gaze darts across the room to the Collins Family Bible, which is sitting on a nearby credenza, apparently calling to her in a fairly urgent way. She stands up, leafs through the book until she finds the Family Register page, and stares at her own birthdate.
Suddenly, she slams the book shut, looks around, and says, “What am I doing?” Then she pauses, waiting for an answer. I thought that was a rhetorical question, but she might actually be asking the director.
Continue reading Episode 268: Suicide Is Painful