Tag Archives: the dead

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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.

Continue reading Episode 862: Z-Jay

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Episode 766: You Have to Admit She’s Got a Point

“Do you think it’s right, to pray for a cursed thing like this?”

So it all turns out okay, obviously, it’s Quentin, of course it’s going to be okay. It takes more than a silver bullet to the chest to stop a phenomenon like Quentin. At this point, the only thing that could destroy the audience’s interest in Quentin Collins is a 95-minute MGM motion picture where he tries to drown Kate Jackson in a swimming pool. And what are the odds of that?

Continue reading Episode 766: You Have to Admit She’s Got a Point

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Episode 396: Dialogue of the Dead

“I do not need you now! Can’t you understand? Go back to your grave!”

Last week, Angelique needed yet another stick to hit her rival Josette with, so she called poor dead Jeremiah from his grave, and sent him off to haunt his widow. Now, he’s showing up at the house when Angelique doesn’t want him, like a stray cat that somebody fed once, and now it comes by every day to beg for scraps.

The witch tries to send Jeremiah away, saying that she doesn’t need him now. But he just laughs, and stumbles toward her.

Which brings us to today’s topic: How does “the dead” work?

Continue reading Episode 396: Dialogue of the Dead

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Episode 395: Cleaning House

“What are you doing here? Why have you suddenly materialized now, in front of me?”

It’s been six weeks since we started our uncertain and frightening journey into the past, and I think it’s safe to say that the audience of 1967 must have been wondering if they were ever going to get back to the present. The promotional bumper that ABC ran in the week leading up to this storyline promised that we would learn the secret of the chained coffin, but we’re a month and a half in, and we haven’t even been near a coffin, chained or otherwise.

And here’s the really unbelievable thing — there’s 13 more weeks of 1795 episodes coming. This is going to go on for another three months.

Continue reading Episode 395: Cleaning House

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Episode 393: Tell Them We Are Rising

“What do you suggest? Shall I open my own bottle of sherry, and see how much I have to drink before I begin to see hands appearing?”

Well, now they’ve done it. They’ve pierced the veil between the living and the dead; they’ve tampered in God’s domain; they’ve invented a whole new kind of monster, and they don’t even have a name for it yet.

Folks, this is Jeremiah Collins. He was shot in the face two weeks ago, and he died on Friday. But yesterday, Angelique decided that Barnabas and Josette were getting too cozy, so she’s brought Jeremiah back for an encore.

Wave hello to the folks, Jeremiah. That’s a good boy.

Continue reading Episode 393: Tell Them We Are Rising

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Episode 364: Boom Goes the Dynamite

“I know there’s good, and there’s evil, because I learned it from you.”

It’s been five months since the ghost of Sarah Collins first appeared to Maggie, back when Barnabas was running a compulsory youth hostel in his basement for pretty girls who remind him of his dead girlfriend.

Since then, Sarah’s been spotted by pretty much everyone, and we’ve learned that she’s the spirit of Barnabas’ beloved little sister.

Barnabas’ memory of loving Sarah is the one completely unselfish human quality that he’s displayed during his lengthy reign of terror. Over the last five months, Sarah has provided aid and comfort to his victims, but she’s never appeared to him directly.

And now — just as he’s about to strangle Julia, just as this storyline appears to be stretched to its breaking point — here she comes.

The question for today: Is this incident big enough to spark the seismic change that this storyline needs, in order to stay relevant and interesting? The answer to that question: Hell, yes.

Continue reading Episode 364: Boom Goes the Dynamite

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Episode 360: Crazy Lady on the Loose

“Don’t start imagining a lot of things just because someone we barely know is acting peculiar.”

All week, I’ve been talking about Sam Hall, the new writer who just joined the show. He wrote the last three episodes, and now he passes the baton back to Ron Sproat, who tends to be lackluster and frustrating. And today, just to prove the point, Sproat turns in a script that appears to be made mostly of reconstituted episode parts. Damn it, Sproat! Get it together.

Continue reading Episode 360: Crazy Lady on the Loose

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Episode 337: Time to Kill

“The thought of what he might be frightens me as much as it did you.”

Well, there are books here, that’s something that I know. There are books on shelves, and they’re dusty, so this is probably an interior set. That’s a place to start.

The walls are made of stone, with big stone columns, and there are plaques on the wall that look like gravestones. Lots of cobwebs, naturally. Very dark, very shadowy.

There’s an old man with glasses who’s carrying a book. He shuffles over to the wall with the gravestones, peers at them, and then looks at all of the other walls, as if he suspects they might be up to something. Then he shuffles over to the bookshelves, and puts down the book that he’s holding.

I’m trying to describe this scene for you in as much detail as I can, because we’re currently one minute into this episode, and I have absolutely no idea what we’re looking at.

Continue reading Episode 337: Time to Kill

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Episode 313: Old Friends

“He heard the pearl-shaped voice of a ghost saying Boo.”

The storyline this week is that young David’s trapped in the secret room in the mausoleum, and he can’t figure out how to open the hidden door from the inside. It’s a fairly suspense-free scenario, because he’s friends with a ghost who knows that he’s in there.

So it doesn’t take a genius to predict that Sarah will show up to rescue him, at some point between now and the day he starves to death. For the sake of convenience, let’s call that point “Friday.”

And yet, here we are, smack in the middle of Wednesday, with no end in sight. On the plus side, we get to spend some time with Joe this week, so that’s something.

Continue reading Episode 313: Old Friends