“And there it was… a MYSTERY BODY!”
The story so far: I began writing this blog two Labor Day weekends ago, starting with Barnabas emerging from the mystery box in episode 210. Now it’s Labor Day weekend again, and by some cruel trick of time, my journey into the past has reached the halfway mark.
This is the midpoint between episode 210 and the end of this uncertain and frightening television show, and to mark the occasion, I should probably say something profound and clever about this episode that sums up what these last two years have taught us about vampires and storytelling and character development and natural selection and chromakey and why you should never give a gun to an actor, even an unloaded prop gun, because honestly, they will find a way to hurt themselves.
Unfortunately, it turns out that I don’t have very much to say about today’s episode, except that this is the one where, for one tantalizing moment, it looks like Quentin and Barnabas are about to kiss.
Continue reading Episode 720: Halfway
“There’s something here that doesn’t make any sense.”
The curse is come upon us once again. The dark woods have claimed another.
Last night, a young woman, alone on the grounds of the estate, was disassembled by an unknown assailant, her life extinguished by a malevolent, savage beast that knows only hunger.
So, obviously, we can’t let this go on. I mean, at some point, you run out of day players.
Continue reading Episode 675: The Unscooby Gang
“Look, I’m not carrying anybody’s will but my own, and I’ll prove that to you!”
A summer crush is always fun, isn’t it? As we’ve been heading into June 1968, I’ve talked about nothing but Professor Timothy Stokes, occult expert and storyline accelerator. Over the last week, Stokes has taken the lead in five straight episodes — completely taking over the Dream Curse storyline, and sticking his nose into the Adam plot as well — and he’s done it using the sheer power of being smarter and more interesting than anyone else. He’s clearly a Dark Shadows star in the making.
But sadly, this is actually his peak moment for a long time. After one more episode later this week, Stokes is going to fade back into the chorus for a while. He has a little run of episodes in mid-July, and another in October, and besides that, he just pops up periodically over the next year. He doesn’t make it into the top tier of essential characters like Barnabas, Julia, Angelique and Quentin, who must have a major role in every storyline. So what happened?
Continue reading Episode 511: Séance Fiction
“What would I be doing with a coffin in my basement?”
At the end of yesterday’s episode, young David broke into the Old House and went down to the basement, to find Barnabas’ coffin. But he was caught, and now the question is: Will Barnabas kill the boy?
The answer is no, obviously, for a couple reasons. For one thing, David’s been going around telling everybody that Cousin Barnabas Wants Me to Die — so if he suddenly disappeared, last seen heading towards the Old House, it would be tough to make a clean getaway. Even the thoroughly incompetent Collinsport police force could manage to connect those dots, given a good breakfast and a head start.
The other reason is that you can’t murder a child in cold blood on camera in a soap opera, even in the late 60s and even in this soap opera. I mean, we’re not animals.
Continue reading Episode 333: Those Meddling Kids
“I don’t know what you’re thinking about, but whatever it is, I’m sure you’re quite wrong.”
So here’s something you don’t want to see on your doorstep first thing in the morning — Burke Devlin, all self-righteous and shouty. He gets right up in Willie’s face and says, “I have to see Mr. Collins.”
Willie says that Barnabas isn’t home; he left early this morning and didn’t say where he was going.
Burke shouts, “You’re lying! I saw him come into this house before sunrise this morning, and he never came out.”
Stunned, Willie says, “You’ve been spying on him?”
“Well, I’ve been watching him,” Burke says, splitting hairs.
Willie asks the obvious question. “Why?”
“Because I find Mr. Collins a very odd person,” Burke says, “and the same goes for you.”
So there you go — any last shred of sympathy that we might have had for Burke, tossed away in a weird moment of spiteful bitchery. As a general rule, if you’ve been standing outside behind a tree all night, waiting for a guy to come home, then you lose any right to call other people odd. It doesn’t matter if the guy you’re spying on turns out to be a vampire. You are part of the problem.
Continue reading Episode 304: Scooby-Doo Must Die