“What could there possibly be new about falling in love?”
At this point, Count Petofi has just about had it. All he wants to do is get away from this crummy burg, with his legendary magical hand still attached at the wrist. He’s tired of being stalked by aggravating gypsies who shake tambourines and threaten him with scimitars, and he wants a ticket out.
He happens to know that Barnabas has the ability to travel forward in time to 1969, and if Petofi can tag along, it would give him a nice seventy-two year cushion when maybe the gypsies could calm the hell down. But Barnabas insists that he doesn’t know how to travel in time, despite the fact that he absolutely does know and I have no idea why he keeps saying that he doesn’t.
And now one of Barnabas’ friends pops up — having traveled exactly through time, thank you very much, like she can obviously do — and she still won’t tell Petofi how it works. I mean, at a certain point, they’re just being dicks about it.
Continue reading Episode 840: The Grown-Ups
“If I only knew how you died, maybe I would know how to banish you!”
Order in the court! The honorable Johnny Romana — King of the Gypsies! — presiding.
In today’s episode, the accused, Magda Rakosi, stands before a jury of her peers, charged with the theft of the Legendary Hand of Count Petofi, and the murder of Julianka, a miniscule gypsy witch who came to fetch the Hand back.
Magda actually did steal the Hand, but she was only indirectly responsible for Julianka’s death, so I’d call this a draw. As a tiebreaker, I’d like to point out that Magda is a major character played by Grayson Hall, one of the all-time most interesting actors to look at, so there’s no way she’s going to be executed by a crew of day players and walk-ons.
Still, having a gypsy trial in the secret room of the mausoleum sounds like a blast, so I’ll allow it. Proceed.
Continue reading Episode 826: Hungarian Crime Story
“I say that Lucifer is trying to undo the good that I have done in this house, and that you and all the others are acting as his accomplices!”
Today, I walked into the drawing room and found my daughter reading something on a piece of paper. I said, “Good morning, my dear Charity,” but as she turned to face me, I saw not the smiling, placid face of my beloved child. In its place was a startled, hunted look, the shocked visage of an innocent staring into the endless fiery pit, and recoiling from the grisly sight. My eyes darted to the page that she held in her nerveless grip — and there saw the cursed document that Evan Hanley tricked me into signing last night — the paper that I saw burning in the fireplace not ten hours ago! This terrible, damnable lie — somehow, it survived the furnace, and now, my Charity — my dear one, my own — looked at me with eyes filled with hatred and revulsion. “It’s a confession,” she gasped. “It says that you and Mr. Hanley murdered my mother!” #FMyLife
Continue reading Episode 806: FML
“I would’ve thought it idiocy to assume that a praying bigot could turn a zombie into a man.”
Rounding the turn at the 1897 Dark Shadows Character Invitational, we find track favorite Quentin Collins showing signs of weariness. He got off to an astonishing start in the early weeks of the race, even against seasoned thoroughbreds like Barnabas Is a Vampire Again, and Julia Wearing a Wig.
But Quentin called in dead last week, spending Monday and Tuesday flat on his back, and the rest of the week stomping around as a mindless zombie. That’s been interesting and fun, and his bulging, sightless eyes have made for some chilling-slash-amusing moments. But you can’t rely on a gimmick like that for long, and by the end of the week, he’d taken it about as far as it could go. Quentin needs to get back up to speed if he’s going to qualify for the championship.
Stamina is everything on this course, because it’s a race that never actually ends. The horses just keep running around and around the track without stopping, only taking breaks for Thanksgiving, Christmas and the occasional assassination.
Continue reading Episode 726: The Comeback
“They become just as helpless as this pencil.”
Dr. Julia Hoffman comes home to her luxurious mansion, which belongs to other people. She’s brought a friend, a handsome young serial killer named Chris. They’ve just had an unpleasant afternoon with Chris’ ex-girlfriend, who was traumatized by Chris several years ago to such an extent that she no longer moves or speaks.
Chris is a little uneasy after the encounter, but Julia’s in full Murder Club mode, telling him that Sabrina still can’t speak, so she can’t identify him to the police. This is Julia’s idea of reassurance.
After Chris leaves, she’s joined by Professor Eliot Stokes, another dangerous houseguest who’s snapped his leash and is now wandering around at will, drinking other people’s liquor and planning unholy rituals in other people’s back gardens.
“I’m glad you’re here, Julia,” he smiles. “I’m going to exorcise the ghosts from this house tonight, and you are going to help me.” This is what Julia’s life is like, just one damn thing after another.
Continue reading Episode 693: Sticks and Stokes
“But you don’t understand — he was more than a man! He’s something evil, sinister!”
There is a God of Fire and Rage.
Thousands of millions of burning spirits line the bone-charred stairs, kicking and scratching. Every unrepentant soul in Hell fights for the chance to return to the surface world, and drench the Earth in warm, rich blood.
It is here now. The children call it Quentin.
Continue reading Episode 691: The Bechdel Test
“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
“Oh, I know you’re going to say it’s none of my business, and it isn’t. Except that I’m making it my business!”
Recasts are always tricky on soap operas, by which I mean that they usually turn out to be an alien shapeshifter or some other kind of hoodoo from the notworld, feeding off the audience’s precious life essences for its own malign purposes. Recasts are not to be trusted, and should be handled with extreme caution.
So when we hear the announcement over the credits — “The part of Victoria Winters will be played by Miss Betsy Durkin” — we are on alert. Hackles are raised.
Continue reading Episode 630: Vicki Ruins Everything
“I don’t know what to believe. Everyone tells me the sensible thing to do is the crazy thing to do.”
Okay, let’s review the rap sheet.
Mon, Oct 21 : Breaking and entering (Barnabas sneaks into Nicholas’ house), attempted murder (Barnabas tries to kill Eve), first degree assault (Angelique bites Barnabas).
Tues, Oct 22 : Attempted suicide (Joe, with a letter opener).
Wed, Oct 23 : Attempted murder, conspiracy (Angelique tells Barnabas to take Joe into the woods and kill him).
Mon, Oct 28 : Conspiracy to commit murder (Nicholas gives Harry poison to kill Joe).
Tues, Oct 29 : Breaking and entering (Harry sneaks into the Old House), attempted murder (Harry puts poison in Joe’s medicine), first degree assault (Angelique bites Barnabas), conspiracy to commit murder (Angelique tells Barnabas to kill Joe), attempted murder (Barnabas gives poison medicine to Joe).
Wed, Oct 30 : Attempted murder (Joe tries to kill Barnabas with a curtain tie).
So we’ve reached the point where they’re averaging one major felony an episode. Dark Shadows might have more murder per hour than How to Get Away with Murder.
Continue reading Episode 614: Curtains, Foiled Again
“The Devil has painted your hair — but still, I recognize you!”
Professor Stokes declared war on the Collins witch two weeks ago, and to be honest with you, it’s not really going that well. He was trying to interrupt the Dream Curse, but Cassandra managed to get it jumpstarted again, and the curse is now a step closer to its final intended victim.
Stokes did score a point when he raised the spirit of Reverend Trask, the 18th century witch hunter who never actually managed to catch a witch. The revenant Reverend tried his best — setting Cassandra ablaze with ghostly fire — but she managed to put the flames out, and move on with her day.
But it’s not a fair fight, really. This war is being waged by “magic”, so the writers do whatever they want. Cassandra can say, “My powers are greater than yours!” but that just means that she has more plot points coming up.
The Dark Shadows audience is clearly okay with having villains stick around for an extended run, so the only way Cassandra can be destroyed is if her schemes become predictable and repetitive, or she gets sidetracked on a pointless B-plot. Fortunately for her, that will never ever happen.
Continue reading Episode 519: Ex Wife