Monday, August 27, 2012

Dark Shadows Diary: Episode 13

Episode 13: "Win a Dream Date with Matthew Morgan"
July 13, 1966

I missed the mark in yesterday's prediction. By, like, a LOT. Not only did Roger storm into the drawing room as intended, but Burke Devlin was still inside chatting with Liz. I was sure DARK SHADOWS was going to drag out this plot point for a few more episodes, but the show's two antagonists have finally met face to face.

Roger puffed out his chest in one of the most awkward displays of false bravado this side of an episode of COPS. Burke was still playing the nice guy, but the subtext to his every utterance dripped wetly with murder. This guy's been practicing this moment every day for the last decade, and probably did a little violent "play acting" with his former cellmates. Roger, on the other hand, had spent the last decade preparing for this confrontation by hoping it would never happen.

We're getting closer to finding out what happened between these two guys ten years ago. We learn in this episode that a man was killed, and that Burke sentenced to prison on a charge of manslaughter. He admits a jury found him guilty of the charge, but can't quite bring himself to admit his guilt, even when it supports his pretense that he's not going to shank Roger Collins the first chance he gets.

We also learn that Burke was previously involved with Roger's as-yet unnamed wife, and that Roger and Mrs. Roger were married the day after Devlin went to prison ... which is pretty damn tacky. Devlin might not know it yet, but Roger took a bullet for him with that marriage. A psychotic, flaming bullet.

Victoria, forgetting that Matthew Morgan is a reactionary nutball, goes to visit him at his cottage unannounced in the middle of the night. Finding the door open, she lets herself in and is genuinely surprised when the disgruntled handyman is angry she's made herself at home. She piles onto her growing list of bad decisions by lying to Morgan, telling her that Liz knows she's there, and begins to quiz the handyman of what little he might know about her arrival at the foundling home 18 years earlier.

Victoria doesn't learn anything about herself, but Morgan says Roger and his wife never lived at Collinwood together. The couple lived in Augusta, Maine, until their mysterious split. Roger and David's tenancy at Collinwood is a recent change.

Burke promises he's leaving town in a few days, but invites Roger to the Blue Whale later that night to discuss a "business matter." Roger suspects the business involves a meeting involving his skull and a baseball bat and is noncommittal in his response.

After getting unceremoniously thrown out of Morgan's cottage, Victoria finds Burke lurking around the garage. He's standing near Roger's car, a wrench in his hand. He insists he's just interested in the vehicle, but you have to admit it looks bad. It's suspicious enough to trigger the episode's closing credits.

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