Thursday, August 30, 2012

Dark Shadows Diary, Episode 16

Episode 16: "Everyone's a Suspect"
July 18, 1966

This is turning out to be one of the most strangely constructed mysteries I've ever seen.

At the end of the previous episode, a tree darted into the path of Roger Collins' car, resulting in a wreck and unspecified injuries. It turns out Roger suffered only minor injuries, but his sister suspects the wreck was the result of foul play. Which it was. Because DARK SHADOWS told us who did it last week.

This makes all of the finger pointing in this episode feel a little contrived. It almost works, though: Liz is so convinced that someone is out to get the family that all of her suppositions make sense. She implies handyman Matthew Morgan, who shows uncharacteristically good taste by disliking Roger Collins, might have tampered with the breaks. Burke Devlin was also seen near the vehicle before the wreck, and may or may not want to piss on the ashes of Collinwood. She doesn't know it yet, but Victoria Winters is in possession of a bleeder valve removed from Roger's car, as well as an automotive magazine that conceivably illustrates how to successfully fuck with someone's car to produce deadly results.

The real culprit is Roger's son, David. I don't understand the reasoning behind the decision to reveal this so early in the storyline, but it's there and we have to deal with it.

Joe Haskell takes much the same attitude with Burke Devlin, who has been invited by Carolyn to join them on their date at The Blue Whale. I need to make an animated GIF of Joe dancing at the bar because it's HILARIOUS. It's also the reason I don't dance, because I look just as silly ... only without Joel Crothers' dashing, Christopher Reeve-esque good looks.

Burke seems amused by the situation and doesn't make too big an ass out of himself, even if he comes across like a slightly smug Fonzie. Joe knows the score but continues to ignore it, in hopes the problem will go away. When he foolishly steps away to make a phone call, Burke and Carolyn get a little more personal. Carolyn sees Burke as her ticket out of Collinwood, something that Joe can't give her (which is as polite a way as any to call Carolyn a habitual user.)  Burke goes along with this waltz until Joe storms out in a huff. Seeing that the game might have gone too far, he drags Carolyn out of the bar and goes in search of Joe. I'm starting to think that Burke Devlin sucks at revenge because, if he really wanted to cause trouble at Collinwood, nailing Liz's teenage daughter would be a step in the right direction.

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