Saturday, August 18, 2012

Dark Shadows Diary: Episode 7

 Episode 7: "I looked out at the ocean and I wept"
July 5, 1966

Roger Collins didn't sleep last night. He reeks of panic and sherry, odors that easily felled the gallon of Old Spice he'd applied after the previous morning's shower. It's been less than 12 hours since Burke Devlin returned to Collinsport and Roger has fought to keep moving, stopping only briefly to quiz his son's new governess about her relationship with his old friend.

He keeps moving. No one is happy to see him, not that he cares.

Sam Evans remarks, to nobody in particular, that time moves "too slow or too fast," which is as apt an observation on the pacing of DARK SHADOWS as you'll ever find. It's early morning and Sam is already drinking. Roger, who doesn't fully grasp the concept of "personal space," let himself into Evans' home earlier and was waiting for the artist to return. He makes the mistake of getting between an alcoholic and his booze and overplays his hand. If Sam knows anything about Devlin, he's not talking.

The episode is a pair of gambits by the show's two anti-heroes. As Roger presses Sam for knowledge about Devlin's intentions in town, Devlin is casually picking the brain of Collinwood's new governess at the diner of the Collinsport Inn. Victoria is at the Inn to make a private phone call to her former employers, a foundling home in New York City, and Devlin pressures her to have a cup of coffee with him. He doesn't buy Victoria's backstory and, like Roger, alienates a potential source. It doesn't help that his secondary goal of seducing her begins to take priority during the conversation.

Roger and Devlin are setting up the players in their games against each other, but Roger is severely outmatched. His lone ally is unwilling and perpetually drunk. Roger visits the inn, stepping within a few feet of his adversary, but leaves after learning that Devlin is there.

Last episode's cliffhanger, Victoria's departure to town to make a private call to the foundling home, remains unresolved. The final shot of this episode shows the governess on the phone, finally making that delayed call.


Randy said...

Fantastic summation, brings it to life! I'm also watching the first year..up to episode 72 and enjoying the heck out of it.

Melissa said...

Not that I didn't like Roger after he sweetened up, but this recap reminds me of how interesting Bastard Roger was! And he always had the best dry bons mots.

Cousin Barnabas said...

I think if any single character got upstaged by the introduction of Barnabas Collins, it was Roger. He went from being adorably sinister to a mild pain in the ass.

dmontgomster said...

Roger was definitely more front and center, and a very nasty man, before the arrival of Barnabas. You really could believe he might have killed Burke Devlin. And the original story bible, Shadows on the Wall, which pitched the show to the network, had him attempting to throw Vicky over Widow's Hill, but losing his balance and going over himself.

cynthia curran said...

Well, I think the wanted to get rid of Roger until that plot didn't work. Roger was protecting himself from jail because of a hit and run. Roger was more of a coward murder instead of a cold blooded one.

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