Thursday, September 13, 2012

Dark Shadows Diary, Episode 23

 Episode 23: The Sword of Damocles
July 27, 1966

The first cop we meet in Collinsport isn't exactly Columbo.

Introduced as "Mr. Carter," the guy is a self-impressed bureaucrat. He doesn't have much to say in this episode, but most of his dialogue is tinged with apathetic pragmatism. Yes, he's absolutely right when he tells Roger Collins that it's a little early to be on the lookout for a "murderer" when nobody has been killed, but he just comes across like a guy who's avoiding work. He makes a point of telling Roger that his job mostly entails traffic stops and dealing with barroom brawls. In other words, "Lower your expectations, Mr. Collins."

Carter is also a little put out that Roger launched his own amateur investigation of the wreck before calling the police. He and Liz present Carter with their "evidence" that Burke is responsible for the incident, but the cop isn't persuaded. The "evidence" is mostly circumstantial, but Carter's kind lazy, too. He's going to need the proverbial smoking gun before even admitting a crime might have been committed. Which is fair, I guess.

Because the writers felt it was necessary, Carter mentions Burke Devlin's conviction, saying "We all know what happened ten years ago." By "we," he means the people of Collinsport and NOT the audience, because they still haven't told us what the hell happened.

Carter also thinks the time that has passed suggests Devlin wasn't responsible for the wreck. Sure, he threatened to kill Roger back when Eisenhower was still president, but he's had ample opportunity to make good on those threats. Why wait so long to act unless he's "insane?" (Carter's word, not mine.)

David has taken an almost-obsessive interest in crime and punishment. Now that the cops are involved in the case, the boy is living with the sword of Damocles hanging over his head, and he's got the feeling someone's gonna be cutting the thread. While subtly interrogating Victoria about her past mistakes, she tells him she once bloodied a girl's nose in a fight at the foundling home. That place sounds worse and worse each episode.

The boy is clearly spooked by Carter's presence, which the dimwit dismisses in the episode's strangest line of dialogue. "He's probably just impressed with the dignity of my badge," he says, before inserting his head back up his own ass. The wrench believed to have been used to remove the bleeder valve from Roger's car is discovered, and Carter is going to take the tool to have it checked for fingerprints (good luck with that) which doesn't make David feel any better about his impending doom. David clumsily pretends to knock the wrench off a table and applies a few more fingerprints to it while picking it up from the floor. His backside is properly covered. For now.


Melissa said...

No wonder the Patterson brothers had him kicked out of office.

vderricks said...

These entries are hilarious. I'd forgotten all about "Mr. Carter", he makes Sheriff Patterson look like Sherlock Holmes.

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