Sunday, September 23, 2012

Dark Shadows Diary, Episode 28

Episode 28, "Hey Hey, Ho Ho, Constable Carter Has Got To Go"
Aug. 3, 1966

Its oddly fitting that the driving theme of DARK SHADOWS has more in common with William Faulkner than Charlotte Bronte. While the show lifts (accidentally or otherwise) quite a bit from JANE EYRE, it has much more in common with Faulkner's fuck-up brand of Southern Gothic literature than in etiquette-obsessed British melodrama. "The past is never dead," Faulkner said. "It's not even past." Which about sums up every story arc to ever grace the screen during DARK SHADOWS' lengthy run.

It's pretty amazing that the show stayed true to this theme no matter how much if changed over the course of its 1,200+ episode run. No matter how many vampires, werewolves, witches and zombies were added to the mix, the series remained firm in its stance that actions have consequences which echo beyond our meager time on the planet. You get a taste of this theme early in episode 28, a fairly quiet scene involving Maggie Evans and David Collins. The boy has run away from home following the discovery of his (alleged) involvement in his father's wreck. He was caught trying to sneak into Burke Devlin's hotel room, and is cooling his heels in the hotel diner with Maggie as they wait on Roger to collect the child.

Neither of them know they're the victims of decisions made by their fathers ten years earlier. While it hasn't been explained who did what and why, it's pretty clear that Sam Evans and Roger Collins framed Burke for manslaughter. The two share an uncomfortable conversation as David struggles not to let Maggie know he's on the lam, and the child disappears just as Roger arrives. Being a grade-A ashole, Roger  announces his wayward son can walk home. As the episode ends, we see David was hiding in the telephone booth of the diner. He slips out moments after everyone else leaves.

MEANWHILE ... Burke isn't happy that Constable Carter has searched his hotel room while he was out. Carter tells him he shouldn't have anything to worry about as long as he's got nothing to hide, which is an attitude in law enforcement we still haven't managed to shake. Asking someone to surrender their civil liberties to prove their innocence is a hair's breadth away from witch dunking, imo. Yeah, cops would probably be able to clear more cases if they could just do whatever the hell they wanted, but I'd be a better poker player if I was allowed to pick what cards went into my hand.

Carter didn't win any points with me for using the old "absence of evidence is not evidence of absence" bullshit with Devlin. He tells him the search of his room found no sign that he was involved with Roger's wreck, but that doesn't mean he didn't do it. At this point the cops have ZERO proof that Devlin did anything. But, with Collinsport money (i.e., Roger Collins) pressuring him to make an arrest, Carter is sizing up Devlin to take the fall for the "crime." I was ready to organize an Occupy Collinsport event on Facebook when I realized a.) it would be 46 years too late, and b.) Collinsport isn't a real place.

Seriously, though. Fuck Constable Carter.

1 comment:

Melissa said...

Evil really does flourish in small towns.

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