Friday, October 12, 2012

Dark Shadows Diary, Episode 36

Episode 36: "The Shadows He Lives In"
Aug. 15, 1966

There are a lot of bizarre creative decisions made in this episode which, if taken at face value, paint a very strange portrait of life in Collinsport.

 First off, Victoria does a lot of skulking in this episode, suggesting she's starting to fit in at Collinwood. She's lost in thought as the story begins but, by the time we've seen the familiar waves crash against the shore as the titles roll, she's managed to slip into the shadows of the drawing room. Liz doesn't see her as she enters and is surprised by Victoria's new found lurking proficiency.

And Victoria has big news: "I Quit!" Well, she doesn't say it like that, exactly. But she tells Liz it's time for her to pack her bags and go "home." Her reason is a curious one: despite being harassed by Roger, threatened and assaulted by David, verbally abused by Carolyn and threatened and assaulted by David (I think that's worth mentioning TWICE) she decides to leave because ... David hates her. Sigh.

For some strange reason, Victoria decides to go into town, where she bumps into Sam Evans, who's hanging around the restaurant at the Collinsport Inn. He makes a failed attempt to reach Roger at home before bumping into his co-conspirator at the Inn. Roger tells him he will find a way to get out of painting Burke's portrait or else. He doesn't specify or else what, which seems like an important piece of information seeing as how toothless Roger has been in recent episodes. Roger heads home, and in comes Victoria, where she and Sam have a chat that not even the Eagle Hill Cemetery Caretaker would understand (it's about death or something.) All of which made me ask one question: Where the hell is Maggie? It feels like forever since she's made an appearance.

Victoria decides that maybe she won't leave after all, which pisses off David. Liz manages to break through the kid's persecution complex and the pair have an emotional tête-à-tête that's interrupted by the Butterscotch Bastard. Roger makes his feelings known for David very clearly, calling the child "a potential murderer" (not untrue) and tells Liz she can dispose of the boy however she chooses. It's a pretty good scene, at least for Louis Edmonds, who gets to the heart of Roger's nihilism. Unlike the rest of his family, Roger can feel their legacy crumbling around them. Left to their own devices, David and Carolyn will probably be the last of the family. He berates Liz for her parenting skills, her failures as a sister and calls her on her manipulative bullshit. She doesn't even flinch.

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