Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Dark Shadow Diary, Episode 42

Episode 42: "Guilty Pleasures"
Aug. 23, 1966

Ever get the impression you're being fucked with?

If you've seen more than a few episodes of DARK SHADOWS, you know what I mean. Storylines and plot twists sometimes appear to be creating a DNA helix that seems sure to form some kind of narrative resolution, only to have it all unravel with a single (sometimes stupid) line of dialogue. And then BAM! When you're not expecting it, Adam steps into a closet and is never seen again.

We get one of those moments at the start of today's episode. Sam's shocking appearance at Collinwood turns out to be not-that-shocking after all. We were left with the impression at the end of the last episode that he was about to spill the beans about the Burke Devlin Conspiracy (which would be a great band name) but instead learn that he was just looking for Roger.

But wait! He's not looking for Roger after all! He really wants to see Liz! It was at that moment I realized I was watching some pro-level trolling on the part of Dan Curtis. Just to show off, we're told that Sam once started work on a portrait of Liz's mysteriously absent husband, Paul Stoddard, and has preliminary sketches of his work. He asks if she's interested in seeing them, which she isn't. And, of course, we don't get to see them, either.

Burke is revving up plans to destroy the Collins family by picking up their debt and taking control of their business interests (and maybe even their home.) He slyly makes these plans with a business associate in a restaurant in Bangor, where he's not anticipating any surprise guest appearances from regular cast members. "Part of the pleasure I get from ruining the Collins enterprises is the anticipation of doing it," he boasts as Carolyn stalks watches him from across the room. Burke is a little embarrassed when he spots her making googly eyes at him. He then introduces her to his lunch date and jokes about how they're conspiring to ruin her family, ha ha.

Their witty banter turns into a conversation that looks as though Burke is trying to establish an alibi, and he weirdly gives Carolyn a silver pen. To make things more unnecessarily odd, Bill Malloy gets mentioned a lot by the folks at Collinwood for no other purpose than to prompt creep-o behavior from Sam Evans. Once Malloy's name comes up, Sam begins to protest that Malloys knows nothing about him so don't listen to anything that dirty rotten liar says. He's totally not guilty! Nobody knows what the hell he's talking about, and he flees the scene without explaining.

It's possible Bill Malloy is already dead, and the audience just hasn't been told.

1 comment:

A Friend of Judah Zachary said...

I can't decide whether that whole fountain pen plot line is brilliant or just a bit rubbish. Only in Dark Shadows would a plot line pivot around the whereabouts of a fountain pen.

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