Monday, November 19, 2012

Dark Shadow Diary, Episode 44

Episode 44: "Bill Malloy's Last Stand"
Aug. 25, 1966

Carolyn's hair looks funny. That probably sounds superficial, but it was a little off-putting to see such strange and subtle differences in her hair. Did the usual stylist have the day off? Did Nancy Barrett roll out of bed late? Was the stylist feeling unusually adventurous?

Thanks to the paternal nature of Hollywood (which is just an economic extension of our own hangups) actresses tend to be ornamental in movies and television shows. If their characters decide to change their hair, it becomes a major plot point in the story.  A change in Sarah Michelle Gellar's 'do resulted in an episode of BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER where she was literally invisible for most of its running time. It's as though someone changed a prop and felt the need to explain it in the narrative.

I totally forgot where I was going with this.

Anyway, Carolyn finds Bill Malloy getting krunk at the Blue Whale. He lets it slip that everyone knows she's been catting around Bangor with Burke Devlin, and she seems content to nurture that delusion ("stalking" doesn't count as a "date" unless you're John Hinckley Jr.) Both of them have business at Collinwood, and it's a not-that-thrilling race to see who gets there first.

Liz has invited over a business associate named John Harris to talk to her about trouble at the cannery. Buiness ain't good, says Harris, a man who couldn't win a charisma roll with a +10 cloak of enchantment, a few extra dice and a bucket of roofies. Liz's attempts to contact the much-discussed, never-seen Ned Caulder go bust and leads to a storytelling dead end. She speaks to Caulder by phone, and her dialogue conveys in Capital Exposition that Ned doesn't want to take over the management of the cannery. Since the actor has never appeared on screen (and consequently doesn't have a screen credit) I don't even know if I'm spelling his last name correctly.

Harris tells Liz that Malloy sucks at business, Roger sucks even more, and maybe she needs a man to run her life for her. "Ned Caulder is one of the finest men I know," he says, suggesting his real goal is a fantasy three-way between him, Liz and Ned.

Harris sets up a trustfund for David (who's been absent from the series for a while) to make sure the boy is set for life, ensuring him a future of notoriety on Rich Kids of Instagram. Even though it's going to cause a bit of a hiccup in the Collins family cash flow, Liz is more concerned with Carolyn's behavior with Burke Devlin ... and she doesn't even know Devlin is the actual victim in this "relationship."

Malloy interrupts this confrontation at Collinwood with something "unpleasant" to tell her about Roger. "He can try all he wants, he'll never live up to Ned Caulder," Malloy says of Roger, building up Caulder to be the James Bond of cannery managers. Malloy tells Liz that Devlin has returned to town because he wants to prove his innocence and is looking for proof that Roger was the guilty party in the manslaughter case ten years earlier.

Oh, and we ALSO HEAR WHAT HAPPENED IN THAT CASE: Burke was convicted of killing a man while driving drunk, which was probably a misdemeanor in the 1960s. Also in the car at the time of the wreck were Roger and his estranged wife, Laura.

Carolyn's creepy behavior in Bangor accidentally leads to Harris connecting Devlin to a private investigator that's been snooping around the Collins business interests. Convinced Roger's glorious bastardy is putting the family in danger, he tells Liz he's going to intervene with or without her blessing. Finding the nearest payphone, he calls Roger and demands some facetime ... or else he's going to the cops. As the credits roll, he waits for Roger at the Blue Whale, the weight of the world on is shoulders.


Melissa said...

Roger's Dad probably spent the 1930's telling Roger how much he wished he was Ned Caulder's Dad, because there's a son you could be proud of.

Anonymous said...

In answer to the questions on Carolyn's hair, I believe this is the first show where we see her newly cut bangs.


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