Friday, November 23, 2012

Dark Shadow Diary, Episode 46

Episode 46: "Cabal"
Aug. 29, 1966

Louis Edmonds isn't having the best of days. He's given the kind of dialogue in this episode that would be later reserved for Jonathan Frid: long stretches of elaborate, verbal goulash that don't require much participation from the other actors on camera. Edmonds fumbles around with it a bit during the opening scene, but (mostly) lands on his feet. You see this kind of thing happen on the show from time to time, thanks to DARK SHADOWS' penchant for turning some of its supporting players into virtual sounding boards for the lead actors. If you ever wonder why Alexandra Moltke was frustrated by the show, look no further than this episode, which requires her to do nothing more than react to Edmonds' apocalyptic musings.

We get a good bit of dialogue from Edmonds during his struggles at the top of this episode. Victoria wanders into the drawing room in search of a drawing (no pun intended?) she'd borrowed from her psychopathic ward. "I think David would kill me if I lost this," she tells Roger. "My son might kill you even if you didn't," he responds.

Victoria suggests David meet with pickled artist Sam Evans to nurture his new found, probably never-to-be-mentioned-again creative talent. Roger doesn't handle it well, which is understandable considering his blackmail-y relationship with Evans. Roger is also not thrilled by an ultimatum given to him by Burke Devlin over the phone: meet him at the Cannery at 11 p.m. or else.

Sam responds with equal disdain when he's issued the same demand from Bill Malloy, who then ventures up to Collinwood to impress upon Roger the importance of attending the late-night meeting (what good is a barbecue without the pig?) Malloy pretty much lays his cards on the table and tells Roger he thinks he was responsible for the wreck that sent Devlin to prison. Roger stops short of admitting his guilt, but doesn't deny it, either. It's pretty fun to watch Roger stew in his own bastardry for a moment as he watches his avenues for escape slowly disappear around him.

Victoria seizes the awkward moment to confront Roger about his dislike for Sam Evans, suggesting he's discouraging her from visiting the artist because he might know something about her mysterious past. The idea provokes an uncomfortable display of crazed laughter from Roger.

As scheduled, the conspiracy cabal begins to arrive at Roger's office around 11 p.m. Burke gets there first, lurking in the dark as Sam enters. Roger is next, leaving one man absent: Bill Malloy. I suspect he's not going to make it.

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