Episode 65: "The Soft Parade Really Sucks"
Sept. 23, 1966
I've been listening to The Doors a lot lately. It's been a while since I've given the band much thought, but their first album recently found its way into the CD player of my car. Before long, five of the six slots in my CD player were Doors albums, one of those is even the much-despised THE SOFT PARADE album. I'm not feeling nostalgic or anything. It just seemed like a good time to gorge myself on the (occasionally nonsensical) psychic nightmares of Jim Morrison.
My first instinct was to try and bamboozle you with a few paragraphs explaining how The Doors and DARK SHADOWS complement each other, but that's a bunch of bullshit. The truth is that today's episode, save for a few fun moments, was a dud that I can't work up much enthusiasm about ... and I'd much rather talk about The Doors, instead.
But, I knew this was going to happen when I committed to the ridiculous idea of writing about each of the 1,225 episode of DARK SHADOWS individually, so let's get down to business.
Burke Devlin's dramatic arrival at Collinwood at the end of the last episode was put on hold today. The script has all of the desperation of a bad liar, forcing actors Mitch Ryan and Joan Bennett to stroll around the drawing room and grope for reasons to be there. Ryan is disconnected from the script and flying on autopilot (and possibly bourbon) as he stumbles over many of his tedious lines. Burke Devlin: Badass wastes a lot of time bitching about his impoverished childhood to a woman who was born wealthy. The whole thing seems beneath the character.
Liz, on the other hand, casts her best spell over Devlin, first threatening to call the sheriff when he refuses to leave, then pouring on the charm as though the two hadn't just been threatening each other. She changes gears faster than Bo Darville and begins to build a wall of dialogue so inane it would ward off an army of Jehovah's Witnesses. "Does it still feel like a small town to you?" she asks."Have you noticed all the new buildings that have gone up? Will NBC ever air the new season of COMMUNITY?"
When Victoria arrives, she finds Devlin confused and a little shaken by Liz's saccharine behavior. He says he doesn't know what he's doing at Collinwood, but says "I think I'm having tea."
The B-plot is a little more entertaining. Roger finds Sam at the Blue Whale and the two begin one of the most pointless discussions ever had by two humans, real or imaginary. Luckily, both actors are having a blast, which makes it easier to watch. Still at odds over how to handle their nebulous relationship, the two go round and round about Sam's place in the universe.
The artist asks Roger to make good on his offer to pay his way out of town, only to find Roger has lost interest in the idea. For reasons he doesn't share with us, he later changes his mind and offers Sam the money, only to find the artist is no longer interested. The highlights of the discussion involve Sam spilling his booze ("You can buy another drink, but you can't buy another life," Roger tells him) and Sam's giggle fit over Roger's assertion that the late Bill Malloy was a friend of the family ("The only time he was a friend to you was when he very conveniently died," Sam tells him.)
Roger returns home and isn't thrilled with the idea that Devlin is waiting for him in the drawing room. Hopefully, the two will have a chance to talk sometime in the next few episodes.