Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Dark Shadows Diary, Episode 66

Episode 66: "Dear Victoria ..."
Sept. 26, 1966

Everything I hated about the last episode was forgiven today thanks to the timely arrival of some funny, biting dialogue. Furious to find Burke Devlin waiting for him in the drawing room, Roger spays the entire gathering with his acidic wit as he makes a beeline to the sherry decanter. He even gives Victoria a what-for, bitching about her habit of blabbing the family business to everyone in town ... which is only fair, I guess, since that's exactly what she does.

Burke is a little more direct. Once the two are alone, he asks Roger point-blank "Did you kill Bill Malloy?" I wonder what kind of answer he was expecting. Burke isn't in the habit of taking anything Roger says for granted, and would probably have called bullshit even on a straight-up confession. It's possible, however unlikely, that Burke is just as crazy as Roger always claims.

Today's B-Plot is downright depressing. Liz catches Victoria writing a letter ... to HERSELF. It's a habit she got into at the foundling home, she says, just so that she could feel the thrill of receiving a letter. Which is about the saddest thing I've ever heard. From the look on Liz's face, it's the saddest thing SHE'S ever heard, too. She's even held onto her letters over the years, accidentally creating a manuscript that would probably had been a bestseller had she thought to publish it.

This moment of tragedy porn is interrupted by Roger, who asks Victoria to come to the drawing room and serve as a witness to his whereabouts on the night of Malloy's murder. Yes, they've done this before, and I suspect they'll do it  few more times.

As a witness, Victoria kinda sucks. She's not terribly certain about Roger's alibi, but offers to relay Roger's story, anyway. Burke senses her ambivalence and pounces on it, but neither are especially satisfied with her testimony. "I'll be back to Collinwood," Devlin vows on his way out. "Possibly to stay."

This episode is an excellent example of how the show can succeed adopting a "less is more"attitude. Nothing much happens, but there's some fun dialogue (and terrific delivery by Louis Edmonds, who really knows how to sing this stuff) and lots of juicy melodrama. It was actually more fun than some of the busier episodes. The downside is that it doesn't give me much to write about, insert sadface emoticon here.


Unknown said...

Rodg was amazing... always loved when he was in a scene!

Melissa said...

Roger was the love child of Oscar Wilde and Dorothy Parker.

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