Friday, February 8, 2013

Dark Shadows Diary, Episode 67

Episode 67: "The First Great Liar"
Sept. 27, 1966

The story of Ananias and Sapphira is one of the more disgusting accounts in the New Testament. The Book of Acts tells how the two claimed to be giving all of the proceeds of a property sale to the church, but were actually holding onto some of the money for themselves. They were struck down by God for their deceit. I'm sure Jim and Tammy Faye Baker loved this story.

Ananias is casually mentioned by Burke Devlin in this episode, who refers to him as "the first great liar." Considering Ananias's career as a liar lasted all of a few minutes, I think Burke is overestimating the man's abilities. But a Google search for the name "Ananias" prompted the appearance of a very interesting name:


As it turns out, the inspiration for Ananias and Sapphira to give all they had to the church was Barnabas, presented as a model of generosity in the Book of Acts. I don't think many people would confuse this guy with the vampire of DARK SHADOWS, but it certainly suggests a curious method behind the naming of the show's characters. I'm not sure what all it means (frankly, I don't think it means anything) but it's certainly interesting.

As the episode begins, everybody is pissed off at Burke Devlin. Even Maggie, Collinsport's answer to Mary Tyler Moore, seems to be letting the town's grim mood get to her, threatening at one point to "Slip rat poison into his coffee." Considering she's served just about every cup of coffee seen on DARK SHADOWS by this point, it's a threat to be taken seriously.

Outwardly, everybody expresses disbelief that Burke's claim that he was framed for a crime he didn't commit. There's some doubt in the delivery of these lines, though. Even Carolyn, who storms into the inn and starts the "rat poison" conversation with Maggie, seems dubious about her own anger. Or, maybe his fortified status as Public Enemy #1 in town just makes him more attractive to her. Who the hell knows with this crazy chick.

She doesn't get much satisfaction from Devlin, who mentions Ananias ("the first great liar") and suggests to Carolyn that Victoria might be under the same thrall of lies as the rest of the Collins family. Nobody is to be trusted, and he seems vaguely disappointed that she doesn't understand the rules of the game.

Meanwhile, Sam Evans is having trouble selling his alibi for Bill Malloy's untimely death to the sheriff, and suggests his memory for times isn't as strong as it should be (which is really something you don't want to tell a cop when he's investigating a possible murder.) Sheriff Patterson's investigation leads to a polite interrogation of Malloy's housekeeper, Sarah  Johnson, and BLAM! It's the same Sarah Johnson that will later take over housekeeping duties at Collinwood. Right now, though, she's got no love for the family and is convinced they played a role in Malloy's death.

She's not much help to Sheriff Patterson, claiming she wasn't in the habit of eavesdropping on her employer. He did order a "special" breakfast for the next morning before he left home for the last time, which she says isn't the action of a man planning to off himself.

Even Maggie finds herself the focus of Patterson's inquisition. Just as Sam is hinting around to Maggie that he might need her to invent some artificial support for his alibi, the sheriff wanders into their conversation and makes everyone uncomfortable.

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