Friday, March 15, 2013

Dark Shadows Diary, Episode 73

Episode 73, "Scuttlebutt Around Town"
Oct. 5, 1966

The contest to find the Worst Liar in Collinsport ended in a draw this episode. The likely victor, Sam Evans, put in a strong last-minute showing, appearing at Sheriff Patterson's office to present his patented hemming and hawing, but wasn't able to get a significant edge over rival Roger Collins.

There's a lot of talk about guilt in this episode, but none of it has any weight. Sam momentarily suggests to his daughter that waiting tables doesn't offer much a future, but has no ideas of his own on how to provide anything for her. I guess it's sad that he's realized he's withdrawn from society do deeply that even his own daughter's fortunes are no longer tied to his, but the idea is fleeting. For the time being, all he wants to know is if the sheriff is going to rule Bill Malloy's death an accident or a murder. Except he really doesn't want to know that, either, and treats his cup of coffee at the diner as though it's his last.

It doesn't help that there's a lot of misinformation going around town concerning Malloy's death. Maggie says the town gossip is that Malloy's death will be investigated by law enforcement as a murder, which makes Sam feel even worse. Patterson arrives at Collinwood in the final minutes of the show to cryptically ask Liz, "If Bill was murdered, you would want the guilty person punished no matter who he was?" It's an example of Pro-Level Trolling, because he follows THAT question with the revelation that Malloy's death was an accident "due to drowning." At this point I didn't know WHO to believe.

Things at Collinwood seem to have calmed down since the last episode, relatively speaking. While Liz, Victoria and Carolyn returned to the buffet last episode for extra helpings of Bitch Pudding, the two young women are unaccounted for today. Liz, meanwhile, is forced to deal with David's chemical imbalance as the little creep decides (again) to present his one-man show "Everybody Hates Burke Devlin But Me." The performance ends with David darting out of Collinwood, eluding both Liz and the wheels of Sheriff Patterson's car. He makes directly for Burke Devlin at the Collinsport Inn, where he declines a free bowl of ice cream from Maggie before wandering off to parts unknown.

Sam isn't sold on the idea that this mystery can have a happy ending, and warns that Burke will go on a "rampage" regardless of Patterson's findings. "And he won't stop until there's nothing left," he says, "including the boy."

(Note: The episode begins with location footage of David Ford entering the  "Collinsport Police Department," which is now the post office in Essex, Conn. Get a closer look at the building using Google Street Views HERE.)

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