Friday, March 29, 2013

Dark Shadows Diary, Episode 75

Episode 75, "Premature Ejaculations"
Oct. 7, 1966

Widow's Hill is as good a place as any to celebrate the end of a murder investigation.

Our story (such as it is today, but we'll get to that momentarily) begins with the unlikely pairing of Roger Collins and Matthew Morgan, who stumble upon each other at Widow's Hill. Ordinarily, it would be a seriously awkward moment, but this is one of the rare times when neither men are in the throes of shenanigans.

Roger isn't misbehaving, at least. It's not explained why Matthew is strolling around Collinsport's most popular suicide attraction, unless he's habitually returning to the scene of a crime. Which he was definitely doing, now that I think about it, but mostly he's in this episode to remind us he's still hanging around. Not much is done with him today besides re-introducing him to audiences as we build toward the resolution of this story arc.

Roger, though, is drunk on smug. He's at Widow's Hill simply to enjoy the view as the focus of a murder investigation appears to have moved elsewhere. He's absoltuely giddy with the news that he won't be charged with killing Bill Malloy and seems more surprised that anybody about the turn of events.

Not to be outdone, Carolyn is also beaming with the news. It might seem like she's setting the bar kinda low, but keep in mind that the low-hanging fruit in her family tree (i.e., Laura, Gabriel, Barnabas, etc.) has done some pretty heinous shit. Remember that time Quentin tried to strangle his own grandmother? Good times.

Carolyn seems to have forgiven and forgotten her own bad behavior in the previous episode, much to the consternation of Victoria. Like Roger, she's prematurely celebrating the end of Bill Malloy's murder investigation with a double shot of Fuck It. It doesn't occur to her that she owes apologies to lots of people, and thinks spreading around a few empty compliments will suffice. Which is does, I guess, because nobody puts up a fuss.

Meanwhile, Roger has a curious solution to the Devlin problem, suggesting Matthew bump off the family rival by pushing him off a cliff or "twisting" his neck. Matthew isn't amused and suggests Roger might have more to worry about than it seems, even suggesting that he might have lied to Sheriff Patterson during the course of the investigation. Roger is in such good spirits that he's not offended by the idea. He's not even put out by having a family slave servant speak to him in such a manner.

Carolyn gets her chance to get all Creepy Niece on Roger once he finishes his victory lap and returns to Collinwood. She tells him he's responsible for "The theft of an extremely valuable piece of property belonging to another man." Just when you think Carolyn is going to say something grotesquely inappropriate (which seems like the safe bet) she mentions the missing fountain pen. For reasons I can't imagine, she's come to the conclusion that Roger stole it from Burke. Even though Roger more-or-less called Carolyn a whore for accepting the pen from Burke in the first place, he doesn't immediately remember what she's talking about. He also doesn't rule out having stolen it, but aczdv sdcscc  sdcsdc sdcsdc  ccsdbfhnyjmhebrdde nthbrnfgcgcnnydh...............................................

Sorry. I fell asleep on my keyboard for a few minutes. Where was I? Oh, yes ... the PEN.

Dan Curtis was a smart businessman, but there's a moment in this episode that makes me think he could sometimes be HEAVEN'S GATE* stupid with money. This episode includes a number of scenes shot on location, the kind of filmed footage ordinarily used in these early episodes as segues for characters moving between locations outside of Collinwood. The filmed scenes in this episode are curiously specific, though, even featuring distinct costume components to create scene-to-scene continuity.

The filmed scenes in this episode don't appear to be essential to the story ... until we see filmed footage of Victoria finding Roger's/Carolyn's/Burke's missing fountain pen as she walks the beach.
To summarize, DAN CURTIS SENT A FILM CREW TO SHOOT ALEXANDRE MOLTKE FINDING A PEN ON THE BEACH. Yeah, it's a significant plot point, but not one that demands a serious capital outlay.

Anyway, Victoria finds the pen, just as the shadow of fate falls upon the door of Collinwood, presumably in the shape of Sheriff Patterson. Cue dramatic music.

(* I also would have accepted HOWARD THE DUCK or WATERWORLD.)

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