Friday, May 10, 2013

Dark Shadows Diary, Episode 85

Episode 85, "Sea Shanties"
Oct. 21, 1966

I'm not entirely sure why I like Victoria Winters.

My problem? The character's concept is a little thin, leaving me to wonder of it's Victoria Winters, the idea of Victoria Winters or Alexandra Moltke that I'm fond of. Let's review her present situation: Having been outsmarted by an unbalanced child with no formal education, she's locked in a deserted wing of the house with no clear path of escape. Her pupil's facade was so transparent that a glass eye in a duck's ass could have seen through it (to paraphrase David Bowie) yet here she is, a prisoner in her own home. To make things worse, Victoria has so little to do in this episode that even the ghost of Bill Malloy gets more dialogue than she does.

But I'm not going to hold that against her. Victoria and I are still cool ... which is more than I can say for Carolyn and Joe. Stoddard the Younger is still fired up from Joe's mild rejection in the previous episode, and is determined to do something stupid. Bolstered by a child's overblown sense of importance, she's sure a little reckless behavior on her behalf will make Joe (and everybody else) feel sorry for her. Liz isn't having any of her rubbish and wastes no time putting her daughter in her place. "You think the world is coming to an end the minute Joe doesn't jump the minute you snap your fingers," she says. She also reminds Carolyn of her own dalliances, namely stalking one Burke Devlin. "The world doesn't revolve around Carolyn Stoddard."

Carolyn's response? To cover her ears and play the 'La-la-la-la I can't hear you game." (I made up the la-la-la part, but the rest is accurate.) Carolyn storms off into the night, probably imagining the looks on everyone's faces when she tells them she's pregnant with Burke Devlin's love child. That'll learn 'em!

When Carolyn arrives at the Blue Whale, she finds Burke and Sam Evans loudly basking in the "happy" phase of public intoxication. The two men had spent the evening talking about spirits both metaphorical and literal, including the lingering presence of Bill Malloy. Before Sam accidentally spills the beans about Maggie's date with Joe (and setting Burke and Carolyn's plans for revenge on a collision course with each  other's naughty bits) the two men tell us of Malloy's favorite public domain sea shanty. Not long after they sing their final chorus of Drunken Sailor, we hear the spooky voice of Bill Malloy singing the same tune at Collinwood. Victoria isn't all that happy about finding a dead man singing sea shanties lumbering around the dark, but she'd better get used to it ... Bill Malloy's won't be the last dead guy to creep on her in the night.

It's an effective scene, though, even if it requires little of either Moltke or actor Frank Schofield. Victoria stands and confronts the specter, who warns her "Get away before you're killed." His timing sucks, all things considered. When he makes his exit, he leaves behind a trail of wet seaweed, which is sure to trouble Victoria once the whole "It was juts a dream!" coping process inevitably kicks in.

1 comment:

AngantyrTheKing said...

Great episodes, one of the episodes I truly remembered from when I was a kid, though I remembered it in colour - I also remembered the ''Barnabas the Fooooool guy/Mr. You're Not Jeremiah'' (who was he anyway?! He was oddly effective whatever the case). And Bill Malloy was my favourite character on the show in those days. What is not to love about a mildly drunk sailor friend to the town drunk? Shame that Schofield never came back to the show, as the talk of pirates giving Naomi Collins jewels made me think of that pirate as the 1790s pre-incarnation of Malloy.

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