Friday, May 27, 2016

The Dark Shadows Daybook: MAY 27


May 27, 1968
Taped on this date: Episode 514

Bad days at Collinwood. Barnabas is bricked behind a wall in the Old House, Liz is fixated on dying, and Maggie feels more and more drawn to the past. Joe and Maggie get ready for the evening. As Joe gets ready to pick up Sam from the Blue Whale, he wonders if Stokes is a thief. After he leaves, Maggie again dons the earrings and Josette’s theme plays. After she exits, we see Adam looking in through the window. Maggie enters the Old House in a strange reverie. Willie greets her, and she has no idea why she’s there. However she hears a noise. Little do they know it’s Barnabas trying to get their attention. Willie takes her appearances as a cue that she has romantic interest in him. Willie just warns her not to wear the earrings. Is he worried about Barnabas? The moment she takes the earrings off, the trance is broken and she must get to the Blue Whale. Without the earrings, she senses there is something off about the Old House. At Collinwood, Liz leaves, fixated on the man who jumped from Widow’s Hill, and goes to the Old House to see Barnabas. She tells Willie that the police called, reporting that a man matching Adam’s description has been seen vandalizing the neighborhood. Liz then falls into a dark meditation on death. She then hears the knocking from behind the cellar wall. She knows someone was buried alive. Liz runs out wishing that “she” would kill her and get it over with. In her absence, Willie observes that, “She ought to see a doctor.” At the Evans cottage, Joe returns reporting that Sam wants a search party to look for Adam -- he’s a friend in need. Joe further reports that Sam is hostile, and Maggie wonders if it’s frustration over his blindness. She sends Joe back to the Blue Whale. Outside, Joe sees Willie headed inward. Joe warns him away, not knowing that they’ve made peace. Willie says that Joe is just jealous, and Joe responds by beating Willie unconscious. Going back in, Joe reports to Maggie of his meeting with Willie. Maggie explains that Willie meant no harm; when he was shot there, he was trying to warn her from danger. And of her visits to the Old House? She doesn’t know. Joe grows more and more belligerent in his questioning. He angrily exits, giving an ultimatum that she has one day to give him the truth. Willie staggers in, beaten. Adam follows Willie in, reporting, “Willie bad!” He seizes Maggie and she screams for all she’s got.

Lemme tell you, it’s only going to get stranger. 1970 is shot wildly out of sequence, but that’s nothing compared to what’s coming up with 1967. Hoo boy. I feel like Billy Pilgrim. This episode seems to initiate the Fall of Joe Haskell. I have a theory about this sad, alien part of the mythology' they could only afford so many actors, and Quentin was being eyed as The Next Thing After Nicholas Blair. Law of Conservation of Money.  Just my theory. They knew that Quentin was coming, and there was only so much Hunk Money to go around. That’s just a pet theory. In any case, it gave them an opportunity to take a very kind character down an unexpectedly dark road, creating the precedent for what would happen to Maggie and Quentin. Maggie implodes because she is too inflexible to explore the occult. Quentin, because he relies on it too much. Barnabas, however, calls upon humanity whenever possible, and Angelique embraces it as her final act. Just my theories.

(Episode 501 airs on this date.)

May 27, 1969
Taped on this date: Episode 767

1897. Hearing of Jamison’s dream of David’s death, Barnabas is stunned. He must speak to Jamison. Judith brings him down. While waiting, Quentin enters and learns that Jamison is upset. Quentin feels that Barnabas is a strange observer with an odd plan. Barnabas explains that his conversation is deeply tied to Quentin’s good. Quentin wants to know more about Barnabas and the people who will allegedly shape his destiny. Judith orders Quentin out so that Jamison and Barnabas may speak alone. Jamison explains his dream. He was in the cellar of the Old House, seeing Barnabas in his 1969 I Ching trance. Upstairs, Carolyn and Roger plan David’s birthday. She taunts Roger with a puppet, saying that David will have to learn of his impending death. Liz shows David down to his birthday party. David won’t cut the cake without Barnabas and Quentin. No one will answer if Barnabas will be at his next birthday. And Quentin? Roger looks for him in a family record and can’t find a Quentin. They insinuate there’s a surprise. Quentin’s ghost appears, but only David sees him. Carolyn keeps suggesting that the birthday is David’s last. They light the candles, but the thirteenth candle -- the one to grow on -- is missing. David won’t blow out the candles, seized by fear. David makes a silent wish and blows out his candles. When he looks up, the family is missing. Quentin is still there, pledging to remain with him even after he dies. Quentin reports that David has the right to know he’s dying. The family couldn’t see Quentin because he’s dead, and David will soon be joining him. Quentin comforts David that his death will be painless. But he’ll never be alone; he’ll be with Quentin. Quentin didn’t want to die, but three things led to his death. Averting any of them could have saved him. 1. The discovery of a silver bullet. 2. The murder of the one person who could have kept him alive. 3. The only person he loved turned against him. Quentin cuts the cake, but David finds that it’s a prop cake. A make believe cake for a make believe birthday. Carolyn ends the dream by taunting him with “happy birthday.” And then David was dead. The only other thing Jamison remembers is that everyone was dressed strangely except for the dead Quentin. Jamison thinks that Barnabas knows the significance of the dream. Later, Charity speaks of the walking wolf and Judith offers a reward for his killing. Judith will also set up a scholarship for the late Dorcas. Quentin flies into a fury, saying that the animal is just that, and has no idea what he’s doing. Barnabas enters and reports that “David” is simply a way of Jamison dealing with his mother’s death. The funny clothes suggest that Jamison is putting a mask on reality. He’s simply upset. Edward enters, shaken: he discovered a silver bullet. Only two more things remain that will lead to Quentin’s death.

This may very well be DARK SHADOWS strangest episode. If the show is bizarre, anyway, a dream sequence in it is even more so. And unlike the dream curse, this actually feels like a nightmare. Strange conspiracies. People withholding information. Horrible truths uttered only when it’s too late. Nancy Barrett with a puppet.

Although he never appeared on DARK SHADOWS, today is the birthday of Vincent Price, a spiritual incestor to Clan Collins if ever there were one. So go watch one of his movies tonight!

(Episode 762 airs on this date.)

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