Wednesday, June 22, 2016

The Dark Shadows Daybook: JUNE 22


JUNE 22, 1966
Taped on this date: Episode 8

In Vicki’s room, Liz finds that an open window has scattered Vicki’s papers around. Carolyn enters and asks why Vicki was chosen for David. Liz gives her standard lie, and Carolyn knows it. She also knows that Vicki is calling the foundling home to seek the real story. On Vicki’s end, she reaches Mrs. Hopewell at the home. She says that no one recommended her. Liz was lying. At Collinwood, Carolyn awaits Joe as Liz stares outward. Liz claims that she brought Vicki to Collinwood to help give Carolyn a peer. Joe arrives, toothpaste grin and flowers for all. He tells Carolyn he’s an ex-fisherman. She is distant and snippy with him. Joe was promoted to a supervisory position with a modest raise. They kiss. With his money, he can buy a boat and expand it into a fleet. He is a self-made man, and she thinks he’s wonderful. Carolyn confesses her love, and Joe responds by proposing. She pulls away, and Liz enters with tea. He shares the news, remarking that Malloy promoted him a bit too spontaneously. Carolyn accuses Liz of engineering the promotion. Liz says she approved a promotion, and that it would make it easier for her to marry Joe. She is put off by this. Vicki enters and Carolyn brings her up to speed, cursing the house and then herself. She’s scared to get away. In the drawing room, Joe mentions Burke Devlin’s bribe offer at the Blue Whale. He knew about everyone… including Vicki. Carolyn comes in and reports on Vicki’s call to Miss Hopewell. Liz confronts her and Vicki counters that no one could confirm Liz’s story about Vicki’s referral. Liz reasons around her concerns, and cites that she was needed in the house for the happiness of everyone. We go to the foundling home, where a detective visited with questions similar to Vicki’s. The detective? Wilber Strake, the same man who works for Burke.

It’s the second and last appearance of Elizabeth Wilson, who plays Mrs. Hopewell. So what? So, she’s an amazing, Tony-winning actress; just a few years later, she was in David Rabe’s STICKS AND BONES (1972). What else? A favorite actress of Mike Nichols’, who directed her on Broadway and in a number of his films, including THE GRADUATE. That not enough? She was in PICNIC and QUIZ SHOW… along with THE GRADUATE, that makes three Best Picture Oscar nominees! So what? Yeah, what about appearing in a marvelous Hitchcock movie… NOTORIOUS? Or THE BIRDS? Or Rod Serling’s pre-TWILIGHT ZONE drama, PATTERNS? Or studying under Sanford Meisner, one of the great Stanislavski-inspired American acting instructors? Or getting an early role at the Barter Theater with Ernest Borgnine? Or even acting in the 1991 ADDAMS FAMILY? Yeah, that one mattered to you? There. I’m glad something satisfies you. Here I am, slaving over a hot column, and Hitchcock doesn’t matter but a crappy Barry Sonnenfeld movie works? Too bad she wasn’t in WILD WILD WEST! And you know, ADDAMS FAMILY really bit. Raul Julia. Just because he’s dead doesn’t mean I have to say he’s better than John Astin. This isn’t a charity. And Uncle Fester is an imposter for most of the film. Stick a light bulb in THAT and see if it lights up. Jeez. And no Vic Mizzy music! You know what? No Vic Mizzy, no ADDAMS FAMILY. It’s science. But Elizabeth Wilson? Love her.

JUNE 22, 1967
Taped on this date: Episode 270

Carolyn rifles through Jason’s room, desperately. She finds a locked journal. She slices it open and begins reading as Jason catches her, and tells her she’ll regret being there. Jason says he would never write down a nefarious plan, although as husband, he’ll be exercising his power as man of the house. She must marry Buzz and leave “his house.” He’s been pushed around too long. The exit must be that night; he’s serious. She goes to drink at the Blue Whale where she puts on peppy music. The bar is empty, driving her to keep drinking. Joe arrives and wants to sober her up; she says she’s waiting for Buzz. Carolyn claims Liz wants to get tid of her, distraught. Suddenly, an idea occurs to her. She asks Joe to take her back to the wedding. There, Carolyn gathers a revolver. The judge arrives for the wedding, as well as Burke Devlin. Jason rhapsodizes on her beauty and how she was when she married Paul. He greets Liz warmly and with an Irish twinkle. Carolyn checks the gun in her purse. The judge has them stand in front of him. They join hands. Carolyn readies the gun as the judge asks if she will take Jason as her husband. She stumbles on the words, “I do.” Liz can’t. She breaks off. Looking at everyone in the room, she states, “I killed Paul Stoddard, and that man was my accomplice.” And then, you know, she's pointing at Jason. Just in case that wasn't clear.

Dennis Patrick. It all begins and ends with Dennis Patrick. He has only a few episodes left, and he makes them count, going from chilling Carolyn’s blood to tearing up over Liz’s beauty. This is the episode that I was waiting for when I was a kid. I knew the Barnabas arc was continuing, but either Liz and Jason were getting married or not. He was the real villain, and he’s warming up the big gun on his Death Star of Evil Love. And at a very special ceremony. Even Burke and Roger stand each other’s company. With nine cast members, this episode is DARK SHADOWS’ equivalent of INTOLERANCE. One of the largest casts they’d ever have, and for a truly auspicious event.

(Episode 259 airs on this date.)

June 22, 1970
Taped on this date: Episode 1047

Barnabas and Carolyn return to Loomis House, as he promises to send Angelique back to her grave. He goes to the hidden room to find the body gone. Julia comes home, reporting that Angelique became impossibly wan. They must find the girl; Stokes may have her. As Barnabas leaves, Carolyn asks if he’s done enough. He apologizes for Will’s death, but she’s unforgiving. Why should Will be dead instead of Quentin or Maggie. Her life is over. It wasn’t worth it. She’s lost in bereavement. What if she has a plan? Barnabas says that Will’s death is meaningless if Angelique walks. Carolyn won’t betray him. It doesn’t make any difference. Barnabas leaves as she collapses. Looking up, she sees brandy and quaffs a snifter. At Collinwood, Stokes speaks on the phone to Angelique about the importance of finding Roxanne. But they have extraordinary enemies. He goes into the night as Julia reports on Angelique’s ill health. The body walks in the woods, but moves away from Barnabas’ footsteps. After he passes, she emerges. At the cemetery, Stokes approaches the mausoleum, followed by a Barnabas from whom he hides. Stokes wonders what he knows as Barnabas opens the secret door. Barnabas lights candles within and sees that the room is cleaned up. Is this where she lives? He also sees that the dagger is gone. On the bed, he finds a cufflink on it that says ‘CN’ - Claude North! Back at Loomis House, Carolyn finishes her 15th brandy as Stokes arrives. He wanted to extend his condolences. She tries to dismiss him, but Stokes wants a brandy, first as he sings Will’s phrases. What influence did Barnabas have on his life? His biography of the 18th century Barnabas was his greatest success. Did the new Barnabas provide material for a new book? Why did a man of Will’s talent deliberate destroy himself. Carolyn says she doesn’t want to talk about it. Stokes continues that there must be someone else involved. She confirms his opinion. Barnabas enters before she can say whom. Stokes insinuates to Barnabas that he saw Barnabas at the cemetery. And Will suggested that Barnabas might have a girl somewhere. Barnabas sends him away. Alone with Carolyn, Barnabas tells her that his kindnesses toward Will were to manipulate her.
She goes running off to Collinwood, drunkenly in search of Will. At Loomis House, Barnabas sends Julia to find Carolyn, then go to Stokes. He will go to the mausoleum. Back at Collinwood, Carolyn mourns at the window from which Will jumped. Quentin appears behind her and expresses how sorry he is. She informs him that Alexis is Angelique, is dead-yet-walks, and will destroy them all. Quentin says he destroyed Angelique himself. She tells him his secret is safe and leaves. At the mausoleum secret room, Barnabas waits. Roxanne appears, but moves away quickly. He finds her sitting at a gravestone. For whom? Claude North, d. 1866.

Because she did a lot of suffering, looking forlorn, singing “I Wanna Dance with You,” and not playing a monster, it’s easy to overlook the truly dedicated acting of Nancy Barrett. When she really reaches, with a beautiful script to support her, Nancy delivers some of the best acting on the show. In fact, in those moments, it stops feeling like acting. See for yourself. Episode 1047. Joe Bob says check it out.

(Episode 1041 airs on this date.)

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