By PATRICK McCRAY
July 11, 1966
Taped on this date: Episode 21
Vicki and Carolyn meet in the kitchen with Vicki pondering death. Carolyn thinks it was an accident; Vicki thinks it was attempted murder. Could it happen again? Vicki catches her up to speed on the physics of the bleeder valve. At Burke’s, Bill Malloy interrupts Burke’s breakfast to chat attempted murder. Burke denies it. Malloy says that he is the family guardian. He doesn’t buy Burke’s insistence that bygones are bygones. He remembers Burke’s oath to destroy the Collinses. Bill then mentions Wilber Strake, and his two visit stay of investigation before Burke arrived. This gets Burke’s attention. Bill agrees to wait while Burke dresses, but he won’t watch. At Collinwood, Carolyn fears that she may have brought Burke there. Later with Liz, she pleads Burke’s potential innocence. Liz asks who else might have wanted Roger dead. The police want to investigate, and the last thing Liz wants is attention. But Burke will try to bring up questions about why Liz has stayed locked up for eighteen years. Vicki enters with an important letter. The foundling home has written to say that Wilber Strake was asking questions about Vicki hiring. Vicki asks Liz why he would ask; does Liz know something about her past? At Burke’s, Bill hears Burke state that he hired Strake to see if there were money making opportunities. Such as the cannery in Logansport for sale. Bill applauds him for being a suspiciously smooth talker… then leaves. Burke immediately calls New York. It’s Bronson. Burke wants him to fly to Bangor and call. Things are starting to happen and Burke wants to move -- fast.
The DARK SHADOWS writing staff are the most magnificent sadists since DeSade said, “Get a close up look at my latest artwork.” By withholding one key conversation about Burke, they maintain suspense for weeks, maybe months. And it’s a masterfully sustained note. We so want Burke to be the hero, and every time we start rooting for him, he does just one more thing to make us doubt him. It’s a lot like my love life, that way. Bill Malloy really struts his feathers in this one. No matter the supernatural stayed away from Collinsport. With Malloy on the job, he’s like a one man wrecking crew in the name of tuna, justice, and the American way. We also get another glimpse of the Collinwood kitchen. Is it so off-putting because we rarely see it, or because it’s hard to imagine Nicholas Blair and Barnabas dueling with Diabolos over the cream of wheat. Or is it?
(Episode 11 aired on this date.)
July 11, 1967
Taped on this date: Episode 285
Vicki fixates on the music box. Carolyn enters, finding her thinking of Maggie. She thought she saw her, which is insane because Maggie is dead. It was when she was at the cemetery, putting flowers on her grave. Carolyn thinks they never should have done the seance. Burke has been waiting downstairs, and Vicki forgot. In fact, she doesn’t know if she even wants to go out. Vicki’s too fascinated with the music box. Downstairs, Barnabas is also meeting, and Burke and Carolyn complain that the costumes, etc, have dragged Vicki into the past. She even claimed to see Maggie in the cemetery. Once Vicki comes downstairs, Barnabas begins excusing himself. He had come to give her an old book. Vicki mentions that Mrs. Hoffman came by the research the family and wants to speak to Barnabas. He feels that the family’s history should stay within the family. Barnabas tables the issue. Vicki sees the book, and a suddenly reluctant Barnabas hands it over. She sees that it was inscribed to her from him, and Vicki learns that Burke asked him not to give it to her. She is peeved at Burke, and after Barnabas leaves, she declines to continue with their date. Later at the Old House, Vicki visits. She apologizes for the people at Collinwood, and she adds on her thanks for the book. Barnabas forgives them. She reiterates her desire for Mrs. Hoffman to be helped. A storm now prevents Vicki from leaving. He rhapsodizes that the house was built for storms, and she agrees. And if the storm continues, Josette’s room is waiting.
“LEAVE VICKI ALONE!” McCray wailed on his YouTube channel. Burke and Carolyn are just jealous. She’s willingly becoming Josette, so just, you know, turn on the Barry White for Barnabas and let the spirits move her. With a convenient storm raging, candles lit, a fire crackling, and Josette’s room all gussied up, it’s an evening for soft romancing and a cool, Colt .45 to be shared among special friends, dig? But with Frid, it’s classier (even) than that. His courtly fear of everything on that set makes everyone feel safe. And that, my friends, is the secret to his appeal. I’m sorry Burke, but with oriental music boxes and personally inscribed tomes, no lobster dinner in Logansport can compete. See, Burke, there’s smooth, and there’s Barnabas Collins Smooth. That coffin is lined with silk because, as Liberace tells us in THE LOVED ONE, Rayon chafes. Of course, Julia Hoffman is right around the corner, and I can’t help but feel like a late sixties sex farce is just smouldering around the edges. Or is that one of Julia’s Virginia Slims? She’s come a long way, Barny… just to ruin what could be a great thing. I know one thing, these people would not have pulled that on Quentin!
(Episode 272 aired on this date.)
July 11, 1968
Taped on this date: Episode 545
Nicholas crows to Cassandra that he knows far more about Adam than she does. Roger enters, depressed from his trip, and Nicholas excuses himself. With Cassandra, he reports that Liz still believes that she is Naomi Collins. Cassandra, however, is distracted. Upstairs, Nicholas visits Adam, claiming that he’s with Carolyn. Nicholas claims that Stokes told him he was there, and that he is to further Adam’s higher education. He encourages Adam to be a strong willed individual. He is important and superior. Adam swells with pride at Nicholas’ compliments. They declare friendship. After this, Nicholas returns to the drawing room to brag to Cassandra. He reveals that Carolyn has hidden him in the west wing. She is warned away from Adam. The behemoth is important to Nicholas’ plans, and Cassandra responds by pouting and storming away. Meanwhile, Adam enters Carolyn’s room as she sleeps. She awakens, and he apologizes. He explains that Nicholas found him. She’s confused and angry, but not with Adam. She leaves Adam there to confront Nicholas, who is cool and collected about it. She returns Adam to his room. When they discuss how Nicholas got into the room, it’s unclear how he phased through the locked door. Maybe Harry Johnson is to blame. She’ll look for Harry Johnson later. Downstairs, Cassandra listens to the Lang tape for the kuhjillionth time. She then wanders upstairs, following her senses to Adam’s room. She uses the Force on his knob and enters. He doesn’t even stir. She knows that if he dies by magic, Nicholas will know. It must be done by human means. Such as with the axe she holds over his head.
Nicholas Blair. No one else could pull Adam onto his side by seemingly quoting from TRIUMPH OF THE WILL. Meanwhile, Angelique’s plan to off the Promethean by using an ax, instead of black magic, seems hilariously misguided. So, yeah, Nicholas won’t suspect a thing if it’s just a simple ax in Adam’s head. Sure, Angie. He’ll just shrug, pack his bags, head back to Hell, and only show back up at Collinwood for Passover. Is that what we’re supposed to believe? Maybe. She knows him better than I do. This is where DARK SHADOWS blossoms into a zany sitcom. And it’s about time.
(Episode 534 aired on this date.)