Monday, August 22, 2016

The Dark Shadows Daybook: AUGUST 22


1897. Quentin chains himself up for the transformation ahead, while arming Magda with a gun containing six silver bullets in case he escapes. Trask bursts in and deduces the truth about the werewolf’s identity from the clues given. Unfortunately, his plan to take Quentin to the police is stymied when he is reminded that Quentin has a document fingering him as his late wife’s murderer. He locks Quentin in a tiny cell where he may safely watch the change to the wolf form, but a spell by Angelique forces a hypnotized Trask to write a suicide note/confession stating that he is the wolf. Meanwhile, Petofi arrives with a special painting of Quentin, and he’s very excited to watch it during moonrise. Trask escapes the spell and eagerly awaits Quentin’s transformation.

831 is a glorious example to doubters that yes, things happen in DARK SHADOWS. More and more as the series goes on, but yes, things happen. The episode follows through on the past, and sets up even more. Trask is always good for “the bigger they are, the harder they fall” moments with his outrageous pride, and we’ll tune in tomorrow not so much to see what happens to Quentin as to see what will happen to Trask… this time. Petofi, also, is lovably impish as he reveals the painting, thus setting up what may be the most important piece of prop-related mythos since, well, Barnabas’ portrait. Still, since the transforming portrait only shows what happens to QC2 from the waist up, what happens from the waist down? Does that age and turn into the lower part of a werewolf? Only Beth knows for sure. And Amanda Harris. And Daphne. And some chorus girls from Sioux City.  And….

Again, to realize how lucky we are to be in the glorious age of 1897, consider what the episode takes for granted… werewolves, guns with silver bullets, hypnotism, mind control, magical paintings, and the wig on Thayer David. 1897 was determined to send the kids of 1969 back to school miserable. What a fantastic summer break to have to end. Let’s hope the buses got them home in time to keep watching.

It was a quiet day in history, although Ray Bradbury would celebrate his 49th birthday today. Bradburian characters and sentiments would pop up throughout the series, but I suspect that Quentin, that wistful Edwardian, is the most steeped in them. That he would face off against the show’s other most Bradburian figure, the devilish Petofi, so much like a merrier Mr. Dark, is richly apropos. 

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