By PATRICK McCRAY
Taped on this date in 1966: Episode 79.
Mrs. Johnson is furious that Bill’s death was ruled an accident. The best revenge? Be Burke’s eyes and ears at Collinwood. But they have to throw them off the scent by acting otherwise. In front of Sam, she even uses Bill’s dislike of Burke as “evidence” that he’s guilty. David and Burke chat, and David admits that he’s been asked not to see him. Burke is unworried, and even waves away David’s attempt to steal his photo. By the episode’s end, Mrs. Johnson expresses public doubts over her harshness toward Burke, and seeing this, others begin to warm to him. Mission accomplished.
There are two types of synopses for an episode both this talky and Byzantine; either you keep it simple or you write something only slightly shorter than ULYSSES. Considering that you have an angry Irishman taking on an Irish family, maybe that would have been the right Joyce. (It works better if spoken aloud, but I never said it was funny.) Anyway, to me, this episode is about hijinx. Mitch Ryan covers it up with a sincere burn for revenge, but it still is a Shakespearean slice of controlled misdirection. You know, with a dead body. The other highlight? More David and Burke bonding. My only concern for Burke is how he keeps indulging David by giving his misdeeds rational outs. What’s he going to do when David grows up? More importantly for David, which one is going to be your driving instructor -- Burke or Roger? You’re better off with Barnabas.
October 6, 1966… quiet in the news. Notable event? Well, we end Acid Month here at the CHS by making it illegal. On this day, California became the first state to ban it, after relabeling it a Schedule I drug.