By PATRICK McCRAY
June 30, 1966
Taped on this date: Episode 14
David seethes within the solitary confinement of his room. Within his own chest of drawers, he withdraws a spark plug. Going to Vicki’s room to explore her things, he’s found by her. She chases him out, knowing that he’s taken something. She tracks him down, and David denys having anything. (Of course.) Vicki emphasizes their friendship over whatever it was that he took. She implies that they need each other to solve each other’s loneliness. David asks if she feels as if his mother will never return. She says no. David says that he was giving her a present. He gives her a shell in a moment of suckupery worthy of Eddie Haskell. Outside the room, Carolyn asks Vicki what happened. Vicki presents the shell -- a piece offering -- and Carolyn doubts it. Vicki responds that if it’s foolishness, it’s the same foolishness shown by Carolyn when she believes Burke’s kindness. Over at the Blue Whale, Burke tries to buy Joe a beer, and Joe explains that he’s not for sale. Burke agrees, revealing that he’s already been to Collinwood. At the house, Carolyn primps and Vicki warns her about Burke, but Carolyn is dazzled. Vicki lets slip that Roger will be drinking with Burke later. Joe knocks on the door, and Carolyn asks Vicki to occupy him while she dons her upteenth new dress. The two meet, and Joe calms her with folksy confidence. Carolyn asks to go back to the Blue Whale, despite the disapproval of Joe and Vicki. The governess goes upstairs and sees a door behaving strangely. Now it’s locked… the door to the rest of the house. Ghosts? David says they hate everyone at Collinwood. He then presents her with another gift -- an engineering publication. Continuing his strange interrogation, David asks about his father hating Vicki and Burke hating his father. He concludes that he and Burke could be great friends. At the Blue Whale, Carolyn and Joe see Burke, to Joe’s disgust. Carolyn wants to invite him over, and Burke slinks over and offers to buy coffee. Joe is too polite to keep him from joining them. Back at Collinwood, David rebuffs Vicki’s attempts at friendship.
A door opens and closes… run for your life! I’m not being facetious. DARK SHADOWS departs from realism with tremendous, supernatural implications. I wonder what viewers at the time made of that. It must have been a little bit of “enough” to keep them tuning in. Ultimately, they didn’t build their fan base on misplaced pens. The star of this one is, as is often the case, David Henesy, who has every permission possible to chew the scenery in the name of eevil, and he does so with relish. When he suggests allying himself with Burke, it is the clearest demonstration of Roger’s failure at humanity.
June 30, 1967
Taped on this date: Episode 279
Carolyn helps Vicki don Josette’s dress in preparation for the next evening’s ball. Vicki experiences strange deja vu when hearing her name. Carolyn would be frightened by the feeling, but such notions frighten her. Vicki counters that it’s harmless, and it’s only meant to bring the family closer. It needs to be an enormous success. Carolyn agrees, saying that she deserves to be a Collins. Victoria Collins? No. Josette Collins. At the Old House, Barnabas checks on the progress with Willie. He emphasizes the importance of the night with Willie. Later, Burke arrives at Collinwood. Carolyn greets him, and goes to fetch Vicki. He confirms that Carolyn is feeling better and that she’s over her motorcycle fetish. She thanks him for his help for her and the family. In the drawing room, Burke toys with Vicki, asking her to dinner. She can’t… she must go to Barnabas’ party. Vicki must go as Josette, and Burke doesn’t like it. It reminds him of Josette speaking through her at the seance. Vicki decides to ask Barnabas for an extra invitation. Willie greets her at the Old House, and she congratulates him on his improvement. He needs to wear a costume and join in the fun. Barnabas arrives, and he’s delighted that the plans are moving along. She asks if Burke may come. Upon pondering it, Barnabas decides that he would be perfect to play Jeremiah Collins. He married Josette and built Collinwood. She agrees, and Barnabas later tells a stunned Willie that Burke will be useful to the evening. Jeremiah was his worst enemy, and that tomorrow night might provide him with the chance to truly destroy him.
As I so often say, what a difference a single year makes. Think of how outrageous and strange the entire premise for this episode is. Aligning Vicki with Josette is the wise move they should have made from the beginning. However, it still begs the question; will the real reincarnation of Josette please stand up? As a villain, Barnabas is totally unique. Who else launches a master plan just to awaken the spirit of past ancestors?
June 30, 1968
Taped on this date: Episode 534
After the dream curse, Vicki is terrified to see and tell Barnabas. At the Old House, Barnabas finds a note allegedly from Vicki that announces she must leave or inflict the dream on him. He rushes off to stop her. At Collinwood, a confused Vicki greets him. She says that she sent no note, although the note is in her hand. Cassandra! A trickster to the end. Julia enters and tries to pry them apart. Barnabas is fatalistic, but Julia gets him to go. Meanwhile, Vicki is tortured by sounds from the dream but will not tell Barnabas. Carolyn enters from visiting Joe in the hospital. Joe talked in the hospital, tortured by the site of Adam surviving his jump from Widow’s Hill. Is Adam still alive? Where is he hiding? Julia asks why she cares; too much curiosity may be dangerous. Carolyn leaves for the root cellar where she was once a captive. Adam is there. Adam asks what she wants. He’s wildly paranoid, initially convinced she brought the police. She pleads her case, and Adam accepts her help. She notes his widely expanded vocabulary. Who taught him? He says it was Stokes. But he cannot go back, because Stokes, he believes, is angry with him. Carolyn asks if he was happy with Stokes. Hearing that he was happy there, she says he should go to Stokes. Reluctantly, he allows her to seek help. At the Old House, Julia greets Barnabas solemnly. He’s distraught with anticipation. He cannot let Vicki suffer; he must let her tell him the dream. Yesterday, he told Cassandra that he would resume the relationship, but he was rebuffed. There is no going back.
Barnabas might as well be wearing a red cape in this episode. And tights. Maybe he was. Not Jonathan Frid. No, I mean Barnabas. Why? I don’t know. I’m just throwing out possibilities. This episode is a tribute to heroism. Julia, Vicki, Barnabas, and Carolyn all push past fear to attack problems they should instinctively flee from. This is how DARK SHADOWS villains are ultimately defeated. They rely on their victims to knuckle under like frightened dimwits. Well, Angelique is messing with the wrong family.
June 30, 1969
Taped on this date: Episode 814
1897. Jamison, possessed, tries to transport the hand with his last reserves of energy. Watching his master in a trance, Aristede assures Petofi that he will bring the hand. Jamison collapses in the woods, only to be found by Quentin, who demands to know what the box contains. He grabs it and finds the hand within. Jamison collapses. Meanwhile, Aristede frets over a life without Petofi, worrying that he’ll have to think for himself. Quentin and Barnabas hover over Jamison in the cottage, wondering how to heal him. Jamison opens his eyes and demands the hand, or else he’ll die. Barnabas offers to take the hand to Aristede if the location is revealed. Jamison doubts him, but reveals he’s at the abandoned mill. If Petofi dies, it will kill Jamison. With this in mind, Barnabas excuses himself. He appears at the mill, and Aristede sees him from afar. Brandishing a crucifix, Aristede greets him. Barnabas reveals the he has the hand. Barnabas wants to see Petofi and gain assurance that he will cure Quentin. Aristede says that Barnabas must trust him to convince Petofi. Convinced, he goes to fetch the hand and brings it back as promised. Aristede takes it into the room and performs an incantation over him, hand in hand. Returning, Aristede sips tea and waits. Barnabas paces in incredulous impatience. Barnabas slips and mentions his mission, arousing Aristede’s curiosity. As they tussled over whether or not Barnabas will go in, Petofi enters. He cackles wildly, holds the reattached hand aloft, and proclaims, “It is mine! It is mine!!”
With Michael Stroka delectably italicizing every word, we don’t just embrace melodrama. DARK SHADOWS enslaves it. (Is that FIFTY SHADES OF GRAYSON?) There’s cackling and implying and insinuating and more eyebrows arched than in an entire season of STAR TREK. If you want to hear about people wanting and giving “the Hand,” you’ve come to the right place. Notable moment: Quentin’s tender reiteration that Jamison is the only person at Collinwood that he ever really loved. Is it out of place here? No. It’s the marvelously warm heart at the center of such outrageousness.
June 30, 1970
Taped on this date: Episode 1052
1970PT. Quentin tries to reason with Maggie, who runs out and gets Barnabas. They return to the room to find him gone. Maggie has seemingly convinced Barnabas that Quentin is a potential murderer. Elsewhere, Angelique begins to suspect that Julia is not “Hoffman.” Maggie bursts in, reporting Quentin’s “murder attempt.” Barnabas and Julia, in the drawing room, decide to find Quentin, even if he’s guilty. Even though Julia is under suspicion, she decides to follow Angelique. She faces great danger, as does Barnabas, and perseveres. Later, Angelique begins to leave, mentioning to Julia that she knows where Quentin is. Meanwhile, she orders Julia to uncover Barnabas’ secrets. “Alexis” then visits Quentin in a cave, convinced that Maggie is a witch. Why doesn’t Maggie just destroy him. What has he done to her? Is it because her father drowned on Quentin’s father’s yacht? Julia, having followed, listens to them. “Alexis” suggests he leave Collinwood on the run. Quentin expresses warm gratitude for “Alexis,” kissing her. Hearing of this, Barnabas goes to fetch Quentin. Julia claims that she can get him more easily. Barnabas worries, but Julia assures him she’ll be alright. Angelique returns, ebullient. She asks what Barnabas does during the daytime, but Julia claims he keeps himself busy. Angelique goes upstairs and Julia goes to secure Quentin’s return. On her way to her room, Angelique sees Quentin and Maggie in Main Time, speaking about Dr. Julia Hoffman going to Parallel Time to help Quentin. In Maggie’s room, Barnabas assures Maggie that she is safe. Later, at the cave, Julia tries to bring Quentin, but he suspects a trap. As they leave, “Alexis” appears, telling Quentin that the police are everywhere. He hides and Angelique confronts Julia with her true identity!
This episode has so much going on in it that it’s a tremor of the hellzapoppin pace to come. Hidden caves, double and maybe triple crosses, and Angelique moving into first place! At the center of it all? Dr. Julia Hoffman -- agent of intrigue and justice. As Barnabas learns, repeatedly, she is the woman without fear. For a character who routinely shows so much of it, this is the antidote we need.