Tuesday, July 18, 2017

The Dark Shadows Daybook: July 18



By PATRICK McCRAY

Taped on this date in 1967: Episode 291

Julia ambushes Barnabas and reveals that she knows his secret. Moreover, she has always been fascinated with the line between life and death and seeks to eliminate the latter. Studying and curing Barnabas is key to that. Meanwhile, Sam and Joe learn of Julia’s secret identity and pressure Woodard to go public. Willie is mistrustful of Julia, and Barnabas reassures him that he will kill her. Julia, however, secures her life when she reveals that if she dies, a very alive Maggie Evans will name Barnabas as the killer.

This is one of those “nothing is ever the same” episodes, and it moves like lightning. This may also be the official sign that Barnabas is here to stay. Julia was destined to be his van Helsing, and when she offers salvation in place of a stake, nothing can be the same. It’s interesting to map out events planned at a time when Barnabas was there to be destroyed and events created once the producers decided to keep him. Grayson Hall is especially dazzling today, geeking out on vampires with a fervor that’s just on the sane side of obsession. She’s making her presence as Julia a permanent fixture on the show, and today, she even does her first narration. When people rib a Grayson Hall performance, they are usually talking about her moments of showing ignorance or fear. While it’s an unalloyed pleasure to give their critical faculties a black eye when they do this, I can kinda-sorta see what they mean. Why do fear and ignorance sit so uneasily with her? I think it’s because they are states unfamiliar to the real Hall, a gutsy, sharp, and lusty individual. It’s in episodes like these, where she has the situation by the stake, that she’s at her most charming and least affected.

On this day in 1967, the world was blessed with the birth of celebrity D&D enthusiast, Vin Diesel.

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