Thursday, May 3, 2018

The Dark Shadows Daybook: May 3



By PATRICK McCRAY

Taped on this date in 1968: Episode 489

David returns to Collinwood to find that his father has married Cassandra. His reaction is predictably disturbed. Later, he sees her kissing Tony Peterson, over whom she’s exercising her control. When he tells her that he’ll reveal the truth, she renders him mute.

As I often am heard shouting to both no one and everyone in my fruitless exercise of helpless rage known as sleep, “I do not want to be David Collins’ wife.” Between a stepmother who wants to kill you, a mother who wants to kill you, a father who often wants to kill you, a governess who goes insane and then back in time, and a governess who goes insane and then to Windcliff, you might wind up being a little needy, too. Not to mention having some trust issues with women. And men. And primordial snake god avatars. Come to think of it, if you don't look like Nancy Barrett or Joan Bennett, forget it. He's not going to trust you. Just pack it in. Maybe Robbie Rist needs a companion.

Even though they seem unevenly matched, David meeting with Angelique allows the show to explore some exciting possibilities for conflict. Angelique relies on imposing fear, and David is relatively fearless, especially when it comes to things that could actually cause him harm.  Roger’s new wife’s greatest vulnerability is the truth. Yes, her rituals are private, but how private is private from a snoop like David? And most of her workings are social. She bends the minds, souls, and everything elses of her victims usually in person, wielding influence more than an uthame. Again, a practice reliant on controlling who knows what about whom. Well, David knows more than Mati Hari, the National Enquirer, and Dr. Manhattan rolled into one. Of course he would return in time to see his hated new stepmom making out with Tony Peterson. Of course. It’s Cosmic Inevitability.

David, however, receives his comeuppance in a way he could have never anticipated when Angelique takes his voice from him. It’s an old trick of hers, but especially miserable for “Mr. I-Saw-What-You-Did,” himself. It’s a juicy moment. While this sequence has Angelique at her most unforgivably toxic, as Lang can attest, that doesn’t stop us from giving a sincere golf clap to the woman who let David see all he wanted to, but took away his power to do anything about it. Again, an instance where Willie is no longer another mask of the Cosmic Gilligan because David has taken His place. It’s a humanizing moment for him, and continues to mature the character.

Both men and women with experience in dysfunctional relationships, and by that, I mean all men and women, can probably identify with either Angelique or Roger as he tries to shuttle her off on the honeymoon. How convenient that they wait for weeks for David, and then the moment he arrives, the situation is so dire that they can’t possibly leave? Life is full of convenient excuses. Roger refuses to see significance in them because if he did, what else would become suspect? If you answered, “all of it,” you win a miniature Digging Man statue.

On this day in 1968, the Kentucky Derby resolved into weeks of controversy when winning horse Dancer’s Image was disqualified for being on an anti-inflammatory.

This episode hit the airwaves May 9, 1968.

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