Monday, December 26, 2011

1795 Yearbook

Usually I'd like to grab my own screenshots but I couldn't resist when I saw Dark Shadows Journal Online's episode guide. Here's a lil trip down the memory lane that started with Vicki arriving and ended with her getting hung! What goes 'round comes 'round~

*if you view the photo on a different tab, you can see the actual size

So Long 1795

EPISODES 451-460

Well well well.. Like any good (and dragged out) plot in a soap opera, this too had to come to an end. And while watching these remaining episodes of the 1795 story, I've had so many "A-Ha" and "I knew it!!" moments that it was uncanny. I practically guessed how most of the stuff would turn out in the previous post. I'm beginning to suspect I've been a fan of the show in my previous incarnation or better yet I may turn out to be one of the deceaced cast or crew members (with my luck, I was probably serving coffee). So anyway, lemme tell briefly how it ended~

Burn the witch!
-Last time we were left with a seemingly tame and obviously old witch trying to lift the curse off Barnabas. However, Angelique's influence was so strong that she not only fails at her second attempt but burns in Angelique's supernatural flames. It was kinda left open ended whether she became toast or survived but I think former is more likely what happened.

-People finally remembered about Vicki. Joshua tried cowardly way of helping her by having a talk with the judge and later with the governor, both of which bounced back flaccidly. Turns out Mr. Collins doesn't have much of power or influence as we have been led to believe. Pfft. Some people are full of themselves. 
But Peter Bradford ain't one of them. When the shit hit the fan, he grabbed Vicki's jailer's gun, locked him up and freed Vicki. But not before Vicki managed to shoot herself on the friggin shoulder. Don't ask me, if you've seen the episode you'll know.

Ben the everloyal
-So this is where we got to learn who's loyalty lies with who. Ben Stokes, the servant who I've had a love/hate relationship (actually it was more like sympathy/annoyance), put me to shame when he willingly helped Vicki and Peter hide (there's a slight but totally amazing reference to the time when Matthew once kept Vicki captive in the Old House). I mean yeah I knew he had a big cuddly heart and all that but after the incident at the court where he was wrongfully declared insane I'd kinda lost faith in him. Naomi was also as generous as ever when Vicki had to hide in Collinwood. Daniel too was very helpful. Nathan Douchebag Forbes was douchebaggy as always but we'll get to that later in more detail.

Vicki goes BANG BANG
-Nathan finally wanted to have Daniel out of the picture so he could inherit Millicent's wealth. He hired/blackmailed his ginger frienemy Noah Gifford for the job, who unwillingly kidnapped Daniel but before he could kill him, the boy escaped into the cemetery where he was nurtured by Vicki who happened to be snoozing hiding in the secret room of the Collins Mausoleum. She then shot Noah on the back to save the boy. That was her first and probably the last kill. 

-When Vicki and Daniel fled the scene, Nathan discovered Peter hovering over the body, who got framed for the murder and was sent to the gaol. This broke Vicki's heart later when she learnt.

-Nathan, crazy with what little authority he gained -via blackmail- within the walls of Collinwood, started to act like he is the boss. Suspecting his intentions concerning Daniel, Naomi had the boy sent to a secure place in town which naturally angered Nathan and made him give her the news about Barnabas and how he's the Collinsport Strangler now hiding in the Tower Room. After that, it was all downhill--

Naomi's demise
*Naomi discovered the body but was told Barnabas was put under a sleeping spell.
*Then Naomi saw Barnabas going for the delicious artery on Millicent's neck and screamed her lungs off.
*Joshua had to admit everything and if I remember correctly he specifically didn't use the word vampire as not to give the woman a heart attack on the spot
*Naomi killed herself anyway by poisoning her drink. She went in style and in Barnabas' arms. It was a dramatic scene where she said she loved him no matter what. Afterall, Angelique's spell was directly aimed at the destruction of whoever loved Barnabas..
*..which Barnabas used as an excuse to be emo towards his father one last time. "You are incapable of loving me so you will be spared as a victim of the curse"
Nathan's last moments
*But my favorite one came from Ben when Barnabas was feeling guilty about his mother's death:
"You can't just tell somebody to stop loving. It ain't that easy." You tell it boy!! 
*Barnabas threatened Nathan about killing him in half an hour.
*Ben taunted Nathan about Barnabas threatening to kill him in half an hour. Joshua also didn't object much.
*Nathan found a crossbow from the Collins Family collection of weapons (my brain went BuffyBuffyBuffyBuffy), shot the vampire but missed the heart (Buffy would never) and got himself killed. It was a bit rushed considering how Nathan was one of the main villains of this storyline but what it comes down to is..he is dead and his body is dumped like the carcass he was.

Locked Up For Eternity
-When this was all over, it was time for Barnabas to leave this world. Joshua'd been doing some research and found out silver bullets can kill a vampire as well. When Barnabas was taken back to the Mausoleum in his coffin, Joshua couldn't bring himself to shoot his own son. So what happened was he had Ben put up a silver cross inside the coffin and lock Barnabas up within with multiple chains while he's sleeping. They hoped that nobody would ever find and release him back to the world. But we know better don't we. It just took one Willie Loomis to do it. It was also quite symbolic that with most of the family and friends dead or gone, Joshua and Ben -two polars of social hierarchy- had to work together for this one final job.

Can he reach across the universe?
-Last but not least, Vicki Winters had been found and turned over to the authorities by Nathan before he was killed. Back in her cell and so close to the execution, her last wish was to see Peter Bradford, who too was facing charges. Before she was taken to the gallows, they kissed and cried and Peter promised Vicki that he'll find a way to find her in the future. Kinda romantic. Possible future storyline. Then at the gallows, they put the rope around Vicki..she asked for the mask..they covered her face..great silence...breaths hold...and they pulled the weight under her. She is hung!

At the gallows
Well I'm pretty sure that Vicki will open her eyes in Collinwood on the séance table all traumatized and shit but still...WOW!! I was on the edge of my seat. The moral of this story must be "live in the now; not the past". Things all in all went quite consistent with my alternative reading of this all being "Vicki's mental escape into the past to avoid facing Burke's death". She had to literally face the death herself to be able to come back to reality, which is quite mythtic if you ask me. I'm curious to learn what'd happen if Peter reappeared in Vicki's time.

We also got to learn Joshua deliberately decided to change the written family history to cover up the shame caused by Angelique. Every mention of her will be removed from the records, Jeremiah will be given a natural death, Barnabas will be written as having left for England and everything will be recorded as the way it's known by Vicki and the other members of the family. Speaking of which, I think the family history book is trapped in the past. Maybe it'll appear on Vicki's lap when she wakes up? Or maybe Peter will bring it with him?

Now let's do a final situation update of the characters:
*Naomi, Sarah, Jeremiah, Abigail, Josette Collins are all dead.
*Barnabas will be locked in the tomb for the next 150 years or so.
*Millicent and Daniel will be raised by Joshua Collins as if they're his children. Millicent is also a total kookoo head right now.
*Angelique too is dead but her body was gone from where it was buried the last time we checked and she appeared at the court looking very much alive so we don't know for certain.
*Ben Stokes is set free from his servitude by Joshua upon Barnabas' last request. Actor Thayer David also has the honors of doing the first male voice-over prologue narration of the series. Dingdingding!!
*Rev. Trask's skeletons remain within one of the walls of the Old House cellar.
*Andre du Pres had left the town after Josette's death. We dunno what happens to him.
*Natalie too strangely disappeared during the last couple of episodes. I bet she opens the first tarot shop of the history.

Ok so, as much as I enjoyed this ride I'm glad it's over. It was surely a ballsy move on the writers' part to take the series into a brave new territory, especially when the year of the production is concerned.. And they must have liked it themselves cause we'll apparently have couple of more different time-travel stories in the future. I'm looking forward to them but I'm just glad we're back in the present for now.

PS. Also, what the hell will happen to Phyllis Wick the other governess?

Friday, December 23, 2011


..shouted Barnabas at his father in defeat and desperation. But before we get to that glorious moment:

EPISODES 431-450

-It turns out the cliffhanger of episode #430 was sort of a fake out. Barnabas, scared shitless of Josette’s unexpected transformation into Jocelyn Wildenstein, immediately sent the poor girl back to her grave between episodes. Personally if someone has me rise from my grave and doesn’t even gimme a hug, I’d be royally pissed.

-It also turns out the counterpart of David, named Daniel in this timeline, arrived with his sister Millicent and has been around since then..they just forgot to mention him at all, that’s all. Nonetheless we buy this not so subtle retconning. So, what’s there to say about Daniel? He’s basically David without the obvious sneakiness. Tsk tsk. I seriously expect better and more original characterizations in the future time travel stories.

Went with a whimper!

-Abigail’s curiosity leads her to her doom when she finds Barnabas’ coffin in the Old House cellar. Face to face with her “dead” nephew, she is told the truth about Angelique being the witch but still manages to deny it. Sigh. Some folks just don’t give up. And before Barnabas could kill her to keep his secret a secret, she dies of fright with an unintentionally hilarious expression on her face. She had it coming you know.

Gravely testimony
-Reverend Trask uses every friggin’ force in and out his hands (including Abigail’s “mysterious death”) to have Vicki convicted and hung. Even Angelique rises from her grave to testify in the court. Accusations and objection-your-honors fly back and forth. That son of a bitch Nathan Forbes changes his testimony at the last minute. To save her own ass Vicki even tells the amazing story of her time-travel in full detail. But at the end the court finds her….wait for it….guilty! She’s been waiting for her punishment in her cell since then. Oh and she and Peter have been actively smooching every now and then. Is that evanescence of Burke Devlin’s memory I’m hearing?

A fate worse than death
-Barnabas, being a perfect gentleman even as a vampire, supernaturally taunts Rev. Trask for the pain he’s caused to Vicki. Eventually he lures Trask to his cellar where he gets him to sign a confession about Vicki’s innocence right before trapping him behind a brick wall where he eventually dies. I’d rather prefer he went for a more brutal method of offing Trask that involves some guts and maybe a castration or two but this will have to do. At least we had the pleasure of seeing Mr Trask beg like a little girl. 50 bucks says he even wet himself.

Maude tells all
-Between Abigail and Trask’s deaths, Barnabas attacks yet another prostitute named Maude (I can’t actually tell if they are prostitutes but for some reason the local women that he goes for are extra flirty) but fails to feed on her the first time ‘round. I dunno maybe it’s the performance anxiety. So anyway, he eventually finishes the girl off but all the racket he causes leads Nathan Forbes to uncover Barnabas and his secret which he uses to—

-Marry Millicent Collins! Nathan hires a random guy named Noah to collect information about Barnabas and he eventually finds out that he is neither in England nor quite dead but actually hanging around at the Old House playing bridge with Ben. OK not really. So he takes this piece of valuable information to Collins patriarch in exhange for his consent to the marriage. Gotta hand it to the SOB, he knows how to play it dirty.

Barnabas out of closet coffin
-Upon this, Joshua goes to the Old House and witnesses Barnabas rise from his coffin. That’s where the dramatic “BECAUSE I AM A VAMPIRE!!” line comes in. Barnabas even threw himself towards the wall during that scene, it was that dramatic. Shocked to discover his son as the reason behind the recent tragedies, Joshua's first reaction is to shoot him. When it doesn’t work and the message behind “BECAUSE I AM A VAMPIRE” finally reaches across, Joshua decides to keep Barnabas locked up under his supervision. So I’m gonna go and say what we’re all thinking: Yes, Barnabas the legendary vampire is grounded. I’m just glad he didn’t go “But daaad!”. Anyway, he gets locked up at the Tower Room at Collinwood. And no video games young man!

Nathan learns where
the money went
-What used to be a comic relief couple is now getting on my nerves. I’m talking about Nathan & Millicent of course. To prove to the other members of the Collins family that he loves her not for her money but for who she really is(!), Millicent transfers all her fortune to her brother Daniel’s account. She does it, of course, without letting Nathan know but since this is a soap opera, he learns about it from Daniel anyway. After the initial eruption, he pretends not to care while putting his new plans in motion and since this is also a gothic show (or least it used to be), they involve driving Millicent insane so he can inherit the money. She makes the poor gullible girl think she’s hearing voices and seeing things: namely, the light and sounds coming from the Tower Room caused by our very Barnabas. When he forces the girl to go up there and look, she gets attacked by Barnabas. Now supporting a pair of cutesy lil bite marks on her neck, Millicent it seems has totally lost it this time.

Once bitten~
-Joshua is looking for a way to reverse the curse on Barnabas and runs to Natalie du Pres for help (can someone explain to me again why the hell is she hanging around like a big loser now that her niece is dead and gone and her brother Andre left so long ago?). He must have assumed since she was into tarot cards, she should also be an expert on black arts. Who’d blame him though, she’s the only one around that looks like an actual witch. And it turns out, she does have a trick or two up her 18th century dress' sleeve. The unlikely pair hold a secret seance thingie and send out a “psychic message”. Right on cue, an old witch named Bathia Mapes shows up at Collinwood (when the door blew open for a sec there I thought it was Laura Collins from the Phoenix storyline and boy wouldn’t that have made a great twist).
The Somewhat Good witch
Anyways, that creepy Gandalf of a woman does a spell to summon Barnabas (who’d fled the scene after the incident with Millicent) just in time to save yet another floozy that Barnabas was about to bite. When Barnabas enters the Tower Room under her influence, Bathia gets in contact with Angelique via Barnabas’ body, who shouts threats, then breaks the bind and attacks the woman.


So, that is the current cliffhanger. I have a feeling that we’re coming to an end concerning the 1795 story, though I don’t really wanna know which episode it will be. I want to be surprised.

Isn’t it sad though nobody really cares for Vicki at the moment? Barnabas, Joshua, Natalie and Ben all know by now that she is innocent and Angelique is/was the real witch but they aren’t doing much. Where is the confession that Barnabas made Trask sign? Why isn’t Joshua keeping his promise that he’ll see that she gets freed? Move it dammit, she could be hung any minute now. I have pictured her return to the 1960’s like this: Just when Vicki is about to be hung and the chair is pulled under her feet, she wakes up back in her timeline. But then, probably not. Let’s wait and see.

My favorite moment from this 20 episode cycle was Naomi Collins slapping Reverand Trask. Girl power at it’s best.
Crack the whip

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Death Works Overtime

EPISODES 416-430

-There's been none to little mourning for poor Sarah, no wonder she's haunting the grounds in 1968. Her father Joshua frowned a bit more than usual and her mother Naomi hit the booze. If none of the supernatural happenings won't kill her, cirrhosis will.

-Angelique's body may be dead but her spirit lives on in the form of a floating head that was previously used in action by Laura Collins. Must be a thing about blonde ambition.

-Barnabas for some reason can't bring himself to stake himself so he tries to get Ben to do it for him, which he can't cause of the floating head (see above).

-Just when Nathan and Millicent are planning their rather untimely and totally inappropriate marriage (what is this, "Four Weddings and Four Funerals"?) Suki Forbes, Nathan's long lost wife (or more like abandoned) shows up in town and pretends to be his sister so she can blackmail him better. I was like woo new character new mystery when BANG Barnabas kills the woman two episodes later. Is it his second, third victim? Should I count Angelique? It was pretty hilarious though when Millicent found out the whole truth and declared herself dirtied/ruined/soiled, just what Collinwood needs one more weeping widow. However, she's positively my favorite character in this timeline.


-Barnabas obviously never learnt his lesson with happened to Sarah so he went on to show himself to Josette. They fell in love again yada yada, love beyond grave and all that and Barnabas was getting ready to turn Josette into a vampire when the ever restless witch interfered and in a form of a vision showed Josette what kind of a monster she'll be turning into if she goes on with Barnabas' romantic plans. There rest we know: Josette. Widow's Hill. Body smashed against the rocks with entrails out in display. Barnabas going JOSEEEEETTE.

-Dark Shadows is many things: gothic, supernatural, soap opera and now court room drama. Vicki's witch trial has begun with Peter trying to defend her against Trask putting on some theatrics. Abigail and Natalie also testify against her. That Abigail knows how to make an entrance!! Things don't look so good for Victoria Winters I'm afraid.

-Barnabas' secret may also be in jeopardy with many people hanging around the Tomb: Millicent, Joshua, of them is bound to find out the truth! But who? Whooo?

-Trying to test the limits of his powers, our hopeless vampire literally tries to convince Josette to crawl out of her grave but she just wants to be left alone (what a lame scene, really). Josette eventully comes back but  supporting a hammerhead shark eye. Similar thing had also happened to Jeremiah which makes me wonder if there's something in town's soil.

-I just can't wait to go back to 1968.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

The Collinsport Gazette Vol 2

(EPISODES 401-415 cont'd)

     Victoria Winters, the mysterious new governess of the Collins Family, has recently been arrested with the allegations of being a practitioner of witchcraft. Ms. Winters has been placed at the Collinsport Gaol where she met guard and lawyer-in-training Peter Bradford, who will be defending Ms. Winters at the upcoming trial. Various sources have reported that Ms. Winters denied the charges against her and asserted a strange claim of being "from the future where she worked for the descendents of the Collins Family". Majority of the Collins Family members hold Ms Winters responsible for the recent tragedies that have befallen on the family. However, Barnabas Collins was reported to be ready to defend the young woman just before his sudden departure to England. Victoria Winters was apprehanded by a Reverand Trask, who also served at the Salem Trials...More on Page 13


Damsel & Prince Charming
So what did I tell ya Vickster? You got yourself in some serious bull. Thank god now you have a Ken doll by your side to protect you. What an unsuspected minx, isn't she? I mean people search all their lives to find a proper partner and there she got herself one in a friggin' prison in another friggin' century. Let's see how she deals with Burke's death now! But I think Peter here is way better for our Vicki; least he's not 20 years her senior. Go camp Peter!!! Oh and I think he must be this century's Frank Garner. We always knew she had a thing for lawyers but this one is also a guard too. Think they're using the handcuffs yet?

Bad vs Good
She's now in a position where every situation works against her. All of Angelique's biddings have been associated with her. If that's not enough, whenever she tries to make things right by outing herself as a future-comer (and showing them the Collins Family history book from the future that she happened to bring with her for some reason), people get all the more convinced that she is indeed a witch. Thanks to Reverand Trask, every sensible thing that she says to prove her innocence (the very existence of the book for example) is passed off as "the way of the witch.." There's nothing more frustrating than fanatism. But I shall chillax; this is just a show and Vicki surely can't be hung as a witch here... Right?

Josette sees her portrait in the book
So we have almost every member of the family against her; with Abigail leading the mob (It's pretty hilarious when she is referred as the least wealthy member of the family or not mentioned at all. This is the eventual path to Sarah Johnson the maid.)
Josette (and her aunt Natalie) is pretty sure too after begging Vicki to spare Barnabas' life but he dies anyway. Poor Vicki even at that point tries to warn Josette about her death but that also comes out as more witchery. (However, Josette gets pretty terrified to learn her death will be by her own hand. Will she be a case of self-fulfilling prophecy remains to be seen)

Vicki tries to convince Naomi
Then something happens and Vicki remembers about little Sarah impending death. She gets Naomi down to the gaol and warns her about not letting Sarah out for the next two days as she'll die of fever caused by exposure. Naomi isn't sure whether to believe or slap her but as she has the gentle genes that will be carried down to Liz Collins for the next 150 years, she decides to listen to her and protect Sarah. However, Sarah has already left the house that night before her mother gets home. 

Let me stop here for a bit and elaborate something that I kinda skipped in the previous post. When Barnabas' body was sealed in the Collins Mausoleum, only the family members was to know about it. The rest of the town and little Sarah was told he left for England on an indefinite business trip. So one night when Barnabas (who's so far been sleeping in the coffin at the Mausoleum during the day and secretly drifting the streets at night) decides to hang around Collinwood, Sarah sees him from the window. This is why she runs after him at night and follows him to the cemetery where she gets locked up inside the Tomb (sigh ~ first David now her..or wait chronologically it'd be first her then David). When she's finally found, she is already seriously sick and unable to speak -once again Barnabas' secret is safe. 
Sarah tragically dies
Later, Barnabas secretly enters her room to check on her situation (he's blaming himself for what's happened and he should!!) and she dies in his arms, right after she says her farewell. So, now we know why Barnabas will be so obsessed with her ghost in the future. I also thought it'd be Angelique's voodoo that'll kill Sarah but it's actually pneumonia. Although we can say Angelique is sorta responsible as she was the one who put the curse on Barnabas that caused him to be at that place at that time and Sarah to follow him. That bitch messed up the whole family and died just like that!

So we have Barnabas' vampirism on one hand and a more pressing matter of Vicki's trial. Every finger is pointing at her as the witch; even her warning Naomi about Sarah is likely to look like a fake sympathy attempt while secretly casting a spell to kill the least that's what cousin Millicent thinks. Naomi is sorta pro Vicki but she can change her mind now that her son and daughter are dead. Let's see how they'll get out of this one.


Here are quick notes from the episodes before I finish:

  • There's still no counterpart of David in this timeline. A brother of Millicent was mentioned earlier but I think they're waiting for this mess to be solved before introducing him into the already crowded cast.
  • Josette's famous portait finally made its debut when it was sent to the Old House as a late wedding gift to the Barnabas & Josette couple. However, it arrived right after Barnabas married Angelique; but he had it put up over its famous position over the fireplace anyway which angered Angelique all the more. Oh well, she's dead now.
  • And speaking of it, I wonder when the rest of the people will notice her absence. After Barnabas killed her, Ben dug a grave for her and hid the body.
  • There's a side storyline going on about Millicent and Nathan's flirting. I took them as a comic relief at first but now they're suddenly talking about marriage. Nathan is definetly in it for the money and poor naive giggley Millicent is clueless.
  • I feel a weird sense of familiarity with Vicki's character as she witnesses history happen in front of her, knowing about the future and all that. But I feel this about watching the show itself, knowing some of the actors are gonna die in the next 40 years or how they'll look when they get older. It's a bit surreal and just a tad depressing.

    I have been ignoring the show and the blog for so long, I thought I was gonna give up on both, latter first and eventually the former. But I guess here I am again ~

    Tschüss til the next one!

    The Collinsport Gazette vol 1

     (EPISODES 401-415)

        Barnabas Collins of the Collins Family has finally discovered his newly wedded wife Angelique is the witch. According to the sources, the Collins Family handyman Ben Stokes played an important role identifying the "witch" when he drew the letter "A" as the inital of the witch's name. It's been rumoured that Ben Stokes had a curse on him that prevented him from uttering her name, so that's why such a peculiar method was used.  

         Upon learning this rather unnerving news, Barnabas Collins confronted his wife who in turn mercilessly threatened to kill Josette Collins (formally known as Josette duPres) aka Mr. Collins' would-have-been-wife if Angelique the witch hadn't intervened.  So Mr. Collins rightfully resorted to murder by stabbing and poisoning but each time his plans backfired... Then one night, a gunshot from the Collins House was heard.....More on page 2

    Attack of the rubber bat
    So here's how it went down: Having had enough of her threats and probably her weird accent too, Barnabas shot Angelique..but on the shoulder. Angelique the drama queen, however thought she was dying and right there on the spot cast a spell on Barnabas that would kill whoever Barnabas loved and vice versa  (I actually don't get why Barnabas just didn't blow her head off before she could finish the spell but anyway). Then, out of nowhere a bat entered the room and bit him on the neck. And this is where vampires come from!!
    Josette watches on as yet another
    one of her lovers dies in front of her
    Realizing that she wasn't dead, Angelique tried to help Barnabas get well cause she still luuuvs him. Actually at first she tried to hide Barnabas away from the others but eventually they discovered him in the sickbed. (That scene was pretty cool, where Natalie grabbed Angelique's arm to stop her from stopping Josette from finding Barnabas. I was gonna High 5 the screen)
    Anyways Barnabas suffered for a while before he could tell anyone about Angelique. Doctors couldn't help him, Angelique's spells certainly couldn't help him. Then he died. Aww~

    Angelique's gravely demise
    His father Joshua, to prevent rumours of plague, had him secretly placed in a coffin in the backroom of infamous Collins Tomb and nobody outside the Collins & duPres families was to know about it. However Angelique knew what was about to happen to Barnabas and went there to stake him once and for all. <<DING DING DING ~ This is the first instance where the word "vampire" is uttered and it's by Angelique>> I'd have offered to give her a special prize but then she kinda died two minutes later when Barnabas rose from the coffin for the first time and snapped her neck, so..
    This is also important cause it's first time Barnabas uses his signature move of grabbing someone by the throat when they open his coffin. Remember Willie? Or Jason? Or Julia? We're witnessing the history making here~

    An-ney-ways after Angelique's poetic justicesy death (afterall she cast the spell to curse whoever loved Barnabas), Barnabas uses Ben to do his dirty work, just like he will do with Willie a century and a half later. However he's not a psychopath yet, not that he ever really was, but he's just beginning to grasp the situation and all. Too bad there ain't a vampire bar like Fangtasia in Collinsport where he could hang out with homie vampires.

    Opening a parenthesis here, this is what I learnt about vampires watching Dark Shadows:
    a)Barnabas was turned by a bat under a spell. I think it's also possible in this universe for another vampire to make a vampire (remember how he was gonna try it on Maggie)
    b)They can turn into a bat or teleport.
    c)They can influence someone's free will if they're feeding from them. (We should note that is not the case with Ben Stokes' character. He's helping him willingly due to his friendship with him)
    d)They aren't vicious animals..least Barnabas isn't. Ok he can't stop himself from drinking blood but at least feels guilty about it afterwards.

    Julia Hoffman v. 2.0
    ^ That brings me to Ruby Tate. She was the prostitute that Barnabas ran into at the docks while looking for fresh blood, whom he flirted with until he bit her and caused her to fall into the sea and presumably drown. Normally I wouldn't care about such a character but she looked and talked extremely like Grayson Hall (aka Julia Hoffman & Natalie du Pres) that I thought she would be her sister or something. I couldn't find any info on it though.

    UP NEXT: Vicki is arrested but will she find love in prison?
      And another tragedy strikes the Collins Family!

    Tuesday, October 11, 2011

    Witch Hunt & The Zombie-Ghost

    EPISODE 381-400 

    Still under Angelique's spell, Josette and Jeremiah secretly get married away from the family. When they come back and give them the shocking news, an angry Barnabas challenges his uncle to a pistol duel where he fatally wounds him. Jeremiah eventually dies in his sick bed.

    Meanwhile Angelique casts a spell that makes Sarah sick which she uses as a window to trick Barnabas into marrying her. She also summons Jeremiah's ghost to further torment Josette but she herself falls victim to his haunting.

    Sick and tired of the mysterious happenings surrounding the family, Abigail invites a witch hunter called Reverend Trask to seek out the witch, whom they believe to be Vicki. Barnabas and some others help Vicki  to hide and in turn she confides in Barnabas by telling the whole story of how she came here. But Angelique's interference sends Vicki right into Trask's arms.

    Oh boy, have I been lazy or what? This is the longest I took between two posts, even my watching has slowed down. To be honest, despite what I said in the previous entry, this 1795 story is going a bit slow for my taste. But let's not go around blaming the show altogether; lately I haven't been the most joyful bird in the flock either. But aaanyways, let's go on with the actual ranting shall we?

    Collins Family Drama
    The history is not only unfolding in front of us but it is also getting altered, giving me a WTF moment every now and then. Wasn't Jeremiah supposed to be Josette's husband more than a day? Didn't Barnabas say (in 1967) that he would have liked nothing more than to kill Jeremiah? Now all these alterations, usually related to Jeremiah's death, can be explained as;
    a) dramatic license taken by the writers to make it all more suitable for the soap concept.
    b) a famous fan theory: Altered Timeline. Surely Vicki's travel to the past has effected the course of some events and since Barnabas the vampire doesn't recognize her in the future timeline, we are denied the satisfaction of a "predestination paradox"*. Also let's not forget about my theory of this all being in Vicki's mind. If this were the case, wouldn't it be ironic that the first person here to die is this century's Burke, the very person whose death caused Vicki to be entrapped in these illusions. Poor Vicki, right now if she weren't busy with a witch hunt on her head, she would have mourned for the guy..again!
    *Did you know that such a book exists? I will definetly read it when I'm done watching. Has any of the fans here read it?

    It is also a bit odd that Barnabas shoots his uncle and just gets away with it. Nobody is slightly bothered by it. Oh well, it must have been something of the 1790's I guess. Just like Boy George was of the 1980's.

    Josette the mourning widow
    I wonder why the heck the du Pres family is still hanging around? I mean Josette practically lost two husbands, surely they don't expect her to marry Joshua Collins or anything? And speaking of the devil, his Thundercat days are over and yes he is human again but everybody's awkward about the situation, calling it "something weird going on". He turned and unturned into a freakin' cat for god's sake! Angelique should actually have let Ben have his way with the cat when he had the chance, that's all I'm sayin'. Anyway, my heart aches for Josette is the moral of this paragraph~

    Alright, so about Angelique...
    The witch shows her true face
    I am not sure how I feel about her anymore. I mean surely I like to watch her but seeing her a fool for love, begging and pleading to Barnabas on her knees is..well..degrading! There's something noble (and rotten) about not casting an outright lovespell but instead making him love her at his free will, even if it takes to torment the ones around him. I thought it was the bells for Sarah (which wouldn't really bother me) but her life was spared at the last minute. Regardless of what I said in the previous post (about her non-murderousness), I am sure Angelique isn't afraid to go the distance and Sarah's eventual death will most likely be by her hands. And on that note, she once again used a toy (Sarah's famous doll this time) to cast her spell. I wonder if the connection between these spells and Barnabas the vampire's weakness against these toys will be further explained.

    It's also funny that she doesn't have quite the hold over the dark arts. Her minion Ben isn't afraid to call her a witch and laugh at her (rather loudly) when her plans sometimes blow up in her face. Then she raised Jeremiah from his grave to scare Josette and the others but he got out of control and started to taunt her instead. She must have failed some advance classes at the Witch Academy!

    Jeremiah vogue-ing!
    The existence of Jeremiah after his death is a bit inconsistent. I mean we (along with Josette and Naomi) saw him rise from the grave looking like a zombie but his powers (appearance and disapperance, voice from beyond, creating illusions) are more like a ghost's. Hence I shall call him, the super amazing zombie-ghost; one of the original creations of Dark Shadows. Seriously though, what's with the hanging eye? Jeremiah got shot in his chest or something so when did his eye got all saggy?
    Angelique feels there's some other force controlling him. But who can it be? Is it Abigail? Natalie? Voldemort?

    So, scared by these unexplainable happenings the family flees to the New House aka Collinwood even though it's not totally finished. And the Old House is given to Barnabas & Angelique as a wedding gift by the glorious Naomi Collins. Guess the Collins women always were generous with gifts (Just tell me where I can find one!!) This similarity, along with others, makes me wish that the writers used this same actors - new characters aspect a little more creatively and gave those people somewhat different characters compared to their 1967 counterparts. Everyone is more or less the same save for Nathan and maybe Natalie (who is slightly less hysterical than Julia with better hair). I hope for a more outside the box characterization for the 1800's time-travel story in the later episodes.

    Bloody Wedding
    So Barnabas & Angelique got married despite Joshua's strong objections. He even disinherited his son, but what he doesn't know that he will live much much longer than the rest of these suckers. But poor Barnabas got left at the altar twice in a row (first when Josette fled to marry Jeremiah, second when Angelique was kidnapped by Jeremiah's zombie-ghost and buried alive but came back to go with the wedding. That's one heck of a determination btw). I think the only person who doesn't object this marriage is our good ol' naive Naomi who is just ready to befriend Angelique and drown her in gifts when Joshua is ready to wipe the floor with her. Honestly, I wouldn't wanna be on bad terms with a witch. Unless I'm a  zombie-ghost, who by the way tried his best to literally blood up this marriage.

    Trask looks like a vampire
    than Barnabas ever did.
    Finally let me say a few things about that Reverend Trask (his 1967 counterpart is that film noirish lawyer. I actually forgot his name. Lemme check from the previous posts. Anthony "Tony" Peterson. Umm ok.). He is loud, pretentious, self-proclaimed and having taken part in the Salem Trials, a sodding sexist as well. Almost nobody buys his act but that fanatic Abigail. I kinda cheered when Vicki slapped the man on the face with her almost 200 year old young feminism. Too bad, he has her now. What kind of a witch trial he'll put her through, I shall see~ 

    It seems to be up to Barnabas to figure out Angelique is the witch. He's already suspecting and he will do it if he can get over the "but how can my wife be a witch!!" phase. C'mon it's not like she's your wife of 29 years, I bet you didn't even do it yet! ;)

    With demonic love~

    Saturday, October 1, 2011

    Let's Do The Time Warp Again

    EPISODE 366-380

    Vicki is sent to the year 1795 and just in time for Barnabas and Josette's upcoming wedding. Despite initial confusion, she is given a job as Sarah's governess. During her stay, she meets the members and friends of the Collins family, each and every one of whom resembles someone from Vicki's original timeline and she finds out at that point the family history is quite different from what she's known. Then, a witch named Angelique bent on stopping the marriage arrives in the Old House and she fires up the chain of events that'll mold the history as it's been told.

    Let's meet our vast cast of new characters played by familiar faces~

    Barnabas Collins
    Barnabas is our old Barnabas but now still human and romantically waiting for his bride-to-be to arrive from Martinique. He's the first person Vicki runs into in this timeline. He's quite noble and gentle but an unexpected visitor from his past comes to bite his ass. He's quite like the Barnabas we knew actually, minus the fangs and the aggressiveness plus the sunshine on his skin. He thinks Vicki has some kind of 6th sense when she occasionally slips her knowledge of the future.

    Sarah Collins
    Barnabas' dear sister Sarah is also still alive. She mistakes Vicki for her new governess that they've been expecting and her instant liking to Vicki actually plays a big role in her getting the job. We haven't seen much of her since then, I think we're gonna witness the whole dramatic sickness and death of hers. It also seems even as the living, she had a tendency to say "I must go now" and run off. Well, even death can't change some habits.

    Naomi Collins
    Barnabas and Sarah's mother, poor Naomi is expected to be everything a woman of  the 18th century is expected to be: obedient and silent. She has a good caring nature, not unlike Liz of 1900's but she has almost no authority and everything she does is questioned and controlled by her husband Joshua. Honestly it's kind of hard to buy her as Barnabas' mother but it may as well be fitting since in those days it'd be common to have early marriages and pregnancies (trivia #101 Actress Joan Bennett is only 14 years older than actor Jonathan Frid). She may have minor psychic abilities for she has nightmares about Angelique's spells. She also seems to like a drink or two.

    Joshua Collins
    The father of Barnabas & Sarah and husband to Naomi, Joshua is a tough man who shows little compassion (if not none) to those around him. All he does is order around. He's also quite an opportunist as he plans his son's and brother's weddings according to the wealth of the brides' family. Everybody one way or another obeys him but Vicki. As she's from a century where women have started to liberate themselves from the patriarchy, she doesn't mind questioning Joshua's judgements to his irritation. Well, he's totally a Roger of that century, his power comes not from self but only from his title. Oh and he gets turned into a cat by Angelique. It's nothing personal really, she just needed a diversion to push her plans forward but personally a pig could have been more fitting.

    Abigail Collins
    Spinster sister of Joshua. She's very superstitious who first thought Vicki is possessed by an evil force because of her "immodest" clothing (thank God it wasn't Carolyn that got sent to the past) and her mysterious appearance. If it weren't for the others, I bet she'd have set the girl on fire right there on the spot. She is kinda tough but as she's a woman she doesn't really have much say in the deals. She and Naomi have some strong sister-in-law strife and it's fun to watch. If only Mrs. Johnson could see this huge social class leap her look-a-like took. 

    Jeremiah Collins
    Jeremiah; younger brother of Joshua and Abigail, whom we've known as Josette's husband and Barnabas' sworn enemy from the established history. It turns out he's Barnabas' uncle and had no connection with Josette until Angelique came along and cast a lovespell. Under the spell, the two secretly meet and kiss and can't pull themselves away even though they try. Also they both have the mark of the devil, a pitchfork, appearing/disappearing on their hands. His "resemblance" to Burke often surprises and saddens Vicki. He's also one of the few people who find Vicki's oddity interesting.

    Millicent Collins

    A distant cousin of the family, she is actually everything Carolyn would have been in this century. She's naive yet flirty and reminds me of Cécile de Volanges from "Les Liaisons dangereuses". Joshua wants his brother Jeremiah to marry her (yuck @ the incest factor) because of her family's wealth but Jeremiah isn't interested. She comes to the Old House from New York specifically for Barnabas & Josette's wedding. I really like the way actress Nancy Barrett performs this character, she totally shines among those who play their new characters rather similar to the ones of the 1960's.

    Angelique Bouchard
    Ahh finally, Angelique!! She's Josette's maid who arrives one day before the bride does. It turns out Barnabas and her had an affair some time ago in Martinique and she's still in love with him. But when Barnabas rejects her, she resorts to magic to ruin the wedding. She also has the caretaker of the house under her influence to do her bidding. I think she'll be my new favorite character. Her piercing eyes and her little French accent are amazing. She also has a slight resemblance to Nicole Kidman. For some reason, I can't take her as a real villain probably because she doesn't really want to kill people, just make them you know, miserable and act out of their wills.

    Josette du Pres
    Our good old Josette, now in flesh and blood (of Maggie Evans), arrives in Collinwood as an excited bride. Too bad soon after her reunion with her husband-to-be, she falls victim to her maid Angelique's spell and hopelessly falls in love with Jeremiah. After people begin to suspect something's up, her marriage with Barnabas is pulled one month forward in a rush but she disappears on the night of the ceremony. It's so nice to finally see this character as a living person and witness her progress as she goes from being Barnabas' fiancee to Jeremiah's wife and leading to her suicide at Widow's Hills.

    Andre du Pres
    He is, not surprisingly, Josette's father. His wife is apparently dead.  He's too arrogant to find American way of things acceptable. He's proud of his French heritage. When he finds out about his daughter and Jeremiah, he confronts and persuades him to leave. But just when Jeremiah was about to leave, his brother Joshua got turned into a cat disappared so he was forced to stay. Andre was among those who wanted to rush the wedding and he's the one who found out Josette was gone. Well, remember how much I didn't care for Sam Evans? It goes for Andre du Pres as well.

    Natalie du Pres
    Josette's snobby, tarot-loving aunt who refuses to drop the title countess from her name. She positively hates Barnabas' father Joshua. And when I said tarot-loving I meant tarot-obsessed. She's almost always reading the cards and suspects evil is around but she does it with a certain sophistication that is not to be confused with Abigail Collins' outright superstition. It was her who first saw Jeremiah and Josette kiss and made the urgent wedding plans. She also suspects Vicki to be a witch and subtely presses the girl about it. I think she shows some similarities to Julia Hoffman with her belief in the supernatural and her determination to seek it out. Just watch your neck around Barnabas.

    Ben Stokes
    Matthew of the 18th century. He's the caretaker who is not so bright and easy to manipulate. Angelique's spell totally bound him to her, he can't even speak about it without choking. He hates his boss Joshua but has loyalties to Barnabas and Jeremiah, which sometimes causes problems when he's forced to do something against them for Angelique. But he did get happy when she turned Roger Joshua into a cat. He even almost chopped it with an axe. We haven't seen the actor Thayer David for the past 130 episodes or so, it's nice that he's brought back. Just as long as he stays away from Vicki or the Bill Malloy of this century, it's all good. It was also pretty hilarious when Vicki first saw him and tried to run away in panic.

    Nathan Forbes
    Lieutenant Forbes is a naval officer and works for the Collins family. He's one of the first people Vicki ran into in this timeline but she learned her lesson when Nathan turned out to be nothing like Joe Haskell. He tried to get his way with her more than once and is shamelessly casual about it. He also starts to show interest in Millicent Collins after learning about her family's fortune. I'm so glad Nathan is so different from Joe. It must be a terrific experience for the actors to experience this kind of variety within the same show. He does have a rather distracting bulge though, if you catch my drift.

    • I'm totally enjoying the time travel story. The costumes, the change of characters, witnessing the whole history making is a great experience. Such a creative show this is!!
    • Vicki believes she's there to change some things. Be careful Vicki, you might just erase the whole Collins family of the 1960's from existence. Also, her slips about the future seem like they're gonna cause her some trouble so I might watch that tongue too if I were you.
    • It is also possible to read this "time travel" concept as Vicki's figurative escape into another yet familiar world to deal with Burke's death. Here is a curious dialogue to support this thesis
         Jeremiah: And is he reason you may leave us one day?
          Vicki: Right now, he's my reason for staying here
    • I am beginning to see the Old House as a new place and not as the place Matthew held Vicki captive for days or the gloomy house Barnabas lived in. The magic of the "cinema" I suppose.
    • Angelique is amazing.
    Talk to the hand, Ben!