Monday, September 5, 2011

Pressure Cooker

Tension is once again building up in Collinwood to a climax where outbursts are set to occur in Episodes #256-260

Looking out of time and place
The little girl outside Maggie's cell (and right out of Little Women or any equally periodic novel) is sitting playing with a ball and singing the never ending London Bridge song on a loop. Maggie tries to talk to her but she walks away before Willie arrives with some food. Maggie once again begs him to release her but he claims to have no control over his will; even he's tried to escape a couple of times but can't bring himself to it somehow. Later when Willie leaves, the girl reappears!

About time David had a love interest
Some time later while enjoying himself on a swing outside the Old House in the reused outdoors footage, David runs into the very girl. She looks kinda sad to him, telling she lives around here but can't find her friends. Her name is Sarah and she claims to already know David's name. They play with the ball for a while as David mocks her choice of favorite song (anyone wanna guess what it is?). After Sarah leaves to find her friends, Willie catches David and shooes him away.

Back in Collinwood, David tells Vicki about his encounter with Sarah; the clothes, the song, the attitude..the whole package. Vicki asks why he didn't bring her home so they'd help look for her folks.

In her cell, Maggie once again hears Sarah's signature tune: London Bridge. The girl finally engages in a conversation with her to say if Maggie sees her big brother, she shouldn't tell him about her!

Tough men smoke tough cigars
The next day consumed in her own drama, Liz literally closes the door on biker Buzz's face which sets off another fight between her and Carolyn who insists her mother recognise Buzz as her fiancee. Buzz offers Liz a ride on his motorcycle if she's good girl. Amusement is in the air~

The joke's on Jason
Jason tries to take control of the sitch by playing the tough stepfather to Carolyn but his attempts are as flaccid as a jellyfish. Later at Blue Whale, he secretly tries to buy out Buzz but his plan backfires when Buzz claims to be unbuyable and lets Carolyn in on it. The two ridicule Jason a bit more on their way out.

Can Sarah be Maggie's only hope?
Enough fun and we're back in Maggie's gloomy cell (she's been there long enough to at least try to redecorate it). This time Sarah appears inside the cell after hearing Maggie cry. She remembers a time long ago when her family, brother especially, cried often. Maggie shows little interest in her showing up in a locked cell if not none. They instantly become bffs: They play with the ball, sing the song, play Josette's music box etc. before Sarah mysteriously vanishes when Maggie looks away for a second.

Tears of a vampire
Maggie, slowly slipping into delirium and almost regressing into a little girl herself, tells Barnabas about her "secret friend" and once again refuses to be Josette. This somehow truly sad scene (with the score, acting and even the camera positioning) ends with Barnabas leaving Maggie in the cell with tears in his eyes.

We learn why soon enough. He thinks Maggie's sanity is past the point of no return and she needs to be disposed of. Willie helplessly asks him to show mercy but Barnabas refers to a time when he too needed mercy but was shown none (when he first became a vampire I suppose). The verdict is clear: Maggie will die tomorrow night!

Upon learning this, Willie rushes down to convince Maggie to act "sane" with a little force but she insists that she does have a friend and she'll come to her. When he leaves, she finds Sarah's doll lying on the cell floor and embraces it as if her only hope.

Meanwhile, Liz gets a rather shocking call from the Sheriff informing that Carolyn got involved in a drunk car accident where she almost ran over a woman (runs in the family). Liz turns to Vicki for advice who tells it'd be best if Liz herself went down to the Sheriff's office to get Carolyn. Having never left the grounds for 18 years (except for that brief hospital stay recently thanks to Laura) but intend on building back the bridges with her daughter, she agrees to do so.
Fall of matriarchy in the presence
of a patriarchal figure*
Vicki drives her to the Police Station where even the Sheriff himself gets surprised to see Liz. But the bigger shock is saved for Carolyn, who not unexpectedly acts like a brat and twists Liz's good will into a supposed act of her getting over Carolyn's father (cause he was the reason Liz was up in that house all these years but of course not in the way Carolyn thinks).

*whose efficiency (as a department) has been questioned on various occasions by various characters. I may go as far as to suggest Dark Shadows itself is about women's liberation but it's too soon to make such a generalization. Saving the academic gabble for after I'm done watching.

Liz drops the bomb
Once they're home, Liz gets another push from Jason that makes her want to scream the truth about Paul Stoddard and get it over with. Later, Liz sobs in her room so heartily that it breaks my heart. Vicki the evergentle comes to comfort and Liz, having kept it hidden for so long, frantically confesses that she killed Paul!! Phew final-ley~

In the Old House, Willie is in a moral battle with himself. He isn't gutsy enough to let Maggie go but instead he gives her a glass of milk with a pinch of cinnamon and poison, thinking it'd be better considering the end Barnabas has in store for her. He lets Maggie know about the poison in case she wants to take her own life.

Sarah once again appears in Maggie's cell, this time playing the song on a flute (geez!). Maggie begs her to inform Sam about her whereabouts. Sarah says she knows a secret way out of the cell but for some f'd up reason sings it in a cryptic nursery rhyme and only once (It's in the same fashion as "1,2 Freddy's coming for you.."). She, then vanishes.

When all hope seems to be gone..
Sam's working on a painting when he sees Sarah watching him already inside his house. Finding her cute and probably out of grief for Maggie, he starts to draw a sketch of her. The subject comes to Maggie's disappearance, where Sarah insists he looks for her at the beach below Widow's Hill tonight. When the surprised Sam looks away for a sec, Sarah is gone.

..there might just be another way!
Meanwhile the sun's setting and Maggie trying to solve Sarah's puzzle Tomb Raider style. (This is shown with parallel cuts of Barnabas opening his eyes, rising from his coffin, walking etc. and creating so much suspence that I couldn't sit properly on my butt while watching) She finally finds the secret brick that triggers the wall to open into a hidden passage. She crawls through seconds before Barnabas enters the cell. Lost in the labyrint-like passages, Maggie looks for a way out as the vampire gets closer and closer~

Oh no, will she make it?!!
And what's with ghosts' insistance on going puff when people aren't looking. Are they embarrased to do it with a mortal watching? I'd personally would love them to yeah! 
However, Sarah is a different ghost (that is of course if she is a ghost). She's corporeal meaning she can touch things, people can touch her etc. Very different than Josette's see-through ghost! The hints of her true identity can actually be found here

Also extra points to Liz for finally finally letting it out!!~ To be honest, that side-story interests me more at the present!

To conclude, another shoutout to my friend Zeynep who is so hooked up on the show now she's written about it on her blog.

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