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 C├ęcile 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!