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