Wednesday, February 1, 2012

The Comeback

EPISODES 461-470

Here is the thing. I can't quit this show. I've tried many times. 
Actually, it's not like I decide to quit it. What happens is that my desire to watch eventually diminishes when real life brings up something more important to focus on. But somewhere in my mind there's the echo of Collinwood (The widows let's call 'em) wailing in the distance, calling out to me. I've grown too fond of these characters to quit. The mysterious cloak that covers the future stories intrigue me. All the possible storylines and the new characters..what a juicy, uncharted territory. Am I cursed to keep coming back to Collinwood until I finish it? Has it become my own Manderley?

<<enter Dark Shadows theme song and the waves splashing against the rocks 'neath the Widow's Hill>>

Vicki's big comeback
*The last time we saw Vicki on the previous episode's cliffhangery ending, she was at the gallows waiting for her death, looking as sullen as Bella (ew, we're doing Twilight references now?). And then and there, she was hanged. After so long, finally we cut back to~
~Collinwood drawing room, back to present day. Phyllis Wick, the other nanny freaks out before she is pulled back into time and Vicki is back again!! It turns out Phyllis, in the original past, started to work as Sarah's governess and was hanged as a witch. That's why Barnabas recognised her during their brief encounter here in the present day ("What are you doing here?") and had no memory of Vicki. What Vicki lived was an alternative take on the past but when she came back, the other governess was sent back to her rightful place at the end of the rope. All thanks to that frigid Abigail. Bitch!

Julia shows off her new hair
*So woo hoo we're back! All the characters we've missed and haven't really missed (I'm looking at you Roger and Carolyn) are there. Julia is still supporting that hideous hair but that's to change shortly as she goes out for a haircut later on which grabs Barnabas' attention but Julia is too cool to care now. Vicki is suffering from PTTSD (Post Time Travel Stress Disorder) and having hard time differentiating two realities. 

*Barnabas suspects Vicki has learnt his secret (when in fact poor girl was locked in jail while the members of the old Collins family were dropping like flies; hence she is clueless) and wants to get rid off her. Even as a new vampire, he's always been a gentleman in the past. Now seeing him as a villain once again comes as a bit of shock but personally I'd have been a lot more crankier if I were to be locked in a coffin for more than 150 years, so it's understandable. Thankfully, Julia -no longer trembling with fear like a leaf on Widow's Hill- sticks with Vicki against Barnabas and swears to protect her. She's hardly the poster woman for the protector of the innocent but things work a bit different in Collinsport it seems. And seriously, her new hair is kinda cool. Oh, by the way she finally comes out as a doctor which nobody really cares.

*Speaking of Julia, I find her choice of words while hypnotizing someone ("Find the center of the light") quite interesting as usually and not surprisingly, the imagery of light is cinematically used to point out "enlightenment" and "bare truth". However, in a show where the truth is hidden in dark shadows, it is very fitting that Julia directs attention to the "light" to manipulate people's memories and make them forget certain elements of their lives, especially traumatically dark ones (see also Maggie). Here, Julia's "light" functions as false sense of security and hope, where darkness creates a space for the repressed truth to live in. It's all in consistency with the vampire mythology and how they're always in the dark as well.

At Peter Bradford's grave
*So anyways, people are confused whether Vicki was actually in the past or not, but she is still thinking about her cross-time&space lover Peter. Barnabas is annoyed by her obsession with a long dead individual which creates an unintentionally hilarious scene where Julia snaps at him "You loved Josette!!". It is funny because it is true and the tone in Julia's voice is tinted with envy. After some research and graveyard visits, Vicki finds out Peter was hanged for the murder of Noah Somethingthing, whom Vicki herself killed. Depression comes knocking on Vicki's doors.

Roger's new obsession
*Also from a local shop, she buys a portrait of Angelique without remembering who she really was (which makes me wonder where the heck Sam Evans is). Roger, being an easy target, falls in love with the painting..literally. He speaks and sings and dances to it (really embarrassing stuff to watch) but there is something sinister and supernatural going on. He starts to think he is Joshua Collins and orders Liz around, thinking she is Joshua's wife Naomi, which Liz answers with a slap on his face. Barnabas tries to get rid of the painting but it reappears. This is the second time the Collins family is terrorized by a portrait of a blond woman. Anyone remember Laura?

Prof. Stokes comes from good stock
*We also meet Ben Stokes the caretaker's descendant Profesor Timothy Stokes who apparently descended rather well seeing he's a scholar and all. He's doing a research on his family and thinking there's a connection with Ben Stokes and Angelique, he wants to buy the portrait which Roger won't just give away (man, just buy yourself a Playboy magazine). Barnabas fills him in on some details of the past and keeps an eye on the man, in case he gets too close to his own secret.

*Barnabas finally sticks his fangs into Vicki's young, smooth neck and has her under his influence <<welcome back neck scarfs>> despite Julia's warnings. Even though Vicki's overwhelmed by Barnabas' power, she starts to remember some vivid details about her travel to the year 1795. But obviously, not so much free will is left in her as she agrees to leave Collinwood to get married. But on their way, Vicki loses control of the car and it crashes when she sees Peter Bradford come out of the woods and...friggin' wave at her??? I have no idea why..

*We now enter the realm of a medical drama with both of our dear characters are taken to the hospital. Vicki is alright and the Peter Bradford look-alike is actually named Jeff Clark. Vicki doesn't take it well and for some weird reason Jeff acts kinda over-reacty to be confused with Peter. I smell something fishy but I can't put my finger on it yet. Vicki's slutdom will be tested with this Jeff guy hanging around. Will she fall in love with the man who looks and talks like the love of her life (and death)? Surely we're familiar with the common fate of her previous lovers as they all seem to be forgotten for good.

Walking on sunshine
*We have a medical drama but the writers must have thought hey, why not have medical horror story instead and created a character named Dr. Eric Lang. This man is so bright that he quickly figures out Barnabas is a vampire. He also gives him a random treatment that immediately reverts Barnabas back to his human form. Barnabas is over the clouds (almost literally) yet cautious to turn into a withering old man again. Julia is clearly jealous. Things all in all are too good to be true~

~ That's when things start to happen. Roger, completely Angelique's bitch by now, performs a spell (or is it Angelique using Roger's body, I am not sure yet) that almost kills Dr. Lang. Barnabas is quick to realize that Angelique is working beyond the grave to keep her curse on him permanent. Barnabas begs Lang to stop treating him cause it'll cost him his life.

Some Assembly Required
*We also find out Jeff Clark works for Dr. Lang, although not willingly. Lang has a power over the man, which is not fully explained. We know so far that Jeff has difficulty remembering his past and he is told that he was criminally insane before he met Lang. He is also warned against harbouring feelings for Vicki, whom Lang has a secret agenda concerning.
Last but not least, as the cliffhanger of episode 470, we see Jeff bring Dr. Lang a box that has ice and a severed arm in it!!!!!

Now, I've seen too many horror films and shows to know what "collecting body parts" mean, especially if it's done by an unethical and experimental doctor. And I'm glad the show's going to that direction for a change.

Lil notes:
  • Carolyn finally snaps out of Barnabas' influence when he becomes human again. Yaaay! I've personally missed seeing her normal again.. you know, as normal as she ever was. She's also having a love/hate relationship with  the rich-hatin' lawyer Tony Peterson. It may or may not turn into a romantic thing.

  • Both Vicki and Carolyn's bite marks disappear once Barnabas is human again. However Vicki is still sort of having trouble telling Barnabas that they can't get married. Spell or not, she was always the nice one wasn't she?

  • My theory about Jeff is that he actually is Peter who somehow managed to do a jump into the future which caused memory loss. Lang found the man and brainwashed him to do his dirty deeds.

  • I hope to see Angelique in the flesh again, instead of on canvas or echoing laughters.

  • As of now, there are 99 days til the movie which also happens to be my birthday as I've mentioned on various occasions. We're on two digit days now folks and I am not sure if I'll be able to finish watching the whole thing. Nevertheless, I think I will be alright considering they're basically doing the Josette and Barnabas story from what I made out of the news. Can someone tell me without spoilers if the series will address that story again?


Torchy Todd said...

"Nevertheless, I think I will be alright considering they're basically doing the Josette and Barnabas story from what I made out of the news. Can someone tell me without spoilers if the series will address that story again?"

Yes, the Barnabas/Josette story will be addressed again...but that is all I shall say (no spoilers).

Efe X said...

Oooh sounds exciting!!
Thank you Torchy~