Thursday, April 19, 2012

Goodbye Jonathan Frid

1924 - 2012
An icon for eternity

Joan Bennett, Grayson Hall, Louis Edmonds, Thayer David, Clarice Blackburn, Joel Crothers and other dear Dark Shadows alumni that have passed away is honored by the presence of Barnabas "the man" Collins. If there ever is an afterlife, I'm sure it'll be a blast of a party with a guest list such as this. 

It was nice to know you Mr. Frid, even though it's hardly been a year.
I'll be watching you~

Monday, April 16, 2012

Collinsport's "Other" Vampire

EPISODE 547-560

We saw Cassandra point a gun at Barnabas at the Old House and were left wondering, not if she'd blow his head off, but how she wouldn't. How was Barnabas not going to die this time and what was gonna be the factor that'd save him..again.

There goes her chance to be
the next Mona Lisa
Well, Cassandra's hand starts to shake before she can fire the pistol and Barnabas quickly disarms her. Then she acts all weird and drama queeny as if dying and puts a hood on her head to hide her face. By now, we all know what it means and right on cue, Angelique's portrait in Vicki's room (remind me why she's keeping it in her room again?) starts to glow and wither, meaning Nicholas' curse has begun. The painting ages not artistically elegant this time without Sam Evans' touch but rather as if the Satan himself pissed on it. Vicki's freaked out by it but does nothing of the sort that is remotely close to throwing it the hell out of the room.

Who's the fairest of them all?
Cassandra leaves Barnabas in a hurry and runs to Collinwood (runs as in grandma steps sorta run) hoping to find the portrait. Not recognizing the raisin that used to be his wife just a little ago, Roger invites her in and has her examined by Julia. Knowing it is the witch, Julia takes aaall the time in the world to attend to the dying old woman. Let's just be grateful that she didn't slap her again. Anyways, Cassandra somehow finds a way to sneak out of the room through the window and into Vicki's room through the secret panel that was last used in the 1795 storyline. Nicholas surprises her by pulling an appearing-out-of-the-dark-corner-of-the-room trick and cuts a cruel deal with her. If she can convince Barnabas to forgive her and everything that she'd done, Nicholas is going to de-age her.

Just when you thought she
couldn't sink any lower.
Off our golden girl goes back to the Old House and begs, really begs, on-her-knees-begs for Barnabas' forgiveness. He almost pities the woman but meh, she sorta killed his whole family so she gets no cookies in return. Angelique dies in the armchair, not quite peacefully but hey that must have been a heck of a 200 years full of great memories. Bear in mind that this is her second death so one would think she ran towards the light this time right? Well, let's just say for now one would be greatly disappointed -coughthetitleofthepostcough-.

New living arrangements
Nicholas is a cunning man, he saw this coming; there was no way Barnabas would forgive Angelique so he prevented the mess beforehand by giving Roger "a goodbye letter" from Cassandra. He also said all his "sister"s bitchiness apart, he liked it here and wanted to settle. This didn't seem weird to Roger but did we really expect it to? He even offered to rent Nicholas the family's house by the ocean (where Burke and Vicki were supposed to live in if it weren't for Burke's untimely and totally forgettable death). Nicholas also removes Cassandra's body from the Old House and keeps it in a coffin at the cellar of his new house. Speaking of this house by the ocean, they must have thought we wouldn't notice after a couple of hundred episodes that this is not the same set they used for the house back then. It is actually the set for Dr Lang's mansion, hardly redecorated. No laziness escapes from the DVD generation.

Truth hurts even if you're a monster;
especially if you're a monster.
Nicholas keeps mucking up Adam's mind, teaching him about the "want. take. have." motto, which Adam tries to use on Carolyn when sweet talk ("friend; food") won't get her to love him that way. Carolyn sees this monster as a friend, which is very sweet of her really, but it isn't enough for Adam. When his abuse borders on physical (though I wasn't sure whether her moanings were of agony or ecstasy), Carolyn calls Prof Stokes to have him removed asap. The two have a little talk and Stokes tells Adam the truth about his creation: that he is a creation. Adam doesn't take it well and gets depressed. He even unsuccessfully attempts to kill himself with a knife. Actually, the fact that a man-made "human" questioning his existence is very interesting. Especially the line "whoever made other people made them beautiful" was very nice. Deviously enough, Nicholas "happens to be" there to guide Adam through his adolescent pains.

The maker; the makee
Adam pays Barnabas a visit at the Old House that night. The ex-vamp is surprised to see the monster he once looked after is now almost a plotting intellectual. Since his earliest memory was Barnabas looking down on him on the operating table, Adam mistakes him for his creator. Regardless of how much Barnabas tries to explain that Dr Lang is the one who originally put him together and Julia was merely responsible for bringing him to life (sadly this must have been the closest Julia will get to be a mother; unless of course a long lost child from an ONS arrives unexpectedly), Adam demands Barnabas to make him a mate. Barnabas rejects; Adam leaves with threats. Even Willie thinks the idea is crazy but then he's always been a softie when it comes to dealing with icky stuff. So much for being the handyman of an ex vampire and a quasi-mad doctor.

Vicki's happiest day..again!
Meanwhile, Jeff and Vicki have a romantic moment at the garden and he proposes to her with the worst line ever (about the ring "It's old fashioned, reminded me of you"). She says yes, they suck face kiss and there is no rememberance whatsoever of Burke's proposal at the same spot couple of months earlier. Well, if they want us to forget about him, so we shall.. NOT!

Been a while since Vicki's been
held captive.
We know how Vicki is annoyingly caring and nice so she feels the need to tell Barnabas the news about the engagement herself (actually deep down she just wants to see the man crushed). Jeff is jealous of this affection but then, so was every other boyfriend of hers. They talk, Vicki has her satisfaction, Barnabas tries to keep it civilized. On her way back to Collinwood walking through the woods, Vicki runs into Adam, who's actually been waiting for her and gets herself captured. That's her signature move. He keeps her in his room at the west wing and tries to explain that this isn't personal, she'll live if she does as told yada yada.

Vicki is declared missing when she doesn't show up after a couple of hours. The police is called, search parties are formed and Jeff gets a chance to have a pissing contest with Barnabas. Suspecting Adam may have something to do with it, Carolyn confronts him but fails to find Vicki tucked in a closet. Nicholas has better luck and gets Adam to spill. Wanting to be a part of the plan, Nicholas has Vicki transfered to his own house.

Tom J. at the wrong place & time
At Nicholas' place, a handy man named Tom Jennings finds Angelique's coffin. Later that night, the man gets attacked by something in the woods. At the same time somewhere else in the woods, Barnabas freaks out by the howling of the dogs and it doesn't escape Jeff's attention. Barnabas returns from the search with a minor memory loss and when Jeff finds Tom Jennings' body in the woods with two puncture marks, Barnabas thinks he's become a vampire again and is responsible. But Julia dramatically suggests the idea of another vampire.

Vampire posing as a witch
And she is right. In a great twist, Nicholas reveals the new vampire to us: Angelique!!!
Nicholas explains to her that she is his "slave" now and even her feeding will be under his supervision. Angelique has hard time understanding this but Nicholas makes sure she does. Their first project is Vicki, who gets visited in the room she's been locked in by Angelique wearing her 18th century clothes. Angelique tells Vicki that she is in a limbo-like place; trapped in time and if she wants to be saved she should give her engagement ring so Angelique can give it to Peter Bradford -not Jeff Clark (Ok did that sentence make any sense? Angelique wants Vicki's ring and lies to get it is the short version I guess). Vicki doesn't trust the witch right away but 30 seconds later she ends up giving the ring to her.

Adam gets the ring from Nicholas and takes it to Barnabas for proof that he has Vicki and will kill her unless Barnabas makes him a sex puppet. Blackmail at it's best! Fearing for Vicki's life, Barnabas tries to convince Julia to do the experiment again.

If looks could kill..
Jeff has a talk with Barnabas and Julia about Adam. Knowing that there's a prowler in town that kidnaps people and survives falls from cliffs, he suspects that he may be Dr. Lang's experiment afterall. Barnabas & Julia lie that the experiment was unsuccessfull and they disposed of the body after Lang died to prevent a scandal but Jeff doesn't really buy it. Since he collected all the body parts for Lang, he says he just needs one good look at Adam to know whether or not it is him and for some reason, I just have a feeling that he doesn't mean to look at his "face" if you know what I mean. Also, didn't Julia erase all memory of the experiment from Jeff's mind?

The duo also exchange information with Prof. Stokes about Adam while still maintaining their own little secrets. They all suspect that someone is putting ideas in Adam's head. Stokes tries to reason with him about Vicki and succeeds but Nicholas doesn't waste time to further poison Adam's mind and discard everything Stokes has tried to build up. It ends with Barnabas and Julia unwillingly agreeing to do the experiment on the condition that Vicki is released. Adam threatens to kill every single member of the Collins family if they don't keep their word. Roger's name on the list of "people who Barnabas and Julia would feel sorry for if they are killed" is strangely missing.

Vicki's back, the ring's not
Nicholas puts a spell on Vicki that erases the whole memory of her kidnapping and sets her free. She arrives at Collinwood as if just returning from her visit to Barnabas. She is shocked to learn the truth but sadly has no recollection of the events. It doesn't escape Jeff that her ring is missing. Geez man, I know you paid for it and all but could you be less inconsiderate? Nah, I'm kidding he's a peach. Not as peachy as this new character Tom Jennings though, who by the way is alive but in critical condition at the hospital. I smell another soon-to-be vampire.

Speaking of hospitals, Joe is out of it just in time to find Nicholas at Maggie's cottage, talking about paintings and such like an old wolf. Maggie is naive about it since she doesn't know about Nicholas' plans for her but Joe suspects something fishy is going on. Nicholas feels that Joe will be an obstacle so he decides to have Angelique prey on him.

Meanwhile since Vicki is free, the preparations for the experiment start at the Old House. Willie doesn't want anything to do with it knowing he will be the one to rob the graves, but Barnabas persuades him by using Willie's feelings for Maggie and what Adam would do to her if he finds out Willie doesn't wanna take part.

Open buffet
Joe receives a note from Nicholas inviting him to his house. He shares this with Barnabas and they both agree that there's something odd about it but he decides to go anyway just out of curiosity. When he gets there, Nicholas' "secretary" Angelique who seems to be bothered by something lets him in. She asks for Joe's help, telling him that Nicholas abuses her and she can't get away. I don't know if this is part of their scheme or Angelique really trying to get out using Joe. Regardless, he makes the mistake of letting Angelique in his arms and she sinks her fangs into his neck.

Oh no!

Notes.. Notes.. Notes..

*Angelique is a vampire and I couldn't have been happier. First of all, the Adam story has started to bore me recenty and this new direction keeps the show fresh. Secondly, it is so good to see Angelique blonde again after the horrid Cassandra persona and without the classical 18th century style. I mean she ain't exactly hip either but she's never looked that good before.

*Vicki's "limbo trick" would have been interesting to watch; making her believe that she is out of time when she was merely locked up in a house somewhere in town sounded cruel yet fun. Too bad it lasted only half an episode. Then again, it would have easily been a bore if they were to drag it out like her previous captivities.

*Why the heck was Prof Stokes suddenly extra sarcastic recently, even to Vicki? Did andropause finally find him between episodes or what?

* Joe the ever honest thanked Barnabas and Willie for saving his life during the Adam ordeal and makes up with Willie. Or he thinks he does. Willie still hates his guts.

*Last but definetly not least, a shoutout to my friend Ayşe for buying me the book "The Physics of Dark Shadows: Time Travel, ESP, and the Laboratory" as a gift and bringing it from the States. I won't be reading it any time soon cause one peep into it was enough to find out it is filled with spoilers but I am very excited about it, even seeing it in my room makes me happy. I have never been particularly interested in physics (heck, who am I kidding I almost failed those classes during high school every year) but seeing how they are blended with elements from Dark Shadows, I just knew I had to have it. My first impression is that the book is way thinner than I expected but I'm sure it makes up for with the subject matter. I'll make sure to review it once I get to read it after finishing the show.

Friday, April 6, 2012

The Man In The West Wing

EPISODES 531-546

Okay, here I am again, back on track after yet another hiatus. I've been meaning to make this post for weeks but tons of stuff came up. It's also quite clear that I won't be able to finish the series before the film comes out. However, I've recently found out that the film will be released here in Istanbul around mid-June instead of on May 11th (which also happens to my birthday as I'd mentioned many many  times before), so I have some more time on my hands. But with the rate that I'm doing this (watching & blogging) it doesn't seem likely, does it? Oh well, that means more Dark Shadowage during the upcoming summer. So anyway, let's remember what's happened recently~


The last we checked, Joe was lying unconscious at the Old House; as the courtesy of Adam. Barnabas brings Julia over to check the young man and she determines that he is alive by touching him on the forehead, making me wonder if she had been on LSD throughout medical school (that actually would explain quite a lot). Long story short, Joe is alive but hospitilized and Ms Hoffman is a kook.

Meanwhile Vicki tries not to have the dream but doesn't last much long. In the dream, after the regular 25¢  horror ride attractions, Vicki follows a bright light into the Old House to see Barnabas' dead body, on the same spot where he originally got bit by the bat. Of course having the dream is just half of the story. Vicki tries a bit longer to ignore Barnabas, knowing that telling him the dream will destroy him. Not knowing the former Barnabas is this Barnabas, Vicki thinks Angelique has a twisted mind for cursing the new Barnabas because of her obsession with the "former". 

She had it coming!
But because Barnabas is a gentleman, he doesn't allow his crush Vicki to suffer longer and lets her tell him the dream, then leaves for the Old House to welcome his doom. The single greatest moment of the series happens when Cassandra walks into the drawing room to find Julia and Vicki grieving. Julia looks at the witch in the eye, walks up to her without a word and SLAPS HER ACROSS THE FRIGGIN FACE, THEN LOOKS AT HER AGAIN AND WALKS OUT LIKE SHE DOESN'T GIVE A SHIT!! If that ain't the definition of epic, I dunno what is. I was like "yeah..slap the bitch" and then there it was, loud and juicy and I went "Yes!! Yes!!!!" Then Vicki had to go on and ruin the moment by nagging talking but the echoes of epicness was sill there. And all Cassandra could do in return was throw feeble "My husband's gonna hear about this"s, can you believe that. You've just been bitchslapped woman, know when to stop! This moment set the scene for future soap operas where catfight would be the main conflict. And by that I mainly mean Dynasty.

So anyhow, later that day Barnabas finally has the dream. His beckoner is Cassandra, not Angelique, a small detail which doesn't escape Barnabas. She gives him the same tour of the Dream Curse set and Barnabas too follows the bright light back to The Old House. However, this time his dead body ain't there. Barnabas begs the witch to finish him right before waking up. 

Full Journey of the Dream Curse 

A Tale of...
Julia and him have a moment of woo hoo we defeated the curse but only seconds later, a bat (or was it the Bat Signal?) attacks Barnabas just outside the Old House. Their celebration is over and Barnabas dies in Julia's arms. Despite knowing he'll be re-reborn as a vampire, Julia can't bring herself to pull a Buffy on him so Willie and her bury him in the middle of the woods. They get sentimental and make plans of running away from the town and I actually expected an unexpected, passionate kiss that went like "Take me Willie, take me right here over Barnabas' grave" to be followed by Julia turning cold in the morning and pretending it didn't happen, maybe she could even slap Willie as well cause she's on f-i-r-e!! But, no that didn't happen~

..Two Mournings!
Here, in order to tell it properly I have to do a flashback to a couple of days earlier. Knowing Adam was on the loose, Carolyn looked for him at the shack-like place where he'd held her captive. And Bingo! There he was. Carolyn must have sensed Adam's goodness so she offered to help him hide, bring him food and joy. She also let Prof. Stokes in on this, knowing he had Adam's best interest at heart. But something veeerry strange happens: At the exact moment Barnabas gets attacked by the bat, a wound appears on Adam's neck too. Since they share a life-force, whatever happens to Barnabas affects Adam and vice versa. Prof. Stokes brings Julia to examine the dying Adam and she realizes her mistake when Adam starts to suffocate. They buried Barnabas alive!!!! They rush to release Barnabas from the ground and Adam gets well too. Prof. Stokes and Carolyn decide to hide Adam away from the others so they put him in a room at the closed-up west wing of Collinwood, telling Julia he ran away again.

A preview of what's to come
Barnabas is surprised that he ain't a vampire. They still wanna go woo-hoo again but they know better. Somehow the spell didn't work. Cassandra goes nuts when she hears about it and it doesn't help that Nicholas is breathing down her neck to make her finish what she started. He tortures her mentally and physically and gives her couple of hours to find out whatever is blocking the curse. 

Tape in the wrong hands
The answer lands right onto Cassandra's lap when David arrives with the tape-recorder with Dr. Lang's hidden message. Cassandra gets overjoyed to learn about Barnabas and Adam's connection, that Adam's existence keeps the curse away and only his death will turn Barnabas a vampire again. Nicholas also gets intrigued by that piece of information and wonders more about this Adam guy. Meanwhile David rushes to tell Julia about the message Dr Lang had left for her but he doesn't remember it all that well. Julia's eyes turn in her sockets when she learns Cassandra has this information and changed the tapes. Barnabas feels guilty for trying to kill Adam before, since he owes him this mortal life and all.

With everyone wondering where he is, Adam is right under above their noses in the west wing, living like Anne Frank. Carolyn brings him food and books and Adam "experiences" the feeling of love. He kisses Carolyn and she freaks out a bit, so she friendzones him.

Harry is busted!
When you have a giant living-dead man living in a house, people are bound to notice him and that's what happens when Harry Johnson (remember Mrs Johnson's ginger son that appeared in one episode and disappeared for the next twenty?) begins prowling. Adam almost kills him but Carolyn stops it at the last second. When Harry tries to blackmail Carolyn, she does it double and makes the man help her with taking care of Adam (Basically, she makes him her bitch). So the totally pointless character of Harry Johnson almost has a point as Adam's nanny.

Dead Men Tell No Tales
But he isn't the only one. Set out to find Adam, Nicholas first summons the ghost of Dr Lang to learn more about the experiment. Then he summons the ghosts of dead-people whose parts Adam now wears as accessories. They literally point to Adam's location and Nicholas pays him a lil visit, introducing himself as a friend (and food). When Carolyn hears about this, she confronts Nicholas like the fiery little Collins she is. They come to an understanding and Nicholas the sweet-talker makes her believe he won't say a word to the police or anyone else. 

Beginning of a scary friendship
He also forbids Cassandra from hurting Adam, stating her revenge is trivial compared to what he has in store for the creature. But she doesn't listen to Nicholas and pays Adam a little visit at night with an axe in her hand.  Before she can behead him, Nicholas appears in the room (this is one of his powers; actually I don't remember ever seeing the guy open a door) and stops her. It seems Nicholas will use Adam's hate for Barnabas to gain him as an ally and I can't imagine anything more dangerous than a warlock with a Frankenstein creature as his protégé.

Angelique depowered!
But Cassandra doesn't take no for an answer and rushes downstairs to cast one of her famous clay-figure spells to off Adam. If she did less talking and more voodooing, she would've been successful too but Nicholas stops her again at the last minute. This time, his punishment is tough: He strips Cassandra's powers off of her and leaves her a mere human whose only attribute is being married to Roger of all people. Cursed to age and die shortly, she has a fight with Roger over her frigidness and ends the relationship saying it was a fake. Then she rushes to the Old House and shockingly admits her true identity to Barnabas. Saying if she's to die tonight, she'll take him with her, Cassandra takes out a gun and aims it at Barnabas!!!!

Now was that a true soap moment or what! Guns don't appear much in a show where magic is the main weapon but when you take away a witch's powers, what is she left with right? Let's watch and see if Cassandra will be able to go through with it.


Notes.. Notes.. Notes..

*The Dream Curse is finally over.. La la la la la!

*Nicholas starts to show interest in Maggie and admits to Cassandra that he has plans for her. I am half excited, half scared. He has free access to the girl now that Joe's at the hospital because of the concussion. What is your game man? 

*Anyone else noticed the portrait of Betty Hanscombe, the woman who looks exactly like Vicki, at the Evans cottage after like 500 episodes of absence. I was thinking maybe they'll readdress that issue if Nicholas notices it but no such luck. And what is it doing there in the first place, didn't Sam give it to Vicki?

*Stokes & Carolyn hide Adam from Barnabas & Julia, who in turn hide the secret about Barnabas. Both teams come very close to finding out each others' secrets and they don't fail to hint that.

*Willie told Maggie about Barnabas' death despite telling Julia that he wouldn't and Maggie told Vicki despite telling Willie that she wouldn't. When Barnabas turned out to be alive, they passed it as Willie's instability. I am not sure if they'll mention this later. 

*Adam's getting clever and clever. It's even OK to say that he passed Willie.