Saturday, May 12, 2012

Experiment Blues


EPISODE 578-590

Ah, my first mobile entry. I'm at the airport waiting for a friend to arrive from San Diego and was torn between watching some more episodes or writing. Guess which I picked.

Who da--?
Soo, Tony was attacked by Adam at the Collinwood estate and knocked out by one of his famous man-killing blows (yes Sam Evans, unlike some characters I still remember you). Carolyn finds the young lawyer's body but wait-- who is that blondie pretending to be Carolyn?? I would have asked if I missed the announcement during the opening title. Apparently Nancy Barrett was sick the day of filming so had to be filled in by a one-episode wonder actress. Not that she was bad or anything but there are some characters that have to be portrayed by one and only performer. Carolyn is one of them; we can't do without her whiny little voice. I guess that's why the same trick didn't work with the character of Vicki. Yes fellas, in case you didn't know Alexandra Molte will leave the show soon. If I ruined it for anybody, well.. get over it I've known it for months. Do I still have readers btw?

Anyway, lucky for him Tony is alive and has no brain damage or anything. He didn't see Adam but fake-Carolyn knows better so she rushes to the closed-off west wing and confronts the Anne Frank monster. Adam doesn't deny anything, in fact he even asks if she loves Tony. Carolyn admits her attraction for Tony and leaves Harry Johnson in charge of Adam while she goes downstairs to talk to her uncle Roger about her mother's weird additions to her will. However, Adam somehow finds a way to break out of his room and run away, not able to take Carolyn's friendzoning anymore.

Right before Vicki dramatically
gives the ring back to Jeff.
While that happens, Jeff has doubts about working on the experiment because of the damage having a secret to hide does to his relationship with Vickster. On top of that, there's Angelique's power over him. He sneaks down to the lab and takes a peep at Julia's diary to learn about the procedure of transfering one's life force to a lifeless body, just as Angelique wishes to do. Julia catches him on the act and gets mad, probably because she has secret, girly entries about Barnabas in that journal. 
He manages to evade this situation but Julia keeps an eye on him anyway. But Jeff's overall situation gets to a dangerous point where Vicki breaks the engagement because it's obvious he's keeping things from her. Thank God Vicki didn't act naively victimized this time and took matters to her hand, although I'd say it's a bit passive aggressive for my taste. 

Jeff then tries to do the sensible thing and destroy the body. He'd have succeeded too if it weren't for Angelique's right-on-cue appearance to stop him. Some blood-sucking later, she convinces him to do the experiment asap without letting Barnabas & Julia know. By doing this, Angelique is willing placing herself in peril not only because Jeff isn't an experienced monster maker but also because Nicholas knows exactly what kind of interest she has in the experiment and tells her to forget it. She may be cursed to be pushed around by older men all her life but it never stopped her from acting out and ain't gonna stop now.

Night time lover
Meanwhile, Adam takes refuge at his new best pal Nicholas's house but the warlock isn't very happy with Adam's impulsive behaviour. He convinces him to go back to Collinwood and push Barnabas & co further about the experiment. Off he goes and first apologizes to Carolyn and nothing says I'm sorry like sneaking into one's room in the middle of the night and waking them like a creep. Carolyn is flattered by this (well, all good men are either taken or dead; she takes what she can and I don't blame her) and gives Adam a green sweater as a gift. Adam's surprise at the selflessness of the "gift" was rather touching, with all sarcasm aside. Then, waiting for Barnabas at the Old House (and probably having a sneak-peak of his bride-to be) he runs into Angelique. Both parties are surprised to see each other and Angelique makes up a lie to explain what she's doing there, making Adam go away. Let's hope Adam doesn't say anything about this encounter to Nicholas.

Jeff sucks at monsterology
With Adam gone, Angelique and Jeff go on with the experiment. Obviously, even you and I can bring a dead body alive following the written instructions. So, Jeff pushes some buttons and Angelique starts making rather weird squeaks, as if someone's pinching the life force out of her. The lights start to pulse, the machines hum and we think Angelique got what she wanted BUT Barnabas appears at the stairs out of nowhere and interrupts the experiment. Then we go, whoa what will he do when he comes face to face with Angelique BUT this time Angelique surprises (and annoys) us by vanishing into thin air (vampire tricks). Jeff is shocked too but at least what he is doing is passed as him trying to get rid off the experiment, so Barnabas removes him from his post. Later that night deep in the woods, Angelique uses her charms again to sustain the rebelling Jeff. The man just can't get a break!

You know who else can't get a break? Maggie. 
Barnabas finally reveals her as the candidate for the life force supply. He claims to have considered everyone and she seemed to be the best one there; just cause she lives alone and nobody would miss her. Are we supposed to buy that Barnabas you pig? Carolyn was obviously off-limits because she is family and there is no way he'd let Vicki anywhere near the lab. And who he chooses? The girl he kidnapped and terrorized for months during his vampire days then got Julia to hypnotize to erase it all. Why didn't he consider Mrs. Johnson for example? Or that sassy nurse at the hospital? Thankfully Julia vocalizes our feelings for us when she says Barnabas can be very cruel. She even offers herself to be the life force but we all know it's just a futile attempt at trying to be with Barnabas on the "life force" level. Barnabas gave Adam his energy afterall, so it'd be like they are husband and wife through their avatars.. Too far fetched?

Things we do for love
Julia isn't the only one disturbed by Barnabas' choice either. Willie has been building this weird obsession for our waitress (ex- waitress? How come we don't see the diner anymore?) and he freaks out when he hears the plans in store for her. He pleads with Barnabas and Julia, to no avail. Apparently, the Old House is still run by patriarchy as always been and Barnabas' word is final. So, Willie acts out and almost stabs the dead body. But this body is meant to come to life because, Barnabas once again manages to stop the meddling. But Willie doesn't stop and tries warning Maggie this time, begging the girl to leave town. When she won't, she tells her life is in danger because of Barnabas which she doesn't really buy 'cause Barnabas is all gentlemany right? (WRONG!). This too doesn't stop Willie, he uses chloroform to put Maggie to sleep and kidnap her, right before Barnabas arrives at her place. At the sight of the empty bed, Barnabas goes eek at the thought of Adam killing his precious Vicki.

Whoa this entry has been way mobile than I anticipated and taken me to crazy places. It's been two days since my friend arrived and right now, I'm in a student lodge of a hospital, waiting for the same friend to have an oral exam (He's a student of medicine); I'm keeping my eyes open for their version of Julia Hoffman.

So where were we?
Willie had Maggie and he took her to the hidden chamber of the Collins Mausoleum. With Maggie's best interest in mind, Willie tries to reason with her about staying put until everything is resolved but he doesn't quite explain what that "everything" is and Maggie rightfully thinks he is a mad man. I dunno why Willie insists on staying loyal to Barnabas; but he doesn't give away his secret. Teh again he doesn't have to, because the more time Maggie spends in the mausoleum, the more she remembers about what happened to her under Barnabas' captivity. We even get to see a few flashback scenes (first time in the show) and they make us appreciate Julia's current hair style more. 

Vicki is passed out with ecstasy
after strangulation
Meanwhile, Adam doesn't take it well that the life source for the experiment has disappeared. Barnabas and Julia tremble as he roars and they don't hesitate to blame it all on Willie. However, Adam attacks both of them and hurries back to Collinwood to off Vicki, as he threatened that he would. He attacks Vicki in her room that night, choking the bejesus out of the girl. He stops before killing her but only barely. Eventually Vicki recovers but can't tell for sure if it was Adam because she didn't see him. Pfft, come ooon Vicki!

Carolyn storms in and blames Adam but Nicholas covers his ass by lying about Adam's whereabouts during the attack. Carolyn, naive as she is, buys this and even apologizes. Nicholas is also shocked to learn that Barnabas was considering Maggie for the experiment. By now, we  know he has his own agenda for her so hearing about Willie's interference gives him a bit of a relief. He, then summons Willie via magic and orders him to free Maggie.

Adam:  A Monster of Deep Thoughts
(attention to green sweater)
He did this because he counts on the other plan: Adam, obviously guided by Nicholas, has a talk with Barnabas where he announces the new candidate for the experiment; the only person he wants to be husband & wife with but can't: Carolyn! Barnabas initially objects to this because she's family and all that jazz but Adam persuades him one way or another. He also makes the greatest observation that both Willie and him used to tremble under Barnabas' power and now both of them have disobeyed and overpowered him. Barnabas gets smaller and smaller in my eyes. During that talk, he tells Adam the details of his own creation, that he were to live within/as Adam. Adam doesn't fully understand that concept but once again delivers one of his philosophical punchlines when he says how could Barnabas hate himself so much as to wanna leave his own body and live as someone else. Deep stuff there! 
All jokes aside, small things like these makes me like Adam more and more.

Carolyn bewitched
Nicholas hypnotizes Carolyn into willingly wanting to participate in the experiment. She tells her uncle Roger that she's going to Boston for a few days to blow off some steam, which Roger finds rather a selfish act because of all the insanity going round with Liz and Vicki's attack. But she ain't going nowhere; Carolyn meets Barnabas at the Old House and declares her "decision" to join the experiment. Nothing Barnabas says to discourage her works; Nicholas' spell must have been so strong that Carolyn is able to conjure a reasonable answer to each of his questions. The body is ready down at the cellar; neither Julia nor Barnabas want to go through with it but they have no choice. They won't know for sure whether Carolyn will come out of it alive. They send her to rest upstairs when they start to do the final preperations.

Maggie remembers the good ol' times
As this is a soap opera working very closely with Murphy's Laws, it doesn't take too long for another thing to go wrong to put a halt to the experiment's process. This time it is Maggie Evans. Just when Willie was about to set her free now that Carolyn was willingly donating herself to the world of crazy science, Maggie has a revelation and she remembers everything from her missing weeks (from Barnabas' intention to turn her into Josette to putting her inside the very coffin in the chamber). She makes the biggest mistake of all when she says she knows Barnabas is "one of the living dead" and will go to the police. Willie freaks out, locks her in the chamber again and rushes to tell Barnabas the whole thing.

No escape from Adam's reign
Panic in the Old House crawls up like fire. Barnabas asks Julia to stop doing whatever she is doing and go hypnotize Maggie as if he's asking her to pick up the laundry. Obviously he wants everyone to forget the days when he was a vampire, especially himself. But before Julia and Willie leave for the cemetery, Adam walks in and gives them a hard time again. It's becoming a recurring joke that Barnabas & co have to explain Adam why the experiment isn't happening this time. But Adam ain't so understanding anymore. He knows Carolyn is ready, so he orders a total lockdown until he can walk out of there with his wife. 

*
Notes.. Notes.. Notes...

*Tony Peterson may have survived the attack but that was his character's final appearance. I don't know if he will get a resolution in the future like ("Oh, btw he died") or he'll just never be mentioned again just like Frank Garner. What is it with this show and its abrupt way of writing off lawyers!

*Speaking of disappearing characters, where the heck is David again? I can't even remember the last time I saw Vicki do actual governessing. People initially seem to come to Collinwood for one purpose but drift away from it eventually. Just look at Julia shamelessly avoid paying rent.

*It was fun to watch Vicki and Maggie have a girl-talk over coffee at the Collinwood garden. Both of their boys are Angelique's bitches and neither of them have a clue.

*So Angelique can use Nicholas' magic mirror to spy on people too? I wonder if the mirror is open to everyone or Angelique still has her witch powers.

*Adam's mate-to-be has her face covered in bandages so she won't get scarred like Adam. It doesn't make much sense but sure adds up to the mystery.


AND ONE BIG NOTE REGARDING THE FILM

When I first started the blog last year in July, my original plan was to finish the series before yesterday. It didn't happen obviously, life got in the way and my fast watching turned into slow-but-sure watching. I don't mind having more episodes on my hand actually and I am not even half way there yet so YAY!
It was also weird to see the countdown clock go by so fast.. I mean, one day there are 100 something days, the next it's already over. I may have to take it down now that the film is out.
As I mentioned before, the film doesn't open here until June 15th or something. I WILL try to avoid spoilers but honestly, I realized that I don't care much for the film anyway, especially after the rude remarks by some cast members concerning the original series (but everybody is entitled to their opinions of course). For all I know, this film and the series are two different pieces of work and should be watched with that in mind. I have been getting lots of visitors from my "Dark Shadows The Beginning recap" video on Youtube, that is good cause people do wonder what the original is like - although I am not sure many people stay to read my words as it's easier to watch a recap video. Although it wasn't my starting point, I hope the show gains new viewers because of the film.
So until mid-June, I'll keep hanging out at the original Dan Curtis town of Collinsport! :)

PS. Unfortunately, my friend didn't pass the oral exam.

2 comments:

The Rebel Prince said...

Thanks so much for this website! I started watching DS from the start two years ago, and I'm up to episode 600. Like you, I go through quick phases and slow ones, but I love it! Maybe once I'm finished, I'll watch the 1990s series, and listen to the audio dramas?

I really enjoy the length of your posts, and your humorous but loving approach to the series. Hope you keep going, so I have something fun to read when I catch up!

Best,
Sam

Efe X said...

Hey Sam,

It's great to hear (read?) that you're enjoying the blog. Even more great to learn you've been watching it for two years; I was feeling like a big time lazy ass (It's been one and a half year for me), so it's good to know I ain't the only one.

I've been going through a dry spell for the last month but I'm sure I'll keep going. Soon. Comments like these always stir me up.

So, thank you!