Saturday, September 1, 2012

Let's Save Vicki!!

EPISODES 657-665 

Maggie doesn't like notes
Hold your horses and vacuum cleaners, Mrs Johnson! Vicki's clothes and things may appear to be back under mystical conditions but it is actually David and Amy; the bratty members of Let's Be Possessed By Our Ancestors Club who is behind this charade, as I suspected. In order to have Barnabas change his mind about the Boston trip, they pull a similar stunt with their own clothes that they packed. While it doesn't make sense why Vicki's ghost should be moving other people's clothes around, Barnabas; Maggie and Mrs Johnson doesn't question the logic of it and are somewhat convinced there's something supernatural going on. Yay, a make believe wardrobe haunting!! However, something unexpected happens and Josette's music box in formerly Vicki's and now Maggie's room opens by itself to reveal a note saying "I am alone, help me!". Short, effective, to the point! There's now no doubt the ex governess is in need of help. Lucky for the kids, the trip is very close to cancellation but it is made clear they had nothing to do with the note.

Joe the madman
Upon hearing about Joe's recent go at kidnapping, Chris visits him at the police station under Julia and the Sheriff's supervision. Joe seems to have completely lost it, thanks to the recent revelation that his cousin is a werewolf, but is unable to report what he'd witnessed without sounding like a lunatic on crack. He freaks out even more so when he comes face to face with Chris, so Julia decides to put him down like a dog sedate him with an intravenous injection. Under the influence of the drug, Joe wonders through the sets of Dark Shadows in a dreamstate, while encountering monsters that he's faced all his life (Chris the werewolf; Tom the vampire; and Julia the needle carrying crazy bitch doctor from hell). He wakes up crazier than ever and to realize he's been put in a straightjacket, on his way to Windcliff. Chris watches on with guilt, knowing all of this is his fault, yet he doesn't say a thing. Prick! The close up of a drooling, crazy man is the last shot of Joe we have before he disappears into limbo.

Julia returns to Collinwood in the morning where she runs into Barnabas and learns about Vicki's distress signal from the past and approaches the subject rather skeptically: The handwriting isn't Vicki's; there's no signature and hello, time travelling notes from the past? Not so common. Julia calls it "flimsy evidence" and insists that Barnabas take the trip to Boston with the kids.

Vicki photobombing
Meanwhile, Carolyn is and has been by her mother's tomb all this time; looking rather haunted (not literally) and way too mature. When the concerned Barnabas visits her, she says she believes that her mother isn't really dead and will wake up just like she'd predicted before her "death". Ah, the determination of those Collins women! When Barnabas takes her back home, shenaniganous David offers to take a picture of the two so he can have something to remember Carolyn by when they're in Boston. It's very nice of Carolyn to remember to fix her hair for the camera during her time of mourning; you know what they say, "People around you may drop like flies but that's no excuse to look like a rat out of water". Later, when David hands Carolyn the developed photo (who would have guessed Collinwood has a dark room among other rooms of wonder), she and Barnabas are shocked out of their panties to see behind them standing the image of Vicki hanged at the gallows. It is official now: Vicki IS trying to contact them (I mean who else would pull something as dramatic?). The trip is totally off and the kids still don't have anything to do with the photo and neither does Quentin. It is aaall Vicki. Or is it?

No help Stokes
Barnabas shows the photo to who else but his wife lover sex kitten confidant Julia and they discuss it once again in a Mulder & Scully-esque fashion, with former believing he can travel back in time to save her and the latter dying a little inside cause the former will never love her the way he does Vicki. They take the debate up to the expert on the weird, the unexplainable, the kookoo: Prof Stokes! He is intrigued by the photo but as he himself put it so delicately, he ain't no "travel agent for time" so he can't really help Barnabas. He says the herb trick worked for Peter/Jeff because he belonged to the past; so Barnabas in return starts to "speculate" what if he too was from the past, only to be saved by Julia's timely cough attack. Barnabas is giving away too much info and Julia makes sure she is the only confidant he has (Besides, I doubt Stokes would fancy being his sex kitten). Barnabas accepts the Professor's inability to help but is determined to go on by himself. That's the spirit!! (pun intended)

Is the figure above supposed
to be Vicki the witch?
The kids are at the cemetery, playing around and celebrating their success of having the Boston trip cancelled. David notices Peter Bradford's tomb stone but can't put a finger on where he heard the name. Next to it stands a freshly dug grave without a tomb stone, which is weird cause they don't bury people here anymore (That David tries so hard to impress Amy with his knowledge of the macabre). When Barnabas learns about this new grave, he and Julia pay a visit to the Eagle Hill Cemetery that night so they can check it out and oh, call out to Vicki throughout the centuries while at it. They find the spot but there's no sign of a fresh grave. But something amazing happens and a brand new tomb stone appears next to Peter's grave when they aren't looking. And it reads: "Victoria Winters, Hanged As A Witch"! The subtlety of it all. And the plot thickens.

Then and there, Barnabas begins to recite the yawn-inducing story of his final days in 1796 before he was locked up in his coffin by his father, complete with an episode's worth of stock footage. There's heavy emphasis on events leading up to Nathan Forbes' death, so we know they'll play around it. Barnabas has an idea and says he will travel back in time to change the course of events so he can save Vickster. Julia points out the dangers of changing history like any sane person would do but Barnabas doesn't hear a word of it. He tells Julia to come back here exactly in two days, before calling out to Peter's spirit to be pulled back in time. And surprisingly, it works! The gravestones, along with Julia, disappear and Barnabas finds himself in his 18th century clothes and most importantly, fangs!!

Minutes into his arrival to this time, he runs into his loyal servant Ben Stokes in the cemetery, who doesn't suspect a thing, and learns he's arrived in time to stop Vicki's hanging. It seems Barnabas' spirit has somewhat found its way into his 18th century body, so at least we don't have to worry about Barnabas running into Barnabas; there's only one. So anyway, he goes about repeating and changing the history step by step. First, he eliminates his father from the HIStory by making him leave town in pursuit of a false lead.

Barnabas creeps up
on Vicki #3
Then, he visits Vicki at the gaol, something he couldn't do first time 'round for he was busy dealing with the new vampirism and all. Vicki is now being played by a third actress, Carolyn Groves, who seems sweet and nice and way better than Betsy Durkin. Not that there was anything particularly wrong with Durkin but this one seems better suited for the character. But let's not make a fuss, she'll be leaving in 3--2--1!
Vicki is shocked to see this century's Barnabas because she heard from Josette that he was dead. He says it was a spell that Angelique cast over him; they gossip a bit about the witch. Vicki also explains how she went back to her century but came back because of her love for Peter (HOW IS THAT LOVE WORKING OUT FOR YOU NOW IN PRISON VICKI?). Poor Barnabas; he travels to the past and is still friendzoned. And scumbag Peter; drags Vicki back in time only to put her in the same situation. What a pickle!

That wig!
Promising Vicki to make things right, Barnabas sets out to find Nathan Forbes but instead of killing him, this time he bites the man so he will be under his influence (although Barnabas doesn't forget to break the glasses on the table again for dramatic impact). That way, he is easily made to write the testimony that may free Vicki and Peter. However, it only helps Peter, and Vicki is still charged with witchcraft. Scumbag Peter, indeed! Nathan is thrown into jail for the murder of that ginger whatshisface and is visited by his poor, naive wife Millicent, who is poorer and naiver than ever. Nathan tells the already confused girl how to destroy Barnabas.

Yet another hooker down the drain
Being a vampire, after such a long hiatus, takes its toll on Barnabas. The man is hungry, so he hits the docks in order to find a hooker to eat like in the good ol' days. Afterall, these are the good ol' days. However, before he can sink his teeth into Crystal, the unfortunate streetwalker streetwalking the docks, the woman falls into the water. It's the second time that happens (anyone remember the Julia Hoffman lookalike Ruby?).  Verdict: Barnabas is a clumsy vampire!

Surprise, surprise!
But his suffering doesn't end there. Back in Collinwood; brooding, sad and hungry, he gets shocked by the out-of-nowhere appearance of the dead woman in the study (Is that one of Bill Malloy's seaweeds on the body?). But what is more shocking is that the dead body turns into Angelique once Barnabas leaves the room to get Ben, who doesn't forget to hiss at his former mistress in built-up anger. Once they are alone, Angelique explains that she was sent back to the past from the same future as a punishment but she isn't a vampire anymore; she's just a witch. She offers Barnabas a bargain: She will help him save Vicki from the death by hanging, if Barnabas agrees to stay with her in this timeline. Our gawky vampire doesn't have much choice, so he does indeed agree to do so.

History repeating itself with a different actress
Cut to the jail where Vicki and Peter are having their belated honeymoon before the hanging. The air stinks with gloom and hopelessness; poor Vicki has to go through same shit again in her short, precious, dramaful life. Luckily, Barnabas arrives and brings a tiny hope of survival. He tells her to be calm and refuse the hood that will cover her face during the execution. He doesn't mention making a deal with a witch to Vicki, who is taken to the gallows shortly after, but Peter rightfully calls it "insanity" when he learns about it. The mood is very tense as the two men watch the girl of their dreams getting prepped for her death. When Angelique is nowhere to be seen, they begin to panic and shout, which doesn't help much as Vicki is hanged right there on the spot (I used to enjoy saying Vicki is hung; it surely would be an unexpected plot twist). Peter holds the dead body of his wife in his arms, rocking back and forth, while probably wondering if the shot is flattering (Peter Davis was allegedly so obsessed with looking good on camera that he interfered with blockings).

The bystanders cheered on as the witch was scorched!
Vicki's corpse is taken to Collinwood with three men, Barnabas, Ben and Peter mourning over it. However, when they leave the room, Angelique steps out of the shadows very fashionably and laughs at the fact that Vicki isn't really dead; just appears to be so and Angelique will make sure to revive her after she's been put six feet under. Some time later, she finds Barnabas in the tower room and tries to cut a bargain again, revealing Vicki's current situation as a phase. But Barnabas has finally had enough of this crap, having seen the further terror Angelique caused in both past and the future. With his command, Ben comes running in with a torch and sets Angelique on fire. "Burn Buurn BUUUURN!" shouts Ben with joy; he seriously needs to see a therapist afterwards. The witch drowns in flames and lets out the most wicked scream that echoes in Collinwood as she perishes. About fuckin' time!

Skipping on to a new life
At that moment, Vicki wakes up from her "death slumber" into Peter's arms. Barnabas is so overjoyed by her revival that he doesn't even mind the fact Vicki is in love with another man. He even wishes them all the best when they set out to leave town, for it will be difficult to explain the woman who'd just been hanged walking around, going shopping and such. Vicki asks for a moment alone with Barnabas before leaving and acts like a subtle slut one last time when she tells the vampire he'll always be special to her or something equally cheesy. She gives him a kiss (it was on that obscure region where you don't know if it was on the lips or cheek); Barnabas in turn spins her around, holds her head down and fills her mouth with his vampalicious tongue says a solemn goodbye.
Vicki's final flirt
Then, our dear Vicki of all these years -completely unrecognizable by now- walks out the doors of Collinwood one last time, never to return. You know, I would have even shed a tear or two if the scene was played by Alexandra Moltke and in a grand closure style, but right now I was just trying hard not to fall asleep. Goodbye Vicki!

OK, from that on it is extremely dull, so dull that I've been delaying this last paragraph for almost a week, so I'm just gonna make it short: Countess Natalie du Pres, Josette's aunt who I had assumed left the continent long ago, is obviously still hanging around (Grayson Hall's characters have that tendency), and she discovers Barnabas' coffin in the tower room. Oh, she also sees Barnabas when he leaves the room after torching a witch.
Countess turned
vampire hunter
Adding to this is Millicent telling Natalie, about Nathan telling her to drive a stake through Barnabas' heart, and Natalie needs to hear no more to realize they are facing a vampire (another common thing about Mrs Hall's characters)!! She figures Josette died because of Barnabas and swears to take revenge while Millicent, in her own words, "can't comprehand". Shh pretty girl, we don't expect you to.

First, Natalie follows Ben and Barnabas to the Collins Tomb where the latter has his beauty sleep. Then, she bails Nathan out of jail and takes him there to finish Barnabas once and for all. They enter the secret chamber, open up the coffin's lid and with Natalie's bone chilling command "Destroy him!" (bone chilling because it was so-close-to-the-ear whisperlike I thought she was gonna suck on my earlobes), Nathan puts the stake on top of Barnabas' heart and raises the hammer, and then strikes down.

*
*I was wondering. What if it wasn't Vicki that has been sending messages to lure Barnabas to the past but it was Angelique instead?

*Was it just me or were they really deliberately trying to cover Vicki's face via shadows, her hair, Roger Davis' hands etc. so maybe people won't notice the actor change?
~

I did a bad bad thing and created another blog on tumblr as if I was already spending enough time on this one and since it is mostly visual, I totally neglected my poor Dark Shadows blog where writing is essential which I haven't all up to. I hope to be more present here; I always have these phases where I actively blog for a while and then stop. It didn't also help that the time travel to the 1796 was extremely boring; I dunno how the hell I'm gonna get out of the upcoming and longer time travel storyline. Then again, it's always a hoot to discover new characters and situations. Ahh, the pickleness of it.

Anyway, if you're into horror films and especially the slasher subgenre, check out my other blog Tatum Stuck In Garage Door . What, you'd think I'd talk about another blog and not shamelessly advertise it?

5 comments:

Kelly said...

I really enjoyed the 1795 storyline the first time they did it, but I hated it anytime they returned to it. I thought it had a great ending, and then they went and retconned it over and over again. I really hated this particular return to it because they sent Joshua away, therefore making it so we never had those last couple of great discussions between Barnabas and Joshua, since Joshua never saw him again (if I remember right, it's been awhile since I've seen these episodes). Also, they turned Ben Stokes into a murderer, which really annoyed me. I liked Natalie, she deserved better than this. About the only thing I did like about this particular return is the idea that Peter and Vicki do end up together, and it looks like they are going to get to be happy.

Melissa said...

I love the scene where Mrs. Johnson is going on and on about how these awful things wouldn't be going on if Vicky was here, and Vicky would have known what to do, and isn't it awful that Vicky isn't here to fix everything - while her replacement, Maggie, is STANDING RIGHT THERE. And to top it all off, Carolyn tells her to be quiet because such talk might be HURTING BARNABAS'S FEELINGS. once agan, Barnabas is the only one with feelings that matter!

Also, it was pretty open-minded of the 1795 townsfolk to bury a convicted with in consecrated ground.

Dr. Theda said...

Hello good Blogger... I had been thinking of starting to watch my Dark Shadows tapes (VHS)... there are 36 hours of them in order beside of me at present....

Sharon Davidson said...

Your writing is a hoot!

Efe X said...

Thanks Sharon :)