Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Honey, I Possessed The Kids

EPISODES 686-691

Simon & Garfunkel
connecting the dots
Some time has passed after what went down with Quentin, Ezra Braithwaite and his two pair of glasses, and Barnabas is brooding in the drawing room as one does after they find a dead body in their house. Julia returns from the autopsy and informs Barnabas that the cause of Mr Braithwaite's death was heart failure. Apparently, Julia is the only doctor in town, which makes sense considering how the other two have been killed one after another; one of which by Barnabas himself even. Calling attention to Madame Findley's seemingly natural death not so long ago two feet away from where they are standing now (and that makes me wonder all the things Mrs Johnson must be saying when she is asked to mop the floor afterwards of yet another death in the house), Barnabas points "Curious so many hearts should stop in this house". Not to mention how my hearts should break. But I digress. Going over the list of suspects, they rule out Beth because she has proven herself to be a friendly ghost. Then, Barnabas mentions "the man Mrs Johnson claimed she saw", to which Julia simply replies "Mrs Johnson's a repressed hysteric", trying to make it sound like a professional diagnosis but failing hilariously. Thankfully, they know Maggie too has seen the mystery man so they are not retiring Mrs J and placing her in a nursing home yet.

While the two elder residents of Collinwood are pondering on who killed the old silver-maker, David, youngest of the Collins', conducts his own investigation to find out why. Sneaking the ledger out of the west wing, he brings it to his room and starts going through to pages when, to his luck, Beth appears and points, as she always does, to the relevant page. David reads what we already know about who ordered the pentagram et cetera, and Beth gets sadder as he goes on, probably remembering what happened in the past. There's no doubt that the child buried in the estate is hers. However, their slippery trip down memory lane is interrupted by Quentin's theme, the ominous melody that signals his arrival. Beth looks haunted -no pun intended- and disappears in a nice, creepy fashion. 

Simple life of a 12 y.o.
Once again falling under Quentin's influence, David rips the page from the ledger and hides it. On cue, Barnabas and Julia come knocking on his door and start cross-examining the boy to have him admit his involvement in the disappearance of the ledger. It is when David suddenly goes hysterical and Barnabas tries to calm him down that Roger decides to make his dramatic entrance back into David's room and into our lives, witnessing a scene that is a little too awkward to explain. Using this window, David jumps into Roger's arms to have his father defend him. Lucky for Barnabas and not so much for David and his upcoming years of therapy, Roger isn't the father of the year: All he does is mock Barnabas for his affinity for old stuff and cheap mystery novels while slightly scowling him. Then again, he is always scowling, isn't he? Well okay, even though he isn't that great at backing up his son, he isn't as bad as I've made sound either. When Barnabas and Julia leave, he promises David to be his friend and spend more quality time with him, apparently dwelling on andropause.

Who wouldn't miss such a
peaceful presence?
Speaking of diminishing functions of reproductive systems, Barnabas and Julia try to win over Liz's trust by offering her tea, so she would give them access to old family documents. When asked why, they promise to give a proper answer afterwards. Liz masterfully inserts an "I'd like to know what's happening in my own house" to remind them who the real boss is without sounding like a bitch, but she is also a peach-in-heart and says that she trust them, which is strange considering both Barnabas and Julia are practically strangers that appeared out of nowhere and moved in like it's nobody's business. Enter Roger, this time more serious and judgmental, just like we've always known and despised him for: All bark, no bite. He blames Barnabas for mucking up David's mind. Even the ledger seems to be back on the desk (offscreen courtesy of Quentin), and although Barnabas points to the apparent torn page as an evidence of foul play, Roger keeps on quacking (almost literally. "Yet?") and threatens to never let him in the house again if he doesn't apologizes to David. Barnabas gasps dramatically. You know what? I've even missed Roger. What good is a soap without a non-threateningly moody and positively annoying second man?

Meanwhile, having had enough of the men's piss contest, Liz and Julia are already in a storage room where old family crap are scattered around. Seeing them together, albeit briefly, makes me wish they have more scenes together. Liz's elegance and Julia's awkwardness mix just perfectly. But today ain't the day for MILF-bonding, so Liz leaves and Julia goes through some stuff in order to find anything related to the purchase of the pentagram. It's amazing to watch Grayson Hall do even the simplest of the tasks, such as lighting a candle or going through a book, in her own peculiar way with her slit eyes and flaring nostrils.

Past bites Julia
in the ass
 Conveniently enough, she finds something of importance in one of the first books she opens: The photograph of Beth Chavez! (looking as ghostly as she does as a ghost). Recognizing her, Julia heads to the door to call her husband wife friend Barnabas, but Quentin's invisible ghost acts first by locking her in, and tries to scare her with the usual sudden-opening-of-the-window, blowing-out-of-the-candle, rattling-of-the-chandelier... During the turmoil, Julia tries to communicate with the ghost as if talking to a person with a hearing problem or someone foreign ("Who is hereee? Answer meee!"). Barnabas arrives to save her from further embarrassment. Suddenly the door opens, lights come back on, and everything turns to normal except for the chandelier still shaking shamelessly, but they choose to ignore it and so should we. It turns out Quentin's scarefest was actually a diversion.. When they look again, Beth's photo is gone from the album. Someone is trying too hard to cover up their tracks and I'm dying to find out why. Once again: What did happen there in 1897?

3rd time's not a charm
for Roger Davis
Unaware of the horrors happening downstairs, Carolyn and Chris' flirting has blossomed into a full blown romance, and they are back from a date, enjoying some drinks and each others' lips. In a very soap-operatic turn, Carolyn wonders if Chris' secretive personality is a result of a secret marriage or something. Chris denies those claims and diverts her attention with some further make out. Once at the cottage, Chris suddenly starts to go through the transformation with the usual "I have stomach pain" movements, but wait! There is no full moon. He calls Collinwood to ask for his new pals Barnabas & Julia's help. They come running and take him to the Collins' Mausoleum. But it is only the beginning of Chris' problems. That night, a stranger from his past knocks on the majestic doors of Collinwood. But what is it? This man looks exactly like Jeff Clark (aka Vicki's time-hopping, passive aggressive bea), who Carolyn understandably mistakes him for when she answers the door. He corrects her and introduces himself as Ned Stuart, an old friend of Chris'. This Ned is nothing like Jeff; he is intrusive and sarcastic. Upon learning Chris lives in the cottage, he decides to pay him a visit there. After he leaves, Carolyn calls Chris to give him some heads-up despite Ned has asked her not to, as it is supposed to be surprise, but nobody answers the phone. It is a small but a nice touch about Carolyn's character and how much she's grown.

Ned meets Barnabas and Julia at the cottage to their initial shock (and Barnabas's annoyance). They are rather suspicious of this friend of Chris', who mysteriously shows up at this hour and acts like that one unwanted guest who just doesn't know when to leave. After some awkward chit-chatting, he finally drops the bomb: Chris used to be engaged to his sister (whaaat?), but one day he disappeared never to return. He hints that his sister was dead and insists that he stays there until Chris arrives, but Barnabas & Julia manage to get rid off him by lying about a book that they are writing. I can imagine the title: "Fantastic Beasts of Collinsport and Where to Find Them".

David's shaky start as a writer
Back at Collinwood on that never ending night, David has a monologue with Quentin in the drawing room and tells him he wants out of the "game" because of all the death it has caused. Quentin doesn't show up, but his music does, and possesses the boy although he puts up a fruitless resistance by covering his ears. Under the influence, David begins to write. Sometime later, Maggie is surprised to find David in the drawing room (Was she sneaking out of Mrs Johnson's room at 3 am? I hope so) and tries to reach out to him by being friendly. But David acts like a creep and begins to recite the story he's been writing like a maniac: There was a man cursed to change into an animal who killed people, but he found a room where he could hide and wouldn't hurt anyone else. Then one day, someone who didn't want him to suffer anymore let him out and a hunter killed him in the woods (Wait is that Chris' story or Quentin's? They both have a secret room? Is that their connection? Was Quentin a werewolf too? I'm hooked up). Once David finishes telling the story, he starts to act like a spoiled brat again and runs out into the night. You know, one of those days Maggie is bound to give him a good smacking and we won't judge her. 
Maggie's job is in peril
She goes out behind him and runs into Ned, who is so used to being mistaken for Jeff by now that he introduces himself right away (What baffles me is why Maggie was so frightened to see Jeff. I mean, of course it must be unsettling to have a time travelling person coming and going as he pleases, but she could have at least asked how Vicki was. A-ha! Maybe, that's exactly what scares her that Vicki will come back and reclaim her governessnes). Maggie has hard time warming up to Ned who offers to help her find David and the fact that he's carrying a gun doesn't help either. They decide to go back after failing to find the boy.

Barnabas and Julia arrive in Collinwood, still speculating about that Ned guy's motivations to look for Chris and they find pages of David's story lying on the floor. Shocked by the fact that he seems to know all about Chris, Barnabas does the math and claims that David may not have been himself when he's written this. Finally, someone suspects that an evil force is work here. Scared that David has gone to the Mausoleum to let Chris out of the secret room as hinted in the story, Barnabas goes to look for him donning his favorite (only) silver tipped cane. Once again, he is right. Inside the mausoleum, he manages to stop David from pulling the handle that opens the secret door at the last minute. 

Breaking of an ex vampire's heart
Barnabas gets angry with David and questions the boy, but David has proven himself to be a skilled liar then and again so it doesn't come as a shock when he manages to get out of this one too, by making up a story about hiding from Maggie to piss her off. Maggie is happy to see David back with Barnabas. After she sends the boy to his room, Maggie tells Barnabas about her worries concerning David's strange and swinging moods. Because she is an angel with a heart of gold, she opens up to Barnabas about trying to fill Vicki's shoes, but not realizing how much the man is hurt by the mention of the former governess' name. Kudos to Barnabas for heroically gulping down whatever feelings he has left for Vicki and encouraging Maggie. I want to pinch his cheeks.

Visited by Maggie in his room, David is back to his own quasi-innocent self and finally opens up to Maggie about being so scared. The governess tucks him in and tries to get the boy to trust her enough to explain what it is that scares him so much, but to no avail. Apparently David is scared that by mentioning Quentin, he will be angering the ghost and risk everyone's lives. It turns out to be true. After Maggie leaves, he appears to David looking like a the devil itself and harasses the boy when he voices his reluctance to play the game anymore. The scene cuts away, once again leaving the horrors to our imagination. 

Monsters come in
many forms
Barnabas visits Chris at the family mausoleum with the sunrise and tells him about the previous night's encounter with the annoying Ned Stuart. Chris is shaken to hear his name and tells Barnabas honestly about what happened with Ned's sister; his fiancĂ©e. Apparently, she witnessed the transformation while she was organizing a surprise party for Chris, despite his efforts to prevent that. Guess she was the one that got a surprise after all! Chris doesn't know if he killed her or not but assumes it is the case, and that's why Ned is here: To get even. Chris thinks Ned must have been the one that poisoned his drink the other day. He decides to run away, but Barnabas isn't the type to let down his friends (except when he is a vampire; then he usually decides to kill them himself) so he offers to have our werewolf's fluffy back when the time comes. 

Hurricane Quentiné
Of course since this is Collinsport, one drama starts before another ends. Barnabas returns to Collinwood to find, along with Liz and Maggie, that the drawing room has been hit by a hurricane: Tables, chairs, lambs and all the other semi-tasteful accessories are trashed and overturned, and there's no logical explanation as to who might have done this in the short period of time where the room wasn't inhabited the previous night. Seriously, how long was that night? And come to think of it, did Carolyn and Chris sucked face unaware of Mr. Braithwaite's death there only few hours prior? Does anyone even care to let the others know about what's going on in this house anymore? Anyway, name of the hurricane is Quentin and during the chaos downstairs, he is in David's room smiling grotesquely and throwing braggy looks (really Quint?) while David protests against his actions. It takes a second for Quentin to turn into a cold eyed monster again and he touches David's arm with his ghostly hands, setting it on an invisible fire. 
Abuse takes a dangerous turn
Maggie hears David's screams and Quentin's evil laughter, enters the room to find David lying unconscious on the floor with a burn mark on his arm. Maggie hears David mutter Quentin's name while coming to his self and asks him if that is the name of the man she saw in the west wing. Another gold star to Maggie! David panics and his first reaction is to deny it, but he can't resist Maggie's affection any longer and breaks out into tears in the governess' arms. Then, in a sudden but not unexpected twist, he runs out of the room and then the house. And that's him pre-puberty! Sigh! He, and later Maggie run into Ned Stuart who happens to be at the door again. Maggie doesn't have time for Ned's shit, so she goes after David while totally ignoring him.

Someone get a tape measure!
As we've already seen in the two episodes that he's appeared on the show that Ned has some serious problems differentiating public and personal space, so naturally he invites himself in. He meets Amy, of all people, in the drawing room. He is surprised and a bit delighted (in a sneaky way) to learn that she is the sister of none other than Chris; he tries to act friendly but it comes off threatening and creepy. To further confuse the poor girl, he mentions his sister and her brother almost marrying; and makes a cheap jigsaw puzzle analogy that is simply painful/delicious to watch. Amy instinctively feels repulsed by the man and thankfully Chris shows up to save her. The men stare at each other coldly while exchanging shady and not at all sincere greetings; you can cut the sexual tension with an antique one of a kind Collins family silver dagger made by Mr. Braithwaite (may he RIP). After sending Amy out to have a talk alone, Chris and Ned recite your run-of-the-mill soap opera lines. Ned denies poisoning Chris' drink but is strangely happy to learn someone is also trying to kill him. Chris, who has always assumed Ned's sister (whose name happens to be Sabrina by the way) is dead, has the shock of his life when he learns she is actually alive and, on top of that, here in town. Ned forces Chris to go see her when the latter hesitates, and I go "Yay, new character!".

House of Horrors I
David runs into Amy in the woods while hiding from Maggie and the children express how scared they are of Quentin now. David reveals Quentin's master plan is to drive everyone out of Collinwood, so him and the children can live there all alone you know what that is JUST SICK! The kids finally agree on letting Maggie in on everything that's been happening but Quentin appears right there and gives one of now infamous cold stares (supported by a low angle light, which he seems to carrying around for dramatic effect). Back at the house and once again possessed, the kids try to act normal around Maggie, well as normal as those two creepballs could ever be, and convince her to play dress-up with them. Now, I don't really understand why they are still casually hanging in the house especially when everyone else is out somewhere and there is a frigging ghost in the first place. But on top of that, Maggie agrees to PLAY GAMES? What the actual hell? Just pack your bags, ditch the kids if you must and go back to your cozy little home, girl. So we can sort of say Maggie has the events, that will befall her shortly, coming. When the kids disappear to get dressed and never come back, Maggie wanders around looking for them like a stereotypical young woman in a horror film. The storm outside rages on, doors of the house blow open by themselves, and there is definitely something evil lurking. Then, Quentin's laughter echoes in the house and Maggie follows through another horror cliche and locks herself in in what I think was Roger's study, instead of running out and maybe moving to another state. 
House of Horrors II
To double the terror, the children join in on the laughter like crazy, which I have to admit is pretty scary. Maggie is cornered against a wall with her beautiful brown eyes wide open. The door slowly opens to reveal the kids dressed in those period clothes and Maggie would almost be relieved to see it's only them, if it isn't for QUENTIN STANDING BEHIND THEM, AS DARK, EVIL AND SIDEBURNED AS EVER! And he has the scarf that he used to strangle Maggie in her nightmare! He comes closer and closer! Maggie backs away helplessly! The children snap out of the influence and plead with him to leave Maggie alone! From here on it's a total chaos: Just when Quentin is about to wrap the scarf around Maggie's throat, she faints. Mrs Johnson enters the room and screams. Liz follows her in but Quentin disappears, so she doesn't see him. Mrs Johnson panics. Liz panics too upon seeing Maggie unconscious. Mrs Johnson blames the kids. Liz tells her to take the kids upstairs. Mrs Johnson says okay but she will come back down right away. It's like a circus hit Collinwood!

A long due bulb goes on
Mrs Johnson takes the kids to David's room but she doesn't want to hang out with them, she knows better, she may be getting old but she has plans to move to Bahamas when she retires, biting the dust while trying to save two spoiled brats from a ghost isn't on the bucket list; so she sham-comforts them saying there's no one in the room, pretending to look under the bed (and the bookcase?) and busts her ass outta there, locking the younglings in. Mrs Johnson is my spirit animal. Since he is too big to fit under the bed and since he is a friggin' ghost, Quentin appears in the room as he always does and punishes the children when they rebel against him. He moves his hand in front of Amy's eyes which blinds her. Meanwhile, Maggie's gained her precious consciousness and tries to explain to Liz what has happened. Mrs Johnson comes in to back her up, and Liz runs upstairs to check on the kids and see if her employees are indeed telling the truth. Surely, they both can't be repressed hysterics, can they? Once she sees the kids running around in the room like headless chickens talking to an invissible Quentin, she stares into the camera and finally accepts the fact that they are possessed! About time Elizabeth.

Night of the
Chicken Dead
A bit later, Liz is back from looking for Julia but she is nowhere to be found (for once in her life). Liz tells Maggie to call Professor Stokes; for "He is our only hope". While trying to get him on the phone, Maggie hears the storm outside just...stop. So does Liz on her way to see the kids. Mrs Johnson comes out of David's room where she's been watching the kids (never say never) and hurriedly calls Liz in. As the sounds have abruptly silenced, the kids have collapses and fell asleep. Mrs Johnson points to the fact that the storm continues to rage outside but inside there is a deathly silence (groovy!). Out of nowhere, Quentin's music starts echoing inside the house to both Liz and Mrs Johnson's horror. The kids wake up looking very different, very mature in an uncanny way. David announces that "It's too late to be afraid" and laughs like a maniac which eventually joins with Quentin's own laughter. The women hold hands in terror. The screen fades to black. I let out a little pee.

Notes... Notes.. Notes..

*It is no new information that this show has great child actors but those kids were at the top of their games while playing "possessed". I watch both David Henesy and Denise Nickerson with my jaw dropped. 50-year-belated kudos!

*I'm a sucker for typical soap stories so I'm definitely digging the Chris-Ned-Sabrina side plot.

*Thanks to Dark Shadows Fans page on Facebook for featuring my blog, and also to the visitors who have been supportive. Drop by and say hey if you want.

No comments: