Monday, February 20, 2017

Episode 171 - 2/20/67

We get a recap of the seance, culminating in Vicki's scream and collapse. She comes to and asks what happened. Carolyn tells her she was speaking French. Vicki explains that she doesn't speak French and they say Josette was speaking through her. Roger points out that Laura speaks French, but she claims not to have paid attention to what was being said. Guthrie indicates that he was. He says she mentioned a person who sleeps without sleeping and dreams without dreaming. And an innocent boy who was in danger, and of fires that occurred through the centuries, noting that another would occur soon. Finally, she said there was an evil presence in the house, and screamed just before naming who that was.

Guthrie asks Vicki to try and remember the name of the person who was the evil presence. Vicki describes her experience, how she wasn't afraid until she was surrounded by and ultimately consumed by fire. Carolyn takes Vicki upstairs, and Roger offers to escort Laura back to the cottage. He asks if Guthrie will be there when he returns, as he has a great deal to discuss with him. After they all leave, Guthrie listens to the recording.

At the cottage, Roger tells Laura he agrees with her, and will send Guthrie away. He then asks her if she believes Josette might have spoken to them through Vicki. He's reluctant to believe something supernatural occurred, but obviously shaken by it. Laura calmly dismisses it all.

In her bedroom, Vicki discusses what she said with Carolyn. They're sure David is the boy in danger, but they don't know from who. Vicki brings up fire, and while they don't make a connection to that, Carolyn says Laura is responsible for what happened to her mother, and she'll be the one to harm David. There's a knock at the door, and Carolyn lets Dr. Guthrie in. He apologizes for putting her through the experience. Carolyn suggests that Laura has to be the force that stopped Vicki from identifying the evil in the house. Guthrie suggests that holding another seance might help, and Vicki seems reluctant. He suggests they do it in the old house, without Laura present. They leave Vicki to sleep on it.

Dr. Guthrie and Carolyn come downstairs, where Roger tells him goodbye. Guthrie says he's not leaving, as the seance was a success. Carolyn speaks up and clarifies that it's her house, and she wants Dr. Guthrie there.

Roger tries to convince Carolyn that Guthrie isn't the psychologist he claims to be. She points out that he was present at the seance, and saw what happened. She tells him that she's not going to argue about it, and goes up to bed.

At 2:15 in the morning, Vicki bolts up and asks who's in her room. Laura comes forward and apologizes for startling her. She says she came by to see if Vicki was alright. Laura tells her that she doesn't think it's good for Vicki to stay in Collinwood. That she'd be safer to leave. She tells her David will be going away with her, so she'll need to find another job anyway. Vicki begins to respond to her, and then notices Laura is no longer there.

Our thoughts

John: Seriously? Vicki and Carolyn can figure out that David is the young boy in danger, but they can't connect the dots when it comes to figuring out who has anything to do with fire? Hello? Somebody get Sam Evans on the phone, because HE knows the answer.

Christine: It is rather ridiculous for the characters to ignore the blatant clues: Laura Murdoch died by fire, the Phoenix myth she told David, the dead body in the fire in Phoenix, David's portrait with his mother in fire. Josette must be getting frustrated with these people. 

John: Roger is such a nut. He thinks if he puts his head in the sand, he can avoid the supernatural things swirling around him. Fortunately, Carolyn, in her role as acting matriarch, refuses to send Guthrie away.

Christine: As Carolyn noted, he's just a big scaredy-pants. A few shots of brandy and all is right in Roger's world.

John: When Laura showed up in her bedroom in the middle of the night, I thought for sure Vicki was on the next train to Liz-ville.

Christine: Her habit of appearing at the foot of someone's bed in the middle of the night is pretty creepy. I wonder how many kids may have had trouble sleeping at night because of it.

First candlelit slate.

Friday, February 17, 2017

Episode 170 - 2/17/67

Mrs. Johnson watches as Carolyn and Vicki set up a table and chairs for the seance. Vicki suggests that maybe they should call it off. She's concerned that something is going to happen to her. Vicki asks Mrs. Johnson to stay with David while he's sleeping during the seance. She leaves and Roger comes in. He explains that he doesn't expect Josette to make an appearance. He says he'll give Guthrie a chance, and then after witnessing his failure, he'll toss him out into the storm.

Dr. Guthrie arrives and Mrs. Johnson lets him in. He makes himself at home in the drawing room. He sets up a tape recorder to record the seance. Mrs. Johnson tells him she thinks the dead should be allowed to rest. Vicki arrives and says the others will be down shortly. Vicki lights some candles as Carolyn and Roger arrive. Guthrie closes the doors to the drawing room and turns out the lights. He starts the tape recorder and sits down at the table with the others. He reviews their objective—summoning Josette's ghost. He says she may appear to them, or use one of them to speak through.

The four place their hands on the table and create an unbroken circle of their fingers. He asks them to all repeat over and over in their minds, "Josette Collins"...

Vicki has a blank stare, and then reacts to an unseen force. Carolyn calls to Vicki, and Guthrie shushes her, and tells them to concentrate on Josette. Vicki moans, "No...." The doors to the drawing room blow open, revealing Laura Collins. She apologizes for interrupting, and says she changed her mind. Roger fixes a drink, and Guthrie asks Vicki if she remembers what happened. She says she felt as if she was in a long corridor, and all of their voices were mere echoes. Guthrie asks if they can try again, and Laura suggest not, but Vicki agrees. Guthrie invites Laura to join them in the circle.

The five place their hands on the table and begin again. Laura is between Guthrie and Carolyn, opposite Vicki. Guthrie makes his introductory statement, and Vicki is noticeably shaking.

In the old house, Josette's portrait glows, and her ghost steps down from the painting.

Laura seems alarmed as Vicki goes back into a trance. Carolyn says she smells jasmine perfume. Vicki begins speaking in French. Laura stares at her, eyes wide. Vicki eventually screams and lands face down at the table.

Our thoughts

John: Were tape recorders so foreign in 1967? Or is Mrs. Johnson just a Luddite...

Christine: Our first Collinwood séance! Another DS milestone. How much fun this must have been on a Friday afternoon in 1967!

John: I was amused when Guthrie had to specify "Josette... COLLINS....", lest another ghost named Josette show up.

Christine: I like the way Laura crashed the party. She must have realized that she'd need to be around to keep a lid on things.

John: Where are the subtitles when we need them! I could make out death, and devil... I guess we'll have to wait until next week for Guthrie to transcribe the recording.

Christine: Pardon my French. Some of it was difficult to make out. Imperfect translation follows.
Il y a étranger ici. Il y a de père d'humilier d'étant beau vide. Il y a une morte, qui ne pas morte. Elle marche dans le monde. Il y a une qui dorme sans sommeil, sans réveille. Il y a un petit garçon innocent qui est en danger serieuse. Il y a des feux--des feux pendant le siècle. Il y a notre feux pour cher m'ont. Les flammes touchant le ciel. Les flammes consomme tout. Il y a une présence en diable. Il y a quelqu'une qui vas detruire. Cette personne s'appelle... Cette personne s'appelle...  Cette personne... AAAAA!
There is a stranger here. There is a humiliated father so empty (or handsome--not sure I transcribed the French right). There is a dead woman, who is not dead. She walks in the world. There is one who sleeps without sleep, without waking. There is a small, innocent boy who is in serious danger. There are fires--fires during the century. There are fires for a dear one (not sure about this one). The flames touch the sky. The flames consume everything. There is an evil presence. There is someone who is going to destroy. This person's name is... This person's name is... This person.... AAAAA!

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Episode 169 - 2/16/67

Dr. Guthrie returns to Collinwood, and lets Carolyn know that Laura refused his invitation to participate in the seance. He says that since she's hostile towards what he's trying to do, it might be best for her not to be there.

Carolyn is skeptical of a seance, and asks if Guthrie has had success before. He says he's had evidence of communication with the dead, and asks her to trust him. He explains he'll do everything in his power to help her mother. Vicki comes downstairs and tells them that the storm outside is keeping David awake. Guthrie says he's planning to start the seance once David is asleep.

There's a knock at the door, and Vicki is surprised that Frank has arrived. He says Roger called him to come. Roger enters and escorts Frank to his study for a private conversation.

Roger tells Frank he's not satisfied with how he's handling the divorce. He wants him to resolve it faster. Roger offers Frank a drink, and asks Frank about his legal rights to the house and the cannery. With Liz incapacitated, he asks who has the right to take her place and make decisions. Frank explains that her next of kin, Carolyn does. Roger says he thinks it should be a more responsible member of the family, and Frank confirms that Liz has a will that states that. Roger asks if there's anything he can do to fight it, and Frank says no. Roger then brings up Dr. Guthrie, and asks if Frank knew he was planning a seance. Franks says that while Guthrie's methods may be strange, he has complete confidence in him. Roger says he doesn't think Frank is telling him everything he knows, but that he'll find out about Guthrie, and deal with him in his own way.

Carolyn and Vicki nervously await the seance. Carolyn tells Vicki that despite all the things she's said about David, she'll miss him if he leaves. Vicki consoles her as she expresses worry for her mother. Frank comes in, and Carolyn tells him she wants him to book her a flight to Boston to see her mother tomorrow. He sits her down, and tells her that he's seen her mother. He says she's the same, and that the doctors say that a visit from the family wouldn't help right now. She screams at him that he knows her mother is going to die. She calls Guthrie a quack as he enters. He asks if she'd like to call it off, and she says yes, as it wouldn't do any good since she's never going to see her mother alive again.

Vicki comes downstairs after helping Carolyn to bed, and asks Frank what the doctors really said. He says that they aren't holding out much hope for her. Vicki asks Guthrie if he'll still do the seance, and he says only if Carolyn wants to. She comes downstairs and apologizes to him. She says she wants to proceed with the seance. Carolyn asks Frank if he'll join them, and Guthrie suggests they limit it to the members of the family. Frank says good night to Vicki, who goes upstairs with Carolyn.

Guthrie tells Frank that Mrs. Stoddard's life may hang in the balance, and he thinks the seance is worth trying. He also says that if they succeed, they may unleash a force that they may not be able to control.

Our thoughts

John: We've been living in this house for 9 months and only today find out that Roger has s study between the front door and the drawing room? And Liz has a study, too... somewhere in the house.

Christine: Collinwood has many rooms we have yet to discover. Considering the number of liquor bottles, you'd think he'd spend more time in his study than in the drawing room.

John: If Carolyn truly believes that her mother is going to die, wouldn't a seance be a good opportunity to speak with her one last time? I'm wondering if that's what turned her around.

Christine: I don't think she can communicate from beyond the grave until she's there. I suspect Carolyn realized that trying to do something was better than nothing. Also, it would be kind of mean to get us all excited about a seance and then just drop it.

John: I'm hoping that Frank's not attending the seance tomorrow leaves room in the revolving cast list for a ghost or two to appear!

Christine: It's great weather for a seance with lots of dark shadowy lighting to get us in the spirit!

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Episode 168 - 2/15/67

Burke stops by the cottage to see Laura. She initially refuses to let him in. He says he has something urgent to tell her, and she lets him in. Burke asks her why Dr. Guthrie is asking so many questions about her. He tells her that Guthrie spoke to Sam Evans about Laura, and his painting of her. Burke thinks Guthrie is a detective, investigating the dead body in Phoenix. Laura blames everyone being suspicious of her on Burke, because he told them that Liz saw her before she fell ill. Burke kisses her before leaving.

Dr. Guthrie finds Sam in The Blue Whale, indulging in his favorite hobby. Guthrie explains that he's there to meet Burke Devlin, who called and asked to meet with him. Guthrie asks Sam how he burnt his hands, and Sam replies that he didn't burn his hands—Laura Collins did. Sam tells him how Laura threatened him if he didn't stop painting. Later that night, he had a dream of her, and he awoke surrounded by flames. He reiterates that Laura made it happen. Guthrie says that the pieces are starting to fit together, when Burke arrives.

Burke and Guthrie retire to a table. Guthrie asks Burke what happened between Mrs. Stoddard and Laura. Burke says his questions are suspicious, if Guthrie is in fact a doctor. He tells him that he plans to have him investigated, and Guthrie tells him to go right ahead. Burke explains that he was just leaving as Liz arrived, so he doesn't know what transpired after he left.

Guthrie arrives at the cottage to see Laura. He asks her about Liz' state of mind the last time they saw each other. Laura says there was nothing unusual. He prepares to leave, and then asks if she would accept his invitation to a seance at Collinwood. He says he wants to try and contact Josette Collins, as he believes she might have something to say. Laura declines his invitation, and as he leaves, he asks her to reconsider. 

Our thoughts

John: I'm always disappointed when Burke is with Laura, as he withers from the strong character he's been from the beginning. I would like to find out more about his and Laura's relationship, pre-Roger, as well as the accident, but that seems to have been placed on the back burner by the writers.

Christine: What more is there to know about that relationship? She dumped him for a more lucrative offer and then lied to get him convicted of a crime he didn't commit. It does seem uncharacteristic for him to be willing to forgive her betrayal and allow himself to become distracted from his single minded purpose of proving that Roger was the guilty party in the accident.

John: Nice to see happy drunk Sam for a change, after what seems like a long stretch of belligerent drunk Sam. Guthrie has no problem getting Sam to accuse Laura of being the one responsible for his burnt hands, and Guthrie is probably the first one not to dismiss the claim outright.

Christine: It's early in the evening and he hasn't yet had enough drinks for belligerent Sam to materialize.

John: Dr. Guthrie continues to ride around Collinwood like the new sheriff. Can't wait to see who all he can assemble for the seance!

Christine: I like how well he stands up to Roger and Burke. Laura looks pretty unsettled by the thought of Josette being raised to communicate with the Collins family.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Episode 167 - 2/14/67

Vicki describes David's dream to Dr. Guthrie. It ends with David and his mother flinging themselves into a bright light. Guthrie suggests that it might not be a dream; that it could be a vision.

Laura pleads with Roger to let her have David before it's too late. She wants him immediately, and he says she can have him soon enough. She says she doesn't have much time and he asks her what she means. He doesn't understand her impatience. She asks Roger what he'd think if she mentioned  the word manslaughter to Burke, and she's surprised when he tells her to go ahead. She says she'll turn state's witness, and he tells her she'd have to admit to perjury, and that would play in to any custody hearing. She realizes he's right. She asks him to begin with divorce and custody proceedings. He explains he will do things as he sees fit, and that she has no choice but to be patient.

Vicki asks how he'll try to find out about David's dream, and Dr. Guthrie suggests a seance to contact Josette, or someone else who is able to help them. Carolyn enters and asks about the seance. He wants everyone there, including Laura and Roger. Vicki asks if they can first try without David present, and Guthrie reluctantly agrees.

Roger refuses to participate in a seance. Carolyn tells him that it could help her mother. Guthrie tells Roger that if the seance fails to provide the information he needs, there will be no reason to stay in Collinwood. That gets Roger's attention, and he agrees to participate almost immediately, in the hopes of getting rid of Guthrie once and for all.

Carolyn tells Vicki she's going to go to the cottage right now and let her know that they're aware that she lied about seeing her mother before her illness set it. Vicki tries to discourage her, but Carolyn tells her she's not afraid of Laura and heads out.

There's a knock at the door of the cottage. Laura's face is superimposed by fire. She invites Carolyn in, who asks her to borrow a scarf,  Carolyn begins to talk about her mother, and mentions how helpful it would be if someone had seen her right before her illness set in. Laura drops the pretense and asks what she wants. Carolyn mentions that Burke told them he saw Liz at the cottage. Laura tries to explain it away, and then all but threatens Carolyn. Carolyn does not appear intimidated by Laura, as she leaves the cottage to return to Collinwood.

Our thoughts

John: We're treated to great footage of Alexandra Moltke blowing us a kiss during the slate reading. Quite appropriate for this Valentine's Day episode.

Christine: I am quite sure that is not our regular announcer, Bob Lloyd, however. Maybe he was off celebrating with his sweetheart.

John: I enjoy how Laura swings between pleading and threatening. She toggles in and out of her soft manner of speaking. We get several instances of that in today's episode.

Christine: I liked when she dropped the sweet Aunt Laura act for Carolyn. Carolyn may be heady with power as mistress of Collinwood, or she's feeling like a typical invincible teenager, thinking she's immune to Laura's power of enchantment.

John: I also thought it was great that Roger jumped at the chance of holding a seance if it might mean getting rid of Guthrie in short order.

Christine: Roger was in fine form today. I really enjoyed this dialogue from today's episode. Louis Edmonds' delivery makes it pure gold.
Roger: Help your mother?! Why not dance a voodoo dance around the hospital table, chanting semi-guttural noises?
Guthrie: Mr. Collins, I can tell you that I feel a seance is the one real contribution I can make to this entire case.
Roger: I congratulate you. It is the first succinct confession of quackery I have ever heard.
Vicki: Roger, it is not quackery. We can't ignore what's been going on here.
Guthrie: Mr. Collins, I'm aware that you've never cared for my ideas.
Roger: These are not ideas. Ideas are the product of a human mind. This is a product of irrational superstition.
Guthrie: I know that you're anxious to have me leave Collinwood. Well there is one way that you can hasten my departure.
Roger: A simple request perhaps?
Carolyn: Uncle Roger, please!
Guthrie: If the seance fails, then there'll be no reason for me to stay on.
Roger: Oh?
Guthrie: Once the seance is over...
Roger:  You'll forget this foolishness?
Guthrie: I'll have no choice.
Roger: Well! Then let's do it at once! Come along, girls, let's gather around...