Friday, April 23, 2021

Dark Shadows: The Revival - Episode 3 (1/14/91)

Barnabas sits in a chair sweating when Julia enters. He tells her she's late and she says she had to wait until the others were in bed. She asks if he can fight it and he says she wouldn't be around to ask that question if he couldn't. She tells him the serum could be toxic to his system, and he suggests she make haste with the treatment. She readies a fat syringe and warns that it will burn, the effects of which he describes in poetic terms. He keels over, but then recovers quickly from the pain. He tells her they will see the dawn together one day. 

Julia records her serology experiment, BC1, noting her plan is to divide his original blood samples into 12 control vials, so that she can chart changes in his blood after each inoculation. She first tests the effect of the sun's rays on the baseline sample. When the sun's rays shine on the vial of blood, it begins to bubble over until it shatters the vial, leaving a powdery residue on the table. 

Vicki and Barnabas walk along the cliff at Widows' Hill. 

She says it's so wild out there it could be a thousand years ago, and he says it could be a thousand years hence, and that time stands still. She twirls and says she feels free enough to fly, and they quote poetry together. She gives him a peck on the cheek and runs off. He begins to freak out when she runs towards the cliff and has visions of Josette running in a white dress. He tells her to stop, and the vision of Josette climbs up on the ledge. He yells for Josette to not be afraid of him, but she leaps from the cliff. He screams, "No!" and Vicki comes up behind him and asks him what's wrong. He tells her she shouldn't run about like that. She says she's alright. 

She says the wind is so loud it's almost human and he tells her they call it the Widows' Wail. He tells her the legend of the widows who would come to search for their husbands' ships on stormy nights, that many became widows at that spot, and more than a few decided to join their husbands on the rocks below. She asks if that's where Josette died and he says yes. He holds her close.

David walks through the drawing room and calls out to see if anyone is there. He wonders where everyone is and whether or not they're having dinner. He hears a door creak open and begins to walk in the direction of the sound. He sees a shadow moving on the wall and calls out to whoever is there. Carolyn appears and he says she scared him, asking where everybody is, as she continues to advance toward him silently. He asks what's wrong with her and she bares her fangs and leaps at him. 

He screams and runs upstairs to a room, where Daphne is waiting with fangs bared.

He runs down the hall as they both follow. He runs to Vicki in her room, and she bares her fangs and tries to bite him as Daphne and Carolyn enter the room. 

He wakes up screaming with Vicki at his side, reassuring him that no one is going to hurt him. He says that Daphne is still trying to get him, but she says it was a dream. He says she's coming back to get him and Vicki and Carolyn. She offers to sit with him awhile. 

Outside, David plays with a stick. He sees the mausoleum and enters. He goes to where Daphne's urn is and Sarah shows up from behind, startling him. She says that Daphne is gone and will never come back. She says there is someone close to him who is in pain and needs his help, but she refuses to tell him who it is and skips away singing, "London Bridge."  He chases her outside the mausoleum, but she has disappeared.

Julia makes a record of the experiment on week 10, observing two blood samples in the sunlight. As one of the samples takes longer to bubble over, she notes that the blood is still vulnerable to the sun's rays, but its resistance grows by the day. She says that Barnabas has not fed for over two months. She believes he will be able to face the dawn soon and she will be the cause of his freedom. 

She administers an injection and he says they're getting easier to endure. She says he may begin to experience other signs of normality and points out he has a new gray hair. Willie says he's getting gray. She says growing old is not much fun, but he says he looks forward to aging, as not growing old has been the curse of eternity. He says he can't wait too much longer, but she tells him they can't jeopardize their success by rushing. She says it's time for an experiment, and Willie unveils a mirror. He goes to it and sees his reflection. He says it's the first time he's seen it in two centuries, and that he thought he was taller. He tells Willie they'll hang mirrors in every room. Julia says everything he wants will come true. He tells her he will owe it all to her and to her he will give all this thanks, as he cups her face with his hands. He smiles at his reflection. 

In Josette's room, he stares at her portrait and says, "Soon. Soon, my Josette. We shall be together again, as it was meant to be."

Joe is sitting on the terrace having a nightmare, when he is startled awake by Carolyn, who has brought him a lunch tray. He says he needs to get out of there and she asks why since he's getting better and has people there who care about him, as she looks at him seductively. He says there are too many memories and every where he looks is like he's living a nightmare. He says he's thinking about going away and she strokes his arm, saying she'd miss him if he did. 

Julia compliments Michael Woodard on the wonderful dinner and he asks how her work is going. He asks why she's staying on now that Daphne is gone and she says she's treating Joe Haskell. He says he knows she's still there because she is waiting for the vampire to strike again. He says they both know the threat is still out there, and that even a small town sheriff can figure out who's new in town and is never seen during the day. She asks who they've come up with, and he says Barnabas Collins. 

Vicki is sitting in Josette's room while Barnabas recites a poem from a book. She asks to see it and he tells her it was written by his namesake for Josette, but it might have been written for her. 

They begin to kiss passionately. Barnabas' eyes begin to glow as he gazes at her neck and he abruptly pulls away. She asks what's wrong, and with his back to her, he says she must leave, that Willie will escort her home, and that he's just not feeling himself. She leaves and he cries with fangs exposed.

Julia walks to the Old House with Willie, asking what they were doing, but Willie says they weren't doing anything. She goes to Barnabas inside and he tells her they can't wait any longer since he was barely able to control the urge to take blood. She said it's a terrible risk and it could destroy everything the experiment has led up to. He tells her he is not a laboratory rat for her to manipulate. He insists that the night will end with his first morning for 200 years. 

She begins to administer injections as Willie assists. As dawn approaches he says he had forgotten the sky could be so many colors. As sunlight begins to creep through the window and shine on his hand, he says his hand prickles, but realizes it's just heat and that his blood is warming. 

He says that his hand that has been cold for 200 years is warm. Willie is astonished. He says, "I see the sun," but as he begins to sweat and his blood sample begins to boil over, Julia tells Willie to pull the drapes. Barnabas tells him not to block his light, but he groans in pain and collapses. Willie yells that someone is at the front door, but Julia yells at him to help her move Barnabas. They lay him out in bed where he shivers, and Julia tells him to see who's at the door.

Willie opens the door to find Roger, Professor Woodard, and Sheriff Patterson, who insist on seeing Barnabas. Willie says it's early and he's asleep. Julia comes to the door saying Willie came to get her early and it's a good thing he did as Barnabas is very ill. Woodard thinks it strange that Willie didn't mention it and said he was sleeping, which she said he is since he'd been up all night with a fever. Woodard suggests they return to see him later, but she advises against it. Woodard asks if she's quarantining the house and she said she doesn't understand the nature of Woodard's questions. The sheriff says they have to ask him about Daphne and the others, and she asks if he's a suspect. Woodard says they want to talk to him now in the daylight. Sheriff Patterson produces a warrant to search the premises and they enter the house.  

The sheriff asks Willie to take them to him and Woodard starts up the stairs, but Barnabas meets them on the stairs sweating, saying he is surprised to have three unexpected guests in his house at such an early hour. Roger apologizes saying that Woodard had a crazy idea. Barnabas says he'd prefer to discuss it at another time, that as Julia informed them, he is not entirely well. Woodard suggests he may need more sunlight and that he looks awfully pale. Barnabas says he may be right and walks into the sunlight streaming through a window and faces Woodard as sweat trickles down his face. Julia says her patient needs rest and asks them to leave. The sheriff apologizes and offers assistance. Julia warns Michael that she'll hold him personally responsible if anything happens to Barnabas because of his visit. Woodard says he doesn't know what happened, but he'll find out. He tells her not to throw her life away, that he'll destroy her since he destroys everything he touches. 

Outside, Roger and Sheriff Patterson claim that Woodard made them look like fools, but he insists that the evidence still points to Barnabas. Woodard says he's dangerous and has somehow tricked them. The sheriff tells him he's to leave Barnabas alone until he finds some hard evidence. 

Barnabas sweats and groans as Julia gives him another injection. He complains about how ice burns smooth and cool and then passes out. She tells Willie to keep the room dark and notify her of any change. She adds that he should keep an eye out for Woodard and call the sheriff if he shows up.

Willie plays nursemaid to Barnabas, dabbing his forehead with a cool washcloth and promising to take him fishing and white water rafting when he feels better. He says Julia will help him get better and he'll teach him how to drive. He hears a knock at the door and freaks out. He answers it and is happy to see his aunt carrying something wrapped in foil. She asks to come in and admires the restoration work he's done with Barnabas. He asks her what she brought and she hands it to him. He realizes it's his favorite nut loaf and immediately unwraps it and takes a bite out of it before offering her some. She tells him she's proud of him, but then asks what's wrong, as he seems nervous. He says he has a lot of responsibilities and ushers her out of the house.

Woodard arrives at Collinwood and apologizes for the misunderstanding, saying it was entirely his fault and the sheriff had nothing to do with it. He tells her he's come to apologize to Julia and she tells him she's out by the lily pond reading. He sees that she is and then proceeds to sneak up the stairs into her room. He starts going through her things and finds vials of blood in cold storage. He removes one and sees that it reacts to exposure to sunlight. He breaks into a locked drawer in her desk and finds her journal. He takes photos of her notes. Elizabeth catches him coming downstairs, asking if he found her and he says he did. He excuses himself and leaves. 

Julia enters and Elizabeth says it was gracious of Michael to drop by and apologize. She is surprised to hear she didn't see him as she's sure he told her that she did. Julia excuses herself and returns to her room. She finds a powdered blood sample on the floor and sees that her locked drawer is open and that her journal has been opened. She curses Michael for being a fool. 

Julia sees Barnabas and he realizes that Woodard knows everything. She explains that she had to keep a record of her work. He leaves, saying he has to attend to business. She pleads with him to try and make Woodard understand since she doesn't want anything to happen to him. Barnabas asks Willie to escort Julia to Collinwood. 

Woodard is on the phone trying to reach the sheriff when the power goes out in his house. He goes to the fuse box and his cat yowls and jumps on him. He hears a sound and sees that a window is open. He closes it and hears another sound, thinking it's the cat. He descends the stairs and is suddenly grabbed by the throat. Barnabas says, "You've made a serious mistake, Professor. Your foolish curiosity has now brought you into my bleak universe!"

Our thoughts:

John: I was initially surprised there was no Victoria Winters voiceover at the start of this episode, until I remembered that episode 3 aired as the second-half of a two-parter the night after the two-hour series premiere.

Christine: It's amazing how much story they can condense into one episode after seeing these storylines drawn out for months on the daytime drama. Thank goodness we only had to hear Sarah sing one stanza of London Bridge.

John: When Julia mentioned that Barnabas hadn't attacked anyone in two months, I was shocked. That little detail I had forgotten since my initial viewing thirty years ago. I don't know if two months even passed over the course of a year's worth of episodes on the original series. Here we are, three episodes in and it has already been two months since Barnabas came to town and started munching on the ladies (and gentlemen) of Collinwood like Willie does to his aunt's nut loaf! And Julia has certainly settled in to life in Collinwood. She looked totally at home, sunbathing by the lily pond, fully decked-out in black.

Christine: I enjoyed David's bad dream. It will be interesting to see if any of it comes true. I wonder who Sarah was referring to when she said someone close to him was in pain and needs his help.  Barnabas is the first one to come to mind, but I'm not sure if he needs David's help. Could she be referring to Joe? 

John: I'm sure the gals all had fun getting dolled-up to play big-hair '80s vampires... though Carolyn should have taken scary hand-gesture lessons from Daphne, who really has them mastered. Sadly, those hip '80s styles really clashed with Sarah's off-the-rack 18th-century Holly Hobbie costume.

Christine: Things don't look good for Woodard. At least Julia was not around to be a party to however Barnabas will decide to deal with him. 

John: To be fair, if anything happens to Woodard, wouldn't that further the suspicion against Barnabas? But let's face it, it's his own fault; making a mess of Julia's lab and not bothering to clean it up, or even going to the trouble of returning her diary to the locked drawer? It's like he didn't bother reading the whole junior spy manual that came with the secret spy-camera he ordered from the back of a comic book.


Jeff Baker said...

Once again I will mention the fine performance of Ben Cross in this mini-series. You can feel Barnabas' agony.

D.Wor said...

I was also impressed to see the Josette death anguish as we ventured through this tale.

The scenes of David getting dream-sequence vampires at every turn reminded me of a dear friends' words, "That kid gets treated like a yo-yo on a good day!"

Ah, Sarah, in all her vaguary. ^_^

Oh, and yes, her duds do rather clash with all the 1980's outfits. Reminds me of a production of "Northanger Abbey" with very 80's soundtrack music.

William said...

I am watching the revival series for the first time since it originally aired. During this re-watch the 3rd episode is the first one that really captured my interest. This is the third time that they have done the introduction of Barnabas and Julia Hoffman's treatment. In the original series it was dragged out and in House of Dark Shadows (which was the first time that I was able to see Dark Shadows) it was somewhat rushed. But to me, other than the relationship between Maggie and Roger (which my mind just cannot accept), it just felt like "Been there, done that."
I don't find Ben Cross' interpretation of Barnabas very nuanced. He just seems angry. I don't see the vulnerability that Jonathan Frid added to the character. Other than for some mystical vampire power, I don't see how Victoria could be attracted to him.
On the other hand, any opportunity to see Barbara Steele is to be cherished.
And I do like how they have added some depth to Sarah. We don't have to hear her sing "London Bridges" repeatedly.