Friday, May 21, 2021

Dark Shadows: The Revival - Episode 7 (2/8/91)

 My name is Victoria Winters. A séance in the Great House at Collinwood has torn a hole in the fabric of time, merging past and present, drawing one woman down through the centuries, offering up another in her place. Now those left behind strive desperately to unlock the mystery of those cross destinies, and the terrible threat they contain. 

Julia asks Barnabas if he knew Phyllis Wicke and he says yes.  He says she was hired as a tutor to the children, and she had an accident on the road, arriving at Collinwood in the same state they saw her in when she appeared after the séance. Julia asks if she recovered, and he says she recovered from the accident, but not long after she became ill with fever and died. Willie worries that the same thing might happen again and wonders how they'll get Miss Winters back.

Vicki walks through mist, clutching the Collins family history book and appearing stunned as she approaches the Old House. She sees Sarah and David running through the garden and calls them, but the little boy says, "I be Daniel. Who be you?" She corrects him on his improper use of the verb. He recognizes that she's their new tutor and asks if the tome she's holding is their new lesson book. 

Barnabas comes outside, calling the children. Vicki is happy to see him and calls to him, but he asks if they know each other, and then asks if he can be of some assistance. She begins to ask why they're all dressed up, but then asks why he's staring at her. He explains that she resembles his fiancé, who he's expecting. She asks if it's Josette and he says yes. She questions whether or not she's dreaming. Daniel tells him it's their new tutor, and she says she is, introducing herself as Victoria Winters. He comments on her odd style of dress and invites her inside. 

Barnabas shows her to the drawing room to meet his mother, who is having a tarot reading by the Countess Natalie duPrés, also attended by his aunt Abigail. Vicki calls them Elizabeth, Dr. Hoffman and Mrs. Johnson. They all give her strange looks and ask who she is. He notes that the Countess also sees her resemblance to Josette.  Abigail asks her name and Naomi asks what happened to Mistress Wicke. The Countess offers to find her a dress that's more suitable and asks her to come with her. 

The Countess asks Angelique if she sees the resemblance to her Josette and she says she does. Victoria asks when she is arriving and says she can't wait to meet her. 
Abigail looks at the washing label in her clothes and asks about the strange language. Vicki explains they symbols stand for machine wash, tumble dry and cool iron. She freaks her out when she demonstrates the zipper. Abigail asks where she came from. Vicki asks her to tell her where she is, and she says she's at the Collins estate in the territory of Massachusetts. Vicki asks what year it is and the Countess tells her it's 1790. Vicki makes references to Alice in Wonderland and the Countess asks Angelique to prepare her bed as she needs to rest.

After they exit, she listens in on their conversation outside the door, and hears Abigail say she's mad and that Joshua should summon the bailiff. Vicki thinks she must be dreaming and decides she needs to get back to Collinwood.

She runs through the woods and comes upon Collinwood under construction. She realizes the séance was how she got there and thinks she can get back the way she came. 
She sits on a barrel and closes her eyes as she calls to Sarah to help her. Peter Bradford comes upon her, telling her she can find Sarah in the nursery. She stops herself from calling him Joe. He tells her Collinwood is almost finished and, in a few days, the family will be able to move in. She realizes that Joshua Collins is Barnabas' father, and Peter says that Barnabas and his brother, Jeremiah, are his best friends. Vicki starts to cry and he tries to comfort her. He asks what she's doing there and she says she thinks she was sent there. He asks if she's had an accident and hit her head, and she says yes. She says they think she's mad at the manor house and he warns her that if they called the bailiff, they will send her to the madhouse, which is a fate worth crying over. He advises her to prove to them that she's sane. Peter forges a letter of introduction for her. 

Joshua is impressed by the letter of recommendation, noting the handwriting looks familiar. Jeremiah walks in and Barnabas introduces him. Abigail says she didn't even know what year it was in the morning, but Vicki claims she fell from her horse and was dazed at the time. Abigail argues that there were no marks on her and she didn't fall. 

Joshua asks what she knows of grammar, penmanship and math. He asks her to open her mouth and makes note of her dental health. He tells her she'll receive room and board and 30 dollars a year. Barnabas says she's not a slave, but she says the amount is fine. Joshua warns her that she'll be watched, and she turns to see Abigail staring at her. 

Barnabas finds her organizing in the classroom and she thanks him. He warns her that his aunt can be very dangerous and that she should be careful. He says she knew his name as well as the name of his fiancé even though they've never met, and asks if there's anything she wants to tell him. He says there's something about her that makes him feel that they have met before. She credits the feeling with her resemblance to his fiancé. He bows to her and exits the room.

Vicki hides her modern dress and the Collins family history book in a drawer in her room. Angelique enters with some dresses she is loaning her to wear. She explains to Vicki that her mother was servant to the duPrés for many years and she was destined to serve Josette ever since they were children together in Martinique. She tells her that everyone likes Josette and she will too. 

Barnabas is reading by the fire when Angelique comes into his room. He tells her she shouldn't be there but she says she's tired of waiting for an invitation and slips out of her dress. 
He asks why she persists since she knows he love Josette. She reminds him of their time together in Martinique. He says it would not have happened if Josette had not gone to France, leading him to believe he'd never see her again. She kisses him and says she can take him places Josette has never been. He is unable to resist and begins kissing her passionately. 

Vicki runs through the garden with Daniel and Sarah, as Peter and Jeremiah argue about who she'll be seated next to at dinner. Peter asks Jeremiah when his betrothed will arrive, suggesting he wouldn't want to ruin his father's plan for a double wedding. Barnabas asks how he can be certain Millicent will be unacceptable when he hasn't seen her since she was 12. Jeremiah says she was a pimply gap-toothed girl. Barnabas says even if she is ugly, he may grow to love her in time. Peter says at least he'll love her dowry.

A carriage arrives at Collinwood and Barnabas offers Jeremiah a bouquet of flowers that he picked special to help him make a good impression. 

Millicent awkwardly steps out of the carriage and Jeremiah introduces her to Barnabas. He tells Jeremiah to give her the flowers, which he does. She slaps him with them and informs him that in future he should know that her favorite flower is the red rose. He tries to kiss her hand, but she pulls it away, saying she needs rest, since her coachman, who is a Willie lookalike with an eye patch, searched out every pothole between there and Collinsport just to give her grief. He says he never called himself a coachman. She suggests he be roundly beaten.

Jeremiah is telling his father that he shall die and go to hell if he has to marry that woman, who he describes as misery on two legs. Joshua tells him that if he says she's his bride, he'll marry her. Naomi tries to plead on his behalf, but he won't have it. Jeremiah says he's given him fair warning. Joshua says he's a Collins and should act like one.

Abigail enters Victoria's room and removes her modern day dress from her dresser drawer and takes it from the room. 

A naked girl screams and says she sees him sitting on the ceiling beating his wings and laughing, touching her with his claws, as Reverend Trask tries to banish Satan. She asks him to make it stop as he repeats, "Satan begone" over and over. Abigail enters with another woman as he begins pouring hot liquid from a ladle onto the girl's body. The woman asks if she's safe from Satan, and he says time will tell. He instructs the woman to bring her to her mother and keep her in bed, tie her down if necessary, feed her white foods and bring her back in 4 days.  He says the girl is a sign of broader infestation, and the woman leads her out.

Abigail introduces herself to Reverend Trask. She says she found strange signs and shows him Victoria's garment. He looks at the zipper and says the iron stitchery is not the work of mortal hands. He sees the washing label and claims they are runic symbols, but she says the woman could read the symbols, saying they are mystic phrases: tumble dry, cool iron, permanent press. He asks where the woman is and she tells him that Joshua has taken her on as tutor and she fears for the children. She explains they were expecting a Mistress Phyllis Wicke but she has not appeared. The woman returns and says that she heard the coach overturned with a Mistress Phyllis Wicke on board, but when they righted the coach, she was nowhere to be seen. Trask says if this woman is a creature of darkness who has taken the form of Miss Wicke, then she sits at the right hand of Satan. He says all souls who dwell under the same roof as her are in mortal danger.

Abigail rants to the family about the disappearance of Mistress Wicke and appearance of Miss Winters. Barnabas claims her concerns are backwoods foolishness. Victoria enters and Joshua asks how she got there, by horse or by coach. She says she came by mail coach and Abigail reminds them that she said she fell from her horse. Joshua asks if anything unusual happened on her journey and she says she doesn't remember. Barnabas says of course she doesn't, because when the coach turned over she hit her head. Joshua dismisses her and Naomi says she wishes they'd leave the poor girl alone because she seems so nice. Abigail says she cannot believe that witch. Joshua asks Abigail where she heard the talk about Phyllis Wicke and she admits she heard it at Reverend Trask's. Jeremiah scoffs and Barnabas smirks. Joshua asks if the charlatan is back in town and Abigail says he does God's work. Joshua disagrees and describes him as a lying, treacherous conniver. She begs her brother to listen, but he tells her to begone before he exorcises her from the house. 

Back in 1990, Julia enters the room where Phyllis Wicke lies in bed, with hospital equipment set up to monitor her vital signs. Elizabeth is in the room and tells Julia she must have been dreaming since she was very restless. Julia says she'll take over, but Elizabeth says she's alright to stay and watch over her. 
Elizabeth is asleep when Phyllis Wicke sits up in bed awake, and pulls the IV and EKG leads from her body. She runs out of the room.

Julia brings a cup of tea to Elizabeth and sees that Phyllis Wicke is gone.

Back in 1790, Barnabas enters his room and Angelique greets him with a half dressed embrace. He asks what she's doing there. She says he's dreaming if he thinks he can resist her. He says he can't undo what's been done, but he promises her it won't happen again. She asks him if he thinks he can cleanse himself for his precious Josette and make himself a virgin again. He grabs her by the arm, dragging her to the door, and tells her to leave. He says she should understand him when he says never again, and she says it will never be over. 

Angelique approaches Willie's counterpart, Ben Loomis, outside as he makes horseshoes. He asks what she wants and she says she wants him. She says she wants to show him something, and holds up a figure made from rope. She asks if he recognizes it and then says it's him. 

She tells him he works for her. He says he doesn't have time for it and tells her to go back to the house. When she punches and stomps on the figure, he falls to the ground writhing in pain. 

He asks what she is, but figures out on his own that she's a witch. She says she only wants to borrow his soul and his will. She contorts the figure and he finds he cannot move. She binds him to her and compels him to do everything she commands. She says he won't remember, but when her mistress returns, she will summon him. 

I, Victoria Winters, begin this journal in the hope that no matter what happens to me, there will at least be a written record of these extraordinary events. Somehow, I have been thrust backward in time...

Vicki writes in her journal when she hears a coach outside and sees that Josette has arrived. 

She goes to the top of the staircase and watches as Joshua welcomes Josette to the house, not realizing that Angelique has appeared behind her. Josette compliments Joshua on his beautiful home and turns to look up the staircase, allowing Vicki to see that she looks exactly like her. Vicki says, "She's me. She is me."

Our thoughts

Christine: I was kind of hoping we would not experience another repeat of Vicki calling everyone by the name she knew them by in 1991, but here we are. It does bring back fond memories from the series, so it's not all bad. 

John: She does have a classic Wizard of Oz moment... And you were there, and you... of course they don't explain why she couldn't figure out that she was in Collinwood. Despite going to such great lengths to establish Vicki as the spitting image of Josette, why didn't Barnabas immediately assume she was the love of his life? And Millicent looks to be quite the high-maintenance bitch! She'd be enough to drive anyone to run to their brother's bride to be. Of course, since both Vicki and Josette exist in this timeline, each brother can have one, so there shouldn't be any need for a duel!

Christine: The furry eyebrows and crazy wig on Roy Thinnes really make him a frightening version of Reverend Trask. I look forward to the malcontent he will bring to the show. Willie as Ben Loomis with an eye patch to do Angelique's bidding should also be interesting to see. 

John: When I saw Trask, my first thought was that he looked like an 80s rock star circa 2020! And I can't believe we we're left to wonder if Ben ever got roundly beaten!

Christine: I like that we touched base, if only for a moment, with present day characters. Hopefully this will continue as we are immersed in the events of 1790. 

John: Yeah. It will be interesting to see how much 1990 we'll get in each episode. I do have one lingering question. Vicki's dress, and specifically the tag, really befuddled Abigail and the rest, but somehow her modern-day underwear did not? Unless we are to assume Vicki was going commando at the seance...


William said...

I can understand being confused at first, but Victoria carries on the tradition of making herself as suspicious looking as possible, even after being warned to be careful. I have to believe that her deciding to keep a diary will be something she will regret.
Millicent's arrival is my favourite scene of DS Revival so far.

D.Wor said...

I keep loving how the wash-tag is made of "ruinic figures". I too saw Trask as like, "Wait... heavy metal?"

This is NOT the Millicent we once knew! Which is a nice switch, actually.

It does get confusing for Barnabas not to see Victoria as Josette initially, in almost the same sense he doesn't recognize Willie as Ben in modern day. Ah, too many characters and what can one do?

All right, dental work makes the grade! Victoria must be on the higher end of things with such teeth.

I'm also happy to see Abigail is not taken seriously about her suspicions and who she consults about them.

Angelique is as expected. I guess we wouldn't have much of an extended story if she just posed a love-potion on Barnabas, but golly, manipulating a bunch of other people takes so much more energy and time!

Ah, yes. Josette arrives, the resemblance is striking. Please cue "Parent Trap" theme music. :)

Jeff Baker said...

Having seen this when it first aired I am loving your recap! The actors are perfect, and so is the period feel especially those moments when this is a family being happy, not anticipating tragedy. I wondered about them getting rid of Joe Haskell, but I will bet that Michael T. Weiss would probably have something to do in every season had the show continued. That "Wizard of Oz" reference slipped past me the first time I saw it but I think there will be at least one more! Now that I have lived a number of years I have seen men who got into the wrong relationship, so I have seen a few Angeliques and Millicents! Again, thank you for doing this!