Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Episode 177 - 2/28/67

Carolyn comes downstairs to find Dr. Guthrie in the drawing room. He tells her something very important has happened. He says he experienced something much like her mother did. He explains that he had just paid a call on Laura Collins. Carolyn says that she knew Laura was responsible. Guthrie reviews his notes with Carolyn, reviewing Laura's ancestors who died by fire every 100 years. Guthrie asks Carolyn if she knows the legend of the phoenix. He goes on to explain how Laura could be a phoenix, reborn of fire every 100 years. He says he needs help to get the proof they're looking for, and Carolyn volunteers Joe.

Joe courts Maggie at the diner, telling her that he loves her.  She talks about how her father prevents her from making any plans to change her life. She says she doesn't want him to set himself on fire again. Joe says that could be related to what's going on at Collinwood. Maggie starts to talk about her father's history with Collinwood, suggesting he began drinking after some business involving Roger Collins, as Carolyn walks in. She asks Maggie if she can borrow Joe, and Maggie says as long as she gives him back.

Joe joins Carolyn at a table. She asks if he's willing to help her mother. He asks her to keep her request in strictest confidence. She explains that Dr. Guthrie is a parapsychologist; he deals with psychic phenomenon. She says her mother has been put into a trance, Joe finds the claim hard to swallow. She asks him to give Guthrie a chance. Joe agrees to come by the house later tonight.

Carolyn leaves, and Maggie asks what the discussion was all about. He says he promised Carolyn he wouldn't discuss it with anyone. He kisses her, and says he can't take her to a movie tonight. He tells her that she's his girl, but that he has to go up to Collinwood.

Guthrie sits by the fireplace when Carolyn brings in coffee. She says Joe has agreed to help. Guthrie says he hopes he doesn't change his mind when he finds out what he wants him to do. There's a knock at the door, and Carolyn lets Joe in. She introduces him to Dr. Guthrie. The doctor asks Joe what he feels about reincarnation. Joe says he doesn't really believe in it. Guthrie tells Joe he wants him to help him open a grave.

Our thoughts

John: So Guthrie has made the phoenix connection, even pointing out the fact that the body of Laura Collins turned up in Phoenix. What he hasn't explained, and it's not clear that he knows how, is just how one deals with a phoenix.

Christine: That would be the logical next step, once he confirms his theory. It might occur to him to extinguish her beloved fire in the cottage after hearing David recount how she'd been staring into it when he fell under her spell.

John: So now it's Maggie's turn to be jealous. I hope for Joe's sake, it's not as bad as it was with Carolyn.

Christine: Maggie says she's not going to give him up without a fight. I wonder if we can expect a little tug of war over Joe Haskell.

John: Looks like we might have grave robbers in Collinwood before the week is out!

Christine: It's hard to believe good ol' Joe would be willing to participate in anything not "strictly legal."

Monday, February 27, 2017

Episode 176 - 2/27/67

Laura stares into the fireplace in the cottage while Dr. Guthrie stumbles into the drawing room, calling out to Vicki. She comes downstairs and asks him what's wrong. She tells him to snap out of it but he says he can't.

David walks in on his mother, finding her transfixed by the flames. He calls to her, and she eventually acknowledges his presence.

Back in the main house, Guthrie appears to be free of whatever was ailing him.

David tells his mother that he wanted to visit her because he was lonely. She describes how sometime she likes being alone. He asks what she was doing, and she says she was staring into the fire, thinking. He says he won't bother her any more and starts to leave. She reacts to this and apologizes to him. She asks him to come give her a hug in front of the fire. She tells David to look into the fire, and he says he doesn't see anything. She tells him that very soon he will. She reminds him that he's always welcome with her. He leaves, and she continues staring into the fire.

Vicki asks Guthrie what happened. He says he wasn't sure, and asked her what it looked like. Vicki said it was just like the day Mrs. Stoddard got sick. He says he felt faint. Vicki asked what led up to it. He says he can't remember what led up to the event. Vicki explains that's exactly what happened to Mrs. Stoddard. Guthrie says he remembers where he was, and what he was doing. He said he had visited Laura, and she warned him to stay away from her. Vicki says that Liz also visited Laura.

David enters, and Vicki asks where he was. He explains he was with his mother, and Guthrie asks how long he was, and if she did anything strange. David says it was like she didn't want him around. He said that he entered the cottage without knocking, and she was just sitting and staring into the fire. David says she looked like she did in the painting, when she was surrounded by fire. He says she didn't respond to his calls, and after he shook her, she finally came to. She told him she was just daydreaming, and then tried to get rid of her. Once he started to leave, she tried to get him to stay. He also says she told him that she'd teach him how to see things by looking into the fire.

David heads off for dinner, and Guthrie tells Vicki that he thinks that David interrupted his mother precisely at the moment he came out of his daze. Vicki finds it hard to believe that Laura has such a power. Guthrie says it might be an influence that Laura has; unlike anything he has seen in his life. Guthrie says that now that he knows about it, he can protect himself. He also says that whatever power Laura possesses must be destroyed. The front door blows open, and Laura is standing there.

Laura says she's delivering David's scarf. Vicki says David didn't have a scarf today. She goes to see to David's dinner, leaving Laura and Guthrie alone together. Laura says that she doesn't comprehend Guthrie. She asks what kind of person goes into his work—meddling in things best left alone. He tells her he's sure she knows all about those things. She feigns ignorance, and he tells her she's too modest. He asks her if she's surprised to see him up and around. He asks if that's the reason she came to the house. He says he thinks she has some sort of special power or influence. He accuses her of putting Liz in a trance, and almost doing the same to him. He says that once he figures out what kind of force she is, he'll tell her and everyone else. Laura laughs, and walks out on him.

Our thoughts

John: In classic cliffhanger serial fashion, this episode begins differently than the last one ended. In this case, Guthrie doesn't collapse before the fireplace—and Vicki arrives after hearing his call.

Christine: That was a close call for Dr. Guthrie. Next time he might not be so lucky.

John: Of all the things Laura shouldn't be burning, it's bridges with David, and yet she did what may be irreparable harm to their relationship today. Will she come to regret that?

Christine: It seemed like she managed to smooth him over. You never know with David, though. He's very fickle.

John: So Guthrie has all but called out Laura, though he still doesn't know what she is. One has to wonder how much longer until her true nature is understood by everyone at Collinwood.

Christine: While I enjoy his confrontational nature, it was foolish of him to say he was going to tell everyone what kind of force she is as soon as he could figure it out and not expect it to make her more determined to use her powers to stop him.

Friday, February 24, 2017

Episode 175 - 2/24/67

Word of 'Laura Collins' charred body disappearing in Phoenix reaches Collinwood. Guthrie tells Vicki that Frank got word that the vault where the body was placed was found empty. Vicki and Guthrie discuss the fire connection to Laura, and he says the only way to find out if she's the real cause of the problems at Collinwood is another seance. Guthrie says he's eager to tell Laura about the missing body.

Burke tells Laura that Guthrie is a parapsychologist. She says she knows, and she doesn't care. Burke doesn't understand why he's investigating her. Laura tells Burke that she needs him to trust her.

There's a knock at the door, and Guthrie asks Vicki not to mention the body if it happens to be Mrs. Collins. Vicki answers the door to Burke. She won't let him in the house. Guthrie leaves the house to find them on the front porch. He leaves and Burke asks Vicki who Guthrie is. She says she doesn't know what he means and goes inside. Burke follows her, and she says that the doctor is doing whatever he can to help Liz. Burke asks if he suspects Laura, as he needs to know if he can trust her. He asks Vicki if she trusts her. Vicki explains that the spirit of Josette led her to a crypt where she found two ancestors of Laura who died by fire. Burke doesn't understand the connection to Laura. Vicki says these are the reasons why she doesn't trust Laura, and why she fears her. Vicki tells Burke about the missing body in Phoenix.

Laura sits by the fire when there's a knock at the door. It's Guthrie. He tells her that there's news from Phoenix. She says if it's news from Phoenix, it's not important to her. She expresses her annoyance to Guthrie. He tells her that when they went to bury the body of the burned woman in Phoenix, it was gone. Guthrie mentions that Laura seems upset by the news. Guthrie presses the issue, and asks Laura why it matters so much to her.

She tells him to go away and leave her alone. She then threatens him. He asks what she's threatening to do. She suggests he goes back to the house, when there's another knock at the door.

Burke comes in and asks what Guthrie is doing. Laura asks Burke to make Guthrie leave. Guthrie leaves on his own, and Burke suggests that folks will leave her alone when she explains a few simple facts. Laura leaves the cottage, and Burke follows her out. He asks why she lied about seeing Liz before she fell ill. He asks if she did anything to Liz. She asks him to leave her alone, and he does. Laura goes back inside and returns to the fireplace.

Guthrie returns to the main house, and we see Laura's wide eyes superimposed as he walks in and collapses before the fireplace.

Our thoughts

John: So the disappearance of the body in Phoenix must be related to Laura's time is truly running out. How come no one has brought up the legend of the phoenix to Guthrie?

Christine: Maybe they should have hung David's drawing from Episode 141 on the fridge so they could remember it. I thought surely Vicki would mention it to Guthrie when relating all the connections Laura has to fire.

John: Laura's world appears to be closing in around her, with even Burke wavering as her ally.

Christine: Perhaps her power is diminishing as she gets closer to the end of her phoenix cycle and her hold on Burke is weakening.

John: So Guthrie pushed and pushed, and he got the answer he was looking for. Question is, did he push too far? I guess we'll find out next week. If he survives this episode, they'd better get that next seance scheduled, and fast!

Christine: When the entrancement music begins (aka Cue 145: Spooky, Low Wail, Zap Music) and Laura is staring into fire, it means someone is going down. Looks like Liz may get a roomie, unless someone disrupts Laura's concentration.

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Episode 174 - 2/23/67

Frank tells Dr. Guthrie that he came by to hear the tape. Guthrie plays the tape for him and all they hear is fire. He says the voices are gone, and in their place, it's the crackling of flames. Guthrie explains that any force powerful enough to do the things that have gone on in Collinwood would have no trouble replacing the audio on his recording. Frank suggests that fire once again seems to point to Laura Collins, and then mentions the Phoenix case is closing today. Guthrie is upset they can close the case without having answers. Frank asks him if he's confident Laura is behind the strange occurrences at Collinwood, and Guthrie confirms that he is. He says she may be so unwittingly, but she does seem to be involved.

Frank starts to tell him news of Liz from Boston as Carolyn walks in. He says she's better, but then backs off from that and says very slightly improved. Her pulse and temperature are closer to normal, but she's still catatonic. Carolyn wants to visit her mother, but Dr. Guthrie suggests that it might be best that she not visit her yet. He says he's confident that the source of her illness is in Collinwood.

Joe arrives with some papers for Frank to sign, and Carolyn explains he and Dr. Guthrie are walking the grounds. She invites him into the drawing room, and asks how he's been. He says he's been fine, and asks how her Mom is doing. She explains they won't let her see her mother. She says without her mother she has no one to turn to. Joe explains that he's her friend, and she can turn to him. She tells him it never occurred to her that she would need him and he wouldn't be around. He clarifies that he's only offering friendship, and then he gives her a big hug and tells her to have a good cry.

In Phoenix, the papers are signed closing out the case of Laura Collins' dead doppleganger. The Lieutenant starts to leave, but he's told that he has to sign an affidavit in the morgue before the body is released for burial.

Carolyn tells Joe that she's sure Laura is responsible for all of the bad things that have been happening—including her mother's illness. Joe says he's heard that Guthrie is really a cop, investigating the body in Phoenix.

In the morgue, the Lieutenant gets a call from Frank Garner. He confirms the papers have just been signed, closing the case.

Frank tells Carolyn, Joe and Guthrie that the case in Phoenix is closed.

Back in the Phoenix morgue, there's a sign on a locker drawer that reads, Laura Murdoch Collins. One Lieutenant points out that they haven't changed it to 'identity unknown'. The locker is opened, and the drawer slid out showing that the body is gone.

Our thoughts

John: So Frank and Guthrie seem to agree that Laura is the source of the trouble at Collinwood, but don't know what to do with that information. If they had only thought to call in an exorcist.

Christine: Truly, knowing you're dealing with the first malicious supernatural entity on Dark Shadows is one thing, but determining what to do about it is quite another. Mrs. Johnson may be the one who holds the key--just put out the fire at the cottage. Laura seemed to freak out about that in Episode 172.

John: It's hard to believe that Carolyn and Joe had an adult conversation for the first time in the history of the show. Maybe, just maybe, she's turning a corner in her mother's absence.

Christine: The only other person Carolyn has had a close relationship with for any length of time, aside from Liz, is Joe. She's bound to misconstrue his caring hug as potential for reconciliation, despite what he has to say about Maggie, especially when she's feeling lonely without her mother.

John: I knew there was no way they built a morgue set just so they could show the Phoenix police answering a telephone call. The disappearance of Laura's charred remains is an interesting new twist that I hope they'll explain in the legend of the phoenix. Of course, I would have loved to hear the reaction of housewives across America if they had pulled open the drawer to expose an extra-crispy corpse back in 1967...

Christine: That is a pretty awesome morgue set, complete with echoing voices and everything! The only thing lacking was a corpse with a toe tag on the exam table. A charred corpse in the drawer would have also been nice. I'm still trying to figure out how her body could be charred in Phoenix and fresh in Collinsport at the same time. Isn't the phoenix supposed to rise from the ashes? Also, if she just burned up in Phoenix and is newly reborn, then why does she keep saying she's running out of time?

This is the only time we'll see Lt. Costa (background), but actor John Harkins will reappear as several different characters in a few more years.

If it weren't for the cactus, we might not know we were in Phoenix.
So this is Phoenix?

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Episode 173 - 2/22/67

Laura says everyone's against her but Roger. She wants Burke to convince David to go away with her.

David finds Vicki arranging flowers that Dr. Guthrie sent her. He tells her that he heard about the seance from Mrs. Johnson. He tells Vicki that Josette is his friend, and he should have been there. He leaves to go play alone.

Laura tells Burke now is the time to act with David. She tells Burke she doesn't have time—she has to get David while Liz was in the hospital, and it was hard enough to arrange that. Burke asks what she means by that, and she tells him that she means it was hard to convince anyone to send Liz to a hospital. She urges Burke to go looking for David right away. He seems to know something's up, but he agrees.

Burke finds David at the fishing shack. He tells David they should rent a boat and go fishing. Burke says he'll ask Vicki if they can do that. Burke offers to give David his fishing jacket. He tells David that he can see he doesn't have much fun around here. He asks him about his mother. David tells him that he used to love her, but when she came back, she scared him. He is fine with her now, but he still remembers that he was afraid of her. Burke tells him he should take a trip with her. David says he can't leave Collinwood forever. Burke tells him to think it over.

Vicki finds Burke and David in the fishing shack. She tells David she was worried about him. David tells Burke to ask about their trip, and Burke explains they want to go fishing. Vicki tells him that maybe they can do that in the Spring, but not in the cold winter weather. David leaves, saying he's going to his mother's cottage. Burke asks how Vicki's doing. He says he heard about last night. He says that since he saved her life once, he feels like he has an investment in her. She says that with him, everything boils down to business. She mentions before blacking out, she felt as if she was burning alive. Burke asks her what Guthrie is up to. Vicki tells him that this is a special case. He asks why there's so much opposition to Laura. Vicki explains that it was Liz's wish. She also says that there have been a lot of strange things surrounding Laura.

Laura sits in front of the fire in a trance when David walks in on her. She invites him to sit by her in front of the fire. He tells her that Burke offered to take him on a fishing trip, but he doesn't think they'll let him go. She says she'd let him. He also says Burke suggested that he go away with her, and he tells her he'll think about it. He asks her to tell him about the seance. She says that he mustn't believe anything they say about her. Burke walks in and suggests David get home before dark.

David leaves, and Laura tells Burke that with David coming and going, he shouldn't come around any more. He says he just talked to Vicki about her. He says if Laura explained a few things, they'd probably let her take David away. Laura lists all of the strange things they're concerned with, and says she'd have to be a superwoman to be responsible for all of those things. She begins to flirt with Burke, and it doesn't initially work, but she tells him to think only of her, and it appears he might be under her spell.

Our thoughts

John: Mrs. Johnson should get in trouble for telling David about the seance, but I'm guessing that will be long forgotten by the next time we see her.

Christine: Mrs. Johnson gets away with quite a bit, which is what makes her a great housekeeper for Collinwood.

John: We get a new location today—the old fishing shack. Since they went to so much trouble, I have a hunch we'll be back pretty soon.

Christine: They went to a lot of trouble to put together the shack Vicki and Roger were trapped in during the storm in Episode 96 and we haven't been back there yet...unless the fishing shack was repurposed from that storm shack.

John: I'm getting tired of Burke being oblivious to being manipulated by Laura. I'd like for once that he at least recognize that she's somehow overpowering him.

Christine: I guess if she can entrance Liz, she can do the same to Burke. When he turns away from her at the end, it looks like he's appealing to the viewers to help him out of his predicament.

Please save me from the writers who have taken away my self respect.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Episode 172 - 2/21/67

Mrs. Johnson roughly dusts things in the cottage, and Laura tells her to dust things, not break them. Mrs. Johnson brings up the events of the night before, and how she was scared while she looked over David during the seance. She asks Laura why Vicki cried out in terror last night. Laura says Vicki is much too high strung to take care of David. Mrs. Johnson explains that she wasn't always that way. She then asks what Dr. Guthrie is doing in the house when Mrs. Stoddard is off in a hospital in Boston. And what kind of psychology was he practicing last night? She starts to tap on the fire and Laura asks what she's doing. She explains that she's going to put it out so she can clean the hearth. Laura tells her to stop—that she wants the fire burning all the time. Mrs. Johnson agrees and leaves the cottage.

In Collinsport, Mrs. Johnson stops by to see Burke Devlin. She tells him about the seance in Collinwood to find out what's wrong with Mrs. Stoddard. She explains that she was upstairs with David while Guthrie, Roger, Carolyn, Vicki, and later Laura Collins had the seance. She said Vicki began speaking in French, felt a sense of fire, and then screamed out before collapsing. Burke says he's going to take care of Guthrie. He tells Mrs. Johnson to keep an eye on Vicki, and not to let anyone harm her. She leaves, and Burke calls his lawyer and asks him to research Peter Guthrie. 

Dr. Guthrie arrives at Collinwood and starts upstairs. Mrs. Johnson interrupts him and says Vicki is to have no visitors. She says the only way he'll see her is if her goes through her. Rather than press the issue, Guthrie retires to the drawing room.

Laura stops by to see Vicki, and Mrs. Johnson stops her. Then she says she'll go upstairs to see David. Mrs. Johnson stops her again. She says David is off with Carolyn. Laura attempts to go upstairs anyway, and Mrs. Johnson stops her again. From the drawing room, they hear Vicki's moans. Laura walks in and finds Guthrie listening to the recording of the seance. She says she thought it was a failure, and Guthrie says it was actually quite successful.

Burke bursts into the cottage where Laura is reading a book in front of the fireplace. He asks what's going on. She says she doesn't like his tone. She says they need to remain allies if they're going to get what they want. He asks about the seance, and what happened to Vicki. Laura says she assumed the voice of a spirit, and then collapsed. She says she went to see Vicki and Mrs. Johnson prevented it. Burke says, "good," and she asks if he had anything to do with Mrs. Johnson's attitude. He denies it. She asks about who Guthrie is and why he's here, and Burke tells her they'll know soon enough, as he put his lawyer on it. She says she thinks Guthrie is there to block them, and he needs to be removed by any means necessary.

Dr. Guthrie comes into the foyer and calls for Mrs. Johnson. He asks if she touched his tape recorder while dusting it. She says no, and he plays the tape. It's the sound of fire.

Our thoughts

John: Other than the one scene when Burke visits Laura in her cottage, Mrs. Johnson was in every scene this episode. That had her in the cottage, the main house, AND the hotel in town. That Mrs. Johnson sure gets around!

Christine: She had to be in every scene because everyone in the Collins family plus Vicki are off somewhere today. Perhaps they're off celebrating with their sweethearts since this episode was recorded on Valentine's Day.

John: Mrs. Johnson is one tough cookie. I wasn't too surprised that Guthrie didn't try and push past her, but I was impressed that she was able to keep the Phoenix at bay.

Christine: Laura may have put up more of a fight if the seance recording had not drawn her away. Or she may have realized it's much easier to pop into people's rooms and stand at the foot of their bed in the middle of the night.

John: So when did Laura have the opportunity to record fire, and did she record over the seance?

Christine: I think it was her nearness to the recorder that caused the fiery recording, similar to how a magnet might act to erase a recording.

Here was another enjoyable bit of dialogue today:
Laura: Certainly, everybody's not changing. You're not, Mrs. Johnson. You remain the same.
Mrs. Johnson: Well, that's because I'm a person that believes in minding her own business.
Laura: So I've noticed.  
Mrs. Johnson: I don't mess with what shouldn't be messed with. Leave well enough alone, that's my motto.
Laura: And a very admirable one it is.
Mrs. Johnson: Well, I tell you, if everyone were like me, there wouldn't be any problems.
Laura: I couldn't agree with you more.