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. 


Grant said...

There are also those people who are supposed to be able to imprint pictures on film just by thinking about them (which is something that someone like Dr. Guthrie would know about, whether he believes in it or not), so it could work the same way with audio recordings and sound.

I wonder whether anyone in the audience was supposed to suspect that something might be starting between Carolyn and Guthrie himself, which could be an ulterior motive for her keeping him there. Maybe he comes across as a classic "nerdy scientist" type, but it could be a case of "still waters."

John Scoleri said...

Yeah, I think I jumped to the conclusion that the idea was that someone (Laura) was left alone with the recorder, and she taped over the seance. In retrospect I do think it was meant to be a supernatural experience not unlike that which you've described.

And interesting theory about Guthrie - maybe that's what he's takes off his glasses in episodes to come. :)

Always good to hear from you, Grant! Thanks for following along on this journey!