Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Dark Shadows Episode 233 - 5/17/67

Vicki helps Maggie back into bed, who yells at Vicki to leave her alone. After tossing and turning for a while, Maggie sits up in bed as the exterior door swings open, revealing a silhouette of a figure. In a flash of lightning, the figure is gone. Vicki slams the doors shut, and Maggie calmly states that everything is alright now.

Carolyn sits in front of the fireplace reading a book. She hears Vicki arrive home and she asks her where she's been. She tells her that she's been with Maggie, and asks what Carolyn is doing up so late. She tells her the storm is keeping her up. Vicki says that several times, she thought she saw a figure in the road when the lightning flashed during her drive home. The power goes out in Collinwood, and Carolyn grabs some candles. Vicki gasps, saying she saw something at the window. She says it's been happening to her all night. She describes what happened at Maggie's, and says that Maggie wasn't scared at all. Lightning flashes, illuminating a figure in the foyer.

The girls scream, and then approach the figure with candles. Barnabas steps forward, apologizing for startling them. He claims to have knocked first. He says he came to speak to Vicki, to find out how Maggie was doing. She says the doctor says Maggie is doing better, and Barnabas is pleased to hear it. He comments on how much he likes the drawing room lit by candlelight. He begins to pontificate how storms affected their relatives, and sailors on ships thrown into the rocks against Widows' Hill. He moves to an all too exacting description of the woman who was sent to her death at the cliff of Widows' Hill as her lover tried to save her, only to have her break free and throw herself over the cliff.

Carolyn is put off by Barnabas' tale, and leaves to go upstairs. Vicki found the story very interesting, and understands it to be true. She asks him about his choice of describing the body in the rocks as 'bloodless.' She says that between Maggie and Willie both losing a lot of blood, it struck too close to home. She describes her concern for Maggie and mentions how they might not have found her if they hadn't gotten a call telling them to check the cemetery. Barnabas is particularly interested in understanding who called.

Jason McGuire interrupts them, and after Vicki excuses herself, he asks to speak to Barnabas about Willie. Jason says Willie is definitely up to something, and he should be sent away. Jason says he can't figure it out, but he's sure it has to do with the cemetery. He says Willie has been there several times—and the last time, he disappeared right before his eyes. Jason says that after what happened to Maggie Evans at the cemetery, he thinks Willie is somehow involved. He also says Willie was all bruised up, and Barnabas says he told him he fell from a ladder. Jason says that he didn't fall from any letter, and Barnabas leaves, telling Jason that it seems he will have to take steps with Willie.

Barnabas returns to the old house and angrily calls to Willie, raising his cane.

Our thoughts

John: So Vicki somehow doesn't pattern match Barnabas' silhouette between Maggie's place and Collinwood. And then, she connects his description of a bloodless body with what happened to Maggie and Willie—but doesn't take it any further.

Christine: It was also odd that Vicki didn't question how Barnabas knew she had been with Maggie. It sounds like Willie is destined for more punishment from Barnabas. He shouldn't hurt him too badly since more work needs to be done at the Old House.

John: I wonder how long Barnabas will be able to enthrall his distant relatives with his over-wrought tales of Collinwood history. Boy, when he gets going there's little that can stop him. I must say I'm impressed that Jonathan Frid manages to work his way through those lengthy soliloquies without a flub. Particularly when (as we'll eventually see) he makes plenty of flubs with far simpler lines.

Christine: It is pretty impressive, though it seems the type of acting he was trained for, which may be why it comes easier to him than the trivial soap opera dialogue that trips him up. I have recorded the tale below for historical purposes.

John: Wouldn't it have been funny if Vicki and Carolyn followed up Barnabas' tale of suicide with their own description of seeing dead Bill Malloy in the rocks below Widows' Hill.

Long lost Bill Malloy. Dark Shadows' first dead body in Episode 50. Good times!

Christine: Or if Carolyn reminded Vicki of the legend that states the body of a third governess will be found at the foot of the cliff. As Barnabas said, it seems "to be designed for the termination of life."

Barnabas' Strange Tale of a Woman's Death at Widows' Hill:

There was a night such as this, a night when a young, beautiful woman was pressed to her limits. She could no longer accept what the future held for her. She knew she had to destroy herself, before she became something she did not want to be. She had quarreled with her lover. She tried to send him away, but he would not be put off. He tried to put his arms around her, but she broke away from him and ran out into the stormy night. Her white dress contrasted against the darkness. He ran after her as she headed for the one place on Earth that seemed to be designed for the termination of life. Rain drenched her, the winds buffeted her, blowing her long hair wildly. Her clothing was torn by the low branches, the small white feet were bruised and mud stained with the stony cruel, pathway to the summit of the cliff. The shouts of her lover were lost in the wind as he moved swiftly after her. Near the top, she stumbled over a large rock, crying hysterically, she limped and crawled to the edge of the precipice. Her lover reached her, clutched at her, spinning her around to face him. Her eyes were wide with terror as the lover held her tightly, lips pressed against her throat. Soon she grew limp, and he released her. Suddenly, with a last surge of energy, she broke free and hurled herself off the cliff. Her scream reacting and echoing as she plunged downward. Her body was impaled on the large, craggy rocks below. Her lover descended to the bottom of Widows' Hill and found her body broken, lifeless, bloodless. As violent as her death was, the expression on her face was one of serenity, as if this were the best possible ending to her life.

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