Tuesday, 25 February 2014

Dark Shadows Episode 35

Ah Shadow Babies, it's good to see you again. Are you as intrigued as I am to find out what Joe is gonna do after finding Vicky W in Burke of the Chin's rooms? Are you desperate to see how Roger and Devil Child David co-exist now that the former knows the latter tried to kill him? Or maybe your biggest question is how long it will take for the writer to remember that Bill is a character that exists on this show?

Whichever of these questions you're wondering about, or maybe it's something else entirely, your best chance of finding out the answer is right here. Or I mean, you could watch the episode yourself. But  what are the chances of that happening, amirite?

Onwards, to episode 35!

My name is Victoria Winters. The hand of death brushed close to the house on Widows Hill, then moved away, stirring the musty air with it's touch, filling the corridors with the overwhelming scent of fear and hatred.

We begin, as is traditional whenever hatred is mentioned, with Devil Child David stalking his environment like a feral guinea pig.

Surveying his domain

The phone rings and it's Joe for Caroline, so of course he listens in to the whole thing. The call is basically Joe trying to have a bit of banter with the girl he loves and her going into a jealous rage over another man (Burke of the Chin) having a woman (Vicky W) in his hotel room; a fact Joe just casually drops , whereas I would have thought it would have been saved for a 'moment.' Shows what I know.

When Caroline confronts David about his eavesdropping, after telling Joe she's 'just not in the mood' to tell him she loves him and then hanging up on him, David just flat out ignores her, and scares the shit out of her when she tries to grab him. Like I said; feral. From there, the titles.

(Over the titles the announcer dude tells us that 'the character of Sam Evans will be played by...' so I'm assuming that a new actor is taking on the role. I'm a little upset by this, because Sam The Riddler has been one of my favourites in the past and his delivery of the portentous pseudo-intellectual philosophising bullshit dialogue he's been given to spout has been a real highlight. Can another actor match it?)

When we come back, David is pestering Caroline with denials of having listened to her call, despite her showing no interest in anything he has to say.

Caroline: What are you doing down here? I thought you were locked in your room.

David: Aunt Elizabeth unlocked it.

Caroline: That's too bad.

I've said it before but it bears repeating; I fucking love the completely unapologetic hatred so many characters have for the Devil Child. Even if I do worry it will send him into a murderous rage and he might try to batter Caroline to death with one of Vicky W's timetables.

It's at this point that David plays his masterstroke. He starts talking about how he knows Caroline likes Burke, and how he knows Vicky W is having dinner with Burke, and wouldn't it just be like Vicky W to only have dinner with Burke because she knows Caroline likes him? Caroline sees through his ruse of course, and insults him a few more times, but it's clear he's getting to her. Well played Devil Child, well played. Planting those mothafuckin seeds of discord like a Yorkshireman plants grapefruit.

Over at the cafe, Joe is looking miserable and feeling sorry for himself when who should walk in but...New Sam! We know it's New Sam because he asks where 'his daughter' Maggie is, rather than just Maggie, and Joe makes a point of calling him by name.

I already don't like him. Look at him there, being all different and not the same and shit. Make him go away!

He has a chat with Joe about hangover cures then heads up to Burke's room. Not once does he slip into pseudo-intellectual gobbledygook or pretentious premonitions; I fucking knew this guy didn't have it in him. I'm gonna miss Sam The Riddler. :(

Anyway, upstairs in his rooms Burke of the Chin is eating his romantic meal for two all alone when New Sam's knock at his door comes, and doesn't he look pissed off at being interrupted! He soon forgets to be annoyed at the interruption though; he's far too busy being annoyed at New Sam's inability to get to the point of his visit. I'm with Burke; Sam's conversation not making sense used to be fun, but now it's just dull.

Eventually we get to the gist. New Sam doesn't want to paint the portrait Burke has commissioned from him. Well, I say we get the gist; we don't know why he wants to back out. So, half the gist. The gi. We fade into an ad break as New Sam heads into Burke's kitchen to help himself to some booze. So chances are their next scene is gonna be even more garbled.

Over at the house Caroline is standing still with her arms folded, because she's being all deep in thought and shit, when the clock in the hall starts to chime. So of course she wanders out into the hall to stand and stare at it while it does so.

She'd do well in the unions
They always do that. Every time. I don't think they've quite cottoned on to the fact that when it's chiming is the only time you don't have to look at it for it to serve it's allotted function. Still, this was the 60's, they were a simpler people; maybe technology confuses them.

Would you believe it? At the very moment Caroline is in the hall watching the clock the front door opens and in walks Vicky W. CATFIGHT!!

Ok, not quite a catfight, but Caroline does get in some pretty pointed passive aggressive digs at Vicky W, who quickly figures out what the deal is and quite rightly points out that Caroline shouldn't be jealous because she barely knows Burke. Caroline is having none of this logic.

Sad Caroline is sad. Also adorable.
Even after Vicky W tells Caroline her reasons for being in Burke's room, Caroline continues with the snide comments. She's massively overreacting here, not to mention playing right into David's hands,and I don't like it. For all it's flaws, and there are many, this show has avoided straying too far into this kind of histrionics up until now.I mean, she even ends up throwing things across the room in a rage, for fucks sake.

Anyway, up in Burke's room New Sam is still being cagey about why he won't do Burke's portrait. It's all for naught though because in the time it took him to pour his drink Burke of the Chin has figured the whole thing out.

He's figured out that Sam is under pressure to turn down the commission; that Sam has been on edge ever since Burke got back to town;that Roger was intent on finding Sam the night Burke arrived... He's put it all together and decided that Sam knows something and that Roger doesn't want Burke to find out what it is so he's demanding that Sam decline the commission, so that he doesn't have to be around Burke and risk letting it slip.

Burke of the Chin, yo. Super sleuth.

Down in the cafe, Joe is still drinking coffee to try to beat his hangover; which makes me think Joe may be a bit of a lightweight; when New Sam comes trundling in and decides to give Joe a lecture about love and happiness, about marrying your girl and taking her away from all this, about the inevitability of death and the slow decay of moral certitude...

You've a good right to look bemused, Joe lad.

Gaaah! Destruction! It's come to live with us Joe! It's too late for me to escape it, but she can, and you can help her! Take her away Joe! While there's still time! Take her away!

For one glorious moment it's like the old Sam the Riddler had never left us.

Back up at the house Caroline is apologising profusely to Vicky W for her tirade. She knows she was in the wrong and is worried that if she keeps losing control she'll go as mad as the rest of her family, and eventually drive Vicky away. Vicky assures her that that won't happen, but after Caroline runs off to her room, and Vicky makes a quick call to Burke but gets no reply (they make a big deal of him not being in his room so chances are that'll be important next episode),  David comes in. And declares...

You're going to be sorry you ever came here!
He's a creepy little shit and no mistake.

And that's the end of the episode. How long will it take Burke to figure out what Sam knows? Will Joe listen to Sam and try to whisk Caroline out of town? And is Caroline destined to go as mad as her family? All intriguing questions, and all due to be answered, in about 96 episodes time.

Until next time, Shadow Babies. 

Friday, 21 February 2014

Strange Paradise Episode 14

See this blog, right? This one here, yeah? The one you're reading? Well, on this blog, I am God. It's important that that's clear.

Last time on Strange Paradise; Evil Mom made a play for Jean-Paul in the hopes of putting her gold digging skills to good use; Raxl demanded that a terrified Quinto (who definitely reminds me of someone but I'll be damned if I can figure out who) get in touch with Conjure Dude; and Jean-Paul speechified at Cryo-Wife for a bit about how guilty he feels or the shit he does while he's possessed by Jacques.

Oh, it was a packed show, and no mistake. They even found time to perpetrate one of the worst fucKING BAIT AND SWITCH TEASES I'VE EVER SEEN, but I'm not bitter so I'll probably not even mention it. Let's see what episode 14 has to offer.

We open on Jean-Paul, fiddling with the gauges on the tea urn and making notes, before he launches into his opening monologue.

Another day has almost passed. Another day, and another entry in this death diary. Oh Erica my darling, still there's no way that you have come back to me.

Pretty sure he fluffed that, but for the life of me I can't figure out what the line was meant to be.  Anyway, it's all the monologuing we're getting for now because in rushes Doc Carr, to have a go about how Cryo-wife is dead and he needs to get a fucking grip, but he's having none of it and insists that they'll be together again. Cue titles.

When we come back the first line goes to Doc Carr;

I didn't say you'd never be together again. (pregnant pause) You'll be together IN DEATH.

Fucking voice of optimism over here! It's being so cheerful that keeps her going! And just to compound the levity and air of general good cheer he decides to take her comment as a sign that she wants him to kill himself. I can see that this episode is gonna be a bundle of laughs.

They go around the doors for a bit about the validity of the Cry-fuckery but we get nothing new so let's move on to...

Tarot Lady, Bitches!

It's a nothing scene, really. She reads the fortunes of a young couple then chats to Reverend Ted McGinley about Holly, and insinuates that anyone on Jean-Pauls island is most likely up excrement stream with no implement handy to fight the tide. Then it's back to said island, where Doc Carr is running upstairs.

She's a fine lady in many respects is Doc Carr, but she's no Raxl when it comes to stair traversing. She barely gets three steps up before she's distracted by the portrait of Bill Compton. Bloody amateur.

Why am I drawn to you, Jacques Elois DesMonde? And why am I drawn to the man who resembles you so? My sisters husband!

That last part distresses her so much she decides to gnaw her hand off as a form of penitence.

Steady on Love.
Of course, these carnal lusts are enough to lure Jacques back into the world and sure enough he possesses Jean-Paul again and dives straight into his fucking creepy seduction technique that really shouldn't work but seems to make Doc Carr cream her knickers every time he does it. He also tries to convince her that the reason he
won't let her leave the island is not, as one might have assumed, because he is a crazy-ass nutjob, but rather that he simply needs her to stay on as Cryo-Wife's physician, now that the previous doctor is dead. He conveniently forgets to mention the part about how he killed the previous doctor, but I'm sure he was just sparing her unnecessary stress.

To her credit, and against the advice of her sopping ladyparts, she refuses to acquiesce and continues to insist on a christian burial for her sister. Dream on love.

After an ad break we're back, and this time we're with... Jacques and Doc Carr. Really? Almost nine minutes into the episode and aside from the 20 second scene Tarot Lady scene it's been all these two. I wonder if they're building up to something. Maybe Jacques is gonna make his move and they'll go all snog-tastic on us?

But first he has to give her a speech about how 'I have a secret that must remain a secret and the people who are here, all could reveal it.' See, because Cryo-wife! But also, because Jacques! It's, like, a subtle double meaning and shit. Also, he criticises her for saying she and the others are prisoners; no, they are 'detained guests.' Truly, he is on fine form with the bullshit tonight.

Oh. My. God. They just uttered one of the greatest puns I've ever heard. This is incredible. I'm never taking the piss out of this writer again; he's earned a lifelong free pass. Bear with me, it needs the build up;

Jacques: Come now Allison. Surely you don't find my company that repulsive?

Doc Carr: I find you, and everything you've done, distasteful and revolting.

Methinks the lady doth...detest...too much.

Detests too much! Fucking genius, I tell you!

Anyway, he tells her that she can whine all she likes but he's not letting anyone leave the island until Cryo-Wife is awake. End of.

Over at Cafe Le Day-Glo now, where Tarot Lady and Reverend Ted are having a chat. Let's see if they get longer than 20 seconds this time.

They do indeed, and their chat is, in a shocking twist, not dull as fuck. Reverend Ted ponders his calling as a man of God in light of his having the hots for 30year old teenager Holly, and then announces his intentions to travel to the island to help her face whatever it is that he thinks she's about to face. Tarot Lady warns him that when he gets there he will learn of an evil greater than any he ever dreamed existed.

Credit where it's due, they're doing a good job of making Jacques out to be a proper fucking evil shit. I doubt he'll live up to the hype when it comes to the endgame, but we can hope.

We nip over to the island for half a heartbeat to see Jacques leaving a recorded message for Jean-Paul telling him to make sure the guests all do as they're told while Jacques is out of action; which begs the question of where he goes between bouts of possessing Jean-Paul, but I doubt we're meant to think too hard about that. Then it's straight back to the cafe.

I don't even know
Reverend Ted, after a couple of minutes of feeling sorry for himself of course, gets filled in on the evil on the island. Tarot Lady drops mentions of her Dad, Conjure Dude and of Raxl, with whom she shares blood apparently, before telling Reverend Ted that;

The Anti-Christ walks on that island. And you must be there with bell, book and candle.

Ted takes it all in his stride, because he's a square jawed hero, dammit, and they put their heads together to work out how he's gonna wrangle his way on to the island. We don't hear their talk though, because we're heading back there ourselves. To find Jacques and Doc Carr apparently still deep in the same conversation they were having
the last time we saw them together. Which was before we saw him making his tape recording. Maybe he told her he was just nipping down to the loo, or something.

And nothing happens! She asks to leave and he says no! Again! This guy is gonna wear out his lifetime pass in one episode if he's not careful.

Back to the cafe. Remember last episode when Raxl sent Quinto off to see Conjure Dude? Sure you do, I mentioned it at the top there. Keep up! Anyway, it seems that he did indeed go to see Conjure Dude, but Tarot Lady told him to fuck off, cos Conjure Dude is too old and weak to see anyone. It all happened off screen, and we only know about it now because Tarot Lady is telling Ted about it. So... maybe they hadn't cast the role yet? Or they had, but the guy was busy filming a toothpaste ad until next week?

Anyway, Ted says that if Conjure Dude can't go back to the island to help Quinto and Raxl, maybe they can be persuaded to smuggle him across to help instead. Sound enough plan, you might think, but Tarot Lady poo poos it on account of how Quinto won't do anything without Jean-Paul's say so. Errr, he came to see Conjure Dude didn't he? Am I missing something?

Tarot Lady decides that she'll get him onto the island; although we don't know how yet; and she gives him a pack of Tarot cards to give to Raxl when he gets there. Apparently she's had some kind of vision that when she dies it'll be on the island, so she isn't going along for the ride. Wimp!

Back on the island again; we're on a fucking yo yo string now; and Jacques is looking totally not fussed about Doc Carrs handwringing.

He does not give a single fuck
We get one of those odd cuts where the scene barely gets going and then it fades out after about 30 seconds, before fading back in on the same characters in the same place having roughly the same conversation. This time though, it's obvious that time has moved on and now Jean-Paul has regained control of his body.The conversation has taken on a lighter tone, because obviously he's no longer belittling her with his every utterance, but he's still not gonna let her go. And this is before he's heard Jacques message to him.

It's a moot point anyway because she's apparently decided that she's staying of her own free will. Bit of a sudden turnaround if you ask me, but she has her reasons. Namely, all his sudden mood shifts and apparent split personality has convinced her that he needs a doctor on hand. She can't help her sister, but she can help her brother in law, which is the next best thing. Also, she can try to get into his pants. (She doesn't say that last part, but I bet you she's thinking it)

Look at her there, gazing lovingly into his deep blues. Love is most definitely in the air

The episode winds down with Doc Carr walking upstairs; she makes it the whole way up this time and we get to watch her do it, reeeeeaaaaalllllyyyyyyyy slowly; and Jean-Paul goes down into the basement to talk to Cryo-Wife. He mainly wants to talk about Doc Carr, which I would imagine is a bit of a buzz kill for Cryo-Wife, but what do I know?I mean, if Cryo-Wife wasn't essentially an ice-pop at this stage.

Oddly enough, the theme music kicks in and the 'TO BE CONTINUED' sign floats onto the screen while Jean-Paul is mid sentence, and basically drowns out most of his speech. I'm not sure if they just over ran, or whether it was intentional, to show that he was just rambling about Doc Carr and likely to go on for some time. If that was the intention, it was pretty spectacularly botched, but I suppose with the editing facilities they were working with, they did the best they could.

So that's another episode. No Raxl, so no Raxl on the Stairs action, and Quinto didn't appear so I didn't have a chance to try to figure out who it is he reminds me of, but the plot made some deceptively large leaps forwards and the writer redeemed himself for last episodes FUCKING HORRIBLE TEASING BULLSHIT,  that I'm not bitter about in the slightest, with this weeks sublime Best Pun Ever. So there's that.

Join me again next time when I'm pretty sure Reverend Ted won't make it to the island and, because it has to happen soon, Conjure Dude will make an appearance. Until then, I'd just like to remind you all that on this blog, I am God, and failure to recognise that fact will invalidate all warranties.

Tuesday, 18 February 2014

Dark Shadows Episode 34

Hello, you beautiful beautiful Shadow Babies you. So, here's a thing... people seem to be actually reading this blog now, and it's freaking me out. Actual Dark Shadows fans have found it and are commenting on it and it's all very confusing and I don't know if I like it.

Anyway... last time on Dark Shadows Main Squeeze Joe got drunk and gave Lizzie S a big old telling off about ruining Carolines life, and Vicky W met up with Burke in the pub. It was all very exciting, and I'm raring to get stuck into what happens next, so let's dispense with my usual waffle and dive right in.

My name is Victoria Winters. I began my search in Collinwood, there in the great mansion on Widows Hill, surrounded by the ghosts of the past. I had hoped to unlock the secrets of my beginning, but the key has not yet been found and the search goes on, carrying me to a meeting with a man I wasn't sure I could trust.

I wonder who she means
We open on Vicky W and Burke having a nice drink together, and him making slightly oily remarks about how pretty she is. Which she is. She really is. They talk back and forth for a little while, mostly in really tortured metaphors and obscure riddles, because it's been a while since Sam was in an episode and the writer has withdrawal symptoms. Then we jump to the titles, the dirge doth play, dirgefully, and the episode proper is underway.

Of course, as is usually the case with this show, the episode proper is just a continuation of the exact same conversation they were having in the open. Now the metaphors become even more laboured, as Burke attempts to categorise all the female characters by what drink they remind him of, and works his devilish charms on Vicky W by telling her she's either a chocolate malt or champagne. At least, I think he was working his charm; he could have been insulting her for all I can follow this conversation.

After a while he tries to get her to have something to eat, but she insists she just wants to go to his room. She's a saucy minx, is Vicky W. No, hang on; alas for poor Burke of the Chin, she just wants to see the report he commissioned from a private eye about her. Who knew, when she remembered last episode that she'd only come to Collinsport to find out about her past, that it would last longer than 5 minutes? It never has before.

'Yeah, you is deffo champagne, girl. Fo sho!' says Burke, as he eagerly leads her from the bar. He still thinks he's getting some, the poor sad fool.

We aren't gonna see him get shot down though; at least not yet, because it's time to shoot up to Collinwood, to find out just how much of a headache Main Squeeze Joe has, after his big old bender.

Doesn't he look chipper?

It's not much of a scene, to be honest. Joe wakes up, moans a bit while Caroline teases him and then she wanders off to get him some coffee. As she leaves he asks her if he did anything foolish and she tells him that he made an enemy out of her. Which is all well and good, but you wouldn't have thought it from the way she was just acting; all playful and shit. Make up your mind woman! Still, she's adorable, so we forgive her for her confusing acting.

Wait, I guess she was just kidding, because we come back from what I assume was an ad break and they're merrily chatting.

They do look kind of cute together
Well, I say merrily; he's bemoaning his lot and she's commiserating. I hope she doesn't end up throwing him a pity... lifelong commitment and accepting his proposal. It'll only end in tears when he and Vicky W get together.

Yeah! You all thought I'd forgotten that I made that prediction in, like, episode 6 or something, didn't you? Ha, no chance! Mind like a steeltra ins are cool aren't they? Awesome.

What was I saying? Right, so Caroline is commiserating with Joe. Keep Up! Now we're headed off to Chateau Le Chin were Burke is still trying to charm Vicky W and Vicky W is still all...

The report, muthafucka!

In the end he relents and heads off to what I think is his bedroom to get it for her. Unless he's off to slip into something more comfortable. You never know.

Back up at Collinwood, Joe is a bit unsteady on his feet as he has a bit of a wander and looks at some old family portraits. One of whom, Caroline informs him with a cheeky giggle and a flash of her pearly whites, was a terrible alcoholic. It's nice when the youth take an interest in their family history, isn't it?

Conversation moves on to Burke of the Chin; because it's been all of 15 seconds since he was on screen and I don't know about you but that's about my limit for Burkeless Dark Shadows; and Caroline beseeches Joe to apologise for whatever shit he gave Burke last episode. She tries to tell him what a wonderful, nice man Burke is. That goes down well.

It's the same argument they've been having since the pilot to be honest, and there's nothing really new here, except that for some strange reason there's an entire minute of their conversation filmed in a non stop close up.

Close ups agogo
 I honestly thought they must have been trying to hide crewmembers or another cast member wandering around on the set, trying to prep a big shocking reveal or something. Nope. When they stop talking it cuts straight to Burke in his hotel room, without ever pulling out of the close up. It's very odd. I mean, it's nice and all, because we get a nice lingering close up on Carolines face, but still...odd.

So, Burke. In his hotel room. Right. What's afoot? Well, he appears to be ordering food. I guess he finally convinced Vicky W to stick around and have dinner with him; I wonder if he's tied her up?

Nope, she's fine. I guess his charm must have done it. Well done, Burke.

Practising his Napoleon cosplay

She's not overly impressed with what she's reading in the files; it seems there's nothing there that she didn't already know. Burke is being very sympathetic but Vicky smashes him down and accuses him of just prying into her life to find something to use on the Collins family. Now, I'm not saying she's wrong, but the dude just bought her a steak; some manners wouldn't go amiss.

He perseveres though, because he's Burke of the Chin, and if there's one thing Burke of the Chin is good at it's persevering at the same conversation for nine weeks in the face of overwhelming hostility and viewer apathy. Soon he seems to have her convinced that he does actually just want to help her, and has no desire to see her swept up in his feaud with Roger et al.

Do I believe him? Fuck knows, to be honest, but I'll tell you this; if he and Vicky W get into some sort of sexy times clinch I shall be very upset. She and Main Squeeze Joe are destined to be together I tell you. Just as son as he gets over Caroline. So, you know, any year now.

From here we get Vicky W telling him her life story, but we've heard it a hundred times before so we'll not go into it again. One thing that does stand out in the conversation though is Burke warning her that;

There are going some things that are going to be happening up at Collinwood. Unpleasant things. What you've seen is just a ripple; you haven't touched the whirlpool, but it is there.

Basically, he's telling her to get the hell out. And if that wasn't clear enough, she asks him if he's telling her to get out and he says yes. You know, just in case you were thinking that the show had suddenly developed subtlety.

After they gaze at each other with smirky faces for a bit, and I start to get an uneasy feeling, there is a knock at the door. Assuming it's their long delayed steaks finally being delivered Vicky heads into the bathroom to wash her hands and air out her knickers, while Burke answers the door. But TWIST! It isn't the food!

Plot Twist!
That's right folks! In yet another example of the people teleporting 10 miles between scenes that this show loves so much, it's Main Squeeze Joe! Come to repay Burke of the Chin for covering his bar tab last episode. Cos he aint gonna be in no mans debt, yo! Also, they needed an excuse to have him be in the room to see Vicky W emerge from the back, yo! So he can tell Caroline in a jealous rage over her infatuation with Burke, yo!

Ok, so that last one was a guess, but I'd say a pretty safe one. Once Joe has left Vicky wastes no time in putting her coat on and following him out. You know, I don't think she ever intended to eat Bure's steak. Poor Burke of the Chin. :(

And so, as  Burke of the chin mournfully closes the door on his last best hope of getting his leg over tonight, the episode comes to a close. What's happened? Nothing much. What have we learned? Even less. But I suppose we can't expect them to launch into a new epic storyline straight away, following the resolution to the car crash saga; I can give them the benefit of the doubt for a couple of episodes. So long as they keep shooting close ups of Caroline's face, anyway.

Thursday, 6 February 2014

Strange Paradise Episode 13

Well hello there! Come in, come in, take a seat, everyone is welcome here. On this blog. Where I am God. Just thought I'd mention that. Don't worry about it, just move right along to the next paragraph...

Last time on Strange Paradise,  Jacques seemed to decide that he was tired of sharing Jean-Pauls body and just took up permanent control; Raxl contacted Tarot Lady to enlist her help in getting the Conjure Man to join the fight against evil; and Hollys Evil Mum came to the house for a little visit, with the twin goals of getting her hooks back into Holly, and seducing the everloving heck out of Jean-Paul. She doesn't know that he's possessed by Jacques, of course, but I doubt that would stop her. Those two are a match made in the other place.

Where will todays episode take us? Who can tell? I doubt the writer even knew when he sat down to type SCENE ONE. Let's find out though, shall we?

We open on the Hollys Evil Mum coming down for breakfast, staring at the talking portrait of Bill Compton for a bit, having a bit of a flirt with Jacques and then standing around looking smug as Jacques mercilessly mocks Raxl for a couple of minutes. The actor is on fine form, I have to say, and the woman who plays Raxl is having a hard time keeping a straight face. All in all, an inoffensive cold open.

After the titles we get a bit more banter between the three of them, then Evil Mum is left by herself for a bit whereupon she starts wandering around, admiring the fixtures and fittings with an acquisitive glint in her eyes and muttering 'One day this will all be mine, mwahahahaha' under her breath. As you do. She shits herself though when she turns around and finds Quinto standing right behind her with his trademark mad stare on the go.

Da fucq you lookin' at?

You have to admire the guy playing Quinto. It's a thankless role, but I think he's having fun with it. He just stands and stares at her for fecking aaaaages, while she tries to shoo him off, it's brilliant. Or I'm easily pleased, one of the two.

Once she manages to get rid of Quinto, here comes Raxl. She's coming from upstairs, and not just because the actress is using the set as her very own stairmaster this time; she's been up waking Holly so the little dear can come have breakfast with her Evil Mum. Won't that be fun?

When asked what should be served for Holly's breakfast, Evil Mum replies with, 'I haven't the slightest idea what her tastes are. Or any respect for them.'  You know, because breakfast is being used as a microcosm of their entire relationship? It's called subtext, people! I'm not surprised you didn't get it, it was fiendishly subtle.

Anyway, talk moves on from Holly, to Mrs Desmond, and you can practically see the drool at the corners of Evil Mums mouth when Raxl says there isn't one. This is gonna make that whole gold-digging seduction plan way easier! Result!

Raxl wanders off when Holly comes down, but the scene is showing no signs of ending; their getting their money's worth out of Evil Mum this episode and no mistake! She tries to be all friendly with Holly but Holly is all, 'Get tae fuck ye wee money grabbing wench, I've nae time for tha likes of ye!' and strops off in a huff like a good little 30year old teenager.

Evil Mum follows her though and their argument intensifies; mainly over the inheritance coming Holly's way when she turns 21 but also about some piece of jewellery or other that Holly apparently pawned to get cash to run away. Evil Mum is gonna charge her with the theft in order to get her locked up, so she can keep control of the fortune.

You'd think that would be a mean enough thing for a woman to do to her daughter but Evil Mum isn't done yet. She insinuates, and this one was actually kind of subtle so I'll give them props, that she may kill Holly if that's the only way to stop her getting her inheritance; I started calling her Evil Mum as a joke cos she was a bit controlling and mean, but I think I may have been more on the ball than I thought!

Evil Mum CRUSH

Enter Jacques, who reminds us that no-one has actually eaten that breakfast they were going on a out earlier, and drags them off to the dining room because, as he puts it, 'It's always better to argue on a full stomach.' He's got a point, you have to admit.

As he leads them in to eat he entices them with the words, 'Come on, this isn't the time of the Borgias, there is no poison here', just in case you were feeling shortchanged in the barnowls crazy dialogue stakes this episode. And then Raxl pops up with...

'Except In The Air.'
...and that the writer is high this episode can no longer be denied.

After a short break in which the housewives of America were no doubt cajoled into buying soap powder, stockings and some smooth smooth cigarettes, we come back and the three of them are sitting around having a nice old natter. What I want to know is where Painter Dude and Doc Carr are. They're staying at the house too aren't they? Are they not allowed any breakfast? What's going on, Jacques?

Anyway, the conversation turns to jewellery, the sowing of youthful wild oats, and whether or not Jean-Pauls wife is deaded or not. Evil Mum is under the impression she is, but Jacques is being vague, which prompts her to ask, 'Do I deceive myself?'  Because that's totally how someone wonders if they've gotten the wrong end of the stick. Seriously, what is up with the dialogue this episode?

Jacques takes his leave, for no other reason than the writer needs Holly and her Evil Mum to be alone, and Evil Mum demands that Holly tell her once and for all what the score really is with Cryo-Wife.

Why? Are you after his money too?

Well, Duh! I figured that out ages ago and I haven't known her my whole life. Come on Holly love, get your act together! Holly does her patented teenage tantrum, which she does very well for a 30 year old,  and runs upstairs. You'll never guess who's coming down them as Holly goes up.


I'm really on board with all the renewed Raxl on the stairs action we've been getting lately. It speaks to my soul.

Raxl heads down to the basement to see Quinto, who apparently lives down there in a cell. Ok. He has a parrot, which is quite cute I suppose, and Raxl gives the parrot a treat, whilst smiling no less, which softens her character. Shame she ruins it all by demanding that Quinto gets in touch with The Conjure Man. You know, the dude who did Lord knows what to the poor sod, and leaves him quaking in fear at the mere mention of his name.

Who does he remind me of?

But I'm getting ahead of myself. First there is a scene that must go on for a good five minutes or more, in which Raxl basically explains the entire plot of the series so far. It had been on the air for less than 3 weeks at this point; did they really think their audience was that dumb?

Next scene has Painter Dude; so I guess he hasn't gone walkabout after all; sketching an animated and happy Holly, so I assume time has moved on a fair amount since she ran upstairs in a huff. Or she's just really changeable. Girls are like that; very flighty. I still don't trust Painter Dude by the way. In fact, you might say I think he's rather..


Moving on.

They're mainly nattering on about how weird it is that she is modeling for a portrait he's painting of a dead woman neither of them have ever met. Which is a pretty good point, to be honest, but they don't half ram it home. Painter Dude gets very animated at one point and declares 'I don't know how much more of this I can take!' which is very dramatic and everything but he only fucking got there yesterday. Have a bit of staying power man!

Some reiterating of their backstory; from, like, two episodes ago; is cleverly disguised as them commiserating over their respective misfortunes, before we move on to their deciding that if Evil Mum manages to snare herself a Jean-Paul, with all his fortunes, she'll have no reason to worry about the smaller fortune Holly is due to inherit.

Look at them there, spying on the oldsters. Judging them.

Sound reasoning, but I hope it doesn't lead to a fucking Parent Trap pile of bobbins.

Jacques comes barreling in and gets all snippy about them taking a break, insisting he wants to see the portrait 'this lifetime.' Again, Painter Dude only got there yesterday. I don't think they have a word for patience in...er... wherever this show is set.  What comes next is one of the most disgraceful act breaks I've ever seen. I'm serious, the writer was taking the piss, and he knew it.

Painter Dude points out that he's limited in what he can do with Holly as a model. After all, she looks nothing like Cryo-Wife, so all he can get from her is a basic shape and an idea of lighting; anything more and he's going purely from memory and one old sketch he did weeks ago. 'Oh no', says Jacques. 'That won't be necessary. I can arrange to refresh your memory.' He grins like a lunatic, the music swells, the camera zooms in for shocked close ups of all the other characters, and we fade to an ad break...


No. He's gonna show Painter Dude some photo's. Fucking shameful. This is the second time in recent episodes that this show has made me genuinely angry at the writing. I honestly thought Chris Chibnall was the only guy who could have that effect on me these days, so, bravo, I guess.

Painter Dude and Holly are both as pissed off as I am and decide they can't possibly spend another minute in the company of such a horrible old hack tease, so they head upstairs to get changed for a swim. The prospect of seeing Holly in a bikini calms my anger a little. Just a little, mind. Fucking photographs.

Of course, once the 'young' ones are gone, all we're left with are Jacques and Evil Mum, so of course it's time for some awkward flirting; strained puns about Jacques being really really old, dead, and or the devil; and more awkward flirting.

Smooth As!

Jacques is definitely looking to tap that, asap, as the yoof would say.

There's a very brief interlude with Raxl and Quinto down in Quinto's dungeon-esque bedroom, where he's playing with a mouse while she yells at him about the Conjure Man. This shit was all sorted in their previous scene, so I assume the script was running short. I'd have preferred Holly in her bikini to kill the airtime, but whatever.

Back upstairs, and Jacques is plying Evil Mum with drink. She makes a token protest that it's too early in the day, but she's fooling no-one and soon enough they're chugging it back like they're Norm and Cliff. Shameful behaviour from two such pillars of the community.

Flirty flirty, knowing looks, kissing of hands... it's all happening, but Jacques decides, just as Evil Mum looks ready to pounce, that he has to be off. As he leaves, Holly enters and gives her Evil Mum a slow clap. Evil Mum just looks smug.

I don't understand why Holly is being so catty about the whole thing though. We've already established that the best thing that could happen to her would be for Evil Mum to hook up with Jean-Paul and/or Jacques. She's a fool to herself that girl.

Speaking of Jean-Paul, he seems finally to be getting his act together and wresting back control of his body. He's wandering round the crypts when it happens, and he has a bit of a speech, so we know it's him...

Oh Erica, what is he doing to me? What am I doing...when he enters my soul and possesses it, Jacques Elois-DesMonde! I pray that you know when he is in my being! That it is he, not I, that poisons the air... Did I say pray? I, that denied God, by denying you a Christian burial?

That's not the whole thing. It goes on in that vein for fecking ages. When he's finally done he goes and gives Cryo-Wifes coffin a bit of a hug, because it's been a while, and then the big neon TO BE CONTINUED sign flashes across the screen and we're out.

Here's the thing, I really enjoy this show a lot of the time. Evil Mum is a proper nasty villain when she's allowed to be, and Jacques, when it is Jacques and not wet blanket Jean-Paul, is a scream. I just wish they wouldn't ruin it with their incessant teasing that leads to nothing. Today's example is the worst I've seen, but it's by no means the only one.

Let's face it though, I can complain all I like but we all know I'll be watching for as long as Raxl keeps walking up and down those stairs.

Join me again next time, for whatever hack-tastic gubbins they have in store for us. Until then, on this blog I am God. So just think on.

Sunday, 2 February 2014

Dark Shadows Episode 33

Shadow Babies! You came back! Aww, you wuv me!

Last time on Dark Shadows, Constable Awesome figured out that Devil Child David was responsible for trying to kill Creepy Roger, and said Creepy Roger resolved to have said Devil Child committed. Lizzie S put the kibosh on both of them though, when she formulated a cunning 'It was all a big misunderstanding after all' argument and got the whole investigation shut down. Because she loves David. For some reason.

Let's see what happens now that the car crash storyline is finally over...

My name is Victoria Winters. It seems like years since I came here to Collinwood, where the tension halts the flow of time, but the days have passed and I am no closer to the answers I had hoped to find; answers I feel are rooted within the paneled walls of this great mansion, and in the heart of the woman that never leaves its grounds.

Quite a clever little expository voiceover there. Dual purpose, so to speak. It makes it clear that today's episode will probably focus on Vicky W's past, and Lizzie S's secrets, whilst at the same time getting in some pre-emptive excuses for why the plot is barely going to progress an inch. The tension halts the flow of time indeed. Fuckers.

As the dulcet tones of Vicky W fades out we focus in on Lizzie S, sitting all alone in the dark, stewing over her recent idiocy; she had a chance to get rid of Devil Child David and didn't take it, the mad fool; when who should arrive home but the lovely Caroline, who naturally enough is concerned for her Mother.

They have a little bit of chat and then Lizzie S starts begging Caroline to be happy, in a slightly desperate way. I think she's going off her rocker, to be honest. Anyway, cue titles.

Quality Mother Daughter time
Their conversation when we come back seems to just be them rehashing the plot of the last couple of episodes, because there's nothing this writer likes more, but eventually they get around to new stuff. Lizzie S finally admits out loud that she knows David is guilty, and Caroline tries to convince her that she needs to at least tell Burke of the Chin the truth, if no-one else, because he's owed an apology for all the harassment they've made him endure. It's a sweet thought, but I think she overestimates how many fucks Burke gives.

Lizzie s tells her that she should stop worrying about Burke and show some concern for David.

Caroline: I'd rather have one friend like Burke, than ten cousins like that little monster.

Someone should set up a factory making DAVID COLLINS IS A MONSTER badges in Collinsport. They'd be a millionaire inside a month.

Once the David bashing is out of the way conversation turns to Caroline's happiness, because after all that's the only thing Lizzie S lives for. Could have fooled me, but whatever. Caroline jokes about running away with Burke of the Chin; next best thing if she can't have incestuous rumpy pumpy with Creepy Uncle Roger; but soon gets serious and tells Lizzie S once and for all that her preferred suitor, Main Squeeze Joe, is off the table. She's just not that into him, yo! She looks quite sad when she says it, too.

Next scene, in a truly remarkable coincidence, we're with Main Squeeze Joe! He's getting drunk and wallowing in the misery of having had his marriage proposal repeatedly turned down by the girl of his dreams. Luckily for him though, Burke of the Chin just happens to be nearby and plops himself down to have a chat.

Burke, because he's Burke, manages to get Joe to open up about his problems and it turns out that not only will Caroline not marry him, but his mate from work that he was about to go into business with has pulled out on account of his wife is preggers and they can't afford to take the financial risk. Poor Joe, his world is falling apart around his ears and he can't even get sloshed in peace because he's got Burke whispering in his ear.

Burke: Well, maybe this is a little lesson for ya, Joe. Marriage isn't always the answer. Sometimes it gets in the way. 

He's giving it some thought, at least
I predict Burke will soon have young Joe eating out of his hand, loyalty to Caroline be damned.

Back up at the house Lizzie S and Caroline are having a nice little chat about...whoa! About marriage and whether its the answer! What are the chances of that happening, eh?

Lizzie S wants Caroline married just so she'll move out of Collinwood; not because she wants rid, because how could you want rid of that bundle of adorableness; but because she thinks it isn't safe there. Caroline says she can't leave because now that David is gonna be gone there'll be no need to have Vicky W stay on, and that would mean Lizzie S would be all alone.


Once Lizzie explains that David won't be going anywhere and they're going to carry on as before, Caroline has a little bit of a fit. She thinks, and it's hard to fault her logic, that none of them will be safe with David around.

Lizzie S: He's my nephew!

Caroline: Well I'm sure Jack The Ripper had an Aunt somewhere.


Lizzie S has one more go at persuading Caroline to marry Joe and fuck off out of it, before we fade out. When we come back, we're upstairs with...

Vicky W!
Finally! We're past the halfway mark of the episode ffs, and that opening definitely made it seem like we were gonna focus on her. Teases, that's what they are!

She's reading the note that was left with her when she was abandoned as a baby. Caroline comes a-knocking and they have a conversation that doesn't really forward the plot at all; they talk about how Vicky hasn't found out anything new since arriving, and how Caroline would be lonely Vicky left; but does reinforce that these two are really fucking cute anytime they're onscreen together.

Bundle of adorableness
I'm not saying that in a pervy way either. For a change.  Their interactions just always make me smile. Sue me.

Vicky asks to borrow Carolines car that night. She doesn't say what she's doing but I'm gonna go ahead and assume that she's planning to take Burke of the Chin up on his dinner invitation. Is love in the air?

Speaking of Burke of the Chin, he's working his seductive magic elsewhere at the moment, as Joe continues to spill his guts. We aren't treading water this time though because Joe lets something quite interesting slip.

Joe: You think I don't know what's happened to her up on that hill? But did I ever come right out and tell her? No, because I'm a mouse. And I'm not gonna say anymore, either, because the writer is a teasing tit.

Burke tries to get him to expound on this statement, but he's off his head and rambling, and he's already moved on to the next thing. But you know Burke isn't gonna forget. After a bit of an argument over whether Joe should have any more to drink he storms off, insisting that he's had enough of being a pushover. Wonder where he's headed, eh?

Up at the house, Vicky W is putting her coat on and chatting to Lizzie S about going into town when there's an almighty banging on the door. Surely not. Already?

Blimey! He's proper going off on one. Vicky and Lizzie don't want to let him upstairs to see Caroline but she comes down anyway to see what the noise is, which gives him the chance to drag her into the sitting room for a stern old talking to. 

He tells her she'll never marry him or anyone else because she's too scared to, and that she's gonna end up a lonely old spinster sitting in Collinwood. 

He tells Lizzie that it's all her fault, for being such a weird old recluse, and making Caroline think that's what marriage does to you.

And he tells Vicky W that Collinwood is a prison, and that if she stays there much longer she'll be as nuts as the rest of them.

Fucking Joe, ladies and gentlemen! I never thought I'd see the day that that guy was my favourite part of an episode. Maybe he could fill Constable Awesome's shoes, now that their is no crime to investigate.

I think he struck a nerve, with Lizzie S.

Sad Lizzie is sad
Vicky W leaves for her... whatever she's planning on doing (But its definitely a date.) Caroline plops herself down on the couch next to Joe and tells him he's wrong, that the things he said aren't true. He's asleep though, so she's quite literally, and in more ways than one, talking to herself.

Back down at the tavern, Burke is still chilling out. He must have been there hours at this point, cos he was there with Joe for ages, and it must have taken a while for Joe to get up to the house. He must be hammered!

And here's Vicky W! So he's been there even longer than I thought! (Also, I was totally right about where Vicky was going. I'm clearly a genius.) 

Sit down, my pretty.
She looks terrified! Come on Vicky, Burke isn't that bad!

And that's the end of the episode. It wasn't quite what I was expecting but it whipped along quite nicely; Joe coming out of his shell and becoming an actually pretty cool character was a very nice surprise, seeing some proper acknowledgment of Lizzie S's recluse status was overdue, and it's nice that everyone isn't just going to roll over and forget that David is a psychotic little murder baby.

 I just hope they can keep it up. Less than 1200 episodes to go!

Tuesday, 28 January 2014

Dark Shadows Episode 32

Greetings, Shadow Babies, and welcome to another installment of my trek through the labyrinthine corridors of Collinwood, and the lives of it's inhabitants.

When last we stopped by this way Burke of the Chin and Devil Child David; henceforth to be referred to collectively as Moriarty Inc; had hatched a fiendish plot to clear Davids name in the case of his attempted patricide. Roger wasn't buying it though.

Oh, and Burke made what I think was the first move in an elaborate seduction attempt on Vicky W. And who could blame him? Let;s see what they have in store for us this week; take it away Vicky W...

My name is Victoria Winters. Here at Collinwood there is a moment of quiet; even the wind has subsided and the threat of a storm is a thing of the past. But there are other storms; the unending chill of fear that sweeps through the silent corridors, always reminding a man of how close he has come to death.

She's a cheery soul, is Vicky W, I've always said so. She's bang on the money this time though, because as she's talking we see the man himself, Roger of course, wandering around looking morose and being startled by every little sound. Poor creepy old man.

Luckily his loving sister Elizabeth, aka Lady of the Manor, arrives home to brighten up his night.

Actually, you know what, Lady of the Manor is far too cumbersome and I'm sick of typing it, so from now on she's Lizzie S. Ok? Ok.

So anyway, she arrives home from having visited Mathew, whose name she gets right on the first attempt, so I'm pretty sure she's drunk because that's never happened before, and because they love each other dearly they get into a disagreement. He wanders off and she looks a bit frowny'

frowny face
Aaaaaaand cue titles. When we come back she's followed him into the living room to shout at him a bit more and what is he doing?

Of course he is

It's obviously not his first, either, because he addresses her as LizDaviLiz, apparently confused as to whether he was talking to his sister or his son. You got it right the first time mate, don't overthink things.

They bicker a bit more, mainly about Davids behaviour and whether Roger is within his rights to lock him in his bedroom and throw away the key, before we cut away to...

Constable Awesome! Hells Yeah!

He's looking at some evidence that makes him want to talk to Bill. Now the thing about Bill is, I've forgotten who Bill is.

Ok, I paused the show and went back through my old posts and now I know who he is; he's the guy who disappeared for ages and when he came back I made a joke about how I hoped the writer didn't forget about him for ages again and then the writer forgot about him for ages again.

I hope the writer doesn't forget about him for ages again again.

Anyway, by a shocking coincidence the guy who hasn't been seen in ages just so happens to be in the police station wanting to see Awesome at the exact same time Awesome wants to see him. I reckon he's been squatting in the station toilets.

That sounds wrong. Moving on.

Bill has shown up to give Awesome some info that he thinks will help him put Burke of the Chin away. But it's all old news, and Awesome tells him as much. Then he asks Bill for information about the Collins family, figuring that since he manages their businesses for them he knows them better than anyone. Bill, partly because he knows which side is bread is buttered, and partly because he fancies the pants off of Lizzie S, refuses.

They go back and forth on it for a while, before Awesome reveals that he only really wants information on one member of the family in particular. Devil. Child. David. DunDunDurrr!!!!

I done figured it out yo!
Up at the house Roger and Lizzie S are arguing about David. Still. I detect a theme. BUT! We're getting some nice little tidbits here, which I don't think we knew before, although it's possible I just forgot; I did take almost a year off from watching the show after all. Bad Paul! Anyway, it seems that before Roger married his wife, she was with Burke of the Chin. It further seems that the wedding was soon enough after her being with Burke, and David was born soon enough after the wedding, that Roger has long suspected David of being Burkes kid! Hashtag PlotTwist!

That's essentially all we get out of that scene, and then we're whisked straight back to Awesome and Bill. Come on Awesome, my son, make him crack! Lock that Devil Child up for good!

Remember way back when Awesome had the wrench and David 'accidentally' touched it so he'd have an excuse for his fingerprints being on it? Remember how Burke said that he picked the wrench up after someone else had left it laying? Remember how Awesome is awesome? Well, Awesome has figured out that one of Burkes fingerprints is overlapping one of Davids. Ergo, David must have handled it long before his 'accidental' touch, and before Burke was seen with it. Ergo, David is the villain. Ergo, Awesome is FUCKING AWESOME!


Poor Awesome though; he's all conflicted and shit. He doesn't want to arrest a little kiddy-winkle. He wouldn't be so conflicted if he knew it was a Devil Kiddy-winkle.

Up at the house Roger and Lizzie S are still fucking arguing! Roger is determined that he is going to have David locked up in some kind of secure ward for deranged young 'uns but Lizzie S is having none of it. David is family dammit, and the Collins clan doesn't turn it's back on family! She demands that Roger shut up and stay out of the way, so that she and Vicky W can give David a happier life, away from his Dads constant barrage of hate.

Roger is less worried about Davids emotional well-being than he is being brained with a rock or finding arsenic in his tea. As if Roger has ever drunk tea.

Just as they are about to reach an accord; read, Roger is about to back down, there's a knocking at the door. Who might this be?

Er... it's Awesome. Now, I'm always happy for more Awesome on my screen but I'm not sure the timing quite makes there. Ah well. Lizzie S looks ready to drop a brown one in her pants when she sees him.

Awesome wanders on in to the living room to have a chat with Roger; presumably to break the news to him that his son is a  murder baby. Once Lizzie S changes her soiled pants she joins them, and the stage is set for Roger to give an incredibly sarcastic drunken speech about family loyalty. Say what you will about Roger; that he's creepy, that he's a crap Dad, that he's not nearly as clever as he thinks he is; but he does do drunken sarcasm really really well. I'm guessing he's had a lot of practise.

lemme tell you shumthingggg
I'm not sure Awesome is impressed.

Roger is spouting all sorts of stuff about how Awesome was right all along not to think Burke was responsible, and how he and Lizzie S had been blind to the truth. Awesome keeps trying to bring up the wrench and the fingerprints but Lizzie S fobs him off with a story about how the valve had been loose for weeks and had just fallen off by itself and how sorry they are for wasting police time and won't you just fuck off and leave us alone you awesome awesome flatfoot you.

 Roger is aghast; he wants David locked up dammit! He's too busy pouring himself another drink to intervene too strongly when Lizzie S steers Awesome to the door. Awesome agrees to drop the case, since it was an accident after all, but I don't think for a second he believes it. He's too awesome to fall for such an obvious con job.

Indeed, as he's being shuffled out of the door he turns back to Roger and says...

Give my regards to your son, won't you.

Poor Awesome and Roger. Against the force of Lizzie S's will, they stood no chance.

Roger stalks off upstairs, disgust etched across his face. Lizzie S calls after him, wanting him to accept that she did the right thing;

Lizzie S: I had to lie to him, don't you see? I had to protect David!

Roger: You protected a monster Liz, and don't ever forget that. Because there will come a day, perhaps not tomorrow, but it will come, and you will regret it.

 You tell her Roger! Perfect opportunity to get the little Devil Child out of everyone's hair and she blew it! She'll rue the day when he drops a flower pot on her head, or pushes her off a cliff, or pushes a wardrobe down the stairs at her.

So that's another episode of Dark Shadows done and dusted. I got what I wanted, in that the car crash storyline seems to have been resolved, albeit in a bit of a cop out fashion. I just hope it doesn't mean Awesome is gone for good; that wouldn't do at all!

And while I'm on the subject of Awesome, what was all that about with Bill at the start of the ep? Bill turned out to be completely superfluous to the plot! I reckon they just needed someone for Awesome to explain the fingerprint thing to, the Bill actor was hanging around set and it saved them the trouble of hiring someone to play a deputy. Just a thunk.

Join me again, Shadow Babies, when we see what fresh intrigue they come up with to replace the car crash saga. My money is on Moriarty Inc kidnapping Vicky W and forcing her to play tiddly winks for 19 episodes. But we shall see.

Monday, 20 January 2014

Strange Paradise Episode 12

Who's God on this blog? I'm God on this blog! And don't you forget it!

When last we visited this Strange Paradise Doc Carr wrote a letter to her fuck buddy Dan Forrest, but couldn't get anyone to mail it for her. It was a veritable rollercoaster of emotion.

I don't know how they can even hope to top themselves this time, but let us venture now to the play button, and find out.

We open with Raxl giving Cryo-Wife a bit of a hug.

I don't know what it is with people in this house hugging what is essentially a chest freezer, but they do seem to like it. Anyway, she pontificates at the coffin for a bit then Quinto comes wandering in and Raxl immediately launches into a speech at him too. Raxl likes to speechify, I've noticed.

Quinto! The Devils strength is gaining, we cannot fight alone...The Temple of the Serpents! We must call The Conjure Man!

I don't think he likes that idea
It's ok though Quinto, because;

He will not harm you! Not again, I promise.

Not again! So what did he do last time? Eh? Quinto is obviously fucking terrified of the dude, so it must have been bad. Raxl is brooking no argument though and soon enough she's dragging poor Quinto off to see the bloke, speechifying all the while. Compassion, thy name is Raxl.

Once they're in the temple Raxl starts screaming about the Devil being loose and needing the Conjure Mans help. Cut to Tarot Lady putting her make up on. Which struck me as odd but whatever. Turns out that Raxl only fucking appears in her mirror and demands help! So I guess Tarot Lady is the go-between for auld Conjure Dude? She tells Raxl that witchcraft can't beat the Devil, they'll need God to help.

Reverend Ted McGinley! Hey, he's a vicar! Maybe he can get God on side! Just a suggestion, like. Although he's a bit busy at the moment, stroking his bible. Er...

Seems like Tarot Lady has the same idea as me, because she soon breaks into his reveries with a request for his help in 'shaping the future.' He isn't keen. Can't she see he has moping to do GodDammit? His underage stalkee has run away from him, let him moon in peace woman. Sheesh.

They talk for fecking ages, but don't actually accomplish anything other than to remind us that he fancies Holly, so we'll move on.

Raxl, convinced that the Conjure Man will now help them, sends Quinto off to the mainland with Jean-Paul and a shopping list. She squeezes in another little speech to Cryo-Wife as well of course, because a Raxl scene without a speech is like a cricket match without a  hole in one.

Jacques decides that he should go in Jean-Pauls place, because his plans are in motion now and he doesn't want Jean-Paul to screw them up. We learn this by listening to the talking portrait of Bill Compton do a soliloquy. Yes, they point a camera at a painting and pipe in a voiceover. Because they're super high tech on this show.

There's a brief scene of Jacques being faintly obnoxious to Quinto and confiscating his shopping list, and then it's off to Cafe Le DayGlo again to see Reverend Ted McGinley, sitting around reading his bible like a good little paedophilic vicar when who should wander in but...

Holly's Mum!
Fairly sure he refused to tell her where he was going when last they spoke so God knows how she's tracked him down, but let's not dwell on that little detail. Let's see what she wants, as if we don't already know.

Her first line is a doozy, I have to give her that;

The Bible, I see. I'm not surprised you feel the need of a refresher course.


That's as interesting as the scene gets though, because if I tell you that their conversation contains the lines 'We seem to have had this conversation before' and 'This may also seem repetitious' you'll understand why I honestly think the writer was trolling like a fucking master.

The Mum from Hell departs and in comes Tarot Lady who promises to help Reverend Ted find Holly. We're not listening to them anymore though, because we're distracted by the fact that Jacques and Quinto have wandered in and are having a very conspicuous conversation at the back of the shot. Jacques is being a right old perv.

Hmmm, yes, Jacques likey

We don't get to see Jacques seduction technique though because we cut away to the mansion where 30 year old teenager Holly is admiring the talking portrait of Bill Compton. Well, I say admiring,... I think she's meant to be nervous, but who can tell?

Her reverie is interrupted by Raxl, with a greeting that is scarcely more polite than 'da fuck you doing here, bitch?' To be fair to her, she takes this in quite good humour. I suppose she is still a guest in the house and doesn't want to rock the boat. Either that or she's planning to add Raxl to her little black Death Note book when she gets back to her room. Oh, and she appears to have caught some kind of flesh eating infection.

Stop rubbing your arm woman! It's distracting!
Anyway, they just talk about the portrait of Bill Compton for a bit and then we head on over to Cafe Le DayGlo to see what Jacques is up to. No, he's not in the toilets slipping one up that leggy lass from earlier (I am so sorry). He's at the bar, ordering himself a wee drinky-poo.

After a really laboured joke about not being able to stand the heat BECAUSE HE COMES FROM HELL YOU SEE he starts to burn the letter he confiscated last episode but is stopped by Tarot Lady, who makes him spill his drink on it. Then they saunter off to a table for a chat, leaving the half charred letter unattended which I'm sure won't be important at all.

Their conversation is quite intriguing though; they seem to be hinting that Tarot Lady is well aware that he is Jacques the 300 year old devil worshiper returned from Hell, rather than Jean-Paul the 30 something millionaire with a dead wife in the chest freezer.

At least, I think that's what they're implying. It's hard to tell. This writer struggles to stay on the right side of the subtle/obtuse border.

BUT WAIT! Here comes Holly's Mum to interrupt their conversation and flirt outrageously with 'Jean-Paul', on account of how she's a money grabbing harlot don't you know.

My husband is dead you know. Just FYI. Don't even know why I bring it up, really.
Jacques sets the cat well and truly among the pigeons by telling her that Holly is on his island, much to the chagrin of Tarot Lady, who is desperately trying to signal to him that he shouldn't. He doesn't care, Tarot Lady! He's a Baddie! Come on, you know this!

Anyway, Jacques ends up inviting Holly's Mum back to the island for some rumpy pumpy on Cryo-Wife's coffin. I mean, to allow her to reconcile with Holly. Then do some rumpy pumpy on Cryo-Wife's coffin. Tarot Lady tries to throw a spanner in the works by getting Reverend Ted McGinley invited along, but Jacques is having none of it and the happy couple head off.

Shits well and truly up her at this development, Tarot Lady heads over to the bar to read the half burned letter that Jacques, because he is a terrible villain, has left behind. Upon reading it, she makes a decision...

Operator? Get me Doc Carrs Fuckbuddy!
Shit be about to go down, yo!

Now, in a sane world that would have been the cliffhanger but this is Strange Paradise where the rules of drama need not apply, so we're off back to the house instead where Holly, skin complaint all healed up, is enjoying a relaxing read on the sofa. I don't think it's a very good book though, because she keeps nodding off, and in the end she gives up and heads off upstairs. At that very moment Jacques and her Mum arrive and upon seeing them she runs off to lock herself in her room.

Jacques reaction to this 'childish' behaviour?

Well, you know, there's a little devil in all of us.

BADOOM, and indeed, TSHHH!

And that's the end of another episode. The house is really starting to fill up now; I bet it won't be much longer before Tarot Lady and Reverend Ted McGinley are shacked up there too. It'll certainly save on sets, if nothing else.

Anyway, on this blog I am God, so when I tell you to come back next time, you can't really say no, can you?