So what will we see this episode? Will Floozy Daughter Caroline continue on her trek into mysteriousness, or was that just a result of her misjudging a line reading? How many people will tell Vicky W to turn around and go home? And will we ever find out why everyone is in such a tizz over the return of Burke Devlin of the Dastardly Chorus? For that matter, will we even see Burke Devlin of the Dastardly Chorus? Let's find out...
We begin, as ever, with one of Vicky W's ominous voice-overs:
My name is Victoria Winters. The dead past drifts through the corridors of Collinwood, and settles like dust in it's corners. Spurred by hope and surrounded by fear, my search continues, as life itself continues; not only for me, but for everyone else in this strange corner of the world: people who live with their own fear, their own hopes.
We open on Sam Evans, last seen harassing Vicky W on a clifftop. He mumbles some cod philosophical mutterings about time and having his hours stolen, because his watch has stopped you see, before being interrupted by Creepy Uncle Roger, who's broken in to Sam's house to wait for him. He wants a chat, but what about? You'll have to wait to find out, because that's the teaser done, and it's time for some spooky music.
We're back. Sam's still in a philosophical mood and Roger is having none of it, he's straight to business. It seems Roger and Sam have a history with Burke Devlin, a history that goes back 10 years to before Devlins training with the Dastardly Chorus. But what could that history be? Whatever it is, neither of them are happy that he's back. Although Sam seems quite amused at how upset this is making Roger. Bad blood there, I think.
In the end, Roger decides he can handle Burke Devlin of the Dastardly Chorus if he comes at him direct, but not if he goes at Sam. And as for Sam...well, the man seems to speak entirely in riddles.
"You don't have to be afraid of any of my actions. I am what I have become. I'll do nothing".
You are what you have become have you old son? I see. And how many hours did it take you to become what you've become? Was it a lot of hours? Did someone steal any of those hours, thus putting you behind schedule in the becoming what you were due to become stakes?
Next we head to the cafe where Line Fluffing Waitress is serving Burke Devlin of the Dastardly... you know what, let's just call him Burke of the Chin.
LFW is being flirtatious with Burke of the Chin, doing the old 'you must remember me' routine, despite the fact that she must have been about 7 when he left town. If only Floozy Daughter didn't have that title sewn up... never mind LFW, your day will come.
Flirtations, and not very subtle hints about a trial, are interrupted by the arrival of Vicky W. It seems that the 'kerbs that creep up on you' that she was warned about last episode gave her a free pass this time; maybe I'll get my flaming car wreck when she drives home. Turns out Vicky W's big mysterious purpose for coming into town was to...make a phone call. Yeah, dramatic shit be going down in Collinsport tonight!
After an exchange that would seem to reveal Burke of the Chin's motive for coming to town; he wants to take Collinwood!!! Maybe; he sneaks off to eavesdrop on and/or chat to Vicky W. We'll find out which in due course.
Then it's back to Sam's house. Roger is still there and the conversation has moved on a touch, because now they're arguing. Roger looks ripe to cut a bitch, now that he knows Sam was snooping around up at the big house. You know, back in episode whatever it was...4 I think. Can you believe we're still less than 24 hours in, in story time? Anyway, Sam isn't supposed to be up at the house, and he certainly shouldn't have been talking to Vicky W! Roger be maaaaad!
Roger phones Collinwood to check with Vicky W. about Sam's version of events, vis a vis their encounter. She isn't there though, is she? No, because she's in the cafe, making a phone call and being stalked by Burke of the Chin. Roger doesn't know that though, and upon learning of her absence from the house he heads out to find her 'before she finds Burke Devlin.' Best get a shuffle on dude.
Shit! Too late! Vicky W. can't get through to whoever she's trying to call, and immediately upon leaving the phone booth she's accosted by Burke of the Chin. I told you to hurry up Roger! What are you like?
Halfway point of the episode, here. Let's review. Floozy Daughter hasn't appeared, and no-one has told Vicky W. to go home. So far the only thing on my wishlist to actually look like coming true is that we're getting some revelations about Burke of the Chin. One out of three aint bad. Back to it...
When we fade back in, Vicky W is having a bit of a sit down and a nice cuppa with Burke of the Chin. He's grilling her about her reasons for coming to Collinsport, and she allows him to for much longer than I would. He's being flirtatious and charming and only fluffing his line very occasionally which is probably a nice change for her, so that could explain it. In the end though, she's had enough and is out of there...until she isn't, because he promises to change the subject. Which he doesn't, so I'm not entirely sure why she doesn't headbutt him and leave. She's perhaps of better breeding than me.
Meanwhile, Roger has arrived! He's out in the lobby; did I mention the cafe is in a hotel? I'm sure I did. Anyway, Roger is in the lobby and LFW is there too. He asks after Vicky W and LFW points him in the right direction but when he learns from LFW that Burke of the Chin is also there he does a runner. Roger you coward! You weren't this shy about throwing your weight around with poor Sam!
It's worth pointing out that LFW seems to have a very meaningful look on her face after seeing him scared off.
Oh, and she's Sam's daughter too. I would have mentioned that sooner but...well...I only just clicked, all right? Even though I now realise that they have made numerous references to it. Shut up.
Back to Vicky W and she's suddenly having the time of her life with Burke of the Chin. She's a changeable one, that's for sure. He's telling of his childhood belief that Collinwood was haunted. How absurd!
Then she's off to see about making that phone call, Burke is intrigued to hear that Roger wouldn't see him, and LFW is making references to Sam's drinking, which piques Burke's curiosity. And they're all playing another round of musical locations.
Sam's house now, and sure enough, he's pouring a drink. And talking to himself. In riddles. Apparently, right, he doesn't really exist. Who knew? Anyway, he gets a phone call from LFW to tell him Burke of the Chin is coming over, and just as he starts to panic...Burke of the Chin is there! Striding into the house like he owns the place. And seeming very keen to... shake Sam's hand. The swine!
It's an odd scene this. Sam is crapping his pants, which confuses Burke of the Chin who seems genuinely to just want to say hello to his old friend. Could it be that whatever part Sam played, in whatever dark thing that happened to Burke in the dim and distant past, Burke is unaware of it. Is he there for revenge on Roger, and Roger alone? Is he even there for revenge at all? Perhaps this whole storyline is one big red herring. Who can tell? Sam ushers Burke out of his house, and that's the end of that.
I honestly thought that that would be the end of the episode, judging by the time on the clock, but no! There's more! Vicky W is still waiting for that phone call to go through. Woman has the patience of a saint; if she was around today O2 would love her. Anyway, she finally gets through to the care home; so that's who she was calling and asks to be put through to a Miss Hopewell. 'And tell her it's important! It's very important!'
And that's the end of the episode.
So what have we learned? We've learned that Burke of the Chin is interested in taking over Collinwood. Maybe. We've learned that whatever drove Burke to leave ten years ago was something to do with a trial. And we've learned that both Roger and Sam were involved, although it's possible that Burke doesn't know about Sam.
Also, Vicky W will wait forever to make a phone call, so long as there is a charming, if slightly sinister, older man to flirt with. Maybe she just likes chins?
I hope you enjoyed episode 7 of Dark Shadows. Join me next week when I watch...hang on...I know this...episode 8 of Dark Shadows. That's it.
Oh, and as a new feature, here is this weeks episode, in it's entirety. Just in case you want to watch with me. Go on, give it a try. (Linked from Jackie Wilson's youtube channel)