Sunday, 11 November 2012

Dark Shadows Episode 10

Episode 10! Double figures! Hells yeah, mother-funters!

Last episode virtually nothing happened, but that's ok because the last thing we saw was S&M enthusiast Caroline going up to the room of old enough to be her Dad mysterious stranger Burke of the Chin, so I'm reasonably certain some hot stuff is coming this week.

So without further ado, let us travel once more to Collinsport, Maine. If you listen carefully, I'm pretty sure I can hear a melodramatic introductory voiceover...yes, there it is;

My name is Victoria Winters. I know I shouldn't be afraid, and yet the great house on Widow's Hill carries the dusty smell of fear. It moves through the paneled rooms and dark corridors; it seeps down from the walls, and touches the heart of everyone that enters.

Short one this week. She's probably not really feeling it.

To business! Devil Child David is sneaking into the house; which probably confirms that it was him doing the knocky nine doors last week; and for some reason feels compelled to do a shining with the drawing room doors.

Heeeeeeeeeeeres David!

Having indulged his Nicholson fetish he heads for bed but the phone rings, bringing his Aunt, Elizabeth, the Lady of the Manor. Of course he couldn't possibly be found in the hallway of his own home; that would be crazy; so he hides behind a chair that wouldn't hide a spider, despite there being 3 doors he could have gone through. He's the Devil; doesn't mean he's bright.

The phone call is from Creepy Uncle Roger, or in Devil Child David's case Creepy Dad Roger. He's basically checking up on the two young women in the house, to make sure they're home. We don't hear his side of the conversation but after hearing that Caroline has gone out he says something that prompts Elizabeth to say this, of Vicky W;

I have no intention of locking her in her room, or of tying her down!

I know it was probably a figure of speech in response to his saying 'don't let her leave till I get there', or something, but with this show you can never be sure.

Once she hangs up, Elizabeth makes it clear that she knows David is present and they have a nice chat about how all the things she's been blaming him for were actually done by ghosts. Then he runs off. So a typical conversation for these two then.

Teaser done, and dirge-like title music out of the way we're in Burke of the Chin's hotel room. Yeah, now we're getting somewhere. He arranges a phone call from the front desk for half an hours time, presumably as a safeguard in case his impending rendezvous with Floozy Daughter Caroline isn't as much fun as it could be, then does a bit of business with some papers and a briefcase which seems to exist purely to eat up a minute of air time; then, a knock at the door, and it's her. Let the sexy fun times begin.

He wastes no time in casually ascertaining that she came alone and no-one else knows about it; because he's obviously got some experience at this stuff; and then he gets her settled in. He's obviously toying with her, and to be fair; because I do rip the piss quite a bit, I don't know if you've noticed; the actress does a really good job of showing a girl who desperately wants to flirt and be seen as sexy, but is actually out of her depth and nervous as hell.

He sets her at ease about a few things; mainly concerning the fact that he's not in town to kill her Uncle. who she fancies, remember; then contrives to leave her alone with a piece of paper she shouldn't read

Yes, read it, my pretty! Mwahahahaha

knowing full well that she'll read it. What is he up to? I'll be honest, I don't care; I'm just happy that we're finally seeing him up to something.

Oh, I spoke too soon, the next scene  tells us exactly what the thing with the paper was. I know I said they needed to pick up the pace but this is ridiculous. Anyway, with her properly won over by him, it's back to Collinwood where Devil Child David is playing with a new toy.

Was this product placement?

Hearing his Father return, David does the only sensible thing; he hides behind a chair. Oh Devil Child, will you never learn? Roger isn't as observant as Elizabeth is though, so he doesn't see the cowering figure and heads straight for the drinks cabinet. Enter Elizabeth,  and a tense discussion erupts.

They cover a lot of ground in a short while, about alcoholism, Vicky W being devious, and how the best way to deal with Devil Child David would be to put him in an institution. Fucking Hell Roger! This guy SERIOUSLY doesn't like his son. I mean, he's a creepy little shit, but Roger can't really make any comments on that score, if you know what I mean.

Luckily Elizabeth is having none of it, and David's position in the house is secure. For now anyway; I wouldn't put it past Roger to throttle her at some point in the near future.When it's all over, Roger has another drink, before discovering David in hiding and... shit, it's all coming out now! David starts throwing around truth bombs about Roger being unwanted by anyone, about how he and Davids mother would always fight; often about Burke Devlin; about how David is more secure in the house than Roger is and had he'd better not forget it... Say what you will about the little sod, but he's not backing down.

Roger, for his part, is less than happy about David's new found smart mouth.

Anyway, back to Burke and Caroline. Burkes alarm call comes; remember that? course you do; and in a move of almost Moriarty-esque cunning, he disconnects and keeps talking, pretending it's a phone call from Venezuela, in order to further cement the notion in Caroline's mind that he's not out for revenge and will be moving on soon. Burke be a clever bastard, 'tis true.

Oh God, it goes on! Now, on sensing she isn't completely convinced, he starts throwing the evidence in her face.

'How do you know I didn't leave that letter there for you to find? How do you know I didn't arrange that phone call? Why don't you call the switchboard and check? Hmm?'

The guy is shameless. He's being a proper villain at last and I love it! Once she's assured him that she has no doubts at all that he's being honest, he announces that it's time they 'got better acquainted.' Classic!

From there we head back up to the house for another conversation about ghosts between Elizabeth and David, who is for some reason covered in mud all of a sudden, so God knows what he's been up to. He's also holding something behind his back that he refuses to let her see, so I'm sure that's something we'll hear more about, in 16 episode's time.

Once he's done his usual trick of running upstairs and hiding once he's run out of lines, it's time for the big end of episode sting; this time it's Caroline returning home with a big grin on her face; I know what she's been up to; and she's brought a friend to visit. Yes, Burke Devlin in the house! Shit be kicking off, now!

And that's it. A really rather good two-hander between Burke and Caroline and the quite intense confrontation between Roger and David means we hardly notice that the plot barely moves forward at all; nor indeed that Vicky W is nowhere to be seen. She must still be up in her room, composing that letter she seems to be perpetually writing.

I'm gonna come out and say it; I enjoyed this one a lot; in fact it's the first episode that I can claim is actually good drama, as opposed to 'so bad it's good, and you'll have a laugh', drama. If we get a few more like this one, I'll understand why it's as well regarded as it is.

Come back next week when I'll be watching episode 11. Let's see what Burke is gonna do, now that he's gotten access to Collinwood House.


  1. I watched it in the train today, and I have to say it was quite suspenseful, yes. We're not any closer to the mystery of who the widows are or what Burke Devlin is planning, or what Roger did to have Elizabeth throw him out of the house or who Victoria really is, but this show was shown one episode per day, so they have to guard their secrets, I guess.

    1. Dude, you're on episode 10 already?? Pace yourself, man! :)