Sunday, 18 November 2012

Dark Shadows Episode 12

So where were we? We left episode 11 with Sam drunk and stress-heading about Burke of the Chin. Burke himself was up at Collinwood waiting to finally meet up with Creepy Roger; a meeting they've been teasing since the series began, so I really hope it happens this time. And Vicky W hasn't been seen for two episodes, which either means that Elizabeth did tie her to her bed after all, or she's just really struggling with that letter she's been writing; maybe Devil Child David has stolen her thesaurus?

Without further ado, let's dive into episode 12 (watch it here if you like) and as ever we kick things off with a Vicky W voice over:

My name is Victoria Winters. A night wind batters the house on Widow's Hill with the force of a thousand demons. There's no world beyond, it seems; only the waves, and the wind, and the terrible loneliness and fear. I've decided to stay and continue my search, and yet there have been no answers.

It would help if you didn't spend all your time in your bedroom love, just a thought.

Anyway, at least we're guaranteed to see a bit of her this week because here she is, in the very first scene, wandering around at the top of the cliff, tutting at the wind and looking miserable. I suspect she wants to be alone, the better to facilitate her moping, but it's not to be because who should appear but...Creepy Roger, looking creepy.

And just in case you think I'm over-egging his creepiness, check this out:

VICKY W: Oh, Mr Collins, you nearly frightened me to death!

CREEPY ROGER: Perhaps that was my intention Miss Winters.

I'm not the smoothest of chaps with the ladies, but even I know that's a fucking weird thing to say. Anyway...

He demands that she sit so he can talk to her, which she does, but the conversation isn't allowed to start because it's the end of the teaser so they just have to glare at each other until the titles kick in which, because 60's editing is shit, takes forever. This happens all the time on this show and it's never not toe curlingly awkward; poor bastards must have felt like right plums.

After the titles play, if you can stay awake through the dirge like music of course, you're rewarded with some talk of The Widows. It seems Devil Child David isn't the only one peddling this tale; Creepy Roger is well into them.

Apparently The Widows are the ghosts of the wives and girlfriends who would come up on the hill to watch for the returning ships of their men, long overdue. When Collinwood was built, they were told that they were no longer allowed on the hill, and had to keep their grief to themselves. But they never left, and in death they still haunt the hill, giving it it's new name, Widow's Hill. All piss taking aside, that's a pretty neat idea for a ghost story, don't you think?

Anyway, Vicky W isn't believing any of it, but Roger assures her that she will, given time. It's ok though, because she's not family, so the ghosts won't hurt her. Does that mean that they have hurt family members in the past? Maybe they are responsible for whatever happened to Roger's wife? The pieces are all falling into place now, oh yes! I've got the whole show sussed!

Hang on though, if the Widow's don't target people who aren't family, what has driven all the previous people to hold Vicky W's job to kill themselves? Damn, I guess I haven't sussed it after all. So close!

Onwards. The cafe, and Sam the Riddler is announcing to his daughter that he might be leaving town, on account of if he doesn't he'll end up dead and that'll just make her sad and he doesn't want to make her sad. Yeah, that's the reason you don't want to die mate.

Just look at the anguish in that face
On the plus side, Sam is talking in coherent sentences this week, so they can get through the scene fairly painlessly. On the downside, this means we're back up on the hill again quicker than I might have liked. (Nothing against Vicky W or Creepy Roger, but the wind sound effects are annoying as fuck)

A little bit more about the Widows and then we're on, because of course we are, to the subject of Burke of the Chin. Roger isn't happy about Vicky W having had a coffee and a chat with Burke; Vicky W doesn't see why she should have to account for her actions; Roger goes off on one about how dangerous Burke is; and Vicky W tells of Burke's intentions to come to the house and talk to Roger in person, which well puts the shits up him.
Well fretting.
He'd be soiling himself if he knew Burke was at the house waiting for him, right now. Although the way things are going he's not gonna find out this episode.

Back to Sam now, and having had time to reflect on his walk home he's realised that he was being far too lucid in the last scene, so it's time for a bit of the old mad rambling soliloquy-ing. Luckily for us, Maggie has followed him home to try to talk him out of leaving. They have a bit of an argument but nothing is said that wasn't already said, quicker, in their first scene, so I'm not sure what the point was. Onwards!

Or backwards. Because we're on the hill again. Yep, definitely looks like these 4 are the only characters we're getting this episode. Never mind.

Creepy Roger is proper berating Vicky W now. For his part, he's telling her that a war is coming between the Collins family and Burke of the Chin, and she'd better decide which side she's on. For her part, she's a bit bemused by it all and thinks he's over reacting. For my part, I don't know anymore.

Oh my God, he's just told her to turn around and go home! No-one's told her to turn around and go home since episode 2! Ah, the good old days... To be fair, he seems genuinely concerned for her well bring, which doesn't really jibe with his character as we've seen it so far, so either he's mellowing or the writer has forgotten what he wrote last week.

But what's this?!? A voice, through yonder trees! 'Tis Caroline, calling for Roger! And I just got through saying we weren't gonna get anymore characters this week; my predictatron 5000 is obviously on the fritz.

Caroline tells Roger that her mother wants to see him, and it's very important. What she doesn't tell him is that Burke of the Chin is there as well. The little minx!

To Collinwood we go. But not for long because first thing Roger does on arrival is ring Sam and tell him to get out of town. Great minds! Then we spend a good five minutes with Sam and Maggie arguing over whether that was Roger on the phone and what he has to do with Sam leaving. Maggie thinks it's Rogers fault, Sam says it's nothing to do with him and anyway it wasn't even him on the phone and leave me alone waah waah waah, because when stripped of his philosophical ramblings he's as eloquent as a duck with alzheimers.

We hear more about Burke going to prison here, and Roger returning to town at the same time, although just who it was that died back then is still unclear. It was a man though, we know that. Maggie isn't letting things lie, and poor Sam looks fit to burst from the stress. I'm not entirely sure, but I think this scene ends with Sam deciding to stay in town after all. I'll probably be proved wrong on that as well though.

Unhappy Maggie

Now back to the house and Vicky W and Caroline are getting home. No sign of Roger though, which is odd, because you'd have thought if he had gone into his meeting we'd have been shown; I'm banking on some pretty hilarious reaction shots when he encounters Burke; so I wonder were he's got to? Never mind that for now though, because Caroline is convincing Vicky W to head on over to see LucasVincentMathew the caretaker; you know, the creepy one we haven't seen in 6 episodes; in his cottage to ask a few questions. Off she trots, so I reckon we know what 90% of next episode is going to consist of.

Once Vicky W is out of the picture Caroline does the only natural thing:

Nosy Mare

but hearing nothing she loiters around a bit while she waits for Roger to make his entrance down the stairs. He never went into the meeting (told you) but rather he went upstairs for some unknown reason that probably boils down to 'the script needed him to not be in the hall when the girls got home' and now he's heading out again, to see Sam. FFS! Just have him meet Burke, you bastards!

Caroline, obviously as frustrated as the audience at this point is all 'Just fucking go in, for Gods sake, it'll not kill you!' but it's only when she mentions Burke's name that he slows his exit. Quickly reverting to Creepy mode, he gets all aggressive about how she should never have brought Devlin up to the house but she, just as quick to assume Adorable mode, is all 'he's really nice when you get to know him'. Adorable or not, she's not the brightest.

Caroline runs off upstairs and leaves Roger all alone in the hall. Will he stay or will he go now? They seem keen to keep you guessing because he walks backwards and forwards from one door to the next about 27 times. In the end though, he mans up

and with a mighty girding of the loins, he...puts his hand on the doorknob to the room containing Burke. Roll credits.

Utter bastards!!!

So what have we learned this episode? That Sam can be lucid, but prefers not to be; that the existence of The Widows is accepted as fact by people other than Devil Child David; that the sound effects people don't know the difference between spooky and annoying; and oh yes, that if Vicky W was up on the clifftops, it can't have been her opening and closing doors in a mysterious fashion at the end of last episode. Ha, you didn't think I'd thought of that, did you?

Join me next episode when, if all goes well, we'll finally get that big meeting between Roger and Burke. (And if it doesn't happen I may well throw something through the screen)

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