Sunday, 6 January 2013

Dark Shadows Episode 20

Last time, on Dark Shadows...

Joe almost broke up with Caroline, who then got told off by Elizabeth for being naive, and Bill talked to Sam the Riddler about Burke of the Chin for a bit, which told the audience nothing new but did allow Sam to do a bit of his best 'freaking out' acting; say what you will about Sams riddler-ific soliloquy fetish, but he gives good paranoia.

There was no sign of Burke, nor indeed Roger and Vicky W, who are on their way to confront him about his part in trying to kill Roger; a crime he didn't actually commit, but they don't know that on account of being thick as porcine excrement and unable to recognise a confession when a Devil Child runs up and punches them in the face with it.

Maybe they'll be in todays episode, which you can watch here if you so desire. We can but wait and see. Take it away, Vicky W...

My name is Victoria Winters. The road that leads down from Collinwood is steep, and winding. It twists and turns like the hidden secrets of my past, and now it has brought a man close to death; a man who is searching for answer of his own.

Not her best work; the metaphor is a little strained for one of my refined tastes; but it does what it needs to do. We know Roger wants answers and tonight, he's damned well going to get them. Or, you know, try to get them; this is Dark Shadows, so it's probably gonna take him a fortnight.

When Vicky W and Roger arrive at the hotel they are arguing, because of course they are, with Vicky insisting that he should go to the police and him having none of it. Who the Hell does she think she is, anyway? Bloody glorified babysitter, telling the man of the house what to do? Wouldn't have happened in his Daddy's day, that's for sure. He tells her to shut up, then leaves her in the cafe while he wanders off to find Burke. It's a thrilling moment to be sure; one more than exciting enough to end the teaser on... *cough*

Once the title music has droned for a bit, we fade back in and Vicky W is interrupted in her broody coffee drinking by Sam the Riddler, who's all smiles for once.

The Fuck you want?
Sam The Riddler: Hello, Miss Winters. You do remember me don't you?

Vicky W: Of course I do, you're the nutjob who terrified me half to death on a fucking clifftop then spouted pretentious portentous poppycock at me for what felt like 9 days. How lovely to see you again.

Sam starts to pump her for information, in his usual oh so subtle way, but she's in one of her more intelligent moods, on account of it's a Tuesday, and is having none of it. We do get this exchange though, before she fucks him off completely;

Sam the Riddler: It's a bad habit of mine, glancing back. One should always look ahead don't you think?

Vicky W: It can't always be done.

Sam the Riddler: True, the past can sometimes be a mockery to the future.

which is both profound, and completely meaningless, at the same time. Props, Bro! Of course, despite Vicky telling Sam nothing, he still manages to figure out that Roger is there to see Burke of the Chin. He aint no fool, old Sam.

At that very moment, Burke is upstairs, reading the lost and found ads in the local paper, when he hears a knock at his door. If this is Roger arriving he took his sweet time getting up those stairs; it's his arm in a sling, not his leg. It is Roger! Right, this is it! These two are gonna put the final fight in Rocky IV to shame!

Orrrrrrrrrrrr...not. *Sigh* Righto, war of words it is. We know Roger is serious though, because he turns down the offer of a drink. He doesn't do that if there's a number in the time or a Y in the day; and certainly not when both are happening at once.

You're babbling shit, man! Calm yo tits!

It's quite good actually, this scene. Roger is a smarmy fucker and winds Burke up something rotten, and Burke does righteous indignation proper well good. It's hard to take the piss to be hone... oh, there we go, Roger has asked for a drink after all. Good old Roger, never willingly ends a scene sober.

Sam has gone home, and is all agitated because he gets a phone call at such a late hour, and it wakes Maggie, who is apparently unwell. Or something. She looks pretty fine to me, if you know what I mean, nudge nudge wink wink. It turns out though, that she had been expecting the call; she's been getting updates on Sam's movements from everyone in town, the sneaky wee mare!

Sam's not best pleased about this invasion of his drunken privacy

Is it just me, or does it look like he's gonna murderise her?

but he soon calms down when she has a bit of a moan about the whole Burke Devlin situation, and says she wishes it would just end. Steady on Maggie! If that storyline ends this show is fucked!

Sam tells her that she may get her wish, that very night, which suggests to me that either he expects Roger and Burke to kill each other, or he's planted a nail bomb in Burke's hotel room. I wouldn't put it past him.

Back in said hotel room, intact and nail bomb blast free, at least for now, Roger is flat out accusing Burke. Burke isn't happy about the accusations; adamant as he is that all he wanted was to buy the Collins family business, not murder anyone. Personally, I believe him, because no-one with a chin like that could ever be truly bad; that's just science (mentisology, to be precise; a close cousin to phrenology whereby the determination of personality traits is achieved through the study of the chin).

Whether I believe him is immaterial though, because Roger is on a tear. Look at him, roaring like the vicious beast he is, and laying down some of ye olde smack on Burke. Figuratively speaking of course.

Burke refuses to admit his guilt, on account of he's not guilty, so Roger plays his trump card and sends down to the cafe for Vicky W. Will her evidence be enough to convince Burke to confess? Of course it won't. I bet we'll have to listen to her recite it all again though. Maybe she'll mention timetables.

Over at the home of Sam the Riddler he's looking for his sketchpad; have I ever mentioned that Sam is an artist? No? Well, Sam is an artist. Apparently, right, Burke used to model for him and everything. Anyway, he's looking for his sketchpad, while Maggie makes some tea. It's thrilling stuff, to be sure, so it is.

They have a bit of an argument, except not really, except they do, except... I'll be honest, the tone is all over the place, with them swinging from serious to joking and back again within the same sentence, so I'm fucked if I know, but it ends with them laughing, so let's assume they were joking. Sam goes to to bed, and the camera zooms in on one of his works; a picture of Collinwood.


Back to Roger and Burke arguing, about the same shit they were arguing about last time, until a knock at the door heralds the arrival of Vicky W to the scene. Ahh, Vicky W, it's so good to see you! I'm not sure why, since he knows he's innocent, but Burke of the Chin actually looks a bit worried at this point. Check it out.

What you doing here?

Maybe he just fancied trying out a new expression. God helps those who helps themselves, and you don't get better if you don't practise. And so on and so forth. Etc.

As I predicted, cos I is awesome at this shit, we hear Vicky W recount her evidence again, but then everything gets brilliant and Burke goes batshit mental, proper getting in Roger's face and being all butch and shit and basically telling him to stick his accusations up his arse cos he's not some kid who gets scared when the nobs from the big house start throwing their weight around. Go on Son!

 I was grinning like an idiot all through this rant, not gonna lie. And then, right, you won't believe it, he gives Vicky a bit of advice... he tells her to go home! They're never letting go of that are they? I did a proper squeaking noise when he said it. If I'd known then what I know now, I'd have called this blog 'Turn Around And Go Home'.

Then we get an odd little coda where we see Roger and Vicky W arrive back at Collinwood, with no explanation as to how their meeting with Burke ended. Vicky asks Roger whether he's still sure it was Burke who tried to kill him and he confirms that he is, then tells her...

ROGER: ...did he frighten you? Did his speech make you scared and want to run home? Well you can't go now, because I need you here, and you've got to stay, whether you like it or not. Goodnight Miss Winters.

...and he's got this weird sort of psychotic smile on his face the whole time. I'm sure it made a nice change from being told to turn around and go home, but even so I think I'd have been crapping my pants if I was Vicky W. Just saying.

That's the episode. The whole Sam and Maggie thing was a pointless bit of nothing, but the Roger/Burke confrontation was properly dramatic, and given that we never see the ending of their meeting I'm choosing to believe that Roger has shivved Burke, and is now coercing Vicky W into helping him to conceal his crime.

It's the only logical reading of the material, so far as I can see.

Join me next Tuesday when I shall be watching episode 21 of this here show about shadows what are dark, but before then, in 2 days time to be exact, join me here for something a little different. Yes, I promised a new addition to the blog in 2013, and I'm nothing of not a man of my word. Will it be Strange Paradise, or will it be Passions? Or could I have found a 3rd alternative and just never mentioned it? Only one way to find out!

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