Tuesday, 15 January 2013

Dark Shadows Episode 21

And we're back; after that strange and frightening first visit to The Garden of Evil; in the comforting embrace of Collinsport and it's inhabitants, for episode 21 of Dark Shadows. No voodoo dolls and talking portraits here, by jove!

When last we were here we got a daft bit of nothing between Sam and Maggie but the real meat of the episode was Roger and Burke having a manliness-off and getting all sweaty and gruff with each other. It was great! Vicky W was there too, and I think she creamed her knickers at one point, so intensely erotic did she find the whole thing. And who could blame her?

Let's check back in, by clicking here, and see how everyone is doing, shall we?

My name is Victoria Winters. The early morning mist rises from the sea at the foot of Widows Hill; the great house sits quietly on it's crest, and the events of a shattering night seem almost like a vague memory of a forgotten dream. But it was no dream, and there's no forgetting that a man had almost been killed.

Well done Vicky W. Got us all nice and up to speed there.

The episode begins, as all good episodes should, with Vicky W and Floozy Caroline.

Cheer Up, it's not you someone's trying to kill!
They're neither of them very happy, and between deciding what to have for breakfast and watching the coffee brew, they get into an argument about whether or not Roger's accident was an accident accident, or whether someone tried to kill him. Vicky says it was attempted murder, with Caroline; in large part due to her fancying the pants off the prime suspect; refusing to believe it. Don't fight girls, you know you love each other really!

They do stop fighting long enough to realise that they're actually on the same side. Vicky believes the accident was deliberate, but she doesn't believe Burke was responsible. This cheers up Caroline no end, because it means she can go back to being his little groupie without betraying her family.

Burke of the Chin, meanwhile, is enjoying a cup of coffee in his hotel room when Bill Malloy comes a-knocking. This guy can't get 5 minutes peace! Malloy is here to have a pop at him; because that's the only reason anyone comes calling on Burke, unless they're Caroline, if you know what I mean; but Burke is all, 'yeah, yeah, fuck off I'm having my breakfast'. Then Bill drops the dreaded 'attempted murder' phrase into the conversation and Burke is like

You what mate?
But then he's like

oh, ffs
You can't blame him for being pissed off; accusing him of heinous crimes does seem to be the latest craze in Collinsport.

We get an ad break, and when we come back we're still with Burke and Bill. They hash over the same old arguments we've seen Burke have with every other character on the show already, so I suppose it was inevitable Bill would get his turn; probably would have happened sooner if the writer hadn't forgotten he existed for 10 episodes.

Things only really get interesting when Bille comes out with a name; Wilbur Strake. I'm pretty sure this is the first we're hearing of this name, and it certainly seems to mean something to Burke, although he's keen to deny it. The plot doth thicken, if you can call this stuff a plot.

Shit, no, it's the PI Burke met with in episode one; the guy he'd had snooping around Collinsport. How the fuck are you gonna pull that name out of the hat 20 episodes later? I know this show is playing the long game but come on!

Back up at the house, and Lady of the Manor Elizabeth is here with a letter for Vicky W, from the foundling home she grew up in. This ties back to something from about 15 episodes back as well, I seem to recall; Vicky rang the home for some kind information or other... look I don't know! Time works differently in this fucking town, God knows how long ago that was meant to be, but it was bloody ages in screen time.

Anyway, Caroline takes the letter and heads off to find Vicky where they have another loooong chat about the virtue and/or pitfalls of believing in Burke. Caroline comes over all sad and forlorn


because she thinks that if Burke is guilty it means it's all her fault, because she brought him to the house. Ah, so her refusal to blame him has nothing to do with barely repressed sexual urgings after all. My bad. Thing is, if what everyone thinks of Burke really was true, she'd be right! Not as non-bright as all that, our Caroline.

(During this conversation we hear a tale of Vicky's childhood, about a warden at the foundling home she grew up in who told her that her parents were coming to pick her up. Purely for the lol's. What a bitch, eh?)

The phone is ringing! What news? Elizabeth answers and it's the local Constable. He's on his way up to the house. So we'll probably meet him in a month. At least if he's a halfway competent cop we might finally have a character capable of figuring out that Devil Child David is a psycho who tried to kill his Dad. We can but hope.

Guess what they're talking about.
Caroline and Elizabeth then have the same conversation everyone else has been having for 3 weeks, blah blah blah, we get it, before being interrupted by a reporter ringing. Elizabeth soon fobs him off but it puts her in a  panic and she starts trying to convince Caroline to move away. She seems convinced that reporters digging into family business will unearth some shit and she doesn't want Caroline anywhere near when it happens. Just what that shit is remains to be seen, but it's at least something new to think about that doesn't revolve around fucking sprockets falling off car engines.

Caroline tries to convince Elizabeth that it'll all be ok, but she's not having much luck, and then Vicky comes traipsing in and announces that Elizabeth needs to read the letter she just received. You know, earlier in the ep? Scroll back 4 or 5 paragraphs, it's right there! Sheesh, do you need me to hold your hand while you go to the toilet as well?

Anyway, Elizabeth aint best chuffed, that's for sure.

Aint best chuffed.
Turns out the letter is just about the PI dude, Strake, asking questions about Vicky at the foundling home. He wanted to find out why she'd been hired to work at Collinwood. Elizabeth once again gets sweats about the whole thing, and the girls waste no time in putting the screws to her.

Talk Bitch!
Vicky in particular goes full Perry Fucking Mason on her ass;

Vicky: Do you think Burke Devlin hired this man?

Liz: I suppose it's possible.

Vicky: But why would he want to know about me?

Liz: I can't answer that; I don't know.

Vicky: You think Devlin was responsible for the car accident don't you?

Liz: Yes.

Vicky: Well then you must also think that the only reason he came back here was to harm your brother and you.

Liz: Yes

Vicky: Well then... it's logical that the only reason he'd hire someone to make these inquiries would be if the results would be harmful to you. Doesn't that make sense?

Yeah! You fucking tell her Vicky! Yeah!

Elizabeth's reaction is to deny hiding anything and storm out of the room. You're fooling no-one missus! My Vicky is on to you!

Back in chateau le chin, Burke is busily putting the finishing touches to his natty ensemble of the day, while Bill continues to question him about Strake. Burke has an answer for everything of course, because he's Burke, and he soon has Bill on the ropes. Bloody amateur.

After seeing Bill out, with an invitation to come visit him any time, Burke makes a quick phone call to New York.

Sell HMV! (I'm sorry. Fuck internet shopping!)

Either he's checking his shares, or he's about to put a hit out on Strake for being shit at being inconspicuous... no, he's calling someone called Bronson and telling him to get up to Maine because 'things are starting to happen. And I wanna get moving fast.'

Burke be planning some shit, yo!

There you have it. Another episode wherein they go over loads of old ground and very little actually happens but what little new stuff we do get is really solid and the acting is top notch. That side of it, at least, is really coming together nicely.

Join me on Thursday when I'll be risking what little sanity I'm still clinging to by watching episode two of Strange Paradise, and then in a weeks time, assuming my head hasn't exploded, for the next enthralling episode of Dark Shadows. You're starting to love it just a little, I know you are.

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