Monday, 5 August 2013

Dark Shadows Episode 24

Last time on Dark Shadows...


So, yes, it's been a while. Again. I'm giving up on making promises; these things will show up when they show up. Although you'll note I've managed a Strange Paradise post, and now a Dark Shadows one, in consecutive slots! Feeling pretty proud of myself right now.

Anyway, where was I? Oh yes, CONSTABLE AWESOME IS AWESOME! When we left the show last time he'd just gotten through putting the Collins family through their paces and making them feel this big over their ridunculous obsession with Burke of the Chin, and was embarking on his own investigation, to figure out who really tried to kill Creepy Uncle Roger. We know it was Devil Child David, of course, but said devil child has cunningly orchestrated a foolproof evidence tampering operation, so the truth may not come to light just yet.

As is traditional, let's head on over to Vicky W, as she talks us in... (and you can watch the episode here)

My name is Victoria Winters. An attempted murder has made the house on Widow's Hill the centre of a web of confusion, a web that tugs on many people and draws them closer to it's core; a young girl tormented by increasing doubts and uncertainties, a man wavering between the opposite poles of instinct and fact...

And that's it! It cuts off right there, when every fool (stop it) knows that when you do a list like that you need three examples. Shoddy, Dark Shadows Writer Man, very shoddy. The girl in question is Floozy Caroline who is shown arriving at the cafe bearing shit loads of shopping, and the man is CONSTABLE AWESOME!! Fuck yeah! He's in the cafe asking after Burke too. I'm not gonna lie, the prospect of this episode being an Awesome/Burke face off is getting me very excited.

My Hero
After the teaser ends with a totally unnecessary zoom in and close up of Constable Awesome's face, and the dirge plays, we come back with an earnest discussion between Floozy Caroline and Waitress Maggie about, you'll never guess... Burke!

There's not much new here, except that Maggie drops in the news that Burke has commissioned her  Dad, Sam the Riddler, to paint his portrait. Credit where it's due here, the actress playing Caroline does a great job of getting across the 'Oh shit, but that means he must be sticking around a while and he told me he was leaving in two days, and maybe he's played me for a gullible pillock and oh God Uncle Roger is gonna kill me' thought process that you know she's thinking but doesn't actually have any dialogue about.

Ruminating Caroline
Which fact is in itself an improvement, since shit like that is usually spelled out ultra literally on this show.

After a while, Main Squeeze Joe turns up for his lunch date with Caroline and the conversation comes to a screeching halt. Joe is muchos not best pleased to learn what they've been talking about.

Not Best Pleased
For some reason he's got this wild idea that Caroline fancies Burke of the Chin. Don't know where he gets that from, unless it's the fact that she creams her knickers every time someone says his name. Anyway...

Burke is arriving back at the hotel and he is immediately met by Constable Awesome. They square up, like men, and arrange a fight to the death at noon. No, hang on, they shake hands and exchange amicable greetings.

Friendly Greeting? What madness is this now?
Awesome wants a chat with Burke, who agrees on the condition that he's allowed to grab a bite to eat and a cup of coffee first. And then we get an ad break, fading out on a long close up on Awesome's face. I'm sensing a pattern here.

We're back, and it's Caroline and Joe having a riveting conversation about how Joe might be able to buy a boat sooner than he thought if he goes into business with a guy from work called Gerry. Caroline wonders if Gerry can be trusted. She's not as green as she's astroturf looking, is Caroline. Unless Gerry is a stand up guy. Who knows? Onwards!

Burke arrives, orders his food and shoots down waitress Maggie in the process after she gets a bit too nosey, then he approaches Caroline and Joe at their table. We get this conversation.

Burke: Hey kids! How's the good life?

Joe: If you want to join us, the answers no.

Burke: That's not very friendly.

Joe: Well, I didn't mean it to be friendly.

Maybe it's just my suspicious nature, but I think the subtext here is that Joe doesn't like Burke very much. I can't be sure though, because it's very subtle.

Burke gives not a single shit.
Burke asks them how long they're going to be there, then wanders off to collect his sandwich order, with a very shifty grin on his face. He's obviously plotting something, but what? Who knows, but it's bound to be good. He's Burke of the Chin GodDammit, and he was trained by the Dick Dastardly Chorus!

Anyway, ad break. When we return, we're upstairs and Burke is letting Constable Awesome into his suite. Let the showdown commence!

Burke is cool as fuck. I say this all the time, but by God it's true. He sits there, calmly answering all of Awesome's questions, while munching on his sandwich and smiling like they're the best of old mates, just getting reacquainted. For his part, Awesome asks all the right questions, pushes when he spot an inconsistency or odd coincidence, and gets the full story with little fuss. Sounds dull I realise, but I could watch these two all day. (Even if Awesome does almost walk into the camera at one point because the operator forgets to pull back when the actor moves to his new mark. You could hear a member of the crew giving out about it in the background. Brilliant.)

Their conversation takes a meaty turn when Burke announces that he's 'up to here with all these accusations! I didn't come back to Collinsport for that!' Of course Awesome, being Awesome, immediately comes back with...

"You've told me why you didn't come back.  I want to know why you did."

Bloody good question, Awesome. Of course, we don't get an answer, because that's an ad break, and when we come back we're downstairs with Joe and Caroline. Still, food for thought, right enough, so it is.

Ooh, hang on! We're only with them long enough for Caroline to get a message saying Burke and Awesome want to see her upstairs. The plot doth thicken; aye, verily it doth. But what possible reason could they have? I doubt they're planning any three way action; at least not while Awesome is on duty. Let's find out.

Worried Caroline
Turns out, she's Burke's alibi. And what an alibi! Burke basically explains to Awesome that he'd had no intention of contacting the Collins family and anything he's done that's brought him into contact with them has been done at the behest of Caroline. And thinking back, he's right! Bloody good show, writer man, I have to give you that one. Caroline isn't best pleased at basically being forced to exonerate her family's arch enemy, but whatcha gonna do?

Burke is feeling pretty smug at this point, but Awesome brings him down a peg or two when he tells him not to leave town.

You What Mate?

Awesome leaves, after reiterating his instructions not to leave town, but Caroline hangs around, looking none too happy, to 'talk' to Burke. Yeah, methinks some angry sex is on the cards.

Or not. She just wants to scream at him about lying to and manipulating her. She throws the 'how are you gonna get your portrait painted if you're leaving town in a couple of days' argument at him; CALLED IT! Of course, she wouldn't be the Caroline we know and love if she wasn't totally gullible and as hard to sway as a cornstalk in a hurricane, so when he tells her that he hadn't lied, but his plans had changed since they spoke, she believes him. She flat out asks if he tried to kill her Uncle, he denies it, and she looks like this...

Happy Caroline
So, you know, that's the anger gone and the knicker creaming back in force. She leaves, and Burke has a little moment of contemplation; he's deciding what colour condom to wear when she comes back and throws herself at him;  but that's derailed when the phone rings. Who could it be?

It's the bloke Burke rang a couple of episodes back and told to come meet him. He tells this guy that it's too risky for him to come all the way to Collinsport so he should check into a hotel in Bangor and Burke'll be there as soon as he can. Burke asks whether the guy has brought 'everything I asked for?' and then he looks like this...

Burke be plottin', yo!
The last line of the episode is Burke telling his mate that "we might have even less time than I thought." I have no idea what his plan is, but I'm really fucking intrigued, I'm not gonna lie.

So, no sign of Vicky W in this episode, which is always a crying shame, but other than that I'm very happy. Burke and Awesome bounced off each other as well as I'd hoped and Caroline was adorable, as Caroline is wont to be. And the best part was that Devil Child David was nowhere to be seen. Gotta like that!

Until next time, farewell, and DON'T BLINK! No, hang on, that's a different show isn't it? Never mind.

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