Last time on Dark Shadows we saw; Burke of the Chin meet with, and berate, his associate who for reasons known only to himself goes by the name of Toady (he doesn't, but I can't remember his real name); Vicky W realise that Devil Child David had done a pretty good job of putting suspicion on her for his Dads car crash; and Constable Awesome searched Burkes room.
Oh, and the aforementioned Devil Child was caught trying to break into Burkes room. We know it'll have been to plant evidence on him, but no doubt the kid will have another story. Because he's a criminal mastermind. Now, onwards!
What does Vicky W's expository monologue have for us today?
My name is Victoria Winters. A nine year old boy, driven by fear and desperation, has disappeared from Collinwood. A boy who holds the key to an attempted murder; a crime that holds the interest and concern of many people.
Is that it? Very slack effort. Although if nothing else it gets us into the first scene quickly, and that can only be a good thing because that first scene has Constable Awesome in it! Huzzah!
|Just chillin in ma office, homes|
And sure enough, here's Burke of the Chin! The scene basically comprises of Burke being angry at Awesome for searching his room and Awesome giving approximately 2 fucks less than someone who gives 2 fucks. I love Constable Awesome to an embarrassing degree. Anyway, that's the teaser. Cue titles.
Aaaand, we're back! Burke demands to know why Awesome suddenly decided to search his room and also whether he found anything of interest; Awesome compliments Burke on his clothes and asks where he got them. Burke insists someone must have put Awesome up to searching the room because if he really wanted to do it he could have done when he interviewed Burke there; Awesome says he's just a small town sheriff and it takes him a while to think of these things.
Awesome leaves the room to run an errand but before he goes he tells Burke that nothing will stop him digging until he knows the whole truth, and he leaves him with a question. If he didn't do it, then who did?
|Subtlety, thy name is Dark Shadows|
Devil Child David is standing in the hotel lobby when Maggie (remember her?) ushers him in to the cafe for a sundae. She asks him how long he was hanging around in the lobby, and he says he wasn't doing anything wrong, just sitting. Now they told us last episode that he had been nabbed trying to break in to Burkes room, so I'm not sure what's going on here. We'll see how it plays out.
Maggie mentions to David that she's quite anxious to speak to his Dad; I'm not sure if we're supposed to know what she wants to talk to him about because it's been so long since we saw her, but again, let's give it a while; but David fumbles some answer about not knowing where his Dad is, but probably in his office. I'm not sure we know were Roger is at the moment either. Last we saw he was hassling Awesome to search Burkes room and that was obviously ages ago so...
Anyway, after quizzing David some more about when Roger might show his face, Maggie wanders off to make a phone call; she says to her Dad, Sam the Riddler, but who knows; and we fade out of act one with a nice lingering shot of David eating some ice cream.
We come back on Burke, still loitering around Awesomes office. Awesome comes back and sees Burke looking at the wanted posters on the notice board.
Awesome: See anyone you know?
Brilliant. When Burke says he hasn't moved in those circles for five years Awesome responds with
Awesome: you've been out of prison that long?
Burke: My sentence was reduced. I was a good boy. Still am.
Awesome. I know. You keep telling me.
It doesn't sound like much, but it's the sheer nonchalance with which Awesome plays it, like he's a cat and Burke is a mouse at the end of a piece of string.
Awesome takes a phone call from New York, which makes Burke even more paranoid, because obviously it must be about him and then Burke says that he hasn't been able to think of anyone else with a motive to kill Roger. Then Awesome says something which is either massively important or a fluff by the writer:
Awesome: You know, that's the trouble Burke. Up till now, you're the only one I've been able to put my finger on.
Did you spot it? Did you? He said up till now! Don't worry if you didn't spot it though, because neither did Burke, who goes into an apoplectic rage at the indignity of being falsely accused.
|Angry Burke Is Angry|
Burke rants and raves for a good couple of minutes and while it's always good to watch him go off on one the true joy of this segment is, as ever, Awesome.
Hound you Burke? I wouldn't dream of it.
You know something Burke, you're sounding more and more like a man with a guilty conscience.
And the final thing he says before Burke storms out...
I'll be seeing you Burke.
|Count the fucks he gives. Count 'em!|
And with that we're back to Devil Child David and Maggie. I just realised that in the previous scene Maggie mentioned that this was the first time she and David had ever met. Which means she's not yet aware of his Devil Child tendencies. I wonder if I should be worried for her?
Ok, I'm not worried for her, but I'm starting to worry about her. She keeps rubbing Davids shoulders and talking about how lonely she is. She wants them to have a party together, and she's licking her lips. By the time she utters the line...
You can even put hot fudge on it
...I'm ready to scream HE'S NINE YOU FREAK.
Look, I know there was nothing sexual in this scene, and maybe I am exaggerating a little for effect, but I swear to God this actress was so used to sultry flirtation being her default setting with customers that she forgot to turn it off, because intentional or not there was seducing a'happenin.
Anyway, my weird preoccupations aside, we do learn in this scene that David had indeed been caught trying to get into Burkes room. Of course, he denies it, saying that the door was already open and he was just having a look, then trying to run out of the room when she presses him on it. Not sure that story will hold up, Devil Child old son.
Also, she keeps looking out the window for someone. And that someone, it turns out, is Roger, whose first words upon arrival are I've got other things to do than just drive around town all day after my Son because he's Father of the fucking year. Unfortunately, in the 5 seconds that it takes Maggie to go meet him at the door, David does a runner. Maggie is frantic, while Roger is just looking at his watch.
Maggie: I don't understand it, he just disappeared so quickly!
Roger: Spells and incantations Maggie. If he does rematerialise, do me a favour. Don't call me again.
|Father of the year|
Roger tries to play it cool but we all know how well that usually works for him and sure enough when Maggie casually mentions that Burke had been round her house to see Sam he goes into stresshead mode.
He tries to find out what Burke and Sam talked about but all he manages to do with his heavyhanded questioning is make Maggie even more suspicious and then, because things never rain but they pour for poor old Roger, who should walk through the door but Burke of the motherfuntin' Chin, yo! Who of course wastes no time in sticking his oar in and winding Roger up.
Because that, Shadow Babies, is how Burke of the Chin rolls. And don't you forget it!
Burke is all, 'isn't it great Roger, Sam is gonna paint me,' and 'but Roger, why ever would you object to my stopping in on an old friend?' and basically just enjoying every second of making Roger squirm. Because I mean, you would, wouldn't you?
Things can turn on an American coin of a value I'm unclear on in Collinsport though, and soon Roger is telling Burke that he's nothing but an ex con and he's gonna be back in prison before he knows it. Roger had balls, on occasion. Rare occasion, but still.
After Roger leaves, Burke invites Maggie to sit with him, and since she never seems to have more than one paying customer at a time she agrees and they have a nice natter about her Dad. Burke assures her that he is very fond of her Dad and and would never hurt him. The thing is, I think he's telling the truth. Unless the writer changes his mind later, all indications do seem to be that Burke is fixated on Roger and has no beef with Sam at all. If only Sam could see that! Silly Sam the Riddler!
|A still of Maggie. Just because My God would you look at that face.|
The thing is though, Maggie is so intent on finding out why her Dad would be afraid of Burke that she just keeps on pushing, and in the process seems to be putting the idea in Burkes head that Sam and Roger might be in cahoots. Can't you see what you're doing Maggie?!? He wasn't after your Dad before, but he will be soon if you don't stop talking! SHURRUP MAGGIE!
Meanwhile, back at Awesome's office, Roger has shown back up. Man just can't keep away! If I was Awesome I'd shoot him, but then I've always been one for violent outbursts, just ask my court appointed psych...I've said too much.
Anyway, Roger is once again demanding action from Awesome. Awesome is ready for him this time though. You see, that call from New York that he got earlier in the episode was to tell him that Burke had hired a PI to look into Roger. So what was he trying to find out? Eh Roger? What have you got to hide Roger? Tell us ROGER, TELL US!
Awesome aint no fool, yo.
Over at the cafe, Burke is having a cup of coffee. As you do in cafes. Well, I do, anyway. I've heard some people have tea, but tea is, as we all know, the devils urine, so I can't imagine that's true; it's obviously just an urban legend or something.
Anyway, Burke is having a cup of coffee. Maggie troops in long enough to talk about how she still hasn't found Devil Child David, just in case we'd forgotten that he'd disappeared from the restaurant earlier. Burke tells her not to worry and heads up to his room, she heads into the kitchen and... it's Devil Child David! Whoda thunk it? Turns out he's been hiding crouched down in the phone cubicle the whole time. You'd think his legs would be cramped to fuck but apparently not, because he's like a whippet making his escape while no-ones looking. Is he going home? Who knows? We'll find out in due course, I'm sure.
And that's the end of another episode. Copious quantities of Awesome saved it from being a slight letdown, but they can't all be a thrill a minute I suppose.
So, is Burke beginning to be suspicious of Sam after all? Will Devil Child David go home, or will he make another attempt at planting evidence on Burke? And when will someone finally fall for Maggies eternal seduction attempts? None of these questions, or any others for that matter, will be answered in the next exciting installment of Dark Shadows. Don't miss it, Shadow Babies!