Tuesday, 25 February 2014

Dark Shadows Episode 35

Ah Shadow Babies, it's good to see you again. Are you as intrigued as I am to find out what Joe is gonna do after finding Vicky W in Burke of the Chin's rooms? Are you desperate to see how Roger and Devil Child David co-exist now that the former knows the latter tried to kill him? Or maybe your biggest question is how long it will take for the writer to remember that Bill is a character that exists on this show?

Whichever of these questions you're wondering about, or maybe it's something else entirely, your best chance of finding out the answer is right here. Or I mean, you could watch the episode yourself. But  what are the chances of that happening, amirite?

Onwards, to episode 35!

My name is Victoria Winters. The hand of death brushed close to the house on Widows Hill, then moved away, stirring the musty air with it's touch, filling the corridors with the overwhelming scent of fear and hatred.

We begin, as is traditional whenever hatred is mentioned, with Devil Child David stalking his environment like a feral guinea pig.

Surveying his domain

The phone rings and it's Joe for Caroline, so of course he listens in to the whole thing. The call is basically Joe trying to have a bit of banter with the girl he loves and her going into a jealous rage over another man (Burke of the Chin) having a woman (Vicky W) in his hotel room; a fact Joe just casually drops , whereas I would have thought it would have been saved for a 'moment.' Shows what I know.

When Caroline confronts David about his eavesdropping, after telling Joe she's 'just not in the mood' to tell him she loves him and then hanging up on him, David just flat out ignores her, and scares the shit out of her when she tries to grab him. Like I said; feral. From there, the titles.

(Over the titles the announcer dude tells us that 'the character of Sam Evans will be played by...' so I'm assuming that a new actor is taking on the role. I'm a little upset by this, because Sam The Riddler has been one of my favourites in the past and his delivery of the portentous pseudo-intellectual philosophising bullshit dialogue he's been given to spout has been a real highlight. Can another actor match it?)

When we come back, David is pestering Caroline with denials of having listened to her call, despite her showing no interest in anything he has to say.

Caroline: What are you doing down here? I thought you were locked in your room.

David: Aunt Elizabeth unlocked it.

Caroline: That's too bad.

I've said it before but it bears repeating; I fucking love the completely unapologetic hatred so many characters have for the Devil Child. Even if I do worry it will send him into a murderous rage and he might try to batter Caroline to death with one of Vicky W's timetables.

It's at this point that David plays his masterstroke. He starts talking about how he knows Caroline likes Burke, and how he knows Vicky W is having dinner with Burke, and wouldn't it just be like Vicky W to only have dinner with Burke because she knows Caroline likes him? Caroline sees through his ruse of course, and insults him a few more times, but it's clear he's getting to her. Well played Devil Child, well played. Planting those mothafuckin seeds of discord like a Yorkshireman plants grapefruit.

Over at the cafe, Joe is looking miserable and feeling sorry for himself when who should walk in but...New Sam! We know it's New Sam because he asks where 'his daughter' Maggie is, rather than just Maggie, and Joe makes a point of calling him by name.

I already don't like him. Look at him there, being all different and not the same and shit. Make him go away!

He has a chat with Joe about hangover cures then heads up to Burke's room. Not once does he slip into pseudo-intellectual gobbledygook or pretentious premonitions; I fucking knew this guy didn't have it in him. I'm gonna miss Sam The Riddler. :(

Anyway, upstairs in his rooms Burke of the Chin is eating his romantic meal for two all alone when New Sam's knock at his door comes, and doesn't he look pissed off at being interrupted! He soon forgets to be annoyed at the interruption though; he's far too busy being annoyed at New Sam's inability to get to the point of his visit. I'm with Burke; Sam's conversation not making sense used to be fun, but now it's just dull.

Eventually we get to the gist. New Sam doesn't want to paint the portrait Burke has commissioned from him. Well, I say we get the gist; we don't know why he wants to back out. So, half the gist. The gi. We fade into an ad break as New Sam heads into Burke's kitchen to help himself to some booze. So chances are their next scene is gonna be even more garbled.

Over at the house Caroline is standing still with her arms folded, because she's being all deep in thought and shit, when the clock in the hall starts to chime. So of course she wanders out into the hall to stand and stare at it while it does so.

She'd do well in the unions
They always do that. Every time. I don't think they've quite cottoned on to the fact that when it's chiming is the only time you don't have to look at it for it to serve it's allotted function. Still, this was the 60's, they were a simpler people; maybe technology confuses them.

Would you believe it? At the very moment Caroline is in the hall watching the clock the front door opens and in walks Vicky W. CATFIGHT!!

Ok, not quite a catfight, but Caroline does get in some pretty pointed passive aggressive digs at Vicky W, who quickly figures out what the deal is and quite rightly points out that Caroline shouldn't be jealous because she barely knows Burke. Caroline is having none of this logic.

Sad Caroline is sad. Also adorable.
Even after Vicky W tells Caroline her reasons for being in Burke's room, Caroline continues with the snide comments. She's massively overreacting here, not to mention playing right into David's hands,and I don't like it. For all it's flaws, and there are many, this show has avoided straying too far into this kind of histrionics up until now.I mean, she even ends up throwing things across the room in a rage, for fucks sake.

Anyway, up in Burke's room New Sam is still being cagey about why he won't do Burke's portrait. It's all for naught though because in the time it took him to pour his drink Burke of the Chin has figured the whole thing out.

He's figured out that Sam is under pressure to turn down the commission; that Sam has been on edge ever since Burke got back to town;that Roger was intent on finding Sam the night Burke arrived... He's put it all together and decided that Sam knows something and that Roger doesn't want Burke to find out what it is so he's demanding that Sam decline the commission, so that he doesn't have to be around Burke and risk letting it slip.

Burke of the Chin, yo. Super sleuth.

Down in the cafe, Joe is still drinking coffee to try to beat his hangover; which makes me think Joe may be a bit of a lightweight; when New Sam comes trundling in and decides to give Joe a lecture about love and happiness, about marrying your girl and taking her away from all this, about the inevitability of death and the slow decay of moral certitude...

You've a good right to look bemused, Joe lad.

Gaaah! Destruction! It's come to live with us Joe! It's too late for me to escape it, but she can, and you can help her! Take her away Joe! While there's still time! Take her away!

For one glorious moment it's like the old Sam the Riddler had never left us.

Back up at the house Caroline is apologising profusely to Vicky W for her tirade. She knows she was in the wrong and is worried that if she keeps losing control she'll go as mad as the rest of her family, and eventually drive Vicky away. Vicky assures her that that won't happen, but after Caroline runs off to her room, and Vicky makes a quick call to Burke but gets no reply (they make a big deal of him not being in his room so chances are that'll be important next episode),  David comes in. And declares...

You're going to be sorry you ever came here!
He's a creepy little shit and no mistake.

And that's the end of the episode. How long will it take Burke to figure out what Sam knows? Will Joe listen to Sam and try to whisk Caroline out of town? And is Caroline destined to go as mad as her family? All intriguing questions, and all due to be answered, in about 96 episodes time.

Until next time, Shadow Babies. 

1 comment:

  1. I like the new sam. He is more believable as a father. That other guy I might have believed as someone accidentally getting a woman pregnant, but not as the father figure he was supposed to be.