Dark Shadows: Vampire Follies

And other plots to catch up on.

Elizabeth collapses on Peter Bradford's graveThe last time we saw Elizabeth Collins Stoddard, she’d been declared dead after collapsing in the cemetery, but it turned out she wasn’t dead after all. At least, this cataleptic episode has convinced Dr. Hoffman and Vicky that Elizabeth’s fears of being buried alive aren’t entirely unfounded. We don’t get her brother Roger’s reaction.

Vicky and the doctor discuss what will happen if Elizabeth has another attack of catalepsy. How can they be sure she isn’t really dead? It seems to me the wisest thing to do is keep her around in some cool but not too cold part of the house until her- um- physical condition makes it absolutely certain that she’s gone. But perhaps that idea’s a little too gross for this show, in spite of the number of undead persons already wandering around.

Regarding one such person, Professor Stokes, Dr. Hoffman, and Barnabas Collins haven’t lost sight of the theory that the recently created Eve has been given the soul of an 18th-century French murderess. They believe that she and Adam are staying over at Nicholas’s house (which they are) and have formed a plan to go over there and kill her before she has a chance to do anything evil.

Even though all three are apprehensive about it, and Julia Hoffman even has a dream warning her of disaster, they go ahead. Barnabas invites Nicholas over for dinner, then makes an excuse to leave and see how Elizabeth is while Julia and the professor chat for a very long time with his guest. Instead of going to Collinwood, Barnabas breaks into Nicholas’s house.

Vampire Angelique He doesn’t find Eve nor Adam at home (Maybe they’ve gone out to the movies?). He does, however, find Angelique waiting for him, fangs and all. Nicholas was aware of the plan all the time and had this little trap set up. Once Angelique has bitten Barnabas, she gains power over him; he must come when she calls, but Nicholas won’t let her turn him back into a vampire.

Now that she has a new toy to play with, Angelique tosses her last victim, Joe Haskell, aside. Poor Joe has lost everything due to her influence over him–his job, his engagement to Maggie, much of his sanity–and his response to this dismissal is a suicide attempt right in Nicholas’s living room.

Angelique summons Barnabas for the first time to take Joe out of the house and finish him off in the woods somewhere, but Barnabas instead takes the injured man home and has Dr. Hoffman patch him up. The doctor doesn’t know yet what’s happened to Barnabas, but Joe’s seen the bites on his neck and realizes that Barnabas is the one Angelique threw him over for. In spite of Barnabas’s saving his life, he’s madly jealous.

Meanwhile, Adam has rather naively taken Eve over to Collinwood to introduce her to the girl he truly loves, Carolyn. Eve is, not surprisingly, as contemptuous of Carolyn as she is of Adam and leaves the two in the empty west wing to walk home by herself.

Out in the garden, something surprising does happen. Eve sees Jeff Clark, who’s waiting for Vicky, and cries out, “Peter! Peter Bradford!”

Since Jeff has just had a conversation with young David Collins about how he isn’t Peter Bradford and even lost his temper over it, hearing this name shouted by a woman he’s never seen before comes as a shock. Eve tells him that they knew each other in 1795–she saw him die on the gallows and can’t believe he doesn’t remember her, although she has to admit that she looks different now. He looks just the same.

Roger will catch Eve kissing Jeff in the garden, and of course doesn’t believe Jeff’s story that this strange, crazy lady in a black negligee claims to know him from a past life. Roger threatens to tell Vicky, but chickens out when it comes to the point. I think she’d believe the truth if Jeff told it to her himself, but he’s always been too craven to tell her anything weird that’s going on with him and it’s affected their relationship before this incident.

Skeletal brideThat night, Roger will dream about Vicky’s wedding; he escorts the veiled bride down the stairs at Collinwood and into the drawing room, where Jeff awaits.

When the veil is lifted, the face revealed isn’t Vicky’s, but that of the skeletal bride everyone saw in that dream curse awhile back.

When Eve returns to Nicholas’s house, she quarrels with him. I thought she was lying when she said she didn’t remember who she really was before she woke up in the lab, but it turns out that’s true. Recognizing Peter/Jeff is the real first memory she’s had of her previous life. When she tells Nicholas about Peter’s/Jeff’s reincarnation, he says that there are “forces at work that I don’t know about.” He agrees to cast a spell to bring back some more of Danielle Roget’s memories.

We get a flashback to 1795, a scene in which Danielle confesses to Peter that she’s murdered her jealous ex-lover, Philippe Cordet, to keep him from killing Peter now that she loves him. Peter is repulsed that she can commit murder so easily (I assume he doesn’t know that she’s already racked up a pretty high body count in France.) He says that he’s going to inform the authorities, but he’ll give her a day to get out of Collinsport first. The actress playing Danielle in this scene, by the way, is the same woman who plays Eve (Marie Wallace), and not the woman who played the ghostly Danielle and her brief incarnation as Leona Eltridge a few weeks earlier.

Because Eve is more interested in Jeff than Adam, not to mention Adam’s love for Carolyn, Nicholas decides it’s time to get Eve and Adam out of Collinsport so that he can use them to fulfill his own insidious plans before their emotions get in the way. He’s too late for that already. But there’s one other person he wants to go with them: Maggie Evans. The evil guy’s intentions are honorable–he actually goes over to her cottage to propose marriage, but doesn’t mention their unusual traveling companions.

Maggie refuses. She’s flattered and even somewhat inclined to accept the offer, but doesn’t feel she can just leave town when Joe is recovering from his suicide attempt. In spite of their broken engagement, she still has some feelings for him.

Nicholas decides that the best way over this obstacle is to kill Joe. Via Angelique, Barnabas is directed to poison the young man who’s still at the old house up in Josette’s bedroom, being looked after by Dr. Hoffman. Fortunately, the doctor has had enough hints by this point to suspect what’s going on with Barnabas and pockets the poisoned bottle of medicine before any harm is done.

She’s also figured out that both men are under a vampire’s influence. She and Willie Loomis try to protect Barnabas by locking him up in that little dungeon room in the basement where he once kept Maggie and, later on, Adam. Barnabas doesn’t stay there very long; he knows about the secret panel that leads to a tunnel down to the beach, and they don’t.

Once he’s out, Angelique takes Barnabas to a shack in the woods near the shore, where she intends to drain him dry and turn him back into a vampire in spite of Nicholas’s explicit instructions not to do that. Well, she’s always had her own agenda where Barnabas is concerned. She isn’t able to finish him off that night; dawn is approaching and she has to go back to her coffin and leave him unattended.

After daybreak, he summons the strength to crawl out of the shack and wander into the woods. He can’t go home because he knows she’ll look for him there, and can’t seek Dr. Hoffman’s or Professor Stokes’s help because those are the people he’s most likely to go to. So instead he chooses Vicky. He sends her a psychic message–and Vicky receives it!

Following an impulse she can’t explain, Vicky goes out into the woods, finds Barnabas there, and helps him back to Collinwood. She hides him in the empty west wing–same room as Adam used to hide in. I didn’t think Vicky knew anything about that, but maybe Carolyn’s told her.

Barnabas clutches a cross Anyway, once Barnabas is tucked in, he refuses all medical assistance but asks Vicky to bring him a cross. She fetches a big golden one, which he clutches to his chest as if his life depended on it.

He doesn’t tell her anything about Angelique, which is a pity. I’ve been hoping for some time that someone will tell Vicky about the vampires in Collinsport, because I’d love to see her become The Slayer before she leaves the show.

That other vampire-hunting lady, Dr. Hoffman, has been searching for Barnabas since she found the dungeon room in the basement empty. She questions Joe, telling him she knows there are vampires in town, but doesn’t know the identity of the one who’s been biting him and Barnabas.

Joe isn’t able to betray Angelique while he’s still under her spell, but he can tell the doctor to stay away from Nicholas Blair’s house. That’s enough to confirm her suspicions that Nicholas is protecting the vampire in question.

Does Julia Hoffman stay away from Nicholas’s house? She does not. Declaring that they “must have a showdown,” she heads right over to confront him. She tells him what she knows about the vampire he’s sheltering and what he doesn’t know about Barnabas’s condition. He denies it all, but she doesn’t believe him anyway and lurks in the bushes outside to see who comes out after nightfall. Disappointingly, the first person she sees is Nicholas himself, going out on a date with Maggie.

When Angelique awakes a little later and tries to summon Barnabas, the cross he’s clutching gets in the way of her power over him. She can see this through the magic mirror Nicholas uses to spy on people, and sends Adam over to take it from Barnabas. While Adam has developed intellectually in many respects, in some ways he’s still just a big, stupid lug and doesn’t realize that Barnabas’s destruction is also his own. He does as Angelique asks, and Barnabas once again is compelled to come out and get bitten. Angelique emerges from the house to meet him, and Dr. Hoffman sees her.

Angelique is just getting her teeth into Barnabas, meaning to finish him off for good this time, when she has to stop again. Dawn already? That was a short night.

Nicholas returns at sunrise from what must’ve been a pretty hot date, and finds Adam dying on the floor as Barnabas is dying out in the woods. Fortunately, Julia returns at that moment, bringing a wooden stake for Angelique. “Where’s the coffin?” she asks.

She gives Adam a shot, which also revives Barnabas enough so that he can call for help and Willie finds him, then tells Nicholas what has to be done regarding his vampiric lady-friend. She leaves the stake on the table, and Nicholas acknowledges that she’s right–he can’t control Angelique. She isn’t to be trusted and her desire to get back at Barnabas will ruin all his plans.

So he picks up the stake and a great, big hammer and heads into that hidden basement room where he keeps Angelique’s coffin…

Only it’s empty. She’s gone to hide somewhere else, and taken that magic mirror so he can’t locate her.

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Author: Kathryn L Ramage

Kathryn L. Ramage has a B.A. and M.A. in English lit and has been writing for as long as she can remember. She lives in Maryland with three calico cats named after the Brontë sisters. In addition to being the author of numerous short stories, reviews, essays, and period mystery novellas, she is also the author of a series of fantasy novels set in a dukedom called the Northlands on an alternate Earth whose history has diverged from ours somewhere during the medieval period.