Dark Shadows: Ends of Old Plots

Alexandra Moltke has gone, but Victoria Winters hangs around for awhile in one form or another while her story and some other long-running plots are wound up.

Adam didn’t kill her when he stormed over to Collinwood after he saw that Eve was irretrievable lost, but instead kidnapped her from her bedroom to take her back to the lab. Since he also throttled Carolyn and knocked her down to the floor when she tried to defend her friend from him, I assume that romance is at an end.

The red-headed skeletonStrapping Vicky down on the gurney next to the skeleton wearing a red-headed wig that used to be his girlfriend, he zapped her a few times with the intent to torture her to death, but Barnabas put a stop to it in time by shooting Adam. They both know what killing Adam would mean for Barnabas, but Barnabas was willing to take the risk for Vicky’s sake.

Adam wasn’t killed either, but fled from the old house and sought refuge with Professor Stokes. In spite of everything he’s been up to lately, the professor tended to his gunshot wound and hid him in a back bedroom. That was about a month ago by the show’s air dates, and he hasn’t been seen since. Since Barnabas didn’t revert to vampirism, I assume Adam’s still alive.

Angelique also disappeared for a long period after Nicholas was summoned back to Hell by their satanic boss.

Jeff Clark, who had been arrested for the murder of Eve, was released once Roger Collins provided him with an alibi. (“It’s all right, officer. He was with me at the time, up at the cemetery digging up a 180-year-old grave. Why? Well, that’s a long story…” We don’t actually see Roger say this, but the idea of it made me laugh so hard I frightened the cats.)

Vicky married Jeff, but they only got as far as sipping champagne on their wedding night before the past overwhelmed him and he was drawn back into his previous existence, disappearing before her eyes in a very bad blue-screen effect.

For some time afterward, Vicky insisted that she could sense his presence around her, as if he were trying to contact her. Her friends of course thought this was only wishful thinking and delusion. Barnabas even proposed to her again on the expectation that they’d seen the last of Jeff/Peter… but then he popped in again that same night and Vicky went with her true love back into the past. Which upset Barnabas and Elizabeth Stoddard-Collins, who were there to witness this event.

Speaking of delusions and Elizabeth, the Collins family matriarch was so upbeat and non-death-obsessed lately that I was beginning to think that the show intended to drop this storyline. Then Angelique, in the guise of dark-wig-wearing Cassandra, appeared to her in a dream and reminded her that she was going to drop into a catatonic state and her family would bury her alive. This puts Elizabeth right back in her death-obsessed mode.

After settling a few things, like hiring Maggie Evans to replace Vicky as governess, she did indeed drop down one evening. Her family thinks she’s dead, but Carolyn’s heard enough of her mother’s fears to refuse to have her buried, just in case. Barnabas backs her up on this, and Roger is away on a trip somewhere so he can’t interfere while they (and we) wait to see what happens.

WerewolfI won’t go into the new storyline involving Chris the Werewolf (twin brother to Tom the Vampire), since the guy irritates me, except to note that one of his victims was his cousin Joe Haskell. This gives Joe the dubious distinction of having been beaten up by a Frankenstein-style man-made monster, bitten by a vampire, and attacked by a werewolf, and survived all three. It’ll be a mummy next.

Is it any wonder poor Joe’s sanity has slipped away?

Chris’s little sister Amy has gone to live at Collinwood and has had a more interesting adventure than his. Since her arrival at the house, David befriended her and took her around to all his favorite places in the abandoned west wing.

When the two children first found an old fashioned telephone–the kind where the mouthpiece sits on top of a little pole about 10 inches high and the earpiece is on a cord–they struck up a conversation with a ghostly presence. It’s not one of the ghosts David’s been friends with since the beginning, but a new one previously unheard of from the Collins family history circa 1900. His name is Quentin and he seems to have been an evil fellow who is still bent on revenge against the present-day Collinses.

Guided by his spirit, the children located the remains of his body in a sealed-up room, along with a hand-cranked phonograph that still plays his favorite song whenever he wants to make his presence felt. The kids buried the skeleton at Quentin’s request, carrying it out of the house in a big box they told the grown-ups David finds a skeleton in a hidden roomwas a toy chest.

They’ve also done a few other things he’s requested, like rig up a wire on the stairs to trip up Roger and lure and trap a psychic Elizabeth bought into the house in Quentin’s room so he could scare her to death.

Quentin also possesses David from time to time to make him all evil, but the kid doesn’t really convey it well, just squinting up his eyes and speaking more slowly and deliberately. Besides, this isn’t the first time David’s tried to kill his father.

At least, the little girl playing Amy is a decent actor, better than the child who played Sarah. She also looked familiar, so I went and looked her up on IMDB. Yep, just a couple of years after this, she will turn into a giant blueberry and the Oompa Loompas will roll her away singing a cautionary song about excessive gum-chewing.

Barnabas and Maggie discuss what to do about the childrenAfter Elizabeth’s supposed death, Barnabas formed a plan to take the two kids to Boston and see about getting them into a school there; Chris the Werewolf agreed to this to get his sister safely away from himself. However, Quentin needs them to stay at Collinwood so they can carry out his plans to destroy the family or whatever it is he’s after, so he gives them instructions to do little things to frighten the adults to delay their proposed trip. Their packed suitcases, for example, are “mysteriously” unpacked and the clothes put back in the closet.

A note supposedly from Vicky, asking for help, turns up in that music box of Josette’s.

I thought at first that this was the kids’ work as well, but a couple more incidents beyond their abilities occur: an image of Vicky with a noose around her neck appears in a photograph David takes of Barnabas and Carolyn; a gravestone with her name, the date 1796, and the word “hanged as a witch” shows up in the cemetery.

Photograph of Vicky hangedBarnabas is convinced that Vicky is calling out to him from the past to save her from this fate. So even if Quentin and the children aren’t responsible, they get what they wanted anyway and the trip to Boston is cancelled.

Barnabas has some lengthy discussions with Dr. Hoffman about how he can possibly travel back into the past, but since the late Eve did it just a little while ago, the outcome is no surprise. He decides that the point where he made his big mistake was in killing the scoundrel Nathan Forbes. Once Nathan learned that Barnabas was a vampire, he tried to stake him through the heart with a wooden arrow shot from a crossbow, but missed, and Barnabas bit him. To remind the audience of these events which aired nearly a year before, they show the key scenes in flashback, narrated by Barnabas. Barnabas realizes that what he should’ve done instead was make Nathan retract his testimony against Vicky and Peter Bradford, thus saving them both from hanging.

So back he goes for 48 hours to set right what went wrong. He knows he’ll be a vampire while he’s there, but doesn’t know if he’ll be human again when he returns to 1969.

Victoria Winters - Hanged as a WitchHe arrives in 1796. The show writers have changed the date; I don’t know why, since we’re in the middle of the same events that occurred in 1795 the last time we heard about them. Vicky and Peter are locked up in the Collinsport jail awaiting unjust execution. Naomi Collins, Barnabas’s mom, has just poisoned herself on discovering that her son is a vampire. Cousin Millicent, recently wed to the dastardly Nathan, has completely flipped out, and Joshua  Collins is trying his best to restore some order to what remains of his family.

Barnabas plays out his scenes again with Nathan Forbes, first threatening him, then dodging the crossbow arrow he knows is aimed at his heart. He bites Nathan as before, but this time around doesn’t kill him, only puts the man under his control to force him to write a retraction of his testimony. This is enough to free Peter, but there’s still too much other trumped-up evidence against Vicky to save her; even Joshua’s influence can do nothing for her. Barnabas has to try some other means to rescue Vicky before she goes to the gallows.

That’s when we find out what happened to Angelique. She too has been sent back into the 1790s, presumably by her master; she is no longer a vampire and has her witchly powers restored, although she says she can’t return to the twentieth century. She makes a bargain with Barnabas: if he will stay here with her, then she will cast a spell over Vicky that will make everyone think she’s dead so that Peter can sneak her safely out of town.

When Barnabas visits Vicky in the jail, she’s now played by a different actress–not the same one who replaced Alexandra Moltke and disappeared with Jeff/Peter a few episodes earlier. She knows that she did return to her own time for a few months, met Jeff/Peter again in 1968, and voluntarily returned to this time period; she would rather die here with him than live without him. She tells Barnabas so, although she still doesn’t realize that 1790s Barnabas and 1960s Barnabas are the same person.

Vicky's hangingPeter’s newly gained freedom makes her listen to Barnabas’s plans, since she doesn’t want to die while her love remains alive. She trusts Barnabas enough to go out quietly with the jailers and stand on the gallows, refusing the hood the hangman put over her head before.

Angelique had told Barnabas that Vicky would fall down, apparently dead, before the noose went around her neck. But that’s not what happens. Angelique’s gone back on her word. What a surprise.

While Barnabas speaks her name in anguished, pleading tones and Peter struggles with the jailers, Vicky hangs.

It’s only later, after they’ve conveyed Vicky’s body back to Collinwood to prepare her for burial that Angelique shows up. Speaking to the presumed corpse alone in a room, she announces that Vicky isn’t dead after all and won’t be until after the men who love her bury her alive. It’s the same thing she’s done to Elizabeth, which shows a woeful lack of imagination.

Her revenge backfires, however. Barnabas and his trusty servant Ben Stokes decide to play Burn Witch, Burn to get rid of her. Angelique tries to tell Barnabas what she’s done to Vicky and that she’ll only release her from the spell if he does what she wants, but after her last trick, he doesn’t believe her. They set fire to her.

Is this the end of Angelique? I’m not believing it.

It looks like the end of Vicky–and for once it’s a happy ending. After Angelique goes up in flames, it seems her spell is broken. Vicky awakes and Barnabas sees her and Jeff off away from Collinsport as soon as possible. They plan to head “out West”; given the time period, that would be the far end of Pennsylvania. It’s nice that things worked out for them.

Now that Barnabas’s very busy 48 hours in 1796 have ended, he goes back to the spot in the cemetery where he first appeared in this time period, expecting to return to 1969 and find Dr. Hoffman waiting there for him. Nothing happens. Next, he tries going back to his coffin in the hidden room at the back of the family vault, theorizing that the doctor might find him there.

Others find him first. Josette’s aunt the countess (whom I thought had returned to Martinique after Josette’s death, but here she still is) and ditzy, half-crazy Millicent, egged on by information Nathan’s given them about vampires, open the coffin and prepare to stake him while he sleeps.

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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.