Dark Shadows: End of Jeb

After the collapse of the Leviathan project, while his enemies among the former Leviathans are plotting their revenge, Jeb Hawkes makes plans to get as far from Collinsport as possible. He wants Carolyn to elope and come away with him. But it’s a big step for the girl–who is unaware of the even greater matrimonial danger she’s just missed stepping into–and while she makes up her mind, Jeb discovers he has other enemies.

Peter's ghost confronts Jeb First, the shadowy outline of a ghost that’s been haunting Jeb and the other Leviathans finally steps forward to reveal its identity. It’s Peter Bradford, with a noose around his neck and an extremely pissed-off attitude.

I’m sorry to say that the writers have been revising their backstory. Victoria Winters and Peter Bradford didn’t escape to the West in the 1790s after all. Vicky, it seems, was pushed off that Widow’s Hill cliff we keep hearing about by Jeb, presumably in an earlier Heavy Breather incarnation; Peter then killed Jeb and was sentenced to hang for it. This doesn’t fit at all with what happened the last time we saw those two in 1796, but it’s the story Peter gives us and Jeb now to explain why he’s come back for revenge.

Ghost-Peter says that he destroyed Jeb during that earlier time by pushing him off the same cliff into the sea and drowning him–the only way to destroy a real Leviathan. He promises that Jeb will die again in the same way very soon. Peter won’t be the one doing the pushing this time, but someone will.

On top of this, Angelique reappears and introduces herself to Jeb as Sky Rumson’s wife. Sky’s fortunes have taken a nose-dive since the Leviathans’ plans collapsed and he’s now hanging around with Nicholas and the remnants of their evil little group in Collinsport. But Angelique isn’t interested in getting back together with her husband. She means to destroy them all. Jeb first.

While chatting with Jeb, she cuts out a little figure from black paper with her nail scissors and places it on his chest. With the figure comes a curse.

Jeb and Carolyn do get married in the Collinwood drawing-room, with a local clergyman officiating instead of Nicholas. But just before the ceremony, Jeb sees that same little shape that Angelique cut out, cast like a shadow on the wall, doing a wriggly sort of hootchy-kootchy dance.

At his insistence, the young couple dashes away immediately after their wedding… but the figure pursues them wherever they go and grows larger every time it appears, which rather puts a damper on the honeymoon.

A ghostly figure does the hootchy-kootchy danceJeb refuses to stay at any hotel where they stop for the night once the shadow-shape shows up. They keep moving on, and eventually end up back at Collinwood. Elizabeth doesn’t have the carriage-house fixed up nice for them the way she’d hoped, but Jeb doesn’t want his brand new wife staying there with him anyway. He sends Carolyn sobbing back to her mother.

Carolyn sees the figure too, but doesn’t understand what it means. Jeb knows that when it gets big enough, it will kill him.

He pleads with Angelique to remove the spell, but she refuses. She’s lost her love and doesn’t see why anyone else should be happy. It isn’t until Nicholas congratulates her on the efficacy of her shadow-curse and thanks her for helping him that she finally relents. Helping Nicholas is the last thing Angelique wants.

She tells Jeb that the spell can’t be revoked, but that he can pass it on to someone else if he still has the paper cut-out that she first used on him. Fortunately for Jeb, he does. Angelique says that he must place the paper over someone else’s heart, and the shadow-shape will follow and destroy that person instead. Shades of M.R. James’s Casting the Runes!

Angelique suggests Nicholas Blair as a target.

Jeb does approach Nicholas under the guise of making amends–not that Nicholas is willing to welcome him back into the Leviathan fold, but it gives Jeb the opportunity to clap the paper cut-out onto Nicholas’s chest. The wriggling shadow pops up right away and dispatches him.

So, Jeb is successful in casting aside the curse, but it doesn’t increase his lifespan. Although Nicholas is dead, he was never a mortal man to begin with; before he returns to the Netherworld, he has time to tell the last of the Leviathans what happened to him. The last Leviathan is Sky Rumson, since all the rest of the hangers-on have been killed off one way or another by this time.

Sky, seeking revenge on Nicholas’s behalf, lures Carolyn out onto the Widow’s Hill cliff-edge and plans to throw her over. Jeb arrives in time to save her, but not to save himself; while the two men are struggling, Jeb falls off the cliff into the sea below, thus fulfilling Peter Bradford’s prediction.

Even though he’s never cared at all for Jeb, Barnabas Collins does care for Carolyn. He induces Sky to shoot himself and makes it look like suicide so that Carolyn will be safe.

That’s the last of the Leviathans.

While this plotline has been drawing to an end, a new one has been developing. Barnabas was wandering the empty east wing of Collinwood when he stumbled upon a room that sometimes appears empty and dusty, and sometimes is kept up with nice furniture and flowers, and a covered portrait over the mantelpiece.

When the room is furnished, he can see people inside it, although he isn’t able to pass through the open doorway–people not from the past, but from the present who couldn’t possibly be there. The first time, he sees Elizabeth and Julia even though he knows they’re elsewhere; the two women are dressed differently and do not behave as they usually would. Elizabeth is trying to clear some old clothes out of the wardrobe in the room, and Julia forbids her to touch them. This Julia Hoffman is clearly in charge of the household.

Angelique's parlor in the alternate universeOn subsequent visits to the room with Dr. Hoffman and Roger, Barnabas sees other scenes played out by alternate versions of the Collinses and people who live at Collinwood, excepting himself. They theorize that they are glimpsing what Professor Stokes calls a “parallel time-band” where their lives have played out differently. Over in that other Collinwood, a Quentin Collins owns the house, and the portrait over the mantelpiece is revealed to be that of his late wife, Angelique.

If there’s one thing I like more than seances or time travel, it’s alternate universes!

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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.