Widow's Hill Notes to Dark Shadows

By Graeme Cree

Horror / Humor

Episode 11

EPISODE 11: Carolyn brings Burke to Collinwood, claims he followed her home, and asks if she can keep him.

In our last exciting episode, Carolyn showed up at Collinwood with Burke Devlin in tow!! In later years, the show had cliffhangers that involved people rising as the Living Dead. Or being bricked into alcoves. Or passing into parallel dimensions. This early on, the cliffhangers are things like mysterious guys in raincoats walking into a house. (If Burke had been Columbo, we might have something here).

Viewer reaction may be pretty tepid, but Liz is apoplectic over what the two of them might have done alone together! Carolyn tries to calm Liz down. Don't worry, she and Burke didn't go off and get married, or anything. Sure, she has a little rice in her hair, but that's just from telling Maggie what she thought of the Lunch Special.

The viewers start to see Liz's fears a little better. Of course, she was worried about Carolyn and Burke shacking up. Or sneaking across the county line and getting married. We were so busy thinking of whatever threat Burke represents to the whole family that we didn't even think of that. Yeah okay, maybe this isn't that bad a cliffhanger after all. It would be better if Burke bared his fangs and revealed himself as a vampire, but I guess you can't have everything.

Carolyn explains that it was all innocent. Burke just drove her home (presumably leaving her own car back at the Inn, which doesn't make a lot of sense). Liz invites Burke in for tea, since she's been taught that you should always be polite to people until the moment before you're ready to kill them.

Liz and Burke set to talking. Burke isn't strapped to a bomb or anything, is he? Or have an eviction notice, or any kind of ultimatums to deliver, does he? Burke says no, that stuff is for losers. These days he's much more interested in making mountains of cash than in dwelling on what happened 10 years ago. Carolyn mentions that Burke is leaving for Venezuela in a few days, so he'd be out of Uncle Roger's hair soon, if Roger had any hair to get out of.

Burke looks miffed that she mentioned that, and says that Carolyn talks too much, to which Liz agrees wholeheartedly. Carolyn is annoyed. She'd wanted Burke and Liz to get along, but not like this!

Burke admits it's true. He's just in town for a few days to see the old home town, visit a few friends, and then he'll be on a plane and off into the wild grey yonder again. Carolyn brags that Burke is quite the traveler, and has been around the world. Liz says that's great, just as long as he didn't go round the world with YOU!

Sam staggers into the inn, half sloshed, and studies Mr. Wells curiously. Sam seems to remember seeing Mr. Wells somewhere before, but can't remember if it was in Maude or Diff'rent Strokes.

Mr. Wells offers Sam lots of black coffee to sober him up before he's arrested for being drunk and/or disorderly. [Note: In the early days of this series, coffee is a cure-all. Later on, it's sedatives.]

Sam isn't interested in being sobered up until Mr. Wells lets slip that he saw Burke and Carolyn together, and may be willing to drop a little gossip in exchange for a little sobriety, so Sam makes the Supreme Sacrifice.

One commercial later, Mr. Wells and Sam are talking. Actually, Mr. Wells is doing most of the talking, and seems to have the ability to talk for long periods of time without saying anything (he used to be a barber). Every time Sam asks him a Yes/No question, Mr. Wells answers with an essay. By the time Mr. Wells gets to the point, Sam is stone cold sober. It seems that Carolyn came to the Inn and visited Burke, and they both left together, arm in arm. When Sam hears this, he goes out and gets drunk again. (Did anyone not see that coming?)

Back at Collinwood, Burke is talking about his travels round the world. In fact, he's got 15 carousels of slides in his trunk, if Liz would like to see them. (Looks like his revenge has started already).

Liz says no thanks, so the conversation turns to Collinwood. Burke beats around the bush about maybe buying it some day, or something like it. Liz drags Carolyn out into the hall to have a Mother/Daughter discussion with her. What's this about Burke going to Venezuela?? Carolyn says yes, he's got to leave in two days to close a fried chicken franchise deal. She found that out at the inn when she went through Burke's clothes. Liz says that Burke had better not have been in them at the time!

At the Inn, Mr. Wells catches Sam making prank calls to the Blue Whale. It seems that Seymour Butz, and Hugh Jass aren't there, but Al Coholic is.

At Collinwood, Liz and Carolyn are entertaining Burke again. Burke beats around the bush about maybe buying Collinwood some day, and asks how much it would cost to build Collinwood now? Burke's guess of $200,000 leaves modern viewers saying "Toto, I don't think we're in the 21st century any more." Liz explains that Burke can't buy Collinwood because she hasn't left the house in 18 years, and throwing herself into the deal would jack up the price. Burke says that's okay, maybe he'll get a similar place. Liz asks what he'd call his house? Devlinwood? It sounds like a Speed Reading Course!

At the Inn, Sam calls Collinwood, asking for Jacques Strappe, hears Burke's voice in the background, and fears that all heck is about to break loose! Good thing this show is rated TVG, or it could be something even worse.

Back at Collinwood, Burke ask where's good old Roger. It'd be a shame to leave town without seeing him. Burke wanted to tell him to his face that he's not back for revenge. Burke starts to wax philosophical. Isn't it funny? For years he wanted to get away from Collinsport and couldn't. Then he went to prison and wanted to come back, and couldn't. Isn't that funny? Okay, maybe it's not that funny, but when you're in stir, laughs are hard to come by, and you take what you can get. But we all have our prisons, don't we? Some are emotional. Some are metaphorical... Some have iron bars, concrete walls, and a malodorous cell mate named Butch!

Joe Haskell telephones, and Carolyn tells him the good news! All the ghosts are gone from Collinwood now. (What? Quentin, Josette, Gerard, and all the others gone just because Burke and Liz had tea without killing each other? It doesn't make much sense to me either. And what kind of cliffhanger is that anyway? You're supposed to end a show by saying that there are ghosts in the house, not that there aren't.)

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