Widow's Hill Notes to Dark Shadows

By Graeme Cree

Horror / Humor

Episode 20

EPISODE 20: Taking Vicki to the Inn with him, Roger accuses Burke of sabotaging his car.

In her opening narration, Vicki tries to claim a metaphorical similarity between the roads of Collinsport and her own hidden past (apparently, both are twisty, turny, gravelly, and could use more stoplights).

Vicki and Roger enter the Coffee Shoppe. As you'll recall from the last episode, Roger was taking Vicki to the Inn as a witness against Burke, which is why Vicki was narrating about roads, which is why Roger is popping aspirins.

Vicki thinks the whole trip is a bad idea. She says that if Roger has evidence, he should go to the Police with it, not confront Burke on his own. Roger says that he would if this were a cop show, but it's a Gothic Romance. Vicki asks what's he going to do, kiss Burke?? Roger shoves a doughnut in her mouth.

Roger goes upstairs for the big showdown with Burke, but tells Vicki to wait downstairs as his Ace Hole... that is, his Ace in the Hole. After Roger leaves, Sam spots Vicki milling around, and tries to ply her with drink to get information, as he did with Bill in the last episode. Unfortunately, even Vicki can't be drunk under the table with Oolong Tea.

In his room, Burke is about to hit the sack, when Roger comes up and provides a more tempting target. Burke asks why Roger looks so banged and scraped up. He looks like he tried to give a cat a bath. At first, Roger won't explain what happened, or even why he's there. He even refuses a drink, causing Burke to wonder if aliens have abducted the real Roger.

Roger finally explains that he had an accident, and his car went off the road, and that, of course, he's come to discuss that so-called business that Burke had wanted to discuss. Also to bleed all over Burke's furniture.

At Evanswood, Sam returns home and greets a Now-Brunette Maggie. It turns out that's why Maggie wasn't in the Coffee Shoppe in the last episode. She'd called in sick to get herself de-wigged. Sam wants to know why Maggie missed an entire day's work for that. It doesn't take all day to remove a wig. ("You know that and I know it, but Mr. Wells doesn't know it!"). She also had the Bronx accent removed, and is having a dish of chocolate chip ice cream to soothe her vocal cords.

Speaking of Mr. Wells, he telephones Maggie at midnight, to report on Sam's activities. Sam is upset that Maggie is checking up on him, but she explains she was worried he might run out, after all that talk about leaving town in Episode 12. Sam insists that that was just throwaway dialogue. Maggie says she's very worried about whatever's going on between Burke, Roger and Sam. If she keeps up like this, she's going to wake up one day with grey hair. Sam says that's no problem, as long as Maggie still has the blonde wig.

Back at the Inn, Burke has just finished telling Roger that the business he wanted to discuss was about possibly buying the Collins Cannery. Roger doesn't believe that Burke called him to the Blue Whale for that. Liz would never sell the Cannery, she has too much pride, integrity, and family honor! Burke says he knows, that's why he wanted to talk to Roger instead.

Roger says that the whole story about wanting to discuss business was a sham. Burke just wanted to give Roger the business. Roger accuses Burke of sabotaging his car and using the business story to make sure that he'd be in it that night. Burke denies it. Seeing Roger dead is the last thing he wants! He wants a lot of other stuff before that. Roger phones downstairs to have his "secret weapon" sent up. Burke says that for Roger's sake, this secret weapon had better be a fist-proof vest.

To build up (or kill, I'm not sure which) tension before the big encounter, we switch back over to Sam and Maggie talking about more or less nothing. Sam has some preliminary artwork for a new series he wants to submit to ABC, called Dark Shadows. "It's all about life in a haunted house." "Oh, Pop!", Maggie groans.

With tension sufficiently built, we go back to the Inn. Roger's "secret weapon" turns out to be Vicki. Odd weapon, muses Burke, but maybe Roger could use her as a human shield or something.

Roger explains that Vicki's real purpose is to corroborate the fact that Burke was seen in the garage with a wrench just before the accident. Burke does remember being there, but proclaims his innocence. After all, why would someone with his money need to go after Roger personally, when it would be so much easier to just hire someone to do the job? To demonstrate the availability of local "talent", Burke picks up the Yellow Pages, and asks why he wouldn't have just called somebody like Rent-a-Thug, Goons "R" Us, International House of Mobsters, Hooligan Man, The Luigi Brothers, Local Gangster's Union #403, or even the newly opened Villains and Brigands and Crooks, Oh My!

Roger explains that, for one thing, all those companies are Collinsco subsidiaries! For another thing, if Burke didn't try to kill Roger, who else would have wanted to kill him? In answer, Burke puts down the Yellow Pages, and picks up the White.


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