Widow's Hill Notes to Dark Shadows

By Graeme Cree

Horror / Humor

Episode 3

EPISODE 3: Vicki meets Liz's daughter, Carolyn. Roger hunts desperately for Sam Evans without bothering to tell the viewers why.

On the poorer side of Collinsport, Roger drives up in a Ford Mustang, complete with racing stripe on the hood. It looks like the kind of car Roger wouldn't be caught dead in, which, in this town, is serious business. Roger runs up to the front door of a house and bangs angrily for a drunken bum to answer the door, but none does.

Back at Collinwood, Vicki is writing a letter to her mother. A letter which she won't be able to deliver until she finds out who her mother is. Of course, when she finds her mother, she can just talk to her, and won't need a letter. Vicki crumples it up.

A blonde knocks on Vicki's door, and introduces herself as Liz's Bad Girl Daughter, Carolyn, come to welcome Vicki to The House of Usher (apparently, on top of everything else, Collinwood has a weak foundation). Carolyn also says she's come to help Vicki pack. Not unpack: pack. She assumes that once Vicki met David, she decided to leave again. Vicki says she hasn't met David yet, so there. And one way or the other, she'd better unpack before she packs, otherwise there'd be no reason to pack. Carolyn decides that Vicki is either really smart or really stupid, but isn't sure which.

Carolyn advises Vicki to leave town anyway. She'd wanted Vicki to come to help keep her company with all the other kooks around here. But if Vicki becomes one of the kooks too, she wouldn't be able to keep Carolyn company against herself. Vicki decides that Carolyn is either really smart or really stupid.

Carolyn asks who at Collinwood Vicki has met so far. Vicki mentions Roger, about whom Carolyn is quite enthusiastic. According to Carolyn, Roger has more charm in his right earlobe than the rest of town combined. (Vicki says she's never heard anyone "wax" ecstatic about someone's ears.) Vicki tries to ply Carolyn for information about Burke Devlin. Carolyn appears to be really interested in Burke herself, but claims to know nothing about him. (Or does she?)

At the Blue Whale, Burke is standing around, waiting for his first scene. He has another drink while he waits.

At the Coffee Shoppe, Roger is asking Maggie about her father (aka the Drunken Bum). Doesn't he pick Maggie up after work? Maggie says no, the sailors at the Blue Whale usually try to do that. Roger says that he desperately wants to find Maggie's father... er, because he might have a buyer for one of his paintings. That's the ticket! Maggie says Sam probably tied one on last night, and that Roger should have gone up to the house and banged on the door for Sam to answer. They banter around for a few more minutes until they're absolutely sure that the viewers have gotten the idea that Sam is the Town Drunk.

Roger asks if Maggie knows anything about Burke Devlin. Maggie gives a short (for a change) expository speech about how Burke is a big tipper who has rented three rooms on the Top Floor of the building (the Continental Suite, the Bridal Suite, AND the Presidential Suite). Nobody in Collinsport had ever rented the Presidential Suite before! And nobody had ever rented the Bridal Suite, either. At least not for more than an hour.

Maggie finally says that she can't help Roger find Sam, and would he please finish his coffee and pie, because she closes in 5 minutes. Roger asks if he can't return the unused portion for a full refund. Maggie says that this is food, not medicine. But, judging by the looks of it, that's debatable.

At Collinwood, Carolyn and Vicki are looking at the portraits in the Drawing Room. Carolyn is in a nightie, and Vicki is in a bathrobe. (Note: The existence of a bathrobe logically implies the existence of a bathroom, but no such thing exists on 60's TV, making the bathrobe an anomaly.)

Carolyn shows Vicki the portrait of Isaac Collins, the man who started it all in the 1600's. Vicki says she thought Dan Curtis started it all. Carolyn explains how Isaac Collins came over from England and bought Collinsport from the Indians for $24 worth of brandy. Historians still regard this as the most one-sided deal in the history of the colonies. Unfortunately, by the time Isaac realized he'd been taken, the Indians had already drunk all of the brandy. Carolyn shows her some of the other portraits. Jeremiah Collins, who built Collinwood. Quentin Collins, who lounged around all day chasing floozies and drinking. And Dave Collins, who played Left Field for the Cincinnati Reds.

As Carolyn and Vicki talk, the doors to the Drawing Room open by themselves, with a loud squeak that seems to say "Oil Me". This being Dark Shadows, both Carolyn and Vicki expect to see a host of vampires, werewolves, zombies and other creatures pouring through the door, but none do. The door just opens by itself, that's all. Oh well, I guess that's scary too. Kind of. In the early days of the show, this is the kind of thing that's going to constitute suspense.

At the Blue Whale, Burke is trying to bribe Joe Haskell. $2375.48, the down payment on a new boat, in exchange for information about the Collins family. Joe admits that he's been dreaming of buying a boat and going into business for himself, but that he isn't willing to betray his friends (not for a mere down payment, at least!)

At the Coffee Shoppe, a guy who looks like Bluto after Slim-Fast walks in. It turns out to be Bill Malloy, the manager of the Collins Fishing Fleet. Although he never says "Argh, me hearties", I feel like saying it every time I look at him.

Bill is there, looking for Rrrrroger, to tell him the news that Burke Devlin has returned to town, and it could mean trouble. Roger feigns disinterest, even boredom at Burke's return. Funny, in the last episode, he lost his lunch when Vicki told him about it. Come to think of it, that's probably why he came to the Coffee Shoppe; to get his lunch back. The plot is making perfect sense right now. Bill tells Roger that if he's not worried about this, then he's either really brave or really stupid. From their conversation, we don't learn why Burke's return is a big deal, but we do learn that Burke is a) Rich, b) an ex-con, c) blames the Collins family for his troubles, and d) was really funny on Dharma and Greg.

Back at the Blue Whale, Burke is still trying to sell Joe on the whole bribe idea. Burke tries to tell Joe about how he got his own big start by accepting a proposition from a sailor in a bar, but we mercifully hear none of the details. Malloy comes in at that moment, and chews Joe out for sitting around in a bar on a workday. "That tuna won't catch itself, you know." Joe tries to object that he saw a TV commercial about a tuna that DID try to catch itself. ("Sorry Charlie, only the best tuna gets to be Collinskist.")

When Joe leaves, Bill sits down to talk with Burke. What was Burke talking to Joe about just now? Burke says oh, nothing. Just making him an offer he couldn't refuse. Unfortunately, he refused it. Bill warns Burke that trying to bribe any of their workers won't do any good. They've got a motto in the tuna business, you know: Oil is thicker than blood.

Burke insists that he didn't really want to bribe Joe, only stir things up. Joe will go tell Carolyn what he said. Carolyn will tell it to Roger, and then the ghosts will start moving around Collinwood again. Not just ghosts, but everything this show will later be famous for: vampires, werewolves, Phoenixes, witches, warlocks, the whole nine yards. That's a best case scenario, of course. For now, it will be enough if the story is just scary enough to make Roger wet himself.

Malloy implores Burke to leave the Collins family alone. They haven't done anything to Burke... Well, that is, they probably won't do anything else to Burke... Er... They're probably sorry for what they did to Burke! Bill stops there, before he digs himself in any deeper.

Back at Collinwood, Vicki has barely recovered from the terrifying Open Door Incident, when she suddenly finds a letter on her bed! It's her letter, but Vicki swears she locked it up in her bureau drawer. Now it's lying on the bed. Either she's getting forgetful, or they've got the world's laziest poltergeist on their hands.


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