Widow's Hill Notes to Dark Shadows

By Graeme Cree

Horror / Humor

Episode 7

EPISODE 7: Roger tries to ensure that Sam will be covering his back in the upcoming battle with Burke.

Sam Evans trudges through the stock footage of Collinsport and into his studio home. Just as he's about to go for the hooch, a hand grabs him on the shoulder. For a moment, he's afraid it's the Temperance League. It turns out to be Roger, which makes that guess as wrong as it could possibly be. Roger tells Sam to put down the booze. He wants to talk to Sam, and doesn't want him drunk. Unfortunately, like most people, Sam can't deal with Roger sober, so fill 'er up.

The more Roger questions him, the more Sam drinks. The more he drinks, the more he spouts philosophical non-sequitors, imagining them to be very clever. For example, when Roger comments that Sam wasn't there yesterday, Sam replies that even when he's there, he's not there! Profound, huh? But only after the third drink.

Anyway, Roger questions Sam. He came looking for Sam in Episode 3, but nobody was here. Sam says don't blame him. His part wasn't even cast then. He only signed his contract last night. Roger asks if Sam knew that Burke Devlin was back in town. Sam says of course he knew. That's why he was gone last night. He needed time to think. And do other things that rhyme with think.

Roger says that Burke has come back to town to get revenge against him, and demands to know what Sam is going to say to Burke about you-know-what. (Sam and Roger know what, but they aren't ready to let us know yet). Sam says that he is what he has become. Or, in other words, after having done the wrong thing all these years, there wouldn't be any point in doing the right thing now. Roger says that's a coincidence. That's the same excuse he always uses for not starting his diet.

At the Coffee Shoppe, Burke is reading the newspaper, checking up on his investments and Little Orphan Annie (though not in that order). Burke nearly freaks out when the waitress knows exactly what he wants before he orders it! What is she?? Some kind of spy??? Maggie says no, no, switch to decaf! And put that gun away! Maggie explains that Burke knows her as well as she knows him, he just doesn't remember. Maggie tells Burke to try to imagine her with no lipstick, no makeup, pigtails, and lots of freckles. This doesn't help Burke remember, but does make him cancel his breakfast order.

Maggie helps Burke out by telling him how he used to pose for her Pop. Remember? He used to paint pictures of Burke in a Little Lord Fauntleroy outfit to sell to tourists. Burke remembers now. "Oh, yeah! You're Sam's daughter!" Burke gives Maggie a $50 tip for a breakfast he never ate, in exchange for her never mentioning those pictures again.

Vicki walks into the Coffee Shoppe, asking for change to use the telephone. When she leaves, Maggie starts gossiping about her. Has Burke met the new girl yet? She actually took a job up at Collinwood. Imagine anyone wanting to live there. Maggie tells Burke that you couldn't pay her a hundred bucks a day to live in that spooky joint. Burke gets the syrup in his lap when he comments that it looks like you couldn't pay her to work around here either.

Back at the Evans Cottage, Roger is still giving Sam the Third Degree. What was the big deal of going to Collinwood yesterday? Sam explains that he only went there to warn Roger that Burke was back in town. And nobody saw him except that new girl, Miss Winters. Sam didn't tell her anything important. Just the story of Josette Collins. You know, how everybody hated her, even the house? Roger tells Sam not to go to Collinwood again. With Burke back, it's important that nobody think they're in any kind of cahoots. (How many kinds of cahoots are there, anyway??) That's why when Roger came by yesterday, he was clever enough to call Sam a drunken bum in a loud voice, so that none of the neighbors would think they were friends.

Back at the Coffee Shoppe, Burke and Vicki are chatting. It’s the usual banter. Burke is asking if Vicki would like to join him in a cup of coffee, and Vicki is asking if they'll both fit. Vicki can't understand why she can't get through to the Foundling Home. Burke suggests that maybe they have Caller I.D. and Vicki thinks yeah, that must be it.

Vicki wants to know why the Collins family is afraid of Burke. Burke explains that it’s because he's a notorious Robber Baron, who forecloses mortgages, robs widows, ties governesses to railroad tracks, and other Snidely Whiplash-style stuff. Vicki comments that when Roger heard Burke was back in town, it scared him half to death. Burke says it's a shame she didn't tell him twice.

Roger arrives out in the hotel lobby. Before he can go into the Coffee Shoppe, Maggie lets slip that his new governess is in there with Burke Devlin. Roger complains that if it weren't for town gossip, he wouldn't know anything around here! Maggie takes exception to the idea that she was gossiping. No! Roger forced it out of her! Or tricked it out, or something.

Back in the Coffee Shoppe, Burke is telling stories about how he and Roger broke into the West Wing of Collinwood when they were Devil Tots, and ended up getting spanked. By one of the ghosts! And there was another time when they were prowling around the East Wing, and found an empty room with a doorway to another dimension. It was called "Parallel Time", at least according to a comic book Roger owned in those days. Through the doorway, they could see alternative versions of themselves, but in that other dimension, Burke was a nerd, and Roger had hair. (Yes, even as a child, our Roger was a chrome dome.)

Vicki goes to try her phone call again. Maggie comes back in and tells Burke that Roger Collins was just in the lobby but left when he heard Burke was there (If nothing else, Maggie is an equal opportunity gossiper).

At Evanswood, Sam is on the phone. When he hangs up, he finds Burke there. Burke explains that, this being a soap opera, he naturally just let himself in. Burke explains that he's filthy stinking rich now, and just felt like coming back to the old home town and lording it over everybody. Sam explains that he hasn't done much painting lately. Except painting the town red, of course. Burke asks if he hit a dry spell, but judging by the state of Sam's liquor supply, that's not exactly it. Sam explains that he's really busy now Not Painting, and maybe they can talk later. Sam ushers Burke out and asks him to meet him at the Blue Whale later. After 8 p.m., Sam can usually be found under Table 12.

Back in the Coffee Shoppe phone booth, Vicki finally gets through to the dreaded Foundling Home. Even in the later parts of the series, this would be frightening enough to constitute a cliffhanger.

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