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We're still in 1897 - where you most of you will recall Barnabas is SUPPOSED to be looking in the past for the reasons why Quentin's spirit in the present (1967) is being so troublesome and taking over David, the overacting 13 year old. Also, I found a site with a quick primer on the plot to help you catch up if you want


Monday Dec 16: Barnabas rises to face another glorious day as the Hair Line King of the Undead and finds Magda in hysterics. The bite marks have been found on Charity Trask and that the doctor called in to see Charity noted that the same marks could be found on several girls from the village! Village girls? Barnabas - it starts with B and that rhymes with T and that stands for TRAMP! But I digress - Magda continues to wail and gnash her teeth with worry about what will become her and her beloved Sandor (who she points out hasn't been the same since Barnabas put the Vamp Wham on him) and wails piteously that there will be no good end to this situation. Barnabas insists that she is overreacting and that she must believe in him or they ARE all indeed as doomed as she fears. For whatever reason, this seems to sink in and though still obviously not thrilled with her lot, Magda stops shrieking. Barnabas tells her to go keep Laura occupied for the evening and then shows her the portrait which Laura sat for 100 years previously. Magda crosses herself and mutters something about evil always following Barnabas. Sandor comes in - all good humor and smiles - and accuses his wife of always looking at the negative side of things. Barnabas tells her to go and after a snide remark or two about "old friends", she gives Barnabas an angry look and goes. Sandor is ordered to go to cemetery and look for a tombstone that says 'Laura Stockbridge, died 1785' Barnabas is convinced that he must know the truth about her or she will defeat him. I'm a tad unclear on what exactly Laura has to do with Quentin's ghost and David in 1967 but I'll go with it.

After FAR too long, we are finally back at Collinwood foyer. And look - just coming in to the Foyer of Great Import are Laura and Edward. Not together, heaven forefend. But from opposite ends of the stairs. Laura, still dressed in the iridescent blue gown with black lace inset across the Heaving Bosoms of Great Emotion, expresses delight at finding Edward here - and alone (I'd like to point out that no one is alone for long in the Foyer). Edward however reacts furiously to her presence. Laura wonders aloud at the effort it must take to go on hating her so and reminds him how much he used to love her. Edward reminds her that she is supposed to be at the cottage, not the main house and insist that she make herself scarce. She protests that the cottage needs a lot of work and the -oddly normal domestic argument escalates until Magda arrives (I told you - You're never TRULY alone in the Foyer). Edward tells her to help Laura move to the cottage right then and there. "It's settled, make the best of it!" he says as he flounces (shades of Carl) away.

Sandor, somewhere in the Collins Family Crypt, is holding up a lantern, examining headstones until he finds one that says, IN MEMORY OF LAURA STOCKBRIDGE COLLINS WHO DIED IN 1785.

At the cottage, Magda dusts as Laura mopes around about what a nasty little hole the cottage is (and I must disagree. It's really quite lovely and someone with taste could do LOTS with it. Perhaps that person isn't Laura. But what do I know. I don't wear iridescent blue gowns with black lace insets. Though I daresay that my bosoms could heave with Great Emotion as well as anyone else's). But back to the cottage -- Laura comments that her being there will mean Quentin will have to find a new love nest. She tells Magda to stop cleaning and pack up Quentin's things in a box to return to him. Magda begins rifling through the items in the desk as Laura ponders whom Quentin is meeting here now. She figures it must be Beth since he always liked her. Magda finds a deck of Tarot cards and Angelique's knitted doll and notes with surprise there are no pins in it. Laura comments that Quentin's obsession with the dark arts is pathetic and then tells Magda to read the cards. Magda says she thought Laura didn't believe in such things but Laura says she just wants a sign that luck is on her side. Magda starts to read the cards but time and time again - despite shuffling thoroughly - every card she picks is the death card. Perturbed, Laura accuses her of doing it deliberately and angrily brushes the cards off the table and tells the gypsy, "You have lost your touch-you have no second sight anymore-take the cards and return them to Quentin!"

Meanwhile, at the Old house - Barnabas pours a drink for Edward who seems very nervous. Is he wondering why Barnabas isn't pouring a drink for himself? (I'd wonder) Is he worried that Barnabas is trying to get him drunk? (I'd wonder and snicker) Is he wondering whether his fabulous blazer with the gold velvet lapels brings out the lights in his eyes? (I'd worry about Barnabas stealing it) No, none of these seem to be at issue. He tells Barnabas about Judith offering Trask one of the buildings on the estate for the temporary school and how much he is opposed to the idea. Barnabas points out that if the school were on the estate, Edward would be able to stay closer to the children. Edward gives Barnabas a big "duh" expression and says that while that's true, it also means that Laura would be near the children! Barnabas asks Edward to feel free to unburden himself about his concerns (and I wonder anew about Barnabas and his proclivities). But then Edward explains how Laura ran off with Quentin, how no one really knew anything about her except what she had said and how after she'd left, he (Edward) had checked out her claims and found that they were all lies. He assumes that Barnabas now knows why Laura mustn't be allowed to re-establish herself with the children and asks for Barnabas' help in persuading Judith not to let Trask use Collins property as his school, saying, "She respects you. Tell her you don't think it would be a good idea to have the school here". Barnabas promises to try and just as Sandor enters, the men are shaking hands, best of friends. Edward tells Barnabas, "I dreaded coming here. I thought it would all be so embarrassing, but it hasn't. Thank you, Barnabas", and leaves. Sandor tells Barnabas, "I've found it!" and is anxious to take him there, but Barnabas picks up the portrait of Laura Stockbridge and says, "That can wait. I must pay a visit to an old friend first!"

Barnabas comes to the cottage bearing gifts. Well, gift. Well, a portrait wrapped in a light-blue cloth. Laura exclaims, "A painting! These walls could certainly use some decorating!" Barnabas continues, "I found it at the old house. I'm sure you'll find it interesting". Laura opens it and is surprised to find what looks like a portrait of her. She exclaims, "Magda! Look at this! I could have sat for it myself!" Barnabas remarks, "Yes, but it's over 100 years old." He adds, "You must have had a relative living here at Collinwood at that time". Laura tries to pretend that she thinks it doesn't look that much like her and tries to dismiss the whole thing by joking, "Next, you'll be saying she and I are the same person!" Barnabas makes a few charming, if thinly veiled threatening comments and leaves.

Sandor is reluctantly using a chisel open the tomb as Barnabas looks on. Somehow, Laura back at the cottage hears the sound of Sandor's work. When Magda comes out, Laura questions her about the noise, which the gypsy doesn't hear. "It sounds like chipping stone", says Laura. Magda suggests that Laura needs rest. As the sounds gets louder. Laura cries out and races from the cottage - nearly catching her blue dress in the door. Pity.

Back at the crypt, the coffin is out. Barnabas twice orders him to open it, but Sandor is reluctant so Barnabas does it himself. Laura enters quietly and observes them. Barnabas feels her presence and says to Sandor, "Be quiet! Someone's here!" Hearing this, Laura flees. Barnabas tells Sandor, "I don't feel her presence anymore". Sandor tries to offer some plausible explanations for the empty coffin, suggesting grave robbing. But Barnabas says no. "The woman who was buried here is now at Collinwood". Sandor protests that she can't be a ghost - "I've seen ghosts. They don't breathe, they don't eat!" Barnabas agrees that she isn't a ghost. She's real. Sandor tries again - saying that perhaps this is as descendent but again Barnabas shoots him down, saying, "Laura Stockbridge Collins never had any children". Barnabas pauses for a moment, then remarks, "Strange, I don't remember how she died". He looks through some crypt records and finds the entry, "Laura Stockbridge Collins, died January 25, 1785. Cause of death, fire!" He is stunned that he could I have forgotten THAT and then decides that the truth can be found with Quentin. "He can tell me what happened when they went away together!" Barnabas explains. "You mean to Alexandria?" Sandor asks. Barnabas is interested, "How do you know they went to Alexandria?" Sandor shrugs and says, "Jamison once asked me if I had ever been to Alexandria. He said his uncle Quentin had been there".

At the cottage, Quentin, muttonchops gleaming in the firelight, is asking Magda where Laura is and Magda tells him about how she ran out suddenly but she doesn't know where she ran too. He ponders this for a minute and after warning Magda to remain on his side or else, he leaves.

Laura returns to the cottage. Magda asks if there are any orders before she goes. Laura tells her to get the portrait and put it in the fire!" Magda, doing a fine imitation of Paulie from The Sopranos says she'll take it. It might be valuable after all. But Laura insists and Magda does as instructed. Laura seems to feel energized and exhilarated as it burns, saying over and over again, "It's been so long! It's been so long!" I glance around nervously to see if Dirk has arrived but I guess she's just - taking joy - from the fire. Ewwwwwwwww

Barnabas returns to Collinwood - so much a part of the family that he enters without knocking. He sees a cabled message on the foyer table and notices that it addressed to Quentin. He sees where it is from and exclaims, "Alexandria!" He starts to reach for it and I shriek "No! Someone will come in ANY second. It's the First Law of the Foyer!" And guess what? You guessed it. Quentin comes walking in. Barnabas asks questions about Laura and Alexandria. Quentin denies ever having been there but Barnabas shows him the cable and says, "Here is a cable for you from Alexandria. Perhaps it will refresh your memory". Quentin takes the cable and looks at it a moment before pocketing it and then finally explains, "Well, you know, two and two do not always add up to four. This is from an old friend. He's rich enough to devote his life to travel. Right now, he's in Egypt". Barnabas remarks, "What a coincidence", in a tone of voice that indicates he doesn't believe this explanation. Quentin asks, "Why are you so interested in Laura Collins anyway?" Barnabas replies, "I'm interested in everyone I know". The clock strikes. It's almost dawn. Irritated by Barnabas' prying, Quentin decides turns the tables on him and asks Barnabas about HIS mysterious life, "What if I decided to find out everything about YOU? I don't know anything about you. I don't even know what business you're in". Barnabas replies, "I am in investment". Quentin asks, "Is that why go to Bangor every day?" Barnabas replies, "Yes. I have some investments there". Quentin asks, "Are you going there today? It just so happens that I have to go to Bangor today. Why don't we ride up together?" Barnabas replies, "I don't have to go today". Quentin asks, "Let's have breakfast together, then. Cook will prepare us a marvelous breakfast". Barnabas replies, "I never eat breakfast". Quentin, not to be denied, says genially "Let's have lunch, then. You do eat lunch, don't you?" Dawn is rapidly approaching and Barnabas is getting agitated. Hark! Someone is knocking! Both man glance at the door and are panting like they've been running for their lives. Odd.

Magda and Sandor are outside the doors of Collinwood. Magda complains to Sandor, "You worry more about him that you do about me!" Sandor says, "It's almost dawn! He should have been back by now! Something must have happened, I know it!" Quentin answers their knock and Sandor tells Barnabas, "A messenger has just arrived at the old house with an urgent message for you. You must return to the old house immediately".

Barnabas takes Magda aside and tells her to keep Quentin occupied. When Barnabas and Sandor leave and Magda stays, Quentin laughs and asks "Did your master tell you to stay?" She grins back at him (sure, she's sullen and he can't be trusted but they like each other) "I stayed because she wanted to tell you Laura returned soon after she left-didn't say where she'd been. She was most upset, thinks someone is threatening her." Quentin doesn't believe it and accuses Magda of playing each of them against the other. He takes the cable from his pocket and reads it. "I knew it! I knew I was right! I knew it!" Magda asks what he's talking about but Quentin is too excited to answer and keeps talking to himself. When Magda asks again what's happening he insists that nothing is happening. "I know you're lying", she says. "I used to be able to believe my own lies", says Quentin. "How very fortunate I was, and I didn't realize it until tonight. " He shakes his head as if to clear it and asks Magda, "Has Laura changed?" Magda laughs and says not much. She likes to give orders. Though, the gypsy points out, Laura seems much more interested in the children than she ever had before. Quentin ponders this and then asks Magda is Laura has shown any sort of powers. Magda knows what he means and she thinks the woman has "a certain sensitivity, but no powers. Tonight Laura asked me to read the cards - would she have done that if she had any powers of her own?" Then Magda sniffs bitterly, "When she's angry, she takes it out on me - a woman with powers doesn't need to do that." My GADS! Is that a statement on class warfare from Dark Shadows? Will wonders never cease! "You don't need to worry," Magda assures my mutton-chopped moppet. "You will be safe-you can do whatever you're planning."

Quentin goes to the cottage and finds Laura by the fire. She points out that it very late. Quentin pointedly replies, "We've been here much later before", and asks what the hell she came back for. Laura is clearly getting tired of this question from the Collins men and speaks slowly so he gets it this time, "I came back for the children. I need the children, Quentin". Quentin asks what she's take instead. He offers her money, which makes her laugh since he never has any. He insists that he'll do whatever it takes but he'll get her the money. She insists that all she wants is her children and demands to know "Why is that so difficult for all of you to accept?" Quentin loses it. "BECAUSE I KNOW WHAT WILL HAPPEN TO THEM IF YOU TAKE THEM!" he shouts at her. Laura replies equally angry, "And I know what would happen to them if they stayed here. Jamison's the heir. You'd ruin him, you'd do anything to get his money". (I hate to say it - but flame girl has a point. If I didn't know she was intending to make kiddie-ka-bobs, I'd be on her side) Quentin remarks, "At least he'd be alive if he stayed here." (See, that's what I'm saying. Quentin may be the quintessential bad uncle but he isn't gonna kill the kid) Laura is now totally fed up and says, "You're not starting that again, are you, Quentin?" She chants mockingly, 'Laura Collins died in a fire...'" Quentin replies, "I have proof this time! I have this paper from Alexandria. It's a cable from the police there". He reads it aloud, "In reply to your inquiry of April 27. Police records confirm that Laura Murdoch Collins died by fire on March 7, 1896. Death certificate follows..."

Tuesday Dec 17: Laura has lived a long time and seen a lot of the world. But rarely has she been quite as unimpressed as she is by Quentin's claim that he has proof of her death and that he will use it. She points out that he may have all the telegrams in the world but she has better proof on her side - herself, living, breathing, and walking around. Our anti-hero isn't cast down by this salient point and agrees his while the telegram won't prove a thing; he says it makes him SURE that it is more important that ever to find out what she is and how to stop her if it's the last thing he does. "Which it may be", interrupts Dirk. And his gloves growl menacingly at Quentin's muttonchops, which quiver either with excitement or fear. After all, those are some tough looking gloves - more manly, outdoorsy type than the dark leather ones. After a moment or two of accessories posturing and posing, Quentin announces that he was just on his way out, reminds Laura of his intentions, then leaves. Dirk worries that Quentin has been threatening Laura but she scoffs at the idea that anyone could hurt her with Dirk and his superb taste in fashion accessories are around to protect her. They embrace and Dirk once again in the throes of - well, I guess it's passion but with Roger Davis who can really tell - suffice to say that they are embracing and Dirk is declaring that he's never felt this way and wants to stay with her. Laura, ever the lady of the manor points out the impracticality of this wish - however much she appreciates the thought because he has duties to attend to about the estate. They'll see each other tonight, she promises him with a quick peck on the cheek.

Charity Trask descends the stairs to the Foyer of Meaningful Pauses as Dirk enters with the news that the carriage is ready. Charity thanks him for giving her a ride into town. And I'm left wondering how it is that we find Charity about to be flouncing off to town? I mean, where is her father? Where is Judith? Why is no one peppering her with questions about these odd marks that everyone was so crazed over just yesterday?

At the Old House, Barnabas awakens as fresh as a daisy, not a hair out of place (as if the hair would DARE!). He goes to the window and calls to Charity, "Charity, you will hear my voice. Leave Collinwood now and come to me!" Charity and Dirk are outside the front door when Charity hears Barnabas calling her. Dirk notices Charity acting strangely and asks if she is all right. She says she forgot a book she wanted to bring with her and asks him to fetch it - from the table in the Foyer of Forgotten Items. Dirk goes back to do as instructed but finding no book there (possibly because Charity is HOLDING the book when she asks him to go back for it), he goes back outside to find that Charity is gone...

She shows up outside the Old House but when Barnabas motions to her to enter, she balks. He is insistent and she reluctantly complies but continues to protest that she shouldn't be there and that her father is awaiting her in town. She's very concerned about being late and getting in trouble. Barnabas is having none of this and convinces her the only way he knows how - fangs bared and eyes flaring. When the camera pulls back, we are treated to the sight of a very satiated Charity who now couldn't care less about going to town. Father? What Father? She only wants to stay here with the slick haired man in the fabulous jacket. Seeing that she is ready to help with his plans, Barnabas reminds her of the portrait of Laura Stockbridge and says, "We opened her grave and found nothing there." Charity is horrified to hear and even more so when he plans to communicate with 18th Century Laura and that he needs Charity to be a witness. He's off to get a book from Collinwood and tells her to wait right where she is for him to return. Obediently, Charity opens a book and begins to read.

The only word I can come up with describe what Quentin and Beth are doing is macking. I mean, yes, you could call it kissing but good LORD - where is the rest of her face? Necking might work except that it's mostly mashing faces and very little neck is involved unless someone is developing a crick. And well they might. GRACIOUS! Is it warm in here or is it just me? Anyhow, that's what they are doing and they are doing it in his room. She worries that she's been gone too long and that Judith will start asking questions. Quentin doesn't seem to see a problem in that. If Judith asks, he suggests that Beth just tell the old lush that they are in love with each other. "Could I?" she asks (dare I say hopefully) "It's a very casual kind of love, isn't it?" she says. He asks what her problem is and she points out that she'd like to think they have a future but doesn't see how that can be as long as he is married to Jenny. He says that when the time is right, he'll have Jenny committed and the marriage annulled. Beth wonders if that's possible and Quentin points out that with the Collins money and power behind him anything is possible. He insists that it's just a question of approaching Judith at the right time. Outside the window, a piece of bat-shaped paper hovers, watching them. Quentin wants to escort Beth downstairs, but she says they can't be seen together too much. On the contrary he says. Being seen together may even be the answer. "We should let Judith begin to suspect us, and when her suspicions are confirmed, it will give her a great deal of triumph, and at that point, she's always easy to deal with." They leave both delighted with the idea and as soon as they are gone, Barnabas appears in Quentin's room.

Beth and Quentin have HILARIOUSLY been wandering around the house trying to "accidentally" run into Judith, but have not been able to find her. In the Foyer Of Public Displays of Affection (where you might reasonably expect to find anyone at any time) Quentin complains that when you go out of your way to attract attention, there's no one around to look. She thinks it's just as well and kisses him goodbye as he goes out for a walk. They have, however, managed to catch someone else's attention. Beth notices that Dirk has been watching. She asks if it's time for his usual lectures on morality and how she shouldn't be seeing Quentin but Dirk just pats her on the shoulder with a smile and says it's her life and she can ruin it any way she chooses. DANG! Dished by Dirk! The gloves snicker cruelly as Dirk walks jauntily away.

Barnabas is searching Quentin's desk when Beth enters and catches him. He claims to be looking for his cousin who clearly isn't there and Beth informs him pointedly that Quentin has just left the house. He smiles ingratiatingly but our favorite tall drink of water ain't buying. I like Beth. She's tall, she's saucy and she trusts no one. Barnabas says that he's found a book he wants to borrow and that of course he'll leave a note to that affect. "Not necessary", she says, "when Quentin returns, I will be most happy to tell him you were here." Beth ROCKS! Barnabas smiles, too and she leaves. Down in the foyer, Quentin is back from the world's shortest walk and Beth is tattling on Barnabas. Quentin is very angry to hear that Barnabas has been in his room but Beth seems bothered by other details. "Why didn't we see him going down the stairs?" she wonders. I personally wonder why things like this don't get asked more often and applaud Beth for her insight and eye for details. Quentin doesn't care about that (though he SHOULD) - he wants to know what book Barnabas took. Beth doesn't know (what was I saying about her eye for detail?), but she did see part of the title -- "dead" and he was near the desk, not the bookcase. Quentin figures Barn took the "Egyptian Book of the Dead" and rushes out, telling Beth that he was gonna have a little talk with Cousin Barnabas.

At the Old House, Barnabas is looking at the book when Charity asks why he wanted the door locked. He explains that by now, Quentin will know he took the book and might come for it. She asks why he needs the EGYPTIAN BOOK OF THE DEAD and he says that he suspects a connection between Laura, Quentin and the occult of Egypt. He adds that Nora had a premonition that Laura would return and made a drawing of a pyramid and Egyptian hieroglyphics. That, together with the fact that Quentin and Laura spent time in Alexandria makes him curious. Charity is getting kinda freaked about all this and I am feeling slightly bad for her when he brushes off her concerns and tells her to simply be quiet, sit on the settee and watch carefully. She goes to do so as he stands over a red, lit candle, calling to "Amen Ra, Prince of Light and Radiance--I summon an eternal shade who worships thee."

In the cottage, Laura (who has AT LONG LAST changed clothes) is telling Dirk his presence has given her great strength (I bet) when she suddenly grows faint, (hmmm - not as much presence as you thought eh?). As she grows weaker, she declares that she feels as if her strength is ebbing away and Dirk takes her in his arms. It is at this point that I realize that Dirk is not wearing his Gloves of Great Manliness. He's not even wearing the Gloves of Sleek Handiwork. Perhaps this bare handedness is why his presence wasn't - uh - sustaining enough. As we hear Barnabas still chanting over the candle, Laura orders Dirk to let her go and find the scarab. He searches and repeats, tediously that she won't be safe until Quentin is dead. He looks up, scarab in hand, but Laura disappears right before his eyes.

Barnabas drones on about Amon Ra opening the way. Charity feels something happening and quickly becomes upset. A ghostly Laura look-alike dressed in clothes of the previous century appears and accuses Barnabas of disturbing her. Let me be the first to congratulate the previous Laura on her superior dress sense. This woman wouldn't be caught dead - undead? - in the gowns the 1875 Laura wears. When asked, she identifies herself as Laura Stockbridge Collins. "Are you the same as the woman who lives here now?" asks Barnabas. "I am Laura Stockbridge Collins", she informs him. He presses her to reveal why she has come back and she answers that "The children shall be mine!" Charity screams "NO!" and races from the house. Barnabas asks what she needs the children for when Quentin bursts in, sees the apparition, and cries out "Oh my God!" The ghost, feeling left out, lets loose with a scream since it would be appear to be the thing to do and disappears.

Quentin is flabbergasted and demands to know what the hell is going on. Barnabas is annoyed and tells Quentin that he shouldn't have come and must leave. Quentin protests that he isn't the one who started it by stealing a book. Barnabas prefers the word borrowed and Quentin says it's not the book that is of interest to him but what Barnabas was doing with it. Then, ever with an eye on the essentials, Quentin asks, "Can I light some candles? We don't need to be in the dark, do we?" Barnabas replies that they don't and Quentin sheds light on the situation. As he does, he remarks that it's very interesting how young woman all seem attracted to Barnabas. Barnabas (or in my opinion Frid, finds this amusing and smirks). Quentin continues "First, Rachel Drummond, then Angelique, now Charity Trask." Barnabas huffs that he and Charity are just good friends. Quentin asks if he often sends friends running off screaming into the night (Um, I guess yes?) and wonders if Edward and Judith would be interested to know that Barnabas has been practicing Black Magic. Barnabas calmly tells him to publish and be damned since with Quentin's reputation being what it is, they would believe Barnabas and not their brother. Quentin sees the point and just asks Barnabas to return the book. Barnabas feels a twinge of - something and tells Quentin that they can help each other regarding Laura Collins. Quentin wonders why he cares or is so interested. Barnabas says he will tell him but first wants to know the truth about Alexandria and what happened there. Quentin says that it wasn't the Alexandria part that he was trying to hide - but he was afraid no one would believe what happened there. When he explains about the fire, the sacrifice and the telegram, Quentin is surprised to find that Barnabas believes him. Barnabas explains, "When you came in here, you saw an apparition you took to be Laura Collins. But did you notice she was dressed in 18th century clothes? A few days ago, I found a portrait of a woman named Laura Stockbridge who looked just like Laura Collins. I thought it was too much to be a coincidence. So I borrowed your Egyptian Book of the Dead to perform a ceremony to see if she were the same woman". Quentin is stunned and impressed and thrilled all at once. It's a good look on him. He wants to know what Barnabas found out but Barnabas says the ceremony was interrupted before he could find out. "But she did say she came for the children". Quentin exclaims that this is exactly what Laura - present day Laura told him! He asks Barnabas again why he is so interested in Laura Collins and Barnabas is vague - pointlessly if you ask me - and says merely "Let's just say I'm interested in the future of the Collins Family". He tells Quentin that they must go to the cottage and if Laura is the same woman as Laura Stockbridge, the ceremony will have had been a great shock to her and she'll be ill. They leave the old house and we see a red flame burning steadily.

Laura reappears at the cottage, falling to the ground unconscious as soon as she "solidifies", but when Dirk embraces her, his healing powers once again heal her. I gotta get me one of these "Dirk" things. I'm feeling kinda pooped myself. On the sofa, Dirk brings Laura back to consciousness and in great dramatic tradition, she slowly comes to and asks, "What happened?" He says she just vanished and she begins to recall someone summoning her with a strange, dark ceremony. Not surprisingly, Dirk doesn't understand. If the gloves were here, they'd get it. He asks if it was Quentin and she says, "No, it was at the Old House. It was Barnabas." She seems confused by this even as she says it but concludes that both men are against her. Dirk vows to stop them though he points out that Quentin seems to lead a rather charmed life what with being given up for dead once after Jenny put a knife in his chest but then managing to survive. Laura is shocked to learn Jenny is still at Collinwood. Shocked and delighted - in an evil way. She demands to know all he knows despite the fact that he's feeling dumb for even mentioning it. After he tells her all - the breakdown, the secret room, the attack on Quentin, Laura smiles contentedly. "We don't have to worry about Quentin anymore, Jenny will dispose of Quentin for us. She hates him enough to kill him." Dirk agrees but points out that she thinks she already killed him and doesn't know he survived. Laura says they'll just tell her but Dirk refuses to take her to the room. Laura doesn't need to see Jenny to communicate with her though but before she can explain they are interrupted by a knock at the door.

Laura answers the door after predicting it will be Quentin and Barnabas - and look! So it is. Quentin smirks at Dirk (ooh, a rhyme) and asks if it's a bad time for a visit. Not at all she assures them. Dirk had been helping her re-arrange a few things (ha!) and she asked him to stay for a drink (double HA!). "Rearranging furniture all evening?" asks Quentin. Laura doesn't see why he sounds so surprised and Quentin explains that it's just that everything looks the same as it looked earlier in the day - except that she has changed clothes. Good one, Quentin! Well, OK, Laura does think a sec over that one but then shrugs saying that the truth is that she and Dirk were chatting much of the evening (is there such a thing as a triple HA?). Dirk agrees and Laura continues, "I was anxious to hear what happened while I was away from Collinwood and Dirk was filling me in." (Euphemism Alert! Euphemism Alert!) She offers both her visitors and drink and contrary to family tradition, both decline. Barnabas and Quentin remark that living at the cottage seems to have her in an excellent mood and she agrees and says she has been like this all night long. She then asks what brought them to see her - not that she isn't delighted. Barnabas says that Quentin wants to see the portrait. Oh dear. Laura is so sorry but she has sent it out to be reframed. Perhaps when it has been returned. Quentin and Barnabas decide that it's getting late and Barnabas says they are off to look at rare family volumes at the Old House and they leave. After they're gone, she expresses delight to know where they will be. Dirk will let Jenny out tonight as soon as Laura prepares the Mad Woman for what she must do.

Jenny is in her cell talking to her dolls about how they must be brave and not cry because they must all go to the funeral soon. Dirk comes in and asks what's wrong. She tells him they're burying Quentin today and she's getting the babies ready for the funeral. Dirk closes the door and leans back against it.

Barnabas and Quentin are at the Old House. Quentin remarks that Laura might have been telling the truth about being at the cottage all night but Barnabas disagrees and says that she was just happy that couldn't prove she hadn't been there. Barnabas considers trying the ceremony again but Quentin says - in a very informed manner - that it won't work twice. More to the point, he says, that since he is well versed in the black arts, he'll give it a whirl. Barnabas is up for anything as long as they do something quickly.

When Dirk comes in with her tray, Jenny asks if the carriage is here to take them to the funeral. She doesn't want to be left behind and he assures her that she won't be. As she sits down to eat, Dirk checks his watch and she asks if it's time. He tells her that she has time to eat and that he'll be right back. He leaves the room and Jenny sips her soup. I am MORE than impressed that she manages to do this without getting her hair in the food. Truly, it is a miracle.

Laura gazes into the fire and sends her voice via the floo network - uh, I mean flames - to Jenny who enjoying her soup with great abandon. Suddenly, she hears Laura's voice calling, "Jenny! Jenny!" and seems a tad confused since she hears a voice but doesn't see anyone. "Who is it? Who's calling me?" Jenny asks, rather reasonably for a woman with hair like that. Laura asks if she doesn't recognize the voice. Jenny exclaims, "Laura!" and demands that Laura show herself immediately! Laura asks why Jenny seems so angry. Jenny can't believe such a stupid question and shouts "You took Quentin away from me!" Laura says it's not her fault that Quentin didn't love Jenny (that's nice Laura. Way to taunt the crazy lady). Jenny says it isn't true but that it no longer matters because Quentin is dead. Neither one of them can have him now. Laura informs Jenny that Quentin is not dead, that he's only hiding. Jenny seems miffed more at the hiding part than the whole being alive part and Laura hammers away Jenny's denials and claims of having seen him die until the door to the cell opens. Laura encourages her to go to the old house. "Barnabas Collins is hiding Quentin there! Kill Quentin! Kill him!" Jenny leaves the room and Dirk watches her go.

Weds Dec 18: Though there were amusing moments today, this was NOT an laugh riot hour. Watching Jenny move towards doom is oddly upsetting. Beyond the hair, which at long long last gets combed. 

Dirk asks Jenny where she is headed and when she tells him that she is off to the old house to see Quentin, he suggests that it would be wise to take a weapon and helpfully hands her a knife. He's walking her to the door when he hears someone coming and quickly pushes her into the drawing room and locks the doors. As he turns, Judith comes into the Foyer of Mere Coincidences barking orders for the next day. Then, with no sign or irony or humor, tells him to see to things upstairs (the lack of humor or irony leads me to believe that it really is WORK and not something tawdry). Though clearly he'd rather not, he does so. Inside the drawing room, Jenny starts to think she hears Quentin's music, then Quentin's voice. Enraged, she begins to attack various objects in the room. Judith has started up the stairs after Dirk but she hears a noise from the drawing room and goes to investigate.

As Judith enters, Jenny comes out from behind the curtains with a haunting giggle that makes me think of a bad Oliver Reed movie I once saw where faceless children in snowsuits went on a killing spree and - well, never mind. Judith asks Jenny how she got out (which just goes to show how stupid Judith is that she actually ASKS with an air of actually EXPECTING an answer). Jenny says she's looking for Quentin but when Judith insists he's far away but Jenny isn't listening. She's far too busy babbling on about the Old House and waving the knife around in a frightening fashion. Judith cries out "Put that knife down!" as Jenny starts angrily stalking her around the room. Just as she has Judith cornered, for some reason, instead of stabbing her as any right minded person would do (oh, right - jenny=nuts), she grabs a candlestick and knocks Judith out. The sound effect people seem to have gotten a little gung-ho however because if I hit someone hard enough to make that sound, there's be pieces of skull ALL over the floor. But Judith is a Collins so I suppose she has a very hard head. As Jenny looks on, admiring her handiwork Quentin opens the front doors, and seeing Jenny - not only in the foyer but in the foyer AND armed and dangerous - quickly closes the door before she can see him. Jenny mutters over Judith's unconscious for, "She lied to me! But I lied to her too! About who I am! My father was a king, my mother was a princess, and I'm a princess!" She raises her knife and announces that when she raises her scepter, people will die. With that bizarre statement, she opens the front doors and leaves Collinwood. Quentin, hiding behind some trees, sees her go.

Quentin enters the house as Judith is coming around and they argue about Jenny getting out, being armed and hunting for Quentin. Quentin is shocked to find out from Judith that Dirk knew about Jenny all along and quickly decides that if Dirk knows, then Laura must know and be behind this somehow. He's fed up and angrily declares that he's going to have to take care of Jenny since no one else seems capable of getting rid of her. Judith asks, "What do you mean get rid of her?" Well, duh Judith. What ever do you think he means. Again, are these hypothetical questions, Judith or are you serious?

Jenny is at the Old House and after stashing her knife in a pocket (not THAT crazy if she realizes that you can't go calling waving weapons); she knocks at the door over and over until Barnabas answers. He stares at her - and who can blame him - her hair is HUGE. She requests politely to see Quentin and says she is sure he's there. Barnabas denies it and she orders him to stop lying to her. "Everyone lies. Edward, Judith, and sometimes Beth, but not so much." She asks his name, and he tells her so she introduces herself. Barnabas, showing shock (to the camera) and delight (to Jenny) at meeting Jenny at last, assures her again that he isn't lying and offers her the chance to come in and see for herself that Quentin isn't here. She enters, looking around as Barnabas locks the door. She admits that Quentin doesn't appear to be there but confesses that sometimes he makes himself invisible and all she can hear is his voice. The other thing that she apparently doesn't see or hear is the boom mike moving rapidly across the set. The shadow is bad enough but you can hear the gear of it moving along a track. Barnabas makes small talk - which Jenny responds to almost normally except for the hair - and the eyeliner - you'd think she was pretty much ok. They speak of Collinwood and Barnabas asks if it lonely for her there. She says not at all because she always has the company of her children. "The dolls?" Barnabas asks. Jenny replies that no, she meant children and turns to leave, but Barnabas decides he should keep her here so he says that Quentin is due back shortly and said she should wait for him at the Old House. Jenny asks if he said anything else and Barnabas lays it on with a trowel saying that of course he heard that she was beautiful. Jenny, pleased shows him her locket, which contains a photo of Quentin. She squeals about how handsome he is. "Many girls loved him," she informs Barnabas proudly, "but he married ME! I am Mrs. Quentin Collins." She pauses, confused momentarily. She asks again who he is and Barnabas repeats, "My name is Barnabas". Jenny, once again aware of who she's talking to continues to explain how the family didn't like her because I was a singer. She starts to sing but stops when she can't remember the rest. She sighs. "It used to soothe the babies so much!" "You mean dolls," Barnabas corrects her again. Jenny scowls at him and asks why he keeps calling them that. The babies were so different she tells him. The boy was always good, fell asleep right away but the girl was so alert and awake, it was hard to get her to sleep. Suddenly remembering, exclaims, "They took them away from me! They took my children away! I don't know why!" Suddenly, she notices the cellar and darts towards it to search for Quentin but Barnabas, reeling from the news that there were ACTUAL children at some point, manages to gather his wits in time to block her. Jenny, enraged, raises her knife, and attacks Barnabas, but he disarms her easily. Jenny cowers in fear. Barnabas asks her what she is frightened of and she screams that he'll kill her. Barnabas assures her that he has no intention of doing so and puts the knife down to show her that he is unarmed. Jenny, still frightened, says that Quentin will kill instead but Barnabas insists that she's wrong and that no one is going to kill her. Jenny wants to know in that case, why Quentin is coming back at all. Barnabas repeats her own words to her as an explanation, "Because he loves you. Many other girls loved him, but he married YOU". Jenny squeals in delight, "He did! In a church!" Barnabas offers her a room upstairs so she can wash her face and comb her hair to prepare for Quentin's arrival and "be beautiful for him when he comes here."

At Collinwood, Quentin returns to the drawing room holding a revolver. Judith is shocked and tries to stop him, but he tells her to get out of the way and leave the whole mess to him. We don't see it but my guess is that Judith is heading RIGHT for the sherry once she's alone.

Barnabas brings Jenny to Josette's old room that she likes very much indeed. She seems to think Barnabas is the bellhop because she explains that she can't pay him now since her husband has all the money. She tells him that they have only been married two months and are on their way to meet his family. Suddenly, Jenny spots her reflection in the mirror and tells Barnabas that the woman in the mirror frightens her. Us too Jenny, dear. Us too. Barnabas says she make the woman go away with the comb and powders on the dresser and the dresses in the chest. OK, I want to know WHY these things are up there? The house was unused for years and years, Josette has been dead 100 years and yet - powders, combs, dresses? Barnabas is a cross dresser, isn't he? Jenny sits down and begins her toilette. She seems quite delighted and happy as she sets to work. Awww, poor doomed Jenny.

At Collinwood, Quentin accuses Dirk of letting Jenny out. Dirk denies it and volunteers to join the search. He feels very bad about Jenny getting out. Quentin sarcastically remarks, "Yes, he can look near the cottage!"

Back in Josette's room, Jenny's hair looks much better, tied it back with a ribbon. Barnabas comes in to tell her that he must leave for a short time but that must stay until Quentin comes. He adds that there will be people here to look after her. "Do you like the way I look?" asks Jenny. Barnabas suavely tells her how much he likes the way she looks and she delightedly teases him about flirting with me. Suddenly I'm feeling VERY bad for Jenny. She responds so eagerly to the slightest kindness that the thought of what the Collins - Quentin and the rest - have done to her makes me think of kicking puppies. Barnabas reminds her to wait there until her returns and that Quentin will be there as well. Outside in the hall, Barnabas calls "Magda! Magda!" but apparently she isn't home because there is no answer. Inside the room, Jenny mutters, "Magda?" as if the name was familiar to her, then as she is selecting a dress from the trunk, she seems to remember something and says, "Magda! And Sandor!"

Not finding Magda anywhere in the house, Barnabas writes a note to her with a dip pen on blue paper and leaves it on the desk in the living room with a ring of keys on top. The cock crows, and Barnabas goes down to his coffin. Quentin arrives at the old house and sees the note. He starts off reading aloud, "Magda, the woman upstairs in Josette's room..." Quentin silently reads the rest, takes the keys, then goes upstairs.

Now wearing a VERY frilly dress that does NOTHING for her figure and with the neater, cuter hair, Jenny is talking to her reflection in a hand mirror. She's giving herself a pep talk about meeting Quentin's family. She assures herself that Quentin loves her and that's all that matters. Then, fed up, she calls herself a fool and lays down to cry. Shades of kicked puppies dance through my head. Quentin approaches the door, gun in hand, and knocks. "Quentin, is that you?" asks Jenny all eagerness. He answers her and she rushes to the door, telling him she was worried because he was away so long. He apologizes sweetly as he strokes the gun in his hand, but assures her, "You will never have to worry again!" He takes the ring of keys and starts to try various ones in the door...

Jenny helpfully tells Quentin that the door is locked and Quentin, with an eye roll you could see from sea to shining sea, tells her that he has the key and he'll open the door in a second. He continues trying various keys in the lock, but stops when he hears the front door. He tells Jenny to keep quiet and ducks down the hall to see who is coming. It's Beth, who's making her lanky way up the stairs. Beth is shocked he would try to kill Jenny. Why? I mean, it's not like he hadn't said he was gonna do countless times before. In any case, they go downstairs to discuss the matter. Jenny wonders why Quentin left so quickly but resolves to wait as instructed. She plays nervously with her hair as she sits down on the bed, looking worried and anxious. I'm feeling VERY VERY sorry for Jenny now.

Beth and Quentin argue about what he intends to do. He says it's all for her. She says she wouldn't want him to murder someone for her. She says she can't live with that. He assures her that she'd learn to live with it after they are married. Beth's reaction isn't exactly what I guess he was hoping for. She turns away and pulls her from him when he tries to touch her. He says he's not sure he wants to marry her if THAT'S how she's gonna react. Beth stands her ground though and tries one more time to appeal to him. She argues that he won't get away with it, that she'll tell everyone what he's done so he'd have to kill her too. He seems to have serious hesitation about that. Beth takes Jenny's locket from the desk and holds it out to him. "Your picture is in it - how could you plan to kill her? You'll hang, Quentin!" He puts the gun down on the desk. Quentin puts the gun down, then remarks, "I wonder why Barnabas would lock her up. We lock up our family secret, but why should he?" Quentin goes upstairs to find him.

Magda returns home (from where I have no idea. I mean what does she DO all day?) to find Beth waiting downstairs and demands to know what she is doing there. Beth says she is waiting for Quentin who has gone to find Barnabas. Magda is understandable worried about THAT and asks what Quentin wants. Beth doesn't want to say and while hedging, surreptitiously picks Jenny's locket up. Magda sees the move though and they grapple for it. Beth lies, "It's mine", but Magda says in a voice tinged with dramatic horror, "It's not yours! I know whose it is! Where did you get this? Tell me!" Quentin, who's just come down, interrupts saying that they will tell her nothing. He asks about Barnabas but when Magda says he is gone until that night, Quentin and Beth leave.

Sandor returns and Magda shows him the locket, saying that she'd found it here in the house. He examines it closely but insists that what she is thinking is impossible. Magda insists that it must mean something but Sandor says he can't think before breakfast (Sandor is MY kinda guy). Magda says he's just afraid, that he cares as much as she about what this locket means. "She is far, far away," he tells his wife, who pensively holds the locket, "and she's better off for it." It's a sign, insists Magda.

Jenny listens at the door and calls softly to Quentin but gets no response. She grows agitated and soon convinces herself that the man who brought her to the room "whose face hangs at Collinwood. That man has done something to Quentin. This is his house. He found Quentin and has killed him!" She sobs, "He's killed him!" She screams for her husband, growing hysterical. "He's dead!" she sobs, falling onto the bed.

Downstairs, Magda and Sandor hear the noise and run to investigate. Jenny is sobbing and Magda recognizes her voice immediately and begins to hammer at the door, calling her name. Sandor finds the keys on the floor and as soon as they let themselves in, Magda runs to Jenny, who screams at them to get away from her. Magda cries out that she so worried when Jenny disappeared from Collinwood. Jenny begins babbling about how Magda and Sandor must not be there when Quentin returns and insists that they mustn't say anything about her being a gypsy. "I told you yesterday I would kill you both if you told him!" shouts Jenny. Sandor is mystified and says, "That was years ago." Jenny is confused and says no it wasn't. She claims that they have no idea how hard it is to be a Collins. "I am a Collins, Quentin loves me," she repeats over and over. Magda points out what Quentin has done to her and Jenny orders her not to speak to her like that. That a gypsy can't talk about him that way. "You are a gypsy, too," says Magda. . She then asks, "Do you remember anything since then?" Jenny struggles to sort out what's been happening and she can't seem to straighten out what happened when. Magda finds watching this very painful. "Oh, God, God, she has a devil in her!" mourns Magda. "Sandor, get the cross." Sandor leaves and Jenny suddenly looks at Magda as if for the first time. "Sister?" asks Jenny, her face shaking as she falls into Magda's arms. They both cry and are rocking back and forth. It should be ridiculous looking with the costumes and the hair and the whole Dark Shadows silliness but it is tragic. Honestly. But it IS Dark Shadows so just as I was getting into it, the boom mike skitters across the ceiling again. Jenny sobs, "I loved you, I loved you, but I couldn't tell him". Then she collapses utterly into Magda's lap babbling incoherently. Magda asks Jenny why she ran away after Quentin left. Jenny suddenly giggles and says that she never ran away. She tells Magda about her lovely room, filled with her memories where "they put me so I could remember him." Magda is STUNNED! "They kept you locked away all this time? We will take care of you now," Magda assure her. Jenny says that it's not necessary. Quentin will do it but Magda insists that they will all go away together - Jenny Magda and Sandor. Jenny refuses, saying that she needs to stay and see Quentin. Magda nods encouragingly but Jenny sees that she's lying. As soon as Magda turns her back, Jenny hits her over the head with a big book. Magda tumbles to the floor, forcing Grayson Hall to hold her black wig on her head. "She wouldn't let me see him," says Jenny, "she wouldn't!" And she wanders away, leaving Magda unconscious and alone for Sandor to find. He falls to his knees to check on her.

Downstairs, Jenny opens the unlocked basement door and wanders down there. Magda tells Sandor to check upstairs for Jenny and says she'll look downstairs. "We must find her-she has a devil in her!"

Jenny now down into the basement and finds Barnabas' coffin. She believes Quentin is in there, dead, and, heartbroken, first clings to the coffin, then starts to open it.

Thurs Dec 19: Magda returns to the Old House, her festively colored skirts dragging wearily behind her as she bemoans the tragedy that has befallen her sister. As she steps inside, she immediately notices the open basement door and rushes down. She is relieved to find the coffin undisturbed and disturbed to find Jenny laughing softly and quite insanely in a corner. Jenny points to the coffin, crying "Barnabas! Barnabas is dead! Not Quentin. I should not have laughed, but I was so afraid it was Quentin! Magda tells Jenny that she must never tell anyone what she has seen, that it is a secret. Jenny doesn't understand how that can be because after all, there will be a funeral and everyone will see. Magda tells her that there will be no funeral and that she must say nothing or she will endanger them all. Jenny may not quite get it but Magda's tone and sense of urgency get through and Jenny promises not to tell. In fact, she declares with a smile that she has never even been in this room. They go upstairs back up to Josette's room.

Quentin sneaks into the Old House holding a length of cord. Well, actually it's a very thick, stiff piece of rope and if he is planning on strangling someone with it, he is in for some hard work. I have rarely seen a more unforgiving piece of rope. What happen to this gun he was flashing around earlier when telling Judith that he was gonna take care of this? He decided the rope was easier? As he enters, Magda comes down the stairs and practically spits at him that she knows what he did. Quentin laughs and says he knew she'd figure out the secret of the locked room. He also told Judith that Magda would figure it out and that Judith is expecting the gypsy to try to blackmail her about it. Magda slaps him (and it looks like Grayson Hall REALLY enjoys it) and she rails angrily (and colorfully) about what the Collins family has done to "that poor creature" and as Quentin starts up the stairs, Magda declares that though she may not have the physical strength to stop him, she has powers and will use them. Quentin stops, genuinely surprised by the vehemence of her threats and asks why she's so upset? "It's not like you. And all over a woman you'd never seen before in your life?" Magda is now so angry that she's practically the color of her cranberry skirt. She shouts that Quentin doesn't know what she knows. She challenges him to even name where the woman was born. "New York City", he replies but Magda elaborates, telling him that she'd "lived in many cities as part of the caravan! She was my sister! Look what you have done to her! Stay away from her, Quentin! You have seen her for the last time!" Quentin (who recovers from the sister revelation so fast that my head is spinning) asks if Magda can guarantee that. Magda snarls about her newly discovered in-laws and how horrible they are. Quentin turns to leave but turns back with a smirk and adds, "Jenny should have told me she was a gypsy. It would have made her so much more interesting". Ooooooh, the mutton-wearing moppet isn't doing himself any favors with this attitude. Magda throws something at him, but misses and he leaves the house. From the upstairs window, Jenny sees Quentin leave and calls out to him to stop. She tries to open the door but it's locked. Magda comes in as the shadow of the book mike once again goes screaming across the ceiling (I swear I wouldn't notice it nearly as much if they'd oil the wheel track). Jenny accuses her of driving Magda away. Magda lies to her, "He will come back, Jenny, he will!" Jenny babbles on, "Then I will tell him!" Magda lies, "You will be able to tell him anything you want". Jenny continues to babble, "He does not know about them! I will tell him, then he will love me, I know he will!"

Night falls and Barnabas rises (Insert salacious joke here). He immediately gets into an argument with Magda. He wants to question Jenny and Magda wants to leave with Sandor and Jenny, who she identifies as her sister, and she wants Barnabas to release Sandor from his service so that they can leave. Barnabas refuses (the cad!) and when pressed his excuse that he is "here to save two lives from the future, David and Amy". (Nice of him to recall that occasionally - even if it is only when it suits him) Magda - who thinks even less of his excuse than I do - complains that the only names that interest her are Sandor and Jenny! Barnabas refuses to let them go, saying it might change the past (NOW he's worried about that? I hope Angelique is somewhere listening and laughing). Barnabas points out that she would not even have known about Jenny if he had not been here to lock her up in Josette's room. (Hey, Barnabas, if you hadn't been there encouraging Rachel to sneak around in the first place, Jenny wouldn't have gotten out and stabbed Quentin in the first place). There is knock at the door and when Magda answers, Judith enters. She tells Magda that she's there to talk about Jenny but when she sees Barnabas, she says she'd like to speak with him alone. Magda complains of the cruelties visited upon her sister by the Collins family and Judith earns my undying disgust by replying in an incredible condescending tone that when Jenny went mad, Judith thought Quentin the cause so she did her best but now that she knows Jenny was Magda's sister, she assumes that the madness was already in her background and not Quentin's fault at all. Repulsive old drunk. She deserves a brother like Quentin. Barnabas tells a FURIOUS Magda that Jenny needs her and to go upstairs. Judith, who doesn't notice the utter and complete disgust on Barnabas' face, says that in a short time Barnabas has gone from knowing nothing about them to knowing the worst. Barnabas seems pretty fed up with Judith and tells her that his concern now is the poor creature's children. Judith tells him that there are no children and when Barnabas protests that Jenny said there were, Judith explains that Jenny is insane and what she says can't be taken seriously. Barnabas scowls and asks what she and Edward planning on doing with her and Judith says they plan to send her to a public institution tonight and face the scandal. Big of them. Bastards!

Up in Josette's room, Magda is sitting writing a letter while Jenny wanderings about the room babbling about how she hated life as a gypsy. She pauses to ask what Magda is writing and Magda says she is writing to Sandor that the two of them have gone to join the gypsy caravans where the family will take care of her. "You will like it this time, I promise," Magda tells her. "You will be able to do anything you like. You will be free." Jenny is horrified at the idea, and while Magda is busy with the letter, quietly sneaks out door. Now, I've written many letters - some quite important - and never once have I been SO into it that I wouldn't notice the very tall, babbling crazy woman that I have been specifically charged with watching tiptoe out of the room

Barnabas and Judith are still debating Jenny's future when Barnabas sees Jenny coming down the stairs and tells her that she should really stay in her room, Jenny shouts, "Don't come near me! You're dead! You're dead!" Judith asks, "Jenny, what are you talking about?" Jenny points at Barnabas and exclaims, "You were there in the coffin! In the coffin. You're dead! You were in that coffin in the basement!" Barnabas moves towards her, "Jenny, you know that's not true", but Jenny shouts, "No, no! Don't come near me!" and runs out the front doors.

Jenny runs to Collinwood, the house with perpetually unlocked doors but steps back out of the Foyer and hides when she hears Judith's voice close behind. Barnabas and Judith come in a moment later and see Beth in drawing room. They tell her that Jenny is loose again and needs to be found. Barnabas says they should split up and search but Judith says he shouldn't be there since he obviously frightens Jenny. She tells Beth to find Dirk and then the two of them should look. Beth leaves. Barnabas complains that Jenny was raving plain and simple and Judith remarks that Jenny's ravings are usually based on some germ of truth. Barnabas mentions the children and Judith again denies they exists - germ of truth or not. Finally Barnabas insists that he be allowed to help search since two people can't possibly search a house this size. She agrees that time is of the essence and they both go to join the search.

Jenny comes out of hiding - again from behind the curtains in the drawing room! - and imagines she hears Quentin calling her upstairs. She follows the voice into the bedroom hallway. She hears someone coming and hides behind the curtains of the hallway window. Beth comes calling, "Jenny, I want to help you! Let me help you, Jenny!" but Jenny remains in hiding. Finally, Beth leaves, going into the door at the end of the hall to search the West Wing. Jenny comes out from behind the curtains.

Beth comes into the drawing room and finds Quentin drinking. He is glad to see her and she is seriously annoyed with him. Not nearly as annoyed as I am but then I am not a freakishly tall housemaid with conflicted loyalties. I am simply a girl who admired the muttonchops and wishes they were on a more deserving host. He says everyone is too serious and he'd prefer soft music, dim lights. Beth tells him that Jenny is in the house and after him. Quentin says, "When I'm not after her, she's after me. Why not just let us meet?" Beth says can't since she knows what would happen they did. Quentin wonders which one she is protecting - Jenny or him. In any case, Quentin says he's tired of running and wants to get it over with now no matter what happens. Beth begs him to let her handle this and for some reason (probably because it says so in the script because it makes no sense character or otherwise) he agrees. She thanks him but he wants more than thanks, which he announces with a leer that actually makes me want to bathe. They are kissing but separate when Judith and Barnabas come into the room. Quentin turns to leave, but Judith says to stay because they need his help. Quentin remarks that he never thought he'd hear Judith say those words and is glad Beth is there as a witness. Judith sends Beth away, then tells Quentin that there's no way to find Jenny in a house this size, but Barnabas has a plan to catch her. Barnabas explains his plan to Quentin, "You and I will be in the drawing room. You will be playing your gramophone. One of the tunes you play is very much to her liking. Apparently, it reminds her of a time when you and she were much happier". Quentin compliments Barnabas on his tactfulness and suspect I am not the only one who is itching to slap Quentin at this moment. Judith tells Quentin, "Barnabas will be behind the curtains. She will see you, come in, and Barnabas..." Quentin interrupts, "Will jump out and save me". It seems at first like Quentin isn't going to go along with and he is rather coy as he remarks, "She's dangerous. I have the scars to prove it", then turns to Barnabas and says, "We could chat while the music played. I'd like to know why you locked Jenny in the old house. And I'd - " Barnabas, exasperated, asks, "Yes or no, Quentin!" Quentin turns to Judith and giving his agreement by implication to the plan, asks, "Are you going to hide with Barnabas, sister?" Judith says, "Thank you, Quentin!" Unknown to them, Jenny is in the foyer eavesdropping on them. And naturally Beth didn't see her on the way OUT earlier.

The plan goes into action. Quentin laughs bitterly, "I never thought I'd have to count on you, Barnabas." Then he glances around. "Let's see. I think I'll sit with my back to the door. It'll give her more of a chance with her knife". The gramophone is started, and Quentin's music plays loudly. Barnabas hides behind the curtains (the traditional hiding place of Collins' throughout the ages). Upstairs, Jenny hears Quentin's music. Quentin is sitting quietly in the chair toying with a length of cord and this doesn't seem to strike ANYONE as odd but it seems obvious to me that he's not playing cat's cradle with it. Hello? Anyone? Anyone? Time passes and when nothing happens, Barnabas finally comes out of hiding. Beth and Judith return to the drawing room and find that nothing has happened. The plan has failed. Barnabas suggests Jenny might no longer be in the house. Judith worries that she's gotten to the village.

Meanwhile, Jenny has come to Beth's room looking for the only one she feels she can trust. She toys briefly with some children's clothing she finds. Then, she notices a paring knife lying on a table beside a bowl of fruit and takes it. After all, she's managed to get a hold of every other knife in the house. Why not this one? She hears Beth's voice outside in the hallway and quickly hides behind some furniture (there being no floor length curtains available). Quentin and Beth come in and Beth declares that she will be unable to sleep. Quentin doesn't anticipate a problem. He shrugs and announces, "I'm going to search my room, then go to bed". Beth suggests that he shouldn't stay in the house but Quentin is confident Jenny will be found and when Beth says nothing, he asks her, "That's what you want, isn't it?" Beth admits that she's conflicted and feels guilty. "I wish I would be able to stop wishing something would happen to Jenny. I don't want her to come between us! I don't want you to have a wife! I'm so ashamed! I took such good care of Jenny! She was the only thing I had before you came back. I feel so deceitful!" Quentin says, "Now you have me. Doesn't that make up for it?" They kiss passionately. Jenny, seeing this, comes out from hiding, and advances on them menacingly. Quentin and Beth, busy kissing, do not see her...

Fri Dec 20: Beth tells Quentin that she's conflicted and feels guilty because she's can't stop wishing something would happen to Jenny. "I don't want you to have a wife! I'm so ashamed! I took such good care of Jenny! She was the only thing I had before you came back. I feel so deceitful!" Quentin says, "Now you have me. Doesn't that make up for it?" They kiss passionately. So, now Beth is conflicted, guilty, turned on and tall. Jenny comes out from hiding, sees the macking and advances on them menacingly. Beth, still feeling all those emotions listed above, adds terrified to the list as she opens her eyes and sees Jenny just in the nick of time. There is a mighty struggle as Quentin attempts to take the knife from Jenny, Jenny breaks away and goes for Beth managing to scratch her face as she shrieks about betrayal. After practically carrying Jenny across the room, Quentin disarms her, then goes that extra step and in a fury (which I suppose will be his defense) starts to strangle her. Beth clutches desperately at him screaming at him to stop but by the time Quentin lets go, Jenny is dead. Horrified look meets horrified look and Quentin (like the man that he is) flees from the room.

Edward, wearing a natty top hat, returns home as Beth comes rushing into the foyer crying, "She's dead! She's dead!" Edward not unnaturally asks whom (and suddenly, Edward reminds me of that magician in the animated Frosty the Snowman who says "Busy, busy, busy. I don't know why). Beth continues to babble hysterically, "It was an accident! He was protecting me! She was going to stab me! He didn't mean to kill her!" Edward shouts, "Get a hold of yourself and tell me what happened!" Beth takes a deep breath and cries piteously, "Jenny! She's in my room, dead!" Edward rushes to the servants' quarters with Beth on his heels. Meanwhile, Quentin is hiding, wondering what to do.

In Beth's room, Edward, always quick on the uptake, announces that Jenny is indeed dead and turns to Beth for clarification on what happened. He asks if Quentin is whom she meant when she said someone was protecting her and Beth that yes it was but it was an accident. When Edward asks what Quentin was doing in Beth's room Beth remains silent, so Edward draws all the right conclusions and says that when Jenny saw Beth in Quentin's embrace (I shudder, Beth shudders and even Edward shudders as he says the word) she obviously went wild. He then twists the knife in deeper and says that he's not surprised that seeing her trusted servant betraying her in such a fashion drove Jenny to such extreme measures. Beth looks ready to start crying again and unable to face Edward who speaks the truth even if it IS cruel, turns away. Edward sighs and asks where Quentin has gone and Beth says that he ran off. Edward (and I) remark "Typical." He picks up the knife, gives it to Beth, and tells her to take it back to the kitchen while he sorts this out. Edward, FAR more observant than Quentin (who was - let's face - just looking to get some and not in a noticing mood) notices the enormous pile of children's clothing in the room and is concerned that Quentin might have seen it but Beth assures him that Quentin couldn't have. I don't see why he couldn't have. I mean, it's right there on the dresser for the entire world - which includes Quentin for the time being - to see. Edward leaves telling Beth to clean herself up. He'll return shortly.

Quentin, laden with luggage is in the foyer when Edward sees him. He grabs Quentin's luggage, ignores Quentin's whining about not being able to stay here and announces that Quentin isn't going anywhere and drags the reluctant, murdering, muttonchops-wearing, philandering liar into the drawing room.

Edward, Quentin and Beth are in the drawing room with Quentin whining that it was an accident and that he didn't mean it. He pleads with Edward to believe him. Edward MUST be enjoying it immensely so it is to his credit that doesn't SHOW how much and simply says that he does believe Quentin but that he rather doubts the police will. Edward explains, "Much as I'd like to see you punished, I'll do my best to see you won't be. Listen carefully, both of you!" He says that they will tell the authorities that 30 minutes before Jenny was found in the foyer. She was very dizzy. Beth took her to her room and went for help, but when she got back, Jenny was dead. Quentin declares that no one would believe that and I must say that as disappointed as I am in Quentin, I must agree with him. Far too many holes and things that make no sense. Edward insists that it is the story and they will stick to it to protect the family name and pride. Edward thinks that since aside from the people in this room, only Dirk and Judith knew about Jenny it should be easy enough to contain. Quentin bitterly laughs and informs Edward that a lot has happened since he's been out (a whole DAY). He points out that Barnabas found about Jenny but Edward isn't worried about that. He says that Barnabas is a Collins, and can be counted on not to talk. Quentin asks how they will silence the gypsies who also found out about Jenny. Edward says (quite sensibly for a man who doesn't know the whole story) that they gypsies can be paid for their silence but Quentin lowers the boom (not the boom mike - that's in the Old House) and tells him that it is SO much more complicated now since none of them knew until just that day that Jenny was Magda's sister. Edward is STUNNED (ah, the Edward of old) "YOU MARRIED A GYPSY?" he gasps, horrified! Quentin calmly says, "Edward, this is no time to be socially offended." And I laugh because it IS funny and I feel warmly towards Quentin again - briefly. Despite Quentin's concerns, Edward proclaims that it will all be covered up!

There's a knock at the door and Edward goes to answer it, closing the drawing room doors behind him. It's Magda and Sandor asking if Jenny has been found. Edward pauses (and I wonder if he too has just noticed that Magda's hair is three separate shades of black?). No, it turns out that Edward was trying to think of a delicate way of putting and it tells them (relatively gently when you consider that it's Edward and how he feels about gypsies), "There has been an accident. Jenny is dead. She fell while coming down the stairs, hit her head, and died shortly after. I heard she was your relative. My condolences to you. She's in Beth's bedroom. I'll show you the way". Magda, shocked, replies that she knows the way and she and Sandor hurry to Beth's room. Edward goes back into the drawing room and tells Beth and Quentin that what they overheard will be the official story. Quentin fusses and fidgets and whines that he can't face them and Edward tells him to suck it up since it's the only way out of this situation.

In Beth's room, a distraught Magda is weeping that if Jenny had stayed with them, she would still be alive. Sandor, showing a heretofore unexpected philosophically side remarks, "Might have been is never was". Magda finds something grasped in Jenny's hand -- A button! They decide that it means Edward lied and that Jenny was strangled to death and tried to fight for her life! Magda declares, as gypsies do, "We must avenge her death

In the drawing room, Edward is rehearsing Beth and Quentin on their parts of the story. There is a knock at the drawing room doors. Edward whispers to Quentin and Beth, "Don't speak until spoken to! I will do the talking!" then opens doors. Magda and Sandor come in saying that they have some questions. Edward replies that of course they do and he is happy to answer whatever they like. Magda asks who saw Jenny fall down the stairs and when she is told that no one actually saw it, she wonders how they know that she fell? Edward demands to know if Magda is implying that the woman was pushed. Outrageous! Magda shrugs and says that she believes Jenny was not alone when she died. Sandor is staring at Quentin and Quentin is a tad unsettled by it. He's licking his lips nervously and it makes him look like a lizard. A furry lizard but a lizard nonetheless. He is even more unsettled (and lizardly) when Sandor excitedly points out that there is a button missing from Quentin's coat that matches the one in Magda's hand. Magda finds that the buttons match and exclaims, "Murderer! You killed my sister!" Edward shouts her down, saying it was an accident. Magda says that of course he is lying to protect Quentin and that she is going to the police!" Edward points out that it will be the word of a gypsy against the word of a Collins and that her proof is no proof at all since she could have picked the button up anywhere. Realizing that Edward is right, Magda decides to take more direct action. She announces in a grave and somber voice that she is going to set a curse on Quentin, "a curse that will stay with you all the days of your life! You will suffer as she suffered!" She and Sandor leave. Quentin, terrified, tells Edward that he has to stop her. He's sure Magda means it and can follow through on her promise. Edward, clearly a non-believer, brushes it off as just words and excuses himself to Barnabas and Judith about what's happened. Beth hurries to leave as well and Quentin begs her not to leave him there alone but Beth flees, taking her long, lanky spine and tattered remains of pride with her. Rock on, Beth! Quentin is left alone to hear Magda's threat over and over, a look of terror on his face.

Quentin is in his room, spending a sleepless night.

At the Old House, Magda and Sandor discuss whether it's better to kill Quentin or curse Quentin and surprise, Magda wins and curse is the way to go. Sandor glances at the bottle she has with her and asks if she's sure it will work. After all, he points out that she's never actually done this particular curse before. Magda says she's seen it done before when an old gypsy cursed Count Petofi after he betrayed her and refused to pay her. "So she put a curse on him. I saw what happened to that man!" Sandor asks, "What?" Magda coyly refuses to tell him, saying only, "You will see when it happens to Quentin!"

Quentin is still in his room jumping at every sound when Edward comes in to tell him that Barnabas has been told the "official story" and is on board. Quentin is still worrying about the curse and says that the gypsies must be paid off the prevent it. Edward, who doesn't believe in the curse but does believe in the power of money, asks how much it will take. Quentin replies that since Magda is a proud woman it would take a lot - at least $10,000. Edward doesn't have that kind of money but Judith does and Edward agrees to ask her for it on one condition: that Quentin renounce the right given to him in their Grandmother's will allowing him to live here, then he leave Collinwood forever. Quentin whines and I am disgusted but Edward stands firm. "Those are my conditions. They are non-negotiable. I'll give you time to think about it". Quentin, seeing that Edward actually means it says that he doesn't need time to think about it, he accepts and urges Edward to hurry. Edward promises to speak to Judith immediately and leaves. Now, it's really starting to bug me that we keep referring to Judith - who you'd think would be ALL OVER this situation - and we never SEE her. For several weeks now, we've seen Edward or Judith but never Edward AND Judith and no one ever sees or mentions Carl. I know that sometimes siblings aren't close but for crying out loud - they all live in the same house and there is a CRISIS happening. You'd think that at least they'd run into each other in the FOYER!

Edward is crossing the foyer when there is a knock at the door. My heart stops! Is it Judith? No. It's Magda and Sandor come for Jenny's body so that it can be buried according to gypsy tradition. Edward tells her that it's too late and that Jenny was buried this morning" Both gypsies are appalled and wail and gnash and cry out at the Collins Family Effrontery. As if to show that the Family Effrontery knows no bounds, Edward says snidely that it is too late for their pagan rituals. Now, Edward! There's no need for that! I know you're under pressure but come on!

Quentin is in his room, struggling against sleep and losing. As he's dozing off he hears Jenny's voice calling him, "Quentin! I'm coming back to you, I'm coming back!" Startled, as you might expect, Quentin demands to know where she is and as he looks around is shocked to see one of Jenny's doll's lying on a table. A knock on door causes him to jump but it's Edward so Quentin unlocks the door to let him in. He tells Edward that Jenny has come back to haunt him (and Quentin would know, since Grandma Edith haunted him as well) Edward scoffs and tells Quentin that it's his conscience haunting him (I'd point out to Edward that Quentin doesn't have one of those but alas, Edward is in the TV and I am home alone, snug in my non-haunted apartment.) Quentin demands to know if his conscience (which I still debate the existence of) put the doll there - but when he points to the table, he is surprised that there's nothing there. Edward tells Quentin to get a grip. He tells Quentin that he has spoken to Judith (if they are not in fact the same person) about the money and she agreed to provide it under one additional condition -she wants the gypsies off the estate too. Quentin can't imagine that would be a problem and he asks for the money. Edward tells him that he'll have it later and when Quentin protests at the delay, he is told Judith wants this to be done properly and legally so she's having Evan Handley draw up the papers. They won't be ready until later in the afternoon. Edward turns to leave and the still shaken Quentin begs Edward to stay with him. Edward, eyebrow arched, suggests that Quentin ask his maidservant friend to stay and keep him company if he's so lonely. Quentin gasps that he doesn't want Beth to see him like that and Edward snarks "No, I can see that you might not." Edward, King of Snark! Despite Quentin's continued pleading for company, Edward is outta there.

Quentin picks up a book and tries to read, but falls asleep and has a dream. In the dream (which you know is a dream because of all the red lighting and the Vaseline on the camera lens making it fuzzy), Magda comes into his room carrying a tambourine. She tells him of a ceremony he must undergo. He struggles to stay put but finds he is being compelled by some unseen force (the kind so often found in dreams) to move against his will. Magda tells him, "You must come with me! Jenny is waiting! Come!" Quentin shouts, "No! No! I won't go! Please don't make me go! I can't face her!" Magda tells him that he must and takes him down to the foyer (which even in dreams is a place of importance and high traffic) and knocks on the drawing room doors. Sandor opens the doors and they go in. Sandor explains to Quentin that there is an old gypsy belief that the spirit of someone who has been murdered cannot rest until she is blessed by the murderer. Quentin protests that he didn't murder her (even in his dream, he lies!) but Magda tells him that there are no police there so there is no need for you to deny it. They all look at Jenny's body in the coffin. Sandor remarks on how beautiful she is and Magda agrees and says, "As beautiful as the day you married her, Quentin". Quentin says she looks peaceful but Magda tells him that she will find no peace until you bless her. Sandor instructs Quentin to take Jenny's hand and he does. Seconds later, he shrieks like a girl when Jenny suddenly open her eyes. He screams, "She's alive! She's alive!" and I compliment him on staying conscious. I'd have passed out. Jenny says that she is awake just long enough for the ceremony and then grabs Quentin and kisses him. Sandor exclaims, "The kiss of death, Quentin, the kiss of death!" Magda says, "The ceremony is concluded! The kiss of death!" Quentin awakens screaming.

There's a knock at the door, then Edward's voice calling "Quentin!" Quentin unlocks door and blurts out his nightmare. He says that the curse has started, that Magda is going to have Jenny haunt him for the rest of my life! "That's the curse! Edward, you've got to do something!" Edward replies that it's been done as he hands Quentin the agreement that Handley drew up. Quentin takes the paper and signs it. Edward asks if he isn't going to read it first but Quentin replies, "I don't need to. Where's the money?" Edward gives him the money, then tells him that Judith (who I now envision as Edward in drag) wants him and the gypsies off the estate by tonight".

At the old house, Magda is holding a small vial of a pale brown liquid. Sandor remarks to Magda that it will be hard to get Quentin to drink it but she is sure she will come up with something. Sandor glances out the window and says in a shocked voice that Quentin's coming up the walk right at that very moment. Quentin comes in and says, "Magda! I've got to talk to you! I'm prepared to make it worth your while to remove the curse!" Magda, who hadn't even decided how to start the curse, looks puzzled and asks, "Remove it?" Quentin tells her that he knows she arranged to have Jenny haunt him and he can a goodly amount of money to have her stop the haunting. Magda sneers at his attempt to buy her off but when Quentin names the amount - $10,000 in cash - Sandor looks interested, looks at Magda and says, "It is much money!" Quentin presses this seeming advantage and says eagerly, "Yes, you'll be able to live like kings!" Magda thinks a moment and she and Sandor look meaningfully at each other. Then she turns to Quentin with a sad sort of nod and says, "May my poor unfortunate sister understand and forgive me! I will remove the curse, Quentin". She waves her hands around and chants a great deal of flummery, then announces, "There. The curse is removed!" Quentin is ecstatic, thanks her effusively and hands Magda the money. Sandor says they should drink to celebrate the bargain! After all, he points out "Quentin, you have just been relieved of a very large burden!" Magda says, "Now everyone is satisfied. We are rich, and you are free!" Sandor pours three drinks, surreptitiously pouring Magda's vial of potion into one. He gives a glass to Magda, then gives the one with the potion to Quentin, and picks one up for himself and says with tremendous verve, "Let us drink to that!" Everyone drinks. Quentin says declares that he'll be on his way (um, wait - wasn't he supposed to tell them to leave the estate?). He laughingly remarks that he'll go minus the $10,000 but that at least he's free of the curse. Magda laughs spitefully and announces that he is NOT free and that the curse has just begun! Quentin is naively puzzled and demands to know what she is talking about. Magda tells him that he was under no curse when you came here. He was suffering under the weight of his conscience (and again I say - hello? This is Quentin we are talking about) She throws the money at his feet with disgust and contempt and says he can keep his blood money! "The potion that causes the curse was in that drink! The curse will start tonight!"

And - welcome to another hiatus without Dark Shadows until Jan 2 or 3rd. When it comes back, Quentin will be a werewolf, Trask will woo Judith (gross), I assume that the children will re-appear and I can only hope that Carl will as well since I seem to recall that Carl gets involved with a showgirl of some kind (and even more shockingly a FEMALE one). And of course, the thing I am MOST looking forward to is the battle of the supernatural blondes when Angelique and Laura go at it hammers, tongs and curses. And perhaps we will go back to the present some day…

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