Dark Shadows: The End of Angelique?

Young David Collins has finally listened to the late Dr. Lang’s recorded message regarding the connection between Barnabas and his creation, Adam: the gist of it is that if Adam dies, Barnabas will become a vampire again. Conversely, as long as Adam lives, Barnabas can’t be turned back into a vampire no matter what Angelique does to him. She has tried with her dream curse already, and failed.

Unfortunately, once David discovered the message, he went to Angelique in her guise as his stepmother Cassandra, to ask her what it meant. This gives her the key she’s been looking for.

After he’s given the tape recorder to Cassandra, David tells Dr. Julia Hoffman about the message as well since Dr. Lang was speaking to her. He did try to talk to her once before over at the old house, but Willie shooed him away. David doesn’t remember the message well enough to give Dr. Hoffman more than an idea of its vital importance, but the boy can’t produce the tape for her to listen to herself. Angelique has destroyed it.

The doctor and Barnabas are now desperate to locate Adam before Angelique does, but Carolyn and Professor Stokes have hidden him away and won’t tell them where. Stokes knows something of Adam’s creation, but doesn’t fully understand the connection between Adam and Barnabas.

Barnabas's funeralDr. Hoffman had promised to explain everything a few episodes ago when the professor helped her dig up Barnabas after she’d buried him, thinking him dead, but then reneged on her promise. She still refuses to tell him even when she asks for his help, although she does give him a partially true story about how Barnabas had the final dream of the curse and apparently dropped dead (leaving out the vampire bit).

Stokes in reply tells her he knows how Adam was created, and by whom. So they’re at a standstill. Carolyn pretends to be completely ignorant of Adam’s whereabouts when Barnabas asks her.

It looks like poor Adam’s days are numbered, since it’s only a matter of Angelique finding out where he is before anyone else–but then there comes a twist I hadn’t anticipated.

Nicholas Blair, who’s come to Collinwood posing as Cassandra’s brother while he seems to actually be her superior, wants Adam kept alive. He’s more interested in the possibilities of artificially-created life than he is in Angelique’s petty personal vendetta against Barnabas. It’s not something Nicholas has in his power to do.

He tells Angelique to lay off, but she doesn’t intend to give up her revenge so easily.

While all this is going on, Adam’s been hidden away in a room in the disused west wing of Collinwood. He passes the time by reading poetry and looking at pictures in old books, and he’s fallen in love with Carolyn. Carolyn’s willing to protect Adam because she’s grateful he saved her life once and she feels sorry for him, but her own interest isn’t romantic. The numerous facial scars on the big guy are off-putting.

It’s Nicholas who finds Adam first. He conjures up the spirits of the dead men who Dr. Lang used body parts from to create Adam. One spirit shows up without a head. Another has no right arm. (Adam tells Carolyn his head and arm feel “funny”.) The one-armed spirit points toward the house. This is enough to show Nicholas where to look.

Once he locates Adam’s room, Nicholas introduces himself and says that Stokes sent him to be Adam’s teacher “of your higher learning.” He flatters Adam, telling him that he’s smart and strong and very important. On the subject of this unrequited love for Carolyn, Nicholas advises Adam that he should be a man and take what he wants. Grab it. I had a feeling that’s the kind of education he’d provide.

Angelique has found Adam too. Later that night, she ignores Nicholas’s repeated warnings to keep her hands off and stands over Adam’s bed while he’s sleeping. Using a bizarre piece of reasoning, she declares that if she uses magic to kill Adam, then Nicholas will know it was her, so therefore she must do it in a way a mortal would. Yeah–I’m sure he’d never guess who’s responsible.

Angelique and her hatchett Then she holds up an axe and prepares to go all Lizzie Borden on the sleeping figure…

Nicholas is standing right behind her to stop her.

He sends Angelique away while he tries to calm Adam down. Angelique refuses to give up. She doesn’t seem to care what Nicholas will do to her as long as she kills Adam and gets her revenge on Barnabas first.

Once she’s back in the Collinwood drawing room, she takes out a little voodoo doll and a big pin and starts jabbing.

Nicholas shows up to stop her again before Adam experiences more than a few chest pains. A couple of curious points come up during their argument. I had thought that Nicholas was the Devil, since he seems to be Angelique’s master and has power over her. Plus he’s got a devilish look to him, particularly with his pointy eyebrows. But that isn’t the case. He speaks of “my master,” indicating that there’s somebody else above him in the hierarchy of Evil. “My master too,” Angelique replies, to which Nicholas answers, “Your master died long ago at the old house.” I have no idea who he’s referring to.

For her punishment, Angelique’s powers are revoked and she becomes mortal. Like all mortals, she will die–and by that, Nicholas means tonight, but he’s saving the details for a surprise.

Roger, hearing voices quarreling in the drawing room in the middle of the night, comes downstairs to find out what’s going on. Cassandra/Angelique has no time for him, tells him she never loved him and their marriage was a sham from the beginning, and that she has something she has do. She runs out of the house. I half-expected that she was going to have one last go at Adam before the end, but she’s heading over to the old house to see Barnabas.

When she gets there, of course Barnabas is up too. For the first time since she showed up as Cassandra, she admits her true identity. She tells Barnabas she is now mortal, and so is he. Then she pulls out a pistol, but can’t shoot him. Angelique quickly deteriorates to the point that she can no longer hold the pistol and sinks down into a chair. She’s wearing a hooded cloak that now conceals her face.

Meanwhile, in her bedroom at Collinwood, Vicky is about the only person asleep even though it’s like 3:00 in the morning. She wakes when the portrait of Angelique starts to glow. Before her eyes, the painting changes from an image of a young woman to an old and wart-covered hag.

Portrait of AngeliqueVicky runs to get Dr. Hoffman (who’s up and dressed). Once she sees the altered painting, the doctor goes over to the old house to find Barnabas with Angelique in the same withered condition.

Angelique is nearly 200 years old; Nicholas said she was born in 1774. It’s all catching up with her now.

She runs back to Collinwood to beg Nicholas to spare her. The other two follow. By the time they catch up, Roger has found the old woman collapsed at the front door. He doesn’t recognize her as his wife and is amazed that this aged stranger could have found her way to the house from who-knows where. Poor, clueless Roger–everybody around him, even his own 11-year-old son, knows more of what’s going on than he does.

Dr. Hoffman examines the ancient Angelique and says that her heart is failing; she’ll be dead in a matter of minutes. The doctor was in favor of killing Angelique and freeing Barnabas forever while they had the chance, but it seems that’s not necessary. However, she tells Roger and Barnabas the first part of this in the front hall while leaving Angelique alone in the drawing room. When they go in, the room is empty. Angelique has apparently escaped out through the French window.

No, that’s not the way she went. There’s an old secret passage behind the paneling that goes up to Vicky’s room, last seen used in 1795 when Josette sneaked out of the house to meet Barnabas when he was trying to turn her into a vampire like himself. Vicky isn’t in the room–she’s gone to sleep in Carolyn’s room to get away from the creepy, glowing, changing portrait–but she isn’t what Angelique’s after. It’s the portrait Angelique wants in order to to save herself.

Nicholas is waiting there for her. He tells her that without her powers, the painting will do her no good, but he relents a little. He needs Barnabas to learn the secret of how Adam was made. If she apologizes to Barnabas and he forgives her, then Nicholas will let her live.

Angelique takes the long walk back over to the old house to apologize and beg forgiveness. Barnabas proves a tougher cookie than I expected. He refuses to forgive her. He might for what she’s done to him, but not for her killing everyone he loved–Josette, his mother, not to mention his little sister (he doesn’t actually mention his sister, but I’m sure she’s in there too). Then there’s all the misery and pain she’s caused since she reappeared in the 20th century. So, no.

Angelique expires, but I’m not convinced that this is really the end of her.

Barnabas and Julia don’t believe it either. They go and have a look at the painting. The canvas is now wrinkled and blank.

While they’re over at Collinwood, Nicholas appears at the old house. He picks up Angelique’s body and carries her out. When Barnabas and Julia return, they find her gone and this only increases their doubts about her truly being dead. But Barnabas is inclined to hope.

Later that morning, Nicholas shows Roger a note that Cassandra supposedly wrote. It is in her handwriting and says that she’s leaving Roger and never coming back. Nicholas says that he’d feel awkward staying on at Collinwood, but he likes Collinsport and plans to buy a cottage in the town. Roger shows him the house where Dr. Lang used to live. It belongs to Elizabeth Collins-Stoddart, but Roger is acting as her agent as long as she’s in a mental hospital and believes she’s Naomi. Nicholas agrees to rent the place.

The first thing he does in his new home is place Angelique’s coffin in a little room in the basement. He tells her that her plans would never work, but his are going to.

As Professor Stokes will say when he hears the news: The Queen is dead. Long live the King.

I’m still not convinced we’ve seen the last of her.

About Kathryn L Ramage

Kathryn L. Ramage has a B.A. and M.A. in English lit and has been writing for as long as she can remember. She lives in Maryland with three calico cats. As well as being the author of numerous short stories, novellas, and essays, she is the author of "Maiden in Light," "The Wizard's Son," and "Sonnedragon," novels set on an alternate Earth whose history has diverged from ours somewhere during the medieval period. All three are part of an intended series of fantasy novels that mostly take place in a dukedom called the Northlands, a part of the Norman Empire that roughly covers the north-eastern U.S.
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