Thursday, June 30, 2016

Episode 4: The Interrogation of Victoria Winters

Thursday, June 30, 1966
My name is Victoria Winters.

The dark night presses in on the crest of Widows Hill as though it were alive. I can almost feel it, crushing against the windows, whispering to me to run while I can. But I’ve come too far and waited too long, and the fear of darkness is only for children.

Vicki is in bed reading. Her mercurial window blows open. She shuts it and attempts to return to her book, but she hears noises. Someone is walking down the stairs. Nervously, she brushes her hair. Finally, she goes to her door and listens.
Liz catches Roger going to Vicki’s room. Roger tells her to go back to bed, but she wants to talk with him. They go down to the drawing room and Liz tells Roger that Vicki is there to care for Roger’s son, not him. After blustering about morals, Roger says he just wanted to talk to “the girl.”
He wants to talk with her about Burke Devlin, naturally. What else? Liz is ruffled to hear that Burke is back in town. Somehow, she always knew he’d come back. Roger informs her that Burke is no longer the poor kid who used to work for them. Liz insists that “what happened between [Roger] and Burke was finished ten years ago.”
Roger thinks maybe Vicki knows something, since she and Burke were on the train together. Liz doesn’t want Vicki involved, but Roger says she already is. Burke could be here to “destroy [him], maybe to kill [him].”
Liz tells him he’s a Collins and advises him to act like one. Roger asks if he should do what Liz does, “hide my head and wait for [trouble] to disappear? I’m not prepared to spend my life the way you have, sitting in this house, waiting, never going out. That’s not my way, and it never will be.”
Carolyn interrupts at this juncture, congratulating Roger on his beautiful speech and suggesting they have the door soundproofed. She wants to know who is trying to kill Roger. She wants to know about Burke Devlin. She heard his name from Vicki.
Roger demands to talk to Vicki. Liz finally agrees, and Carolyn goes up to get her. Liz takes advantage of this interval to lecture her brother about how inadequate he is compared to previous Collin men. “Look at them, Roger, lined up on the wall. Isaac Collins, Jeremiah Collins, Theodore, Benjamin—how would they handle this problem, if there really is a problem?”
“Elizabeth, I’m going to fight every way I can, but please understand this: It may be an unpleasant fact, but it’s true. I’m not Isaac, I’m not Jeremiah, I’m not any of them. I’m me, Roger Collins, and I’m going to fight my way.”

Carolyn assures Vicki that Uncle Roger is a very nice guy, but he’s had a rough time, with his wife (who isn’t dead) and with David. But right now, he just wants to ask Vicki a few questions. Vicki objects that it’s almost midnight. “But that’s the point,” Carolyn flippantly replies. “At the stroke of twelve, he turns into Dracula.” (Interesting to note that Dracula is known in the Dark Shadows world.) Carolyn coaxes Vicki to come downstairs. “He won’t bite.”
Carolyn adds that she’s glad Vicki’s there before obediently going off to bed.

Vicki joins Liz and Roger in the drawing room. Liz begins to question Vicki, but she is satisfied with far less in the way of answers than Roger, so he puts the kibosh on the idea that they can all go to bed now. Liz leaves Roger and Vicki alone.
Vicki declines her host’s offer of brandy. She knows it burns. Roger notes, “Pain sometimes precedes pleasure, Miss Winters, or are you too young to have discovered that yet?” Vicki says she would rather avoid the pain as long as possible.
Roger is not long in breaking his promises to Carolyn and Liz to be kind and on good behavior.
Vicki admits that Burke warned her to stay away from Collinwood but denies knowing more about him.
Roger demands to know why she took the train from New York instead of flying.
“Because it was cheaper!”
Did she think Burke Devlin needed to worry about money?
“How should I know?”
“He’s a very rich man. Why do you think he would take that long train ride from New York?”
“I don’t know. Maybe he doesn’t like flying.”
Or maybe, Roger posits, he knew Vicki was going to be on the train.
Vicki has had it with Roger (and who could blame her?). She never heard of Burke Devlin until he was kind enough to offer her a ride. She is not sticking around “so [Roger] can shout at [her], question [her], accuse [her] of dishonesty. She is “going to go get some sleep because [she] might want to take that early train in the morning.”

Vicki is awakened by the sound of sobbing in the middle of the night. She goes downstairs to investigate. The sobbing stops.
David comes down the stairs and announces, “I hate you.”

Cast, In Order of Appearance

Victoria Winters . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Alexandra Moltke
Elizabeth Collins Stoddard . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Joan Bennett
Roger Collins . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Louis Edmonds
Carolyn Stoddard . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Nancy Barrett
David Collins . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .David Henesy

Fashion by Ohrbach’s
Directed by Lela Swift
Story created and written by Art Wallace

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