Friday, August 5, 2016

Episode 30: What Monsters We Create

Friday, August 5, 1966

My name is Victoria Winters. A brewing storm buffets the great house on Widow’s Hill, and angry spirits out of a dim past seem to pound against its walls, demanding admission.

There is no sound in the house, nothing but the echo of thunder and the whine of the rising wind. Yet the emptiness seems alive, alive with fear and tension, and built on a single terrifying fact: I am alone.

Vicki comes down the stairs as the lightning flashes intermittently through the windows. She goes into the drawing room and closes windows that have somehow still not been shut tight, despite all of Liz’s efforts. (And where is Liz now? Fast asleep from her exhausted worry, or out walking the grounds she never leaves at lightning flashes in the sky?)
While Vicki is attending to the windows, the drawing room doors shut, apparently by themselves. The lights go out, just as Carolyn warned they would. Vicki tries to open the doors, but they will not budge.
She gets matches off the mantelpiece and lights a candle. The doors open. A lightning flash reveals a silhouette standing in the doorway. 
Vicki asks, “Who’s there?” but receives no answer. 
When the flash comes again, there is only the empty hallway.
The lights come on. Vicki snuffs out her candle and turns the holder over as a possible weapon (Miss Winters with a candlestick in the drawing room? Miss Winters with a candlestick in the hall?), going cautiously into the hallway.
Roger comes in from the door next to the stairs. He says he must have been the figure Vicki saw—he’d been on his way to the basement to replace a fuse. (It doesn’t seem likely that this still, standing figure was Roger on his way anywhere.)
Vicki tells Roger that David, not Burke, tried to kill him. Roger finds this impossible to believe. He knows it was Burke.
“I found the bleeder valve,” Vicki tells him, “hidden in David’s room.”

David returns from washing up. Burke says when he was a kid, he had a dog that used to hide under the bed when it stormed. David never had a dog. Burke promises to buy him one someday. David says his father would never let him have one. Burke says they’ll see about that.
David tries but fails (as he must, since it is no longer there) to retrieve the bleeder valve from under the sofa cushion.

Driving David home, Burke tells him how, when he was a kid, he ran away and got seasick on a coastal freighter.
David wants to know it Burke meant it about being friends. Burke assures him he did. David says he needs to go back to the hotel room to get something he forgot, but Burke says they need to get David home. David won’t say what he forgot.

Vicki tells Roger about finding the valve and David’s retrieval of it. Roger says he knew David was a bright boy. This is probably the nicest thing Roger has ever said about David. Vicki shows him the magazine.
Roger says he never liked David, and never pretended to, but he never dreamed . . . “What monsters we create.”

Burke arrives with the prodigal son in tow. Roger takes David into the drawing room and shuts the door. Vicki tries to get Burke to leave, but he won’t.

David tells Roger that Vicki’s lying.
“If it wasn’t true, you could have stayed here and told me so.”
Roger would never have believed David. Vicki’s a grownup. He’s only a kid. Vicki probably took the valve, and when Roger got hurt, she—
Roger stops him. He makes David empty his pockets. Of course, no valve.

Burke is prattling on about the grandfather clock. He (again) brings up the first time he and Vicki met, when he advised her to go back home. He says, “There’s something going on in that room, and if my guess is right, you’re living in a madhouse, and you’d better get out while you still can.”

David sticks to his story. 
Roger asks Vicki to join them in the drawing room. He pointedly bids Burke good night.
David says Vicki made up the story about the bleeder valve because he took her letter.
“How many times did you tell me how much you hated your father?” That Roger was going to send David away. That David would get even with him.
David says he never meant any of that.
Vicki says he meant to take the valve out of the car. Maybe he didn’t know how serious it would be, but he meant it anyway.
Burke bursts in with the bleeder valve and asks if this is what they’re looking for.

        Cast, In Order of Appearance

Victoria Winters . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Alexandra Moltke
Roger Collins. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Louis Edmonds
Burke Devlin. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Mitchell Ryan
David Collins . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .David Henesy

Fashion by Ohrbach’s
Directed by John Sedwick
Story created and written by Art Wallace

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