Sarah! We began with the Ghost of Sarah aiding Maggie Evans. It was touching, however I wonder what it would have been like were this the first time we were meeting the Ghost. Given Maggie’s state of mind, they really could have played up a nice sense of ambiguity regarding Sarah’s status as a figment of her imagination.
Hoffman! It’s not long until we finally meet Dr. Julia Hoffman. I wonder if they’d decided to extend Frid‘s run at this point. I suspect so. At the same time, she’s immediately introduced as a headstrong, Stokes-smart character, easily a match for Barnabas. She is just a force of nature. I know that Grayson Hall‘s acting gets razzed, but when you consider the outlandishness of the show and the operatic nature of Barnabas as a villain, she fits right in. She’s an actress who makes bold, interesting choices, and commits to them, 1oo%. (Hence her Oscar nomination.)
Maggie! Again, it’s harrowing and surprising to see the extent her post-captivity psychological pain. Uncomfortably so. I remain consistently surprised by how raw this show can be.
Joan! What great monologues. Seeing a great star like Joan Bennett get the chance to act for this many hours, in this many scenes, charting the gamut of experience. Where else are you going to find that? By comparison, movies or even weekly television offer almost no acting opportunities.
Vicky! Barnabas is certainly romantically resilient. He’s moved right on Vicky. I think the producers realized I made a mistake in not making her the reincarnation of Josette and are doing what they can to realign her as the semi-protagonist.
Marriage! The tension building up to the wedding was the big event of the show when I watched this segment as a kid in 1982. Still is. How ironic. The vampire was cool, but the real-world villain emerged as the true antagonist then and now. (And it’s hilarious to see how meticulous and prissy he is as he breathlessly plans the wedding like a star-struck adolescent.