There was so much good in the long complex 1897 arc…the show was never quite the same after it ended and it introduced so many good things.
I remember seeing a great deal of this on first run…my memory also played a trick on me and I “remember” a scene that never actually happened. I swear I remember 1840’s Quentin (as a ghost) having a rapier sword fight with his very much alive 1897 nephew.
Barnabas’ motives for returning were so noble. Save a sick child and a cursed man, and the Collins family will continue…but his own nature kept frustrating his noble motives.
(Beth Chavez, used by Barn and Quentin at the same time. Poor kid.)
I usually split it into three parts in my head: Quentin the Ghost, Quentin the Player and Quentin the Cursed.
I loved Beth’s white dress during her time as a ghost and wished she’d worn it when she was alive. (FWIW I think Terry Crawford had the most amazing eyes, but her chin stopped her from being beautiful.]
I really hate the idea of a ghost deciding to control children and make them do evil. so the ghost part of the arc isn’t something I enjoy as much as the rest…but it’s got the victrola going, so it can’t be all bad.
I also love the fact that the arc went on so long, they had to rework the skeleton in Quentin’s room from being Quentin himself…to being the hapless Gregory Trask, by the end of the arc. Normally I’d prefer to think that this simply occurred because Barnabas changed history enough to make it necessary, but that would mean that Judith wasn’t the smart woman we see her as. I prefer to think Trask got what he deserved whether Barnabas had gone back in time or not. (Maybe he wasn’t bricked up in Quentin’s room, but there would have been many many ways to “make him go away.” Judith was a wealthy woman, and not without imagination, as we saw. ]
Grayson Hall couldn’t help but try and play the wise woman again with Magda even though it was a much more basic wisdom than Julia Hoffman’s was. She pretty much ran Sandor even before Barnabas bit him. Edward was a pain in the ***, period. I liked Quentin, but I so much wanted to run up to him at the beginning of his “alive” period and say, “Look, you’re enough of a hit with the women as it is, you don”t need to dabble in the “black arts,” to get more.
My favorite thing about Quentin is how contradictory and fickle he was. He wanted Jenny and married her. Then, he had an affair with Laura, was he seeing Beth at the same time? He loved Beth, no, he wanted Rachel, no, he was intrigued by Pansy, or Angelique, or even momentarily, poor chewed up Tessie.
How he could throw over devoted Beth Chavez, or intoxicating Angelique for a vanilla waif like Amanda Harris, and then have them chase each other for a century or more, cast as each others’ ‘great love?’ Ridiculous. I think his love was Beth Chavez, and he never knew it until she was gone.
Carl was a freak and a loser, and I wasn’t sad when he died, but it was clear John Karlen had fun playing against type.
Dirk Wilkins, who brought surly servitude to an art form, and was the Bestest Junior Vampire Ever. I can’t talk about his short stint in a coffin because I just laugh too much.
Laura Collins. It was a great treat to see her, particularly because from the original airdates until about 1995 her previous run as the Phoenix creature was not seen by fans. I always loved her disdain for men she’d previously coveted. Got the kid out of (some of) them and that was all she needed. The scenes between her and Angelique are just priceless, I’m not going to describe them. Go to Netfix or buy the DVDS.
I have little to say about Charity Trask/Real Pansy Faye/Charity-possesed-by-Pansy Faye.
Now *that* song, and that attitude and her pitiful obsession with Quentin were just nuts and in my opinion, a giant waste of time. There was enough courage and spunk there though, to have made quite a good character instead, and I always wondered why they didn’t concentrate on that part, the part that was determined enough to stake Barnabas and actually managed it, and dogged enough to try to keep Quentin from being possessed a second time…
…By Andreas Petofi. Now *that* was a villain. Intellectual, composer, gourmand, drinker, and with a casual power over vampires, werewolves, witches…you wondered where his expertise in the dark side of power began and where it ended, Creepier than Nicholas Blair, and not nearly so fastidious. I was ok with him possessing Jamison, because that got me the ongoing insolence of a ten year old asking for a brandy… I was also ok with him killing a few substitute I-Ching users, just so he could get the right combination of wands….I like the sort that don’t have to get their own hands dirty to achieve their ends. I understood that that’s why he needed Aristede, but that didn’t keep me from hating that skinny little vermin.
I never understood Petofi’s fear of the gypsies once he got the hand back…there were so many ways to outrun them…to simply be elswhere when they showed up…
He had so much power, that it was completely believable that it took a long time and multiple attempts to save people from him and even, even when he left the canvas, it was with a bit of mystery an open door for a possible later return. I shiver a bit when I think of what he would have made of 1969 Collinwood if he got there. Would the Leviathans (gag) have bested him? I think not.
I feel really lucky to have seen a lot of this during it’s first run…because it’s amazing to watch it take almost a years worth of episodes to unfold. When you see that old style telephone, you should know you will be in for one wild ride.