March 24, 1971
|We have 3 images of Dark Shadows 1245|
- Collinwood, just before dawn. The most important dawn the Collins family has ever faced. For Morgan, knowing that his wife carries Bramwell's child, has put her in the locked room with him. And, as the rest of the family pray that Bramwell and Catherine may survive the night and that the curse upon them all may come to an end, Morgan goes down the corridor to the room determined that if the spirits in the room have left Catherine and Bramwell alive, he will kill them.
Morgan enters the locked room, but finds it empty. The ghost of Brutus then appears, telling Morgan, “You shall not have them. They are mine!”
Bramwell and Catherine are in the records room, gazing over the corpses of James and Amanda. They realize the night is almost over, and once they leave the locked room, the two plan to leave Collinsport forever. Brutus appears to them, calling out for “Amanda” and imploring her to come to him. Catherine becomes possessed once again and reaches out for Brutus, but Bramwell holds on tightly to her. As he does, Brutus begins to choke him, causing him to lose his grip on Catherine. She manages to fight off the possession as Brutus continues to call out to her. Catherine declares she will never join him, and they will bury James and Amanda’s bodies in holy ground. Realizing his curse cannot conquer their love, Brutus declares that Bramwell and Catherine have won, and he disappears forever.
The two lovers embrace, but their happiness is short-lived, as Morgan confronts them in the locked room. Realizing that Bramwell has successfully ended the curse, Morgan shoots him in the shoulder.
Catherine throws herself over Bramwell, shielding him from Morgan and declaring that she only loves Bramwell. Morgan pulls her away and prepares to kill Bramwell, but Julia and Kendrick arrive just in time. Holding them all at gunpoint, Morgan takes Catherine hostage and leaves, while Kendrick goes after them. Julia helps Bramwell to his feet, and they depart the locked room for the final time, leaving the doors open.
Julia meets with Flora and together they enter the tower room, hoping that Melanie is no longer possessed.
Flora awakens Melanie and finds that she is no longer possessed by Amanda. Melanie becomes aware she had another attack and agrees to annul her marriage to Kendrick, but Flora explains the curse is finally over and she will never have to worry about having attacks again. Julia leaves to go find Kendrick, while Flora tells Melanie everything that has happened.
Julia enters the drawing room and hears a noise coming from behind the secret panel in the wall. She fears that it’s Morgan, but it is Kendrick who comes out. She tells him that Melanie has recovered and is waiting for him in the drawing room.
Meanwhile, Bramwell is searching the corridors for Morgan and Catherine, and comes across Catherine’s handkerchief.
In the tower room, Flora admits she isn’t sure how she feels about Catherine, now knowing that she was unfaithful to Morgan. Kendrick then arrives for a happy reunion with a recovered Melanie. They embrace, but he tells her he has to leave again to search for Morgan.
Morgan takes Catherine to the roof of Collinwood, and tells her he is going to lure Bramwell so he can watch him push her over the edge. Bramwell arrives on the roof.
Morgan declares that first he is going to push Catherine off the roof, and then kill Bramwell. Suddenly, Kendrick sneaks up on Morgan from behind and knocks the pistol out of his hands. A fight ensues involving the three men; amidst the chaos, Morgan turns and lunges at Kendrick but misses and falls through the railing to his death.
In the drawing room, Flora grieves over Morgan’s death, despite Julia pointing out there was almost no happiness left for him in the world. Flora partially blames Bramwell and Catherine for his death. Julia agrees, but acknowledges they ended Brutus’ curse and saved countless lives for future generations of the family. The two leave to prepare for Morgan’s funeral.
Kendrick goes to the tower room to find Melanie, who is packing her belongings. The two declare their love for each other, and agree to leave Collinsport that night.
Back in the drawing room, Bramwell and Catherine are also sharing a happy moment together. Catherine finally confesses she made a mistake marrying Morgan, but feels incredibly guilty about his death. She also fears her relationship with Flora and Julia may be forever broken. Bramwell is understanding, but says they will leave Collinsport within a week and never return, but never forget anything that happened to them.
That night in the drawing room, Flora forgives Bramwell and urges him to stay at Collinwood with Catherine, saying the family has been broken apart far too may times. Kendrick arrives and thanks Flora for understanding that he and Melanie are leaving town on such short notice. He asks if Melanie is ready, but she went to the cottage to say goodbye to Carrie. Suddenly, Ben and another servant, Harris, rush into the house, carrying Melanie. Harris says he found her unconscious in the woods. As they examine Melanie, they notice two bite marks on her neck. Ben wonders aloud, at Bramwell’s urging, if there is a vampire at Collinwood.
- There was no vampire loose on the great estate. For the first time at Collinwood, the marks on the neck were indeed those of an animal. Melanie soon recovered and went to live in Boston with her beloved Kendrick. There, they prospered and had three children. Bramwell and Catherine were soon married and, at Flora's insistence, stayed on at Collinwood, where Bramwell assumed control of the Collins business interests. Their love became a living legend. And, for as long as they lived, the dark shadows at Collinwood were but a memory of the distant past. (This is the fourth of four times in the entire series that a character utters the words, Dark Shadows in the dialogue. Can you find the other three? Episode 1245 epilogue)
- Ben Stokes: If I didn't know better, if I didn't know it was impossible, I'd swear there was a vampire at Collinwood.
- ← Joan Bennett as Flora Collins (PT)
- ← Jonathan Frid as Bramwell Collins
- ← Nancy Barrett as Melanie Collins Young
- ← Louis Edmonds as Brutus Collins
- ← Grayson Hall as Julia Collins
- ← John Karlen as Kendrick Young
- ← Lara Parker as Catherine Harridge Collins
- ← Thayer David as Ben Stokes (PT)
- ← Keith Prentice as Morgan Collins
- Gordon Russell as Harris, the 2nd Footman
Background information and notes
- Final episode of the original series.
- Joan Bennett and Louis Edmonds are the only actors to have appeared in both the first and final episodes. Nancy Barrett is the only other actor to have been with the series from its beginning, having first appeared in the second episode.
- Longest-serving Dark Shadows writer Gordon Russell makes a cameo appearance at the end of the episode as Harris, the 2nd Footman.
- The final line of dialogue, "If I didn't know better, if I didn't know it was impossible, I'd swear there was a vampire at Collinwood", was originally written for Jonathan Frid as Bramwell to say as a little wink to the audience. However, Frid, feeling it was a little too knowing and mocked the character of Barnabas Collins, refused to say it. Instead, the line was given to Thayer David as Ben, having not originally been scheduled to appear, hence why David only appears in the final scene of the episode. 
- The final scene, after Harris enters, as originally scripted:
- HARRIS' VOICE: Mrs. Collins!
- FLORA: What is it, Harris?
- (Harris appears in the doorway. He is half supporting Melanie, who has been attacked in the woods.)
- HARRIS: I found her in the woods.
- KENDRICK: Melanie! What's happened? My God . . .
- JULIA: Get her to the sofa . . .
- (They do . . .she is crying softly.)
- HARRIS: She must have been attacked by something -- some animal.
- FLORA: Get the doctor.
- (He nods and leaves.)
- KENDRICK: Melanie. . .Melanie. . .are you all right. . .?
- JULIA: Look!
- (She points to Melanie's neck.)
- FLORA: What. . .what. . .?
- (Bramwell looks down. The camera zooms to what he sees. There are two holes in Melanie's neck.)
- KENDRICK: What could have caused them? Melanie, talk to us. . .tell us.
- (But she cannot. She shakes her head.)
- FLORA: What could it have been?
- JULIA: What kind of animal makes a mark like that?
- BRAMWELL: If I didn't know bettter [sic] . . .
- (He stops)
- KENDRICK: Yes, Bramwell?
- BRAMWELL: If I didn't know it was impossible, I would say. . .there is a vampire at Collinwood.
- (And we pan their shocked faces as we:)
- FADE OUT.
- ONE COMMERCIAL.
- The final scene, after Harris enters, as originally scripted:
- Several months after the airing of this episode, Sam Hall would write an article for TV Guide which tied up several loose ends pertaining to the main time-band, titled Here's What Really Happened to Barnabas & Co.
- Closing credits scene: Collinwood foyer.
- There is a secret passage at the end of the hallway leading to the locked room.
- Kendrick's horse is at the livery stable.
- The closing narration states that Bramwell and Catherine married.
- GHOSTWATCH: Brutus Collins' ghost appears to Morgan. Later, Brutus appears to Bramwell and Catherine.
- TIMELINE: Kendrick will return for Melanie in an hour. 10pm: The final scene.
Bloopers and continuity errors
- The handgun Morgan is holding is a single-shot musket style gun. He would have had to reload the primer, powder, and bullet after shooting Bramwell. Catherine and Bramwell should have known that since that is how guns and rifles were in that time period.
- As the ghost of Brutus disappears, a stagehand can be seen at the right of the screen giving Jonathan Frid and Lara Parker their cue to react.
- When Catherine rushes to the balcony door as Morgan is calling for Bramwell, and Catherine then struggles with Morgan, the doorway shakes.
- Bramwell seems to have made a miraculous recovery from his gunshot wound within a very short time. He seemed barely able to stand at the end of the scene when he got shot, but later he is walking the corridors and hidden passages looking for Morgan and Catherine with no sign of pain or injury. Later, Catherine even leans her head on the shoulder of Bramwell where he was shot.