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May 22, 1967
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- My name is Victoria Winters. A secret from the past can exert a strong control over a woman. It can force her to do things that otherwise might be considered impossible. It can cause a woman to make the most difficult decision of her existence.
In the drawing room at Collinwood, Jason has just dropped a bombshell proposal on Elizabeth: they are to be married. She laughs in his face at the absurd notion, but McGuire asserts the seriousness of his suggestion.
Elizabeth refuses; she finds Jason detestable, and he all too gleefully brings up the 18 year-old incident involving Paul Stoddard which brought the two of them together. He threatens to expose Elizabeth if she doesn't go through with the marriage, and he continues to remind her of Paul's death. Since Elizabeth cannot transfer any more funds to Jason without arousing suspicion, marriage would solve that problem. Elizabeth still refuses; McGuire makes a beeline for the telephone, threatening to call the Sheriff.
Elizabeth, however, calls Jason's bluff. McGuire cruelly mentions Carolyn and tells Elizabeth she should confess to her daughter first. He continues to needle Elizabeth, but she is willing to accept the consequences rather than enter into a marriage with him. Jason leaves to fetch Carolyn so that she may hear the details of her own father's murder.
Carolyn is reading in the study when Jason comes in. He tells her Elizabeth wants to see her, and suggests that Carolyn be open-minded about what her mother has to say. Carolyn heads to the drawing room whilst McGuire paces nervously. There, Elizabeth informs Carolyn of something she has to tell her which she has been putting off for a long time. Elizabeth speaks about her life 18 years ago when she was happy, but in recent years she has only been existing in the shadows of Collinwood. She mentions Paul and confesses that he never knew Carolyn.
Elizabeth was blindly in love with the strong, dominating Paul Stoddard. But he never truly loved her in return, nor did he love or want Carolyn. Paul, who turned out to be a terrible, cruel man, never looked at Carolyn, never held her, and never even kissed her. Upset by this revelation, Carolyn storms out of the room. She returns to the study where an agitated Jason is relieved to hear Elizabeth wasn't able to finish her confession. Carolyn doesn't know what to believe about her father. McGuire claims that Paul talked about Carolyn incessantly and carried a photo of her in his wallet. He suggests Carolyn forget everything Elizabeth told her. Later, Jason returns to the drawing room where a defeated Elizabeth reluctantly agrees to his marriage proposal.
- Elizabeth: I'd die before I married you!
- Elizabeth: I have been existing in the shadows of this house.
- Elizabeth: I have to tell you something that I put off for much too long.
- Carolyn: You're not gonna tell me about the birds and the bees, are you?
- Joan Bennett as Elizabeth Collins Stoddard
- Dennis Patrick as Jason McGuire
- Nancy Barrett as Carolyn Stoddard
Background information and notes
- This is one of only five episodes in the series to feature just 3 actors as part of the on-screen cast, along with 18, 250, 507 and 1061.
- This episode is one of the few instances where the opening sequence does not mention Collinwood.
- A piece of music commonly used during this period of the series as a theme for the character of Victoria Winters is heard in the establishing shot of Carolyn in Elizabeth's study.
- Elizabeth mentions Paul Stoddard and confesses that he never knew Carolyn. She says Paul didn't love or want Carolyn. That he never looked at her, never held her and never even kissed her. Jason, on the other hand, tells Carolyn that Paul talked about her incessantly and carried a photo of her in his wallet. Of course he couldn't do any of those things because, as Carolyn herself told Victoria in 5, her father left her mother six months before Carolyn was born. Since Elizabeth 'killed' Paul, it isn't very likely that he returned for a visit at any time.