- My name is Victoria Winters. There are no limits to the things some men will do. They sink to the bottomless depths of corruption. They will desecrate sacred ground, and violate that which should remain sealed forever.
Jason encounters Willie in the foyer of Collinwood. He tersely asks him about his most recent activities, but Willie plays it cool and acts as if his behavior is perfectly normal. Jason suspects that Willie is planning some new scheme, but Willie brushes him, preferring instead to stare with great interest at a portrait of the bejeweled, aristocratic Barnabas Collins hanging in the foyer.
Act I Jason tells Willie to pack his things and prepare to leave Collinsport. Shortly thereafter, Jason meets with Elizabeth in the Drawing room at Collinwood. He pressures her about a sum of money she had promised him, and Elizabeth angrily passes him a thick envelope. She tells Jason that she wants Willie to leave – tonight! Jason leaves to track Willie down. Meantime, in a storage shed, Willie searches for and packs up several tools.
Act II Later that evening, Willie takes a tool bag and goes to the Collins Family mausoleum. He suspects that the Collins family jewels may be hidden within the mausoleum and is prepared to steal them before leaving town. Back at Collinwood, Vicki enters the drawing room, and she speaks at length with Elizabeth who informs her of Willie's pressing exodus. Elizabeth is surprised to learn that Willie has been looking into the Collins family history, and that he has a particular interest in the portrait beside the doors in the foyer. She tells Vicki about Barnabas Collins and how he was known for his jewelery. Elizabeth finds it strange that a man like Willie would be interested in jewelery found only in a painting. Meanwhile, Willie inspects the inner chamber of the mausoleum and finds three coffins laying side by side.
Act III Willie tries to pry open the coffin of Naomi Collins, but finds that he is unable to. He hears a heartbeat sound coming from behind the wall and backs away in terror. Back at Collinwood, Jason comes downstairs and Elizabeth demands an update on Willie's imminent departure. He tries to placate her, but Liz tells him to take care of Willie at once. Elsewhere, the heartbeat drives Willie almost out of the mausoleum, but once it stops he resumes his grave robbing. Unpacking his tool bag, he takes out a pulley and some rope. He runs the rope through an iron ring hanging from the lion's head relief on the wall behind the coffin. However, rather than opening the coffin of Naomi Collins, the pulley succeeds in tripping a hidden switch, which opens a door into a secret crypt inside the mausoleum.
Act IV Willie enters this secret chamber and finds a solitary coffin, wrapped in thick, sturdy chains. Convinced that this is the resting place of the coveted family jewels, he gets to work on prying the chains loose. Meanwhile, Jason enters the main door to the Great House, returning from a fruitless search for Willie. He joins Vicki in the drawing room, but she resists his efforts to cozy up to her and starts to leave. He tries to talk her into staying and in the course of the conversation learns that Vicki saw Willie leaving with what she assumes are his things. J-boy starts to point out that Willie's things are still there, and that he wouldn't have left without Liz's payoff, but stops before he says too much. Willie breaks the lock on the third and last chain to the beat of a telltale heart. Grinning like an idiot, he opens the coffin. A look of terror passes across his face as a hand reaches out of the coffin and grabs him by the throat!
Memorable quotes Edit
- Willie Loomis: "Honest! I'll swear on a bible!"
- Jason McGuire: "A bible you could swear on will never be written, Willie!"
- Willie: What, are you going to get rough with me?
- Jason: (to Willie) As rough as I have to be!
Dramatis personae Edit
- ← Joan Bennett as Elizabeth Collins Stoddard →
- ← John Karlen as Willie Loomis →
- ← Dennis Patrick as Jason McGuire →
- ← and Alexandra Moltke as Victoria Winters →
- Barnabas Collins → (hand): ← Tim Gordon → (uncredited)
Background information and notes Edit
- This is the first appearance of the character of Barnabas Collins. However, Jonathan Frid, the actor who portrays Barnabas throughout the remainder of the series, will not appear until the next episode. His appearance here is merely a cameo, as all we see of him is his left hand (portrayed by Tim Gordon). A portrait of Barnabas Collins hangs in the foyer at Collinwood; producer Robert Costello posed in costume for a reference photograph, and Frid's face was added to the painting after he was cast.
- The identity of the person inside the third coffin inside of the Collins Family mausoleum is not revealed in this episode. In episode 211, it will be revealed that the occupant of the coffin is a child. In the next episode (211), the name of the child will be revealed as Sarah Collins.
- The mirror that had previously hung in the place of Barnabas' portrait can now be seen beside the painting.
Continuity and mistakes Edit
- The shadow of one of the crew members falls across Willie's back while he is arguing with Jason in the foyer of Collinwood.
- A door can be heard slamming and feet shuffling about as Vicki has a conversation with Elizabeth in the drawing room at Collinwood.
- This episode features the grave markers of Naomi and Joshua Collins. The date on Naomi's memorial plaque reads 1761-1821. This will be retroactively challenged in later episodes as it will be established that Naomi dies in the year 1796, not 1821. Naomi's birth date of 1761 should also be called into question as that would make her thirty-five years old at the time of her death. Given the age of actress Joan Bennett who plays the part of Naomi in later episodes, this is a very complimentary birth date indeed.
- In this episode, Barnabas' trademark black, signet ring is shown on his left hand. In later episodes (as well as his portrait at Collinwood), he wears the ring on his right hand.
- It's been estimated that only about 52 days have gone by since Vicki came to Collinsport.