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September 18, 1967
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- On this night near Collinwood, a man lies dying... a man who knows a terrifying secret. If he dies, he will carry that secret to his grave. But, if he lives, there is one he can expose-one whose very existence depends on his death.
Barnabas Collins anxiously paces the Old House parlour when Dr. Julia Hoffman arrives to report on Willie Loomis' condition. Willie remains in a coma and, in all probability, will never awaken. This is not good enough for Barnabas, who decides that his former servant must die tonight.
Julia tries to dissuade Barnabas from his plan. After all, Willie is surrounded by people day and night. Barnabas should let him die naturally instead of raising more suspicion. But the vampire is not willing to risk the chance of Willie waking and betraying his secret. However, Julia stops Barnabas in his tracks when she tells him Sheriff George Patterson will be paying him a visit. It seems the Sheriff has more questions for him regarding Willie and wishes to search Willie's room for more clues proving Willie to be the Collinsport Strangler. Although this angers Barnabas, Julia believes he might turn the situation to his advantage. Indeed, Barnabas decides to plant incriminating evidence in Willie's room for the Sheriff to find.
Meanwhile, at the Collinsport Hospital, Dr. Dave Woodard is examining a coma-tent shrouded Willie as Sheriff Patterson looks on. It will be a miracle, Woodard observes, but there is a slim chance Willie might recover. Patterson reveals his doubts concerning Willie being responsible for abducting Maggie Evans. It is only a feeling, but the Sheriff believes Willie can tell them the true identity of the Collinsport Strangler...if he lives.
Having kept Maggie's ring, Barnabas decides to hide it in Willie's bedroom in order to implicate his former servant in her kidnapping. He places it in a candlestick beneath the candle. Then, Barnabas orders Julia to return to the hospital and to continue to pose as consulting physician to Dr. Woodard. She balks at his suggestion to murder Willie should he begin to wake. Barnabas points out that Julia has as much to lose as he does should Willie talk.
Back at the hospital, Sam Evans pays a visit to Patterson and Woodard. It seems he also has doubts about Willie being the man who abducted Maggie. Too many things don't add up, and it is a long way from being an open-and-shut case. Sam decides to tag along with the Sheriff to the Old House. Before he departs, Patterson orders Woodard not to let anyone talk to Willie in case he happens to recover.
Later, Sam and Sheriff Patterson arrive at the Old House. Barnabas leads the two men to Willie's room. There, they begin to search. Sam inquires about Willie's activities, and Barnabas tells him that Willie was free to do whatever he wished once his work was finished. The search over, neither Patterson or Sam find anything. But Barnabas "accidentally" knocks over the candle in which Maggie's ring is hidden. Sam confirms that it belongs to Maggie and that she was wearing it the night she disappeared. The Sheriff is now convinced of Willie's guilt.
Julia checks on Willie's progress, and Woodard informs her his heart rate has increased a little. She claims to feel guilty for not having shared her suspicions about Willie with her colleague. Suddenly, Willie moans in pain and begins to wake from the coma. Woodard rushes out of the room to inform the Sheriff. Alone, Julia is torn with indecision. Can she really take Willie's life?
Back at the Old House, a deputy arrives to inform the Sheriff of Willie's recovery. Patterson is determined to get the truth out of Willie before the night is over.
Memorable quotes Edit
- Barnabas: As long as Willie is alive, my entire career is threatened!
- Barnabas: Make certain that Willie doesn't recover.
Dramatis personae Edit
- Jonathan Frid as Barnabas Collins
- Grayson Hall as Julia Hoffman
- Robert Gerringer as Dave Woodard
- David Ford as Sam Evans
- Vince O'Brien as George Patterson
- Dean Perchall as Willie Loomis (uncredited)
- Dennis Johnson as Deputy Fred (uncredited)
Background information and notes Edit
- This episode was recorded out of broadcast sequence. The previous episode to be recorded was 329.
- Willie's face is obscured throughout this episode by an 'oxygen tent' while he lays unconscious. He is played by stand-in Dean Perchall rather than actor John Karlen.
- Vince O'Brien takes over the role of George Patterson for this episode.
- Sheriff Patterson briefly walks into the right side of the frame during the end credits.
- First appearance of Willie's room at the Old House. It would later be redressed as Angelique's room during the 1795 storyline.
- INTERNAL MONOLOGUE: Julia: (recalling Barnabas' words).
Bloopers and continuity errors Edit
- A boom microphone shadow appears several times on the wall of Willie's room.
- In the teaser, Jonathan Frid mistakenly says that Willie being alive threatens his career, rather than his life.
- At the end of the teaser, the music cue is too soon, before Frid can say his final word.
- Grayson Hall trips over a few lines while speaking to Barnabas in the foyer of the Old House.
- The zipper on Willie's oxygen tent snags when Dr. Woodard tries to close it. Since the script has him leaving the room, Robert Gerringer ad-libs and tells Julia to close it.