"My name is Victoria Winters. These are desperate moments at Collinwood. Moments when a boy stands in a perilous middle ground between life and death. Death reaches out to him and his only hope for safety lies in the meaning of words that have come from beyond."
Victoria Winters
Episode 191
Series Dark Shadows
Season 1967, Episode 191
DS 191.jpg
Air date March 20th, 1967
Writers Malcolm Marmorstein
Director Lela Swift
Producers Robert Costello
Starring Joan Bennett; Diana Millay; Nancy Barrett; David Henesy; Ivor Francis; Alexandra Moltke
Episode guide
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Episode 192

"Episode 191" of Dark Shadows first aired on ABC on March 20th, 1967. It was directed by Lela Swift and written by Malcolm Marmorstein. In this episode, Laura Collins makes a last-ditch effort to claim her son David Collins as the prophecy of the Phoenix reaches its final, dramatic conclusion.

Synopsis[edit | edit source]

Laura Collins beckons David to join her in the fishing shack as the flames grow larger. David is lost under her spell and is confused. He doesn't know what to do. Laura coaxes him, saying that the fire gives life and that he must join her in the flames to be with her.

At Collinwood, Victoria Winters continues to hear the voice of Josette Collins. Josette warns her that David is in danger. She speaks of a little house by the sea. Vicki tries to get a more clear idea of what Josette is talking about, and eventually realizes that David is at the fishing shack, which is now burning.

Meanwhile at a hospital in Boston, Carolyn Stoddard watches over her mother Elizabeth who lies in a hospital bed. Doctor Franklin comes in and tries to convince her to go back to her hotel. He says that the tests they've conducted indicate that there is nothing else they can do for her. There is no indication of brain damage and they are at a loss to determine the cause for her condition. Franklin leaves and Carolyn turns away. Elizabeth opens her eyes. When Carolyn sees her, she calls for Doctor Franklin. They notice that she has a frightful expression on her face.

At the fishing shack, Laura continues to call to David. The fire has formed a circle around her and she asks him to tell her the legend of the Phoenix. She says that recounting the legend will give him strength. David reluctantly begins shouting and tells the story of the Phoenix - a mythological bird of paradise that builds a nest, which is then consumed in fire. Vicki shows up at the shack, but the door is locked. She goes to a window and begins calling for David, but he is oblivious to her presence. He continues to recite the legend of the Phoenix.

In Boston, Liz becomes more coherent, but has trouble speaking. Carolyn and the doctor try to understand what she is saying. She abruptly sits upward and shouts "David!"

Laura continues to call to David. Vicki shouts even louder, but David doesn't hear her. The flames grow higher until finally, two burning rafters collapse on top of Laura Collins. Everything goes up in flames. David breaks from the trance and runs towards the door.

Cast[edit | edit source]

Notes & Trivia[edit | edit source]

  • Final appearance of Laura Collins in the present. However, she does appear in the 1897 flashback story-arc beginning with episode 729.
  • Clips from this episode were featured in the Best of Dark Shadows video compilation.

The Legend of the Phoenix[edit | edit source]

As recounted by David Collins
The legend of the Phoenix: The Phoenix is a beautiful bird. It comes from Paradise, the most wonderful place ever; a place with all kinds of flowers and spices and perfume... Every one-hundred years it decides it must go to a very special place. So the Phoenix gathers up all the herbs and spices and flowers and flies to find a new place. The Phoenix has to fly to a place where he can build his nest, a nest that will be its very last one. And so the Phoenix searches for the tallest palm trees where it will make its nest. And so the Phoenix finds the tallest palm tree where it begins to make a beautiful nest. The Phoenix watches the sun rise, higher and higher into the sky. When the sun begins to send its rays down to the nest, it gets hotter and hotter. Then a little flame begins in the nest. And the Phoenix fans the fire with its wings and the flames begin to rise. And higher and higher. And then the Phoenix, the beautiful Phoenix begins to burn.

Quotes[edit | edit source]

"The fire, mother! Its spreading!"
David Collins
"It's reaching out to you... wanting you."
Laura Collins
"Death will give eternal life."
Laura Collins
"The fire will consume everything and everyone."
Laura Collins
"I am going to give him eternal life. He will be reborn just as I've been reborn... century after century."
Laura Collins
"Through these ashes... the Phoenix is reborn!"
Laura Collins

See also[edit | edit source]

External Links[edit | edit source]



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